Rebecca wasn’t looking for trouble on her night out with her girlfriends, but trouble found her in the form of a dark and handsome stranger. He swept her up and plopped her down in a world of werewolves, blood feuds, and political intrigue with a healthy dose of scandalous sex. Now she has to learn the ways of her new world before their enemies take them out of it.
I had no idea my life would lead me to this captivity, or to this beast of a man. That week ended so normally, too. It was a typical Friday night where a bunch of my girlfriends and I would hang out at the club until we dragged each other home. Usually I was the designated driver because I was less likely to get a guy to buy me drinks. Most men were into the thinner girls, and there were enough of those in the bars they didn’t have to stoop down to my short height to get some. We wandered into one of the popular bars, and I took my usual seat at the table while my girlfriends took the arms of men. Nothing weird, creepy, or abnormal.
Nothing until I spotted him.
It wasn’t that he was creepy-looking or anything. Actually he was incredibly cute, what with his dark black hair and those dazzling, crystal-clear blue eyes. He was average height and a little older than me, maybe thirty. He wore a pair of faded jeans and a white polo shirt.
There was an old air about him, like you’d expect him to hold the door open or watch him sweep off his hat for you.
None of that was really weird, not when I saw piercings and mohawks all around me. What was really weird was the way he was staring at just me. He wasn’t looking around and just passing me over, he was staring straight at me without blinking. I glanced back to see if there was something exciting behind the table I was sitting at, but there was just the usual crowd laughing, drinking, and having fun.
I was even more surprised when he got up off his seat and went over to me. “Mind if I sit here?” he asked, and indicated the chair beside me at the small, round table.
My friend had vacated the seat a few minutes ago, and from the way she was wrapped around a guy across the room it didn’t look like she was coming back any time soon. “Sure,” I replied.
He got comfortable on the chair and looked at my glass that was mostly empty. “Can I buy you a drink?”
I shook my head. “No, but thanks, anyway.” My girlfriends and I made it a habit not to take drinks from strange men. It was safer that way in case they wanted to spike our drink.
“That’s fine. You can never be too cautious,” he agreed. I blushed because he’d seen so well through my refusal, but he didn’t seem to notice my embarrassment. Instead he glanced around the room. “A lot of people here. Any of them your friends?”
That was a good question. While I had come to the club with half a dozen girls, in that big of a crowd I had a hard time finding any of them. Some had slunk out of the club with their regular boy toys and others were dancing on the floor. Glancing for them made me look away from the stranger, and when I stared back at him I swore he’d moved his chair closer to me.
“So what’s your name?” he asked me, ignoring the fact that I hadn’t answered his earlier question.
“Oh, Becky.” Last names were never given out until I approved of the guy. So far this one was just friendly. “What’s yours?”
He smiled. “Luke.” Apparently he didn’t believe in last names, either.
“Well, Luke, I don’t think I’ve seen you here before. You just move into the neighborhood?”
Luke shook his head. “No, I’m just a little out of my hunting grounds.”
I blinked. That sounded weird. “Hunting grounds?” I repeated.
He laughed at my expression. “Yes, and I’ll let you in on a secret.” He leaned over toward me. I would have leaned back, but then I couldn’t have heard what he was saying because he spoke so low. “I’m actually a millionaire looking for a prospective mate.”
I smiled, thinking he was playing with me, though I had to admit this was a new pickup line. “That’s a strange way of putting it. If you’re a millionaire don’t you have women falling over each other trying to get at you?” I teased.
He leaned back and gave me some breather room. “Yes, but they don’t suit me. I want one that’s real and feisty, and has the right scent. Those types of women would walk naked through Grand Central Station if it would mean marrying me.”
I wasn’t sure I believed his story about being rich, but I decided to humor him. I put on a mockingly serious face and looked around the room. “I don’t know if you’re going to find any real women here, either. There’s a lot of makeup on them, and I think most of the breasts are on mortgage.”
Luke barked out a laugh. “Now that’s what I’m talking about. A natural wit and humor about you.”
Stranger or no stranger, I blushed at the compliment. “I think maybe you’re just easy to make laugh,” I teased.
He shrugged his shoulders, but looked me over with that careful stare of his. “Maybe, but that wasn’t too bad of a joke. Your boyfriend must be madly in love with you.”
I smiled and shook my head. “If I had one he might be, but I don’t.” I took a sip of my drink and wrinkled my nose. There was a funny flavor to it. “Besides, I don’t really have that good of luck with men. They always seem to want a one-night stand and be off to the next girl.”
“Sounds like they don’t stick around to get to know you,” he pointed out.
“More like they go for the stick women first, and me never.”
Luke leaned forward, and his voice dropped low and deep. I detected a faint tinge of sultry need in his tone. “Maybe if you and I got together for a bite to eat then we could get to the night part.”
“I don’t know, we only just met and-” I jumped when I felt something prick my hip. I glanced down and saw his hand disappear into his pocket. “What did you just-” I swooned and clutched at my head. I felt very dizzy; the room around me spun.
Luke gently took a hold of my shoulders to steady me. Suddenly his smile didn’t look so friendly. “Are you all right?” he asked me. “You look ill.”
“I-I think I need to go.” One of my friends just stepped outside. If I could catch her I could have her drive me home.
I slipped off the stool, but standing only made things worse. Luke caught me before I dropped to the ground. “Whoa there, I don’t think you need to be going anywhere,” he scolded me. I waved my hand at him to brush him off, but he only tightened his grip around my arms. “Let’s get you some fresh air.”
He half dragged me through the crowds and to a side door that led to an alley. If he meant really fresh air this wasn’t it because a dumpster stood nearby and had all the smells for creating life out of rotten meat and empty beer bottles. Luke set me up against the wall opposite the door, but I still didn’t feel any better. To the contrary, I felt a lot worse. My vision was blurred and I had trouble staying awake. The only two things that stood out was the mostly-full moon in the sky and Luke’s face hovering over me.
His voice was soft and sounded as though it came from far away. “The drug won’t take much longer to travel through your system. Then you’ll sleep,” he told me.
That scared the hell out of me enough to give me one last push of adrenaline and energy. I tried to push past him and run toward the opening to the alley. He grabbed my shoulders and pulled me back against the wall. The bricks dug into my back, but my body was growing numb. My vision was leaving me, too, and all I could see now were distorted lights and shadows. His face loomed up from the shadows and his bright eyes stared at me with that hungry look. I blacked out.