She gripped the sides of the tub. This was one hell of a good use for psychic energy. She jolted when she felt his mouth on her. Unbelievable, considering she was sitting in a tub of water. But then, it was all in his head and hers.

I promised ye that yer second scream would come from my mouth.

"Oh God." It felt so real. She could feel every lick, every dip of his tongue between her folds, every little nudge and nip at her clitoris. She planted her feet against the tub and raised her hips, wanting more. More. The tension stretched thin, ready to snap.

Come with me, love. He squeezed her bottom with his hands. His tongue went wild.

She screamed. Her feet slipped, and she thrashed about, spilling water on the floor. She cupped herself and felt the delicious throbbing against her hand. She curled up, squeezing her thighs together, willing the shudders to go on and on. And they did. She even heard Angus groan, a husky sound that reverberated in her head and intensified the throbbing pulses.

Slowly her breathing returned to normal. She sat up and noted the lake of bubbly water on the bathroom floor. That had been one hell of a bath. She stood on wobbly legs and stepped carefully out.

The question now was what next? She quickly erected a mental shield to block Angus. She didn't want him listening in on her thought processes. Not that her brain was exactly functioning. Every other thought seemed to be wow-wee! She donned a bathrobe and removed her hair clip. What should she do? Act like nothing had happened? But it had, wow-wee! Should she open the bedroom door and invite him in for the real thing? Wow-wee. She fluffed her hair and glanced in the bathroom mirror. What to do?

She exited the bathroom and approached the bedroom door. Slowly she opened it. He was still on the couch, but the telly was turned off.

He turned to look at her. His eyes were tinted red. "I have to go. 'Tis almost dawn."

"Oh." Now that was brilliant. Couldn't she think of anything to say?

He motioned to her cell phone on the coffee table. "I took your number in case I need to reach you."

"I'll send one of my daytime guards to watch over you. The Malcontents are affiliated with the Russian mob, so ye could be in danger during the day."

He glanced at his lap, frowning. "I have to take my kilt to the cleaners." He stood and picked up his sporran from the couch.

Emma's eyes widened. She recalled the long groan that had echoed in her head. "Angus."

Angus arrived in the fifth-floor office of Roman's townhouse and quickly turned off the alarm. He dropped his sporran on the desk and punched the intercom button. "Ian, that was me coming in."

"About time," Ian answered. "'Tis almost dawn. Connor wants to see you."

Angus glanced down at the state of his kilt and winced. "Give me two minutes." He dashed into the bedroom, kicked off his shoes, and pulled off his sweater and kilt. He glared at the stained kilt as he pulled on a pair of jeans. You would think he was sixteen instead of five hundred and twenty-six years old, the way he'd lost control. But he couldn't recall a woman who excited him the way Emma did. Or frustrated him.

It was downright infuriating that she wanted to reject him. His wife had done that centuries ago, but Emma should know better. She was too clever and modern to fall for old superstitious fears. Hell, she was too brave to fall for any fears at all. She was a warrior like him. She was perfect for him. And he wasn't giving up without a fight. Invading her mind tonight had been an act of desperation. But the devil take it, if she was going to reject him, she needed to know exactly what she was giving up.

There was a knock at the office door. "Come in." He strode into the office in his stocking feet, wearing jeans and a white undershirt.

Connor entered. "We need to talk."

"Aye." Connor shut the door. "The birthing room is finished in case Shanna's bairn has... special needs."

"The Vamp doctors are arriving tomorrow night, and the delivery is scheduled for Friday night."

Connor walked toward him. "I'm glad ye called in more security. We could use them with the doctors coming in, but Jack tells me ye have him and Robby guarding Central Park?"

"Aye, to keep the Malcontents from murdering more mortals." Angus checked his e-mail.

Connor remained quiet for a while. "We appear to have a new friend, Dr. Phang?"

Angus smiled as he deleted some junk mail. "His name is Phineas McKinney. How's he fitting in?"

"He seems eager to please. Ian says he did well in his first fencing lesson."

"Good." No message from Mikhail. Angus turned off the computer. "Has the day shift arrived?"

"Phil's here. Howard should arrive any minute now."

"Tell Phil I want him to guard Miss Wallace today." Angus wrote the address of Austin's apartment on a slip of paper.

Connor stepped closer to accept the piece of paper. "Is she in danger?"

"She was with me when I found Phineas. The Russian, Alek, was there, and he recognized her as the slayer."

"Bugger," Connor muttered. "Ye realize Katya is going to believe we were behind the slayings all along, that we've been helping Miss Wallace?"

Connor scowled. "Ye should have sent her away the minute ye discovered who she is."

He paced away, balling his hands into fists. "Is this the real reason Jack and Robby are guarding the park? To keep Miss Wallace from going there?"

"It is the best way to keep her from slaying."

Connor turned to face him. "I gather ye've been using all sorts of persuasive techniques on her."

Angus narrowed his eyes. "Ye're going too far, old friend."

Connor marched toward him. "I fear ye have gone too far. Nothing good can come from this."

Angus slapped a hand on the desk and stood. "Did ye have to leave her knickers in the kitchen where everyone could see them? Why no' leave them here in the office?"

"Ye're thinking of her first."

Connor gave him a sad look. "In yer line of business, that kind of thinking can get ye killed."

"I have sworn to protect her. I willna abandon her now." Angus strode toward the bar and grabbed a bottle of Type O from the fridge. He popped it into the microwave. "Ye want some?"

"Then we are done." Angus poured the synthetic blood into a glass. "Good night."

Connor didn't leave. "I realize ye're the boss, but ye've been like a brother to me, like a father to Ian."

