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
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.
â€œI am a little thirsty.â€ That was an understatement. He was parched, gasping for the smooth slide of her blood down his throat and the giddy rush of it in his veins.
Like an addict.
â€œCome on.â€ She grabbed his arm.
He looked at her hand on him, slender but strong. She walked away, luring him along the length of the bar to where she had been sitting, and he followed her blindly.
Kearnâ€™s eyes stuck like glue to the back of her neck, catching teasing glimpses of the nape of it and the black velvet choker through her dark hair. He longed to part the brown waves and kiss there, to run his tongue over her skin and taste her, and feel her shiver in pleasure. He wanted to ease his fangs in deep and slow, claiming her and her blood as his and his alone. Nothing compared to biting someone, to the incredible rush from the connection and the intense intoxicating feel of their blood in your veins. It was what he had been born to doâ€”to take life from the blood of humans like a thief.
Like a beast.
And right now, he wanted to take all of Amber. He wanted to strip away the mask and show her just what he was underneathâ€”a creature lost in her, thirsting for her body and blood.
For her love.
He tore his eyes away from her neck, horrified by his last thought and the realisation that his hunger for her went beyond physical need to an emotional one.
She stopped by her stool and flagged down the bartender, giving him a wide smile.
Kearn stared at the man, remembering what he had said. Lonely. The hand around his throat dropped to his chest and he focused there. Did it really show? Had Amber seen it? He had been on his guard around her but there had been times when he had felt as though she had looked right down into his heart and seen the man beneath the armour.
Amber put a tall glass of icy dark liquid into Kearnâ€™s hand, bringing his attention back to her. She held a similar glass. He sniffed his. Sweet and bubbly. Some sort of soft drink. It was cold against his hand but would do nothing to satisfy his thirst.
Amber only made it worse.
She tilted her head back, her profile to him, and drank her drink. He couldnâ€™t stop himself from staring at her throat. It was unbearable to see it so exposed, so clean and soft and smooth, crying out for him to mark it. He wanted to tear off her choker and sink his teeth into her, to pull her close and feel her heart pound against his, beating as one.
Kearn clamped his mouth shut against the strong urge to bite her. His fangs extended enough to catch his lower lip. He licked the blood but it wasnâ€™t enough. It had to be her blood. Only that would satisfy his craving. The voice at the back of his mind, deep in his heart, commanded him to bite her.
She lowered the glass from her lips and looked at him with beautiful round eyes, tempting him with her innocence.
His fangs receded with only a little resistance.
â€œYouâ€™re not drinking?â€ She frowned at his glass. â€œItâ€™s my treat.â€
She flicked the long dark waves of hair away from her neck and strands of it stuck to her damp skin. He narrowed his eyes on the pulse fluttering on her throat. If it was her treat, he would drink her down in one go.
It took all of his willpower to resist surrendering to the desire to give in to temptation. His blood pounded in his temples, driven to a frenzy by the unquenchable and undeniable hunger he felt for Amber. It wasnâ€™t just her blood. It was everything about herâ€”her smile, her beauty, her body, and how she looked at him sometimes with concern. He had never experienced such need, such intense attraction and desire, for anyone in all his years.
Not even the countess.
His need for Amber, his hunger for her, was raw and uncontrollable. It thundered in his veins and ran deep in his bones. It commanded him. Ruled him.
She smiled and then frowned at his face.
â€œYouâ€™ve cut your lip.â€ She touched it with her delicate fingertip, peering closely. The warm caress enticed him, making his lower lip tingle, and the smell of blood was too strong to fight. He couldnâ€™t take it.
His fangs began to extend again and he almost gave in to the desire to nick her finger with them. He couldnâ€™t do that. He couldnâ€™t make her like him.
Kearn stepped back and covered his mouth as his fangs fully extended, his eyes as wide as hers were.
The flames of desire burnt away the last threads of his restraint and he turned away, sensing that his eyes were about to change against his will too. He didnâ€™t want her to see him. He didnâ€™t want to be himself around her.
â€œIs something wrong?â€ Amber touched his arm.
He shirked her grip and took another step away from her.
