Stunned, Amanda couldn’t think, couldn’t move, as his warm lips parted hers.
The scent of leather and taste of vampire invaded her senses. Never in her life had she felt anything like his mouth on hers. His kiss was fierce and hot as he pulled her into his arms and ravished her mouth like a marauder.
Every hormone in her body fired. She moaned low in her throat. Oh heaven, the man could kiss. And the feel of his hard body against hers was so incredible that she clutched at his shoulders wanting desperately to taste more of him.
His tongue danced with hers as his honed muscles rippled under her hands, and when her tongue accidentally brushed against his fangs, an unexpected shudder of pleasure ran through her.
For the first time since she had learned what he was, the thought of him biting her neck actually appealed to her.
But not nearly as much as the thought of laying him down on the cold, hard floor and having her way with all that lean, mean strength until they were both hot, sweaty, and spent.
Kyrian tensed as he tasted the first bit of paradise he’d been allowed in over two thousand years. He was instantly aware of her soft, feminine curves pressing against his hardness. Aware of the way she smelled like flowers and sunshine-things that had been taken from him centuries before.
There was magic in her kiss. A raw, untapped passion. She might have been kissed before, but he could tell no man had ever made her feel like this.
His body on fire, he ran his hand down her back, pressing her closer to him. He wanted her in a way he’d not wanted a woman since his days as a mortal man. He ached to touch her all over, to gently scrape his fangs over her neck, her br**sts.
To feel her writhing in his arms…
Closing his eyes, he breathed her sweet, feminine scent as his body throbbed and ached for her with a primitive need.
Amanda gasped as he slid his hand down the side of her breast to her waist, then down to cup her bu**ocks. She’d never been the kind of woman to let a man handle her this way, and yet there was something about the Dark-Hunter she couldn’t resist.
When he pulled her heatedly toward the wall and pinned her to it, she thought she would literally melt.
His chest pressed against hers, making her even more aware of his lean, hard muscles. He separated her legs with his powerful thigh, and raised it to collide with the center of her body in a way that made her throb even more. Amanda hissed in pleasure as he deepened his fiery kiss.
She wrapped her free arm around his neck, pulling him closer as her head swam.
What would it be like to make love to such an untamed predator? To run her hands over all those sleek, taut muscles that rippled with every move he made?
He left her lips and seared a trail with his tongue from her mouth to her ear. She felt the barest scrape of his fangs on her neck.
Amanda shook all over in response to him as her br**sts swelled, longing for his caress. And all the while his thigh stroked her between her legs, making her burn even more. Her knees weakened and she sank deeper onto him.
Suddenly, a knock sounded on the door. "Hey, you two," Tate said, cracking it open. "Someone’s coming."
The Dark-Hunter pulled back with a growl. It was then she realized what she’d done.
"Oh God," she breathed. "I just kissed a vampire!"
"Oh gods, I just kissed a human!"
Amanda narrowed her eyes at him. "Are you mocking me?"
"Guys!" Tate called again.
Hunter took her arm and led her out the door. The janitor gave them a strange look, but said nothing as he entered the bathroom behind them.
Tate led them to his small office outside the morgue.
An old wooden desk was set against the far wall, with two chairs in front of it. A sofa with a neatly folded blanket and pillow on top of it was to her right and a set of metal filing cabinets to her left. Tate showed her to the phone on the desk, then left them to attend his business.
Trying her best to forget what had just happened in the bathroom and how good Hunter had felt in her arms, Amanda called Tabitha while Hunter stood over her.
Of course, Tabitha immediately started in on her for not letting the dog out.
"Okay," Amanda said irritably. "I’m sorry Terminator scored on your new comforter."
"Sure you are," Tabitha said. "So, what happened to you last night?"
"What? Are your psychic abilities failing you? I got waylaid in your house by one of your vampire buds."
"What!" Tabitha shrieked. "Are you okay?"
Amanda looked up at Hunter and wasn’t sure how to answer. Physically, she was fine, but he did something strange to her that she couldn’t even begin to define. "I survived it. But they’re looking for you, so you need to hide out someplace safe for a few days."
"I don’t think so."
Hunter grabbed the phone from her hands. "Listen to me, little girl. I have your sister with me, and if you don’t leave your house and vanish for the next three days, I will make your sister wish you had listened to me."
"You touch her and I’ll stake you."
He laughed bitterly. "Been there, done that. Now get out of your house and let me handle this."
"She is safe as long as you listen to me."
He handed the phone back to Amanda.
"Hey, Tabby," Amanda said sheepishly.
"What has he done to you?" Tabitha demanded.
"Nothing," she said, her face growing hot as she remembered his kiss. Nothing other than make her incredibly horny.
"Okay, listen," Tabitha said. "I’m going to Eric’s, and we’ll gather the gang, then head out to find you."
"No!" Amanda said as she saw the dark, angry look descend on Hunter’s face. Her heart stopped as she realized he could hear through the phone line.
You can hear her? she mouthed to him.
A chill went over her. "Listen, Tabby, I’m safe. Just do what he wants. Okay?"
"I don’t know."
"Please trust me."
"You, I trust. Him? Hell, I don’t even know who he is."
"I know," Amanda said. "You head over to Mom’s and I’ll stay in touch. Okay?"
"Okay," Tabitha groused, "but if I don’t hear from you by eight o’clock tonight, I’m going hunting."
"All right, I’ll talk to you later. Love you."
Amanda hung up the phone. "You heard all that?"
Hunter leaned over her, his body so close that she could feel his heat. His gaze bored into hers. "All my senses are highly developed."
