Nothing is this easy when dealing with vampires.
Senses alert, Graham Butler slowly scanned his surroundings, looking for any movement. He noted the absence of security as he inched along the stone wall to the point where it met the imposing front gate. The large wrought iron posed a hint of danger, while the mansion in the distance, with its three-storey pillared entrance, exuded a formidable front beneath the air of wealth and power it portrayed.
He peered through the bars, wary of the obvious lack of security. Either his cover was already blown and henchmen sat in wait for him to make a move or Victor's confidence in his inability to be discovered overpowered his common sense. Either way, Graham had a mission to complete and, knowing Victor's vicious streak, he needed to stay alert.
He checked for any signs of security, be it men, dogs or motion sensors, on all sides of the manor. Finding none, he then slithered along the wall to a point partially hidden by shrubs. With supernatural skill, he scaled the wall in one leap, landing softly on the other side. A dog barked in the distance, stilling Graham for a moment before he streaked across the lawn towards the back corner of the home.
The night before, he had staked out the house and discovered that the back door did not appear to be locked as men entered and exited on a regular basis. His only goal would be to gain access without detection.
After several minutes of observation, he tested the door and found it unlocked. Knowing vampires possessed an exquisite sense of hearing, he slowly turned the handle, then inched his way in and immediately took cover in a small powder room just inside the back entrance.
The entire situation seemed so easy it set Graham on edge. While he'd love to walk into the mansion, free the girl and return to his somewhat mundane life, nothing, especially a situation that required dealing with rogue vampires, was going to be simple. Victor Abrams ran the vampire's equivalent of the mafia and even on his bad days was a formidable opponent.
With only a vague description of the woman as guidance, Graham needed to rely on his instincts to identify the female command referred to only as Jessalyn Elwick. Barely making a sound, he moved through the long hallway and down the last flight of steps leading to the basement. The door stood ajar, giving him much needed cover while he scoped out the room.
His hand flexed against the sword he'd carried since his service in the Civil War. The night he'd been mortally wounded in battle only to be saved by a passing vampire came flooding back.
Saved. He snorted at the word. At the time, living for eternity seemed like a better alternative than dying of gangrene. It was amazing how much perspective a person could gain in one hundred and fifty-plus years. Eternity was an awful long time to spend wandering the earth alone.
Graham gave his nomadic thoughts a firm shake, putting them back in their place. He raked his free hand across the stubble peppering his jaw before sweeping it upwards to brush back his much too long hair. Now wasn't the time to start feeling sorry for himself, not with a woman's life on the line.
Peering through the crack between the door and the jamb, he took note of the room layout before his gaze fell upon the beauty he could only assume was Jessalyn. A quick sniff of the air confirmed his suspicions that she was indeed human and sexy as hell, with creamy skin as fine as ivory and lush curves in all the right places. She turned her head in a way that gave Graham a direct view of her face.
It can't be.