Eve’s just looking to shed some of her good girl image. One night at a nightclub in a tight, short, sexy bustier dress ought to do it, she figures. But then she lays her eyes on Kiros; then her image isn’t all she wants to shed. Bad girl sex never looked so good.
For Kiros, Eve’s willing to ruin that image, and get down and dirty for real. If he can live up to the promise of his looks. Thankfully, Kiros is no ordinary man. Yet the very thing that makes him special may also cost him his life.
Because an entire people want to see Kiros dead, and they’ve got no qualms about taking out one insignificant human woman to reach their goal.
Read An Excerpt
A Beautiful Mistake
Decadent sex had never looked so good.
The thought was immediate upon sighting her prey.
There was something mesmerizing and alluring about the way he moved. She was smart enough to take notice of the fact and store it away. He exuded the powers that those of his kind were well known for, but he did it so effortlessly, so perfectly, so naturally, like no other Fey before him had ever done. Then again, he was no other Fey. He was the Tainted One. He was the one known as The Spawn.
That was the name the Guardians had given him, nothing more, nothing less, but it was a gross insult to the man walking through the crowd. He was too beautiful to be a spawn. His looks, and his beauty reminded her of a painting she saw in Greece. It was a simple painting of a foot soldier, but there was nothing simple about the subject. Upon sight, one knew they were glimpsing a man who had been gifted with the kind of beauty that could rival any woman’s – along with the vigor which made other men step out of his way. This man, The Spawn, was crafted in the same way. He was a beautiful mistake.
A mistake with a sense of humor.
She liked humor in a man and judging by the contents in the confidential file she received on him, she would have liked The Spawn, had it not been her job to control him. A bitter smile curved her sensual mouth as she watched him walk through the crowd. He was garbed all in black. The dark color perfectly offset by his bronzed skin tone and the white-blond hair that surrounded his face, framing its severe beauty. The final touches were the lengthened incisors and extra-long shiny black fingernails. He was a rogue Fey masquerading as a vampire on Halloween.
He definitely had a sense of humor.
She pushed aside the shot of whiskey the bartender placed in front of her without looking at it and immediately signaled for another glass of water. She purposely ignored the man on the other side of the bar, the one who bought her the whiskey.
She had eyes for only one man. The Spawn.
She didn’t dare take her eyes off him. He was dangerous. She knew this fact from his file. More than five different sets of Controllers were sent after him over the last three hundred years.
The last four Controllers sent his way made the mistake of underestimating The Spawn and the Guardians made sure those who survived, learned their lesson.
She didn’t intend to repeat the same mistake. Thankfully she had a little something up her sleeve.
She didn’t intend to fail.
By the end of the night, the one known as The Spawn would be dead.
* * * * *
The truth was she needed an orgasm as much as she needed her next breath. It had been way too long since she’d been with a man. Still, she wasn’t exactly sure about the plan to correct that fact.
“You, Evelyn Barnard, are in over your head,” she thought as she stared at the woman before her. The other woman simply stared back at her, in silent defense. Still, she couldn’t deny the fear she saw in the other woman’s gaze.
There was something in the air. Tonight, was going to be different from any other night. Tonight, she was going to live. Tonight, she was going to meet her destiny. She was going to go out have a great time tonight. Rinse and repeat.
With a nonchalance she wasn’t feeling, she stepped away from the mirror and picked up her purse. She picked out the bare essentials: phone, cash, her driver’s license, keys, and a tube of lipstick.
What she really wanted to do was go back to her room and change. Preferably into sweats.
And maybe, just maybe, plop her ass in front of her television and stream several seasons of her favorite show in a row.
A quick glance at her watch confirmed her fear; she was running late. If she left right now and drove a little too quickly, she could make it on time and avoid the taunts of her friends. She grimaced when she heard her thoughts. She was twenty-eight years old and afraid of what her friends would think if they believed she chickened out.
Within minutes she was at the nightclub. Oddly enough there wasn’t traffic on the San Francisco roads. Apparently, everybody was already where they wanted to be for Halloween.
“It’s only ten-thirty people,” she mumbled to herself as she locked her car doors.
She briskly walked the length of the deserted parking lot, and although it took her less than a minute to make the journey, she found herself checking her watch twice. Eve hated being late. She was already five minutes behind schedule and judging by the line outside of the nightclub she wouldn’t make it inside for another ten to twenty minutes.
As she made her way to the end of the line, Eve heard someone call out her name.
“There she is!” Mica called out as she waved Eve to the front of the line.
As Eve walked the long length of the line, she valiantly tried to ignore the catcalls and whistles she heard as she passed by. According to the rules, she, and her girlfriends stipulated for tonight, she wore the outfit Kris picked out for her. She just hoped she didn’t live to regret it.
The dress was barely a dress. It was more akin to a flirty, devastatingly sensual piece of lingerie. It was her latest design. There was no denying that the white low-cut satin and lace corset dress with the matching pair of four-inch heels was not her typical outfit. Honestly, she typically went out of her way to avoid dresses like the one she was wearing, because of her pleasantly plump size fourteen body. But then again, tonight was not supposed to be a typical night. Tonight, was the night she proved to her friends she wasn’t hiding away from life.
