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Bullying her way through clogged up traffic, Lieutenant Eve Dallas managed to nip in and steal the space another driver was approaching. She double parked, and flipped up her On Duty light. Ignoring curses and rude gestures from her fellow New Yorkers she exited her vehicle. Her secret candy stash at the station had run out, the last bar stolen by the mysterious candy thief. She needed to replenish her supply and find a new hiding place - which was hard to do in the shoebox that masqueraded as her office. Promising herself the pleasure of finding all the different ways she’d flay the thief alive when she caught him, she entered the store. Whiffs from soydogs, egg pockets, oil fries, and the piss poor substitute for what they called coffee in 2061, wafted in with her from the street vendor’s stalls and Glida-Grills. She nodded to the shopkeeper in greeting, ignoring his foot long, purple Gorgon locks and perused the candy bar displays. She grabbed four different kinds as another customer entered, coming up to the counter a few feet away from her. Tapping one bar against the others, she thought about a good hiding place.
Maybe she could go back to one of the old ones. Taped under the seat of her office chair? Nah, too easy. Just a kid. Very thin, very pale, dark hair, eye-wateringly bright clothes, mouth moving, saying something. Maybe inside the ceiling lamp. No, it had to be a new and ingenious hiding spot. That thief was a clever bastard. Jumpy. Jittery. No, no, not jumpy. Jerky. Her peripheral vision caught the hand going into a bulging pocket. Eve dropped the candy and reached inside her jacket for her weapon. When she pivoted to face him, he had his out, pointed at her, panic on his face as he saw her badge pinned to her belt.

“Give me the money out of the till, man. I-I don’t want to shoot but I will!”

“NYPSD. Put the weapon down. Now.”

“I just – I need… Please. Come on! The money. Now!”

The shopkeeper, his magenta hued eyes wide with fear, opened the till, scrabbling for the notes within.

He couldn’t be more than sixteen or seventeen, Eve thought. Keeping his eye on her, the kid snatched the notes.

Eve took a step closer. “Don’t!” He warned, almost tearfully.

“You don’t want to be responsible for shooting a cop, do you? It would really piss me off as I have a date tonight. Put the gun down and we can go talk – “

“I need it, man! Don’t you see? I need it!”

She could see. He wasn’t quite albino, but he was well on the way to it; white, pasty skin, his irises almost drained of their blue hue and his pupils were tiny. The morning light had to be hurting them. He suffered from the muscles jerks, too. The poor kid was a funky junky. He needed that cash for the little white pill that would dull his brain and bleach the life and pigments out of him.

He started backing away towards the door. His left hand groped for the handle behind him. He opened it, and in a surprise move, threw his gun at her, and dashed out. She wondered if he’d been a good baseball pitcher at school because it glanced off her left temple before hitting the floor. Giving it a cursory glance, she saw it was a fake and holstered her hand laser to give chase.

He wasn’t hard to miss, not with those blistering orange cargos and the long acid green jacket. He dodged bystanders and pushed others out of the way. Eve executed a magnificent flying tackle. They fell heavily to the ground. She pulled him over, struggling as her quarry sobbed and flailed at her.

“Get the fuck off me! No,’ he moaned, ‘you don’t understand.”
“I understand all too well. Stop that. Stop!” She swallowed down her pity and jammed an elbow against his throat. “Sorry, kid,’ she said, pulling her badge free and holding it up to his face, ‘you’re busted.”

 

Lt. Eve Dallas – transformed into Macy Trueman, stepped into the intimately lit restaurant and ran her gaze over the clientele before approaching the hostess droid. Within seconds, she was being led to her table.

