Immortally Yours

Irresistible chemistry and thrilling suspense combine in this electrifying new installment in New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands’ Argeneau series…

One hundred and twenty-five years is a long time to nurse a crush. That’s how long it’s been since Beth Argenis first met Cullen “Scotty” MacDonald and he instantly became the star of her most X-rated dreams. Back then, he was rescuing her from a Rogue Immortal. Now Beth’s a Rogue Hunter—a damn good one. She doesn’t need saving anymore, despite what Scotty thinks. What she does need is the fierce, wild desire that finally erupts between them.

Scotty has hesitated to claim Beth as his own. But one explosive kiss confirms what he’s long suspected: She’s his life mate. But Beth is tough, fearless, beautiful…and in immortal danger. Unless he wants to lose her forever, he’ll have to rethink everything he once believed about love and destiny as well as confront an enemy who’s terrifyingly close.

Author's Comments

Beth is Drina's best friend, sister from another mother, and the only family she has left. So when Drina asked her if she'd consider moving from Spain to join them in Canada, Beth didn't have to think twice about it. And now that Mortimer is desperate for experienced enforcers to fill their dwindling numbers, the opportunity for a transfer from Spain to Canada and directly into a job is perfect timing...Only not everyone is happy about her sudden move across the globe.

Reviews

Goodreads reviewers gave it 4.6 stars out of 5.

This book is part of the Lynsay Sands Argeneau series but each book stands alone so don’t worry about starting in the middle. The worse thing that will happen is you’ll want to read all of the books and at this point there are quite a few. What is awesome is each book has it’s own twist to it and this one has a couple of big ones. Scotty has known that Beth is his life mate for years but Beth thinks he’s rejected her. That by itself would make a good story but there is a lot more to this story than that! There is betrayal and rogue vampires and carefully made political moves. This story kept my interest from start to finish. I loved how humor is intertwined with tension as to give this story a light hearted feel even as someone is trying to kill Beth. Because this is part of a series, lots of characters from previous books make appearances and references are made concerning things that happened/are happening in other books. Yet, you don’t feel as if you are missing anything as this story is focused on Scotty and Beth. If you like paranormal without the angst, this book is for you! Given 5 stars and top reviewer pick by Terri from NightOwlReviews.

In Immortally Yours we have a story that continues on with this fabulous vampire series that can still make me laugh and entertain me fully. In this story. And wow, has this series just grown and grown and it still amazes me that this author can bring a story that is lively and make me smile all the way through. In this story, we have a story of two people that are fated to be together, but due to certain circumstances aren’t together. Our hero and heroine have known each other for centuries, but when our heroine was turned, it was a very traumatic experience and our hero Scotty, didn’t let her know that they were lifemates. For about the first half of the story, Beth doesn’t have good thoughts for Scotty. They do have some unresolved issues that they have never really discussed. The heroine was quite frankly….awesome. She could kick ass, spirited and funny. She definitely knows how to handle Scotty even in the worst of times. Immortally Yours is a spirited and thrilling tale with a bite….its a romance that will make you laugh, gives you tingles up the spine and keeps you on edge! Given 4 stars by Lover of Romance from AddictedToRomance.

Excerpt

Chapter One

One

"Tybo, it's time to move," Beth said into her headset as she watched the garage door drop closed.

"And thank God for that. We've been camping out here all night in the cold and mud. I'm done in," came the complaint over the headset.

"We all are," Beth said grimly. "So quit your bitchin' and move into position or I'll come find you and kick your arse."

"God, Beth, I love how your accent comes out when you're annoyed. It's so Eliza Doolittle." Tybo's voice was smooth and full of laughter this time. It made her suspect he'd complained just to get a reaction out of her, especially when he added, "I like it best when you talk dirty. It just revs my engine."

"Dirty?" she asked with surprise.

"Ummm hmmm," Tybo crooned. "You said arse."

Beth covered the mouthpiece of her headset as a bark of laughter slipped from her lips. She hadn't worked with Tybo long, but was quickly learning the man was a character. Shaking her head, she removed her hand from her mouthpiece and said, "Stop flirting with me, you cheeky bastard, and move into posit—"

A choked sound and the rustle of cloth from her earpiece made her stop talking and listen instead before she said, "Tybo? Tybo?"

Beth paused a heartbeat to wait for a response, and then said, "Valerian? Do you see Tybo?"

