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Released in January 2004, Love Bites was the second in the My Immortal Knight series. The hero, Quentin Albermarle, quickly became a fan favorite and has appeared in many of the MIK sequels. This year, I’ll be adding to the MIK family of books. Be watching for Viper’s story next.
Gold Star Award from Just Erotic Romance: “…Congratulations to Ms. Devlin for creating a masterpiece. This story has all the elements that a Gold Star book has in it. The novel has intense suspense that was thrilling and delightful…”
From Sensual Romance: “… LOVE BITES is a delicious, emotional romp of a story, a tale that builds powerfully on the old, often-used love triangle and succeeds beautifully in creating something new and exciting.”
On the trail of a serial killer, vampire Quentin Albermarle is mistaken for the killer by a police special task force. Once the smoke clears, Quentin finds himself in a delicious position-atop one of the unit’s crack officers, Darcy Henry.
In need of Quentin’s access to the vampire sub-culture, the task force leadership invites Quentin to join the crime unit as a special advisor, much to the chagrin of the men in the unit, and especially, to Darcy.
A no-nonsense cop with no time for romance, Darcy suddenly finds herself embroiled in a steamy love triangle between her mortal partner, Joe, and the handsome vampire. Going from abstinence to wantonness, she is unable to resist the two men’s relentless seduction or her own sensual curiosity about a vampire’s special “kiss”.
When the real killer threatens the life of someone close to her, Darcy makes a choice that forever binds the three of them together.
“He’s coming in. Get ready,” Joe’s voice jerked Darcy Henry to wakefulness.
Berating herself for dozing off during a stakeout, she fumbled for the switch on her night vision goggles. Instantly, the landscape before her was awash in shades of luminescent green. She scanned the water’s edge. The crests of the ebbing tides rolled onto the beach, unbroken by any sign of “Bat-boy.” Had she already missed her opportunity?
“Where do you see him?” she whispered into the mike on her headset, glad the roar of the incoming surf masked their voices.
“Ten o’clock. Get cocked.”
She reached for her crossbow and drew back the linen cord with both hands and latched it in the spring clip. Then she slid a steel-tipped arrow onto the track. Sighting down the shaft of the arrow, she braced the bow in her left palm and dug her elbow into the sand. With the stock snug against her shoulder, her right forefinger slid around the trigger and she turned her sights back to the water’s edge—just in time to see a tall figure stride out of the surf.
He fit the description of the new vamp in town she’d purchased from the barman at the “blood bank.” Only the barman hadn’t filled in all the details. Darcy stiffened against her body’s sudden surge of attraction and firmly reminded herself the vamp’s body was like any other man’s. Yeah, right.
Her gaze flickered over him, inventorying his characteristics—for her After Action Report. Broad-shouldered, leanly muscled, just over six feet tall. Blond, she could tell, despite the fact his hair was plastered to his head. Handsome, too. With broad prominent cheekbones, a longish straight nose, and lips that appeared permanently curved in a smirk.
Unable to resist the temptation, she adjusted the lenses of her goggles to zoom, and her gaze slipped lower. His package was as fine arriving as his ass had been going into the water. His long, uncircumcised cock dangled between his legs. Something not mentioned in the barman’s description—and definitely not something that would make it into her AAR.
“Cease!” Joe said, impatience clipping his words. “A civilian’s in your line of sight.”
Darcy lowered the bow, cursing under her breath. “Where? And how the hell did we miss that?” she whispered angrily.
“She had to have been here when we arrived,” Joe replied. “If I hadn’t seen her hand rise above the dune…”
Nothing was ever as simple as it seemed. A vampire spotted on Vero Beach just happened to meet the description of a suspected killer they’d circulated that day.
This night’s stakeout might be a bust after all. They’d have to track him to his lair and try to take him out while he slept. Dusting a sleeping vampire never sat well with Darcy. Too unsportsmanlike. Asleep, even a probable serial killer like this one wore a face like an innocent.
She burrowed deeper into the wet sand at the bottom of her shallow foxhole, prepared to wait it out. This time she wouldn’t doze, no matter how balmy this November night grew. Too many late nights and too little sleep, were taking their toll on the whole team. Instead, she concentrated on how uncomfortable she was with damp sand working its way into her clothing and the smell of rotting seaweed all around her.
