Barnes & Noble
I listened to Andreas’ proposal and tried not to let my surprise or apprehension show.
He’d paid for my first class ticket to New Orleans because he needed my services—not here in the States, but I was to accompany him to Europe.
F*ck! What was it with the men in the South? At least Sebastiaan had asked for my help, but there was none of that with Andreas. He demanded my help, and it wasn’t exactly an offer I could refuse.
“You should know that when Lena first came back here to New Orleans, she pissed off a lot of powerful people. If her enemies were only mortals then I would have no cause to be concerned, but some supes were involved as well and you know our kind, Angelika. You’ve met and conversed with Sebastiaan. What do you think of him? It should go without saying I’m asking for your honest opinion and not what you think it is I want to hear.”
“He’s a gentleman…despite his dubious standing as the werewolf King of North America,” I began in a guarded fashion. “I never felt any concern for my safety while in his presence. In fact, I believed he would guard me with his life if he had to and that granted me a lot of comfort around him. I can’t help but think behind all his bravado he’s truly a decent person, even if he isn’t completely mortal.”
Andreas’ steel blue eyes glared at me before they softened. “Your sister is right. You truly can see people for who they are…and as you have made some very accurate observations about my half-brother, he’s going to be the one who takes care of Lena while we are away.”
I stood from my comfortable chaise lounge across from his desk. “Mr. Damgaard—”
“Andreas, please. No one calls me Mr. Damgaard except for the help, and in my business circles, I am known as Mr. von Wiesenheimer…my father’s human last name.”
“Are you saying Sebastiaan and you have the same father?”
He continued to stare at me as he sipped from a Baccarat glass filled with Hoodoo Hex. “Unfortunately. However, he slept with my mother ages before he got desperate enough to fuck a Lycan bitch, even if she is supposedly their royalty. I’m the older of us by a little over three hundred years. Sebastiaan is no spring chicken in human years but he is considered a young supernatural creature. Thanks to our Sidhe blood, he appears to be in his early twenties. He won’t age for a very long time to come.
“I should also tell you it is not uncommon for the Lycan to seek out the same mate as their sibling. It’s like a territorial pissing contest. Yes, I am aware that Sebastiaan has f*cked Lena but I have told him to treat her with the utmost respect and he will. I will do the same for you in turn, although I can see how attracted he is to you and the thought of you sharing your body with him…well, it is not a pleasant thought for me.”
“Neither is it for me.” I made myself another vodka over rocks before I sat down again across from him. “I didn’t mean to act childish and I hope you will forgive me. I should be…flattered that you need my help with anything and it is my job. I don’t know if it is the heat or just being here in New Orleans again but it’s been quite the adjustment for me. I usually show much more restraint.”
“No need to apologize. I can see why Lena kept you away from me so long. You are completely and utterly…exquisite.”
I sipped from my vodka for liquid courage. “You are kidding, right? You share a bed with my sister every night and here you are, drooling after me as if you haven’t gotten laid in ages. I assumed that is what you were doing upstairs, keeping Sebastiaan and I waiting for such an indecent length of time.”
He smiled and it made his eyes glow, definitely a Sidhe trait. “Yes, I was getting my rocks off so to speak but you know what they say: ‘Show me a beautiful woman and I’ll show you a man who is tired of f*cking her’. Your sister and I have been together for eighteen months. To a vampire who is not in love, that is an eternity to f*ck the same old p*ssy. Not to mention she’s addicted to my blood so I have entered territory which is dangerous for both of us.”
My heart sank. I knew what this was and here was the threat laid out in front of me. I had to accompany Andreas to Europe or he would dump my sister on her ass. It was that cut and dried.
True, Lena was beautiful, but we both knew she had hit the jackpot with Andreas and she would never be so lucky ever again. I hated that my weakness was an older sister who should have been looking after me, but I was compelled to look after her. I couldn’t see that happen to her. If he would promise to keep his protection over my darling sister then I would do whatever it took.
“I know a veiled threat when I hear one, Andreas. If I don’t accompany you to Europe then you’ll toss my sister away like yesterday’s trash. I can’t afford for that to happen. I mean, I make enough money to take care of her but she won’t take my money and she’s self-destructive by nature—it’s par for the course for the offspring of a Sidhe and a shifter.”
“Perhaps.” He stood and walked over to me. His hands touched my neck in the most intimate way, soft as silk. “And what about you? Are you self destructive? I have to deal with Lena…I don’t want to have to deal with another personality like her.”
I whipped around to face him. “You should know by now my sister and I are nothing alike. Lena has always used her beauty to get what she wanted and I know I’m attractive but I don’t use it to my advantage. My skills have always kept me in demand. Even if I was butt-ugly, I would still be filthy rich because of my abilities and that suits me just fine.”
“Yes, I know. I didn’t realize being compared to your sister would make you so touchy.”
I finished my drink and set the glass on the cherry wood desk on the coaster provided. “Listen, I don’t mean to be rude, but now that I know this visit has nothing to do with my sister then please let me know where we are going and what I will be doing for you. I think it is only fair. Or am I overstepping some invisible line and being disrespectful to you? You’re the most powerful vampire in Louisiana so my intention is not to alienate you, believe me.”
Andreas knelt before me and his lips touched my neck. I found this highly erotic although I was appalled by his gall at the same time. I physically heard his fangs unsheathe in my ear and he ran his sharpened eye-teeth against my vein. “What I wouldn’t do to taste your blood…”