Silence was her only answer.

"Ah hell," she muttered. Slipping out from behind the tree she'd been using for cover, Beth started moving quickly in Tybo's direction. She had the dart gun she'd been issued in one hand, but her sword in the other. It was the sword that saved her. Before Beth reached the spot where she'd ordered Tybo to take cover, the dart gun was abruptly kicked from her grip. She never saw it coming, but reacted instinctively, sword hand coming up and swinging hard even as she turned toward her assailant. She caught him at the base of the throat where it met his shoulder. The blade went deep, slicing better than halfway through his neck.

Beth yanked it out, grimacing at the sucking sound it made. She watched the man topple sideways to the ground, and then quickly wiped the blade off on her attacker's coat before grabbing up the dart gun she'd dropped. Shooting him with it to ensure he didn't heal and rise too quickly, she then turned and continued forward. Beth found Tybo on his back in the mud some twelve feet from where she'd been attacked. There was a knife in his chest.

"You should have moved when I told you to," Beth muttered as she bent to tug the ivory-handled knife from his heart. He didn't open his eyes and sit up at once, but she hadn't expected him to. He'd need some time to heal. Beth reached into the satchel hanging at her side, pulled out a bag of blood and then opened his mouth. She had to massage his upper gums briefly to get his fangs to slide out, but then she slapped the bag to them.

Leaving Tybo where he lay, Beth straightened and glanced around before continuing along the path. Valerian had been positioned another thirty feet ahead in the woods surrounding the house. She found the hunter exactly where she expected, also with a knife to the heart. As she removed it, Beth noted that it was a duplicate of the knife that had been in Tybo's chest.

Tossing the blade aside, Beth slapped a bag of blood onto Valerian's fangs as well before turning to peer through the bushes at the house they'd been watching since just after sunset. It had been empty by the time they'd got their orders from Mortimer at the Enforcer house and made their way here. The inhabitants, a rogue immortal and his minions, had already been gone by then, probably to hunt up new victims. Beth, Tybo, and Valerian had sat here awaiting their return for most of the night and now it was almost dawn, but a few minutes ago a van had pulled into the driveway. The garage door had opened, the van had pulled in, and the door had closed without them ever seeing how many people were in the vehicle. Which was why Beth had ordered Tybo to approach the house. They needed to know how many rogues they were dealing with and what the situation was. It was vital to their approach. If there were innocent mortals who needed saving, for instance, it would affect how they handled everything.

It seemed, however, that their presence hadn't gone unnoticed, and one of the returning rogues had managed to slip out unseen and sneak up on them. Her question now was whether that was the only one. Had the newly turned rogue just been sent out to check around and happened upon them? Or had they been spotted and he was sent out to take care of them? And if so, how many others, if any, were out scouring the trees surrounding the house, looking for them? Aside from whether there were innocents around, Beth also needed to know many rogues were inside besides Walter Simpson, the master rogue of this group. Unfortunately, getting those answers and doing anything with them would be hard since her entire, and very tiny, team was now incapacitated except for herself.

Cursing under her breath, Beth took a quick glance around and then moved to the nearest tree and swiftly climbed up into the branches. She settled on a large, sturdy branch fifteen feet up, took a moment to be sure that she had a good view of the surrounding area and that no one could sneak up on her, and then slid her cell phone from her pocket.

Mortimer answered on the first ring. "Problem?"

"Oh no, Mortimer. I just called to say hi," she said lightly, rolling her eyes, and then explained grimly, "Tybo and Valerian are both down from knives to the heart. The blades are out, and I think I got their attacker unless there were two. But that leaves me on my own with a rogue who may or may not have others to help him, and who may or may not know people are out here."

"The attacker's not talking?" Mortimer asked.

"Hard to talk with your windpipe hacked open," Beth said dryly.

"I would imagine so," Mortimer agreed, and she was sure she could hear a smile in his voice. "Well, you are in luck. A couple of reinforcements walked in just moments ago. They will be there in twenty minutes. Stay put until they join you."

Beth opened her mouth to answer, but paused as a woman's scream came from the house. It was long, loud and filled with horror.

So, she thought, there's the answer to one of my questions. Yes, there are innocents inside the house.

"Beth," Mortimer said, sounding tense now. "Do not go in there on your own. Wait for backup."