His gaze dropped to her chest where her ni**les drew tight from the intense stare. "I can hear your heart beating faster, your blood flowing through your veins as you sit there wondering whether or not I would really hurt you."
The man was truly frightening. "Would you?" she whispered.
He locked gazes with her. "What do you think?"
She stared at him, trying to get a reading on his mood and feelings, but the man was a brick wall. "I honestly don’t know."
"You’re smarter than I thought," he said as he took a step back.
Amanda didn’t know what to say to that. So she called work and told them she was sick for the day.
Hunter rubbed his eyes again.
"Do the lights bother you?" she asked.
He dropped his hand. "Yes."
She remembered what he said about his senses.
Before she could ask him anything else, he picked up the phone and dialed a number.
"Hola, Rosa. Como esta?"
Spanish? she thought with a start. He spoke flawless Spanish?
Even more intriguing was the incredibly sexy sound of the words in that strange accent of his.
"Si, bien. Necesito hablar con Nick, por favor."
Hunter cradled the phone between his cheek and shoulder as he massaged the wrist where the cuff was making a red mark. She wondered if he realized the feral intensity that came into his eyes every time he saw the cuffs.
"Hey, Nick," he said after a minute. "I need you to retrieve my car from the corner of Iberville and Clay, and bring it to St. Claude. You can leave it in the doctors’ lot."
He let go of the cuff and took the phone back in his hand. "Yeah, I know I’m a real ass**le to work for, but you can’t knock the pay and perks. Head out at three, and after you drop my car off, you can go home early."
He paused as he listened for a few seconds. "Also grab the backup case out of the cabinet… yeah, that one. I need you to bring it and my spare keys to the hospital and leave them for Dr. Tate Bennett."
He stiffened as if Nick said something that irked him. "Yes, you can take tomorrow off, but keep your beeper and phone on in case I need something."
Hunter growled. "Boy, don’t make me change my tone with you. You forget, I know where you sleep." Though the words were harsh, there was an underlying note of humor in his voice. "All right, but don’t burn out the clutch again. I’ll see you later."
Amanda arched a brow as he hung up the phone. "So who’s Nick?"
She gaped at him. "My God, can it be you actually answered a question? Holy cow, we’d better call Tate in here quick before you keel over dead or undead or whatever it is you vampires do."
"Ha, ha," he said with a smile.
Good night, this is one sexy vampire when he smiles…
"Does Nick know what you are?" she asked.
"Only the people who need to know, know what I am."
She thought about that for a minute. "I guess I’m privileged, then."
" ‘Cursed’ would be more appropriate."
"No," she said as she thought more about it. "When you’re not being sarcastic, scary, or bullish, you’re actually not bad to be around." Impishly, she added, "Of course, I’ve only been around you for about two minutes when you weren’t one of those three things, so who am I to judge?"
His face softened. "I don’t know about you, but I have to sleep. I had a long night and I’m exhausted."
She was rather tired, too. But as she slid her gaze to the fake leather sofa, she realized it would never fit both of them.
Hunter grinned at her. "You take the couch, I’ll sleep on the floor."
"Can you do that?"
"I’ve slept in worse places."
"Yeah, but don’t you need a coffin?"
He gave her a droll stare, but said nothing as he led her to the sofa.
No sooner had Amanda lain down than she realized it wasn’t going to work. "This isn’t comfortable. I can’t sleep with my arm hanging over the edge and I’m twice as long as the couch is."
"What do you suggest?"
She grabbed the blanket and pillow and lay down on the floor beside him.
Kyrian flinched as she lay so close to him that he could feel her body heat. Worse, the only way to comfortably sleep would be to drape his arm over her.
The thought tore through him, lancing his heart so deep that for a minute, he couldn’t breathe as he remembered the last time he had made the mistake of being with a woman and letting his guard down.
Unbidden, the sight of blood, and the memory of grueling, unrelenting pain ripped through him with such ferocity that it made him flinch.
That was the past, he told himself. Ancient history. Still, some things were impossible to forget. And not even a man with super psychic powers could bury them.
Don’t think about it.
This wasn’t the time for memories. It was a time to be practical.
Desiderius would be after him tonight and if he was to save her and her sister, he would have to be awake, and fully alert.
Closing his eyes, he made himself relax.
Until she shifted, and her bu**ocks collided with his groin.
Kyrian ground his teeth. He was on fire as he inhaled the sweet rosy scent of her. It had been so incredibly long since he had last taken a woman. So long since he had dared close his eyes with one by his side.
Necessity was a bitch. But then he had learned that lesson the hard way when he had fought against the Romans.
Swallowing, he forced his mind to blankness. There was nothing in the past worth remembering. Nothing back there except pain so profound that even after two thousand years it could still bring him to his knees.
Focus , he told himself, relying on his staunch military training. Now is the time to rest.
Amanda tensed as he moved to spoon up against her spine. And when he put his arm over her, her heart pounded.
All that lean, hard strength was pressed against her back in a most distracting way.
She stared at his hand in front of her face. He had long, graceful fingers that looked as though they should belong to an artist or musician. Goodness, but it was hard to remember this man wasn’t really a man.
You’re lying with a vampire!
No, he’s a Dark-Hunter . Not that she really understood the difference, yet.
But she would. One way or another.
Amanda lay for hours listening to Hunter breathe. She could tell when he had finally fallen asleep because his arm relaxed against her and the breath on her neck evened out.
Outside Tate’s office, she heard people coming and going, the hospital paging system calling out for different doctors and orders.
A little after noon, Tate brought them lunch, but she wouldn’t let him wake Hunter. She ate half of her sandwich and continued to lie there, all the while wondering how she could feel so strangely safe with a vampire she barely knew.