Kiss of Crimson
By: Lara Adrian | Other books by Lara Adrian
Published By: Random House Publishing Group
Published: May 29, 2007
ISBN # 9780553589382
Available in: Secure Adobe Epub eBook, Secure Adobe eBook
He comes to her more dead than alive, a towering black-clad stranger riddled with bullets and rapidly losing blood. As she struggles to save him, veterinarian Tess Culver is unaware that the man calling himself Dante is no man at all, but one of the Breed, vampire warriors engaged in a desperate battle. In a single erotically charged moment Tess is plunged into his world--a shifting, shadowed place where bands of Rogue vampires stalk the night, cutting a swath of terror.
Haunted by visions of a dark future, Dante lives and fights like there is no tomorrow. Tess is a complication he does not need--but now, with his brethren under attack, he must shield Tess from a growing threat that includes Dante himself. For with one reckless, irresistible kiss, she has become an inextricable part of his underworld realm...and his touch awakens her to hidden gifts, desires, and hungers she never knew she possessed. Bonded by blood, Dante and Tess must work together to thwart deadly enemies, even as they discover a passion that transcends the boundaries of life itself....
From the Paperback edition.
"Tell me," he murmured against the warm skin, his voice a low growl amid the heaving beat of the club's music, "are you a good witch or a bad witch?"
The female squirmed in his lap, her fishnet-clad legs straddling him, black lace-up bustier pushing her breasts up under his chin like a buffet. She twirled her finger in her bright fuchsia wig, then let it trail down suggestively, past a Celtic cross tattoo and into her swelling cleavage.
"Oh, I'm a very, very bad witch."
Dante grunted. "My favorite."
He smiled into her drunken gaze, not bothering to hide his fangs. He was one of many vampires in the Boston dance club that Halloween night, although most of them were pretenders. Humans sporting plastic teeth, fake blood, and various ridiculous costumery. A few others--himself and a handful of males from one of the vampire nation's Darkhaven sanctuaries, hanging out near the dance floor--were the genuine article.
Dante and the others were Breed, a far cry from the pale, gothic vampires of human folklore. Neither undead nor devil-spawned, Dante's kind were a hot-blooded hybrid mix of Homo sapiens and deadly otherworlder. The Breeds' forebears, a band of alien conquerors who crash-landed on Earth millennia past and who were now long-since extinct, had bred with human females and given their offspring the thirst--the primal need--for blood.
Those alien genes had given the Breed great strengths and shattering weaknesses too. Only the human side of the Breed, those qualities passed down by their mortal mothers, kept the race civilized and adhering to any kind of Order. Even then, a few of the Breed would succumb to their savage side and turn Rogue, a one-way street paved in blood and madness.
Dante despised that element of his kind, and as one of the warrior class, it was his duty to eradicate his Rogue brethren wherever he found them. As a male who enjoyed his pleasures, Dante wasn't sure what he preferred more: a warm, juicy female vein under his mouth, or the feel of titanium-edged steel in his hand as he sliced into his enemies and dispatched them to dust in the street.
"Can I touch them?" The pink-haired witch on his lap was staring at Dante's mouth with rapt fascination. "Dang, but those fangs look wicked real! I just have to feel them."
"Be careful," he warned as she brought her fingers to his lips. "I bite."
"Yeah?" She giggled, gaze widening. "I'll bet you do, sugar."
Dante sucked her finger into his mouth, contemplating the fastest way he could get the female horizontal. He needed to feed, but he was never opposed to a little sex in the process--prelude or chaser, didn't matter. It was all good as far as he was concerned.
Chaser, he decided on impulse, letting his fangs puncture the fleshy tip of her finger as she started to withdraw it. She gasped as he suckled from the small wound, refusing to let her leave him just yet. The small taste of blood inflamed him, sharpening his pupils to vertical slits in the middle of his gold-hued eyes. Hot need rushed through him, settling into the swelling bulge of his cock, which strained beneath the black leather of his pants.
The female moaned, closing her eyes as she arched catlike on his lap. Dante let go of her finger as he wrapped his hand around the back of her head and...