â€œI am unwell. Excuse me,â€ he said and rushed into the crowd, heading through the packed club towards the bathroom.
Humans blocked his path, bumping into him and making it hard to get through. The smell of their blood increased his hunger. He kept his hand over his mouth and pushed through, shoving them aside in his haste to reach the relative safety of the bathroom. The room began to brighten. His eyes were changing. He squinted and lowered his head, forcing his way through the hot bodies that stank of wretched blood.
And all the while, he could smell the sweet scent of hers.
His mind filled with visions of Amber. He saw himself taking her into his arms, her warm supple body moulded against the hot hard steel of his, and sinking his fangs deep into her throat. He would drink every drop of her blood without a momentâ€™s regret and it still wouldnâ€™t be enough. He would do it regardless of the fact that he would hate himself in the aftermath.
Kearn hit the bathroom door so hard it slammed into the tiled wall and wouldnâ€™t close automatically. A man standing at one of the white basins lining the left hand wall of the bright room made a quick exit. Kearn grabbed the door and forced it shut. He stumbled to the row of white sinks and ran the water in one until it was freezing, and then splashed it over his face. It didnâ€™t stop the images of Amber from dancing around his mind. He could see everything he had dreamed and swore he could feel her naked body against his.
Kearn doused himself in water again. It did nothing to cool him. He was on fire, sweat beading and running down his skin. Burning for her.
He gripped the edge of the white basin with trembling hands and stared at himself in the long bank of mirrors above the sinks. Red eyes watched him. His other side. The one he didnâ€™t want her to see. Why did he fear it all of a sudden? Being a vampire had never bothered him before. His species were above humans. They were strong and beautiful. Not beasts.
So why did Amber make him feel like an animal?
How did she make him feel so hungry?
He had never felt such thirst. Never. He had tasted forbidden blood before but it hadnâ€™t left him feeling this wayâ€”needing another fix. Needing her.
Water dripped from the ends of his silver hair. The sound of the running tap and his rough breathing filled his ears. He stared hard into his red eyes, struggling against his hunger. After a few long minutes, his irises slowly melted back to green from the pupil outwards.
He took a deep breath and sighed, regaining control.
The bathroom door opened and a human male walked in, nodding at him and then heading into the stalls behind him.
Kearn turned off the tap and left. The music in the club was loud when he opened the bathroom door and walked out into the darker main room, grating in his ears. Even more people were crammed into it now. He made his way back to where he had left Amber at the bar and stared wide-eyed at the empty stool.
She was gone.
He scanned the club for her, trying to keep his cool. Perhaps she had gone to the bathroom too.
Perhaps the vampire had found her while he had been acting like a ridiculous junkie.
No. That couldnâ€™t have happened. He wouldnâ€™t let the man have her.
Amber was his.
He headed down towards the dance floor, methodically searching and taking account of every face, marking each as either human or vampire. He was nearing the back of the club in a quieter spot favoured by Nobles when he saw her.
And he saw who she was with.
Kyran stood beside her, both of them facing away from him, with his hand against her lower back, far enough down it that his fingers were lazily resting on the bottom of her corset, close to her backside. Fire burned through Kearnâ€™s veins. How dare his brother touch her so familiarly? Kyran laughed with his friends and Amber laughed along with them. The sound of it and the sight of her smiling into Kyranâ€™s eyes fuelled the inferno inside him. He wouldnâ€™t let it happen again. His eyes changed and Kyran looked over at him.
Kearn shut his emotions down in an instant, forcing his eyes to switch back.
Kyranâ€™s dark eyebrows rose, his blue eyes cold and empty.
â€œThere you are,â€ he said casually, as though he hadnâ€™t felt the threat Kearn had directed at him.
Amber turned around, broke out of his brotherâ€™s grasp, and came over to him.
â€œAre you feeling better?â€ Concern shone brightly in her eyes.
She reached up with her right hand and touched his face, sweeping the wet strands of hair from his face. Her actions brought the bandage around her hand too close to his nose. The smell of her blood threatened to overpower him. He caught her hand and slowly brought it away from his face, trying not to startle her by reacting as he had wanted to and throwing it aside.
