VampireMine, page 1
Book three in the Alpha and Omega series.
A bond as endless as time. Their forbidden union sealed in blood.
As the Alpha of New York, Trey placed the needs of his pack above everything—until the mate he’s waited centuries for waltzed into his life and gave him a taste of what he’d been missing. Sadie, seductive, beautiful and utterly captivating, is also something shifters avoid at all costs—a vampire. Stunned to learn of her nature, Trey turned his back on the only woman who could complete him.
Now, realizing he’s thrown away the one thing he can’t live without, Trey hunts Sadie down and defies tradition. Their sexual hunger is undeniable, with each sizzling encounter bringing them closer together. Sadie tries to resist but he refuses to allow it, using desire and her need for his blood to keep her close. With danger closing in, it’s necessary to announce his mating before the pack. To keep his female, he’s willing to lose everything he’s ever known.
A Romantica® paranormal erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave
To my amazing editor Ann, as well as the art department at Ellora’s Cave for inspiring me to write this story sooner rather than later. I’d also like to thank the readers who support the Alpha and Omega series and my crit partners and beta readers. This one’s for you.
Pain—raw and intense—slammed into Sadie Dumus.
Like a living creature it snaked its way through her system and clawed at her insides. The result of starvation, her body demanded the sustenance it needed to survive. Horror swept through her as she shoved a hand to her abdomen, willing the agony to disappear. Her muscles rebelled, flexing beneath her contorted fingers, creating more misery. The dryness in her throat made it difficult to breathe. Hunger and bloodlust roared to life, no longer willing to be contained.
Not now. Goddess. Not now.
She was so close to her goal, standing right at the finish line. Finally, after months of work, she’d managed to track Aldon Frost to his nest. It was the one place he’d be vulnerable, the only place she could learn his secrets. It had taken so much time, so much patience. He excelled at hiding his tracks, leading her down one path only to lose her on the next.
Tonight she’d finally managed to stay on his ass.
She’d followed him successfully, using every resource at her disposal. She phased, she hid and she watched. The bastard had finally taken her down an alley, toward what she was certain was his domain. Sadie’s coven viewed Aldon as a threat to the city. He was a rogue vampire drawn to the dark side of magic. As their protector and enforcer, it was her job and duty to take him out for her sisters-in-magic. What she hadn’t known was how defenseless she’d be when the opportunity finally struck.
As weak as a newborn kitten.
The magic inside her dimmed and the final reserves her ravaged body had managed to store ebbed away. She fought, willing her depleted muscles to keep going for just a little longer. She’d put herself at risk by using power she didn’t have, afraid that if she didn’t find his nest soon she never would.
Her heartbeat slowed to a horrific thudding in her chest. Without essential nutrients her organs were shutting down. It was only a matter of time. She’d known that. She’d thought she was ready for the moment to arrive. Her existence had become a cage of mirrors, reflecting her past back to her piece by morbid piece. They served as a reminder of what she’d done to herself.
She was going to die. It was inevitable.
There was no one to blame but herself.
Her feet shuffled, creating a dangerous sliver of sound she couldn’t afford.
Leigh had told her to come clean with the coven about her circumstances but she hadn’t. If they ever found out she’d fed from a werewolf they’d shun her or kill her. Despite the fact it would leave the coven temporarily defenseless, they wouldn’t take any unnecessary risks. A vampire who was blood bound to a werewolf was the ultimate weakness in an enclave. She’d never feed from another, meaning she couldn’t heal herself by drinking from a passing stranger if the need arose. She also wouldn’t be able to move from place to place if her sisters-in-magic decided it was time for a change of scenery. Her importance depended on her ability to adapt. They required her to be ready and willing for whatever they needed.
She was their enforcer, the one entrusted with their protection.
Her stomach churned as a ball of fire erupted in her gut, begging for something—anything—to ease the persistent torture. Pushing her balled fist into her belly, she prayed for relief. She’d known it would come to this. The last few weeks had been hell. Each day was like sand slipping through an hourglass, each grain lost becoming another nail in her coffin. Her torment went beyond hunger at this point. The last blood she’d successfully ingested was long gone, dried up and all but forgotten. She’d been lucky to have lasted this long—a little over two months—without the nourishment necessary to survive.
The man she’d been tracking froze. His nostrils flared, his thick blond hair skimming over his shoulder as he turned. She tried not to panic, to rely on her training. Vampires could smell fear and she didn’t have the strength to mask the scent. Not with her shields falling so quickly, each breath she took like a ticking time bomb.
“Don’t bother trying to hide. I can feel you. Reveal yourself.”
To her utter mortification her magic chose that very moment to vanish.
Son of a bitch.
Here she was, face-to-face with a threat she couldn’t take down. In her current state Aldon could snap her like a twig. She couldn’t phase away, nor could she defend herself. Her vision blurred, the slow thudding of her heart ricocheting in her head. Damn it. She was fading faster than she thought possible.
