Here’s the tease…
In a dark world where vampires exist and where Source Blood, a rare human blood type, can bestow godlike powers upon them, the vampire Venators of the Sovereignty fight to protect the humans by banishing those who drink it to the endless dark.
Exiled from his family and with only his duty to sustain him, Kearn has been on the trail of an elusive Source Blood abuser for three years. When he saves a beautiful human female from the vampireâ€™s grasp, it turns out sheâ€™s the lead heâ€™s been waiting for. Amber is a Source Blood and the perfect bait, but for who?
As they race to catch the vampire and survive the cruel games he plays, Amber is pulled deeper into Kearnâ€™s world and discovers the painful secrets he hides behind his handsome but emotionless exteriorâ€”hurt that she has the power to heal if she is brave enough.
Forbidden Blood is book one in the Vampire Venators series and a dark, sensual tale of betrayal, revenge and a love that knows no bounds.
ebook price: $3.99
genre: paranormal vampire romance
length: 126000 words
released: June 2011
Book 1 in the Vampire Venators series
Available in e-book from:
Author’s website: http://www.felicityheaton.com/ebooks.php?title=Forbidden%20Blood
Kearn stopped putting on his shoe the moment the wave of anger washed through the apartment. Amber wasnâ€™t happy about something. He couldnâ€™t think what it would be. He had seen humans enjoying coffee and sweet things, and the woman at the boutique had assured him the clothes would suit her.
He looked at the door, shrugged it off, and finished putting on his leather shoe. He picked up his jacket, considered bringing it with him to the club, and then thought the better of it. He didnâ€™t want to look too formal.
The door to his bedroom swung open with force and Amber came out.
Kearn only meant to glance at her but it became a stare when he saw her. A strange gut wrenching jolt rocked him, and it wasnâ€™t just his desire for her blood this time.
She looked incredible.
He couldnâ€™t help himself. His gaze started at her feet, roaming up the length of the black leather knee-high heeled boots, over the sheer tights that barely hid her slender thighs, to the short black layered skirt that wouldnâ€™t have a chance at covering her backside if she bent over, and finally to the black leather corset. Her cleavage, pushed up and on display, was temptation in its most alluring form, but he forced his eyes to keep moving upwards. She stepped towards him and placed her hands on her hips.
Soft waves of brown hair caressed her shoulders.
A thick black velvet choker with a silver cross on it ringed her neck. The cross didnâ€™t bother him, or any of his kind, but he couldnâ€™t stop staring at it and the sublime curve of her throat. He resisted his desire to lick his lips and swallowed to wet his dry throat. It burned and he fought the terrible hunger that had been rising since he had awoken this afternoon. Her blood was weaker within him now, but his thirst wasnâ€™t abating as he had expected. It gnawed at him, making his insides twist and spasm, and he placed his hand on his stomach. He couldnâ€™t take it. His fangs extended behind his closed lips and his mouth watered. He kept his feet planted to the wooden floor, refusing to give in to the urge to cross the room, drag her soft body flush against his, and sink his fangs hard into her throat. The battle raged inside him and her blood spoke of her growing confusion over his silence and staring. It took every ounce of his will to force his fangs away but he managed it and clawed back control.
When his gaze finally found her face, another jolt hit him, this time in his chest and worrying.
She was beautiful.
The make-up the lady in the boutique had recommended when he had described her enhanced her natural beauty until he couldnâ€™t tear his eyes away from her. The dark brown around her hazel eyes turned them pale and mysterious, and the red lipstick tempted him to take hold of her and kiss her until she was moaning for more. Begging him to bite her.
Kearn ripped his eyes away and fixed them on the window, shaking off his desire. She was bait. That was all. This was business. His gaze crept back to her.
Amber held her arms out and glared at him. It didnâ€™t suit her.
Neither did the rage emanating from her.
â€œI look like a slut!â€
Kearn couldnâ€™t resist the excuse to peruse her again. She looked more attractive than he had imagined she would. A perfect lure for his hunt.
â€œI think you look good.â€ It wasnâ€™t a lie or at all difficult for him to say, not even when she was human.
She blushed and cast her gaze at the floor. Her teeth teased her red lips, nibbling in a way that increased the dry burning feeling in his throat.