She was a tall woman in a short, slinky red dress, the black leather jacket gave her look an edge and the red heels elongated a body that was already long, lean, and toned. Eve resisted the urge to smooth down her hair. Trina’s enhancements deserved a magnitude of awards no matter how much she hated having such gunk on her face. And no matter how much she feared going under Trina’s hands, she’d needed to not look like herself tonight. Gone was her short, choppy, brown hair, replaced with long blonde locks, her wide generous mouth; now fuller, blood red. The dent in her chin was gone. Whisky-coloured eyes, usually all cop, were now a limpid green; sultry, come-hither green Roarke had called them. Eve smirked to herself. If her husband thought he was taking Macy Trueman to bed tonight, he was going to be sorely disappointed, no matter how much he protested that it was Eve Dallas’ world he was really going to rock.
The small electronic bug hidden in her left ear was secure. With this being one of Roarke’s establishments, it had been easy to set up Control on the floor above. The chosen table had been rigged so that their conversation would be transmitted to her team in Control, which consisted of Roarke, as civilian consultant, her partner Peabody, and Feeney, her former boss who was now head of the EDD division. As a matter of course, there were security cams in house, so they’d be able to watch them, too. This was just a fishing expedition tonight, though. A gathering of info. She’d extricate herself before the dinner’s end if need be.

She looked past the hostess to the table ahead. The date, or rather, the suspect, Elijah Mikaelson, she assumed, looked up from his menu, watched her approach. She saw dark hair, and dark eyes that were hard to look away from, a mobile mouth that was already smiling. Seemed he’d already guessed she was his blind date. Are you the serial killer whose ass I’m going to kick? She wondered. He did closely resemble Yancy’s artist’s impression given by the surviving victim.

He rose as they reached the table. “Macy, I assume.”

Eve inclined her head, offering a hand across the table. “Elijah.”

“Who’d have expected alleged serial killer to be such a dreamboat.” Eve heard Peabody murmur in her ear.

His grasp was warm and strong, lingering as he withdrew it. He came from money. Now that she was married to a billionaire, she knew the cut of a very expensive suit, the estimated worth of the understated wristwatch, and the cufflinks that winked in the cuffs of his cobalt blue shirt, open at the throat.

“You don’t actually know Camille, do you?” He asked, as they sat and picked up the drinks menu.

“No, she knows my friend Charlotte Mira. Camille’s here following some of Charlotte’s lectures.”

“Yes, I decided to tag along with her to New York as I haven’t been here in a long time.”

“So, she knew you were at a loose end and Charlotte’s been trying to match make for me for a long time…” Eve threw him a wry smile.

“And here we are. My good fortune, indeed. You are quite lovely, Macy.”

“What a polite ladykiller you are.” Eve laughed, watching his face carefully. Something flashed in his eyes. Humour, and something else she couldn’t quite fathom. Something she didn’t like.

In the next halt hour, over drinks, she learnt that he lived in Louisiana, as his friend Camille had mentioned to Dr Mira. He had a large family that he didn’t seem to want to reveal too much detail about. He deflected well, getting her to do most of the talking. She wanted to probe him further before her team signalled she should leave, but his link buzzed.

“How rude, but it is family calling. I must take this. Excuse me.”
As Elijah made his way to the restaurant entrance, Eve whispered behind her hand. “Can you make out any of what he’s saying?”

“Afraid not. Too far away,” Peabody, replied, loud and clear, in her left ear.

“He arrived a day before the first murder. If he hasn’t been attending lectures with Camille, what has he been doing with his time?” Feeney wondered.

“What indeed.” Eve said, looking over her shoulder towards the entrance.

 

“Klaus.”

“Dear brother, I am here trying to keep the baying wolves in check – nothing new there, of course - and you’ve gone on some wild goose chase to New York. Hayley is pretending not to pine for you and is no help whatsoever with said werewolves or our rebellious daughter.”

“You did want Hope to be her father’s daughter. She’s just like you.”

“That, I wouldn’t change for the world. It drives Hayley to distraction, which I thoroughly enjoy. Besides that, Marcel is out for Kol’s blood – with good reason.”

“It was an accident, Klaus.”

“He killed Davina. The witch has always been a thorn in our sides but Marcel cared about her and protected her.”

