Immortal Danger Page 3


Maya rolled her shoulders, stood in the middle of the street, and waited.


It didn't take a genius to understand who was on her trail. She really, really wasn't in the mood for any more shit right then.


"You're starting to get on my bad side," she said, and her voice carried easily in the night.


Silence.


One moment.


Two.


Then, footsteps. Slow. Steady. The guy wasn't trying to hide anymore. Good.


Maya turned on her heel and watched as her stalker approached. It was him, of course. She could tell by the strong, muscular shape of his body.


He stepped under a streetlight, and the fluorescent glow shone down on his black hair. Maya studied him a moment, frowning. The guy was big. Not especially tall. She gauged him to be a bit over six feet, but he was solidly muscled-every inch of him.


He wore a black jacket over his shirt. Loose jeans encased his long legs, and a scuffed pair of boots covered his feet.


The guy wasn't handsome. Not in the cover-boy style that most humans found so popular these days. His face was hard, rugged . His cheekbones were sharp, his nose a little too long. He had a strong, square jawline and a faint cleft in his chin. His lips were firm, a bit thin, and currently pressed into a tight line.


And his eyes…She'd never seen eyes quite like his before. The green was so deep, so dark.


Emerald. He had emerald eyes.


Those eyes of his, they made her nervous. Very nervous.


Something was off about the guy, and as he closed the final distance between them, her body went on alert.


"Wanna tell me why you're following me, Slick?" Did the man have some kind of death wish? He'd seen what she'd done to the demon– that should have been a big clue for him to stay the hell away from her.


"My name"-his voice rumbled from deep in his chest-"is Adam. Adam Brody." No accent marked the words.


Maya grunted. She didn't really care about his name. She just wanted him to leave her alone.


"You didn't answer my question."


"I told you before, Maya , I need your help."


He knew her name. She wasn't sure if she was supposed to be impressed by that fact or worried.


After considering the situation for three seconds, she decided she was neither.


Most of the supernaturals in Los Angeles knew who she was. She hadn't exactly made a habit of hiding her identity. She didn't know if Adam Brody fell into the supernatural category or if he was just a well-informed human, but either way, she didn't really care that he knew her identity.


And the guy was still singing his song about needing help. She sighed, then muttered, "I told you, I'm not into helping people." Killing, that was another matter. "Do yourself a favor. Stay away from me." Her gaze darted to the night sky, gauging the location of the moon. She needed to hurry if she was going to make it to the hospital before dawn.


Maya turned to go-


Adam grabbed her arm.


She stared at his hand a moment. The long, tanned fingers. His flesh felt warm against her.


When was the last time a guy had chosen to touch her? Without, of course, the intent to kill? Her life was so screwed up.


"Let go," she ordered.


"No."


Now that had her jerking back to face him fully, her brows lifted. "Who are you?"


His eyes narrowed. "I told you, I'm Adam Brody, and I-"


"No." That wasn't what she meant. Time to try again. " What are you?"


He blinked. "A man who needs help."


A man. Maya wasn't sure she believed that. "For a human, you seem awful relaxed to be here, talking with me."


He shrugged. "So you're a vampire. I've met your kind before."


Oh, she'd just bet he had. Adam Brody was holding out on her, and she was no one's fool. "I'm not just a vampire," she whispered, watching closely for his response as she stepped toward him and brushed her body against his. Mmm, she liked the way he felt. Liked the hard steel of his muscles.


"I'm a very hungry vampire." Her hand lifted and Maya trailed her fingers down his throat.


She expected him to back away. To flinch in revulsion. Something . But the guy didn't so much as bat an eyelash.


Her fingers were over his pulse now. She could feel the blood drumming beneath her touch.


No empty threat. She realized that she was hungry.


The wound on her side had yet to close-it'd be several hours before she healed completely. She was still bleeding, and she'd already lost too much blood.


Blood loss weakened her. It weakened all vamps. If they lost too much, they could die.


