Scarlet Heat (Born to Darkness)(6)

By: Evangeline Anderson

“Look,” he started, coming so close I could feel his heat radiating against my skin. He started to duck down, his face close to mine—too close. “What if I just—”

“Please,” I whispered, my throat tight, and turned my head away. I pressed my cheek to my shoulder and squeezed my eyes shut, gripping the counter until the edge of it bit into my fingers. “Please don’t.”

“What the hell?” Victor sounded genuinely uncertain. He straightened up and took a step back, putting some much needed space between us.

Immediately I felt like I could breathe again.

“Thank you.” I forced myself to look up at him. “I just…it’s hard for me. You’re…so big.”

“Sorry.” His voice was unexpectedly gentle. “Didn’t mean to uh, scare you.”

“I’m not scared,” I said but the tremble in my voice gave away the lie. “Maybe this isn’t going to work. Maybe…maybe you should just go,” I mumbled.

He ran a hand through his hair and sighed impatiently.

“I told you I don’t know when I’ll be back. The Moon is calling me—do you want blood or not?”

“I do. I…I need it,” I heard myself confess. “But please…not from your neck.”

He frowned. “What’s wrong with my fucking neck? I don’t offer it to just anybody, you know. If any other were saw me giving the sign of submission to a Goddamn vamp—”

“It’s too much. Too close.” I put a hand to my chest where I could feel my heart thumping. “Please…if I could just drink from your wrist? Would that be okay?”

He looked thoughtful. “Actually, that would probably be better. Not so hard to hide the marks later.” He gave me a quizzical glance. “Unless you can heal them up so nobody can tell you’ve been biting me?”

I thought of the ugly scars that had marked Addison’s arms and wrists until Corbin had healed her. Scars that had been caused by my fangs. I shook my head regretfully.

“I’m afraid not. I’m not very, uh, old or experienced as vampires go. I was only born to darkness six years ago.”

“All right, well, I guess we all have to start somewhere.” He sighed. “Wrist it is, then.” He held out his left wrist and then changed his mind and offered me his right instead. “Left handed,” he explained when I looked at him questioningly.

“I see.” I looked at the strong wrist and muscular forearm he was holding out to me. His hands were large and well formed, the fingertips tapered like those of an artist. He was surprisingly unhairy too—I hadn’t been around many weres and I’d always imagined they must be almost as hairy in human form as they were when they took their animal shapes. But Victor only had a light dusting of coarse black hair on the back of his arms. I wondered if he had a hairy chest and pushed the thought away. What was wrong with me? He was offering me blood and I was starving—I needed to feed, not admire his admittedly impressive physique.

I focused my attention on the bracelet of blue veins that pulsed on the underside of his wrist and tried to concentrate on one in particular, calling it toward me.

In the week and a half since rescuing me from Celeste, my new master Corbin had given me some tips on how to be a better, more effective vampire. Most of what he’d taught me was simple, including calling a vein to the surface as I was doing now. If only Celeste would have had the time and patience to teach me, maybe I would have made a better vampire. But my petite blonde ex-mistress had no patience with ignorance or incompetence of any kind so I had remained at the bottom of the food chain, uneducated and uninformed about my new existence until recently.

To my relief, the vein began to swell until it presented a decent target for my aching fangs. Unfortunately, I still wasn’t good enough to give pleasure as I fed, like a master vampire could, but at least I could strive to hurt my donor as little as possible.

Victor said nothing to the subtle display of my power. He simply stood there waiting, his arm at the right height for my mouth. When I gave him a quick glance, his eyes flashed bright gold and he gave me a barely perceptible nod as if to say, do it.

I couldn’t wait any longer. The warm musk of his scent filled my nose and under that I could smell the hot copper of his blood. My empty stomach twisted and my throat was parched.

I struck, my fangs piercing the big vein I’d called, slicing through his flesh and digging deep to get the nourishment I craved.

Victor grunted and I could tell I’d hurt him. But he didn’t try to jerk away—he held rock solid as I fed from him, drawing the rich, delicious blood out in great, hot mouthfuls, gulping it down like a starving beggar, feasting for the first time.

Hot Read

Last Updated


Top Books