Just a reminder that this is from the first draft document. It hasn’t been edited, and my publisher hasn’t even read it yet, so there might be changes before it sees the actual pages of a book.
This is from Francesca’s POV. Another vampire has just pointed out Aden to her, and she’s taking a longer look.
So, here you go. I’d like you to meet … Aden.
Even in a room filled with handsome men, Aden stood out. He was beautiful and wild looking, an untamed beast who’d donned a tuxedo for the night, the elegant clothing nothing but a thin veneer of civility—one that was barely managing to contain his savagery as he scanned the gathering, a predator sizing up his prey. Francesca watched him warily, and somehow knew that he was a single breath away from ripping out someone’s throat.
She glanced away, then back, and caught him staring at her. She shifted her gaze quickly, but not before she saw that he hadn’t bothered to do the same. He was watching her unabashedly, his eyes so dark that at first she’d thought they were black. But then the light caught them just right and she realized they were simply the deepest dark blue, and curtained by thick, black lashes that flirted with his sharp cheekbones with every lazy blink. His wavy hair was as black as his lashes, a little too long and curling above the stiff white collar of his shirt. He had a sexy mouth, full and soft-looking, but saved from pure sensuality by the touch of cruelty that was tilting his lips into a small smile as he eyed her approach. She closed the final few steps between them and stopped, shocked, now that she was closer to him, at how big he really was. Not just tall, though he was well over six foot, but with broad shoulders and a deep chest that hinted at plenty of muscle mass underneath that designer tux.
She drew a breath and plunged ahead. “Lord Aden,” she greeted him, going with her most friendly and upfront approach.
He raised a single eyebrow. She waited for him to do more, to say something, anything, to ask how she knew his name, if nothing else. But the eyebrow was the only reaction she got.
Francesca gave a careless shrug. “I do my homework like any other reporter,” she said, pretending he’d actually asked the question. “I asked my sources which vampire was the most likely to win this … whatever you call it,” she said gesturing at the gathering of vampires, “and your name was the only one that came up.”
He regarded her a moment longer, then his gaze dropped in a typical male response and did a quick toe to chest scan, starting with her Louboutin peep-toe pumps, which were far too cold for a Chicago winter, raking up silk-clad legs and taking in her short, form-fitting knit sheath, with its bare shoulders and arms, and ending with a sneering glance at a neckline so high that it nearly met her chin.
“What can I do for you, Ms. Reid?” he asked, his voice a deep growl of sound that had her heart kicking into high gear even before she’d processed what he’d said.
Her eyes flashed to his face. “How do you know—”
He laughed, and it wasn’t a happy sound. “You played Travis for two weeks to get in here. I created him two decades before you were born. Do you really think he’d bring a human around without my permission? I do my homework, too. ”
Enjoy, and I’ll see you next week. 🙂