Malcolm had been combing the beach all day after the incident at the diner. He had to take a cab back because he couldn’t risk materializing in front of anyone. He got dropped off about a block away. Once he returned to Paddy’s he scanned the minds of the various patrons and was relieved to find that his abrupt departure earlier had gone unnoticed. He breathed a sigh of relief and resumed his search for her necklace.
Earlier in the day, he had asked the restaurant manager if they’d found anything, but to no avail. He continued his search outside and went over and over the paths they’d taken. He persistently scanned the sandy shore for any glint of that precious silver. He sensed that the beach and restaurant patrons were a bit unnerved by him and his resolve. He could feel their apprehension from every angle. Malcolm, as with all Amoveo, was a gifted telepath. He had learned over the years to block out the thoughts of others unless he specifically wanted to hear them. What couldn’t be blocked were the strong emotions of the humans around him.
Over time, all Amoveo grew accustomed to the emotional onslaught; it was something that came with age and maturity. However, it was still an annoyance much of the time. He tried his best to filter out the emotions around him so he could focus on Sam’s residual energy. If he couldn’t see it, then perhaps he could feel it.
After hours of looking, the sun finally began to set, and he was still empty-handed. In one last ditch effort, he stood on the spot where they’d shared their first kiss. He closed his eyes and stretched his arms out around him with his palms facing the sandy beach. He concentrated on Sam. Her eyes, her smile, the fresh smell of her skin, the spicy taste of her lips. He took in a large breath, desperately trying to pick up her signature.
Then it hit him.
His eyes flew open. He tore off his sunglasses and looked down to his left. His vision zoomed in, and there it was. Directly below his left hand he saw the smallest glint of silver flashing at him. Triumphantly, he plucked his treasure from its sandy bed. He’d probably been over that spot a hundred times that day and hadn’t found it. A huge smile cracked his face. He straightened up with the prize dangling from his fingers and heard a little girl to his right.
“Hey, mister. You found buried treasure. Are you a pirate?”
He absentmindedly looked over at the pigtailed little girl without shifting his eyes back. He was promptly greeted with a shrill scream as she ran back to her family. Abruptly brought out of his trance, he shifted his eyes back to normal and made his way back to his car. While walking to the parking lot, he could hear the little girl screaming about the man with animal eyes. As he suspected, the parents brushed her comments aside as nonsense, dismissing her as a child with an overactive imagination. If only they knew.
Most humans were blind to the existence of anything beyond their own version of normal. Samantha had been one of them, at least until recently. That was all about to change. Tonight he would bring Samantha her necklace. He would reveal the hidden world around her and inside of her. He just prayed she would be able to accept him. Their lives depended on it.
Sam walked into the house and was greeted by the pleasant sound of Nonie’s laughter from the kitchen. Surprisingly, it was mixed with a male laugh, which threw her for a loop. She tiptoed from the back door and made her way toward the kitchen. She peered around the corner, looked into the kitchen, and was completely stunned by the scene before her. Nonie sat at the little kitchen table holding hands with none other than old Davis from next door. He looked up and caught Sam’s eye.
“Samantha Jane, stop peering around doorways like a spy, and come in to say hello,” Nonie said without even turning around.
Sam shrank inside with embarrassment. She got busted by her grandmother. Nice. She stepped into the kitchen, and Davis stood up to greet her, his hand extended and his smile charming.
“Hello, Ms. Samantha. It’s so very nice to finally meet you. I’ve heard so much about you from Helen and of course from Malcolm as well.” He winked with all the charm you’d expect from an English gentleman. He shook her hand gently and gave her a genuine smile. “Please sit down, and join us for some tea.”
“Well, I don’t want to interrupt.”
“Don’t be ridiculous, dear. Davis has been dying to get to know you. Look, he even brought you a Welcome Home gift,” Nonie said, gesturing to the enormous white wicker basket on the table. It was beautifully decorated and spilled over with biscuits, teas, lotions, cookies, and various other items. It would probably take hours to go through it and discover all the goodies buried within.
