He’d long grown bored watching the humans scurrying below – they were hapless little creatures. Perched next to a gargoyle he named ‘Fred’ two hours past, Sayer tapped his fingers against the creature’s claws. He was impatient to be back in the Realm. Hunger gnawed at him and the longer he stared at the dark-haired morsel through the sixth floor window, the more his fangs throbbed. With a hand rubbing his brow, he wondered – not for the first time since the night began - how much longer those Dark minions could talk. His surveillance had confirmed that whatever Rhydach was involved in here in New York, that hot little piece running the meeting was knees-deep in it.
Rhydach had been reaching into the Outer Realm for a couple of centuries now, but the boom in technology the last few decades made it easier for him to insert himself into the midst of those that he would like to destroy most. The Dark leader was becoming bolder, not taking as many precautions to hide his involvement in the affairs of the humans. His investments were meant towards the same end as everything else he did – to bring pain, suffering and an ultimate end to mankind.
Grunting his relief, he jumped to his feet seconds later when the four in the building across the street did the same. It took a few more minutes of shuffling and handshaking before the group headed towards the conference room door. Sayer could not hear them – even his Vampiric senses could not penetrate the heavy glass – but he was able to track their progress through adjacent windows as they made their way towards the lobby of the office space. Leaning over the edge from his perch to check out the scene on the walk below, a blink later Sayer shadowed down and took roost in a darkened corner of one of the buildings at ground level.
The female accompanied the men out to a waiting town car, providing him the opportunity he needed once the Darks took their leave. Sayer eyed her while she offered a polite and reserved smile of farewell. It was easier for him to see her more clearly in the dark of night, without the glare of fluorescent lights and distortion from the panes of glass. Standing attentively, she watched the car glide off into the late night traffic. After it disappeared around the corner, she lifted both hands and rubbed wearily at her eyes before combing the long strands of dark hair back from her face. Even with the street distance separating them, Sayer could make out the fatigue touching the corner of those magnificent blue eyes. He caught her sigh when she turned and headed towards the doors of the building.
That sound was his cue. Lorcan had sent him to find out what the Darks had going on in the Big Apple. Certain Light contacts had alerted Lorcan to the presence of too many Darks in the city - Darks from the Realm, connected directly to Rhydach. Sayer had been selected to investigate, because of all the Elite, he was the most connected with the human world. Having taken an interest in their business practices centuries ago, he was well versed in their culture and had substantial investments of his own.
His knack for the machinations of American business practices had made Lorcan and his fellow Elite quite wealthy by human standards and Sayer prided himself on his intellect as much as he did his skill with weaponry. His corporate interests would come in useful on this assignment because as a business savvy executive he knew his target would not forgo the opportunity to spend time with him.
Sayer had earlier scoped out the lobby and identified the name of the business where the meeting with the Darks was taking place. Later, from his location across the street, he had also ascertained via the nameplate on her office door that the petite woman was none other than the ‘KJ’ in KJ Market Insights. Kylie Jadewell. Sayer guessed her to be in her early thirties. Her black hair was thick, full, and littered with hot pink steaks - not enough to be outrageous, just interesting. The look was in direct contrast to her conservative business attire. Even though the length of her skirt was appropriately to her knee, he had a hard time pulling his eyes away from her spiked heels and the length of leg that was within view.
She was tiny in stature, even by human standards, but appeared muscular and fit. This one was not emaciated and overly thin like too many of the New York females he watched scurrying from the office buildings earlier in the night. The fact that she looked like a tiny warrior would have pushed all his buttons, even if her face hadn’t been gorgeous enough to rival the supernatural beauty of some of the Witch in the Realm. The whole package had him regretting her apparent association with the Darks and the fact that, as a human, she was off limits.
