Release day is February 9, 2015!
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About the Book
“I don’t trust anyone.”
Leaving her job and only home, sassy, independent Analise is determined to do whatever it takes to convince the Vampire Lord to help locate her missing friend. What was not part of the plan, however, was her most unwelcome attraction to the irresistibly desirable, arrogant and dominating playboy.
“Well, I’ll just have to remedy that now, won’t I?”
With a rogue vampire still on the loose, Damian, Regent Vampire Lord of the East, has his hands full trying to keep the fallout to a minimum. The last complication he needs is for his fiery Moira, his Fated, to finally walk into his life at a time when everything is in utter chaos, putting her directly into the crosshairs of a centuries old war. But now that he has her, he’ll be damned if he’ll let her go.
He had the power to destroy her permanently.
Analise is equally drawn to and infuriated by the most gorgeous man she’s ever laid eyes on. And how can she bear Damian’s touch, when the touch of anyone before him repulsed her? With the inability to let others in, she simply needs to stick to the plan, use Damian to locate her friend and return home, heart unscathed.
But even the best-laid plans can go awry.
“Analise, you need to wake now, my child.”
“No.” She didn’t want to wake. She wanted to stay in the comfort and safety of her dream world with her guardian angel. In the real world, she was weak, but in her dreams she was powerful. As powerful as Mara. She could manipulate the elements. Rain fire with a thought. Dig a hole with nothing but her mind. Pop a lock by blinking.
“I’ll be waiting for you as always, child. But now you need to wake. Analise, your destiny awaits.”
Destiny? What destiny?
That was her last thought before consciousness grabbed her again.
And she wished it hadn’t. Her head hurt like a mother. It felt like someone was playing the drums on the inside of her skull. She moaned, reaching up to touch the offending wound. What happened?
A rough hand gently stroked her cheek and she vaguely registered someone talking. Muffled music played in the background.
“She’s coming around,” someone said.
“Thank fucking Christ.” Whose deep, sensuous voice was that?
Her eyelids cracked open, vision slightly blurry. She blinked several times to clear it.
When she’d lived on the streets, one of her favorite escapes was window-shopping. She’d lose herself in a dream that she could afford the luxurious clothing mocking her from behind the thick glass. And that once her day of self-indulgence was over, she would have a loving home to return to. On one such day, she saw the most beautiful man she’d ever laid eyes on. He was tall, handsome, clearly fit. He oozed masculinity and sexuality. She often wondered if she’d dreamt him up for she’d never seen anything like him before or since.
Until now. The man staring into her eyes—the same man from the club—made window guy seem like Weird Al Yankovic.
He had piercing dark eyes, almost like onyx. Thick, dark waves framed his face, almost hanging in his eyes a bit as he looked down at her. And his face…how could she possibly describe to anyone the most perfectly exquisite face she’d ever seen?
His eyebrows were textbook manly, dark and thick. Sharp, high symmetrical cheekbones framed a perfect, masculine nose. His lips were full and plump, with a cupids bow gracing the top one. They were completely kissable. A five o’clock shadow rounded out the sexy package. He was the most flawless thing she’d ever seen. He was an angel. Or the devil in disguise.
“Are you okay, princess?” The Adonis was speaking. To her.
“Ummm…” Was she okay? She needed an aspirin, badly.
“What’s your name, princess?”
“It’s Ana.” Frankie? In looking around, she was in an office of some sort, lying on a soft leather couch. Frankie, Adonis, and another extremely attractive, but very scary-looking man were all watching her intently. She moved to sit up, feeling extremely vulnerable in her prone position.
“Whoa there. You hit your head pretty hard. You should lie still,” Adonis said.
She ignored him, pushing herself up anyway. Bad idea. Her head throbbed and her vision blurred again. Were there now two Adonises? Hell, she could live with blurry vision if that were the case.
“Ana, are you okay? What happened?”
She was suddenly very angry. “My name is Analise. Not Ana. Not princess. And I’m fine. I just need a minute here. And possibly an aspirin.” Or twelve.
“Analise. That’s a lovely name.” The reverent way her name rolled off Adonis’s tongue almost made her orgasm. Oh my God. What was wrong with her? She’d never reacted like this to a man. She had to get the hell away from him immediately.
“Uh. On second thought, I’m fine. I’ll just be going now.” Just as soon as the spots in her vision cleared. She tried to stand and was gently pushed back down by Adonis.
“You’re not going anywhere, kitten. I have a doctor coming to look at you and he’s still a good ten minutes out.”
