Ready for a meaty, sexy read (full-length novel)? Plenty of plot twists? Vampires, demons, and zombies? A yummy menage? A sexy, sexy hero (this one’s EROTIC!)? Well, it drops tonight after midnight!
A raging storm unleashes a tempest of desire and an ancient evil…
For nearly 800 years, Revenant Nicolas Mountfaucon has dedicated his life to ensuring an immortal monster never walks free. When a terrible storm unleashes the beast, Nicolas’s past rises to haunt him, taunting him with the memory of the death of his bride and the loss of his brother at the hands of the ancient demon known as “The Devourer.” Nicolas turns to the only person who can provide him emotional and physical solace, Born vampire Chessa Tomas, sure she will join the hunt for the evil creature.
Only Chessa wants nothing to do with hunting the “Big Bad”—she’s shed her responsibilities as a Born, refusing her seat on the council because she doesn’t trust their leader. However, Nic isn’t as easily dismissed—he appeals to the secret side of her nature that begs to be dominated.
Fresh from her shower, Chessa heard the heavy knock and glanced at her clock on the bedside stand. Still an hour before she had to be at work.
Not the super. She’d paid her rent. Besides, he’d fled with the rest of the building’s inhabitants when the Mayor had ordered evacuation.
And not her partner seeing whether she wanted to get a cup of coffee before reporting to duty. Her partner wasn’t coming today.
Or ever again.
Curious, she threaded through piles of discarded clothing to her front door and peered through the peephole into a hallway lit only by grayish, pre-dusk light from the landing window. The power had gone out sometime during the night. Just one more annoyance on top of the last hellish twenty-four hours.
A familiar man stood on her threshold. Broad shoulders, long dark hair—her body clenched. “Nic?” What was he doing in the city again so soon? How the hell had he gotten in? She’d heard most of the roads around the city were closed due to flooding.
“Chessa, open the door.”
Something in his voice had her gripping the doorknob tight. Her breath hitched. She didn’t want to know what had brought him here.
“Please,” he said, weariness and raw, aching need flavoring the rich timbre of his voice.
Although they’d sated their appetite for sex a few hours ago, Chessa’s body softened instantly, heat tightening her womb. She hated the way her body betrayed her.
They’d said their farewells, she reminded herself. “We had a deal, Nic. You stick to your turf—I’ll stick to mine.”
“Chessa, open the goddamn door.”
The “or else” he left unspoken in his lightly accented voice. She got the message and turned the knob, stepping aside to let him in as she wrapped her towel tightly around her body.
A quick, sweeping glance told her there was trouble. Big, fat vampire trouble. Nicolas looked a mess.
His long black-brown hair hung in damp, curling tendrils around his lean face. His exposed skin was grimy-looking, and he smelled of sewage and sour swamp water.
His hands reached for her.
Without time to sidestep, she found herself smashed against his chest, his strong hands clutching her close.
She leaned back in the circle of his arms and stared into his face. What she saw troubled her. His jaw was clenched tight, and his face was unnaturally pale—even by a vampire’s standards. “What’s happened?”
His throat tightened, but he shook his head and lowered it.
Only she’d just had a shower, and he stunk to high heaven. Besides, she needed space to calm the riot of feelings he aroused. Ones she was still uncomfortable acknowledging even existed. She pressed her palms against his chest to halt him.
She loved Rene. Although he’d chosen to enter a mage’s sanctuary with another Born vampire, Chessa wasn’t over him yet.
Her feelings for Nicolas were strictly carnal—and she needed to get her libido back under control. Unbridled passion had been unleashed by proximity to Natalie Lambert’s coming into season, as only a transforming Born could inspire. That arousal had spilled over onto Chessa and Nicolas—it was the only explanation Chessa would allow for the strength of the desire that even now made her body yearn toward his.
Nicolas’s chest heaved, and his eyes narrowed to feral slits. “Don’t deny me. Not now.”
She wrinkled her nose. “You stink.”
“Then we’ll shower,” he said, a dangerous edge to his voice.
As always, his first terse words had her melting. “Tell me why you’re here,” she said, searching for a way to put him off while she shored up her fading resistance.
Another shake of his head, this time sharp and violent. “Later,” he ground out.
Then she noted the wildness in his eyes. Something had rattled his cage. Nicolas was never anything but completely in control. Chessa felt the last bit of solid ground crumble beneath her. “All right,” she said softly and held up a hand to ward off a kiss. “But shower first.” He’d have to let her go to follow her.
