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Authors: Nicola Claire

Tags: #Vampires, #Romance, #Fantasy, #Adult

Blood Life Seeker (9 page)

BOOK: Blood Life Seeker
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But sleep did come, despite my protests. It wrapped me in its soft cocoon, comforted me with its embrace. It made the stiffness in my back and neck ease, the tension down my spine evaporate, the thumping of my heart quiet, my breathing deepen and lengthen. I was free of all that had happened that day, free of the nightmare of my life.

Only to fall into another.

Chapter 10
Dreams

I woke to a soft light. I struggled against it, I knew I had been in the dark. I hadn't switched a light on. Then who had?

I opened my eyes and found myself standing in a room. It was not overly large, but as big as my lounge, dining and kitchen put together. There was an antique four poster bed to one side, thick dark red, almost burgundy covers flowed over the sides, copious amounts of rich dark red pillows were scattered on top. The lights were low, coming from two bedside lamps on tables either side of the bed. They matched the dark antique wood of the four poster.

Curtains hung in swaths of heavy fabric at two floor length windows to the side, they were drawn, not an ounce of light penetrated from behind, they matched the bedspread. There was a painting on the wall. It was beautiful. Soft brush strokes of an old English scene. A horse drawn cart stuck in water, an old farmhouse to the left, a King Charles spaniel in the front. My eyesight is good, so I could read the signature from where I was standing, a metre or more away, even in the low light: Constable. I was betting it was an original.

I knew I was Dream Walking, this wasn't a dream like Michel creates. It was too real. As soon as I acknowledged that thought, a thick, strong arm came around me from behind, a warm breath against my neck, pushing my hair aside.

“You smell just as I remember, little Hunter. Candied apples and sunshine, honey and spring. I can't decide if it's the spring I prefer or the sunshine. Or maybe just the softness of your neck.”

His face buried deep against my skin, his lips brushing lightly against the pulse of my neck, the graze of his teeth causing a shiver down my spine. He laughed, low and throaty.

“Your body betrays you.”

“Stop using your power, Gregor and then see how I react.” I was surprised my voice was even, strong and level in fact. Bully for me.

I felt his shoulders and chest move with his unheard chuckle. “Where would the fun be in that, little Hunter?”

His free arm, the one not wrapped around me, holding me trapped against his chest, came down the side of my body, deftly finding it's way to my hand and plucking my stake, which I hadn't even realised was there, out from my grasp and throwing it across the room behind the bed. Some hunter I am. The flash from the silver caught by the light briefly blinded me and then it was out of sight. Just like my hope.

He didn't stop caressing though. His hand trailed down my leg, feeling my leggings, the ones I usually wear to the gym. I hadn't had a chance to change since after work. At least I hadn't had a workout in them, they were still pretty much newly laundered. His fingers found the bottom of my skin-tight T-Shirt. I always wear pretty tight fitting clothes when I work out, not out of vanity, clothing is so easily used against you when you spar with an opponent, even in kick-boxing gloves. The more skin tight, the safer, no purchase. My entire outfit was designed to provide the least amount of leverage in a fight, unfortunately it pretty much failed to hide my figure. Not that he could see me, but his hands were painting their own picture right now.

“Hmm. No lingerie, but perhaps this is even better. I can't wait to see what beauty is hidden, so poorly, by these close fitting garments.”

I didn't answer, what was the point? He was playing with me, like a cat would with a mouse. Not for mutual pleasure, but for his own sadistic needs. Besides, I was too busy trying to figure out how to get out of this little dilemma.

“I must admit...” His breath was hot against my neck, it trailed down my skin leaving a tingling behind that sent a shot of pure desire right through me. I was sure he was using his power to give me that effect, but I couldn't sense it. Oh dear God. “I am enjoying being able to call you to me. I had thought perhaps the first time was a just a mistake, a one off as they say, never to be repeated. But here I am, in my boudoir thinking of you, and what should happen? Your scent permeates the room. Bliss.”

