Blood Wager

Page 73

"Am I supposed to thank you for that?" I asked incredulously.

Gavin pulled me into his lap. "No, angel. Not at all. All I want, if you are willing, is for you to give me a chance. Let me court you as you should be courted. Without interference. Without the rogue status and the Council and the blackmail hanging over your head. That is what I ask. And no, I will not be placing compulsion to make the decision come out in my favor. Rule four, Lissa, is never use compulsion for unethical reasons. Vampires used to take—not just blood, but sex and money and anything else they wanted—by compulsion. That is wrong. You were rogue and that rule is lifted when we go after criminals. Your decisions will be your own from this point forward where I am concerned. Tell me you will consider this." He kissed the top of my head.

I sat there for a few minutes, Gavin’s arms wound tightly around me upon the very peak of Merrill’s roof. The stars were out and they twinkled brightly over our heads. "I’ll think about it," I said.

* * *

Winkler was checking his e-mail and yawning before going to bed. Davis was working out well as his Second and Glen had slipped into the background a little. He and Phil had been friends for a very long time, but even Glen hadn’t known anything about Phil’s betrayal. Lissa’s cell phone and the credit card he’d given her still rested on a corner of Winkler’s desk; he couldn’t bring himself to get rid of them. They were the only things he had left of her. Lissa’s fake ID was missing and he could only imagine that Gavin had taken it with him. Winkler got down to his last e-mail message of the evening. It was from an unknown source. He was just about to hit delete without reading it when he changed his mind and opened it up. He stared at the three words for a very long time.

"She lives.


The End

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