She couldn’t believe her ears. He’d called a doctor? She couldn’t afford a damn doctor. And kitten? She should be furious! Instead, she was oddly turned on by the endearment. And she loathed endearments. In the past, when uttered by another man they seemed nothing but demeaning, but out of his mouth it was like a hot breath between her legs.
“Look…” she realized she didn’t even know his name. Even if she did, it would always be Adonis.
“Damian. Damian DiStephano,” he offered, a slight smirk upturning his lips in the most deliciously erotic way.
Wow, even his name was supremely sexy. Stop it Analise!
“Damian. Look, Damian, I appreciate the concern, but I don’t need a doctor. I must have locked my knees and passed out. That’s all. I’m perfectly fine.” Not exactly true, but she would be. She just needed some meds and a good night’s sleep. And the way she was beginning to ache between her thighs, maybe some self-relief.
“I’m not letting you leave, kitten. End of.” She’d thought it intimidating when he’d stood over her, but once he took a seat beside her—so close he was touching—she was completely overwhelmed, her brain short-circuiting.
Her body tingled where his leg connected with hers. Her breaths became choppy and shallow. She ached in a place she hadn’t in, well…ever. She was both captivated and scared shitless. Until she saw the smug look on his face, then anger reared her ugly head once again. A quick temper was just one of her many personality flaws.
She stood and quickly regretted it as the room began to tilt. Adonis—Damian —caught her before she fell and settled them back on the couch, but now she was cradled in his lap—on his lap!—his strong arms surrounding her.
“What the hell are you doing?” She tried pushing away, albeit her effort was weak given the head-splitting sensation threatening to make her brain explode.
“I’m protecting you from yourself, kitten. I told you that you needed medical attention and you can do it the easy way or the hard way. Your choice.” He lowered his voice, lips brushing the shell of her ear as he whispered, “And personally I hope it’s the hard way, because I’ve never felt as good as I do now with you in my arms.”
Holy panty-dropping, Batman. He did not just say that, did he?
She scrambled off his lap, taking a seat the end of the couch, needing to put as much distance between them as possible. His knowing smile lit up the entire room. His smile had effectively morphed him into a super-sized Adonis.
His smile was like the sun.
And that was bad. Super bad. He stirred feelings in her she never knew existed. She wasn’t a virgin, sadly, but she also couldn’t remember feeling passionate desire like this ever in her life. And that’s what scared her the most. She didn’t let anyone under her armor. But somehow, he was a chink. A small chink that she needed reinforcements against. Quickly.
Mara’s parting words tumbled in her head like clothes in a dryer. “Your destiny awaits.” Surely she didn’t mean this man…did she?
“Fine. I’ll let the doctor take a look.” She wouldn’t win the argument against him so she’d just figure out later how to pay the two hundred-dollar bill. Maybe the club would pay it so they didn’t worry about her suing them. Not that she would do that.
“Frankie, why don’t you take Rom on a tour of the club? Introduce him to Angel. We’ll be just fine in here until the doc arrives.” Damian never looked away from her, even though he spoke to Frankie.
“Uh…I should probably stay here with Ana. I mean, Analise,” he stuttered.
That got Damian’s attention right quick. He stood and next to Frankie she realized just how tall and intimidating he really was. He was at least six and a half feet tall.
He was huge. He was broad. He was muscled.
He was perfection.
Her mouth was suddenly very dry. What she wouldn’t give to run her hands all over his perfectly honed body. Where the hell that errant thought came from, she had no clue.
“That’s not necessary, Frankie. Analise will be just fine with me. Go.” Frankie scrambled for the door, clearly intimidated by Damian. Who wouldn’t be? She had no shame in admitting she was…just a little.
“Rom, I’ll meet you back at the house. Enjoy your evening.”
Good-looking, scary guy number two simply nodded. Had he said a word the entire time he’d been in here? She didn’t think so.
They both left and, as Damian turned back to face her, the air was sucked out of the room. She could hardly breathe as she shamelessly raked her gaze over his sinewy body. Dark denim molded powerful thighs. Rolled sleeves on his black-and-gray-striped button-down revealed tan, tattooed skin. The top two buttons of his shirt were left undone and the smooth skin of his chest nearly made her weep. Oh my lord.
When they locked eyes, he stared at her with such intensity, such desire, she felt like his next meal. She swallowed, unable to speak. Busted. He knew the effect he was having on her. She watched him deftly walk back over to the couch, sitting right beside her…again.
“So, kitten, how are you feeling?”
“Why do you keep calling me that?” It did funny things to her insides and she wanted that to stop. Right? Yes, absolutely. And next time she’d say it with much more conviction.