Thankfully, he didn’t know that.
He took a step closer, sizing her up. He was so tall, like a fucking building hovering over her. His shoulders were much broader than hers, muscles visible beneath his trench coat. Although pale—as all vampires were prone to be—his skin had a swarthy hue. He’d blend in with mortals and immortals alike, beautiful to behold even if impossible to touch. As though he needed another weapon against helpless victims who would be powerless against him.
“Why are you following me?”
“Who says I’m following you?” Thank the Goddess her voice sounded strong, her statement coming across as confident. “It’s a beautiful night to hunt. I decided to take advantage.” She arched a brow, giving him a thin smile. “Nocturnal creatures are known to cross paths from time to time.”
“True.” His expression revealed nothing as he studied her, his sky-blue irises vibrant in the dark. “Yet somehow I don’t think that’s the case.”
She wanted to think of a witty retort but a wave of exhaustion prevented it.
Fatigue swept through her, white dots speckling her vision. Pride kept her from falling on her face. She extended her arms, attempting to remain upright. How had she gone on for so long like this? How had she managed to convince herself she was still in control?
A memory flashed through her mind, making her withering heart skip a beat. Even now—with all the time that had passed—she ached when she thought of him. Her eyes burned with unshed tears, yearning and heartache forming a knot in her throat. She remembered Trey resting on his side, his beautiful amber-tinted irises hidden behind closed lids, a sprinkling of dark shadow lining his jaw. He’d seemed so different then, unable to defend himself, trapped in a cage like a damn animal.
The sight had angered and terrified her. The man was more than capable of taking care of himself but
No way. She hadn’t been able to let that happen.
One bite had sealed their fates.
In saving his life, she’d sacrificed her own.
Even now she could taste his blood, feel her pussy clasp in response, her weakened body tingling in multiple wicked places. The first swallow had been the best, cascading down her throat like ambrosia, so good she knew she’d never find its equal. His being a shifter had meant she’d started healing immediately, despite the severity of her wounds. But that hadn’t been her focus. Instead she’d fought off an orgasm unlike any other, mortified at the thought of using him, of taking more than he was willing to give.
It was bad enough to take his life’s blood without consent.
A whimper seeped past her lips and she dropped to her knees. She focused on the memory, not the pain. This was all that was left—the past. Memories of what she wanted but would never have. Death didn’t frighten her. In fact, the thought of passing into the next realm brought a strange sense of calm.
No more pain.
No more heartache.
Arms wrapped around her and the world shifted. She shuddered as she felt a chest against her shoulder, followed by Aldon’s hushed order, “Easy.”
Confusion swamped her, breaking the spell of Trey’s memory.
Had she died? Was her brain reacting to her demise like a dream that made no sense?
Aldon Frost was evil. The head of her coven—Geneva—told her so. During private meetings when she’d been given instructions on how best to guard the coven the mistress of the group had told Sadie that Aldon had to be monitored more closely than any other. Once his nest had been found, Sadie had to destroy the vampire. He threatened their race—was a danger to their very way of life.
Why hasn’t he killed me yet?
She felt the firm press of his hand as he lifted her head. She didn’t open her eyes, remaining lax as he scented her neck. The position to vampires was the same as bearing her belly to a predator, a sign of submission. As much as she detested herself for it, there was no other alternative. Not now. His teeth sank deep, easily penetrating her skin. She wasn’t the hunter but the hunted. His contented sigh reverberated through the cold night air. She shivered, trying to think of Trey, wanting to remember him in her final moments.
This is it. I’m about to die.
Then he was done, pulling his fangs from her abused flesh. “Stubborn creature,” he stated matter-of-factly. “So certain of yourself. So arrogant. So predictable. You wear your pride like a shield. I suppose I should thank you for simplifying things.”
When she attempted to struggle—determined to at the very least slap the hell out of the bastard—she felt it.
Warmth seeped into her chest, the first relief she’d felt in months. But it wasn’t coming from her. It was coming from him. She fought the compulsion of succumbing to his will and tried to stay awake. It was a trick, the inviting allure of dark magic. If she gave in, her soul would be lost. She had to fight to maintain the hold on her sanity.
“Sleep,” Aldon commanded, the order a siren’s song too powerful to deny. “Sleep.”
She tried to open her eyes and see the face above her. Instead darkness rose, wrapping its arms around her, trapping her in its embrace. There was no fear, only comfort and reassurance. The feelings disoriented her, breaking her tenuous hold on reality. The abyss overcame everything, shrouding her mind and body like a blanket, directing her thoughts to another time and place.
She sank into eyes the color of cherished whiskey, felt the rasp of Trey’s breath against her face as their lips had met for the first time. The grass had cushioned them as he’d settled his weight against her, his form molding to hers as though they’d been made for each other. He’d smelled so good—too good. He had been a part of herself that she’d never truly known.
Like this, they would have forever.
Maybe this was the end. She’d finally arrived.
And what could possibly be better? What more could she ask for in the afterlife?
