Authors: Marian Tee
SUIT and FANGS
By Marian Tee
Copyright © 2013 Blue Ribbon Books
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead is purely coincidental.
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To God, my family, partner, and loved ones
CT Cover Creations
for the exquisite cover and swag and a special shout-out to our dear
Ate Jenneth Felix
Xpresso Book Tours for arranging this book’s wonderful cover reveal and all those who took the time to participate in it
My other blogger and book reviewer friends
And all the readers I get to chat with on Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon – each and every one of you is amazing!
Thank you for always being there.
Fall is the time when Caros emerge from the darkness, with leaves turning red as blood and the nights are longer and colder. I was eighteen when my father took me with him to attend my first Caro ball. And this was no ordinary ball for it was the First Night. This is a special occasion for their kind, one that had every beautiful being of their race making their way to the Brethren, where the Season of Crimson Fetes will formally begin.
Caro parties are not like any human or even non-human eyes would ever see. They party hard…harder even than the dying breeds of fauns and nymphs who answer to Dionysius’ call. In these parties, everything is brighter and louder, more colorful, more dazzling, and more glamorous. There seems no end to them: as the memories of one ball fades away, another one emerges, noble Caro families trying to outdo each other with gloriously decadent fetes that only the most privileged can enjoy. Everything is so opulent without being gaudy. You can say anything you want about Caros, but one thing they’ll always be is tasteful. Everything about them – the way they speak, dress, even the way they kill – everything is done with such impeccable grace.
The Season of Crimson Fetes is meant to celebrate the race’s ascendancy. Caros are
infamous for being haughty and cruel, indifferent and insensitive to the plight of other races. You will never hear a Caro beg. You won’t ever catch a Caro lie or cheat out of some base emotion like greed or envy. If ever a Caro is guilty of a sharp word, a careless gesture, a merciless slaying – all these things are only to
prove their superiority over others.
Selfishness is inherent in every Caro, reinforced by The Brethren’s doctrine, one that even the youngest of its kind learn to recite alongside the Lord’s Prayer.
We are the brightest among the children of the Night, and forever we must shine.
because failure is unforgivable.
And yet…they are not evil. But they are often perceived to be so, the misconception rooted in this race’s uncompromising determination to act with cold-blooded precision. Never do they also let themselves forget that in the darkest days of their race they had only been able to turn to each other for aid. Duty to the Brethren must therefore supersede everything else---their thirst for power, their desires, even their love. For once their race was known to love, and that time had devastated the world, vampires desecrating life.
Legends say that there were once twin princes who fell in love with the same woman, whose heart could only beat for one of them. The spurned twin, unable to bear the thought of sharing the woman with any other, lost his soul to the throes of unrequited love and murdered her. If he couldn’t have her, no one else could. When she died, the first vampire was born, followed by his twin, whose grief was said to have made him insane and turn vampire, too. Millions of innocent lives were wasted in those never-forgotten days, the rampage only ending when the sun burned the twins to ashes. Since then, the Caros swore never ever again should they let such a tragedy repeat itself – even at the expense of themselves, even if it meant denying the reason for their existence.
And so came the one and only inviolable rule for Caros: Let the blood flow, the flesh burn, but never let the heart decide.
An excerpt taken from An Introduction to Caros: The Cold Race
Those that Live Among Us Unseen – An Advanced History Textbook for Viver
The First Night Ball of the Crimson Fetes
31 Months Ago
The ball was in full swing, with every Caro in attendance looking more glamorous than any Hollywood star. After all, it was in their nature to glitter and they loved doing so. Tonight’s theme was
an ironic choice for their race could relate more to the Snow Queen than the benevolent lion Aslan
They simply could not conceive how anyone could be so ridiculously, foolishly, embarrassingly…selfless.
Could not the lion have saved all four human children without being sacrificed on the Round Table? Certainly if one of them was the Great Lion, they would have figured out a plan. Unlike Lyccans, a race that prided itself in its strength, Caros believed that their minds were sharper than their fangs.
“Look, Jocelyn,” a woman in an emerald-green gown whispered, yanking her friend to her side. “It’s Luka Georgiades!”
Her friend gasped, craning her neck in an effort to see one of their kind’s most famously eligible males. “Where? I can’t---
” She sighed, and her friend sighed, too.
