Authors: Bobbie Palmer
Emily hated that she had to go to Paul for
help. She was a fighter and a soldier, yet she had
to ask him for help. That wasn’t her, but she
needed information from Paul. She went back into
the kitchen and saw Maggie, who was back to cooking
dinner, and a maid walking out into the dining room
with a plate of steak in hand.
“I can handle this myself,” she grumbled. She
didn’t want to go to Bill; she wanted to do this on
“I need him for his intel, nothing more. Once
I’m done with him, I’ll throw him back in the cell
or kill him. I don’t want him going out there and
killing more shifters,” Emily said. And she meant
it. She had no intention of using him any more
than was necessary. Emily hated him for bringing
this on them, and for killing so many of her kind.
“Well, I don’t think he’s going to harm anyone.
I think he might have learned from his mistakes.
He did agree to help you, didn’t he?”
“Yeah,” she grumbled. She wondered if he had
an ulterior motive, such as wanting to slip the
Hunters information about where the shifters were
vulnerable, or using inside information on when
they were going to attack a compound or something.
She wasn’t buying that he was reformed. He was too
high up in the ranks to be swayed so easily.
“So technically, you aren’t doing it yourself,
so you can call Bill before you get yourself
“I will… tomorrow,” she said, and walked out
into the dining room where she saw Paul talking to
the maid. Emily tried listening in, but they were
so quiet she couldn’t hear anything without getting
closer. When the maid laughed, she knew she had to
intervene. He was her prisoner; he didn’t need to
be flirting with her staff. She squared her
shoulders and walked into the room, ready to splash
some cold water on the new lovers.
She giggled and said, “No problem. If you need
anything, just let me know,” she said and touched
his arm gently.
She giggled again and nodded before slowly
walking away with an extra sway to her hips. He
knew he shouldn’t be doing that, but he wanted an
ally, even if it was a flirtatious maid. She might
come in handy.
Paul looked down at his plate of steak and
potatoes before he started eating. He knew Maggie
could cook, but wow! This was the best meal he’d
“Making friends already?” Emily asked as she
walked in. He looked at her face and she looked
mad. He didn’t know why; the maid was just staff.
It wasn’t like they were friends or anything.
Maybe that was it. Maybe Emily cared for her staff
more than just as an employer and wanted to keep
the big bad Hunter away from them.
“Melinda?” he guessed. He had no idea. How
was he supposed to know? He’d just met her when
she brought in his food.
Paul tried holding in his laugh. He didn’t
think he was very successful when she started
clenching her fists. He took a deep breath and
said, “I was just flirting to get some coffee. I
didn’t mean any of it.”
Paul watched as she stormed off. He didn’t
think it was possible to get to her that much.
Hmm, that was something to remember.
Maybe he’d taken it a little too far. No
wonder Emily was so pissed. “Thanks,” he said, and
took a sip of heaven. It had been so long since
he’d had coffee. He missed it.
He didn’t want to lead her on and he didn’t
like Emily’s reaction. She seemed a little too
angry about the whole thing. He didn’t know why he
didn’t like her reacting that way, but he knew he
didn’t want to be on her bad side. He didn’t want
to end up back in that cell again. It was
definitely a good idea to stay on her good side.
When Paul had finished eating, he went into the
living room to sit and wait for Emily. He knew
she’d calm down and come back, especially with
everything going on with her sister. He just had
to be patient, although he hoped she wouldn’t keep
him waiting there all night.
He stood up and went over to the bookshelf to
see what was there. Reading was always something
he loved doing but never had the time for. Maybe
Emily would let him borrow some books while he was
helping her. Hmm, something to consider in
exchange for his help.
Emily walked in and must not have expected to
see Paul there, based on the surprised look on her
face. “What are you doing in here?” she asked.
She didn’t exactly sound mad, but she didn’t sound
too happy. Maybe she thought he was trying to
“No, it’s fine,” she said and sat down. She
looked tense. He wanted to go over and do
something that would help put her at ease or
Paul didn’t know what to say. She seemed like
she just wanted to sit there like a mad child and
sulk. So instead of telling her to grow up like he
wanted to, he sat down in a chair and stared at
her. He didn’t know what else to do that wouldn’t
get him thrown back into a cell or killed. He knew
she would eventually say something.
“Well, a bed for one,” he said. He hoped she
figured that was a given. He didn’t exactly like
his cell. He really hoped she wasn’t going to be a
smart ass and put a bed in the cell.
“Give me a little bit to think on it and I’ll
let you know. I can stay in here while I think,”
he said with a smile. He knew she wouldn’t like
that, but he loved the look on her face. It was so
“Fine,” she said, and walked out. Paul
couldn’t hold back the laugh. That wasn’t what
he’d expected. He thought she’d try to talk him
out of it, or threaten him into helping. Not storm
out of the room… again. She was a hell fire, he
knew that, but he never expected the spoiled child
reaction. It was so much fun.
Emily couldn’t believe she was letting Paul get
under her skin like that. He was the enemy and she
was a trained killer. She could handle anyone, but
there she was, hiding in the kitchen with Maggie,
waiting until Paul could figure out what he wanted.
Ugh, he was being so difficult!
