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Midnight bite, p.7

Midnight Bite, page 7

 

Midnight Bite
 


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  Her lips parted.

  “Lark…” Devereaux’s voice was strained.

  “He’s lying to you.” Noren inclined his head. “He knows what your father is. He knows what you are. It’s all part of his master plan.” A sad sigh. “That’s the problem, you see. Like to like—they attract. If you don’t run from Devereaux now, you’ll soon be overwhelmed. You’ll give in to the dark urges that you feel, and there will be no going back.”

  Her temples pounded. “What is my father?”

  Noren’s eyes widened. “Might want to check your teeth, dear Lark. When you shoved me across the room, I think you got a pretty powerful adrenaline burst. That burst gave you a few noticeable physical changes.”

  She ripped her hand from Devereaux’s. Her fingers slid over her teeth—her canines. Oh, God. They were sharp. Not as long and sharp as Devereaux’s, but definitely sharper than they’d been before. With growing horror, she gaped at Devereaux. “What did you do to me?”

  Devereaux’s jaw clenched. “I woke you up.”

  “What?”

  Noren whistled. “Come on, Lark. You know, you just don’t want to admit it. Fine.” A dramatic heave of his breath. “I’ll just reveal the big twist. Though you should have figured this shit out. Your mother got busy with a vamp once. Only she didn’t know he was a vamp. He kinda lied about that part. Spoiler alert…vamps lie.”

  Devereaux whirled on him, fists clenched. “Get your ass back to hell.”

  “Nope, got other plans.” His gaze lingered on Lark. “You need me, you know how to get in touch with me.” Then he snapped his fingers—

  And vanished.

  The scent of brimstone lingered in the room.

  Lark realized she was breathing too hard. “I’m a…hybrid?” She was half human and half vamp? “No.” She shook her head. “That’s impossible. Vampires are made—they’re humans who have transformed, they are—”

  “Royal vampires are born. It’s all in the bloodline.”

  Holy crap. The story had just gotten worse. “My father was a royal vampire?”

  Wait. He was still alive. Or at least, Devereaux had hinted that he was. My father is a royal vampire.

  “Hybrid births are very rare. Sometimes, the children never become vampires. They live their whole lives as humans. They die as humans. But for others…a very, very small number…if they are bitten by a vampire, their vampire side will awaken. They will start to transform. They will become what they were always meant to be.”

  A vampire. She needed to sit down. “That’s why.” So many things suddenly made sense.

  “Why what?” He glanced around the apartment, as if expecting Noren to reappear.

  But the hellhound was long gone. And he’d told her what she needed to know.

  “Lark?”

  She blinked and peered up. Devereaux was staring at her, a faint furrow between his dark brows. After clearing her throat, Lark said, “That’s why my mother hated me.”

  He blinked.

  “Because I was a vampire. Monster hunters hate vampires. She hated me…because I was part of him. She must have thought my vampire side was stronger when I wouldn’t hurt the paranormals. When I never showed any skills as a hunter…she thought I was becoming like him.” It all made sense. She’d never been able to make her mother happy. Her mother had never said she loved Lark. Never said—

  His hand rose and his fingers carefully slid over her cheek. “You’re crying.”

  “I—” She hadn’t meant to cry. But after feeling unworthy her whole damn life… “I know why. She thought I was less because—”

  Another growl. He was definitely in a seriously growly mood. “You are not less. You will never be less. You are going to be my vampire queen. The world will bow before you. You are not less than anything or anyone. No one will ever be your equal.”

  Her lips parted.

  “If anyone ever dares to call you less,” he snarled. “I will fucking disembowel the fool.”

  She almost smiled. “That is the sweetest thing anyone has ever said to me.”

  He blinked.

  She kissed him. Rose onto her toes and pressed her mouth to his. Her whole world had just been turned upside down. Lies were all around her. But the vampire prince in front of her—he looked at her like she was some kind of goddess, and that was pretty freaking awesome.

