by Ada Knight
Stalking the night, he walked in silence amongst the unsuspecting patrons of the downtown night club. The sea of human flesh grinding against one another sent his predator’s senses on edge. With his very being, he could smell and taste the hormones that emanated from those around him, making him thirst in more ways than one as the music pounded in his ears.
Women pressed themselves against him as he walked towards the back of the club, where his usual corner waited for him. Beckoning towards him. With just one look in the direction of the women, he could tell that though their instincts told them to run away, his otherworldly appeal made them want to touch him. To hold him as close as they could.
Pushing past them and into the next throng of people that stood in his way, Darius set his sights only on one object. The fascination boggled even his usually sharp vampire mind, but now the lust and thirst that he felt couldn’t be denied. And he knew she went towards the corner that he had claimed as his.
The tall, black-haired beauty sat right where he had pictured her to be. Her long legs were stretched out in front of her underneath the table. He could see the leather that hugged her in all the right places and the boots that adorned her slender legs. No doubt, if she really tried, she could put up a fight. But he knew she couldn’t win.
The thought made him smile.
His canines descended.
With no one else paying attention, he delicately ran his tongue over his teeth, savoring the sharp pointed ends which burned to taste blood. Even his throat became hoarse at the very thought of the hot and wicked liquid making its way down to his stomach. Running his hands through his messy black hair, the shirt he wore bunched in places where defined muscles bulged from the move. Still, he walked further towards what he assumed was his prey until he was within mere feet of her.
At this distance, his heightened abilities allowed him to hone in on her as he attempted to look as unassuming as ever. That was when the biggest surprise of all had practically slapped him in his face making him recoil but grow bold at the same time. His cock became instantly more needful, and his fangs practically throbbed as he attempted not to bite off his own tongue.
Ordering a shot of something strong at the bar, Darius attempted an air of tasteful curiosity, still trying to keep the gorgeous vampire within his line of sight. He threw the drink back in one swift movement allowing it to singe its way down his throat all the while, making him wish that he could actually get drunk off of it.
Sometimes humans were so lucky.
She met his eyes.
Her full and seductive lips curved into a smile, letting him see the points of her fangs. God, what he wouldn’t do to have that woman and her body convulsing around him in waves and waves of pleasure. The very thought made his head start to spin, almost as if the alcohol had actually begun to do what it was supposed to.
Assuming an air of indifference, which for a man of almost seven feet in height proved to be a rather difficult task to accomplish, he stalked towards her. Never having been wrong before, he felt that there was more of a reason that she was here than to take in the sights of the humans practically having sex right there on the dance floor. Not that it wouldn’t have been an interesting sight to see mind you.
“What brings you in here gorgeous?” he adorned his face with a sly smile as he slid into the booth from the right-hand side. She sat there, unmoving and unblinking. For all intents and purposes, she became a statue having no need to breathe.
“Well, well, well. Looks like I got your attention,” slowly, as if every move was precious to her, the dark beauty crossed her leather-clad arms across her chest, freeing them from their previous position. The black hair that he admired from across the club sparkled with the light from the strobe light. The dark ringlets hung in front of her, making their way past her breasts. Finally, she focused her endless black eyes on his blue ones. Such a contrast, it practically hurt to look at.
“Oh, honey. You had my attention five nights ago,” Darius referred to the night in which he had first spied the woman following him around the city. Granted, if he were human, he wouldn’t have been wiser. Still, after living through a couple of harsh centuries, he wasn’t oblivious to what went on around him at all times.
The comment seemed to throw her off her game for a moment as she made a small nod. He had to give her props for not completely losing her cool. Not wanting to startle her after that one revealing piece of information, Darius placed his hands on the table and leaned back in the booth, his own feet now resting very close to hers.
He could practically feel the energy that sparked between their legs in such close proximity.
Quickly, she peered into his wandering gaze, which was ever vigilant as it roamed the area around them.
“I am not here to exchange pleasantries. I was sent to warn you. It looks like your area is infested. Need some help cleaning it up?” she leveled her black eyes at him. He had no doubt that if she had to, she would do her best to snap him in half. But she was young. Still, he could tell. The cockiness that rolled off her in waves definitely gave her away as such.
Blue eyes scrutinized her from across the table, his arms still unmoving. She couldn’t believe that he seemed to penetrate every wall that she had placed around herself. Katreena knew that being a woman definitely put her on every vampire’s radar, especially the fact that she was no more than a century old. A baby by certain standards. She could tell that the vampire in front of her, the handsome and ominous stranger, held the same beliefs as the others that she’d run across.
By now, she knew that he wasn’t even hiding the heat that started to form within him from the thirst that he wanted to quench. She felt vulnerable somehow as if he could strip her of her clothes with one thought. Not something that she necessarily wanted to test.
Not hiding his contempt from her at all, he scoffed at her statement. “You were sent to warn me?” his voice practically spitting the words out at her, made her blood began to boil within her. Katreena could feel her fangs start to come down lower and lower. But she couldn’t tell from what: the heat she felt in her core for the stranger that sat next to her, or the way that he talked to her as if she meant nothing.
She settled on the latter. At least for now.
