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Authors: Kimberly Raye

Tags: #General, #Fantasy, #Contemporary, #Romance, #Fiction

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BOOK: Dead and Dateless
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“Sounds like a good idea, but you’re in the wrong spot. You’re taking the bed, remember?” His voice was slow and deep and oh, so stirring.

“But it’s your bed.” My gaze swiveled to the king-size setup in the far corner and panic rushed from my toes up. There seemed something desperately intimate about sleeping in the very same spot that Ty slept in day after day. In nothing but his jeans. Or worse, in nothing but his…

I shoved a pillow into his arms. “You should really sleep in the bed. I don’t want to put you out.”

“You’re not putting me out.” He shoved the pillow back at me.

“Of course I am. It’s a terrible imposition to have someone kick you out of—”

“Lil.”

I shoved another pillow at him. “—your own personal space and it really isn’t fair of me to just barge in and upset your routine and—”

“Lil.” He didn’t just say the name this time. He touched me and my body went completely still. “I want you to have the bed.”

“But that just wouldn’t be right.” Or easy.

He seemed to think. “True,” he finally said. “That would be pretty wrong. I mean, I do like my space.”

“Exactly.” Okay, so maybe he wasn’t totally clueless and hell-bent on torture. “It just isn’t fair.”

He nodded. “The only really fair thing to do would be for both of us to sleep in the bed.”

I whirled so fast that I made myself dizzy. “Enjoy the sofa.” Sadistic jackass.

I ignored the grin that curved his sensuous lips and turned toward my luggage stacked near the door. A warm chuckle vibrated from his throat and followed me all the way to the cluster of Gucci.

My hands trembled and my nipples tingled as I reached for one of the bags and started toward the one and only door other than the one I’d come in.

I stepped inside the bathroom and went straight to the sink. I spent the next few minutes splashing cold water on my face and reminding myself why I shouldn’t be attracted to Ty Bonner.

Made vampire. Off-limits. My parents would go ballistic. Wait a second, that was in the plus column.

The negative?

Made,
my brain screamed again. But with my body buzzing and Ty’s steady pulse echoing in my ears (damn my vamp hearing), the thought didn’t really register. He was obviously attracted to me (I could still feel his lips from our one and only kiss) and I was desperately attracted to him. It only made sense that we would end up having hot, wild, meaningless sex.

Meaningless.
Oh, yeah. There was the negative.
Meaningless
meant temporary and temporary was a big, fat no-no. I wanted a solid, long-lasting relationship even more than I wanted hot, wild sex. I
did.

I reached for a towel and patted my face. I brushed my teeth, then my hair, and dotted a pale pink MAC gloss on my bottom lip for that full, pouting effect. (While I didn’t want to want him, there was no reason why he couldn’t want me.)

There. Fresh and ready for bed.

To sleep, mind you.

The bathroom door creaked open and I padded toward the bedroom. I set my case next to the nightstand and eyed the bed. My mouth went incredibly dry and I headed for the kitchen, passing Ty along the way.

I wasn’t going to look at him, I told myself as I opened a few cabinets until I found a glass and shoved it beneath the faucet. Even when I heard the slide of leather as he pushed to his feet and sensed his presence directly behind me.
No looking.

I gulped water and then I looked. I couldn’t help myself. He was right there and I couldn’t
not
look, not without coming off like a snot, which I wasn’t. Not unless you were the bitch slut who’d stolen my first boyfriend, that is.

His gaze traveled down the length of me and back up again. His attention snagged on my sleep shirt and he arched an eyebrow. “Hello Kitty?”

I glanced down at the pink cotton and damned myself for not dipping into my La Perla stash. But who would’ve known I would end up here?

He grinned and I stiffened. “There’s nothing wrong with Hello Kitty. Granted, if you hate cats, you might not understand the whole cute and cuddly concept, but it was the only thing handy when fleeing Death Row. Besides, it’s comfortable.”