  His hands wrapped around her as he pulled her closer. And just as before when they kissed, need burned through her. A ravenous, wild need that destroyed her self-control.

  It was her freaking birthday. Shouldn’t she get whatever she wanted for her birthday? And right then—she wanted Devereaux.

  Her nipples were hard, her sex yearning, and every lick of his tongue, every press of his lips just had the lust she felt burning hotter and hotter.

  “Tell me to stop,” Devereaux rasped the words against her mouth. “If this isn’t what you want, if I’m not really what you want—”

  “Just shut up and kiss me. I want you.”

  He kissed her. Deep and hot and so wonderful. He kissed her, and she kissed him, and at some point, he picked her up. He held her with his easy vamp strength even as his mouth feathered over her neck. “Where’s your bedroom?”

  “Down the hall.” The tiny, narrow hall. It was the only room that way—he’d find it.

  And sure enough, he did. He carried her inside and put her on the bed. A bed that seemed way too small when she took in his massive form. She sprawled on the bed and stared up at Devereaux as he stripped. When his shirt hit the floor…wow. So many muscles. So much sexiness.

  Happy birthday to me.

  His pants followed. His shoes were long gone…somewhere. And he didn’t wear underwear. Of course not. The guy was far too cool for—

  “You’re still dressed.”

  She loved the rough rumble of his voice. But, yes, she was still dressed because she’d gotten distracted by the awesome view. Now she pulled off her sweater and dropped it on the floor. She kicked out of her shoes and shimmied out of her jeans and—

  “I’ll take care of it. I’ll take care of you.” He leaned over. Pressed a kiss to the swell of her breast and then he was unhooking her bra. He tossed her bra across the room and took her nipple into his mouth. Sucked and licked. Her head tipped back as she moaned. He was between her spread legs. His thick, long cock shoved against the crotch of her panties. She wanted her panties gone. He needed to take care of getting rid of her underwear.

  And when she heard a faint ripping, Lark realized that he had. The guy had actually ripped her panties away.

  Sexy.

  A little destructive but…

  His fingers slid between her legs. “You’re already wet.”

  She was getting pretty close to her climax, so, yes, she was wet. Ready and wet and she arched into his touch and wanted more. If he could stroke over her clit, if he could just—

  He was moving down her body.

  “Dev?”

  “I want to taste all of you.”

  He was going down on her. Okay. Yes. Awesome. But…he was a vamp. “No biting.” She’d never had a vamp go down on her, and Lark wanted to be very, very clear. Safety first.

  “No, sweetheart,” Devereaux assured her tenderly. “Only licking and tasting and more pleasure than you can stand.”

  He put his mouth on her. There was licking and tasting, and her hands flew out to grab the bedsheets because his lips and tongue felt so good. Lark could feel her climax rising. Her hips pushed against him, her ankles dug into the mattress and she opened her mouth— “Dev!”

  More pleasure…

  The release slammed through her. So powerful and consuming that the whole world faded away. She’d never had a climax that strong. It kept going and going, and the aftershocks trembled through her core.

  Her eyes opened. She’d closed them when the climax hit and lost herself in the pleasure. Now she stared up and saw Devereaux looming over her. His cock was at the entrance to her body. His for
earms were braced on either side of her.

  And the guy’s fangs were out.

  According to all the stories, when a vamp bit during sex…the feeling was supposed to be incredible. She licked her lips. No, absolutely not. She would not say—

  “You want my fangs in you?”

  “Yes!” Dammit, what was wrong with her?

  He lowered his head. Licked her neck. Kissed her. Then he drove his cock into her—at the exact same time he bit her.

  It wasn’t just pleasure. Pleasure was far too tame of a word. Her whole world seemed to splinter apart as her body erupted. She couldn’t breathe. She could only feel. She was climaxing and squeezing his cock so tightly. Digging her nails into his back. Chanting his name. Losing herself. Riding a wave of release that was gutting her.

  He licked her neck. Pulled back his head.

