Defense lawyer Stephen Armsbury is hot for the beautiful cop. After an evening of food and intimate kisses, he plans to get her into his bed ASAP. Furious when he discovers she's also a vamp, not to mention older and more powerful, he must discover why she shields her powers from him.
Hot-to-the-touch vampire elders and one lusty vamp rebel meddle in their growing relationship. Will Pamela reconcile herself with her undead status? Can Stephen win the love of his bewitching cop?
Can you guess what the answer to those questions will be?
"Mr. Armsbury," Judge Breaker drawled. "Your witness."
Showtime. "Yes, your honor. Thank you." Stephen Armsbury slowly rose from his client's side at the defense table, the client he detested. Keeping his expression bland because of that and to impart confidence in the courtroom, he sauntered toward the witness box, contemplating the woman. He wished he could hate her, but that wasn't even remotely possible. The tidy plum colored suit didn't hide her sumptuous breasts. His cock thickened and hardened inconveniently at the sight of the narrow show of cleavage and delicate blue vein trailing up the soft, white flesh from her breast to the pulse in her neck. Tracing a fang along the vein over that sweet curve would have to go on the back burner. Until after the trial, that is.
"Detective Manley," she snapped, then made a big show of smoothing down her suit jacket to cover her loss of temper.
"Detective Manley," he repeated in a low, sultry voice. Her head jerked up, but he busied himself by picking up one of the evidence bags. Keep her off base.
He handed her the gun, a black 9mm Hi-Point, clearly showing through the baggie. "Detective, is this the weapon found at the scene?"
"Yes." She barely looked at it and, with a disdainful expression, put it down on the counter in front of her.
The witch wasn't going to use one more word than needed. "What gave you the impression that it was Mr. Shockley's?"
"It was lying next to his hand when he was apprehended."
"How do you know it was his? His fingerprints weren't on it."
"It was lying inches from his hand." Her lips pursed, and her jade green eyes snapped victoriously.
"It could have been a plant."
"Well, it wasn't!" she responded coldly, but her hesitation showed she was slightly off kilter.
"Yes, Miss Manley—"
"Detective," she reminded him and continued, "There was gunshot residue on the defendant's hand."
"Can you prove it was from this gun?" he asked, his voice taunting.
"Can you prove it wasn't?" Her cute jaw tightened in anger, and her eyes crackled fire.
"Your honor, please instruct the witness to answer the question." He maintained eye contact with her as he impassively made his request to the judge.
"Detective Manley, answer the question," Judge Breaker responded as if fatigued by their sparring.
"What was the question?" She stubbornly bit off the words.
He was glad his suit jacket covered his hard-on because seeing her all feisty and bitchy turned him on. She'd been this way toward him since they'd begun depositions for this trial. It had only made him want her more. He was contrary that way.
"Can you prove the gunshot residue was from that gun?" To do his job properly, he had to show the jury there was no connection between his client and the Hi-Point—even though there was, and his fucking client was guilty.
She glared at him this time, honoring him with the full heat in her eyes.
"Detective Manley," she ground out, teeth clenched tightly.
This was more fun than Disneyland. Or the legendary Vampire Council Meeting of 1836. He clenched his jaw shut to keep from laughing aloud. Oh, he was going to supremely enjoy eating this woman, in every sense of the word. Gazing into her eyes, he refused to glamour her. That would be unsporting. He just waited for her to tell the truth, as she was sworn to do. His stomach did a little flip. Too bad he couldn't admit the truth about his guilty client.
Stephen Armsbury had lusted after Pamela Manley since the first minute he'd set eyes on her three months before. In this case, State of Illinois v. Shockley, and ordered to by the court, he represented the scumbag, Francis Shockley. Private practice lawyers were often tapped for pro bono representation. And scumbag or not, he owed it to Francis to give it his best no matter whether he believed in his innocence or not. And he didn't.
The kicker—Pamela was the police detective who'd arrested his client. He'd had to interview her, try to destroy her story, find a loophole in the evidence. Whatever. And damned if she didn't torture him throughout the whole process. She was one hot woman and wore that sexy suit today, on the stand, specifically to throw him. She knew exactly what she was doing to him, and he knew exactly how to repay her.
He'd love to make Miss Pam Manley a vampire—soon—to join him as an immortal. She just didn't know it yet. Didn't have a clue.
Or they could just have sex. Then he could get her out of his mind and move on.