Trey was his own version of heaven.
Trey Veznor gasped in ecstasy as he felt the prick of teeth against his skin. A gash had been made in his throat, creating a small trickle of blood. Sexual need rushed through his body, engorging his cock, drawing his balls taut. He growled at the sharp scrape of teeth against his neck, the sweet flick of a tongue sweeping across his flesh. Despite the ache in his muscles he tried to reach out when his lover moaned—the sound a symphony in his ears—and discovered he was unable to do so, trapped in a body that refused to function.
Fury made him want to scream in frustration.
The need to touch the female—his female—increased.
She’d been hurt. He scented the metallic rustiness of her blood, sensed her wounds through their flourishing connection. Misery consumed her, the pain unbearable. She’d been injured in a way that terrified him. He’d never seen the woman destined to be his mate in a weakened state. She was strong, fearless and fierce. He knew her, could feel her. He’d thought about her so often she was in his thoughts even when he didn’t realize it.
His skin parted in welcome as her tiny fangs pierced his throat. Her lips moved, surrounding the punctures, sealing them off. The suction of her mouth as she drank was so sweet and hot. He wanted to grasp her tiny waist and place her on top of him. A few thrusts and he’d come like a randy schoolboy, unable to hold back long enough to even think about sinking his cock inside the haven of his mate’s body.
Desire amplified, his dick straining against his jeans.
So close…so fucking close.
He’d hurt her before, reckless in his outrage against her kind, but he was determined to make things right. Once he found her he wasn’t letting her go. He’d warned her not to make promises she couldn’t keep.
No more barriers. No more bullshit.
Teeth slid from his skin and her tongue skimmed over his wounds.
“Sadie,” he whispered, trying to lift his arms and open his eyes.
He felt her move away, her succulent scent beginning to fade.
Damn it. He wouldn’t let her go. He’d tether her ass to his bed and force her to face what they were to each other, even if it meant being locked in a room with his mate for days.
“Sadie,” he roared, fighting to lift his lids, to see her angelic face. “Listen to me.” It felt as though his soul was ripped apart, torn in two as she vanished. “Damn you! Listen to me!”
This time when he tried to move, his arm worked.
Then something shook him hard. “Wake up.”
He swung at the thing pulling him away from the warmth of Sadie’s touch. His wolf’s anger merged with his, his growl a threat to the idiot stupid enough to try to come between him and the one female destined for him.
They’d waited too long. Time had transformed into an enemy he’d become tired of facing. Each second was pure agony. Too much more of this shit and he’d break like a rubber band stretched past its limit.
More shaking against his shoulder, harder this time. “Trey, wake the fuck up.”
His eyes flew open, his hand flew out and he wrapped his fingers around a throat. Even with vision blurred from sleep he made out the form of a dumbass fucking male who’d intruded where he wasn’t wanted. When his opponent didn’t fight him he slowly came down to earth. His fingers loosened as he recognized a vital member of his pack, the one person who was aware of his situation and of the loss he experienced with each passing day.
“Easy, man,” Nathan—his Beta—grumbled. “I’d have left you alone but you were getting loud.” Trey lowered his hand and Nathan moved away. The Beta
“I could say the same about you,” Trey replied, shaking off the memory of Sadie’s silken lips against his neck. He sat up and ran his hand over his face. “You’ve not exactly been June Cleaver.”
Nathan’s lips formed into a sardonic smirk. “Unlike you, I’ve only got a few weeks left. I’ve waited this long. A few more days aren’t shit.”
“If she shows,” he taunted, unable to prevent the sliver of jealousy that arose. “She could blow you off.”
Humor faded from Nathan’s face, replaced by anger. His Beta’s eyes turned, irises shifting from brown to amber. “She gave me her word.”
Nathan’s mate—a vampire who’d somehow been involved when Sadie had saved Trey’s life—had promised to return after a period of three months. Nathan hadn’t wanted to give her that space but current events had prevented him from stopping her departure. Fortunately, due to their circumstances, the men had been able to share their concerns about taking vampire mates. In the shifter world such unions were forbidden. Vampires were magical creatures, with some of them being able to turn the animals inside shifters into familiars.
Such a thing could render a shifter—male or female—powerless.
“Listen,” Nathan said, this time in control of his emotions. “When Leigh shows up I’ll find out about Sadie. As soon as I know where she is I’ll tell you. You can talk to her and sort things out.”
Sounds like a great plan. Too bad she doesn’t want to talk to me.
The intimate time he’d shared with his mate had gone badly—very, very badly. He’d been drunk, relying on his friend Mr. Daniels to assist him in grief. Sadie’d paid the price for his spiral of gloom. All it had taken was a few words—words he hadn’t meant to speak aloud, for fuck’s sake—for her to promise he’d never see her again.
Other author's books:
- Changed: 2 (Wolf's Den)VampireMineMoon KissedMarkedDesires of the Otherworld 2: Darkest Hunger
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