Natalie likes to sing. She often goes to karaoke bars and wins competitions, that is as far as she can allow her singing career to go. Her voice is amazing and she should be famous but instead she is infamous. Well known around certain parts of town, the parts of town normal folks don’t go, the supernatural parts, she is a Death Dealer, a peace keeper, an adjudicator of the supernatural beings that lived in Oregon State.
After winning one such competition in a karaoke bar called Satan’s Sin Bin, a frequent haunt of hers, she was sitting with her usual crew of men. Her entourage, they were all mixed breeds, warlocks, vampires, demons and werewolves. Dangerous, serious, incredibly handsome looking sorts that get the eye of every girl in the room and they freely flirt and enjoy themselves.
Natalie ignores it for the most part as she does the looks she gets from just about every guy in the room. She is a natural beauty with long silver blond hair, in which she has highlights of pale pink and lilac. Her eyes are a deep mauve blue in some lights almost purple. Her canine teeth are long, both upper and lower and she has a formidable snarl if angered.
The waiter came over to her usual VIP corner and placed a drink in front of her. She looked up at him curiously.
“I didn’t order this…”
“Ah, it comes from the young lady over there…” The waiter indicated to a pretty petite girl with a black bob of raven hair and eyes to match.
“A girl?” Natalie asked intrigued as she glanced over. The girl waved at her. Natalie recognised her as one of the people she just beat in the karaoke competition. She is with friends by the looks, all having a good time. Natalie smiled at the girl and raised the drink in thanks then put it back on the table.
One of her guys looked at it. “You’re not going to drink that are you?” He said suspiciously.
Natalie gave him a strange look but didn’t answer.
“Oh s**t…” Natalie muttered as she saw the girl get up and start walking over. She was stopped by one of Natalie’s men standing in front of her. She frowned and said something to him. Natalie watched with mild curiosity as her guy left the girl standing waiting and approached.
“She says she wants to meet you, she’s never heard a voice like yours before.”
Natalie regarded the girl a moment and something caught her interest. “Let her through…”
He indicated for the girl to step over. She practically bounced over and a couple of Natalie’s men perked up and smiled hungrily at her.
“Hi, I’m Cassie. I just wanted to say you are amazing! I’ve watched you a couple of times before tonight and…well…I knew I was never going to win but I love singing too. I was wondering if maybe you would like to join us. Me and my friends…we are having a beach party tomorrow night up at North Point…near where I live…and we plan to sing round the camp fire sort of thing and I know you don’t know me or anything but…”
“Oh my god, do you ever shut up?” The guy sitting right next to Natalie growled sounding bored. He was manly looking with longish brown hair, and striking blue eyes, he was the only full blooded warlock on her crew and he was a high level four rank.
Cassie’s eyes went wide. “Oh…sorry…I didn’t realise I was babb…”
“Vince, that wasn’t nice…apologise to…what did you say your name was?” Natalie interrupted in a clear calm breathy voice.
“Ah…Cassie.” The girl said quietly losing her confidence suddenly under Natalie’s cool gaze.
“Sorry.” Vince muttered and folded his massive arms.
“You do seem familiar, Cassie…how about we have a drink together…invite your friends over…” Natalie said as Vince and the other guys looked at her startled. It was very out of character for Natalie, she didn’t usually rub shoulders with people.
Cassie perked up again. “Okay, cool…I’ll go get them.” As she bounced off Vince turned to Natalie.
“What the f**k has gotten into you?”
“Look at her, Vince…she’s a socialite. Her dress probably cost at least a thousand dollars and the shoes probably near the same. Why is she here? No one like that comes to this part of town this late at night unless…” She left it hanging. This was a particularly rough part of town, the only reason Natalie was even here was to head off any trouble caused by drunk demons.
“That’s your reason?”
“I want to know her reason, dearest. Something’s not quite right with what she says. She’s never been here before.”
“Are you sure mistress?” Natalie gave Vince the same look as before. He clenched his jaw and looked down. “So what are you planning to do?” He asked.
“She’s here looking for me…that’s obvious…I intend to find out why…so I’ll hang out.”
“Are you completely sure about this mistress, her scent is off…” The guy on the other side of Natalie grumbled suddenly after listening to the conversation.
“Exactly, Jack. She’s a low level demon.” Natalie said patting his thigh affectionately. “Good boy.” Jack grinned at Vince and put his arm around Natalie’s shoulders. Vince growled and looked away pissed. Jack was a Wolf x Warlock with deep brown eyes and brown hair, muscular and strong looking.
Cassie bounced back over with her three friends in tow. Two guys and another girl. One guy and the girl looked to be a couple and the other guy looked like he had been forced to come along, the introvert friend.
Natalie rolled her eyes. A typical group if ever she had seen one, almost set up it was so cliché. Natalie noticed the way they all looked strangely at Jack’s arm around her shoulders, she frowned. Cassie seemed suddenly nervous.