Luka was dressed all in white – his version of the Snow King, and he had never looked more coldly beautiful. His piercing violet eyes glowed like amethysts, his hard-jawed face inscrutable as he scanned the crowd.
One of the matrons approached him, and Luka’s almost cruelly thin lips curved into a charming but still aloof smile, his voice soft and courteous as he greeted the woman in their own language. He then bowed afterwards and walked further into the ballroom, a tall striking figure that every woman in the area couldn’t help feeling irresistibly attracted to.
For a Caro woman, there was nothing more attractive than a man so in control of himself, and Luka was legendary exactly for that.
He was only seventeen and yet, after his parents’ death last year, Luka had lost everything boyish about him. He was a man through and through, towering already over many other Caros, his presence quietly authoritative. His body was both elegant and muscular, a combination that had the women around him wetting their lips constantly and thinking about licking him to test if he really was as cold as he seemed.
If the rumors were true, even at his young age he was said to be beyond masterful in bed, able to do such unquenchably hot things with his hands and mouth to have a woman screaming for hours in ecstasy. Then and only then would he let go – and the women who had supposedly bed him said it was such a sight, to see Luka’s beautiful angelic face as he came---
The two women unconsciously sighed in synchrony as Luka walked past them, lust digging its claws into their hearts as they felt his tightly leashed strength. Oh, oh, to imagine…the famously polite Luka…driven to say
in the throes of the wildest orgasm---
“Caylie,” they heard Luka murmur, his coldly sensual voice like ice caressing a woman’s skin, making even those merely listening shiver in fear and desire.
For a moment, both women’s eyes flashed crimson red, unable to rein back their jealousy as they saw where Luka’s attention was solely focused on.
The younger girl laughed, a tinkling, melodious sound that grated on their nerves for both women knew they could never sound so carefree. It was like a memory of sunlight when every being here – even Luka –was of the darkness.
“Who is that?” Jocelyn hissed, unable to keep her voice from getting shrill. What did that little girl have that could make Luka Georgiades seem so…
Luka Georgiades’ refined manners were the envy of many, his urbane style and polished ways capable of making even human princes and dukes appear appallingly course. His lips were never without a smile, but it was one that never reached his eyes---or at least it had not until now.
The way Luka Georgiades stared at the younger girl was practically indecent – scandalous in fact for a race that looked upon indifference as a virtue. He gazed at the girl as if he wanted to undress her on the spot, ripping away her short forest green dress with his fangs before taking her then and there.
“The Sonora heiress,” her friend spat out in recognition of the young waif in Luka’s arms, adding in disgust, “She hasn’t even come out yet.”
Jocelyn’s eyebrows shot up, her head snapping back to study the girl. She had known the girl was young but if she hadn’t come out yet – then she was not even
years old? Her eyes narrowed. What could the little brat have that someone as impossibly unattainable as Luka Georgiades would look at her like she was the hottest lay in town?
The Delicazzi lapdog…
Luka Georgiades did not even have to shrug the words away. He was immune to such terms by now, and they hurt him as much as ashes falling on his suit could make him bleed.
“You look so hot,” the girl of his fucking dreams – literally, figuratively – whispered.
He had always been proud with his ability to remain untouched by other people. Nothing could ever rile his blood – or at least nothing had until he discovered what Caylie Sonora’s lips tasted like.
Now, just the mere scent of her was enough to have Luka hard. Caylie knew it – and liked tormenting him for it. Worse, she was doing it here and now, torturing him with the heated promise in her lovely dark blue eyes in the middle of a fucking Brethren Ball. And not just any ball but the fucking First Night ball!
Her sapphire eyes laughed at him. “I can hear you cursing in your mind.”
His upper lip curled in response.
She laughed out loud this time. “Oh yes, you are, don’t bother pretending.”
Luka allowed his exasperation to show for a moment, which got Caylie laughing even more. “It’s that or kill every man who dares ogle you,
” It meant ‘my bauble’ in their language, one of the most tender terms of endearment that a Caro could use toward another being he or she felt possessive about.
Caylie giggled, and he relished listening to the sound even as heads snapped towards them because of it. Caros did
giggle after all. Most times, Luka preferred to play by the rules but for now, he didn’t give a fuck.
He loved the sound of Caylie’s giggles. It was so fearlessly innocent, lacking the calculated sophistication that most Caro girls inherently possessed. She was like no other girl of their kind he had ever known. Perhaps that was what drew him to Caylie, for Luka had always known he was like no other boy of his kind either.