“Please, Ms. Samantha, do join us.” Davis pulled out the empty chair for her.
“All right.” Sam sat in the chair between Nonie and Davis. She looked back and forth between them and realized that she had interrupted her grandmother’s date. It was a very odd sensation. She didn’t quite know what to make of it. Pop had been gone for a few years, and she didn’t want Nonie to be lonely, but she also wasn’t sure if she was ready to see her with another man.
“Now tell us about your visit with Kerry,” Nonie said before a sip of tea. “How’s she doing?”
“She’s great. She’s been jet-setting all over the place and is glad to be getting a break. Thanks for telling her I’d be here, Nonie. I really needed a visit with her.” Sam sipped the tea Davis had poured for her. “Oh, by the way, she’s not staying there alone. Her cousin, AJ, is staying with her. Do you remember him? Apparently, he’s a marine biologist working over at the Mystic Aquarium and is staying here while he works.”
“AJ? I don’t think I recall him. Is he a cousin from her mother’s side or her father’s side?” Nonie asked.
“Her mother’s, I think. Why?”
“Oh no reason.” She smiled. “Just curious I suppose.” Nonie glanced at Davis over the edge of her teacup.
“Davis. Is Malcolm home? Kerry and AJ want to go out on Saturday night, and we thought Malcolm might like to come.”
“He’s been out most of the day, Miss. In fact, I should be getting back so that I’m there when he arrives.” Davis lifted his creaky body from his seat. “You know, I don’t think that boy would eat unless I made sure he did so. He’s been very…preoccupied lately.” He winked at Sam, and she felt her face redden. “It was lovely to meet you, Ms. Samantha.” He took her hand and placed a chivalrous kiss on top of it. “Please don’t hesitate to call on me if you require anything.” On his way out, he leaned down and gave Nonie a sweet kiss on her cheek and a pat on her shoulder. “Good night, and take care of my girl.” He shuffled his way out the door.
Sam sat in steely silence, staring at Nonie through squinted eyes. Nonie didn’t flinch and sat quietly sipping her tea as though nothing odd had happened. Sam crossed her arms. “Okay, Helen, so how long have you been canoodling with old Davis?”
“I don’t canoodle, missy. And if you want me to answer any of your questions, you will continue to call me Nonie, thank you very much.” She sat back in her chair, crossing her arms, looking back at Samantha.
“Okay, Nonie.” Sam raised her hands in defeat. “I’m sorry, but seriously, when did you and Davis start seeing each other? You know the hand-holding, the giggling.”
“Let’s just say Davis and I have common interests. After all, I needed a bridge partner, didn’t I,” she said with feigned innocence.
“Okay, a partner for your bridge game is one thing, but you two have clearly crossed the bridge.”
“Very funny, smarty pants.” Nonie gently swatted Sam’s arm.
“Look, Nonie.” Sam sighed. “I want you to be happy. I really do. It’s just going to take some getting used to that’s all.”
“I know. Believe me, dear, I never thought I’d have a relationship with anyone again. Your grandfather was the love of my life, and I always thought anyone else would pale in comparison.”
“Davis doesn’t?” Her question came out much more surprised than she meant it to.
“Oh no, he does.” She chuckled. “But you see I’m not looking for a great love. I already had that. I had it for over fifty years with Pop. Davis and I are good friends. We had a common interest, and it evolved.” She shrugged one thin shoulder. “What do you kids call it? Friends with benefits?”
Sam grimaced and held up her hand to stop Nonie from going into further detail. “Okay! I get it. He’s a companion. Please don’t tell me anymore.” Sam squeezed her eyes shut and shuddered. “Ew.”
Nonie laughed and took Sam’s hands in hers. “All right now. All I’m trying to say is that I had my great love. He had his.” Her wise eyes smiled back at Sam. “He was married, but she was taken from him so young. He’s been lonely for more years than I can imagine. Davis is a friend, a good friend. Once you have your great love, nothing and no one can compare. Pop was the love of my life. Nothing will ever change that. Believe me my dear, someday you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.”
