A beat of a second passed before he slowly pulled away from me, the suffocating heat withdrawing with him as he straightened up. My eyes lifted to meet his as he released his hold on my knife, and I flicked my wrist, flipping it with ease so my hands closed around its smooth, still-warm handle. The room was silent. The ten other men seated on the couch didn't bother trying to hide the shock on their faces that a hunter had just agreed to a deal with their Alpha. I totally felt the same way, even if I was that dumb motherfucker. They seemed to be imagining what horrible, unthinkable threats he could have whispered into my ear to make me cave, but to think my resolve had dissolved with just four unexpected words from his mouth. Sometimes, I wondered if I even had a brain. "So," I said now, holding back a sigh as I looked up into those steely, unreadable eyes, "If I'm going to work with you, I'll need a name to call you by. Unless you prefer to be referred to as moody dick?" Silence followed my words. "What, don't you guys know Moby Dick?" I asked no one in particular, and ten pairs of eyes exchanged glances that further questioned my sanity. The last pair of eyes held mine steady. The ring of gold in them seemed to burn like a flickering candlelight against the night of the sea. "Heath," he said, and I could finally place his accent as the name curled and settled in my ears like a cat by the fireplace. I smiled. "Well, cool." I put my hand out between us, the one holding the knife, the silver-pointed tip facing him as I offered him a handshake. "Nice to meet you moody dick, I'm Alessandra."