To Catch A Cheetah
Chase didn’t know what to think as he stood there gaping at the woman who had walked out of a nightclub on him years ago. He knew he’d seen her before when he’d looked at her photograph, but it wasn’t until she’d stepped into the room, bringing her strawberries and cream scent with her, that he remembered exactly who she was.
The woman who soothed his beast. Alice, A.K.A., the best and worst one-night stand he’d ever had in his life. How the hell did he not recognize her immediately?
And now here she was, turning him inside out as his libido roared to life, pushing aside all thoughts of the mission and replacing them with flashbacks of her in straddling his lap, his cock buried deep inside of her.
The hair, he thought. The hair in her photograph was different than when he knew her, changing her looks dramatically. Though, dammit to hell… she was still so damn beautiful.
Alice cleared her throat, clinging to the door with one hand as she looked away. “You know damn well that Alice isn’t my real name.”
Right. “Delilah,” he said, testing the name on his tongue. He found it suited her much better, somehow dark and innocent all at once. “Delilah Cunningham.”
“And you are?” She asked, running her fingers through her hair nervously.
She nodded, then glanced at her father, her face paling as she took in his corpse. “Why? Why did you kill him?”
“Because I was hired to.” Chase didn’t see any point in lying to her. “It’s what I do…what I’ve done for many years now.”
“You’re a –“ Her lip quivered, as realization set in.
“Yes. I’m an assassin.”
Delilah’s dark eyes widened as she took him in. “An assassin? You mean like… a hit man?”
“Yes, like a hitman…like a mercenary,” Chase paused, his eyes glued onto Delilah’s pale face. “Like a killer.”
He snarled, at the powering scent of death. The stench of the dead vampire was even more horrible than that of a live one, and he was quickly reminded of the corpse that lay at his feet. He sighed, running his hands through his hair. “And now, I’m afraid I have a bit of a problem.”
“What, with how to dispose of him?” Delilah took a step forward, deftly avoiding placing her black suede boots into a pool of blood. She was dressed in some kind of grey vintage coat with a flared skirt and petticoat beneath, and lace patterned tights peaked out from the tops of her boots and disappeared beneath the hem of her coat. Her hair was now cut in a shaggy pixie style, which is why he hadn’t immediately recognized her in the photo. It hung just past her jawline, giving her an edgy look that suited her nicely.
“I can help you get him outside; once he’s in the sunlight he’ll disintegrate.”
“I know how to dispose of a body,” Chase replied, shocked at her offer. He eyed Delilah speculatively. “You don’t seem to be too sorry that your father’s dead.”
Delilah’s expression darkened as she glared down at her father’s corpse, and Chase had the distinct feeling that if he weren’t in the room, she would spit on the dead body. “My father died a long time ago.” Her eyes glistened, as tears threatened to spill, and she bit her bottom lip in an attempt to stop them from falling.
“I see.” Anger bubbled up inside of Chase, making his blood hot, and suddenly he wished he’d made the vampire’s death more painful and drawn out rather than simply decapitating him. Delilah’s gaunt face, and the scarf wrapped so carefully around her neck gave him a nasty feeling that she hadn’t suffered just mental abuse from her father, and if the monster had really stooped so low as to feed off his own daughter, then he deserved to be tortured.
But torture wasn’t generally part of the job, of course – just efficacy, getting in and out without leaving anything that could lead back to him. Which, of course, brought him to the main problem he was currently faced with.
“Delilah,” His voice was strained, and he scratched the back of his head, a nervous habit of his he didn’t often display. “Getting rid of his body isn’t the problem.”
Delilah glanced back up at him, a wary expression. “Then, what is it?”
“I’m sorry,” Chase hedged.
“Sorry? For killing him? I told you…he died a long time ago.”
The energy in the air shifted, and something in Chase’s eyes told her he was struggling with what he had to say. He grimaced as if in pain, when her eyes locked with his.
“What is it?” Delilah demanded. “You may as well tell me so we can deal with it before someone stumbles onto this.
Chase sucked in a deep breath, and steeled himself against her reaction. He was sent here to do a job, not to get caught up in some faded memory of a one-night love affair. “I wasn’t sent here to take out one target. I was sent here to take out two.”
“Two?” Delilah’s eyes widened, and she took a step back. “You don’t mean…”
“Yes.” Chase took a step forward, sensing she was about to bolt. “I wasn’t just sent here to kill your father, Delilah. I was sent to kill you, too.”