"Just take it easy," said a deep yet sweet male voice.
Dana's first thought was that she had died and gone to heaven because surely an angel would sound like this.
Though she lay on damp pavement, her head rested against something soft and warm. She realized it was the angel's hand, but why would an angel feel so... human?
Her eyes opened, but took a few seconds to focus on the handsome young man leaning over her. He had large blue eyes accentuated with black liner and rimmed with long, thick lashes most women would envy. Wavy auburn hair bound into a tail hung over one muscular shoulder, left exposed by a black mesh tank top.
"Somebody attacked me."
"Yeah. The guy ran off when he saw me. Are you all right?"
"I think so." She sounded almost as weak as she felt.
Her rescuer helped her sit up and when she tried to stand he gently pressed a hand to her shoulder. "Sit for a minute," he said. "I think you should see a doctor."
"No, I'll be okay... I think." Dana closed her eyes for a moment. She tried to remember what happened. Brief images of her attacker flashed across her mind and she trembled. "He tried to bite me! What a nut! I think he had fangs. Must have been one of those freaks who pretend they're vampires."
"Yeah. Probably." This time when she tried to stand, he gently grasped her arm and helped her to her feet. He placed a steadying arm around her and she realized that while he wasn't particularly tall -- probably five nine or ten -- his slender body was rock hard. He had the body of a dancer, or maybe a gymnast.
With every breath, she inhaled the wonderful aroma of his citrus cologne. Toward the end of the alley, streetlights brightened their way and she noted he was even more handsome out of the shadows. He had a square jaw and high cheekbones dusted with a hint of blush. Despite the makeup, he possessed an aura of masculinity. One look at the respectable bulge in the front of his snug faded jeans showed that whatever his sexual preference, in body he was all man. His dusky pink nipples shone beneath his mesh shirt and Dana also detected the glitter of silver piercings. She absolutely loved nipple piercings on guys.
"Where are you staying?" he asked.
"I... I'm not sure. What I mean is, I just got to Las Vegas and I haven't checked into a hotel yet. Actually I'm on my way to Bloody or Nothing. My sister mentioned it and --"
"That's a coincidence. I'm staying there."
A chill rippled down her spine. Now that she had gotten her bearings again, she realized she had no idea who this man was. For all she knew, he could be as dangerous as the one who'd attacked her.
"Bloody or Nothing has a very good hotel doctor. It wouldn't be a bad idea if he looked you over."
"Thanks for your help, but I'll find my own way from here," she said, tugging away from him.
Raising an eyebrow, he said, "The hotel is just across the street." He pointed and she glanced toward the tall, dark building that looked more like a Moorish palace than a modern day hotel.
Her sister had mentioned Bloody or Nothing in her letters over the past two years, which was why Dana wanted to check in there. It seemed the best place to look for Mira.
Dana's phone calls to her sister had gone unanswered over the past few days. Their last conversation had been quite disturbing, so Dana had decided to take a plane to Las Vegas to see for herself that Mira was all right.
"What's your sister's name?"
She was about to reply, then narrowed her eyes and asked, "What's your name?" After all, she knew nothing about him, except that he'd saved her life.
"Rory," he replied and smiled at her. "And you?"
His smile faded and his smooth brow furrowed. "Are you Mira's sister?"
"You know her?"
"Yes, of course. She'd been trying to contact you for two days."
"Then she's okay?"
"Yes. She's staying here at the hotel. I'll have the front desk clerk call her for you. She's going to be so relieved to see you."
She'll be relieved? Yet another strange feeling swept over her. Was this too much of a coincidence?