Publisher: Sillhouette Nocturne
E-book release: April 2007
Print Release: October 2008
DESIRE CALLS Free Read is Available now!
Buy all 6 Books Plus DESIRE CALLS in THE CALLING E-book bundle at Eharlequin
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DESIRE CALLS a first for me — a free novella at Eharlequin.com. DESIRE CALLS was a blast to write since I had two wonderful characters to work with — Stacia and Blake. Stacia is a two-thousand year old vampiress who we first met in DEATH CALLS. I hope that I will get to write a full story about this complex creature in a future novel. Blake is a sexy Billy Idol clone who first showed us he could be a hero in TEMPTATION CALLS. Like Stacia, I hope Blake will get his own novel and be reunited with his first love — Meghan Thomas from TEMPTATION CALLS.
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This excerpt is for Mature Audiences only due to sexual and graphic contest
The piazza always provided a fine selection for dining, Stacia thought as she sat on the railing along the edge of the Bernini fountain in Rome’s Piazza Navona. She gazed at the choices available in various spots around the square. French. German. Italian, of course.
Her stomach rumbled with hunger. It had been a day since she had eaten. Placing a hand over her belly, she rose and sashayed toward her first pick, but as she neared the Frenchman, she realized he was beyond lubricated. The stench of cheap wine clung to his shirt and oozed from his pores.
Shaking her head, she thought of the oft-repeated adage all those television chefs used — If it’s not good enough to drink, it’s not good enough for cooking — or in her case, for eating. That cheap stuff just left a bad aftertaste in your mouth along with a wickedly nasty buzz.
She preferred something cleaner on her palate tonight.
Which definitely had her bypassing the Aryan god she had noticed just a short distance away from the Frenchman. Germans were always a trifle heavy in her belly, although the broad set of his shoulders and well-muscled chest made her reconsider. She loved her men big and strong and so she lingered by the front of the outdoor cafe where he was seated. Even made eye contact with him for a moment.
Amazing crystal blue eyes, twinkling with interest. That much was clear.
Stacia smiled back, thinking that maybe he might be worth a nibble. Maybe they might actually even click, finally providing her with true pleasure after nearly two thousand years of undead life.
Mr. Tall, Blonde and Brawny rose from his chair, seemingly intent on making a move in her direction, but suddenly an equally tall, blonde and muscled woman joined him. Seeing that his attention was on Stacia, his companion began a harangue loud enough to make heads turn. The man plopped down into his chair like a dog with its tail tucked between his legs.
No spirit. That was so not good, Stacia thought and moved onward, still in search of something to satisfy her hunger.
She needed a man who could not only take a lickin’, but gave as good as he got. And not just when he was in a fight. It had been a good long while since any man had really satisfied her in bed, one of the downsides of having lived so long. Of being a vampire elder.
Even her own kind avoided her at times, aware that with her age came vast power, but also vast hunger. For blood. For sex. For control over lesser vamps. She didn’t want to admit that in her case, she still hungered for love. For real passion and desire.
Things she hadn’t felt in way too long.
Some of the other elders might say that she was foolish to yearn for such things. That she should let go of the last little bit of humanity within her that prompted such desires. Then and only then could she truly relish the immense vampire power that her age provided.
Stubbornly, though, Stacia refused to relinquish that last trace of humanity. Of want for something more than an eternal existence filled with only . . .
A fine looking American caught her eye as he laughed at the antics of his rowdy friends in front of one bar. He was as big and blonde as the whipped Aryan she had bypassed earlier, but as his gaze met hers, she saw steel there. Luscious grey eyes were framed by a sheath of shaggy sunbleached hair.
Stacia circled Mr. Surfer Dude, making eye contact and clearly letting the young man know that this might just be his lucky night.
It worked without her even using a bit of her vampire power. A flirtatious smile and her feminine wiles had been enough.
He approached, leaned down from his greater height and in awfully accented Italian, asked, “Parla Inglese?”
