Excerpt from All the Pretty Bones by Camela Thompson
Lucian frowned as he took in the woman standing in front of his security camera. Monday nights were always slow, and his clientele was nothing if not diverse, but he didn't expect to see the lone woman who carried herself like a formally trained ballerina standing on his stoop. The only dancers in the industrial neighborhood were the erotic kind who filled the strip club two doors down. The woman's hand fluttered up to her neck. He was about to hit the intercom to shoo her away when she looked up at the camera above the door.
The world ground to a halt; there was only the small black and white screen that sat before him. He hadn't seen features so pure since the old country. Her hair was piled on her head, giving him a clear shot of her high cheekbones and full mouth. Those eyes were the clincher though―almond-shaped, light in color, and alight with determination. If she looked so alluring on a grainy colorless feed, he wasn't sure he would retain his composure in person. He had a sudden need to know why someone such as her would need service from an establishment such as his.
The woman's graceful hand reached out to the intercom.
"You must have the wrong address."
The woman looked around, her eyes pausing in the direction of the strip club. Her face was momentarily illuminated in a strobe pattern matching the gaudy "Girls! Girls! Girls!" sign above the club's door. Instead of turning to leave, she angled her pretty face up to the camera and said, "I don't think so. I need help with a problem."
There was a long pause while Lucian considered the tilt of her head on that slender neck. "What kind of problem?"
"The kind that doesn't go away on its own." Her voice cracked somewhere between "go" and "on" as she hugged her arms to her chest. Those wide eyes called to him. She was not his typical customer and he doubted she had handled a weapon in her life. The best thing he could do for her would be to send her on her way. If he sold her anything, it would end badly for the beauty. The door buzzed loudly and he looked at his own hand deactivating the lock like it was a traitor.
More About Lucian Dalca
With a prosperous arms dealing operation, Lucian keeps nocturnal hours and is naturally secretive. You don't succeed in a questionable line of business without a healthy distrust of people. When he sees Olivia on his doorstep, he momentarily forgets his cautious lifestyle. Is his reserved nature too deeply ingrained to let anyone in? Will his dark secret push her away?
Freelance writer and Dark urban fantasy author featuring vampires with bite.