He reached out and his fingertips caught the edge of my sleeve. “It’s soft.”

“That, too.”

His skin brushed mine as he rubbed the fabric between his fingers for a few tantalizing seconds before letting his hand fall away.

“You should turn in. The sun’s almost up.”

Which totally explained my lack of common sense at the moment. I was at my weakest during daylight, my strength zapped until I could fall into a rejuvenating sleep. Otherwise, I never would have contemplated hot, wild, meaningless sex with Ty Bonner.

At least that’s what I told myself as I set my glass on the counter and put some much-needed distance between myself and the dangerously sexy vamp.

But as I walked toward the bed, my panic didn’t ease. His scent filled my head and wrapped around me as I crawled between the sheets. Cotton slid against my skin, stroking and stirring as I adjusted the covers and buried my head beneath the pillow. Ugh. It was going to be the longest day of my life, which spoke volumes on account of the fact I was five hundred years and holding.

And I thought being wanted for murder was stressful?

I
t wasn’t the
longest
day of my life (which had occurred a few months ago and involved a murderous vampire, a missing Dead End Dating client, and back-to-back
Jerry Springer
reruns), but it ran a close second.

After I turned in, Ty stretched out on the sofa. My strength drained away as the sun climbed higher outside as, I’m sure, did his. But unlike the hunky made vamp, I couldn’t seem to fall into a rejuvenating sleep. Instead, I spent the next few hours tossing and turning and trying not to glance in Ty’s direction. Then yet another hour with my eyes clamped shut, my mind replaying the previous night’s events. Add another forty-five minutes counting designers and listening to the steady thump of Ty’s pulse. Plus another fifteen narrowing down the list to my top three faves and then yet
another
hour wishing the rhythmic
thump, thump, thump
would move a little closer. (I’m superficial and weak? So sue me.)

When I did finally doze off (we’re talking early afternoon), it was a restless sleep, a rarity for vampires because we normally sleep like the, well,
dead.
But we’re talking major stress, a set of Ty-scented sheets, and a pair of ruined Rossis (yes, I was still mourning the loss). Seriously, what hormone-deprived, fashion-conscious bloodsucker—or sipper, in my case—could zone out under those circumstances?

Which was why when I opened my eyes the next evening, I was too tired to breathe, much less rip off my clothes and throw myself shamelessly at Ty Bonner.

He’d pulled back the heavy drapes to reveal the floor to ceiling windows. A faint orange glow outlined the surrounding buildings. The faint shadow of the moon was already visible despite the fact that it was just this side of sunset. Dusk crowded into the massive room.

My gaze cut through the shadows to the man who stood on the far side of the room in the middle of the kitchen area. He still wore only jeans, but they were black this time. The denim outlined his muscular legs and cupped his (big swallow) ahem, package. Dark, silky hair sprinkled his broad chest from nipple to nipple before narrowing to a fine line that bisected his six-pack abs and disappeared into his low-slung waistband. He’d obviously just stepped from the shower because a few drops of water still clung to his shoulders. He’d combed his wet hair back away from his chiseled face. His bluer-than-blue gaze twinkled when it collided with mine.

Okay, so I wasn’t
that
tired.

His sensuous mouth crooked into a grin as he held up what looked like a wine bottle and motioned me over.

I wasn’t going. That’s what I told myself. Then again, who was I kidding? I was
this close
to a majorly hot babe who wanted me even closer. Even more, I needed sustenance, which wasn’t a possibility if I barricaded myself in the bathroom to escape temptation and repair the damage that several hours of bed wrestling had wrought on my hair.

I threw my legs over the side of the bed and forced my feet toward the kitchen.

“Want some?” he asked as I walked up next to him.

I swallowed. “More than you’ll
ever
know.”

He grinned and held up the bottle—an imported blood type from Garnier’s, an upscale, vampire owned and operated deli on the West Side. “I was talking about a drink.”

“So, um, was I.”

His grin widened. “
Liar.”
The deep voice resonated in my head.

