"Have you come to join us?" She lifted her chin. "I was just going to show your friends the sting of my dagger. Mayhap you would like me to carve a tattoo on your forearm?"
His dark brows winged up and his full lips curved into a smile. "Perhaps later." He narrowed his eyes on the other two. "Begone, Fergal and Niven. Your fun is over this night."
The two youths grumbled, but they did not question the Blue-eyed Devil, who'd ordered them to leave.
Once they were alone, Adryanna wasn't sure if one threat was better than the other, but at least she'd have more of a chance with one Oiche Sith than with two.
"I mean you no harm," the Blue-eyed Devil said, his voice soothing in its claim, but her heart hammered, warning her he was a danger to her. Only she wasn't sure why. His stance spoke of no threat.
He had a wildly handsome face and the moonlight accented captivating shadows beneath his eyes. Her gaze fastened on his mouth and for a heartbeat of time, she imagined how those masculine lips would feel pressed against hers. With a sensuous mouth like that, his kisses would surely make a woman forget herself.
She met his steady gaze. The blood rushed to her head and she felt her cheeks flame hot. What was she doing? Then she knew. It was the Blue-eyed Devil's fault. "Stop it." She raised her dagger and jabbed it at him. "Do not come closer. I will not have you glamour me."
He lifted his hands in mock surrender. "I have done no such thing." His brows furrowed with concern. "What makes you believe such magic was done to you?"
He spoke the truth. Worry shadowed his eyes. Then she understood. It was not magic, but her body responding to him in a way she had not thought possible. She found him desirable. "No." She stumbled back to get away from him and almost fell, but he was quick, lightning quick as he came to her rescue. She thought meeting his gaze was unsettling, but his touch proved more wicked than casual glances. His hands came to rest on her waist, his touch burning through her shirt with raw heat. Don't look at him. Don't meet his eyes.
Damn her curiosity. Her eyes opened and she met his gaze. His eyes smoldered with desire, mirroring her own. He pulled her closer. There was no mistaking the hungry sensual growl in the back of his throat as he pressed his lips to hers. He didn't ravage, but took his time, savoring, tasting...seducing. She groaned beneath his tender assault before her brain registered what she was doing. Fear mixed with passion made her heart thump wildly.
Adryanna pushed at his chest, but he held her tight. She had to stop this before it was too late, before she no longer cared her enemy kissed her. Her dagger hand sliced through his shirtsleeve, hitting flesh. He let her go with a startled curse, but it was all she needed. She fled, her feet moving with sure strides as she made her way into the forest. She knew he could follow her, make her pay for drawing his blood, but he didn't pursue her.
Her feet didn't stop until she reached the safety of her village. Coomkeen lay calm and peaceful as the people slept. "What you should be doing also instead of kissing a bloodsucker." Her fingers lightly touched her lips, still tender from the Blue-eyed Devil's caress. She hated him for what he was, but her body didn't seem to care. With a touch of his lips, he awakened the woman in her. She didn't scare easily, but this frightened her. He had not used glamour, and yet, he still held a power to make her knees weak.
She turned, glancing toward the dark forest. The hairs on her arms stood up and she felt a tingle down her back. Had the Blue-eyed Devil followed her after all? The leaves rustled in the wind, but no one emerged from the shadows.
to Autumn Moon (Jairec has been bitten by a Chiang-shi (vampire). He is
seeking help from a seer. Jairec is speaking first.
“This doctor will know how to help me? He’ll be able to turn me back?”
“I only know the elixir of life will be found there.” She hummed and weaved back and forth as if receiving some kind of psychic advice from the other side. “Autumn moon is your destiny. You must accept the elixir before the festival’s end. If you do not, you’ll remain cursed and walk among the undead for all eternity.”
“Dr. Lei will hand over the cure. Just like that.”
Her dark eyes riveted to him. “I never said it would be easy. He will most likely want to kill you.”
“I’m already dead, a vampire. Or what did you call me—a chiang-shih?”
She chuckled with no mirth. “I do hate the newly dead,” she mumbled. “No moron. He will perform a ritual sending your sorry ass to hell.”
“I am most curious, Sir Knight, how would you please me?” she asked him.
“How…” His brows furrowed. “You can read my mind.” He didn’t ask, but stated the obvious.
“Among other talents, I assure you.” Her hand touched his and he shivered. Her touch was like ice, but it also increased his desire to have her.
“You are cold, milady.” He drew off his mantle and draped it around her. Her eyes widened in surprise at the gesture.
“You are too kind, Sir Knight.”
“Liam, please. My friends call me Liam.”
Her smile curved wider, revealing straight white teeth. On his journeys many women over the age of ten and nine had begun to lose their teeth, but not this woman who lived among the trees. His gaze focused on two of her teeth that appeared pointier than the others. The villagers claimed a female fiend lived in the forest, but surely this woman with thick dark hair could not be such a creature. He didn’t fear her, but longed to hold her. As her gaze slid over him, appreciation gleamed in her eyes. The wind still blew about them in a fury. A storm threatened the night, not ghosts or fiends. “And what may I call you, fair maiden?”
“I was once called Glamis Drui.”
“Lady Glamis Drui.” He raised her hand to his lips. Her flesh was still cool, but she didn’t shiver. The wind seemed not to bother her in the least. “Do you have shelter, milady? We must wait out the storm.” His gaze swept over her comely figure with appreciation.
She stepped closer as if to inhale his essence. “Will you break your vows of celibacy and warm me this night then?”
She knew he was untried, but he failed to wonder how and question her further. He wanted nothing more than to be with her.
“Aye, I am yours.”
In this Christmas Collection, only my story is a vampire tale: Mistletoe, Stakes and Yuletide Cheer
In the scene below: Cassandra Hayes has just found out the vampire she's suppose to kill is Tremayne Graystone, the man she's been dating. They're in the forest behinds his house and she's already shot him once with a crossbow, but Tremayne believes the relationship can still be salvaged. Tremayne is the one speaking.
“I’ve been minding my own business for centuries before such a job—as preternatural hunters—existed. I work, pay my taxes and I don’t go around killing innocents.”
He looked above his head where the arrow sat lodged into the tree trunk. When had she moved? “That was damn close, Cassandra."