Rojo tapped lightly on the steering wheel, looking up at the huge gray Colonial-style house with no front porch. Heavy blinds and curtains covered all the front windows with red shutters bracketing them to match the front door. How appropriate to have a house with accent colors that matched its inhabitants.
Someone had a weird sense of humor.
He leaned forward, peering out of his window, taking in the house, looking for ways to get in. No trees stood close enough to the windows.
“Where are you, Crimson? Which room is yours?”
At noon, she'd be curled up in her bed. That's where he'd be if he didn't need to observe the place without a chance of being caught while he constructed his battle plan. Getting killed by Henri Baptiste was not in his agenda.
Would she sleep naked? It's your fantasy, dumbass. Go for it.
Yes, she'd be naked. The blanket would have slipped down, exposing one full breast. A pale nipple would pucker out in the chilled air. A supple thigh would be tossed over the coverlet as she lay on her side with one leg tucked under the covers. Her hair would lay tousled across the pillow like red silk.
He'd stroke that hair, wrapping it in his fingers as he drove home to come inside of her.
Holy hell. Cut that out.
His thoughts of her had been turning this way since he'd seen her picture, having had some erotic daydreams about her as he'd tried to sleep before coming here. He kept reminding himself she was a job, nothing more. But it didn't seem to be working. His dick didn't care that she was a delivery.
The sun's glare made his eyes water, even under his black sunglasses. He scratched at his chest. His skin prickled. The daytime had gotten to him. That was why he kept thinking of her like that. Had to be that. He'd never thought of a woman so much, especially one he hadn't even met yet.
Pushing open his car door, he unfolded himself and crossed the street. The nondescript black Honda he'd rented didn't stand out, and there were a million others like it, but it didn't suit his large frame. Business before comfort.
He sidled along the house around to the back.
A worn wooden privacy fence surrounded the yard. A wild green bush loomed over the front corner by the gate.
Gates sometimes made noise. All the vampires in the house should be in bed. Humans wouldn't wake up with the sound. But vampires might. He couldn't chance that.
Putting his hands at the top of the fence, he leaped it, coming down on the other side with a slight thump.
He scratched his thigh, yawning as he looked up at the bright sunshine. Bed was where he should be.
The house had a wood-planked deck that ran along the whole backside. A patio table and six matching green metal chairs sat on it, along with a grill.
Rojo blinked. A grill?
They must be trying to fit into suburbia. Or it had come with the house? Grilled blood didn't sound that appetizing.
Turning, he faced the back of the yard. A medium-sized greenhouse took up much of the rest of the space. Two tall maple trees stood on either side of the building. Whose greenhouse was it? Only one way to find out.
He ambled over to the door, which had no lock. He took the cold metal in his hand and pulled it open.
Warmth hit him, blowing across his face like a tropical wind along with the heady scent of roses. He roamed in between the double set of shelves on either side holding lots and lots of roses. Not that he knew much about them, but they weren't the easiest things to grow. It looked like a lot of varieties had been cultivated here. Someone had a lot of patience for these flowers. These plants had been well tended. They'd been loved.
It had to be someone petite, because he couldn't walk without nudging a shelf.
At the back was a sink with a hose attached. A potting table with potting soil bags sat beside it. Dainty yellow gloves rested beside the soil bags with a trowel hanging on a hook in the table.
Rojo picked up the gloves, sniffing them. In the greenhouse, besides the dirt, he still smelled roses -- that scent was overwhelming -- but something else lurked behind it. It was the same smell that clung to the gloves.
The gloves were not men's gloves. They weren't big enough.
This place had to be Crimson's. The sizes didn't lend themselves to being for a man. Henri was not the biggest of men, but there'd been no mention of Henri having a thing for flowers. The light scent on the air and in the gloves had to be Crimson's.
His dick hardened. He glanced around the flowers, imagining her fingers toiling in the soil. Her hands would be smooth and small, with long fingers. They'd wrap so sweetly around his length, cupping and holding him.
Shaking the thoughts off, he pocketed the gloves as he exited the greenhouse. No one would miss an old pair of gardening gloves, and he wanted to familiarize himself with the scent. He'd already known what she looked like, now he had an idea of what she smelled like. The time had come to meet face to face.