“Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a special prize for your bidding pleasure this evening,” X-Tina announced.
On que, the side door opened. Gabriel’s heart slammed to a stop.
Jordan dangled between two large guards. Each had a hand wrapped around her upper arm.
“We’ve saved the best for last,” the hostess said as they joined her on the block. She motioned to the man on Jordan’s right. He released his hold and came to stand beside X-Tina, who smiled and wrapped an arm around his waist. “Mr. Klein is our Lead Slave Handler. He is the one who discovered this little diamond. Thank you, Mr. Klein.”
“My pleasure, I assure you,” he replied, a twisted smile distorting his lips.
Feral desires tore through Gabriel’s chest — a dangerous, combustible combination of rage, hate, and possessiveness. He wanted to crash through the glass, tear out the hostess’s throat. Behead the guard. Rip Klein’s dead heart from his chest and shove it down his throat. Then he’d slaughter the audience with no regard to the shifter’s neutral territory.
Gabriel hadn’t noticed he’d shot to his feet or that he’d charged the window, but someone was holding him back. Snarling, he spun and struck out. His fist a fraction of a centimeter from connecting with Gannon’s face, he pulled his punch back.
“Easy, man,” Gannon growled, his eyes going black. His vampire rising to meet the threat. “We can’t blow our cover.”
Heavy breaths hissed past Gabriel’s fangs as reined in his demon. Fuck. Where was his famed control? He never lost his shit, but when it came to the tiny human… So close now. Focus. Rescue the mortal and end this crazy emotional shit.
Releasing him, Gannon asked, “You good?”
Gabriel nodded and reclaimed his seat. “Solid.”
Gannon picked the tablet off the floor and handed it back to Gabriel before sitting down and turning his wary gaze back to the auction floor.
Closing his eyes, Gabriel counted ten measured breaths. Keep it together. It would all be over soon and his life would return to normal.
His mind clear, his emotions calm, he opened his eyes.
Jordan swayed, but the remaining guard held her upright. Her brow pinched as the guard tilted her head toward the light, displaying the delicate, sensual features of her face. Perfectly arched eyebrows, a thin nose with a button tip, sharp cheekbones, and her chapped lips were so alluring and plump. Directly under the light, her dark hair shimmered with rays of red, gold and hues of deep purple. Its long length curled wantonly around her slender frame, a striking contrast to the white robe she wore, but for how much longer? She’d soon be stripped bare like the other. He could almost hear the deranged vampires lick their lips at the prospect.
“Number Fifteen is an exceptional beauty. Her hair, thick and soft as silk, is naturally colored.” X-Tina twirled a lock between her fingers. “Her skin is smooth and unmarred, with the exception of two tattoos.” The guard grabbed Jordan’s hands and turned them out for the mystery audience to view. “True” and “Honest” were scribe in flowing, black, cursive across the inside of her wrists.
The hostess cupped Jordan’s chin and gave her head a little shake. Jordan’s eyes fluttered open. She tried to pull away, but was too weak.
“As you can see, her are unique and flash with defiance.” X-Tina giggled. “For those of you interested in a spirited look no further. She is perfect.”
Gabriel growled knowing she meant, “For those of you looking for a slave to beat, torture, and rape into submission, she is the one.”
“Number Fifteen is more than just a pretty face. She is also talented singer.”
The tablet in his hands lit up once more and the video X-Tina has promised began to play. Jordan sat on a stool, center stage of the bar where she frequently preformed. The music started and her glorious, haunting voice rang out. The song started slow, the tempo picking up until she was on her feet swaying to the beat. Enchanting. Gabriel’s heart clenched.
When the song ended, the screen returned to Jordan’s profile.
“Impressive,” X-Tina said clapping.
Klein stepped behind Jordan and untied the waist band of the robe. With a light tug the garment fell.
Gabriel’s eyes flashed demonic black. Gannon’s arm shot out across his king’s chest. They both knew Gabriel could easily shake free, but he remained in his seat. Grinding his teeth, his jaw locked, Gabriel bit back an outraged roar.
He gave his Second a tight nod. As much as he wanted to commit murder and ignite chaos, he would stay in his seat. Gannon leaned back.
Gabriel should be grateful Jordan wasn’t naked, but the white lingerie she wore left little to the imagination. Lace covered her luscious breasts. The baby doll design revealed the creamy flesh of her trim stomach, executed her round hips, and the lace panties…The handler’s goal was to tantalize the audience, tease the twisted blood suckers. The winner would have the privilege of stripping her, the prize of Jordan’s body for his or her eyes only.
Klein moved back to his post beside X-Tina, but his gaze remained on Jordan. Gabriel read the lust in the vampire’s eyes and the Slave Handler just moved up to number one on his hit list.
“Lovely,” the hostess sighed. “Number Fifteen is an owner’s dream and,” her lips turned in to a greedy smile, “she is untouched.” She paused for emphasis, allowing the meaning of her words to sink in. “Yes. She is a virginal beauty. A physical conducted by a medical professional will be provided, if the winner so choses.”
Gannon muttered a litany of curses then finally groaned, “We might as well gift wrap crates of weapons for Boras.”
Gabriel didn’t respond. Focused on Jordan, his mind sharp, analytical, he waited.
X-Tina’s smile brightened. “The bidding will open at $50,000.”