He shadowed again, close enough to her retreating form that his footsteps could not go unheard. Walking at an unhurried pace, he closed the gap between himself and the building she was preparing to re-enter. His footfalls echoed, causing her to react as anticipated, with a quick glance over her shoulder. It took all of five seconds for her to give him a frank study from across the thirty feet of cement walk that separated them. Those cornflower blue eyes finished their appraisal and collided with the warm gray of his. He smiled and waited until her hand locked solid on the door handle to the entrance before purposefully breaking his gaze away to glance at the watch on his wrist.
Kylie was relieved when the stranger looked away; she would have probably walked smack into the door if he had not. The last thing she’d expected to encounter was an Adonis when she turned to see who was following her and she was certain her cheeks were flushed in reaction to him. Holy cow! The man was several inches over six feet and handsome with his disheveled chestnut hair and smoky eyes. Dressed in a black suit, charcoal shirt and coordinating tie, his broad-shouldered, muscular build was obvious despite the business attire. She drew in a deep breath. There had been something animalistic in that charming smile of his that raised her instantly to the level of hot and bothered. Kylie did not dare to look back again before entering the building.
Calling out a greeting to the night attendant at the desk, Kylie was halfway to the bank of elevators when the sound of the door wooshing open echoed in the lobby. There were a lot of notes she needed to finish regarding that night’s meeting and one look from that giant outside had addled her. She surmised that actual words from him might make her forget everything she needed to remember about the last three hours. For that reason she was tempted to quicken her pace to the elevator. On the other hand, if he had just entered her building, Kylie doubted she would be able to think of much else until she figured out why he was there. She shot a hurried look back over her shoulder.
Mistake – this time she found his eyes assessing her with the same level of interest she had him outside. Kylie swallowed hard and had a mini-debate in her head. She never put her personal life ahead of her business, but she found herself pausing anyway. Kylie knew most of the occupants in this building; hers was not a downtown Manhattan towering scraper. This man did not work here - there was no way she would have missed him. Even if she had, her secretary would have long ago tracked him down, found out the pertinent details and arranged a business meeting over cocktails. It was the only way Lydia could get Kylie to do anything remotely resembling a date - the older woman mothered her. Deciding to make Lydia proud, she took the initiative for once and pivoted on her heel, a smile fixed firmly on her face.
When her eyes met his, Sayer thought the girl looked like she was about to swallow her tongue. The little human was cute in her bravado. All the more so because the rampant blush on her cheeks belied the level of ease she was trying to project. He took two more strides in her direction before she found her voice, “Is there something I can help you with? They will be locking up the building shortly and…”
Time for the ruse. Sayer interjected, “I will only be a few minutes. I am scouting my meeting location for tomorrow.”
When he grinned at her, Kylie experienced a rush of heat, wondering if he was scoping out more than just an office location. Grasping hold of her last ounce of professionalism before that deserted her - as the rest of her brain seemed to have done – she extended a hand with her introduction, “Kylie Jadewell. I work in the building. Do you need assistance finding the office?” Because he looked so damned confident and pleased with himself, she could not resist throwing in, “Fred over there can direct you.” Her nod indicated the night security man stationed at the desk.
He noted the twinkle in her eyes – spunky lass. Sayer could not stop his smirk, thinking this ‘Fred’ looked a lot like the one he’d spent his past three hours chatting up on the rooftop across the street. He also paid heed to the fact that Miss Jadewell had not introduced herself as the owner of one of the businesses in the building. Humility was a good trait. He was not going to resist tormenting her though. When his eyes locked on hers, the message was clear. He knew her game in offering up the burly security guard as his escort and he wasn’t letting her get away that easily.
Her cheeks grew pinker under his perusal; the art of flirtation was beyond her. Kylie gave a little tug to get her hand back, willing to admit defeat rather than continue on in a game she was so obviously going to lose. The non-verbal exchange with him was enough to prove to her that this one was leagues out of her comfort zone.