â€œYou look terrible.â€ Kyran stopped beside Amber. His brother placed a hand on Amberâ€™s bare shoulder and looked him over. â€œAmber mentioned that you were unwell. Rough day?â€
Kyranâ€™s gaze slid to Amberâ€™s throat.
â€œYou seem to be struggling.â€ Kyran smiled at him and released Amberâ€™s arm. â€œI thought you of all people would be used to it.â€
Amberâ€™s eyes met his. He didnâ€™t want to answer the question he could see coming. His brother wasnâ€™t talking about his job. He was talking about forbidden blood.
He grabbed Kyranâ€™s arm and dragged him away, leaving Amber with Kyranâ€™s friends. They wouldnâ€™t dare hurt her. A thousand things he wanted to say sprung to the tip of his tongue, all accusations and anger, but he let them go and released Kyranâ€™s arm.
â€œThank you for keeping her safe.â€ It was difficult to say those words when he knew that Kyran had probably only been friendly to Amber to irritate him.
Kyran smiled and, for once, it was genuine. â€œShe looked lost. I approached her and she seemed so relieved to see me. She started babbling about you and how you were sick and thirsty and I knew where you had gone. Are you better now?â€
Kearn nodded. He was back in control at least.
â€œI can get some blood sent overâ€”â€
â€œNo.â€ Kearn cut him off. â€œI do not want you on my list. The hunger will pass.â€
Kyran looked worried. Kearnâ€™s senses said he wasnâ€™t lying.
He forced himself to look at Kyran. A reflection of him, but not the one he had seen just now in the mirror. The dark shorter hair, the blue eyes, the wide charming smile and fine black suit. Kyran was everything he had once been, and everything he wanted to be again. His brotherâ€™s face and his own were torture to him, a constant reminder that no matter what he did, he would never be the man he had once been. He couldnâ€™t change the past, and that meant he could never undo the damage to his relationship with Kyran either.
Kyran smiled. It warmed his eyes and reminded Kearn of better days when they had been young. It was unusual for vampires to be born so close together in age. Their mother had given birth to them only four human years apart, and due to a difficulty in her health, they had been her only children. To a human, they looked the same age, and would have appeared to be twins once.
But not now.
A Venator was different to a vampire, and his appearance now marked that. They were distinguished.
None more so than him.
â€œYou should take more care of yourself.â€ Kyran touched his shoulder. â€œEspecially now that there is another of you in town.â€
Kyran looked to his left and Kearn followed his gaze. A female Venator stood alone in the corner of the club opposite the one where Amber and Kyranâ€™s friends waited. With her long silver hair flowing over her slender shoulders and her vivid green eyes, she was unmistakable. Her appearance was enough to make every vampire around her cautious, but she was even wearing her black uniform. The silver buttons down the breast and the sky blue detailing on the collar and cuffs of the thigh-length military-style jacket caught the flashing lights of the club. She was new to the job if she was foolish enough to wear her uniform in public.
â€œYou should introduce yourself, shouldnâ€™t you?â€
Kearn nodded. The Venator was watching him, and so was Amber. He sensed her gaze on him, the remnants of her blood in his veins calling to him, and then the feeling was gone. He glanced at her to see her looking at the female Venator.
He was required to introduce himself and greet any Venator in his territory, but this wasnâ€™t a good time. His thirst for Amberâ€™s blood burned strong in his veins and Venators were trained to recognise the effects of forbidden blood on a vampire. The Venator would see what he had done. There was an allowed amount that they could take in the line of duty, but it was still taboo for a Venator to do such a thing.
It wasnâ€™t the only reason he didnâ€™t want to greet her.
Amber was glaring at the woman and he wanted to go to her instead.
â€œGo on,â€ Kyran said. â€œI will make sure that Amber is safe here. I have teased you enough and will not reveal anything to her.â€
He still hesitated.
Kyran pushed him forwards.
Kearn felt Amberâ€™s gaze on him again but walked over to the female Venator. She lowered her head when he reached her.
