Good As Dead by C.P. Mandara

Good As Dead by C.P. Mandara

Good As Dead

Dying To Meet You, Book 1

by C.P. Mandara


[ Vampire BDSM Romance, MF ]

Six people want her dead. One vampire is under orders to keep her alive, but he’s hungry…and for much more than blood.

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Chapter One

Approximately Now

The shrill siren of the alarm clock would not go away. No matter how many times he slammed his hand down upon the shut-off button, the sound refused to stop. It was slowly driving him insane. When he finally raised his head out of the comforting confines of his duvet to stare groggily at the offending timepiece, he discovered he hadn’t even set the damn thing. It was his telephone, which was ringing incessantly.

Looking at the neon dials of his watch glowing brightly in the black void that his bedroom had become, Mercer swore. It was only six in the evening. No one that knew him would ever ring before eight, and if this turned out to be an insurance salesman, God help the man on the other end of the line.

Clearing his throat, and swallowing down the taste of vodka that had managed to cling to his tongue even though he had given up drinking at least twelve hours ago, he picked up the receiver.

“Go away.”

“Evening, M. We have an assignment for you.” The voice on the other end of the line appeared completely undaunted by his less than cheery greeting.

“Can’t do it. I’m under the influence and off field duty for the unforeseeable future. The fuckwits at HQ should have told you. I’m grieving.” His voice was a growl of menace and anyone with half a brain cell would have hung up the phone by now, leaving him to his own devices.

“You have to do it. There’s no one else left.” The man on the other end of the phone sighed, obviously not relishing the battle he knew was about to commence.

“I’m not doing it. I’m fucking suicidal, and it’s entirely possible that I’ll get whoever it is that you want me to rescue killed along with myself. Believe me when I say, they’ll stand a better chance at living without my ass in the equation.” He knew how clipped his voice sounded but he didn’t care as he pulled the receiver away from his eardrum in order to slam it back down on the bedside table.

“I doubt it. They’re about to be buried ten feet underground, and then encased in concrete.”

Even though the phone was at least a foot away from his ear by that point, he still heard Henton’s words, and as much as he wished he had turned the phone off before he caught that little gem, it was with a shaking hand that he brought the receiver back up to his ear. Taking a deep breath, he sighed and said, “Who?”

“The Ruben brothers.”

Several expletives were uttered before his dangerously low voice said, “Okay, you have my attention. When is this joyous event supposed to be happening?”

“Approximately now,” came the swift reply.

“Approximately?” he queried, and there was a definite edge of sarcasm in there.

“Okay, it’s happening now.”

Rubbing his bleary eyes, he sighed. “Do you ever have good news to report?”

It was a standing joke, and he saw no reason to let his colleague off the hook this evening.

“And where would be the fun in that?” That was the standard reply too.

Slapping a hand to his forehead, he tried to get with the programme. “How much air do they have?” His analytical brain would need that information to compute a possible rescue attempt. There was no point getting out of bed if he was already doomed to failure.

“A rough estimate? About fifty minutes—tops. But it’s been noted on several occasions that this particular human is a real fighter.”

“Fighter or no, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to punch their way out to get more air. Christ. Couldn’t you have called half an hour ago?”

“You were pissed enough that I called you now. And no, I was calling someone else a half hour ago. Someone who couldn’t do it, which is why I’ve been reduced to calling you. Now get your ass on over there and get them out before they suffocate. They now have forty-nine minutes of air left, by the way.”

“Who wants them dead?”

“Lots of people…which should make things very entertaining for you.”

“How in hell did they manage to annoy so many?”

“Time’s a wasting. We’ll discuss the particulars later.”

“And what do I do with them after they’ve been rescued?”

“If this conversation keeps going, that will be a moot point.” The line went dead.

Mercer stared at the phone with what he was sure was an incredulous expression, his brows raised and his mouth agape. Slowly replacing the handset on his bedside table, he muttered, “Well, I’ll just get out my fucking crystal ball and there’s a negligible chance that it will tell me where on earth I’m supposed to be rescuing her from, right?”

As if his fairy godmother had heard, there was a string of harpsichord notes indicating his cell had received a text message. Already out of bed and jogging towards the shower, he scanned the black and white letters of an address, placed them in the correct geographical co-ordinates and committed them to memory. By the time he hit the shower, he knew he had roughly ten minutes in which to bathe, dress and fuel up with as much black coffee as he could possibly drink while at a steamy ninety degrees in temperature.

