SEDUCING THE DARKNESS: BK 1
That damn itch she’d been having lately was back, and it was driving her nuts. Rolling her shoulders, she watched two redheads staggering from the bar’s exit and towards a dimly lit street.
Here we go again, She kept to the shadows as she followed after them. Uneventfully, they made it to their car and drove off. She hoped the cops were out tonight and those two were hauled in to sleep off their drunk.
Turning back to the club, she waited and watched for the next two hours and was glad nothing had happened. So far. But the night was still young.
“Can you smell it?”
She didn’t jump, but slowly looked over at Basil who appeared next to her. She hated when he just appeared out of thin air, but she knew he loved that entrance the best. “Your stink? Always.”
He didn’t sneer at her but slowly lifted his hand and lit the cigarette between his fingers. “The blood of a human. Does it still draw you in, make you hunger, make you want?”
“I’ve got a strong will.” Deliberately, she shifted away from him. It wasn’t only the smoke that bothered her—and always had—but his scent. It pissed her off that he could still make her ache.
She waved the smoke away annoyingly and shifted just a bit farther away. “Why are you skulking, Basil? Because if you’re following me, I am going to so kick your ass.”
“I was in the neighborhood.”
She glared at him and growled her response. “If you’re here to drink, let me warn you now that I won’t allow it.”
“Who am I supposed to drink from now that I no longer am nourished by your blood?”
She chose not to answer that. “Why does it seem that you’re always around, lurking in the dark, around places that aren’t your usual hangouts? Unless….there’s a reason?” The thought stabbed into her, and though she didn’t want to believe it, she had to ask. “Are you trying to take more females of your own? Are you the one abducting young girls?”
With one quick and easy flick, he tossed the cigarette into the darkness. The red tip glowed as it flew through the air before landing on the gravel to bounce and spit out a cloud of red sparkling fireworks. “I will not even dignify that with an answer.”
“It’s so obvious, now that I think about it. I was young when you took me, made me yours. Is that what you’re doing, Basil, making another mate?”
His icy blue eyes narrowed dangerously as he stepped closer. “I have a mate and to think you would even have such a thought sickens me.”
“You don’t have me, Basil.” Her voice grew dangerous. “If I’m so wrong, then do explain to me why you’re always out in the darkness, skulking near all these young girls?”
“The very same reason you are, my dear.” He ran a finger along her face, making her scowl.
She snorted, stepping away from him before he decided to do something stupid, like kiss her. “Please, I hardly think you’re out here looking to find the person or persons responsible for taking four innocent girls.”
Leaning against the building behind them, Basil looked off into the direction of the bar and the people waiting in line to be allowed inside. “You think so little of me and that’s a shame. But I suppose I’ve done it to myself. Yes, Trinity, I am looking to find out who took those young girls, as you are. And why you might ask?” He shifted towards her, sliding in nice and close and making her pulse speed up. He laid his fingers on her cheek, then slowly slid them along her face. “Because I have a feeling I am connected to the reason they’ve been taken.”
She had all but a moment to open her mouth to respond when he closed it with a mind numbing kiss, then pulling away, turned into a dog and scampered away.
Now what the hell did he mean by that?
DESIRING THE DARKNESS: BK 2
Then she heard a noise down the hall, coming from the room where Dante slept, and she changed her plan. Why go it alone when you had a healthy hunk of a man for the taking.
With a deep breath to steady herself, she walked to his room and knocked. Her tongue nearly fell out when he answered the door. All he wore was a pair of navy pajama bottoms that dipped low enough on his hips to tease the viewer to the core. The hair covering his broad chest was dark and curly and she longed to run her nails along his flesh. It looked like he'd just stepped out of the shower. His hair was still damp and slicked back from his face. She loved his eyes. So dark and fanned by thick, black lashes. And his sculpted face wasn't half bad to look at either.
“Hi,” he said to her in that low gravelly voice that shot right to her loins.
