Authors: Marianne Morea
Tags: #werewolf, #werewolf and vampire, #werewolf family, #werewolf paranormal romance, #werewolf romance vampire romance paranormal romance thriller urban fantasy, #werewolf romance werewolves and shifters, #werewolf and vampire romance, #cursed by blood series, #urban fantasy suspense, #werewolf saga
Where to?” she
It’s almost four p.m. and
neither of us has eaten. Let’s grab a sandwich. I know a good bagel
place not too far from here. We can talk while we eat.”
Lily shook her head. “I appreciate the
offer, but after this, food is the last thing on my
Okay, then we can head
back toward One Police Plaza. Your car is there, right? We can talk
Lily frowned. “No offense, but with
what I have to say, being anywhere near your office is not exactly
a bright idea. Listen, it’s late, and I’m drained. Why don’t you
drive me home and we can talk at my place? I’ll have a friend pick
up my car.”
He didn’t answer. His eyes were
riveted as Lily rolled her shoulders, her full breasts pushing
forward through the front opening of her coat. The move was
harmless, especially after what she’d just been through, but it
left his groin thickening and he forced himself to look
Shall we?” she asked, her
hand on the passenger car door.
Martinez nodded. “Sounds good.” He
cleared his throat and slid into the driver’s seat, covering the
telltale bulge in his pants with his jacket. “Where to?” he
He put the car in gear and pulled out
onto the street. Neither one said a word. It was like they were
both lost in thought, only he would bet her thoughts occupied the
mystery surrounding the crime scene. His were occupied with her.
She smelled unbelievable, even despite
her puking her guts up. Every move—from the way she pushed her hair
back from her face, the tilt of her head, the sway of her hips as
she walked around the crime scene, even when she snarled at him,
all he wanted to do was throw her on the ground and fuck
Keep your head in the
Problem was, she was in the
game with him, and that made it even more intoxicating. She was a
bitch and a fighter, and yet he had seen her face cloud over with
compassion more than once today. As hard as she was, she was still
a soft touch.
He groaned inwardly at the thought of how she would feel
beneath him, what her mouth would taste like, the softness of her
skin and the sharp edges of her nails across his back.
Ryan reached into his pocket and
pulled out his cell phone. At a red light, he scrolled through and
pressed Shaw’s number. It went straight to voicemail. “Sergeant,
it’s Martinez. I’ve just left the scene with Ms. Saburi. I’m not
really sure what Ms. Saburi found, if anything yet, but I’ll be at
headquarters later to fill you in, if I can at that point.” He
pressed end, and put the phone down in the front cup
I wish you had told me you
were going to call him,” Lily said with a frown.
Why? He’s my superior. I
need to check in with him, or did you forget this is a police
investigation?” Ryan ran a hand though his hair, feeling himself
I already KNOW this is a
police gig, detective. That’s the third time today you’ve felt it
necessary to remind me of it, and it’s seriously getting on my
nerves, so quit it! You are not the only professional here. I
merely wanted the opportunity to tell
what I saw before I have to tell
everyone else. I already warned you.”
Warned me? About what,
huh? What is it exactly that you think I can’t handle?”
Lily didn’t answer. She stared out the
window, her arms folded in front of her chest.
Now you clam up?
woman, a homicide
investigation is no place for head games. If you’ve uncovered
pertinent information, I need to know.”
Listen good, because if you or anyone down at police plaza think
you stand a chance at solving this after what I saw, you’re nuts.
This goes way beyond any nightmare you could ever dream up. It’s
going to take a collective effort, and I’m going to need to call in
reinforcements of my own.”
He looked at her, his face
incredulous. “Reinforcements? You’re joking, right? Do you know
what Phillips had to go through to get the commissioner to allow
YOU on the case? What? You have some kind of ESP army at your
Lily just looked at him, her lips
pressed together. “You know, at some point during all this, you are
going to thank me. And I’m going to take extreme pleasure in saying
I told you so.”
Yeah, right. Let’s just
hear what you have to say, first. Okay?”
Whatever you say,
Pull over anywhere you can
find a spot. I’m in the red brick building over there,” Lily said,
pointing across the street.
Her car wasn’t back, so Jack was still
out playing tourist. He didn’t sound too happy when she had said
she wouldn’t be home until after five p.m., but he did offer to
pick up a pizza, so he couldn’t be that pissed at her. Besides, she
was working, so too bad.
Ryan hadn’t wiped the scowl off his
face since they had argued. Crosstown traffic didn’t help the
situation either, doubling the time it took to reach her apartment.
He was annoyed, and Lily had to stifle the urge to sneak a peek
into his thoughts as to why.
She’d caught him looking at her
cleavage a few times, and wondered if it was just him being a
typical guy, or if it had something to do with her Were blood and
the proximity of the full moon. Ryan was human, but that didn’t
mean a thing. Hadn’t the word lunatic derived from the supposed
effect the full moon had on human behavior? On the other hand,
maybe he was just like any other red-blooded American male when it
came to big boobs.
Regardless, they were here now, and
she no longer had a choice. It was curtain time.
I’m on the top floor,” she
said, unlocking the vestibule door. “It’s a walk-up.
He shrugged. “No problem. I’m not
exactly a donut shop cop.”
His eyes may have wandered
south to her cleavage, but his long, muscular legs and hard
six-pack hadn’t escaped her notice when he steadied her, earlier.
What had Jack said? Fine full moon fun?
Ryan followed behind as they climbed
the stairs. Creaking floorboards and Spanish music playing softly
in the background were the only sounds cutting the awkward
Lily glanced back over her shoulder.
