Emma Krist is a dud—a person from a powerful line of witches with no magic of her own. Not only that but she’s full figured instead of thin, like her gorgeous, talented cousins, and has dishwater brown hair and muddy hazel eyes to match. So she figures there’s no way she’ll be chosen as the Bloodlust Sacrifice for the new vampire Sovereign. Not that she would want to be—what girl in her right mind would volunteer to be a sex slave for a year, giving up the rights to her own body and sexuality to a dominating male who likes to bite? Not Emma, that’s for sure.
So when Aiden James calls her out of the crowd, picking her over every other single female in the supernatural community, Emma doesn’t know what to think. Now she must begin a whole new life of submission to her new master, giving herself body and soul without reservation…or suffer the punishment for her disobedience. Kept naked at his strange, mirrored mansion, Emma is teased and tortured nightly, her master denying her release and whipping her at his leisure. As he pushes her body to the limit, she begins to wonder how much more she can take.
But Aiden has reasons for the erotic punishments he inflicts—he knows something Emma does not. Buried deep in her past, is the key which will unlock her hidden potential. Finding it, however, may ruin everything and cost Emma the only chance at happiness she has ever known as…The Sacrifice.
Excerpt I lie helpless in his arms, overcome with pain and pleasure and still in shock over the events of the last ten minutes. Did that really just happen? Did the new Sovereign really just claim me—plain, mousy little dud of a witch Emma Krist—as his sacrifice? It doesn’t seem real…doesn’t seem possible.
It’s only when the vampire deposits me in a waiting limo and climbs in after me that it really begins to sink in. This is real…this is happening. Right here and right now, I have suddenly become someone’s real life sex and blood slave. I am in bondage to the new Sovereign and there’s nothing I can do about it.
I sit up slowly and look at Aiden James, who is staring intently back at me. “That was quite a display of defiance you put on,” he remarks. His deep voice is soft but there is something in his eyes that makes me shiver.
“If you expect me to say I’m sorry, you’re going to be disappointed.” I don’t know where I get the courage to speak like this to him. Maybe it’s just a vague feeling I have that if I don’t stand up to him now, I never will and he’ll run roughshod over me for an entire year. Goddess, an entire year! I’m stuck with him for an entire year.
“I could make you beg to apologize,” he says. “But I won’t—not now.”
I’m frankly surprised at this. “Why not?” I blurt before I think.
He raises an eyebrow at me. “Are you complaining that I don’t choose to make you grovel?”
“No, no,” I say hastily. “But you just…you went on and on about punishing me. I didn’t…didn’t think you’d let me out of it so easily.
“Oh, I’m not,” he says casually. “Make no mistake about it, Emma, you will be punished for your insolence. Just not right now.” He looks at me speculatively. “As for my reasons for the delay, I find that anticipation heightens any punishment. Also…I find myself intrigued by your modesty. Any other woman in the Glen would have gladly stripped herself when I demanded it. Yet you refused.”
“I’m shy,” I say stiffly. His promise of future punishment has my pulse pounding with fear but I try not to show it. “I don’t…don’t do that kind of thing.”
“You mean you don’t show your body?”
I swallow hard and nod. “I mean maybe if I were tall and skinny like my cousins but I’m not so I don’t want to…” Realizing I’m babbling, I make myself stop.
He nods slowly. “I see, though I think there’s more to it than that. Has it ever occurred to you that not every male finds the ‘tall and skinny’ type arousing?” His eyes burn into mine. “Back when I was made a vampire, women had curves—real curves. Full breasts and hips…” His eyes roam over my body, making me blush and try to cover myself. “A man misses such things,” he murmurs, almost to himself.
I don’t know how to respond to this—is Aiden James actually saying he prefers his women short and chunky to tall and supermodel thin? Before I can think how to phrase the question, he is leaning forward to give directions to the limo driver.
“Where are we going?” I ask, as the long black car starts smoothly on its way.
“Home,” he says calmly.
“Your home or my home?” I ask, hoping fervently that he’s just going to call it a night and drop me off at my apartment. We can always get into the whole punishment and submission thing the next time we get together, right? But Aiden’s next words shatter my half-formed hopes.
“My home is your home now,” he says. “You will live in my house, eat at my table, and sleep in my bed for the duration of your term as Sacrifice.”
“What?” I stare at him. “But…but what about my clothes?”
“I’ll send someone for them.”
“My… my plants. Someone has to water them.”
“I’ll send someone to do both.”
I try again. “My job at the shop? Can I still work there during the day?”
“I’m afraid not.” He gives me an annoyingly superior smirk. “Serving your new master is a full time job.”
I want to say that he’s not my master, but unfortunately that’s not true—he is. And besides, it would sound so childish. Like saying, ‘You’re not the boss of me,’ or something equally immature. Still, I grope for more reasons why I shouldn’t be tied to him twenty-four/seven.
“But my family—I’m the only one who works the shop on a regular basis,” I say. “Without me there, one of the other witches will have to stop practicing the craft in order to run it. That’s a loss of income.”
“Your family will be more than adequately compensated.” Aiden sounds almost bored. “Is there anything else?”
I try one last time. “My class—Advanced Herbology. I take classes at night. Can I—”
He frowns. “When you’ve proven to me that you know the true meaning of submission then and only then will you be allowed to resume your coursework.”
“But I paid good money for that class,” I protest. “And one of the grading requirements is attendance. If I miss too much I’ll fail.”
“Well then…” He gives me a lazy smile. “You’d better learn to submit soon, hadn’t you?”
Suddenly I am furious—he thinks he has me sewn up in a neat little bag, doesn’t he? “Let me tell you something, Master,” I say, leaning forward and pointing a finger at his broad chest. “If you think I’ve got nothing better to do than bow and scrape and dance attendance on your every whim, you’re wrong.”
His eyes narrow. “Is that so?”
I sense I’m going too far but I don’t care. “Yeah,” I say sarcastically. “That’s freaking so. And if you expect me to enjoy jumping through your ridiculous hoops and fall in love with you and beg for your approval to do anything I want—”
“This has nothing to do with love,” he snaps, cutting me off. “It’s about dominance and submission and that’s all.” He leans forward until I shrink back. He is crowding me, getting into my personal space. “And believe me, Emma, I have a damn good reason for demanding that you submit to me.”
“Would that reason be that you’re some kind of a sexual sadist?” I say but my voice comes out in a breathless squeak instead of the strong, fearless tone I hoped it would.
“Absolutely not.” Aiden leans back, resting comfortably in the soft leather seat. “Dominance and submission is not a new game to me, but it’s not one I indulge in often. Usually I like to know that my partner wants such treatment before I deal it out.”
“Well, I don’t. Want it, I mean,” I say as forcefully as I can.
“How do you know?” he murmurs, eyeing me with interest.
I look at him in disbelief. “How do I know that I don’t want to be…be dominated? To be punished and hurt?”
“Punishment can be a pleasure in and of itself, if performed correctly,” he purrs. His gray eyes are lazy and half-lidded with something like hunger burning far back in their depths.
“How…how could anyone possibly get pleasure from being punished?” I whisper, feeling my cheeks heat.
“That depends on the punishment.” Lightly, Aiden brushes my hot cheek with the back of his hand. A jolt of electricity tingles through me at the gentle touch.
“I…I don’t understand.”
“I wouldn’t expect you to, Emma. Your earlier modesty tells me that you have very little experience of the sexual world, especially the dark side of that world, which we will explore together."