She thought the first thing out of his mouth
would be for her to let him go when this was all
over. She was surprised. All bad guys wanted
their freedom guaranteed first, then all the
“He… he wants to think about what he wants
before he helps me.” Didn’t he realize this was a
time sensitive matter?
“Okay, so what’s wrong with that? Maybe he’s
trying to think everything through before he agrees
“He was flirting with Carrie,” Emily said
angrily. That was something else she couldn’t
believe. He was a prisoner. He shouldn’t be
flirting with the staff.
“I don’t know. I just am. Do I really need a
reason?” It was very rare for her to show her
anger like this. Worrying about Stacy seemed to be
messing with her mind.
“True, but maybe you should figure out why you
can’t keep your cool with him. You are the bad
ass, Emily Kincade,” Maggie said matter-of-factly.
“True, but he’s just getting to me,” she said
with a little whine. She wasn’t a whiner, but
there she was doing it, all because of that man.
“Em, you’ve been through tougher situations
than this. Keep calm and think about Stacy. That
will help keep you grounded.”
“I’ll try, thanks,” she said. She knew Maggie
was right. She was always right. Emily just
needed to accept that fact. It was hard with who
she was, though. She wanted to be the one in
She needed to remember to stay calm and remain
uncaring about his help. She needed him and she
needed to stay in control. If he thought she’d
just give in to anything, he might try to walk all
over her. She couldn’t let that happen.
“Have you decided what you want?” she asked
calmly. She was very proud of herself; now she
needed to keep it up, no matter what he said.
He was playing her, she could tell. That
smirk, all she wanted to do was wipe it off his
face. It wouldn’t be bad to knock him around a
little, would it? No, she couldn’t do that. He
might not help her then. Torturing it out of him
wouldn’t mean it was good information. It was
better to get him to co-operate.
“Are you sure there isn’t anything you want? I
can get you pretty much anything,” she said, trying
to remain calm. She was determined to not let him
get the better of her.
“Time’s up,” she said. Yeah, she couldn’t take
any more of this. She needed answers and couldn’t
just sit around waiting for them.
Okay, so he could read her like a book. That
was not good at all. She’d have to teach him a
lesson. She was going to show him exactly who she
Walking across the room, she allowed her fangs
and claws to come out so he could see just how much
of an animal she was. “You’re going to help
whether you like it or not. I’m trying to be nice
here and offer you payment, but you seem to want to
be difficult. So figure out what you want in
return for helping or I will make you help, one
body part at a time,” she said, crowding him into
the chair and letting him get a good look at her
Paul never thought seeing that side of Emily
would turn him on. He thought he’d be scared
shitless and piss his pants. She was lethal.
Instead, he wanted her to rub all over him and
shred his clothes with those long talons. He
couldn’t have thoughts like that. She had kept him
prisoner for months. He hadn’t been able to see
the sun, get fresh air, or eat real food. He
couldn’t start actually liking her. She was a
“I also want to be able to read your books
while I’m here, a shower, clean clothes, real
“I also want Bill involved. If you won’t call
him, I’ll find some way to reach him, so don’t
think you can get out of it,” Paul said sternly.
He wasn’t stupid. He wanted to live, and one way
to make sure of it was to get Bill involved. He
also had a feeling that would keep him out of the
Really? He thought it was obvious. The man
trusted him with the Hunters and he trusted Lucy.
He figured if Bill was against his being free, Lucy
would come to his rescue like she had the last
“Because you trust him. He was there when Mike
needed help and so were you. You guys all seem
close. And he seems like the type of man who’ll be
there to help no matter what, just because he’s a
Did she not hear him when he explained it all
before? When he sat in the bar and told everyone
what he knew about the Hunters and how he had
learned that everything was a lie?
“Vampires yes, the rest no. I just thought I’d
start rattling off supernatural things, see how
long it took you to stop me.” He thought she’d
know about vampires. He’d seen her file. He knew
she was almost ninety.
“Okay, let me go take a shower. Where am I
sleeping?” he asked. He really wanted to wash
months of dirt and grime off of him. He had a
feeling he’d be spending a lot of time in the
shower. He was surprised she’d let him sit on her
“What? You keep a clothing store here?” he
asked with a small laugh. He figured she’d send
someone out to get some.
“No, we’re shifters. We lose our clothes when
we shift. I keep some for everyone so I don’t have
naked shifters walking around everywhere.”
They walked silently as Emily showed him to a
room. “Here’s your room, and there’s a bathroom
through that door,” she said, pointing to a room on
“The only time I ever got that was when I was
in a hotel. Sorry, I get a little excited about
luxuries,” he said with a shrug.
Paul was so happy about having hot running
water that he all but ran into the bathroom. He
stripped off his clothes that looked more like rags
and turned on the water. He hoped there was soap
and shampoo, but he’d take just the water if that
was all he got. He turned the water on and
couldn’t help but moan at the sight. He saw the
necessities tucked on a shelf in the stall.
Climbing into the shower, he winced at the feel of
the hot water, but after a minute he adjusted and
just stood there, letting it run down his body. He
didn’t think anything could feel that good.
When Paul was sure he’d gotten all the layers
of dirt off, he climbed out and dried off. He went
back into the bedroom and saw the sweats. Clean
clothes. He never thought he’d be so happy to see
something so simple. He put them on then slipped
into the bed. It was so soft. He sank in a little
and curled into the covers. This was even better
than the shower.