Drip Drop Teardrop Page 11

“So you kind of made a big mistake giving up your life for hers huh,” she stated sadly, actually feeling bad for him. At least she knew if she made the decision to save her Aunt Caroline that she was doing it for the most decent person she had ever had the privilege of knowing.

“Yes,” his voice was low again, hoarse with the old pain. “But Anonna got her comeuppance.”

“What happened?”

“The plague ravaged Londinium and although the city remained important during Roman reign it never really recovered economically. My mother died in childbirth, my father was wifeless. A year after my death he offered marriage to Anonna. She was sleeping with him as well as the governor. When the governor heard of my father’s proposal he told Anonna that he would make her his mistress, a wealthy mistress, if she refused my father. My father was struggling financially at the time, he still had his wealth but he wasn’t adding to it, so Anonna snubbed my father and became a kept woman. Her own father had died in the plague so she didn’t have anyone she was disappointing.”

“Except your father.”

Brennus nodded at her, his eyes soft on her. “Yes. Except father. Who foolishly, like me, loved her.”

“What happened to her?” She almost dreaded knowing.

“The governor was cruel. As soon as she agreed to the contract of being his mistress his attitude changed.” Brennus’ eyes darkened. “She was subjected to vile things. Things even she didn’t deserve.”

“Oh my God.”

“Yes. If I were a harder man I would say it was justice for what she had done to me, but, in the end, it had been my choice to sacrifice myself for her. One night the governor beat Anonna so badly she begged for death. So I came.”

A well of deep sadness opened up inside Avery and she felt her eyes prick with tears. Unbelievably, she felt for him. For him. “You granted her mercy even after what she did to you?”

“Yes,” Brennus replied softly. “I gave her the choice.”

Avery gasped. “Anonna is Ankou?”

At his slight nod, at the clenching of his jaw, her heart began to race a little. She felt a little sick. “Anonna is Ankou.”

So… his ex was immortal. Did they still…? “Do you still see her?”

Brennus raised an eyebrow. “You think the Ankou have time for social events?”

“Yeah. You have spirit dudes to help you out remember.”

He chuckled. “OK, so sometimes we bump into one another. We aren’t supposed to though.”

“Do you bump into Anonna?”

“She bumps into me.” He frowned and looked away. “Like me, death has changed her.”

Great. His ex was still hanging around. “Where’s her area?”

He shifted uncomfortably. “Texas.”

Avery felt even sicker. “Has it always been Texas?”

Brennus threw her a look. “You know it can’t possibly have been.”

“How long has it been Texas?”

He inspected a piece of lint on his trousers. “Nine years.”

For some inexplicable reason Avery felt more than a little annoyed. “She followed you?”

He shrugged.

“Your ex isn’t quite over you, huh?”

Again with the shrugging!

An awful thought occurred. “I don’t look like her, do I?”

At his deep chuckle Avery narrowed her eyes on him. This sooo wasn’t funny. “Avery.” He shook his head. “You are nothing like Anonna. You don’t look like her, you don’t act like her and you feel nothing like her. She has nothing to do with what’s between us.”

She sniffed, crossing her arms over her chest defensively. “There isn’t anything between us.”

At the sound of material whispering against material, Avery looked up as Brennus stood slowly and crossed over to her, as lithe as a big cat. He sank down beside her on the sofa, so close she could feel that delicious warmth radiating from him. She gulped, trying to shift away from him but she was already at the very edge of the sofa. He leaned back, his arm drifting across the back of the sofa, his fingers flicking her ponytail. “If there was nothing between us, Avery,” he whispered and edged a little closer, his dark eyes fixated on her mouth, “You wouldn’t be jealous of Anonna.”

Her mouth fell open at his arrogance. “Jealous!” She spluttered. “I am not jealous! I don’t even know you to be jealous!”

“You keep saying that but you know it isn’t true.”

God, the man was insufferable. He may quite possibly be even more annoying than Josh. She threw him a dirty sideways glance and turned away from him to stare into the fire. She felt the heat of his finger on her skin as he trailed it down her arm, goosebumps following in its wake. She shivered and told herself she hated him for it.

“Stop it.”

“I like touching you.”

“You’re a creep.”

“Avery,” he warned.

She shrugged, still refusing to look at him.

“It’s my turn you know.”

Despite herself, Avery whipped her head around to glare at him. “Your turn to what?”

“To ask the questions.”

She shrugged. “Fair is fair. Go ahead.”

His smile slipped and he was glaring at her again.

“What?!”

“Why on earth did you date Josh for three years?”

Avery groaned and flopped back on the sofa, not caring if her head was cushioned against his arm. She should have known his question would be related to sex and relationships somehow.

My Name is Yours…

Can I Sleep on your Floor?

He interrogated her for what seemed hours. Avery was surprised by the things he knew about her life. After she stumbled through a clumsy explanation of why Josh had been perfect for her in high school, Brennus nodded, telling her he knew about her fear over being centre of attention. He said he still remembered her freak out at her junior prom when the prom committee told her she had been nominated for prom court. She had urged Josh to leave, practically prostituting her way out of the situation by promising him a chance to go to third base with her if he did. Brennus glared and she glared back, demanding to know if he had stuck around for the rest of the show that night. His face mottled red with seething anger but he shook his head. “I for one am a gentleman,” he said, reminding her that Josh had humiliated her anyway by telling all his friends the next day that he’d gone down on her the night before. Come to think of it, she couldn’t believe she’d stayed with him as long as she had.

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