High Stakes (Vegas Vampires #1) by Erin McCarthy
Dental hygiene was important to a vampire.
Or at least to Ethan Carrick, who had been born before the bubonic plague, when simply having teeth in adulthood was considered an achievement.
Since his human death and rebirth nine hundred years ago, his teeth and body continually rejuvenated themselves, and he wasn't exactly in danger of gingivitis. But he liked the clean, silky feeling of his teeth after they'd been polished, and the crisp minty smell of professional toothpaste.
He smiled at the perky dentist as she strolled into the room. "Am I going to live?"
She laughed, her sleek, dark hair bouncing on her shoulders."For now. But I wish you'd let me take some x-rays. It's a little challenging to see cavities with the naked eye sometimes."
But not difficult to view vampire fangs on an x-ray film.He'd pass. "I'm sorry, but I have an irrational fear of radiation. I just can't do it without falling out of this chair in a total panic attack." He capped this off with a smooth smile, reclining comfortably in the squeaky, hard dental chair.
She cocked her head to the side and smiled back. "You're teasing me."
It was true. And he was flirting with her, because this woman was exactly the type he'd been searching for?sweet, pleasant, intelligent, but very feminine, very pliable.Innocent.
A quick shift through her mind showed nothing but rainbows and puppies, cotton candy and baby cheeks.Such a cheerful and refreshing change from so many modern women, whose minds raged like warriors, and whose rampant aggressiveness turned Ethan off.
No, Dr. Brittany Baldizzi was exactly the kind of woman he'd been looking for. His campaign manager would seek to find some flaw in her, a smear in her background, and it would all be shot to hell, but for now, Ethan felt cautiously optimistic.
"I am teasing you. But I'm still not getting x-rays. Now don't leave me in suspense?tell me if I have to revisit this torture chamber again within the next six months or if I get to join the Cavity-Free Club." He pointed to the wall of honor, which boasted Polaroid pictures of gap-toothed children grinning in pride.
She leaned against the sink and folded her arms across her chest. Her scrubs were too bulky for Ethan to get an accurate per ception of her figure, but she had a pleasing, bouncy walk, and a fresh, shampoo smell.
"You don't have any cavities."
"See? I told my mother it didn't matter if I ate all those sweets and never brushed." Ethan sat up in the chair and ripped off the little bib with the metal clip. "I believe this is yours?"
Dr. Baldizzi took it, her hands still in latex gloves, and pitched it into the metal garbage container. "You're kind of funny, you know that?"
Charmingwas the adjective he preferred, but it was a start. He probed her mind a little deeper, looking for clues to what she liked, how he might seduce her.
Then he sensed it. It was buried deep, almost undetected, but there it was.
Lazy teasing was forgotten. His eyes sharpened, muscles tensed, mind scanned and processed.
Well, this was an interesting twist.
Time to speed things up a bit.
"You'll have dinner with me tonight." It wasn't a question. And he knew what her answer would be because he was guiding her to give the right one.
Brittany stared at him, her smile drifting off into confusion. "Yes, yes, of course I will. I'll have dinner with you tonight."
"And you're going to pack an overnight bag so you can spend the night."
Not that Ethan was going to sleep with her?he really wasn't interested in her sexually?but he wanted her in his hotel, The Ava under his watch, while he discussed with Seamus the new lit- tlerevelation he'd just uncovered.
Glassy-eyed and a little droopy, his dentist nodded. "Okay. I'll pack a bag so I can spend the night."
Ethan stood up and removed his file chart from her hands and tucked it under his arm. He smiled and gave her warm fingers a squeeze. "Perfect."