“Hi. I heard you moving about in here and thought I would come by and say hi. How's your arm?”
“Sore. I opened it up again.” He shrugged wide shoulders. “Shit happens. Wanna come in?”
She was so hoping he would ask that. “Yeah, I'd like that.” He smelt spicy and so damn tempting. He closed the door when she'd entered and her body lit up like a rocket. “I was bored in my room, so I thought I'd take a walk. I have all this energy inside of me that I don't know what to do with.” Yes she did, but men liked women who were coy, who seduced.
“Trinity said you fed. Probably the reason why you feel juiced.”
She walked about the room in a slow swagger, running a finger along the wall, then over his bedside table before turning to him. “Yeah, it wasn't as bad as I thought. I actually liked the taste of it. I was worried about drinking it, but Trinity was very patient with me while I sampled it.” She stroked her hand along the silk cloth on his bed. If that didn't give him the hint as to what she wanted, then he was a very stupid male.
“Yeah…um…Trinity's a great gal.”
“She really is. I like her, and Ariel. Basil's pretty decent, too.” She sauntered towards him with full intentions of making him want her. One look at the tent in his pajamas told her he wanted her just as much. “I like you the most.” In a bold statement, she slid her finger nail along his bare chest. It was with absolute delight that she felt him quiver.
“Uh…I like you, too.”
Smiling, she leaned up on her toes and wrapped her arms around his neck. He was quite a bit taller than her, but not enough to make it awkward to kiss him. And when her mouth touched his, her body came alive with need. She could feel his erection pressing between them and from the size of it; she was in for a delightful event. She twined her fingers at the back of his neck and angled her head to deepen the kiss. He kissed like a pro.
Slipping her tongue between his lips, she touched the tip of his, then went all the way. She shoved her tongue in his mouth, toying with his, scraping it on his teeth while her lips drank him in. Between them, she felt his dick twitch.
She lifted one leg and hooked it around his waist, then pumped her hips against his rock hard cock. “Touch me,” she demanded breathlessly against his mouth while her hips rocked back and forth against him.
EMBRACING THE DARKNESS: BK 3
There was blood, all around him, pools of it, teasing him, calling to him, and all he wanted was to drink it. Yet the closer he got to it, the further it was away. The scent of it, like strong copper, filled his nostrils and tantalized his tastebuds.
He wanted it more than life itself.
Bolting awake, Jonah stared wide eyed into the room. Every part of him hurt.
“Jonah? Are you okay?”
He could smell her as if she were beside him. Her scent, her blood, called to him. “Stay away from me!” He felt his teeth ache and the urge to take grew tenfold.
“What’s the matter? Do you have another cramp?”
“No! Please, stay away from me.” Then she stepped up beside him and all he could think was take. He could hear her blood rushing through her veins, her heart as it pounded in her chest. With each whoosh his body responded. “Please, just stay away from me.”
She clicked the light on over his bed and it was all he could do not to lunge at her and bite that supple vein at the side of her neck. “For God’s sake, Raven. Get lost!”
She stopped, tilted her head, then laid her hand on his head. “You need to feed.”
“Just leave me alone. Please. I beg of you.” If he could run away from her right now, he would.
“This won’t get any better unless you give your body what it wants. Here, drink.” She thrust her wrist out to him.
He slapped it away. “No!”
“What you’re feeling right now will only become more intense the longer you wait. Just take my vein and drink. I’ll be fine. I’ve done this before.”
He pushed her aside, then rolled himself off the bed. He fell with a thud onto the cold tiled floor but the pain was nothing compared to what he felt inside. It was more intense than anything he’d ever felt before. It felt like fire ants were clawing through his veins, his mouth was so dry his lips stuck to his teeth and his head…all he heard in his head was the whooshing of her blood pumping through her veins.
It was going to drive him insane.
“Take it, Jonah,” she demanded, falling down beside him on the floor.
“I won’t drink from you.” He’d rather die.
