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The Vampire's Special Lover

By:Charlie Richards

The Vampire's Special Lover
Charlie Richards

       Wolves of Stone Ridge: Book Sixteen



To my husband-For doing his best to help me reach my goals and fulfill my dreams.





Chapter One

"You can't keep going on like this. What was so wrong with that one?"

Dobs growled at Sebastian in warning, flashing his fangs. "I'm not hungry," he snapped.

Sebastian-Seb to his friends, rolled his eyes. "You've got to be fucking   kidding me. You haven't eaten in three days," he pointed out. "And  that  was from a glass. Tell me what the hell is up with you."

He bristled at the command in Seb's tone. Dobs didn't like being ordered   around by anyone, but didn't have the strength to take on Seb. And   wasn't that a kick in the balls? At normal strength, he wouldn't have   had any trouble giving as good as he got from his friend. Now, it was an   effort even to care.

And all because of a shifter.

Again.

Dobs heaved himself from the couch, barely hiding the wash of   lightheadedness that swamped him. Snarling, pissed at how weak he felt,   Dobs headed toward the bar. If he made a Bloody Mary and mixed real   blood into it, he could get it down. It would suck, and not in the way   he liked, but it could be done.

He went about fixing his drink. It was an effort to hide the tremble of   his hands. Gods, he was thirsty. The memory of the rich aroma of his   beloved's blood, his one-and-only, teased him, similar to what he   imagined a ghost memory from a lost limb would feel like to an amputee.   His mouth watered.

Bowing his head, Dobs had to take several deep breaths to clear his   senses. The man Fate deemed his beloved wasn't here. He wasn't. There   were no shifters in his home. That was what he'd wanted several months   ago when he'd realized what his beloved was. He'd thought if he hadn't   bonded with the shifter, he could move on, resign himself to the fact   that he'd never be paired with anyone.

Unfortunately, Fate could be a bitch. Gradually, Dobs' enjoyment of   other's blood diminished. Now, he couldn't stand even the thought of   drinking blood from a source that wasn't his fated match. The smell of   the donor Seb had brought to him had turned his stomach, making him   sick.

Dobs swigged back the Bloody Mary. At least he could still manage to   drink blood already removed from a body. He'd taken to breaking into   blood banks and stealing what he needed. It was degrading, and   humiliating, but Dobs didn't want to give up on life just yet.

He wondered if this would pass if he stayed away from the wolf shifter long enough.

The slam of his office door caught his attention and he watched Lex   stride into the living room. Dobs stifled a groan. Damn, his friends   were double-teaming him now. Fantastic.

"Who is he?" Lex snarled, stalking toward him.

Okay, Dobs hadn't expected that. He lifted a brow, keeping his face impassive. "What are you talking about?"

"You're rejecting donors, drinking from a glass, and wasting away," Lex   stated, ticking off the points as he spoke. "You've met your beloved.   Who is he and where is he? I'm going to get him."

Oh, hell no! Dobs curled his lip and snarled, showing off a fang.

Lex wasn't impressed. He strode over and smacked the back of Dob's   head … hard. "You bloody idiot. You'd rather die than accept your fated   chosen one? Why? What could be so bad that you'd choose this slow   torturous death?"

"I'm fine," Dobs lied. "It'll get better soon." He so needed to believe that.

"You've met your beloved? Where? When?" Seb cut in, moving closer.

Dobs ignored Seb's questions. Instead, he swallowed several more gulps   of his drink. He could feel the blood, however diluted, begin to course   through his system, steadying his hands and easing the cramping in his   stomach. It wasn't nearly enough to satisfy, but it was a start.

"It's not going to get better, Dobs," Lex declared, glaring. "It's going to get worse."

He didn't want to believe him.

Lex grabbed his shoulders and forced him to turn and look at him. Dobs   didn't have the strength to resist. Pressing close, pinning him to the   wall, Lex asked gruffly, "Who. Is. He?"

Dobs struggled for only a couple seconds before his newly acquired   strength gave out. He couldn't fight his friend. Dropping his head   against the wall, Dobs admitted defeat. "He's a wolf shifter in Stone   Ridge," he admitted.