The brief moment of attentiveness to only one another and nothing else cost them dearly in the next second. Chaos ensued as the couple hundred humans littering the club from the upstairs to the downstairs where they now sat, started running in practically what could be deemed as circles. Apparently, finding the nearest exit was not as easy as it seemed. Darius would have laughed at the lot of them if the bullets that had rung out a second before weren’t now aimed in his and Katreena’s direction.
In a fluid movement of well-oiled muscles, he took the steel table in front of them and flipped it on its side, hoping to deflect most of the assault. Not even trying to be gentle, he grabbed the back of Katreena’s head and forced her to huddle next to him on the floor, all the while frantically looking around the club.
The protest that she shrieked out at his unwelcomed touch had gone completely unheard, but she managed to get his hand out of her long hair. Reaching out with his honed abilities, Darius noted that their attackers were definitely human, even if there was a small army of them currently invading the very public venue. Their thoughts gave away the brutality with which they hoped to get their hands on the two of them.
“Didn’t need my warning, did you?” Katreena couldn’t help but sneer in his direction, getting ready for battle. The way that she handled the Glock that appeared in her hand proved to do horrible things to his mind as he found it the sexiest move on a woman that he’d ever seen.
“Came a little late, don’t you think?” Darius couldn’t help himself but smile his very wide and most charming smile as he bit back at her retort. She brushed the comment off. The way she saw it, at least she tried. He, on the other hand, lived in complete denial and hope that he stood as being untouchable. At one point in time, he actually might have. “Trust me, gorgeous, still am,” he wiggled his eyebrows at her. After having sharpened his hearing towards her mind, he could hear every foul word Katreena wanted to throw at him. Her eyes widened at the revelation.
“Have a few secret weapons, huh?” she wouldn’t be outsmarted. Not by anyone. And definitely not by some arrogant ancient who held no regard for her life or his own.
“That’s for me to know and you to find out,” the smile that spread across his face made him drop-dead gorgeous. The woman within her wanted to admit that and jump his bones right in the thick of the fighting, but the more rational side of her personality won out in the end. She stood back from him, not giving in.
A rain of bullets more pressing came down on them even harder. The table they hid behind would not have been able to stand the barrage much longer, and the plush couch they sat on moments before was being shredded into pieces. Parts of it were flying everywhere much as they were from the chunks of the wall the larger ammo had been able to peel off.
With the situation growing more direr, Darius allowed himself to look around the club while Katreena reciprocated with their own volley of bullets. As the Glock she used hit empty, Darius saw her reload with one swift movement, his need for her growing again. He swore under his breath so colorfully he would have made any sailor proud.
With their human attackers drawing dangerously close and the other humans that were at the bar either scattered or dead in pools of blood on the floor, an opportunity presented itself. Towards the right of where they stood, a kitchen door swung loosely back and forth from having been pushed not too long before. The small circular window on the door allowed Darius to see that no one stood on the other side and so he silently pointed it out to Katreena.
Solemnly, she nodded.
“Go when they reload. I’ll be right behind you,” this time she would not argue about who would go first or last. There was a time for heroics, and that moment had definitely not been it.
When the sound of clicking met their ears, Darius gave Katreena a small push and watched as she lunged for the door, clearing two booths that stood in the way with the one leap. At least she wasn’t a total weakling, he discerned. Usually, such abilities came much later with age, but Katreena had practiced. Right after she’d pushed through the door and swiveled around to watch for him, Darius had made his own leap of faith.
Of course, he’d gone a second too late, and by that time, the assault had begun again. Tucking and rolling behind the last booth, he made his way through the kitchen door like a runaway barrel.
“You’re hit,” Katreena’s voice gave away a small hint of worry, making him smile through the pain in his side. He shrugged.
“It’ll heal in a moment. We need to move,” with all the effort he could muster, Darius pushed himself up and grabbing Katreena by the hand, pushed on forward so as not to be cornered. Obediently, and so unlike her, Katreena followed the ancient through the assortment of kitchen items coming in to contact with them every once in a while. After just a moment, she noticed that Darius had been greatly able to pick up on speed, and she knew his side must have healed even if she could smell the fresh blood that coated his shirt. Though normally it was not a practice to drink another vampire’s blood, somehow, the sweet aroma of his made her ache with need.
“Do you have any idea where we are going?” Katreena finally decided to voice her opinion.
“Right here,” Darius stopped in front of the dirty back door where garbage had been set aside by it to be taken out by the cooks. No doubt in their frenzy to clear the building, they had forgotten about the awful stench that it gave out, which hit their sensitive nostrils at the same time.
Carefully peeking out from behind the door, the alley in the back stood clear from what he could see, but he could hear police sirens wailing from around the building. They would need to make a quick escape now, definitely not wanting to be interrogated by the cops at a time like this. He took a quick glance at his watch. With the night only having one precious hour left, they would be turned to crisps before they had a chance to even give their testimony.
Darius and Katreena stepped out from the building, finally hearing the barrage of bullets coming to a stop. No doubt, the human police had been able to subdue whoever started shooting, especially if they were the “shoot first ask questions later” types. Katreena didn’t give it much thought as she surveyed the alley along with Darius, vaguely noticing that she still held on to his hand. The simple touch of his strong hand made her feel warm and tingly inside.
