Immortal Death by Laurel O'Donnell
paranormal vampire romance (approx 80K)
cover art by Valerie Tibbs
Award winner! Winner of the 2010 Indiana Golden Opportunity contest, and fourth place finisher in the 2010 SARA Merritt contest.
Jade Smith's supernaturally fast ability to heal has made her a freak. After years of fearful reactions from others, she stays hidden in the shadows of life. The one thing that keeps her sane is her writing--and her wonderful Demetrius, an imaginary character she created in her online stories. But when Demetrius suddenly appears in her apartment, her life changes forever.
Demetrius Mercer is a fighter vampire for the de Nouviant family who spends his days hunting a rival vampire family for killing his beloved Rosaline. When he learns Jade Smith knows his life story and is publishing it on the Internet for all to see, he must uncover who she is and how she knows so much about his past--before she exposes him and endangers his entire family.
Will Jade's abilities be enough to heal Demetrius's scarred soul, or will he spend eternity alone in anguish?
“You must be in a lot of trouble.”
Jade jumped, spinning, holding her laptop to her chest like a shield, her heart nearly exploding out of her chest.
He stood in the doorway, framed by the lamplight. He leaned his shoulder casually on the doorframe, arms crossed over his chest. A cynical twist curved his lips and lent an air of arrogance to him. His dark hair fell to his shoulders in waves. He was tall, about six feet, well over Jade’s head. His sharp black eyes warned her of danger. A danger she knew. A danger she wrote about.
"Demetrius,” she gasped, stunned.
His brow furrowed and he pushed himself from the doorframe. His hands dropped to his side. “How do you know me?”
Demetrius. How could she not know him? He was the hero in her story! But it couldn’t be. This was madness. The entire night. She didn’t know him. She couldn’t. Oh, how she wanted to believe her Demetrius actually stood in the doorway. She needed a hero right now. The room swam and shook her head to clear it. He wasn’t her Demetrius. It was the mugging, the gunshot, all the blood loss, all the pain fogging her senses.
"Who are you?” he demanded.
"Me?” she managed to croak. She grabbed the lamp from the table and held it before her, still holding her laptop tightly to her chest with her other hand. A silly gesture, but at least if he attacked her, she could get in a good smash to his head with the lamp. “I should ask you the same thing.”
He entered her room, taking a step toward her. “You seem to know me already.”
Jade retreated. Sheer black power emanated from his menacing movement. “What? No. No. I was confused.” She held the lamp out before her. “Don’t come any closer.”
He looked at the lamp and then his eyes slid up to hers like a languid caress. A tingle raced through her body. Those eyes, they were mesmerizing. She shook her head slightly. It must be the loss of blood creating these outrageous thoughts and feelings. “What are you doing in my apartment? Was that you following me?”
He straightened. “Was someone following you?”
"I think so. I don’t know! Stop playing games. Just leave!”
He stood absolutely still for a long moment. His gaze met hers and she could feel him all around her, powerful, dominating, and very sensual. This was madness.
"It’s nothing,” she snapped quickly. She shook the lamp as if it were a weapon of importance. “I want you to leave, now.”
He took a step closer.
Jade brought the lamp up, but the electrical cord pulled taut and she couldn’t quite position it before her.
"I am here for answers, Jade.”
She gasped. “How do you know my name?”
"How do you know mine?”
Jade opened her mouth to answer, but her answer was impossible. He was just a fictional character. He was her hero in a story she made up. But it was him. He stood before her as surely as if he materialized from her written words.
"You posted some chapters to the Internet and left your name,” he said.
Oh, his voice was so soft. It did explain how he knew her name. Surfing the Internet. But it didn’t explain how he knew where she lived. She kept the lamp between them. “Are you following me?”
"What do you want?” she demanded.
"Where did you hear that story?”
"Hear? I made it up.”
He took a dangerous step toward her. “How do you know me?”
Oh God, he was some kind of lunatic. And she must be just as mad, because for a moment she had believed him. “If you leave now, I won’t call the police.”
"What else do you know?”
Jade took another step away from him. She had to get to the door and escape.
Suddenly, he stiffened. His head tilted to the side, and his long, black hair fell over his shoulder. He moved without her seeing him, snatching the lamp from her hand and turning it off.
"I’ll scream,” she promised, backing away until the wall came up behind her. “I swear.”
He was before her, a dark silhouette, tall, powerful. “You are one of them,” he whispered, his voice coming out in a growl.
Jade lunged toward the door, but he caught her wrist in a crushing hold.
"Where did you hear that story?” he demanded.
"I told you,” she insisted, tugging at her wrist.
He pulled her close to him. “I don’t believe you,” he growled. He looked at the door. “We have to go. Now. There is someone else in your apartment.”