Everyone here was pure of blood – everyone except him, an offspring of a human female and a Caro noble.
The music changed, and Caylie’s eyes brightened with it. Tossing her long curly blond hair over one shoulder, she asked, “Let’s dance?” But she was already pulling him to the dance floor, the only one in the entire world able to do as she wanted with Luka.
He pulled her close, loving the way her tall, slim, and long-legged figure fit his perfectly. The slightest tremor went through his body as their skin came into contact with each other, sparking a sensual fire Luka struggled to deny.
Ever since that one accidental kiss---
Luka’s arm around Caylie’s tiny waist tightened imperceptibly as they swayed and swirled around the dance floor, one in white another in green, the White King with a not-so-innocent Lucy Pevensie, both dazzling in their own ways, two exquisite creatures locked in their own world.
If not for that kiss, everything would have been fine between them.
If not for that kiss, he wouldn’t be lying awake at night just thinking…just imagining how it would feel to finally take Caylie and make her his.
If not for that kiss, he would not have to spend every waking night with other women, fucking hard and long just to erase Caylie’s scent in his memories. Without other women to chain him, Luka would have been long gone, doing the unforgivable and climbing into Caylie’s bedroom to take what he so desperately craved to possess.
Sex for Caros was a tool, an outlet, but for some it was also a weakness, an obsession that their blood instinctively yearned for. Unfortunately, it was so for Luka. Even worse, he was obsessed with having sex with only one girl.
His cock twitched at the thought, and Luka immediately withdrew to himself, taking advantage of the years he had devoted to hiding his innermost thoughts, feelings, and desires. Ah, God, nearly every moment spent with Caylie was an exercise of self-control, a battle between his brain and his cock.
Luka slowed down, and Caylie followed suit. She looked up at him glumly. “I know. Time to stop dancing and time to start working, right?”
“Good girl,” he murmured, ruffling her hair when what he actually wanted to do was run his fingers through the silky strands.
She sighed. “Fiiiiine.”
Just then, a couple danced past them, the blond guy glaring daggers at Luka. “Human trash,” he sneered under his breath just before whirling away.
Luka didn’t even blink. Caylie didn’t react visibly either but she subtly wove her fingers through his, a quiet show of support.
Never wear your heart on your sleeves
was their race’s motto, but it was something Caylie seemed to always love violating.
She tugged his hand for attention.
He looked down. “What is it?”
She tiptoed, answering him with a kiss that lingered on his lips. It was a not-so-quiet display this time, Caylie’s way of saying that she chose to be seen with him, never mind he had a human mother.
And then she was pulling away. “Later,” she said, eyes twinkling. And with a little twirl of her skirts, she was gone, a social butterfly whose wings would forever remain unclipped if Luka had his way.
He started to mingle, too, brandishing polite charm as he casually engaged Brethren officials with small talk. It was never too early to start building alliances. Ironically enough, he had learned that from a werewolf prince even though Lyccans and Caros had long considered themselves as ancient rivals.
Hours later, the ball had ended, and he was taking home a tipsy Caylie. Even though it was not yet dawn, Luka wasn’t taking any chances, instructing the chauffeur to take them through the basement entrance.
“This was the best night ever,” Caylie told him in a singsong voice as he led them into the candlelit underground passageway, with shadows playing on its red brick walls.
“Mm…” Luka flipped the lid for the security keypad open when they reached the heavy iron door at the end of the passageway. He punched the secret code, which only he and the Sonora family were privy to.
“Did you see how that European noble was talking
to me?” She wrinkled her nose. “I mean like literally down, like he’s trying to memorize the shape of my boobs.”
noticed. He had also been jealous as hell, and there had been nothing he wanted to do more than smash the other guy’s face. His fists clenched involuntarily. He still wanted to do it.
Caylie suddenly slipped under his arm, making Luka grunt in surprise. Emerging in the cage of his arms, she leaned against the door and pouted up at him. “You’re supposed to get mad and tell me you’re going to kill him.”
“I am mad and I will kill him.” He said it easily, knowing she wouldn’t be inclined to believe him even when she was clearly half drunk.
Caylie’s fingers landed on his heart before starting walking down his chest. “Why are you mad and why will you kill him?”
Luka’s body hardened at where her fingers were going, catching them in time just before she could slip her fingers into the waistband of his pants. “Because you’re mine.”