Elijah sighed. “Imagine how Kol feels having killed the woman he loved. Show our brother some pity.”

“As usual, he brought it on himself. No one ever takes my advice.” Elijah could almost imagine Klaus’ pout. “Furthermore, Rebecca has finally decided that being a witch has served its purpose. She’s ready to once more become a vampire. She wants some kind of family celebration. Oh, and apparently our hated father has come out of the woodwork - again. Yes, he’s alive – again. And, he’s trying to annihilate us all - again. When will you be back?”

“Are you saying you can’t cope without me?”

“That will be the day.”

“Klaus, you know why I’m here. You’d do the same in my shoes. My likeness has been flashed all over the screens. I need to find this impostor. I will return when my business here is finished. Good-bye, brother.”

He returned to their table. “I apologise. I’m all yours now.”

“Now that you’re in New York for awhile, how will you be spending your time?”

“I’ve old friends and places to look up.” He gave her a knowing smile. “And new friends to get to know.”

“So Camille’s not dragging you to Dr Mira’s lectures?”

“I’ve been to a couple. Not really my thing.”

“Some of those lectures are in the evening. I hope she’s being careful. You have heard about those women being murdered?”

“All brunettes, weren’t they?”

“Seems to be a pattern, but the one who survived was blonde.”

“A terrible business.” Elijah sipped his wine, a little distracted as he stared off into space. “Camille will be fine, I’ll make sure of it. Who’ll be protecting you, Macy?”

“I can take care of myself.” Eve assured him as Feeney gave confirmation that they’d terminate the date now.

“Shall we order dinner?” He asked, just as her link buzzed her.

“Excuse me, sorry about this.” Taking it from her handbag, she glanced at it. Elijah watched her face.

“Um, I’m really sorry –“

“Is that the best friend giving you an out from a bad blind date?” He smiled as he said it, but something in his eyes gave her pause. “I think I might be offended.”

“No! Not at all, but, well, I do have to go. It’s an-“

Elijah leaned forward, gazing into her eyes. “No buts. I’ll tell you what. Why don’t we skip dinner altogether and go somewhere else?”
Caught in his gaze, Eve’s mind went blank. She gave no protest as he reached over to softly caress her cheek. “Let’s go.” Throwing some bills to the table, Elijah took Eve’s hand and led her out of the restaurant.

While Roarke, Peabody and Feeney were wondering what the hell was going on, Eve found she couldn’t make her brain give orders to her body. Panic shook her insides. Roarke would now connect to the camera outside. He’d see her leaving with a man they all suspected had murdered three women.

“They’re leaving.” Feeney stated. “Maintain radio silence. And bring up the security cam outside. We can’t hear them but we can watch. Let’s see how she’s playing this out and why.” Feeney tried to inject some confidence into his voice, but he was as bewildered as the others, and unnerved by Roarke’s frigid silence.

They walked a little way past the building before they stopped and Elijah slid an arm around Eve’s waist pulling her close. “Now. Kiss me.” He leaned in. Eve leaned back.

“I-I can’t.”

Elijah stared into her eyes, his pupils dilating hypnotically. “Yes, you can,” he murmured. “I wanted to kiss that mouth the moment you sat opposite me. Kiss me. And enjoy it.”

He took her lips softly, as though savouring something fragrant and sweet. Her passionate response, her soft moan, the scent of her blood rushing through the veins beneath her skin heightened his arousal.

Up in Control Roarke remained silent. His hands were fists atop the control panel. Feeney had no problem voicing his concern, though.

“What the hell is she playing at?” He muttered.

“She-she must be playing some kind of angle.” Peabody stammered. “She wouldn’t- I mean-“

Roarke rose to his feet and Peabody’s dread increased. “We can’t interfere and foul up the operation,” she said, ‘Eve can explain herself when she gets back.”

“She’ll have a plan. She always has,” Feeney agreed.

Roarke sat down again, eyes glued to the screen. He watched what unfolded with increasing incredulity. They all did, but opted to maintain radio silence for now.