Managing all of the above in just under his allotted time, he shoved his Sig Sauer P220 in the waistband of his jeans, which the bulky black sweater he now wore would easily hide, not that it really mattered. The Ruben brothers weren’t going to hang around to lament the death of one of their unfortunate targets because watching concrete set wasn’t one of the most thrilling pastimes known to man.

As an afterthought, he grabbed a four-foot shovel from the shed, and hoped to hell that the cement had not begun to set before he got there.



Forty minutes later, Mercer found himself standing in a freshly ploughed field, which put a decidedly damp outlook on the evening’s festivities. Slamming his shovel down into the soft wet earth with a snarl of disgust, he considered the situation. He’d expected the grave to be immediately visible since the time restraint he’d been given was an exceptionally tight one. Still, that didn’t mean that whomever the Rubens had buried underground was necessarily going to die but right now, he wasn’t giving them a very favourable percentage rate at getting out alive.

His amber eyes narrowed sharply as he came up with a course of action. First, he cleared his head and listened intently to the sounds around him. The whistle of the cold December air hit him first as it moved through the grass, whipping the stems back and forth violently. Dead leaves scuttled around the hedgerows and empty foil wrappers of chocolate bars long ago forgotten crackled around the edges of the ditch behind him. Those particular noises didn’t help him in the least but they did confirm that there were no other humans in the area, so the Ruben brothers were long gone. Thank God. If anyone had been above ground, he would have been able to hear their breathing and sense the dull roar of their heart pumping their veins full of viscous, life-sustaining blood.

Sighing, and knowing there were no other options he began to march in long lines down the length of the field, poking his shovel in at regular four-foot intervals.

“I hope for your sake you haven’t been buried ten-feet down because if that’s the case, you’re a goner,” he muttered to himself. Kicking his boot into the ground in frustration sending a large clot of mud into the air, he swore.

“If you can hear me, you need to shout as loudly as you can because it’s a bit tricky to spot buried coffins at this time of night,” he yelled.

Unsurprisingly, there was no response. His aural senses might be acute enough to hear a pin drop, but the victim’s wouldn’t be. He’d hoped for tears or screaming, but whoever was down there was keeping deathly quiet. Hopefully, they weren’t too dead and had just passed out or he was not going to have a particularly fun evening.

Using his preternatural speed to the best of his abilities, he covered half the field in just over five minutes. Things were not looking good. He hadn’t heard a single sound. No coughs, splutters or whispers, and more importantly, no banging, thumping or clawing your way out of a coffin type sounds. Exerting himself to the limits of his powers, which were considerable, another two minutes passed before his shovel connected with something solid. Please be a coffin, he begged silently. When he lifted the shovel and the end of the spade showed a coating of wet cement upon its edge, he immediately began burrowing into the earth with impressive vigour.

Thick clumps of soil flew about in all directions as he began to reveal the outer edges of a standard-sized casket. Another HQ fuck-up then since coffins had six sides, being widest at the shoulders before they tapered down to the feet. Caskets, on the other hand, were rectangular boxes and pretty much the burial box of choice in this day, and age.

Quickly revealing the sides of the casket, he watched as gloopy cement oozed all over the place. It didn’t stand a chance of setting when the ground was this wet and for that small mercy, he was thankful. Bending down to grip the edges of the lid, he pulled only to meet with fierce resistance. What the hell? Running his hands along the edges of the box, he was amazed to find it featured a heavy-duty stainless steel padlock. Whoever was inside must be frighteningly dangerous if the two heavy-set bouncer brothers couldn’t keep them in order. Pulling the Sig out of his pocket, definitely glad that he’d brought it along, he fired an entire round into the padlock. Hollywood would have the world believe padlocks almost fell off of their own accord once a bullet hit them but unfortunately, this was not the case in the real world. The only sure way to get them off was with a grinder or pair of bolt cutters, neither of which was readily accessible at this time of night—so he had to improvise.

When his ears finally stopped ringing and the shrapnel had dispersed, he examined the lock to find that all of the rivets had popped up. That was kind of handy, as he didn’t have a spare magazine in his pocket in order to reload. Shaking it forcefully from side to side, he still had to use his otherworldly talents in order to bust the lock free. When the thing finally fell apart in his hands, he took a moment to wonder if perhaps it might have been prudent to retain a single bullet in the barrel. He shook his head. If the thing inside the casket were supernatural, the Ruben brothers wouldn’t have been able to deal with it at all and besides, unless he was much mistaken, it was barely conscious.

