Alex Gibbs, a new vampire -- suicidal, strung out, and blood hungry -- goes hunting at a Kansas City club known for its paranormal tolerance. Gorgeous werewolf Rafir Caras, an ex-Army Ranger who works security at the club, instantly feels drawn to Alex. The young vampire feels like "pack." Instead of killing Alex, Rafir takes him home to save him.
Rafir's plan has one major roadblock -- his lover and only other pack member, Julia Deihl. Julia had been sold into slavery to a European master vampire when she was a teenager. Twenty years later and ten years free, she hates vampires, and has vowed she will never be a blood-monkey for any of them ever again.
Alex wishes he could end it all, Rafir is determined to rescue him, while Julia is hell-bent on seeing to his demise. The three of them together are volatile, unpredictable, and erotically charged -- a sexy combination with the potential to heal the wounds of their pasts and present.
Dying Room Only
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2012 Reneé George
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For Alex Gibbs, the intoxicating energy of Corazon de la Muerte -- an exclusive vampire club in downtown Kansas City -- sang like Chef Bobby Flay ringing the dinner bell. He'd staggered in, ragged and beastly, sick with blood hunger. A redhead stood at the hostess podium inside the front door. The woman wore latex and leather -- a combo of hot pink and midnight blue. Her expression mimicked her hairstyle, tightly bound and severe. A man, large, nearly seven feet tall, blond and imposing, walked up behind her and squeezed her shoulders.
"Nadine, when you get a chance, Gui wants to see you in the back."
The hostess nodded, gave the blond man a wink, then stamped Alex's hand, giving him a wry look when he passed through the blacked out interior glass doors.
Strobe lights flashed, making everyone and everything in the club a staccato mimicry of real life. He watched the pulsing blue lights as they matched the equally fast beat of the hard driven techno music. The scent of sweet booze, sweaty bodies, and raging hormones wove around the room like strands of a spider's silk. It tethered the dozens of bodies littering the floor, along with the erotic acts cages and bar and barstools, connecting them all in a unique collective. Alex inhaled deeply.
A voluptuous brunette, human for sure, drew his attention. He watched her get up from the bar and follow a vampire, decked out in full-on black latex, including a partial mask, into one of the back rooms. Alex sat on the barstool before anyone beat him to it. It didn't take long to become acutely aware of several people staring at him. His disheveled and slightly dirty appearance attracted unwanted attention.
A striking man, dark hair, brown eyes, deeply tanned skin, sat down beside him. His face had both sharp and soft edges -- a straight Roman nose, angular narrow jawline, prominent cheekbones, and full lips. Warmth radiated from him like an electric heater -- at least ten degrees hotter than the normal human temperature. The man swiveled to face him.
The tone of his low voice held a slight timbre. "Stay out of trouble, pup." He got up and walked away from Alex to a corner in the back. The man leaned against the wall, crossed his arms -- his biceps bulging with the small effort -- and cast one last glance at Alex before scanning the room.
Alex shook his head, wondering who in the hell, and what in the hell the guy was. He certainly didn't read human.
"What are you looking for tonight?" A dark-haired girl, around Alex's age, maybe twenty or twenty-one, sidled up next to him, her breasts brushing against his arm. She leaned in close and turned her neck up to him slightly. "I have what you need, baby."
Alex wanted to drain her, to empty her until every drop of blood in her veins flowed into his. The man across the room was still staring. Alex gestured toward him and asked the girl, "Who is that?"
"Oh, honey. You are barking up the wrong tree there." She laughed. "Get it? Barking! He's a werewolf." She laughed even more. "Besides, I'm a tasty treat. Trust me, darling."
To emphasize her point, she placed her fingers on his lips, then slid a tip into his mouth. His fang dropped down and punctured her fragile human skin. Smiling, she pulled her finger out from between his lips and placed it in her mouth and sucked. "Let's go somewhere private."
Alex didn't fight the urge. He couldn't. He'd stopped being in charge when he'd chosen to try once again to deny his vampire. Between the blood hunger and the stomach cramps, he couldn't put off his need any longer. He followed his willing victim to the back of the club, out a service entrance, and into a deserted alleyway.
* * *
Rafir Caras stood back and watched the young vampire. The werewolf had been working security for Guillermo Diaz, the club's owner, for nearly eight years. He'd learned to recognize trouble when he saw it sit down on a barstool, and this vampire was trouble. His dirty, disheveled appearance hadn't been what put Rafir onto the boy. There were several of the vamps in the city who liked to play homeless. People went out of their way to avoid eye contact with the street people.
