|Tess Lowry tapped her nails against her front teeth. She read the email once more and wondered if she should call someone. They’d want to know. Alistair should know. It had been several months since Jacob had returned from Salem with Lauren Summers in tow. He’d given them a brief overview of what had happened, with the British Paranormal Council filling in any gaps the Council of American Paranormal Activity—CAPA—had tried to cover up.
She swallowed against the lump in her throat, then pawed her neck when the feeling wouldn’t go away. For a brief second, she thought she might choke; it took a second for her to realise it was all in her head. The anxiety swelled inside her mind, crushing all other thoughts. It had steadily been getting worse since they’d moved back to Edinburgh. Part of her wondered if she should have insisted on staying at Faol Hall.
The Kincaid family home was hidden away in the depths of the Cairngorms, miles from the nearest town of Taedmorden. The isolation usually made her feel slightly uncomfortable, but over the years, she’d grown quite fond of the old place. Still, it was tainted with memories she’d rather not have, like the taste of Nathan Trevell’s blood saturating her tongue after she’d ripped his throat out.
Tess slapped her hand to her mouth, raced towards the small private bathroom attached to her office, and dropped to the floor in front of the toilet. Bracing her hands against the white seat, she coughed up acrid phlegm and catarrh and spewed it into the bowl. She sank back on her heels, then reached up and flushed it away, but it didn’t get rid of the guilt still swimming around her stomach.
It wasn’t just Nathan she tasted. Jacob was there as well.
It had only been a kiss, but it had been the biggest mistake of her life. Regret seemed like such an understatement. Kissing Zane’s brother had been the ultimate betrayal. She was Zane’s girlfriend, his mate, and she’d all but destroyed his trust in a single moment.
Closing her eyes, she wiped away the tears brimming over her lashes. She opened her eyes, stood up and went to the sink to splash cold water on her face; she was the head of Sanguis Luna Law now, with a prominent seat on the BPC. It wouldn’t do for anyone to see her falling to pieces. She had to be strong. Not only for the company and the Council but for the family as well. For Alistair. For Zane.
She headed back to her desk and re-read the email sent by Rosalind Murray, the new head of CAPA. Gaea had gone to ground once more.
Grazing her teeth across her bottom lip, Tess scanned the screen. Jacob had told them about Gaea, Queen of the Vampires. She’d helped him or had at least seemed to be helpful. She’d willingly given him a potion meant to break the curse which had been hanging over the family for more than a decade. It went deeper than that, though—Tess was sure of it.