Home>>read Dark Carousel (Dark #30) free online

Dark Carousel (Dark #30)(6)

By:Christine Feehan

Because she has to be here, Maksim agreed, using the general Carpathian telepathic link.
Where are you? He whispered it, sending the inquiry out into the night.
When there was no answer, frustration edged with the need for violence. When his inquiry was met with silence. The fact that he could feel frustration only proved to Tariq that he’d heard his lifemate’s voice. He had to have crossed paths with her and heard the sound of her voice in order to begin to feel emotions. They were negative emotions and very faint, but at least he was recognizing that she was close enough to be affecting him. Changing him. Not for the better.
He had to have heard her voice blending with all the other noises, the pounding beats of the various bands as well as all the conversations on each of the floors. Now he had her scent, that wonderful elusive fragrance that had to be unique to her. He moved on from the fourth floor to the third, trying to follow the scent. Trying to listen for the sound of her voice that would fully restore his emotions and bring color back to his existence.
He sorted through the cacophony of sounds, listening to hundreds of threads of conversations, hundreds of voices, as he moved quickly through the third floor. He was certain she was heading away from him, almost as if she knew she was being pursued. He was an ancient Carpathian, his emotions long gone from him, yet he felt a kernel of excitement. A frisson of anticipation moved down his spine like the caress of fingers. Light. Barely there. The touch exquisite.
“Charlie restores old carousel horses,” a male voice said. “We know she has a strong psychic talent because her testing was off the charts, but her gift seemed to be for older things. Antiques. She couldn’t possibly have read anything from touching one of us or any object we’d handled.” There was doubt in the voice. “Could she?”
Tariq had no idea why he’d zeroed in on that voice, but the need to hear the conversation was almost as strong as the compulsion to move through his club to find his woman. Could “Charlie” be that woman? The man said she had a psychic gift.
“Why would anyone want to restore old broken carousel horses, Daniel? Isn’t that stuff manufactured every day?” another male sneered, as if he felt total contempt for anything old.
Tariq was old. Ancient in fact. He came from centuries earlier, and the thought that this man speaking wanted to throw away part of history bothered him. A first. To be bothered by an opinion of a human. A stranger of no consequence. Yet not only did the subject matter intrigue him, but now he understood why this conversation, among all the others, caught at his attention.He dropped over the railing of the third floor and floated toward the ground floor, where he knew the conversation was taking place.
“Seriously, Bruce? What the hell are you going on about? We have to get out of here, follow them and figure out whether she knows. Stop bringing up bullshit and finish your drink fast or take it with you because they’re on the move.”
“You just want to fuck her, Daniel,” the one called Bruce sneered. “Hell, you were all over her all night. That’s what spooked her. And we can’t be too obvious following them. We have to give them time. It isn’t like we don’t know where they live.”
Tariq’s world stopped. The ground rolled beneath his feet. Something dark and ugly rose up to consume him. A man dared to try to encroach on what belonged to him. He’d searched centuries. He’d kept Carpathians and humans alike safe by holding on to his honor by a thread. He’d endured centuries of relentless loneliness. Of nothingness. Of a gray void that was endless.
His fangs lengthened. The need for violence hit him like a blow. Emotions were difficult to control when they hit all at once. Overwhelming. Centuries of discipline saved the man called Daniel. Tariq was able to take a deep breath and force himself under control.
In the blinding lights of the bar, he had to keep his eyes narrowed to slits while he worked at toning down the color so he could see properly. His woman’s scent was fading even as he dropped fast to the ground floor and began to streak his way through the dense crowd to try to reach her.
“Damn straight I want to fuck her. Don’t you? She’s gorgeous,” Daniel said.
Tariq could tell by the way this voice blended with the music and other conversations that he was on the move. Heading toward the exit.
“Like you don’t want the same thing, Bruce,” Daniel continued, laughter in his voice. “You were touching her at every opportunity. Just so you know, you aren’t going to get her.”
“We always share,” Bruce muttered, clearly annoyed.
“Yeah, well, not her. She’s special, and I’m going to recruit her. Get her to join us. You want a woman, share her friend with Vince,” Daniel declared.
