THE NEXT DAY, John Snow and his family, although glad to have been of help, were ready to return to their lives.

Several of Tall Feather's warriors came in to report that the camp had been attacked, as well, but they had brought down all the creatures and dispatched them.


An equally thorough burial detail dealt with the dead in Victory.

A posse comprised of Apache and the men of Victory searched the caves and surrounding areas, but it seemed that the danger was over.

"For now," Cody said.

He and Alex were together on the balcony, savoring the breeze and the realization that the night was no longer full of danger.

"You're leaving, aren't you?" Alex asked him.

To her surprise, he hesitated.

A smile teased his lips.

"I don't know. There's still the matter of your father."

He had chosen to stay over at the saloon. People still weren't sure what to make of him, most of them settling on the story that he had been buried alive, then escaped and hidden out, fighting the vampires in secret.

"What about my father? You saw what he did. You know he's not a threat."

"Yes, I learned something from him. A vampire can fight evil."

"Just like you've been doing all these years?"

"But I'm half human."

"Very human," she said huskily. "So what about my father?" she asked again.

Cody pulled her into his arms. "He wanted to know my intentions."

"Oh," she murmured. "And...?"

"...And I found myself telling him how I felt about you."

"What happened then?"

"Then he mentioned that an Episcopal priest was living in the house."

She pressed a finger to his lips and told him earnestly. "I told you that I...that I would settle for whatever we could have."

"Yes, but I want more," he told her, pressing his lips to hers, his kiss both tender and urgent.

Then he pulled back and looked down at her again, his eyes glowing golden in the night.

"So much more," he said, his tone husky.

"I...I admit I'm more than a little in love with you," she said.

"Really? I hadn't anticipated such a surprising and amazing complication. You see, Miss Alexandra Gordon, I believe that I'm much more than a little in love with you."

"But...I know you want to find your father," she said.

"True, but..."


"Every man needs a home base. And if he happens to be a vampire hunter, he could have no better wife than one who knows...all there is to know. The truth about that man."

She gripped his shoulders and rose on her toes to kiss him.

"You didn't actually pose the question," she whispered to him. "But the answer is yes."

He laughed and swung her up into his arms. In seconds they were tangled together, passionate and laughing, both question and answer spoken in the oldest language known between a man and a woman.

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