He instinctively took a step towards her and her eyes met his, her pupils wide and dark. She had looked at him like that when he had come out of the shower. Her scent said that she wasnâ€™t here purely for protection. She was attracted to him. He looked at the windows. She shouldnâ€™t be. There was a whisper in her blood sometimes that said she knew what he was. Why hadnâ€™t she confronted him about it yet? Was she going to keep pretending that he was human?
Was it such a terrible thing that he was a vampire?
Was it such a terrible thing that she was human? She was stunning, a perfect rose in form and fragrance, and the hunger inside him wasnâ€™t all about her blood. He could deny it all he wanted, could lie to convince himself that she was human and therefore beneath him, but every fibre of his body was burning for her touch.
He took another step towards her and then got the better of himself. This was business.
â€œI need you to fit in tonight and women at the club often wear such clothing. It is important that the man can find you and that you attract attention,â€ he said.
She huffed. â€œDo the women also wrap themselves around poles?â€
His eyebrow rose. Compared to her conservative black suit, he supposed it was somewhat revealing, but he couldnâ€™t allow her to go into the club looking out of place. She needed to look as though she wanted some action, and she needed flesh on show for the vampires to smell her.
He took a discreet breath of her scent. His fangs itched and hunger tightened his stomach again. Drinking her blood had been more than a mistake. Heâ€™d had two blood packs this evening and they had done nothing to quench his growing thirst for her.
â€œIt is not that sort of club.â€ He pointed towards the door, eager to escape the confines of his apartment and breathe the fresh night air. â€œShall we go?â€
Amber was almost past him when she stopped and her gaze flicked warily to his chest.
Her nerves rose, speaking to him and increasing his hunger. Nothing made a vampire thirsty like fear.
â€œI will not need it.â€
â€œBut if that man comesâ€”â€
â€œI can handle him without it.â€
She still hesitated. Her fingers went to the bandage on her hand and she picked at it again.
â€œHow? Doesnâ€™t the gun have special bullets?â€
Kearn laughed. It had been so long since he had laughed that it sounded strange and alien to his ears. Confusion replaced the fear in Amberâ€™s eyes.
â€œNo,â€ he said. â€œThe bullets are normal.â€
â€œBut they kill vampiresâ€¦â€ She trailed off when he raised his hand.
â€œThe bullets only slow vampires down.â€ He held his right hand out to her. The silver marks on his arm began to shine pale blue as the power activated, starting at his fingertips and slowly creeping up his arm in a cold wave that whispered dark hungry things to him. The glow lit her face, reflecting in her eyes. This was more than she needed to know, but he needed her to see it so she could no longer deny his difference to her. Not human. A beast who thirsted for her blood and had dreamt of her all day. â€œThis kills vampires.â€
He closed his fist when the power urged him to feed it and the marks deactivated, leaving his vision dampened and his arm aching.
â€œNow, are you coming?â€ He walked to the door and opened it for her.
She nodded and walked past him, not waiting for him to lock the door. She walked down the hall, giving him an enticing rear view of her. Her hips swayed with each step. He raked his eyes over her, frowning when he reached her boots and their tall heels. His gut tightened again, warm hunger sparking into life and mingling with his need for blood. Lust. He was familiar enough with the feeling to recognise it when it was throwing his mind into disarray. It wouldnâ€™t do. He couldnâ€™t be distracted tonight.
Amber was bait.
He followed her down the stairs, allowing his feelings some freedom. It was strange to feel anything positive. Had he grown so used to only negative emotions that positive ones like desire or need born of beauty rather than blood were a foreign thing?
Amber stopped by his white car in the large concrete garage.
In a ridiculous moment of unrestraint, Kearn opened the passenger door for her. His reward was a wide smile and a hint of colour on her pale cheeks. He closed the door when she was in and wished the soft click had signalled the shutting down of his emotions as he had planned, but they wouldnâ€™t go back into place. He slowly rounded the car, aware of her eyes on him, fighting his feelings the whole time. Kyran was right but a human didnâ€™t belong in his world.
Kearn got into the car and closed the door. This time his emotions did die with the click and he started the car.
