Marilyn Lee's Love Bytes

Night of Sin 2: Last Night With You Excerpt

 

Night of Sin 2: Last Night With You Excerpt

©2017 Marilyn Lee

All Rights Reserved

“Is that seat taken?”

Sitting alone in a booth in a dimly lit bar, Max Stoner looked up from his untouched drink. During the two tortuous hours he’d spent there, he hadn’t seen a single woman worthy of a second glance; that included the extremely full-figured plain-Jane smiling at him so hopefully.

Not only couldn’t she sit with him, but she looked so damned young that she probably had to be carded every time she walked into a bar or a night club. “Yes,” he said curtly, annoyed that she thought he was prepared to waste even a moment of his time with a woman who would make him look as if he were a cradle robber.

She moistened her lips, but didn’t leave.

He stared at her coolly. Why the hell was she still here? Did she want him to be unpleasant?

“You’re Max, aren’t you?”

He frowned. There was nothing memorable about her so it was possible that they’d met before and he’d forgotten her. “Have we met?”

“Yes.”

“Refresh my memory. Where and when?”

She shook her head. “I mean no…at least I’ve seen you so many times I feel almost as if we’ve met.”

She sounded like a damned stalker. “If you’ll excuse me—”

“You’re Max Stoner from Cooking with Max. Aren’t you? I’m a big fan and I follow you on several social media platforms.”

Some of his annoyance vanished. He had a soft spot for his many subscribers.

“You are Max. Aren’t you?”

He arched a brow.

She seemed to find that encouraging. “May I sit?”

He smiled. “No.”

Watching her moistening her lips, he noted for the first time how soft, full, and lush they looked. Still, if he were going to dally with a human woman, she’d need to be stunningly beautiful, sexy as hell, and look like a woman rather than a girl.

“I know you must get wary of your subscribers intruding on your free time.”

“I do.” So why the hell didn’t she get lost?

“I won’t take much of your time.”

If one discounted her soft, yet sexy voice and gorgeous honey-amber gaze, there was nothing about her to attract him. Granted her smooth, brown skin looked nearly flawless and her smile was okay. As a centuries old full-blood vampire, he’d long ago lost count of the number of lovers he’d had. An okay smile, beautiful skin, and kissable looking lips had never been enough to put a woman on his sexual radar. And that was not going to change with her.

“You’ve already taken more of it than you should.”

“My apologies.”

“Apology accepted. Good night.”

“Good bye.”

“You’re still here,” he pointed out.

She glanced over her shoulder before meeting his gaze again. “I was hoping I could sit with you…just for a few minutes.”

“No.”

She inhaled and look towards the bar before moving away with clear reluctance.

He watched her walk quickly towards the exit. As she neared the door, a man rose from a seat at the bar to block her exit.

Max sat forward, watching, and listening.

“Well, damn, sweet ass. I stop in here for a drink and hit the jackpot.”

“Let me pass and there won’t be any trouble.”

Hearing the fear and tension in her voice, Max frowned.

“It really is a small world,” the man went on. “Jenner will be delighted to know I’ve found you.”

“Get out of my way.”

“Oh, I don’t think so, sweet ass. I have his permission to sample your delights before I take you back.”

When she tried to move pass him, he caught her hand, and walked her back towards the bar.

Max shook his head. A woman who couldn’t handle a horny man had no business hanging out in bars. So what the hell was she doing there? Watching her trying to shake the man’s arm from her shoulders, he rose, and walked across to join them.

He tapped the man on the shoulder. “I don’t think she wants to have a drink or anything else with you.”

The man turned to look at him, keeping his arm around her shoulders. “Trust me, sport, you’re going to want to fuck off.”

Max frowned. Even a stupid lackey like this piece of shit should recognize when he was in the presence of a superior. He placed a hand on the other man’s shoulder and squeezed. “You fuck off.” He stared into his eyes. “Trust me, you’re going to want to do that while you can still do it in one piece…boy.”

The man winced and Max saw the recognition in his gaze that he’d shown disrespect for an ancient full-blood. He immediately removed his arm from her shoulders and inclined his head. “I meant no offense, blood.”

“Offense taken, nonetheless,” Max said infusing a soft menace in the words. “Now get lost while I’m feeling generous.”

“You don’t know what you’re getting involved with. She’s trouble, blood.”

Maybe so, but if I have to repeat myself, I will snap your fucking neck with my bare hands and toss your carcass in the damned river.

“Jenner is going to—”

He wrapped his hand around the other male’s throat. Fuck you and Jenner.

The man clawed at his hand.

When he loosened his grip, the man turned and quickly left the bar.

Max turned to look at the woman.

She inhaled quickly. “Thanks, but—”

“But what? You could have handled him? Yeah, I only intervened because you were doing such a great job.”

He watched her nostrils flare and her gaze narrow and found it difficult to look away. “Did you want to disagree with my assessment?”

She shook her head. “I don’t know why I thought you were…”

“Why you thought I was what?”

She met his gaze. “Worth speaking to, let alone spending any of my valuable time with.”

“Ouch.”

She walked away.

He stared after her, a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth. Even as he told himself he was well rid of her, he followed her out of the bar. “I’ll walk you to your car,” he called after her.

“Don’t bother,” she said, without slowing down or even glancing over her shoulder.

“I’ll walk you to your car,” he said more forcefully.