However, Nicolas wasn’t giving her the space she needed to regroup. He grabbed the top of her towel and ripped it away then slammed his mouth on hers, backing her toward the bedroom.
Chessa’s bare feet skidded on her wood floor as she dug in her heels, but he swept her along, through her bedroom into the bathroom, all the while punishing her lips with a brutal kiss.
When the edge of the tub brought them up short, he reached behind her and yanked aside the shower curtain. “Turn it on.”
Dumbly, she reached behind her, fumbling to turn the knob, finally sending a spray of water that misted around them before he lifted her above the rim of her tub to set her inside.
Nicolas tore at his clothes, dropping them at his feet, then stepped beside her in the stall, crowding her against the cool tile walls with lukewarm water falling all around them. “Any more objections?” he asked, in his oddly rasping voice.
She shook her head, overwhelmed and mute with rising desire. Her body already strained toward his. Her breasts swelled, her nipples ruching tight and hard. Her legs trembled, and her sex released a trickle of fragrant moisture she couldn’t deny.
His hands reached around her and grasped her bottom, lifting her off her feet, crushing her breasts to his chest, her mound against the base of his rigid cock.
With his erection pressing into her belly, any objection was obliterated. She flung out her arms and gripped his shoulders, aiding him as he angled her body toward his and thrust his cock between her legs.
Chessa groaned as he slid inside her. “Bastard, we had a deal.”
His response was a flex of his hips to thrust hard inside her, tunneling deep, pressing higher until the strength of his hips and cock had her feet dangling above the porcelain bottom of the tub.
When he’d reached inside her as far as he could, he wrapped his arms around her, squeezing away her breath and laid his cheek alongside hers, his chest heaving.
She shivered from arousal so strong it nearly choked her and from fear of whatever had shaken Nicolas to his core. She’d never seen him like this. “What is it? What’s happened?”
His head drew away, and his gaze burned as it slid to her lips. “Later,” he groaned.
Again, the wildness in his gaze and the tension that gripped his broad shoulders and arms as he held her unsettled her. This wasn’t Nicolas with his sardonic quips and ever-watchful gaze. Accustomed of late to him showing up at unexpected times to tempt her, this was different.
He was frightened.
Although tempted to argue, to chide him and try to drive him away, she wound her arms around his neck, her legs around his waist, and pulled him close, dragging his head down to bury against her shoulder.
If she were honest with herself, she was glad he’d come.
Not that she was ready to be anybody’s rock. She had problems of her own. A life to sort out. One far away from the vampire enclave at Ardeal.
Nicolas was entrenched in that life, but she had broken free decades ago and had vowed she’d never go back. Whatever was bothering him now wasn’t her problem.
But she could hold him and let his warmth and strength provide her comfort as well. She had her own needs and a desolate loneliness that had filled her when she’d shut her apartment door hours earlier and realized the only friend she’d had in the world was lost to her forever.
“Stop thinking,” he growled.
“Just fuck me,” she bit out, meeting his hard gaze with a glare of her own.
Their hips churned together in a desperate coupling. Not at all the sexy, teasing pummeling she’d come to expect—that in itself was an indication of his upset. His movements lacked finesse. He gave no thought for her pleasure, which he was always so careful to draw out—torturing her with her own desire.
Instead, his hands gripped her ass hard, pushing her up and down his cock, grinding her back against the cool tiles as he powered into her.
When he came, his eyes squeezed tight, his body grew rigid, and he held his breath for one endless moment. After his pulsing release waned, he dropped his forehead against the tiles. “Get out.”
Surprised at the harshness of his voice, she didn’t question him, just unwound her legs from his waist and slid down his body. She stepped out of the tub to dry herself with a towel while he remained inside, drawing the curtain closed behind him.
She couldn’t think of a thing to say. Despite the humid air inside the room, she shivered.
Damn. It sure as hell felt like she cared about the fact he’d tossed her out of her own shower.
UPDATE: The winners are…PansyRose Parsons and Debra Guyette!
Before I wrote bounty hunters, I wrote about vampires…
Knight in Transition
A member of an elite police unit sworn to hunt vampires, Joe Garcia’s life is turned upside down when he’s transformed into one. On a quest for a cure, Joe’s search brings him to New Orleans in a last-ditch effort to recover his humanity.