He drove out of the garage and pulled onto the road. The sun was setting. By the time they had reached the club, it would be dark enough for Lesser Nobles to come out. Nobles were strong against the sun and would be out by now, but they wouldnâ€™t make an appearance at the club until nearer midnight.
Kearn managed to keep his thoughts off Amber and on work until they were half-way to the club and she moved in the seat beside him. His gaze jumped to her thighs and her bandaged hand where it rested in her lap. His throat turned dry again and he rubbed it, trying to alleviate the burn of thirst.
The collar of his black shirt felt too tight so he undid it but it didnâ€™t relieve him at all. The air in the Audi was suffocating and hot. Amber sent the temperature up another notch when she turned her hands over and he saw the blood on the bandage. The smell of it filled his senses.
Kearn opened the window and breathed in the night, using the scent to remind himself that what he was considering with Amber wasnâ€™t an option. He was a vampire. A Venator. Even if he never wanted to be one, he had to carry out his duty. Amber was only a means to an end. He would kill the vampire, part ways with her and never see her again. It was safest that way.
He didnâ€™t want her to fear him.
If she knew about him and the things he did, she would feel the same way as everyone else. She would hate him.
He pulled the car to a halt down the road from the club and got out. Amber followed, and he locked the car, crossed the quiet street with her, and walked straight towards the club. They were almost there when Amber stopped. He turned and looked back at her.
â€œIs something wrong?â€ he said.
She was staring at the building ahead of them, her eyes wide and red lips parted. â€œIâ€™ve been here before.â€
Every muscle tightened in response to that and a desire to step towards her, to remain close to her, bolted through him. The thought that she had been here before, where so many vampires hunted each night, disturbed him as much as it clearly disturbed her.
â€œHow many times?â€ he said and her wide hazel eyes shifted to him.
â€œI donâ€™t know… five or six… vampires come here?â€ Her blood relayed the feelings behind the tremor in her voice. Fear. Disbelief.
He nodded. He hadnâ€™t come to the club in years but Kyran kept him posted on the things that happened there. Vampires were regular patrons. Had Amber flirted with the men here? How many times had she come close to leaving with one? He searched her eyes for the answer, a burning need to know setting his blood aflame. A darker urge followed in its wake, compelling him to take her back to his place and keep her away from all of his kind. He wouldnâ€™t let another vampire touch what was his.
Kearn pushed that desire away. Amber didnâ€™t belong to him. He had no claim on her. Yet he couldnâ€™t contain his dark hunger to protect her.
â€œI will not allow any of them to harm you, Amber.â€ He meant every word. If any of them touched her, he would use his power to break them from the inside out before they could defend against him.
She nodded, the nervous edge back in her eyes, and looked towards the club.
Kearn led the way, remaining close to her now, aware of his surroundings and what awaited them in the building. It would be quiet at first, but Kyran had told him how it was normally full to capacity every night, and how many of the crowd were vampires. If he felt he was losing control of the situation, or Amber was in danger, he would get her out of the club and back to his apartment. He would find another way to lure the man out of hiding.
The two large men on the door stepped aside to let them pass. He pushed the door open and turned to Amber.
â€œJust as we planned. Go to the bar and order a drink with the money I gave you. Wait there until either I or the vampire comes for you.â€
She nodded and walked past him. His gaze followed her through the low-lit black walled room. She sat on a stool further along the bar.
The music in the club was quiet but later it would be pounding so loud he would have a headache for a day. He never enjoyed coming out in company, not anymore, and he especially hated this place. The vampires who came here were usually younger Lesser Nobles and Nobles looking for a quick snack or some amusement. The humans didnâ€™t realise the danger they walked amongst. To them it was just another nightclub. He glanced at Amber, still unable to believe that she had been to this wretched place, had come close to the less refined of his kind before, and then pushed his gaze onwards. He scanned the gathered people. The crowd was light, a few humans mingling with some Lesser Nobles or grouped together in the square booths around the large black dance floor.
The only Noble in the club right now was him.