"What's his name?" Seb asked from behind Lex.

Looking over Lex's shoulder at him, Dobs shook his head.

Lex growled. "Tell me his name."                       
       
           



       

"I don't know," Dobs whispered.

Lex frowned and eased away. "How can you not know?" he asked incredulously.

"I scented him at an enforcer challenge they held. A dozen of shifters   were there," Dobs explained. "I don't know which one it was."

"By the gods," Seb hissed. "That was nearly eight months ago."

"No wonder you're nearly dead on your feet," Lex snapped. "You stupid, prejudiced jackass."

Dobs didn't bother to argue. He knew it was true. His hatred of shifters   had eased over the last century, but that didn't mean he wanted to  have  anything to do with them, let alone have one in his home or in his  bed.  He accepted his friend, Caspian's mate, Casey, because he had no   choice. Besides, who wouldn't like the cute little bunny shifter?  Anyone  would have to have a heart of stone not to like the sweet man.

"Seb, go pack a bag for him. I'll contact Caspian and Declan." Lex   glared at Dobs, just daring him to deny his next words. "We're going to   Stone Ridge."

Dobs instinctively opened his mouth to argue, but Lex grabbed his arm   and shoved him back to the couch. "Shut up. Whatever it is, I don't want   to hear it," Lex snarled.

Obeying grated on Dobs' last nerve, but he did it. He watched Seb leave   the room while Lex walked back over to the bar. He yanked open the mini   fridge tucked underneath it, and a tick started in his clenched jaw  when  he saw the contents.

Lex lifted his gaze to Dobs, but he couldn't meet his friend's eyes.   Dobs knew what the other vampire had found. Bagged blood. Humiliation   warred with shame in Dobs as he listened to Lex rattle a couple glasses.   A claw tearing through plastic came next, then a moment later, a glass   full of red liquid appeared in his line of sight.

His stomach rolled as the thick scent of cold blood filled his nostrils.   It smelled foul. He turned his head and lifted a hand, intending to   push the glass away.

The couch dipped next to him. Dobs forced open eyelids he hadn't   realized he'd closed. Lex leaned over him, one knee on the couch beside   his thighs. He rested his free hand on Dobs' shoulder, his eyes serious   as he stated, "If you won't drink this, I will find a doctor to put an   IV in you, Dobs. You need blood and you need it now."

Holding the drink out again, Lex ordered, "Drink."

Dobs reached for the glass, frustrated at how his hands once again   shook. "I'm over a hundred sixty years old," he snapped. "I don't need   you telling me what to do."

"Then act like it, damn it," Lex growled. "I will not lose my best   friend because he doesn't want to give a shifter a chance. Now, drink."

The blood smelled horrible and tasted worse, but as soon as it hit his   stomach, Dobs moaned. He imagined he could feel it being absorbed   through the lining of his stomach and into his blood stream, giving him   strength. He downed the glass of blood in four swallows.

Dobs leaned against the back of the couch, panting softly. Gods above,   it felt good to actually feel somewhat full. "More," he demanded. Since   his friends knew how weak he'd become, there was no point in fighting   their offered aid. Now that he had more blood flowing through his brain,   Dobs knew he'd been stupid to let it get this bad.

"Shortly," Lex replied. "I don't want your system going into shock at suddenly being engorged with blood after so long without."

Dobs opened his eyes just in time to see Lex giving him a disapproving look. He glared back.

Lex rolled his eyes and pulled out his phone. Punching in a few numbers,   he held it to his ear and spoke a few words. "I need one of the planes   ready in thirty minutes. Yes. Denver, Colorado. Probably five of us,   maybe four," Lex amended. "Thanks."

"The council will hear about this if we use their jet," Dobs muttered.   He really didn't want his weakened condition to become public knowledge.   He'd made a number of enemies over the years in his line of work as  one  of the council's enforcers. Making certain the council's orders  were  followed and corralling those covens that stepped out of line  didn't  always make him the most popular fellow.

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