Beth’s face flushed.
“Honestly,” Aaralyn said, “you’ve made him so happy and I’m happy for you both. I never thought that Robert would bother to try and find someone, but I’m glad that he finally has.”
Beth returned her kind smile.
It was night now, apparently. The flashing red numbers of the digital clock on the nightstand was the only thing that informed her of that. Beth was quite surprised that she didn’t feel claustrophobic with this lack of windows.
Robert had gone with all the other brothers, but they wouldn’t say where. The other women seemed to know. Caelan had gone with them, a nervous grin on his face. She remembered something about an initiation and assumed that’s where they’d gone. But they’d all been gone for quite some time now and that time only seemed to grow longer and she realised just how empty the other half of the bed was.
The door opened slightly, a crack of light bursting onto the floor. A figure passed into the room and the door closed again.
“Robert?” Beth said quietly.
“It’s me, gattino,” he murmured as he undressed.
A moment later, Beth felt his form slide into bed beside her.
“What took you so long?” she asked and she shuffled into his arms.
“Sorry, we had a crisis,” he said.
“What sort of crisis?”
“The if-we-don’t-do-something-someone’s-going-to-get-seriously-hurt kind.”
“What happened?” she asked, worried.
“We had a carbon monoxide leak in the lab.”
“Is carbon monoxide lethal to vampires too?”
“No, but it can cause stillbirths, brain damage and reduce lung capacity, among other things.”
Robert kissed her hair and pulled her closer. She sighed quietly, curling up to him.
“Would I have to be a vampire for us to get mated?” she asked after a while.
“Everyone’s told me that I would.”
He shook his head. “It’s just that usually both are of the same race. It doesn’t matter though.”
“Good, that’s... good.”
“Have you been awake since I left?” he asked quietly. She nodded. “Go to sleep then. I’ll still be here when you wake up.”
When Beth woke again, she heard quiet talking.
“We’ve got to start cataloguing the new items in the evidence room and checking the older ones,” said a voice that Beth didn’t recognise.
“Oh, do we have to?” Robert complained.
The other man laughed and said, “I’m afraid we do.”
“Give me half an hour then.”
The door shut and Beth felt Robert’s skin against hers again.
“Who was that?” she asked sleepily, on the brink of consciousness.
“That was Elijah,” he replied, kissing her briefly.
“What time is it?”
“In the morning?”
“Yes, in the morning,” he answered with a chuckle.
“Don’t laugh at me,” she mumbled.
“I’m sorry,” he apologised immediately, pulling her to him.
“Do you need to go?” Beth asked, cuddling up to him.
“In a few minutes.”