eBook Details

Bound for Trouble

Series: The Bound , Book 1.0
By: Envy Augustine | Other books by Envy Augustine
Published By: Liquid Silver Books
Published: Feb 20, 2012
ISBN # 9781595788900
Word Count: 25,100
Heat Index    
EligiblePrice: $2.99

Available in: Epub, Microsoft Reader, Mobipocket (.mobi), Adobe Acrobat, Mobipocket (.prc), Rocket

Categories: Romance>Vampires Romance>Paranormal/Horror Romance>Erotic Romance

Description
Vampires haven’t ruled humanity for two generations. They’ve spent the last several decades imprisoned in labor camps deep underground. Security specialist, Lucy George, expected a boring two months inspecting those camps. Surviving a jailbreak is not what she anticipated.
Rescued by elder vampire, Gabriel Leglise, Lucy’s determined he will not return to captivity. Good thing she used to be a vampire activist, sworn to free and protect the enslaved undead. Lucy’s old job skills and former contacts might just save both their necks.
Battling vampire hunters and sneaking a rogue elder over state lines? Lucy and Gabriel need each other if they want to reach the activists, and the free vampire population they guard, in one piece.
But how much they need each other neither could have dreamed.
 
Reader Rating:  starstarstarstar (2 Ratings)
Sensuality Rating:   lipliplip
Excerpt:
Chapter One
Three security guards flanked Lucy George and her immediate supervisor, Ann Marie Bower, as the elevator plunged into the earth. Looking askance from the security policy manuals and overloaded clipboard she cradled in her arms, Lucy assessed the Graymont Facility’s wardens while Tina, the lone female guard, went over the containment ward’s safety procedures.
“Never cross the white lines on the floor.” Tina’s ill fitting gray uniform made her a stout, shapeless bulge. The two men flanking the civilian women filled out their suits better. They weren’t C-Guard material with their unexercised, middle aged bodies, but the uniforms were factory made for a man’s shape. Tina tossed her brown braid over her shoulder and adjusted her utility belt outfitted with club, collar remote, and several metal stakes. “We keep the vampires in two types of cells. The younger, feral ones go in communal holding and the older, cannier models go in solitary. The white lines are for your protection. Cross them and the ticks might get their claws on you.”
“But they’re behind bars, aren’t they?” Ann Marie asked, her hand resting on her fast rising chest. Lucy shot an agitated glance at the ceiling. She doubted her boss had ever seen a vampire.
“Yes ma’am, they’re behind bars,” one of the guards at their rear said. “But some of them have quite a reach. You could get pretty tore up before we could take them down,” he patted the collar remote dangling where a real cop would have had a side arm holstered.
Lucy’s glasses slid to the tip of her nose. She pushed them into place as Tina droned on about additional precautions. This was Lucy’s first inspection with Big Brother Compliance. Vampire activism was at an all time high. Three high profile facility breakouts in the last six months meant big business for security compliance specialists. For the next two months Lucy and her boss would tour vampire labor facilities, logging faults in their systems and equipment and conducting detailed interviews of facility staff. They were there to root out moles; activist agents who’d infiltrated security staff, reporting back to their parent cells and establishing contacts among elder vampires in the system. Lucy knew more about activist protocol than she should. It helped with her work even if she didn’t dare list it in her resume. She shifted her weight, her feet already smarting in her sensible heels, as the elevator jerked to a stop and a buzzing alarm announced their arrival.
The dinged metal doors slid open and a frigid blast whipped their clothes and hair. The containment ward smelled of cold air and rust. Bare bulbs at regular intervals lit the long corridor. Faded white paint demarcated the safe path on the concrete floor. Smashing the “door open” button down, Tina gestured the group into the hall.
Iron bars lined the right expanse of the hallway and pale, feral bodies writhed in the communal cell. Hissing creatures swarmed toward the living bodies in their domain like hungry fish spotting a food shaker over their tank. Lucy recoiled from the hundreds of eyes shining like little mirrors from the shadows. The guards seemed unperturbed and strolled down the corridor as they would a sunny street. Lucy had seen vampires before, but never so many at once and not the starved, clawing beasts populating the communal cell.
During the Uprisings, younger vampires went feral when their blood supply dried up. The older vampires, the ones who maintained what humanity they possessed throughout the human revolt, Lucy recognized. Their single occupant cells lined the opposite side of the hall. Males and females idled in the secure chambers which had thick plastic walls and not bars. Their hairless bodies were painfully gaunt, their bones pressing against a thin film of chapped and ashy skin. Fat, silver collars hung heavy around their necks. Most of their dull eyes were vacant, but a few shone with the glimmer of intelligence.
The guard on their left, the photo ID clipped to his shirt read ‘Greg’, pointed to a pair of doors set in the ceiling. “We drop animal parts from that hatch into the communal cell. No one actually goes in there. Our studs,” he jerked his thumb to the solitary cells, “get their meals through those metal drawers.”
Tina directed the women to one of the single cells and Lucy got a better look at the interior. Save for the plastic barrier that faced the viewing hall, the walls were white painted brick. A steel door was set into the rear wall and a feeding drawer gleamed to its right. There was no toilet or sink, just a flat protrusion from the left wall serving as bench and bed for the male vampire seated there.
