Seducing Death (Moon Virus Book 3)By: Cassandra Lawson
Ian leaned against the tree, his lips curled into a smile. That was an expression Kyleigh hadn’t seen often in the last decade. For years he’d scowled constantly, with the exception of the occasional cruel twist of his lips. Those had resembled smiles but held no joy. When she’d first started watching Ian, anger had radiated from him most days, which made sense considering the great loss he’d suffered. Still, it had taken him much longer than she’d expected to begin to move from darkness.
Then again, what did she really know? Kyleigh’s involvement with the living was limited.
Watching his suffering had been painful, and she’d begun to doubt he’d ever fully recover. After his numerous sins, she’d longed to break her promise rather than continue to witness the destruction of his soul. Of course, she wouldn’t do that because her word was just about the only thing she had left to give. Besides, she’d given up everything to keep this stupid promise to watch over a man who hadn’t been worth it. That all changed recently as Ian slowly began to redeem himself.
Kyleigh sighed. Ian really was an attractive man, a thought that was often accompanied by guilt. At first, there’d been nothing attractive about him. Now, she found herself staring far too often. Then again, how could she not admire Ian’s appearance? With his longish black hair, catlike green eyes and sharp features, he was stunning, especially now with his full, sexy lips curled into a smile. As for his body? Ian was fit, with a sleek muscular frame. At least spying on him was more interesting now that she’d noticed how attractive he was.
Kyleigh sensed the shadows moving in to claim his darkened soul. The shadows fed on unredeemed souls. Today they stalked Ian, which seemed totally unfair when he was finally changing for the better. Allowing him to die today was not an option.
The problem she faced now was how to save him. Getting close enough to warn Ian wasn’t an option; she couldn’t allow his friend to see her, so she waited and hoped a way to intervene and keep her promise would present itself. Yes, she could technically make herself visible to his friend, but it would be another big rule she’d be breaking. Souls marked for the shadows were not her domain, and she was supposed to do everything in her power to avoid revealing her true identity to the living. Hands tied by the rules, she watched and waited.
“Bet you can’t wait to get back to your woman and make up with her,” Ian said with a grin. “I used to feel the same way when I fought with Kate before going out on patrol. No matter how many times it happened, I was always too dumb to apologize before I left. Then I spent the entire time I was out regretting leaving her like that.”
Kyleigh smiled when she heard him mention Kate’s name. After mourning her loss for so long, Ian was finally able to find some small amount of joy in her memory.
His friend seemed surprised that Ian had mentioned Kate. “Mitchell seems to be doing really well.”
“I still worry,” Ian admitted, “but he seems to do great as long as he’s getting enough blood. When he skips a meal, he gets confused. It’s a little scary, but I have alarms set so he doesn’t forget. You know what he asked me the other day?”
“What’s that?” his friend asked.
“He asked if he could call me Dad.” Ian’s voice was choked with emotion. “The kid was worried that I’d mind. You know, it’s like I’m getting a second chance at life. I still miss them. Not a single day goes by where I don’t miss them, but I don’t wake up wishing I’d died too. I wake up looking forward to hearing what Mitchell learned. He’s so full of curiosity. Once I taught him how to use a computer, he couldn’t stop researching. Next week he starts school, and he’s really excited about it. I’m lucky to have him.”
His friend nodded. “You’ve changed a lot in the last few months. Not to sound all emotional, but it’s good to have you back.”
Kyleigh had seen the change too. Ian deserved so much happiness after the pain he’d endured. If he kept moving in this direction, it would be so much easier to keep her promise. First, she had to find a way to keep him from dying today.
“I don’t know how any of you put up with me. I was so full of hate for so long. That hate clouded my judgment on a lot of things. I still don’t agree with some of Connor’s policies,” Ian continued. “We shouldn’t be out worrying about attacks that are nowhere near our own settlement. I get Treasure Island because they provide blood for us. Camp Parks? That’s far enough that it shouldn’t be our problem. Those humans chose to live on their own. Why should we take care of them?”