Ravenfall by Narrelle M Harris

Ravenfall by Narrelle M Harris

Author:Narrelle M Harris [Harris, Narrelle M]
Language: eng
Format: epub
ISBN: 9780995439467
Publisher: Clan Destine Press
Published: 2017-12-07T05:00:00+00:00

Chapter Fourteen

At the SUV, James bundled the cloak-wrapped blades and his cutlass into the back seat and placed his gun in the glove box before getting behind the wheel. When Gabriel hadn’t been able to buckle up his seatbelt by the time they reached the main road – the clink and clatter of the metal as Gabriel failed to keep the two halves steady was almost in time with his jittering heartbeat – James fastened the belt for him.

It was ridiculous to ask Gabriel if he was all right when he clearly wasn’t, so James opted for resting his hand over Gabriel’s, rubbing his thumb across the artist’s knuckles, before driving off.

They journeyed in silence, James guiding the vehicle along Basingstoke Road, heading for the M3, which would take them north-east and back to London. He kept one hand on the wheel, the other on Gabriel’s clenched fist.

Finally, Gabriel spoke.

‘W-what West said. About w-what h-happened in Afg-ghanistan.’

James took his hand away to place it on the wheel. He stared at the road ahead, resolute. And now it all falls apart. Gabriel had seemed so accepting of it all and, at the time, James couldn’t help thinking that Gabriel mustn’t have properly understood what it meant about him.

‘It’s all true. I’m a killer.’

The lapses had been brief but devastating. He had fought those instincts with everything he had ever since. He had returned to the base after his attempt to kill West, but his behaviour had been so erratic, and his recoiling response to the sight of blood so profound, the army had no trouble deciding to isolate him and send him home. He’d had to do a lot of work to cover up his medical tests, faking pulse and respiratory rates through willpower. To feed, he stole bags of blood that should have been used to save other lives and faked bloodwork results. Staying in a war zone was too dangerous: for him; for everyone. Too easy to succumb, with all that blood spilling so near him, all the time.

After his discharge, James fled to London to hide, where he thought he would go mad from thirst and boredom and despair. Until Gabriel came.

Now Gabriel was going to leave again.

It wasn’t a surprise to see, from the corner of his eye, Gabriel glaring at him, but James didn’t expect what came out of his mouth.

‘I d-don’t care what he s-said, Jamie.’ Gabriel took a steadying breath. ‘I don’t hold you responsible for things you d-did then. I’ve seen what the thirst d-does to you, and back then you’d only j-just… woken up, is that the right expression? West even said so. It was your first time and you woke up undead, thirsty and… and wild. Did you even know what was happening to you?’

James was so startled he took his eyes off the road to stare in disbelief at Gabriel.

Gabriel unclenched his fist and rested it on the back of James’s hand on the wheel. ‘Better watch the road, James. It’d b-be unbearably stupid to d-drive into a tree at this point.


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