In the eighty years since the Great Awakening, humans and non-humans have lived side by side, relatively at peace. In an attack that leaves his wife dead, Jordan MacNaught is caught up in the start of a war meant to turn the other races against the vampires. He knows beyond a doubt the vampires of yesteryear are not involved in the attacks. They're all dead, except for him.
Jordan asks for Chris Javert's help in hunting those who murdered his wife. She's no stranger to hunting vampires. After all, she nearly destroyed Jordan when she ended the reign of his Aristocrats in Europe two hundred years ago.
Despite the disturbing turn to her daydream, the shower centered her. It certainly ended her bout of the hornies. When she exited the frosted glass enclosure into the steam and gardenia-scented room, Chris could face the world, and Jordan, again. Cool marble tile provided a sharp contrast against the balmy miasma blanketing her. She needed to get dressed and back to work.
“It’s about time you got out,” Jordan said as he materialized, seated on the edge of the counter between the sink bowls. His legs dangled over the edge.
“Son of a—” Chris yelped and leaped for her towel.
He blinked slowly, warning, and she just caught herself before the last word slipped out. The last time she called him a son of a bitch, he buried her alive for disparaging his mother. For some reason, he objected to the pejorative, even though rumor had it he’d killed his mother at some point. She clutched at her towel like a shield.
“What are you doing in here?”
“To quote a certain someone, I should think that it’s fairly obvious. I wanted to talk to you.” He flashed a smile, fangs just barely showing, and leaned his weight back on his palms. “You know, Chrissy, if you’d just given me a bit longer, you wouldn’t have had to resort to alternative methods.”
She might be claustrophobic, but right then she wanted the floor to open up and swallow her whole. Dear God. Her reflection turned a nice, brilliant, beet red, and she looked around for her bathrobe, finally finding it slung over the door that separated the toilet from the main portion of the room. “Mother of Lorminstra, you perverted jackanapes!”
Jordan blinked again, the picture of innocence. “I am the perverted one? Which one of us just masturbated in the shower?”
This absolutely can’t be happening. Please let this be a continuation of the weird-ass dream. Chris snatched her robe down and yanked it on, surreptitiously pinching her side in the process. Pain flared and dissipated. Unfortunately, the bathroom invasion continued unabated.Damn, no dream. She belted the flimsy scrap of silk, not feeling much more secure than with the towel. “You could have waited five minutes.”
“I did. Then, when you still didn’t emerge, I thought I’d wait in here.”
Since the universe didn’t see fit to rescue her by sending a great bolt of lightning or a tsunami to kill her, she needed to brazen the situation out. And had her shower really taken that long? Good lord.
“What was so important you couldn’t wait? And while there’d better not be a next time, next time let me know you’re there. I could have finished...ah, I could have gotten, ah, ….”
There really wasn’t a good way to end that statement, and she floundered. He didn’t seem inclined to rescue her either, judging by his grin. Asshole. The recently departed headache began to squeeze her temples again.
“I wouldn’t have enjoyed it half as much if I had interrupted, unless I joined in.”
“Well, why didn’t you?” In her brief glimpse before she bent at the waist and flipped her hair over her head to begin toweling it dry, she got good visual confirmation that he definitely enjoyed the view. Must have been in mist form to see much, given the frosted glass that surrounded the shower.
“And get my clothes wet? Don’t be absurd.”
“A normal person would join me.” She wrung her hair out with more force than strictly necessary. “Now, explain what was so important you felt the need to become a Peeping Jordan, and then get out!”
“I think you need to have another go in the shower, if you’re still this waspish.”
Anthony would thank her if she killed him.
“I’ll make this brief. You’re fond of gambling, aren’t you?”
“What of it?” She continued to rub viciously with the towel, not sure she followed him yet. “I’m fond of lots of things.”
“Earlier, you propositioned me.”
Chris choked. “I did no such thing!”
“Then what would you call it?”
“Losing my mind.”
Jordan chuckled. From her upside down position, she saw his legs stop swinging as he leaned forward. “I propose a bet. Just to make our time a little more interesting, although I doubt it will beat what I just saw.”
She purposely ignored the latter half of his statement. Finished with her scalp she moved on to the longer portion of her hair.
“If you win, I will walk the straight and narrow for, hmmm. Two decades should be impetus enough, even for you. While not admitting to having done anything that might get me in trouble under your country’s Rights and Responsibilities Act, I promise not to indulge in any of my more exotic entertainments for that period. No murder, no torture, nothing of that nature.” Her eyes widened, and she stood, towel held loosely in her right hand. “I thought that might garner your exclusive attention.”
Mouth dry, she swallowed hard. For that offer, he wanted something big in return. “And if I lose?”
“I get your blood. More specifically, we forge a blood-bond.”
No chance in hell.
Though she wanted to say the words, she didn’t. If she rejected him out of hand without a good reason, he might wonder. Vampires commonly shared blood. It wasn’t safe for her to do, since most people would feel obligated to turn her over to the Circle for execution if they figured out what she was.
She couldn’t dismiss the possibility he’d offered the bet to see how desperate she was to avoid sharing blood. In that case, she should say yes and win, no matter the cost.
“Quite the stakes. What’s the bet?”
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She began writing in kindergarten when a turnip wished to be human and, other than a hiatus shortly after getting married, has never stopped. Her love of vampires began somewhere in junior high, and combining the two loves didn’t take long. She loves music, considers herself a ‘book slut’ whose reading habits would break her family financially if given free reign, and is (usually) delighted to be a mommy of twin Shrimpettes and a Shrimp.
Tory Michaels Website / Facebook/ The Dream-Walker War Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads