To Kill an Angel (Blood Like Poison #3)


by M. Leighton

CHAPTER ONE

The most soothing voice I’d ever heard was whispering to me. I couldn’t real y understand what it was saying, but it didn’t matter. It was the tone, the familiar rumbly hoarseness of it that was pushing back the icy fingers of panic.

As the vise grip of terror loosened its hold on me, rational thought flitted through the dead space of my mind. It came in the form of memories, a cascade of random recol ections that dropped in and out of my head like tiny bouncing rubber bal s. In and out. In and out.

The first time I saw Bo.

Bounce.

The first time he kissed me.

Bounce.

Mmm. You taste like candy, like strawberries and sugar.

Bounce.

The night I saw Bo covered in blood.

Bounce.

The night I found out he was a vampire. The night I found out he was dying. The heartache of losing him. The elation of having him back. Bo, the boy who can’t be kil ed. Bo, the son of the angels. Constantine, the first vampire.

Constantine, a fal en angel. Constantine masquerading as Sebastian. Sebastian, Bo’s father. Sebastian, kidnapper of my dead sister’s baby. Sebastian, lover of Heather, the vampire who infected me.

Bounce, bounce, bounce.

One by one, they fel into my consciousness, only to be quickly replaced by another memory until one final thought dropped in like a bomb and exploded inside my head, erasing everything else. It was the same thought that had sent me spiraling into a panic attack.

I’m a vampire.

I could feel it starting al over again, the panic—the breath coming too fast, the fear clutching at my chest, the tears stinging my eyes, the strange sensation that I was doomed.

But then I heard the voice again, cutting through the darkness, slicing through the fright like a smooth blade of light.

It was Bo.

“Just take deep breaths,” he whispered, his breath cooling the damp hair at my temples. “Listen to my heart beat.

Focus on me, baby. Focus on me.”

Slowly, my muscles began to relax. It was surprisingly easy to do as he instructed. As always, my world and everything in it seemed to center around Bo, to revolve around his very existence.

Thump thump. Thump thump. I listened to the reassuring sound and felt myself calming more and more as the seconds ticked by.

“That’s it, Ridley. You’re ok. You’re alright. I’ve got you,”

he breathed, his voice a throaty croak. I felt as wel as heard the feathery brush of his fingertips against the skin of my cheek. It made a fine rasping sound and my stomach twisted into a knot of pleasure.

Thump thump swish. Thump thump swish. Behind the steady beat I could hear a faint rushing sound, like water through a pipe. It waxed and waned with each squeeze of Bo’s heart.

Without opening my eyes, I raised my hand to the warm chest against which I rested. I could feel the vibrations of the throbbing tempo against my sensitive palm. In silent wonder, I tracked each pulse as it rippled up my arm and into my chest, where it pounded as if it were inside me, too.

At first I was flooded with peace, the peace that came only from Bo—from his presence, from his love. I inhaled deeply, ready to sigh in relief. But with the intake of breath another of my senses came online.

Scents from al around me penetrated the fuzz of my addled brain and the lights of recognition blinked on like a computer screen flickering to life. An oh-so-familiar tangy scent—clean and citrusy—bombarded my body with a gush of desire.

My sigh of relief became a quiet gasp as my bones melted in the heat of what was between us. I knew Bo felt it, too. I could hear it in the quickening of his breath. I could feel it in the stil ness of his lips against my temple. I could smel it in the musky sweetness that rushed to the surface of his skin and permeated the air around me.

My nerves thrummed with excitement. I’d never smel ed desire before, but somehow, instinctively, I knew that’s what it was. It was there in the tightening of my stomach. It was there in the heaviness of my br**sts. It was there in the way my flesh seemed to ache for Bo’s touch. I squirmed in his arms until, blindly, my lips found his.

There was urgency in our kiss. With teeth and tongues, we devoured each other, both possessed of a hunger that defied logic and description. It was desperate, it was powerful. It was al -consuming.

In my greed for Bo, in my eagerness to taste him and bring some smal part of him into myself, I nicked his lip with my teeth. One tiny drop of blood oozed onto my tongue. I felt it like a hot crimson tear just before it burst into a shower of taste and sensation, igniting my already-fiery blood.

Bo’s fingers worked their way into my hair and fisted, tugging on my scalp and sending a fine spray of chil s down my back. I couldn’t stop the purr of pure pleasure that hummed in the back of my throat. I wouldn’t have wanted to anyway. It seemed to push Bo into a frenzy. His hands left my hair to wander down my body until they were clutching my h*ps tightly, squeezing them as he clung fiercely to his control.

Wrenching his lips from mine, Bo pul ed back, his breathing heavy and labored. Reluctantly, I raised my eyelids and met his smoldering gaze. It was like a silky pool of dark chocolate that threatened to suck me into sweet oblivion.

I watched him for several minutes, both of us panting, both of us trying to rein in our tempestuous passions before we lost ourselves to the moment. As the raging inferno of our desire gave way to the cool calm of reality, other sensations began to creep in—new sensations, strange sensations.

Painful sensations.

The fires of sensual hunger became a blazing heat of a different kind. It burned in my chest and in my stomach, hotter than lava and moving twice as fast. Every inch of my skin seemed to be scalded with an icy heat that made no sense at al . It was like being so cold I was on fire. And my throat—I’d never been so thirsty, so painful y thirsty in al my life. I knew that only one thing would quench it, a taste that stil lingered in the dark recesses of my mouth.

