Today’s tease comes from the book Vampire for Christmas, which is one of my stand alone vampire romance novellas and perfect for the holiday season!
VAMPIRE FOR CHRISTMAS is free on Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, Nook and Apple iBooks
His favourite prey.
Rafe stood on the lawn, his dark eyes following her from room to room in her large house. Shannon disappeared from view on the top floor only to reappear in the living room. He couldnâ€™t see much through the open curtains but his senses made up for what he lacked in vision. He tracked her with them, focusing until the dark world around him drifted into the distance and there was only her.
She was muttering.
A smile tugged at his lips.
How many times had he told her not to mutter?
She reappeared and stood in the middle of the living room, tying her long fair hair up into a ponytail, her gaze on the television. The twinkling lights hanging around the room cast a myriad of colours, turning the scene from warm to cold and back again. She looked pale tonight. Had she been getting enough sleep? They had last worked together two weeks ago and she hadnâ€™t seemed herself. He had tried to ask her what was wrong, but had failed to find his voice, instead leaving her to mull over whatever was bothering her in silence.
Rafe had killed the vampire that night. She hadnâ€™t even noticed it. Heâ€™d had to report it to the agency. In a toss up between her being angry with him for telling her superiors about her dangerous lack of concentration and her being safe, the latter would always win with him.
His chest ached.
He hadnâ€™t seen her smile in a long time. He stood in silence, unmoving, absorbing this rare beauty before him. She was a goddess when she smiled, and it always tugged at his insides, luring him to her. She turned towards the window and her smile slowly faded, her expression turning distant.
What was she thinking in there?
She couldnâ€™t see him. Human eyes werenâ€™t sharp enough to pick him out in the shadows of the tall trees on her lawn. The lights in the room would steal what little night-vision she had. He could observe her from the darkness without fear, could watch her and think over the things that plagued him every night.
During the day, Rafe could almost pretend they didnâ€™t exist. The sun stole the world from him and his emotions with it, leaving him in a deathly slumber. At night, when he came to her, when he saw her again, everything returned, and each time it came back stronger.
He knew that Shannon didnâ€™t like working with him, and the past two years had been difficult for them both at times, especially at the start, but it didnâ€™t stop him from feeling something for her. They had been through so much together, so many fights for their lives, so many long nights passed in quiet company when no demons showed up, and so many long conversations when her guard slipped. When they had first been assigned to each other, he had wanted out of the deal straight away, but now he almost looked forward to the times they were required to work together.
His dead heart called him a liar.
He didnâ€™t almost look forward to it at all. He waited for it. Yearned, in fact.
Rafe sighed and leaned back against the broad rough trunk of the pine tree.
It was no use anyway.
Come the New Year, the agency would separate them and relocate them at opposite ends of the country.
He stared at her. She swept a few rogue strands of golden hair back, tucking them into her messy ponytail, and laughed at something. The light from the television flickered across her face. Rafe smiled at the same time as she did. The sight of her chased the winter chill from his body.
He was going to miss her.
His little vampire hunter.
He had never wanted a partner, but she had changed that. Now, he didnâ€™t want any partner except her.
Shannon smiled again and zipped up her red jumper, until the tall collar of it covered her neck. She pushed shorter lengths of her hair behind her ears and then looked out of the window again, and he felt as though she was looking right at him. She was so beautiful when she was unaware of him. Naturally so too. No trace of make-up touched her oval face. No kohl to highlight the depths of her green eyes, or lipstick to enhance the sensual swell of her coral lips. Everything about her was natural, right down to her curvy shape. He had tended to her wounds a few times before, each time battling his desire as he swept his fingers over her soft skin and laid eyes on the toned body she hid beneath her clothes. She trembled for him sometimes and refused to look at him whenever she did, and he was convinced that her shivers werenâ€™t born of fear. He was convinced that part of her was attracted to him too. Her gaze shifted and settled on something partially obscured by the pale curtains.
He frowned and tried to make out what it was.
Ragged dark shape that tapered upwards. Shiny coloured lights. Glittering orbs. Tufted strings of foil.
A Christmas tree.
It surprised him that she celebrated the occasion. He had thought she would be indifferent to such human things since she was a demon hunter, but there she was, standing in a room bathed in twinkling lights, tinsel and festive trimmings. The entire street was alive with flashing reindeers, singing Santas, and fake snow on roofs. No decoration touched the outside of her two storey home, but it was different on the inside.
