Home > Dark Desire (Drak #2)(3)

Dark Desire (Drak #2)(3)
Author: Christine Feehan

He haunted her. Day or night. It didn't matter to him. He no longer knew the difference when it had mattered so much before. He lived to try to appease his ever-present hunger. He lived for revenge. For retribution. He lived to make her life a living hell during his waking hours. He became good at it. Taking possession of her mind for minutes at a time. It was impossible to figure her out. She was so complex. There were things in her brain that made little sense to him, and the few moments he could stay awake without losing his precious remaining blood did not give him sufficient time to understand her.

There was the time she was frightened. He could taste her fear. Feel her heart pounding so that his own matched the terrible rhythm. Still, her mind remained calm in the center of the storm, receiving quick, brilliant flashes of data she processed so quickly that he nearly missed them. Two strangers were hunting her. Taunting her. He also saw an image of himself, his thick hair hanging in strands around his ravaged face, his body savaged by brutal hands. He clearly saw the stake driven deep within his tissue and sinews. It flashed for a moment in her mind, there was the impression of grief, and then he lost contact.

Shea would never forget their faces, their eyes, and the smell of their sweat. One of them, the taller of the two, couldn't take his eyes from her. "Who are you?" She stared at them, wide-eyed, innocent, totally harmless. Shea knew she looked young and helpless, too small to give them trouble.

"Jeff Smith," the tall one said gruffly. His eyes devoured her. "This is my partner, Don Wallace. We need you to come with us and answer a few questions."

"Am I wanted for something? I'm a doctor, gentlemen. I can't just pick up and go, I'm due in surgery in an hour. Perhaps you could arrange to ask your questions when my shift is over."

Wallace grinned at her. He thought he looked charming. Shea thought he looked like a shark. "We can't do that, Doc. It isn't only our questions, there's an entire committee looking to talk with you." He laughed softly, a film of perspiration on his forehead. He enjoyed inflicting pain, and Shea was altogether too cool, too haughty.

Shea made certain her desk was solidly between her and the men. Taking great care to move slowly and appear unconcerned, she glanced down at her computer, typed in the command to destroy her data, and hit the enter key. Then she picked up her mother's diary, and slipped it into her purse. She accomplished everything easily, naturally. "Are you certain you have the right person?"

"Shea O'Halloran, your mother was Margaret 'Maggie' O'Halloran from Ireland?" Jeff Smith recited. "You were born in Romania, your father is unknown?" There was a taunting note in his voice.

She turned the full power of her emerald eyes on the man, watched coolly as he squirmed uneasily, as he became consumed with desire for her. Smith was far more susceptible than his partner was. Is that supposed to upset me, Mr. Smith? I am who I am. My father has nothing to do with it."

"No? " Wallace stepped closer to the desk. "Don't you need blood? Crave it? Don't you drink it?" His eyes glowed with hatred.

Shea burst out laughing. Her laughter was soft, sexy, a melody to listen to forever. "Drink blood? Is this some kind of joke? I don't have time for this nonsense."

Smith licked his lips. "You don't drink blood?" His voice held a hopeful note.

Wallace looked at him sharply. "Don't look into her eyes," he snarled. "You should know that by now."

Shea's eyebrows shot up. She laughed again softly, inviting Smith to join her. "I occasionally require a transfusion. It isn't uncommon. Haven't you ever heard of hemophilia? Gentlemen, you are wasting my time." Her voice dropped even lower, a soft seduction of musical notes. "You really should leave."

Smith scratched his head. "Maybe we've got the wrong woman. Look at her. She's a doctor. She's nothing like the others. They're tall and strong and have dark hair. She's delicate, petite, a redhead. And she goes out in the sunlight."

"Shut up," Wallace snapped. "She's one of them. We should have gagged her. She's turning you with her voice." His eyes slid over her, making her flesh crawl. "She'll talk." He grinned evilly. "Now I've scared you. It's about time. You'll cooperate, O'Halloran, the hard way or the easy way. Actually, I prefer the hard way."

"I'll bet you do. Just what do you want from me? "

"Proof that you're a vampire." Wallace hissed.

"You've got to be kidding. Vampires don't exist. There's no such thing," she goaded, needing information and willing to acquire it from any source, even if it meant prompting men as sick as these two.

"No? I've met several." Wallace grinned his evil grin again. "Perhaps a friend or two of yours." He threw several photographs onto the desk, his eyes daring her to look at them. His excitement was palpable.

Keeping her face blank, Shea picked up the pictures. Her stomach lurched, bile rose, but her training didn't let her down. The photographs were numbered, eight of them in all. Each of the victims was blindfolded, gagged, manacled, all in various stages of torment. Don Wallace was a butcher. She touched a fingertip to the one tagged with a number two, experiencing a sudden, unexpected wrench. A boy no more than eighteen.

Quickly, before tears could well up, she flipped through the rest of the photographs. Number seven was a man with a mane of jet-black hair—the man haunting her dreams! There was no denying it. No mistake. She knew every angle and plane of his face—the well-cut mouth, the dark, expressive eyes, the long hair. Anguish welled up. For a moment she felt his pain, a sharp agony of mind and body driving out all sane thoughts until there was only room for pain, hatred, and hunger. She brushed the pad of her thumb over the tormented face lightly, almost lovingly. A caress. The pain and hatred only grew stronger. Hunger became all consuming. The emotions were so strong, so alien to her nature, she had a strange feeling that something or someone was sharing her mind. Disoriented for a moment, Shea dropped the photos onto the desk.

"It was you two in Europe a few years back, the 'vampire' killings, wasn't it? You murdered all those innocent people." Shea made the accusation calmly.

Don Wallace didn't deny it. "And now I've got you."

"If vampires are such powerful creatures, how did you manage to kill so many of them?" Sarcasm dripped deliberately to egg him on.

"Their males are very competitive." Wallace laughed harshly. "They don't like one another. They need women, and they don't like to share. They turn on each other, place someone into our hands. Still, they are strong. No matter how they suffer, they never talk. Which in some ways is fine, since they can mesmerize with their voices. But you'll talk, Doc. I'll have all the time in the world with you. Did you know when a vampire's in agony, it sweats blood?"

"Surely I would know that if I were a vampire. I've never sweated blood in my life. Let's see if I have this straight. Vampires stalk not only humans but also each other. The males betray one another to you human butchers because they need females. I thought they could just bite women and turn them into vampires." Sarcastically she was ticking off each item on her fingers. "You want me to believe I'm one of these fictitious creatures, so powerful that my voice alone can enslave this strong man here." Deliberately she gestured toward Jeff Smith, flashing him a gentle smile. "Gentlemen, I'm a doctor. I save lives every day. I sleep in a bed, not in a coffin. I am not the least bit strong, and I have never sucked anyone's blood in my life." She glanced at Don Wallace. "You, however, admittedly have tortured and mutilated men, even murdered them. And evidently you derive great pleasure from this. I don't believe you two are cops, or officials of any law-abiding agency. I think you are the monsters." She turned her emerald eyes back to Jeff Smith, her voice low, seductive. "Do you really think I'm a danger to you? "

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