Another panty-dropping smile showed his perfectly straight white teeth. “You’ve got some claws on you, kitten. I like it.”
She sat there with her mouth open but, not knowing how to respond, closed it. Was that a compliment? She wasn’t sure but decided to let it go. After tonight, she wouldn’t see him again, so no reason to start a verbal war.
She needed something else to do besides ogle him and fantasize, so her gaze fell on the expansive office. She hadn’t remembered seeing an office like this upstairs. “Where are we?”
“We’re in the owner’s office.”
The owner? Devon Fallinsworth. He knew Devon? Did that mean he was a vampire too? Was this a stroke of luck or what? Maybe she needed to be just a bit nicer to Damian so she could get some information.
“You know Mr. Fallinsworth?” She tried not to sound too curious as to not arouse suspicion.
His lips drew into a thin line, glaring at her for several uncomfortable seconds before responding. “Do you know Mr. Fallinsworth?”
Was it her imagination or did his question drip with sarcasm? “No. I just thought maybe I’d get to meet him since he owns the club. I just started a couple of nights ago.”
“Well, I’m sorry, kitten. Dev is on his honeymoon. I’m watching the club in his absence.” Heavy emphasis was placed on the word honeymoon.
Honeymoon? Shit. And if he was watching the club that meant he probably was a vampire also, as she couldn’t imagine a Vampire Lord would leave his club under the watch of just anyone. Now what was she going to do?
“You look a little distraught, kitten. Have your sights set on him, did you?” His voice dripped with disdain, which only served to fuel her anger.
“Fuck you. Of course not. I simply wanted to meet the owner of this great night club, that’s all.” So what if it was only the partial truth? She was so out of here. She stood to leave and was halfway to the door when he grabbed her arm, twirling her to face him. His face was full of anger…and lust. Butterflies took flight low in her belly and the warmth between her legs intensified.
He didn’t say a word, walking them backward until her back was flush against the door, arms held overhead by her wrists. She was trapped. She started to panic, twisting to get away.
He held fast, leaning down to run his nose along her cheek before nibbling her ear. “Do you know what he is, kitten? Does that turn you on?”
“W-What are y-you talking about?” She was turned on, but not for the reasons he was thinking. It was because of him and him alone. She couldn’t catch her breath as he continued to run his nose along her ultra sensitive skin.
“Did you want him to fuck you? Is that why you wanted to meet him, Analise?” He nipped her earlobe hard, then soothed the hurt. Oh God. Her core went liquid. She wanted to kick him in the balls almost as much as she wanted him to ravage her.
“You’re an asshole,” she managed to say, pretty convincingly even. He pulled back, his eyes flitting between hers and her lips.
She had met him only minutes ago. Why was she so irrationally attracted to this man? Or vampire? Why didn’t the fact that he was a vampire scare the shit out of her? Because he’d woken something inside me I’d thought long dead.
Your destiny awaits.
“So I’ve been told.” He leaned down, slowly. Oh, so achingly slowly. He was going to kiss her. She should turn her head. She should bite his lip.
But she did neither; every last vestige of common sense had simply evaporated. Instead, she wet her lips in preparation as she watched him bring his mouth to hers.
The kiss started out soft, slow, gentle. Hot breath teased her skin as his skilled mouth took her upper lip first, paying equal attention to its mate. His tongue ran along the seam of her mouth, demanding entry, which involuntarily opened for him. Now her whole body was in on the treachery.
As soon as their tongues met, the kiss turned wild, passionate. His hold tightened on her, almost painfully so. He ravaged her mouth, exploring every nook, every cranny. She couldn’t get enough. She wanted to crawl inside him and live there forever.
He tasted like danger.
His free hand ran up her side, cupping her breast. He kneaded its fullness, plucking her aching nipple to a hard point under the thin fabric of her dress. They both moaned in pleasure. His pelvis ground into her stomach and she felt the evidence of how much he wanted her. Her lower body moved in time with him and she rose on her tiptoes to align them better.
A knock on the door scared the crap out of her and the moment evaporated. While Damian had stopped kissing her, he hadn’t given her any quarter. Bodies still touching, breathing erratic, he leaned his forehead against hers. His jaw ticked; his body was strung tight as a bow; blatant lust was barely checked. His sinewy body holding her firmly in place, he stared intently into her eyes, a faint glow in his. Definitely vampire. This man—vampire—wanted her. Her. It was a heady feeling.
He was commanding, yet gentle. She felt safe physically, but in danger emotionally. He exuded darkness, but his light shone brilliantly. The dichotomies made her head spin so fast she couldn’t latch onto a coherent thought.
