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Vacation with a Vampire : Stay\Vivi and the Vampire\Island Vacation
Everyone needs a break sometimes, especially during the summer. After all, what's more relaxing, and more romantic, than a midnight stroll through Paris? Or the way the moon reflects off the ocean? And if your mesmerizing, sexy date happens to be ready to nibble your neck, who would want to say no?
Vacations are a perfect time to indulge, so why not spend a little quality time with these immortal hunks in three luscious tales of hot getaways. Treat yourself to a little bit of summer moonlight with these tales brought to you by Michele Hauf, Kendra Leigh Castle and Lisa Childs.
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Harlequin Enterprises, Limited
July 01, 2012
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Vacation with a Vampire by Michele Hauf
Lucian Bellisario staggered down the streets of Paris. At his back, the setting sun shimmered silver in his hematite hair. He was--and he hated to admit this--exhausted. Light-headed and drained, there was but one means to rally.
He needed hot, mortal blood pulsing with life.
Veering toward his antique shop nestled in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, he scanned the streets. He sought a lone walker, someone who would meet his eyes and smile, project onto him their assumption that he was not threatening.
And then he would threaten them.
He didn't clutch at the wound over his heart because he wouldn't draw attention to himself in that manner. Had to maintain decorum. The inch-wide puncture had healed, but the pain lingered.
His best friend, Certainly Jones, had needed his help. The dark witch had required fresh vampire blood for a spell. Lucian happened to have plenty of blood coursing through his veins, and being a vampire, he'd fit the bill.
The steel pipe, shoved between his ribs to facilitate a steady stream of blood onto the witch's hands while he'd spoken a doppelganger spell, had served but a nuisance to Lucian. Not thick enough to burst his heart, he'd only had it in a few minutes. Long enough to drain much blood from his system and deplete his energy, resulting in a now ravenous hunger.
More than once, he'd been CJ's guinea pig for new magic spells over the decades.
"The things I do for friends," he muttered.
A slender woman wearing a studious skirt and blouse stood before a door that featured an Art Nouveau-style nymph draped over the shop name, L'Extraordinaire. He'd painted the door decades ago. Seeing his approach, she smiled warmly at him.
Lucian could smell her misfortunate trust from ten paces. Human blood, infused with sweet innocence and polite acceptance. Easy enough to entice her into an embrace that would satisfy his needs.
But he was not a brute, or a creature. Never did he swoop in and attack a female, even when hounded by hunger.
"Mademoiselle?" He pulled a key out of his leather coat pocket, and smiled a smile that had conquered hundreds, perhaps thousands. He was not one to boast.
"Is the shop closed?" she asked. A breeze shifted her straight brown hair over a slender shoulder. An American, to judge her accent. He liked foreigners. Visitors were transitory; they usually did not return, and that made feeding his hunger so much neater.
Lucian's fangs tingled to sink in, there, at the smooth white column of her neck. The erotic sensation stirred his loins as strongly as it did his thirst. Blood and sex often complemented one another.
"Closed? Temporarily, while I was out, er.. giving blood."
"Oh, they have the Red Cross here in France? That's generous of you. Needles freak me out, so I've never been able to donate."
"The intrusion of something sharp into flesh is but a small sacrifice if you know it will help another," he said with an ill-concealed smirk that slipped to amusement as he turned his head toward the door. He shoved the key in the lock, and invited his next meal inside. "Welcome to my dusty little corner of the ancient and overlooked."
Crossing the threshold, she moved through the ill-sorted chaos, her eyes scanning the shadowed recesses behind centuries-old furniture, glassware that had been held by kings, and folded damasks and linens that may have seen lusty nights of royal passion.
Lucian preferred the shop disordered, as opposed to the neat and fancy showplaces on the Champs-elysees that overcharged to cover the upkeep and false provenances they assigned to their objets d'art. A monthly dusting from a cleaning girl he kept on retainer--and enthralled after his bite--suited him fine and well.
Normally, he did not look to feed his hunger via customers, but circumstances as they were, he wasn't about to hold off this craving much longer. Her simple prettiness beckoned his interest though, and he decided he could manage a few minutes of restraint.
"What are you looking for?"
"I'm not sure." Her black-framed glasses glinted in the dull sunlight as she ran a hand over a dented copper serving tray. "A friend of mine loaned her apartment to me for a couple weeks. It's my first vacation overseas. I thought I'd repay her with a pretty little something to decorate her bedroom."
"Trinkets are under the glass case," Lucian directed, allowing her to wander the creaky floorboards and browse.
He paced behind her, hands behind his back, indulging in the provocative tease of her blood. Yet above the metallic sweetness rose the scent of peaches, seasoned with nutmeg and cinnamon. Like some kind of pie? Odd, but strangely appealing. He hadn't consumed mortal food in ages.
"Actually, she needs furnishings," she mused. "Her apartment is remarkably bare."
Pushing her glasses up her nose, the woman leaned over an Edwardian pot cupboard to get a better view of the mirror tilted against the wall, and tucked away as if it had no appeal to the owner. It did not. Hugging one side, a sinuous faerie glided, her arm curving along the top of the frame.
Horrible reminder, that.
"I see you've an eye for your pretty reflection," he tried, fighting against his fangs' insistent stirring to descend.
Frowning at the comment, she cast a glower at him. Soft blue eyes reflected the last rays of sun struggling through the windows.
"Forgive my manners. Lucian Bellisario." He offered his hand.