Chapter 1: The Interview

Shifting on the uncomfortable seat, I was surprised the geek had the balls to stare me down, like I was nothing, nobody.

Of course, he was Vampyr, and Dominic at that, but still. With my rep I’d have expected a little r.e.s.p.e.c.t. Two years as a guest of Homeland Security for breaching their securest sites hadn’t impacted my skills. Not in the least.

But this Dominic didn’t seem impressed.

What the hell did I need to do to change that?

Be one of their simpering donors? Oh, I don’ think so…

Tap, tap, tap with the pen. Calculated. Not a nervous gesture.

He’d done his homework.

The sound got to me in a way I couldn’t describe. Like water boarding, an incessant drip, timed to a heartbeat, the mind knowing of it, waiting for it until the wanting near drove you crazy. Then the hit of cool morphing into moist heat and runneling into the slicked back strands, oily and thick with grime. The water layered it deeper, thicker, slimier.

The man shifted imperceptibly. I wanted to do the same, mirror his moves, intimidate. But my butt stuck solid to the metal and I regretted my fashion choices. Even with air conditioned to human standards, it was still too warm and my bare skin stuck, the sweat bonding skin to steel like a living weld.


He took pity on me, much as I didn’t want it. “Tell me,” he tapped the notepad again, “why you’re here … Finna Skaftadóttir?” His tongue had trouble wrapping around the pronunciation. Point one for my Nordic heritage.

“Uh, because I saved Marlow’s bacon?” He’d have all that and more, so I glowered with my best snarky expression and spat, “And it’s Finn, just Finn.”

He leveled a gaze that got me thinking maybe the smart ass reply wasn’t in my best interests. At twenty-eight, I still had a few anger management and ‘maturity issues’ as one shrink had put it.

Well, maturity was highly over-rated.

Dominic waited impassively but I had a sneaking suspicion the tapping had assumed an irritated edge. Vampyr weren’t known for patience.

Tight-lipped I pulled out my mental outline and ticked off all the bullet points Marlow assured would endear me to this coven of weirdos. Wanting in with them wasn’t looking like my best move right then.

And it seemed like the granite rock sitting across from me had the same idea. Dominic didn’t like me.


I wasn’t happy being liked. It meant I had to like back and that just plain … sucked.

The other thing that sucked, the one thing I’d managed to neglect mentioning was the small matter of crossing paths with a few minions. I’d gotten on radar that didn’t guarantee a long and fruitful life. My choices had boiled down to door number one and door number two. I went with two because Marlow treated me with … compassion. And trust.

Not something I was used to. Not from men anyway. That’s why I stuck with machines. They never let me down.

And they never fucked me over for a percentage of the take.

Grudgingly he spat out, “If we need to get in touch…?”

Yeah, about that. I was between domiciles, camped out with my current crush … an author for God’s sakes. I waved toward the notepad. He flipped it over and I scrawled his blog addy.

“That’s the only contact number I’ve got.” I didn’t like the edge of apology that had crept into my voice.

He looked at the page curiously, made a few notes. It never occurred to me to wonder if I’d put her in danger or not.

Not then. It would later.

Dominic set the pen down and stood. So did I. He topped me by an inch, maybe two, but the sheer power of the man made me feel small and insignificant. But that could change … if they gave me a chance. Just one.

I could show them things, so many things, they’d cream their designer jeans.

Rubbing my left hand over the bare thigh, I let muscle memory reassure me. I’d have the leather sheath and blade strapped on soon enough.

He did the thanks for coming, sorry we can’t kill you right now routine. I grunted something under my breath.

As I left I heard him punching speed dial.

And I wondered if I’d make it to the elevator alive.

One Response to Chapter 1: The Interview

  1. mo883mpetersdesires says:

    A fierce, salty one, this Finn! I like this – I’m hooked already!



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