Sam smiled and squeezed Nonie’s hands. “Hey, you know what? I just realized something. We’re both dating the neighbors in the creepy house.”
“Speaking of which…Have you spoken with Malcolm since your date last night?” Nonie got up to clear away their teacups.
“Well, yes actually,” she said slowly.
Sam thought about the incident at the diner that day. She didn’t want to tell Nonie about Roger’s uninvited visit and erratic behavior. She knew that it would only upset her and make her worry. Besides after his run in with Malcolm she figured Roger was now permanently in the past and no longer an issue. But she knew that Millie would be spilling the beans about meeting Malcolm so she’d have to acknowledge it.
“He stopped by the diner…to say hello.” Before Nonie could ask anything more about it Sam quickly added, “Nonie, if you don’t mind, I’m going to finish unpacking and turn in. You know how lying in the sun for hours can take it out of you.”
“All right, dear,” she said hesitantly, “if you’re sure.”
“I am,” she said with a weak smile. “Night, Nonie.”
Sam placed a quick kiss on her cheek and went upstairs to shower and change for bed. She closed her eyes as she pulled herself up the steps trying to reconcile the latest piece of shocking news. “Nonie and Davis,” she said a few times under her breath, as though the more she said it, the more she’d get used to it.
“Well, I’d know better than anybody that stranger things have happened,” Sam mumbled as she went into her bedroom to change. She hated to admit it, but she couldn’t wait to fall asleep and dream of Malcolm.
Malcolm arrived home victorious with the necklace in his hand, and Davis was nowhere to be found. That made him nervous. Davis was always here. He had asked him to watch over Samantha; perhaps he was next door. Was she all right? Had something happened? Just as his stomach began to churn, he heard Davis come through the side door. He let out the breath he didn’t even realize he’d been holding. “What is this woman doing to me?” he said under his breath.
“She’s saving your life, that’s what she’s doing,” Davis said loudly from the kitchen. “Not just your physical well-being, but your emotional life as well, sir. If you don’t mind my saying so.”
Malcolm shook his head and smiled. The guy still had the sharpest hearing of any human he knew. He knew that all Vasullus family members were special, but not all of them had this old bird’s acute hearing. Still smiling, Malcolm walked into the large kitchen and held up the fruit of his labors. The little silver necklace glinted brightly in the cavernous gourmet kitchen. “I don’t mind at all, Davis, because you’re absolutely correct.”
“You’ve found it, sir! Wonderful! Ms. Samantha will be so pleased.” Davis began to putter around the kitchen, gathering together the ingredients for dinner.
“Speaking of Sam, did you see her?”
“Oh yes, sir. I got to meet her this evening. She’s even prettier up close. Quite a beauty, that one. She had been out all afternoon with a friend. I didn’t mind though.” He winked. “It gave me time to be with Ms. Helen. She’s a saucy old girl.”
“Helen? Do you mean her grandmother?”
“I didn’t realize you two were friends,” Malcolm said with some embarrassment. He’d cared for Malcolm’s family’s needs forever, and yet Malcolm realized he didn’t know much about Davis at all. Davis had a girlfriend. Malcolm smirked. The old dog.
“Oh yes, sir. Good friends.” He grinned mischievously. “She’s my bridge partner too.”
“Wait. Did you say Samantha was with a friend all day? What friend?” Could Roger have come back with Samantha’s blessing? Malcolm battled something that resembled jealousy. He’d never been jealous in his life.
“Ms. Kerry Smithson.” Davis put the pasta into the huge pot of boiling water on the enormous stainless steel stovetop.
Malcolm let his breath out, along with the tension that had so quickly bunched up in his shoulders. He scolded himself silently. How could he think for even one second that she’d be with Roger? He shook his head at his foolishness and rubbed the small bit of silver between his fingers.
“Her family has the house on the other side of Helen’s. Have for generations, sir. As long as your family has had this house, I believe.” Davis pinched salt into the pot.