Having a target to observe helped. Hopefully, the vamp wouldn’t make a meal of his host or Darcy would be forced to intervene. Hand-to-hand with a vamp was a last resort. Humans almost always lost to their superior strength. No matter how many degrees of black belt one had earned.
Joe let out a low whistle. “Damn! How’d a ghoul like that get a such a fine piece of ass?”
A woman sat up near the top of a dune, her arms outstretched, revealing a slender back, rounded hips and a cascade of long, dark hair.
The male vamp went down on his knees and leaned over her.
Darcy tensed, ready to spring to the woman’s rescue at the first sign of fangs.
Instead, the woman’s back arched to offer her breasts to her lover. His mouth closed over a beaded tip and the woman’s loud groan of approval was discernable over the rumble of the incoming tide.
Joe’s soft laughter sounded in Darcy’s ear. “Better take notes, Darc. See what you’re missing?”
Darcy knew better than to answer her partner. Any response would only add fodder to the ribbing she’d receive at the Special Unit’s outbrief in the morning. Her lack of a social life was already a favorite topic.
As it was, she was glad the guys weren’t “wired in” to her goggles. Joe’s fed the monitor in the van parked further down the beach.
Maybe she’d get even luckier and the vamp would move his tryst indoors.
Instead, he released the woman’s breast. With his hands braced on either side of her, the tops of his shoulders rippled as he “walked” down her body, his head circling as he kissed a path across her belly. Then he moved lower.
Darcy squirmed. When was the last time a man had buried his face in her pussy? God, had it really been three years since Manny had transferred to Miami-Dade?
The woman’s hips lifted and her hands dug into the sand. When his face reached the juncture of her thighs, she shouted and her head thrashed from side to side.
Darcy wished she could roll to her back and give the couple their moments of privacy—and herself a reprieve from an unwanted rush of desire. Tight as a spring, it wound inside her belly. She was helpless to stop the flush of heat that swept from her face to her breasts. And thankful for the darkness so no one on her team would see her blushing.
When the vampire rose to kneel between the woman’s legs, Darcy’s heart thudded dully in her chest and increased in tempo. His cock fell onto the woman’s belly, engorged and enormous, just before he hooked his arms beneath her knees and lifted her buttocks off the sand. The woman reached for his cock and guided it to her pussy. Then his hips slammed forward, hard.
The woman arched into the sand and shouted again.
No man had ever made Darcy shout, a thought that niggled her feminine pride while it aroused her curiosity. Although with his super-sized hardware, the shout might not have been one of ecstasy. The thought cheered her for the moment, and then she noted the woman slamming her hips upward to meet the vamp’s thrusts.
From Darcy’s angle, she had a perfect view of the long gliding action of his hips as he pumped into the woman’s body. Darcy’s legs widened and she dug her knees into the sand, shifting her hips to relieve the itch between her legs.
“I’ll bet you twenty she comes before he does,” Max’s voice broke in.
“You’re on,” said Joe. “What man wouldn’t come all over a woman like that?”
“Ahem. Just a little reminder, guys,” Darcy said, hoping to dampen this particular line of conversation. “Captain will be reviewing this feed, too. Joe, you better not have your zoom on.”
Soft chuckles sounded from the guys, but they soon quieted and hunkered down to wait—and watch.
Darcy’s attention returned to the couple further down the beach. The woman’s legs straightened, her toes pointing toward the moon, and her long moans indicated she was fast approaching the big ‘O’. The vampire ground his hips into hers, and the woman screeched.
“You owe me twenty,” Max said.
“Damn,” Phil whispered. “Wonder if the wifey will be up for a little tickle in the morning.”
“I’m telling Bets you called her that,” Darcy said, her mouth so dry the words almost cracked.
The woman’s legs jerked up and down, and the vamp flung back his head and thrust faster.
Suddenly, he stopped, his nose lifting into the breeze.
Realizing the wind had shifted, Darcy hugged the sand and held her breath.
The vamp opened his eyes and stared straight at her.
Darcy froze, hoping he hadn’t really seen her. But a grin stretched across his face.
