Halfway to the Grave

Page 16

He gave me a grin that was filled with more innuendo than an hour's worth of conversation.

"In this case, it's a stake. You could always feel around for something more, though. See what comes up."

"This better be part of that dirty-talk training, or we're going to give this new stake a go."

"Now, pet, that's hardly a romantic rejoinder. Concentrate! You do look great, by the way. That bra does wonders for your cle**age."

"Slime," I spat, resisting the urge to glance down and see for myself. Later, when he wasn't looking, I'd check it out.

"Moving on, Kitten. Put the stake in your boot. You'll find there's a loop for it."

I reached down and found a leather circle inside each boot. The stake fit snugly inside, concealed yet within easy reach. I'd wondered where I was supposed to hide a weapon in this skin-tight dress.

"Put your other one away as well," he instructed me. Complying, I was now outfitted as Cat, the Vampire-Killing Slut.

"That loop was a great idea, Bones."

The compliment flowed off my tongue, and I regretted it at once. He didn't need praise. This wasn't a friendship, it was a business arrangement.

"Done it myself a time or two. Hmmm, still something not right, something missing..."

He walked in a circle around me. I held still as he scrutinized my every angle. It was nerve-wracking, to say the least.

"I've got it!" he declared suddenly, snapping his fingers in triumph. "Take your knickers off."

"What?" Did that mean what I think it did?

"Your knickers. You know-panties, underwear, muff-huggers, nasty nets-"

"Are you out of your mind?" I interrupted. "This is where I draw the line! What does my underwear have to do with anything? I am not flashing my...my crotch at someone, no matter what you say!"

He spread his hands toward me in a conciliatory way. "Look, you don't have to flash anyone anything. Believe me, a vampire will know right off without you showing him that your box is unwrapped."

Pushing the crude imagery out of my mind before I exploded, I jumped right in with both feet. "And just how's he supposed to know that? No panty lines?"

"The scent, pet," he replied instantly. That did it. My face must have been every shade of crimson. "No vamp in the world could mistake that. Like dangling bloomin' catnip in front of a kitty. Bloke gets a good whiff of-"

"Will you stop?" I fought to alleviate my intense embarrassment. "I get the picture! Stop drawing it, okay? God, but you are-are...profane!"

With anger as a buffer, I could look him in the eye again.

"I hardly see how that's necessary. You've got me dressed in these screw-me clothes, I'm all dolled up with hair and makeup, and I'm going to burn their ears off with dirty talk. If that isn't enough to get them to take me for a ride, then I think it's hopeless."

He stood very still the way vampires do, utterly motionless. It creeped me out when he did that, because it let me know how foreign our two species were. I had half of that contamination. Half of that blood flowed in my veins. His face was thoughtful-we could have been discussing the weather. The hollows and planes of his cheekbones were reflected from the overhead light. He was still the most chiseled man I'd ever seen.

"It's like this, luv," he responded at last. "You look right fetching now with your new togs, but suppose a fellow prefers blondes? Or brunettes? Or likes 'em with a little more meat on the arse? These aren't greenhorns looking for the first available artery. These are Master vampires with discriminating tastes. We might need something to tip the scales, as it were. Think of it as...advertising. Is it really that difficult for you? You know, with a vampire's natural sense of smell, it's not like he can't sniff you out in the first place. Blimey, I can tell right off when you've got your monthlies, knickers or no knickers. Some things you just-"

"All right!" Inhale slowly, exhale slowly. Don't let him see how he's traumatized you with the thought of him scenting out your period. "I get your point. Fine, I'll do it, when we go out on Friday. Not before. I'm not negotiating on this one."

"Whatever you say." He sounded amenable, but it was a lie. Everything was done his way. I only pretended to win some battles. "Now, then, let's get on to the nasty speak."

We sat at a table opposite each other. Bones held my hands despite my protest, arguing that if I flinched or twitched repeatedly, it would be a dead giveaway. Pun intended. Between my expressions and my hand movements, he had his lie detector test. For every blush and recoil I gave, it would be ten miles running through the woods with him chasing me. I was determined not to take that nature jog from hell.

"You look luscious, pet. The only thing that could make your mouth more beautiful is if it were wrapped around my cock. I wager you could start my heart again. I'd like to bend you over just to hear how loud you can scream. I bet you like it rough, you'd like me to tear into you until you can't beg anymore..."

"My, my, someone hasn't been laid in a while," I mocked, proud of myself for not running out of the room.

It wasn't just his words, or the little circles his thumb traced on my palm. His eyes were dark and heated as though lit from within, looking right into mine with a knowing stare that made every word more intimate. Filled with promise and threat. His tongue flicked out to trace the inside of his lower lip, making me wonder if he imagined doing all of the things he described. It took all of my willpower to hold his gaze.

"I'll take your br**sts inside my mouth, licking your ni**les until they turn dark red. They'll do that, luv. The more I lick and the more I nibble, the darker they'll get. Let me inform you of a secret about vampires-we direct where the blood goes in our bodies, for as long as we want it to be there. I can't wait to find out how you taste, and you won't want me to stop even after I've completely exhausted you. You'll think you were on fire, your skin will burn. I'll suck all of your juices out of you. And then I'll drink your blood."

"Huh?" Understanding dawned about the sequence of the last two lines, and with it came a sudden mental image of him doing that to me.

A flush scorched across my cheeks in the next instant. Mortified, I snatched my hands away and stood so abruptly the chair fell over.

Taunting laughter followed me.

"Oh, Kitten, you were doing so well! Guess you just couldn't pass up a nice stroll in the woods. Beautiful night for it, I smell a storm coming. And you wonder why I had you pegged as an innocent. I've met nuns who were more promiscuous. I knew it would be the oral stuff that did you in, I would have bet my life on it."

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