“If you don’t drink now, Jonah, you’ll go insane and I refuse to let that happen.” She jumped up onto the bed and when she came back down, she had the knife in her hands.
“Now, drink.” She slid it across her arm by her elbow then thrust it out at him.
“Stop it! What have you done?” But the blood, so red, so thick, so…juicy, called to him.
“I can stitch myself up after. Just drink.”
“Please don’t make me do this,” he pleaded.
“I have to.” She grabbed his head and thrust her arm to his mouth.
The instant the blood touched his lips he was compelled to take it in. He couldn’t help himself. She was delicious, so smooth, so gloriously sweet that he wanted to drink her up.
And as he sucked on her arm, drawing in her blood, the ache began to subside.
“Good, that’s it, drink from me.”
Her voice was soft and soothing, so similar to her blood. She was nectar and he was parched. Then he felt her go limp and when he looked up, he saw her beginning to sway. Jonah pulled his mouth from her arm and captured her before she fell backwards onto the floor. “Damn it! What did I do?” Laying her on the floor, the first thing he did was check for a pulse. “Oh, thank God! Raven, Raven, talk to me. Say something.”
CHARMING THE DARKNESS: BK 4
“You’re a vampire?” She backed away from him, her brown eyes wide.
“Well…yeah. What the hell is wrong with me? Why can’t I move?” It was like his brain had lost communication with the rest of his body. Yet he could feel everything.
“I froze you. You were going to bite me.”
“Once again, yeah. Vampire here. And what do you mean you froze me?” He was straining so hard to move that if he wasn't careful he was going to drop a load in his pants.
“I’m a witch.”
At least he could use his face and, frowning at her, said, “You’re a witch?”
She folded her arms over her chest and cocked her hip to the side. He corrected his earlier thought. She wasn't just hot. She was damn hot! “Yeah, what’s wrong with being a witch?”
“Nothing wrong with it. You just don’t look like a witch.”
“Why, because I don’t have a green face and a pointy nose?” She rolled her eyes.
“No, because…well, you’re hot!” There was no denying it, the woman had curves in all the right places and that tight, black, v-neck t-shirt she wore teased of ample breasts. Never mind the blue jeans that looked painted on. “Only children think witches look like that. I’m not that stupid.”
She planted her fists on her hips and gave him an indignant look. “I don’t like your attitude.”
“No problem. Unfreeze me or whatever you need to do to give me back the power of my body and I can be on my merry way. Killer, hurry your ass in there already!” Where was that cat anyway?
“Killer? There are more of you in here?” She spun around, facing towards the entryway to the kitchen.
Oh, this was too perfect. “Oh yeah, there’s a whole bunch of us here and we’re all going to take turns sucking the life right out of you.”
She glared as she turned to face him. Maybe he should have used less sarcasm. “I don’t believe you.”
“Suit yourself. Come on out, guys!” This was too much fun.
Then Killer walked in, meowed, and wound his body around Danny’s legs. How was he supposed to pretend to be mean when the cat was cuddling up to him?
“There’s no one else here, is there?”
“Sure there are.” He was losing her rapidly.
“I don’t think so.” Daringly, she inched towards the doorway, peering around the corner.
Danny just couldn’t resist. “Get her!”
She jumped, spun around in some sort of karate kick, her fists raised and ready.
It was the hottest thing he’d ever seen.
“I knew it! There is no one else here.” She spun back towards Danny. “You lied.”
“Can’t blame a guy for trying. All right already, Killer, go lay down on the sofa or something.” The cat was annoying him only because he was tickling Danny’s shins and there was nothing he could do to stop it, being frozen and all.
“Killer? That’s Killer?” she chuckled as she made her way to the cat, scooping him up. “You don’t look so fierce.
“Come here pretty girl.”
“He’s a guy.” The nerve of her assuming Killer was a girl!
“Aren’t you a sweetie pie?” She nuzzled her face into the cat’s fur. “Yes, you are.”
