Carnal Thirst: Kiss of the NightBy: Sylvia Day
Alex Night’s entire body hummed with anticipation as the lovely blonde cut through the crowded lounge and headed directly toward him. The dancing throng parted for the tiny woman without protest, her presence so compelling it demanded respect and received it without question.
A moment ago, the popular band had held his complete attention. Now his keen hearing tuned out the music and focused instead on the steady, rhythmic tapping of her high-heeled boots upon the vented steel floor. Dressed in a black bio-suit that hid her rank, Representative Briana Michaels had forgone her customary tight chignon in favor of soft, shoulder-length curls. She’d made no overt attempt to mask her famous features, but the difference wrought by her clothing and hair was remarkable enough that she went unrecognized by everyone but him.
She looked harmless enough, cute actually, if one failed to note the blaster strapped to her thigh. A newer model gun, by the look of it. Briana was a deadly beauty with a razor-sharp mind—a potent combination for a man like Alex.
Proceeding with the mission when the brain in charge was between his legs broke every protocol in the database. But then Alex wasn’t known for following protocol, which was why he’d been chosen to handle such a delicate undercover assignment to begin with. Failure was not an option and the Special Task Force wanted an agent who would go the distance, using whatever means necessary. Alex had been their first choice and when he learned Briana Michaels was the target, he’d leapt at the opportunity.
Rolling a small, cylindrical data chip between his palm and the cool metal table, Alex kept his eye on his mission as she swayed toward him with slender hips and narrowed green eyes. The press loved to portray Briana as a woman whose passions were incited only by political debate, but Alex saw untapped sexual passion in her full red lips and arrogantly arched brow. Just looking at her heated his blood and made his jaw ache.
He closed his eyes and savored her smell—spicy but a bit tart. Oh yes. He’d been spot on, as usual. Chief Donny swore a man couldn’t tell a damn thing about anyone from watching them on a vid unit, but Alex knew better. A vamp didn’t reach 223 years of age and not learn how to read women.
“Taking a nap, Captain Night?”
Ummm… Her voice was divine too. Just the right side of prim with a raspy inflection.
He’d been in lust with the powerful politician from the moment he first saw her on the vid comm. Her endorsement of vampiric rights and controversial medical research that could lead to reproductive capability in vampires intrigued him. But the reality of her physical presence was far more alluring than any monitor could portray. He was attracted to her convictions and political fearlessness, but when such admirable traits were packaged in a body like that…
Ah, hell. He wanted her bad.
“If you prefer,” she continued. “I can hire another smuggler to perform the tasks I require.”
Alex raised his lids slowly and lounged deeper into the bar booth. His fingers curled around the data chip and then slipped it into the chained holder he wore around his neck. “Ah, sweetness. I’m more than willing to perform in any way you desire.”
“I bet.” Briana slipped into the booth across from him, her long legs brushing against his, causing a deeper sensual awareness. She flipped open a comm link and spun it around so he could see the split screen.
“Duncan Chiles and Mitchell Sandoval,” he said, eyeing the relay. From the looks of it, the other men were seated in the same bar. They were waiting for Briana to make her appearance, just like he had been. He schooled his face to remain impassive while inside he admired her initiative. However, he couldn’t allow her to hire them. Unlike Alex, they were criminals. “Very good smugglers. But not the best, which is why you need me.”
“Yes, I’d heard your skill was matched only by your ego. Having witnessed one, I’m suitably impressed by the other.”
He laughed. She would be fun, in more ways than one.
“One hundred thousand credits,” Alex said, getting straight to the point so they could go straight to his ship. The bar was packed and the band played too loudly for a proper seduction. It wouldn’t be easy to woo her into his bed. He’d have to finesse her properly and that took time. An impatient man by nature, he was eager to get started.
She arched a dark blonde eyebrow and his heart rate picked up. “Fifty.”
“You’re out of your mind,” he scoffed. “To get you to Simgan 2 without hitting any checkpoints will force us to go through the Ligerian Ice Field, Federation space and the Council’s largest waste dump. One hundred thousand is a steal.”
He straightened, relishing the barter. She was gutsy for a human. “One hundred.”
“Eighty or I’m hiring Sandoval.”
“Ninety and you have a deal.”
She laced her fingers on the tabletop. “Eighty-five.”
Alex laughed again. “Eighty-five and a half.”
“Done.” Briana smiled and for the first time in many decades he momentarily lost the ability to think.
Her seat as Interstellar Rep of the entire Delta Quadrant, the largest quadrant in Council territory, made any hint of softness a weakness she could ill afford and Alex understood that. She rarely smiled and never laughed, but he liked the challenge she presented. He would elicit the gamut of emotions from her during the flight to her homeworld and enjoy every moment of it.