Today’s tease comes from the book Forbidden Blood, which is one of my stand alone vampire romance novels, and another of my favourite books. Read on for this Tuesday’s tease… it’s a long one today because I absolutely love this scene and the one that comes after it. I might need to add a little background. Kearn, a vampire of Noble blood and a Venator (a hunter who tracks and kills other vampires who break the law), is using a human female, Amber, as bait because she has rare blood and his target hungers for a taste of her. Kearn has taken Amber to a nightclub, and is struggling with hungers of his own…
The sandy-haired well-dressed man behind the bar gave him a nod. Kearn didn’t grace him with one in return. The man was a Commoner, the rank of vampire far below Lesser Noble. Nothing more than a peasant. He had worked here in all the times that Kearn had visited and was the only vampire on the staff. Kearn had often wondered if the man owned the club. The Commoner walked down the length of the black glass-topped bar towards Amber. Kearn kept a close eye on the man. There was a momentary spark of red in his eyes as he took her drink order, his gaze darted down to her bandaged hand as she gave him the money, and then he moved away. Wise decision. Kearn didn’t want to have to start the evening by killing someone. The Commoner stopped at the till near Kearn and looked right into his eyes. Kearn’s switched briefly to red and he glared at the man, letting him sense his intent and making it clear that Amber belonged to him. The Commoner acknowledged him with a bow of his head and then made Amber’s drink.
She smiled at the man as he gave it to her, distracting Kearn from his dark thoughts. She did look beautiful tonight. Perhaps he should have told her that just to see her reaction. He could imagine the deep crimson blush that would have stained her cheeks and it stirred his blood.
Perhaps he should concentrate on his work.
Kearn sat several stools away from Amber. They were the only two at the bar but that soon changed.
The minutes ticked by and each one brought more people into the club. Another Noble showed up, a tall dark-haired man with three human women draped all over him. Lord Montagu. The man’s dark eyes narrowed on Kearn in contempt and then he was walking down the steps at the end of the bar area to the dance floor. Kearn shook off the irritation of such a weak-blooded man looking down on him and watched the rest of his entourage enter. All unranked Montagu men and women. The most interesting was a doe-eyed woman who watched the lord like a hawk. She was human and going through the transition judging by the scent of her blood. She had probably thought that Lord Montagu would change his ways once she had let him bite her and her dark fairytale would be complete. Humans were so gullible.
Kearn looked along the length of the bar at Amber.
Would she ever consent to becoming a vampire?
It was a ridiculous thought that he immediately shoved aside but it crept back into his head and he found himself musing it. Pondering how sweet Amber’s throat would taste under his lips as he sunk his fangs into it reignited his ardour for her, fanning it back into life until it blazed through him, hotter than the surface of the sun and equally as fierce. The deep unrelenting thirst for her constantly flowed in his blood, pleading to be sated, even though he knew it was impossible.
If Amber were a vampire, she would sense his intent as he stared at her, and would know his dark pounding lust for her. If he turned her, she wouldn’t become a weak vampire as other humans did, fit only to serve his pureblood kind. She would become the most beautiful creature on this planet, surpassing even pureblood vampires. Her power would be devastating, everything he had at his command and more, amplified by the gene in her blood. She would be as vampires had been many millennia ago. She would be a goddess.
He had never changed a human and had never wanted to before now.
While others treated it as nothing more than a thrilling moment, uncaring of the consequences or how the human felt, Kearn treated it with the respect that such a beautiful thing deserved. That he could give a human, Amber, the gift of immortality and the powers of his species was incredible.
But it was something he couldn’t do, no matter how much he thought about it and how enticing it sounded in his mind. Had he been his old self, had he not become a Venator and not walked the path of solitude, despised by his kind, he would have thought differently. He would have been able to give Amber the life as a vampire that she deserved. If he bit her now and turned her, they would only have each other. She would find herself hated by not only humankind but by the vampires too. He couldn’t ask her to tread the same path as him and bear the loneliness. Only he deserved to live such a life.
Amber deserved so much more.
People lined the bar between them. She ordered another drink and fiddled with the cocktail stirrer when it arrived. A man approached her. Human. She smiled politely and waved him away. Kearn focused, wanting to hear what she was telling him, but he couldn’t make it out over the noise of the music. It was louder now and using his heightened senses hurt his head.
A few minutes later, another man approached her. Human again. She excused herself and then looked around the busy club.
Someone bumped against him and Kearn growled. He hated crowds almost as much as he hated this place. How many more people were they going to let in? He could barely see Amber now through the sea of black and red clad men and women, and he needed to keep an eye on her. He leaned forwards to catch a glimpse of her.
Her eyes settled on him and she blinked slowly, a hint of a smile touching the corners of her sensual red lips. He cast his gaze downwards at the bar and touched his throat again. It ached. He wrapped his hand around it and clasped it tightly. He needed a drink but blood wouldn’t satisfy his thirst. He needed Amber.
He glanced at her out of the corner of his eye. She was flicking the cocktail stirrer back and forth across her half empty glass.
If she didn’t stop looking so bored, she would never catch the vampire for him.
She smiled at him again, her painted lips luring him in until his field of focus zeroed in on her. She was supposed to be attracting the other vampires in the club, not him, but he couldn’t take his eyes off her, and the more he stared, the hungrier he became.
