Midnight Sins Page 2

Let me inside. His words rang in her head and she blurted the question that immediately sprang to mind, “Why?”

His hand rose, pressed against the door. It was a strong hand, long-fingered, bronzed from the sun. “I don’t want to talk about this outside. Your neighbors might overhear.”

Doubtful. Her yard was big. Private. That was why she’d bought the house.

Besides, she wasn’t exactly clear on what “this” was. Her fingers tightened around the doorknob. “Who’s with you?”

“My partner.” A touch of impatience coated the man’s drawl. “Now I’m trying to ask nicely here, Ms. Maloan. Let me inside.”

What would happen if he stopped asking so nicely? A hot spurt of fire stroked through her gut.

Uh, oh. She did not need to get turned on by a dark, rumbling voice.

She also didn’t need cops on her doorstep.

Cara released the chain and hurriedly jumped back as the door was shoved open. Then the men stormed inside, and her heart pounded too fast as a shiver of fear skated down her spine.

It wasn’t the guns in their hands that made her wary, though they were a definite concern. Bullet wounds hurt like a bitch—she knew, she’d been shot once. Not exactly a stellar memory.

No, it wasn’t the weapons that made her tremble. It was the men.

The first guy, Detective Brooks, he was tall, a couple of inches over six feet, and leanly muscled. There was power there, in the tight lines of his body, a strength that hung in the air around him, and, damn but the guy was handsome. Sharp, clean lines defined his face. A straight nose, a chiseled jaw and chin. His top lip was a little too thin, but strangely sexy. And his eyes, they were dark brown. They looked…warm.

A deception, she was sure, but there was something about him…something hot. Dark. A curl of heat unfurled within her, and a rampant thought raced through her mind. I want to taste him. All of that wonderful power swirling just beneath his surface. He’d be delicious.

The demon inside her trembled with hunger even as the woman fought to hold on to her control.

With an effort, Cara managed to shift her attention to the other cop. He stood farther back, his bright blue stare trained on her. The guy looked like some kind of football player—big, muscled, but his face resembled that of a predator. Tight, sharp. High cheekbones, broad forehead, and a jaw that was clenched.

He was a good-looking guy, in a rough, scary way. One of those guys who looked like he could beat the shit out of a man and never even break a sweat.

Despite his obvious power, he didn’t spark a hunger within her. Not like the other man did.

Cara swallowed. “I-I don’t think the guns are really necessary.” What in the hell was going on? Her heart was beating in a double-time rhythm now, nearly shaking her chest. Her breath began to pant out as she eyed the weapons. Okay, for the first three seconds, the guns had just been an annoyance, but the longer the two jerks kept holding the weapons, well, the more nervous she was becoming.

As fear and adrenaline flooded through her, she began to feel the sting of her power racing through her veins.

The second cop, the partner yet to be named, suddenly emitted a hard growl. Her gaze flew to his face. His nostrils flared, as if he were catching a scent in the air.

Oh, damn, damn, damn.

Her pheromones. When she got scared or excited, she lost control of them. Mortal men usually responded instantly to the scent of her kind—sometimes, they could respond too strongly.

The scent of a succubus could be a powerful weapon in seduction…or in death.

The guy’s nostrils widened again. He’d definitely caught the scent. So he should—

He took two quick steps back, shaking his head.

Cara realized she was in serious trouble. Only other supernaturals could hold out against her scent. Actually, in her experience, only shifters could resist the smell. Demons, vamps, and charmers—well, they usually flocked to her like she was some kind of tasty dessert treat.

Shifters. Hell. They were some of the most dangerous and often homicidal supernaturals. This cop, the one who looked like he routinely ate nails, or perhaps even small children, he was one of those two-faced killers. Not a good thing.

But what about Detective Brooks? She turned her head slowly, wary of finding another killer in her midst.

His dark stare was locked on her. His eyes were wide. His nostrils flared slightly and she knew that he, too, had caught the new scent. Her scent. Sex and woman.

