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Authors: D. B. Reynolds

Tags: #Fantasy

Betrayed (9 page)

BOOK: Betrayed
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“Oh, joy,” Cyn grumbled.

“My point is,” Lucas continued, unfazed by her sarcasm, “he was most definitely human. And whoever hired him—and I’m just as certain it was a vampire who did the hiring—wouldn’t have needed a middle man to do it. He could have just hung around a gun club or shooting range until he found a guy who had the skills and the weapon. He arranges a private moment,
et
voila
, our vampire fixer’s inside the guy’s head. Maybe he discovers a particular hatred of vampires, or maybe the guy’s simply short on funds. Or, hey, maybe he’s just a closet sociopath who’s always wanted to hunt the really big game.”

Cyn stiffened in outrage next to Raphael. She apparently didn’t like anyone referring to him as a game animal, big or otherwise. But he knew Lucas meant no insult and placed a calming hand on her arm, while he sat and considered everything he’d heard. They were all watching him, waiting for him to decide what to do next.
Even Lucas.

“We’re going home,” he said finally.

“Raphael, no!”
Cyn protested immediately. “This guy won’t stop just because you leave
Colorado
!”

“I have to agree with her, my lord,” Robbie said softly. “He now has two angry vampires on his tail. You’re the obvious one, but there’s also the vamp who hired him, and who probably paid at least part of his fee in advance. The human will be desperate to finish the job before someone finishes
him
.”

“Precisely,” Raphael agreed.

Cyn stared at him in confusion for a moment,
then
her beautiful face lit with understanding.
 
“Home territory,” she whispered.

Raphael nodded. “If I’m to be a target, it will be on my terms.”

“Yes!” Cyn agreed.

“Yes,” Lucas drawled. “And Raphael is such a very
large
target.”

Cyn rounded on him furiously. “Don’t you dare suggest that I’d risk—”

“Peace, my Cyn,” Raphael said, placing a hand over her curled fist and smoothing her fingers. “Lucas is merely being himself.”

“God save us,” Jared muttered, with a grin in Lucas’s direction.

Lucas cast Jared a narrow-eyed glance, but turned back to Cyn, placing a hand over his heart. “Apologies, my lady, but you misinterpreted my concern. It was not about any perceived disregard on your part for Raphael’s safety, but rather Raphael’s willingness to make
himself
a target,” he said, sharpening his words as he shifted his gaze to Raphael. “Is this wise, my lord?”

“It’s not wise at all,” she insisted, with a furious glare in Raphael’s direction. “And I can’t believe any of you would consider such a drastic measure this early in the game. We haven’t even searched the shooter’s hide yet. He had to leave in a hurry, which means there’s a good chance he left something behind, something that will help us identify him, at the very least. But Raphael’s right about one thing.”

“I am gratified you think so,” Raphael said mildly. Lucas grinned.


L.A.
’s my home turf, too,” Cyn continued, ignoring him. “I have contacts in law enforcement there. And if we manage to get even a partial identity, I can put it out over backdoor channels. We might be able to round him up before he has a chance to try again. And even if we don’t, I can still accomplish a lot more there than I can here.”

“Indeed,” Raphael said, “but I want to be clear on one thing, my Cyn.
We
round him up. I don’t want the human police getting to him first.”

She nodded grimly, understanding his reasons without having to be told. They wanted unfettered access to the shooter. They needed to question him, find out who paid him, what his orders were. And they didn’t want to be encumbered by Miranda warnings and defense lawyers.
Because in the end, it wouldn’t matter.
Raphael would see to it that the man never killed again.

* * * *

Raphael walked out with Lucas. His security people were doing everything short of physically blocking his path to keep him from getting any closer to the glass front doors, so he took pity on them and stopped midway through the marbled foyer.

“Please don’t do anything foolish, Sire,” Lucas said in a rare moment of seriousness. “You might be tougher than the rest of us, but you
can
be killed. And that would totally ruin my day,” he added, returning to his usual mocking self.

Raphael favored him with a cool look. “I’ve no plans to die, Lucas. My Cyn would kill me,” he deadpanned, although he let Lucas see the smile playing around his lips.

Lucas laughed on cue. “Or at least she’d kick the dust around, eh, Sire? She’s a toughie.”

“Yes,” Raphael drawled. “But she’s
my
toughie. Don’t forget that.”

“As if I could.
Take care, my lord. And we’ll see each other soon.”

“Farewell, Lucas.”

Raphael watched as Lucas’s security took over, swarming around him until he was all but invisible, indistinguishable in the scrum of vampire bodies. Raphael might have been the assassin’s first target, but that didn’t mean he was the
only
target. Jared stepped up next to Raphael, waiting silently.

“Have you identified a venue in
L.A.
?” Raphael asked quietly.

Jared nodded.
“A charity event, my lord.
Next Friday evening.
Very high profile, but in a public location.
Security will be heavy, but the site is nearly impossible to seal off. Our boy should have no difficulty.”

“Do it.”

“At your command, my lord.”

“Tell me, Jared, now that the time has come to leave
Colorado
, do you regret your decision to join me in
Malibu
?”

“Never, my lord.
It will be an honor to serve at your side.”

Raphael smiled to himself, pleased with Jared’s response, although he’d expected nothing less. He’d been fortunate in his children. He heard
Cyn’s
voice down the hallway and his smile widened. And even more fortunate in his mate. He turned as she drew closer, climbing the foyer’s marble steps to meet her at the top.

