“We’re just lucky as hell that Mark was nearby when it happened,” Onyx muttered.
“Then I need to thank him,” Beth said quietly.
He looked up at her, surprised. He nodded, not saying that she should, but that Mark would like that.
Lying in bed, still wide awake at one in the morning, Beth was even more worried and her anxiety was rising by the hour; Robert still wasn’t home.
Beth could hear Onyx moving about in the living room. She’d asked him to stay and keep her informed. He’d agreed but she had a feeling that he had been going to stay anyway.
She was having trouble sleeping. She tried every position and still found herself too tense, too worried. Her brain simply refused to turn off. Despite Onyx’s promises that Robert was not going to die, her mind kept up the incessant worrying. He’d told her at about midnight that Robert was stable and was gaining strength. The agonising nervousness still didn’t fade, and probably wouldn’t until Robert was back in her arms.
She realised, vaguely, that it was her birthday. She was now considered legal in the vampire world. The notion did nothing to relax her, nor had she expected it to.
She changed the direction of her thoughts, thinking about the Tuesday she and Robert had spent together. She thought of the bath, and of the incense burner he’d lit afterwards. The lavender scent had pushed her over the boundaries of consciousness. She found the memory of it doing the same.
When she woke again, she heard voices coming from downstairs. It took her a minute to focus enough on reality to hear the voices properly.
“You are not carrying me over the threshold of my house, Mark; we’re not bloody married, for God’s sake.” That voice pulled at her heart. There was a protesting grumble in response.
“Oh, cheer up, you sod,” the voice said. Robert.
Beth’s eyes flew open and she threw the sheets back, leaping from the bed and sprinting down the stairs. She stopped stock still at the sight of Robert. Part of her wanting to launch herself at him, commanding him not to get hurt every again, but the more sensible part of her mind reminded her that he’d been operated on—a lot—and she needed to be careful with him.
The man stood behind Robert wore the same clothes as Onyx did. This one, Mark, had brown hair dusted with flecks of blond and his blue eyes seemed all-knowing, the omniscience glittering from deep within.
Beth turned her eyes to Robert and tears threatened to fall. He looked alright, but he had his usual leather jacket and jeans, hiding the wounds underneath. His dark eyes seemed drained and fatigue was beginning to show. Those eyes watched her carefully, judging her reaction.
The sad smile on Robert’s face was enough for her to begin crying. The tears fell relentlessly as she folded herself into Robert’s embrace. He didn’t say anything, simply holding her to him and stroking her hair. Beth released a shaky breath.