The third and final novella of the Libby Fox Series, Search for the Vampires’ Curse, takes Libby, Adam, and friends from the bayous of Louisiana to the rain forest in Brazil. In this story, the search for the deadly cross introduced in book one continues. Meanwhile, Libby and Adam continue to question whether or not a relationship between them is possible. Will Libby take a chance and ignore her fears, or will she let Adam go for good? Find out the answers in the conclusion of the Libby Fox series.
I sat at my desk, chewing on my lower lip. I don’t know why I was so nervous. I had seen Adam many times, a few of those times in fairly intimate situations. But I was a bundle of nerves knowing he was coming here to my office to talk about an old case that we were coming back to. A private detective should be tougher, more cold-hearted…but I lost all my nerve around Adam. I guess it was because we had kind of called it quits, and this
was going to be strictly business. Could I keep it all business with the man I loved?
My heart leapt to my throat when I heard the soft knock on the door right before it opened and he walked in, looking as good as ever. I swallowed hard and determined to be professional.
“Hello, Libby,” he said, his violet eyes focusing on my green ones.
“Hi, Adam. It’s nice to see you again,” I replied. Could this be any lamer?
He sat down in the chair across from my desk. I remembered the first time he had sat there, back when the chair was shabby, and he had looked as if he would catch something from it. Now, thanks to him and the other cases he had thrown my way, I could afford a nice chair for my visitors.
“You’re looking well,” Adam said.
“You, too.” It had only been a couple of weeks since we had seen each other. We were making it sound like years.
“Are you ready to get down to business?” he asked.
“Yes, here is the information I have on Fiona. You were right; she had been in Tennessee. But I’ve tracked her down to New Orleans as of yesterday. It looks like she’s planning on staying awhile. She’s rented an apartment instead of a hotel room.”
Adam frowned in concentration as he scanned the file folder I had handed him. As I waited for him to finish reading the file, I studied him. Our two week separation hadn’t seemed to take the same toll on him that it had me. He looked as well rested and, frankly, gorgeous as ever. But I guessed vampires always looked that way when they were well fed. Unfortunately, he was well fed on someone besides me.
“Is something wrong?” he asked as he looked up. He had caught me staring.
“No, not at all,” I said. “I was just waiting on you to finish reading the file.”
“Since it looks like Fiona is there to stay for a while, I’ll be taking some of my coven with me to New Orleans. While we’re there, I would like to stay in touch with you in case we need information.”
I shook my head. “No way am I staying here. I’m going with you. Fiona kidnapped Julie Bowman and almost killed you. If you’ll remember, I had to give you my blood to save your life. I’m in this right along with you.”
Adam sighed. “Libby, I know you want to be involved in this, but Fiona is dangerous. I don’t want you hurt.”
“You don’t want me hurt?” I asked incredulously. “This bitch is much more dangerous to you than she is to me as long as she has the relic. All she has to do is point that thing, and every vampire near her is dust.”
“That’s why we’ll have to be very careful. It will have to be a surprise attack.”
“You know she’s going to be on guard all the time. Every vampire around will be gunning for her. Of course, she can kill them all at once if she has the artifact in her hand,” I said.
“I’m aware of the risks. But it’s partly my fault she has the cursed thing. It’s up to me to take it away from her.”
“I can help you, Adam. I’m not a vampire, so I can’t be hurt by the relic. I’m the best person to go after her.”
“No,” he said. “I can’t risk you.”
“Why do you even care?”
“How can you ask me that, Libby?” he said, a pained expression on his face.
I looked away from him. “I guess that was kind of a low blow. But I’m going.”
“No, you’re not,” he said firmly.
“Fine. I’ll go by myself. And I’ll deal with her alone.”
“Libby, you can’t do this! She will be well guarded, and I doubt you’ll be any kind of match for those guards.”
“And you aren’t any kind of match for the relic. I guess we’re even. Hey, here’s a novel idea. Why don’t we work together?”
“I’m not sure I like your sarcasm,” he said.
“Tough. You know I’m right. You can deal with her security, and I can deal with the little witch myself. It’s a perfect solution.”
The stubborn look on his face was replaced with resignation. “You’ll go anyway, won’t you? I guess it’s safer for you if you go with us. All right. You’re in.”
I smiled. “I knew you would see it my way.”
After we decided on the details of our trip, Adam walked out of my office, and I breathed a sigh of relief. I was feeling a little shaky from the sensory overload of being around Adam. My broken heart was as much my fault, maybe more, as it was Adam’s. First, I didn’t want to share him with his donor, but I didn’t want to let him drink from me. When I finally decided to have a relationship with Adam and also let him have his donor, he realized he couldn’t make love to me without biting me. So we were at an impasse. I guess it was just better to end the whole relationship. But my heart didn’t see it that way.
