Take My Hand Chapter 9

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Chapter 9

            “Let her go, Darne.”

            “What? You don’t want to share?” the man holding Jo asked in mock surprise.

            Carson’s anger instantly flared as Darne ran his nose up Jo’s neck, taking in her sweet scent and groaning as his fangs began to protrude from his gums.

            “My my, she does smell sweet.”

            Jo whimpered softly as his fangs barely grazed her delicate neck.

            “Don’t.” The warning was clear in Carson’s voice as he took a menacing step toward Darne.

            “Ah, ah, ah,” Darne said as though talking to a disobedient child, pulling Jo closer to his body. “Dania would not be pleased if she knew.”

            “As I’m sure she will after her little obedient servant returns to her,” Carson returned, taunting Darne and insulting his position as Dania’s lover.

            “Mmm. What rewards would be waiting for me if I returned with such a delicate creature with such sweet smelling blood do you think? Especially one I had taken from the infamous Carson.”

            Carson felt his anger surge through his body, but he tried to control the change. Darne wasn’t stupid and a battle right now would be sure to leave Jo injured if not dead. He had to think rationally.

            Carson laughed humorlessly. “You know, it is very rude to take a man’s hard-earned meal from him. Here I have snared myself a delicious little snack, and you come along and try to steal her away. How very ungentlemanly of you.”

            Darne looked at him incredulously. “A simple snack is she?” Darne inquired, clearly suspecting otherwise.

            “What else would she be, Darne? She is human. They are utterly disposable.”

            Darne seemed to consider Carson for a moment, searching his face for signs of a lie. Carson carefully controlled his face to remain neutral and not give away his ruse.

            Jocelyn’s eyes pleaded with him, but he couldn’t spare her more than a scoffing glance.

            “If she is no more than your meal, do allow me to enjoy the show of an expert at work,” Darne dared, calling Carson’s bluff.

            Carson grinned as though it were of no consequence. “Then do unhand her if you do not mind. I am quite capable of containing my own dinner.”

            Inside, Carson was trying desperately to think of a way out of this mess. There were so few options.

            Darne laughed and pushed Jo roughly toward him. Carson shifted as he pushed Jo quickly behind him, lunging for Darne before he himself could shift. He grabbed the man by the hair, roughly snapping his neck with a sickening crack as his fangs popped through hardened skin and muscle to drain what little blood remained in the vampire. Carson growled savagely as he raised his head, tearing Darne’s head from his body and allowing both to drop to the ground as he spit the remainder of the bitter, vile blood from his mouth. He used his sleeve to wipe the blood from his mouth and looked down at the body he had quickly and easily destroyed. One less of Dania’s minions to worry about, he thought as a smile of triumph spread slowly across his face.

            Jocelyn’s whimper cut through the night, tearing into Carson’s consciousness as the victory that had swam through his body stopped cold in his veins as the thought of what Jo had witnessed stabbed into his mind.

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