Chapter 12

Selena leaned back against the fibreglass hull of the boat as it gently rocked back in forth against the waves. The sun was setting over Tampa Bay, a beautiful sight, even in the eyes of a two hundred and some year old vampire. Mike sat at the tiller lazily navigating the boat into the realm of nowhere. He was having trouble keeping his eyes off of Selena. She looked so peaceful reclining against the starboard bow, face illuminated by pink and orange rays of the setting sun, raven hair fluttering lightly in the breeze. Her eyes had a distant look to them. Almost as though something were troubling her.
At that very moment she looked so young and vulnerable yet ancient at the same time. Like she held the wisdom of someone much older than she. He shook his head. Now was not the time to be falling in love with her. He had to figure out a way to gain her trust in order to get her to divulge valuable information about herself that may lead him to Krissy Dupont and Marianne Salas. Mike immediately felt terrible. She was a young woman for Chrissake! An extraordinary young woman, and a beautiful one. No one had any proof that she was a criminal.
In that moment, Selena snapped back into reality and realized that Mike was staring at her. She smiled at him but he didn't seem to notice. So rather than embarrass him by calling attention to his obviously amorous stare, she cleared her throat and asked him what was on his mind.
Captivated by her sapphire eyes burning into him he was helpless and compelled to tell her exactly what he had been thinking. Before reason and logic could once again take control of his mind he blurted, "you."
Selena was taken aback. She sensed that Mike's feelings for her went beyond those of friendship but she hadn't expected him to come right out and say it. At least not right away. Also what surprised her was the fact that she shared those feelings. Mortal or no mortal, he was indeed intriguing. Not only was he more charismatic, handsome and intelligent than most others of his kind, there was something different about him that drew Selena to him. He seemed somehow familiar to her. Something about his eyes and the way he could see right through her.
The moment seemed surreal as Mike brushed Selena's jet black tendrils back from her face and leaned in to kiss her. Just as their lips were about to touch a shrill ringing sound pierced the air, causing them both to jump.
Mike cursed himself for not turning his cell phone off before they left the sailing centre or better yet, leaving it in his hotel room. He answered it with a note of irritation in his voice.
"Hello Agent O' Hearn this is Nguyen calling to see how things are doing. Have you managed to dig up any important information on Selena yet?"
"Hi Dad," Mike replied hoping Nguyen would get the message. "I'm still here in St. Pete. Don't worry everything's fine."
Luckily he caught on, "So you're with her right now I take it."
"Yeah," Mike said, trying to sound casual. He glanced over at Selena who was gazing at him intently. "I'm having a good time," he added just for the sake of being convincing.
"I hope you're not playing around too much Agent O' Hearn. You know how important it is that we find those two girls and Selena was the last to see them alive. Ask questions! I trust you with this mission, please don't make a fool of me."
"Alright, alright I wont," he said trying to conceal his exasperation from both Nguyen and Selena.
After they hung up, Selena crossed her arms over her chest and narrowed her eyes angrily at Mike. "I hope you didn't expect to successfully trick me into believing that that was your father on the phone Michael O' Hearn. Because I am no such fool. I heard the entire conversation. Do you really want to know about my past Agent O' Hearn? Do you really want to know what happened to those two girls? Let me tell you something, Michael. You and your friends at the FBI headquarters have no idea what you are getting yourselves into if you pursue this case. I made the mistake of thinking that you cared for me and I let myself care for you very much. I still do. That is why I am giving you the chance to turn back. Go back to Nguyen and tell him that you are very sorry but you can no longer work on this case."
Mike interrupted Selena, "But this is my first field case! If I fail it will ruin my chance of ever becoming a top FBI agent. I'll lose my job! Nguyen will fire me! And what about you, Selena? My feelings for you are not made up. I really do care about you. In fact," he hesitated, " I think I'm in love with you."
. "You're crazy!" Selena exclaimed. Then it hit her that he may not understand the enormity of the situation. If he found out about her being a vampire she would have two choices. To either turn him into a creature of the night like herself or to kill him. The first option was out because she had long forgotten how to make another of her kind. But she did love him. It was insane but she, the vampiress Selena, loved this mortal man whom shed known but a week more than she'd ever loved anyone. In that moment she leaned in close to him, drawing him in with her eyes. "Ask yourself this, Mike. Is your job worth your life? Am I worth your life? That's the price you will have to pay if you don't leave St. Petersburg immediately and forget all about your mission and most importantly about me!"
Mike swallowed and thought for a moment. What could a young woman of her age possibly be involved with that was so dangerous and secretive that even the FBI would be foolish to try and contend with it. "I can't answer that Selena but I do ask that you confide in me. All I know is there is something about you that has had me enthralled with you from the very first time I spoke to you. You're so young yet you carry yourself with such wisdom and confidence. Not only that but you're so strong not just physically but mentally as well. And never in my life have I ever seen such entrancing beauty. Its almost like you can put me in a trance with your eyes."
Selena laughed heartily for the power to mesmerize mortals with the eyes was one of the many advantages to being a vampire. Usually this power was used to spellbind prey but it could be used for seduction and many other purposes. She had to admit he could read her like a book.
He continued, "You're no criminal. But you are hiding something. Please tell me Selena. Confide in me not as a federal agent but as a friend."
Selena crossed her legs and raised an eyebrow. "That's all you consider me as is your friend?"
Mike blushed. "Did you want me to consider you as more than that?"
Selena met his gaze and reached her hand out to cup his chin. "What if I did?"
He leaned closer to her, pulled her into his arms and kissed her softly at first and then more forcefully. Eventually she broke the kiss and gazed into his eyes. They were as green as the hills of Ireland and held a certain warmth and adoration in them when he looked her way. A warmth and adoration that she recognized from somewhere but could not to save her immortal life remember where.
Realizing that it had gotten completely dark, Mike glanced at his watch. "Damn!" he muttered. "It's almost eight forty five and I told Dan I'd have the boat back by nine." Without further conversation, the two managed to turn the boat around and head back towards the city.

"Are you sure this is the right place, Jimmy?" Simon asked his partner, exhausted after three hours of searching the hotel top to bottom for Selena.
"Yes I'm sure!" a cranky and just as exhausted Jimmy snapped. "M6 confirmed that she was staying here, he's never let us down before so that must mean she's here somewhere."
"I have an idea." Said Simon.
"Now that's a scary thought," cracked Jimmy.
Ignoring his partners wisecrack Simon continued, "I think we should wait outside on the mezzanine that overlooks the entrance and watch for her to come in. Then we discreetly follow her to see where she goes and then we go back to our room, get all our weapons and go and get her."
Jimmy scratched his chin and thought for a moment, "We'll have to sneak up on her. M6 said that she has the strength of more than ten men and the reflexes of a cat."
"That's where the tear gas comes in," said Simon. "We'll let off a tear gas canister in her room and while she's disoriented we'll shoot her with a tranquilizer dart."
Jimmy smiled at his partner. "Simon, for the first time since we began this mission I'm inclined to say that you are a genius!"