“So this is your job? Killing people?” He rolled backwards over the bed, feeling like a playful, eight week-old pup. Her eyes flashed silver. He wasn’t particularly afraid of her—and if he could take a time out, he was sure he’d laugh at the whole situation.
The woman he loved more than life itself had been hired to assassinate him, and here she was dancing around him in her lingerie, trying to slice him to bits. Yes, the Fates had a brutal sense of humor.
“Why are you not afraid of me?” She stopped to look at him. Her heaving breasts threatened to spill over the top of the lacey cups of her bra. Standing in the doorway, with rain splattering her feet, she was a vision. Lithe, toned, and delicious.
“I used to kill your kind for a living.” He cocked his head to the side, watching her through his lashes as his words sank in.
She let out a piercing battle cry and leapt at him. He caught her wrists and held them high over her head.
“I will kill you,” she promised. Her features hardened, and her tone was filled with fury.
“I’m not afraid of death.”
She cocked her head to the side, as if she hadn’t understood him. That glossy hair he longed to run his fingers through trailed over her shoulder in a way he found far too alluring for their present situation.
“My turn,” he said. “Why do you kill?”
“Because it’s what I was trained to do.”
“You aren’t very good at it.”
She moved so quickly he hardly had time to react. Her blade sliced into his arm, and he growled low in his throat as he spun out of the way.
“Then again, I’m not used to fighting a mere woman. Perhaps women are not made to fight. To kill.”
“Would you like to see my kill book?” Her fangs peeked over her lips again.
When she swung this time, he kicked the sword out of her hand. She hissed like a cat who’d just had its tail stepped on.
“Perhaps your heart just isn’t in it.” He gave her a dark, lingering look. And before she could reply, turned and walked out onto the balcony.
Rain poured down upon him, drenching his jeans and soaking his hair. Through the thick precipitation, he could make out a few landmarks and skyscrapers. They were on the top floor of a building. The balcony stretched left and right. The thunderstorm carried the salty scent of the ocean and put on a great light show.
A sharp pain seared his back.
“You’re stupid to turn your back on me, wolf,” she said, her voice raised above the roar of falling water.
“I told you—I’m not afraid of death.”
The point of her sword moved to the base of his neck. A chill broke out over his skin. The feeling…couldn’t be fear. He’d thought about it for so long; had welcomed it on more than one occasion. All this time, he’d thought that she, Violet, was dead.
Life had seemed so dim. It hadn’t mattered how many women had graced his bed. How many parties he’d attended, or how much money he’d made. Travel, food, and life itself had become tasteless and boring. Death would take away the pain. The monotony.
Slowly, he turned to face her. Her hair was plastered against her porcelain skin, and her eyes had turned that weird shade of blue and silver. Water dripped from her nose and ran like a river between her breasts, disappearing beneath the lacey edge of her panties.
“Who hired you?” The tip of her weapon was only inches away from his throat, and he was completely vulnerable. A rare feeling.
She frowned. “Why do you care?”
“Don’t you think a dying man deserves to know who paid for his execution?”
“I don’t know the person’s name.”
“I do not.” The wind picked up, driving the rain into his skin like BB pellets. She seemed unaffected by the sharp, stinging sensation. Her face remained placid, as if she’d done this, had stood in front of a man ready to carry out his death, a thousand times.
Perhaps she had.
“Well, Violet, I have nothing left to live for.” He knelt in front of her, wondering if she’d go through with it. Perhaps he should call his brother and cousins. But he did not want them to think him a coward. Resigned, yes.
With that little piece of hope inside him dead, he had nothing left on which to cling. Everything—his life, their future, was in her hands.