Professor Lily Carlson, a renowned expert in vampire lore, has a condition of her own. Her sexual libido has been in hyper-drive for months. Her only defense is to hide behind her glasses and tweed suits and stay as far away from men as possible. However, she’s thrilled to discover vampires really do exist when Joe shows up on her balcony.
Although Joe deflects her attempts to make him a case study and confirm a few vampire statistics, he is drawn by her powerful allure. When werewolves join the chase and track her through New Orleans, Joe’s cop instincts tell him there’s a mystery to solve. Intent on protecting her, he must seek help from the last vampire on Earth he wants to ask.
While his hopes for deliverance from his fate dwindle, Lily’s life is forever altered by an unexpected inheritance.
The small sign in the café window read: Welcome Vampires and Sanguinarians! (No blood products provided—none permitted on premises! The Management).
Joe Garcia snorted. Every human in the place was a walking, breathing blood product — a portable soda fountain for the Fanged Ones.
He pushed through the glass door and tried to dampen the hope that rose in his chest, causing his heart to beat faster and his hands to sweat. Thusfar, he’d met only disappointment in his long search. This might be just another dead end-the last one he could afford before his cash ran out and his credit card was maxed.
Professor Carlson was his last hope.
Inside the cafe, enticing aromas assailed him. The smell of roasted coffee beans, which had been his life’s blood in another existence, was overlaid with the tangy scent of the real thing-the warm, viscous red stuff. The latter reminded him he hadn’t fed this evening, and hunger gnawed at his belly, making him edgy and irritable.
And something else enticed him. Something dark and sensual perfumed by a female musk with a tincture so unique it immediately sent a curl of heat to his groin.
He walked past the coffee bar without acknowledging the barrista’s greeting and wound his way through the tables, ignoring the human appetizers. His gaze was fixed on a menu board at the entrance of a roped-off area in the back, that read, “Vampire Survey Here”. An arrow pointed down to a table laden with a stack of pamphlets.
He brushed past the table, searching the back of the restaurant for his quarry.
“Sir, are you here ’bout da survey Professor Carlson is conductin’?”
Joe turned toward the voice flavored with a deep Louisianan accent. A pleasant-faced girl with black corkscrew curls all around her head sat at a table near the cordoned entrance.
He bit back the rude retort that immediately came to mind and answered, “Yes. I need to speak with her.”
“Well, you’ll have to complete a screenin’ survey first,” she said pleasantly but firmly, holding up a stapled document.
Joe sighed and accepted the papers. What the hell? Five more minutes wouldn’t kill him.
“Do you have a pencil?” she asked. When he shook his head, she gave him a superior smile and extended a short, sharpened pencil.
Joe didn’t like her attitude one bit, so he reached for her hand, running his fingers over her palm before taking it.
Her smile slipped and Joe could well imagine her thoughts. Another vampire wannabe was hitting on her. He smiled and let her see his teeth.
Her eyes narrowed and a single brow rose. She wasn’t impressed.
That actually gave Joe hope he was in the right place after all. His sharp fangs hadn’t fazed her.
“You can take a seat with the other guy,” she said, indicating the first booth along the back wall.
Joe walked over and slid across the vinyl seat opposite a young man dressed in black leather and sporting no less than five facial piercings. The piercings glittered like tinsel in the dim light and Joe wondered how the kid could stand leather in May-New Orleans was already sweltering, even at night.
Turning over the top page of his survey, Joe quickly scanned the questions. He hoped like hell they were only meant to screen out the weirdoes and pretenders. Otherwise, he was screwed.
He wet the tip of his pencil on his tongue and read the first question.
“Do you consider yourself a Vampire or a Sanguinarian?”
Since he had no clue what a Sanguinarian was, he checked, “Vampire.”
“If you checked ‘Vampire’, skip to question 6.”
Maybe this wouldn’t take so long after all.
In the middle of the page, he found 6. “How often do you have the urge to drink blood?”
He checked the block beside, “More than three times a day.” Three times a night would be more accurate.
“How often do you drink blood?”
“Once a day.”
“Do you drink your own blood?”
“What would be the point?” he muttered, and checked “No.”
When he reached the question, “Do you drink blood during sexual encounters?”, he’d had enough.
He tossed the survey to the table and started to rise.