The kid had been in his early twenties when he had died. No telling how old he was in vampire years, but Rafir figured him to be fairly new to the game. He had sandy brown hair, shaggy, just below the ears. Up close, his eyes had been a startling hazel-green with rust and gold flecks. He had the sharp lines of an athlete. Probably an All-American type. The idea made Rafir wonder how the young man had managed to get himself in this situation.
Who knew with vampires; sometimes they were willing, sometimes victims. This boy definitely felt like "victim."
Rafir watched as Sue Strattman picked up the kid. The brunette vampire-junkie was probably biting off more than she could chew with the young man. He was hungry, and not just in a "daily feed" kind of way. He smelled sick and strung out.
No, it was something else about the kid. He clenched like a heroin addict jonesing for a fix. Rafir was under strict orders not to interfere with vampire business though, unless one of the bloodsuckers stepped over the line from player to killer.
This boy had a look that said the line was a big ol' wallflower who wouldn't get asked to dance. He'd given him fair warning, but his kind of vamp -- the desperate kind -- never listened.
* * *
The blood surge tongue-fucked Alex inside out. In biology class, he'd learned the human body circulates blood through the entire vascular system in about a minute -- which is how long it took the richly oxygenated blood in the girl's system to turn brass and thick, not as tasty, but still delicious. Alex wanted to stop, but his beast wouldn't let him. It was starved, and it didn't like being starved. This was Alex's punishment for denying the monster inside him. It would take and take until there was nothing left of its victim. She would be a hollow husk. An empty meat sack.
The gush of the girl's life-force rushed wildly through Alex's veins. His body tingled with the sheer pleasure of her body going limp in his arms. He held her tightly as her skin turned pale, while his flushed pink. Slowly he returned to the forefront of his consciousness -- the vampire, satiated, relinquishing control.
He looked down at the dying girl in his grasp as he pulled away from her neck. Not a drop of blood ran down his chin. His vampire was efficient if nothing else. The girl's head lolled to the left, and the smile on her face, even as the last breath left her lungs, told him that his vampire, in the very least, had not been cruel.
"Son of a bitch!"
Alex heard the cry about the same time as he felt the smack against his head. He dropped the girl and staggered sideways toward the Dumpster.
"I'm sorry," he whispered, not bothering to fight back when another blow drove him to his knees.
He blinked up and saw the werewolf from inside the club. It seemed fitting. A monster to kill a monster. The man held up a bludgeon of some kind and smacked Alex again, connecting with his shoulder, then his jaw. It brought him down onto the pitted concrete. His cheek pressed into a small puddle of water left over from an early rain.
The guy dropped the club and stared down at Alex. "What's wrong with you?" he yelled. "You have a fucking death wish?"
"Yeah, I kind of do," Alex mumbled. "She's not the first I've killed. I deserve death." He gazed at the man through his puffy eyelids. "Kill me."
Unexpectedly, the man sat on the ground next to him and pulled Alex's head onto his lap. He smoothed his hair. "Someone did a real number on you. Huh, kid?"
Alex turned his upper body to face him. He could feel his injuries already healing, in large part to the fresh feeding. The warmth of the man radiated even through the fabric of his jeans. The heat made Alex feel nearly human again, as if he wasn't a cold, dead thing. He licked his lips, the girl's blood still fresh in his mouth. "You're not going to kill me?"
"Don't be disappointed." He caressed Alex's cheek. "I still might."
Alex's cock grew semi-hard, partly due to the fresh blood in his system, but mostly due to this man's kindness. "Who are you?"
"Just a dude."
The off the cuff reply wasn't what Alex expected.
"I'm Rafir," he answered, as if saying his name said it all.
"Alex," he replied back, snuggling his face against Rafir's groin, rubbing his cheek along the densely zippered cloth. He felt the man's cock grow large beneath the fabric. Now that his vampire had been fed, he was a mixture of ashamed, content, and horny. A wicked combination, Alex thought, considering Rafir might pummel him to death.
"Stop," Rafir said.
Alex snaked a hand between his face and Rafir's groin. He squeezed the growing bulge. "Make me."
Rafir snatched Alex's hand, a firm grip serving as an anchor on reality for the young vampire. "Stop."
Alex pursed his lips, then relaxed them. He developed a plan of action, a way to permanently put an end to his uncensored desires. "Kill me. Put me out of my misery. Then I'll stop." He pushed his palm against the outline of Rafir's bulging shaft. "Kill me," Alex whispered.