“Do we need to talk?” she said with a sexy wink and inclined her head in the direction of a nearby alley.
The young man smiled broadly and after a quick glance back at his friends, who hooted and carried on at his “score”, he took hold of her hand and followed her.
Stacia led him farther and farther back into the narrow alley, although not so far that he would think anything was amiss. Just far enough that he would think a strong shout could still be heard out in the piazza. Not that she would give him the opportunity to call out.
Toward the middle of the alley, the night closed in around them, with only the dimmest light from the full moon above. Clothed in darkness, the young man surprised her by becoming the aggressor, grabbing her forcefully and pinning her to the jagged brick wall.
“Like it rough, do you?” she said, but he didn’t answer since with quick hands he had already undone the laces on her leather vest and was gazing down at her breasts as they spilled free.
When he bent to suck at them, she moaned, thinking that he was exceptionally gifted with his mouth. Between her legs, the throb of human desire rose up, aching for fulfillment.
She quickly undid his jeans, reached past the loose folds of denim to the boxer shorts below.
How she loved this new fashion that made it so easy to free him. To stroke the rather magnificent length of him.
He bit down on one nipple as she caressed him, dragging a gasp from her.
“Sorry,” he mumbled, although he was already lifting the almost non-existent hem of her black leather miniskirt to cup her bare buttocks and urge her upward.
With a surge, she jumped up and wrapped her legs around him. Drove down, crying out as the long thick length of him penetrated her. He was deliciously big, much like the rest of him.
His own groan was from the gut as she leaned back against the brick wall and he pounded into her, all finesse forgotten as he strove for release. As he looked down and watched the play of his hips against hers, as if fascinated by that sight. His blonde curls brushing the naked skin between her legs.
Stacia considered the emotions flitting across his face. Passion rose, dilating his eyes into shards of slate grey. Almost charcoal grey she realized as he met her gaze before dipping his head down again to suck on her breasts.
Inside her, heat built. Desire awakened the demon that hungered for so much. She threw her head back, allowed the beast to emerge so that it could experience it all. The dark of the night, enveloping them in its secrecy. The strength of his youth, bringing her closer and closer to completion. The musky smells of their lovemaking, pushing her over the edge.
She called out her physical completion and laid her face against his. Bent her head and kissed the crook of his neck. His skin was damp. Salty. His blood surged, singing through his veins as his heart beat quickened while he strove for his completion.
Sweet, sweet blood. Pulsing beneath her lips.
In a heartbeat, she loosed the beast, her fangs bursting forth and piercing the fragile skin of his neck.
He called out then in a strangled cry laced with pain, but also with the acknowledgement of passion like no other he had ever experienced — the passion borne from a vampire’s kiss.
Blood spilled onto her lips from her fangs as she drank, experiencing the surge of strength and lust that came from feeding. From his sweet, young blood bringing the rush of life to her undead body.
He tasted like the ocean and sun. Salty. So tasty that Stacia could have kept on going until she drained him dry, only he had done well by her tonight, satisfying one hunger while leaving another unfulfilled.
The young man’s knees weakened from the loss of blood and Stacia hopped off him. With her greater vampire strength, she gently eased him to the uneven pavement of the alley.
He was rather handsome, she thought, gazing down at him as he stared up at her, disoriented. The bite mark at his neck was already healing and come the morning, he would remember nothing. Feel no worse off than if he had a bad hangover.
And she would feel . . .
Still alone, she thought, hurrying from the alley as if by doing so, she could escape the bleakness of her existence.
Once out in the piazza, she realized that it was time to move on. She would not find satisfaction here.
New York would be good this time of year, it occurred to her as she strolled through the square. Lots of fine dining there and the wanna-bes at the Blood Bank were always good for a laugh.
Imagine, wanting to be human again, she thought. What good was that? she asked herself, ignoring the little voice in her head which reminded that with all that humanity came . . .