Killer was loving every minute of it. “You wanna unfreeze me now?”
“Right, because I look stupid.”
“You walked into it, toots.”
She narrowed those big, brown eyes at him. “Don’t call me that. If I let you go the first thing you’ll do is jump me and bite my neck.”
“Doesn’t have to be the neck and I’d probably do more than just jump you.”
Her eyes narrowed a little more. “What does that mean?”
“Just forget it. If I promise I won’t bite you, will you let me go?”
“Sure. NOT!!” She laughed at him then took a seat on the sofa with the cat. “What’s a pretty kitty like you doing with a big, bad vampire?” Her head jerked up and her eyes went wide making them look even bigger than they already were. “Oh my Goddess! You don't drink from him, do you?”
That was just the most appalling thing he’d ever heard. “What? No way. Killer and I are tight. We’re pals.”
“Yeah, I saved him from a bunch of hungry dogs a few weeks ago and we’ve been roomies ever since.”
“You’re roomies?” Her lips twitch with a grin.
He wasn't impressed. “What’s wrong with that?”
“That’s sweet. You have a kitty as a pet.” Snuggling the cat to her face, she flashed a huge smile at him.
“Wanna release me now?” He didn’t like the way she was looking at him or being called sweet. He was anything but.
She leaned back and Killer made himself right at home on her lap. “Not yet. So why were you leaving—I don’t even know your name.”
“Cool. I’m Starla Raine. So why were you leaving?”
“Starla Raine? What kind of name is that?”
“It’s a perfectly fine name. Starla was my grandmother’s name.”
“So Raine is your last name?”
“Yes. Why were you leaving?” she repeated, gently stroking the cat’s head.
Maybe if he played nice and gave her what she wanted she’d release him and then he and Killer could go on their merry way. “I’m tired of this town.”
“I would think someone like you would love living here where there’s no sun to burn you up.”
“The sun doesn’t kill us. That’s just a myth. But it does give us a nasty third degree burn. I’ve spent twenty years learning to live with the sun, doing so now won’t be any different.”
“Twenty years?” She frowned. “How old are you?”
“Get out? Wow, how old were you when you were taken?”
“Thirteen. I answered your questions, so you wanna let me go now.” His body was starting to cramp up and it was not a good feeling, especially since he couldn’t rub the tightening muscles.
“The response you gave to my question was lame. Now tell me the real reason you and Killer,” she smiled down at the cat on her lap, “were leaving.”
“Why does it matter to you?” She was pissing him off now.
“Just curious. What’s the real reason?”
She just wasn't giving up. “If I tell you the truth, will you please release me?”
“You bet.” She kicked her legs up onto the couch and
Killer stretched out, placing his paws and his face on her knees.
“You are just loving this,” he growled at Killer. “Okay, I’m kind of an outcast here. I used to be part of the group of vamps that started this whole darkness crap, but I disobeyed the leader and so he kicked me out. Now no one wants to hang out with me even though Chaos has been taken hostage and is hidden somewhere. So why stay where I’m not wanted?”
“Chaos was the leader?”
“Yeah. Now you know the truth you can let me go.”
She stood up holding the cat in her arms. “I don’t think so.”
“What? You said you would?” This was bullshit!
“Yes, I did, but that was before I knew you were connected to the darkness.” She walked right up to him, her face a breath away. “I came to Jacob’s Cove to find out everything I can about the ritual that cast the city in darkness. I’m thinking you might come in handy.”
She walked off towards the kitchen, the cat in her arms.
“What? No way! Get back here. Did you hear me, Starla? Get your ass back here now!” If he had the ability to chase after her she would so be on her face right now. “Damn it, Starla. Let me go!”
TEMPTING THE DARKNESS:BK5
Cooper stood outside the bedroom door and felt the love pouring out from the room. It warmed his heart to know the two people he thought of as his family were finally getting back to where they were meant to be.
