Helena is a dom in the board room separating people into those she can control and those she must eliminate. But she is about to meet a creature far more dominating and demanding than her. When she becomes a vampire's prey her world crashes down around her. For some monsters are better left to the dark world of horror and fairy tales. Helena must tame the hunter's heart or face eternal life in death. Another masterpiece of fantasy, romance and bondage by Amber Rose Thompson. PRIMAL NEEDS has everything a fan of romantic BDSM needs - and then some!
Constantine angled the chauffeur's cap down to shade his eyes from the setting sun. Behind the darkest of sunglasses, his eyes watered to prevent corneas from splitting. A few more minutes of pain, then the sun's rays would be below the horizon.
He leaned his back against the limousine, and felt the car shudder as his weight bore down from an angle the designer's never intended. Methodically he clenched and unclenched his hands, muscles flexing under a jacket already stretched to the maximum, causing seams to snap a few threads in defeat.
Waiting was the worst when it involved the hellhole of L.A. days. Rome was far better with the subterranean tombs and vaults. He missed Rome. L.A. only had water under the soil, what a waste of a large land mass with so many inhabitants. But L.A. was where she was, and he'd tracked her here from Rome.
His cell phone buzzed.
Reaching into the inner pocket of the jacket, he flicked the phone on without hesitation. As his mouth opened to speak, his body went rigid and straight. Game time, he licked his lips quickly, before resuming the chauffeur appearance of understated indifference.
"Speak, it's clear." He checked himself. Playing the minion was grating on his nerves. "I mean the line is clear, Sir. She hasn't summoned me yet." He chuckled throatily; making sure the phone was far enough away not to pick up on his vocal vibrations.
"You in place?"
Constantine heard the sweat beading up on the man's skin from across the phone. Did the man even know Constantine scared him? Probably not. Joe Smith, as Constantine nicknamed him, couldn't deal rationally with fear and would chalk it up to high blood pressure.
"Yes, Sir." Constantine tried a salute, but found it too humorous to bother.
"Where are you?"
The guy really thought you kidnapped a high ranking business woman by talking directly to the hired thug? "I'm outside the Palmer building standing by the limousine. The secretary called me to be here in ten minutes."
"So you're early?"
Give the big man a bone. He got one without too much mental ordeal. "That's correct, sir."
"Good, make sure you take no detours and bring her directly to the holding location. See to it her cell phone is disabled. We can't afford her alerting the authorities."
Well, duh. Really this man didn't deserve to get his hands on Helena Palmer, and he wouldn't. "Of course, sir, all taken care of."
The phone went quiet in his hand. Constantine didn't have to look at the phone to speed dial Jason. The connection crackled then went clear, probably the damn sun polluting the airways.
"We are a go." Constantine felt his legs take the last brunt of the sun and his eyes begin to dilate back into the comfort range.
"Do I make ready for you tonight or wait? I'm already at the warehouse. Men can be here in twenty."
Constantine had hired Jason on a whim and kept him around for intelligence. Constantine suspected Jason could turn alpha were the situation right. Jason was too good at second guessing him for a spark of telepathy not to be present, waiting to ignite. Jason was good, maybe too good for them to continue working together much longer.
"Call them in." Constantine's eyes squinted, trying to shut out the sun.
"Normal protocol? Or special care?"
"Special care, this one will be devourable. I want ones with total control." Constantine forced his eyes open.
* * * *
Helena Palmer rolled the red scrunchy down her hand and cinched it around her wavy hair, pulling red curls up away from her neck. The white of her skin bespoke failure in getting herself out of the office to enjoy a good baking in the summer sun.
Her invisible arm hairs prickled at the thought of heat flushing her peach skin into cardinal red burns. Sometimes a little pain was worth it. Afterwards, she'd have the most luscious tingles and itches that made her take notice of every inch of her body. There would be no problem sitting erect for days on end after one hour of being bikini-clad in the surf.
She kicked off one of her black satin pumps to bury her foot in the carpet and imagine sand seeping up between toes with the squelch of trapped water brimming over and sucking her foot down further into muck. It was so close. If she opened her window and leaped over a few buildings there she would be, just her, sand, and the waves drowning out the incessant chatter of boardroom meetings and whispered secret knives already unsheathed.
Looking at her watch, she put her shoe back on. The moving hands of the watch confirmed what her view said, the sun was setting and another day missed of seeing the ocean without plate glass between her and the salty air.
At this rate, she'd be lucky if she ate dinner at home. Nothing tempted her growling stomach that didn't have the added crunch of sand whipped into it from a stiff breeze picking up white foam and tossing it onto the beach.
She cuffed the side of each bronze highlighted cheek to bring her mind back into the game. Sand would have to wait; she had an acquisition to prepare for. Come tomorrow, she would be adding Clark Trading to the group of assets her family commandeered.