“Coming,” he thickly answered when another knock sounded. He slowly moved away from her body, the loss of warmth chilling her to the bone. While he’d let her arms go, he linked their fingers, eyes boring into hers. She tugged to get free, but his grasp tightened.
“Big D.” He nodded in greeting to the interloper as he opened the door.
Big D? What kind of a name was that?
Damian led her to the couch again, gesturing that she should sit. Refusal sat on her tongue. She’d never been good at following directions. Instead, she did his bidding, all the while berating herself. He took a seat beside her, thigh to thigh, of course. The doctor came to sit in front of her, bag in hand. He was classically handsome, but didn’t hold a candle to Damian. No, he was one of a kind.
She tried not to reflect too much on what just happened or she just might go into a full-blown meltdown. How far would she have let her hot and heavy make out session go if they hadn’t been interrupted? Would she have stopped herself at second base? God…she’d just let a complete stranger feel her up against a door. At her workplace! Uh, Analise…what in the hell were you thinking?
“How are you feeling, Analise?”
“Um, I’m fine. Thank you. Really, I’m a lot better now. Just a slight headache.” Slight was an understatement. Someone had inserted a pic ax inside her skull and it was trying to get out.
“That’s good. If you don’t mind, though, I’m going to do an exam. You did lose consciousness for a brief period and that could mean a slight concussion.”
Oh crap. She hadn’t thought of that.
“Do you have someone at home to watch you in the event of a concussion?” He asked as he dug into his bag for the necessarily supplies.
No. No, she did not. “Uh….”
“I’ll take responsibility for her,” Damian quipped. She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. She whipped her head in his direction. Bad idea in retrospect as the black spots returned and Damian’s face looked like it’d been splattered with paint.
“What? Hell, no.” Oh, hell to the n-o!
“Oh hell, yes, kitten. You can’t be left alone with a concussion. It’s the rule.”
Was he even listening to himself? “Rule? Whose rule? Yours?”
“No, kitten. It’s a medical fact.” Damian had a most serious look on his stunning face. He truly believed the bullshit he was spouting.
“Stop. Calling. Me. That. And, no. You will not stay with me.”
“Why don’t we do the exam first before we argue about this, okay?” Finally. The voice of reason by the only medical professional in the room.
“Yes, okay.” Analise calmed slightly. They were quiet as the doctor checked her pupils and the tender bump on her head. He then asked a bunch of questions.
Did she have a headache? Yes.
Did she remember hitting her head? No.
Were her ears ringing? Slightly.
Was she tired? Um, yes. It was probably close to eleven by now, right?
Was she confused? Did letting a stranger feel her up count? Good, she’d used her inside voice. Her outside voice replied no, she wasn’t confused.
Did she know what caused her to black out? No way in hell was she admitting the truth to that question, what with Mr. I-Have-The-Biggest-Ego-Ever sitting right next to her, so she stuck with the lie she’d told earlier. Yep, locked knees.
Finally, he took her blood pressure. Which was high. Go figure. Was it anger or lust fueled? Probably both. The second time was closer to normal.
“So, what’s the conclusion, doc?” Damian asked, breaking the silence.
“I’m sorry, Analise, but you do have a slight concussion. Your pupils are not responding as quickly as they should. You’ll need someone to stay with you for the next twenty-four hours at least, waking you every couple of hours this evening to ensure you don’t have any issues doing so.”
She looked at Damian, who had a big smirk upturning his full, sexy lips. With great surprise, she suddenly realized she hadn’t cringed once at his multiple touches. Huh?
About the Author: K.L. Kreig
Most authors will tell you that writing is all they’ve ever wanted to do. I guess I’m one of the few that don’t fit in that bucket. Writing a book was never on my bucket list until three years ago. On my list was: Climb the Corporate ladder. Check. Go to Europe. Check. Complete a half marathon. Check. Eat chocolate daily. Double check. Isn’t this on everyone’s bucket list? Catch up on two seasons of Games of Thrones in one day. Painful, but check. And finally, devouring romance books at an alarming pace like the unashamed book addict I am…Over a thousand checks!
Living in Nebraska with my soul-mate hubby, I pen my magic world at night, while paying the bills with an actual paying job in the corporate world during the day. Writing is just an all-consuming passion for now, but boy, if I could dream...
My other loves include my simply amazing, incredible and talented children and newly acquired son-in-law (wink), a steamy novel, great friends and family, and a warm ocean breeze gliding over my sun drenched skin with a cocktail in hand.