Easing the lid of the unpleasantly gooey casket open, he detected faint shallow breaths. The occupant was most definitely human. Mercer’s senses had come on full force now that the sounds around him had died down. The human’s pulse was racing and his heart was stuttering and about to shut down from lack of oxygen. The overload of carbon dioxide he’d been breathing had been slowly poisoning his blood.

Flinging the lid wide open and feeling his own heart racing, he placed his arms under the body inside and dragged it free. He needed to get the human out of the confined space and breathing fresh air or all of this would be for nothing. Having estimated the Ruben’s victim had only seconds rather than minutes left, he’d managed to rescue him just in time.

The first thing he noticed was that the human was unusually light as he flung it up into his arms. He’d expected it to be a man, but it looked like he’d have to re-evaluate his assumption. If HQ had told him he was rescuing a woman, he’d have told them no outright, so it was no wonder Henten was cagey about the victim’s sex. Women usually tended to be a pain around his pretty face, and whilst that was sometimes enjoyable and convenient for a couple of hours a night, it tended to get annoying on a long-term basis. He just had to hope he’d be able to get rid of her quickly.

Listening to her heartbeat as the influx of fresh oxygenated air rushed into her lungs, he was pleased to note that her pulse rate was gradually slowing down. Her body, which had been twitching with muscle spasms, would take a little while longer to recover but with any luck, she’d be right as rain within a few minutes. With that thought uppermost in his mind, he decided to get her home quickly because he didn’t want her screaming the place down, which he figured was somewhat inevitable since she’d been buried alive in a dark wooden box. He’d come back later and do a tidy-up session after he had her secured somewhere safe with little means of escape.

Personally, Mercer didn’t care if she ran but he knew someone would insist that he find her again, and that would be a royal pain. If they went down that route, it would involve a whole lot more screaming so moving as fast as he was able, he decided to get acquainted with his new live-in lover. He grinned at the thought since there was no question that they would end up fucking. If she was female, somehow or other, she would end up his bed. It wasn’t ego talking either, thousands of women could attest to the fact. Maybe he’d try his best to stay the hell away from this one. After all, she was obviously trouble with a capital T.

They were home in just over an hour. Lugging a dead weight around had taken its toll on his speed rating and he found himself panting with the exertion. It was as if he’d just gone from a McLaren P1 to a Ford Focus, and his little workout on the field hadn’t helped matters either. Dumping his unwanted houseguest unceremoniously on the sofa, he went to hit the shower—again. Compulsive, obsessive cleanliness was very much a vampire thing.

She had come-to briefly on the ride home, but he’d immediately put her to sleep because explaining why the world was whizzing past her in a blur of motion too fast to see wasn’t going to be a fun conversation. They’d save that shit for later. He considered keeping her permanently unconscious, to avoid all the inevitable rubbish that would ensue, but decided that even he wasn’t that mean. Besides, they’d have to work together to sort out her little problem which meant that at some point, he’d have to talk to her. If she wasn’t particularly entertaining, she could spend most of her time asleep, which would suit him perfectly.

Inside the shower, the water cascaded down upon him with scalding heat, which barely registered because hunger had begun to settle down upon his body, and it was going to be uppermost in his mind until he saw himself sated. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d fed and now that he had a human under his protection, it was time he took care of the problem. A hungry vampire was a dangerous beast.

Sliding a generous helping of shampoo through his dark hair, he threw his head back and soaped himself. He could hear her heartbeat, even under the pounding spray of the shower. Right now, she could be likened to fast food so he needed to get the hell out before he did something he’d regret. He would need to take her blood before he left though, just a mouthful so he could keep tabs on her. That was going to require some willpower because right now he wanted to suck her dry. On the plus side, he was as old as they came and she could be thankful that he had mastered the art of restraint. Even though he was a trained killer and skilled in the arts of death, in more ways than one, she’d be safe in his home. Much more than that, he could not guarantee until he had some facts with which to work. Whether HQ delivered them or whether he peeled them out of her head remained to be seen. The latter option would probably be more entertaining.

Turning the water temperature down to freezing cold in order to wake himself up, he ran his fingers through his hair as the water rinsed the suds clean. When it ran clear, he turned the faucet off and reached for a towel, rubbing himself down quickly. He desperately wanted to hit the vodka again, but that was no longer an option. He’d have to stay compos mentis, or clear of mind, until he managed to get rid of her after which he would then be able to make up for lost time with any luck. Alcohol, and alcohol alone, was the only thing that managed to take the edge off his grief. The ache was now going to be a permanent fixture to his life and it was almost unbearable. Currently, he didn’t have his shit together, and as the powers that be already knew all of that, they’d just have to take what was left of him and hope for the best.

