They were following her. Whenever she turned a corner, so did they. What did they want? Sarah ducked into a coffee shop and, ignoring curious onlookers, dashed to the bathroom and locked the door behind her. Hopefully, the men would get the hint and leave her alone--whoever and whatever they were.
The minute she'd stepped into the galley and had seen them, Sarah had known there was something different about the two men--something not quite human. And the scent they'd given off was like nothing she'd smelled before ... raw, wild, musky, and primitive. The only other time she'd caught a whiff like that was connected to a tragic childhood memory.
In the brief glimpse she'd caught of both men, Sarah had noticed they were incredibly attractive, but she hadn't wanted to stick around to get a closer look. Damn. She knew she should have stayed home and painted today; instead, she'd decided to come down to the gallery for inspiration. Now she was in a fix and wasn't sure how to get out of it.
They were here.
Looking wildly around the ladies room, she wondered if she should try to escape through the narrow bathroom window or wait out her pursuers. Then the pounding on the door let her know that she had to think fast.
"Um, just a minute," she called out unsteadily. Climbing onto a toilet seat, she pushed against the sill with one hand, while lifting the window at the same time with the other. Shit! It was stuck.
Sarah used the flat of her hand to give the window a hard shove, dislodging the entire thing in the process. The frame dangled and glass shattered, spraying to the ground a few feet below. She briefly cursed her own strength; if that didn't draw everyone's attention, she didn't know what would.
Again, someone beat on the door, and a deep masculine voice spoke from the other side. "Open up. We just want to have a word with you."
"I'll be a minute. Hold your horses." Slipping through the window face first, Sarah had barely got her hips out when a pair of strong hands grasped her arms and yanked her forward the rest of the way. She gasped, momentarily robbed of her breath.
He was nothing short of perfect. Ink-black hair rested in a dark cloud of waves around his face, giving him a wild look. His features were strong and pronounced, almost arrogant, and his gray eyes seemed to be looking right into her soul. Dear Lord, his mouth was sexy, too; it was deep red, and while his top lip was full, the bottom one was sinfully plump, forming his mouth into a sensual pout. Sarah had never seen anything like those lips before and couldn't tear her eyes away.
With a quick shake of her head, she examined the rest of the man. Since she was an inch shy of six feet herself, she figured he stood at least seven inches taller. The stranger was lean but athletically built and had a broad chest. He was so blatantly masculine that he actually made an Amazon like her feel petite and feminine.
"Why did you run?" he asked smoothly.
Sarah's body heated with awareness. No. Please don't let me be attracted to this man, who's quite possibly a psychotic killer. Replying with bravado she didn't quite feel, Sarah snapped, "Why were you and your friend following me?"
An amused smirk tilted his lips. "I asked you first, sweetheart."
"I'm not your sweetheart, and I'll thank you to take your damn hands off me!" When she tried to wrench her arms out of his grip, he held on effortlessly, much to her surprise. Sarah was no weak woman, so why couldn't she break free of his hold? "Besides, I don't owe you any explanation. It's my prerogative where I choose to go. Now, I insist you release me, or I swear I'll scream." As each second passed, she began to lose the little bit of courage stored within her.
"Go ahead and scream. No one will come to your rescue. My cousin can be persuasive when he wants to be, and right about now he's probably convinced everyone in there that they simply imagined everything or that the locked bathroom door and broken window was the result of a prank."
"You don't think I will?"
"Oh, I think you will, but it won't you any good."
Sarah narrowed her eyes. "What do you mean by that?"
"Try it and find out."
Opening her mouth to do just that, she was shocked when his lips covered hers. She began to hammer his arms and any part of his body she could reach with her balled fists. Dear Lord, he was probably a killer and a rapist!
Even though she had above-average strength, nothing she did seemed to faze him. Then something incredible happened. As his tongue slid between her slightly parted lips, her body began to respond to him.
A buildup of heated sensuality started at the base of her spine, slowly moving through her body, and made Sarah melt against the insistent pressure of his mouth. Her pussy tingled with sexual awareness, something she'd never allowed any male to get close enough to do before. Sarah couldn't even think of a man who could ever have ignited such a burning need within her so instantly.
His large hands cupped her bottom, pulling her against him. Sarah felt the outline of his hard cock against her thigh. Unable to help herself, she dug her fingers in the thick mane of his dark hair and thrust her tongue out to meet his. He tasted tangy and masculine, and she wanted more.
Suddenly, he shoved her against the building, pressing hard. Sarah's nipples tightened to stiff pebbles, aching to be released. She finally tore her mouth away to take a much-needed breath and saw something that frightened her to the core.
The stranger's eyes were no longer human. His pupils had constricted to tiny pinholes, and the irises were a deep, sinister yellow. What the hell?! This couldn't be happening. He was one of them!