L.A. was losing one more start-up business, and Palmer Enterprises gaining another brokerage. All that stood in the way of an easy and quick acquisition process was convincing the losers they were being merged into Palmer Enterprises rather than eviscerated.
Helena bent her long neck from side to side, enjoying each pop and grind her vertebrae made as the discs relinquished the vise grip lock on her spine and let her slip back into the chair, her feet no longer touching the floor. Inadvertently a sigh escaped her tight lips and her head lolled back until it hit the high back of her chair. And she was back on the job.
Moving to the edge of her chair, she shifted old papers out of the way, and moved a new pile into her prime focus point. It was time to decide which marketing letter to use tomorrow for employees coming into Clark Trading and discovering they were assets of Palmer Enterprises.
A smile flicked across her lips before settling back to a monotone expression. She woke her screen up from sleep mode and watched as the network absorbed the Clark mainframe and altered calculations to include the new juicy bits she'd just fed into the coffers.
Her nostrils flared a bit longer than her smile had lasted, and her stomach churned along with the alterations in the daily tallies. She hungered for meat, the rawer the better. She pulled her pinpoint stare away from the computer and fanned out the marketing letters.
No one reading the letter was going to care about artful writing, no matter how many times they read and reread the letter after the initial adrenaline wore off. What they wanted to know was if their paychecks stopped or not. Hell with it, any one would do.
She took the letter from the bottom of the pile and brought it to the top. It would keep the masses subdued long enough for the new manager's welcome speech.
A sharp rap on her door saved the chosen letter from being mutilated by her spindle. The door opened without her having to address the intrusion. Backlit by the brighter lights outside, her secretary stood framed by the door with Helena's jacket over an arm and purse and brief case in hand.
Reny stepped in far enough to be officially inside and no further. "Your jacket and purse, ma'am."
Helena's face remained motionless.
Reny stood firm under the watchful interrogation.
"I see that. The question is why you have my jacket and purse. I did not ask for them." Helena folded her arms on the desk, crushing the rejected letters.
"Yesterday you told me you were to be evicted from your office by 7 PM whether you summoned me or not." Reny held her arm away from her body so the jacket remained uncreased. "And you decided to enter my lair without permission." Helena opened up a drawer to her left and shifted amidst the contents, then closed it.
"I figured either way I could lose, ma'am, so I went with the last direct order you gave me. I couldn't figure out a way to evict you without coming in."
Helena pushed her chair back and stood up. "How long have you been working for me?" She marched around the desk to face Reny off a body's length away.
"Three years, ma'am." Her stiff hands prevented the purse from swaying.
"Add a note to tomorrow's schedule. Put down I am to give you a raise. Oh and send the top letter to marketing for final write up." She took the briefcase and purse from Reny and moved around the motionless girl.
Reny snapped in place behind Helena's heels, following her boss out into the foyer and pushing the elevator button before Helena needed to. "The chauffeur is at the main entrance. I will call down to let him know you are a minute away."
Helena moved into the elevator without answering; she turned around and caught a last sight of Reny's stoic face before the doors sealed her in and shot her down to the main floor automatically. The girl had definite potential. Time to up her task list and see how she coped at commanding and delegation.
Doors opened for her as she walked out of the building. She stopped short on the sidewalk when what she expected to see differed with reality. The standard sedan, of which they owned three, wasn't there. Instead, a stretch limousine monopolized the drop-off zone, forcing pedestrian traffic to find an alternative method off the curb rather than the ramp.
Nina, no, Reny, was good. Just what did the girl have in mind? The hulk of a chauffeur towered over the top of the car, even nicer touch. Had Reny handpicked him from the agency? He certainly wasn't one of the chauffeurs on the payroll. A body like that wasn't forgettable. She would wager a good bet that he walked silently like a big cat on the prowl and could clear a sidewalk without even a glance. He was someone she could definitely use around more, very nice.
She watched the jacket fail to hide the lines of his bulging muscles. Just who or what was he intending to pounce on? Now here was a guy she should have at Clark tomorrow to keep the payroll in check.
She found her tongue fighting to get past teeth to lick her lips. Down tongue, not in daylight where enemies could be watching. Her nostrils wriggled. Why?
She detested cologne; it masked the real smell of a man. As he got closer, her nostril could not be stilled, and her stomach growled, or was that her throat? Reny was definitely getting a raise tomorrow, and double what she'd originally intended.
His hand engulfed the handle of the rear door and ratcheted it open. She almost felt pity for the metal under his grip, almost. She couldn't help but wonder what that grip would do to bone and sinew for both good and bad. He screamed bodyguard in the making, and her father had been on to her to get one with the last batch of threats against her.
He tipped his cap at her while opening the door. Stepping back to let her in, his jacket brushed the tips of her fingers. It had to be static electricity, but Helena would have sworn her body jolted back a step or two. Could blood percolate, because something like soda water swished through her veins?