I frowned. “That’s not funny.”

“What?”

“You know what.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” He feigned innocence and turned to retrieve a glass from a nearby cabinet.

Okay, so maybe I could hear him and he didn’t know I could hear him. Please, please,
please.

“Sorry, sugar. No dice.”

My frown deepened. “You’re really annoying, you know that?”

He winked. “The feeling’s mutual. So you like yours warm or cold?”

“Warm, please. What about you?”

His grin was slow and oh-so heartstopping. “I’ll take it anyway I can get it,
darlin’.

He uncorked the bottle, poured a glass, and then turned to nuke it in a nearby microwave.

“I…that’s nice.”
Nice?
Okay, so my capacity for speech was on the fritz thanks to the
darlin’
comment. And the grin. Definitely the grin. I gave myself a mental shake and searched for something semi-intelligent to say. “I never would have figured you for a bottle man,” I said just as the microwave
dinged.

“I’m not. But I keep a bottle on hand just in case. I like to be prepared.” When he turned back to me, his smile was gone. His gaze glowed with a heat that upped my otherwise cool body temperature several degrees. He held out the crimson offering. “Drink up.”

My gaze snagged on the inside of his wrist and I traced the path of a thick blue vein until it disappeared beneath the muscle of his strong forearm.

I swallowed and suddenly the thought of actually touching my lips to the sweet red heat sparked a rush of panic. “I need coffee,” I blurted. When he stared at me as if I’d ordered
well done,
I shrugged. “It’s my evening routine. Coffee revs me up.” Yeah, right. But I so didn’t trust myself to
drink
drink right now. The hunger was fierce enough on its own.

Already, my palms itched and my throat burned and my insides felt tight and needy. At the first sip, it would grow even worse. Overwhelming. And I feared I wouldn’t be able to sate it before…
Before.

“You do have coffee, don’t you?”

He shook his head. “Sorry.”

And here I thought the guy was irresistible.

“What sort of vampire are you?”

“The kind that doesn’t drink coffee. In case you haven’t heard, we vampires usually indulge with something else.” He held up the bottle in salute before downing a long swig for himself. His gaze grew even brighter and more intense and my stomach went hollow. “It’s much better for you than caffeine.” His voice was deeper and more husky when he spoke this time.

And much more stirring.

“Diet Coke,” I blurted. “Do you have any Diet Coke?”

He bared his fangs and gave me a semi-ferocious look. “Do I look like a man who drinks Diet Coke?”

Not exactly. But when it came to pecs, he put Lucky—the shirtless construction worker in their most famous commercial—to shame.

“All right, all right.” I threw up my hands. “Regular Coke?”

He gave me a
what planet are you from?
look before shaking his head.

“What about tea?”

“I’m afraid not.”

“Hot chocolate?”

“Sorry.”

“Gatorade?”

“Nuh-uh.” He took another long swig before he glanced at his watch. “Listen, I’ve got to go.” He shoved the cork back into the bottle and set it on the counter next to the glass.

“You can’t be full already?”

“No.” His gaze collided with mine. “Not even close.” Silence stretched between us for several moments as he stared at me, into me, leaving no mistake as to his meaning.

Oh, boy.

“Then again, you’re probably really busy. You should go. Really.”
Before I do something totally lewd and lascivious.

His gaze collided with mine and a grin tugged at the corner of his mouth. “Stay inside and keep the door locked.”

The moment he moved away, my anxiety doubled and I had a rush of helplessness. It was the same feeling I’d had on the autopsy table. Irrational, I know, what with me being a Super Vamp and all. Nonetheless, it was there. Insecurity swamped me and urged me to lunge forward, wrap my arms around Ty, and beg him to stay. That, or beg him for a really phenomenal orgasm.

I kept my feet rooted to the spot. I do have
some
willpower. “What if the police show up and try to beat it down?” Unfortunately, said willpower didn’t extend to my mouth.

BOOK: Dead and Dateless
5.79Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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