After returning to his bedroom, he dragged on a clean pair of denim jeans and a thick black sweater. He didn’t feel in the mood for colours. Sighing, he rubbed his eyes as he prepared to face the inevitable—one probable harpy of a woman who was about to be sorely pissed at the downward direction her life had just taken. Oh well, he knew it couldn’t be helped. He plastered his trademark smile across his face and prepared himself for a whole bunch of ear-splitting histrionics. Vampiric hearing was not always an asset.

As he entered his lounge, he flicked the light switch just beside the oak panelled door. He might be able to see in the dark but the chances were she couldn’t, and what with the having been buried thing and all, he didn’t want any more theatrics than were absolutely necessary. Striding into the room, his bare feet hardly making a sound upon the polished wooden floor, he decided to examine his charge before she started shouting and waving her arms about.

Leaning his upper body over the couch and peering down, he hoped she wasn’t going to be attractive. It was going to make his life a whole lot more difficult if she was easy on the eyes, and he didn’t relish the thought of yet another challenge.

Starting at her feet, he noted she wore sensible flat pumps that once upon a time had been black, but were now a watery brown in colour. They’d obviously made her walk to the casket. Ouch. His eyes continued upwards taking in a set of long, shapely legs gloved in jeans so tight she’d need to peel them off to remove them, also covered in their fair share of mud. The tiniest sliver of bare flesh appeared, displaying a flat stomach with soft rounded curves before a dark black shirt came into view. The shirt had entirely too many buttons and unfortunately, all fastened tight. Spoilsport. For all the coverage, anyone would have thought it was a chilly December day outside.

Progressing upwards, he found a set of soft full lips that were much paler than they should have been and a pretty, straight-edged little nose. She had masses of long blonde, shiny hair, which splayed everywhere, framing her face in a bright halo. Finally, his gaze settled on a pair of striking blue eyes that were wide-open and staring back at him.

“Seen enough have we?”

The shock of her words sent him tumbling backwards. Falling over with a thud, he stared at her amazed disbelief.

“You were unconscious,” he whispered even as his mind was whirling. How on earth had she managed to wake herself from his trance? It should have been virtually impossible for any human to break it.

“And you regularly ogle sleeping ladies?”

The beautiful royal blue eyes that he had admired only seconds ago were not looking very friendly now.

He frowned. “Now hang on. I have just spent my evening in a very large, very muddy field searching for a ridiculously small box, which I then had to dig out by hand. Next, I had to lug you…”

His mouth snapped shut, halting his rant. She’d begun screaming and there wasn’t much point in continuing the conversation. Slowly counting to twenty in his head, he let her get rid of the worst of it, even though his ears were ringing with pain. When her time was up, he got on his feet, squatted down to her level and secured her eyes with his.

“Stop.” The command was no more than a whisper. His lips barely moved. They didn’t need to because eye contact alone should have done the job, but something was wrong. The screaming continued.

Annoyed, he slapped his hands against his thighs and wondered if someone had tossed him into an alternate universe just for laughs. Oh well, there was more than one-way to deal with problems such as these. Placing a hand around the delicate skin of her neck, he gently squeezed her Adam’s apple and got his face up close and personal with hers.

“Stop it.” This time he spoke with a good deal more volume, and he made sure the look in his eye was menacing as he tightened his grip around her neck. As soon as he put pressure against her windpipe, she quietened down quick enough. After a few hiccupping breaths, she squirmed herself backwards on the sofa, and pushed his hand away.

“You have such wonderful diplomacy skills, Mr. Sadistic-axe murdering-crazy-psychotic-sociopath-son of a bitch. Have you considered a career in counselling?” She grabbed her neck and rubbed at it with her fingertips. The action was strangely sexy. Throwing him a furious look, she coughed and spluttered as she recovered the use of her larynx.

His eyes were everywhere at once. He watched the pulse flicker in her neck, the dart of her tongue as it moistened her lips, and the slow blink of her long black feathery eyelashes. Her eyes were the clearest blue. They held his with the kind of chemistry someone was lucky enough to see once or twice in a lifetime…if that someone was a human, of course. The kind of chemistry he’d seen more than his fair share of and was more than happy to avoid. It was like a static charge, which seemed to appear out of nowhere. He stumbled backwards for the second time that evening and swore.

