Blood Lust - Alexandra Ivy
Bas had retreated to his penthouse suite in the luxury Kansas City hotel after fleeing from the clusterfuck that recently destroyed his highly profitable business.
Not that he gave a shit about the money.
He had enough wealth stashed in various properties around the world to last him several lifetimes.
And he gave even less of a shit about ending his role as the leader of a renegade band of mercenary high-bloods who defied the laws of Valhalla to sell their various talents for an indecent price.
It’d been fun, not to mention highly profitable, to create his merry band of misfits, but he’d made more than his fair share of enemies over the years. A fact that had come back to bite him in the ass when a former employee had kidnapped his precious daughter and used her as leverage to try and gain control over a volatile high-blood who could have started Armageddon.
Now all he wanted to do was find someplace safe to raise Molly.
He could, of course, have gone underground. Keeping a low profile was easy for a man who had his talent for altering his appearance. But he wasn’t going to drag Molly from one seedy location to another.
She needed love and peace and stability in her young life.
Things he fully intended to give her. Once he figured out how to avoid being arrested and thrown into the dungeons of Valhalla.
He was in the process of plotting his future when he heard the pitter-patter of tiny feet.
He turned to watch Molly enter the salon, her stuffed hippo, Daisy, clutched in her arms.
Joy pierced his heart as he studied his daughter’s sleep-flushed face surrounded by her silvery curls. Christ, he still got up a dozen times a night to make sure she was safely tucked in her bed. Molly, on the other hand, barely seemed to remember her time as the witch’s captive. Thank God.
“What are you doing out of bed? Did you have a bad dream?”
She flashed a smile that could light up the world. “Mama called me.”
Bas swallowed a curse. Molly often spoke about Myst. Almost as if she was a constant companion instead of the woman who’d given birth to her and then promptly disappeared.
“Called you?” He gave a teasing tug on a silvery curl. “On the phone?”
She giggled, the dimple he loved appearing beside her mouth. “No silly. In my head.”
“It was a dream,” he gently assured her.
Her bronze eyes, which perfectly matched his own, widened. “No. It was real.”
“She talks to me all the time.”
Bas bit his tongue. He couldn’t tell his daughter that five years ago he’d had a one-night stand . . . no, it hadn’t even been that.
Myst had come into his office, desperate for a job. She’d claimed to be a clairvoyant, but she hadn’t been capable of providing even one reading of the future.
He hadn’t had much choice but to tell her that he didn’t have a place for her on his payroll.
Not only because she didn’t bring the skills that could make his business money, but because he’d been rattled by his intense reaction to her fragile beauty.
He was nearly three centuries old. He’d had countless lovers. Some had been passing acquaintances, some he’d enjoyed for several years.
But none of them had ever come close to making him a conquest.
Which was why he hadn’t been prepared when Myst had stepped into his office, nearly bringing him to his knees with the force of his instinctive, gut-wrenching desire.
Even now the memory of her beauty haunted him.
Her pale, exquisite face that was dominated by a large pair of velvet-brown eyes. And the long, silvery blond hair that looked as if it was spun silk.
She was danger. Pure female danger wrapped in the warm scent of honeysuckle.
Unfortunately, before he could get rid of her, Myst had caught him off guard when she’d burst into tears.
He might be a bastard, but he’d been unable to toss a sobbing woman out on her ass. So instead he’d given her a good, stiff drink to calm her nerves. And then another.
And the next thing he knew they’d been naked on his couch and he was lost in the spectacular pleasure of her body.
Bas gave a sharp shake of his head, his hand reaching into the pocket of his slacks to touch the locket he’d carried for the past five years.
He’d wasted too many nights recalling just how good it’d felt to have Myst pressed beneath him, her legs wrapped around his waist.
The only thing that mattered