Sayer did not relinquish her hand, but instead clasped it more tightly in response to her attempted withdrawal. He then stepped into her personal space. There was a telling hitch in her breathing, so he rubbed a thumb over the back of her hand and gave her his name, “I’m Sayer, and I know exactly where I need to be, Miss Jadewell.”
It was the way he said it, not his words, that flustered her. How anyone could make that answer into a naughty innuendo was beyond her, but he accomplished it grandly. His eyes were heated and intent on devouring her, having the affect of pushing her further off balance.
The cocky grin of his that surfaced rubbed her just enough to cause her to renew her efforts to pull free. Kylie found a bit of self-respect and nodded – in farewell. It was her turn to be pleased when his eyes widened with disbelief. Stepping away, she pivoted towards the bank of elevators and did not bother to look when she called back, “Then I bid you good evening, Mr. Sayer.”
She thanked the Lord then for perfect timing as the doors quietly opened at her approach. Kylie was already chewing at her lower lip, pulling at the tendrils of memory that were telling her she knew that name. Her distraction was the reason that the sound of his voice at her back startled her. Lost in thought, Kylie had not heard him move with her and the unexpected closeness of his voice caused her to jump. She lost her footing in her extreme heels and would have pitched headlong into the back wall of the elevator if not for his quick, steadying grasp.
Rather than comment on her lack of grace, he continued with the conversation as if she had not just brushed him off, “It’s just Sayer, no Mister.”
Extracting herself from his hold, her face was fiery once more. It was over her clumsiness rather than any heat for him this time. When they both reached to press the button for the sixth floor, Kylie reacted strongly, retracting her hand as though his fingers had sprouted teeth. Her marketing firm shared the floor with only one other occupant - a criminal law firm. Her opinion of the sex god changed in that instant. She took two definite steps away from him, while the folding of her arms over her chest was a clear signal that she was distancing herself from him purposely. She tossed out, cool, “Westlake and Jones has a solid reputation.”
Sayer looked at her like she was full-on daft when he shifted his stance to face her. The frown on his brow confirmed his confusion before his inquiry did, “Pardon?”
Her eyes swept him again, giving her damning evidence to confirm her suspicions. The perfectly tailored, inordinately expensive suit and all the coordinating over-the-top accessories spoke volumes…as in white collar bad boy in need of low-profile, highly successful law firm. Now she was downright disdainful, “The law firm - the only business on that floor besides mine- you are in capable hands.”
Sayer could tell in that instant that Kylie had squashed every single bit of attraction she’d held for him thirty seconds prior. He wasn’t having it. Scowling at her, he did not bother to hide his displeasure. It rankled to have the beauty so readily dismiss him - probably because she was the one associating with less than favorable associates, not him. The decision was made to remind her of exactly how much she was attracted. He might be of the Light, but he was Vampire and that meant he was no saint.
When he moved forward, she had to tilt her head back to keep her eyes on his. Stepping right in front of her, he did not stop, but kept moving until her retreating steps caused her back to come up against the wall. Kylie wasn’t afraid of him; she was more irked that her body was a thousand times more responsive in this close space than it had been in the lobby.
Her eyes narrowed on his, silently objecting to his encroachment. The shadowy lighting in the elevator caused his to look as though they were pits of black. Lust warred with indignation, and Kylie failed to control the breathiness in her voice when she hissed out, “You are in my space!” When he merely quirked a brow, as if to say ‘So what?’ he looked so damned sexy she couldn’t stop the words from pouring out, “I am trying to decide if it would be more effective to punch or bite you.”
The flat of his palm found the cool wall next to her head and he leaned way down so that he could get close. His face was mere inches from hers when his other hand tweaked a hot pink strand of hair. The appreciation in his voice was nearly overtaken by the heat, “You are a little warrior, aren’t you?”
Kylie swallowed hard. If she raised up just an inch, she had no doubt he would meet her lips. She had to remind herself that she was principled, she had standards – her values were of a different variety than the uber-wealthy business executives that needed the services of the law firm on her floor. That meant that this one was off-limits. “I have sharp teeth,” she raked her lower lip with them to give credence to her threat.
