Chapter 5 – It's Time

Raine

I knew my response defied common sense and rationality. But my body appeared to have a mind of its own, because when his hands caressed my belly and neck, electricity had shot up and down my spine.

And I had absolutely wanted more.

What the hell was wrong with me?

He was a complete stranger! For all I knew, he could be a serial killer. I had already determined he was dangerous and planned never to see him again. But when he stood at my back with his arms wrapped around me in an impenetrable embrace, the connection I felt to him was unbreakable.

I hadn't been able to think.

I could only feel him.

And then the answer he wanted had so effortlessly slipped from my lips. Yes. Yes, indeed, I was going to let a perfect-stranger-possible-serial-killer get me off. For the first time ever. 

I had to be mad.

But I couldn't lie to myself and say I regretted it. I didn't. I wanted him to and he had rocked my world. But now...where the hell were we now?  He insisted he was a vampire of all things! Numbly, I wrapped the towel around my body and walked back through the doors to my suite. This was worse than I thought. He actually was insane.

But I couldn't deny the memory of his movement. It was as if he had disappeared and then reappeared right behind me. His speed was definitely more than human, but I wasn't sure if I could believe he was a vampire! That was too much.

I entered my bedroom with him close behind me. I turned, irritation bubbling over into my voice, "Can you give me some privacy to get dressed, please?"

"I've already seen you naked. I don't want you making any calls or activating a security alarm. I promise, it won't go well for anyone that interrupts us." His eyes glinted like steel, the lethal intent of his words unmistakable.

I shivered. Somehow, I knew his threat was very real. He sat at the edge of the bed, moving with unnatural grace for a man and waited.

As he had mentioned, he had already seen me naked, so I dropped the towel and rummaged through the drawers. I had never been particularly self-conscious about my body. I was not porn-star material, but I filled a C-cup amply and had curves in all of the right places.

I cringed as I perused my options. Unfortunately, I enjoyed small comforts like sexy undergarments. It wasn't like I had any opportunity to enjoy them with a man yet, but I liked to feel pretty under my clothes and I could afford the luxury, so didn't own any plain panties to throw on. I selected the least suggestive pair I could find, but had to admit, they were still pretty provocative. As I slipped into the white see-through lacy panties, he growled low. I snapped my head in his direction. The calculated gleam in his eyes caused shocking heat to surge through me again. Shit.

Stop reacting like that!

Being half naked around him was not helping me tamp down my mutinous arousal. I needed to get dressed, and hastily found a T-shirt and pair of shorts to put on. When I was finished, I turned to face him with my hands on my hips and hissed, "Now what?"

"Now we talk." He nodded toward the bed for me to sit down.

Oh hell no, I wasn't going to be joining him on the bed.

"I'll talk, but we're not doing it in here."  Before he could disagree, I spun and walked out the bedroom door into the grand living area. I couldn't hear if he was behind me or not, but didn't care as I plunked down onto one of the comfortable sofas. He was forcing this conversation on me. The least he could do was have it in the room of my choosing.

When I looked up, I found he was already seated in a chair next to the couch.

Damn, it was creepy when he moved so fast.

"Why were you at the club tonight? And do not try to lie to me!" he commanded.

I rolled my eyes.

His eyebrows rose at my response.

I didn't care. It wasn't like I had anything to hide. I waved my hand in the air dismissively toward him and huffed, "Destiny, who is apparently an evil bitch, if this is what she had in mind."

He stared at me.

And then he surprised me when he radically switched topics. "Do you normally swim naked in public places?"

"Public places?" I repeated softly in confusion. "Oh, the pool is not a public place. I rented the entire third floor, including exclusive access to the pool."

He nodded. "How long are you staying in Romania?"

"I booked the chalet for a year sabbatical, however if Destiny does not back the hell up, I may have to rethink my plans," I replied irritably.

He contemplated my response. "You booked the entire third floor of the chalet for a year? That's not a cheap vacation. How are you able to afford that?"

I bristled. I didn't like talking about my money. "What do my finances have to do with anything?"

His expression hardened. "Answer the question!"

I huffed loudly, "I have a trust fund."

He was silent for a moment. "Tell me about your family."

My face contorted with a familiar pain. I didn't want to have that conversation with him. I was a strong independent female. I didn't need anyone, which was rather convenient since I hadn't ever had anyone to rely on. And that was the problem.  I had been alone my entire life.  It was the one thing I never shared, never discussed, because it was too painful. It cut through my cold wall of defense, right into my heart.

A muscle clenched in his jaw. He wasn't going to let this go.

A single tear escaped my eyes. I brushed it away angrily. I wouldn't do this. It was bad enough to know it. But to speak it out loud and have to hear myself say it, was going to be hundred times worse. I whispered haltingly, "I don't want to..."

His face contorted into the terrify expression of the predator he claimed to be, crimson bleeding into his irises, as he snarled, "Answer the damn question now!"

I flinched. More tears breached my eyelashes and I swiped them away furiously.  I hissed, ranting angrily, "I don't have a fucking family!  Are you happy now? Does that tell you everything you need to know about me?!"

"What?" He sat back, his eyebrows furrowed in confusion, clearly not expecting my answer.

I locked down my emotions, forcing my tears away. I had dealt with this my entire life. I would not let one man change that. I spoke coldly, "I have never had a family. Not one single relative. All I had to mark the passing of my family tree was an elegant note, presented to me on my twelfth birthday by my bank-appointed guardian. The beautiful script of the words almost an insult to their ugly content, basically, 'I don't want you...don't try to find me', blah, blah, blah."

In truth, the letter had said so much more: Raine, you are much love. It breaks my heart to say goodbye, but it is better this way. Please do not try to find me.

But that asshole didn't need to know that. No one did.

"In addition to the fantastically-lacking note, I inherited a mysterious trust fund. Seemingly, what they couldn't give me in regards to a family, they tried to make up for in money," I spat sarcastically.

His expression softened and he sat back.

I hated that look and snarled, "I don't want or need your pity."

"It is most definitely not pity that I feel." 

Abruptly, he stood. I eyed him warily as he joined me on the couch. I didn't know why he felt it necessary to get closer to me, but his animosity was gone. Now, he seemed...sad. I wasn't sure if that was a good sign or not.

He leaned toward me, his dark eyes stormy and whispered, "I'm sorry...I'll make it quick."

.

You definitely do not want to miss what happens next...

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