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I Only Have Fangs For You
By Kathy Love
Kensington Publishing Corp.Copyright © 2006 Kathy Love
All right reserved.
Chapter One"Why are you so scared of me?" Sebastian asked softly.
She shifted away as if she planned to move down a step and then bolt. He couldn't let that happen, not before he understood what had brought on this outburst.
"Wilhelmina, talk to me." He placed a hand on the wall, blocking her escape down the stairs.
She glared at him with more anger and more of that uncomfortable fear.
"You can bully your mortal conquests," she said, her voice low. "But you can't bully me."
Sebastian sighed. "My earlier behavior to the contrary, I don't want to bully you. Or anyone."
"You can't seduce me, either," she informed him.
"I don't ..." Seduce her? Was that what all this was about?
"Do you want me to seduce you?" he asked with a curious smile. Maybe that was the cause for her crazy outburst. She was jealous.
She laughed, the sound abrupt and harsh. "Hardly. I just told you that I didn't want you to seduce me."
"No," he said slowly. "You told me I can't. That sounds like a challenge."
Irritation flared from her, blotting out some of the fear. "Believe me, I'm so not interested."
He raised an eyebrow at her disdain. "Then why do you care about me being with that blonde?"
"That blonde?" she said. "Is hair color the way youidentify all your women? It's got to be a confusing system, as so many of them have the same names."
He studied her for a minute, noting that just a faint flush colored her very pale cheeks
"Are you sure you don't want me to seduce you?" he asked again, because as far as he could tell, there was no other reason for her to care about the identification system for his women.
She growled in irritation, the sound raspy and appealing in a way it shouldn't have been.
Sebastian blinked. He needed to stay focused. This woman thought he was a jerk, that shouldn't be a draw for him.
"Why did you say those things?" he asked. "What have I done to make you think I'm so terrible?"
Her jaw set again, and her midnight eyes locked with his. "Are you going to deny that you're narcissistic?"
He frowned. "Yes. I'm confident maybe, but no, I'm not a narcissist."
She lifted a disbelieving eyebrow at that. "And you are going to deny egocentric, too?"
"Well, since egocentric is pretty much the same as narcissistic, then yes, I'm going to deny it."
Her jaw set even more, and he suspected she was gritting her teeth, which for some reason made him want to smile. He really was driving her nuts. He liked that.
He was hurt that she had such a low opinion of him, but he did like the fact that he seemed to have gotten under her skin.
"I think we can also rule out vain, too," he said, "because again that's pretty darn similar to narcissistic and egocentric." He smiled slightly.
Her eyes narrowed, and she still kept her lips pressed firmly together-their pretty bow shape compressed into a nearly straight line.
"So you see," he continued, "I think this whole awful opinion that you have formulated about me might just be a mixup. What you thought was conceit, which is also another word for narcissism," he couldn't help adding, "was just self-confidence."
His smile broadened, and Wilhelmina fought the urge to scream. He was mocking her. Still the egotistical scoundrel. Even now, after she'd told him exactly what she thought of him. He was worse than what she'd called him. He was ... unbelievable.
"What about depraved?" she asked. Surely that insult had made him realize what she thought. "What about it?" he asked, raising an eyebrow, looking every inch the haughty, depraved vampire she'd labeled him.
"Are you going to deny that one, too?" she demanded.
He pretended to consider, then shook his head. "No, I won't deny that one. Although I'd consider myself more debauched than depraved. In a very nice way, however."
He grinned again, that sinfully sexy twist of his lips, and her gaze dropped to his lips. Full, pouting lips that most women would kill for. But on him, they didn't look the slightest bit feminine.
What was she thinking? Her eyes snapped back to his, but the smug light in his golden eyes stated that he'd already noticed where she'd been staring.
She gritted her teeth and focused on a point over his shoulder, trying not to notice how broad those shoulders were. Or how his closeness made her skin warm.
He shifted so he was even closer, his chest nearly brushing hers, his large body nearly surrounding her in the small stairwell. His closeness, the confines of his large body around hers, should have scared her, but she only felt ... tingly.
"So, now that we've sorted that out," he said softly. "Why don't we go back to my other question?"
She swallowed, trying to ignore the way his voice felt like a velvety caress on her skin. She didn't allow herself to look at him, scared to see those eyes like perfect topazes.
"Why are you frightened of me, Mina?"
Because she was too weak, she realized. Because, despite what she knew about him, despite the fact that she knew he was dangerous, she liked his smile, his lips, those golden eyes. Because she liked it when he called her Mina.
Because she couldn't forget the feeling of his fingers on her skin.
She started as his fingers brushed against her jaw, nudging her chin toward him, so her eyes met his. Golden topazes that glittered as if there was fire locked in their depths.
Once again she was reminded of the ill-fated moth drawn to an enticing flame. She swallowed, but she couldn't break their gaze.
"You don't have to be afraid of me," he assured her quietly.
Yes, she did. God, she did.
Excerpted from I Only Have Fangs For You by Kathy Love Copyright © 2006 by Kathy Love. Excerpted by permission.
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