Raven Cursed: A Jane Yellowrock Novel

Raven Cursed: A Jane Yellowrock Novel by Faith Hunter Read Free Book Online

Book: Raven Cursed: A Jane Yellowrock Novel by Faith Hunter Read Free Book Online
Authors: Faith Hunter
off, then picked back up again. “He killed my mate. And then he came beneath my hand for caress. He . . .
licked my hand
.” He spaced the last words widely, and they were full of venom. “I forced him to leave, yet I still smell him on the wind. He watches.”
    I wanted to say I was sorry, but that might have been offensive as well as disingenuous. I had a similar relationship with the vamps. I killed them when they got out of line, much like the grindy did the weres. Of course I didn’t lick Leo’s hand afterward. The thought’s accompanying mental picture made me grin, which I hid behind the Coke as I drank. My sense of humor was gonna get me killed one day. “How is he?” I asked from behind the can, changing the subject.
    Kem raised his head at that one, his black eyes wide, showing above the hammock edge, trying to focus in my direction. His face was darker in the shadows beneath the trees, but his eyes were vibrant. “He is
alive
. He is
unchanged
. He is
frightened
about the full moon, which comes again soon. He is
lonely
. As lonely as I am.”
    The
he is lonely
was directed at me for not coming to visit. Asheville is only sixty miles from Hartford. A niceride. One I hadn’t made, even though I’d brought Kem and Rick here in the first place. I’d hoped the black were-leopard could ease Rick through his first shift, teach him something about being a were-cat. The International Association of Weres had agreed, and insisted Kem help the newbie. For a lot of really good reasons, Kem had been less than enthusiastic. “Still no shift?”
    “He will not try again until the full moon. His pain is too great.”
    That got me. I’d seen Rick try to shift on his first full moon. It had been agonizing. Like watching a man try to turn himself inside out. “So where is he?”
    “He likes to fish.”
    I smiled at that one and stood. I rinsed the can and crushed it, tucking it in the sealed, bear-resistant recycle basket. “Tell him I said hi.” I turned and stopped. Dead. As still as a vamp.
    “Tell him yourself,” Rick growled.
    My breath caught. Kem chuckled. He’d seen Rick approach behind me, quiet as a cat. Rick was unshaven and shirtless, his jeans hanging low on his hips, chest hair sparse and straight and forming a line pointing into the top of the jeans. His black hair had grown, the ends curling at his nape and over his ears. His eyes were shadowed, black as night, steely, pinning me to the path. His torso and shoulders were a mass of scars from big-cats and werewolves, the scarring ripping through his tattoos, nearly obscuring the bobcat and the mountain lion. Except for the cats’ golden-amber eyes and the blood on their claws. There was something about that naked chest and the scars that begged to be touched. I curled my fingers under. Rick’s eyes dropped to them, then back up in a leisurely perusal that made me acutely aware of myself. My breath hitched slightly, and I tightened all over, warming from a lot more than the heat.
Boyfriend? Oh my.
    Rick LaFleur was a pretty-boy when wearing city clothes. Half-naked, in the wooded site, ungroomed and feral-looking, he was gorgeous. He smiled then, exposing white teeth, one bottom tooth slightly crooked, and I realized I’d said part of that aloud.
Crap
.
    “I’ve missed you too,” he said, amused. He moved pastme, and only then did I catch the smell of fresh fish. Even the breeze had been hiding the man. He carried a bait bucket, two rods, a tackle box, and a string of fish. They looked like smallmouth bass, about eleven to sixteen inches long. One still flapped. Rick stowed his gear away and carried a long curved knife and the fish to a board set up between two trees; there were traces of blood on the wood, and part of the dead-fish smell I had attributed to the grindy actually came from the fish-cleaning station.
    Movements economical, almost graceful, Rick hung the fish chain from a nail and slid the hook from the gills of the top fish.

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