"Yeah . . . can't promise you that," Beth said solemnly as the terrified scream turned into an agonized one. "Tell them to hurry."

"Beth," Mortimer said with alarm, but she'd already ended the call and slipped the phone back into her pocket so that she could drop out of the tree.

[no ornament]

"Feck!" Scotty snapped, bolting toward the door. Mortimer had put the phone on speaker when he checked the caller ID and saw who was calling. They'd all heard Beth's words and the shrieking in the background. Scotty knew damned well that agonized scream would have Beth charging into the house with little care for her own well-being. She needed back up now.

"Donny, go with him!" Mortimer barked, slamming the phone back into its cradle when the dial tone announced that the connection had been broken.

"Really?" the young man asked with surprise.

"Move yer arse!" Scotty barked over his shoulder, having heard the exchange. He was already halfway down the hall and didn't slow as he added, "I'll no' be waitin' on ye."

"Go!" Mortimer's bellow was followed by the sound of running feet as Donny obeyed. Scotty was sliding into the SUV and pulling the door closed before the ginger-haired lad caught up to him.

"Keys," he growled, sticking his hand out the open window as the boy slid to a stop next to the driver's door and peered at him uncertainly. The lad had picked him up in the vehicle and so, no doubt, expected to drive, but Scotty didn't care. Giving him a hard look, he ground out, "Now," and was rather amazed when the fellow didn't obey at once. Donny's eyes widened, and there was definitely fear in his expression, but he simply ran around the back of the vehicle.

"Well, ye walkin' bawbag!" Scotty bellowed and opened his door, intending to give chase, but he stopped and swung around in his seat with surprise when the passenger door opened. Scotty raised his eyebrows when the lad slid into the seat and pulled his door closed. But he didn't say anything, merely closed his own door again and held out his hand for the key.

"It's keyless. Just put your foot on the brake and—" Donny didn't bother to finish. The engine was already started. Scotty had driven keyless vehicles before and knew that as long as the key was in the car they were good. However, it didn't escape his notice that Donny was holding on to that key. He didn't care.

"Where to?" he barked, steering the SUV quickly up the driveway toward the gates. When the lad didn't answer at once, Scotty cast a glare his way. "Well?"

"I—" he began helplessly, and then grabbed his phone from his pocket with relief when it rang. "Yes? Oh, Mortimer, thank God, I—" Donny stopped to listen briefly and then said, "Yes, yes. Just a minute."

Scotty brought the car to a stop to wait for the men to open the gates, and then looked to see what the boy was doing. His eyebrows rose when he saw him quickly typing in an address on the GPS. Fortunately the lad finished just as the gates got wide enough for the SUV to pass through, because Scotty wasn't waiting. He'd rather make Mortimer stay on the phone giving them directions all the way to where Beth was than waste a single minute waiting on typing.

"Which way?" he asked as the SUV surged through the first gates.

"It's calculating a route," Donny muttered, watching the screen.

"Which way?" Scotty insisted as they passed through the second set of gates.

"It's still— Right! Turn right," he said with relief as the route popped up on the screen.

Scotty turned the wheel right and squealed out onto the road.

"The right-hand lane, the right-hand lane!" Donny squawked with alarm as Scotty sped up the road in the left lane.

Mouth tightening, Scotty steered the vehicle onto the other side of the road and silently reminded himself he was in North America now and not his beloved Scotland, or even the land of those bloody English . . . who at least knew which side of the road a car should be driven on.

"The speed limit here is eighty kilometers an hour," Donny said tensely as they continued to gain speed.

"Yer arse and parsley." Scotty muttered the old phrase, basically telling the lad to bugger off, out of habit.

"What?" Donny asked with bewilderment.

Scotty ground his teeth together and shot a glance his way. "Ye're no' a hunter, are ye, lad?"

"Yes. I mean—well, I'm still in training," he said stiffly.

"O' course ye are," Scotty breathed out with disgust and then shook his head. He should have known. He had been made aware of the situation in North America before he flew over from Scotland, and the situation was that they were in a pinch. Nearly three quarters of their Rogue Hunters were down in Venezuela trying to hunt down some mad bastard who had been kidnapping immortals and hiding them away somewhere in that country. That news had spread like wildfire along the immortal grapevine, and with the remaining hunters spread so thin, it seemed like every rogue, or even those bordering on becoming rogue, hadn't been able to resist taking advantage and going haywire. Of course, Mortimer would be utilizing every available hunter and hunter-in-training to try to maintain control of the situation.