“Fuck, Darcy!” Joe shouted into her headset. “You’re made. Get out.”
Darcy couldn’t risk a shot with the woman downrange. She ditched her crossbow, ripped off her goggles, and sprang from the foxhole. Running straight for the road a hundred yards in front of her, Darcy felt the world slow. Her feet mired in the sand. Her heart drummed loudly in her ears.
Then she heard bare feet pounding in the sand and knew he was gaining.
“I’ll try to get off a shot,” Joe said, his breaths coming short and fast, “but he’s moving in on you. Pick up your feet. You’re running like a girl.”
Anger and a spurt of adrenaline increased her pace. She leapt over a hummock of tall sawgrass and hoped it scraped his balls. The road was fifty yards away. The headlights of the approaching van swept the beach in front of her.
“He’s too close. I can’t get off a shot,” Joe said. “Hold him off, I’m coming.”
Twenty-five yards and uphill, now. Her boots sank ankle-deep as she climbed a dune. She reached the top, and then her feet left the ground as a heavy weight knocked her through the air.
They rolled in a jumble of twisting limbs to the bottom of the dune. When they stopped, his long, hard body stretched over hers, anchoring her limbs to the ground.
Darcy opened her eyes, expecting a vampire’s mask and a row of jagged teeth. Instead, the vamp’s handsome face hovered inches from her own.
“Well, well, well,” he said, his voice a low, rumbling purr. “A she-cop. A dangerous species, indeed.”
“You’re English,” she blurted. Something else not in the report. Was he even a vampire?
Despite the layer of clothing separating their skins, Darcy burned from his heat. She struggled against his restraint.
He stretched and hooked his ankles around hers and his hands held hers easily to the ground.
Finally, she let her head fall back in the sand. “So, how’d you know I was there?” she asked, already knowing the truth, but needing to distract him.
His face lowered, and he sniffed along her neck and the collar of her shirt. “I could smell your arousal.”
Darcy jerked, that hadn’t been quite the answer she’d expected, and then noted that up close he smelled of the sea and the other woman’s perfume.
Noise from a half a dozen pairs of booted feet hurtling down the dune filled the air around them. When the sand settled, the clicks of rounds chambering in pistols sounded loudly.
The blinding glare of multiple flashlights trained on Darcy and the vampire lying in the trough of the dune fully illuminating his features. His wary gaze held Darcy’s.
“Get off her now!” Joe shouted.
“Now, gentlemen,” the vamp responded, his voice calm, “why would I give up my only advantage?”
He leaned close and Darcy forced herself not to flinch. Christ, he’s going to bite me. Expecting teeth to sink into her neck, she was surprised when his warm, rough tongue lapped her instead. So that’s what their tongues feel like!
“Just in case,” he whispered.
When she could organize her scattered thoughts she realized he’d prepared her skin—used saliva from the special glands in the back of his throat to deaden the nerves. Why bother?
“I give you my word. We won’t harm you if you let her go,” Joe continued.
“And our long standing relationship assures me your word to a vampire is your bond?” Wry humor laced his words. “No thank you. I think I’ll stay right where I am. Besides it seems a fair trade. I have an interesting bit of woman-flesh beneath me to replace the bit you chased off.”
Joe cursed softly.
The vamp’s gaze drilled her into the sand. “I’m sure you’ve wondered what it’s like. From where I’m sitting…er, laying…it’s pretty damn sweet.”
Which reminded her his sex nestled between her legs. Awareness stiffened her belly and thighs. Darcy glared at him—vampire or not—she was getting pretty mad.
“You son of a bitch,” her partner growled.
“Joe,” Darcy said, trying not to strangle on her words, “Let’s not piss him off. Remember, I’m the one with a naked vampire squashing the breath out of me.”
“Yeah. Captain’s gonna have your ass,” Max said.
“Somehow, I think that’s the least of my worries,” she murmured.
“Well folks, it looks like we got ourselves an old-fashioned Mexican standoff,” Joe said, disgust in his voice.
“You’re fucking Cuban,” Max pointed out.
As a smile stretched across his face, the corners of the vamp’s eyes wrinkled. “Is this what you have to put up with every day? Poor girl.”