Cautiously, she took a step toward him. If he was like the other guy, he’d move back.

Detective Brooks took a step toward her, licking his lips.

Oh, that was a good sign, that was—

His gun lifted, pointed straight at her. “What the hell are you doing to me?”

For a moment, her heart stilled. Damn it.

Human, but, unfortunately for her, a sensitive human. One with enough latent psychic talent to be trouble.

The night had just gone to hell.

“Don’t get too close to her.” The order came from the shifter.

Her chin lifted as she raised her empty hands “I’m not exactly armed.”

“Aren’t you?” The shifter rumbled and Cara ground her back teeth together.

He was pissing her off. They both were, and she still didn’t know why they were in her house. “Look,” she gritted, “I want to know what’s going on and I want to know now. ”

The human smiled at her, flashing a set of perfectly white, even teeth, and a dimple in his left cheek. “We have some questions for you.”

Bullshit. “Then get rid of the guns.” She was practically waving her empty hands in their faces. It should be obvious to the morons that she wasn’t hiding any weapons.

What was going on?

He inclined his head slightly and then finally lowered his gun. “Ms. Maloan, I’m going to need you to come downtown with us.”

Oh, she didn’t like the sound of that. “Why.” A stark demand. She was tired of this crap. They’d all but forced their way into her home, aimed guns at her, terrified her. She wanted to know why.

“Does the name Michael House mean anything to you?” He asked, holstering his weapon.

Ice chilled her blood, but she kept her face expressionless. “Should it?”

His smile dimmed. “Where were you tonight between eight and ten?”

Fuck. She knew where these questions were heading and she also knew the situation wasn’t going to end well for her. “Here.” Her hands fell to her sides.

“Alone?” The doubting question came from the shifter.

Cara gave a stiff nod.

“Did any neighbors see you? Delivery guy? Anyone?” Brooks asked. Brooks—that was his last name. She couldn’t remember his first name, and for some reason, that fact seemed important.

She should know the name of the man who was about to haul her off to jail. After wetting her lips in a quick, nervous move, she admitted, “I don’t think anyone can verify my story. I got home a little after five.” No one had been out when she’d pulled up into her drive. Just her luck. Usually, one of her neighbors would have been out doing some kind of yard work, but the one time she could have used their nosiness to her advantage, well, fate screwed her. Her lips twisted as she admitted, “And I didn’t order any dinner or anything. I just, ah, stayed here.”

Brooks’s stare raked her body, lingering for a moment too long on her breasts. She was wearing an old black tank top and a pair of sweatpants. Hardly sexy. Not succubus material. But—

His pupils flared and she knew he liked what he saw.

Under other circumstances, she might have been inclined to play.

But she’d just sworn off sex, and while the detective had managed to stir her interest, he’d also pissed her off.

“If you can’t confirm that alibi, I’m afraid we might have a little problem on our hands,” Brooks murmured, and took another step toward her.

She could smell his cologne, a rich, masculine scent. Or maybe it wasn’t cologne. Maybe it was just the man. “I still don’t understand what’s happening here.” Though she had a very, very strong suspicion.

Not Michael…

“We found your purse. Your wallet. ID.” The words came from the shifter cop.

Shifters. She’d always been wary of them. Most supernaturals were. They were born to lie. To deceive. And some of them were just plain crazy.

She’d never met a cop shifter before. The shifters she’d encountered had been more of the run-from-cops kind.

So he’d found her missing purse. Big deal. “Well, good.” Not that she really cared. She’d already replaced the ID and gotten a new bag. She didn’t have credit cards, so she’d lost a bit of cash. “Where is it and I’ll—”

“We found it at a crime scene.”

Her mouth snapped closed. Michael. “Just…ah…what kind of crime scene?” Her hands were trembling, a weakness she didn’t want the men to discover. She balled her fingers into fists.

