Home > Don't Rush Me (Nora Jacobs #1)(7)

Don't Rush Me (Nora Jacobs #1)(7)
Author: Jackie May

The man lifts her chin, forcing her to meet his eyes. “And?”

“I’m glad that my presence here pleases you,” she whispers. “It’s an honor to be claimed by you.”

Heat sears from the man’s eyes, making both the woman and me shiver. The man strokes the woman’s arm, and she sucks in a breath, finding a moment of confidence. “Sire…” She opens the top button of her blouse and pulls back her collar, exposing her neck and shoulder. “If you are in need, I am yours.”

The man stiffens, causing my focus to fall to his stomach once again, and to all of the perfectly sculpted muscles there. He brushes his hand along her smooth skin and then buries his fingers in her hair. As he pulls her to him and places a soft kiss to the crook of her neck, he says, “It’s not blood I am in need of right now.”

His mouth falls to her collarbone and dips lower, exploring the skin exposed by her open blouse. She shudders. “I’m yours however you want me, Sire.”

He lifts his gaze, meets hers for a moment, contemplating, and then in a move so fast that he blurs, he rips off her blouse, spins her around, and slams her against the bedpost.

I try to escape the following show, but the stronger the vision, the more impossible it is to pull myself out. I’m forced to stand witness, and I can’t help the physical feelings that stir in me. It’s impossible to deny the appeal of this man—the grace and stamina he displays. There’s no question he will leave his partner in want of nothing.

As the woman reaches her climax, her lover finally allows himself to follow her, and in the exact moment of his release, he leans forward and sinks his teeth into the woman’s neck. Two screams shatter the air—the woman’s cry of ecstasy and my shriek of utter horror.

The scream rips from my lungs and finally pulls me from the vision. Alone in the lavish room once more, I release the bedpost and stumble back. I barely have time to let my eyes adjust before the bedroom door is thrown open and the man from my vision bursts through it, Parker following closely. “Nora?” Parker asks. “Are you all right? What happened?”

His panic lessens as his eyes sweep the room and find no danger present. My panic, however, increases a hundred times. I’m stuck in a room with two vampires, and I’m certain that one of them is the clan leader.

Parker steps toward me, but the man from my vision thrusts his arm out, blocking Parker’s path. “She seems fine, Parker.” The warmth that was in his voice in the vision is gone. He doesn’t look or sound angry, but his words to Parker feel like a warning. “Close the door.”

I flinch at the soft click the door makes when Parker shuts it, closing me in with them.

The man from my vision smiles at me. “Hello, Nora.” He says my name as if testing out the feel of it on his lips. “That’s a very beautiful name, love, for a very beautiful woman. I am Henry, and I’m very pleased to meet you.”

I give no reply. My heart is pounding so hard in my chest it’s painful. My eyes bounce back and forth between Henry and Parker. Parker is now standing by the door, acting as sentry and keeping me from running—as if I could run from these guys.

When Henry crosses the room to me, I dash away from him, placing myself behind one of the couches in the retreat area. It’s hardly a protective barrier, but I have no other options at the moment. My voice shakes as I say, “Stay away from me.”

Annoyance streaks across Henry’s face, but he stops coming toward me. “Have I hurt you? Touched you? Disrespected you in any way?”

He hadn’t. Not yet. But he would. It’s what his kind does. “How long was I out?”

“A good nineteen to twenty hours,” Parker mumbles.

“A day?” Parker winces at my screech. “I’ve been gone a whole day?” Damn it. I’ll be lucky if I still have a job when I get home. “Where are my shoes? I have to go.”

Henry’s voice stops me from looking around the room. “I’m afraid we can’t let you go yet, Nora.”

I freeze. In my panic about work, I’d momentarily forgotten who and what Henry is, and how I got here. “Why are you holding me hostage?”

Henry walks toward me again, and my stomach leaps into my chest. I glance at the window behind me. There’s a thick dark curtain blocking out all the light, so I have no idea if I could use it to escape. Even if I tried, Henry would catch me. Still, my brain can’t stop trying to come up with a solution.

“We have a bit of a situation,” Henry says.

I nod quickly, remembering last night’s conversation with Parker outside the club. “Yeah, your missing vampire. I’m sorry for you, but I really don’t know anything about it.”

“I do hope for your sake that’s true.”

He smiles as if we’re having a cordial conversation, while shivers race down my spine at the threat. He’s being pleasant, and using the manners and grace of a gentleman, but he can’t mask his underlying aura of danger. This man can and will kill me if he wants to.

My face pales, and my voice escapes me. I can only whisper as I shake my head. “I swear. I don’t have the answers you want.” My eyes flick quickly to Parker. “How many times can I say that?”

Henry comes to a stop at the end of the couch. He’s maybe four feet from me now. My pulse spikes even higher, and Henry pauses, cocking his head to the side as if he can feel it. Or hear it. “I believe you may be genuine,” he says, as if he’s surprised by his own faith in me. “However, I need to know for certain, and there are other things that don’t add up.” His eyes narrow. “Parker seems sure that you are hiding something, even if it’s not information about Nadine.”

I glare at Parker. He stares right back. “How do you know about the underworld?” he asks. “I swear you read my mind last night.”

The spike in my pulse confirms his suspicion. Henry nods as he files away that truth and takes a step closer to me. He rests his hand on the back of the couch and smiles again. The grin is slightly more predatory now. “How do you have such an extraordinary gift? And how is such a frail little thing like you involved in the underworld?”

He uses that same calm voice from his vision, as if he’s attempting to seduce me. His eyes are penetrating as well. I’m afraid he’s going to try to compel me. I drop my gaze to my feet and shake my head. “Believe me, I wish I wasn’t.”

In the blink of an eye, he comes around the couch and gently lifts his hand to my face. I flinch away from his touch, but his skin comes into contact with mine anyway. “I am not a monster,” he whispers, stroking my cheek with the back of his hand. “But I do need to know what you know of our world. I need to know how you’re involved with my missing vampire. I need to know what you’re hiding from me. If you will cooperate and try not to fear me, then I shall try to control my needs and desires.” His eyes rake over my body, and he swallows. “Though you tempt me so greatly.”

I don’t trust him, but hope explodes within me anyway. “Cooperate with you how? I already told you I don’t know about your vampire. What else do you want from me?”

He crowds my personal space again. I begin to tremble as fear twists my stomach into tight knots. I yelp when he suddenly grips my head in his hands. “I just need the truth, but I’m afraid I can’t trust your words. I will have to use my gift.”

Fear keeps my voice a whisper. “Your gift?”

“Don’t be afraid, Nora. If you don’t fight me, I won’t hurt you. I’m simply going to take a look at your memories. Memories cannot lie.”

He intends to sift through my memory? I’ve heard rumors of stronger vampires who could do amazing things with their compulsion powers. Clan leaders—masters—usually have extraordinary gifts that set them apart from other vampires. Make them stronger. I’d always hoped those stories weren’t true. But they are true. I can feel it in his thoughts and intentions.

Henry is going to get in my head and look at my memories. He’s very excited to do it. He’s curious about me—a human with the power to read minds who walks among his world.

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