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Writers have favorite books they’ve written. Seduced is one of mine. The book took only five weeks to write. The fastest I’ve ever written a full-length novel. It wasn’t fully plotted, but developed as I wrote, surprising me at every turn. Nic and Chessa were both so damaged, so in love, but sooooo denying it. The story had everything. A haunted past. Steamy, desperate sex. A maniacal demon they had to chase. For Nic, this demon had to be taken down. He was responsible for both his brother’s and his wife’s deaths—centuries ago. If you’d like to see more of his past, more of what drives him, click on the cover and read the first chapter of the book.
“…The electrifying follow-up to INTO THE DARKNESS is a breathless read. Devlin’s intricate vampire society is filled with compelling personalities. The chemistry between the characters is explosive, and the horrific villain will give you goosebumps…the ending will leave you begging for more.” 4 ½ Stars and TOP PICK!, RT BOOKreviews
“…This is a deliciously edgy series with mind-blowing sex scenes that sizzle…Ms. Devlin’s DARK REALM series is devastatingly erotic and pushes the boundaries in both premise and sexual explicitness. Ms. Devlin pens in uncharted territory that will leave the readers breathless and hungering for more…” Paranormal Romance
For eight hundred years Nicolas Montfaucon has dedicated his life to preventing the rebirth of an immortal evil. But now a terrible storm has assaulted unsuspecting New Orleans—and the beast walks the earth once more. “The Devourer” has been awakened, and there is only one in the besieged city who can help Nicolas defeat the foul creature—a mysterious and beautiful enigma who haunts the handsome Revenant’s erotic waking dreams and enflames his passionate obsessions.
Chessa Tomas is not an ordinary policewoman. A vampire, she works only at night, patrolling a seamy and unseen underworld of roiling chaos. Though Nicolas is sensuality incarnate, Chessa wants no part of him or his kind—but she cannot close her eyes to the unholy malevolence that would consume their world. And Nicolas has uncovered the secret lust that rules her—a steaming, uncontrollable desire he intends to unleash, bending Chessa to his will by making her most forbidden fantasies real.
Nicolas stuck to the shadows, standing beneath the long fronds of Spanish moss trailing from an ancient oak. He watched as the cops combed the bayou bank with their flashlights, looking for clues, photographing the victims, and grieving over their friends’ bodies.
He waited patiently, knowing Chessa would be here sooner or later. Since the night was burning away fast, he hoped for sooner.
The carnage had begun. The Devourer had fed and would grow stronger and more frighteningly cunning as he cut a swath through New Orleans.
A squad car pulled up and Chessa climbed out, looking rumpled and wearing a man’s wrinkled white shirt beneath her leather jacket.
Nicolas stiffened, his gaze darting to the tall man climbing out to stand beside her in the glare of headlights. As though the gesture was an old habit, the man’s hand settled at the small of her back.
Chessa didn’t deliver him a blistering glare, just a quick worried glance.
Merde! Bitch! Nicolas drew a deep breath, stunned by what he saw. Only hours ago, she’d begged him to fuck her, but here she was with another man—one she seemed to know rather well.
His hands fisted at his sides, readying to drive them through the handsome face of the human standing beside her.
Nicolas forced himself to think, drawing a deep cleansing breath.
He’d never been a jealous lover—knew all vampires craved sex almost as much as they did blood. A blood fuck with a host wasn’t considered an infidelity. But vampires left their hosts behind. They didn’t consort with them afterward. Courtesy among lovers meant seeking strangers to feed the two hungers. Comfort and affection were drawn from those you loved.
Only Chessa didn’t love him. Regret washed through him. Maybe she never would.
But who the hell was this man?
He stepped out of the shadows and strode toward the cozy couple as they conferred with several officers beside a long yellow stripe of crime scene tape.
“Halt! Get your hands above your head or I swear I’ll pull this damn trigger.”
Nicolas rolled his eyes, tempted to flash by the young officer faster than he could blink.
Chessa’s gaze landed on him, and her eyes widened for a moment. She gave him a subtle shake of her head.
He paused, then raised his hands obediently.
“It’s okay, Len,” she said, her voice husky. “Let him through.”
Len gave him a narrowed glance that swept him up and down. A warning not to cause any trouble because he’d be watching. Then he holstered his weapon and stepped back.
Nicolas gave him a mirthless smile and ducked beneath the tape to join Chessa and her “friend.”
“I’m Nicolas Montfaucon,” he said, ignoring everyone else as he leveled a glare at the man standing beside Chessa.
The man’s lips curved in a slight smile, his expression slyly amused, and he held out his hand. “I’m Alex, Chessa’s new partner.”