“She won’t see you unless you finish the survey,” Metal Boy said, without looking up from his form.
“She’ll see me.”
The young man’s mouth twisted into a sneer. “You’ll have to wait your turn. I was here first.”
Joe lifted his lips and showed him his fangs.
Metal Boy smirked and then lifted his lips, displaying a whole row of sharpened teeth.
Joe took a quick glance around the café to make sure no one was near, and then leaned over the table and shook his head. He let the change come over him, reveling for once in the wildness that surged in his veins as the bones in his forehead and brow shifted, and his skin stretched tightly.
The boy’s eyes widened until the whites symmetrically framed his irises. “I-I’ve just thought of somewhere else I need to be,” he said, and quickly scooted off the seat and ran for the exit.
Satisfied that vamping was good for at least scaring the shit out of punks, Joe took a deep breath and relaxed, feeling his face reform to his human mask. Then he headed back to the girl with the wild hair.
“I’ll see her now,” Joe said, not even trying to conceal his impatience.
“Have you finished dat survey?” she asked, her nose buried in her Cosmo magazine.
When he didn’t respond, she raised her eyes.
Something in his expression made her hesitate. “I’ll see if she’s free.”
Joe smiled grimly. “You do that.”
She was back in a moment. “Professor Carlson’ll see you now. You left your survey on the table, but I gave it to her.”
He followed her to the farthest corner of the café, toward another booth. A green lamp suspended over the table lent the corner a warm glow. When he drew alongside the green vinyl seat, the girl indicated he should sit and promptly left. Joe turned his gaze to the figure seated on the opposite bench.
His research had told him the professor was considered an expert in vampire lore. She’d written papers, magazine articles, and books, and even been consulted by more than one movie producer. When he’d typed “vampire expert” in the Internet search engine, her name had popped up everywhere.
All his research told him she might hold the answer, but it hadn’t said anything about how young or drinkable she was. Her hair was neither blonde nor brown, but the warm color of whiskey. Her eyes, hidden behind a pair of wire-framed glasses, glinted cognac. Her lips were a pale rosé.
The hunter within him woke.
Realizing he’d been staring, he cleared his throat. “You’re Professor Lily Carlson? The author of ‘Vampires: Myth and Reality’?”
Her gaze swept over him. An action so swift, he thought he might have imagined it. “And you are?” she asked, leaning over the table to extend her hand.
Joe froze. That indefinable scent was all over her. He had the urge to rub on her like a kitten in catnip. He eyed her small hand, afraid to touch it and feel the blood humming below the surface of her creamy, white skin. He was that close to jumping her. “I thought the survey was anonymous.”
“Oh, it is,” she replied quickly, withdrawing her hand. “You’re responding to the ad, then?” At his nod, she looked vaguely disappointed. “Well, I suppose I should review your answers. Please have a seat,” she said, waving him toward the bench seat opposite hers. “Thank you for taking the time to help me with my research.”
Bemused, Joe slid onto the seat. He knew he should get straight to the point, but he stalled. For just a few minutes, he wanted to be with a woman while she looked at him as if he was just like any other man. Well, perhaps like he was a man with a serious mental disorder. But at least, she wasn’t recoiling in horror or inspecting him like the Bearded Lady at a freak show.
Not that she was a great beauty, nor even as strong and fierce as his ex-partner Darcy. Dressed in a boring-beige suit, her whiskey-colored hair piled in a loose knot on top of her head, and her glasses sliding down her shiny nose, she looked like the schoolmarm she was. But while all the beige and brown should have made her look muddy, she glowed golden in the lamplight. And her scent—richly textured with something wild and animalistic—was extraordinary.
The woman opened his survey and glanced at his answers, then flipped the page. Her lips pursed for a moment, drawing his gaze to her full lower lip. “There are a few more questions I need answered. Do you mind if I learn a little more about you?” she asked, glancing up at him from beneath her gold-tipped lashes.
The surge of heat that centered in his groin was way out of proportion to her innocent question. Afraid he’d stutter over a tongue that suddenly felt too large for his mouth, he merely nodded.
“You understand the questions I’m about to ask you are part of a sociological study I’m conducting about our vampire subculture?”
Again, he nodded.
“All information you provide,” she recited as if from rote, “will be completely confidential. I hope you will answer me honestly,” she gave him a doubtful stare, “or to the best of your ability.”
