I kneel and hang my head and wait. I have to. I want to. There’s an elation in my chest, as though I’m about to meet a secret beloved I’m only now remembering. My attention draws upward, compelled to the stunning creature. I couldn’t look away if my life depended on it, but I avoid meeting his dark gaze.
With unearthly grace, the vampire saunters toward me, his eyes riveted to my face. The closer he comes, the more the battle slips into the background. It could be only the two of us here in the steelworks. Weapons fly around him—bolts and swords whistle through the air, heading for his chest, but stop midflight before they can meet their target and clatter to the concrete. He doesn’t spare them a glance.
The nearer he stalks, the harder my heart pounds. My breath comes in shallow puffs. Cold sweat soaks my T-shirt. My nails puncture the soft flesh of my palms. I feel defenseless.
The prince stands in front of me, close enough to touch, a towering demigod, his immense wings creating a shadowed cavern.
I force my eyes down, fixing them on a patch of crimson blood painted across the concrete. I resist a baffling urge to lean and rest my head against his hip.
Strong, elegant fingers cup my chin to lift my face. I tense, my stomach twisting with panic. I’m certain that once I meet those black eyes, it’s over. His fingers burn hot against my chin. The touch tingles my skin like champagne. I melt into his hand and look up, finding two pools of darkest night. My resistance vanishes.
Master. The word hangs in my mind.
I will never let it leave my lips.