Vlad the Impaler? Don't make her laugh...
Vlad is un-living proof that even a shy guy with the unfortunate name of Leslie can remake himself. Vampire, cad, player, he embraces it all without a pesky thing called a conscience. Until he receives a "special delivery" on his doorstep. A woman on the brink of death. One look at the sexy blonde, and his inner Leslie--his long-forgotten conscience--moves him to do the right thing and save her life.
One minute Jaelyn is enjoying a night out at a club. The next, she's under a brutal vampire attack. Adjusting to her new life as one of them is hard enough without the added charm of Vlad's grumpiness with the whole situation.
Instead of sending Jaelyn on her merry way, Vlad gives in to another totally uncharacteristic urge--to solve the mystery of who assaulted her, and why whoever it was dumped her at his place. There must be a connection, and it surely can't have anything to do with their budding attraction.
But delving into a dangerous vampire underworld could remake their undead lives once again. Permanently.
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September 06, 2010
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Excerpt from Feral Hunger by Stephanie Bedwell-Grime
Vlad reached his apartment door and sighed with relief. No police tape, no knot of blue-uniformed officers crowded the hallway. He'd met up with one of his usual donors at a nearby club and fed as quickly as possible. All the while, worry had gnawed at his gut. Still, things seemed quiet as he arrived home. His shoulders slumped as the tension left them and he felt in his pocket for his keys.
A scream pierced the heavy wooden door. He flung it open to find the blonde sitting up on his couch and staring at him in complete horror.
She had sea-foam green eyes, he noted abstractedly as she centered him in her gaze.
Vlad gave her what he hoped was a reassuring expression. But in doing so, he smiled a little too broadly, showing a hint of fang. Big mistake. She screamed again.
The last thing he needed was concerned neighbors in the hallways. He rushed toward her and clamped a hand over her mouth, not knowing what else to do. She bit him, hard enough to draw blood. He snatched his hand back. Her scream burst free.
"Shh!" He tried for a more human-looking smile. Usually, he kept his fangs in plain sight. Women liked them. At least the kind of women he favored liked them. The blonde wasn't fooled. She shrieked even louder.
Vlad covered her mouth with a vise-like grip. It served to muffle the sound, but not much. No good deed goes unpunished. It had been his personal motto for some time now. Not that he was often prone to good deeds. He brought his face down close to her ear. "Look," he said the word with as much gentleness as he could muster. "I know what you're thinking, but I'm not the one who did this to you."
Her eyes widened. He suspected she didn't believe him, but she fell silent. She had no particular reason to believe him. He had done things to her, things she probably wasn't going to appreciate once she grasped their full significance. Like making her a vampire.
"How do I know that?' she inquired against his palm.
He let his breath go in a rush. "You don't. So you're going to have to take my word that I found you unconscious on my doorstep."
She struggled in his grasp. He tightened his grip. At least she didn't bite him again, Vlad thought with relief. "If I'm going to help you, I need you to stop screaming and listen to me."
She grew still. Silence stretched between them.
"Can I move my hand?"
She nodded hesitantly.
He drew his hand away, but kept it close, just in case.
She was still staring at him with those startling eyes. "You're a--a--" She tried to scuttle away from him again, but he held her tight.
"Vampire," he supplied and sincerely hoped she didn't scream again. "But I'm not the vampire who hurt you."
She studied his face and he waited while she perused him. It was often that way with women. They found his looks pleasing. Many of them had told him so. They found his dark brown curls appealing and his even darker brown eyes more so. Apparently not this one though, because she was staring at him with something close to horror.