Today’s tease comes from the book Seventh Circle, which is the seventh book in my Vampires Realm romance series. Read on for this Tuesday’s tease… Lilith is a vampire hunter working for Section Seven and stuck with a vampire, Lincoln, because he paid her bosses for her protection. The last thing Lincoln is looking for is love. He has a price on his head and he’s struggling to keep that part of his anatomy stuck to his body, and falling for a human female, especially a hunter, is not on his agenda… but love never did choose wisely…
Lincoln stared at the ceiling. Sleep evaded him, chased away by the thousand screaming heartbeats in his head. He clapped a hand over his eyes, wishing to shut the world out. The blood of every human in the building still called to him.
None more than Lilith’s.
He focused on it as it beckoned him, a strong steady melody in his ears, a siren song. His eyes slipped shut behind his hand and a smile teased his lips as he reached out with sharpened senses and listened to her moving around the small apartment. She was muttering to herself about the heat. It was hot in the building. Everyone’s blood was rushing close to the surface, their hearts working overtime to cool their bodies down. It only made them more alluring.
Shifting his focus, he listened to the clanging of metal on metal far below him. Someone was trying to fix the boiler. Its malfunction was obviously the cause of the temporary heat wave.
Lilith cursed again from the other room, loud enough this time that he would’ve heard it if he’d been human.
Her heart thumped rhythmically, pounding in his blood and telling him to go to her. Neither of them could sleep. Perhaps they could begin researching, although it would probably be unwise to disturb her now. When her superior had told her to share her apartment with him, and that his safety was maximum priority, she’d looked as though she’d been chewing a wasp. Her superior had been right. She did despise his kind, as did everyone here. Common sense told him to leave before someone got it into their head to attempt to kill him, and not just make idle threats. His heart said that he had to stay. He had to know if she really was the one.
Sitting up, Lincoln stared at the closed door of his room. On the other side was Lilith. She was moving around the kitchen of the small two bedroom apartment. The modernity of this area of the mansion was a strange contrast to the more in-keeping look of the area he’d first arrived in, with its large rooms filled with antique furniture and old paintings. This wing seemed to act like a dormitory for the hunters. Were all the apartments like Lilith’s or was hers special? Perhaps hunters shared them. Had she shared this apartment with her dead friend or her sister? His focus shifted back to Lilith as she moved again. He could sense her fatigue. It gave out a call to his instincts, telling him she’d be easy prey in her current state. It was hard to ignore such instincts even when he had to.
It had been near impossible to stop himself from killing those hunters this morning.
Lincoln frowned when Lilith stopped dead and sniffed. Her change in emotions was abrupt and would’ve been unreadable had he not known her recent history. The death of her friend was upsetting her—a death that he was responsible for. Under normal circumstances, it wouldn’t have bothered him. His kind had to feed, and had to protect themselves. A vampire hunter was the perfect target for sport and a good meal, and it meant there was one less in the world when you were done. Yet it bothered him now. He didn’t want to consider the reason why.
Getting up, he walked to the door and opened it. Lilith was in the kitchen side of the living room now, busying herself in some vain attempt to pretend he wasn’t here, that he hadn’t heard her crying, and by the looks of things making tea. He studied her, amused by the way the oversized grey t-shirt swamped her and the loose black jogging bottoms trailed on the floor. She’d tied her golden hair back into a high ponytail. The tips of it brushed her neck. He dragged his gaze away from it and raised it to her face. She looked tired, her face drawn and pale.
He glanced at the coffee table and saw it spread with books. She must have gone out to get them during the short hours of sleep that he’d snatched. Now the sun was growing close to setting and its sway over him was less. Soon night would fall and it would be almost impossible to ignore the lure of the cacophony of heartbeats.
Aware that he was dressed only in his black jeans, he walked with head held high into the kitchen area and leaned against the counter near her.
Her gaze darted to him and then away again. It hadn’t made it as far as his face. It had only reached his chest. He smiled internally at this small victory over her. Since their meeting this morning, she’d been a hellion, refusing to work with him and making sure that he knew how much she hated him. She wanted to make things difficult for him and he was more than willing to show her what a pain in the backside he could be to her. Besides, it was interesting to see a human’s, a hunter’s no less, reaction to a vampire, especially when they couldn’t kill them. The temptation to push her to breaking point just to see what she’d do was overwhelming and a wonderful way of alleviating his boredom.
“You can’t walk around my place like that or I will lock that door just like I threatened.” She frowned at him, her gaze managing to make it to his this time.
“Why not?” He challenged her, leaning back a little and planting his palms against the counter so his muscles tensed. She did a good job of resisting a look. He could see that she was curious.
