Chapter 1 - Lawson
He could smell her before he ever saw her. The scent of her coursed through his entire being, and he moved silently through the shadows honing in on that very fragrance that so intrigued him and demanded his attention, even if it deviated from his mission.
When Lawson rounded the corner onto one of the historic squares downtown, he hung silently in the shadows as he let his eyes rove the area. Just beyond the reach of the illuminated areas that were cast by the glow of the old fashioned gas lamp posts that the historic district touted, he saw the unmoving form of her. With a weak pulse, Lawson could feel the very life of her ebbing from her veins. Why should he care? He was not sure, but there was something about her aroma that brought out a hunger in him that was more than just sustenance.
Wariness guided his steps, and he moved closer to the woman that he was so drawn to. From blocks away, she had managed to pull him to her. No, it was more than just a mere pull. There was something more urgent in it.
Dark, soaked locks spilled over the bricks of the cobbled sidewalk, and his heart sprung into his throat. The aroma of her crashed over and around him, caressing his very being with its presence. Without the slightest clue who she was, every part of him could not let her go without knowing her.
The square was empty of cars and pedestrians, and Lawson had to move quick before he could no longer feel her pulse. With a speed unlike any man, he moved to her side and rolled her over into his lap to assess the damage. As he moved her, she moaned softly, and his pulse quickened. Her lips were soft and tainted with her own blood making them appear bold, and the sound of her voice stirred something in him that he did not think he could feel any longer.
With his mind and pulses racing, he did a quick contemplation of his options. If he took her to the emergency room, could he make it in time without the risk of being discovered? If he dialed the emergency service, would they be able to get there in time? The answers to both were a solid no.
Muttering a few expletives he knew were not used in proper female company, he took out a blade from beneath his jacket. He could save her, could even heal her. There was the risk of bonding that he had to resist, especially as the hunger he had felt for this female was more intense with every minute he spent near her. Even now, he was reeling from the heady flavour her aroma sent to the back of his throat.
“You are lucky I found you first.” He whispered the words to her pale face, his brows furrowed at the fragile lines of her feminine features.
With a deep inhale, he sliced the blade across his palm. Placing the knife firmly back in its sheath that was strapped under his arm, he balled his hand into a fist, forcing the blood to flow more freely and drip to the bricks that awaited it below.
Cradling her head against him, he tilted her head back and pushed the edge of his hand past her lips. Squeezing his fingers into his quickly healing wound, he forced another trickle of blood to fall forth to provide her with the benefits of its healing power. She sputtered and gagged before she gulped a mouthful that he felt would be sufficient enough to heal her.
Placing her head gently back onto his lap, he pulled out a cell phone to call for an ambulance and police. Whatever had happened to her, she needed help, and she was distracting him too much for him to be the one to help her. Not to mention the mission that he had all but abandoned to sate his curiosity where this woman was concerned.
“We have a woman that needs emergency help on…” The woman shifted slightly, and he could feel her pulse picking up. A rush of relief spread through him.
Forcing his eyes from her beautiful face, he searched for a road sign. “Broad…”
Her hand reached out to caress his cheek, and it sent shock waves coursing through him. He bent his head down, and he realized his mistake only seconds too late.
“Thank you,” she breathed against him as she lifted her head slightly to touch her lips to his.
The tingle started on his lips and moved quickly to his tongue as that small taste of copper flooded through him. The phone hit the bricks with a loud crack, and he reached both his arms around her as he pulled her closer to him. Lawson could not stop himself from deepening the kiss, drawing on her as if she were air itself. A slight gasp and fragile moan reminded him of where he was, and more importantly what he was doing.
“Sir?” The voice signified that his phone was still operational, but was a small solace in the wake of what had just happened.
The taste of blood lingering in his mouth, he pulled away. The coppery sensation ran through him, and the flavour of her tainted his lips and tongue as he allowed it to wash over him. What had he done?