He rubbed his throat again, wishing he could get something here to quench his thirst as easily as the humans could. The Commoner that had been behind the bar earlier was gone, replaced by two human males and one female. There was no chance of getting blood now.
“You should go speak to her.”
Kearn frowned at the male bartender.
He nodded towards Amber. “Go speak to her. You’re clearly interested. I’ve not seen her here before but she looks a little lonely… like you.”
Kearn’s expression darkened. He looked lonely? The bartender was probably putting things together from the evidence in front of him, a man sitting alone in a bar staring at a beautiful woman, but the conclusion he had drawn was too close to the mark. He was always alone but he had grown used to it and it was better than being around company who didn’t want you there.
“I am too old for her.” Kearn waved the man away.
The man didn’t leave. He leaned across the bar and smiled consolingly.
“Listen.” He crooked a finger, signalling for Kearn to come closer. Kearn didn’t. The man smelt sweaty and he had no desire to interact so closely with a human. A voice at the back of his mind said he would interact this closely with Amber given the chance. He would sink his fangs deep into her neck and drink his fill of her to slake the thirst in his heart for a connection to someone. Kearn ignored it. “You don’t look a day over thirty five and she’s no younger than twenty five. There’s an unwritten rule with men. Halve your age and add seven. That’s the youngest you can go for.”
Kearn calculated it in his head. Half of his age plus seven? He smiled. Unless Amber was really one hundred and eighty seven, he was too old for her.
Another group of vampires entered. More Nobles. This time they were higher ranking. The Marquess Montagu and Marquess Pendragon sneered at him as they passed. Kearn looked over towards Amber and held his throat again when it itched. He swallowed but it didn’t relieve the ache.
The smell of everyone in the club wasn’t even drowning out her scent. It was a good thing because he needed the vampires to smell her blood so it would lure them into speaking to her but it constantly pushed at his restraint. Since tasting her, he hadn’t stopped desiring her. His lust for her blood was strong, so much so that he had dreamed of her and nothing else. She had been in his embrace, bare breasts against his chest and her arms around him, holding him close as he kissed and licked her throat. He had drunk from her, sinking his fangs deep into her neck and marking her as eternally his. He knew that was what he had been doing. He hadn’t intended to kill her. He had wanted to make her a vampire like him. He had wanted to keep her.
Which was insane.
But her blood had tasted so good even in his dreams.
Kearn struggled for control as the memory of it assaulted him, sending an echo of the buzz he had felt through his body and fogging his mind. Something deep within him cried out for more, for another taste, another fix.
The club started to heat up as people moved and the smell of her blood grew stronger. It was a divine smell—sweet and fragrant. The voice at the back of his mind whispered that it could be his, just as it had been in his dreams.
He touched his neck again, pulled at the collar of his shirt when it felt as though it was strangling him, and frowned. He couldn’t remember a time when he had felt so hungry.
“Are you okay?” Amber’s voice startled him. “You don’t look so good.”
His eyes leapt to hers and then fell to her neck. His temperature increased the moment his gaze landed on the black choker wrapped around it. Her blood was delicious. She was delicious. His throat ached at the sight of hers, his hunger rising. He tightened his hold on his neck and tried to get a grip on himself. It wasn’t just her blood doing this to him. It couldn’t be. There was something deeper at work.
He forced his eyes up, until they met her wide ones. She stepped closer and her scent grew stronger, overwhelming him. He stood and took a step back, trying to distance himself and keep control.
“I am a little thirsty.” That was an understatement. He was parched, gasping for the smooth slide of her blood down his throat and the giddy rush of it in his veins.
Like an addict.
“Come on.” She grabbed his arm.
He looked at her hand on him, slender but strong. She walked away, luring him along the length of the bar to where she had been sitting, and he followed her blindly.
Kearn’s eyes stuck like glue to the back of her neck, catching teasing glimpses of the nape of it and the black velvet choker through her dark hair. He longed to part the brown waves and kiss there, to run his tongue over her skin and taste her, and feel her shiver in pleasure. He wanted to ease his fangs in deep and slow, claiming her and her blood as his and his alone. Nothing compared to biting someone, to the incredible rush from the connection and the intense intoxicating feel of their blood in your veins. It was what he had been born to do—to take life from the blood of humans like a thief.
Like a beast.
And right now, he wanted to take all of Amber. He wanted to strip away the mask and show her just what he was underneath—a creature lost in her, thirsting for her body and blood.
For her love.
Did you enjoy today’s tease?
In a dark world where vampires exist and where Source Blood, a rare human blood type, can bestow godlike powers upon them, the vampire Venators of the Sovereignty fight to protect the humans by banishing those who drink it to the endless dark.
Exiled from his family and with only his duty to sustain him, Kearn has been on the trail of an elusive Source Blood abuser for three years. When he saves a beautiful human female from the vampire’s grasp, it turns out she’s the lead he’s been waiting for. Amber is a Source Blood and the perfect bait, but for who?
As they race to catch the vampire and survive the cruel games he plays, Amber is pulled deeper into Kearn’s world and discovers the painful secrets he hides behind his handsome but emotionless exterior—hurt that she has the power to heal if she is brave enough.
Forbidden Blood is a dark, sensual tale of betrayal, revenge and a love that knows no bounds.
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