“Then, of course,” Jonathan said, “I’ll take you up on that favor and happily arrange a party where the two of you can renew your acquaintance.”

The two men continued to chat for a while, before finally saying their good-byes. Parker walked Lucius to the door and with a slap on the shoulder, sent him on his way. Lucius was doing his job—quite nicely, too, I grudgingly admitted—so it was best I get some rest so I’d be in top shape when I joined him.

Though I wanted to follow him, I closed my eyes and pictured my bedroom. That ghostly wind soon returned, and I felt a strong tug. Felt the foundation shift, saw twinkling white lights. Within minutes, my spirit glided back into my body, and I opened my eyes.

Moonlight pushed through the familiar velvet curtains of my bedroom. The feather-soft mattress I’d grown accustomed to cushioned my back. Unlit, vanilla-scented candles fragranced the air, blending with a hint of Michael’s cigar.

I rolled to my side, forcing Lucius from my mind. I’d never sleep otherwise. Odd, though, that I felt more bereft and alone than I had in a long time.

Damn that man.

Chapter 9

The next day, I lugged my newly waxed body through a grueling three-hour workout, followed by two additional hours of assault and defense training using a diverse range of weapons. A girl never knew when a specific skill would come in handy. Knives, pyre-gun, hand-to-hand combat in the virtual reality chamber, they all took their toll.

I opted out of the final wardrobe fitting. The seamstress had my measurements. What more did she need from me?

My failure with EenLi was becoming a heavy mantle of guilt on my shoulders. More so than before. Perhaps that was why I had pushed myself so hard today. Or perhaps watching Lucius so easily insert himself into Jonathan Parker’s life had made me jealous. He was a much better agent than I’d given him credit for at our first meeting. NowI had to prove my worth tohim .

Only when completely exhausted did I retire to my room. I didn’t nap, however. There was much yet to be done. I showered, changed clothes, then jogged downstairs for a quick meal to boost my energy. Chocolate truffles, strawberries dipped in cream, peaches, all sprinkled with sugar. My favorites. I ate them quickly. As I downed two glasses of sugar water, I heard Michael’s voice over the speaker system.

“Eden, sweetie. I need to see you in my office.”

Curious, I abandoned the kitchen and my delicious treats and strode into his office. He looked exactly as I’d left him yesterday—dressed in a suit, hair slightly rumpled, cigar at his side. He sat at his desk and glanced up from a thick stack of papers. He grinned at me welcomingly.

“That was fast. Finish your fitting already?”

“No, I decided not to go.” Before he could respond, I sank into the chair in front of him and said, “What did you need to see me about?”

He leaned back in his seat and watched me silently for a long while. “I know you’ve been anxious. I also know there’s nothing to be done on EenLi’s case right now.”

“Yes,” I said, confused. What was he getting at?

He folded his hands over his stomach. “I have another case for you.”

Excitement bubbled inside me. God, I loved this man. “Go on.”

“There’s a Morevv in New Florida raping human women. Local A.I.R. have been unable to act because of political bull-shit. The Morevv is the mayor’s lover. Mayor Jeffries, to be exact, a woman known for her political iron fist. The man’s death needs to look like an accident.”

“Does he have guards?”

Michael shrugged. “Two burly humans, but they always make a hasty exit when the mayor visits him.”

Which meant I needed to catch him with his pants down.Literally. “Does A.I.R want to interrogate him first?”

“No. They just want him dead. He’s due to meet the mayor tomorrow.”

I could get in and out in no time. It was exactly the challenge I needed to combat my restlessness. Michael knew me so well. “I’ll do it,” I said. “Thank you.” Perhaps, with this success, I could begin to wipe away my last failure.

He uttered a sigh. “Please, please,please be careful. After all the resources you’ve put into EenLi, I don’t want you knocked out of commission on a routine takeout.”

“I’m always careful.” I blew him a kiss. “I’ll leave within the hour and hopefully return by tomorrow night. If you’ll reschedule my fitting, I’d be grateful.” I winked and shoved to my feet, then sprinted from the office.

My target’s name was Romeo Montaga.

Yes, that’s what the Morevv called himself. Romeo.

