He told himself a lot of bullshit things as he laid his head back with a groan and let Renata take all that she needed from him.

Renata had never felt more alive. Nikolai's blood was a fire in her senses, every nuance of the moment buffeting her with vivid awareness. The wound in her shoulder gave her no pain now; her need for Nikolai was all she knew.

He held her hips as she impaled herself on his sex, her mind lost to all but the heat of him filling her, the masculine beauty of his big body moving in a shared rhythm beneath her. Through the swamping haze of her desire, she admired the corded muscles of his arms and chest, a symphony of strength, flexing and contracting, power made all the more stunning by the artful colors and patterns of his changeable dermaglyphs.

Even his fangs, which by rights should have terrified her, took on a lethal beauty now. The sharp tips of them gleamed with every sawing breath he dragged through his teeth. The blood she'd taken from him must have made her a little bit crazy, because some dim part of her wanted those lethal canines pressed up close against her neck, piercing her flesh as she rode him.

She could still taste his blood on her tongue, sweet and wild and dark, an electric tingle that spread all through her and lit her up from within.

She craved more of that power, more of him...

All of him.

Renata dug her fingers into his thick biceps and drove deeper, harder, chasing that dangerous need his blood had unleashed in her. He took every desperate thrust of her hips, holding her steady as a shattering orgasm slammed into her. She cried out as the pleasure washed over her, a scream of release that she couldn't have contained even if her life depended on it. The intensity was far too much to bear. She trembled from it, awed by the force of her passion for him - a passion she had been afraid to feel for so long.

She didn't fear Nikolai.

She wanted him.

Trusted him.

"Are you okay?" he asked her, little more than a growl as he continued to rock with her. "Are you in any pain now?" She shook her head, unable to speak when every nerve ending in her body was still taut with need and vibrating with sensation.

"Good," he murmured, and slipped his hand around the back of her neck to draw her down for a kiss. His mouth was hot on hers, his fangs grazing her lips and tongue. He felt so good...tasted so good.

The fire that had banked somewhat with her release kindled back to furious life. She moaned as the need rose up again, moving her hips in time with the hunger that pulsed in her core. Nikolai didn't let her want for long. He pistoned along with her, increasing their tempo until she was breaking apart again, drifting on wave after wave of pleasure. Then he took over completely, filling her and withdrawing, every stroke seeming to touch someplace deeper within her, then deeper still. He came on a hoarse shout, his spine arching beneath her, his pelvis bucking her with the force of his release. Renata's climax joined his a moment later, a prolonged disintegration that left her shaking and liquid in his arms.

And still she wanted more.

She wanted more, even after the next orgasm and the next. Even after she and Nikolai both were sweating and spent, she hungered for still more.

Edgar Fabien felt six pairs of shrewd, measuring eyes root on him as his secretary whispered an urgent message into his ear. An interruption at this hour - in the midst of such important company as these specially invited Breed dignitaries who'd come into Montreal from the United States and abroad - practically screamed bad news. And it was, though Fabien allowed no such outward indication.

The assembled males had been privately assessing one another as they'd arrived one by one this evening, all of them summoned to Edgar Fabien's Darkhaven residence to await transport to an exclusive gathering to take place elsewhere. To preserve their anonymity, the group had been instructed to don black hooded masks at all times. They had been forbidden to ask personal questions of one another, or to discuss their individual dealings with the Breed male who had called this meeting and laid down the terms of its covert attendance. Dragos had made it clear that now more than ever he would be watching for weakness, or for the slightest reason to deem Fabien or his other lieutenants standing in this very room unworthy of the glorious future he was planning to unveil at the formal gathering.

As the secretary whispered the rest of his message, Fabien was glad for the dark hood that concealed his reaction from the others. He kept his stance relaxed, every muscle loose and at ease, as he was informed that one of his Minions from the city was waiting outside with unanticipated, but critical, news that could not be delayed. News about a Breed male and an injured woman in his company, who, from the description, could be none other than the pair who'd escaped the containment facility.