“There’s something about you… can’t quite put my finger on it.” Elijah mused. “Hmm, my place or yours?” He asked, sliding his hand slowly up and down her back.

“What?”

“My place, I think.” He took her hand to lead her away but she pulled out of his grasp.

“I can’t!”

There was distress in her refusal. Puzzled at her continued resistance, Elijah stood squarely in front of her, hands atop her shoulders. “Why not?”

“I-I’m married.”

“Married?” He cocked his head. “You don’t want to cheat on your husband, yet you’re on a blind date? Can you understand my confusion, Miss Trueman?” Impatience and annoyance coloured his voice. “Why are you here?”

“I’m-I’m undercover.”

“Excuse me? As in an undercover policewoman?”

“I’m not at liberty to -”

“Yes or no, Miss Trueman!”

“Yes.”

“Am I suspected of committing a crime?”

“I-I…yes.” Her brows came down in anger, but fear lurked behind the fury of giving herself away. “You’re a murdering serial killer and I’m going to put you down.”

Elijah allowed a hand to slide from her shoulder to her neck. It would take no more than a flick of his hand to break it. “Is that so?”

“Maximum security on Penal Station Omega, maybe. It’s no less than you deserve.”

“Prison?” Elijah’s hand left her neck and returned to her shoulder. “I admire your feistiness, even under compulsion. Tell me. Are you wired?”

“Not…exactly.”

“What then?”

“An earpiece.”

“Do we have the whole of NYPSD listening in?”

She didn’t reply.

“You’re strong-willed. I admire that. I really do. Don’t resist me.” Brushing aside her tresses from the left side of her face, he picked the earpiece out of her ear, crushed it like a bug between finger and thumb, and flicked it away before making sure her other ear was clear.

“Now, do you have a weapon on you?”

“Yes,” she gritted between her teeth.

“Purse or thigh?”

Eve firmed her closed lips and Elijah laughed. “I think thigh. Stand still.” He reached down to rest a hand just above her knee, and let it slide up until it found the concealed gun. Surprisingly, he left it there.

“And I’m thinking a bold woman like you, going undercover on a blind date with a serial killer probably has another in her handbag?” He held out a hand and she gave it to him. He peeked inside and saw the small handgun. He left it in there too and handed the bag back to her.

“What is your real name?” He pushed the compulsion. Her mind went blank for a moment before she came to herself again.

“D-Dallas. Eve Dallas.”

“Lieutenant Eve Dallas?” He stared at her. “The one married to the Roarke?”

“Yes,” she snapped.

“I knew there was something familiar about you. I’ve seen you on the screen. Short hair, badly cut but somehow still sexy, golden-brown eyes, a mouth not as full as these expertly enhanced ones, but still eminently kissable. Well, well, the tough and tenacious Eve Dallas. I must say, I very much admire the man you’re married to. I really wouldn’t like to dare take his wife to bed nor deprive him of her by draining her body of its blood. Even in Louisiana, I’ve heard about the vengeance of Roarke – not that he’d be a match for an Original, of course.”

“Original what?”

“Vampire.”

“Vampire?”

“Yes, my dear. You were right to a certain extent, but I’m not the one you’re looking for.”

“Vampire?” she repeated.

He whispered in her ear. “Yes. An original, the first. Vampire. They really do exist.”

Eve shook her head.

“You’re not a believer, but if you were I imagine you’d be first in line with a stake for our hearts.”

“I’d be your worse nightmare.”

“You’re going to be useful to me, lieutenant.”

“What do you mean? You won’t get any money out of Roarke for me.”

“No,” Elijah chuckled, “he’d come looking for me instead. No, that’s not what I meant. I’m looking for the same serial killer as you are. He’s impersonating me, killing in my name. I can’t allow that, which is why I want his bloody heart in my hand and his head removed from his body. You’re going to help me get him.” He caught her eyes with his once more.

“You’ll remember nothing of importance about our conversation in the restaurant or out here.”