It made him long for what he had lost so long ago.
Making sure no one was around to see him, he sent himself away, setting down just outside the secured door to his wife’s room. “You may take a break,” he instructed the guard. Keying in the code, he entered the room. When the door closed, he walked to the glass case that held his love.
She looked as pure and beautiful as she had the day he had sent her to sleep. The day he promised her he would not wake her until a cure was found. Twenty years had passed and he was no closer to a cure today than he had been on that fateful day he said goodbye to his one true love.
Yet he longed for her as much now as he did then.
“I’ve lived without you for so long. I cannot bear another moment. I miss your gentle touch. I miss your sweet voice. I miss the conversations we would have. I miss you, my love. I need you. I cannot live without you any longer.”
His eyes flicked to the control panel that kept her in her stasis. All it would take would be to key in the code—which he alone had—and press one button to wake his sleeping beauty. He paused, his mind working feverishly.
Should he wake her?
What then? Spend a few months with her, at best. Watch her wither away as the cancer robbed her body of life? He couldn’t do that to her, to himself. But he needed her so desperately. He was tired of being alone.
The love between Basil and Trinity reminded him of his own desires and love. Once, he’d had what they have now. Like Basil, his love was human. Though Basil made Trinity his by siring her, Cooper had promised Gabriella he never would.
What kind of life was this? She was frozen, asleep, and wasn’t truly living anyway. Sure, he could see her any time he liked, but it wasn’t the same as having her. He missed having her.
And what if something was to happen to him? There had been some close calls over the past twenty years, especially these last few months Jacob’s Cove had been engulfed in darkness. What would happen to Gabriella then? Who would take care of her? How would she feel if she woke up to find that he was no longer with this world? He didn’t want her to have to feel the pain he had felt for the past twenty years.
There was one way he could cure her. One way he could have her for his from now on. Though he promised her he would never turn her, he saw no other way to curing her.
Without wasting any time, he hurried to enter the code. He took a deep breath, then pressed the red button that would shut off the liquid nitrogen that had cooled her body to preserve her DNA. He watched as her life support continued to breath for her, continued to cause her heart to beat, knowing that the instant he shut them off, he would have to revive her himself. It would take several minutes for the cryogenic freezing to shut down. While he waited, Cooper prepared the medications and tools he would need to bring her back to life. Setting the syringe filled with adrenaline to start her heart on the table beside her, Cooper watched the seconds tick away, waiting for the green light to indicate it was time to shut off the life support. When it beeped and turned green, he flicked the switch to stop the machines. Pressing the button to open the chamber, he anxiously waited for it to open. The instant it did, he was there with the syringe.
Pressing the needle over her heart, he injected the adrenaline, then set it back on the tray and prepared for other methods of CPR.
When her body jolted, so did his. When she gasped for the air that hadn’t been natural to her for over twenty years, he was right there, prepared to give her his.
Her eyes flew open and she gasped several times before finally relaxing.
“That’s it, my sweet, come back to me now.” He stroked her face, watching the machines emitting her pulse and heart rate. They were erratic, but that was to be expected.
She coughed, she gagged, then drew in one long breath before settling.
“There you go, that’s my girl.”
Her eyes drooped and she blinked them several times. Her mouth worked as she tried to swallow and attempted to speak.
“Just relax, my sweet. Take your time. I’m here. I’m here for you.”
She turned her head to him and her eyes lit up. Then she smiled and said, “Cooper.”
PENETRATING THE DARKNESS: BK6
Dusty dove behind a turned over car, covering his head. He heard shouts from the men behind him, more crackling before everything went silent. He waited a bit before taking his hands off his ears. Carefully, he inched over to peek around the car. Seeing Slasher along with the other creatures get to their feet, Dusty kept behind the car, still not sure what was happening.
“What we got here?”
“She looks real pretty.”
“Maybe she’s an angel, dropping from the heavens like she did.”
