But for vampire Diego Rivera, Ramona Escobar's sensuality proved even more potent. He had to resist--for there could be no such thing as love for him. Five centuries ago Diego had vowed never to turn another with the bite of the undead. And though Diego knew the dark underworld of New York was no place for a human, his unslaked desire commanded that Ramona be his for one night....
But when the artist's life was threatened by a reclusive millionaire who had used Ramona's skills to build a forgery ring, Diego needed to unleash his inner demon to save her. Then he was faced with a choice--lose the woman he loved...or turn her with a vampire's kiss
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April 30, 2007
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Excerpt from Blood Calls by Caridad Pineiro
It didn't exist in every person who graced the earth, Diego suspected. Only a handful truly knew what it meant to live their lives with such intensity. In the five hundred years since a vampire's kiss had turned him into an immortal, Diego had surrounded himself with artists and others who lived life to the fullest. Who lived life with passion.
Ramona Escobar was such a person, Diego decided as he looked over the latest work she had done.
As he strolled back and forth in front of the six paintings, the vibrant colors called to him, as did the amazing movement and life splashed across the canvases. Beneath it all shimmered the sensuality of the scenes Ramona had depicted in her works--a study of men and women in various stages of making love.
He considered how to best display these paintings in his gallery. He had no doubt he would do so, since they were as wonderful as the others Ramona had done over the years, except...
A yearning existed in these works he hadn't seen before. A need that connected to something deep within him. He had to take a shaky breath to quell the desire that rose in him as he perused one piece. He was sure other people would feel the same and that the paintings would fetch a good price. Possibly an immense price. Thanks to the many centuries he had mingled with the artsy set, he knew how to recognize talent.
"These are wonderful," he said.
Petite and slender, Ramona stood beside him, wiping paint off her hands with a rag.
"Do you think so?" she asked, clearly uncertain. He wondered, as he had more than once during the half-dozen years he'd known her, about the kind of woman she was. One with passion mixed with equal parts humility and doubt. She had matured since the day he had met her, during her final year of art school. He had been intrigued back then by the young, tough ragamuffin with so much talent, but little ego.
But then again, had she been a braggadocio like some other artists he had encountered, he doubted their professional relationship would have lasted this long. Diego did not suffer fools or braggarts. They reminded him too much of how he had been before beginning his eternal life.
Driving that thought from his mind, he said, "Truly unique. They will sell well."
"Que bueno. When do you think you can show them?" She continued wiping her hands with the cloth, the gesture telling.
Diego laid his hand over hers. Her fingers were cold, which worried him. "Is something wrong, amiga? If it's money--"
"I know you would give it to me. It's nothing, really," Ramona said, and looked up at Diego's remarkable face.
He was so handsome and so honorable. When she had first met him, she had been struck by his elegance and beauty. In the many years they had known each another, he had always done right by her, showing her that his beauty went far beyond his physical attributes. He would do right by her this time, as well.
"I'm fine. Let me know when you want to do the show." She hoped to finish raising the money she needed to care for her mother.
He stroked her hand once again in a gentle gesture, and, unnerved by his touch, because it made her think of things that weren't possible, she walked away from him. At the table holding her paints and brushes, she set down the cloth.
Diego glanced at the paintings once more before striding toward her. As always, he was impeccably dressed, in a suit that emphasized his broad shoulders and narrow waist. The blue silk brought out the color of his intense ice-blue eyes.
When he stood before her, he tossed his head, sending the longish strands of his artfully highlighted, nutmeg-brown hair back, which emphasized the strong lines of his pale face.
Ramona had always been intrigued by his looks, a product of the Celtic roots in his part of Spain. A Gallego to the core, he would often tease her when she mentioned her own mixed heritage--part cubana, part Newyorican and part Irish.