“It’s all too much.”
That’s what I told her. She gave me that look. You know the one. I know you know the one.
I sighed because that’s what I do when she gives me that look.
“It’s not complicated,” she said.
I cocked my head to the side. Had I been a cat, I would have made that “merrrr?” noise they make when they meow a question.
“It really isn’t,” she said.
“How’s that?” I asked.
“We go in,” she said matter-of-factly, “we deal with it, and we get out.”
That made me grin. I didn’t want to. I tried to keep a straight face, I really did, but I couldn’t do it.
“We ‘deal with it’?” I asked.
“Mmhmm,” she said.
I knew what she wanted. She wanted me to ask. God damn her.
You know what she’s like? She’s like a perfect storm building on the horizon. There’s lightning and distant rolling thunder and you can smell the rain, the scent of it blowing in on the breeze, and right about the time you think to yourself, “It’ll be nice to fall asleep to the sound of rain tonight,” you hear the fucking tornado sirens go off.
That’s what she’s like. All beauty and chaos. A bouquet of toxic flowers.
God, I love her.
“Fuck you,” I said.
She looked shocked and slightly wounded. It was a lie. All part of the show, folks. It’s what she does. It’s how she charms me.
“You have a better plan?” she asked.
“No,” I clarified. “I’m not saying that. I just think it might help if you flesh yours out a bit.”
“Which part?” she asked.
“The ‘deal with it’ part,” I said.
“Oh. That part.”
“Yes. That part.”
“You know,” she said. “Deal with it. Stabby-stabby with the stakes. We’ve done it dozens of times before. I don’t know why you’re acting like this one is different.”
I caught her smirking as she said it, that shit-eating grin she gets when she knows she’s saying something careless and utterly improbable.
“I mean, I think this time’s a little different,” I offered.
“A little,” she conceded.
“That’s the part I need help with,” I said.
She shrugged, pulling on her tactical vest. I love the way it hugs her, holsters lined up against her breasts. Is there anything as sexy as boobs and bullets? No. No, there is not.
Not that guns would do us a lot of good where we were going. I knew we’d take them anyway. Trust me, if you’ve got to get away quick, you feel better doing it with a gun in your hand. But all the coverfire in the world wouldn’t save us if this thing went sideways.
She picked up a stake.
“Ah, yes,” I said. “Stabby-stabby.”
She nodded. “See? Basically the same.”
“Except,” I clarified, “this time we’re going up against royalty. The heads of the oldest clan in the new world. They’re stronger. They’re quicker. There are at least a dozen of them. And they live in a fucking castle. A castle in the middle of Texas. We’ve never taken on anyone as strong as them, so I think it’s a little more complicated than normal.”
She maneuvered around the table, pushing supplies and assorted weapons to the side. Her hips grazed the edge. Her ass found its way onto the surface, legs wrapping around me and pulling me in.
Because that’s what she does. She’s a siren and this is her song. Her fingertips grazed the outside curve of my right breast, one hand high and the other sliding down my lower back until she found something to grab.
She kissed me. It was hard and wet and strong. She bit my lip as she pulled back, a coppery taste lingering where she pierced the skin.
“See, the thing is,” she whispered, “this is what we do. And we don’t stop because it’s hard. We don’t shy away when others would. Fuck that. We rise up. It’s what we do.”
I could feel my nipples getting hard at the sound of her words and I went light-headed because I knew. I knew what would happen next.
It was all too much.
Too much to resist. Too much to ignore. Too much to walk away from, no matter what common sense dictated.
“What we do,” I heard myself repeat.
“Yes,” she purred. “What we do. So get your gear and get your ass in the car. We have vamps to kill.”
Fuck me. I can hear tornado sirens in my head and I don’t care.
It’s too much and not enough, all at the same time.