Anna Grace licked her lips. He'd seen what she held behind her back. She took two steps away from him. He followed, maintaining the same distance between them.
"I said, 'Give me back my pictures.'"
Yeah, yeah, she'd heard him. "Look. Theo..."
"I don't care who you are or what you're up to. But you're not leaving here with my pictures."
Her brain raced, trying to think of some way to get out of this. If only she had mind control powers. That would be helpful in most situations she found herself in. But alas, that was a vampire myth, not a reality. She affected a bubble-headed laugh. "These old things? Why, I was getting a look at your talent. You are quite the talented man." She batted her eyelashes and tried not to barf. Because men tended to equate her tit size as an inverse from her IQ, she often played the dumb little woman to her advantage.
"Yeah, I bet you were." Theo stepped back and locked the door. "What are you doing here?"
She could still run for the door if she could get him away from it, although unlocking it would take a few seconds off her escape time. Theo had a head on his shoulders, which he used, unlike most.
Appraising him, her feminine motor hummed. His jet-black hair reflected the light off of it in shiny waves. It was not long, but thick, and her fingers itched to press into the soft-looking strands. Tall and lanky with enough rope-corded muscle to look yummy, he radiated a certain arrogance even in casual khakis and a polo shirt. Under different circumstances, she would have been thinking about a good fuck.
"Done checking me out?" He arched a brow.
She lifted her head, looking straight into his dancing eyes of bluish grey. They reminded her of the sky. "Not really."
He grinned, a bit lopsidedly. "Flattery will not get you out of here with my pictures. Who sent you to take them?"
The mafia? Another news station? The FBI? "The people I work for don't want these pictures to get out." That was true enough.
"Do you know him? The guy in the pictures? Is that who sent you?" His voice sharpened to a tone like the blade of a razor.
She hesitated on the answer.
"Dammit." He huffed out an indignant breath. "I told Chester to keep my name out of it. I didn't want what happened last time to happen again."
"Last time?" Her eyes glanced between him and the door. If he'd move over a smidgeon she could get out of it even with the lock.
"Yeah. With the murders. I didn't want my identity broadcast." He ran a hand through his hair, not moving to where he needed to be for her to escape. "The last thing I needed was a killer out to get me." He affixed her with a glare full of malice. "But you're not going anywhere with those pictures. I don't care if he is out to kill me now. The police will get them as evidence. I'll see to it." His arms folded against his chest as he continued.
She hemmed, breaking into his speech, though his determination made her stomach flutter. Nothing like a man who knew what he wanted and wouldn't give up to get it. Would he be so single minded about other things? Oh my. "I'm not from ... the man in the pictures. You're not in any danger from me."
"You know his name. You know who he is."
"That's not important." She stepped closer to him, not to manipulate him with her body but to look at him face to face. Maybe she could talk her way out of this. "Look, the man in these pictures will have to answer for what he did. I promise you that." Sometimes, justice was important to humans. The idea of it was a good way of getting them to agree to other things when they didn't want to. She did intend Titius to pay for everything he'd done, so it wasn't a lie. "But they can't go forward. Too many people would be ... hurt."
"How would they be hurt?"
"They just would. I can't explain it other than that." She let her eyes bore into his, unable to initiate him into vampiredom. There was too much at stake. He was a cameraman for a TV station and could blow the cover off their whole entire world if he found out about it. She shuddered to think what the scientists of today would do to them. "These pictures can't go forward. But the man in them will get what's coming to him." And more. For too many crimes against humanity to list. "I will tell you that."
He stepped closer to her. "Promise?"
He came even closer. "You're sure."
The proximity of his body made hers shiver. His warmth drew her. He'd noticed the reaction and a look of pure masculine pride washed across his face. She wanted to press herself against him and, most importantly, feel his body against hers. Her wrapped around him sounded about as nice as it got. The feelings perplexed her. She'd never had thoughts so strong before, even with her healthy libido. Screwing Theo into next Tuesday shouldn't be her priority. But as her thighs clenched together, her pussy walls slick with arousal, she found it hard to think about anything else.
He reached out to run a hand along her neck. The fingers glided across her skin, causing nerve endings to fire off. Shudders started at her pelvis and ran up her spine. Her skin tingled where the pads of his fingers had touched long after they'd moved on. Such strong rough hands. His head lowered to slowly capture her lips with his. As their lips slid together, and he kissed her masterfully, a moan escaped her, one that was deep seated and throaty. A touch of tongue, and her knees almost buckled. Her heart raced as if a racehorse had taken up residence in her chest.
The folder jerked out of her hands. His lips yanked from hers, and he backed away. "Excuse me when I say, not in this lifetime. Don't know you. Don't trust you."
Her mouth fell open before she closed it. Her senses hummed from his simple kiss. Her vampire reared up to say, Mine. Take him. She ignored her beast. Theo had played her! No one did that. He'd done what she started earlier with him, using his sexuality to distract and acquire what he wanted. Even as she wanted to smack him over the head, it was a well played move. One she'd done in the past. Not only could the man use his head for something other than to grow thick hair, he could use it while his little head was engaged. She'd felt his erection against her. "That was not a wise move."