Rafe studied her as she adjusted a bauble on the tree. He might have been talking about her. The exterior she showed to him and others was different to how she was on the inside. He knew that best at times like these when he was watching her from the shadows. This was the real her, the one she hid beneath her armour and would never let him see. This was his only way of seeing the side of her that he wished she would show to him, and he couldnâ€™t help himself.
He told himself that it wasnâ€™t stalking. It was observing. It was hunting. It was having the chance to see the woman he wanted her to be around him and taking it.
Shannon moved away from the tree, towards the back of the house, her hips swaying in her snug blue jeans. His gaze slipped to her backside and he growled, desire spearing him in the gut. He loved the way she walked even when she thought no one was watching. There was something sexy about it, alluring. He cocked his head to one side and fought the urge that rose inside him.
It was useless.
She would never be his.
She had looked at him differently sometimes, almost as if he was human, but those moments rarely lasted. The barriers were swift to come back up, protecting her heart before he could reach out and capture it. During their past few hunts, he had struggled with the right words, trying to form them into a semblance of order and put his feelings in a way that she wouldnâ€™t reject outright, in a way that would make her see that his emotions were real and that he would never harm her. He had never found the perfect moment though, or the perfect words.
And time was running out.
The ticking clock made him reckless. It didnâ€™t matter anymore if she rejected him. He couldnâ€™t let the chance slip through his fingers again. It was now or never.
This was their last mission together.
He wouldnâ€™t leave without trying to make her see what he felt for her.
Shannon came out of the back room, her jacket in her left hand, and stopped in front of the Christmas tree again. She touched the same bauble she had before but this time her expression changed, turning troubled and distant. What was on her mind? Rafe had seen that look before, normally when she was lost in her thoughts, like the time he had reported to her superiors. They had told him not to worry about it and that they would speak with her. He wanted to be the one to speak to her about it. He wanted to know why she had joined the agency. She was young, barely over thirty, and she had never mentioned her family. Did her reason for hunting demons have something to do with them? Did it have anything to do with vampires?
He only hunted his own kind because the agency had him by the balls on several murder cases. He was a vampire. All of his species were susceptible to temptation and he was far from saintly. He had fought his addiction though and had come out the other side a better vampire for it. A stronger vampire because of it. He didnâ€™t kill anymore. He could control that side of him now, and maybe it was time he made the agency realise that and made them let him go.
Rafe shook his head at the way he sounded. Childish. Petulant. Everything that a vampire his age shouldnâ€™t be. And why? Because he didnâ€™t want to leave her. He didnâ€™t want to be reassigned to someone else, or sent off to work alone. He wanted to stay here, with Shannon, where he belonged.
She tugged her short black wool jacket on and Rafe knew it was time to make a move. She was expecting him and he had never been late before.
He moved further back into the shadows on her front garden when she approached the window. She didnâ€™t see him. She closed the curtains, hiding her from view, and he resorted to tracking her with his senses again.
A car passed along the street behind him. The sound of carol singers drifted on the chill breeze. Rafe looked up at the crisp night sky and the twinkling stars. Christmas. He couldnâ€™t remember if he had ever celebrated it.
He had forgotten so much about his former life on becoming a vampire.
His gaze dropped and stuck on something on her porch.
Rafe raised an eyebrow and then smiled as he left his hiding place and walked towards the front door.
Some traditions he definitely remembered from his life as a human.
Did you enjoy today’s tease?
Vampire for Christmas
It was one last mission. Shannon, a demon hunter with the agency, is looking forward to leaving behind the small town and the vampire sheâ€™s been stuck with for the past two years. Things are getting complicated fast and she wants out. A fresh start, free of her vampire partner, awaits her if she can survive their final mission and the lonely Christmas holidays.
It was one last mission. Rafe, a vampire doing time with the agency, watches it approach with dread weighing heavily in his stomach. Two years of working with Shannon has been difficult, especially since he started falling for her, but he doesnâ€™t want their partnership to end. He has barely a few days to make her face her feelings and stop her from leaving, and he intends to do just that.
When a slimy demon threatens the season of peace and goodwill, itâ€™s the chance Rafe has been waiting for and the moment Shannon secretly fears. Rafeâ€™s determination to prise open her heart and her own resolve to keep it closed clash as violently as they do with the demon, and threatens to end as messily.
Can Rafe make Shannon see that his love for her is real and that she feels something for him too? Can Shannon face her fears and her past, and stop herself from running away from both? Will a wish on a star bring her what her heart truly desiresâ€”a vampire for Christmas?
VAMPIRE FOR CHRISTMAS is free on Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, Nook and Apple iBooks