"Well now," Scotty said finally in a solemn tone, "Here's a lesson fer ye then, lad. Speed limits do no' mean shite when ye're racing to the aid o' a hunter who's alone an' in peril. If a bobby spots ye speeding, and tries to pull ye over, then control him and send him on his way."

"Uh-huh," Donny grunted, his hands clenching on the seat and the door arm. "And what if you crash because you're going like a hundred kilometers over the speed limit?"

"Ye do no' crash," he assured him, glancing at the GPS as it started squawking. A turn was coming up, he saw, and began to slow to make it as he added, "But if ye do, ye tuck yer head between yer legs and protect yer neck. Ye can come back from a lot, but no' a beheading."

"Right," Donny muttered, slinking down in his seat.

Scotty noted the action and smiled grimly. "Set a stout heart to a stey brae, lad."

"Huh?" Donny asked, turning a befuddled expression his way, and Scotty shook his head.

"It's from an old Scottish proverb," he explained on a sigh. "I'm tellin' ye to find yer courage fer what lies ahead."

"Oh." They were silent as the car raced through the early dawn, and then Donny frowned and cleared his throat. "You know this hunter Beth we're going to help?"

It started out as a statement, but ended on a question. Scotty supposed the boy had caught some of Mortimer and Scotty's conversation before the phone call. Donny had just entered the room when the phone rang. He could have heard what Scotty had been saying as he'd approached up the hall.

"Aye," he answered shortly.

"You came specifically because of her?"

Scotty nodded. "I came to help her."

"But how did you know she'd need your help?" Donny asked with a frown.

"Because a gowk at Yule'll no' be bright at Beltane," he muttered.

"Huh?" Donny said with confusion.

Scotty clucked his tongue. "It means— Never mind. I kenned she'd be needin' me because I kenned the state o' things here and I ken her temperament. Beth's impetuous, and smart and brave, but she's prone to running into trouble to save others even at risk to hersel'." He cast a swift glance to the other man and arched an eyebrow. "Is that English enough fer ye?"

"Actually, no," the younger immortal said apologetically and then quickly explained, "You have a really thick accent. I don't catch half of what you say."

"Well, at least ye admit it," Scotty said dryly. "That makes ye a cannie lad."

Donny looked uncertain. "Is cannie good?"

"Aye," he said with grim amusement. "Now shut yer geggy. This road is gravel and winding. I need to concentrate at this speed."

Donny hesitated and then asked, "Is geggy—"

"Yer mouth. Shut yer mouth, lad," Scotty growled.

"Aye, sir. I mean yes, sir. I'll shut it," Donny said quickly, and managed to do so for all of two minutes before asking, "But how do you know this Beth? I mean, you're from Scotland and she came from Spain. How—"

"Shut it," Scotty snapped, and then asked, "How much farther?"

When the young man didn't answer right away, Scotty cast a questioning glance his way and noted the battle on Donny's face as he tried to decide which order to obey.

"Well? Do no' be a bampot. Answer me!" he roared.

"We're almost there!" Donny blurted. "Turn right at the end of this road, and then it's half a block up on the left."

Scotty nodded with a grunt, but didn't relax. He had a bad feeling Beth needed him, and he wouldn't relax until she was safe and sound.

*******

Beth leapt back, avoiding being beheaded by mere inches. She actually felt the swish of the wicked-sharp ax the rogue was swinging at her. It stirred her hair in passing, or so she thought, but when she saw the handful of dark red tresses that then dropped to the ground, cut clean off, she snapped, "You bastard! I just got my hair done!"

Furious, Beth leapt forward, her sword singing through the air. Before his head hit the ground, she was turning to ensure there were no other attackers. Her eyes widened incredulously and a low roaring started in her ears as she took in the dozen men and women who had come running from the house and formed a half circle around her.

"You've got to be kidding me," she muttered, her mouth suddenly gone dry. Mortimer hadn't been sure how many minions this rogue might have made, but had guessed that it couldn't be more than three or four. After all, according to the intel he had, Walter Simpson had been rogue for only a week or so. Yet she'd already taken out four men and two women and now was faced with a dozen more? Either Mortimer's intel was wrong, or Walter was a fast worker, she thought grimly, drawing herself into a battle stance and preparing to skewer the first one to charge on her.