I realised with growing mortification, that this had to be his chamber, his day resting place. And he had been resting, because all he was wearing was a robe, satin or silk, but very fine, very thin. I could feel this body through the material, his hard chest, flat stomach, strong thighs. All pressed against me now. God I hoped he didn't sleep in the buff and actually had something on under there.

“What to do with you, little Hunter? I find myself reluctant to turn you over to the
Iunctio
.
I rather like the thought of keeping you all to myself.”

“You've already put a death warrant on my head, why stop now?”

He laughed, a couple of short throaty chuckles. “Did Michel behave himself? Were you able to get away? You must have, because here you are, in my arms, uninjured and whole. You must have even fallen asleep, for me to have been able to call you so easily I think. No concern for your kindred's disdain? Perhaps life is not so rosy in the joining as reported? Perhaps you seek the comfort of another's embrace?”

“You're really enjoying this aren't you?”

He shifted slightly against me, so I could get the full effect of just how much he actually was enjoying me right now. There was no missing it, not when he pressed his full hard length against me. I laughed, I don't think he expected that. He stilled ever so slightly.

“Do you challenge me, Hunter? Do you choose to test my resolve?”

“And if I did?” Fight fire with fire they say.

I felt his lips spread in a wide smile against my skin. “It has been a long time since I have had a worthy opponent. There are rules to be obeyed.”

“Such as?” Maybe if I just kept him talking long enough I'd think of something to get me out of this mess. Maybe he'd lower his guard and I could reach my stake. Because despite the fact that I felt nothing of the evil that poured off him last night now, I was sure, damn sure, that I could stake him just the same and not lose a moment's sleep over it.


Well for starters, one must be able to see one's opponent for a fair fight. It would mean I could not attempt to seduce you here. Now.”

That sounded good to me, but... “What's the catch?”

He laughed, again with that low manly chuckle which sent shock waves of desire down my body to places it had no right to be. He stiffened slightly, I felt, more than heard, him inhale. I suppressed a whimper.


You don't make it easy, do you?” His voice was soft, so smooth, so tender. It surprised me enough to make me catch my breath. “What are you?” It wasn't angry, it wasn't outraged, it was intrigued, surprised, amused. “You have no idea how much I want to see you, to see if that face matches the beautiful shape of your body, to look into your eyes, to see
you
. What are you doing to me?”

He spun me around then to face him, so quickly it threw me off balance, long enough for him to frame my face with his hands, run his fingers over my chin, find my mouth and then claim me with his. His lips were warm and soft, his tongue as it darted confidently between my teeth, so wet and strong. I had been so shocked by the move my mouth had been slightly open in surprise, he hadn't wasted the opportunity. He pressed his body against me and forced me to take a step back. Two. Three. Four. Then I felt the bed at the back of my knees and was unable to stop the fall backwards onto my back. I was trapped under his weight, his firm long body holding me still, moulding to mine.

I hadn't tried to stop him, I was momentarily numbed into inaction, but the fall onto the bed and the feel of his hard body against mine, had woken my bedazzled brain up from it's sleep.
One step closer to my stake.

He stilled. Then pulled his mouth away from me and laughed. “Oh you are good. You think you can reach it from here?”

Huh? Okey dokey, just how much could he read of my mind? You're an idiot. Nope, no reaction. You weigh a tonne. Nada. You smell like cherry trees in the spring and chocolate coated ice cream. Oops. I didn't think that one would have had the desired effect I was going for. Still, no response and I was betting he would have had a good one if he'd heard that.
Get off me!

“No.”

Well, well, well. He could read my thoughts if I threw them. But I hadn't thrown that first one, I had shouted it in my head though.

“So, now what?” I asked to fill the silence that had bloomed between us.

“Do you accept the challenge, my little Hunter?”

“I'm not quite sure what the challenge is?” I couldn't lie, he'd lost me somewhere between lying on top of me and chocolate coated ice cream. Damn!

