Read The Real Werewives of Vampire County Online

Authors: Jess Tami; Haines Angie; Dane Alexandra; Fox Ivy

The Real Werewives of Vampire County

BOOK: The Real Werewives of Vampire County
7.37Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
Books by Alexandra Ivy
And don’t miss these Guardians of Eternity novellas
Books by Jess Haines
(with Jacquelyn Frank, Kate Douglas, and Clare Willis)
Published by Kensington Publishing Corporation
All copyrighted material within is Attributor Protected.
To Don, who kept me sane with plenty of fresh cheese and much-needed comfort when I was drowning in snow ... love ya!
ophia was a female who took pride in being idolized by her fellow pure-blooded Weres.
Why shouldn’t they worship her?
Not only had she managed to produce a litter of four healthy daughters during a time when the Weres were hovering on the brink of extinction, but one daughter, Darcy, had managed to mate with Styx, the King of all Vampires, while another daughter, Regan, had wed Styx’s most trusted vampire guard, Jagr, and a third, Harley, had landed Salvatore as a mate, the current King of Weres.
She was literally choking on royal sons-in-law.
And if that wasn’t enough, her fourth daughter, Cassandra, had been revealed as a prophet, the rarest of all creatures. Although she was currently missing, dammit to hell.
Sophia took equal pride in her reputation as being the “bitch of all bitches.”
It was a reputation she’d worked hard to earn and the primary reason why she’d hesitated before she’d returned to Chicago to purchase the sprawling brick house in the chi-chi neighborhood near the shores of Lake Michigan.
She didn’t want anyone thinking she’d become all mushily maternal in her old age. Okay, she might be secretly delighted that her daughter Harley was expecting her first litter of children. And there might be the teeny-tiniest desire to settle into a lair near her family.
It wasn’t like she was going to sit around knitting booties.
Hell, she’d just opened a high-end strip club with the finest male Were dancers to be found in the Northern Hemisphere. Sophia’s Menagerie would soon be known as the one and only destination for women of discerning taste.
Human or demon.
And of course, she’d already managed to cause a stir among her snotty neighbors.
Without undue vanity she knew she was drop-dead gorgeous.
Her hair was a curtain of pale gold satin that tumbled to the center of her back. Her face was heart-shaped with fragile features that were dominated by a pair of pure green eyes. And her slender body, which was currently attired in skintight leather pants and barely there halter top, could (and often did) stop traffic.
But it was the smoldering sexuality that heated the air around her, along with the predatory hunger in her smile that made the men trip over their tongues when she was near.
And made women detest her on sight.
The flutter over her arrival had definitely added a spice to her move to the stuck-up, overly pretentious gated community.
And earned her an enemy.
Sophia shook off the unwelcome thought as she stomped across the tiled floor of her foyer to yank open one of the double oak doors that was framed by high arched windows.
“Go away,” she growled.
Ignoring her warning, the tall, raven-haired Were attired in a black Gucci suit with a white shirt and blue silk tie brushed past her.
Salvatore, King of all Weres, looked like royalty with his arrogantly handsome features and golden eyes that glowed with the power of his wolf. His hair was slicked into a short tail at his nape, and his lips curved into a sardonic smile.
“Is that any way to greet your favorite son-in-law?” he demanded, folding his arms over his chest.
Sophia planted her hands on her hips, not about to be intimidated. Salvatore might be her king, but she’d already gone above and beyond when it came to duty to her people.
She was done taking orders.
“Have you found Cassandra?” she demanded, referring to her missing daughter.
Salvatore grimaced. “Not yet.”
“Then you’re not my favorite son-in-law and we have nothing to discuss.” She motioned her hand toward the still open door. “Ta-ta.”

