But another part of him longed to see her. She had every right to be angry. He'd transformed her against her will. If she needed money so she could take time off to recover from the trauma he'd caused, he could understand that. In fact, he'd give her enough to make sure she never wanted for anything. He just wanted her to return to a normal, happy, mortal life.
"Miss Wallace and her solicitor are in the conference room." Beckworth relaxed in the chair behind his desk. "First, I wanted to catch you up to speed, old chap. The good news is they want to settle out of court."
"Of course they do." Angus sat in a wingback chair facing Beckworth. Richard had been his solicitor for the past hundred and seventy-five years. "She can hardly walk into a mortal courtroom and claim that I killed her. Even though I did."
Beckworth winced. "Don't admit to any wrongdoing in their presence. It was also a brilliant move on your part to get rid of your harem last week."
"What was brilliant about it? It cost me a bloody fortune." Angus had inherited five Vamp women when he became the British coven master in 1950. He'd ignored them for years. They were stashed away in his castle in Scotland, and Beckworth handled their monthly allowance.
After this ordeal with Emma, Angus had wanted to return to his castle, but he didn't want the harem there. Beckworth had drawn up the necessary papers to set them free. Unfortunately, the price of their freedom had been high. Angus had agreed to buy them a townhouse in London and pay support for ten years.
Beckworth shook his head. "Imagine how upset Miss Wallace would be if your harem was still intact."
Angus swallowed hard. "Does she know about them?"
Beckworth snorted. "Of course. Her solicitor was eager to add the harem to her list of grievances, accusing you of polygamy."
"Bloody hell. I was never married to them."
Beckworth shrugged. "Common-law marriage. The point is moot, though, since you've already legally separated from them. Her solicitor will make a stink of it, but don't worry, their case is weak."
"Richard, I doona mind paying damages. How much has she asked for?"
Beckworth winced. "That's the bad news, old chap. She doesn't want money. She - she's asking for controlling interest in MacKay Security and Investigation."
"What?" Angus leaped to his feet. "She wants my business?"
"Not entirely. Just fifty-one percent."
"She canna have it!" Angus paced across the office. "Why would she ask such a thing?" The answer dawned on him immediately. That clever vixen. She knew exactly how to inflict the sharpest wound. His business was the closest thing to his heart, other than her.
"The obvious reason is revenge, but there could be more to this request." Beckworth steepled his fingertips as he considered. "Perhaps she feels insecure about making a living for the rest of eternity. This move would certainly give her long-term job security."
Angus snorted. "I would have gladly given her a job. And a damned good salary."
Beckworth frowned. "If this goes through, she'll be giving you a job."
Angus scowled at the carpet as he paced. "I'll offer thirty percent." That might be a good idea, actually. If he could keep her working alongside him, perhaps her anger would dissipate in time, and she would learn to love him again. "She can have up to forty-nine percent, but no more."
Beckworth's eyes widened. "Are you serious? Your company's worth a fortune."
Angus shrugged. His mission of protecting the innocent and tracking down murderous vampires had always been more important than the money. He had very few needs, other than bottled blood and a safe place to sleep. "I need to take care of her."
"You're in love with her, aren't you?"
There was a hint of a smile before Beckworth schooled his features. "Go on to the conference room. I'll be there as soon as I get some papers together."
Angus took a deep breath. It was time to see Emma.
Emma fidgeted in her chair. What was taking so long? Her stomach was in knots and her heart was pounding. What if Angus was furious? What if he thought she was attacking him? Shame on him for driving her to such drastic measures. She jumped at the sound of footsteps outside the door. Angus was coming. She stood.
The door opened. Her breath hitched when he entered. His face was slanted downward, so she couldn't see his expression. He turned to shut the door.
He was wearing the familiar blue and green plaid kilt. Her heart ached with longing. He turned to face her. His green eyes widened.
Oh God, he looked pale and thin. Wasn't he eating right?
He gazed around the room. "Where's yer solicitor?"
"I asked him to leave for a moment." For the whole night, actually.
Angus stepped toward her. "Ye're looking well."
"Thank you." He didn't seem very angry. "I thought we should talk."
He frowned. "I doona think that is wise without our solicitors present."
"I really don't want to involve them."
Angus snorted. "Then ye shouldna have sued me. Do ye hate me so much?"
She folded her arms across her chest. "Why didn't you tell me about your harem? You told me all kinds of stories about your past, but you conveniently left them out."
"There was nothing to tell. I inherited them like ye would an automobile."
"And you never took them for a test drive?"
Emma's mouth fell open. "You didn't? Not even... around the block?"
"Nay." He glowered at her. "I wasna interested in them. I wanted the job of British coven master. 'Tis an honor, and I was proud to be the first Scotsman to hold the position."
"And they never tried to seduce you? Are those women crazy?"
"Enough with the harem," he growled. "They're gone."
"I know, but surely they were... attracted to you."
His mouth twitched. "They thought I was a barbarian."
"What silly women." Emma stepped toward him.
"Aye." He gave her a wary look. "I suppose ye want to rant at me now."
"A little. I suffered through the most traumatic event of my life, and you didn't stay with me. You left me in a stranger's house, and you wouldn't answer any of my calls."