“No way,” Vince snapped. “I told both of you the moment we laid eyes on them in Paris that Genevieve was mine and mine alone. I haven’t changed my mind.”
Tariq felt the edge of his teeth against his tongue. The blood ran hot in his veins, yet the predator was as cold as ice. They were talking about his woman with no respect in their voices. 
Tariq was almost on them now. He had passed the table where three men and two women had been sitting together in the bar of the West Coast Swing room. Tariq paused, his heart beginning to pound in time with the rhythm of the music. His mouth went dry. He inhaled deeply. She’d been there. Orange blossom and vanilla. He followed the unique fragrance, weaving his way through the tables, putting on speed and yanking open the door to follow the three men into the night. He came up behind them. Her scent wasn’t on any of the three men and that saved their lives.
She’d been in his club, probably all evening. With them. Only a short distance away from him. Dancing with them. Drinking with them. The fire in his blood increased until he could hear the roar in his ears and feel it thundering in his veins. These men had laid their hands on her. He took a step toward them, coming up behind them in utter silence. A wind. No more. A dark swirl in the air that could suck the life out of them without their even knowing before they dropped to the ground dead.
Tariq. Maksim again used the telepathic link between them. He was already on the lower floor, but away from Tariq, down toward the doors leading outside. I feel a blank space. A foul stench is drifting in from outside each time the doors open. The undead is close. He’s hunting.
Tariq raised his head alertly. He’d been so locked onto his prey he hadn’t scanned before stepping outside. Mistakes like that could cost his life. Not only his, but those of humans and Carpathians he had vowed to protect. Feelings were not an asset to a hunter. His lifemate was out in the open parking lot with a vampire close and three men stalking her. Of course she would draw a vampire to her. She had to be psychically gifted in order to be his lifemate. No vampire could resist that lure.
You stay and protect those inside. I will go after the undead. I am already outside.
Tariq whispered a command to the three men he’d been stalking, coming up behind them so closely he could have driven his teeth into their jugulars. Instead, he ordered them to go to their homes immediately. He would deal with them later if he ran across them, but he had to ensure his lifemate and her friend Genevieve were safe.
He took to the air, streaking above the large parking lot toward the parking garage. It was four stories high. His lifemate and her friend had traveled in that direction. Orange blossom and vanilla left a faint trail and he followed it. Even as he did so, he was aware of the three men getting into their car, obeying his command.
Then he was inside and moving fast toward the second story. He got his first glimpse of the two women. The shorter one caught the arm of the taller one and stepped close to her. “Wait,” she hissed softly.
His entire world changed in the blink of an eye. In that one instant. It was so fast, so dramatic, he barely could comprehend, let alone adjust. The ground shifted beneath his feet. The air around him vibrated and quaked, nearly throwing him out into the open. Colors blinded him. Shook him. Made his stomach lurch and his eyes burn. He’d never believed colors could be so vivid.
There in the garage, in the dead of night with only dim lighting, he could see the tall woman had long, glossy dark hair the color of rich chestnuts. Her hair fell like a waterfall down her back. She wore dark blue jeans, a shirt with colors bleeding into one another and dark blue sandals with four-inch heels. The other woman—his woman—was small and curvy, with dark auburn hair that curled every which way, wild and thick; it looked silky soft and all he could think about was burying his hands in it. That was his woman. His lifemate. The miracle he’d searched long centuries for.She wore soft blue jeans, so faded they were nearly white, and a shimmering coral top that clung to her generous curves. He stepped closer to her to inhale that elusive scent of orange blossoms and vanilla, taking the fragrance deep into his lungs. His world tilted for a moment as emotion poured in. Strong. Shaking him. His first instinct was to grab her and take to the sky to get her out of harm’s way. She was in danger. Very real, mortal danger.
A man stood lounging against the hood of a car. Tall. Broad-shouldered. Wearing jeans and a white collared shirt with a sports jacket. His ankles were crossed, and he watched the women approaching the car, not taking his eyes from them. His hair was combed back and short, spiked, with the latest GQ look. His attention was on the women and he failed to notice the small brush of wind disturbing debris on the floor.