Home > Hunted: A Cyn & Raphael Novella

Hunted: A Cyn & Raphael Novella
Author: D.B. Reynolds

Chapter One

Malibu, California

Cyn lowered the twenty pound weight to the exercise mat—okay, so it was only a five pound weight, but it felt like twenty pounds when combined with thirty plank press reps, an exercise that was surely designed by a madman or a sadist. Or both.

Every muscle in her body was whining at her to stop, so she surrendered, collapsing to the mat and rolling onto her back. Eyes closed, she pressed her spine flat to the floor a few times, then starting with her toes and working upward, she consciously relaxed each muscle in turn, focusing on every even breath, in and out, the steady beat of her heart—

“Yo, Cyn.”

Cyn’s Zen state collapsed. She kept her eyes determinedly closed and snapped out an irritated, “What?”

Her workout partner cum sadistic trainer Elke laughed. “I wanted to be sure you were still breathing.”

“I was relaxing. It’s good for me.”

“It’s good for all of us, but it’s nearly midnight.”

“And?”

Elke gave an unladylike snort. “Pretending ignorance won’t get you out of it.”

Cyn sat up and cast a scowling glance at the vampire who’d become a friend. Surprising, since she and Elke hadn’t exactly started on the best of terms.

“Hey, don’t blame me,” the ice-blond vampire said now. “You’re the one who wanted to be more involved. Be careful what you wish for and all that.”

“I wanted to be more involved in security issues, things to do with Raphael’s safety. Not every goddamned business meeting. I hate business meetings. I don’t even go to my own. Besides, how do you know what I wanted? I never told anyone but Raphael.”

Elke rolled her eyes. “Right. Like every single vampire in the compound didn’t know you were pissed about that business at the fund raiser in March.”

Cyn grabbed a bottle of water, tipped her head back, and drained half of it, instead of responding. She wasn’t comfortable discussing her personal affairs with anyone, and there was nothing more personal than her relationship with Raphae . . . and especially what had happened between them at the end of March. She’d been furious about his decision to put himself at risk, essentially offering himself as bait to draw in the same man who’d already tried to kill him once. That had been bad enough, but his real offense had been keeping her in the dark precisely because he’d known she’d fight him on it. So rather than talk to her, try to reason with her, and maybe, just maybe, listen to her objections, he’d simply not told her. Until he was shot and she’d figured it out for herself.

She’d almost left him that night. Had come closer to walking out the door than at any time in their relationship, including the earliest days when she’d still been coming to terms with the fact that she was falling in love with a bossy, f**king vampire lord who was alpha to the extreme. But, in the end, she couldn’t do it. She loved him in a way she’d never loved anyone in her entire life.

Elke was right, though. She’d insisted Raphael keep her in the loop going forward. She didn’t like to call it an ultimatum, though that’s what it had been. She had told him if he ever lied to her like that again, she’d leave and he’d never find her. Raphael had contacts and money, but then, so did she. Of course, they had a blood bond which would make it easy for him to locate her, at least for a while. But, on the other hand, he was hampered by vampire politics, which would make it difficult for him to come after her overseas.

But now Raphael was trying to make it up to her by including her in every little thing, and she didn’t have the heart to tell him it was too much. She’d already hurt him enough. Well, that and she didn’t want to sound like an ungrateful bitch who just couldn’t be satisfied.

Cyn sighed and pushed up off the floor.

“I’d better shower and change,” she told Elke. “Don’t want Raphael’s business buddies to think he mated a stinky human.”

* * * *

Cyn stepped out of the shower, feeling well and thoroughly pummeled. Their shower was big and decadent, its multiple showerheads like a terrific massage rather than a shower. She wrapped herself in a towel, then grabbed another and rubbed it over her wet hair as she walked over and opened the door. Cool air rushed into the steamy room, and she started to turn back, but then smiled at the sight of Raphael sitting in his big chair, reading something on an iPad. He looked all serious and handsome in a brilliant white shirt and perfectly creased charcoal slacks, a dark blue silk tie with a tiny silver design providing a nice touch of color. The matching suit jacket was lying across the bed, as if he’d tossed it there. But Cyn knew that was only for show. Raphael was far too vain to risk marring the perfect cut of his suit. He’d have laid it down just so. She grinned crookedly. He was such a control freak.

“I don’t trust that grin,” he commented without looking up.

