5. Be Mine (3)

“Oh, don’t worry,” said Miura. “Nothing he can’t sleep off. I wouldn’t hurt a hair on his head.” His eyes, which were devouring in spite of their frightening opacity, moved hungrily from my face down the length of my body. He threw back his head in pleasure. “Look at you,” he gushed. “I can’t believe we are meeting again . . . like this.”

I tried to ignore the fact that I was standing there naked. “What, at a love hotel?” I snapped.

Yes. Love,” he sighed. “You look lovely. So . . . fresh.”

I noticed at that point that the rose-colored stain was on both sides of his shirt. It was starting to turn brown. It was blood. He smoothed the fabric and tucked in his shirttail. “Gad, I’m a mess … I know your father,” he announced suddenly.

“Really?” I said. “Then I suppose you are no friend of mine.”

“On the contrary, Erin.”

So familiar—my stomach turned when he said my name.

“My father and I don’t get along,” I fired back.

“No one gets along with him—except maybe Carlyle, who betrayed him and is now dead and gone, and . . . me . . . sometimes . . . when he needs me and when he has something I need. But you don’t really get along with anyone either, do you? Though you’ve been doing a good job of trying with Ryu.” There was a hint of anger in his voice, a definite note of contempt.

“How do you know so much about me? Are you one of my father’s spies? Where is he? How did you find us here?”

“But you recognize me, don’t you?”

“Yes, of course, you are Miura.”

“Right. Miura. And . . . ? You know. Guess again.” He winked and held out a yellow-green hand.


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