After learning Theo is alive, Sar immediately embarks on a mission to find him. Reunited, the lovers return to New York, Danial, Terian and Theo uneasily combining forces to protect Sar from Al’s assassins who still seek her. But when Sar is taken prisoner in an all-out attack, only one man can save her—her old adversary, Devlin.
“What are you talking about?” I screamed at Terian. My heart was beating a mile a minute, the breath tearing out of me as I tried to get enough oxygen to my brain to process his words.
“Theo is alive,” Terian said again.
I sobbed from sudden relief, my knees giving way. Terian grabbed me before I fell, then guided me over to a shady spot to sit down. A few minutes later when I got control of myself, I wiped my face with my sleeves and faced him. “Tell me everything you know.”
“Theo came back here in February—”
“February! Why didn’t you tell me?” I yelled at the top of my lungs.
Terian got to his feet, putting distance between us. “I’ll tell you everything I know, but not if you keep screaming at me. Calm down.”
I tried to breathe. I tried to be calm. I could do neither. Theo was alive. I ached for him already. The last two years seemed like a dream, and I wanted suddenly to go home to my house, where I crazily hoped he would be waiting for me.
“Where is he?” I demanded.
“Out west,” Terian said. “In a little town in Wyoming called Casper.”
I processed that, making plans at once. I could fly there in a day, most likely. Or I could drive there and take the dogs; I’d never travelled outside the state by myself. Ever. Maybe Elle would want to go. In any case, I was going, and I was going tomorrow. I wanted to leave tonight, but the day was already half gone, and I would need to pack and get maps and money ... Hurriedly, I made a mental list.
“Walk back to the house with me,” I said calmly, “And tell me all you know.”
We began to move, I with a purposeful fast stride. Terian reluctantly matched my speed.
“I was out walking in the woods one night, doing guard duty. I came upon the tracks of a cougar and thought they had to be Elle’s. But after studying the size and depth of them, I concluded that they were from an adult, not a child, and so deep that likely a male had made them. I followed them and found Theo. He was huddled in one of the sheds, trying to get out of the cold.”
Theo had been so close to me and I’d not even known it. “Go on.”
“I took him to my room and let him sleep in my bed. During the night he changed back to human.” Terian took a deep breath and looked into my eyes. “He was hurt badly. He could get around okay, but he was covered with scars. He said it had been a lot worse, but most of the damage had healed.”
I took a long shuddering breath, walked faster and motioned for Terian to continue.
“He asked me not to tell anyone he was here, especially you, Sar.”
“Why?” I got out, too hurt to elaborate.
“He had seen that you lived here with Danial and that Elle thought of Danial as her father. He knew you were pregnant.”
I closed my eyes then, trying to breathe. “Did he say where he had been?”
“He said he’d been captured and held by several different people. That he’d escaped each time, but the damage that initial sadist had done to him had crippled him, so he was unable to journey quickly. He said he’d been without a passport in more than a few countries. He had nothing to prove he was a US citizen and no money, no identification of any kind.”
“There are such things as collect calls,” I said deliberately.
“I only know what he told me.”
“Why didn’t he call us? Write us?” I said angrily. “He could have broken into an office and sent us an email! That’s all it would have taken!”
“I don’t know,” Terian replied evenly. “The only other thing he said was to tell no one that I’d seen him, to let everyone think he was dead.”
“What did you tell him about Danial and me?”
“He didn’t ask,” Terian said bluntly. “Theo wasn’t the man he used to be. He was broken and bitter. He didn’t want to hear what I had to say about you. He said he had seen all he needed to see with his own eyes.”
My eyes flooded with guilty tears. I swiped at them angrily, then took a deep breath. “You’re sure he said Casper?”
“Yes,” Terian said confidently.
I turned to face him. “You are only telling me about Theo now to get me to leave Danial, you bastard. Would you have ever told me, if this hadn’t have happened?”
“No,” Terian answered. “I would have left things as they were, like he asked me to.”
“Damn you, Terian,” I yelled. “Damn you and damn your stupid moral code!”
Terian’s eyes flashed red. “Sar, you spend all this time pining for Theo, but when you’re with Danial you’re happy to be with him. How long did you wait after Theo disappeared before going back to Danial? Were those three months you spent together really love or some kind of infatuation?” He stepped closer. “Or just good sex?”
I slapped Terian hard across his face. “I want you to know that I considered you my friend,” I said hatefully. “I did. But that’s over now, Terian. You have caused me more heartache with your potions and your keeping things from me than Danial has ever done. I’m sorry that you’re part of my child.” I paused for a moment, glaring at him. “I would rather it had been anyone else, even Devlin.”
I walked away and left him there, too stunned to speak.
When I got back to the house, I used Danial’s computer to check plane flights. There were no flights left to Casper that night or the next day within driving distance. Instead of that relaxing me, I just took it as a sign that traveling by car was the way to go.
As much as a flight would have cost, driving to Wyoming would be just as expensive, if not more, factoring in gas, food and hotels. Lucky for me, Danial had insisted on paying me for my help with his business for the past year and a half. I hadn’t cared at the time, had just deposited the money in a savings account. That would give me the needed money to finance this trip with no trouble.
Strangely, doubts about what I was planning didn’t faze me. I realized that most everyone would think I was crazy to be doing this. Sure, my life here with Danial was good, even with Dr. Camlyn’s dire prognosis of me being on the threshold of becoming vampire. Yet all that was in the noise, really. I had only to think of seeing Theo again, of being with him and there was no hesitation, no thoughts of any other option but going to him.
I began printing out maps of Casper itself and the shortest route to get there. The drive would be a long one, four days of solid driving. That was a hell of a long drive. Yet flying somehow seemed too short. Too sudden. I needed time to think about what I was going to do. I couldn’t just show up in town asking for him. He might have moved on like I had.
The thought floored me, but it was a good possibility. Theo thought I’d oathed to Danial, and he had been in Casper for four months now. He liked sex, loved it actually. It was unlikely I’d find him alone.
I sighed, reasoning that Elle shouldn’t come on this trip, even if she wanted to. However, I had to go even if I found him with a live-in lover. I had to know what had happened to him.
I finished printing out the maps. Shit, it was already late afternoon.
I went downstairs and put the maps in Theo’s truck. It hadn’t been used in close to a year, but the engine started easily for me, and the inspection was still good. That was a relief. The problem was I had only two things left to do before leaving—pack my clothes and tell Danial I was leaving to find Theo.