Angus sipped from his glass. He'd been friends with Connor for too many years to stay angry for long. He felt the familiar twinge of guilt whenever Ian's name was mentioned, along with the first tug of sleepiness. The sun must be close to the horizon. "I always appreciate yer honesty, Connor." He looked at his old friend. "Do ye think it was wrong of me to transform Ian so young?"

Connor took a deep breath. "Ian would have died if ye hadna changed him. I think he's happy. As happy as any of us can be." He wandered to the door and paused with a hand on the doorknob. "Do ye love her?"

Angus set his glass down. "Aye, I do."

"Then we will do our best to keep her safe." He glanced at Angus with a sad expression. "To keep ye both safe."

Emma woke about two in the afternoon. After a quick shower, she dressed for the day. With a frown, she surveyed the soggy mountain of towels she'd used to soak up the lake on the bathroom floor. It appeared that today, her dangerous, action-packed life would include a trip to the Laundromat. She bagged up the towels and dragged them to the front door.

She heard voices in the hall, so she peered through the peephole. There was a young man standing by her door. He was tall and muscular, dressed in khaki pants and a navy Polo shirt. Two blond women were talking to him. Good heavens, it was the two bimbos who'd thought Austin was gay. Lindsey and Tina. They were practically accosting the poor man in the hall. There was a thud as he backed up against the door.

Emma jerked the door open. The young man nearly fell in, but regained his balance.

"Poor baby." The taller blonde, Lindsey, grabbed his arm to steady him. "Let me help you."

"I'm fine." He tried to move away, but Lindsey dug her long pink fingernails into his arm.

Tina had pink streaks in her hair, presumably to match her pink mini-skirt and skimpy halter top. She squinted up at Emma. "You must be the celebrity that Phil is guarding."

"Phil?" Emma looked at the young man. Splendid. He was the one who had found her red underwear and given it to Connor.

Lindsey stroked his chest with her fingernails. "It's so awesome that you're a bodyguard. I bet you have like super stamina."

"I know, right?" Tina fluffed up her hair.

Phil gave Emma a hounded look. "Angus sent me to guard you today."

"All day long." Lindsey, dressed in tiny brown shorts and a turquoise cami, snuggled up close to Phil. "When do you get off work? Tina and I live just two doors down."

The shorter one wrinkled her nose while she regarded Emma. "I thought only rich and famous people needed bodyguards. Are you hiding here from the paparazzi?"

Emma shrugged one shoulder. "Something like that."

"Wow." Lindsey let go of Phil and stepped closer to Emma. "I bet you're like... filthy rich."

"And famous," Tina added. "Do I know you?"

Emma exchanged a confused look with Phil. "I don't think so. I don't know you."

Lindsey leaned close to her friend. "Did you hear the way she talks? She sounds kinda funny."

"I know, right?" Tina whispered back. "I don't think English is her native language."

"Excuse me," Emma said. "I'm right here. I can hear you."

Tina began speaking in a loud voice, enunciating her words very carefully. "Hello. My name is Tina. I am pleased to meet you." She curtsied.

"My name is Lindsey." The taller one made a wobbly curtsy. "Welcome to America."

"Thank you." Emma gave Phil a dubious look.

He stepped closer. "Would you mind if I guarded you inside?"

"No, that's fine. Come in." She opened the door wider, and he slipped inside.

"Good-bye, Phil," Lindsey called after him. "Remember to come see us after work."

"Bye." Emma shut the door and flipped the locks.

"Thank you." Phil leaned against the wall and heaved a sigh of relief. "Those women have been pestering me for hours."

"You poor thing." Emma strode into the kitchen, smiling. She retrieved two bottles of water from the fridge and offered him one. "So what's a mortal guy like you doing working for vampires?"

He unscrewed the top off his bottle. "I'm working for the good Vamps, Miss Wallace. I'm honored that they trust me."

She sat at the breakfast table and motioned for him to join her. "How long have you worked for Angus?"

"Six years." Phil sat across from her. "I heard you killed four Malcontents, and now they want to kill you."

She shrugged one shoulder. "They don't know who I am, so I don't think I'm in as much danger as Angus believes. You really don't need to stick around if you don't want to."

"I always follow orders." He drank some water.

"Even with Lindsey and Tina waiting for you?"

He grimaced. "I'd rather face twenty Malcontents than those two dingbats from hell."

Emma laughed. "They are rather scary."

Phil nodded. "I'm supposed to stay by your side until you're safe at work this evening."

"Then you get to help me lug that down to the Laundromat." She pointed at the bulging garbage sack by the door.

Phil spent the rest of the day helping her do the laundry and grocery shopping. Emma shared a pizza with him at the local deli before they took the subway to Midtown. She wanted to ask a ton of questions about Angus and the vampire world, but Phil refused to discuss business in public.

He escorted her to the federal building where she worked. At the door, he handed her a card. "I wrote the number to Roman's townhouse on the back. Call us if you're in trouble."

"Thank you." She examined the card. It looked like the one Angus had given her. On the back, Phil had scribbled a phone number.

"If you call during the day, either Howard or I will answer," Phil continued. "If you call at night, you'll most likely get Ian."

"All right." Emma shook his hand. "It was nice to meet you, Phil. Thanks for helping with the laundry."

"Good night." He waited until she was safely in the building before he left.

The Stake-Out team's seven P.M. meeting dragged on for an hour as Sean tried to come up with a legitimate reason to shut down Romatech Industries. The fact that the company saved millions of human lives each year with their synthetic blood was lost on Sean. After seeing his daughter there, he'd become obsessed with destroying the place.