Uriel had very specific plans for the upcoming evening.
First up, dinner in bed with a luscious, golden-haired fairy who tasted like champagne and boasted skills that could make a vampire howl like a damned werewolf. Even without a full moon.
Next on the agenda, a round of sparring with the latest batch of foundlings that had arrived in London. In the past few years Victor, the clan chief of Great Britain, had instituted a law that demanded all recently created vampires must spend at least the first decade of life being trained at his lair. And since Uriel was second in command, as well Victor’s best warrior, it meant it was his duty to oversee their fighting lessons.
And if there was time left before dawn, he intended to meet with the soldiers who had recently returned from their hunt in northern England.
Since rumors of the return of the Sylvermyst had spread through the demon world, Victor had sent out nightly patrols to search for the evil cousins of the fey. It aggravated the hell out of Uriel that he wasn’t allowed to take his place in the chase.
Unfortunately when he’d accepted his position as Victor’s right hand man, he had given up his place in the field. Now he was stuck plotting strategy, drawing up scout rotations, and researching the history of the Sylvermyst in the massive library beneath Victor’s lair on the outskirts of London.
He was also on call 24/7 to his chief.
Which was why he was headed through the vast labyrinth of hallways, dressed in a pair of faded jeans and a sweatshirt, instead of lying naked on his bed with a beautiful fairy doing bad, bad things to his eager, eager body.
Climbing the marble staircase and strolling down the crimson carpeted hallway, Uriel ignored the priceless Greek statues and pictures that lined the walls and the explosion of gilt that framed the arched windows.
He understood Victor’s need for a gaudy display of wealth and power, but damn. A man could get a brain cramp from such an overexposure of frou-frou.
Especially those damned frescos that were painted on the lofted ceiling.
Uriel grimaced. The images of angels with fiery swords defending a gaggle of humans against a horde of demons might be some sort of priceless work of art, but to Uriel it was a never ending source of annoyance.
He was a brutal killer and a ruthless enemy to those who would threaten his clan. But for all his grim reputation, he was cursed with finely carved features and a halo of curls that perfectly matched his light brown eyes.
As beautiful as a fallen angel…
He’d heard those words a thousand times over the past four centuries.
Sometimes they were a sigh on a woman’s lips. And sometimes a mocking taunt from his brothers.
They always managed to make him want to hit something.
Really, really hard.
Stepping into the vast library, Uriel halted in the middle of the fancy-ass carpet and watched as Victor lifted himself from behind the heavy walnut desk and crossed toward a matching side board.
He wasn’t the hulking brute that most people expected of a clan chief. Actually, dressed in a silk shirt and black slacks he looked every inch the English aristocrat with his elegantly carved features and glossy black hair pulled into a neat braid.
But a closer inspection revealed the hard muscles beneath the designer clothing and the promise of death that lurked in the pale silver eyes rimmed with black.
Victor was a predator.
Pure and simple.
“Uriel, join me,” the ancient vampire commanded, turning from the sideboard to press a small glass of amber spirits in his hand. “Salud.”
The aged cognac slide down Uriel’s throat as smooth as honey. Liquid fire.
“Martell,” Uriel breathed with a lift of his brow, easily recognizing the expensive liquor. “I’m afraid to ask.”
Victor leaned against the sideboard, his arms folded over his chest.
“You only break out the good stuff when you want something. Usually something that includes blood, death, and/or mayhem.”
“Is that any way to speak to your beloved clan chief?”
Uriel snorted. “I will agree that you’re my clan chief.”
Victor sipped his cognac, a somber expression settling on his lean face.
“We have been through interesting times, haven’t we, old friend?”
Uriel’s vague unease became downright apprehension. Despite his vast age, Victor wasn’t prone to maudlin musings.
So, what the hell was going on?
“Some more interesting than others,” he slowly admitted, setting aside the Waterford crystal glass.