Brooks took two gliding steps toward her, closing the distance between them. Cara tilted her head back, gazing up at him.

“We found your bag at a murder scene, lady.” The warm smile was completely gone now. Only the hardened cop remained.

“Wanna explain that to me?”

She shook her head. She couldn’t explain it. “I—I—my purse was stolen two weeks ago—”

“And you reported the theft, right?” The shifter asked, voice doubtful.

Another negative shake of her head. The purse hadn’t mattered enough to report, and she certainly hadn’t wanted to go out and start attracting attention from cops.

Though it looked like she’d managed to capture their attention anyway.

“Why do you do it?” Brooks asked, leaning toward her. He drew a ragged breath, as if inhaling her scent, then muttered, “You’re so damn beautiful, I bet it’s like fucking child’s play for you to lure those men to you.”

It always had been easy. She’d been born as a lure. Since his words were a bitter truth, Cara stayed silent. Reeling the men to her, no that had never been a problem.

None of the men had ever cared enough to stay with her.

An eternity of pleasure, but a life lived alone. That was her lot in this world. The lot for all the succubi. She was just the only one not loving the deal.

“Do you get off on it?” Brooks asked, voice silky smooth. “Do you like the power? Like the control in bed?”

She swallowed. Sometimes, she wanted to lose control. To be taken.

His hand lifted, brushed across her cheek in a caress that lanced her flesh with its heat. “And at the end,” he said, pressing in even closer, so close that for a moment she thought he was going to kiss her, “when the pleasure is pounding through you, how does it feel to kill your lovers?”

What? “No, listen, I’ve never—”

He grabbed her hands, yanked them up, and held her tight. Not hurting her. Trapping her. “How do you do it? Drugs? An injection?”

She twisted her hands, trying to break free. “I don’t know what you’re talking about!” A lie. Killing a lover was so easy.

But not her way.

“Right, princess.”

Her eyes narrowed at the mocking tone.

“You don’t have any idea why we’re here. You don’t know Michael House, and you have no idea how your ID came to be at our crime scene.”

“Wh-what—” She broke off, struggling to clear her throat. “What happened to Michael?” A murder scene, he’d said he found her bag at—

His lips tightened. “I thought you didn’t know him.”

“What happened?” She wrenched her hands away from him.

“Come down to the station, and I’ll be glad to tell you.”

She hurried back a few steps, and stumbled into the shifter. Damn it, how had he moved so fast? When had the jerk circled behind her? “I’m not going anywhere with you.”

One dark brow lifted. “Wanna bet on that?”

Not particularly.

The shifter’s hands landed heavily on her shoulders. She jumped at the contact. His touch was cold to her skin, where Brooks had felt burning hot.

Brooks held her gaze. “You can do this the easy way and come with us willingly—”

“Or you can fight,” the shifter growled in her ear, “and still wind up finding your ass downtown.”

Oh, she didn’t like him. Didn’t like either of them. Her skin began to prickle as rage and power swept through her.

“Easy.” The whisper was so soft she might have imagined it. The shifter’s voice. Barely breathing in her ear.

She drew in a ragged gasp of air at the sound, drawing the cold oxygen deep into her lungs. Control. She couldn’t shatter in front of them. They were cops.

Cops who were suspecting her of—what? Assault? Murder?

If she put up a fight, and used her power, she’d never be safe in Atlanta again. She’d have to run, and she wouldn’t be able to stop running for a long, long time.

She wasn’t the type to run. Never had been.

Her chin lifted as she made her decision. “I’ll do it the easy way.”

Brooks’s lips began to curl.

“For now.”

That wiped the smug smile right off his handsome face.

After she shoved on her shoes, they led her outside, into a starless night.

What would happen at the station? The thought flew through her mind, followed instantly by another, darker worry, one that had her mouth drying. What’s happened to Michael? She hadn’t seen her ex-lover in months, and now, Cara feared she might not ever see him—alive—again.

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