  He hadn’t come. He was still thick and long inside of her. His face was cut into hard, hungry lines of lust. He held her gaze as he withdrew…only to drive back deeper into her. Her sex was so sensitive and slick, and every glide of his cock had her surging back toward him. Back toward him as—

  I want to bite.

  The urge rose within her. Powerful and dark. Greedy. Her gaze locked on his neck. For a moment, Lark could have sworn that she heard the rapid beat of his heart. But that just had to be her own heartbeat. Thundering.

  She’d felt such pleasure when he bit her. What would it be like if she bit him?

  “There will be no going back if you do…” His voice was a rough growl. “Be sure.”

  She was sure she’d never wanted anyone more. The urge to bite him, to mark him, was so strong. He’s mine. A primal, possessive thought.

  “No going back,” he repeated, his voice a dark and dangerous rumble of sound. A temptation.

  His neck was right over her mouth now. She found herself licking his throat as he thrust into her. Kissing him. Scraping her teeth over his pounding pulse.

  She was already a vampire. Or, part vamp. This whole blood drinking thing wouldn’t change her. I’m already changing. And something inside of her—oh, damn but she wanted his blood.

  Wanted it so badly.

  “Love, you have to know…” Each word seemed torn from him. “You’ll become—”

  Her teeth sank into him. She felt Devereaux climax inside of her. Felt the surge of his cock as he roared her name. And she was tasting him. Savoring him like wine, and Lark was sure that she could actually taste his pleasure. It was making her drunk and wild, and she just wanted to drink and drink and never stop. She’d had no idea what she was missing. No idea what she needed. It seemed as if a part of herself had been hidden her whole life…

  He said I woke up.

  Maybe a part of her had been sleeping.

  She didn’t want to sleep anymore.

  She wanted to drink and fuck and live. She wanted—

  “Enough, love. You have to stop.”

  She licked his neck. Savored the sweet drops. Her head sagged against the pillow. She stared up at him, feeling absolutely replete.

  Best time ever. This birthday—this whole new year—it wasn’t sucking. Score one for her.

  He withdrew from her body and pulled her close to his side. “It’s going to hurt.” He brushed back a lock of her hair. “I’m sorry, but I’ll be here for you. I swear, I won’t leave you.”

  Wait. Hurt. That wasn’t one of her favorite words. “What’s going to—Aah!” Lark screamed as fire burned through her. She was burning, burning up from the inside out, and she screamed and screamed as the blaze engulfed her. It didn’t just hurt. It was agonizing. Torture! The worst horror she’d ever felt.

  “Death only lasts a moment.”

  Death? Death? No one had said anything about death! Tears slid down her cheeks. He kissed them away, the rat bastard.

  “I’ll stay with you. It’s going to be okay. You’ll be stronger. You’ll live forever. It’s—”

  Wait. Back the hell up. It sure as hell sounded as if she were transforming. Only she shouldn’t have to transform. She’d already had fangs—she’d already been a vamp, right? She’d only be transforming if…if he’d tricked her. If she’d…

  Noren had tried to warn her. Why hadn’t she listened to the hellhound?

  Her lashes were sagging shut. A heavy darkness swept out to consume her, but with her last breath, she muttered, “You…lied…”

  “Lark?”

  “Bastard…”

  CHAPTER EIGHT

  New Year’s Resolution Number Eight: Fight for what you want.

  Bastard.

  Yeah, he sure as shit felt like one. Devereaux cradled Lark’s limp form against him. He hated her pain. If he could have, he would have taken it all himself. He’d given her pleasure, then sent her to hell. A hell she didn’t deserve. Lark deserved joy and laughter and every good thing in the world.

  I will give her the world.

  But first, dammit, first he’d needed to give her immortality, and the price of that particular gift could be a bitch.

  She’d been a hybrid. She had fangs that came out when she got scared or angry, but she couldn’t stay a hybrid forever. She would have been too vulnerable with all of the paranormal creatures after her. She’d needed a vampire’s immortality, something she could only get with a full change.

  With my blood.

