Authors: Jackie Ivie
Tags: #paranormal romance, #vampire assassin league, #short story, #vampire romance, #anthology
And then he kissed her, gifting her with every joyous moment she could imagine. She was the one clinging to his lips when he pulled back.
“You know this?”
“Then why did you stop me? They put you in harm’s way to get to me. It is unforgiveable. You could have been hurt. For that, they deserve to die.”
“Not tonight, Rafaele. Please?”
He lifted his head and regarded her for long moments. “I am not known for leniency.”
“I know. I heard.”
“What has this swine been telling you?”
The electric lights came back on, highlighting a room full of black-clad figures. Lenna counted at least thirty, holding every hunter either to the floor or against a wall, while Lord Beethan was being held off the ground, dangling by his throat in a very large blond man’s hand.
“That you’re a pirate…and a vampire, and-and a killer, and please Rafaele, don’t kill them. Not tonight. Please?”
“They’re Hunters, Lenna my love. Sworn to destroy us.”
“I know. I heard that, too. But can’t we just have a truce? Just for tonight?”
“A truce? With the Hunters?”
“Please? Just for tonight? Please?”
“I just realized I love you. It’s…really scary. New. Fresh. Wonderful. Please don’t taint that with…death and dismemberment. Please?”
She hadn’t been mistaken. He was gorgeous. And now, with the glow that touched his eyes as his features softened he was heart-stopping.
“Very well, Lenna. No one dies. You hear me? No one dies!”
There was a slight thud sound. Lenna glanced over to where one of the hunters had collapsed, the streak of red running the wall showing his slide.
“What the hell? Ethelstone!”
“Apologies. He was already on my blade. I had to get it back out, didn’t I?”
“Icelanders. All right. From this point on, nobody else dies!”
Grumbling accompanied his statement, and Rafaele turned back to her. “What would you have us do with them?”
“Let them go?” she offered.
His face hardened.
“We could take a head start?”
“Many of my brethren have met eternal death on the end of a hunter’s consecrated stake, or been treated to the acid taint of Holy Water, as it dissolves their flesh. Hunters really enjoy killing mated pairs. It gives them great pleasure. They wear badges on their clothing in honor of it.”
His eyes narrowed as he looked over at their leader. She didn’t know what any of the hunters were experiencing, but Rafaele’s expression sent shivers racing over her skin. Dangerous. Lethal.
She put a hand to his chin and turned him back to her.
“Okay. So…maybe they don’t deserve to go free, but isn’t there something else you could do? Something to show that you had them in your power and allowed them to live? Something they’d have to live with…and explain? Maybe a mark?”
His lips twisted and then he smiled with such a predatory satisfaction, her eyes widened.
“You thought of something?”
“Now, wait.” The man called Ethelstone strode forward until he stood before them. From that vantage, it was easy to see his resemblance to the man still holding Lord General Beethan in the air. “Nigel is a snot-nosed baby. Wet behind the ears. Allow me to mark them for you.”
“He’s the best freehand artist we have.”
“We’re going to give them all the VAL tat. I want it done perfectly and deep. Upside down. I don’t care where. Someone else decide. Oh good. Here he is. With a kit.”
Nigel wasn’t exactly a snot-nosed baby. He looked about her age. And tall. But not nearly as muscled as Rafaele or either Icelandic fellow. Then the scene faded as Rafaele seemed to simply glide backwards away from it.
“We’re leaving?” Lenna asked.
The answer was softly spoken, at her ear.
“We’ve got other things to do, my love. Personal things. Sensual things. Wonderful, fulfilling…amazing things. I need to make you mine. Fully. And for that I crave privacy.”
“You know someplace?”
“But, of course. We designed this entire floor. How else could we have entered unseen and unheard?”
“Never occurred to me.”
“I love you, Lenna. Please. Only you. And I have found you. Finally! After more than three hundred years! Are you truly going to make me wait longer?”
His tongue touched her neck, followed by the scrape of a tooth. Her skin rose with goose bumps against it. She felt every bit of it. The guy was swoon-worthy. Still. Always. And he was hers. Forever.
“How private?” she asked.
“Won’t it take a long time to tattoo everyone?” someone yelled toward them.
“We’ve got the suite for a week,” Rafaele leaned away from her to answer. “Nigel? What are you waiting for? Get your needles. Start on Lord General Beethan. Athlerod? Let him down.”
“Don’t you dare touch me!” The man shrieked.
“Greetings to you too, Father,” Nigel replied.
Jackie is an Alaskan author who crafts full-length Scot Historical novels for Kensington, while moonlighting with her paranormal series: Vampire Assassin league, available in ebook. She loves hearing from fans, who can contact her at
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Table of Contents