Her fingertips stroked his skin and her canines began to stretch and sharpen. Just a bite. After all, he'd been the one to come looking for her. Just a quick bite, and she'd send him on his way.


Maya rose onto her toes. Her breath blew over his skin. Her heart began to drum faster as anticipation filled her. She could almost taste him.


Her lips pressed against his throat. Kissed the flesh. Her tongue snaked out, licked a light trail over his pounding pulse.


Adam's hand was still wrapped around her arm. His fingers tightened and she heard him draw in a sudden, sharp breath.


It was always so easy to make the prey want the bite. She'd discovered after her change that it wasn't necessary to force humans to submit to her. She could usually seduce men into offering their throats to her.


At first, she was just a woman to them. She looked human. Her body seemed human. She breathed. Her heart beat. Her blood pumped through her. The prey didn't realize until too late what she really was.


But by that point, her teeth were already in their throats, and for the men she'd tasted, well, they'd found it to be a highly pleasurable experience.


She made it a habit not to hurt humans unless she had to do so.


Now, monsters, well, they were a different matter.


Maya lightly scraped the edge of her teeth over Adam's throat. His pulse raced faster now, pounding harder beneath her mouth.


Just a taste.


He pushed her back and stared down at her with eyes that blazed with fury. "You want to drink from me, then you agree to help me."


Her teeth snapped together as she fought the blood hunger. He was a persistent one, she'd give him that. And now he was starting to make her curious.


A man willing to exchange his blood. For what? "What is it that you need from me?" She was really almost afraid to find out. Don't get involved.


She had enough problems to deal with and-


"My niece. Vampires took her." His fingers dug into her arm. "I've got to get her back."


Hell. "How long has she been gone?" Another question she shouldn't have asked. Because the more she learned, the harder it would be to turn away.


I'm not a helper. She'd told him the truth when she said those words earlier. Maya had tried that whole helping bit while she was still human. It had gotten her killed in an alley days after her thirty-


first birthday.


"They took her two weeks ago."


Two weeks. She shook her head, and told him the truth, "She's dead."


A muscle flexed along his jaw. "You don't kill your prey."


How did he know that? But she didn't deny it, there'd be no point in lying. "Yeah, well, I'm not your average vampire, either." Most of her kind were sadistic bastards and bitches who liked to play with their food, then kill it, painfully. "If they've had her that long, she's dead. Mourn her, then move on."


The bloodlust in her had cooled at his words. With one last look at him, she spun around and began walking down the street.


She'd taken five steps when his voice stopped her cold.


"She's a child, Maya. Only nine years old."


Hell.


Her eyes squeezed shut. Vampires with a kid. Sick fucks.


"I have to find her. I will find her. With or without your help."


Doubtful.


A kid. Why'd it have to be a kid? "A Born Master sent his pack after her. Bastard named Nassor."


Her body tensed. Nassor.


"You've helped others. I know you have. You've hunted down demons, shifters."


Yes, she'd gone on the hunt. For a price.


But a kid. With Nassor. He'd rip her apart.


Damn. Her shoulders fell. There wasn't much of a choice for her anymore.


Maya started walking again. Her Harley Sportster motorcycle waited for her just a few feet away.


"So that's it?" He shouted. "You're just going to leave? Going to turn your back on me and-"


She reached the bike. Climbed on. Revved the engine and felt her baby purr beneath her. Her fingers tightened around the handlebars as she glanced over her shoulder and drawled, "You comin' or are you gonna scream all night?" The guy must have some strong lungs on him.


He shook his head and then a full smile split his lips. "You'll help me?"


"Maybe." Because she was the world's biggest idiot. Her gaze held his. "But there's gonna be a price." Nothing came free. Especially not a life.


His smile faded. "Isn't there always?"


Ah, but he'd never had to pay a vampire. She'd bet her undead life on that fact. If Adam Brody wanted her to track a pack of vamps and try to rescue a kid, well, he was going to have to pay a heavy price, indeed.