She might not be able to take on twelve at once and win, but she wasn't going down without a fight, Beth thought grimly and gestured with her sword for them to bring it on. No one moved at first, which just irritated her. She had never been a patient person, and frankly, if she was going to die, she'd rather get it over with quickly. Beth just hoped that the whole life-flashing-before-your-eyes business wasn't true. She could really do without witnessing that particular train wreck. Living it had been bad enough.

"Come on," she growled impatiently, raising her sword. "I plan on taking at least four of you with me. Which of you will it be?"

Unfortunately, that just made her would-be killers all take a nervous step back. It seemed no one wanted to die that day.

"What are you waiting for?" a furious voice roared, drawing Beth's attention to the house.

Walter Simpson stood just outside the front door with a whimpering blonde next to him, held upright only by his grip on her upper arm. She was pale, with blood trailing down her throat and soaking into the top of her torn pastel green sweater. But she was alive, and still mortal, Beth thought. She almost started toward them, but was reminded of her own situation when Walter bellowed, "Kill her, dammit!"

The order from the man who had turned them apparently held sway. Beth watched warily as the rogues closed in, crowding together for the approach . . . and then the lot of them were suddenly mowed down by a black SUV that raced past her and toward the house.

Beth gaped as some of her would-be attackers flew up in the air, and others were simply crushed under the wheels. There wasn't a single person left standing once the SUV had passed. The rogues were scattered about the yard in front of her like toppled bowling pins.

It was the sound of the SUV crashing that finally drew her attention from the people in the yard. At the speed it had been going, the driver hadn't been able to stop before plowing into the front of the house. He hit exactly where Walter and his latest victim had been just moments ago, and for a heartbeat Beth was horrified by the thought that the pair had been hit and crushed into the front of the house. Not that she would have mourned Walter Simpson, but the woman had been an innocent, and guilt and regret began to soak into her at the thought that she'd failed her. But then a sob drew her attention to the driveway, and she saw Walter dragging his victim toward a car. It seemed he'd managed to get both himself and her out of the way in time to avoid the vehicle. Now he was making his escape . . . and intent on taking the woman with him.

Issuing a throaty growl, Beth burst after them. She had the advantage. She wasn't trying to drag a struggling victim with her. Beth raised her gun as she ran, then aimed and pulled the trigger, only to curse when nothing happened. She was out of darts. She'd known she was close to empty, but had thought she had one, or maybe even two, left.

After throwing the dart gun aside with disgust, she brought her sword around in front of her to grasp the hilt in both hands with the blade down. She then raised it over her head and launched herself into the air much as someone would do if they were jumping on someone's back. Only Beth leapt a little higher, and as she came down she punched the blade down into Simpson's back just above his shoulder blade. With all her weight crashing on top of it, the sword was forced through flesh, muscle and bone at an almost vertical angle and came out just below his hip bone.

Walter Simpson staggered under the impact and released the blonde as he crashed face-first to the ground. Beth went down with him, but rolled into a somersault that took her right off him. She didn't let go of her sword as she went either, and felt the resistance before it sliced its way out and followed her.

"Gor, that's mingin'! Do ye always have to make such a mess, lass?"

Beth blinked at that voice as she sat up, and then turned to peer with disbelief at the man approaching her. Tall with the kind of shoulders and thick arms only a man raised wielding broadswords in the middle ages could usually obtain, Cullen MacDonald, or Scotty, as he had come to be known, had long hair that was a mixture of deep red and dark chestnut. He looked like a medieval warrior walking toward her, except, instead of a plaid, he was wearing black leather pants with his white linen shirt.

"Scotty?" she said now, sure her eyes were playing tricks on her. But it certainly looked like him, she acknowledged as her gaze slid over his face, taking in the familiar gray eyes with silver specks, aquiline nose, and thin upper lip over a fuller lower one. It was a face she'd seen in person perhaps a handful of times, but had seen repeatedly in her dreams. Usually wet ones.

"Aye." He stopped next to her and held out his hand, offering her aid in rising. "'Tis glad I am to see ye did no' get yerself beheaded ere I could get here and save ye."

"Humble as ever, I see," Beth said with dry amusement, ignoring his hand and getting up on her own.

"Uh, Mr. Scotty?" an anxious voice called. "This guy's waking up."

