Angel of Darkness(9)

By: Cynthia Eden


“How did you—” Romeo’s eyes widened and then he turned and ran back into the bar.

Nicole shoved her hair back over her shoulder. Then she braced her legs apart and kept her arms loose at her sides.

Interesting. When had the little schoolteacher learned to prepare for an attack?

“Who are you?” She asked him, her face showing no hint of fear.

“I’m someone who’s been looking for you.” True enough. “For a very long time.”

She gave a little shrug. “And here it is, your lucky night. Looks like you found me.”

No, he hadn’t found the woman he’d expected.

“So what are you going to do now?” She murmured as she walked closer to him. The moonlight spilled onto her face. His eyes narrowed. Her face was a little thinner. Her cheekbones were more defined. Her eyes were still as wide and dark, but her lips appeared redder and plumper than before. The woman was still beautiful, no doubt, but ... a darkness seemed to cling to her.

Her body was as slender as he remembered. Her breasts still round and firm and her hips—no. He shouldn’t be noticing that. Her body didn’t matter.

“Like what you see?” She whispered, and her slow drawling voice sounded like ...

Temptation.

He backed up a step.

One black brow lifted. “Now, surely, you aren’t afraid of me.”

“I fear nothing.” After what he’d seen, what he’d done, there was simply nothing left to stir fear in his heart.

“Good for you,” she muttered and the words didn’t seem sexy. More ... annoyed then. But then she blinked and the heavy-lidded mask came back. “Tell me how you know my name.”

She was almost close enough to touch right now, but he wouldn’t touch her. No, he never touched. Touching was far too dangerous.

You didn’t touch unless you were ready to kill. He wasn’t ready ... yet.

“I’ve known your name for a long time.” No sense lying. Besides, lies weren’t possible for his kind. “Ever since you were put on my list.”

He heard the hard inhale of her breath.

“L-list?” Now there was fear flickering in her eyes. Her voice hardened as she said, “You’re one of them.”

“Them?” Curiosity stirred within him.

“A hunter.” Her bow lips tightened in distaste when she spoke the term.

But she was right. Now he was a hunter and she was his prey.

“I haven’t done anything wrong! I haven’t killed anyone—not since—” She broke off and tears filled her gaze. “I thought if I didn’t hurt anyone else, you were just supposed to leave me alone.”

He could only stare back at her. “Leaving you on your own isn’t an option for me.”

Her chin snapped up. “I won’t make this easy for you.”

“No, I didn’t expect you would.” Nothing had been easy with her.

“I’m not going to be the weak target you think.” Her hands were fisted at her sides. “You want to take me in, then come and try.”

He blinked at that. “I—”

“You’re not takin’ her! Get the gringo!” The shout had Keenan tensing. He glanced back and saw that Romeo was back, and he’d brought friends. The drunks from inside—only they didn’t look so drunk now. No, they looked furious and very, very determined.

They were also armed with knives and guns. What? Why? Because one of them had lost a potential lover for the night?

“We’re taking her. Not you,” Romeo threw out as he and his men strode forward. “We didn’t wait this long to find her just to have some gringo get in our way.”

Nicole hurriedly backed up.

The men brushed past Keenan, barely seeming to notice him.

“I know what you are,” Romeo called to Nicole. “A monster like you ...” He spat on the ground. “Killed my mother.”

Nicole wasn’t a monster. She was just a woman.

“Your kind thinks you’re so safe ... so much better than the rest of us ...” This came from an older man with graying black hair and cold brown eyes. “Think again, señorita.” His long fingernails looked almost clawlike.

“I-I don’t ... I don’t want to hurt you.” Nicole retreated a few more feet. A fence stood behind her. An old wooden fence that had to be at least six feet tall. Trapped.