His handsome, aristocratic face seemed harder as well, looking like it could have been carved from stone.

His jaw was clenched, a pulse beating below his right eye. The yellow one. The wolf eye. This was nothing new. I’d seen him angry plenty of times, and I knew the signs well.

I offered him a tentative smile as I walked into his office. He didn’t rise, just watched me as I entered. The door clicked shut behind me.

He’d removed his dark gray suit jacket and tie, his crisp white shirt unbuttoned enough to show his tan throat clearly. I could see the pulse beating there. His hands were clenched tightly together on top of his black desk.

“Mind if I have a seat?” I asked him, gesturing at the chair directly in front of his desk.

His nostrils flared and his eyes studied every inch of me. He didn’t answer me, so I sat. We studied each other for long moments before he broke the silence. “Is that a wig?” he asked.

I glanced around his office, asking. “Any cameras in here?”

“No.”

“Yeah, it’s a wig. You like it?”

He had been reaching for the glass of water on his desk. When I spoke, he crushed it in his hand, glass and blood flying. He shook his hand, brushing the glass away without so much as blinking. He leaned towards me, baring his teeth. “You should know better than to bait an enraged bear, Jillian.”

Even with him bitter and looking at me like he hated me, it felt too good just to look at him. I drank in the sight of him, despite my better judgement. Gods, he was beautiful. His astonishing eyes held me captive, as they always had.

He was studying the diamond collar at my throat, gimlet eyed. He had given it to me on our two year anniversary. Probably not my wisest move to wear it here. I fingered it, and his angry eyes flew to my face. “What are you doing here, Jillian?” he asked me through clenched teeth.

I gave him a sad smile. He was not even a little bit happy to see me. I should not have been so hurt by that realization. “Actually, I came to ask you a favor.”

I had handed him the upper hand on a silver platter. He seemed to relax a little, sitting back in his chair and stapling his already healed hands. “Really?” he asked, plenty of rage still in his voice. Okay, maybe he hadn’t relaxed much.

“Yes. Your people contacted me recently. They want my information for your registry. I was wondering if you could just convince them to leave me alone completely.”

His brows drew together menacingly. “Why on earth would I do that?” he asked softly.

“A few reasons, actually. I know how you always hated that I kept so many secrets. I’m willing to reveal a few of them to you, if in exchange, you can help keep me and Lynn off the radar.” It was a paltry offering, and I knew it. Also, it was a lie. I had no intention of telling him the things he really wanted to know.

“Your secrets don’t interest me anymore.”

“I thought you might say that.” I stood and removed my jacket, draping it on the back of my chair. This left my arms and shoulders bare. I walked the few steps to the front of his desk slowly, cautiously. He tensed up visibly at my movements, as though my moving closer was something he had to brace for. I held my wrists out to him. I laid them on the top of his desk, palms up. I closed my eyes, concentrating hard on just that part of my body. It took me longer to remove Lynn’s shielding than it would have my own. When I heard his sharply indrawn breath, I knew I had succeeded. I opened my eyes to see his pinned to the bruises that made ugly cuffs on my wrists. They looked much worse than they actually were against my alabaster skin. “Two of yours did this. If you help me, I can tell you who directly defied your orders.”

He was breathing hard, and I hoped this was a good sign. “Why aren’t they healed?” he breathed.

“A spell was performed to prevent me from healing.” Well, it was true. I certainly wasn’t going to tell him that I had performed the spell.

I went in for the kill. “Would you like to see the rest of what they did?” I asked softly.

Sweat had broken out on his forehead. Dominant druid males had an almost obsessively possessive nature. I’d left him in such a way that I knew he hated me. But I also knew that his hate wouldn’t cancel out his wrath for a deed that directly defied his orders. He had made it clear long ago that none of his people were ever to touch me. I knew I was kind of a bastard for manipulating that part of him, but it was the only leverage I had at my disposal. “One of them held me while the other beat me. I didn’t harm one hair on either of their heads.”

When he started to visibly shake, I knew I had gone a tad too far. His eyes went pale with the Beastcall, and his voice was huskier when he ordered, “Show me the rest of what they did.”

I shook my head. “I won’t show or tell you one more thing until you agree to help me.”

His fists were clenching and unclenching. He was trying hard to control his rage. “I’ll do what I can, but you will tell me what I want to know before you leave here.”

I inclined my head at him. “I’ll tell you all I can.”

“Show me,” he ordered.

Knowing it was a bad idea, I let my shields down completely. It took me several minutes. I looked down at my hands the whole time.. “Did they rape you?” he asked, low growls escaping from his throat between each word.

I shook my head, not meeting his eyes. Submissiveness was the only thing that could hope to calm him in this state. It wasn’t something that came naturally to me, but I could fake it in emergencies.

“Who was it?” He uttered the question as though it pained him.

“I will tell you. When you’re calmer.”

He literally roared. Like a bear. I could feel the druids that burst into the door behind me.

“Leave us,” he roared at them, and they beat a hasty retreat.

I had an idea. Better than any I’d had lately. Though I was willing to acknowledge that that wasn’t saying much. “Could you heal me, Dom?” I asked him quietly. It was something I could do myself, if in a more painful manner, but I knew this would shift his attention, perhaps even enough to calm him down.

“Come here,” he commanded.

I came around his desk and gave him my hands. His touch was light, but I felt a shock go through my body, and my skin burned where he touched me. I felt the tingly, pleasant sensation of a druid’s healing move through my body. Their magic was earthy and raw, and I had always loved the feel of it. It was like cool water running through me, so different from my own magic. I shivered visibly from head to toe. Only Dom’s touch had ever given me this addictive feeling. I tried not to think about how much I’d missed it.


Tags: R.K. Lilley Heretic Daughters Vampires
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