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Chapter 110 –Additional Skills– Raine's POV

I stepped out of the shower into the luxurious steam filed bathroom, with only one thing on my mind...getting through the rest of this night, so that I could see Cage tomorrow. I was going along with this contract with Marku, but I didn't trust him and I needed to come up with some sort of backup plan.

I used the oversized fluffy white towel to briskly dry my skin and then slipped into the shorts and t-shirt borrowed from Marku's sister, Penelope. I was still shocked to realize Marku had family and wondered what her story was.

After a quick comb through my hair, I made my way out of the bathroom, to find Marku casually reclined on the bed. Somewhere he had lost his shirt. The muscles in his chest were hard and sinuous. He appeared perfectly at ease, without a care in the world. "Ready to go?"

I ground my teeth together, to keep from snapping at him, and just nodded.

..........

Talon followed as Marku led us to an exterior door at the backside of his massive suites. When he pushed it open and we walked through, I inhaled sharply. We stood on an elegant terrace facing an Olympic sized eternity pool, the edge of which appeared to drop off over the steep cliff. The night was still profound, but a million stars illuminated the sky. They twinkled in agreement with the lights strung into the trees. The effect was breathtaking.

"Do you like it?"

I was a bit at a loss for words and just nodded, as we walked to a large seating area. There were multiple chairs and a couch so large it was almost the size of a bed.

A bed...

Immediately, I was jerked out of my distraction with the beauty of the place and stared at Marku warily.  Of course, the extra-sized couch was exactly where Marku wanted to sit. He patted the cushion next to him. I reluctantly sat down, but kept my distance. There was a bottle of wine as well as a cheese plate, tiny little sandwiches and a bowl of fresh fruit. He opened the wine with expert precision and poured us both a glass. I brought the cool liquid to my suddenly dry mouth.

"I wasn't sure if you were hungry. Please feel free," he murmured, motioning toward the beautiful spread. "Or if you find you are thirsty instead..." he trailed off meaningfully and nodded in the direction over my shoulder. I looked back to find three attendants waiting patiently to meet our needs.

My fangs suddenly ached. It had been too long since I fed, but I really did not want to sink my teeth into strangers. I took another sip of the wine and answered shortly, hoping my words were true. "I'm fine."

After a few bites of food, Marku made his move. He slid closer, nudged the hair away from my shoulder and leaned in, whispering in my ear, "Swim with me."

I stiffened. He felt me tense and cooed, "Just relax...I won't hurt you."

I didn't relax. Instead, my hand clamped down on fingers that were trailing around the hem of my top. "Wait!"

"We talked about this," his voice turned hard, with an unmistakable warning.

"I know...it's not that, it's just..." I trailed off, not wanting to explain. I couldn't help glancing back at the audience we had, embarrassment causing me to cringe.

He followed my gaze, and the lines in his forehead crinkled in confusion. He pulled back slightly to look at me. "You're a vampire now. Surely you no longer have any inhibitions about nudity."

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