“It’s Pirozzi you shouldn’t trust,” she said, deliberately offhand as she strolled across the room toward him. “That vampire’s a pig. No, wait. Pigs are too smart. He’s a toad. A big, fat, bloated toad.” She stood directly in front of him and nudged his leg with her bare foot teasingly, waiting for a response.

Raphael smiled slightly and set down his iPad, still without looking up. And then before she could react, he grabbed her around the waist and tumbled her laughing into his lap.

“Insulting our guest won’t get you out of the meeting,” he murmured, slipping one long-fingered hand beneath the towel and caressing her na**d hip.

Cyn tightened her lips in irritation, then turned and stuck her tongue out at him.

He only laughed and said, “Neither will that. I’ve better uses for your tongue.”

“Do you?” she murmured, and bracing herself against his shoulders, she rose up and twisted around until she was straddling his lap. She began loosening his tie. “We’ll be late for your meeting,” she commented, sliding the tie off and tossing it aside.

Raphael tugged her towel completely away and dropped it to the floor. “There is no meeting without me,” he growled and cupped both of her br**sts in his hands, strumming the ni**les with his thumbs. His eyes lifted to meet hers, their black depths flickering with silver starlight.

Cyn’s breath caught in her throat as a familiar thrill shivered along her nerves. She loved the way he desired her, the heat that still filled his eyes whenever he looked at her. No matter how long they’d been together or how much they argued—and they did argue—he still wanted her. This beautiful, powerful creature who could turn heads just by walking into a room wanted her.

Her heart swelled as she wrapped her arms around his neck. “I love you,” she whispered. “So much.”

Raphael gripped her more tightly, one hand on the nape of her neck, the other low on her back, holding her still as he crushed his mouth against hers in a hungry, demanding kiss. His tongue swept between her lips, caressing every inch of her mouth, tangling around her tongue in a battle for dominance that neither one of them cared about winning.

“I love you, my Cyn,” he whispered against her lips. “Remember that.”

“I don’t have to remember,” she said fervently. “You’ll always be here to tell me.”

He kissed her again, yanking her closer until his growing arousal was nestled right between her thighs. She rocked forward, eyes closed, pleasuring herself against the rigid bulge of his c*ck as he switched his kisses to her br**sts, taking one nipple between his lips and sucking hard, his tongue tormenting the stiff peak until his teeth closed on it gently, and she hissed in pleasure. She loved it when he did that, when the initial sting of his bite became a jolt of lust that sizzled right down through her belly to spear her pu**y. She felt the resulting gush of wet heat and ground herself on his c*ck where it was straining against the confines of his zipper.

“Oh, dear,” she said breathlessly, “I’ve gotten your pants all wet and sticky.”

Raphael’s strong fingers dug into her ass. “I have other pants,” he hissed, his breath hot on her neck as he teased her with small bites, never breaking the skin, only tantalizing her with the scrape of his fangs and the soothing touch of his tongue.

“Raphael,” she groaned.

He lowered his head further, his teeth closing around the fragile arch of her clavicle, barely breaking the skin before pulling away and licking the small taste of her blood.

“Delicious, my Cyn,” he murmured, and she could feel his smile against the curve of her shoulder.

She made a wordless noise of frustration, grabbing both sides of his fine shirt and tearing it open, sending buttons flying. She sighed with satisfaction at the sight of his na**d chest, running her fingers lovingly over his firm pecs, pushing the shirt over his shoulders and squeezing the thick pads of muscle there, then smoothing her hands down to his waist and scraping her nails over the hard ridges of his abdomen.

“Gorgeous,” she whispered, her fingers already busy unbuckling his belt. She glanced up and found him leaning back and watching her with bemusement. Giving him a quick grin, she carefully unzipped his pants, humming with satisfaction when his beautiful, hard c*ck sprang into her fingers, bucking as if eager for her touch.

Cyn stroked up and down—once, twice—loving the glide of hot skin over the hard steel of his erection, the clench of his abdominal muscles as he hardened even further in her grasp.

“Mine,” she said, then rose up onto her knees, just enough that she could slip him between the swollen lips of her sex, into the slick, wet ache between her thighs. She lowered herself slowly, taking him into her body, feeling her sensitive tissues stretch to accommodate his thickness. A sigh of pleasure escaped her lips, and she closed her eyes as she began rocking slowly back and forth.

Raphael growled abruptly, a deep rumbling sound that had Cyn’s eyes flashing open to see his eyes burning with hunger. His arms came around her and his hands stroked down her back to curl over her h*ps and grip her tightly.

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