James' hand slid up the girl's back, fisting in her long, fiery hair and yanking her head back to expose the slim column of her white neck. He grinned when she cried out somewhere between a whimper and a gasp of pain and her shaking turned to teeth rattling convulsions. There was nothing better than holding life and death in your own hands and the adrenaline he could smell flooding her veins so sweetened the moment.

"Do you feel it?" He whispered into her ear. "The mortality?" Her heart was thunderously loud in his ears. It raced like a frightened rabbit's.

A tear slipped from the corner of Victoria's eye and trickled to a stop in the same ear James had been speaking into. The scent of it fueled his raging thirst further and stole his resolve. He would have her. He would not lose control. Not this time.

"The last tear," he commented in a nearly smooth voice, "such a precious gift." He stuck his nose in the hollow beneath her ear, inhaling deeply.

Her scent caused a fire to burn through him that was both painful and welcome. That fragrant scent of clove and orange, though intoxicating, was not so overwhelming that he had taken her down right away, but it had been the thing to first compel him to follow her. To watch her. To make certain she had seen him watching and was curious. It had been so easy to lure her, all too easy really – had taken almost all the excitement out of the chase, but it was not a total waste.

He was tired of being alone and needed a companion -- a collaborator of sorts. He had not been so careless that he had failed to see the girl's value. James rarely failed to see anything so significant. This girl, though as foolish as the rest, seemed lucky. In the time that he had watched her – longer than any of his kind would have thought possible, she had escaped a great many would be catastrophes – including him on two separate occasions when she had come too close and he had been too thirsty. Yet, still she lived. It appeared unknown to her, this … talent, and she went about completely unaware, but it was a gift that when fully realized could be of great service to him. Yes, his eyes closed in anticipation, she would be his.

Bumps rose on her fair skin and her breath caught as his nose lightly skimmed from her ear to her neck and down the line of her jugular. James trembled. It was too much. The temptation was too great. Her body was too warm against his … too alive. He had to do it now. His grip on his self control was lessening and that he could not afford. His hand clenched convulsively in her thick hair and her head was brought back further on her neck, almost to the breaking point. She whimpered breaking the spell long enough for James to regain his composure. He chuckled darkly. Again her unusual and wonderful talent came into play. Oh, what he could do with her at his side.

He thought back, reviewing the little human past he could remember. He had come so far, from a fragile nothing. A poor, pathetic weakling hated by everyone. To a god whose strong and inhuman body could break the very foundations of the earth. There was nothing that he could not possess. The feeling of power was worth everything. He had no doubt that she would forgive him once she had felt it for herself. He exhaled, cool against her skin and gathered himself.

"I want it now," he whispered too low for her to hear. "I want you now." His tongue flicked out to taste her skin, just a little taste. "Give me your heart, your soul."

James waited a full two throbs of her heart, then his teeth sank deep.