Until the Sun Falls from the Sky(6)

By: Kristen Ashley

I did as well.

At the top of the steps stood a man.

No, not a man, a vampire.

Man or vampire, he had no equal.

Upon looking at him I felt as if someone had put a hand to my throat at the same time they shoved another in my chest, both at throat and chest I felt a painful squeeze.

Tall, taller than anyone there, at least six foot four, maybe six foot five, he was huge. He didn’t have lean, compacted muscle. His muscle was not lean, not compacted. It was massive, powerful, even brutal. His hair was black, so black it shone and it was thick, even had a little wave. It was too long, not in a way where it looked unkempt, in a way that said he didn’t have time to bother with such unimportant things as routine haircuts.

It looked great on him.

Everything looked great on him.

His dark suit, his dark shirt, the fact that he was the only man not wearing a dress shirt and bow tie but that the top buttons of his shirt were open, exposing an attractive column of corded throat.

He wasn’t beautiful, he wasn’t even handsome or not your normal, everyday type of handsome.

His look was too rough, too rugged, somehow both savage and compelling.

It was crazy to think it but he had the most perfect nose I’d ever seen, straight and long. Ditto with his jaw, square and strong. Ditto with his sharp cheekbones, his full lips, even his chin.

And, fucking hell, his eyes. Black, intense and staring at me.

“Oh my God,” I breathed.

Then I watched from across the room in rapt fascination as his eyelids lowered, just partially, hooding those spectacular eyes and his magnificent lips twitched as if he was fighting back a smile.

He’d heard me.

Fuck! I thought.

So much for appearing cold, disgusted and uninterested with this whole mess, I’d practically drooled.

He moved down the stairs not gracefully but powerfully, his movements somehow seeming to devour the distance.

His eyes left me and he headed toward Cosmo.

“Not so brave now, hmm, Nestor?” Stephanie taunted and I tore my gaze from Lucien to look at Nestor and Stephanie continued. “Leah wouldn’t have blooded your contract anyway.”

“I didn’t expect her to.” Nestor was calm, the other two vampires that had started to close in now moved away. “I expected to state my intentions and get her to a contract room. She’d refuse and be forced to leave The Selection. No second chances, alas. Not until another Selection. By that time, Lucien would need to feed, he’ll have to select tonight. But Leah wouldn’t be a choice.”

“Not very bright to expose your plan,” Stephanie commented with derision.

Nestor flashed a satisfied smile. “It wasn’t mine. It was Katrina’s.” Stephanie hissed angrily at this news but Nestor ignored her and turned his eyes to me. “Though, seeing you, I would have been tempted, even tempted to coax you to blooding my contract.” He leaned in around Stephanie, ignoring her body tensing again, the growl emitting from her throat, he got close to me and muttered, “I reckon I’d help you beat your mother’s record. Seven years wouldn’t be enough of you.” He pulled away and said to Stephanie, “Katrina has reason to be angry, just fucking look at her.” His head jerked toward me.

“I see her,” Stephanie ground out.

“Do you smell her?” Nestor whispered almost reverently and I felt that hand at my throat, the other one at my heart and they were squeezing again. Then Nestor chuckled. “Of course you do, just not your kind of scent is it?”

“Fuck off,” Stephanie clipped.

“Will you two quit talking about me as if I’m not here?” I demanded, fed up, freaked out and scared out of my ever-loving mind.

Nestor went still, his brows snapped together and he gave me a look so ferocious it made me feel as if the moment before I wasn’t actually scared out of my mind.

Now I was scared out of my mind.

“What did she just say?” he asked Stephanie on an enraged whisper but his eyes never left me.

“It looks like Magnus just claimed the Warrington girl,” Stephanie told him instead of answering his question. “You don’t move fast, Nestor, the only one left will be the Howard.”

Nestor’s head swung around and we watched a vampire with dark brown hair leading a very beautiful and somewhat less desperately dressed Uninitiated up the stairs.

“Fucking hell,” Nestor muttered, shot a glance at Stephanie, swept me from top-to-toe with his gray eyes and then he moved away.

“Dickhead,” Stephanie muttered.

“Um, do you want to tell me what that was all about?” I asked.

Stephanie took my arm in her hand and moved me into the room all the while talking in a low voice. “The fist bit, I’ll let Lucien explain to you if he desires. The last bit, you must know. You haven’t been to your studies, obviously, but I suspect your mother gave you some instruction. I don’t know if you’re ignoring it or have a death wish.” She stopped and turned to me, we were the same height and her eyes leveled on mine. Hers were serious. “Never disrespect a vampire, Leah. Cosmo and I, tonight, will be okay with it. Lucien, never. Don’t ever disrespect Lucien. After you do your study, Cosmo and I’ll not be patient with it either. You need to know this. And tonight any vampire that approaches you, you treat with respect. It’s important, to your mother, your family, the legacy of your family past and present and, most of all, it’s important to Lucien.”

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