“It’s…” She swallowed, pensive and still frowning beautifully.
“Distracting?” he suggested with a smirk.
“Off putting,” she said, deadpan and glaring.
She moved to the sink and filled the kettle before putting it on. Lincoln watched her, silent and motionless. The way she moved around was entrancing. Strength laced her natural grace. It spoke of it to him, telling him that she believed herself a force to be reckoned with. Maybe she was in human terms.
“Shouldn’t you be asleep?” she said.
“I could not sleep.” He moved closer to her, leaning against the tall cupboard next to where she now stood waiting for the kettle to boil.
“Vampires have sleepless days?” There was a playful note in her voice that he hadn’t expected. She seemed surprisingly relaxed around him now. The trace of fear he’d detected in her this morning was gone.
“More often than you think when we are hungry,” he whispered, his gaze caressing her throat.
“Never going to happen,” she said without even looking at him.
Her senses were acute if she’d detected his intent without having to see it with her own two eyes. There was something different about her. Perhaps she’d been modified like some of the other hunters he’d encountered recently. Since the Law Keepers’ report that humans had been playing god, they’d met more genetically altered hunters. They’d killed every one.
She filled her mug, removed the tea bag and went to move past him towards the lounge area. Her gaze strayed to his torso again.
He tensed his muscles for her and she quickly looked away. Either she was a prude, or it was because he was a vampire that she didn’t want to look at him. He hoped it was the latter. It would be fun to prove to her just how curious she was about his kind. Her gaze strayed again and he waited to see what she’d do this time. She stood there, furtively taking in his body. A dull ache settled in his chest, followed by another in his gut. Temptation whispered to push her now while he had the chance.
“Have you ever been curious? Come now, you must have been curious to know sometimes.” Lincoln held her gaze when it darted to meet his. She looked wonderfully innocent and clueless. It didn’t fool him. She understood what he was saying. He stepped away from the cupboard and towards her. “What we feel like, what it feels like.”
“Never!” There was such defiance in her voice, such vehement denial. He might have believed it if she’d managed to keep better control of herself. Her eyes betrayed her. They strayed to his chest for a split second.
He grinned, enjoying this game. It was time to up the ante.
He trailed his fingers across his bare chest.
“I know you want to feel it.” His senses locked onto her heart, revelling in the staccato rhythm it had adopted. A rush of adrenaline entered her blood, sending the scent of it into the air through her overheating flesh. She was either embarrassed, or his words held some truth and she wanted to touch him. Another push. “Just reach out and touch. I can see the questions in your eyes, Lilith. Is it cool, hard? Would you feel a heartbeat? Would I feel your touch, feel pain if you scraped your nails down it… feel pleasure?”
Her cheeks blazed and her eyes widened. She went to turn away. He was beside her before she could move, his hand tight around her wrist. He couldn’t let her get away when it was just getting interesting.
Taking the mug from her other hand, he placed it down on the counter away from them, his movements slow so he didn’t draw her attention away from his eyes. He drew her towards him. Her fingers shook in his. Her breath trembled uneasily, quivering with her racing heart. Her dark gaze fell to his chest and she slowly wet her lips with the bare tip of her soft pink tongue. He stared at her mouth, mesmerised by the motion of her tongue against her lips, and then snapped himself out of it.
This game was turning dangerous for them both. It didn’t matter. He couldn’t stop now.
He had to see what would happen.
“Surrender to it,” he whispered, voice smooth and convincing.
Her fingertips barely grazed his skin and he was on fire. His eyes half closed as he absorbed the sensation of her warm caress heating his body. He hadn’t expected this. He clawed back a modicum of control, telling himself this was just a game to annoy her, to make her feel weak. It shouldn’t make him feel this way.
Her eyes were wide, her pupils dilated as she stared at her fingers where they traced patterns on his chest. She was lost. He could smell the hint of arousal, the alluring pheromones coming off her.
He breathed in a voice of temptation, “Imagine what it is like to kiss me.”
Her gaze burned him, trailing fire over his body as it rose to his mouth. He stared at hers, imagining the silky glide of her lips against his and the brush of her tongue, the warmth of her.
“Imagine what it is like to be kissed by me.” He smiled to reveal his extended fangs.
She jerked her hand away and then shoved him hard in the chest. He laughed. She stormed off into her room. A small cream table lamp took the brunt of her anger. It hit the wall not five feet from him and smashed into pieces, raining down on the kitchen counter. He’d expected her aim to be more accurate.
Lincoln forced his teeth to recede and listened to her tramping around her room. What was she doing? Was she looking for something else to throw at him? He didn’t know why she was angry with him. All he’d done was play a vicious game as she had been. Only his game was different. Instead of being designed to show her how much he hated her kind as hers was, it was designed to show her how curious she was about them and how tempting they were to her.