“I see.” Malcolm absentmindedly stared at the silver treasure in his hand. “No sign of that fellow I mentioned to you earlier? The Caedo?”
“No, sir. But I do think you should notify the Council about that. Perhaps Sir Richard or your uncle Brendan should come here to provide you both with some extra protection? At least until the mating ceremony has been completed,” he added quickly.
“I know,” Malcolm said quietly. “I was just so preoccupied with finding this necklace for her. Quite frankly, I couldn’t do anything else until I found it.” Malcolm shook his head with a small smile. “You know, Davis, no one tells you how hard it is.”
“How hard what is, sir?”
“This whole life mate thing. It may well do me in.” He furrowed his brow.
“Ah yes.” Davis smiled sadly. “Love of your life. We only get one of those. Even human beings, sir.” He sprinkled basil and oregano into the sauce bubbling up in a neighboring pot. “Sadie was mine. I miss her every day,” he said in a shaky voice. “She was taken from me so quickly, but I loved her a lifetime’s worth.” A pained expression came over him, and tears threatened behind his eyes. Malcolm knew that Davis didn’t want to break down in front of him. The old boy cleared his throat and focused more intensely on the sauce.
“I’m sorry.” Malcolm placed a strong hand on Davis’s shoulder. He’d always felt a kinship with Davis, but now he truly could empathize. The idea of losing Samantha the way Davis had lost Sadie terrified him. He knew that if something happened to her, he wouldn’t want to go on without her, and death would likely be a welcome relief.
“Not to worry, sir.” Davis sniffled and cleared his throat in an attempt to dispel the sudden onset of emotion. “Will you be having your dinner in your office this evening?”
“No. I’ll come in for it later. I’ve got to speak with Richard and Brendan about the man from the other night.” Malcolm turned to go to his office. “Davis?”
“I almost forgot to ask. Did Samantha’s paintings arrive?”
A large grin cracked Davis’s wrinkled face, and he clapped his hands. “Yes, of course. I’m sorry sir. I forgot to tell you. Barkley had them hung throughout the house in the locations that you requested.”
Malcolm smiled and took a deep breath. “Thank you, for everything. You know I don’t think I’ve ever said that to you before.”
“No worries, sir. You are more than welcome.” Davis bowed slightly with a smile. Davis was only about five foot ten and looked like he’d been shrinking for the past couple of years. He stood in that kitchen with a sauce-stained apron over a crisp white shirt, his signature bow tie and pressed pants, and still managed to look like the most regal gentleman Malcolm had ever met.
Smiling, Malcolm walked into the living room. Sure enough, set perfectly centered above the large fireplace was Samantha’s painting Woman and the Wolf. He suspected it was something of a self-portrait, although she probably didn’t realize it yet. He closed his eyes and focused on the painting. A slow smile spread across his face as her energy signature slipped over him. He opened his mind and concentrated on finding the other paintings. Each sent out a tentacle of energy that was distinctly Samantha. He sucked a deep breath and took it all in. Her sweet warmth and quiet strength rippled over him like the summer ocean. He felt his own strength increase, and his eyes shifted abruptly.
“Perfect,” he breathed. He knew that when she came into his home, she’d instantly feel at ease. Having her paintings here would give her the emotional equivalent of a blood transfusion.
Malcolm made his way back to his office with the necklace clutched tightly in his hand. In the office, he gently placed the jewelry on top of his desk. He laid it out delicately so that the chain would stay free of tangles and snags. His smile faded as he thought about the man from last night. The confrontation with Roger was nothing compared to what could happen if this Caedo got to her. Malcolm knew deep down that the man watching them at Paddy’s had been Caedo; there could be no other explanation. He’d reeked of hatred, bigotry, and rage. Malcolm hated to admit it, but he needed help. He wanted Samantha’s transition into their world to be as trauma-free as possible. He couldn’t possibly do that and devote his attention to seeking out the Caedo. No. He definitely needed help. His pride would have to take a backseat to her safety.
He stood in the center of the room, closed his eyes, and reached out to Richard and his uncle Brendan at the same time. He focused on creating a mental link with both men and did it with much better speed than he had in a long time.
