She rose against him. Her breath blew over his skin.
He should have been repulsed. Ashamed. He'd never given his blood to one like her before.
Never offered his throat in submission.
Never been a fool.
Never been prey.
His choices were nonexistent. If he wanted to find Cammie, Maya was his only hope.
"Relax. I told you, I not planning to hurt you."
Actually, he believed the woman had said she wasn't going to hurt him… much . The pain wasn't an issue, though. He could deal with pain. He'd managed easily enough in the past.
But it burned in his gut that she was already lying to him. While he'd never been food for a vampire, he'd heard the stories from the lucky few who'd managed to survive. Ripping, slashing pain. Teeth that cut, severed.
Mental screams that were never voiced because by then, it was too late. The vampire was already in the prey's head.
He remembered the foolish humans he'd seen at the feeding room. Eyes glazed over. Blood trickling down their throats. Had they tried to scream when they realized– too late –that it wasn't all dark fantasies and passion? In that last second before the vampires took control, had they been afraid? Her lips were on his throat now. Soft lips. Pressing gently. His hands clenched into fists. "Get it over with," he growled.
"If that's what you want." A faint whisper.
He stared up at those cracks-like spiderwebs in the ceiling.
Her tongue swept over him, a warm, wet caress that caused his cock to jerk in reaction.
He was sick. No other explanation.
The edge of her teeth pressed into his neck. The pressure was hard, and he prepared for the piercing pain as-
Heat exploded through him, a blinding flash that shook his body. For a moment, he worried that he'd lost his control, worried that the beast was free, that it would destroy Maya-
The ecstasy hit him. Waves of pleasure, the feelings so intense he shuddered-and wanted more.
His hands locked around her. One hand held her head to him, forcing her mouth tight against his neck. The other hand clenched around the curve of her ass, pressing her against his swollen flesh.
No pain. They'd been wrong. There wasn't pain, just-
She could drink from him all day, he didn't care. The feel of her mouth, sucking on his neck, licking, was one of the most erotic things he'd ever experienced.
Better than sex. Stronger, harder, so much bet-
Her head pushed against his hand. She wanted to stop.
His fingers tightened. He could make her keep drinking. There was no danger to him. He could-
What am I doing? His hands dropped from her. He stepped back.
And immediately missed the press of her mouth.
But the haze was clearing from his eyes. The lust still blazed through his body, the remembered pleasure seared his nerves, but at least his sanity was returning.
His fingers touched the wound on his throat. The skin was tender, but he knew the wound would heal soon.
His gaze locked on Maya's face. She licked her lips, and her eyes slowly faded from black to blue.
Then that stare narrowed on him. "You don't taste like a human."
His heart was racing. Arousal, not fear. "Oh? And just what do I taste like?"
She didn't answer. Just stared at him a moment longer as if trying to figure out some sort of puzzle.
Good luck with that one. He'd keep his secrets from her until he was damn good and ready to reveal them.
His cock was so hard and thick that he was pretty sure the zipper of his jeans might be leaving a permanent impression on his flesh.
He'd just gotten turned on by a vampire's bite.
Or so he'd thought.
His gaze dropped to the front of Maya's T-shirt. Her nipples poked against the fabric, sharp, tight peaks.
She'd been aroused by the exchange.
Good. So he wasn't the only one being driven to the edge.
"We'll talk about your niece at dusk. Figure out a game plan." She was obviously dismissing him for the time being and ignoring the tension between them, and her own need.
He found he wasn't quite as capable of ignoring the need. The lust pumped through his blood, driving a hunger he'd never expected to feel.
If her bite felt that good, he couldn't help but wonder, how would it feel to fuck her ? She walked toward the wall. She punched in a series of codes, and a faint whur filled the air.
There was a soft clank as the shutters locked into place.
"What are those for?" he asked, and his voice was harder, deeper than he intended. She had control. If she could fight the desire, so could he.
Control had never really been his strong suit.
He tried again, clearing his throat and deliberately not looking at the bare expanse of her pale legs. But he bet they'd feel good wrapped around him. "I thought the sun didn't hurt you." He knew it didn't. He'd once tied a vampire to a tree and waited for the sun to rise and the fire to start.
Nothing had happened.
Lucky for him, it had been easy enough to start a fire another way.
"The shutters don't just keep out the sun," she said, yawning a little and heading toward the bed.
"They keep the monsters out, too. They're made of reinforced steel. It'd take someone with a hell of a lot of strength-more strength than a vamp has-to get past 'em during the daylight."
The lady sure believed in being prepared.
She pushed back the covers, climbed into the bed. Then she threw a pillow at him. Hard. "You should fit on the sofa in the den."
The den? His fingers curled into the lumpy pillow. Since when did the place have a den? There was a bathroom the size of a closet, a miniscule bedroom, and he'd been pretty sure when they entered the house they'd walked through a kitchen.
Huh. Now that he thought about it, he did remember seeing a rather ragged green couch in the kitchen.
And there was really no way he was going to fit on it. "I think I'd prefer the bed."
She stretched out. "Um, I'm sure you would." Another yawn, one she made no attempt to cover.
"But you're getting the sofa. Or the floor. Your choice."
What a fine choice it was.
"There's food in the cabinets, if you get hungry. Pay to…keep it stocked." Her eyelids began to lower.
"Uh, Maya?" Surely this wasn't it. The great vampire was just going to curl up now and go to sleep? And he was going to stay up, horny, all damn day long? What about the bite? Did she think they were linked now, that she could trust him? A long sigh filled the room. "Slick, I've been hunting all night. I killed a demon, got my body ripped open, and had to deal with you. " She drew out the last, making it seem as if his presence had been the most stressful part of her night.