Blood.

Bo’s blood.

My eyes drifted to the tiny tick of the pulse in Bo’s neck and the rest of the world turned off. My entire being zeroed in on him, but not in the usual way. I was surrounded by the beat of his heart and the swish of his blood. I felt it tickle my lips and tease my fingertips. I felt it swal ow my mind and swirl in my gut—a need so beautiful, yet so dangerous.

Razors of agony slashed at me, scraped at my brain and my nerves like something dark and beastly trying to claw its way out. I felt violence swel within me, a craving so intense that I knew I had to have what I wanted, even if I had to kil for it.

“Ridley, calm down,” Bo commanded. His voice was low and steely, deadly serious.

When I looked back at his face, it was bathed in a red haze that made my mouth water with delicious anticipation. I licked my lips and felt the sting of something sharp slicing into my tongue. Gently, I ran the tip over my extended and lethal y-pointed canines. As I suspected, there were four—

two on the top, two on the bottom.

Though I knew my tongue was cut, I tasted no blood.

Somewhere in the back of my mind it registered that there was likely none in my body. It had been quickly consumed during my transformation, leaving me invisible.

Reflexively, I glanced down at my legs. I could see the fabric of my jeans, but the place where my ankles should’ve been showed no skin, only the hardwood floors beneath me.

I could see my t-shirt, but below the cuff of the sleeve was nothing. My arms were no longer visible to the n**ed eye.

When I moved, there was a slight shimmer, a wavy disruptive pattern to the air, but I could see no flesh.

I could feel, though. Every fiber, every cel , every nerve was alight with sensation—a potent cocktail of desire and need, passion and hunger, thirst and desperation.

“Ridley, stay with me. Don’t let it control you.”

Between Bo’s words and the sobering alarm of seeing that I had no body, I felt the wave of frenzy subside a bit. The realization of how badly I wanted his blood, of how violently I needed it covered me like a black cloth of mourning—

mourning for the humanity that I didn’t feel rising up to stop me, mourning for the loss of some integral part of myself that tied me to the rest of the world.

I felt no guilt at wanting to drink him dry, very little hesitation because he was the person I loved most in the world. But at least there was some part of me—no matter how smal and how hidden—that responded to him just enough to give me pause. Maybe that meant I wasn’t total y lost to the changes that would now rule my life.

Bitter tears wel ed in my eyes and burned my icy hot cheeks as they fel .

“Bo, help me. It hurts.”

I squeezed my eyes shut and wrapped my arms around myself, comforted somehow by the fact that, though I couldn’t see my body, it was stil there. I could feel it.

A finger at the corner of my eye wiped a tear. Somehow he’d known they were fal ing. He didn’t have to see them to know they were there.

“I know, baby. I’m so sorry.”

There was an odd, helpless quality to his voice that shook me to my core. When I opened my eyes to his, I could see that it was kil ing him to watch me go through this.

“I can’t live like this, Bo. I’l hurt somebody,” I managed to force out between sobs that silently wracked my body.

“No, you won’t. I won’t let you,” he said softly, gathering me into his arms. “I’l be with you. I’l help you.”

Though his promises soothed me somewhat, his nearness was only aggravating that whirlwind of unbearable sensation that felt like it was ripping me apart.

I pushed at his chest.

“Get away from me, Bo. Being so close to you only makes it worse.” Just uttering those words was like purposely tearing a hole in my heart. His love, his closeness was the thing I wanted most in life. Until now.

“Ridley, I’l help you, but you have to listen very closely and do exactly as I say. Okay?”

I looked into his eyes. He was earnest. That much was clear. He was also confident, so confident, in fact, that a glimmer of hope began to shine in my heart. It shone through like a single blessed ray of sunlight peeking through a crack in the blinds.

I nodded.

Bo rose to his feet and held out one hand. It was a silent plea to trust him, to go where he wanted me to go without question. Of course, I slipped my hand into his and stood. I would always fol ow Bo—wherever he went and forever without question.

Bo led me across the dusty floor in the long, hidden room of Sebastian’s house to the cot where Lil y had slept only a short time ago. It was nothing more than a thin mattress covered with a single white sheet that rested on a support of bare springs. It was pushed up against the wal in a corner.

Bo released my hand and lowered himself onto the bed. It creaked and squeaked under his weight. My stomach twitched with anticipation, my body stil alive with al sorts of sensual stimulation. He slid into the corner where his back was against the wal and his legs were straight out in front of him. He spread them just enough to pat the mattress between his knees.

“Come here and sit down. Put your back to my chest.”

My heart was pounding loudly in my ears. My breathing was coming in quick bursts. Excitement was buzzing inside my head as I knelt on the mattress facing Bo. As he suggested, I crawled between his legs and turned, settling my back against his chest.

“The first thing I want you to do is think of something that bores you. School, a bad movie, a particularly tedious person, anything you have very little feeling about. I want you to clear your mind of as much emotion as you can. Can you do that?”

At the moment, I was finding it hard to concentrate on anything but the feel of Bo’s n**ed chest at my back, his hard muscular legs lying against my h*ps and thighs.

“Ridley, can you do that?”

I could feel the rumble of his words reverberating through my own chest as he spoke. The vibrations further excited the tiny jumping beans of desire that danced in my core. They clamored for attention. They screamed for satisfaction.