“Nothing of importance.”

“You’ll forget I told you I was a vampire and that I know who you really are.”

“Yes.”

“I am not the serial killer, you’re looking for.”

“You’re not the serial killer I’m looking for.”

“You’re going to continue hunting him.”

“Yes.”

“Any and all information you discover, you’ll report to me by ringing the number I’ll give you. You must tell no one else of this.”

“No one else.” Elijah had her repeat the number three times to commit it to memory. He took her arm, leading her up the sidewalk.

“I must apologise for my behaviour tonight, lieutenant. It was a barb to my ego that you wanted to abandon our date. I assure you I don’t usually need to compel a woman to spend the night in my bed.”

“Yet you still did it. As well as ripping out hearts and knocking heads off bodies, is that also normal Original behaviour?”

“I accept your reprimand. It’s deserved. I have apologised, not something I do too often, but if it were my brother standing here instead of me, he’d have no qualms about having his wicked way with you – or worse.” He stopped, turned her face to him, and gazed deeply into her eyes. “I see, I need to use a stronger compulsion on you. You were supposed to forget about me being a vampire. Forget that, Eve. Who am I?”

“Elijah Mikaelson.”

“Am I an Original?”

“Original what?”

“What did we do tonight?”

“We met for a blind date, but I had to leave early.”

“Now however you were supposed to get back to your station or home, do so.” Eve nodded. “I do believe this is the best blind date I’ve ever been on. The first ever, actually, but still. I look forward to hearing from you, Lieutenant.”

 

Eve walked to the end of the road, turned, and looked back. Elijah was gone. She continued around the corner then gave the signal knock on a side door into the restaurant. An officer disguised as a waiter let her in and she made her way to the first floor. Something niggled at her brain, made her feel uneasy for some reason. When she entered the Control room, the three faces that confronted her, held various expressions of confoundedness, concern, and controlled anger.

“Someone die?” She asked.

A barrage of unintelligible barking hit her from Feeney and Peabody. Roarke politely asked them to leave, assuring them that Eve would give them a full report tomorrow morning after she had explained herself to him. With quite some alacrity, they left.

Irked, Eve turned to Roarke. “Hold on a sec. This is my operation. If my team needs to be dismissed, then I’ll be doing the dismissing. What’s going on?” Narrowed eyes warily watched as he calmly reached out to grip the shawl neckline of her dress and pull her up to him, the wild blue of his eyes holding the surprised green of hers.

“Since when has it been part of procedure for my wife to make out with murder suspects?”

She knew that tone. Under its iciness, he was barely holding on to that Irish temper of his. “What?”

“He caressed your face. You kissed him. You let him slide his hand up your leg under your dress. What the hell, Eve!”

“Have you gone mad? Don’t make me put you down, ace.” She snapped in stunned protest, prying his hand from her dress. “Now, what are you talking about?”

“Take that fucking wig off. Take those eyes out. I want to see my wife. Not the cop. And not Macy Trueman who snogged the face off a shagging serial killer!”

“You know, it really annoys me when you say my wife in that tone!” Nevertheless, she needed to calm the situation down. She took a deep breath. “Anyway, I thought you were looking forward to taking Macy to bed?”

“Macy Trueman’s just been kicked to the curb.”

“Well, sorry, it takes time and effort to get out of all these enhancements.” Eve raised a hand to touch his face. “Roarke?”

His anger died, replaced with exasperation and perplexity. He caught hold of her arms and shook her. “What kind of game were you playing that you couldn’t fill us in on it?”

“I did my job, like I always do. But why would you say that I let Mikaelson kiss me?”

“See for yourself.” Roarke played back the restaurant scene, and then the encounter in the street.

“I don’t understand.” Eve hit rewind and watched again as onscreen she enthusiastically kissed Elijah Mikaelson. “I didn’t kiss him. I mean- I don’t remember kissing him. I don’t remember doing any of that.” She turned to Roarke. Her mind racing, she told herself it was a trick of some kind. Somehow, the tape had been doctored. Or maybe Mikaelson had known who she was all along. Maybe a decoy had been substituted for her. She stabbed the rewind button again, furious.

