Heather touched his left arm. "Jean-Luc. Darling, you're bleeding. You've been shot."
Two hours later, Jean-Luc relaxed in his giant bathtub. The hot water swirled around, producing white foam, while the jets pummeled his back with pulsating water. He sat in the corner, his injured right arm propped along the side to keep the bandage dry. His left arm rested along the other edge, close to the bottle of Blissky.
Jean-Luc had been surprised by the gunshot wound. He'd been so determined to protect Heather and kill Lui that his mind had ignored the pain. Gregori and Heather had escorted him down to his bedroom, while Alberto dealt with the aftermath of the disastrous show.
Gregori knew a Vamp doctor from Houston who had helped deliver Shanna's baby. He called Dr. Lee, and the Vamp teleported straight to Jean-Luc's bedroom with his medical kit. Once Heather was assured that Jean-Luc would live, she ran upstairs to see her daughter.
The bullet had to come out. Gregori handed Jean-Luc a bottle of Blissky to help with the pain. Dr. Lee removed the bullet, bandaged him up, left a bill, then teleported back to Houston.
Gregori wandered off to see Simone and Inga. Ian and Robby were still hunting for Lui, while Phineas and Phil guarded Heather and her family. Jean-Luc knew Lui had to be close by. He'd been controlling Sasha, and she'd been in the area for the last two days. He had to be close. The bastard would want to be close to relish the damage he'd caused.
Jean-Luc took another sip of Blissky. Here he was, once again helpless. He couldn't fight tonight. He was useless. The pain had become a dull throb, but anger and frustration were steadily growing.
Lui had to be found. This had to end. Jean-Luc couldn't force Heather to stay here forever like a prisoner. But if he let her go, Lui would kill her. Mon Dieu, she had every reason to hate him. She'd lost her newfound freedom because of him. He was crazy to even hope for her love.
He heard his bedroom door open and shut. "Robby, is that you? Please tell me Lui is dead."
Soft footsteps approached. Jean-Luc turned to look, his gaze blurred by pain. He blinked. He had to be dreaming. She was wearing the blue nightgown he'd bought for her. Yes, he had to be dreaming. It was a good dream.
Heather slowly walked toward him. "Jean-Luc."
He blinked. "You're real."
She smiled slowly. "Oh yes."
Heather's eyes adjusted to the dim light of Jean-Luc's bathroom. "Are you all right?"
"I'm devastated. My best tuxedo was ruined."
She figured his sarcasm was pain-induced. "At first I thought vampires might not feel any pain, but Gregori assured me that you do."
Jean-Luc leaned his head back on the marble edge of the tub and closed his eyes. "I have all kinds of feelings. Anger that Lui has escaped me once again, frustration that you're forced to accept my protection whether you like it or not."
"I'm not complaining. You took a bullet for me."
He waved a hand as if that was nothing. "Then there are all my positive feelings. Devotion to you, respect for you, desire for you, and the joy I feel in your company." He opened his eyes and looked at her. "Everything positive in my life revolves around you."
She moved to a corner of the raised tub and wrapped an arm around the slender column. The marble was cool against her cheek. "You have a lot to be proud of, Jean-Luc. You're very clever and talented. You've come a long way in life, and you've built a highly successful business."
He rested his head back again. "I worked hard, so I could be the one in charge, so I wouldn't be powerless to the whims of other men." He sighed. "But Lui keeps coming back, and I'm powerless to stop him. Worthless."
Her heart squeezed in her chest. "Don't you dare say that. You risked your life to save me." She moved up the stairs and sat on the edge of the tub.
"I feel worthless right now. If Lui showed up tonight, I wouldn't be able to fight." Jean-Luc smiled slightly. "Don't worry. I would still protect you."
"I believe you." She knew he'd die if he had to. She touched the soft black curls on his head.
"I have an emergency plan. I'd teleport you and Bethany to Romatech Industries. There's a safe room there, completely encased in silver. No vampire can teleport in or out. You would be safe there."
"I see." She stroked his hair, and he closed his eyes. "Silver's bad for vampires?"
"Mmm." The lines of pain in his face slowly smoothed.
She kept stroking his hair. Now she understood why the silver belts had hurt Louie so much. "Gregori told me you would heal completely during your death-sleep. You won't even have a scar to commemorate your bravery."
A corner of his mouth tilted up. "It was more like desperation. I couldn't bear to lose you."
"I think you were very brave. I wanted to thank you."
He opened his eyes and regarded her sadly. "We've rescued each other now, so we're even. As soon as I kill Lui, you will be free to go."
She took a deep breath. "I'm not going anywhere."
He stared at her blankly. "You're accepting the job?"
She straightened so she was standing on the bottom step of the stairs leading up to the tub. Her heart began to race. "I'm accepting you."
His eyebrows rose. He sat up.
She slipped the straps of her nightgown off her shoulders, and then peeled the bodice down to reveal her br**sts. His eyes darkened.
She had to wiggle a little to get the nightgown over her hips. His eyes began to glow. The nightgown fell in a puddle around her feet.
Her heart was pounding now, echoing in her ears. The fear and uncertainty she'd felt the last two weeks had all melted away, leaving her with a sense of elation. Her mind was made up. She was following her heart. And she was declaring victory over fear. "Remember what you said? You were right about me."
His eyes glimmered bright red. "What did I say?"
"You said I loved you." She ascended the steps, and a glorious feeling of power washed over her. "And I do." She eased into the hot water.
"You do?" He moved over to give her room.
She settled beside him. "Yes, I do. I was thinking about you all week, trying to get up the courage to follow my heart."
"So you've defeated that fear?"
"Yes. There was a scripture that helped me. The one that says there's a purpose for everything under heaven. I realized you were here for a noble purpose. You protect the innocent from bad vampires." She touched his face. "How could I not love you?"
He gave her a wry look. "You're trying to make me noble?"
"You are noble, you silly goose. Deal with it."
He chuckled. "I love you, too." He glanced at his bandaged arm. "But I may have trouble proving it."
"You don't have to do anything." She nestled against his left side and rubbed a thigh against his leg. "I'm here to seduce you."
"Uh-huh." She planted kisses along his shoulder and up his neck. "I hope you don't mind. I know how you hate feeling powerless."
His mouth quirked. "Strangely enough, I'm all right with this."
"Good." She skimmed a hand down his chest, reached his stomach, and bumped into the tip of his swollen manhood. "Oh. You're not completely out of action."
"No." He hissed in a breath when she wrapped her hand around him and squeezed.
She stroked the shaft, enjoying the way it grew thicker and harder. The tip remained velvety soft. She kissed his chest. "I never could resist you. From the first time I met you, I wanted you."
"Heather, I love you so much." With his left arm, he pulled her half on top of him. He kissed her on the mouth. A hungry, demanding kiss.
She tasted a hint of whisky on his tongue. She explored his mouth and skimmed her tongue across the edge of his teeth. The sharp points on his canine teeth didn't faze her. She knew who he was, and she loved him.
She straddled him, and they continued to kiss. His left hand stroked her back. She nestled against his erection, rubbing herself against the length. Her br**sts moved against his chest.
"Come up higher." He wrapped his left arm around her waist and lifted her up so her br**sts were even with his mouth. He drew a hard nipple into his mouth and suckled.
She moaned and arched into him. Tingles spread all over her body, and a deep need flared inside her. Good Lord, Fidelia had been right. A man who had sucked blood for centuries knew how to use his mouth.