â€œLord Savernake.â€ She pressed her right hand to her chest. The silver markings on it were different to his. She was shorter than he was, possibly even more so than Amber, and was much weaker. Females that became Venators were never as strong as their male counterparts were. The role passed from father to eldest son. Daughters were only involved when there was no son in the Venator line. He studied her. She wasnâ€™t a Noble either.
â€œVenator. We are above such formalities, are we not?â€ A remnant of his old self, buried deep inside him, said that she was below him. A Lesser Noble. She deserved to scrape and bow at his feet. Weaker blooded, poorer connected, and lower bred. She was beneath him in all ways. The only things worse than her kind were Commoners and humans.
She kept her head bowed.
â€œWelcome to my territory. I hope our meeting is fortuitous and not a sign of something else.â€ He kept his tone warm, trying to tamp down his thoughts. The woman was a Venator. They were equals, and he had no right to judge her by her blood when he was an outcast of his own family.
She raised her eyes now, green irises and wide pupils betraying her shock at his words. Her expression only added to her appearance of youthful innocence. She looked as weak as he sensed her to be. Far too young to deal with their duty. He placed her at no older than two hundred. To the humans around her, she looked like a twenty year old.
â€œYou have noticed, have you not?â€ he said and she glanced towards Amber.
â€œYou are struggling against the effects of blood.â€ Her voice was soft but he could still hear her.
The corners behind the speakers were far quieter than the rest of the club, and Lesser Noble and all Noble vampires desiring to protect their hearing favoured them. It was a good place to discuss business, and afforded them a view of the entire room so they could pick out prey at their leisure without suffering from the ear-bleeding volume of the music.
She gave him a shy look, as though she felt guilty for confirming that she knew he had recently tasted blood from a Source, and then her expression gradually changed back to awe. Had she never met another Venator? How many vampires had she killed and how long ago had she been given her duty?
â€œYou have seen the human with those vampires.â€ He didnâ€™t look their way but he could feel Amberâ€™s eyes on him and the female. â€œA vampire I have been seeking for several years attacked her and fed his blood to her. I tasted her blood to confirm her as a Source Blood and so I could maintain control of her and question her. The human is now bait in my plan to lure out the man and sentence him.â€
â€œI see.â€ The woman peered past him. â€œIt is forgivable then. Did your plan include her leaving?â€
Kearn turned on the spot. Amber was gone.
â€œExcuse me,â€ he said and crossed the dance floor to his brother.
â€œShe wanted to go.â€ Kyran shrugged. â€œWe tried to make her stay and wait, but it seemed the little thing did not like seeing you with another woman.â€
Kearn glared at him and then hurried through the club. Had Amber really left because he had been speaking to the Venator, or was Kyran lying? The thought that she might be jealous warmed his chest but he didnâ€™t allow himself to believe it. He had given Amber no reason to feel that way and he had no reason to feel anything in response to it.
What was he getting himself into?
He pushed through the throng, growling under his breath about the way people were hindering his progress and the growing awareness of his feelings towards Amber.
She was bait. It was just her blood making him act this way. And that was just a lie.
It ran deeper than blood. She had entranced him even before he had tasted her. It had been difficult to keep his eyes off her in the street when he had fought to protect her from the man, and in his car as he drove her to his apartment. He had been under her spell since the moment he had met her.
Amber meant something to him.
But she was human. She was beneath him, fit only to serve his kind.
Kearn broke through the crowd and out into the night.
He wished he could bring himself to believe that but he couldnâ€™t. She didnâ€™t feel as though she was beneath him. She felt above him, beyond his grasp.
Human or not, he wanted her to be his.
He couldnâ€™t see her in the street. He searched all of the side roads that branched off the main road outside the club and then got into his car and drove around. The remnant of her blood in his veins wasnâ€™t enough for him to track her. Searching for her so randomly didnâ€™t have a great chance of success, but he had to find her. The vampire might have been at the club tonight and might have seen her leave. Without him, she was in danger.
He couldnâ€™t allow that.
He would keep his promise, no matter what.
He wouldnâ€™t let anything happen to her.
Available in e-book from:
Author’s website: http://www.felicityheaton.com/ebooks.php?title=Forbidden%20Blood
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