Lifting her walkee talkee to her mouth, Tina said, “X-two-five-three-nine feed and farm,” into its crackling speaker.
X2539’s feeding drawer slid open and the vampire rose. He swayed and caught the wall, his movements stiff and jerky as though his joints were arthritic. Steadied, he trudged to the open food tray and lifted out a hare carcass he brought to his mouth. He clenched the rabbit in his hands and sucked deep gulps from the still twitching animal. His chest, which looked like it had once been strong and broad, lifted with the exertion of his feeding.
“Blood drinking stimulates the geasol glands,” Greg said, “so we give them a snack before sending the farmers in. Makes their job easier.”
As if on cue, a lab-coated technician entered the cell from the reinforced steel door. A guard, collar remote readied, accompanied the tech.
“Usually we have more than one guard in with the ticks during a farm but this old guy’s pretty docile. I don’t think he has a recorded shock anywhere in his file,” Greg said as the tech raised a glass jar to the vampire’s mouth. A thin, plastic sheet covered the jar’s top and the vampire bit into it. Clear fluid dripped off his fangs while his lips massaged the imitation skin.
Geasol, Lucy thought, a lot of it. Probably ten grand flowed into that single jar. Vampires produced the fluid when they fed, but humans had come up with the pharmaceutical name. Geasol kept a vampire’s victim from bleeding out, healed bite marks, any sort of open wound. Trauma centers ate it up and labor facilities used it to fund their operations.
The tech patted the vampire’s arm and it seemed to Lucy he said something to the male when he extracted his fangs from the jar. She couldn’t be positive. The slight flutter of the tech’s lips and his intent, dark eyes might have been nothing at all; leftover paranoia her old training instilled.
“Can we can get a better look at him?” Ann Marie’s green eyes lit with curiosity.
Tina spoke a few commands into her walkee talkee and, after the geasol tech left, the guard inside the cell prodded the vampire closer to the clear partition. He met no one’s eyes but Lucy saw they were blue, the same color as the light flashing on his shock collar. They had him lift his arms, open his mouth, and turn so they could view him from every angle. Though his body had atrophied from years of confinement and weak blood, Lucy could imagine how he must have appeared, judging by the lines of his musculature still visible beneath the shrunken flesh.
As the guard turned the vampire by the shoulder and pushed him this way and that, Lucy caught herself wondering what his skin would feel like beneath her hands. What would it be like to have the powerful creature under her control? She shivered and unconsciously wetted her lips as she traced the line of his torso down to his–
Lucy cut her gaze to her feet which she’d turned inward. It was wrong peering at the vampire as they did. She squeezed her books and papers to her tingling chest, willing away the sensation
“What’s his name?” She asked Greg.
Shooting her a quizzical look, Greg said, “X-two-five-three-nine.”
With a shake of her head, Lucy turned from the spectacle and observed the less human inhabitants of the communal cell. The lights on their collars shone in the dark like their eyes and she shuddered. Peeking into the gloom, she spied a pair of them away from the bars, nestled into each other. Crawling bodies of prowling beasts obscured the scene at times, but Lucy saw well enough. A male leaned into a female, her shriveled breasts slack against her chest, and suckled at her neck. The female lifted the male’s wrist and bit into it. They rocked together like lovers, made soft, crooning noises in their throats. Entranced by the intimacy of their play, Lucy ventured too near the enclosure.
A clawed hand shot between the bars and gripped Lucy’s skirt. Her ankle gave and she fell, screaming as the crazed thing, all black eyes and broken teeth, yanked her toward the cell. The clipboard and manuals she clutched sailed across the floor. Commanding shouts echoed through the corridor and the vampire’s shock collar sparked and snapped like a line of firecrackers. The creature seizing her spasmed and howled, but, despite its agony, held tight and dragged her closer to its snarling mouth.
“Backup! My remote’s shorted!” Greg’s black boots pounded around Lucy as the two guards with active remotes hammered their trigger buttons. The remotes weren’t precise and the creatures surrounding Lucy’s attacker suffered its punishment. The vampire holding her collapsed and she scooted behind Tina and her partner as they stunned the helpless creatures. Greg lifted her by the shoulders.
“That’d be why you don’t cross the white lines,” he said as he dusted her off and checked for injuries.
After the cursory inspection, Lucy spun and met Ann Marie’s exasperated face. Behind her boss’s blonde head, X2539 had his hands on the plastic partition, his blue eyes on Lucy. He looked away when their eyes met, shadows filling the hollows under his cheek bones.
Lucy snatched quick glances at the pacing elder while she gathered her scattered papers, clipboard and books, but he didn’t give her his attention again.
“That’s why we always travel in twos and threes,” Greg told Ann Marie. “The remotes are always shorting. Backup is a necessity. I know it probably won’t get us new equipment but I’d appreciate it if you’d include that in your report.”
Ann Marie’s pleasantries as she noted Greg’s concerns grated on Lucy as she finished collecting her belongings. She couldn’t believe how irresponsible she’d been. She’d been trained better than that, but it had been seven years after all. She was as good as civilian. No better than her boss.
Tina waited on Lucy as the men led Ann Marie to the end of the hall. The guard patted her on the back and accompanied her into the corral pen.

Bound for Trouble

By: Envy Augustine
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