Both her friends and family had banded together to let her know they were concerned about her. Although Eve was never a party girl, they still worried over the fact that she rarely went anywhere but home and work.
The intervention had been embarrassing and eye-opening.
They were truly afraid for her.
But she didn’t see her life the way they saw it. She was just too busy working on her craft to spend the night dancing away all her life’s worries. There weren’t enough hours in the day to build up a young, struggling lingerie line.
And just because she hadn’t really gone out since her brother Andrew’s death, didn’t mean she wasn’t living.
She winced at that last thought. She was running away from life and that’s what tonight was all about, wasn’t it?
“You look gorgeous, sweetheart. What’s wrong?” Mica asked before leading her into the dark club entrance.
“What? Nothing,” she said a little too quickly.
Mica was an accomplished attorney and could therefore sniff out a lie better than most. She stopped dead in her tracks and confronted Eve. “What’s wrong?”
Eve said the first thing that came to mind. “I’m not sure about this.” She swept her hand down her body to emphasize her point.
The dress, the heels… the late-night partying, none of it was her.
“Well, I am. You look great in the dress. Like I knew you would. You always were a fabulous designer. If only you would wear more of your designs.”
Eve laughed at Mica’s compliment. “Thanks, girl. I would if I could afford my own designs.”
As the two women made their way to the bar, Mica waved and greeted several people along the way. Eve watched and smiled at the endless number of men and women Mica acknowledged. Eve couldn’t help but ask the vivacious redhead if she knew everyone in the bar.
“No, but I’d like to get to know him,” she said before tilting her head to the left.
Eve followed Mica’s gaze and found her eyes riveted by the sight before her. She took a deep breath and then let it out in a swoosh as she took all of him in. The man was too luscious to ignore. For the first time in months, Eve acknowledged her libido. This man had her remembering she was a woman, a woman who had gone way too long without a man.
And he wasn’t even her type.
Eve liked her men tall, dark as coffee, and handsome.
He had two out of three. He had to be six foot three and every inch of his body was hard, toned muscle. He couldn’t hide that beneath the tight leather coat he wore. It was evident in the breadth of his shoulders, the width of his arms, and the long, lean length of his legs.
Her gaze darted back up to his face, a face a woman could spend months staring at. Even from this distance she could tell that he was gorgeous: beautifully crafted with high cheekbones, plump sensual lips, and heavy hooded eyes. She couldn’t quite determine the color of his eyes, but they appeared to be light. His skin was lightly bronzed, enough to attest to the fact that he enjoyed the sun but didn’t worship it. His pale hair was a riveting shade of the lightest golden blond laced with silvery white streaks, and somehow Eve knew it was natural. There was just something about the man that didn’t invite thoughts of visits to the hairdresser. She just couldn’t picture the giant sitting, steaming beneath a dryer.
No, he was all Alpha male.
“You and every woman in the nightclub,” Eve said before turning to the bar. She immediately ordered a shot. There was no point in spending the night staring at the Adonis on the other side of the club. It was akin to a pauper walking into Bloomingdale’s. She didn’t have the right set of assets to purchase that goodie.
“A Cock Sucking Cowboy,” she said to the bartender. It had little alcohol and a great taste, exactly what the doctor ordered for the occasion. Although she wanted to enjoy this night out with her friends, she didn’t plan on waking up at two in the afternoon with half the day gone, a hangover, and a never ending to do list.
“Seems as though you’re right,” Kris whispered before sliding onto the empty barstool on the other side of Eve.
“About what?” Eve threw over her shoulder before throwing back the single shot of mixed alcohol.
“Seems lover boy already found some company.”
Eve watched as a very tall blonde with the kind of body usually found between the pages of Playboy, made her way to the Adonis in question.
“We did not get you all dressed up so you could play voyeur. Come on, let’s dance,” Kris said before hopping off the bar stool.
Eve shook her head no. “I’m going to have a few drinks before I get out there. It’s been a while since I hit a dance floor. I’m going to need some liquid courage.”
Mica smirked at Eve. “Back then you could dance up a storm. That was when you did venture out.”
“Thanks,” she retorted sarcastically.
Eve watched as her girlfriends left her for the sanctuary of the dance floor. She envied them and their confidence. The truth was she really did need a few drinks. It had been a long time since she last went clubbing.
She darted a quick glance around the nightclub. It appeared as though nothing had changed. Girls were still vying for the guys’ attention. The sexes were still separated by anxiety and self-consciousness. And the beautiful people were still with the beautiful people.
* * * * *
Kiros watched as the statuesque, curvy, blonde woman made her way to him. He stifled the urge to sigh. He had seen her kind one too many times and he felt no desire to deal with the ego that seemed to come as part of a package deal with implants. For reasons he couldn’t fathom, fake blondes with equally fake breasts, couldn’t take no for an answer.
“Hi,” the blonde whispered in what he knew was her sultriest voice. Then she stepped up the game and threw him a coy smile. “I’m Brandy.”
