Argeneau 17, The Lady is a Vamp Page 0,1


“It’s steel. You won’t be able to break it.”

Jeanne Louise glanced sharply in the direction the voice had come from, her gaze sliding over what was a very small room, all white with nothing but the bed she lay on. The only interesting thing in there with her was the man addressing her from the doorway. He wasn’t overly tall, perhaps four or five inches taller than her own five feet six, but the man was built with wide shoulders and a narrow waist. He was also rather attractive in a boy-next-door sort of way, with brown hair, a square jaw, and eyes a brighter green than she’d ever seen . . . and she’d seen a lot of mortal eyes in her one hundred and two, almost one hundred and three, years of life. These easily beat out every other set she’d ever seen.

“How do you feel?” he asked with what appeared to be real concern.

“I’ve been better,” Jeanne Louise said dryly, glancing down to the chains again. Steel, he’d said. Cripes, he had her bound up like a crazed elephant or something.

“The tranquilizer I used on you can cause headaches and a fuzzy feeling as it wears off,” he announced apologetically. “Are you experiencing anything of that nature? Do you need an ibuprofren or something?”

“No,” Jeanne Louise said grimly, knowing it would go away quickly on its own thanks to the nanos. She then narrowed her eyes on the man’s face as she instinctively tried to penetrate his thoughts and take control of him. She intended to make him get her out of these ridiculous chains, explain himself, and then she would call her Uncle Lucian and have him send someone to deal with the man. That was the plan anyway. It didn’t go that way, however—because she couldn’t penetrate his thoughts, or take control of the man.

Must be the drug he gave me, Jeanne Louise thought with a frown and gave her head a shake to try to clear it a little more before trying again.

“Nothing,” she muttered with bewilderment. The drug definitely had to still be affecting her, she thought, and then scowled at him. “What did you give me?”

“The latest tranquilizer we’ve been working on in R and D,” he said mildly, and then disappeared out the door and briefly out of sight.

Jeanne Louise frowned at the empty space, his words running through her head. “R and D” was research and development. But R and D for where? It couldn’t be a normal tranquilizer for mortals; that would have hardly slowed her down let alone knocked her out. But—

Her thoughts scattered as he returned and approached the bed.

“Do you work for Argeneau Enterprises?” Jeanne Louise asked, eyeing what he held in one hand with interest. He was holding a tall glass of what appeared to be ice water and she was suddenly terribly aware that her mouth and throat were parched.

“I do. I’m in R and D like you, only I help develop new drugs while you have been working on genetic anomalies, I believe,” he said easily as he paused beside the bed.

Jeanne Louise frowned. Bastien Argeneau, her cousin and the head of Argeneau Enterprises, had hired her directly after she’d graduated from university seventy-five years ago. She’d worked for Argeneau Enterprises ever since. At first she’d actually been in the department this man claimed to be in, but twenty-five years ago, Bastien had asked Jeanne Louise to choose who she wanted from R and D and form a team. She would be heading up a new branch of the department, one dedicated solely to the task of finding a way to allow her cousin Vincent and her uncle Victor to feed without the need to bite mortals. They desperately wanted to be able to feed off bagged blood like everyone else did. It made life much simpler. However, both men suffered from a genetic anomaly that made bagged blood as useful to them as water. They would starve on a diet of bagged blood. She was supposed to figure out why and if they could be given some sort of supplement to prevent that. She’d been heading up the team working on the problem ever since and they still hadn’t figured out what the exact anomaly was that caused it, let alone how to fix it.

Sighing at what she considered her failure, Jeanne Louise glanced to her captor again, noting that he was standing beside the bed glancing from her to the water