by Dawne Dominique
The woman shuddered and wiped a stray tear across her cheek. He leaned forward, more intrigued than ever. Her naiveté tugged at him, and it was obvious that she wasn’t Satrina’s type in the least. So, why did his ex-wife take her?
“Ryder told me just to sign it.” She sniffled again, and ran a finger under her nose.
Addison squeezed his eyes shut, shook his head, and emitted a disgusted snort. “And if he told you to jump off a mountain, would you do so?” Her stupidity astounded him.
“Now, see here—"
"No!” He pushed aside disappointment and frustration, and tried to relax. Brushing the pad of his thumb down the sharp crease of his trousers, he reined in his emotions. “You signed an agreement to become a surrogate cow to a vampire who will come to you night after night to steal from your veins. You will live in a cage in a dark, musty hole until you learn to serve her, never seeing the light of day until your ultimate veiling, or your death.”
A frightened whimper followed. “Veiling? This can’t be happening.” She crumpled to the couch and buried her head in her arms, sobbing.
Anger swelled as he watched her weep, but it had nothing to do with her. Rather, he’d just sensed another presence approach. He bounded to his feet, sweeping a hand in front of him to slow down time and create a barrier between this woman and his newly arrived guest.
He made it to the sliding balcony doors just in time to halt Satrina’s entrance. “I don’t recall inviting you in.” He bared his canines and swallowed back a fierce growl as he pushed her outside onto the concrete landing.
She glowered back, tossing aside a thin strand of white-blonde hair. Rising on her toes, she leaned close to his ear and whispered, “She’s mine, Addison. Signed, sealed, and delivered. I’d like her back.”
Satrina’s features looked paler tonight, and the dusting of freckles dotting the thin nose stood out more than usual against the alabaster skin. She hadn’t fed yet either, which meant her mood was foul. He certainly didn’t need this on his plate right now.
The vampiress held herself straighter as she always did in his presence. She hated looking up at him, so he pressed closer. Although petite in stature, Satrina demanded immediate attention, which he refused to give even after all the decades between them.
“She made a mistake. Release her, Satrina. You have her boyfriend.”
A corner of carmine-tinted lips lifted into a sneer. “Addison,” she said, tsking her tongue. “You know as well as I do that she’s my property.” Her hand rose to show him the executed Illy’ra before the parchment disappeared into thin air.
Stealing a quick glance over his shoulder, he knew the woman was nothing more than a mere conquest, and Satrina adored being in the winner’s circle. She’d torture the girl while fucking and feeding off her boyfriend in front of her. Damn her macabre games! He knew from personal experience just how cruel this vampire could be.
Something snapped inside him, and he didn’t wait to reason it out. “No, Satrina,” he said calmly. “I believe I’ll keep her myself.” He gathered the darkness to him, and the air between them sizzled as their respective magic tested each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Addison hadn’t fed either, but his resolve at refusing Satrina something she wanted augmented his powers.
Her features hardened like granite. “You wouldn’t dare—”
“If you didn’t have enough sense to imprison her properly, then suffer the loss.” He leaned closer and gave a derisive sneer. “She didn’t know what she was signing. How many is that now, my dear? Perhaps the Elders Creed might be interested in hearing about this little game you have going on.”
“You have no proof!” she retorted before catching herself. A tight-lipped smile returned. “My, you two have become quite cozy in such a short time, haven’t you?” She ran a long, crimson nail down the front of her slinky dress, both reds matching perfectly. In order to accentuate her breasts, she drew a deep breath, though she had no need for oxygen. Enticing pale flesh pushed up and out of the scant garment; nipples puckered hard.
He shook his head in disgust. “Not tonight, Satrina. I have a headache, and better taste.” He turned away and slammed the entire section of the veranda windows closed, the glass rattling in front of her stunned, furious face. Metal blinds clattered down, sequestering her from his sight. He returned to his chair and pondered his impulsiveness. Reckless decisions like this were not his forte. He wanted that wench out of his life for good, so what did he just do? He pushed aside his thirst, wishing he’d gone out hunting earlier.
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