Darcy’s breath hitched. He’d been handsome before, but smiling, his attraction was lethal. Even with a crowd of her buddies standing with fully loaded weapons trained on them, Darcy’s body responded to the vampire’s sensual pull. Her breasts tightened and her nipples pressed painfully against her sports bra.
“We should probably put this to a swift end,” he said, lowering his head to nuzzle her neck.
That wasn’t what she wanted to hear. Bracing for violence, she was unnerved when he raised his head. He still smiled.
In fact, his smile was so broad she could detect the state of every one of his pearly whites. Darcy stilled, her mind racing. He wanted her to know he was in control. Not the action of a blood-crazed vampire.
But still a vampire.
With her mouth dry as a desert, Darcy said, “If you keep your mouth next to my neck, we could sit up and talk with the guys about what to do next.”
His gaze flickered to her lips and back up. “Do you really want your friends to see what you do to me?”
Confused, she felt something nudge her inner thigh and remembered his erection. Heat rushed to her cheeks. The whole crew would know a horny vampire pinned her to the ground.
“Shy?” he whispered.
Her eyes narrowed. “Performance problems? Couldn’t get it off before?”
“She bites!” Louder this time, “I’m going to move behind her slowly. So that we can talk.” He winked.
This was a big joke to him. In that moment, she knew he wasn’t the killer. Vamp or not, he wasn’t going to harm her.
With his mouth against her neck, he lifted his body off hers, and she followed him up, sitting in the sand. He slid around her, until she was between him and six raised weapons. When he settled, his long bare legs stretched alongside hers and an arm held her back against his belly, his cock snug between them.
“Our little secret,” he whispered.
She was getting damned annoyed with the whispers that raised the hairs on the side of her neck. “Not so damn little. And definitely not a secret.”
“Glad you noticed.”
Darcy glared straight ahead.
“You’re the Special Unit, aren’t you?” the vampire asked, his voice pitched for the group to hear.
Darcy wished she could see the expressions of her team, but the lights trained on her kept them in shadow. How the hell did he know that?
“I’ve been looking for an opportunity to approach you regarding a delicate matter.”
“You have our full attention now,” Joe said.
“There’s a serial killer in your midst.”
Darcy heard a snort of disbelief and shuffling of feet.
“Yeah, and we’re looking at him,” Joe said.
This male posturing wasn’t getting the vampire’s cock off her back. “Joe, shut up. This isn’t getting us anywhere.” Glancing over her shoulder, she said, “My name’s Darcy.”
“A pleasure to meet you,” he murmured in her ear. “Call me Quentin.”
Quentin. Now it would be harder to kill him. He had a human name to go with his human face. “There’s more you want to tell us?”
“I believe we have a mutual foe. I, too, am hunting.”
“The way I see it,” Joe said, “the killing started about the same time you showed up.”
Quentin’s hand tightened on her belly. “I followed it here. From Seattle. My friends aren’t any more pleased with the attention his actions bring on our community than you are cleaning up his messes.”
Before Joe could issue another challenging remark, Darcy broke in, “What are you suggesting?”
“That we partner.”
“Our unit partner with a vampire?” It was unheard of. Their unit killed vampires—all vampires.
“There would be advantages to us both. You know the area. I have a vampire’s perspective and special skills.”
“We don’t need you to help us find a vampire,” Joe said. “We do just fine on our own.”
“And when you catch him? He’s not going to go into escape mode like most. He won’t panic. And you won’t find him by accident.”
His words sent a chill through Darcy.
“He’s a calculated killer.” The vamp’s words were becoming clipped.
An impatient vampire wouldn’t be good for her health.
“Think guys,” Darcy said. “The killer has left remnants of his meals in plain sight, taunting us.”
“Are you suggesting we should take this vampire on?” Joe asked.
“No.” I just want him off my back. “I’m saying this isn’t our decision.”
“We’ll bring you to the Captain,” Joe said, sounding disgusted.
“If you help us,” Darcy said, “What’s in it for you?”
“I need a place to stay. I choose yours.”
The air whooshed from her lungs at the thoughts his remark invoked.
“Let’s get this guy some pants before Darcy hyperventilates,” Max said.