Another bloody partner! Although he would have preferred to ignore the hand held in his direction, Nicolas gripped it hard, gauging the other man’s strength.
“Good grief, Nic,” Chessa muttered. “If you wrestle him to the ground, I’ll fucking clout you.”
Nicolas flushed, realizing he had been squeezing a little too long and hard, not that the human showed any signs of conceding the silent battle. He was strong. A cocky young bastard.
“Who’s he to you?” Alex asked.
“Family,” she bit out. Then giving Nicolas a searing glance, she lifted her chin toward the river’s edge. “I take it you’ve already seen the damage.”
Nicolas gave a sharp nod.
“Damn,” Chess said. “It’s your guy, isn’t it, Nic?”
“I warned you we would need to work together.”
“What’s this all about?” A barrel-chested black man in a dark suit asked.
Chessa sighed. “Lieutenant Byron Williams, meet Nic. He’s a…well, you know…”
A grim smile stretched his broad mouth. “Another bloodsucker? I guessed,” he said, his voice pitched low. His gaze narrowed on Nicolas. “I s’pose we could use a specialist’s help with this one.”
Chessa’s eyebrows lowered, and her hands fisted at her sides. “We aren’t teaming up!”
The lieutenant’s gaze whipped to Chessa. “Can I trust him?”
Chessa’s lips thinned, but she gave a sharp nod.
When he looked at Nicolas again, his expression turned thoughtful. Seeming to come to a decision, he pulled a tissue from his pocket and wiped at the sweat gleaming on his forehead. “Look, I don’t know you. Any other time, I’d tell you to butt out and let us do our jobs, but I gotta city in chaos and half my officers are gone.”
“This is not a good idea,” Chessa gritted out.
The tall black man gave her a lop-sided smile. “Cheech, normally I’d let you handle whatever it is you do alone and give you backup only when you ask. I can’t do that right now. You’re gonna have to work with your people on this one.”
“He’s not one of mine.” This time her rejection was softer, but no less agitated.
Nicolas felt a ripple of satisfaction at Chessa’s anger. Although he hadn’t planned on joining the police investigation, it made sense. They could keep tabs on the victims and try to find a pattern, a direction the demon was heading.
The lieutenant ignored Chessa’s tight-lipped rejection. “You got knowledge of what this thing is?” he asked, directing the question to Nicolas.
Nicolas grimaced. “I know what, just not who he is at the moment.”
The burly black man sighed. “Sounds like this is gonna get complicated.”
The lieutenant didn’t have a clue just how complicated it already was. Not that he had a need to know. “It’s going to get bloodier before we’re done,” he conceded.
“Just so you know, there are only a few of us on the force who know about you guys—know there’s scarier things out there than human killers.”
Nicolas bowed his head, understanding the unspoken stipulation. This arrangement would be strictly confidential. “We’d like to keep it that way, too.”
“I need to know what we’re facing.”
Nicolas glanced around, making sure no one listened beyond their select circle, then pitched his voice low. “It’s a demon we seek. An ancient one. Our coven kept him imprisoned in a sarcophagus for eight hundred years. Yesterday when the water rose, a river ripped through the cemetery, flooding the mausoleum, and allowing him to escape.”
“A demon? Shouldn’t be hard to spot. What’s it look like?”
Nicolas leveled his steady gaze on Byron. “You have anyone missing from the patrol?”
“Bernie Watson.” The lieutenant’s dark eyes widened. “He looks like us? Like Bernie?”
He nodded, his mouth tightening. “For the moment. Until Bernie’s body dies. Then he’ll crawl into someone else.”
“Fuck me!” His lips pursed around a low whistle. “What’s with the hearts?”
“His favorite meal.”
“And he’s been on a diet for a long damn time.” The lieutenant scrubbed a hand across the top of his close-cropped hair. “Fuck me!” he repeated.
“Precisely.” Nicolas slid a glance at Chessa who’d folded her arms across her chest. Defiance bristled in her stiff posture.
“So, we look for a trail of bodies with missing hearts,” Alex said, his expression grim. “What’s that gonna tell us? How do we catch him?”
Nicolas would have liked to ignore the other man, but knew he had to work with him if he was going to team with Chessa. “That’s the tricky part. After he’s finished his feeding frenzy, he might lay low for a while, but he’s going to remember things. He’ll want revenge.”
“Against me,” Nicolas said quietly. “For one.”
“You two got a history?” This from the lieutenant whose eyebrows lowered in a suspicious scowl.
“I was the one who imprisoned him. I was his guardian.”