“Hi, Brandy,” he replied before attempting to edge his way around her.
She took a step to the right blocking off his exit. “Want to dance?”
“I’m flattered, truly I am, but –”
Kiros stopped speaking when he realized the buxom blonde wasn’t paying him any attention. She simply ignored his “but” and started grinding against him. Although he wasn’t in the mood and wasn’t in any way interested, there was no denying the effect her gyrating pelvis was having on him.
Still, he took a step back from her. He knew her kind and if he danced one dance with her, he would be obligated to spend the rest of the night with her. He grimaced when he thought of what tomorrow would entail. The sex might be good, might even be great, but it wouldn’t be worth the headache. Kiros Karis was a one-night stand kind of man. His relationships lasted hours at the most.
His arms reached out and grasped Brandy’s swiveling hips, holding them still.
“Look, lady, I’m waiting for someone and if she sees me here with you, she’ll kill me. Thanks, but no thanks,” he said before trying to step around her.
He took two steps before realizing that his left arm wasn’t coming along with the rest of his body. He stared down at the tanned hand holding him.
“So leave her. I promise I can make it worth your while,” her voice throaty, full of barely leashed sensuality.
Kiros stared at the woman.
The cold fire in his amethyst gaze must have burned away any thoughts of a “relationship” between them. The blonde darted a glance around the room and dropped his arm.
He couldn’t believe she had the nerve to hold him. She was the worst kind of viper he met, and he had met some pretty vile individuals in his lifetime. He forced himself to take a deep breath to stomp out the flickering flames of his anger.
His eyes immediately snapped to hers. Something didn’t smell right about her. There was no other way to describe the instinct which told him to turn and walk away from her as quickly as possible.
And he was a man who learned to follow his natural instincts.
He was pleased to find one vacant stool at the bar. He immediately sat down and ordered two shots. He was hoping to drink away the memory of her scent. It burned in his nostrils.
“Not too many men would pass up a girl like that.”
He turned his head to follow the silky voice. And found velvety brown eyes staring back at him.
Kiros took in the woman sitting on the stool beside him. Her skin was a deep mahogany brown. She had thick, luxurious, jet-black braids cascading around her face to settle midway down her back. Her chocolate eyes were rimmed by long, midnight lashes that fluttered when she smiled. Her nose was small, delicate, and flat, lying close to her face. But it was her lips that had him mesmerized. Her mouth was wide with enticing full lips that begged for midnight kisses.
“Not many men have learned the lessons I have,” he retorted. One large hand grabbed one of the small glasses in front of him and slid her a shot of tequila.
“Class before ass?” she asked with one arched onyx eyebrow.
“And sometimes you get both,” he replied before putting out his palm. “Hi. I’m Kiros.”
The smile she sent him made his cock twitch in the confines of his leather pants. Something about her moved him on an elemental level. A sensual smile lit his lips at the thought of getting to know this woman on that primal level, in a way that only a man can know a woman.
* * * * *
Eve was right. His eyes were light, a heavenly mixture that led to the brightest, deepest violet color she ever witnessed. They were absolutely breathtaking, but that went along with the rest of the package. The man was flawlessly put together with sharp, slashing dark blond eyebrows, an aristocratic nose with just a slight bump attesting to a long-healed break, full lips, and a square jaw which spoke of both inner and physical strength. But it was his eyes, bright violet orbs rimmed by pale brown lashes that had her intoxicated.
And he was wearing the ideal costume for someone so beautiful. He made the perfect vampire with his fake lengthened incisors, sculpted looks, and fetish for black nail polish. Kiros looked like he had stepped right out of a gothic novel.
“Eve,” she replied. She shook his outstretched hand. “I hope you don’t think I’m both.”
“There are so many ways to answer that question and they would all get me in trouble,” he retorted before bursting into a rich laugh.
“You’re right,” she said, laughing along with him.
“Want to dance, Eve?”
For a single moment, Eve wasn’t sure she heard him right. He just turned down Blondie, but he wanted to dance with her? Well, to each his own, right? She wasn’t one to look a gift horse in the mouth and the man was too delicious to pass up.
“Maybe,” she said, gifting him with a sensual smile as she slid off the stool and made her way to the dance floor.
* * * * *
Kiros gulped down his shot before following her. The club was dark, barely lit, but his preternatural senses allowed him to see as if it were noon inside, and still he followed using his sense of smell. It was a habit he had no desire to stop.
He took one step, two steps and then stopped short. He took one long, deep sniff and realized something was different.
She, the woman named Eve, her aroma was unlike anyone else he ever scented. Yet, he recognized it. Like a fingerprint, no two beings had the same scent.
So why did he recognize the aroma that was distinctly Eve if he didn’t recognize the woman?
He followed her onto the dance floor and pulled her into his arms. “Have we met before?” he asked. “And no, that’s not a line.”
“No,” she said with a soft smile. “Something tells me I’d remember if we ever met.”
He pulled her close to his body and inhaled her scent. Every instinct, every muscle, every molecule in his body immediately roared to life and screamed out one word.