Chapter Six: The Search Begins
Lucas paced the floor of the bedroom in his host's home, feeling as confined as the wolf would be in a cage. He hadn't wanted to leave Sara alone, but her friend, Michael, had insisted on driving him back here. Damned honorable of him. Lucas hadn't missed the guy's attraction to her. He'd found Sara's car keys in his pocket and he'd gone back to return them. At least the guy wasn't there.
Not that he could blame McCain. It had taken every bit of centuries-old will power to convince himself that he was just being supportive, massaging her neck. What he really wanted to do was slide his hands down her arms and around her waist and pull her up against him. He'd cup and knead her breasts while he nuzzled her neck and kissed that vulnerable spot just below and behind the ear lobe and then let his hands slide down her ribs to her belly and press her back. ... The wolf growled menacingly and he shook his head in agitation. Better not to think about Sara. The beast wanted out, hungry for the blood of the person who'd murdered the old man. Enraged, the wolf could easily mistake the powerful emotion of lust for something else.
And lust is what he felt, he told himself. Nothing else. Certainly not anything like love. There was no room in his long life for love, not when he had to recreate himself every fifty years and his lover grew old and withered away. Besides, he had allowed himself to love once and the results had been disastrous on a whole fledgling nation. He became a hermit for a long time after that. And then he found the Templars.
Still, Sara was powerfully alluring. Her body was soft curves that he wanted to press against while he ran his hands through the cloud of silken hair. With the wolf's keen nose, he could pick up her unique womanly scent from across the room. And yesterday had been nearly over-powering. Grief did that, he supposed. Her shields had been down.
And that surprised him too. He'd blocked McCain's mind probe, but it had channeled through her. There was something a little bit mysterious about Sara. The herbs he'd found--he hadn't seen crushed mistletoe since the Druids worshipped in oak groves. The symbols of the Sacred Feminine--as Brighid was referred to in these times--scattered around her apartment suggested something that ran deep below the surface of personality and beautiful looks. He'd known the faerie, Nimue, since Arthur's time. She didn't attach herself to anyone unless they had a Gift.
He paused in his pacing and thought of his sister, Brighid, the bestower of Avalon's Gifts. The painting on Sara's wall had startled him, for it was a rendering of Avalon, a place he didn't know if he would ever see again. He had lost his own sun-god divinity when he came to Earth, so only Brighid could part the mists for him now. And with the Christians, Muslims and Jews at each other's throats around the world, the gentler teachings of the Goddess path were receding deeper into shrouded veils of secrecy.
It was a blood-thirsty world, this twenty-first century. The Mongols, Romans, Huns, and Saxons had been brutal. The World Wars and Viet Nam had taken lives, but this ... this was Balor's triumph. He had finally gotten the perfect combination. Suicidal terrorists in countries that had the capabilities for weapons of mass destruction.
And Balor was close. First the wolf attack and now the murder. He doubted that Sara had gotten ill on one drink. He suspected that Caldwell had slipped something into it, although he couldn't prove it, since Sara had refused to go a doctor. Drugging women to make them compliant disgusted him. Strike One, as the Americans said. If Caldwell were somehow linked to his grandfather, that would be Strike Two. Gavin was still working on that. If Lucas ever found out that Caldwell was behind the slaying of that old man, he would release the wolf with pleasure.
But first the Hallows must be found. After the murder and whatever had transpired at lunch with Caldwell, he didn't want to leave Sara alone. He knew she had a gun, she'd showed it to him before they left, but a gun wouldn't stop Balor.
He'd have to take her with him. But how he was going to manage to keep things platonic, when even now his cock grew hard thinking of her, he didn't know.