Shifting Winds by Lex Valentine
Pink Petal Books Presents Dragons
Tales of the Darkworld Book 1
genre: erotic paranormal romance
Cover Art by Winterheart Design
Vampire Elysia Granville gets more than she bargained for when she attends the Undertaker's Ball on Halloween. She's looking for a one night stand, but the man she chooses is Declan Antaeus, a home and hearth black dragon who has had a secret crush on her for years. Can the powerful dragon make the commitment shy vampire extend one night into forever?
She stood, a few feet from the door, wondering why she’d let Marius talk her into this event. He’d been far more insistent than usual and she just got tired of telling him no. She’d been fighting off the onslaught of sexual tension for about as long as Marius had been bugging her to go to this event so she figured that maybe she could kill two birds with one stone and find someone to ease her stress.
Her eyes flicked around the room and landed on a Robin Hood. She recognized him as Roy Salinger, owner of a company that made embalming tables. Newly divorced, about her age, and a vampire like herself, Roy in green tights wasn’t nearly as appealing as in jeans and a polo shirt. She figured it must be the skinny little bird legs. Tights were a tough costume to pull off. Roy hadn’t managed it and she felt a little sorry for him.
Over by the bar, a swarthy Batman did manage to pull off tights. He had nicely muscled legs, a tight ass, a great package, rock hard abs… and a boyfriend dressed as Robin clinging to his arm. Elysia bit back a sigh. Bi-sexual Nestor Garcia had hit on her before, in the years before she’d become engaged to Austin. These days though, his little boyfriend, a cemetery broker named Josh Lloyd, kept him from touching women. Apparently, Josh was all woman… and man. At least enough of each to keep Nestor and his famous Roman hands in line.
Speaking of Romans, Elysia spied some nicely tanned, muscular thighs in a short white toga near the champagne fountain. Brian Dumont, a werewolf on the management team at Antaeus International, stood beside a woman in a pink tutu. As she watched them, trying to remember Brian’s marital status, a tall man in a black robe walked up to them and handed the woman a drink. Easily six foot five, the man towered over everyone in the room. The hood of his Grim Reaper robes obscured his face and from the glint of light on its blade, he held a real scythe.
Elysia’s heart began to pound. Only one man stood that tall—Declan Antaeus, one of the Antaeus brothers who owned Antaeus International, the biggest conglomerate in the Darkworld’s death care industry.
Her attention caught by the black robed figured, she tensed when he turned. Their eyes met. Even across the crowded room, she could see how his gaze flared with heat. As she watched, he cut a path through the crowd toward her, his long fingered hand clutching the scythe. Her stomach clenched and she wondered if everything about him was big…
His voice rumbled quietly from the depths of his wide chest. She looked up into his amber eyes and found them to be two golden flames, filled with lust
and something else she couldn’t put her finger on.
Her lips curved into a seductive smile. Maybe she would just have to discover the truth of that old adage about big men. Declan was certainly handsome enough. Black hair that shone like a raven’s wing. Golden eyes that glowed as if lit by a fire within. Sun bronzed, supple skin. Beneath the baggy robe, she knew he had a tall and muscular body, the kind that looked best in a faded pair of jeans and a tank top that showed off his biceps.
“Buy me a drink?” she purred, deciding to start as she meant to go on. She was horny. He was hot. Seemed like a match made in heaven to her.
One dark brow winged up. “It’s an open bar. I’ll get you whatever your heart desires,” he told her in a voice filled with innuendo.
Deciding the drink wasn’t necessary; Elysia stopped him from turning away by putting one hand on his arm. He looked back at her with a question in his eyes.
“What if my heart desires something other than a drink? Will you get me that?” Her eyes held his boldly.
Declan’s face became a mask of pure masculine desire. He cupped her elbow, just as he had three years ago at the convention, steering her toward the lobby. Once they were away from the crowd, he pushed back his hood and bent toward her. “Do you know what you’re doing, Elysia? What you’re inviting?” he growled softly.
Elysia smiled at him, reaching up to stroke her fingers over his hard jaw line. His skin felt hot to the touch. Her whole body tingled and she could hear his heart beating, feel the rush of his blood in his veins. She drew in a breath, the scent of his blood tart and crisp in her nostrils, like biting into a Granny Smith apple… Her fangs slid from their sheath as her panties grew damp. Yes, Declan Antaeus was definitely the right choice. Her body already wanted him fiercely. None of the men at the ball would satisfy her now. Besides, backing down after coming on to a man like Declan wasn’t wise because he was easily the most powerful man at the party, both professionally and physically.
“I’m not a child, Declan. I know exactly what I’m doing. Do you need me to spell it out for you?” She tilted her head to one side inquiringly, wondering if he would take her up on her offer or if this was just a game to him.
His lips quirked. “Yeah. Maybe I do. After all, I’ve wanted you for a long time.”