First Impressions: Meet Ries Draeger
Hey all! Thought I’d let you in on Lexie’s first impression of the very mysterious Ries Draeger. She didn’t know what to make of him. Do you?
**Warning: the following excerpt contains profanity. If you are easily offended by adult language or unedited manuscript excerpts, look away!
Excerpt from Divine Warrior: First Impressions
I caught the vamp next to me turn his head slightly, but the way he was sitting wouldn’t allow him to see me. Blondie continued to chirp away.
Pretending to search for something in my jeans pocket, I leaned in closer to the vamp, making sure my chest brushed against his back. “You know, if you need a save, I’d be happy to help. Just tap your finger on the bar twice and she’s gone,” I whispered to the back of his head.
The bartender came back and set my drink on the bar. I tried to give him money, but he insisted on the first round being on him, with the added reminder of his offer. I promised I would, thinking to myself how I’d love to take him up on his offer, only to see his head lying several feet from the rest of him.
As I grabbed my drink, the vamp next to me reached his hand out on the bar. I took a sip as I watched him tap his finger. Once. Twice. That was my cue. This was going to be fun.
I slowly made my way over to the girl and stood between her and the vamp. I set my drink on the bar in front of her as she looked up at me. Locking my eyes on hers I said with blatant intimidation, “You’re in my seat.”
Her mouth hung open for a few seconds, confused. “What?! I saw you. You just got here! I’ve been sitting here for like twenty minutes!”
“And now you’re not. Let’s not make this messy.”
“Ries?” she looked around me to the vamp, waiting for him to rescue her.
I turned my head to look over my shoulder at him. His whiskey-colored eyes locked with mine. I held my breath for a moment. I hadn’t expected him to be as handsome as he was. He smiled and I could definitely see how he lured his prey in. Wow, what a waste.
“I think you’re in this lovely lady’s seat,” he told her. His voice was deep and authoritative. The kind that could make you do something you really didn’t want to do and like every minute of it.
I gave him a grin and turned back to the chit. She was gaping at his words before her eyes met mine again. Defeat came over her features before she fixed me with a look of contempt and grabbed her purse from the bar.
“You’re a bitch,” she said as she got up.
“Yes I am.” I gave her a small wave. “Ba Bye.”
She walked away in a snit and I chuckled. I just saved her life and she would never know it. Sad thing was, I probably only prolonged her fate. She was destined to be a victim.
“I guess I owe you now,” the vamp said from behind me.
I turned to him with a flirty smile. “I guess you do.”
“Descendent, right?” he asked.
I glanced over my shoulder. “Are my wings showing?”
He smiled. “No. You just have a rebellious vibe about you. And the looks of an angel.”
“Aren’t you the charming one,” I said as I sat down.
“So, how in the world, does a vamp like me please a beautiful fallen angel?”
I let my eyes play over his body. Vamps loved when women fawned over their beauty. I have to admit, I didn’t mind. His hair matched his eyes, maybe a shade darker, and hung just above his collar. The top was a bit messy, but in a sexy kind of way. It was the only unkempt thing about him. He had sexy businessman down to a science, able to close any deal with the flash of a smile. He was definitely strong, as most vamps were, sporting a white button down shirt, opened just enough to tease me with a glimpse of his bare muscular chest. I could just imagine how his black dress pants would show his other muscular features. Too bad he had fangs.
“Reis?” He nodded. “Well, Ries, I can think of quite a few ways,” and I wasn’t lying, “but how about we just chat for awhile first?” I needed to get info from him and preferred not to get physical to get it.
His eyes narrowed, attempting to read me. I smiled, trying to put him at ease. Wouldn’t do well to scare off my first customer.
“I think I’ve had enough chatting for the night, Lexie. Why don’t we just cut to the chase. Why are you here? I know you’re not naive enough to think you can take out every vampire in the club, so that means you’re looking for something … or someone. So which is it?”
Well, there’s a twist. Good looks and brains too. Apparently, Reis had been around enough to know who I was and what I was all about. I was definitely taken aback at his awareness, but I learned a long time ago not to let surprise affect my end game, but more importantly, never allowing the enemy to know they’d accomplished it. His knowledge of me could be a good thing or a very bad thing. At least I didn’t have to waste my time portraying the dingy fangbanger.
I played it cool, as if I knew he recognized me all along. I still needed info and it wouldn’t help my cause to disrespect his intelligence. I was actually kind of impressed, so it wasn’t too far a stretch.
“I’m impressed. I like a guy who does his homework.”
“I’m a fan of keeping my enemies close. How close are you willing to get, Lexie?”
“Stop. You’re making me feel all fuzzy inside.”
He smiled again, a devilish one that did make me feel something inside. “If I had my way with you, you’d feel much more than fuzzy inside, love.”