The son of a bitch kept goading me. Kept trying to trap me. She hated him, had known him, known of him for almost two years. He was the worst example of the legal profession. Damn the lawyers who represented the scum of the earth. Bloodsuckers all of them. Pam's high heels clickety-clacked down the courthouse corridor trying to escape from this case and that man as quickly as possible. Reporters with microphones, recorders, and cameras were flapping around on the steps of the courthouse when she exited the building. Press. More fucking bloodsuckers.
Attorney Armsbury had done it. Had gotten a guilty-as-sin scumbag off. How could he live with himself? Did he have no self respect or sense of justice? And there he was hogging the microphones with the surprisingly unhappy looking client glued to his side. The fucker kept trying to pull away, but Armsbury had his hand clamped around his client's bicep.
The lawyer's handsome face never changed. Vampires never looked tired or older. Those perfect teeth gleamed when he smiled at the cameras. The corners of his eyes usually crinkled when he smiled, but this time they didn't. It staggered her. The smile was fake. Maybe he wasn't as happy about the outcome of the trial as she'd thought. Well, that put a different spin on the infuriating attorney.
With a final thank you to the press and intense whispering into his client's ear, he released the fucker's arm and headed right toward her. Why did you hang around watching him? Before she decided whether she wanted to talk to him or not, he was at her side. That was fast.
Why he felt the constant need to deprive her of detective rank, she had no idea. She ignored him and continued down the courthouse steps. In her peripheral vision, she spotted his smirk, his lips tipped up one side, his eyes narrowed cunningly—very diabolical looking, that's for sure. His dark handsomeness, the black hair and eyes, had always spoken to her. Tall, lithe, broad shouldered, narrow hipped, all very sexy attributes indeed, but she didn't trust him. Besides the natural antipathy between cops and lawyers, she didn't like him personally. She knew he was vampire. And she knew he wanted her for bed or for a snack. What he didn't know was that she was twice his age and a whole lot more powerful a vampire than he was.
During the trial, the depositions, the pre-trial hearings, the negotiations, he seemed to be observing her especially closely. Maybe she imagined it, but his sensuality would have made her heart beat erratically if she had a caring heart. No matter how he scrutinized her, she had no intention of changing her testimony. The truth was the truth.
"Have dinner with me."
His question came out so softly she almost missed it. He couldn't be serious. Her downward strides checked momentarily.
He gripped her elbow. "Pamela?"
He made the hard P starting her name somehow sound silken and sensuous. Heat radiated from his hand, up her elbow, up her arm, across her breasts. She made a visible attempt to pull away and certainly could have. His grip wasn't tight, but it was compelling. He was compelling.
His body hedged against her, his chest meeting the length of her arm. Warm breath bathed her cheek, goose bumps slithered down her neck and made a bee line to her nipples. Jesus, this guy has some nerve. She wanted to hiss, show her fangs, order him to back off. The companion throbbing in her pussy, the clench of her vagina scared the hell out of her. She did not like the effect the bastard was having on her.
She stopped stock still on the bottom step. He continued down to the sidewalk and turned to stand directly in front of her, still towering over her even though she was on the step above him. "No thank you," she snapped. She shouldn't have made eye contact with him. Those black irises of his shone with a mesmerizing magic, warm and beguiling with sensual promise. The undead fucker had better not be trying to glamour her.
He inspected her looking for all the world as if he could control her somehow. His gaze turned extremely intent. "I wish you would."
It didn't seem like an invitation as much as an order. Even in the steamy heat of the mid-summer Chicago afternoon, she shivered and stepped back and upward. Maybe then they'd be on the same level. There, that worked. Now she'd show him who's boss. Her heart thudded. It was just dinner. She couldn't believe she was considering his invitation, but she had an edge on him. She knew what he was. He didn't know her secret. That would give her the upper hand.
She gave him an equally intense stare, reinforcing her mind shields. It might be fun to challenge the bastard. It had been a mighty long time since she'd met a man even remotely her equal. Her lips quirked in a lopsided smirk. His expression narrowed, hardened as if finally wary of her. Then his mouth relaxed in an answering smug look. Shit. How could she be falling for his flirting? She didn't want to feel anything but was perversely attracted to him. It was dangerous but not something she couldn't handle.
Nevertheless, she said, "Okay. I'll meet you at eight. Where?" She hoped she wouldn't regret this.
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