“Sadistic, yes…crazy, most certainly, but an axe murderer? Not yet but if you keep looking at me like you want to eat me alive, I might decide to invest in one.” He’d said it to goad her, because he wanted to know if she felt it too.

Her eyes widened. Her mouth formed a perfect, shocked little O and then fury replaced surprise as she spluttered. “Is arrogance another of your charming traits? They seem to be adding up at an alarming rate. As to eating you alive, I’d rather eat snails. Who the hell are you anyway? And where am I?”

She glared at him, waiting for an answer. He simply grinned at her and received a frown in response. Therefore, she felt the attraction too. Damn. This was exactly what he didn’t want happening. Getting to his feet, he scooped her up in his arms and was rewarded with yet more screaming.

Pinning her with a dark look, he snarled. “For God’s sake, stop with the caterwauling. I have very delicate hearing and it feels like you’re trying to rupture my eardrums. I’m going to put you to bed where hopefully, you’ll stay out of trouble, at least for the rest of this evening. I don’t think you need any more enemies right now, do you?”

She struggled in his arms at first, kicking, biting, and scratching until he tossed her over his shoulder and placed an arm over her backside.

“Another move from you and I’ll spank that backside until it’s blistered, darling.”

Another scream ensued, followed by an enraged, “You wouldn’t dare. And I’m not your darling.”

Not missing a beat, his feet flying up the stairs to the bedroom, he barked, “Feel free to test that theory, Lainey.”

He heard her gasp of surprise that he knew her name, confirming it to him since it was the only name he’d pulled from her mind. Gripping one of her ass cheeks, he squeezed it tightly, to let her know he was deadly serious about his earlier threat. The good news was the struggling stopped instantly. The bad news was that tears replaced it. Floods of the things, until she choked so much she could barely breathe.

Kicking the door to the guest bedroom open, he held her while rocking her gently until the worst of the tremors that shook her body subsided. A nagging sliver of guilt had started to worm its way inside him. He needed to go easy on her. She’d had a rough day. Chances were that things were shortly going to get a lot worse before they got better however, so the little chit needed to toughen up. To be fair to the girl, she didn’t waste too much time on tears. A few minutes later, there were a few more sniffs and snuffles, but then she stiffened in his arms.

He released his tight hold on her and laid her out flat on the bed. Keeping his voice devoid of any sympathy or pity, he looked down at her and said, “All cried out?”

There was a long pause before she finally answered. “I guess that depends on what you’re going to do to me. What do you want?” Her voice was a whisper of a sound. His eardrums were thankful.

“To get you out of my life as quickly as possible but as that seems unlikely, I’ll settle for your co-operation as I try to get you out of the Grand Canyon sized hole you seem to have found yourself in. How can one little slip of a girl be wanted dead by so many people?” He gave her an enquiring look but it seemed the art of conversation was lost, at least for this evening in any case. Raising an eyebrow at her lack of communication, he then shook his head. “You’re going to have to talk to me sooner or later, darling. If you don’t, we’re really going to be up against the odds.” Lying down beside her, he rested his head on the chintz-patterned quilt as he studied her expression.

“I want to go to sleep,” she whimpered, backing away from him.

“You need to relax before you stand a chance of accomplishing that feat.”

“Exactly,” she bit back, “so get the hell out of here.”

He snorted. This might have been the first time ever a female had ejected him from a bedroom. He found it wasn’t a particularly pleasing experience.

“Roll over.”

“I’m not having sex with you.”

“I think I’d know if you were.”

There was an outraged pause. “You’re not funny. I mean it. Other women may fall at your feet but I don’t find you remotely attractive, so don’t bother with the bedroom technique. You’ll be wasting your time. If that’s what you want from me, you might as well kill me now.”

A ghost of a smile played across his lips. “So melodramatic, princess, relax…everyone else may want to kill you, but I have the unfortunate task of trying to keep you alive. So let me make this clear. I do not want to have sex with you. I have no designs on your body. I do not need another unwanted houseguest in my life. If you play nicely, I’ll play nicely. Do we understand each other?”

There was anger in her eyes, but she managed to acknowledge his question with a stiff nod of her head.

“Now roll over.”

“I thought you just said…”

“And I meant it. My body heat will help warm you up and if we spoon, my heart rate will help slow yours down.”

“Well, that’s one I haven’t heard before, vampire.”

He stiffened and his mouth opened in shock. “How on earth do you…?”

