Betty Banks has made a living as a purchasing agent for New York City's vampires. Artificial blood. Sunscreen. Chocolate? Yes, because all of the vamps in Betty's world are women, fighting a bloodlust that hits them in their childbearing years. They're not immortal yet, but Dee Villa, a powerful vampire, hopes to soon make that legend a reality. Under her influence, Betty's clients are taking to the streets, looking for fresh victims. Helping Dee is Betty's grifter father, who sees the Back-to-Nature movement as the perfect con.
Gabe Mercer, a childhood victim of the bloodlust, is a cold, calculating slayer. He's in town to take out Dee, a threat to the peace the government likes to keep. When he crosses paths with Betty, fireworks erupt. Soon, he's embroiled in a fight to save her business, but to do so, he must first confront his past.
She stopped him. Halted the kiss he was about to force on her. With a surprising agility, she balked and pulled away. Her eyes flashing, she held out her hand. “Stop manipulating me.”
Gabe blinked. “What?”
“Manipulating me.” She backed up a step. Her gaze searched for the gun, but it lay on the sofa, and he stood in the way. “Every time I’m near you, the room spins, worlds collide, and cats and dogs live in harmony. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear you were casting a spell. A hot-for-your-body, leave-all-reason-behind spell. Are you witch as well as slayer?”
“Do you believe in witches?”
“I didn’t believe in vampires until ten years ago, so I’m not ruling out the possibility. Witches. Warlocks. Wizards, for that matter. I swear you’ve got some serious mojo, voodoo stuff going on.”
Gabe held up his hands. “Nothing up my sleeves.”
“It’s not your sleeves I’m worried about.” Her voice turned husky. Her gaze slid from the buttons on his shirt to the gun on the sofa to the outside door, but never rose to meet his eyes.
“You’ve got every reason to be worried.” He wouldn’t allow her to step outside of the script he’d written. If the only way to get under her skin was to increase the sexual tension between them, he’d use it as a weapon, wielding it with precision. He stepped forward, intent on frightening her more. “I’m a dangerous man.”
“Zeke,” she protested, a slight tremor in her voice, so faint he almost missed it. “Gabe.”
“I like Zeke better, Lizzie.” He lifted her braid and wrapped it around his wrist, tugging her toward him even as he advanced. She stepped back and bumped against the wall. An involuntary gasp escaped. He pressed against her, taking advantage of her confusion.
“Tell me what you really think of vamps. Why do you serve them? How far would you go for them?”
“They’re no different than us,” she answered his first question, no betrayal of emotion on her face, finally gaining control on what she showed him.