“Don’t eat that,” Beckham said, taking the strawberry macaroon from her hand and placing it back on the tray.
“Ugh! Do not deprive me of macaroons.”
“I’ll get you all the macaroons you want when we leave. But you never go into an enemy’s house and eat or drink.”
Reyna sighed. She saw the logic in that. But strawberry macaroon!
Beckham kept glancing at the watch on his wrist as they waited. And waited. No wonder Isolde had brought them something to munch on. Apparently, this dude really liked to keep people in suspense.
She didn’t ask Beckham how much time had passed. It would only make it worse.
Then suddenly the door to the library opened once more. Reyna jumped to her feet and Beckham followed at a more resigned, leisurely pace. He was back in control. Ready to take on the world. She was just anxious to finally meet this guy.
A soft breath escaped her mouth at her first sight of him. She tried to cover it with a cough, but it was pretty impossible. One look at him and it was obvious he was the most beautiful person she had ever seen.
Not like the deadly, dark, scary goodness that Beckham exuded. This man had none of Beckham’s bulk or menacing stares or looks that melted her panties. Nothing of what Beckham had that had made her fall in love with him.
But…this guy. Damn.
He stopped in front of them with his hands loosely in the pockets of his ten-thousand-dollar suit. He held himself as if he knew no threats in this world. As if he was the top of the food chain. Not a scratch could hurt him.
His hair was brushed back off of his face. The black strands almost appeared midnight blue when they caught the light. His cheekbones were chiseled out of marble with just the hint of stubble along the jawline. But it was his eyes that were the most striking. A dark stormy gray that seemed to swirl to life when they were turned on her.
His very being exuded an eroticism that was unparalleled. As if he’d fucked his way through a few centuries and knew pleasure that no one else in this world or the next could imagine.
She stilled as he assessed her, and she couldn’t bring herself to utter a single word. He appeared to be no older than twenty-eight. And yet…there was no way that he was twenty-eight years old. No way in hell. Those eyes had known lifetimes.
He was…otherworldly. Definitely not human. But no way was he a vampire either.
What is he?
“Welcome,” he said, his gaze slowly shifting from Reyna to Beckham. “You may call me Graves.”
Reyna swallowed. It fit him perfectly. How many people had he put six feet under? If her time with other walking predators was any indication, the answer was many. Many, many, many…
“It’s my pleasure to have you here tonight. It was…fortunate that I heard your request. I apologize for keeping you waiting,” Graves said. “I had…other matters to attend to.”
Murder or fucking.
There didn’t seem to be an in-between for him.
“I see that you didn’t partake of my refreshments.” His eyes shot to the food and back. “Believe me when I say that if I wanted you dead, poison would hardly be my choice. I prefer something much more macabre.”
“Poison is hardly the only possibility,” Beckham said.
“I suppose you can never be too careful,” Graves responded.
Beckham crossed his arms. It was written in every line of his body that he wanted this over with.
“And you,” Graves said, turning to Reyna. “What did you fear from my tea?”
“Um…too much milk?”
A muscle feathered in his cheek. It was as if he was contemplating smiling but it had been too long since he’d last done it.
“Humans.” He turned back to Beckham. “I see why you like this one.”
“Standing right here,” Reyna said.
Graves tilted his head. “Indeed.”
“We’ve come with payment,” Beckham interjected. “Are you willing to answer our questions or not?”
“Ah, straight down to business. Vampires always seem to despise the pleasantries,” Graves said as if Beckham’s behavior hardly registered on his radar.
“Pleasantries drag out negotiations.”
“Are we negotiating?”
“We should start,” Beckham said impatiently.
“We didn’t come to bother you,” Reyna said. She took a step forward between the two men. “We were told that you had information that we need about William Harrington. If you can help us, we would appreciate it. So, can you help us?”
“I can,” he said.
Graves towered over her slight height. He was eye level with Beckham if not slightly taller. He dwarfed her in comparison. He stepped around her body, his moody gray eyes considering her from every angle as he made a leisurely circle.
She stiffened at his nearness. What was he doing? Why was he looking at her like that? Was he purposely trying to provoke Beckham? Because she was certain at any moment he would come barreling into Graves’ side. She didn’t dare glance at Beckham but she could feel his anger unfurling from him like wings expanding out of his shoulder blades.