Home > The Predator(3)

The Predator(3)
Author: RuNyx

"Interesting," he remarked evenly, as though his life wasn't two inches of flesh away in her trembling hands. She steadied her grip.

"Drop the phone and raise your hands," she ordered, watching him comply without hesitation.

His voice broke the tense silence. "Since I'm not already dead, I assume you want something."

The completely unruffled tone of voice did nothing to soothe her nerves. Why wasn’t he even slightly bothered by this? She could carve him open. Was she missing something?

Sweat broke out over her back, her wig itching on her scalp, but she focused on his back. Pulling out a second knife from her other thigh, she shoved it against his side, right against his kidney. His back tensed slightly more but his hands didn't waver, staying completely upright.

"What do you want?" he asked, the tone unwavering like his hands.

Morana inhaled deeply, gulped, and spoke. "The thumb drive Jackson gave you."

“Jackson, who?”

Morana dug her blades a fraction deeper in warning. “Don’t pretend you don’t know shit, Mr. Caine. I know everything about your dealings with Jackson Miller.”

His back stayed rigid, her knives a second away from breaking skin. “Now, where is the drive?”

There was silence for a few beats before he tilted his head towards the left. “My jacket. Inner pocket."

Morana blinked in surprise. She hadn't expected him to give it up so easily. Maybe he was actually a wuss under all that macho crap. Maybe the rumors and stories were all fabricated.

She looked at the black jacket, and it happened in the split second of her distraction.

Her back slammed into the wall beside the door, her right hand holding the knife up the wall, restrained by a tight grip. Her left hand with the knife came against her own throat, controlled by a much stronger, and much angrier Tristan Caine.

Morana blinked up into his eyes – his very blue, very pissed off eyes – stunned at the turn of events. She wasn’t prepared for this. Shit, she was so not prepared for this.

Morana gulped. The blade of her own knife clutched in her own hand was gripped by his, right against her neck. She felt the cool metal threaten her tan skin. His second hand, large, rough, held her other hand above her head, his fingers wrapped like manacles around her wrist. She felt his much larger, muscular body press into hers, his chest warm against her heaving breasts, the musky scent of his cologne invading her senses, his legs retraining hers, rendering her completely immobile.

Swallowing, she looked up into his eyes, straightening her spine. If she had to die, she wasn't going to die like a coward, especially not at the hands of someone like him.

He leaned closer, his face just inches from hers, his eyes cold and voice brutal as he spoke. "This spot, right here," he spoke quietly, pressing the tip of the knife against a spot right under her jaw on her tilted neck. "It's an easy spot. I nick you here, and you die before you can blink."

Her stomach churned but she grit her teeth, refusing to show fear, silently listening as he moved the knife to her fluttering pulse near the center of her neck. "This spot. You die but it won't be clean."

Her heart thundered with vengeance in her chest, her palms sweating at the look in his eyes. He moved the knife again to a spot near the base of her neck. "And this… You know what happens if I cut you here?"

Morana stayed silent, just watching him, his voice taunting, almost seductive with the temptation of death.

"You'll feel pain," he continued, undaunted. "Bleeding to death. You will feel every drop of blood that leaves your body.” His voice rolled over her skin. “Death will come, but much, much later. And the pain will be excruciating."

He held the knife steady to the spot, his voice suddenly chilling. "Now, if you don't want that, tell me who sent you and what drive you are talking about."

Morana blinked at him in confusion, before realization dawned. He didn't recognize her. Of course, he didn't. They had never really met, and as first meetings went, this one left a lot to be desired. He'd probably just seen her pictures in passing like she had his.

Wetting her dry lips, Morana whispered. "The drive is mine."

She saw his eyes narrow slightly. "Is it?"

Her own narrowed as well, the anger that had fled in the face of fear returning with a vengeance. "Yes, it is, you bastard. I worked my ass off on those codes and I'll be damned if I'll let you use it. Jackson stole it from me and I’ve traveled all the way from Shadow Port because I need it back."

There was a beat of silence, his eyes hovering over her features before surprise flared in them. "Morana Vitalio?"

Morana gave a sharp nod, careful of the blade at her throat. He looked her up and down, his eyes lingering on her wig and her lips, taking in every inch of her that he could before his gaze returned to hers.

"Well, well, well," he murmured, almost to himself as he pulled the blade away an inch, his scruffy jaw loosening now that he knew her identity.

She opened her mouth to ask him to take the knife away just as the door beside them banged loudly. Morana yelped a little in surprise and he let go of the hand above her head, putting his free hand over her mouth.

Seriously? What did he think she was going to do? Scream for help in the Outfit household?

"Tristan, have you seen anyone in the house? Someone knocked out Matteo downstairs," a heavy voice spoke from the other side, a slight accent deep in it.

Morana felt lead settle in her gut, her eyes widening as his gaze locked with hers, his right eyebrow rising as he answered back.

"No, I haven't." His eyes never moved from hers. "I'll be down in a few minutes."

Morana heard the steps shuffling away and after a few seconds, the hand from her mouth retreated. His body didn't.

"Would you mind removing the knife?" she asked quietly, her eyes pinning holes into him.

That raised eyebrow notched even higher before he leaned back in, the knife never moving an inch from the place. "You should know not to come into the house of the enemy, all alone, unprotected. And you should know never to sneak up on a predator. Once we catch the scent of your blood, it's a matter of the hunt."

Morana clenched her jaw, her palm itching to lay one on him and his patronizing attitude. "I want that drive back."

He stayed silent for one long second, before stepping back, releasing her arms but swiping the knives from her, checking them.

"Coming here was foolish, Miss Vitalio," he spoke quietly, looking at her. "Had my people found you, you’d be dead. If your people found out, you'd be dead. Did you want to start a war?"

Hypocrite much? Morana took a step closer to him, inches of space between their frames, glaring. "I'll be dead anyway, so it doesn't seem foolish. Do you have any idea what the contents of that drive can do? This hypothetical war you are accusing me of starting- imagine that but ten times worse." She inhaled deeply, trying to reason with him. "Look, just give me the codes so I'll destroy them and be on my merry way."

There was a heavy silence for long minutes, his eyes contemplating her, making her squirm a bit under the scrutiny. Handing her the knife after minutes that seemed to stretch, he spoke. "Under the stairs, there is a door. It'll lead you to the gates. Get out of here before someone sees you and chaos breaks. I'm having a quiet night after months and the last thing I want to do is clean up your blood."

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