“I’d really rather not see it again, if you don’t mind.”

“Must be some kind of trick, a decoy. That’s not me.”

“That is you. We just have to figure out what was done to you.”

“God. Roarke.” Eve turned back to him. “No wonder you looked like you wanted to chew me up and spit me out. A drug in my drink, maybe?”

He shook his head. “We watched for that like hawks. There was no spiking.” He drew her into the circle of his arms now.

“It reminds me of that Jess Barrows case. The guy who used subliminals in his music to manipulate us. I still wonder to this day what you did to him to leave him cowering in fear that way.” Her eyes slitted at his quick feral grin, knowing she still wouldn’t get an answer.

“Maybe Peabody’s got it right. Hypnotism. You notice how he makes a point of staring into your eyes a lot.”

“Well, they are a sultry come-hither green,” she mused, eying him coyly under lowered lashes. “You words, not mine.”

“He’s lucky to still have all his teeth. And I’ll want to have a private word with him once you catch him.”

“Yeah, like you did with Jess Barrows? Barrows didn’t put his hands on me, Mikaelson did. So, I wouldn’t put it past you to part his hands from his body. No, ace, you don’t get a private word with him.”

Roarke allowed the matter to rest. For now. “Still, hypnotism? To lure those women?”

“What else could it be? I have no recollection of what happened. If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes on the screen…”

“Let’s go home. Get those images out of our heads. I want Eve Dallas in my bed – “

“Not Macy?”

“Not Macy.”

“Damn right, ace. I’ll call the team in tomorrow and we’ll put our heads together, brainstorm. There’s something off about Elijah. If he’s not our guy, then I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s into something else.”

“You’re rarely wrong, wife.” He rubbed his arm where she punched him, dropping a quick kiss on her mouth in retaliation.

 

Elijah turned into a residential street, slowing to a stroll and called Niklaus again.

“Brother.”

“I’ve had a most interesting evening. A blind date that turned out to be with an undercover policewoman called Lt Eve Dallas. The one married to Roarke.”

“You were on a blind date?”

Elijah clucked with impatience. “I tell you I’ve met Lt Dallas which gives us access to the billionaire who owns half of this planet and others in our solar system and your incredulity focuses on the fact I had a blind date?”

Klaus’ laugh came thick and rich.

“I’m glad I amuse you, Klaus. Besides, it was Camille’s suggestion.”

“She’s trying to distract you from Hayley whose main allegiance will always be with the wolves. Remember that. Just make sure you bring Cami back safe and sound. My wrath will know no bounds should she come to harm.”

“I’ll speak to you later, Klaus. I spy a late night supper.” Elijah watched the jogger come closer. Female, ponytail swinging. She side-eyed him as she passed. In that quick glance, she noted tall, dark and handsome. Elegance in a suit. She skidded to a halt, slamming into his chest as he appeared out of nowhere in front of her. Catching her gaze, he ordered her not to scream and drew her away from the nearby street lamp to a darkened patch of the pavement.

“You shouldn’t be out this late, Miss. It’s not safe.”

“I missed my morning jog. Too much to drink last night.”

“And I’ve not had enough.” Drawing her close and embracing her, he nuzzled into the crook of her neck and bit – in just the right way and just the right spot so as not to spill any precious blood. Taking his fill, he finally withdrew.

“Pull your hoodie on. Go home. Sleep. Are you at work tomorrow?”

“Yes.”

“Call in sick. Remain off work and rest until your neck heals. Show that wound to no one. Understand?”

“Yes.”

“Good. Run home, now. Go.”

