Starved for Love
A tall man with skin the tone of caramel strode in the room, a lock of golden hair falling over his face. “The interviews don’t start for another hour but you get brownie points for being early. You can start with the paperwork—” He glanced up at me. “Ms. Blyton?”
My heart dropped into my gut and fizzled in my stomach acid. “You know me?” I could barely hear my own voice over the roar of my pulse.
He grinned. “Of course, we know your father. I didn’t realize you were interested in meeting Val. We can skip the paperwork. You and sisters have already been approved for interviews. Please, come this way.” He gestured to the open door behind him.
They knew my father. Approved? What kind of business did Mr. Hunan run? Mortal men didn’t mix in the same circles as incubi. I stared at the assistant as I strolled to the door.
He tossed strong vibes. I couldn’t place his species, but he was definitely immortal. Shit. Of course they weren’t human. Why would Sin be worried about mortal businessmen? Pia, you bimbo. Just like the vampire to omit important tidbits. “And you are?”
“I’m Hoel. Val’s assistant. Let me take your coat.” He followed close behind after hanging my fall jacket in the closet. “Both your sisters were here to welcome us to the city yesterday.”
“Oh.” Welcome was most likely code for they came and screwed us. I glanced over my shoulder at tall, handsome and golden Hoel. It couldn’t have been much of a chore for my sisters, but Hoel better not expect an encore performance from me. I had issues sharing males with my sisters. It would be akin to swapping chewed gum.
“What made you change your mind about meeting Val?”
“A seven hundred-year-old vampire.” Changed my mind? I never made it up. What the hell had I walked into? If it looked like a trap and felt like a trap…Sin, the sneaky jerk, had set me up. Retribution for disturbing his busy schedule.
And why had my sisters been here? They told me everything, even the stuff I didn’t want to know; however, neither had mentioned Mr. Hunan. I could have asked them about him and saved myself this embarrassment.
“Who?” Hoel unlocked and opened another door letting us in the lower deluxe hotel suite.
I stopped mid-stride. The view of Lake City and the river winding through the park made me catch my breath. I loved my city.
Hoel skirted around me and pulled out a chair, but I bypassed him and the sitting area to gaze out the window. “It’s quite a view.”
“Yes, it is.” The new male voice made me spin around. Hoel had been holding out a seat for me to sit across from a male when I’d ignored them both. Oops, score one for my lack of tact.
This must be Valerio Hunan. A sensual smile crossed his harsh, handsome face as he rose from his seat. It softened the hard angles of his sharp cheekbones. Soft black hair tumbled to his shoulders and had that just-got-out-of-bed quality I loved. Intelligent, pale blue eyes met mine.
“Sorry, I didn’t no—notice you.” I crossed the room and offered him my hand.
He took it with his long fingers and pressed his lips to my knuckles. “Enchanté.” He spoke with a mild accent, almost French but not quite.
“Sir, let me introduce Pia Blyton, Flynn’s youngest daughter.”
Valerio raised an eyebrow in my direction then dismissed Hoel with a slight wave of his hand. “Did your father coerce you to meet with me, Mademoiselle Blyton?” He sat and gestured to the seat across from him.
“Please, call me Pia.” I smoothed the flare of my dark yellow dress against my hips before sitting and tucked my feet under the chair. “Why would my father do that?” My vampire, on the other hand, loved torturing me. I gave Valerio my most disarming smile and prayed for escape.
“Your sisters came at my request, but they are not what I’m looking for in a new wife. They gave me the impression you weren’t interested in marriage.”
The bottom dropped out of my world. I grabbed onto the arms of my chair and clung for dear life. “You’re an incubus?”
“Fuck me,” I squealed and shook my head, racing to door. “Ignore that. That’s not what I meant. This was a mistake.” The doorknob wouldn’t turn. Holy Toledo, marriage was the last thing I needed to screw up my already fractured life. I clutched my seizing heart. My parents were going to kill me if they ever heard about this.
I’d stake Sin the next time I saw him. I’d wait until sunrise when he slept and jab toothpicks in his black heart, making his death slow and painful. I spun to face a very confused Valerio.
He’d followed me and stood in the middle of the room, staring as if I’d grown a second head.
An incubus on the hunt for a new succubus wife was my worst nightmare. My heart wasn’t screwed in right and I suffered for it. I wouldn’t drag Valerio’s whole family down with me. What wives would agree to take me in when I offered nothing to the marriage? Unemployed, living with my parents and a college dropout. I couldn’t handle any more rejection. I was just starting to heal.
Why hadn’t my parents warned me? Instead, they sent my sisters. They knew this incubus was in town wife-shopping and hadn’t bothered to tell me a thing. I was both relieved and insulted. I tried to twist the knob one more time behind my back.
Hoel had locked me in.
I didn’t want to be seduced. Valerio would have to shackle me if he wanted to place his marriage tattoos on my wrists.
“Pia?” Valerio leaned against the wall, his arms crossed over his chest. “I can unlock the door and let you out.”
I straightened and smoothed my dress, trying to regain some kind of composure. Point two for lack of grace. “Yes, that would be nice.”