|Cry For Me by Belladonna Bordeaux|
“Shannon, it’s good to have you back.”
“Really? I thought you’d prefer me dead for failing the Council,” Shannon McGilvrey told her boss. Her raspy voice reminded her of what she’d become, a hunter who’d met the deadly edge of a vampire’s fangs. Touching the two small scars marring the side of her neck, she turned her back on Mr. Corning.
What am I now? The answer eluded her.
“Why?” she asked.
“Why did I ask to have you reinstated? That’s easy. You are the best.”
On a sarcastic huff, she spun around to stare at the man who’d sent her on the mission where she’d met Jakob LeFay. Hate, unbridled and agonizing, welled in her chest for him and the Council for the Preservation of Humanity. “You have the wrong hunter.” She shook her head when the aging man leaned back in his chair, propped his elbows on the leather-covered arms and steepled his fingers. “Maybe I was the best, but not anymore.”
“I don’t believe that and neither does the Council.” He motioned for her to sit with a nod of his head. “Please,” he prompted when she hesitated.
“Fine.” The sound of her heavy-soled boots echoed in the palatial room as she moved to the companion chair. Her jeans tightened against her thighs when she planted her ass on the cushion. A niggling recollection of big, strong hands gripping her butt cheeks as he entered her from behind hit her, but she pushed it aside. There wasn’t a damn thing she could do about her nipples hardening to tight buds.
“We have a mission for you.”
“Surprise surprise,” she muttered under her breath. The urge to shout “I can’t do it” shrieked across her nerves. Memories of the vampire drinking from her followed. Gun shy? Yes. Fucking terrified? Hell yes. Forcing her hand to pick up the folder placed on the corner of the mahogany desk, she settled it in her lap but didn’t bother to crack the cover. “Who’s the target?”
Corning didn’t hesitate. “Jakob LeFay.”
“Hell no.” Her nails elongated into talons when she dragged them across the stiff board of the cover. Peeking down, she saw the damage she’d done to the file.
“He’s not a vampire.”
“Try again.” Cynical laughter rumbled through her chest. “I have the scars to show he is.” Along with a few other disgusting traits such as wanting to drink your blood and an undeniable lust for the man who changed me. Her core clenched at the thought of having the man’s cock in her again.
“He’s a hybrid. Half-vampire and half-something else. We need you to find out what the ‘something else’ is.”
“And you think he’ll trust me since he’s already done me—so to speak.” She couldn’t believe Mr. Corning even entertained the notion Jakob LeFay would let her within ten feet of his person.
“He’s requested you attend a ball at his mansion.”
“I beg your pardon.” She pressed her thighs tight together to keep from squirming.
“Your invitation is in the file. We’ve already had the handwriting analyzed. The request is legitimate.”
Suspicion reared up in her. A handwritten invitation? Novel and telling. “He knows about us.”
“Apparently.” Corning’s narrowed gaze fell on her.
“Vampires read minds,” she reminded him. Damning the inhibitor she wore which kept her from doing the same thing to Corning, she waited with unconcealed impatience for him to get to the crux of the mission.
“Not to the degree he read yours. Our scientists have hypothesized that when he drank from you he gained access to all your knowledge.”
Her gaze dipped to her fingers, the nails pulling back. She should be dead. Her failure wasn’t just in that Jakob Lefay had taken her blood but that he’d taken all the secrets she held dear. The fact turned her from a washed-up hunter into a traitor. “A blending?”
“Of the highest degree. Mr. LeFay is no ordinary paranormal. The hybrid database doesn’t have a clue as to what he is. Not even the specialized demons have this extraordinary ability.”
Hypothesized but not determined. She breathed a small sigh of relief. That’s why the Council had let her keep her miserable life. They weren’t sure yet if the scientific theory was correct. “So, you want me to have another ‘go’ with him and pray to Holy God that he tells me.” Dubious, she opened the file and found the invitation. The instant her fingers touched the heavy stock, she felt Jakob’s power roll through her and the euphoria she’d lingered in while his cock was buried deep inside her. She snatched her hand back as if she’d touched a laser beam.
“No, we want you to drink from him.”
Just the thought made her stomach rumble. Growling, she fought the gnawing hunger for a pulsing neck. She licked her dry lips. “That’s against the rules.”
“We’re willing to make an exception in this case.”
How big of you. “He’ll expect a trap.” God knows she would. “I tried to kill him once.”
“Read the invitation.”
Hesitantly, she picked up the envelope and pulled out the card. In the back of her brain she heard Jakob’s resonant voice and her cries of pleasure when he’d fucked her. Unnerved, she unfolded the invite. She skimmed the pertinent details of the holiday gala he was throwing. Her gaze came to an abrupt stop when she read then reread the personal message scrawled in bold script across the bottom.
Shall we pick up where we left off?