House Rules

Free House Rules by Chloe Neill

Book: House Rules by Chloe Neill Read Free Book Online
Authors: Chloe Neill
know this because?”
    “She stares at you, she hangs on every word . . . and she told me.”
    He looked surprised. “She told you?”
    “She told me.” Maybe not in so many words, but she’d gotten the point across.
    “Merit, Lacey has lived in Sheridan House for years. She is the only Master in a city
     with hundreds of vampires, and—I say this without personal interest—she’s a perfectly
     attractive woman. I assure you—if she wanted a suitor, she could find one.”
    Not when she’s holding out for you
, I silently thought, but kept that to myself. If he was truly that naive about her
     feelings, I figured that benefited me. It would be harder for her to woo him away
     if he had no romantic thoughts of her.
    “Okay, then.”
    Ethan looked at me. He watched me, really checking my mood and whether that “okay”
     meant okay in the male sense (“okay”) or the female sense (“possibly okay; it depends
     on what you say next”).
    “You mean that,” he said.
    “I do. I trust you. I’m not entirely sure I trust her, but I trust you.” I put my
     hand on his. “And more important, I know you’re worried about the House—and about
     Darius and the GP. Do what you need to do. I’ll live.”
    Without warning, he pounced, wrapping my body in his, his warmth penetrating through
     to my core. As a vampire, I was often cold; Ethan Sullivan was by far the best blanket
     a girl could ask for.
    “What time do they arrive?” I murmured.
    “Hours yet.” He nipped at my neck and pulled me closer, a suggestion of exactly how
     we might spend those hours.
    Unfortunately, that wasn’t in the cards for me tonight. “You’ve got work to do, and
     I need to get moving. We’ve got missing vampires and an Ombudsman who’s probably already
     left half a dozen messages on my phone.”
    “That should fill out your schedule for the night,” he said.
    Still beneath him, I stretched out and snagged my cell phone from my nightstand. No
     calls or messages, which was unusual, but we were only a few minutes past dusk. Perhaps
     Catcher hadn’t seen the point in sending a message I wouldn’t have been able to read
     for hours anyway. “Barring a zombie attack, yes.”
    “More likely a human attack than a zombie attack,” Ethan said.
    “Potato,
potato
. Either way, the attacks would be mindless, and they’d be out for blood. Hey,” I
     said, poking his chest. “What do zombies chant at a riot?”
    “Grrarphsnarg?”
he asked, in a surprisingly well-done bit of mindless zombie imitating.
    “No, but that was really good. Disconcertingly good.”
    “I was deceased for a time.”
    “True. But anyway, the rioters get all riled up, and they chant: ‘What do we want?
     Brains! When do we want them? Brains!’” I fell into a wave of appropriately boisterous
     laughter; Ethan seemed less impressed.
    “I truly hope the stipend we pay you doesn’t get spent on the development of jokes
     like that.”
    “It gets spent on smoked meats to supplement this House’s paltry smoked-meats selection.”
    “There’s probably a twelve-step program for meat addiction, and I imagine the program
     starts by admitting you have a problem.”
    “Loving smoked meats isn’t a problem. It’s a birthright. Especially for the fanged.
     All right,” I said, slapping Ethan on the butt. “Off. I need to get dressed, as do
     you.”
    But he didn’t shift the weight of his body; instead, he cupped my face in his hand.
     “Be careful out there.”
    “Yes, Liege,” I dutifully said.
    Ethan turned to his side, and I climbed off the bed and headed toward the shower.
     But I paused in the doorway just long enough to wink. “And do try to keep your hands
     to yourself.”
    His smile widened. “Michael Donovan is an attractive man, Sentinel. But I’ll do my
     best.”
    Ethan Sullivan, registered smart-ass.
    * * *
    I quickly cleaned, loofa-ed, and shampooed, spending less time in Ethan’s roaring
     shower than I would have

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