Richard and Brendan, I need to speak with you both. I am certain that the Caedo have found us once again, and I believe we are being hunted.
Within moments, both Richard and Brendan materialized on either side of him. He immediately turned and embraced his uncle. Anyone could tell that the two men were related, although they looked more like brothers. Brendan was over one hundred years old. As with all Amoveo, the aging process slowed significantly once he’d found his mate. His uncle was also just over six feet tall with chestnut hair, although he kept his longer and tied back in a low ponytail at the base of his neck. The most obvious physical difference between the two men was their eyes. Brendan’s were almost black. He was his mother’s brother and a member of the Kodiak Bear Clan.
It was unknown which clan a child would favor until adolescence. In addition to the challenges of human physical changes, Amoveos also undergo their first shift to their animal form at the onset of puberty. Malcolm knew his father was very proud that his son favored the Eagle Clan and would often give Brendan a hard time about it. Brendan and his mate, Sophia, of the Fox Clan, had twins. His daughter, Mariana, favored the Bear, while her twin, Dante, was of the Fox Clan.
“Hello, Nephew. I see Davis is still feeding you well. Good God, you are a big fellow.” Brendan released Malcolm from a good old bear hug.
“Good to see you, Uncle Brendan. And you as well Richard.” Malcolm turned to shake his friend’s hand. “Thank you both for coming so quickly. Let’s go into the living room.”
Malcolm gestured toward the doorway and allowed the Prince to lead the way.
The three men entered the room, and Brendan stopped short. His gaze was fixed on the painting above the fireplace. “Is that hers?” he asked quietly.
Malcolm puffed up with pride. “Yes.” He smiled and stood next to his uncle and admired his mate’s work. “It’s quite good isn’t it?”
Brendan nodded slowly. “Her father, Lucas Logan, was quite a talented artist as well. Wasn’t he?” He delivered a sideways glance to Malcolm and crossed his arms over his chest. “It’s interesting. Her artistic abilities don’t seem to be diluted at all. It will be interesting to see if her Amoveo talents are as strong or if they’re diluted also.”
“Diluted?” Malcolm’s body tensed, and he eyed his uncle.
“Well, she is a hybrid Malcolm. We’ve never had one before. We don’t know what she’ll be capable of,” Richard interrupted and sat in the large leather chair next to the fireplace.
Malcolm’s eyes narrowed. “I see,” he said quietly. He instantly felt defensive. She was his mate. Hybrid or not, she was Amoveo. He felt some anxiety coming from Richard, but Brendan was a blank slate. Nothing.
Brendan slapped his shoulder and let out a short laugh. “Easy nephew, remember we’re all here for the same reason.”
Malcolm searched Brendan’s face and found the same smiling eyes he’d seen all his life. Some of the tension left his body, and he ran his hand through his hair with some embarrassment. “I know,” he breathed. “Please Uncle, sit down.”
Richard’s sharp eyes stayed fixed on the two men, and he cleared his throat. They seated themselves on the brown leather sofa across from him. “I filled Brendan and the Council in on the earlier issue you had with the dream interloper. As you can imagine, we are all concerned for you and your mate,” Richard said solemnly. His sharp gaze flicked between Brendan and Malcolm. “You are a very unusual coupling. The truth is that your mating could hold the key to our race not only surviving, but thriving in the future. It is in everyone’s best interest that you are protected. Brendan and a few of the others have been researching to see if we can find other humans like Samantha and her mother.”
“What happened last night?” Brendan interrupted.
“As I’m sure Richard delighted in telling you,” he began tensely. “I took Samantha out on a date.” He put his hand up to stifle any comments. “Yes, before you say anything, like a human.”
“I didn’t say a word.” Brendan smiled, his hands up in a position of surrender.
Malcolm shot him a look of warning. “At any rate, we were listening to the music, and I suddenly felt this hatred. It rolled throughout the entire crowd in waves. I saw a man. He was definitely tracking Sam. I reached out to read him, and he blocked me,” Malcolm said with strangled frustration. He quickly waved his hand, and a fire burst to life in the fireplace next to Richard. He needed to put his anger somewhere, and the fireplace was as good a place as any.
