This is a short scene from the prologue of Dawn's Envoy told from Liam's perspective.
She had that frown on her face again. The one that said she was considering a dozen different scenarios and their possible outcomes. As always, it filled him with an almost irresistible urge to smooth those lines away, if only to see how she’d react.
Probably with extreme force, he admitted.
As if sensing his thoughts, her gaze moved to him and the frown became more pronounced. He gave her a wicked smile. That’s right, baby. Show me what you got.
Her frown turned into a scowl. Satisfaction rose at the sight.
Before she could respond, Eric stepped into the room.
Liam went still as he studied the other man. Whatever he wanted was important. He knew how Liam felt about being interrupted during the limited time he’d managed to negotiate out of Aileen.
“We’ll end here for the night,” Liam said.
The scowl faded from Aileen’s face, and she cocked her head as she took note of Eric waiting on the edge of the large room. Her expression turned considering as she correctly interpreted the reason for her dismissal.
Liam waited, wanting to see if she’d ask any of the questions he knew must be bubbling. He might even answer.
She gave a small shimmy of her shoulders as if shaking off her curiosity. It was something he noticed she did often when she was trying to fool herself into keeping her distance from them.
When she looked back at him, her expression was calm with only the faint echo of challenge despite the fatigue he knew had to be pulling at her. “And here I thought vampires were supposed to have stamina for days.”
Ah, there she was. His tigress. Showing her claws even as she swished her tail at the game.
Most wouldn’t dare to challenge the council’s enforcer, someone known as one of the most dangerous vampires in existence. Deadly and powerful. The creature other monsters feared.
Not Aileen though. He still couldn’t decide if that made her stupid or admirable. One thing was clear—she was going to be a force to be reckoned with one day. He had every intention of insuring she lived long enough to achieve that—even if he had to manipulate and trick his way to his goal.
He stepped close and trailed a stolen touch across her shoulder as she bent to put on her shoes. Her skin was slick with sweat from their exertions, and he was gratified at the small shiver. The reaction pacified his predator enough so he could let her walk out the door. A feat that was getting harder and harder as time went by.
He held back, reeling his possessive side in. She wasn’t ready for that. Her exposure to their kind was still limited. She couldn’t know how territorial they were with the people they considered theirs, or how there were times he just wanted to bury himself in her and not come up for breath until a decade had passed.
Obsessive fascination was a trait many vampires possessed. It was part of what made them such great hunters.
Aileen had become his greatest obsession, a fact he fought to keep from her.
“I would be glad to show you just how long my stamina can last,” he said, a seductive smile edged with sly humor taking over his face.
She snorted and gave him a look over her shoulder. He was interested to note the flirtation there, something that had been steadily growing in their exchanges over the past few weeks.
“Maybe one day; in your dreams,” she said with a faint laugh as she walked out of the room.
The exchange pleased his baser self even as his smile died as Eric made his way over to him. “What is it?”
He didn’t bother softening his tone, the words almost brutal in their intensity.
“I found him.”
Liam went still, coming fully alert, every muscle strung taught. He didn’t have to ask who Eric meant. There was only one person.
“Are you sure about this?” Nathan asked, watching as Liam finished packing. “I don’t think she’s going to be understanding if you just disappear on her. Chicks these days never are. At least wait until you can say a proper goodbye.”
“I can’t. We don’t know how old Eric’s intel is. If we wait, we could lose him again.”
And Liam couldn’t chance that. Not after centuries of looking. Already his skin buzzed with the need for action.
They’d never been this close before. He couldn’t let this opportunity pass.
The sun was already up and Aileen was dead to the world. Even the eight hours until the sun set again might be too long.
“Our next session isn’t until Sunday.” Six nights from now. “I’ll be back in plenty of time.”
She wouldn’t even know he was gone.
It wasn’t the first time he’d had to carry out a mission between their sessions—the council didn’t like to be kept waiting—but he always made sure to be back in time. Torturing and teasing her in their weekly meetings had become one of his favorite past times.
“I don’t like the thought of you going without me,” Nathan said, voicing his real objection.
Liam finished and set one hand on his shoulder. “Your talents are best suited here. Thomas will have need of you with me gone.”
Liam planned to be in and out before anyone even knew he was there. To do that he needed to be quick and silent. He was already taking Eric since he needed the man’s contacts. Any more and the chance of discovery increased exponentially.
The sour expression on Nathan’s face thawed just slightly. Seeing it, Liam cupped him on the back of the neck and touched his forehead to Nathan’s. The man had become both friend and a son to replace the one Liam had lost.
His loyalty was unquestionable. He could be trusted to take care of matters during Liam’s absence.
“Try to keep her out of trouble for me,” Liam said, stepping back.
The emotion from before was hidden as Nathan returned to his normal affable self. He rolled his eyes. “No promises. You know how difficult she can get when she thinks people are telling her what to do.”
Liam made a rumble of amusement even as he grabbed his bag. He did know, and he looked forward to doing just that when he got back.