I tied up some loose ends on other cases, and left the office. When I arrived home, my cat, Sherlock meowed for his dinner. I put his food in a bowl and called the neighbor in the apartment next to me and asked if she would take care of Sherlock while I was gone. She said that would be no problem, so I checked that off my mental list.
I went into the bedroom to pack enough for about a week. I really hoped this trip wouldn’t last longer than that. I picked up the carved wooden cat from my dresser and almost put it in the suitcase, but changed my mind. I didn’t want to depend on the charmed statue to calm me down. It could be addictive.
A couple of hours later, there was a knock on my door. My heart skipped a beat, and I had to make myself calm down before opening the door to Adam. He smiled at me in that way that always made me melt, and I had to look away.
“Are you ready?” he asked.
“Sure, just let me get my bag.”
He followed me in and picked up the bag at the same time I was trying to. His hand touched mine and it felt like a jolt of electricity ran through my body. Would this ever end? I let him take the bag, I locked up, and we went out to a black van that was parked in the apartment lot.
“Nice ride,” I said.
“Are you being sarcastic?” he asked.
I laughed. “I’m just messing with you, Adam.”
I got into the passenger side of the van which he had left empty for me. I looked back and saw two members of Adam’s coven sitting in the middle seats, Adam’s sister Violet and a man whose name I couldn’t remember.
“Libby, you remember Violet? And this is Darius.”
We nodded at each other and made nice, and then I took a look in the very back. I couldn’t believe who I was seeing! It was Blake Harding, a werewolf with whom I’d had a brief romantic moment. I blushed. Could this get any more uncomfortable?
“Hello, Libby,” Blake said with a grin.
“Hi, Blake. I didn’t know you were coming with us.”
Adam said, “I thought he would be an asset to us. Like you, he can move around in the daytime. And he’s not susceptible to the relic.”
“When did you decide to bring him along?” I asked.
“Actually, after I left your office, the idea came to me. Blake was more than willing to help.”
Blake was still grinning, showing off even white teeth. His short, no nonsense haircut and bulging muscles would make anyone think twice before crossing him. I hoped we now had Fiona at a disadvantage. But she was clever, so we had to be on guard with her, no matter who we brought along.
We drove all night, and I was on my laptop most of the time, checking in with some of my sources. As a private investigator, you have to learn all kinds of ways to get information. I checked an email and a chill came over me.
“Adam, Fiona’s struck again. There was a big vampire gathering at the home of a wealthy vampire. It was his birthday, and he had about a hundred guests there. All gone.”
I could see Adam’s mouth tighten in anger. I didn’t blame him. This was senseless murder of vampires who weren’t hurting anyone and were trying to live a quiet life. Fiona was determined to wipe every vampire off the face of the earth. I wasn’t so sure she couldn’t do it if she wasn’t stopped.
“Adam, we’ll get her,” I said.
“But how many vampires will die first? I wonder how many already have.”
I shook my head. I had no idea, but it was a stroke of luck that I had found a source that specialized in tracking paranormal events. I would never have even believed in such things if I hadn’t met Adam. Now, here I was tracking down a human who was killing non-humans. Life had a funny way of throwing curve balls.
We rode in silence until we arrived at our hotel. When we checked in, I noticed Adam had a room with blacked out windows. I raised my eyebrows in question.
“There are establishments, bars and hotels mostly, who know about and cater to vampires,” Adam explained. “Some of them actually have donors available to vampires who don’t bring their own when staying out of town.”
“That’s just…weird,” I said.
“But necessary, I’m afraid. Try to get some rest, Libby. I need to get to sleep before the sun comes up.”
“What are you going to do about blood this evening when you get up?” I asked.
“I’ve made arrangements,” he said.
I felt a pang of jealousy, although I had no right to. If I had been willing to give him blood, there would have been no need of the arrangements he had spoken of. But I just couldn’t. I wish I knew why I was so resistant to it, but I just got an awful feeling in the pit of my stomach when I even considered it.
“Goodnight, Adam. Or should I say, good morning?”
Adam stared at me with those violet eyes, and then he took my hand and raised it to his lips. The light brush of his mouth on my hand sent
sensations through me that both thrilled and scared me. It was at times like this I was almost tempted to give in. He turned my hand over and ran his tongue lightly over my palm. He knew how he was affecting me, and I knew he enjoyed it. Maybe he was punishing me a little for not being willing to give him everything he wanted from me. It was working, because I was miserable. I jerked my hand out of his and backed away.
“I’ll see you this evening, Adam,” I said and turned and walked to my room.
I used every lock on the door, and I wondered what I was really trying to keep out. Adam certainly wasn’t going anywhere…he would be cold, still, and not breathing in a few minutes. Maybe I was trying to keep my demons away, but I knew that locked doors wouldn’t help. Those demons were inside me.