Bite Me If You Can - Argeneau Series - Book 6 Page 0,1

heard the man behind her pick up speed, never realized he’d rushed forward. Suddenly he was there before her, forcing her to an abrupt halt.

“Hello, Leigh.”

The sound of her name made her pause with confusion, then the man shrugged the hood off his head, revealing his face.

“Donny?” She said with surprise, relief coursing through her. Donny Avries had worked the bar at Coco’s for a year. He was always eager to please and a hard worker. Milly—Leigh’s friend, and her day manager in the restaurant—claimed he had a crush on her and had begged for steady night shifts to be near her, but Leigh thought that was nonsense. They just got along well as friends. She’d been terribly upset when he’d gone missing more than a week ago.

Usually prompt, and often even early for his shift, Donny simply hadn’t shown up on Monday night. Leigh had tried calling his apartment, but there’d been no answer. When he hadn’t shown up the next night, she’d called again, then grown concerned and called his landlady to have her check on him.

The woman reported that while everything looked fine in his apartment, his cat was obviously hungry and the litter box had been overflowing, suggesting he hadn’t been home for a while. While there were no signs that he’d left on a planned trip, she’d talked to people in the neighboring apartments, and no one had seen Donny since he’d gone out Saturday night with some friends. They’d decided to call the police.

Now, a week later, the police had been to the restaurant twice, asking questions and admitting that he appeared to have disappeared. They told her to contact the station if she heard from him.

“Where have you been?” Leigh asked, anger replacing concern. She’d been worried sick about the man, and here he stood, apparently fine and well.

Donny hesitated, then said simply, “You’ll see.”

Leigh blinked at his answer, not finding it acceptable after all her concern. And frankly, the words—as well as the odd smile on his face—were creeping her out. There was also something strange about his eyes.

“No, I won’t see,” she said firmly. Her fear had now fully turned to anger, and she was no longer in the mood to hear what he had to say for himself. Turning on her heel, she continued in the direction she’d been heading. “You can explain yourself tomorrow when you come by to pick up your severance pay.”

She’d taken only a few steps before, unaccountably, stopping, her body going limp. She heard the soft thud as her purse slid from her lifeless hands and landed on the grassy verge along the sidewalk, then found herself slowly turning back. Donny was no longer alone; another man stood beside him. He was tall and lanky, with long, straw-colored hair that hung in greasy strips around a thin pale face. He also had yellow-brown eyes that seemed to glow.

If her sudden lack of control over her own body hadn’t been enough to scare her, one glimpse of this man’s dead eyes was enough to make her blood turn to ice.

“Hello, Leigh. Donny’s told me a lot about you.” He smiled, and she saw his two canine teeth slide down and forward to form two pointed fangs.

Some part of her mind shut off at the sight, telling her it wasn’t real, that it wasn’t ready to accept it as real and it was going to sleep now. But she snapped back with horror when the man abruptly swooped forward, enveloping her in the darkness that seemed to surround him. She felt a pinch on her throat, then excitement and pleasure rushed through her like a drug.

“Ah,” Donny complained from somewhere beyond the shoulder blocking her view. “I wanted to be the one to bite her.”

Leigh blinked at the whiny sound to his voice, even as the pleasure invading her faltered and the man before her muttered something against her throat.

“What?” Donny asked. He moved into view as he tapped the man’s shoulder. “What did you say?”

The man muttered again, something that came out sounding like, “ ’Huh-uh!” Then he lifted his head with an impatient tsk and glared over his shoulder at Donny.

“Shut up!” he snapped, and some part of Leigh’s mind thought, Ohhh, that’s what he’d said.

“I am the master vampire,” he went on. “I am the one who sires new children of the night.”

Leigh’s eyes widened at his words. Vampires?

She supposed it was hard not to accept that when the guy’s fangs were flashing with