He is a man with particular tastes.
Fine wines, private jets…a lonely, windswept château upon the French Atlantic coast....
And Brazier Abraxis is no less extravagant in the choice of his women. But just what quality he sees in her, Sara cannot fathom.
Murder and contracts written in blood lurk in the shadows as she is secreted out of the country and over the sea. Yet every time he turns his impenetrable gaze upon her, all resistance, all logic slips through her fingers.
And as the supernatural world closes in, Sara is faced with a man tormented by his own dark secrets. Alone, in a foreign land, she gives over all control, but can she survive his beastly lessons of cruelty and affection?
“Is that what it is, Sara? Do you trust me?”
His words tickled her and she replied, “I think so...yes.”
“Then close your eyes, Sara. Close them and trust me.”
Without hesitating, without pausing to consider the implications, Sara closed her eyes.
She heard the soft sounds of metal against metal. Not an ugly, vicious sound, but more melodic and fine.
Then, in a rush, the scent of rich butter and parsley filled her nose and she heard Braze speak.
“Open your mouth for me.”
She did and felt something warm pass between her lips. The rich flavors slipped down upon her tongue and she tasted a gentle hint of garlic, too. And as Braze withdrew the fork from between her lips, Sara found a tender morsel of meat in her mouth. She kept her eyes closed as she chewed it slowly, but its flavor was too delicate, too different for her to distinguish just what it was.
“You can open your eyes now,” she heard him whisper.
She did and discovered that before her was a small platter of what she first took for small stones. Except that they smelled positively divine.
“Des escargots de bourgogne au beurre persillé," he announced, then went on to say, “French snails from Bourgogne with butter, shallots and parsley.
“They are probably not the best accompaniment for the wine, but I do love them so.”
Snails. In any other circumstance, the idea of it would have been revolting to Sara. But there, in an old castle next to a fireplace, with the man of whom she had dreamed for months on end, the taste of it was heavenly.
And behind it all, she could hear his words echoing in her mind, every bit as delicious as the escargot.
...Open your mouth for me....
Sara hoped he would not ask her what she was thinking of right then. Her honesty would have spoken of nothing to do with french snails and everything to do with what she wanted this gorgeous man to do next to her.
“Besides, as aromatic as it is, this is a dish best eaten by both halves of a couple. Otherwise, one of us might find the other...unpalatable.”
She looked up at him to see him studying her, his head tipped slightly to one side. Strangely, his demeanor was somehow canine and quizzical at once.
“Did you just make a joke?” she asked, a smile tugging at the corners of her mouth.
“Mmmm...more of an effort at etiquette, Sara,” he replied, while smiling in return.
“I was taught that no matter how famished one might be, it is only proper to await the lady’s pleasure and not drink until she does, nor eat until she does.
“But, I must admit that my hunger is near to overwhelming my better judgement,” he said as he bent down to her.
She felt the soft rasp of a light beard against her cheek as he nuzzled in to her neck. Then, he murmured, “I am starving...”
Moist, warm lips brushed against her own. Ever so lightly, she felt his touch, then it was gone again.