She looked expectantly at him, so he nodded again.
Her gaze returned to his survey, and she cleared her throat. “You…are a vampire?”
“Yes.” This was the first time he’d admitted that fact out loud, and he knew how ridiculous it sounded.
“So, are you a Psy or a Sang?”
“There’s more than one kind?” Joe asked.
“A Psychic vampire feeds on a human’s energy; a Sanguinarian is a blood-drinker.”
“I guess I’m a Sang.”
“You drink blood once a day?” she asked, her head still bent over the paper.
He shrugged, hoping she’d glance up at him again so he could see whether her eyes really were a warm, golden-brown. “More or less.”
She scribbled something in the margin of his survey. “Well, which is it?”
“Do you drink human blood?”
Joe wished she’d end this line of questioning, or he’d be drooling shortly. Her scent had every appetite revving into high gear. “Yes.”
She glanced up from the survey. “How long have you had the urge to drink blood?”
“Since I woke up, tonight.”
She blinked. “No, I meant…since ever.”
ALL THE NIGHT FALL BOOKS!
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Answer this for a chance to win your choice from among my many Night Fall titles!
Need a full-length, highly erotic, paranormal thrill ride? Well, it’s FREE now—but only for a very short time! The sequel story, Dark Seduction, comes out on April 19th, so I thought you might want to see what came first before you pre-order your copy!
In the meantime, here’s what Dark Legacy is all about…
How could everything have changed for Natalie Lambert so radically, so quickly?
Escaping from a tragic past, the virginal beauty arrives in New Orleans and falls victim to a series of strange, unearthly attacks. Now, for the first time in her life, Natalie aches with sexual desire. Confused, frightened, out of control, she struggles desperately to understand a world that is transforming around her. But soon she will be powerful and magnificent in ways she could never have imagined…
A ruggedly handsome Cajun policeman, Detective Rene Broussard has come to rescue Natalie in her time of greatest need. And when he inexplicably wakes in bed beside her—both burning with a lust impossible to deny—he doesn’t care that a dark and vengeful enemy has brought them to this moment. All that matters is the irresistible curve of her body, the heat of her passion…and the forbidden pleasures the night promises.
With one sharp, sensuous, biting kiss, he will be hers for life…and beyond.
For those of you who don’t know it, I have a very sexy vampire-demon series. Originally, it was published by Avon, but I have the rights back to the first stories, so I’m revising, repurposing, and republishing them!
The first story, Dark Legacy, is already out. My favorite book in the series, Dark Seduction, will arrive April 19th! It features my second favorite hero of any I have written, Nicolas, and the heroine, Chessa, is full of sass and imperfections—and is perfect for Nic. This book is a full-length novel and has vampires, mages, demons, and some pretty scary scenes, along with some of the sexiest I’ve written.
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.
I’m a huge fan of paranormal and sci-fi movies and television series. Recently, I’ve binged through Star Trek: Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and I’m working on Farscape at the moment. This summer, I’m hoping to binge through all of Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the third time.
For a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift certificate, answer this: Do you have any recommendations for me? Is there anything you’ve loved?
I’m busy writing to “The End” of No Tender Mercy! There’s no pressure like release dates to get my fingers moving!
If some of you missed the first Texas Vampires story, Her Sanctuary, it’s a great time now to pick up your copy. Kate and Ty are featured in this story too, but it’s Diego’s turn to find the human of his dreams. 🙂
Both are set in Post-Apocalypse Texas where werewolves and vampires are thriving during a nuclear winter. I had fun with book #1, describing ranch-life, cowboys on horses, trying to survive. This time, the gang is at Fort Davis, Texas. So—vampire soldiers protecting human refugees. Did I mention the stories are erotic romances? Yes, fun times. These stories are shorter (and cheaper) than my bounty hunters—a quick afternoon’s read!
Who says the apocalypse has to be the end of good times?
For Diego, the career his father had insisted was his destiny turned out to be the perfect preparation for the end of times. The Army made him a warrior—and then it turned him into a monster.
Excerpt from No Tender Mercy…
Diego Salazar strode through the Operations Building, needing to get outside, needing the night air to revive him. He felt edgy, bordering on reckless. Deadly emotions—for anyone around him, that was. Worse, he was bored.