Morevvs were known for their beauty, so I suppose the name fit. Especially since this alien’s beauty surpassed any I’d ever seen. He possessed sun-kissed hair that flowed past his shoulders and an innocently divine face only an angel should have. Only his forked tongue gave away his alien status. He dressed his tall, lean frame in black leather pants and an open white shirt. I think he fancied himself a Casanova pirate.

He owned a wolfhound instead of a parrot, but the dog was about as menacing as a bird. She sprawled on her velvet pillow beside the bed and hadn’t blinked twice when I entered. With her head resting on her paws, she watched Romeo with complete disinterest, even a little fear.

I’d spent the day following him, learning his patterns. He liked young girls, liked watching them and rubbing unceremoniously against them as he sauntered past them.

He disgusted me.

And right now the disgusting bastard had New Florida’s sixty-four-year-old mayor naked and tied to his bed. I’d known I needed to catch him with his pants down, but I’d hoped to arrive after the act was completed. Not before.

Amid the woman’s cries of encouragement, he quickly undressed, ripping off his clothes in a single, dramatic sweep. Seeing his naked body, I blinked. Shook my head. Nope, still there. I guess Morevvs had more than one alien quality. A forked tongueand a doubled-pronged penis. Two penises, of all things.

As Romeo stood naked at the edge of the bed, the mayor moaned and thrashed liked she’d just entered the corridors of paradise. I noticed the Morevv remained unaroused. He had to close his eyes and stroke himself to achieve a (double) erection.

Being inside the closet as I was, I yearned to jab out my eyes and cut off my ears. These memories were going to haunt me. If only the closet door wasn’t slatted.

“Ride me, my stallion,” Mayor Jeffries cried. “Ride me hard. Just like you know I like it.”

“No talking, woman,” he growled. He slapped her ass, only a mild tap, really. “I’m in charge here.”

She moaned with rapture.

He slapped her again, harder this time.

Though he would never have admitted it aloud, I think he was turned off by her enjoyment. I wouldn’t have doubted if this was how Romeo raped the others. Chained them to a bed, and let them see his goods.

“Now you’re mine.” The words held no hint of possessiveness. No, they sounded rehearsed. He climbed up the bed and slammed into the mayor. That brought forth another round of moans from her. Thankfully, only five minutes passed before the Morevv stallion finished his ride. Well, before his bedmate finished, that is. Her entire body convulsed in orgasm. With his features drawn tight, the alien hefted himself off her, even though it was obvious he hadn’t come.

He untied the sated woman and said, “Did you like that, sweet?”

“You know I did. Maybe…maybe do it even harder next time,” she whispered, almost as if she were ashamed by her desire.


“Yes.” Mayor Jeffries lumbered off the bed. She retrieved a mint green suit from the floor. Once the wrinkled material was secured over her equally wrinkled body, she withdrew a stack of bills and placed them on the table. She stared over at Romeo.

“You will be free tomorrow,” she said, her voice going crisp. When she donned her clothes, I guess she also donned her sense of power.

Romeo glanced at her. He grinned slowly. “Of course. I’ll ride you so hard your screams will be heard all over the world.”

“Tomorrow, then.” She shivered before striding from the room. The door closed behind her automatically, locking her out.

Romeo quickly lost his smile. “Bitch,” he muttered.

If I hadn’t realized before, I did now. He didn’t like her. Not a bit. He was a paid lover, and gave her what she wanted. Domination. It was ironic that a public figure known for her iron fist in the political arena allowed a man, and an alien at that, to so control her privately.

Alone now, Romeo scowled down at the dog. “You should have bitten a chunk out of her ass, you worthless piece of shit.”

The dog whimpered at his tone.

I frowned.

Romeo closed his eyes and began stroking his erections—he needed two hands for the job. Added new meaning to the term “double your pleasure.” I rolled my eyes. I could stun him now, then poison him while he couldn’t fight me. He’d be dead by morning, and no one would know why or that I’d even been here.


