Midnight Sins Page 8

Besides, Niol subscribed to the theory that music tended to soothe the savage beast, and since so many beasts visited his club, he liked to play music that appealed to them all.

“Do you want to dance?” Todd asked, leaning close to her so that his breath feathered over her cheek.

Power still pulsed within her. A sensual energy that made her want to slide closer and rub her body against his. If they danced, she’d be able to do just that. She could touch him as much she wanted. She could feel the hard strength of his body along the length of hers.

Oh, but that sounded good.

Too good.

She took another sip of her drink. Then asked, “I take it I’m not a suspect anymore?” She wanted a straight answer, just for clarity.

He paused, a barely perceptible hesitation, before he said, “Nothing is pointing to you right now.”

Not the answer she’d been hoping for. She really would have liked more of a “You’re completely clear, baby, I’ll never suspect you again” response. Her gaze held his as she tried to figure him out. “You’re not, by any chance, trying to seduce some kind of confession out of me, are you, Detective?”

A slow shake of his head. “No, I’m just trying to seduce you, period.”

Her fingers tightened around the glass.

“You want me,” he continued. “I want you.”

If only things were that simple.

He took the glass from her hand. “Dance with me.”

One dance. Surely she could stay in control for just one dance. Cara turned away from him and led the way onto the already full dance floor.

Couples swayed together in time with the beat of the music. They looked like simple men and women, but Cara knew they weren’t. Spells were being cast around them. Whispers of seduction and temptation filled the air. When Todd took her into his arms and pulled her tight against his chest, she wondered if perhaps she’d underestimated his power.

His pull was strong.

Though she was tall, Todd still towered over her, but when he held her, he bent his head and drew down close to her face. His body was a solid mass of muscle. As they moved, she felt the hard bulge of his cock rising against her.

She didn’t pull back. Didn’t fake any kind of false modesty. She pressed against him and enjoyed the sensual touch. She wished then that she’d been born different.


Humans were so lucky. They could love and hate and fear and lust, and not have those emotions destroy them.

Unless they chose to be destroyed.

For her, there was no choice. Never had been.

His hands smoothed down her body, came to rest at the base of her spine.

“Todd…” She liked the feel of his name on her tongue, but she had to warn him, before things went too far. “I’m not a safe woman to want.”

“I know.” His hands were a heavy, warm weight. “But I’m not exactly a safe man.” His hold tightened, for just an instant, and a lick of pure passionate fire shot through her.

Her sensually aware skin tingled, her pulse raced, and though Cara knew she was playing a dangerous game, she couldn’t seem to stop herself.

He said he wasn’t safe. Was he talking about the fact that he was a cop? Or something more?

“I’m not a nice guy,” he continued, the words hard, but so soft they carried only to her ears. “I’ve done things—” He shook his head, “I’ve done what I had to do in order to bring criminals to justice. I’ve fought. I’ve lied.”

Todd’s confession didn’t particularly surprise her.

His lips thinned. “I’ve even killed.” His gaze met hers. “If you can’t handle that, you need to tell me now.”

She could handle it. The problem was that he wouldn’t be able to handle her. A pang of sadness filled her as she stared up at him.

“You like to fight evil, don’t you? Like to make sure that the good guys win and that the bad guys get just what they deserve.”

“I do my job,” he said simply and his fingers pressed into her hips.

“Is everything black-and-white to you? Good or evil? Is that the only choice?” His answer was so important to her.

Because, like him, she’d done desperate things in her life. Fought. Lied. And as for the killing…

“Not anymore,” he murmured. “Nothing’s simple any damn more and—”

A soft vibration shook his hip and reverberated through her.

His cell phone.

Todd’s jaw clenched and his fingers dug into her hips.

Her time to play and dream had ended. Cara shook her head and stepped away from him, breaking his hold. “You’d better check that.” The slow, moody music ended. From the corner of her eye, she saw Brock pick up his guitar. She knew what song would come next even before the screech of the instrument cut through the crowd.

Todd grabbed his phone, glanced at the glowing message and swore softly. “I’ve got to call Colin.”

Of course, he did. Evil never slept. At least not in this city.

“Thanks for the dance.” Her hand lifted and stroked down his cheek. A soft murmur of pleasure whispered past her lips as she felt the faint sting of stubble along his hard jaw.

He caught her hand. “It doesn’t have to end with a dance.”

“For me, it does.” His hold was tight, but not unbreakable. “I’m not the kind of girl who has flings.” Not anymore. Hell, she didn’t have much of anything anymore.

But once upon a time…

“I could change your mind.”

So confident. Such a silly, human trait. She kept her eyes on his, feeling the rush of psychic power flow through her. Hypnotism had always been one of her gifts. “I could change yours,” she breathed the words as she decided to put an end to the game. No more temptation for her. No more wrong side of the town for him.

“Forget about me, Detective. Go back to your life. Fight your evil, and forget about me.”

In the past, she whispered her words and made men into puppets, eager to follow her commands. Long ago, she’d been so good at giving her sweet suggestions.

Until she realized she didn’t want puppets.

Todd’s eyes widened and he shook his head. Once. Twice.

Sensitive. She’d nearly forgotten about his latent powers, but he wouldn’t be able to resist her order, no one ever had, and—

“Your eyes…” The words seemed torn from him. “They aren’t blue. I thought they were…but…”

Shit. He shouldn’t be realizing what was happening. The guy sure as hell shouldn’t have noticed that her eye color flickered with that burst of power.

What was happening?

Cara yanked her hand away from him.

He blinked.

The phone vibrated again with a hard buzz of sound.

“Go.” An order from her, one without any hypnotic suggestion because her suggestions weren’t working on him.