“Get some champagne, Jack.” Natalie said, making Jack grumble as he stood up and went to the bar.
They drank together till closing. Natalie learnt that these people were boring. The couple, Max and Dahlia were interns at some law firm together and the introvert, named Dave, was a trainee accountant and Cassie was a rich brat who had nothing better to do than spend her trust fund on partying with her friends it seemed. They all knew each other from college.
Natalie offered to drive them all home, since they were all too intoxicated to drive. Cassie jumped at the suggestion, as Natalie guessed she would. Natalie, of course, wasn’t driving but got one of her men who hadn’t been drinking to drive them all, Ryan almost always drove her around town. He was another Wolf x Warlock with brown hair and hazel eyes, lithe and lean.
When he pulled up at the curb outside the bar in a large SUV they all remarked on the car. Typical rich snobs, Natalie thought. She was bored but still had to persevere to find out the true reason Cassie had dared to approach her, as it was obvious the girl had no idea who she actually was.
As the car pulled up to Cassie’s house, a very large house in a very expensive neighbourhood, as Natalie had expected – Cassie pleaded for Natalie to join them all inside for a few drinks. Natalie frowned slightly then smiled and accepted. She sent her man away as she had the others at the club. He glanced at her worried.
“I’ll be fine, Ryan, I’ll text if I need you.” Natalie said with a sense of final authority in her calm voice. "I sent Vince to the beach house, so he's not too far away..."
As they entered the house Cassie curled her arm through one of Natalie’s. Natalie had to cover her revulsion.
“Tell me, how do you even concentrate in a day surrounded by all those gorgeous guys all the time?”
Natalie looked at her surprised. “Are they?”
Cassie looked back just as surprised. “What do you mean, are they?”
Natalie shrugged. “They work for me…my interest stops there.”
“So, you’re single?”
Natalie frowned. “By choice…yes. I have no need for a man in my life right now.”
They sat down on the comfy leather couch as her friends sat around in the armchairs and the other couch in the room, someone put some music on. Natalie noticed that a couple of other guys appeared out of the back of the house.
“Natalie, this is Robert and Pete, they’re flatmates.”
Natalie smiled at them realising what they were - low level demons, the lot of them. Robert grinned at her and bee-lined for the empty seat on the couch next to her. Cassie seemed a little uncomfortable with that but said nothing.
“I’ll get drinks…” Cassie said. “Pete come help…” She disappeared into the kitchen.
“So how come Cassie’s never mentioned you before?” Robert asked leaning in.
Natalie couldn’t help but notice the looks on the couples’ faces. Why were they so nervous?
Cassie came back in hurriedly.
That didn’t take long...
Natalie could see Cassie was also nervous. She obviously hadn’t wanted to leave Natalie with Robert for too long. Natalie groaned inwardly…please!
Natalie turned to face Robert to answer his question. He was reasonably good looking, nothing like her guys, of course she knew they were gorgeous it was part of the job description but she liked to feign ignorance.
“We’ve only just met.” Natalie said in her calm breathy voice.
Robert grinned wider. “Lucky me.”
“You think so?” Natalie raised an eyebrow at him amused.
Cassie leaned over interrupting, as she handed Natalie a vodka pre-mix. “Shut up, Robert, she’s not interested in you.”
“How do you know that?” Robert retorted.
“If you had seen the guys she knows at the bar, you would understand.” Dahlia interjected making her boyfriend Max laugh and agree.
“Yeah, even I have to admit they were all like models.”
Cassie snorted, which made Natalie look at her curious. “They’ve got nothing on my brother.”
“No one’s got anything on your brother, Cassie.” Dahlia agreed, gushing.
“Hey!” Max whined.
Natalie saw the guys in the room all look very awkward all of a sudden. Natalie smiled to herself, here it was, and we are getting warmer….the brother.”
“You have a brother?” Natalie asked.
“Yes, he’s a few years older than me…his name is Mikhail.” Cassie’s expression was very intent.
“Hmmm, who cares?” Robert grumbled and leaned closer to Natalie. “So what do you do?”
“This and that.” Natalie said vaguely.
“She wins karaoke competitions.” Cassie said indignantly staring at Robert.
Robert’s face went dark “She’s that one?” He asked obscurely.
Cassie glanced furtively at Natalie, pressing her mouth together as if to say shut up.
Natalie frowned again, something definitely wasn’t right here. Robert suddenly put his hand on her thigh. “I’d like to hear you sing…” He leaned in towards her ear.
He was suddenly cradling his hand and screaming in pain as Natalie had instinctively lashed out at the touch and broken his fingers, snarling and showing her teeth, her eyes flashed with purple light.
Natalie stood up as everyone stared at her in horror. “I think I should leave, I’m sorry it was wrong to come here.”