Beth turned her head to see a young ginger-haired immortal standing by one of the rogues they'd run over. The man was moaning and slowly shifting on the ground.

"Shoot him with the dart gun, then, Donny boy," Scotty ordered, not bothering to glance his way.

"What dart gun?" Donny asked uncertainly.

Biting her lip to keep from grinning, Beth watched Scotty briefly close his eyes and grind his teeth together with impatience. Opening his eyes, he peered at Beth's amused face as he said, "Pray, tell me, lad, that ye did no' come a'huntin' without a gun."

"Okay," Donny said after a hesitation.

Frowning, Scotty turned to eye him. "Okay what, boyo?"

"I won't tell you?" he said, his voice a squeak, and then, clearing his throat, he glanced nervously to the man at his feet who was pulling himself slowly to a sitting position and asked, "Do you have a gun I can use?"

Scotty heaved out an exasperated breath, and turned to walk to the younger immortal's side, withdrawing his short sword as he went. "Nay, lad. I never carry a gun. I use this," he said, and, holding the blade upward with his hand firmly around the bone grip, Scotty whacked the rogue over the head with the brass pommel.

Beth winced at the sound of crunching bone and shook her head as the rogue tumbled back to a prone position.

"I think you cracked his skull," Donny said with awe, staring at the rogue.

"That I did," Scotty said with satisfaction. "Now go get a dart gun and chains out o' the weapons locker in the back of the SUV ere all o' them start waking up. And Donny," he added, bringing the younger man to a halt just as he started away. When the man reluctantly turned back to face him, Scotty said solemnly, "Lesson number two: never go on the hunt without a weapon."

Nodding quickly, Donny turned and rushed to the SUV with its nose presently buried in the front of the house.

Scotty immediately spun back to Beth.

"What are ye doing here in Canada, Scotty?" she asked as he returned to her. "Not enough rogues in the UK right now to keep you busy?"

"It has been a bit slow lately," he said with a shrug. When Beth merely raised an eyebrow at that, he added, "As it happens, I was just debating where to go on me vacation when I heard ye were spread thin over here just now what with most o' yer hunters in Venezuela, so I thought . . ." He didn't bother finishing and merely shrugged.

"You just thought you'd spend your vacation from hunting rogues in the UK, hunting rogues here instead?" she asked with disbelief, and then reached up on tiptoe to knock on his forehead as if it were a door. "Hello! Is there anyone home in there?"

"Oy!" Scotty leaned his head back away from her knocking fist and glowered at her. "I swear, ye're the only lass brave enough to do something like that."

"Because all the other girls think you're the bogeyman and are scared to death of you," Beth said dryly.

"But ye're not," he said with certainty.

Beth snorted. "I've met the bogeyman, and you're not him."

"Aye, I suppose ye have met him," Scotty said solemnly.

Beth's mouth tightened briefly, and then she relaxed and smiled as she shook her head. "Enough of this evasion. Why would you waste your vacation working over here in Canada?"

"A change o' pace," Scotty said with a shrug. "Change is always a good thing. Life can get boring otherwise."

"Humph," Beth said dubiously and narrowed her eyes on the man. He was easy to look at, a whole hunk of sexy manhood, but she didn't trust him as far as she could throw him. He'd popped up in her life repeatedly over the last hundred and twenty-five years since he'd saved her and Dree from a rogue and his mad minions in England. For the first hundred years when he'd popped up, he'd either looked down his nose at her, or treated her distantly, as if she might be infected with something contagious. He'd also been talking to her bosses behind her back, trying to sabotage her position as a hunter. Now he was suddenly acting all charming and friendly? She wasn't buying it. He was up to something.

Honestly, if he didn't smell so good, look so pretty, and feature so frequently in her sexual fantasies, she wouldn't even talk to the man. Unfortunately, he was a sexy beast, and he did feature highly in her sexual fantasies. In fact, he was the only one she had in her wet dreams. The man might not be trustworthy in real life, but in her dreams he was like the Energizer bunny—he just kept going and going and going. Worse yet, every man she'd slept with over the hundred and twenty-five years since she was turned had worn his face behind her closed eyes. The man just "revved her engine," as Tybo had put it. At least physically.

"I hear ye've left the Spanish hunters and moved here permanently," Scotty said now.