“Looks ripe to me. Smells fresh too.”
Curiosity getting the best of him, Dusty shifted from behind the car, keeping low to the ground in hopes he wasn’t noticed. He ducked behind another vehicle, peering around the edge to see who they were talking about.
He heard whimpers that sounded distinctly female.
“Aw, look, she’s scared. We should hold her and make her feel better.”
Dusty watched as Slasher moved forward and lifted someone up. He caught a glimpse of something white with feet kicking out. He moved closer, wanting to get a better look.
“Ooh, she feels real soft.”
He saw her now, a frail-looking woman dressed in some sort of white dress with hair as dark as the night that came just past her waist.
And the beasts were having fun with her.
“Leave her alone,” he bellowed, bravely standing up from behind his hiding spot. Her eyes met his, a blue so beautiful he was lost in them. What happened next left him stunned.
She began to glow—there was no other explanation for it. A white light began to shimmer off her and as if it burnt him, Slasher dropped her quickly and backed away. When she began to glow brighter, burning his eyes, Dusty ducked down behind the car. He heard the screams, all male, ricocheting off of the vacant buildings around him, bouncing off of the pavement and filling the air.
Then it all went silent.
Dusty inched his way to the edge of the car. Slowly he lifted himself into a crouched position and looked out over the hood. All he saw was a bundle of white curled in a ball on the sidewalk. No signs of any of the animals that had surrounded her.
What the hell?
Looking around, he didn’t see anyone else. He moved out from behind the car, slowly making his way towards her. As he got closer, he smelled burnt flesh. It stung his nose, so he pulled his arm over his mouth and nose as he inched forward.
He sidestepped around a pile of ashes on the ground. A sparkle of silver caught his attention and he recognized it as the ring Slasher had worn.
The girl whimpered, drawing his attention. “Um…are you okay?” She jumped when he spoke, startling him. “It’s okay. I’m not going to hurt you.” He held his hands up as she spun around to face him. Her eyes were almost hypnotic.
“You called out to stop them,” she spoke softly.
He blinked away his daze. “Yeah. Um…are you okay?”
“They wanted to harm me.”
“Yeah. Do you know what happened to them?”
“They were going to hurt me. I didn’t mean to do it, but they frightened me and when I get frightened sometimes I have difficulty controlling myself. I didn’t mean to hurt them.”
Her voice was like a dove’s song. Soft and soothing. He felt drawn to it. He looked down at the piles of ash, then back up at her. “Did you…kill them?”
“I was frightened and then they started to scream and it frightened me even more. They all just crumbled.”
He looked down at the piles, his brow lifting “You turned them to dust.” He whipped his head up to her. “Please don’t do that to me.”
“I would never—I never meant to—they frightened me—” Her head jerked to the side at the sound of a crashing trashcan in the distance.
She ran to him, into his arms, and he was compelled to hold her as she stared with fright. “It’s okay. Probably just cats or a dog.”
“You’ll protect me? Please, don’t let me harm someone else.”
“Okay, just stay calm.” He had to get her someplace safe. Looking around, he saw one of the few buildings that wasn’t charred or broken down and decided it would do. “Come with me.” She clung to him so he started walking across the street to the building. “What’s your name?”
“Felicity.” She quivered in his arms.
“My name is Dusty. It’s a pleasure to meet you, Felicity.”
CONSUMING THE DARKNESS: BK 7
“Behind you! Get down.”
The gun came up in his hand, aimed at her head. She felt the presence of the vampire as he jumped out from behind the dumpster. As she spun around to take him down, the gun fired, hitting the vamp in the right shoulder. He jerked back, screeching like a banshee.
“What the hell are you doing?” she yelled at the man with the gun as she ran to the vamp. “Daisy, stay!” Daisy sat as she’d been instructed while Sienna knelt down beside the screaming vamp. She pressed her knee to the vamp’s bleeding shoulder to ensure that he wouldn’t move. “You are under arrest for breaking the laws of human and vampire and will be detained in the local jail while awaiting trial.”