He passed the Comms room but didn’t glance inside. Kate McKinnon was manning the radio, flipping through channels, trying to find other survivors, who’d been like her—needful of rescue and protection. She’d found her calling since arriving at the post; Diego didn’t feel the same sense of urgency about finding lost souls in the wilderness. Hadn’t he offered enough to mankind?
He kept moving, walking swiftly past the Ops conference room, where his best friend, Ty Bennett, was giving the nightly briefing to the roving patrol. Same ole-same ole: watch for breaks in the fences, report any signs of infiltration, make sure no vampires abused their hosts, blah-blah-blah. He pushed through the exit, stepped outside, and took a deep breath.
Instantly, he felt alive, alert. Freed by the darkness. His glance shot upward.
Moonlight glowed silver behind a black cloud, the only illumination in an otherwise dark sky. Although meager, the moonlight bathed his face, giving him calm as well as a surge of energy.
Diego stared at the sky, admiring the way the moon’s rays backlit the thinner wisps of cloud cover then disappeared completely behind the thick tufts of charcoal gray. Clouds that rarely held rain. He had always loved looking at the night sky. When he’d been younger, he’d owned a telescope and had spent many late nights searching for the objects on Messier’s list of astronomical objects, trying to tick them off because finding them all would’ve proven to himself that his future held more than his father had already decided. In this endless night, he missed seeing stars. Before the world had gone to shit, he’d taken for granted the glorious sight of the Milky Way stretched across the sky. What he wouldn’t give for a glimpse of that majesty…
Glimpses of a starry sky had been few and far between for years now.
Feeling tense again, Diego patted his jacket pockets, found his pack, and shook out a cigarette. Once it was lit, he took long drags off the cigarette, pulling until the glowing ring reached the filter. He didn’t like wasting a millimeter of a smoke because, soon, the stash he’d squirreled away over months of supply heists would be gone. Smoking was the one last guilty pleasure he allowed himself. A middle finger thrust straight into the air at life. Once upon a time, he’d denied himself this particular sin because he’d cared about his health. However, dying of cancer was no longer a concern—one good thing that had come of the decision he’d made in the final days before The Apocalypse had created an eternal night.
The career his father had insisted was his destiny as a Salazar had turned out to be the perfect preparation for the End of Times. The Army had made him a warrior—and then it had turned him into a monster so that he could fight other monsters.
He dropped the cigarette then ground it beneath the heel of his boot. He was sure Ty, the elected commander of this regiment, although they no longer used their military titles, would be looking for his sitrep soon. While no longer part of the U.S. Army, they had to maintain the same discipline and order. Without rules, they could easily devolve. Their altered natures already tempted them to push against the bounds of civilized behavior. More than one of their unit had been “put down” when they’d surrendered to their darker appetites.
When the keys to the fortress had been handed to them as the Army abandoned this western post, they’d made the decision to continue their mission. Partially to protect innocents trapped in this wasteland but mostly to give themselves a purpose, so they’d stay on the narrower path. They were the last outpost in the New Frontier. While the civilian populations had congregated for safety in the eastern cities, they’d remained to protect any last vestiges of human populations from the wolves and the human predators that roamed the West.
Just a week ago, they’d left the safety of their post to rescue stragglers to the south from a ranch near Tierney, Texas. Kate, a few of her ranch hands, and three families had accepted their offer of shelter. Kate was now Ty’s woman. She’d brought horses and a breeding pair of cattle to begin a new herd inside the fence. How they’d feed the animals was still to be determined. The sky remained filled with dark clouds, and the grass within the fort’s boundaries was sparse and withered. At least, the rabbits the mess unit bred in cages had vegetable scraps from the indoor greenhouse they kept lit in a helicopter hangar, powered by the wind. No humans would die from lack of food here. In addition to the rabbits and vegetables they grew, they had a storage warehouse full of old rations. The hope was that the skies would clear enough to let sunshine pierce the gray clouds, so that, one day, life could return to a semblance of normal for the humans. Then they could grow gardens and raise livestock in greater abundance to survive until civilization returned.
The thought neither Ty nor Diego ignored was that sunshine would likely spell the end of the vampires when humans no longer needed their protection.
The vampires outside the post’s fences weren’t winning any popularity contests. As feral as the wolves, their indiscriminate killing kept the humans inside from fully trusting the soldiers, even those who had remained human and understood why some of their brothers had been turned; they were all treated with suspicion by the refugees.
