Scorched (2) by Ashwood Sharon

Scorched (2) by Ashwood Sharon

Author:Ashwood, Sharon [Ashwood, Sharon]
Language: eng
Format: mobi
Tags: Romance, Paranormal, Fiction
ISBN: 9781101563731
Publisher: Signet
Published: 2009-12-01T08:00:00+00:00

Chapter 16

“You did what to my sister?” It was the closest Holly had ever come to a shriek.

Alessandro was fairly sure he’d made a tactical blunder. “She’ll like it in the Castle. There’s lots there to kill.”

“When did you put her there?”

“Right after she tried to stake me. And bit me.”

Holly’s angry eyes seemed to fill her face. “What. Time. Did. It. Happen.”

Alessandro balked. The housekeeping spell Holly had laid on the vacuum cleaner suddenly wound down. The motor died with a sickly wheeze.

“Um. This afternoon.”

Holly clenched her teeth. “She’s only human, Alessandro. She doesn’t even have her witch’s powers anymore. She’s my big sister. She used to read me stories.”

He sighed, but it was an angry sound. “What should I have done, Holly? She tried to kill me in my bed. She damned near succeeded.”

Holly dropped into the nearest chair, covering her face with her hands for a moment. He knelt in front of her, sorry that he’d snapped, and captured her hands, one by one, and drew them from her cheeks.

Her eyes were moist, catching the lamplight like stars. “She’s my sister. How could you do that?”

Oh, no. He’d made her cry. It was the first time. A heavy, bleak feeling threatened to crush him to the carpet. “I’m so sorry.”

He could have torn out his own heart then and there. How could I be so stupid? Vampire logic isn’t human logic.

“I don’t know what you should’ve done,” Holly said, her voice thick with tears. “I don’t blame you. You had to do something, and I don’t have any answers. I could kill her myself.”

Confusion washed over him. How could he fix this? “I can go look for her. Bring her home. Right now.”

“No!” She squeezed his hands. “If she doesn’t get you, the guardsmen will!”

Alessandro blinked, his male pride flattened to road kill. “I can look after myself,” he said gently. “I was the queen’s champion swordsman. I’m still pretty good with a blade.”

“Of course you are.”

“I’m in and out of there all the time.” Long enough to toss someone in, at least.

“I know.” Holly closed her eyes, and fell silent.

The house was silent but for the ticking clock. A car whooshed by outside. From the kitchen, the cat was crunching kibble. They were home sounds. Sounds Alessandro had begun to treasure.

Holly swallowed. “I can’t bear to risk you right now.”

“But Ashe . . .”

She shook her head. “I don’t know what to do about her. She’s not the same person I remember, the one I want her to be so badly. It’s like I keep trying to fix her in my mind, fit the old Ashe over the new one, but it doesn’t work.”

“Do you think the sister you remember is inside her somewhere?”

“Goddess knows. I think an awful lot has happened to her over the years, and I know she blames herself for our parents’ deaths.”

“I think she’s angry,” he offered. Was the stake the first clue?

“Whatever. I don’t want her back in this house. Who knows what she’d do next.


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