Authors: Kathi S. Barton
Kathi S. Barton
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used factiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locations, organizations, or person, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © by Kathi S. Barton 2012
First Edition World Castle Publishing February 14, 2012
This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please purchase your own copy. Thank you respecting the hard work of this author.
Cover: Karen Fuller
Editor: Brieanna Robertson
Pete Marshall had a headache. She had been trying her best to talk with this man, well, the two of them, for the past two nights. And all she had for her effort was a throb between her eyes and was no closer to closing the deal than she had been before coming to this place. She reached for Dominic, her mate, knowing that he was at home and resting, as it was full light back there, but here in Paris, it was still night. In return, she felt him touch her, then he sent her warmth and took away the pain in her head. She sent him mental pictures of the naughty clothes she had purchased with him in mind just today.
“That isn’t fair, love. You won’t be home for another day and a half. And here I am with a
raging hard-on, aching to be deep inside of you,”
he whispered through their mental link.
“Oh, Dominic, I miss you. I want you as well. Can’t you come here by using that mind
thingy like Tucker does? Just pop in my room and fuck me senseless?”
She shifted in her seat.
Damn she hated being away from him for so long.
“If that were possible, I’d be there now, but I can’t materialize like that. Can’t you cut your
meeting short and leave tonight?”
He knew that she was there on business and that it was pack business. She worked as a security consultant for the largest pack in the United States with branches of businesses all over the world. Dominic was a bodyguard for Aaron and Colin, masters of their own realms, and they had asked that he stay and help out as they had to settle some major issues that had cropped up over the past few days. Otherwise, he’d be with her.
Dominic Marshall was a fair and honest man, taking his cue and all the help he could get from his best friend and master, Aaron MacManus. When Aaron and Colin had challenged and won a duel to the death to take over their respective realms, they inherited a mess, starving vampires without means to support themselves, internal problems within the ranks, and a stack of paperwork that would overwhelm any human, but this was multiplied by hundreds of years of neglect. There was money in the coffers, more than enough for them. It was just a matter of finding out the safest way to go about ensuring the best way to distribute it. Vampires didn’t like change, and distrusted what they did not understand. It made for dangerous situations at times.
Multiply that by all the pain and suffering they’d had to endure and it was little doubt there’d be problems.
“No, but I just might anyway. This man isn’t listening to me, and I don’t think he believes
that Bradley has his best interest at heart.”
Bradley Wolff, alpha leader to the pack she worked for, had asked her to go to France and help to get the security and software updated for the firm they owned, and to help them establish safer business practices. Nothing she said to the man was helping. She almost felt sorry for their translator, as she didn’t speak French and Mr. Franco did not speak English.
“I love you, Pete. Hurry home to me.”
She closed their connection. He was still there in the back of her mind. They could never break their connection as a bounded couple. She was glad for the gentle touch of him, now that she was so far away from him.
Pete felt someone move into her mind seconds before the person spoke. It was a gentle push, one to ask permission rather than invade and search, the mental way of calling on the phone.
“The man, the translator, he is lying to you, to both of you. He’s a danger to you.”
The voice speaking to her was low and urgent. Pete was suddenly afraid.
“How do you know? Where are you?”
She reached out within the room and felt that every person had been blocked from her. “
Are you doing that?”
“Yes. It’s better if you just shut up and listen to me. Like I said, you’re in danger with him.
He is telling the man, the Italian that you’re with, that you are a thief and mean to get into his
data systems and steal from the pack. You are only approaching him to see if he would like a cut
of the funds. You have done this work before and have yet to be caught; he’s telling the other
man. He told him that you are cocky and arrogant and though a beautiful woman, you are still
not to be trusted. I can believe the latter part myself.”
“No, that’s not right, he’s French. I don’t speak French. And I’ve never stolen anything in
my life. I’m…wait! You know what he’s saying? You’re close enough to hear him.”
Pete wanted to look around, but was cautious.
“Because I understand Italian, because that is what they are speaking. I don’t care if you’ve
stolen or not. I’m telling you he plans to follow you back to your hotel and kill you in the name of
the pack, whatever that means. Do you want my help or not? Because I could care less, lady. I
have a job to do and you can be a sad consequence or not. I could care less.”
