Ivan leaned over to retrieve the invitation from the trash bin. This would be the easiest way to confront Draganesti. The bastard was impossible to reach otherwise, surrounded constantly by a small army of Scottish vampires.
Roman Draganesti was right to keep so much security. He'd survived a few thwarted assassination attempts in the last few years. And his security team had discovered a few bombs at Romatech Industries - courtesy of a secret society called the True Ones. Unfortunately, the bombs had been discovered before they could detonate.
Ivan rummaged through desk drawers till he found a roll of tape. Carefully, he restored the invitation to its original form. These conferences were by invitation only, and for the first time in eighteen years, Ivan and a few of his trusted friends were going. It was about time Draganesti learned that he couldn't mess with Ivan Petrovsky and live to gloat about it.
Ivan was more than the master of the Russian coven. He was leader of the True Ones, and he would make the Gala Opening Ball a night to remember.
It was a shame mortals needed so much blasted light to see. Roman closed his eyes against the glare of the overhead lamp. He was stretched out flat on his back in the dental office with an infantile bib around his neck. At least, so far, the mind control was working. He could hear Shanna moving about with robotlike efficiency. As long as he kept everything calm and controlled, the procedure should be a success. Nothing could be allowed to jolt Shanna out of what she thought was a dream.
"Open." Her voice was quiet and monotone.
He felt a sharp prick in his gums. He opened his eyes. She was removing a syringe from his mouth. "What was that?"
"A local anesthetic, so you won't feel any pain."
Too late. The shot itself had caused pain. But Roman had to admit that dentistry had come a long way since his last encounter with the profession. As a young child, he'd seen the village barber wrenching out people's rotten teeth with his rusty pliers. Roman had done his best to keep his teeth healthy, even though his toothbrush had consisted of a frayed twig. But he'd made it to the age of thirty with a full set of teeth.
That was when his new life, or death, began. After the transformation, his body remained unchanged for the next five hundred and fourteen years. Not that his life as a vampire had been peaceful, quite the contrary. He'd suffered cuts, slashes, broken bones, even an occasional gunshot, but nothing that he couldn't heal himself with a good day's sleep. Until now.
Now he was at the mercy of a female dentist, and the extent of his control over her was unknown.
Shanna snapped latex gloves onto her hands. "It will be a few minutes before the anesthetic takes effect."
Laszlo cleared his throat to get Roman's attention, then pointed at his watch. He was worried they'd run out of time.
"It's already dead." Roman pointed at his mouth. Hell, technically his whole body was dead. He'd certainly felt dead for a long time. But tonight it had hurt like the devil when she'd kneed him in the groin. And he'd almost blown a fuse in the car. Now that Shanna was in his life, he appeared to be coming back to life. Particularly below the belt. "Can we get started now?"
"Yes." She perched on a little chair with wheels and rolled over to him. As she leaned over him, her br**sts pressed against his arm. He stifled a groan.
"Open." She stuck a finger in his mouth and probed along his upper gum line. "Do you feel anything?"
God, yes. He fought an urge to clamp his mouth around her and suck the damned latex off her finger. Take that glove off, sweetness, and I'll show you what I feel.
Frowning, she removed her finger from his mouth. She looked at her hand, then started to pull the glove off.
"No!" He touched her arm. Damn. She was more connected to him than he had thought. "I didn't feel anything. Let's continue with the procedure."
"All right." She tugged the glove back on.
God's blood, he couldn't believe it. Mind control with mortals was always a one-way street. He planted his instructions into their heads and read their minds. They couldn't read his. A mortal couldn't possibly read a vampire's mind. Roman watched Shanna warily. How much could she actually pick up from him?
He would have to be very careful with his thoughts. Only think about safe subjects. No more thoughts about his mouth and which of her body parts would fit inside. No. None of that. He'd think about something completely different. Like her mouth and which of his body parts would fit inside. His groin stiffened. No! No sex. Not now. He needed his damned tooth fixed.
"Do you want me to implant your tooth now?" She tilted her head, frowning a bit. "Or shall we have o**l s*x?"
Roman stared at Shanna. Good God. Not only had she read him like a book, but she was apparently willing to have sex with him. Amazing.
Laszlo was gasping for air. "My God, how did she come up with such a - an outrageous - " He narrowed his eyes, switching his gaze to Roman. "Mr. Draganesti! How could you?"
How could he not, if Shanna was willing. Oral sex with a mortal? Interesting. Mortal sex in an examining chair. Very interesting.
"Sir!" Laszlo's voice rose an octave. He twirled a button with his fingers. "There isn't enough time for - for two treatments. You must decide between your - your tooth or your.." With a grimace, he glanced at Roman's swollen jeans.
My fang or my yang? The latter strained against his zipper, as if it wanted to leap out and shoot its mouth off. Pick me, pick me!
"Sir?" Laszlo's eyes were wide with panic.
"I'm thinking," Roman growled. Damn. He looked at Shanna. She was standing nearby, her eyes dull, her face deadpan, her body exuding all the vitality of a mannequin. Shit. This wasn't even real to her. It would be like having sex with VANNA. But even worse, for Shanna would hate him afterward. He couldn't do this. As much as he wanted Shanna, he would have to wait. And make certain that she came to him of her own free will.
He took a deep breath. "I want my tooth fixed. Will you do that for me, Shanna?"
She gazed at him, her eyes unfocused. "I am to implant a tooth. An ordinary tooth," she repeated his directions from earlier.
"A good decision, sir, if I might say so, myself." Laszlo kept his eyes downcast, apparently embarrassed by the recently proposed change of plans. He inched toward Shanna and handed her ajar. "The tooth is inside."
She unscrewed the top and removed an inner sieve. In the sieve lay his fang. Roman held his breath as she removed the tooth. Would the sight of his fang snap her out of his control?
"It is in excellent condition," she announced.
Good. In her mind, it was an ordinary tooth.
Laszlo glanced at his watch. "Five-fifteen, sir." With a final tug, the button came off in his hand. "Oh dear. We'll never make it."
"Call Gregori and find out the exact time of sunrise."
"All right." The chemist dropped the loose button in his coat pocket and removed a cell phone. He paced across the office as he dialed.
At least it gave Laszlo something to do. The man was out of coat buttons, and that left only his shirt or his pants. Roman shuddered at the thought.
Shanna leaned over him. Once again her br**sts pressed against his arm. His pants grew tighter. Don't think about it.
If only she meant his fly. He opened his mouth. Her br**sts were firm, but soft. What size bra? he wondered. Not too big, but not too small, either.
"Thirty-six B," she murmured as she selected an instrument off her tray.
God's blood, could she hear everything he thought? How much could he hear from her? Testing, testing. What size clothes do we need to buy for you?
"Ten. No." She grimaced. "Twelve." Too much pizza. And cheesecake. God, I hate gaining weight. I wish I had a brownie.
Roman felt like smiling, but his mouth was already stretched to the max. At least she was being painfully honest. So, what do you think of me?
Handsome.. mysterious.. strange. She went about her work. Intelligent.. arrogant.. strange. Her thoughts were distant and fuzzy, though she still managed to stay focused on her hands and what she was doing. Horny.. hung like a horse..
That's enough, thank you. Hung like a horse? Did that mean she was disgusted or she approved? Damn, he shouldn't have asked. Why should he care what a mortal thought of him, anyway? Just fix my damned tooth. And why did she think he was strange?
She sat back suddenly. "This is very strange."