While private investigator, Libby Fox, is still trying to wrap her mind around the fact that vampires exist and that she actually has feelings for one of them, she’s drawn into yet another case where there’s more to her client that meets the eye. When Blake Harding walks into her office, hiring her to find a secret book very important to his family, Libby has no idea of the danger involved. She learns that there are things out there more dangerous than vampires as she searches for the Secrets of the Wolf.
The maitre d at Drey’s led the way to our table. I glanced over at my date for the night and had to admit he was the best looking man in the restaurant. I had put Adam off several times before finally agreeing to go out with him. After all, dating a vampire was something one had to think about awhile.
The maitre d pulled out my chair for me and I smiled my thanks as I sat down in the large padded chair. This restaurant definitely cared about the comfort of their patrons, although I was sure it came at quite a price. Not that Adam couldn’t afford it. I would never have been able to eat here on my own, since a private investigator usually didn’t make that kind of money. Although, my bank account looked a lot better since Adam had hired me several weeks ago to find a young girl that had been in his charge at the time she had been kidnapped. Luckily, that particular venture didn’t turn out to be the disaster it could have been.
“Would you care for a bottle of wine?” said a voice next to our table. I noticed the sommelier standing there with a big smile on his face.
Adam smiled back at the man and said, “We would like your best Merlot.”
The sommelier nodded and left to retrieve the wine Adam had requested. I looked at the man across the table from me and admired his dark, wavy hair and his violet eyes. I had never met anyone with eyes that color and they always seemed to mesmerize me. I could get lost in those eyes.
“Are you happy with the restaurant I chose?” Adam asked me.
“Are you kidding? It’s really nice and you know it,” I said with a grin.
He smiled at me and my insides melted. It bothered me that he could affect me that way. I still wasn’t sure where this relationship could go, and I didn’t want to get my heart too involved. But he was so hot! My brain and my body were at odds.
“I wanted only the best for our first date.”
Before I could reply, the sommelier appeared with the bottle of wine and two glasses. He poured a small amount of wine in a glass for Adam to taste, and I watched as Adam did the whole swirling, sniffing, and tasting routine that I had only seen on TV. Adam nodded his approval and the sommelier poured a glass of wine for me and then filled Adam’s glass. He departed our table with a smile. Everyone seemed to be smiling tonight.
“Have a taste and see what you think,” Adam said.
I sipped the wine and liked the taste, even though I usually preferred white wine. Adam always seemed to insist on red. “I like it. But it’s not as good as the wine I had at your house.”
“Well, I don’t think you’ll ever find a wine that tastes better than that one. It’s specially made just for my family, as you know.”
The waiter came with menus, and I knew I was in trouble when I realized my menu didn’t have the prices. How could I possibly order something not knowing what the cost was? What if I ordered something outrageously expensive? Would Adam disapprove?
“May I make a suggestion?” asked Adam, perhaps sensing my discomfort.
“Please,” I said with a sigh of relief.
“The filet mignon with bleu cheese sauce is very good. It comes with seasoned new potatoes and asparagus.”
I looked at him in alarm. “Is that what you’re getting?”
He sighed. “I promise, I’ll get mine medium rare.”
I had dined at his house before, and I almost couldn’t eat after seeing the rest of the household eating steak so rare that blood ran into the plates and pooled there, making my stomach lurch. I was grateful that Adam was making an exception for me tonight.
“All right, I think I can stand to look at medium rare steak,” I said.
The waiter came back with bread and took our orders. Adam ordered mine medium well, for which I was thankful.
After the waiter left, Adam reached across the table and took my hand in his. My stomach did a somersault as his skin came in contact with mine. I didn’t know if part of it was his vampire powers or if I was just that attracted to him. I swallowed with difficulty.
“Libby, I’m so glad you decided to join me tonight. I was beginning to think the word “no” was the only one in your vocabulary.”
I said, “Adam, you know I have mixed feelings about this whole thing. I don’t know how I feel about dating a vampire. And there’s the whole issue of your donor.”
Donors were people who willingly allowed vampires to drink from them. What they received in return was enormous pleasure while the vampires were feeding. All the vampires in Adam’s coven kept their own donors and didn’t share with each other like some other covens did, passing donors around as if they were playthings. At least Adam’s coven had respect for humans they used as food.
“Libby, you know how you can resolve the donor issue.”
“And you know I’m not willing to be your donor.”
He sighed. “Libby, you wouldn’t be my donor. You would be my girlfriend who happens to let me feed. Then there would be no donor to be jealous of.”
And here was the biggest obstacle to our relationship. I wouldn’t share him with a donor; but, I wouldn’t let him feed from me. So we were still at the same impasse as always.
“I just can’t. You know that.”
“But you can,” he said, looking deep into my eyes.
“Don’t you dare do that mesmerizing thing to me!”
He shrugged, looking like an innocent little boy. “I’m not. I promise.”
Before I could reply, our food came. I glanced at his and decided medium rare wasn’t too gross as long as someone besides me was eating it. I cut into my medium well steak and couldn’t believe how tender it was. And the bleu cheese sauce was out of this world. Maybe this date wasn’t too bad of an idea.
We ate and made small talk, and I had Adam refill my wine glass twice. I was probably drinking a little too much of it, but it was good and I wasn’t driving. Besides, I felt like I needed the fortification since, after all, I was on a date with a vampire. Sometimes I wondered how many people in town knew that vampires existed.
When the meal was over, Adam insisted on dessert, so we shared some kind of decadent chocolate monstrosity. I was glad I had a fast metabolism. Otherwise, this meal would have packed on some pounds.
We left the restaurant and Adam drove me to my small apartment. He insisted on walking me up, although that made me more nervous than any danger that might have lurked inside. When we got to my door, I turned to him and said, “Well, this was a really nice night. Thanks for dinner.”
I turned back to my door and tried to make my escape, but Adam was having none of that. He grasped my shoulder firmly and turned me back around to face him. My heart skipped several beats as I saw that he was looking hungrily at my lips. At least it wasn’t my neck he was looking at. I tried to back away, but the door was too close. He stepped in nearer to me, and I could feel his body almost press against mine, but not quite. He was too close…I couldn’t breathe. As his face moved closer to mine, I felt my knees go weak, and I resigned myself to just this one kiss. One wouldn’t hurt, right? I closed my eyes, and just as I felt his breath on my lips, he moved his kiss to my forehead. My eyes flew open in surprise, and I saw the grin on his face. I felt like slapping it right off.
“Goodnight, Libby. Sweet dreams,” he said as he walked away.
I stood there with my mouth open in shock and embarrassment. Adam Ryder had a lot of nerve! Just wait until the next time he asked me out. The word “no” was back in my vocabulary. And he would ask again, wouldn’t he?