For now, the turned soldiers and the humans shared a symbiotic relationship. The living fed the vampires. The vampires provided their superior senses, speed, and strength to keep the humans alive.
Which reminded him that he needed to eat. His stomach felt hollow, which made his mood dark. Until he was replenished, he’d snap out of irritation at the slightest provocation. He strode toward the mess hall. A room to the side of the cafeteria was kept for feedings. Human guards supervised the vampires’ meals to ensure the safety of those who volunteered their blood.
He wondered who’d be available. Ty was fortunate to have his own blood whore, although Diego would never call her that in front of him. Kate provided some of his friend’s needs, but Ty still needed other donors so he didn’t sap her strength.
The families that had come from Sanctuary Ranch had been leery of the arrangement, at first, and since Ty had promised that no one would be forced to provide for them, they’d been slow to volunteer.
Until they’d learned from the human soldiers that there was pleasure in giving. At first, the males had volunteered, “sacrificing” for their families. Then one husband had brought his wife, and they’d shared the pleasure. Now, all three families donated regularly. Only the children were left completely off-limits. A rule that was strictly enforced. If a vampire were to drink from a child, the penalty was death.
The door to the “blood mess” was open, and light from a gas lantern beckoned. When he stepped inside, he found a lone female sitting in an armchair, a book opened on her lap. She glanced up as he entered, and a pretty blush crept up from her neck to fill her cheeks.
She was a plain woman—full hips, small breasts, hair neither blond nor brown. Late thirties, he’d have guessed, but knowing the hardships she’d faced to survive, she could be younger.
Already, her heart thudded loudly.
The guard was asleep with his head thrown back and his mouth open. Diego would make sure his squad leader handled that problem, but for now, he liked that they wouldn’t have a witness.
“Melissa, isn’t it?” he asked softly.
She nodded, glanced quickly at the still sleeping guard then back at Diego. Was she afraid?
When she tilted her head toward the doorway, he understood. She wanted a little something more in return for her “gift.”
His mouth stretched into a smile, and he held out his hand to help her up from her chair. The moment her warm fingers slid across his skin he started getting hard.
She’d showered. Her hair and body smelled like strawberries. Her blond-brown hair gleamed in the golden light, but he led her through the doorway into the darkened cafeteria.
“I haven’t seen you here before,” he said.
“It’s my first time,” she whispered.
He chuckled to put her at ease. “A virgin?”
“I’ll be gentle.”
Her fingers pressed against his, and her pulse sped. “You don’t have to be.”
Diego grinned in the dark.
Sometimes, he enjoyed being the apex predator. Who said The Apocalypse couldn’t be fun?
UPDATE: The winners are…Colleen, Miki, bn100, Jennifer Beyer, Debra Guyette, and Stacey Kinzebach!
It’s Monday, a holiday (so kids are home), and it’s the beginning of a week of bad weather. The 8-year-old slept over with me last night and told me to turn off my alarms because she wanted to sleep in. Wish I could sleep in!!!!
Thought I’d take a moment to remind you about the pre-orders I have up. No, I don’t have big old blurbs to tell you about the last two because I haven’t written them yet, and I never know what the story is about until I’m midway through. I know that sounds crazy, but that’s what works for me.
Both of the first two books are EROTIC romance, so be warned!No Tender Mercy comes out on March 22nd! It’s the sequel to Her Sanctuary. If you love Texas and vampires, you’re in for a sexy ride! Dark Seduction, which releases on April 19th, is the sequel to Dark Legacy and is a story I’m republishing. It’s a full-length novel, very sexy, smutty, involves a police investigation, and is full of twists and turns involving vampires and demons. I love the story. It’s my third favorite thing I ever wrote.
These next two are part of a series you should be very familiar with by now! Hot SEAL, Wild Thing releases May 24th! The authors in this series are using song titles as our theme this time around. Of course, I jumped on one of my old favorites. All I know about my hero is that he’s living his life as wild and freely as he can. If you have any ideas why that is, I’d love to hear them! 🙂
If you read my latest bounty hunter story, Eli, then you’ve met Gabriel. And I gave you a huge hint about his possible love interest, so be sure to pre-order so you read their adventure! It releases on June 28th—my birthday!
For a chance to win your choice of a download from my ginormous backlist, let me know if you plan to read any of these stories! Also, if you want to gripe at me to write a story you’ve been waiting for, let me know! I’ll choose two commenters!