“The game is simple. I release you now, let you return to your body unharmed, with the invitation to court you in person in due course.”

“Not good enough.”

He smiled, it had the ability to light up those amazing silver and platinum eyes. I resisted the urge to moan.

“What would you accept as a satisfactory exchange?”

“Release me now and I promise not to stake you. Today.”

He laughed then, a full body laugh that made the length of him shift against me, his chest against my upper body, his thigh over my leg, pressing between mine. I failed to stifle the moan this time.

He stilled. “You know, I don't believe you would mind my seduction, at all. I think you crave it.” His voice was barely a whisper, so intimate, so private, just for me.

“Quit using your powers and we'll see.”

“I'm not using my powers, Lucinda.”

Bugger.

“What? No witty retort? Have I finally stilled that sweet voice of yours? Are you giving up so easily?”

I pushed against him. I may be super strong for a part human, but no match for a vampire of his level of
Sanguis Vitam
. He hadn't been using his powers before, but as soon as I attempted to shift him, it came flooding in, crashing against me and taking my breath away.

“Now, now. Don't force me to resort to such easy, such barbaric, methods to hold you. Where's the challenge in that?”

I gave up on physical assault and tried for mental. I don't give up entirely that easily though.
Give it your best shot then!

“You accept?”

“Let me go, call off the hit squads and it's a deal.”

“Are you so sure, Hunter?”

I swallowed, maybe I was missing something here. I wasn't even sure what a challenge like this entailed. I
was
getting a little creepy feeling between my shoulder blades though, never a good sign.

“What, what are the rules again?

He laughed. “Oh I do wish I could see your face. Simple. A challenge has been made, exchange of acceptable desires given, the game is on.”

That didn't sound too bad did it? I mean I'd get to go home, he'd call the
Iunctio
off and would just
try
to court me, whatever courting means. I'd be home free.

Just one clarification. “You will call the
Iunctio
off?”

“Yes. I will tell them you are mine to deal with. That will suffice.”

“You carry that sort of clout?”

He smiled. “Does it surprise you?”

“No, I guess not. I had heard you were called the Enforcer.”

“Indeed. You have been doing your homework too, it seems.”

“Just what does the Enforcer do exactly?” Best to be prepared.

He lowered his head slowly to the side of my neck, then traced a line from my ear down past my pulse point to my clavicle with his tongue. Against my skin he whispered, “I take what I want and carve it to my will. No one has stood against me and won.”

Oh Fuck.

“Will you accept the challenge, little Hunter? Or shall I demonstrate now how I can bend you to my will?”

I swallowed, I hadn't meant to, not with his lips against my neck, so close to my throat. He felt the movement and groaned.

“Say it. Say you accept and I'll let you go. Say it.”

My mind was reeling, there had to be another way. This didn't feel safe, this didn't feel right. I knew he was withholding something, I knew there would be more to this than what he had divulged. He was a vampire for God's sake, they are treacherous and devious and out for only themselves. But, what choice did I have? I couldn't reach my stake, he wasn't giving me a moment's grace, his hold so firm, so sure. He could lay here with me trapped beneath him for hours. I did have powers. I couldn't glaze him though, not without him seeing my eyes. I
could
try to use my Light, like I did to kill those vampires in Cairo, but I knew without even trying that it wouldn't work. He meant me no harm, physically, he had not an ounce of evil flowing from him, I could only sense Darkness laced with Light. If he already had some Light in him, I could not force mine too. Somehow, I intrinsically knew, that my talent wouldn't allow for that. When I had used it those two times at the Coptic Museum in Cairo, I had been surrounded by evil and a Darkness so complete that it called to my Light. It was as if that calling brought the power forward and nothing else would.

“Will you answer the challenge,
ma petite chasseuse
?” Huh. French. I hadn't picked that.

BOOK: Blood Life Seeker
9.19Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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