“You’re a cop?” the guy behind her responded.
“Yeah, I’m a cop. Oh, stop your screaming already,” she yelled at the vamp, then flipped him onto his belly and pulled his arms to his back, pinning them in one hand while she searched for her handcuffs. “Damn it, why don’t I have my cuffs on me. Wanna tell me why you were about to attack me?”
“I wasn’t…honest…I was only…out for a walk. Yeah, I was walking. I’m going to sue the cops for harassment. I was minding my own. Fuck, my shoulder is killing me. Police brutality!”
“Shut the hell up. No one gives a damn.”
Sienna glanced up to see a set of shiny silver handcuffs dangling down before her. Glancing up, she took a moment to survey the gentleman and noticed he wasn’t bad on the eyes. His dark brown hair was messed up but somehow looked natural. And wow! The guy had a hell of a body. Broad shoulders, wide chest, and narrow waist. His face was pretty decent to look at, even with that thin line of hair over his upper lip that ran down the sides of his mouth to cover his chin. He had nice eyes, dark, round, with long lashes. “I’d prefer a regulation set rather than your bondage toys.”
“These are regulation. I’m a detective. Nathan Powers,” he introduced in a deep, throaty voice that sounded as if he’d had one too many cigarettes.
The vamp squirming beneath her, she took the cuffs. Before slapping them on the vamp’s wrists she made sure they were regulation. Flipping him onto his back, Sienna pinned him with her knee as she had before. “Don’t try anything stupid.”
“Bitch!” the vamp spat.
“What the hell’s with the yellow contacts and fake fangs?”
Sienna glanced over her shoulder as she responded to the detective. “What? You’ve never seen a vampire before?”
“I heard you. I thought I’d seen it all, but I guess not. Now we’ve got junkies playing vampire,” The detective chuckled with a shake of his head.
One look at the guy told her he was serious. “Oh jeez, he’s a virgin.” She rolled her eyes. “I told you to shut up.” She yanked the screaming vamp to his feet. “This is a vampire, not a fake, the real deal and if you plan on being in Jacob’s Cove for any amount of time you might want to be on the lookout for them. Some of them refuse to abide by the new laws. Isn’t that right, screamer?”
“Seriously though, he’s a vampire like the blood-sucking kind?”
“Don’t know any other kind.”
“Shouldn’t you like…you know, jam a wooden stake through his heart? I can’t believe I just said that.” He laughed boldly.
Was he for real?
She didn’t care for the sarcasm in his voice. “Neither can I. We prefer to rehabilitate them rather than turning them to dust.” Holding the vamp in one hand, she pulled her cell phone out with the other and dialed the station. “Lieutenant Storm here. I have a rogue vamp I need brought in.”
“I wasn’t doing anything, you stupid bitch.”
She clamped onto the squirming vamp a little tighter as she gave her location. She slipped her phone back into her shirt pocket when she was through and gave the vamp a hard shove against the dumpster. “Right, you were only skulking in the dark because you needed a smoke, right?”
“It’s a free world last time I looked.”
“Sure, except when you’re attempting to drink someone dry. Save it for the judge; I’m done listening.”
“You can’t prove anything. I’m innocent.”
“Do you know what I am?” she asked as she leaned in real close. “I’m a Tejakkan which means I have precog abilities. I saw you moments before you jumped out and I saw just what you’d planned to do so save your ‘I’m innocent’ act for someone who gives a damn.”
“That’s right and remember it.”
SURVIVING THE DARKNESS: BK 8
Deborah stood before the rag doll dummy with pursed lips. Zach had just explained to her that she should apply all her force when punching the dummy, yet she felt foolish doing so. Not to mention she worried that if she did, the poor thing would topple over or break.
“You can’t hurt it.”
“I know that,” she sighed, then balled her hand into a fist and jabbed it at the dummy’s belly. Zach snorted beside her.
