Thomas waited until the sound of Nicholas’ footsteps died away before his attention fell on Lanie. “You help me do this and I’ll let you go,” he said easing back into the couch. “You help me win that woman and you can have any man you want.”
“I want him,” Lanie blurted out. “I want Nick.”
“What? You think I don’t know that,” he snorted. “You’ve been hot for him since you met him. Not that I don’t blame you.” He shrugged his shoulders and smiled. “There was a time I would have done anything to be with him.”
Lanie’s jaw dropped. Shock and then confusion flashed through her eyes. “You? But you-”
“Yes, a shock I know.” He finished off his glass of wine and leaned in closer to Lanie. A twinge of jealousy inched up his spine. This was going to be a lesson he fully intended to enjoy teaching his old friend. “You bring me one of your friends and I will guarantee he will turn to you when all is said and done.”
“A friend?” she asked skeptically. Couldn’t he just use his mind and hypnotize her into being his?
“I can,” he answered, reading her thoughts as clearly as if she’d spoken them. “But I want her to fall for me honestly. No tricks…well, not many anyway. Are you in?”
“Tell me what your planning first.” She already had the friend picked out, but she was dying to know what he wanted her for. “Let’s see if your idea’s even worth my time.”
“You doubt me?” he asked, the corner of his lip curling into a half smile.
“You? No. The likelihood of Nick letting anything happen between me and him? Definitely.”
“My dear, that’s where you and your charm come in. Turn it on, your mouth off and dig your claws in deep.”
“Meanwhile you do what?”
“I use your friend to gain the woman’s trust. I need a way in so to speak. One Nicholas won’t see coming.”
“You pretty much told him you were gonna go after her. Why not do it right there in front of him?”
“I want this to hurt him. I want him to feel the pain of real rejection.” Lanie watched as his soft brown eyes turned black. Now she understood. This was revenge.
“You still want him,” she giggled. “You’re actually jealous of that girl!”
He had his hands wrapped around her neck before she could even register his movement. She was pinned to the couch with a very angry vampire hovering over her. She could feel her throat closing up. Never before had she been this scared of him.
Thomas bit her ear with his fang, eventually slicing a thin cut on her earlobe. She felt his body shiver and braced for the pain she knew would come. The temptation to suck her dry right there was overpowering. She‘d touched on an emotion he’d managed to keep hidden for years. Not only that but she’d had the audacity to laugh at him.
“You forget how much I like to kill,” he whispered. “You mean less to me than the dirt on the bottom of my shoe. If I were you, I would remember my place. I would remember my master.” He let her go and brushed his hair out of his face. The fear he saw in her eyes put his mind at ease once again. “No, I don’t want him. I just want him to feel the pain I did when he rejected me all those years ago. Now, go get your friend. I have a beating to inflict before I can put my plan into action.”
“A beating?” Chocking her wasn’t enough?
“Not you,” he said gently. “Your friend. You see this girl; woman has a soft spot for victims. I’ll simply make it look as though your little friend has an abusive boyfriend and use whatever time I might gain to find a way in without Nicholas suspecting a thing. The damn fool won’t even know what hit him.”
“I still don’t understand,” Lanie said quietly. “How is knocking her around gonna get you anything?”
Thomas took a deep breath, fighting another overwhelming urge to suck her dry. “I’ll simplify. I beat your friend. I dump said friend, hurt and disoriented on the lovely lady’s doorstep. With another body there, Nicholas won’t be able to move in and out of the house the way he intends to. That fact alone buys me time.”
Time to rid himself of the friend, the woman and Lanie.