"Now, I'm tired, and apparently, I've got one hell of a hunt planned for tomorrow."
But he hadn't even told her all the details about Nassor and his pack yet.
"So I'm going to bed."
"You need to-"
Her eyes closed. "We'll talk tomorrow." Her voice had started to slur.
Well, damn. The vampire was dismissing him.
Just curling up and going to sleep.
He spun and stomped toward the door.
"Brody." No sleepiness in her voice now.
Glancing back over his shoulder, he found her stare trained on him.
"I've got you in me now. Got your taste." Her eyes were wide open as she told him, "We're linked. Don't think about lying to me or betraying me. I told you that I'd help you find the girl, and I will."
But only after she'd gotten her beauty sleep.
Adam bit back his impatience. Just because he didn't need sleep didn't mean that she could stay awake and be strong.
Even the undead had to rest.
He gave a curt nod.
"Turn on me, and I'll kill you." Her eyes flashed black for just the briefest of moments. "Believe me, if you even think about betraying me, I'll know."
No, she wouldn't. She had his blood, yeah, and though she didn't realize the fact yet, it would give her more strength than she'd ever possessed.
Maya would need that strength in the nights to come.
Yet other than the physical power the blood gave her, there was no other connection. If he wanted, he could let her into his mind. But only if he allowed it.
The vampire kept applying human rules to him.
A serious mistake. Human rules had never applied to him.
Not in all the centuries of his existence.
"Sleep well, vampire. You can trust me this day." For the day, she could. After that, well, they'd just have to see.
Her gaze bored into him and he knew she was trying to test their blood link. He could feel her power stirring in the air around him. Deliberately, he projected a calm, steady presence back to her.
She nodded her head slowly. Settled back against the bed and closed her eyes, apparently satisfied that she didn't have to worry about him while she slept.
Adam stared at her, emotions, needs churning in him. Maya Black wasn't quite what he'd expected.
She was making him feel. Making him want.
Not an ideal situation for one of his kind. Because when creatures like him wanted something, well, they took it.
After all, they were the strongest of the beasts that roamed the land.
Yeah, if he wanted something, he took it.
And, usually, he killed anything that got in his way.
"Tell me about the kid."
Adam looked up at Maya. She stood in the doorway, clad in a pair of faded jeans and a white T-
The sun had set less than twenty minutes ago. As it had dipped beneath the horizon, he'd heard Maya stirring in the next room. He'd stayed on the couch, not moving, too leery of finding another strip show if he walked into the bedroom.
Because what would he do then? He'd already spent the better part of the day trying to forget what the woman felt like beneath his fingers. He didn't need another visual tease to stir him up.
Maya sauntered across the room and stared down at him. "I need to know everything about her."
He licked his lips. "Her name's Camellia. Cammie. She's nine." But he'd already told her that.
"What does she look like?" Her gaze drifted to his hair. "Dark, like you?"
He nodded. "Same hair color, but she's got curls. Same eyes. She's kinda fragile, and small."
"What, is she your sister's kid or-"
"My brother's. But I'm her guardian." Protecting her had been his responsibility, and he'd failed her.
He'd just wanted her to feel normal. Going to a sleepover at a friend's house had seemed so innocent.
But Cammie wasn't normal. Never would be.
The vamps knew it. That was why they'd taken her.
"Why isn't your brother the one looking for her?"
"Because he's dead." Jon had passed years ago. Taken his own life, right after Cammie's mother died.
"Must be tough on the kid. Not having a father."
"Or a mother." Hell, he hadn't meant to tell her that.
Her lips pulled down. "So it's just the two of you, huh, Slick?"
"And where's home for you and Cammie?" Maya drawled. "I get the feeling you aren't from L.A."
No, he definitely was not. "Maine. Small town. Cotter's Ridge." At least that's where they'd been living when his niece was taken.
"Um." She sat on the couch beside him, her knee brushing his. "And you came all the way to L.A. in order to find little old me?"
Yeah, he had. Because Maya could lead him to Nassor.
"How do you know that it was Nassor's pack that took her?"
"A witness told me. She saw the vampires, heard them mention his name." Nassor wasn't exactly a name that could be forgotten. Those who knew of the supernatural world, well, they usually knew of Nassor.
The vampire was old. Maybe one of the oldest of his kind. Writings of him began in the time of ancient Egypt.
According to the legends, he'd been favored by his gods. Granted immortality.
The bastard had been raising hell ever since.
Maya rubbed her index finger down the bridge of her nose. "Nassor's men don't usually leave witnesses behind."
"They thought she was dead." He still wasn't sure how Karen had managed to hold on until he'd gotten there. Sometimes, humans could surprise him. "Karen-Cammie's nanny-managed to tell me what happened."
Maya reached for his hand. "Show me."
He hesitated. The bond. She wanted in his mind. Wanted to peer at his memories.
Maybe she wanted to test him. To see if the story of his niece was true.
But he could show her this.
He took her fingers. Held tight, and opened his mind to the vampire.
Instinct took him out into the night. A gut feeling that something was wrong.
He'd sent Cammie out in the limo. The nanny had gone with her. Two guards.
He couldn't keep the girl in a cage. She needed her freedom.
Going to the party-he'd thought there would be no harm in the simple trip.
Then he'd begun to fear.
He found the car first. The hood had slammed into a light pole. The limo's doors were open. He smelled the blood as he ran forward, then he saw the guards. Throats ripped open, eyes staring sightlessly ahead.
But no Cammie.
A gasp. Soft, pain-filled. Adam ran as fast as he could toward the sound.
He found her in the street, tears streaming down her face, blood pooled beneath her body. The nanny. Not Cammie, not his Cammie.READ MORE >>