Character Sass is the name of the game today. We’ve got that. And some steam. O.o
Even before she saw the moonlight shining off his pale hair, she knew.
He was down there, in the backyard, waiting for her. And damn it. He’d hauled her bike out. Bastard. He was leaning against it, leather stretching over those long thighs, a black T-shirt clinging to his lean chest. He had that blond hair pulled back in a neat tail at the nape of his neck, and he looked good enough to eat. In many, many ways.
Her fangs pulsed.
Lower, much lower, other things pulsed. Because she knew he’d be aware, she figured she’d hide one hunger within another. Standing in the open window frame, keeping her knife hand free, she murmured, “Oh, look. It’s Meals on Wheels.”
He grinned at her. And then he leaped. Sylvia fell back, moving away from the window even as part of her wished she could stand there and just watch him move—
She pulled another knife, but didn’t bother hiding that one. He’d go for the one she’d left in open view, she hoped.
He came through the window, almost silent, a grin on his lips, his blue eyes glinting with humor. That hot, rich scent of his flooded her head and suddenly, she had to swallow. It was that, or start drooling.
“Delivery service.” She waggled her knife at him. “I like that.”
“That mouth of yours ever get you in trouble, Sylvia?”
She shrugged lazily. “A time or two. You know, I don’t like strangers touching my bike.” Actually, she didn’t like anybody touching her bike. “What’s your name?”
Instead of answering, his eyes dropped to her knife. “You know, if you greeted the real Meals on Wheels that way, we’d have a problem.”
“Well, since you’re not actually on the menu, it’s not an issue.” She eyed him narrowly. He wasn’t armed. Or at least, he wasn’t holding any weapons. He probably had weapons. He wouldn’t go out to Hunt without them. But he wasn’t holding any. She could see his hands, open. Empty. Unlike hers.
Although, hello, he was a werewolf—in a matter of seconds, he turned into a fucking weapon.
“I hadn’t exactly planned to be on the menu.” He slanted his gaze to hers, a slow smile curling his lips. “But if you’re hungry . . . just put away your blades.”
Shit. He was good.
Sighing, she tucked them away. He wasn’t here to fight. If he was, they’d already be at it—she’d be bloodied, battered, and hopefully, she could at least mark up that pretty face of his a little before he killed her. Still, she was pretty certain that wasn’t what he wanted out of her.
“Would you just go away?” she said, combing her hands through her hair. She needed a shower. She needed to change. And she was twenty miles away from the place she was renting. “I’ve got a job to do.”
He lifted a wrist. “Are you hungry?”
Sylvia couldn’t have been any more surprised if he’d sprouted a second head. That hunger tried to grab her by the throat, but she’d mastered it long ago. Still, she found herself staring at that wrist, the exposed veins for a long, long moment, almost mesmerized.
“If you’re hungry, go ahead.”Torontococked his head. “I’ve fed vamps before. It’s not like I’ll miss a half a pint.”
Her belly all but cramped with need and her knees got weak just thinking about it. What the hell . . . she wasn’t that hungry. She’d just fed last night. She could go another day before it should be this bad. Wary, she eyed him. “Why? Why would you feed me? You should all want me out of the territory.”
“Well, for one”—he watched her, that light of amusement still in his eyes—“it’s considered polite to make sure new . . . visitors don’t go hungry. After all, hungry people sometimes go looking for food in the wrong place. We can’t have that. Besides, you and me? Tonight, we’ve got a killer to track down.”
We . . .
“Not unless it’s snowing in hell.” Sylvia glared at him. A killer to track down? With a fricking Boy Scout? No. Way. No way in that frozen, snowy hell.
“Check the forecast, baby.” He lowered his hand and sauntered forward, his gaze dropping to rest on her mouth. “Did you smell me on you when you woke?”
“I’m starting to think the crap about Masters having wicked control is just that—crap. Otherwise, I don’t think I would have woken with your scent on me. Men with control don’t go pawing sleeping women.”
“Oh, I’ve got control.” He dipped his head.
She held her ground, curious. He breathed in her scent, and when a groan rumbled out of him, she felt a strange warmth rush through her. Oh, this wolf was not good for her peace of mind. Not good for her . . . he was starting to make her want things, and this was only the second time she’d seen him. Not just sex—if all she wanted was sex, she wouldn’t get that curious little twist in her heart when she looked at him.
