Authors: Brenda K. Davies
Tags: #romance, #vampire, #love, #Adult, #demon, #paranormal romance, #Paranormal, #mating, #new adult, #action and suspense
Brenda K. Davies
Copyright © 2015 Brenda K. Davies
Distributed by Smashwords
Awakened (Vampire Awakenings, Book 1)
Destined (Vampire Awakenings, Book 2)
Untamed (Vampire Awakenings, Book 3)
Enraptured (Vampire Awakenings, Book 4)
A Stolen Heart
Captured (Book 1)
Renegade (Book 2)
Refugee (Book 3)
Salvation (Book 4)
Redemption (Book 5)
Broken (The Captive Series prequel)
Vengeance (Book 6) Coming December 2015
Kindred (Book 1)
Ashes (Book 2)
Kindled (Book 3)
Inferno (Book 4)
Phoenix Rising (Book 5)
Ravenous (Book 1)
Taken Over (Book 2)
Reclamation (Book 3)
Book 1: The Upheaval
Book 2: The Divide
Book 3: The Forsaken
Book 4: The Risen
To my mom and dad for just being them. To all the
fans, you are all amazing and without you, I couldn't do any of
this. To my husband for understanding me so well and not holding
that against me. To Leslie for her continued hard work. To
Christina and Linda for their insight and attention to detail.
Table of Contents
Ian opened his eyes and blinked against the sun
filtering through the blinds. He glanced at the woman lying next to
him in the bed; her blond hair splayed out across the pillow
tickled his arm. He frowned as he searched his mind for her name,
but his memory failed him. That wasn’t unusual, he couldn’t recall
most of the women before her. It didn’t matter anyway, she’d known
what she was in for when she left the bar with him last night. He
never made promises he couldn’t keep.
Throwing the blankets aside, he swung his
feet to the floor and ran a hand through his disheveled hair before
glancing back at her again. Even though he couldn’t recall her
name, he wasn’t so callous he would wake her up and kick her out of
his room, no matter how much he wanted to do just that. She’d given
him what he needed most; now she’d become an insignificant detail
taking up space in his bedroom.
Over the years, the women he’d slept with
had all blurred together to become an endless one-night stand he
couldn’t escape. At the reminder of the unnatural appetite plaguing
him since reaching maturity, Ian shoved himself to his feet. He’d
always enjoyed women, had made no secret about that, but since
reaching the point where he no longer aged, that enjoyment had
turned into something more, something almost uncontrollable.
His need for a woman, and sometimes more
than one woman at a time in his bed, had increased. He could barely
go more than two days without sex, and when he did he felt like
tearing his skin off. It was a bonus to be able to feed off of the
women he had sex with, but the blood alone wasn’t what drove him to
seek out a new companion every night. He didn’t know what it was
inside of him now, what drove him from woman to woman, but it was
relentless and the only thing that satisfied his inner beast was
sex. It was a good thing he couldn’t get STD’s, though he still
used condoms to avoid an unwanted pregnancy. The last thing he
needed was to explain to a woman he barely knew that her child
would be part vampire.
Gathering his clothes, he glanced at the
woman again before exiting his room and walking down the hall to
the bathroom. Laughter drifted up from below; he smiled when the
thudding sound of a football hitting open palms drifted to him from
outside. Showering quickly, he toweled off before tugging on his
clothes, brushing his teeth, and returning to his room.
The woman was finally awake, laying in wait
on his bed. Her arm stretched over her head. A lazy, satisfied
smile curved her lips when he entered the room. Her eyes slid over
him, before she patted the empty space he’d vacated. “I’d thought
we could go for round two,” she purred.
“Told you, one night.”
“We can pretend it’s a
night.” She let the blanket fall back to expose her ample breasts
and rounded hips. What had been so appealing last night made his
upper lip curl in disgust now.
“I don’t pretend.” He tossed his towel into
the hamper in the corner. He didn’t like being short with her, but
he made it clear to every woman who came to his bed there would
only be one night. He didn’t intend to lead anyone on, or get
anyone’s hopes up by pretending there could be more. It irritated
him when they tried to break clearly established boundaries or
believed they could somehow change him.
No one would change him, not unless he
somehow stumbled across his mate, and he wasn’t sure that would
even be enough to change his ways. He’d seen the intensity of the
bond between his parents and his siblings with their mates, but his
internal insatiable hunger tore fiercely at him when it kicked in.
He’d never been able to maintain a monogamous relationship before.
He’d given up trying in high school when he’d broken his first
heart and realized he would break many more if he continued to try
to be a one woman man, especially since none of those women had
been the one he was meant to spend eternity with. He’d never
expected to walk this path in life, never thought he’d bounce from
one woman to another this way, but then the future was a complete
unknown, even to immortals like himself.
Her fingers slid over her hip and up toward
her breast. “I’m sure this once…”
“No. I’m sorry, but it’s time for you to
go.” Bending, he gathered her discarded clothes and handed them to
her. “I’ve got things to do.”