“My grandmother can punch harder than that. Come on, Deborah, give it all you’ve got.”
Deepening her frown, she jabbed the dummy one more time, with a little more heat.
“If he had a voice he’d be laughing at you right now. Hit him, Deborah!”
Shooting Zach a heated glare, she balled her hand and plowed it into the dummy’s gut. It rocked, it teetered but it remained standing.
“See. Now kick it.”
“I will not.”
“Oh for pity sake, Deborah. It’s an inanimate object. It has no feelings. Kick it.”
He was beginning to piss her off. Lifting her right foot, she jutted it out at the dummy with enough force to have it rock back and forth several times before coming to a stop. “Happy?”
“Not particularly, no.” He walked behind the dummy and lifted one ragged arm. “Is that all you’ve got? Come on weakling, bring it on.”
Rolling her eyes, Deborah laughed. “Now you’re just being foolish.”
“Look at you, all frail and scrawny. Those arms are like tooth-picks. You can’t take me; you’re too weak.” Zach played the dummy while lowering his voice.
“Why do you want me to beat on this poor, defenseless object? We both know I can punch and kick.”
“Why did I get you to scream for two days?”
“Because you’re a sadist?”
One blond brow lifted. “I’ve never been called that before. No, it was to open you up, bring out the fighter in you. Now kick me, Deb and do it with meaning.”
“You never call me Deb.” She hauled off and planted her foot in the dummy’s leg. She was sure if Zach hadn’t been behind it, the thing would have toppled over.
“Because Deborah suites you better. The dummy called you Deb. Do that again, only this time with your left.” She did, but she didn’t have as much power in her left as she had in her right. “Good, now try the side kick I showed you and go for his mid chest.”
“This is all fine and good for a dummy, but there is no way I can do this to a human.” But she did as he asked and shifting to her left, raised her right leg and jammed it into the dummy’s chest.
“Yes you can and you will. Now go with the left.”
She repeated the move with her left, frowning at Zach. “No I can’t and I won’t. I can’t hurt someone.”
“Oh, so you would rather they hurt you. It’s your life or his— which one do you value more?”
“That’s a stupid question.”
"Mine,” she demanded with a determined expression.
“I don’t think you really mean that,” Zach taunted, flapping the dummy’s arms at her. “Say it with conviction.”
“Mine,” she repeated a little firmer, throwing her right fist out to the dummy’s abdomen.
“Still not good enough.”
“Mine,” she demanded and this time put everything she had into the kick. She gasped when both Zach and the dummy went flying. Zach came down hard on his back, dummy resting on top. “I am so sorry! Are you all right?” Rushing to his side, she pushed the dummy away, noticing how heavy it really was, and placed her hand on Zach’s face.
“Now, that was better.” Looking up at her, he smiled.
“Are you hurt?”
“Nothing I can’t manage.”
The air rushed from her lungs as he yanked her down on top of him and plastered his mouth over hers. She was too dazed to reject him, and by the time her mind cleared, her body was reacting with delight. His lips were so smooth, so gifted and as he took the kiss deeper she felt herself melting. His arms wound around her waist as his hands came to rest on his chest. She felt his heart beating against her palm and realized suddenly that hers was matching his. He rolled them until she was on her back and he on top. He braced one hand to her left keeping his weight from crushing her. His free hand strolled lazily along her side, over her arm until he reached her face. Then he did something so sweet, so sensual it made her body quiver. With only the tips of his fingers, he traced her face from chin to forehead and back as he turned the kiss from an urgent battle of lips to a slow melting of mouths. She felt herself floating and never wanted to come down. Then he released her mouth and rested his forehead on hers.
“Yep, that did the trip. I feel much better now.”
“Why did you stop?” she murmured. When her eyes opened she found them connecting with his. They were so blue, so…beautiful.
“How foolish of me.” His lips curving in a smile, he leaned back down and continued his seduction of her mouth.