She could dreamwalk into his mind, plant a suggestion when his defenses were down, but she couldn’t control him when he was awake and aware.

Never. Happened. Before.

A man she couldn’t control. A human.

If her hypnotic power didn’t work on him, if he could still choose on his own, then that meant he hadn’t come to her just because of her pheromones and the soft, silent lure that a succubus sent out to prey.

Part of him, at least, and from the awareness in his eyes, she’d say a very large part, had chosen to want her.

Very, very scary.

And very arousing.

He wanted her.

“I’ll see you again.” He sounded absolutely certain.

When she’d told him to forget.

Her hands trembled.

He leaned forward. Kissed her hard, fast, and deep. His tongue claimed hers, seduced.

She was the one who should have seduced.

Then he was gone. Pushing through the crowd and leaving her alone.

As she’d been for so long.

Todd wasn’t precisely sure what had just happened. One minute, he’d been staring down at Cara, thinking about how soft her lips looked and how badly he wanted to taste her again.

The next, he’d been looking into her eyes and realizing that the color looked too dark.

Not blue any longer—black.

She’d been talking to him, whispering something that had seemed very important at the time.

He couldn’t remember the exact words, but he’d known something was wrong as he gazed down at her.

He’d shaken his head, focused all of his energy on her, and reality had snapped back to him.

Glancing over his shoulder, he found her still standing on the dance floor. A sad, almost lost expression covered her face. He hesitated.

Cara caught sight of him then. Her shoulders stiffened and a mask of indifference swept across her features.

Then she turned and disappeared into the throng of dancers.

Damn it.

He stalked toward the empty booths lining the rear of the bar. Lifted his phone and punched in the number for his partner. Colin answered on the second ring.

“Tell me this is important,” Todd barked.

“It is.” A pause. “We’ve got another body.”

What? Jesus, already? He rubbed his eyes, felt a throb in his temples that matched the loud beat of the drums in the background.


“Dayton Hotel. Off Marcus Street.”

“I’m on my way.” The killer was moving too fast. He wondered what poor bastard had fallen into the woman’s grasp this time. “I’ll be there in ten minutes.” Marcus Street was close by. Hell, he’d probably be there in less than five.

The back exit was just a few feet away. He hurried forward, shoved open the heavy metal door, and stepped into the back alley.

The human detective burst out of the back door of the club. The killer froze.


Their shoulders brushed, a quick touch. The killer hid a smile and grabbed for the door.

The cop hesitated. “What are you doing back here?”

Nosy bastard. If he didn’t watch it, his time would run out—and the detective would find himself just as dead as the other fucking idiots. “Gettin’ air.” It was dark in the alley, and the cop wouldn’t be able to see much.

Humans were so wonderfully weak.

And playing with them was so much damn fun.

For a moment, the temptation to attack the detective rose, sharp and hot—

But no, it wasn’t time yet for Brooks to die.

Not just yet.

The back door swung open and the killer stepped inside Paradise Found. Waited a beat as the door swung shut. Then smiled.

Perfect. Just in time to catch the best succubus singer this side of the Mississippi.

And to dream of killing her.

Ah, such sweet dreams. Dreams of blood and death and rich, wonderful power.

Would Cara like those dreams? She’d be seeing them, perhaps dreamwalking into them, soon enough.

Then she’d be dying, just like all the others.

Revenge was so wonderfully sweet.

Chapter 5

“We’ve got a copycat,” Colin announced the minute Todd walked to his side in front of the Dayton Hotel.

It was the last thing he’d been expecting. “What? How the hell is that even possible?” The guys in the department had been extra-Captain-McNeal-will-chew-your-ass careful. Nothing had been leaked to the press…yet.

So there should be no damn way to have a copycat killer striking in the night.

“Come on.” Colin spun on his heel and stalked toward the line of hotel rooms on the east side. “See for yourself.”

They strode past the uniforms scoping the scene. Colin pulled on his gloves as they slipped into the room.

Todd’s gaze zeroed in on the body. Male. Muscled. Naked. Looked to be in his mid-thirties. And tied to the bed.

Same victim. Same MO.

Well, not exactly. The bedcovers were pulled up high on this guy. Past his pectorals. In the other cases, the bedspreads and sheets had pooled right over the men’s groin areas.

Todd slanted a quick glance at Colin. Saw his partner’s nostrils widen, just a bit.

“You smell that?” Colin asked.

Todd inhaled heavily, and caught the scent of…blood. He stepped forward, his gaze now sweeping over the victim’s body like a hawk’s.

A tech lifted the covers then, snapped a picture, and Todd got a good look at the guy’s chest.

Blood coated his flesh.


“Yeah.” Colin stepped closer. “The uniforms first on the scene didn’t touch anything. They just called in the body, said a naked guy had been found tied to a bed with white hemp rope—”

“And no one even checked to see that the guy had been butchered.” Fuck. Okay, so the uniforms hadn’t wanted to disturb the crime scene—smart.

But, damn.

The lady hadn’t been playing with weapons before.

So much blood. The poor bastard in the bed had died hard.

“I’d say the guy’s been dead less than an hour,” the tech told them.

Colin grunted. “The guy at check-in has him signing in at nine.”

So the time line fit. Okay, but…“Was there anyone with him when he checked in?” Todd asked.

Colin gave a hard nod. “Talked to the clerk right before you got here.” A dark brow rose. “He saw a woman with long blond hair.

A woman who kept her back turned away from him most of the time.”

What was going on? Serials didn’t change their MOs. Not this fast.

“It can’t be a copy,” he muttered, “no one knows about the scene, and—”

“That little redhead, what’s her name? Hannah? Holly? You know, the reporter who replaced Darla on News Flash Five?”

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