“You can’t go yet.” A deep calm commanding voice said then as a very tall figure suddenly stood in the doorway to the kitchen. Natalie stared at him almost snarling, a high level demon! Here it was, the reason she was here. The extremely attractive man wearing the very expensive suit had the same raven black hair as Cassie and very intense bright green eyes. He was so tall his head nearly touched the ceiling.
“What did you say?” Natalie growled as she knew exactly what he was.
“You can’t leave yet, because I haven’t had the pleasure of being introduced to you.” His eyes flicked to Cassie then to Robert who was still cradling his hand. Natalie noticed how everyone avoided his gaze. Except her, of course, she was staring at him unblinking with a look that could kill.
“This is my brother, Mikhail.” Cassie muttered.
“Really…” Natalie said coolly causing Mikhail to frown. He wasn’t used to women confronting him, Natalie thought. Natalie turned to Cassie. “I’m not sure what you thought was going to happen here, but it was a mistake me being here, so I’ll go now.”
Natalie walked to the front door.
“Let me drive you home.” Mikhail said as he stared at her.
Natalie turned and regarded him, grinning nastily, which caused him to scowl and fold his arms. Natalie noticed the size of his forearms and the tightness of his suit over his biceps.
“No.” She said simply. “I’ll walk.” With that she opened the door and stepped out, slamming the door behind her.
Mikhail looked shaken by her response. His gaze slid to Robert who was looking at the floor.
“I’m sorry, Mikhail…I didn’t mean…”
“What the f**k did you do?” Mikhail growled. “I should kill you where you sit.”
“He needs his hand seen to…do you see what she did?” Cassie said worried but looked up to see Mikhail had disappeared. “Oh dear…he’s not seriously going to chase after her?”
Max and Dahlia went to the window that looked out at the street. “She’s a fast walker, she’s almost to the corner already and she’s on her phone, that’s not good.” Max said.
They all heard the roar of the engine then and saw the Aston Marton leave the garage and drive up the street. Cassie ran to the window.
“He’s gone insane.”
They all watched fascinated as Mikhail drove his car up to beside Natalie and wound the window down.
Natalie was perplexed when she left. She hadn’t liked what she felt when she had laid eyes on Cassie’s brother. What was his name again…? Mik…something.
He had definitely been the reason she had been coaxed there. A set up of the finest order. She chuckled to herself, if only they knew who she was. She grimaced to herself as she stuffed her hand in the pocket of her jacket and walked off up the street taking her phone out. She sent a quick message to Vince. As she walked her thoughts strayed, f**k, he was extremely good looking alright, but f**k did he know it! And how did he and his sister know of Natalie to even try and set her up with him? She could feel a jerk deep inside her to go back.
Damn she was going to have to avoid any contact, at all costs, this was not what she needed right now.
Suddenly a car pulled over next to her and the window rolled down.
“Get in!” The low commanding voice said.
Natalie stopped walking and stared at the car. Of course it was expensive. What a player! Did he seriously think she was going to fall for something so materialistic? He certainly hadn’t done his homework if that was the case. She stared at him a moment with a look of utter contempt
“Are you serious? f**k off!” Natalie said showing her fangs and continued on walking.
He drove the car slowly along next to her.
“Don’t be stupid…it’s late, let me take you home.”
“No, you don’t need to, I’ve messaged someone to pick me up, thanks.” Natalie talked as she walked, not even looking at the car.
“Why are you being so stubborn?” He growled.
Natalie stopped walking and turned with a sigh. She walked up to the car and leant her hands on the sill of the open window and peered in. She blinked and had to take a breath when she looked at him. She felt that same pull.
“Who the f**k are you?” Natalie said once she had regained her composure.
Mikhail scowled. “Just get in.” He said sounding fed up.
Natalie laughed. “You’re nuts if you think I’m getting into that car, now leave me alone.”
Mikhail saw something in her eyes then that made him clench his jaw. As she stood up and walked off he just sat in his car and watched her as she rounded the corner and disappeared from sight. He thumped the steering wheel and remembered the first night a few days ago he had first laid eyes on her in a bar singing. He knew then she was meant for him.
“Damn it!” He growled. Things couldn’t have gone more wrong. Should he try again or would she try to kill him, he had no idea what she was capable of. He had done no research and had been shocked to see her in Cassie’s house. “Bloody sister!” He muttered. She had obviously gone out of her way to find her after he had mentioned her in conversation. He’ll teach his sister to try and play match maker.
He had only been back in this city for a week and he felt like this was going to black list him in certain circles already if he didn’t put a lid on it.
He drove around the corner and saw Natalie just disappear around another corner. Where was she heading? Not back to the city…wrong direction. He drove up to that corner and watched her.
Suddenly a black Ducati roared past him, the helmeted rider slowed down and stared at him. Mikhail growled, he could feel the menace…Warlock.
The rider pulled up next to Natalie and she jumped on the back and the bike took off. Mikhail clenched his jaw and thumped the steering wheel again. He turned the car around and went back to give Cassie a huge piece of his mind.