Argeneau 15, The Reluctant Vampire Page 0,1


His response was to heave a long-suffering sigh, toss her bag on the floor at her feet, and slam the door closed.

“Great,” Drina muttered, as he walked around the vehicle to the driver’s side. But she supposed she shouldn’t be surprised at the man’s attitude. He worked for her uncle, after all, the most taciturn man she’d ever met. On this side of the ocean at least. She added that last thought as Mr. Tall-Dark-and-Miserable slid behind the steering wheel and started the engine.

Drina watched him press a button that set the garage door in front of them rolling up, but waited until he’d shifted into gear before asking, “Are we heading straight to—”

She paused as he suddenly slid a letter from an inside pocket of his fur-lined coat and handed it to her.

“Oh here, I was to give you this,” Drina mimicked dryly as she accepted the envelope.

Tall-Dark-and-Rude raised an eyebrow but otherwise didn’t react.

Drina shook her head and opened the letter. It was from Uncle Lucian, explaining that her escort was Anders and he would be delivering her directly to Port Henry. She guessed that meant Lucian hadn’t trusted Anders to pass on this information himself. Perhaps he really was mute, she thought, and glanced curiously to the man as she slipped the letter into her pocket. The nanos should have prevented it . . . unless, of course, it wasn’t a physical problem but a genetic one. Still, she’d never heard of a mute immortal.

“Do you speak at all?” she asked finally.

He turned an arched eyebrow in her direction as he steered the vehicle up the driveway beside the house, and shrugged. “Why bother? You were doing well enough on your own.”

So . . . rude, not mute, Drina thought, and scowled. “Obviously, all those tales Aunt Marguerite told me about charming Canadian men were something of an exaggeration.”

That had him hitting the brakes and jerking around to peer at her with wide eyes. They were really quite beautiful eyes, she noted absently as he barked, “Marguerite?”

“Dear God, it speaks again,” she muttered dryly. “Be still my beating heart. I don’t know if I’ll survive the excitement.”

Scowling at her sarcasm, he eased his foot off the brakes to cruise forward along the driveway until they reached a manned gate. Two men came out of a small building beside the gates and waved in greeting. They then immediately set about manually opening the inner gate. Once Anders had steered the SUV through and paused at a second gate, the men closed the first one. They then disappeared inside the small building again. A bare moment later, the second gate swung open on its own, and he urged their vehicle out onto a dark, country road.

“Did Marguerite specify any particular male in Canada?” Anders asked abruptly, as Drina turned from watching the gate close behind them.

She raised an eyebrow, noting the tension now apparent in the man. “Now you want to speak, do you?” she asked with amusement, and taunted, “Afraid it was you?”

He glanced at her sharply, his own eyes narrowed. “Was it?”

Drina snorted and tugged on her seat belt. Doing it up, she muttered, “Like I’d tell you if it was.”

“Wouldn’t you?”

She glanced over to see that he was now frowning.

“Hell no,” she assured him. “What self-respecting girl would want to be stuck with a doorstop for a mate for the rest of her life?”

“A doorstop?” he squawked.

“Yes, doorstop. As in big, silent, and good only for holding wood.” She smiled sweetly, and added, “At least I’m pretty sure about the wood part. Nanos do make sure immortal males function in all areas.”

Drina watched with satisfaction as Anders’s mouth dropped open. She then shifted in her seat to a more comfortable position and closed her eyes. “I think I’ll take a nap. I never sleep well on planes. Enjoy the drive.”

Despite her closed eyes, she was aware that he kept glancing her way. Drina ignored it and managed not to grin. The man needed some shaking up, and she had no doubt this would do it. Over the centuries, she’d become good at judging the age of other immortals, and was pretty sure she was centuries older than Anders. He wouldn’t be able to read her, which would leave him wondering . . . and drive him nuts, she was sure. But it served him right. It didn’t take much effort to be courteous, and courtesy was necessary in a civilized society. It was a lesson the