Those thick brows pressed ominously closer. “You thinkin’ to be the bait?”
Chessa jerked, her wide-eyed glance settling on his face.
Nicolas locked his gaze with hers. She cared. She might not admit it even to herself, but she did have feelings for him.
“Not my preference,” Nicolas said, tightening his jaw. “I’d like to catch him first.”
“If he comes for you, then what?” Chessa whispered.
“We give him another body to inhabit.” He hoped she didn’t ask whose, because he hadn’t thought that far ahead. Someone would have to be sacrificed. “An immortal one. Something he can’t kill to escape.”
“Can’t the bastard die?” Lieutenant Williams asked.
“We tried centuries ago. If there’s a weapon that can kill him, we haven’t found it.”
Chessa looked at the employee file picture of Bernie Watson. She’d known him by name, but couldn’t remember much more. His file said he had family here. A wife, two children.
If his family spotted him on the streets now, they’d be defenseless.
She handed the photo to Nicolas who glanced at it quickly and passed it to Alex.
They sat in an empty interrogation room. By her choice. She didn’t want Nicolas standing in her space. Leaving his scent behind, burnishing the sight of his broad shoulders and lean body in the place she spent more time than her home.
Alex sat in the circle, seemingly oblivious to the anger rolling off those broad shoulders. But she felt the searing heat each time Nicolas’s steady gaze landed on her—and passed to Alex.
Could likely smell the lingering scent of arousal that had enveloped them both back in the blood bar. Chessa licked her lips, nervous now because sensual heat was rising again to choke her.
Damn Natalie and her virgin pheromones. Chessa had always kept a tight lid on her desires, letting them out at will when she needed to feed, closing the dark box with a vicious twist when she’d satisfied her hungers.
That ability was gone. Seated beside two of the men she’d had sex with in the last twenty-four hours was testing her control.
She squirmed on her seat, fighting the clenching of inner muscles that remembered the stretch and burn of Nicolas’s big cock and the fierce lash of Alex’s tongue on her swollen clit.
They had more important things to worry about. A demon to capture—and the sooner the better. Maybe then she’d get her life back on an even keel.
Alex tossed the photo in the middle of the employee file. “So, what’s next?”
“Dawn will be breaking in a little while,” Chessa said, not wanting to start this conversation. “We can’t scour the city for him.”
“Maybe your partner can follow leads on any sightings.”
“I had a busy night, too,” Alex replied. “I need shuteye same as you.”
“Then we meet back here after dark?” Chessa said, rising from her chair, trying to make a quick getaway.
“Why don’t you head home, Alex?” Nicolas said, his voice a dangerous, low rumble.
Chessa’s nipples peaked hard against her borrowed shirt. That tone was one he used when he commanded her obedience—in bed. Shit!
“Think I might just do that,” Alex said, his tone cheerful. “Chessa, want me to drive you home?”
His expression was so innocent, she narrowed her eyes. What was he trying to start? She’d only known him for a night, but she already read the sly amusement beneath the guileless look.
Nicolas’s hand closed over hers, holding her in place. “I’ll see her home. We have coven matters to discuss.” His cutting tone was clear. Alex wasn’t welcome to join that particular conversation.
“You sure, Chessa?” Alex asked softly.
She nodded, unable to cram a denial past her straining vocal cords. As soon as Alex left she was gonna kill Nicolas.
“All right.” He nodded to Nicolas, an unspoken warning in his eyes.
Gawd, they were acting like two pit bulls facing off over a bone! Only she wasn’t gonna just lie there in the bowl. “See you tonight, partner,” she said, her tone silky-smooth.
Alex’s grin stretched wide, and he lifted one wicked eyebrow as he left, a throaty chuckle echoing in his wake.
When the door clicked closed, she leapt to her feet, dumping her chair on the floor. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”
Nicolas rose just as fast, his upper lip drawn back in a snarl as he faced off from the other side of the table. “I should be asking you the same thing. That bastard’s scent’s all over you. Did you fuck him as soon as you met him? Breaking in a new partner?”
“It wasn’t like that—and it’s none of your damn business anyway!”
“Like hell it isn’t.”
“You don’t own me.”
“You’re mine. You will come to admit it if I have to remind you every time we meet.”
“Whatcha gonna do? Brand my forehead?”
“Maybe I’ll brand your sweet ass so every time you sit, you’ll know whose ass it is!”
His comment, delivered in his slightly inflected French accent, struck her at once as comical—and just about the sexiest thing he’d ever said to her. I’m one sick puppy.
“I want to go home,” she said, her body trembling with sweet, aching desire.