“We’ll take the roofs,” Darius pointed with his free hand to a pipe that led up the side of the wall of the next building. At least on the roof, they might be less noticeable. Ushering her to his find, Darius tried to glance down at their entwined hands without her noticing, but as he brought his head up, Katreena’s black eyes bore into the depth of his blue ones. He couldn’t help himself and allowed a seductive smile to spread across his face. Danger be damned. He would gladly be in danger every day if it meant running away with a woman like Katreena.
Pretending she didn’t see anything, Katreena walked up to the metal pipe and grabbing it with both hands, she made her way up towards the roof quickly. She could feel Darius following her, his eyes burrowing holes in her backside. With one last step, the two of them found themselves on top of the roof, peering down at the commotion on the street.
Most of those that had been in the bar stood outside, and others gathered as a group of onlookers. The confusion could be felt through every fiber of every being that stood on the street. Humans, unfortunately, did not react well to such circumstances.
Without another word, and before someone had gotten the unlikely idea to look up, Darius started running from one rooftop to the other, trying to get as far away from the bar as possible. He could feel Katreena following him without so much as breaking a sweat.
After a half an hour or so of lightning-fast running, the two vampires found themselves outside of what appeared to be a warehouse. Though it wasn’t necessary, Darius took a slow, steadying breath from the night’s events and pushed open the door with his mind. With a jerk of his hand, he motioned for Katreena to follow. Though she wasn’t necessarily from around Chicago, he felt the need to keep her safe. How stupid was that?
The house was decorated much like any other small one family-style home. A living room, dining room, and kitchen had been placed on the first floor, but Darius aimed for the one door that had been closed. Standing in front of it, he punched in a password on display next to it and then allowed it to perform a retinal scan. Finally, with a click, he heard the door open, and he swung it towards him.
Katreena followed him on down the stairs that looked like they could belong in some highly secret government agency. She decided not to voice her opinion, though. Inadvertently, she had strayed into this man’s territory and felt better not to anger him about anything. About halfway down the stairs, she could hear voices coming from below them. From the difference in the voices, she could tell it was a couple of different men standing there, debating about something. At least they didn’t sound outright deadly.
On the last steps, the men that Katreena could hear had come in to view, and they looked menacing. Though outright hostility did not roll off of them that she could tell their gazes sized her up nonetheless. Sheepishly, even though her palms itched to fight, Katreena stood behind Darius, knowing he might be the only one on her side.
“Darius, everything alright?” a tall, dark vampire asked. From the way that he took control, Katreena could tell he led the small group.
“Nikolaus, yeah, man. Sorry. We got hit back at the club. Looks like now it’s not just demons coming after us. They were human,” Darius pointed towards the red stain on his shirt. “Katreena came to warn me,” then he pointed towards the woman behind him.
“Thanks for the info. Sienna won’t be too happy about this, but we’ll let you know if we need anything. I’ll see what more I can find on the incident today. You two go and rest,” a knowing smile spread across the lips of the one named Nikolaus. It was as if he could see through the façade that the two put on and feel their desire along with them.
Ushering her out of the room through another door, the interior looked much less impersonal than the conference room they’d stood in before. She followed him along the carpeted hallways very much in tune with the way that his desire for her, reached out to her. It made the feminine side of her ache with the need to feel him above her. With the need to press herself as close to him as possible.
“Here you are. You can rest or press the button if you need anything. I’ll be next door,” he pointed towards the door to the left, watching her standing in front of the door, indecision painted clearly on her face.
Attempting to keep himself under the utmost control, Darius pocketed his hands and walked to the door he had pointed towards. By the time he’d made it there, Katreena had disappeared into the room he’d left her at.
What a dumbass. He chastised himself internally. There never had been a woman that he’d wanted more than Katreena, and he practically allowed her to slip through his fingers. Darius walked over to the adjoining bathroom and took a cold shower with absolutely no end to his torment inside. When he walked back to the room, he could hear every little movement and breath that Katreena made between the thin walls.
Since the sun had finally come up over the house, Darius knew that he should be deep in sleep, but his body wouldn’t allow him to rest. The pent up energy made him wander back and forth throughout the room, and he didn’t even notice as he’d bump into things.
From the room next door, he could hear Katreena’s faint breathing, but he could also hear those enormously high heeled boots clanking against the hardwood floor. The image of her doing exactly what he was at that moment sent him over the edge.
Using all the speed and agility that he possessed, Darius found himself standing outside the door to her room in a matter of a second. Not the time to chicken out anymore, he raised his hand and knocked on the door.
Katreena opened the door, and he could practically feel the agitation rolling off her from her own unused source of energy. When her eyes rested on him, he could tell that the agitation turned to something even more primal, and he didn’t deny it for even a moment. Pushing past her into the room, he cupped her face as he kissed her fiercely.
“Gods, you are beautiful,” Darius couldn’t even smile down at the woman that fit so perfectly into him.
“Love me,” Katreena breathed into him as she pulled him by his shirt towards the bed.