She thought he might have growled right before he obliterated her line in the sand by dropping closer still; his lips hovered right above hers. The breath from his mouth touched her lips when Sayer answered in a gravelly whisper, “I like to bite too, Kylie. I bet I could lose myself in the taste of you...” He didn’t let her widening eyes give him pause, but shifted around to whisper to her ear, letting his lips brush as he did, “If I ever bit you, Kylie, your body would do amazing things for me.” When he drew back, the certainty of that wicked promise in his gaze made her knees weak. Her eyes slipped shut to block him out, but there was the barest hint of a needy sound in the back of her throat while she warred with herself for control.
Releasing a slow breath, Sayer didn’t withdraw further. Much to his shock, the human was actually rousing him. He had the most vivid image running through his mind of exactly what he could be doing to her when he bit her the first time. The beauty in front of him with the hot blush and pulse beating crazily at her throat had him dying for a taste.
Her tongue darted over her lips but she still had not opened her eyes. Sayer decided it was time to pay her back for dismissing him. He took another step so that the front of her arms, still crossed over her chest, now brushed against his abdomen…she was certainly tiny. Twirling the silken strand of pink around his fingers, he questioned without really questioning, “Ms. Jadewell, you are the KJ in KJ Marketing, yes?”
Her eyes shot wide open. Kylie had expected the next words from him to entail a proposition of some time spent naked and hot…together. She swallowed hard and gave him the slight nod of her head. His question befuddled her; it was obvious by the crinkle on the bridge of her nose. It was also obvious that she did not have all her wits about her and couldn’t quite grasp why his question seemed odd. Her confusion turned to acute embarrassment with his next words.
Sayer threw in a bit of extra arrogance, just for effect, “Sayer, Ms. Jadewell, as in Sayer International.” He didn’t give her an inch more of room, not ready to break the physical connection between them. Waiting three seconds for those words to hit her consciousness, he continued, “My secretary scheduled a meeting this afternoon with the President of KJ for tomorrow evening. My schedule will not permit me to make it until seven o’clock, but I was assured that would not be a problem.”
Sayer did not react when the ding of the elevator indicated they had reached their destination. Kylie did not either, because she was mortified. She had been in that three hour meeting from hell when her assistant left and had not had the opportunity to check her email. Damn him, she knew that name sounded familiar. She did not appreciate the humor she could see lingering in his gaze. The elevator began the slow trek back to the ground level when she finally found her voice, “You are the Sayer, in Sayer International?”
Her body was still responding to the nearness of his– he had yet to step back - despite the shock of learning the identity of the not-white-collar-criminal before her. That thought had her cringing; she had pretty much accused him of being a degenerate. It was definitely not as humiliating as threatening to bite one of the most successful entrepreneurs of the past decade. She had to dig her nails into her palms to keep from groaning her embarrassment. Kylie could not imagine what a business man of his caliber could possibly want with her firm, and after this encounter, she was not certain that he still would. She hedged, “I have been in meetings all afternoon, Mr. Sayer…I was unaware…”
He was still so close that Kylie could see black flecks in the silver surrounding his pupils when he interrupted, “Sayer…just Sayer. I will be in meetings all day tomorrow, so have dinner brought in for ours. Your assistant can coordinate with mine to handle the arrangements.” She was numbly nodding to acknowledge the instructions when the elevator signaled their return to the ground floor.
Sayer hesitated, long enough to run the tip of his index finger down the full length of one of her pink streaks. He fingered the end of the strand a second longer before pulling his hand away. Winking, he stepped back, “I like the pink, Ms. Jadewell. Makes you look like a fierce little fairy.”
He was gone before Kylie could move or even begin to come up with a suitable retort. Fairy…bah. At the moment, she was nothing more than a puddle of liquid heat.