“Show me who you are? How do I know that you’re not going to do just what you say they
are going to do?”
There was silence from the person, and she looked around the room again. Carefully, so as not to draw attention to herself, or maybe the person who was talking to her.
“Miss Larimore? Are you well? You seem…upset suddenly. Mr. Franco was just asking if you have any more samples of your work. He would like to see them.” Pete looked at the man who spoke. Was he who he said or was the voice telling her the truth? Then she realized what he’d said.
“Oh, I’m so sorry, jet lag and all. Examples? No, I don’t have examples of the security work, but you have the letter from Alpha Wolff. And I’m very good at what I do or Bradley wouldn’t have sent me here to help you. If you’d like, you can call him yourself. But other than that, I don’t know what else I can give you.”
“This is what you should hear from him when he relays your question to Mr. Franco. In
Italian. ‘Amerebbe sapere che i campioni di altro o le dimostrazioni potrebbe mostrarla.’ It
means, ‘She would like to know what other examples or demonstrations she could show you.’
Oh, and that’s in English.”
“I understand English, thank you very much. Has anyone every pointed out how rude you
But she listened to Salvatore closely as he relayed her query. It was almost the same, but not quite
“Amerebbe sapere che la prova di altro che lei ha bisogno di che può rubare il denaro con o senza lei. La potrebbe mostrare niente.”
“That isn’t the same, what did he say to him?”
Pete noticed the slight differences, but not what it meant.
“Now you want my help. And yes, you aren’t the first person to point out my one redeeming
quality. He said, 'She would like to know what other proof you need, that she can steal the money
with or without you. She could show you anything.' Are you willing to believe me now?”
Pete could well imagine what someone might say. But she didn’t have a choice. Not much of one anyway.
“Yes, it seems I have no choice. Oh, don’t get me wrong, you haven’t been all that trust
inspiring, but you seem to talk a good game. Let me see who you are and I’ll do whatever you
want to make these guys pay.”
“I have no intentions of taking your help, nor did I ask for it. I just wanted you to have a
heads up just in case he slips away from me again. He’s a slippery sucker, and moves incredibly
fast. He is using black magic, and he is very good at what he does. He has convinced Mr. Franco
that someone named Bradley Alpha will reward him greatly for your death. And yes, before you
ask, you are not the first this little man has tricked someone else into killing for him, all in the
name of justice. You need to get out, right now. I can’t protect you inside of here. You’re too
strong for me to hold along with everyone else. I want you to get out while you are still able.”
Pete felt the door slam to the other person’s mind seconds later.
Shit. Now what?
She couldn’t reach for Dominic, as he would be crazy with terror for her safety. There were the two guards Bradley had insisted that she bring with her, but without causing a scene, she didn’t know how to warn them that she was in danger. She looked around the room again and didn’t see anyone out of the ordinary.
Shit and double shit.
Then she felt the person again. The touch was a little firmer, with maybe a little anger.
“One of them, the wolves with you, will meet you in the front hall, near the restaurant’s
main door; I just pushed him to move there. He doesn’t know why he’s where he is, but will wait,
so tread carefully with him. I don’t need a scene right now. The larger man, and sheesh, he is
large, is in the bathroom and will be exiting very soon. Tag along with him to the front. He will
look your way and it’s up to you to go or not. Don’t go back to your hotel. They know where it is.
You’ll be safe from there.”
“How can I thank you? I don’t…I would like to meet you in person. Please?”
And the door shut again.
Pete could feel the mental lock the person—because from mental speak, you just couldn’t tell the gender of someone—had slammed against her. She would get no more help from her. For some reason, she felt it was female. She looked up just in time to see Eon, her friend and body guard coming her way. When he looked at her, she motioned him to come to her, and she stood to leave, both men rising with her.
“Tell Mr. Franco that I’ll get back with him in the morning. My head is just killing me and I’m going to go back to the hotel to take a strong sedative and sleep until morning. I appreciate your help, Salvatore. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Over my dead body,
she thought as she hurriedly made her way to the front and out to the car. She hoped that it was just a figure of speech and not truth. Eon and Shawn were close around her.