"Will you all excuse me?" Fabien said, his smile tight beneath his disguise. "I've a small matter to attend to outside. I won't be a moment."

A few dark heads inclined as Fabien pivoted to stroll out of the room.

Once the reception room door was closed and he and his secretary had walked several yards down the long hallway, Fabien tore off his hood. "Where is he?"

"Awaiting you in the front vestibule, sir."

Fabien stormed off in that direction, wringing the black hood in his hands. As he reached the door, his secretary rushed up ahead to hold it open for him. The Minion was leaning against the wall, engrossed in chewing his fingernails down the quick, his unkempt, overlong bangs hanging into his eyes. When he looked up and saw his Master enter, the human's disgusting sloth was replaced with a hound's eagerness to please.

"I have brought you some news, Master."

Fabien grunted. "So I've heard. Speak, Curtis. Tell me what you saw."

The Minion explained how earlier in the day he'd gone to ask a question of his human employer - a homeless shelter operator who'd hired Curtis to work on his computers - and unexpectedly discovered that the vampire warrior was hiding in the shelter's garage apartment. Curtis hadn't been able to get a close look, but had gotten near enough to tell that the huge male was Breed. It wasn't until just a short while ago that he confirmed his suspicions. Apparently the warrior and the female who was with him had become rather friendly. The pair were too busy in bed to notice when Curtis later sneaked back up to the garage and spied them together through the window.

The Minion had gotten an eyeful, and was able to provide a very detailed physical description of both the warrior Nikolai and the Breedmate Renata.

"You're certain neither of them is aware that you were there?" Fabien asked.

The Minion chuckled. "No, Master. Trust me, they weren't paying attention to anything but each other."

Fabien nodded and glanced at his watch. It would be dusk within the hour. He'd already assigned a team of Enforcement Agents to head out on another cleanup task for him tonight. Perhaps he should send a second unit into the city with Curtis. Bad enough that the warrior had managed to escape him at the containment facility. The news hadn't gone over well when Fabien had informed Dragos of the problem, but the bungle would be cushioned somewhat if he could assure him that the warrior had been dealt with - swiftly and permanently.

Yes, Fabien thought, as he reached into his suit coat pocket for his cell phone and dialed the Enforcement Agency detail who reported to him.

Tonight he would clean the slate of a couple recent mistakes, and when he presented himself to Dragos at the gathering, he would do so bearing fortuitous news and a charming little gift that his new commander was certain to enjoy.

Chapter Twenty-two

Do you think he'll hurt her?"

Renata's voice was quiet, breaking the prolonged silence in the humid apartment. She was seated across from Nikolai at the card table, wearing an extra-large gray T-shirt and her own jeans, laundered and returned earlier in the day, courtesy of Jack. Her shoulder wound was looking a hell of a lot better, and every time Niko had asked, she insisted she wasn't feeling much pain. He figured his blood would carry her for a few hours at least. They'd been out of bed for a while now, both of them bathed and dressed, and carefully avoiding the subject of all that had happened between them today.

Instead, Nikolai kept himself busy cleaning and prepping Jack's twin Colt .45s, while he and Renata put plans together for their trek out to Yakut's lodge shortly. Although Niko doubted Lex would willingly cough up information on his alliance with Edgar Fabien, he had a feeling a few strategically placed rounds would loosen the bastard's tongue.

He hoped so, because without a solid lead on the Darkhaven leader's probable location, the odds of finding Mira unscathed by Fabien's twisted proclivities were diminishing by the second.

"Do you think he will...do anything to her?"

Niko looked over and saw the dread in Renata's eyes. "Fabien's not a good man. I honestly don't know what he intends for her."

She glanced down at that, her slim dark brows drawn together. "You didn't tell me everything your friends back in Boston learned about him."

Shit. He should have known Renata would call him on this. He'd deliberately skimmed over the worst of what Gideon had told him, figuring the sordid details wouldn't help them locate Mira any faster and would only make Renata worry more. But he respected her too much to lie to her.

"No, I didn't tell you everything," he admitted. "Do you really want to know all of it?"