This was much more than just craving sex; how was that even possible, anyway? She’d seen him twice. In under twenty-four hours. It was insane . . . and it was very real. She wanted to see his hair free, falling around her as he moved over her. She wanted to feed from him as he rode her. Wanted to feel his teeth on her flesh, breaking it—
“You keep thinking whatever you’re thinking and I’ll have you naked and wrapped around me in ninety seconds,” he whispered. “And I still haven’t told you my name. After all, we really should know each other’s names before we fuck, right?”
Oh, she was in so much trouble here. Jerking back, she gave him a narrow glare and wished there was something, anything she could do to control her body’s response to him. Anything to keep him from reading that response. She might as well waste her time wishing the sun wouldn’t rise.
“I said it once, I’ll say it again,” she whispered, her throat dry. “Get the hell out. I’ve got a job to do.”
“No, Syl. We have a job to do.”
She stilled at the sound of her shortened name on his lips. “It’s Sylvia,” she said huskily. “Sylvia. Not Syl. Not any other name. Sylvia. And we don’t have a job.”
“Okay.” He shrugged, unconcerned. “Think about it. It makes more sense. What we need is information from Pulaski. What you want is to complete your contract. The two things don’t have to be mutually exclusive.” He reached out, toyed with a lock of hair.
She watched as he wrapped it around one finger, around and around. Then he let it go, the backs of his knuckles brushing against the curve of her breast. “Like your Master is going to go for that.”
“My Master . . .” He chuckled. Scratching his chin, he tipped his head back and studied the ceiling. “That’s a funny thing. Let me put it this way. If I produce the results he needs, I don’t think Rafe’s going to give a flying fuck what happens to Pulaski. Not officially.”
“Not officially? What in the hell does that mean?” She sneered at him. “You Boy Scouts are all about your damn rules.”
“Boy Scouts?” He started to laugh. He ended up leaning against a wall, he laughed so hard. “I’m a Boy Scout? And I’m all about rules? Please. Pretty please, if you ever meet Rafe, you have to tell them that.”
“Oh, like you’re not?” Crossing her arms over her chest, she tapped her nails against her arm and eyed him. “If you’re not all about rules and being Boy Scouts, then why in the hell would you all do the shit you do? It’s not like you do it for glory or anything.”
“If we don’t . . . who will?” He eyed her curiously.
“So it’s altruism?”
“No. It’s . . .” A far-off look crossed his face and then he shrugged. “Somebody has to be willing. If it’s not us, I guess it’s nobody. And that’s just not an option.” He paused then asked softly, “Do you really want to live in a world where nobody stops the monsters, Miz James?”
Where nobody stops the monsters . . . Images flashed through her mind and the remnants of the dreams from the past day rose up to choke her. “Oh, go fuck yourself,” she snapped. Spinning away from him, she went back to the closet and snagged her pack. She needed to get out of here. Fast. Once she got to her bike, she could keep away from him. Even a were couldn’t keep up with a vamp on a Harley, right?
Bending down, she grabbed her bag. When she turned around, he was there. Her breath caught in her throat as he crowded her up against a wall, his body blocking her in, one arm resting by the wall near her head, the other coming up to rest lightly on her hip.
“Listen, Sylvia . . .” He dipped his head and once more breathed in her scent. “We need to get something straight. You’re not . . . aw, hell. You smell so good.”
As he turned his face into her hair, she shuddered. “Okay. I’m glad we got that straight, wolf. I smell good—glad we got that nice and squared away. Now. Can you give me some space?”
“No.” He pushed his thigh between hers.
Shock flooded her. Heat flooded her. “What . . .”
“My name isToronto,” he whispered against her ear. “Say it.”
“Tor . . .Toronto?” She tipped her head back, frowning. “That’s a . . .” Hated place. I hate that place, I hate that place, I hate that place . . . “Weird name.”
“Yeah. So what? Say it again. I want to make sure you remember it. Because sometime very damn soon, I’m going to be inside you, Sylvia.” The last words were spoken in a growl against her lips.
“Toronto.” She opened for him even as she reached up and jerked the band from his hair.
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