, Sophia.” Salvatore frowned, his Italian accent more pronounced than usual. “Why will you not be reasonable?”
It was a tediously familiar argument.
“By reasonable I assume you mean, ‘Why won’t I be a good girl and allow myself to be incarcerated in Styx’s dungeon?’ ”
The king snorted. “Hardly a dungeon. I might not like the leeches, but not even you can deny Styx’s lair is the finest piece of real estate in Chicago. It makes most museums look shabby.”
It was true.
Styx and Darcy’s lair, which was only a few miles to the north, was a sprawling mausoleum filled with acres of marble and gilt and priceless works of art.
Her own home was half the size, but as far as she was concerned it was far superior.
The long sunken living room was decorated in shades of pale gray and silver with a glass wall overlooking the pool and distant tennis courts. The kitchen was large and airy with a breakfast nook and an attached dining room. A curved double staircase led from the foyer to the master suite upstairs, which had a bed large enough to accommodate a football team and a built-in whirlpool that would make any Were purr in pleasure.
And her bathroom ... it was every woman’s fantasy, with a shower that ran the entire length of one wall, while the tub was deep enough to drown in.
No way in hell was she giving up her comforts to hide in the basement of a leech.
Or at least, that was the story she’d given her daughters when they pleaded for her to join them.
And she was sticking to it.
“It’s cold,” she informed her unwelcome guest. “And it’s crawling with bloodsuckers.”
“Your daughters are all settled in.”
“Good. They need your protection.” She was genuinely relieved to know that Darcy and Harley and Regan were safely hidden. If only Cassandra was with them she could at last breathe easy. “I, however, do not.”
“These are dangerous times, Sophia. Even for a pure-blooded Were.”
She rolled her eyes.
Yeah, King of the Obvious.
There wasn’t a demon alive who wasn’t aware that the Dark Lord was threatening to return from his banishment and unleash all hell. Or that there were all sorts of nasties crawling out of the shadows.
Which was precisely why her daughters were currently being hidden in Styx’s lair.
And why she wasn’t about to put them in any further danger.
“I’ve been taking care of myself for centuries.”
Salvatore studied her stubborn expression.
“You don’t have to anymore,” he said at last, his voice soft. “You have a family.”
Once those words would have given her a rash. Now it made her heart warm with a strange emotion.
Hell, maybe she was getting old.
“A family is like medicine.” She twisted her lips into a sardonic smile. “Best in small doses.”
The golden eyes flared as his wolf prowled close to the surface.
“I’m also your king. I could make joining us an order.”
Her smile widened, edged with a warning that made the large predator pale.
“And I could tell Harley about those nymph triplets that you—”
“Fine,” he abruptly interrupted, headed toward the door. “Be careful.”
“What danger could I be in here?”
“Trust me, evil can lurk anywhere.” Salvatore paused on the wide veranda to glance toward the distant homes surrounded by their perfectly manicured grounds. “Even suburbia.”
Sophia managed to hide her tiny shiver.
“Concentrate on finding Cassandra,” she said. “If I need you, I’ll call.”
“Take care of yourself... .” Salvatore tossed her a mocking grin. “Granny.”
Sophia narrowed her gaze.
Okay, she might be tickled pink that Harley was pregnant, but there was no way in hell she was putting up with “granny.”
“Call me that again and the litter Harley is carrying will be the last babies you’re capable of producing.”
With a chuckle, Salvatore headed toward his BMW, which was parked next to her low-slung Lamborghini.
Sophia watched his departure with a faint frown.
She hadn’t expected Salvatore to concede defeat so easily.
Which could only mean one thing.
This particular battle wasn’t over.
Sophia’s Menagerie was a two-story brick building that discreetly blended in with the more conservative businesses that lined the quiet Chicago street.
Once inside, however, there was nothing discreet about the crimson carpet and shimmering gold wallpaper. Or the Venetian chandeliers that spilled light over the padded booths that were arranged to face the low stage.
There was an atmosphere of indulgent luxury that lifted her club above all others.
Well, that and the insanely gorgeous male strippers who could send an entire audience of women into a frenzy of screaming excitement.
Entering through the back door, Sophia made her way past the dressing rooms to the main floor, a satisfied smile curling her lips as her employees scurried about, preparing for the upcoming flood of customers.
This place might be just another strip club to some people, but for her it was her tangible display of independence.
She halted a moment to appreciate the sight of Dmitri and Dominic practicing their dance routine. The twin Weres had recently immigrated from Russian and were so exquisitely handsome it was a wonder they hadn’t melted Siberia.
Tall and slender with short, spiky blond hair and ice-blue eyes, they moved with the liquid grace of all pure-bloods. Combine that with the tiny fur G-strings that were the only thing covering their pale, perfect bodies ... yummy.
Then her smile twisted as she caught sight of the man standing near the edge of the stage, his hand reaching toward Dmitri. Or was it Dominic?
Troy, prince of imps, was a large, muscular man with the build of a professional wrestler and the fashion taste of a drag queen. At the moment he was attired in silver spandex pants and a see-through jade shirt that gave a nice glimpse of his broad chest.
His long, brilliant red hair flowed down his back like a river of fire and his emerald eyes danced with a wicked sense of humor that was contagious.
He was like an exotic butterfly that oozed a blatant sensuality.
“Mmm ...” he drawled as Sophia halted next to him, his gaze never wavering from the nearby dancers. “Delectable as always, my love.”
Reaching out she slapped his hand. “No touching the merchandise, Troy.”
The imp pouted, but, dropping his arm, he turned to face her. “But you know how I love them tall, blond, and furry.”
“You love them any way you can get them.”
“True.” Troy ran his hands down his shirt, licking his lips. “A wise imp swims with the tide.”
She snorted. Troy did a lot of swimming with the tide. Which, of course, meant that he had connections throughout the demon world.
And that was precisely why Sophia had contacted him a few days before.
“Did you bring what I asked?”
With a chuckle that should have given her ample warning, he gave a lift of his hand, motioning toward a nearby doorway.
“Don’t I always deliver?”
Her lips parted, but her words were forgotten as a man stepped from the shadows.
No, not a man ... a pure-blooded Were, she quickly corrected, catching the feral scent of his wolf. And so sinfully gorgeous that he made her heart slam against her ribs.
She covertly clenched her hands as he strolled forward. What the hell was wrong with her?
Her entire life had been filled with handsome, powerful men. All of them anxious for the opportunity to impress her. Whether it was to earn the right to breed with her. Or just to enjoy a few wicked nights of pleasure.
But she couldn’t recall ever feeling as if she’d just stepped off the edge of a cliff and was plummeting through thin air.
Was that why she couldn’t breathe?
More than a little disturbed by her unwelcome reaction, she warily studied the stranger.
He was handsome, but it wasn’t the polished elegance of her dancers.
The blue-black hair was cut short, as if he couldn’t be bothered to mess with it, but the severe style only emphasized the stark male beauty of his face. His skin was the rich bronze that came from Latin heat and his eyes more black than brown.
He was taller than her, perhaps six foot, but he was thick with muscles that rippled beneath the skintight black T-shirt that was matched with a pair of black combat pants.
The word whispered through her mind at the same moment his potent heat wrapped around her, inflaming her blood with a pulsing awareness she hadn’t felt in decades.
“Good ... God,” she muttered.
Troy cleared his throat, doing a piss-poor job of hiding his amusement.
BOOK: The Real Werewives of Vampire County
7.37Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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