1. The need to shadow her was strong, but he’d given her his word that he’d stay in the background. He was determined not to break his promise, no matter how badly he wanted to stick his nose into this latest investigation. Sometime during their brief dinner together, he’d accepted the fact that he wanted to spend more time with her. Get to know her better. Maybe it was because she was, in her own way, a puzzle to be solved.
2. “Smashed?” Grabbing a latex glove from one of the CSU’s kits, she pulled it on and went over to inspect the lock. It was a typical single cylinder entry keyed doorknob. The knob had been torn from door, as if it had sledgehammered. Or ripped out by hand.
3. Bending over, she rammed her elbow into the figure. The figure wrapped arms around her, shoving her backwards. The impact carried them both into a stack of twenty-gallon pails of floor wax. The creature gave a squeak of pain when one of them landed on top of her, narrowly missing striking Orrora. The creature backhanded her, catching her on the side of the cheek. Momentarily stunned, Orrora tried to make another grab for the figure when something solid struck her on the side of the head. Stunned, Orrora fell to her knees. The dark voice spoke again, and its taunt was clear.
4. She was no longer hungry. Tossing the rest of her slice into the box, she wiped her mouth and fingers, and drank from her bottle of water Joel had included with the order. She turned on the bed when a hand reached over and grasped her bare wrist. The unexpected skin-to-skin contact almost sucked the air from her lungs. She started to jerk her arm away, but he was prepared, and his grip tightened slightly. Not enough to bruise, but enough to make her look up at him. A yard barely separated them, but he felt closer. He smelled closer. So close, she could sense his heartbeat speeding up in anticipation. His eyes were the color of topaz before he tilted his head, shading them. “Damn it, Orrora. What are you afraid of?”
5. The cab pulled away, and she turned to enter the courtyard when a coldness went through her. A warning chill that set off her internal alarms. Orrora froze. Closing her eyes, she concentrated on what her senses were trying to tell her. There was an urgency vibrating in the air, alerting her, but she was unable to read it. She’s learned long ago never to disregard what her unique abilities were telling her. Now that she’d possibly found the only love of her life, she needed to be much more careful. Especially now. Especially here.
6. As Olchescu tried to extricate herself from the shower curtain and climb out of the tub, Orrora glanced at him. He saw her eyes widen in shock, and a hard, almost murderous expression came over her as her beautiful face transformed into that of a demon. Joel watched in dazed fascination as her attention went back to the woman getting to her feet. Her eyes were now blood red, and when she opened her mouth, a second set of needle-sharp teeth slid out of her upper and lower gums. Orrora shrieked, throwing herself at the woman. They grappled with each other before Orrora pounded her against the wall so hard the fiberglass cracked.
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