I’d broken in several hours ago, bypassing two guards and a cutting-edge robotic security system. A robotic system that used artificial intelligence to systematically learn the homeowner’s behavior patterns and adjust itself accordingly without the need for programming. Security components integrated into such a system armed and disarmed automatically, while making accommodations for those still on the premises. To even enter the home, I’d had to program myself into the system. Very time-consuming, but worth it.

There should have been more guards, but I guessed the mayor preferred to keep their liaison as private as possible. Probably because she was nothing more than the Morevv’s bitch. I wouldn’t want people to know that, either, if I were her.

Upon first entering this room, I’d taken the time to glance around. I’d found Romeo’s holograph appointment book. Why did people use those? They left a clear trail to follow. Anyway, there’d been an interesting tidbit there.

Visit home, 9P.M. Return 11:30.

What did he mean byhome? Did he have family here? Or did he mean something else entirely? Did he mean to travel through a portal and return for a while to his home planet? I suspected the latter, and that piqued my interest. Actually, I hoped the latter. EenLi was using those damn portals. Michael wanted to know where they were. Lucius wanted to know where they were. IfI could supply that information…The intoxicating thought seduced me as surely as a passionate lover.

When Romeo (thankfully) finished his business, he rolled to his feet. “Like what you saw, Killer?” he asked the dog, his tone snide. “Bitch,” he said. “You’re all bitches.”

He kicked Killer in the stomach, and she yelped. She tried to bite him, but he kicked her again. Head ducked between her paws now, she crawled backward, away from him. I bit the inside of my cheek. Kick her one more time, I thought darkly, and I’ll forget the portal and kill you now.

Naked, he padded to the closet to find something to wear. As huge and filled to bursting with clothing as this space was, I didn’t worry that he’d see me lying on the top shelf. Hell, I wouldn’t have been surprised if a dozen other assassins were hiding in here, and I simply hadn’t seen them. The only thing that bothered me about the situation was how clichéd it was. I mean, a sophisticated killer forced to hide in the closet? Please. But I’d been stuck like this before, and I’d most likely be stuck like this again.

Romeo quickly chose another pair of black leather pants. He opted not to wear a pirate shirt, instead choosing a tight V-neck. I supposed I could see why some women fell for him—besides the double penis. His outward beauty bordered on illegal. He left me cold, however. Partly because I knew he possessed the heart of a monster underneath all that masculine beauty, but also because he lacked the rich vitality Lucius possessed. Comparing the two men was like comparing a still-life portrait with a carved sculpture. The sculpture, at least, boasted three dimensions.

Finished dressing, Romeo closed the closet. I quietly climbed down and moved to the slatted door. He was admiring himself in a full-length mirror. I glanced at his digital clock. He was scheduled for “home” in thirty minutes. The ticking of time didn’t rush him. Humming under his breath, he ambled to his dresser and slipped a necklace around his neck. I remembered seeing the necklace earlier when I’d searched his room. It was small and triangular, with a platinum chain and an odd stone in the center—a stone unlike any I’d ever seen. Crystal-like, yet shiny and smooth as brass.

After spritzing himself with cologne, Romeo finally left the bedroom. The dog growled at the door. I desperately wanted to spirit-walk and follow his exact steps, but I didn’t dare leave my body unprotected in this home. Instead, I pulled my duffel bag from the shelf. I strapped it to my back before stealthily slipping from the closet.

Killer stopped growling and glanced up at me through soulful eyes.Save me, she seemed to say. She didn’t attack me, didn’t act as if she wanted to hurt me in any way. Something inside me lurched. I didn’t have time for this, but I found myself bending down, cupping her face in my hands and meeting that big, brown gaze.

“Don’t worry,” I whispered to her. “That’s the last time you’ll ever have to see him.” Then I left the same way I’d entered—through the bay window. I didn’t think the portal would be located inside the house. That meant he had to exit sooner or later.

I pulled my face mask down. As I hooked my belt to the clear wire I’d left dangling, cool, moist air penetrated the knitted fibers of my black body stocking. I already wore gloves, so I pushed myself over the window’s ledge. Amid the sound of nearby swishing waves, I propelled down the five stories. The evening darkness offered some protection. Unfortunately, the home’s security lighting cast away most of the shadows.