She tried pulling herself together to get into the car with dignity, but his hand came out to hold her arm, steadying her as she ducked inside and sat down. Sweat formed where his hand was, sealing her silk top and jacket together, so she felt like her clothing shrank while her lungs worked overtime.
It wasn't until the door closed on her, and she tracked the shadows through the shaded windows stating his location, that she noticed there was a glass of champagne poured for her and that she no longer had her purse. When the hell had he taken it? This was certainly not normal protocol?
She was formulating a complaint when her mind registered three things coming together so quickly she would have sworn it was mechanically controlled. The backseat doors locked, the window between her and the driver closed, and the car started.
Well he didn't waste any time in performing his duties, though she would have to censure him on absconding with her purse, at least her briefcase was still with her. Not his place to think what she would need, even if he was right. That was definitely a spark of forward thinking she would be strangling before much more time passed.
The car revved into park mode. Curiosity rarely was an attribute blamed on her, but exactly where was he taking her? It wasn't Reny's job to decide her destination, but with the champagne and limousine clearly the girl had something in mind and well the night was young.
How much was the guy behind the wheel willing to do for his payment? She pushed the talk button. "What time were you scheduled for?" She needed a few basics to formulate a plan.
"As long as it takes."
To the point, very attractive and so full of innuendos. Was Reny really this good at calculating her needs? There was only one way to find out. After all, rest and relaxation always required a bit of extracurricular activity and a good orgasm would do just the trick. His body screamed the ability to hold out until she was satiated. Clearly he could hold her down if needed so she didn't dislodge a shoulder or hip.
She pushed the talk button again. "To the Seaside Hilton then." It wasn't plausible to take him home like a good little puppy trained to lick appropriately, but the Hilton knew well enough to keep a room at the ready for her and to have all eyes covered.
* * * *
She was looking around. Her shoulder and head twitches declared she was calculating her placement, trapped animal or safe zone? God she was gorgeous. Through the rearview mirror, Constantine watched her check him out then turn her head away.
He forced his hands to clench around the steering wheel then open. One clench, two, three, shit, four, five, six. He couldn't let her get to him. He needed to repeat the gesture. Seven, eight nine, he could do this.
The glass and plastic between them was nothing more than a wisp of mist that could be cleared with a good blow of his primed knuckles. This close, nothing prevented her scent from filling up the car and his nostrils. He really didn't need more proof, but the spiked champagne was clear cut, not even the strongest of his desires could contrive up such evidence for his wants. If it took her down...
She leaned back into the plush seat now, unbuttoning her blazer. Her shoulders rolled back, straining the top button of her blouse the button struggling to keep her breasts covered from his eyes. Strapless bra, interesting, she didn't like to be confined more than necessary.
His pants tightened, and he had to shift in the seat, which reminded him the car was still in park. He didn't want to start up until she had taken the first sip, but how much longer was she going to make him wait?
There it was. Her fingers moved to the glass, stopping to feel the coolness on her fingers and luxuriate in what was about to cross her lips. His own tongue curled up in his mouth wanting to shout for her to go faster. God she was killing him.
Yes, the glass was moving in an arc that culminated in her lips. What were her teeth like? Would she make him wonder by barely parting her lips? Damn, she was a tease. The rim of the glass glided past the pout of her lower lip, and her head tilted ever so slightly back.
This woman would make a killing on Madison Avenue. Those lips alone could sell vodka to someone allergic to alcohol.
And touch down. Cup lowered, he watched her throat for signs of a swallow. God, she was savoring the taste, moving it around in her mouth. Her jaws moved side to side as if saying 'no' to him.
God damn it swallow. And there it was, going down. How far down did her throat go? How much could she take without gagging? Closing his eyes to rid himself of the thought, he missed the final descent of the liquid churning past her esophagus and heading down to the stomach held in by the tightness of her skirt.
His eyes opened with a snap. How much had his meditation cost him? Ah, good. She was putting the cup down, and a little sloshed over the side of the rim and beaded down the fluted sides to pool on the tray. Her head bobbed, eye lids closing while she slid down into the seat, collapsing in a heap, head against her knees.
Blood had spoken and vindication was his. No one would question him ever again after a few weeks. He'd pegged her from the first sniff in Rome and all the shadowing and wrangling to get this gig was pay dirt. Constantine arched his neck back and howled, sound-proof cars rocked as did tinted glass. Humans did have some usefulness with their inventions and he'd let some live. But they really had to do something about L.A.
Crunching the gearshift into drive, he careened out of the cul-de-sac and let other driver's yield to him as he merged with traffic. A flick of his eyes showed a very lovely woman had fallen sideways in the back of his car. Saliva ran down the sides of his fangs, and he wiped the liquid residue that didn't get swallowed back onto his sleeve.