  He pressed a kiss to her cheek. “Kick my ass when you wake up, but you will wake up, love. You’ll wake up, and you’ll rule.” He was starting to think that she already ruled him. A development that he hadn’t expected.

  He’d planned to take her as his mate, a necessary goal for his endgame. But he’d never…

  Never planned to want to see her smiles.

  Never planned to want to destroy anyone and everyone who made her cry.

  Never planned to want her so much that his entire body had nearly been consumed by lust.

  Never planned…to feel jealousy course through his veins just because a hellhound stood too close to her and kept calling her “dear Lark”—the sonofabitch.

  He glanced around the apartment. She’d strung up glowing lights over the bed. Christmas lights. They put off a soft glow and gave the room a warm, romantic feel. She had more lights hung over her window. The walls of her bedroom were painted a soft, dreamy blue.

  He was starting to think that his Lark was a dreamer. He liked that.

  A dreamer who’d grown up surrounded by nightmares.

  His fingers slid down her delectable body and paused over the long, ragged scars that marked her side. It was good that the ones who’d hurt her were long gone.

  No one will hurt you again.

  He eased down and pressed a kiss to her side. Tenderness poured through him. He’d never felt tenderness before. Only with…her.

  The scent came to him first. Then he heard the rush of footsteps. Snarling, he yanked the covers over Lark’s body just as her bedroom door flew open.

  “Problem!” Salvatore’s chest heaved. “Big fucking problem. Witches are outside, and they are about to light up this whole building!”

  Witches now, too? They’d decided to join the party? Devereaux dressed in a flash.

  Salvatore’s gaze whipped to Lark. “She okay?”

  “Her body is transforming. The last thing she needs is for witches to send a fire in here.”

  “I sent Max and Wyn to get the other humans out of the building. The witches won’t attack them. But if we try to take Lark out the front, if they see her—” He raked a hand over his face. “They’re going to torch her. You know they will. Unless you’ve wed her, unless she’s bound to you, they will attack.”

  “I’d like to see them fucking try!”

  As if in response to his words, fire suddenly streaked across her bedroom walls, melting the paint and making the small, glowing bulbs that Lark had so carefully hung in her room—making them burst and shatter.

  Rage churned in his gut. Oh, hell, no. “They don’t destroy what she cares about.


  He stalked to the window. Glared down below at the full coven. A coven out in broad-freaking-daylight. Someone felt bold.

  Someone was about to get an ass kicking.

  “Uh, Devereaux, you know that fire can make us all turn to ash.” Salvatore’s voice was halting.

  “Then I guess I’m burning because they are not destroying her home.” He spared a glare for his friend. “Stay with her until I get back.” Dammit, he’d promised Lark that he wouldn’t leave her side and now…

  Now he was preparing to launch himself through a window.

  He rushed back toward the bed. Pressed a kiss to her lips. Too still. Hurry back to me, love. “I’ll be back before you open your eyes.” He looked up. Salvatore was frowning at him. “What?”

  “Your voice changed when you talked to her.” Salvatore eyed him suspiciously. “What’s that about?”

  “Screw off.” It’s about me, and it’s about her. “If anyone but me tries to get to her, you rip the jerk apart, got it?”

  “Got it.” A brisk nod.

  The flames were spreading. There was no time to waste. The fire was supernatural, so it couldn’t be eliminated by normal means. The only way to stop it would be to stop the witches who were stirring the flames.

  So he leapt through the window. Glass shattered around him as he plummeted to the ground. And Devereaux landed right in the middle of the coven. The witches and warlocks spun to face him.

  He gave them his best smile. The one that flashed his fangs. “Who wants to bleed first?”

  No one raised a hand. Figured. Since there were no volunteers, Devereaux just attacked the nearest warlock. When his fangs sank into the SOB’s throat, the others started to scream. And run.

  From the corner of his eye, he saw the flames begin to flicker and die.

  CHAPTER NINE

  New Year’s Resolution Number Nine: Don’t waste time on regrets…and don’t be afraid to kick a little ass.

 
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