Damn, that voice was enough to make a girl drop down on her knees, bare her neck, and say bite me without a second thought. Most girls.
“Is that a threat or a proposition?”
“What would you like it to be?”
Enough games. He was trying to throw me off, and if we continued this way, he might just do that. “Didn’t you say you wanted to cut to the chase? Why don’t we do that then. I’m looking for a vamp by the name of Stoker. I was told that he had progeny that frequented this blood bank. You wouldn’t happen to be one of them, would you?”
He studied me for a minute with his amber eyes, and I could swear they had darkened at the mention of the vamp. He knew him all right. I stared right back at him, letting him know I was studying his reaction, just as he was me.
“Aiming a bit high, don’t you think? He’s a little above your typical kill.”
“For the record, nothing is above my kill, Ries. Not even pretty boys like you.” I reached out and ran my thumb over the sharp planes of his cheek, feeling the stubble on his jaw with my palm. He grabbed my wrist and brushed his thumb over the inside of it, following the movement hungrily with his eyes as he licked his lips. I pulled at my arm, but his hand was like a clamp of steel that wasn’t giving. Our eyes locked as I tried to control my breathing. Stupid move, Lexie. Nothing like dangling the meat in front of the lion’s face. Great way to get your hand bit off … literally.
“For the record, I suggest you don’t touch me again unless you are prepared to find out how above you I can really be. Now, let’s start over.” He placed my hand on my own leg, his big hand dwarfing mine, keeping it in place on my thigh and causing my skin to burn from his hot touch through my jeans. I clenched my teeth to keep from lashing out at him. He leaned in to me. “What do you want with Stoker? If you lie, I’ll know.”
I narrowed my eyes at him, my hatred growing with each breath I took. He’d gone too far. Never had I been handled this way before. And by a fucking bloodsucker! I was going to make him pay for it when I was done with him. I vowed to make him suffer slowly. “It’s simple really. I’m going to mount his head on my wall … right next to yours.”
He laughed at me. It was a deep, robust sound that you could almost feel the vibrations from. In any other situation, with someone I didn’t want to kill, it might have pleased me. As it was, it only pissed me off.
At least my response got him to remove his hand from my leg. With my new freedom, I stood, ready to put this fiasco behind me. It hadn’t gone quite as planned, but maybe I could still find someone that could help me get to Stoker.
Ries grabbed my wrist to stall me, no less steel-like than before. “Lexie, we need to talk.”
“We just did. I found out you’re an asshole and you found out I don’t like to be jerked around. I’d say we both know all we need to at this point. Goodbye, Ries.”
I tried to move away, but he didn’t let up. He was still sitting on the stool, all nonchalant except for the fleshy manacle at my wrist. His parted legs gave me ideas, like using his jewels as target practice for my stilettos.
“You’re not the only one who’s looking for Stoker. We might be able to help each other out.”
I looked at him. There was a cold edge to him now, a tension there that hadn’t been minutes ago, telling me he might want Stoker just as bad as I did. But why?
“I don’t even know you. And even if I did, I don’t do sidekicks.”
He stood without letting go of my wrist. I had to do one of those slow motion head raises because he towered over me. He was huge, both in height and girth. I didn’t even realize it when he was sitting on the stool, but standing in my personal space, it was undeniable. It didn’t help that at the angle I was at, the opening of his shirt dared me to take a peek inside either. His presence so near me was overwhelming, I needed to get away. He actually made me … nervous. I never get nervous!
“That’s too bad,” he said. “I was really starting to like you, Lexie. Maybe when we meet again, you’ll think better of it. Until then, watch your back. I’d hate to not have that opportunity.” His fingers brushed over my skin at the back of my hand, my palm, and then finally my fingertips as he slowly released me. It sent shivers up my arm and I stood there like an idiot rubbing it with my other hand while I watched him turn to the bar and wave the bartender over.
“Take care of her for the rest of the night,” he told him. “Just charge it to my personal account.”
“You got it.”
Personal account? Who the hell was this guy?
“It’s been a pleasure, love.”
He was looking down at me with a smirk that made the long dimple beside his mouth deepen, no doubt finding great pleasure knowing he’d thrown me off. I hadn’t realized I was still standing in the way of him leaving, but I found my pride and stepped aside.
“Ries,” I said with a nod. He wasn’t getting more than that from me.
There was plenty of room for him to go by, but he purposely brushed against my breasts with his arm as he passed. I gave a sigh that was meant to be an irritated groan, but came out more like a moan. I heard him laugh as I watched him walk away and get lost in the crowd.
The man affected me like no other, and it made me furious with myself. I was either going to have to avoid him at all costs, or I was going to have to kill him. I didn’t avoid anyone, so that left door number two. But first, I’d have to find out who the hell he was.
Read Divine Warrior – Chapter 1Meet Jaz