It was a shame Eve Dallas was a married woman, Elijah mused, now strolling through Central Park. He admired her, was attracted to her. She would have been a welcome distraction from thoughts of Hayley, the hybrid, similar but not quite like his brother Klaus, also a former hookup of Klaus,’ mother of Klaus’ daughter, Hope, and wife to the werewolf Jackson. Who’d have expected them to last all these years? Yet, she still gave him the big eyes when she thought he – or Jackson wasn’t watching her. Elijah sighed, stopped walking.

“Hello, Elijah.” Breath in his ear, but when he spun around, he was alone.

“Who’s there?” Had he imagined it?

Blurred movement among the trees. What manner of vampire could move faster than he could? Too fast for him to see? He tried to follow and failed.

“Here.”

Elijah turned. A woman stood several feet from him. “What are you?”

“Look at the elegant monster, suited and booted, handsome and seductive. Did that delectable morsel you nibbled on earlier sate that usually enormous Mikaelson appetite?”

“You seem to have me at a disadvantage. You obviously know of my family, but I certainly don’t know you. And it’s rude to spy on people, you know.”

“Always so well-mannered, even when he kills.” She drew closer. “Did you say please and thank you when you killed those women?”

“I did not kill those women.” Exquisite. Tousled, dark hair framed a face that was all creamy skin, dangerous eyes, and lush mouth.

“I know. I did.”

“You? Why? How did you…?”

“Why would the surviving victim describe you as her attacker?” Those wild eyes narrowed with mischief and Elijah gaped as her body and face morphed into his doppelganger, melting then rearranging into its chosen features. His doppelganger winked at him and laughed. In a second, Elijah had his hand around his double’s throat. He squeezed hard.

“A-a shapeshifter?”

“More than that, Elijah,” she croaked, changing back to her own form. She gripped his wrist, crushing it as she pulled his hand from her throat, all the while a small smile playing about her mouth. Elijah could only stare with pained fascination as her eyes turned liquid black. She let him glimpse her fangs before she buried them in his throat.

Grunting in pain, he pushed ineffectually at her, her murmured moans of pleasure reverberating against his flesh as she took her fill. Draught after draught.

She dashed him away, wiping her mouth. Elijah fell to the ground but managed to come up on his knees. “Mmmm, turns out Original blood has an extra sexy taste to it. Or is that just you?”

“What are you?” he whispered weakly, his head dropping.

She stood over him, grabbed a fistful of hair to pull his head back. “A real ancient. There are very few of us left. All recluses now. Who knows where they all are,” she shrugged. “I just know they’re no fun. And I,” she dipped a forefinger in the trickle of blood at his throat, “want,” traced his lips seductively with his blood, “to play.” She kissed him, slowly, lingeringly. “Does your brother taste as good as you? What about your sister Rebecca? Your blind date? I got the impression you really liked her. She might taste good.”

“No…”

“Eve Dallas has an extremely attractive husband. As handsome as Lucifer before the fall. Actually, Lucifer is just as gorgeous now as he was before he fell to earth.” She leaned closer to whisper in Elijah’s ear. “I’ve made out with him, too, you know.” Her breathy laugh sent a shiver of awareness down his spine.

“What do you want?” Elijah snapped. “Why did you lure me here?”

“All in good time.” She backed away from him.

“Leave Dallas and Roarke alone.”

“This is my game Elijah, not yours.”

“If you want me to play along, leave them be.”

“Maybe.”

“Who are you?”

“I’ve been called Cassandra in my time. Livia. Even Pandora. I’m sure you can imagine why. I’ve had many names. Today, you can call me…Diana. I like hunting. See you soon, Elijah.” She disappeared. One second there, then just…not.

Glancing around, Elijah struggled to his feet. No late night joggers in Central Park right now, thank goodness. Should he warn Eve Dallas? What could she do against such an enemy? For now, he’d wait. She didn’t need to know just yet what additional monsters lurked in her city. His instinct told him this nemesis was only trying to scare him by threatening loved ones. She hadn’t fully shown her hand yet. When he knew more he could plot a course of action. For now, he’d have to let Klaus know that this was going to be a bigger problem than he imagined.