The sandy-haired well-dressed man behind the bar gave him a nod. Kearn didnâ€™t grace him with one in return. The man was a Commoner, the rank of vampire far below Lesser Noble. Nothing more than a peasant. He had worked here in all the times that Kearn had visited and was the only vampire on the staff. Kearn had often wondered if the man owned the club. The Commoner walked down the length of the black glass-topped bar towards Amber. Kearn kept a close eye on the man. There was a momentary spark of red in his eyes as he took her drink order, his gaze darted down to her bandaged hand as she gave him the money, and then he moved away. Wise decision. Kearn didnâ€™t want to have to start the evening by killing someone. The Commoner stopped at the till near Kearn and looked right into his eyes. Kearnâ€™s switched briefly to red and he glared at the man, letting him sense his intent and making it clear that Amber belonged to him. The Commoner acknowledged him with a bow of his head and then made Amberâ€™s drink.
She smiled at the man as he gave it to her, distracting Kearn from his dark thoughts. She did look beautiful tonight. Perhaps he should have told her that just to see her reaction. He could imagine the deep crimson blush that would have stained her cheeks and it stirred his blood.
Perhaps he should concentrate on his work.
Kearn sat several stools away from Amber. They were the only two at the bar but that soon changed.
The minutes ticked by and each one brought more people into the club. Another Noble showed up, a tall dark-haired man with three human women draped all over him. Lord Montagu. The manâ€™s dark eyes narrowed on Kearn in contempt and then he was walking down the steps at the end of the bar area to the dance floor. Kearn shook off the irritation of such a weak-blooded man looking down on him and watched the rest of his entourage enter. All unranked Montagu men and women. The most interesting was a doe-eyed woman who watched the lord like a hawk. She was human and going through the transition judging by the scent of her blood. She had probably thought that Lord Montagu would change his ways once she had let him bite her and her dark fairytale would be complete. Humans were so gullible.
Kearn looked along the length of the bar at Amber.
Would she ever consent to becoming a vampire?
It was a ridiculous thought that he immediately shoved aside but it crept back into his head and he found himself musing it. Pondering how sweet Amberâ€™s throat would taste under his lips as he sunk his fangs into it reignited his ardour for her, fanning it back into life until it blazed through him, hotter than the surface of the sun and equally as fierce. The deep unrelenting thirst for her constantly flowed in his blood, pleading to be sated, even though he knew it was impossible.
If Amber were a vampire, she would sense his intent as he stared at her, and would know his dark pounding lust for her. If he turned her, she wouldnâ€™t become a weak vampire as other humans did, fit only to serve his pureblood kind. She would become the most beautiful creature on this planet, surpassing even pureblood vampires. Her power would be devastating, everything he had at his command and more, amplified by the gene in her blood. She would be as vampires had been many millennia ago. She would be a goddess.
He had never changed a human and had never wanted to before now.
While others treated it as nothing more than a thrilling moment, uncaring of the consequences or how the human felt, Kearn treated it with the respect that such a beautiful thing deserved. That he could give a human, Amber, the gift of immortality and the powers of his species was incredible.
But it was something he couldnâ€™t do, no matter how much he thought about it and how enticing it sounded in his mind. Had he been his old self, had he not become a Venator and not walked the path of solitude, despised by his kind, he would have thought differently. He would have been able to give Amber the life as a vampire that she deserved. If he bit her now and turned her, they would only have each other. She would find herself hated by not only humankind but by the vampires too. He couldnâ€™t ask her to tread the same path as him and bear the loneliness. Only he deserved to live such a life.
Amber deserved so much more.
People lined the bar between them. She ordered another drink and fiddled with the cocktail stirrer when it arrived. A man approached her. Human. She smiled politely and waved him away. Kearn focused, wanting to hear what she was telling him, but he couldnâ€™t make it out over the noise of the music. It was louder now and using his heightened senses hurt his head.
A few minutes later, another man approached her. Human again. She excused herself and then looked around the busy club.
Someone bumped against him and Kearn growled. He hated crowds almost as much as he hated this place. How many more people were they going to let in? He could barely see Amber now through the sea of black and red clad men and women, and he needed to keep an eye on her. He leaned forwards to catch a glimpse of her.
Her eyes settled on him and she blinked slowly, a hint of a smile touching the corners of her sensual red lips. He cast his gaze downwards at the bar and touched his throat again. It ached. He wrapped his hand around it and clasped it tightly. He needed a drink but blood wouldnâ€™t satisfy his thirst. He needed Amber.
