To Jill, Beth and Lacey for the unwavering support.
She should have kicked his ass after she’d kissed him—tall, dark and undead, wearing ancient leather with a matching attitude. Dina should have guessed he was a vampire three months ago instead of being sucked in by those dark, smoldering green eyes that looked like they could pin her to the wall and leave her shuddering.
He hadn’t smelled like blood then, and she’d needed to wipe away a horrid evening. That night had been the first and last time that she’d agreed to be set up. She’d slammed her fist into her date’s arrogant snout the second time Roguell had said she should be having babies—no doubt with him—instead of out hunting vampires.
So she’d made out with one instead—a perfect way to end a hellish evening. And here she was dejaing this vu while a blonde armed with a sloppy smile draped herself over the same guy. Even in the dim lights of the bar, Dina could track them easily though the hip Thursday crowd.
Because it wasn’t party night, the music didn’t scream and bang with drums and vocals. Instead, the trio on the small raised stage plucked out cool blues. Tomorrow, the tables would be cleared to cram in girls sporting barely-there skirts and knockoff perfume. They would dance on the black shine of the bar secure in their own invincibility and youth. Just like the grinning blonde who leaned closer to the vampire Dina was hunting.
Brooding and handsome—another reason Dina had lost her mind that night. His type always appealed to her—the square hero’s jaw, wavy brown hair that glinted a bit in the light, the long lean body under the soft leather of his jacket.
He’d kissed like a wet dream.
He was a damned vampire, which was why she had spent the last few months haunting Santa Barbara bars until she found him again. As soon as he showed a bit of fang, she’d have enough justification to kill him and clear her conscience.
A bloodwolf making out with a vamp. If she’d heard that about someone else, she would have died laughing.
She glanced again in his direction. The bastard took his time and she couldn’t dust a vamp until she was dead sure he was about to get really nasty. A stupid rule as far as Dina was concerned. A vamp was a vamp if you asked her, but since she wasn’t the alpha, no one bothered.
Watching the blonde slather herself against him, Dina wondered how drunk you had to be to wear a tube top in November and feel sexy. The man candy probably helped—though he didn’t look particularly interested in what Barbie packed under spray-painted red.
Dina didn’t care of course, but his lack of interest seriously delayed her plans to dust him. It wasn’t quite the special effects they showed on Buffy—in real life, her kind left dead vampires to the sun. No muss no fuss, and one hell of a skin condition. Dina just hoped to get it over quickly, and with it end the dreams of hot and greedy sex.
Damned embarrassing she hadn’t realized exactly what he was. She moved deeper into the shadow of her booth, rubbing her thumbs over a sweaty glass of something pink and vile. At least the kick-in-the-pants smell kept back the stench of human sweat and hormones. She took another sniff of her drink and could almost feel her lupine senses weeping.
Against her will, she thought back to how he’d kept on kissing her even after he’d combed his fingers through her hair and bared her tapered ears to his touch. He’d known exactly what she was, and hadn’t cared. Or maybe that had been the point—kiss a damned Lyck before you fight her. Show you’ve got balls.
She allowed herself one small pitying groan while embarrassment flushed over her again, thick reedy waves of it. She’d finish him tonight and end the evidence of her own idiocy.
Her hands tightened over the glass when Barbie thrust out her breasts and flipped back all that fake sun-colored hair to show off the fragile column of neck. Watching it, Dina thought of letting the vampire have one good bite before the rescue party. Give Barbie something to take home.
Except the vampire pulled back, held her at arm’s length while she tried to slither closer.
“Come on, baby.” Slurred crooning vocals of a happy drunk. “I know you wanna.” For added emphasis, Barbie slicked red-tipped hands over her neck. “I know you want a taste.”