Authors: Brenda Sparks
Tags: #romance, #spicy, #demon, #Vampire
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales, is entirely coincidental.
A Midsummer Night’s Demon
COPYRIGHT © 2013 by Brenda Sparks
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission of the author or The Wild Rose Press, Inc. except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.
Contact Information: [email protected]
Cover Art by
The Wild Rose Press, Inc.
PO Box 708
Adams Basin, NY 14410-0708
Visit us at www.thewildrosepress.com
First Black Rose Edition, 2013
Digital ISBN 978-1-61217-783-0
Published in the United States of America
To my wonderful husband, John—
after more than a quarter of a century
I still see fireworks.
Heartfelt appreciation goes out to
Barbara, Laura, and Elizabeth
for giving me the support I needed
and the encouragement to reach for my dreams.
Appreciation and love go to my mother
for believing in me through the times I scarcely dared to believe in myself.
And last but certainly not least, I owe my sincere gratitude to my editor, Callie Lynn Wolfe,
my cover artist, Angela Anderson, and the amazing staff
at The Wild Rose Press
for helping to make my dream a reality.
The fiery smell of the alcohol burned his nose long before the glass reached his lips. Ky Robinson slammed the last of his drink in a long gulp. The whiskey crawled fire down his throat to heat his belly. He leaned his elbows on the weathered bar and toyed with the glass, hands cradling the smooth tumbler with practiced ease.
“Another.” Ky tapped a finger on the lip of the empty glass.
He grunted a thanks when the bartender complied, never taking his eyes from the rest of the room. He was a hunter, a warrior, constant vigilance his creed.
He settled on a stool, the faux leather creaking under his muscular weight. He’d chosen a spot at the end of bar, one that put his back to the wall and gave him an unobstructed view of the room, just as he’d been trained to do centuries ago by the agency.
His position gave him the best possible advantage for observation. He barely noticed the décor. All these establishments seemed the same—dark, smoky with the stench of stale booze and sweat oozing from the walls. The kind of place a person could disappear from without anyone noticing.
The patrons…lowlife wasn’t quite descriptive enough a term. They were lower than low. Some of the seediest people on the earth. Most were human. Some were of his breed. Creatures of the night. Monsters lurking in the shadows that emerged to take the unaware to their graves.
And one of the worse sat not six feet from him chatting up an innocent.
No vampire needed to take from the vein any longer, for they could compel the minds of the people who worked in the blood banks or hospitals. Coerce them to hand over bags of blood. But some refused to relinquish the old ways. Known as the
, they often allowed their bloodlust to consume them. They enjoyed violence and carnage, the thrill of the kill, and the agency he worked for hired vamps like himself to stop such miscreants.
Ky emptied his glass in three swallows, welcoming the burn. It felt good, like coming home, made him feel alive as the warmth spread throughout his body. He rolled his shoulders, his roped muscle and sinew flowed like water under the gray T-shirt he wore. He itched for a good fight, needed to burn off some excess energy and if his instincts were correct—and they always were—his itch would be scratched tonight.
Ice-blue eyes tracked the rogue’s movements, watching the male wrap his arm about the waist of his female companion to lead her toward the door with a deceptive gentleness. His body blocked Ky’s view of the woman, had all evening, but it didn’t matter that he’d not been able to get a good look at her, for she was not the one he pursued.
He wanted the male.
As if oblivious to the fact an agent stalked him, the male vampire paraded his escort out of the bar. They walked slow, taking their time like lovers out for a casual evening. But Ky knew better. Malevolence emanated from the male in waves.
The warrior sent his senses flowing out into the room in search of more
, calculating how many he would face. His eyes scanned the room to see if any would follow the couple out the door. A slight disappointment settled over him when he realized none did. Seemed he would have only one to battle tonight.
Ky pulled his wallet from his jeans and laid a twenty on the bar to cover his tab. It would be a stiff tip, but he did not have time to wait for the change. Duty called, and he always picked up the phone to answer with an enthusiastic greeting.
Pushing through the door, his long strides took him across the pavement. The Florida air, hot and humid, clung to his skin in a fine sheen. A full moon cast its eerie light onto the loud night below. Music thumping through the walls of the bar and the buzz of passing traffic filled the night. Their brawl would not be heard, but if seen by human eyes, that would be a problem.
Ky worked for an agency that policed his kind, upholding its primary mission, take out those who would otherwise expose the breed. Agents like himself swooped in under cover, covertly took down the rogues, and left before anyone would be the wiser. They were more rumor than fact, ghosts whose identities were kept secret at all costs from both the humans and demons that roamed the world.
This night no other agents accompanied him. Tonight only he would face the rogue, and he preferred it that way. Ky wanted to be the one to take this monster out. He had been tracking him for months, since he noticed a pattern of missing person cases in his city. All of the people vanished within a ten-mile radius of this bar, so he spent most of his nights casing the place. Watching. Waiting for a lucky break, and it looked like he got one tonight.