She stopped and turned to frown at him. “Why?”

Why indeed? Few things were more annoying than an argumentative woman and he had a feeling her picture graced the word in the dictionary. “So I’ll know you’re safely on your way.”

“That’s not necessary.”

“I don’t remember asking for your opinion.”

“You’re all the same,” she said.

She’d been accosted by a full-blood’s lackey so it was safe to assume she knew of the existence of full-blood vampires. “You have no idea what you’re talking about, but now that I’ve had to rescue you—”

“I didn’t need your help.”

“Really?”

“Just because I wanted to avoid a confrontation didn’t mean I couldn’t handle one.”

Why the fuck was he wasting his time with her? If she wanted to risk being cornered again, so be it. He shrugged, but instead of walking away, he spoke in a curt voice. “Where are you parked?”

“In the garage across the street, but I can—”

“Spare me anymore shit and I’ll pretend that I don’t know you’re relieved not to have to walk over there alone.”

“I’m not afraid of him.”

“You should be.”

“I can take care of myself.”

“So I noticed.”

She sighed and shook her head. “He was right. You shouldn’t get involved.”

“I have no intentions of getting involved in anything. I’m merely walking you to your car. You’re on your own after that.”

She turned away.

As they walked to the garage, he was aware that the lackey shadowed them. Clearly, he was going to need to make a believer out of the bastard to ensure he didn’t follow her once she was alone.

Once she unlocked an SUV that looked almost as old as she was, he opened the driver’s door for her. Annoyed that she no longer thought he was worth meeting, he held the door open when she would have closed it after slipping inside. “A word of advice, stay out of bars since you’re clearly not up to handling men who don’t know how to take no for an answer.”

She stared up at him. “I’m sorry meeting me has been so damned annoying for you. If I ever have the misfortune of encountering you again, I won’t make the mistake of wasting any more of your valuable time.”

And that was the thanks he got for rescuing her helpless ass. “Fuck you.”

“Stay classy, tall, dark, and totally charmless.”

“Charmless?”

“Exceedingly so.”

Unreasonably pissed, he leaned into the door he still held open. “Do you know what the asshole harassing you is?”

“I do,” she said.

“He’s only a minion. I’m a thousand times worse.”

“What’s your point?”

“When you address me, speak softly and forget about carrying a stick of any size.”

She released her grip on the door and reached for the shoulder bag she’d placed on the passenger seat.

“If you’re going to reach for a cross or some such shit, you should know that doesn’t work.”

She turned back to face him. “You’re a full-blood?”

“I’m more than a full-blood.”

“You’re an ancient blood?”

He inclined his head.

“So that’s why he called you, blood.”

“You’d do well to show a little of the respect he belatedly did.”

“I suppose that’s why I thought you might…”

“That’s why you thought I might what?”

“If I had to, I can handle him, but when I saw you and realized who you were…”

“What?”

“I felt drawn to you.”

Nearly every woman he encountered felt an attraction to him, yet her admission caused a strange sensation in him. “Did you?”

She nodded. “Sometimes I…you always seemed so warm and kind on your videos and I thought I might not have to fight him off alone.”

“What would make you think I’d be interested in helping you?” Even though that’s exactly what he’d done.

“There was a time when your kind had the most noble calling of all…when you risked your lives to help others instead of preying on them.”

Her response surprised him since he assumed her remark referenced a time, eons past, when full-bloods were medical healers who ingested the blood of the sick to heal them.

He met her gaze and narrowed his. Her eyes now appeared to be either light green or a dark silver. “You’d better go before your stalker picks up your trail again,” he said coolly, released her door, and slammed it close with more force than necessary.

She rolled her driver side window down. “I could have handled him, but your help was appreciated.” She smiled suddenly and tiny golden highlights seem to shoot from her gaze and straight at him. “Thank you.”

Still pissed for what he knew was no valid reason, he shrugged. “Fuck you,” he said again and stepped back.

She sighed. “Meeting you has been a complete disappointment.”

He inhaled quickly, struggling to control his anger. “I suggest you leave before I’m tempted to show you just how…disappointing I can be.”

She shook her head. “You won’t hurt me.”

“I wouldn’t be too sure of that, if I were you.”

“I am sure of it,” she insisted.

“I’m not and I strongly suggest you leave before what’s left of my temper and patience evaporate.”

“You project the power, grace, and majesty of a true ancient blood. They were noble, protective, and the salt of the earth.”

“How the hell would you know anything about that?”

“It doesn’t matter. I know you won’t hurt me.”

“I was never a healer,” he was surprised to hear himself admit. “Don’t gamble your safety on a largesse I have never possessed.”

“I wish we’d met under different circumstances because I know I would have…”

“Would have what?”

She reached out the window to hold his hand. “Liked you. A lot…probably as much as any of your countless fangirls and the women lucky enough to share your bed.”

He stared down at her much smaller and darker hand holding his for several moments. Her nails were short and unpainted; her hand and fingers were soft and warm. Although her touch didn’t arouse him or stir his sexual interest, it did disturb him.

“Are you flirting with me?”

She rubbed her thumb over the back of his hand. “Do you feel that?”

“Do I feel what?”

“That…soft…warm…connection.  It’s faint, but it can’t just be me. You must feel it too.”

Night of Sin 2: Last Night With You coming October 2017