“Neither can I,” I laughed, shaking my head. “Kieran must be a magician because my parents barely argued about me coming.”
She glanced over her shoulder at the man striding toward us and giggled, “If you only knew.”
When he got close enough, she threw herself into his arms and cried, “Thank you, Kieran!”
“Anything for you, baby.” I had zero doubts that Kieran took his vow to my friend seriously. There was so much love in his tone, and the way he held her tight made me think he never wanted to let her go. I was thrilled Thana had found someone who loved her with all his heart, but I also found myself wishing for even a fraction of the happiness they’d found together.
When she wiggled out of his hold, he dropped one arm and used the other to tuck her into his side as though he couldn’t bear to let her get too far away. “Kieran, this is my best friend, Selene.” Thana practically glowed with happiness as she introduced us. “Selene, this is my husband.”
Excited to meet the man who’d made my reunion with my friend possible, I stepped close and held out my hand. “Welcome,” he replied as his palm slid against mine.
“Hands to yourself, brother.” The gorgeous man who barked that order seemed to have appeared out of nowhere. Even if he hadn’t called Kieran his brother, I would’ve guessed they were related because of their similarities. Except to me, the newcomer was much more handsome. His bright blue eyes were the same striking color as his brother’s, but his hair was a lighter brown, his skin a touch less pale, and his shoulders were broader on his tall frame. There was an air about him beyond his good looks that I found compelling.
Since I was certain we’d never met before, I didn’t understand the stunned recognition in his eyes. But something in my soul seemed to click—as though I had been waiting my whole life for him. The feeling was scary and exciting all at the same time.
Kieran dropped my hand, and I snatched it back, worried by the wild expression on his brother’s face. Needing a little space between us, I took a step back, but his brother quickly closed the gap I’d made and then some. Before I had the chance to move farther back, he reached for my left hand. As soon as our palms came into contact with each other, I felt electrified. It was almost as though I’d touched a live wire as adrenaline coursed through my system, energizing me. I’d never experienced anything like it before.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Kieran hold Thana back when she tried to step forward. He seemed clued in on something neither of us were, but I didn’t have much time to ponder what exactly that could be. My focus zeroed in on his brother as he lifted my arm and brought my wrist up to his nose and inhaled deeply. I should’ve been creeped out by the whole thing, but seeing his nostrils flare at my scent thrilled something inside me. Then my gaze was drawn to the dainty ring on his pinkie; the brilliant amethyst twinkling in the light was a perfect match to my purple eyes.
I couldn’t help but wonder if the stunning ring belonged to the woman in his life. The possibility he was committed to someone else dampened the rush I’d felt when we touched, and it disappeared completely when he muttered, “Mine,” right before he scraped his tooth—which oddly looked like a vampire fang you’d see in a horror movie—over my pulse point and then licked up the droplets of blood that beaded on my skin.
My heart hammered in my chest as I yanked my hand out of his grasp with a sharp tug. “What?” I gasped, my head reeling in shock over the fact that he’d cut me with his tooth and then tasted my blood—and my absurd reaction to it. I frantically wondered if someone had spiked my punch earlier. It was the only reasonable explanation I could come up with for what was happening. “Did you just…? What are you…?”
Instead of answering, he made a grab for me and growled, “Mine.”
My fight or flight response kicked in, and I lifted my skirts to whirl around and take off running. I didn’t have a destination in mind. My only thought was to get away from Kieran’s brother—even though my heart defied logic in its yearning to run straight into his arms.2AthanI stared at Kieran, barely sane enough to hold back from killing him. Desire boiled my blood and had turned my flaccid dick into a rod of steel. The need for my woman consumed me, and the second she ran, I felt like a wild animal on the hunt.