He'd have to pay it in blood.


The motorcycle's engine growled. "Get on," she ordered. "There's a helmet on the back."


In seconds, he was behind her, climbing onto the bike and sliding those long, strong legs behind hers.


"Hold on."


His hands wrapped around her waist. His chest pressed flush against her back.


Damn, but the guy was warm.


And he felt good.


The cycle shot away from the street corner, flying straight into the night.


Adam's hold tightened. "Where are we going?"


"I've got a stop to make." Until they worked out their exchange, she wasn't letting him out of her sight.


"We need to find Cammie, we have to-"


"Slick, there's no damn way we're finding her tonight." They had barely an hour before dawn.


She raised her voice over the cycle's snarl. "But there is somebody I've got to see."


She felt the sudden tautness of his body. So he wasn't happy with her plans. Tough.


A man had nearly died for her; the least she owed him was a visit.


After she settled that debt, then she'd begin her bargain with Adam Brody.


She wondered how he'd taste.


CHAPTER 2


The nurses and doctors on duty swarmed Maya the minute she shoved open the emergency room doors at Memorial Grove Hospital, and she realized too late that she probably looked like death.


The demon's blood still covered her. It had dried, dark red, on her arms and she could feel a faint stiffness from the blood on her neck. The blood from her own wounds had soaked her shirt and coated her jeans. But at least the gashes weren't hurting so much anymore.


Yeah, it was understandable that the folks thought they had a severe trauma patient on their hands.


If only they'd been there five years ago…


"I'm all right, I'm all right! " She snapped when they tried to force her onto a stretcher. "The blood's not mine." Well, not all of it, anyway.


But her comment made the hospital staff freeze. Then they began looking at each other, faces tense, fear flickering in their eyes.


"And where is the victim?" This came from one of the doctors. A young guy, with intense gray eyes and a stethoscope dangling around his neck.


Knowing the vampires, the "victim" was probably in lots of tiny pieces someplace. Not that she'd tell the pale doctor that.


She shrugged. "An ambulance picked him up." Her eyes widened as she glanced at Adam. He'd followed her inside. Now, she deliberately pitched her voice low and threaded a note of worry in her words as she said, "Honey, I guess we beat them here."


His lips pursed. "I'm sure the ambulance will be along any minute, darling."


Just then, an ambulance lurched to a stop behind the glass entrance doors, sirens blaring, lights flashing. The nurses and doctors seemed to fly to the door.


Maya grabbed Adam's hand and ran down the corridor with him. They took the stairs to the third floor, and by the time they exited the stairwell, Maya's steps had begun to slow.


Damn but she was getting weak. She'd have to get some blood, and fast. She'd fed days before, and normally wouldn't have to drink again for about a month. But a wound, well, that always changed things. The longer she bled, the weaker she became.


Her gaze darted to Adam's throat and she licked her lips. Fresh blood would make her heal faster, but the way she was feeling, well, the hunger was just too strong.


She couldn't risk losing control and taking too much.


She'd have to find another source. Lucky for her, she was in a hospital. Sources all around.


Sean's room was on the right. The door stood partially open, and Maya paused for just a moment.


Adam watched her, that green gaze too intent. "Who's in there?"


Day watcher. Friend. The guy she'd nearly gotten killed.


Her shoulders stiffened and she pushed open the door.


Machines beeped inside, a steady, insistent duh duh duh that seemed to rake across her brain. On the bed, his face nearly as white as the sheet, lay Sean.


His body was wrapped tightly in gauze and bandages. He'd been cut, slashed with claws and teeth, and left to bleed out on the street in front of her safe house.


Safe house. There was no safe place for her anymore. She'd have to find another secret shelter.


Very slowly, Maya crept toward the bed. Her hand lifted, hesitated over Sean's disheveled mass of blond hair.

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