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“No. ”

“Yes. ”

“No. You're going back to Austin with me after you feed,” he said firmly.

“You're not the boss of me,” she said through gritted teeth.

She was sick of all of this crap and she just wanted to get away. Just runaway and be done with it. She'd call her Grandmama and tell her where to get the Lincoln.

“I am now. You're not going anywhere. We need to prepare for The Summoner. Now that you've shown you have his powers twice, he's going to be coming for you. ”

Cian's voice sounded very sure of this and it sent a chill down her spine.

“I don't even know how I did it!” She wasn't even really sure that she had summoned up the dead. But if she hadn't done, then why would have they gone back into the earth when she ordered it? Lightly, she touched her broken cheekbone and shivered at the sharp stab of pain. She was definitely healing slowly and she was famished. Crossing her arms over her stomach, she curled up in the car seat.

“It doesn't matter if you know how you did it or not, he'll come for you for now. I don't think he ever anticipated that you inherited some of his ability. I know I never heard of this happening before. I certainly cannot control the dead. ”

She stared out the window at the dark landscape rushing past them. Tears were threatening to fall, as her face pulsed with pain. Her hunger grew. When she had said the words that Cian now called a curse, she had felt something drain out of her body and into the ground below her. It was as if a thread had been pulled and a piece of her had quickly unraveled. When she had taken back her words, she had felt it snap back. Now she was keenly aware of the shadow wound inside of her that could call to the dead.

“My Grandmama sees the dead,” she said. “That is why she was suspicious of me. She sees the dead so clearly, they are like living beings to her. My grandfather was terrified, so she stopped talking about it. When she was a little girl, she used to help ghosts cross over. That's why she is addicted to those stupid TV shows with mediums and ghosts. ”

“Then, maybe that's why its been different for you,” Cian suggested.

She looked toward him and saw that he was deep in thought. He looked different tonight with his much longer hair and a goatee. “My life is seriously fucked up, isn't it?”

“Yeah. Both of our lives are. ” His hands were gripping the steering wheel tightly.

“I'll leave when we get to Austin. ” She felt a little calmer now. He had come to San Antonio for her and dumping her seemed like something Roberto would do. Tie her up, shove her in a trashcan and leave her out for the San Antonio vamps to play with. “I'll get Grandmama's car and head to Mexico. Unless they're as crazy as you guys are about territory. ”

“Worse,” Cian informed her with a sigh. “It's a constant struggle for control down there. ”

“Then maybe Canada,” she decided. She could feel her sharp teeth brushing against her bruised lips and she ran a finger over them thoughtfully.

“Stay in Austin,” Cian said to her.

“You're getting married,” she pointed out.

He lapsed into silence and she curled up even tighter. Her body hurt like crazy. There were still a lot of cars on the road, but they would soon thin out as they got further out of San Antonio.

She must have dozed for awhile for she was startled when he pulled over onto the shoulder.

“You need to drink,” he said, and slashed his wrist.

The smell of his blood overwhelmed her. Without hesitating, she leaned over and gripped his arm between her hands and covered the gash with her mouth. Sucking hard, she drew his blood into her in a wonderful cool rush. It wasn't as warm as a mortal's would be, but it was rich and full of the life she needed. She gasped as the blood began to flow through her and her body began to tingle as she healed. She felt Cian's hand slide into her hair and she giggled, blood almost coming out her nose.

“What?” he whispered in a raspy voice.

“If anyone saw us they'd think I was giving you a blow job,” she said, and bit into his wrist again.

Despite his earlier seriousness, Cian's laughter filled the car. It even broke the tension between them a little as the deliciousness of the moment filled them. The more she drank, the more she felt entangled in him and soon wanted to climb on top of him and devour him in other ways. His fingers in her hair tightened and slowly drew her head back.

She didn't hesitate to kiss him back when he covered her mouth with his and her hands clung to his shoulders. It felt so good to heal and it felt so good to feel fully alive again. His tongue licked the blood from her lips and he drew back reluctantly. Slowly, she sank back into her seat and ran her hands over her now healed face.

Cian looked a little pale as he sucked on his wrist so it would heal more quickly. There was a disquieting atmosphere in the car as they both retreated into their own thoughts. Amaliya had no idea what was on his mind, but she was

still thinking about blood and sex. Unfortunately, she was also thinking about him being engaged and as annoying as Samantha was, she appeared to love him very much.

With The Summoner somewhere out there, she had no desire to stick around anyway. She knew that if she stayed around, it would only put Cian in more danger and she was done with doing that. She'd grab the car and the phone her grandmother had given her that was still at the apartment and she'd bail. Simple as that.