He glanced at her out of the corner of his eye. She was flicking the cocktail stirrer back and forth across her half empty glass.
If she didnâ€™t stop looking so bored, she would never catch the vampire for him.
She smiled at him again, her painted lips luring him in until his field of focus zeroed in on her. She was supposed to be attracting the other vampires in the club, not him, but he couldnâ€™t take his eyes off her, and the more he stared, the hungrier he became.
He rubbed his throat again, wishing he could get something here to quench his thirst as easily as the humans could. The Commoner that had been behind the bar earlier was gone, replaced by two human males and one female. There was no chance of getting blood now.
â€œYou should go speak to her.â€
Kearn frowned at the male bartender.
He nodded towards Amber. â€œGo speak to her. Youâ€™re clearly interested. Iâ€™ve not seen her here before but she looks a little lonelyâ€¦ like you.â€
Kearnâ€™s expression darkened. He looked lonely? The bartender was probably putting things together from the evidence in front of him, a man sitting alone in a bar staring at a beautiful woman, but the conclusion he had drawn was too close to the mark. He was always alone but he had grown used to it and it was better than being around company who didnâ€™t want you there.
â€œI am too old for her.â€ Kearn waved the man away.
The man didnâ€™t leave. He leaned across the bar and smiled consolingly.
â€œListen.â€ He crooked a finger, signalling for Kearn to come closer. Kearn didnâ€™t. The man smelt sweaty and he had no desire to interact so closely with a human. A voice at the back of his mind said he would interact this closely with Amber given the chance. He would sink his fangs deep into her neck and drink his fill of her to slake the thirst in his heart for a connection to someone. Kearn ignored it. â€œYou donâ€™t look a day over thirty five and sheâ€™s no younger than twenty five. Thereâ€™s an unwritten rule with men. Halve your age and add seven. Thatâ€™s the youngest you can go for.â€
Kearn calculated it in his head. Half of his age plus seven? He smiled. Unless Amber was really one hundred and eighty seven, he was too old for her.
Another group of vampires entered. More Nobles. This time they were higher ranking. The Marquess Montagu and Marquess Pendragon sneered at him as they passed. Kearn looked over towards Amber and held his throat again when it itched. He swallowed but it didnâ€™t relieve the ache.
The smell of everyone in the club wasnâ€™t even drowning out her scent. It was a good thing because he needed the vampires to smell her blood so it would lure them into speaking to her but it constantly pushed at his restraint. Since tasting her, he hadnâ€™t stopped desiring her. His lust for her blood was strong, so much so that he had dreamed of her and nothing else. She had been in his embrace, bare breasts against his chest and her arms around him, holding him close as he kissed and licked her throat. He had drunk from her, sinking his fangs deep into her neck and marking her as eternally his. He knew that was what he had been doing. He hadnâ€™t intended to kill her. He had wanted to make her a vampire like him. He had wanted to keep her.
Which was insane.
But her blood had tasted so good even in his dreams.
Kearn struggled for control as the memory of it assaulted him, sending an echo of the buzz he had felt through his body and fogging his mind. Something deep within him cried out for more, for another taste, another fix.
The club started to heat up as people moved and the smell of her blood grew stronger. It was a divine smellâ€”sweet and fragrant. The voice at the back of his mind whispered that it could be his, just as it had been in his dreams.
He touched his neck again, pulled at the collar of his shirt when it felt as though it was strangling him, and frowned. He couldnâ€™t remember a time when he had felt so hungry.
â€œAre you okay?â€ Amberâ€™s voice startled him. â€œYou donâ€™t look so good.â€
His eyes leapt to hers and then fell to her neck. His temperature increased the moment his gaze landed on the black choker wrapped around it. Her blood was delicious. She was delicious. His throat ached at the sight of hers, his hunger rising. He tightened his hold on his neck and tried to get a grip on himself. It wasnâ€™t just her blood doing this to him. It couldnâ€™t be. There was something deeper at work.
He forced his eyes up, until they met her wide ones. She stepped closer and her scent grew stronger, overwhelming him. He stood and took a step back, trying to distance himself and keep control.
Available in e-book from:
Author’s website: http://www.felicityheaton.com/ebooks.php?title=Forbidden%20Blood
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