Authors: Lorraine Kennedy
Copyright March 2011
This is a work of fiction. All characters, events, and places are of the author’s imagination and not to be confused with fact. Any resemblance to living persons or events is merely coincidence.
Alec's music is as dark as his vampire kiss is deadly, but Nicole will risk everything, including her life, to love him.
Born to Darkness is book 1 in the Immortal Destiny Series. A Vampire Romance
Nicole Ashe is the average American girl, except that she happens to work for a vampire and doesn't realize it. But all that changes when her boss sends her to convince a local rock musician - heartthrob, to help them retrieve an ancient relic that could be the answer to the vampire's curse. Nicole soon discovers that Alec is a vampire ... and completely irresistible.
There is something about Nicole that stirs Alec's hunger nearly beyond control, but he would do anything to protect her ... even from himself.
Nicole is destined for a world of darkness that she cannot even begin to imagine, and love that can transcend eternity.
Born to Darkness
Wolves and Black Roses
Tears of the Vampire
The Light Seekers
Through the haze of smoke, Nicole watched the man she’d been sent to find. Beneath the red and blue lights of the stage, he appeared ethereal - almost dreamlike. His fingers played across the strings of the guitar so fast her eyes could not detect movement.
The music vibrated through the room. To listen to it, was to be pulled into a world of enchantment - where reality blended with fantasy.
As his music filled the small nightclub, Nicole felt her heart racing out of control.
Until that moment he’d been looking down as he played, but abruptly he lifted his head to peer out at the crowd.
His gaze came to rest on Nicole - icy-blue eyes locked with hers. As he stared at her, he seemed to look right into her soul. His dark hair fell in waves around his shoulders - glistening beneath the glare of the lights.
The black clothing he wore hugged his muscular frame, leaving little to the imagination.
Not that Nicole would let her imagination get away with her. After all, she was here on business. Even as his gaze drew her in, and she felt the first prickles of pain behind her eyes, she had to keep reminding herself what Ethan had told her.
Don’t look into his eyes!
Those were his exact words, and precisely what she’d made the mistake of doing.
Stepping up to the microphone, he started to sing and his deep - smooth voice vibrated in her ears. He sang of passions, darkness, and unfulfilled hunger.
Her mouth went dry and she began to shake.
Nicole lifted her drink to her lips. She now understood why the infamous Alec Norwood could make women lose their minds.
She hadn’t believed it for a moment. Sure she’d heard of him. Who hadn’t? He was quickly turning the local rock scene on its head. His dark music was like nectar to the troubled soul, and he was good looking enough to send a woman’s common sense right out the window.
But you’re not another one of his groupies. You’re here for a reason!
Nicole refused to be put under Alec Norwood’s spell. She struggled to focus on the task at hand.
The rest of the members of Necro were just as dark as he was. Their music was perfect - not one of them missing a note or a beat. When the song ended, they went into a slow - haunting melody. Nicole felt the music come over her like a soothing warm blanket.
Suddenly she couldn’t keep her eyes open, as if she’d been drugged. Getting up from the table, she made her way through the crowd toward the ladies room.
Maybe if she could splash some cold water on her face she’d feel better.
* * *
Alec watched the woman rush away from her table near the stage. She had a strong mind that was able to withstand his attempts to get into her head. He had felt her scrutiny while she watched him, but he had been unable to read her thoughts.
There was something about the woman that pulled at him - stirring feelings that he had not felt in centuries. It was as if he knew her, or had known her in another form - another time.
She was attractive. He could sense darkness within her, but also innocence. Whoever she was, she wasn’t anything like the women who followed him around every night. Those women were exotic and beautiful, but their spirits were tarnished. Although he could feel the blemishes on this woman, it was different. It was the type of darkness that grew out of despair.
Unlike the rest of the crowd, she was dressed plainly. She wore her dark hair in a simple - down to earth style. The casual jeans and white blouse she was wearing, looked great on her. The woman was dressed nice, but it was obvious she hadn’t come to Dark Wind to impress anyone.
