Darkfever - Karen Marie Moning

Context - her sister was killed, she's overseas in Dublin trying to find out more (the Police have written the case off as "unsolved"), and trying to find something called the "Sinsar Dubh" that her sister told her to find in the voicemail she left right before she died.


She met this guy by happenstance in a bookstore, he shows up at 2am at inn, they talk, he tells her to leave Dublin or she'll die here, her response is basically who the fuck do you think you are, then this happens:


"Fine. What else have you to tell me, Ms. Lane?"


"Not a thing."  I retrieved my cell phone, resaved the message, and jerked a frosty glance from him to the door, encouraging him to leave.


He laughed, a rich dark sound.  "I do believe I'm being dismissed.  I can't recall the last time I was dismissed."

I didn't see it coming.  He was nearly past me, nearly to the door, when he grabbed me and slammed me back against his body.  It was like hitting a brick wall.  The back of my head bounced off his chest, and my teeth clacked together from the impact.


I opened my mouth to scream, but he clamped a hand over it.  He banded an arm beneath my breasts so tightly that I couldn't inflate my lungs to breathe.  His body was far more powerful beneath that fine suit than I would have guessed, like reinforced steel.  In that instant, I understood that the open door had been nothing more than a mocking concession, a placebo he'd fed me that I'd swallowed whole.  Anytime he'd wanted, he could have snapped my neck and I wouldn't have gotten off a single scream.  Or he could simply have suffocated me, as he was doing now.  His strength was astonishing, immense.  And he was only using a small fraction o fit.  I could feel the restraint in his body; he was being very, very careful with me.


He pressed his lips to my ear.  "Go home, Ms. Lane.  You don't belong here.  Drop it with the Gardai.  Stop asking questions.  Do not seek the Sinsar Dubh or you will die in Dublin." He released enough pressure on my mouth to afford my reply, enough on my ribs to permit me breath to fuel it.


I sucked in desperately needed air.  "There you go, threatening me again," I wheezed.  Bertter to die with a snarl than a sniffle.


His arm bit into my ribs, cutting off my air again.  "Not threatening-warning.  I haven't been hunting it this long and gotten this close to let anyone get in my way and fuck things up.  There are two kinds of people in this world, Ms. Lane: those who survive no matter the cost, and those who are walking victims."  He pressed his lips to the side of my neck.  I felt his tongue where my pulse fluttered, tracing my vein.  "You, Ms. Lane, are a victim, a lamb in a city of wolves.  I'll give you until nine P.M. tomorrow to get the bloody hell out of this country and out of my way."



And I have a sneaking suspicion that this guy is going to end up being the love interest.  /sigh