Caressed by Night (Rulers of Darkness #2)
“What was that about?” Kerstyn asked once Dimitri finished off his water.
He looked up, his eyes locking on hers. Kerstyn held back a gasp. His gaze was cold, unfeeling, and she knew she was looking into the face of death. She ignored the voice in the back of her mind that told her to run. Instead, she stayed seated on the living room floor and inched closer to him. She could feel the heat and malicious power radiating from his body. She placed a hand on his bicep, the muscle flexed beneath her touch as his hand fisted.
“Business,” he said, his voice deep and thick.
“Quite the opposite in fact.”
His voice was even and smooth despite the sharp, hard look on his face. Something pure evil lurked just beneath the surface. Her flight response was going off like a fire alarm in her head, but she did not move. She knew Dimitri would not lash out at her, but what about the vampire? Silvie had warned her to be cautious. Her heart told her he would never intentionally hurt her, her brain was telling her to run until her legs gave out.
Like I would be able to out run him, she thought.
Violence. Brutality. A caged demon existed within him, was part of him, and for the first time Kerstyn was beginning to doubt his ability to control the natural instincts that belonged to a vampire. Cruelty. Bloodlust. She could see the restraints cracking beneath the pressure.
Swallowing her nervousness, she asked, “Then what’s with the homicidal glare?”
Kerstyn watched as the shadows faded and his charming smile returned. He was undeniably handsome when angry, deathly gorgeous when his vampire side paid a visit, but he was deliciously sexy when he smiled. His diamond eyes danced with smoldering crystal flames. The malevolent tension that had filled the room vanished. She knew he had drawn the negative energy into himself and unease pricked her flesh.
“I apologize. Business of this nature tends to bring out―”
“Your dark side,” she finished with a light laugh as she picked a piece of pepperoni off her pizza, then popped it in her mouth.
He nodded and pushed his plate aside, his appetite gone. His stomach knotted and cramped, not from the greasy, yet tasty pizza, but from what was to come.
Everything was working just the way he had planned. The attack had been successful and Gabriel was able to evacuate all the humans from the warehouse. Silvie was currently working on erasing their memories and replacing them with a pleasant past.
Tonight, everything was set into motion and there was no stopping Fate. This would be his last evening of peace.
Dimitri took a deep breath, the air warming his lungs.
After a long debate with himself, he decided to take Silvie’s advice. The Shaw witch had insisted that he tell Kerstyn about Ven. The traitorous vampire would be coming to Las Vegas in a few short weeks and Kerstyn needed to know the dangers that awaited her. She deserved to know what was headed their way. If they were to have a true future together, he needed to be honest and open.
How much should he tell her? What exactly should he say? He closed his eyes and dropped his head. God, how he wished he had someone to whom he could turn, someone he could ask for advice. Dorian was the only king to have found his mate and he surely experienced the same dilemma, but, for the moment, Dorian still believed him dead.
Should he confess all? Should he lay bare his black soul and reveal all his sins? If she knew what he had done, would she turn from him? If she knew that vampires existed because of him, would she flee?
He ran an unsteady hand through his hair. Never had he experienced such emotional turmoil. His heart begged for him to tell the truth, the whole truth, but his instincts screamed at him to keep his mouth shut. He did not want to lose her. He could not lose her.
If only she knew of our true relationship, he thought. If she knew we were destined…maybe she would accept me…maybe she could look past all the evil that surrounds my soul.
Dimitri shook his head and allowed another deep breath to heat his lungs. He needed to hear her say everything was going to work out, that Fate did not hate him as he believed. That she would live through this month and stay with him for all eternity.
“Earlier, in the kitchen, you had said nothing was wrong, but I’m willing to bet that there is something seriously wrong.”
The sound of her sweet, musical voice dragged him back from his dark thoughts.
“That call had nothing to do with monetary business.”
“Bad vampire stuff?”
Dimitri nodded again.
Kerstyn used one of the paper napkins that arrived with the pizza to wipe off her hands. Once she was done, she turned her body sideways so that she could face him.
“Do you recall the way everyone was looking at me when we entered Dark?”
Kerstyn nodded. She would never be able to forget the way Dimitri had walked through the club. His shoulders squared with defiance, his eyes cold and challenging. Menace had burst from him like a hot wave of air. The vampires in the club had been shocked and terrified of him.
“As if I have come back from the dead,” he said, using her phrase from that night.~