She walked back out of the bedroom.
He froze and stared at her.
The only trouble was she was becoming tempting herself.
The rose-coloured camisole hugged her upper body to the point where imagination wasn’t necessary. It emphasised her breasts. They swayed as she moved towards him, free of a bra to restrain them. Dark blue jeans were moulded to her legs, revealing their slender shapely form. Her small feet were bare, her toes painted a sultry black.
She neared him and he raked his gaze back up her. He didn’t make it to her face. She made sure of that. Her fingers skimmed across her chest, gathering the sheen of sweat there until it beaded against her skin. He swallowed. She stopped close to him, not three feet away. He couldn’t take his eyes off what she was doing. The sensuality of it only heightened his desire for her, his want to take her and her blood for his own. He curled his hands into tight fists of restraint. It didn’t stop his desire from rising. It was no use. He was captivated. She had turned his game against him and triggered thoughts that he shouldn’t be entertaining. What they spoke of was forbidden. It was a sin to want a human.
He licked his lips and stepped towards her, still mesmerised by the motion of her fingers on her chest. A single drop of moisture slid down over the arc of her breast and into her cleavage. His lips parted in fascination and he looked at her. She smiled, all innocence laced with seduction. This was a cruel game to play with a man.
She moved before he had time to react, reaching into her back pocket and pulling something out.
His eyes flicked to it.
He leapt backwards.
She didn’t attack.
His own weakness hit him with tremendous force. She’d lured him in and had drawn her stake before he’d even known what was happening. If she’d been serious about staking him, there was no telling what might have happened, but there was every possibility she would have hit her mark.
“Next time you try something, I will be armed, and I will kill you,” she said, voice dark and lethal.
He raised his hands, in control again. “Touché.”
She slipped the stake into her back pocket and walked towards him. His gaze followed her and he turned as she passed him, unwilling to show her his back. She grabbed the waste bin and pushed all the pieces of the lamp into it.
“And you owe me a new lamp.”
Lincoln stared at Lilith’s back, cocking his head to one side. Just below her neck and between her shoulder blades was a black tattoo. He stepped closer to see it better as she picked up her mug of tea. It was a sun surrounded by pointed rays and inside the circle of it was a crescent moon.
She turned to face him and sipped her drink. It had to be cold by now.
His little game would have seen to that.
In the end, he wasn’t sure who the victor had been. She’d touched him and he’d seen in her eyes that she was curious. It didn’t seem to go beyond that. Her scent had only shown a tiny sign of desire. If she’d been a vampire, she would have easily noticed the change in his own scent. He’d wanted her. Looking at her now, he still wanted her. The moment he’d laid eyes on her, he’d admitted to himself that she was attractive for a human. She called to him on some base level where he wasn’t master.
Did you enjoy today’s tease?
F E Heaton
Born with powers similar to a vampire’s, Lilith has spent her life hunting demons for Section Seven. On the same night as she watches a vampire kill her best friend, she is faced with her worst nightmare—a client who is not only attractive but a vampire.
Lincoln is a powerful pureblood with a problem. He’s caught up in a prophecy and has little time left to unravel the mystery of the contract between his lord and the Devil before he dies. When witches foretell that a vampire hunter will save his life, he’s prepared to work with his most hated enemy, but he isn’t prepared for the forbidden desire he feels when he meets her.
Their mutual attraction becomes difficult to deny as they work together but when Lincoln reveals the truth about her powers, will Lilith find the strength to embrace a side of herself that she wished didn’t exist? And when they discover Lilith’s role in the prophecy, how far will Lincoln go to save her?
Dark, sensual and fast-paced, Seventh Circle is a story of forbidden love so strong that it will save the world.
Available in e-book from:
If you haven’t had a chance to read any of the books in the Vampires Realm romance series yet, they’re all available at major ebook retailers and some are available in paperback, and you can find the links and samples of the books at my website:
Prophecy: Child of Light (Vampires Realm Romance Series #1)
Prophecy: Caelestis & Aurorea (Vampires Realm Romance Series #2)
Prophecy: Dark Moon Rising (Vampires Realm Romance Series #3)
Eternity: The Beginning (Vampires Realm Romance Series #4)
Spellbound (Vampires Realm Romance Series #5)
Reunion (Vampires Realm Romance Series #6)
Seventh Circle (Vampires Realm Romance Series #7)
Winter’s Kiss (Vampires Realm Romance Series #8)
Hunter’s Moon (Vampires Realm Romance Series #9)
Masquerade (Vampires Realm Romance Series #10)