"I think I need to know." She met his gaze again, her pale green eyes sober, as steady as a warrior girded for battle. "What did the Order find out about him?"

"He's second-generation Breed, easily several hundred years old," Niko said, starting with the least of Fabien's offenses.

"He's been the leader of the Montreal Darkhaven for the past century and a half, and he's also got far-reaching ties into the upper tiers of the Enforcement Agency, which means he's politically connected too."

Renata scoffed quietly. "That's a resume, Nikolai. You know what I'm asking. Give it to me straight."

"All right." He nodded, not bothering to hide his admiration. Or his concern. "Even though he's got a lot of friends in high places, Edgar Fabien's not what you'd call a model citizen. Apparently he's got some fairly sick kinks that have caused him a bit of trouble over the years."

"Kinks," Renata said, all but spitting the word.

"His tastes tend to run on the sadistic side, and he...well, he's been known to enjoy the company of children from time to time. Particularly young girls."

"Jesus Christ," Renata exclaimed in a tight rush of her breath. She closed her eyes and turned her face aside, all of her going very still, as though it took some work to keep from breaking down. When she finally looked back at Niko, there was a murderous glint in her unblinking jade-green gaze. "I'll kill him. I swear it, Nikolai. I will fucking kill him if he's done anything to her." "We're gonna get him," he assured her. "We're going to find him, and we're going to get Mira back."

"I can't fail her, Nikolai."

"Hey," he said, reaching out to cover her hand with his. "We won't fail her. Got it? I'm with you on this. We're gonna get her back."

She looked at him in silence for a long moment. Then, very slowly, she flipped her hand over and linked her fingers through his. "She's going to be safe...right?"

A trace of uncertainty, one of the first times he'd heard it in her voice. He wanted to erase the doubt for her, and the worry, but all he could offer was his promise. "We're going to get her back, Renata. You've got my word on that."

"Okay," she said. Then, more resolutely, "Okay, Nikolai. Thank you."

"You're really something, you know that?" She started to shake her head in denial, but Niko gave her hand a gentle squeeze, keeping her centered. "You're strong, Renata. Stronger than you know. Mira's lucky to have you on her side. Hell, so am I." Her answering smile was faint and slightly sad. "I hope you're right."

"I'm hardly ever wrong," he said, grinning at her and barely resisting the urge to lean across the little table and kiss her. But that would only lead to one thing - something that his libido was already imagining in explicit detail.

"So, how long are you going to fondle those Colts before you let me have a look at one?"

Niko leaned back in the metal folding chair and chuckled. "Take your pick. You sure you know how to handle - "

He didn't have a chance to finish the thought. Renata reached out for the gun nearest to her and a full magazine of rounds. She had the weapon loaded, locked, and ready for action in three seconds flat. Niko had never seen anything sexier in his life. "Impressive."

She set the pistol down on the table and arched one slim dark brow at him. "You want help with yours now too?" He started to laugh, but swallowed the sound before it left his mouth.

They weren't alone.

Renata followed his gaze upward, to where Nikolai could swear he heard a muted thud. It came again, then a small creak of the garage roof.

"We've got company," he whispered to her.

Renata gave him a nod, already getting up from her chair. She slid the loaded to him across the table and moved in swift, efficient silence to begin loading the other.

No sooner had Nikolai picked up the gun than the garage apartment door burst inward, kicked off its hinges. A huge vampire in the black SWAT gear of the Enforcement Agency rushed inside, the laser sights of his silenced automatic rifle locked on Renata. "Son of a bitch!" Niko shouted. "Renata, shoot him!"

For an awful second, she didn't move. Nikolai thought she had frozen up in shock, but then the Agent let out a howl of pain and dropped his weapon to clutch at his temples. He went down on his knees, but there were two more armed males right behind him. They leapt over the shrieking obstacle and opened fire in the small space. Renata took cover behind one of the metal file cabinets, firing on the Agent in the lead. Niko targeted the second newcomer, but his shot went wild as the small window above the bed shattered and yet another Enforcement Agent dropped into the fray, armed to the gills.


***P/S: Copyright -->Novel12__Com