He ghosted behind the couple. Following them on silent feet, staying deep within the shadows of the buildings. Ky noted the way the woman walked as they made their way along the sidewalk. Her legs appeared unsteady, most of her weight supported by the male’s arm around her waist, which seemed strange because she had not consumed all that much alcohol at the bar. Only two glasses of wine, by his count. The agent heard her speaking throughout the night and she had enunciated clearly. Yet now she seemed unsteady, and her words slurred as they left her lips.
She stumbled. Catching on a bit of raised sidewalk, her shoe flew off behind her in Ky’s direction. She turned and looked over her shoulder. When her eyes met his, Ky’s heart hitched in his chest, time froze.
The bronzed skin of her heart-shaped face appeared flawless. Long dark haired flowed around her shoulders with the turn of her head. Her chocolate eyes captured his, holding his gaze. The fall of her lashes broke the spell, creating dark crescents on her delicate cheekbones. Her petite nose led to full, pouty lips that sent a surge of desire through his body. His sure strides faltered under the weight of her beauty. She was a goddess.
And she was in grave danger.
His eyes darted to the disgusting male holding her, when the male looked back at him. His dirty blond hair fell over his forehead to shadow his eyes. Light brows narrowed over the male’s gray eyes. An assessing stare took in Ky’s powerful build before locking with his steady glare.
His warrior’s stride, confident and sure, quickened to close the space between them. The
threw the woman over his shoulders in a fireman’s carry and took off toward a nearby parking garage with Ky hard on his heels. Ky knew a moment of relief when he saw the vampire turn into a garage. At least their confrontation would be somewhat hidden, more so than if they fought out on the street.
Ky followed the couple, allowing the male to take his prize deeper into the garage and up several flights of the tall building.
“Put her down.” Ky’s harsh tone brooked no argument as he ran toward the pair.
He sensed the vampire drawing his power, readying for the altercation about to come. Ky trailed the couple, watching as the girl bounced precariously with each running step. She moaned a soft, mournful sound that pulled at his heart. She struggled to find purchase on the vampire’s back, to push herself up, but her arms could not seem to find enough strength. As he closed in he realized why. She had been drugged, the pharmaceutical smell radiated from her skin. And his nose told him something else.
She’s a demon
The realization shocked him. Most vampires avoided interacting with other breeds and yet this vampire not only had drinks with a demon, but apparently drugged her. It made no sense for the male to do either.
Ky’s hand clamped down hard on the vampire’s available shoulder bringing him to a halt. As he turned and faced Ky, the
released the power he’d built. It flowed out from his body like the blast of a nuclear bomb, to send a wave of energy out over all surrounding objects.
Ky squared his body, shouldering the blast of power as the wave pushed at him and rocked the cars around them. He staggered under the onslaught, pushed several steps backward, but did not go down. As the power dissipated, he switched his stance to the balls of his feet and fisted his hands at his sides.
The show of power had been impressive. Power like that only came with age, but it did not matter to Ky. Several centuries old as well, Ky’s own power had grown over the long years, and he was well practiced at the art of the fight.
“I won’t tell you again,” he warned. “Put. Her. Down.”
The vampire’s eyes widened, clearly surprised that Ky not only remained standing, but spoke after his display of power. The look of concern on the rogue’s face told Ky the male realized he was in trouble. His opponent’s fangs lengthened from his gums as he pulled the woman from his shoulder, and placed her on her feet in front of his body like a shield.
With a movement well practiced, he pulled her hair from her neck and sank his fangs deep, earning from his victim a little moan and a drug-weakened endeavor to free herself. He held her against his body, drinking deeply from her throat, taking the life sustaining goodness into his mouth. Ky knew the rogue’s body would process the drug in her system ensuring no ill effects. He watched as the vampire let the precious liquid slide down his throat, to feed his cells and provide the energy he’d need for their fight.
Ky’s hands bunched at his sides as he called on the self-control he had honed over the centuries. He could not strike while his enemy fed. Tearing the male away from her neck could inflict a fatal wound. He waited, biding his time for the perfect moment to strike.
The vampire tore his fangs from the woman’s throat, and spit a chunk of her flesh on the ground. Ky steeled his features. The monster deliberately hurt the woman to distract him, divert his attention. And dammit, it worked. He didn’t have long to take this male down before the woman would die.
His opponent tossed the woman aside, her limp body fell against the tire of a nearby car. The
turned and said nothing, simply wagged two arrogant fingers to encourage Ky’s advance.
He was no longer interested in capturing this vampire. This male needed to die. There could be no salvation for a person who would so callously waste a life. The
obviously experienced no remorse for the damage he did to the woman. In fact, the evil grin on his face evidenced his shameless bloodlust.
Ky’s jaw flinched, the only indication he gave his attacker before he leapt and caught the vampire around the waist, taking him to the hard ground in a lineman’s tackle. He heard a rib crack, whether from the strength of his grip or the cement floor he couldn’t be sure. It didn’t matter. Every crack created a chink in the rogue’s preternatural armor that made it one step easier for Ky to destroy him.