“I know a vampire when I see one and you tick all the boxes. Attractive…mesmerising…bossy…arrogant…annoying…”

Forcefully rolling her over, he brought the flat of his hand up to her chin and snapped her jaw shut. “Shut up and go to sleep.”

If necessary, they could discuss the finer points of the paranormal world tomorrow.

Feeling her mouth try to pry itself open to offer up yet another reprisal, he decided she’d be better off unconscious. Having had quite enough exertion for this evening, he didn’t want her awake for the bite he needed to render. He didn’t care what she thought she knew, he knew a bite from him was going to be memorable, too memorable so if he were able to commit the sensations to dreamland, so much the better. He pushed into her mind to complete the deed.

“I know you’re trying to make me sleep. I’ll fight your control every step of the way, vamp.” Her voice was softer now, and she slurred a little but the woman was still wide-awake.

He growled. The human was insufferable and he felt his fingers flex as his fangs elongated in his mouth. Well, wasn’t this just marvellous. They found each other attractive. Perhaps he should just kill her now and not worry about the repercussions. He might even get away with the crime unscathed, considering he’d already been labelled as mentally unstable. It was a thought.

He pushed harder. It took a lot more energy than it should have but finally, he saw her eyelids droop. She could fight him up to a point, but he was still the master in this household, which she would learn sooner rather than later.

Smiling when he heard the first of her soft snores, he whispered, “Oh, and for the record, I’ve never met a girl that didn’t want to fuck me. You’re not going to be the first either.” If she could have seen his smug grin, she’d have known his certainty in the matter.

Giving her a few minutes, he waited until her breathing had taken on a slow and relaxed resonance. In her case, it was best to make sure she was in a deep sleep before he pounced. He did not want to risk her stirring, because waking up in the middle of an orgasm was a damn difficult thing to explain. He waited another couple of minutes just to be on the safe side, and then he took the plunge.

The buttons at the top of her shirt almost melted beneath his fingertips. He popped the first three, and then gently eased her collar down. She shifted slightly but her eyelids didn’t flutter, so there was little chance of her waking. Besides, the room was pitch black and it was nearing midnight. All good girls should be in bed and asleep by midnight.

Inhaling her scent, cinnamon and orange flooded his senses. Most likely, a perfume she had long ago applied but something expensive, for it had clung tenaciously to her skin. It suited her. Sassy and bright, it was invigorating and intoxicating. There was just enough to tease him. Taking another sweet lungful, he smiled before pushing the mane of her long blonde hair to the side. Unfortunately, he had things to do, caskets to bury. Casting his acute, vampire eyes down upon her neck, he admired the long sleek line of her shoulders before moving his gaze up to settle on her external jugular vein. Then he nearly had a heart attack. There, brazenly displayed upon her neck, was another bite and not just any bite. It was a master vampire bite. When a vampire had been alive as long as he had, he learned to spot these things. The canines were a little bigger and the bite was much deeper. The vampire that had bitten her had left a mark, which looked like he had tried to rip her neck off in the process. It was a vicious marking and done in anger. She was lucky to be was alive. It was the kind of bite death usually followed. Shit. That was why his influence wasn’t working properly on her. Another vampire carried her blood in his system, and he was vying for control.

Swearing viciously, he knew they only had a couple of days to take out a Master vampire, or else certain death would follow. That vampire would be following her every move, hearing each thought that flitted through her head, and trying to pin down her whereabouts. As of now, he was the biggest threat she faced, without question. Cursing again for good measure, he pulled his cell out of his pocket, pressed speed dial, and waited for HQ to pick up.

“Did you get her out alive?”

There was no space for idle chatter when Lucius was manning the desk.

“Yes, but we have a problem. She’s been bitten by an oldie.”

“You’ll need to exterminate him. Quickly.”

“Thanks for stating the bloody obvious, Lucius. The only trouble is that it’s a little difficult killing people who can’t be killed.”

“They can all be killed. You just have to find their weakness.”

“Hmm…well, while I deal with that problem, you need to send an operative to the address you gave me so they can tidy up the crime scene before it gets light.”

“Will do. Have an enjoyable evening, M.”

“Yeah…having a ball so far, thanks.” The line went dead.

Having dealt with that, he now had to sink his fangs into her tainted bloodstream. There was nothing else for it. He would need to keep track of her in case something happened. Steeling his stomach, he bent his head down and ran his tongue over the twin points of his canines, preparing himself for the taste of bile.

There was a very good chance this woman was just about to lead him to his death. The trouble was that suited him just fine.

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