The Undead Next Door (Love at Stake 4) - Page 65

He kissed her brow. "You're free now. You can have your old life back, if you want."

She cradled his face with her hands. "I want my new life with you."

"We can do that, too." He squeezed her tight. "It was my worst fear. I woke up to find you were in danger."

"It's all right," she whispered. "You killed him. Louie will never torture you again."

Robby walked over to retrieve his sword. "Well done, Jean-Luc."

He glanced around the chapel. "Is everyone all right?"

Sasha moaned. She struggled to sit up, but fell back onto the table.

"Sasha!" Billy ran toward her. "Thank God you're all right."

"Billy." She stretched out a hand to him. "I never meant to hurt anyone. Please believe me."

"I believe you." Billy took her hand. "He controlled me, too. It was terrible. I was fighting it, but there was nothing I could do." He kissed her hand.

"He remembers everything," Robby whispered. "I broke the hold Lui had on him, but I dinna erase his memory."

Jean-Luc nodded. "That's probably for the best. It would be difficult to explain all this."

"Sasha's lost too much blood," Heather whispered.

"We'll have Dr. Lee make another house call," Jean-Luc said. "He can give her a blood transfusion."

"She won't become a vampire?" Heather asked.

"Nay," Robby replied. "She'll be fine. Her blood wasna completely drained. I just hope Dr. Lee can remove the bullet from Phil."

Jean-Luc looked at the werewolf. "Why didn't you tell me about him?"

Robby shrugged. "'Tis a company secret."

"How many are there like him?" Heather asked.

Robby's mouth quirked. "If I told ye, it wouldna be a secret."

"He bit Billy," Heather said.

Robby's smile faded.

"Bugger," Ian whispered. He gave Billy a worried look.

"Oh no," Heather breathed. "It's contagious?"

Robby nodded. "Aye."

Heather winced. Poor Billy. She glanced at the altar. Billy was sitting on the table, holding Sasha in his arms. Well, he'd finally gotten the girl he wanted. Hopefully, Sasha wouldn't mind a boyfriend who went furry every now and then.

"I'll explain it to him later," Robby said. "Ian, go ahead and teleport them to the house. And call Dr. Lee."

"Verra well." Ian strode toward the wounded couple, and soon they all vanished.

Heather stepped back to look at Jean-Luc's wound. "You need to see Dr. Lee, too."

He shrugged. "It's just a scratch."

She snorted. "That scratch nearly gave me a heart attack. You have got to stop getting injured every night."

He grinned. "You're cute when you're bossy." He pulled her closer and whispered in her ear, "We'll have to find some new positions that won't strain my injury."

She laughed.

Robby strolled over to the table and blew out the candles. "I'll teleport back with Phil, and we'll be done." He glanced up at the choir loft. "Is there something up there? I thought I heard something."

"Probably a tiny Texan mouse." Jean-Luc nuzzled Heather's neck.

"I am a cockroach!"

Heather gasped. "Cody! I forgot he was there."

Jean-Luc frowned. "I'm tempted to leave him there."

"No," Heather protested. "He actually came in handy. Billy ran out of bullets, shooting at him. In a weird way, he saved Phil's life."

"All right. I'll remove the command." Jean-Luc walked over to the choir loft and levitated. "Cockroach."

"Yes, Master!"

Jean-Luc hovered in the air for a few minutes. Then he sank to the floor. "It's done."

"What the hell?" Cody yelled. "How did I get here?"

Jean-Luc gathered Heather in his arms. "There will be a little girl very happy to see you."

Heather's eyes filled with tears. "Thank you."

Cody clambered down the stairs. "What the hell is going on?"

"I believe ye'll find the sheriff's car outside," Robby said. "I suggest ye take it back to town."

Cody noticed the giant wolf and backed toward the door. "You guys are crazy!" He ran from the chapel.

Robby chuckled. "Come on, Phil. Let me take ye home." He halted in midstep. "Och, ye wee beastie."

Heather grimaced. Phil had raised a leg and was dousing the pile of dust that had been Louie. "Oh, ick." How could she ever look Phil in the face again?

Phil finished, then sat on his haunches. He gave them a wolfish grin, his long tongue lolling out.

With a laugh, Robby wrapped an arm around the furry beast. The two vanished.

"Our turn." Jean-Luc smoothed a hand up Heather's back. "You remember how to do this? You hold me tight."

"I remember." She wrapped her arms around his neck.

His mouth twitched. "And then you kiss me."

"Absolutely." She pressed her mouth against his and let the world fade away.


Three weeks later...

On the drive home from the wedding, Heather realized that she now led a dual life. Living in two worlds had meant they needed two wedding receptions.

Both mortals and Vamps had attended the small wedding at Heather's church. While the Vamps had discreetly left, Heather's mortal friends had gathered in the church's fellowship hall for wedding cake and punch.

Jean-Luc had happily shoved a piece of wedding cake into Heather's mouth, but she'd purposely missed his mouth, smearing it on his cheek. Everyone had laughed, never realizing that Jean-Luc had not eaten any cake at all. Then Heather tossed the bouquet over her shoulder.

"He scores!" Coach Gunter caught the bouquet and lifted both arms up, signifying a touchdown.

Heather and Jean-Luc made an early exit to the limousine parked out front. Her friends thought they were rushing off to catch a plane, but their next stop was the Vamp reception at the studio.

Heather understood why the Vamps wanted to party in private. How else could they drink Bubbly Blood and perform old dances like the minuet? She was actually looking forward to the dances. Jean-Luc had spent the last few weeks teaching her the steps when he wasn't busy making love to her or overseeing the production of her wedding dress.

She smoothed out the ivory silk, trying not to crush the skirt in the back of the limo. "It's the most beautiful wedding gown ever."

"For the most beautiful bride ever." Jean-Luc kissed her cheek, then nuzzled her ear. "I plan to ravish you thoroughly tonight."

"Shh." Heather didn't want her daughter to overhear.

Bethany was busily opening and shutting all the cabinets in the limo. She looked adorable in the blue flower girl dress Heather had made for her.

Fidelia, the matron of honor, had scooted down the seat to the window behind the chauffeur. She knocked on the glass. "Hola, Roberto!"

The limo sped up.

Heather chuckled. Poor Robby.

They pulled to a stop in front of Jean-Luc's studio - their home, Heather corrected herself. Robby opened the door so they could get out. Fidelia fussed behind her, making sure the long train of her skirt was perfect.

"Ready?" Jean-Luc took her hand.

"Yes." She climbed the steps with Jean-Luc as Robby opened the door.

The showroom was bright with light gleaming off the polished marble. The room had been cleared for the reception. A few round tables lined the walls, topped with white tablecloths and bouquets of flowers. There was a small buffet of real food, punch, and champagne for the few mortals in attendance, plus another table covered with champagne flutes and Bubbly Blood chilling in ice buckets.

The center of the room was left empty for dancing. A band called the High Voltage Vamps had teleported in from New York and were set up beneath the catwalk. Cascades of voile and flowers hung from the catwalk, leaving the air scented with roses and gardenias.

It wasn't a surprise to Heather since she'd helped with all the plans and decorations, but she still felt a thrill upon seeing it. It was perfect.

Vamps lined up to meet her. Her worries that they might not approve of her melted away. Angus and Emma MacKay were first in line, and both gave her a big hug. They invited her and Jean-Luc to use their castle in Scotland whenever they liked. Next in line was a handsome Italian Vamp named Giacomo. He kissed her cheeks and invited them to visit his palazzo in Venice. A few more of Jean-Luc's coven members from Western Europe had made the trip.