Beth blinked her thoughts away and looked at him through narrowed eyes. While she was English-born, she'd spent the past more than two thirds of her life in Spain. During that time, Scotty, despite living in England himself, had interfered in her life repeatedly and often. She couldn't help but suspect this was another opportunity for him to be sticking his nose in where it didn't belong. However, all she said was, "Dree's found her life mate. She, naturally, wants to settle here with him."

Scotty arched one supercilious eyebrow. "And so ye're jest going to follow her like a puppy and move here too?"

Beth's chin lifted defensively. "She's my family. Of course I'll move here."

"Are ye sure she wants you to?" he asked. "Things change when an immortal meets their life mate. They tend to—"

"Save it," Beth interrupted, suddenly amused. Scotty could convince her of a lot of things, but not that Dree didn't want her around. They had been thick as thieves for more than a century, and friends even before that. "Dree hasn't changed. She asked me to move here. We're family, and if she wants me here, then here I'll be." Leaning toward him, she smiled sweetly and added, "And since Mortimer is so short-staffed right now, I think you're going to find it impossible to talk him into not letting me work here, if that was your intention."

"I had no intention o'—" he began.

"Save it," Beth repeated with a laugh, and said, "Scotty, I know you tried to talk the Spanish Council out of letting me train to be a hunter way back when, and I know you've interfered since then, trying to keep me off certain jobs." She shook her head. "I don't know why you trouble yourself like that, but while you seem to think I'm useless and little more than a worm that crawled out from under a rock, Dree doesn't. She's a sister to me and—"

"Oh, lass, that's no' why I interfered," Scotty interrupted. "I do no' think ye're a worm, and it fair wounds me to think ye believe that when the truth is I—"

When his words ended on a grunt and his eyes widened, Beth frowned slightly, wondering what was up, and then she stepped quickly out of the way as he fell forward. It was like a huge old oak falling. Beth swore the ground shuddered as he hit it, but then she noticed the dart in his behind and her mouth dropped open.

"Ah, hell," Donny groaned. "He's gonna be so mad when he wakes up."

Beth glanced to the younger immortal to see a dart gun dangling from his hand and a grimace on his face.

"It just went off," he said unhappily. "I swear I didn't pull the trigger . . . I don't think," he added with a frown and then glanced to Beth worriedly. "Just how mad do you think he's going to be when he finds out I shot him?"

Beth glanced down at Scotty, and then shook her head and walked over to the younger immortal. Taking the gun from him with one hand, she patted him on the back with the other and then began to shoot all the slowly healing immortals on the lawn as she said, "He'll not be mad at all. We'll say one of the rogues woke up and grabbed for the dart gun as you were about to shoot, and it went off and hit him."

"But he'll read our minds and know it's not true," Donny pointed out.

"Oh, we won't be telling him that," she assured him.

"We won't?" Donny asked with confusion.

"No. I'll call Mortimer and tell him that over the phone so he can't read my mind. And then he'll send more backup to collect all the rogues as well as Scotty, Tybo, and Valerian, and they'll take him back to the house, and Mortimer will tell him our tale, and no one will be the wiser."

Turning to Scotty now, she shot him again in the butt and enjoyed it so much after all the aggravation he'd caused her over the years that she shot him again for good measure. Swinging back to Donny, she smiled and said, "That's just to be sure he doesn't wake up before the backup arrives and we can leave."

Donny didn't look completely convinced of the veracity of the claim, but then he relaxed and said solemnly, "Thank you. I appreciate your doing all of this for me."

"Oh, it's not for you," she said with amusement and then pointed out, "I barely know you."

"Then why are you doing it?" he asked uncertainly.

"For me."

"But you had nothing to do with it," he pointed out.

"True. But that's the first thing to put a smile on my face in decades and I'll not see you punished for it," she said with a grin as she walked back to Simpson and shot him, as well. She glanced around the lawn, her gaze landing last on the blonde mortal who had fallen into a faint when Beth had put her sword through Simpson. She would have liked to go check on the woman and see her comfortable, but she and Donny were the only ones there to tend to matters now. They had the rogues to see to as well as Tybo and Valerian and—which reminded her that there was another rogue in the woods who would be waking soon.

Beth headed for the trees. "Grab another dart gun and start getting these guys into the SUV. If any of them start to stir, shoot them again. I have to go check on Tybo, Valerian, and the rogue who attacked them."

She didn't wait to see if Donny did as instructed, but headed quickly into the woods.