As simple as her appearance was, it was her eyes that drew him in. Her dark brown eyes were warm - like the sunshine. It was as if she’d captured the sun in her eyes and brought it with her wherever she went.
The warmth of the sun was something he hadn’t experienced for a long time. To look up and see the essence of that eternal light in her, was as stimulating as the scent of the blood running through her veins.
She was here specifically to see him, but not for the same reason the rest of the women in the little nightclub.
What could a girl like her want with someone like him?
When the song ended, he glanced at the other members of the band. “I’m going to take a break,” he told them.
They stared at him as if he’d lost his mind. Why would someone with a vampire’s endurance, need a break?
* * *
Nicole splashed a handful of cold water on her face. She was so flushed and hot, the icy water sent her senses reeling out of control. Suddenly the room was spinning.
She grasped the sides of the white porcelain sink in an effort to remain on her feet.
Her chest heaved as she struggled to draw oxygen into her lungs.
That seemed to do the trick.
Now there was nothing but the trembling.
Prying her eyes open, Nicole stared at her reflection in the mirror. The big - dark eyes of a stranger gazed back at her - a stranger who was too pale - her face too thin.
Had Alec Norwood managed to stir the pain she kept buried deep within her, or was it the anguish she heard in his music?
Taking another huge gulp of air, Nicole forced some semblance of composure.
It had been such a long time since she’d felt the grief quite so intensely, but she’d felt something else too.
There was something about Alec.
She didn’t want to think about it right now. All she wanted was to do her job and leave.
Pulling the last paper towel from the dispenser, she dried her face. As an afterthought, Nicole pulled her brush from her purse and quickly ran it through her hair.
Satisfied that she at least appeared somewhat normal, she left the ladies restroom.
It was dark in the tiny hallway where the restrooms were located, so she didn’t notice the figure lurking in the shadows, not until it was too late.
A hand grabbed at her from the darkness.
Startled, Nicole let out a yelp.
“Let’s take a walk,” he told her.
Too startled to protest, she let him lead her through the crowd, toward the exit. By the time she recovered, they were already outside.
It was dark - too dark for Nicole to feel comfortable with someone she didn’t know. With the moon only half full, there wasn’t much light. The only illumination came from the small neon sign above the door. The blue glowing bat with outspread wings was a little unusual, but it did put off some light. Of course there was always the light in the parking lot, but it didn’t help much.
“Who are you?” he asked her, wasting no time getting to the point.
So he had noticed her watching him and wanted to know why.
“Someone sent me here to give you a message,” she told him, fighting the urge to look into his eyes.
While watching him perform on stage, she’d found out just how hypnotizing his eyes could be. She couldn’t let him get under her skin again - not while they were alone, and not while she was this vulnerable.
“Now you have my undivided attention,” he told Nicole - stepping a little closer and taking her hand in his. “You’ve had my attention since I first set eyes on you.”
His sweet - spicy scent was distracting. Suddenly her head filled with images of tangled - slippery bodies - moving together in the most erotic of dances.
Nicole shook the thought from her head, wondering where it had come from.
“Ethan Lamont sent me. He needs to see you as soon as possible,” she explained, her voice cracking.
Nicole was startled by the hard glint in Alec Norwood’s eyes. “I told him never to contact me again.” Though his voice was barely a whisper, he radiated danger.
She instinctively took a step back. “I’m just the messenger.”
His demeanor changed abruptly. Smiling, he said, “And a very attractive one.”
Nicole gave him a strained smile, but said nothing. She was determined not to fall allover herself for him, like so many other women did.
Alec stepped closer - backing her up against the white - cinderblock wall. He was less than an inch away - his lips close to her face.
“Who are you?” he asked in a low - hoarse voice.
Nicole resented his intrusion into her personal space.
He was too close!
Fear ripped at her like invisible claws tearing at her flesh.