“I’ve been looking for you,” she purred, sidling close and slipping her arm around his waist. “It’s nearly dawn, fang boy.”

Raphael bent his head to her upturned face and kissed her. There was actually a good hour until sunrise, which Cyn surely knew. He lifted his mouth from hers, and she licked her lips as if savoring the taste of him.

“Quite right, my Cyn,” he murmured. “Jared,” he called over his shoulder as he and Cyn started down the corridor to their private quarters. “We depart tomorrow at sunset. Sleep well.”

* * * *

Cyn was waiting right behind him as he closed and secured the vault door. He turned into her embrace, her arms going around his neck as she gazed up at him solemnly.

“Promise me, Raphael,” she said, her green eyes as clear and serious as he’d ever seen them. “Promise you won’t take any stupid chances with this thing. We’ll find this guy. You don’t need to put yourself out there with a bull’s-eye on your back.”

Raphael pictured himself with a target pinned to the back of his suit jacket. His tailor would be appalled. He slipped his arms around
Cyn’s
waist and
snugged
her closer, marveling at how perfectly their bodies fit together, two parts of a single whole.

“I have no intention of standing by and letting some human thug use me for target practice, my Cyn.”

She rose up on tiptoes and bit his chin. “That’s not a promise, fang boy, and don’t think I don’t know the difference. But I’ll take it for now, and only because I’m going to be watching you.”

“Only watching,
lubimaya
?”
he asked, shrugging out of his suit jacket and throwing it on a nearby chair.

She laughed and kissed the very spot she’d so recently bitten. “If we’re leaving tomorrow, I guess I have to pack, huh?”

Raphael scooped her up into his arms and strode across the room. “You can pack in the morning,” he growled and, placing a knee on the mattress, dropped them both onto the big bed. He stretched out on top of her, still fully clothed, and began tasting her, a nip of her neck, a stroke of his tongue along her cheek, a lingering kiss that nearly undid him. He lifted his head and found her watching him, her eyes no longer clear but hazy with desire.

“I love you, my Cyn.”

“I love you back, my Raphael. So why are we still wearing so many clothes?”

He laughed.
“Insatiable, as always.
Fortunately,” he flexed his hips against her, letting her feel the hard ridge of his arousal, “I am up to the task,” he added smugly.

“Talk is cheap . . . my lord.”

Raphael growled and dipped his head to bite her neck a little bit harder. Not breaking the skin, not yet, but letting her feel the sharp edge of his fangs.
Cyn’s
heart kicked against his chest, her arms tightening reflexively around him.

“Raphael,” she breathed.

Raphael stood rapidly and stripped off the rest of his clothes, watching hungrily as Cyn drew her sweater over her head before shimmying pants and panties down her legs and tossing them to one side. Her bra was last, a delicate confection of some beige silk that was like pretty wrapping paper torn away from the true beauty of her breasts as they tumbled loose, drawing his eye like a magnet to north.

She’d no sooner slipped the bra down her arms than Raphael was on her, driven by the need to taste every inch of her soft, golden skin. He started at her neck and moved downward, kissing an elegant shoulder, closing his teeth over her fragile clavicle. He snarled when she gripped his hair, trying to urge him down even further,
then
smiled privately when he resisted, and she cried out in frustration. He lingered over her shoulders longer than he would have otherwise, to demonstrate his dominance, but mostly to torment her . . . until she curled one long leg around his back and, humming in satisfaction, began to pleasure herself against his thigh, digging her nails into his back to hold him in place.

Raphael growled and pushed up, trying to dislodge her leg, but she held fast. Unwilling to use his full strength for fear of hurting her, he shifted his attention to her breasts instead, rolling one of her nipples between thumb and forefinger, pinching it until it was fairly bursting with blood. And all the while he had the other plump pearl in his mouth, sucking, twirling his tongue over and around until he could feel the blood beneath the surface, eager to be tasted. He bit down gently, barely closing his teeth over her flesh. Cyn shivered beneath him,
then
grew still, waiting.

He stroked his tongue roughly over the tender nub, then lifted his mouth and blew on the flushed, wet tip of her breast. Cyn groaned and flexed her hips against him urgently. But Raphael only smiled in satisfaction and turned to her other breast, the nipple already primed by the attention of his fingers, already flushed with desire, plump and firm as the ripest cherry. Raphael admired the luscious beauty of it, but only for a second. Such prime flesh was not to be wasted on the eyes; it was meant to be savored.

He took her breast into his mouth, sucked hard once,
then
bit down. Cyn screamed, her body arching beneath his as the first spark of orgasm shocked along her nerve endings. Raphael lapped up the small drops of blood, caressing her breast with his tongue. Cyn was panting now, her hips thrusting rhythmically, a constant movement against his groin, his cock slipping and sliding in the wetness between her thighs.

But he wasn’t finished yet. He took her other breast into his mouth, plumping the nipple once again, until it, too, begged for his succor. Pressing the length of his fangs into the delicate flesh, he dragged their sharp points along the sweet curve
of
 
her
breast until they bracketed the swollen tip.
Cyn’s
fingers scraped against his scalp, as she urged her breast into his mouth, causing the edge of his fangs to prick the rosy flesh of her areola. Cyn groaned with pleasure, her head tossing and back and forth, her body all but rippling beneath him.

Raphael licked once at her breast, lapping up the last taste of her, then lifted his hips and, in a single, smooth movement, slipped the head of his cock into the velvety, wet folds between her legs and thrust forward, burying himself in the welcoming heat of her body.

BOOK: Betrayed
9.63Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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