Royce immediately tensed at the name. Crowne? He's here? What the hell is he doing here? He could feel his heart start to race. The rapid thump-thump-thump blasting in his ears, he didn't hear anything but the hard click of the door as he closed it. How the hell had he not caught the vampire's scent?
You're getting soft. Living with humans will do that to you, snickered a voice in the back of his head.
His hand tightened on the handle of the door. Could that happen? Could he be losing his edge? He had always been able to know when that bastard was getting close. And the vampire wasn't just in town. He had gone to where they lived, talked with ... Charlie. Royce's mind began to race. What was it that Charlie had just said? Crowne had told her was a family friend. What else had he told her? That know-it-all jerk. He was always putting his nose where it didn't belong. But why was he here now? Royce was sure that they had settled things the last time. Was Crowne here because of some kind of unfinished business?
His stomach boiled with nervous dread. And not just for him. For Charlie too. He turned from the door and dropped his hand to his side, fighting the urge to ball them into fists. Quickly, he gave her a look-over. Aside from her face still flushed from her hurry on over, she didn't appear frightened or hurt. But Crowne sometimes left marks where no one could see. The sneaky bastard had a thing for messing with people's minds. He was nothing but a liar. You just didn't know the guy was lying because he mixed in the truth with the lies and you'd be spinning in circles before you figured out what was really going on.
"What did he say to you? Did he touch you?" But Royce didn't wait for answers. "Charlie, you can't trust anything he says!" He lifted his arm and cut it through the air on the word 'anything' for emphasis.