Her heart was beating so fast, she thought it would burst.
In that moment she was terrified of him, but there was also a strange exhilaration at being so near him.
“My name is Nicole and I work for Ethan,” her words spilled from trembling lips.
Alec leaned in even closer - his mouth almost touching hers. “Do you like being close to me Nicole?”
Nicole pushed him away. “You’re too close,” she told him.
“But isn’t this what you want … what you have been thinking about since you sat down to watch me?”
The amusement in his voice was even more irritating than his boldness. “You flatter yourself.”
Alec cocked his head to one side. “Is that so?”
His eyes were unreadable, but she sensed his retreat.
“Tell Ethan I will meet him in our usual place … in two days.” He bowed mockingly and then turned to leave, but stopped. Glancing back at her, he said, “Don’t hang around out here. It can be very dangerous after dark.”
Then he was gone.
Nicole continued to stare after him, long after he’d gone inside.
What did he mean by dangerous?
Ethan had warned her that the people Alec hung with, were not the type she’d want to get to know, but he hadn’t exactly said they were dangerous.
But he’d also told her it wasn’t a good idea to be at the Dark Wind any longer than was necessary. When she’d tried to get more information out of him, he’d been evasive.
Something just wasn’t right with all of this.
In fact, there was something not right with Alec Norwood. He was probably the most magnetic - alluring man that she’d ever met, but it was more than that. As soon as she’d found herself alone with him, she’d felt like a 12-year old that had just been left alone with her first crush.
No, it wasn’t exactly like that.
The feeling was far more powerful than that. You would have to times that feeling by a thousand, to come close to what Alec Norwood had made her feel when he stepped close to her.
Now that he was gone, she felt almost normal again.
Never mind the dark parking lot. It was almost preferable to being in the company of Mr. Norwood.
Nicole kept telling herself this, as she weaved her way through the mass of cars jammed into the little dirt spot that passed for a parking area.
She was almost to her car when she saw the fleeting shadow. It happened so fast, she couldn’t be sure she wasn’t just seeing things.
Stopping, Nicole fixed her eyes on the little blue car where she’d seen the shadow duck. She watched for several minutes, but nothing happened.
Taking a deep breath, she started walking again, but she couldn’t shake the feeling she was being watched.
* * *
Ethan pulled the car to the curb and switched off the ignition. In the fading light of dusk, the Lafayette Cemetery appeared even more eerie than usual.
Confused, Nicole looked over at her boss. “I thought we were supposed to meet Alec Norwood?”
Ethan leaned over to open the dash box. Reaching inside, he pulled out a flashlight. “We are meeting him. This is where he likes to have our meetings. He figures no one will notice us here,” he informed her.
Nicole shook her head. “I’m lost. Why can’t anyone know?”
“You’ll find out soon enough. If I were to tell you right now, you’d never believe me.” Ethan gave her a secretive smile and handed her the flashlight. “Don’t turn this on unless I tell you to.”
Ethan got out of the car and Nicole followed, wondering what kind of mess he was going to get them into this time. Working with Ethan had been an adventure. When she’d first hired on with his agency, he’d told her that she’d be doing detective work, but not like anything she’d ever seen before.
Nicole figured she’d be doing some type of mundane office work, filing papers or something.
Why would he hire her for anything else?
It wasn’t like she was a real detective or anything.
Before going to work for Ethan, she’d worked at Jud’s Mini-Mart. In some ways it had been the ideal job, seeing how it was located just down the street from her apartment. It didn’t pay much, but it was easy to get to.
One night she’d been working late and Ethan had come in the store to pay for his fuel. While she was ringing up his purchase, a masked gunman entered the store and demanded that she open the register.
Her first thought was not that her life was in danger, but that her job might be in danger. If she lost her job, she’d have no money to pay rent, and she’d be out on the street. Instead of opening the cash register, she grabbed the baseball bat she kept hidden beneath the counter.