“He blocked you?” Richard leaned forward in his chair. “He’s a telepath,” he said with disbelief.
“Apparently,” Malcolm murmured and stared into the fire.
“Well, we have heard rumors that the Caedo have been actively trying to develop certain psychic abilities. I must say the ability to block a telepathic probe is a good one,” Brendan said quietly.
Richard stood and paced restlessly in front of the fire, clearly concerned with this latest development. “Good for them, bad for us.” His apprehension flowed through the room and over both men. Malcolm and Brendan exchanged a look. There wasn’t much that rattled the Prince. “One of our major advantages was being able to ferret out what their plans were by searching their minds. But if they’ve learned to block that, then we really are flying blind.”
Brendan turned his attention to Malcolm. “You’ve got to take her away from here, Malcolm. You should bring her to one of our safe houses. They’ve found you both and will surely make a move on you sooner than later.” He laid a hand on Malcolm’s shoulder and gave it a squeeze.
“Absolutely not,” Malcolm said. His golden eyes glittered with determination. “Her grandmother is everything to her. I can’t possibly take her away now. Besides she still doesn’t know…well…anything, really. I’m just beginning to gain her trust, and I can’t very well take her away from everything she knows.”
Silence hung between the men. Malcolm’s mind wandered to Roger and the way he’d tried to force himself and his very presence on Sam. He would never make her do anything against her will. His gaze flicked back to Brendan. “No,” he said adamantly, “we’ve got to find another option.”
Richard stood still, silently staring into the fire, his hands clasped behind his back. He glanced back over his shoulder at the two warriors behind him. “I agree with Brendan,” he said firmly.
Malcolm’s heart sank. Richard was the leader of their people, an ancient one, and everyone followed his instructions without question. That was how they’d managed to stay safe for so many years.
“However, Malcolm is in very difficult and uncharted waters here. It is not a usual mating situation at all. Samantha is going to have a lot to accept in the coming days, and I agree that moving her now would cause more harm than good.”
Relief and gratitude washed over Malcolm. “Thank you, Richard.”
“My Prince, with all due respect, I disagree,” Brendan added quickly.
Richard held up his right hand and glanced sharply at Brendan, silencing him with a look from his now shifted golden, lion eyes. Richard was the Prince, and his orders were to be followed without question, especially in times of battle. Malcolm was surprised that Brendan would even think of contradicting Richard at a time like this.
Brendan bowed his head. “As you wish,” he said tightly.
Malcolm stood up and nodded with respect to Richard. “My gratitude.”
Richard gave a quick nod and turned to Malcolm’s uncle. “Brendan. I want you to go back and convene the Council immediately. Inform them of the latest news. We will gather three warriors to help protect them. Your son Dante, William of the Falcon Clan, and Steven of the Coyote Clan.” He turned stoically to Malcolm. “These three will be watchful eyes for you. They will guard you and your mate until the mating rite is complete. Once she has full understanding of the situation, you can take her to one of our safe houses until we can find the source of this threat.”
Malcolm nodded his acceptance and thanks.
“Brendan, please do as I ask. I will join you there shortly.”
Brendan accepted the order with a curt nod. He then turned and looked somberly at Malcolm. “Good-bye, Nephew. You know I wish only the best for you.” With that, he uttered the ancient words and vanished into the air.
Malcolm and Richard walked outside to the deck in a shroud of silence.
Richard stood stone still and crossed his arms over his broad chest. He stared out over the seemingly endless ocean before them.
Malcolm could sense the apprehension coming from his mentor. It floated over him with the spray of the salty sea air. “I can feel your concern for us, Richard.” Malcolm stood quietly next to him, his hands behind his back, like a soldier with his commander. “I have to admit, I feel much better knowing that three of our finest warriors will be here to watch my back and watch over my mate. Especially my cousin Dante, he is fiercely protective. I am eternally grateful for all of your help.”