“You said you were hungry. I’ve got fresh cold cuts and rolls from
the deli across the street.”
I’m not really hungry
anymore, thanks,” he said, his voice clipped.
Lily had to bite her tongue. If he was
this irascible now, how the hell was he going to hear what she had
to tell him?
They got to the top level, and Lily
unlocked the door. “Come on in, I’ll just be a second,” she said,
and went ahead to snap on a few lights. She took off her coat and
hung it on a hook by the front door, doing the same with his.
Standing in the hallway, she shoved her hands in her pockets,
rocking back slightly on her heels. “So, you said you weren’t
hungry anymore, is that true, or are you just trying to be polite
He shook his head. “Whatever. I just
want to get down to it.”
Lily regarded him for a moment. He was
clearly uncomfortable, and his body language screamed, “Let’s get
this over with.”
Okay…I’ll make some
coffee, and we can get to it.”
Ryan sat at the table, while Lily went
about filling the coffee pot and setting it to brew. The minute it
started to drip, she grabbed two mugs from the decorative hooks
above the sink and set them on the counter, along with some milk
and sugar. From the drawer to the right of the stove, she took two
teaspoons and laid them on a couple of paper napkins. She pushed
the drawer closed with her hip, and turned, leaning back against
the Formica, her arms crossed in front of her chest.
Ryan hadn’t budged or said a word the
entire time, but now he sat back and sniffed. “So, what’s so bad
that you’re still procrastinating? If I didn’t know you to be a top
profiler, I would think you were hedging to keep your
Lily unfolded her arms,
resting her hands on either side of her. Her fingers curled around
the right angles of the countertop. “I’m not hedging. I just don’t
know how to tell you what I need to tell you. What I saw—what
He leaned further back in his chair,
his elbows on the armrests and his fingers clasped together in
front of him. “Like Nike says, ‘Just do it’.”
Huh?” His brows knit
together, clearly not quite processing what she’d just
The perp. It’s a vampire,
and no, I don’t mean a sanguinarian or some freak with dental
implants or filed teeth. A real life, honest to God,
Ryan leaned forward and exhaled.
“Okay, I get that I’ve been acting like a prick. You made your
point. Ha, ha. Now why don’t you tell me what you really
Lily just looked at him.
Realization dawned, and the
detective’s eyes widened, his skepticism screaming,
Yeah right, and the deed to the Brooklyn Bridge
is in your pocket, too.
He pushed himself
to standing, and took a step forward, his mouth open and his
expression unconvinced. “You’re serious, aren’t you?”
Lily still just looked at
No. No way. How the hell
am I supposed to go back to Shaw and report that a bloodsucking
fiend, straight out of a Hollywood horror flick, is responsible for
all the latest death and destruction? A
? Come on, Lily…you yourself
said there were variables that could skew what you ‘see’. I think
maybe you think a vampire is responsible for this, but I think
you’ve seen the
one too many times.”
Lily stiffened, tightening her grip on
the edge of the counter. “This is no romance novel, Ryan. And there
wasn’t one thing remotely Young Adult about what I saw. It was more
like Bondage meets Triple X, but you can either choose to believe
me or not—I saw what I saw—it’s your call.
But I warn you now, if you
don’t believe me, and don’t help me do what needs to be done, then
the bloodbaths will continue, and not just in out of the way dive
bars. This creature is crazed. Something is wrong with it. I’ll
have to track it, in order to stop it and prevent any more
bloodshed, but for all we know, it could have already created more
of its kind.”
Ryan threw his hands in the
really are a nutcase, aren’t you? And what’s worse is you take me
for a fool as well, thinking I’ll buy this load of crap because of
what I told you about my sixth sense. What I want to know, is how
you got so far in Special Services without anyone realizing you’re
batshit. Profiler, my ass!”
Lily pushed herself away from the
counter and with a single step was nose to nose with Ryan. “Listen
to me you sarcastic sack of shit, if I wanted to, I could do a tap
dance all over your mind, dig up any sordid little secrets I want
and then use them against you. I could even mentally bitchslap your
ass if I wanted, but I won’t, because I know how hard this is to
believe. Hell, I didn’t believe it myself, at first.
Supernatural beings exist,
Ryan. Period. They live in a subculture that operates under the
human radar, and they do a damn good job of policing themselves,
usually. Something is wrong, here. I don’t know too much about
vampire culture, but I know they do their level best to share this
world with us. Those who choose to live on the fringe of that
philosophy are exterminated, either by their own kind, or by people
Lily took a step back, watching as
Martinez tried to process all she’d said, his eyes narrowing in
He took a breath, rubbing his mouth
with his hand. “People like you…you mean psychics?”
No. People like me, as in
vigilante. I’m a hunter, Ryan. I hunt rogue supes…supernatural
beings that decide to play outside the rules.”
His hands went to his hips, pushing
his suit jacket back exposing his sidearm. Lily’s eyes flicked from
his face to his holster and froze. He was carrying a Guncrafter
50GI semi-automatic, the ballistics of which was the equivalent of
carrying a small canon on your hip—not the kind of weapon you
normally see on a cop. With bullets three times the size of a
standard police issue 9mm Glock. It made her wonder.
Ryan turned his face away, clearly
unsure as to what to think. But when he turned back, his face was
questioningly defensive. “Hunt. What are you talking about,
Why should I go into any
more detail, when you haven’t believed a word I’ve said so far?”
She grabbed her mug off the counter and filled her cup, feeling
Ryan’s eyes watching her as she added milk and sugar. With a quick
breath, she turned back to face him.