He grimaced. "I know ye hate me. I know what I did was unforgivable." He squared his shoulders. "So I'm willing to give ye forty-nine percent of MacKay Security and Investigation."
He gritted his teeth. "I know ye want fifty-one, but that's no' reasonable. That's revenge."
"I don't want revenge. I don't want you to suffer at all."
He gave her an incredulous look. "Then why are ye doing this?"
Idiot! She wanted to strangle him. "Did you give me any choice, Angus? I tried and tried to talk to you, but this was the only way I could get your attention!"
"Fine, ye have my undivided attention. Feel free to rail at me for destroying yer life and causing ye so much pain and misery."
"The only pain you caused me was your neglect."
He snorted. "I overfed on you and left ye too weak to defend yerself. And then, when ye were injured and dying because of me, I killed you."
Her breath hitched. Now she understood. He'd left not because he was rejecting her, but because he was overwhelmed with guilt and shame. And that could only mean that he still loved her. There was still hope.
She took a deep breath. All the things she had planned to say flew from her mind. "I... missed you."
"I missed ye, too." He watched her warily. "Why did ye no' go to Roman to be changed back?"
She wandered down the table to the window. "I decided I liked being... undead. I can kick major ass now." And I could be with you.
"Ye would give up being mortal to become a creature ye hate?"
"I don't hate all vampires." She gazed out the window at the lights of the city. "And all the people I love are already dead." Including you.
"Then why are ye suing me?"
She turned to face him. "I never wanted to sue you. This was all just a ploy to force you to talk to me."
His mouth dropped open. "Then... ye want nothing from me?"
She walked down the length of the table, skimming her hand along the tops of the chairs. "Actually, I do want a few things."
"I want the harem completely out of your life."
He shrugged. "They were never in it. Ye shouldna let them concern you."
"Well, they do." She reached the end of the table. "You see, I want you legally free in case you decide to marry." She slanted him a nervous glance. "That was what you call a strong hint."
She winced. "Okay. Not a very well-received hint."
"No, Angus. I want you. I love you. Even when I was throwing up, I loved you." She winced inwardly. That was not the romantic confession she had practiced the night before. Fortunately, he appeared too dumbfounded to notice.
She stepped toward him. "I'm glad you're the one who changed me. Do you know why?"
Her eyes welled with tears. "Because you had already changed me on the inside. You taught me the true meaning of love. Love doesn't please itself by seeking revenge. Love sacrifices itself for the good of others." A tear rolled down her cheek as she drew closer. "That's what you did, Angus. You gave up all hope for peace and happiness in order to save me."
His eyes glimmered with moisture. "I love you, Emma. I feared ye could never forgive me."
"Forgive what?" Another tear slipped down her cheek. "You did me no wrong."
"I fed from you to save myself. And it left ye too weak to defend yerself."
"I gave myself willingly. I couldn't bear the thought of living without you."
"Oh, Emma." He wiped a tear from her face and looked at the pink stain on his finger. "Look what I've done to you."
"I know." She grabbed his hand and kissed it. "Look at me. I'm stronger and wiser because of you. I used to live for revenge and hate, but now I want to live for love."
His breath caught as a tear tumbled down his face. "I should have listened to Roman. He was right."
"What did he say?"
Angus cradled her face in his hands. "He said all things are possible with love." He kissed her brow. "I'm still having trouble forgiving myself."
"Don't worry." She skimmed her hand down his kilt. "I think I can help you feel much better."
He smiled. "In that case... " He lowered himself onto one knee. "I should ask ye to marry me."
She fell to her knees in front of him. "Yes, you should."
"Yes." She wrapped her arms around his neck. "And we have to live happily ever after. That's part of the contract."
His smile widened. "I just happen to have a solicitor nearby. We could have it put into writing."
"Your word is good enough for me." Emma glanced to the side. "Right now, I can think of a better use for that conference table."
Angus's eyebrows rose. "Och, ye're a clever lass." He scrambled to his feet. "I'll lock the door."
Emma wandered to the window and smiled at the city lights and starry sky. The night was her life now. And she had an eternity of nights to spend with the man she loved. She closed the blinds as she felt his arms circle her waist.
She leaned back against his sturdy chest. "Forever and a night."
"Thank you for coming." Shanna gave Emma a hug.
"No problem." Emma smiled. "You know we would do anything for our godson." She and Angus had been thrilled when they were asked to be godparents. It was the closest they could ever come to being real parents.
Angus stood by the crib in the nursery at Romatech, studying the sleeping child. "He's verra special."
"Of course he is." Shanna's glowing smile faded a bit. "I just hope my dad agrees."
"I'm sure he will." Emma tried to be encouraging, but she had her doubts. Sean Whelan was supposed to arrive any minute now to meet his grandson for the first time.
Shanna had made the arrangements a week ago and was so nervous that Emma had agreed to come for moral support. She knew how volatile Sean could be. He'd cursed and ranted when she'd turned in her resignation. He'd demanded to know why. She'd told him that she was homesick and moving back to Scotland. As furious as he was, she hadn't dared tell him she was marrying the coven master of British vampires. Or that she had become a vampire herself.
"He's awake." Angus grinned as he playfully tugged on the baby's toes.
"He adores you, Angus." Shanna approached the crib.
"Aye." Angus picked up the chubby baby. "How are ye, lad?"