Richard didn’t respond immediately, merely kept watching the moon dance on the water.
Malcolm sensed he was choosing his words with great care.
“I am concerned for you and Samantha on many levels. Your mating is definitely an oddity among our people and one that may be difficult for some to understand. Are you ready for what may follow?”
Malcolm cocked his head and narrowed his eyes questioningly. “I’m not exactly sure what you mean by that.”
“Never mind.” Richard waved it off. “Let’s deal with the threat at hand. I will contact you as soon as we’ve updated the Council. I’m sure your brothers in arms will contact you once they arrive.” He offered a strained smile. “Just remember, these three men aren’t mated yet.”
“That is worrisome given that they are already well into their twenties.” Malcolm furrowed his brow. He, more than anyone, could empathize with their situation because it was exactly where he had been until not too long ago. He shuddered slightly at the memory of the emptiness he’d felt before finding Samantha.
“True, and unfortunately that seems to be a growing problem with our young people,” Richard said absently. Then he turned to Malcolm with a mischievous smile. “The upside is that it makes them even more ferocious warriors.”
Malcolm nodded in agreement and extended his hand to Richard. “I look forward to receiving news of their arrival.” He shook Richard’s hand firmly and solemnly held his gaze. “Thank you, Richard, for everything.”
“Be well, my friend.” Richard vanished into the late summer breeze.
Malcolm turned his attention to Samantha’s window next door. Her light was out, and he knew now was the time. He reached out and touched her mind with his. He could feel her distress, and it was killing him. He would bring her the necklace and open her up to a world she had only dreamed of. He knew that she needed more time, but that was a luxury they didn’t have. He went to the office to get her cross. He prayed silently to himself that she would accept him and the fate that lay before them both.
He’d watched her all day on the deck of her friend’s house. She was so vulnerable just lying there out in the open. He’d had a clear shot and contemplated taking it, but that would’ve been way too easy. Besides that, his partner would’ve been really pissed. The more he watched her, the more he understood the creature’s attraction to her. She was gorgeous with all that golden hair, her full breasts, and womanly rounded hips. Maybe he’d take her and show her what a real man could do before he killed her. She was half animal, but mostly a woman. He knew it was wrong to want her since she was tainted, but no one would have to know.
Her friend was beautiful too, a model. The kind of girl that made fun of guys like Tony and thought they were too good for him. He hated girls like that. They’d made fun of him his whole life. Maybe he’d kill her too, just for fun. The stupid bitch deserved it.
He started to get hard thinking about killing both, and he reached down to stroke himself. His fantasy was interrupted by the shrill of his cell phone. “Yeah,” he barked, failing to hide his annoyance at being interrupted.
“Are you watching her?”
“No, I’m baking a fuckin’ cake. Yes, of course I’m watching her.”
“If I were you, I’d watch the tone you take with me. It may appear that we’re on equal ground. But I assure you it only appears that way,” said the icy cold voice at the other end of the phone.
“Sorry.” Tony felt like a scolded child. “I’ve just been feeling a little frustrated. Y’know. Not being able to take them out and all.”
“You’ll soon get what you want. We are running out of time. Her abilities are beginning to develop so we’ve got to move quickly. If they have a chance to perform the mating ritual, she will be much stronger, and he will be practically unstoppable.”
“Relax! Her eyes shifted, that’s all.”
“No, you moron. That’s not all,” his partner hissed over the line. “She’s begun to communicate with him telepathically, and their connections in the dream realm are getting stronger. You will finish them soon. Wait for my call, and I’ll give you the details. In the meantime—”
“Don’t let the bitch out of my sight. Yeah, yeah I know.” Tony snapped the phone shut. He picked up his binoculars and peered up at her bedroom window. He watched her while she brushed out her wet hair. She was wearing nothing but a bathrobe. As soon as she shut out the light, he would pack it in for the night. His partner had one major advantage that Tony did not, the ability to walk the dream realm. The nights were out of his hands, and that only pissed him off more.