Her smile slipped away, her thin lips
pressed into a pout that set his teeth on edge. “Didn’t you have
“I did, but it’s over.” Turning on his heel,
he walked over to the door and looked back at her. “You don’t have
to bother to lock the door on your way out.”
Her face fell as she tugged her shirt over
her head. Ian hurried down the hall of the frat house he’d been
living in since freshman year. The distinct sounds of music, video
games, and sex could be heard from the rooms he passed as he made
his way toward the front door. The familiar noises and smells of
alcohol, sweat, and clean linen Glade air fresheners had become
home to him over the past four years. It could be a jungle,
sometimes the privacy was nil, but he was accustomed to that after
growing up surrounded by fifteen other people. He’d miss this large
house and the friends he’d made here when he graduated in a couple
Pounding down the stairs, he walked through
the main living room toward the front door. A few guys were picking
up the trash from the party last night. A party he’d missed due to
his overwhelming need for female companionship. After four years,
and his rabid increase in pickups this year, the pickings had
become rather slim at the frat house parties. Last night must have
been relatively calm as there weren’t as many discarded plastic
cups lying around as usual.
“Hey Ian,” a couple of the guys greeted
“Hey, fun night?” he inquired.
“Always,” one of them replied with a
He wasn’t so sure about that, but he didn’t
argue with the kid. Opening the front door, he walked across the
porch and down the steps. He walked around the house toward the two
guys tossing the football in the backyard. He’d just rounded the
corner when the ball flew at him with a ferocity most would have
considered hard and fast. The kind of throw that would have knocked
a human back a step.
Ian faked a grunt as he caught the ball
against his stomach. “Nice throw,” he said before tossing the ball
back to his friend Milo.
“Nice catch.” Milo threw the ball to their
friend Oscar. Milo and Oscar were the other members of the frat who
had been on the football team with him. The team hadn’t made it far
into the playoffs this year, or any other year, but he’d had a
great time playing with these guys, and they’d become his best
friends during his time here. They didn’t know he was a vampire,
but they knew everything else about him. They’d been good friends,
but he doubted he’d see much of them again after graduation. The
whole not aging thing tended to put a damper on extended
relationships with humans.
“We going out again tonight?” Oscar asked as
he passed the ball to Milo.
“Not staying in,” Milo replied with a
Ian caught the ball and tossed it away
again. The door to the house opened and closed. Ian leaned back to
watch the woman he’d been with last night walk down the sidewalk
and make a right at the corner. He really wished he could remember
her name; he wouldn’t feel like such an ass about what had passed
between them if he could. He didn’t think of himself as a bad guy.
He knew how he was behaving wasn’t entirely sane or normal, but he
couldn’t stop himself.
He didn’t know how to stop, and whenever he
tried, the clawing sensation in his chest and gut made it nearly
impossible to think, let alone control himself. Lack of control in
a vampire could spell death for any human within reach if he were
to slip even a little bit. Control was imperative and not something
he’d given much thought about, until last year when his life had
Milo glanced back at the girl and shook his
head. “I don’t know how you do it man.”
“The ladies love me,” Ian replied with a
laugh. “It must be my good looks, something you wouldn’t know
Milo flipped him the finger and threw the
ball at him in a perfect spiral. Ian leapt up to catch the ball as
Milo charged across the ground at him. Short and spry, Milo had
been difficult to catch while playing quarterback, but he’d never
been able to tackle anyone. He lowered his shoulder and plowed into
Ian; they both knew Milo would never be able to take him down, but
Ian faked being knocked off balance before Milo ran away again.
“Asshole!” Milo jogged backwards with his
hands in the air for the ball.
Ian threw the ball back to him. Some of the
other guys from the frat began to emerge, and a pickup game of
two-hand touch started to unfold. Someone broke out the beer,
laughter drifted through the air to mix with the smell of
hamburgers and hot dogs cooking on the grill. Girlfriends gathered
on the sidelines to cheer on their boyfriends as people from
neighboring houses were drawn outside by the loud noise and the
luring smell of the cooking food.
During these times, when he’d recently
satisfied his more carnal urges and was back amongst his friends,
he could almost remember what life had been like before he’d
stopped aging. Almost remember the laughter and carefree moments
that had made up most of his days. Everything had been so easy
then. He’d been an athlete, he’d done well in school, he’d had a
set plan for after graduation, and he had a loving family. Now,
things were completely different.
He longed for his old life back, to be able
to sleep undisturbed through the night without being plagued with
the urge for sex. Even now as he joked with his friends, he could
feel the urge building within him to go on the prowl for the next
warm, willing body.
He refused to acknowledge this might be what
the rest of his life was like. He might go completely insane if he
had to face this every day. Never had he believed the idea of
endless women and sex would become boring and tiresome, but it had
started to border on complete monotony a few months ago. The only
problem was there was no end in sight, not for him.