“I’m coming with you.”
“I was counting on that.”
They left the file on the table and departed the station, walking side by side past the people still roaming aimlessly on the street like shell-shocked refugees.
She noted their presence, but ignored them, not able to think beyond the anticipation sizzling through her body. What would he do once he had her alone? His stark, feral expression excited her beyond common sense.
They didn’t touch. He didn’t glance her way even once. He stalked like a rangy cat, his long strides eating up the concrete as dawn crept between the huddled buildings in the Quarter.
At her apartment building, he held open the door, daring her to pass close to his body.
Heat simmered on his skin, scorching her, building a liquid, melting passion that had her thighs so tense she had to concentrate to put one step in front of the other.
Then they were at her door, and her hand shook as she stuck the key in the lock and turned it.
Nicolas came up behind her, pushing her over the threshold with his body, his hands already stripping away her jacket before she’d kicked the door closed behind them. Buttons popped as he skimmed the shirt off her shoulders, but he twisted the fabric, somehow binding her hands behind her.
His hands came up within her sight, cupping her breasts, squeezing hard. His cock pushed hard against her ass.
God, she needed him now. Inside her. Stretching her. Cramming deep. She didn’t care which particular portal he chose, so long as he did it quick.
“Nic! Oh God!”
Her whole body quivered as he jerked her pants open and skimmed them down her thighs, trapping her knees, then he turned and lifted her in his arms, striding toward the sofa.
He dropped her over a plush upholstered arm, face down, her bottom raised.
Chessa struggled to toe off her boots, but his hands were everywhere, rushing up the backs of her thighs, parting her buttocks.
Fingers thrust hard inside her vagina, gliding deep, swirling to capture the wetness spilling from her inner walls.
“He touched you here, didn’t he?”
“Yes!” she gasped.
He thumbed her clit, a sharp jab that shot a bolt of electricity straight to her womb.
Then his fingers slid up, and he circled her asshole. “Did he take you here?”
“No. Not him.”
His breath choked. “You had someone else, too?”
“Leo,” she groaned, resenting the fact he demanded the details. Who she fucked wasn’t any of his damn business.
“Leo,” he growled. “Did he fuck your ass?”
“Just his fingers,” she said, nearly sobbing now. Her pussy already weeping with creamy passion.
“Maybe I’ll let him keep them.” He plunged two fingers in her ass, not waiting for the tender flesh to ease around him. “Did you like it?” he asked, his whisper harsh and ragged.
“Yes! I fucking loved it! I came so hard I crumpled like a dirty Kleenex.”
“Bitch! This is my ass.”
Chessa was too far gone to care how thin the ice was beneath her at the moment. She sensed his rage close to the surface—savage, hot anger ready to erupt all over her. “It’s whosesoever ass I choose, you bastard!”
“We’ll see about that.”
The first slap landed low, between her legs, cracking against her swelling cunt.
“God. Jesus. Fuck!” She bit her lip to keep from telling him to do it again.
“Does Alex know you like this?” he purred, his hand caressing one fleshy globe.
She bit harder on her lip, piercing the skin.
Another slap landed in exactly the same spot. This time, sounding wetter.
Christ, she’d come like this! One more time and she was done.
But the next open-palmed swat landed on her ass, one cheek then the other, over and over until her skin burned and she squirmed again, rubbing her bared breasts against the thick corduroy, abrading her swollen nipples, trying to get off on just the sweet hot pain.
When a noisy sob escaped her lips, he stopped. He pulled away, leaving her dangling over the sofa, her skin cooling.
For a moment, she feared that was all he’d give her—revenge for what he saw as her betrayal.
The soft rustle of clothing sliding over skin soothed her.
She wished he’d say something, even if only to rage at her more. His sudden silence yawned like a dark chasm, one misstep on her part and he’d leave her there. Empty, unfulfilled. Her ass in the air.
She stayed silent. Obedient. Knowing that was what he demanded.
She was Born. Born to lead. Born to rule over him.
That he didn’t accept this role—with her—only fed her desire. Only Nicolas had ever mastered her.
His hands gripped the notches of her hips.
She squeezed her pussy, a futile effort to deny him entrance, proving her dis-obedience as he pushed the thick crown of his cock inside her.
His rich chuckle washed over her, licking at her nerve endings, pulsing through her channel where her body readied itself for his invasion. “Why fight me, when this is what you want? All you want from me.”
She closed her eyes, turning her face into the rough material. Wrong! He had it so wrong. She wanted more, but didn’t dare seek it.
Then his hips lunged forward, and he impaled her on his strong, thick cock.
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