Mourning her mother on Halloween, Keila O'Broin, a psychic warrior and last of her line, isn't prepared for dead teenagers to ask her to avenge them. Compelled by her family creed, Keila combats the vampiric serial killer, despite her atrophied powers.
But defeating one killer is only the start of her adventure. Into her life walks Varick Eitenhauer, centuries old undead master of Portland. The vampire tells her she will now help him defeat his rivals in a battle to control the city, and he will accept no refusals.
Surrounded by her desire and danger, the only way to succeed is to rise from her past like a phoenix from its ashes.
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Crescent Moon Press
Paranormal vampire romance, with love, lust, action, and adventure.
Varick met my gaze, his eyes hard chips of blue. "I am judging your skills, attempting to discern how you bested a vampire past the neophyte stage."
"Maybe he was just a loser," I offered, crossing my arms under my breasts as I settled into the corner. Varick's sweater was loose enough across my chest, but it pulled tight when I trapped the fabric like this. I thought his eyes flicked across my form, but couldn't be sure. I didn't know if I cared, despite the desire I'd had for him earlier. "Just because he's a vampire doesn't automatically make him badass."
"Actually," he said, suddenly in my face, his arms braced on either side of my shoulders, "it does." Varick leaned closer, enveloping me in his aroma, our bodies nearly touching. He still didn't register in my psychic perceptions, but my aura parted around him. I swallowed hard, and his eyes went to my neck.
"Vampires are predators," he said with a husky voice. He made no attempt to disguise the way his gaze caressed my neck. My pulse jumped as I imagined his lips tracing my skin, and I bit my tongue stud. Varick knew he disconcerted me, and he seemed intent on using it to make his point. "Once we are strong enough to be away from our master, we are stronger than any human."
I uncrossed my arms, standing a little taller, letting anger rise to displace the sadness completely. Was this really the same man who'd held me an hour ago while I cried, who'd bared his own sorrow to me? My heart skipped a beat as I carefully put my hands by my side, attempting to show that I wasn't frightened of him. I wondered if he tasted my hidden fear, if he could tell it was all a lie. "I've read accounts of vampires getting killed by humans." I held his gaze, even as the sapphire brilliance darkened with his expanding pupils. It didn't even occur to me that I'd admitted to having knowledge of his kind when I hadn't earlier. "That vamp didn't sound that strong."
The German must have allowed some of his aura loose, because his presence swelled. He didn't move, yet I instantly felt trapped by Varick. My blood ran cold, and I pressed myself farther into the corner. I didn't care if he knew I was scared. No one with a self preservation instinct wouldn't be scared. This was the atavistic fear all creatures carried, something in the genes that let us know when we were being hunted.
His eyes bored into mine, pinning me as easily as his body. "Even were that account true, do you really think a bunch of mewling mortals stalked into a vampire's lair and killed him without help? Perhaps he was set up? Or was he a neophyte abandoned by his master?"
I shivered, his breath washing across my face. The account I'd read was from a hunter, and he'd hinted at being a psionicist. No mewling mortal there, but someone who could level the playing field. I could tell him what I was, take the mystery out of it, but then he'd know everything about me. I couldn't do that.
The elevator bounced to a stop, chiming as the doors opened. "We're here," I said, unable to look away from his captivating eyes.
"Never mind that," he whispered huskily, turning his head as his gaze fell once more to my neck. My skin crawled with biting fire as he leaned forward, close enough that a deep breath would bring us together. My head slowly turned, a breathless whimper escaping my lips. I didn't know what was happening to me, but I wanted him to taste me. Right now. I shuddered, from either fear or desire, as his breath touched my bared neck. "Could you stop me?" he asked, his voice dropping lower. "Would your fighting skills do you any good in here?"
Varick's lips were nearly to my neck, the air stirred by their motion. My eyes closed, a soft groan rising from my throat. The vampire stiffened, and his left hand drifted closer to my shoulder. I couldn't think of anything but his mouth, and how his hair would feel tangled through my fingers. I wanted to tell him the vampire in the house hadn't had this kind of presence, that until he'd bitten me, there had been no desire for him. With the German so achingly close to me, I couldn't think of raising a hand to him.
I groaned again, gritting my teeth in frustration. I was not some sort of easy lay; I simply did not lust for someone like this so quickly. It had to be some function of his power, something to lull his prey into submission. It couldn't be my own hormones running rampant.
The doors swished closed behind us, and I let my eyes flutter open. I saw Varick's hand scratching at the paneling, scars standing out against icy flesh. We'd moved so close in that span of seconds, his mouth was a breath away from the vein in my neck. "Varick," I whispered in a strangled voice. If either of us moved, my throat would end up against his teeth. It took more willpower than I realized I had to hold still.