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
There was a knock at the door. Shannon knew from the impatient clip it had who would be waiting on the porch, and she took her time because of it. It wouldnâ€™t look good if she rushed to answer it. The last time she had opened the door within a minute, because she had been passing it at the time, Rafe had teased her the whole night about how she had been waiting for him on the other side, desperate to go out with him again, and how attracted to him she was.
Total crap of course.
She wouldnâ€™t be attracted to him if he was the last man on Earth. Shannon smiled to herself. He wasnâ€™t even a man. She would have to be down to the last vampire too before she would ever consider him in that way.
Shannon slipped a stake into the inside pocket of her thick black wool jacket and another into the back pocket of her dark jeans. It was always a good idea to be well armed when out on a hunt. She wasnâ€™t about to let the holiday season lure her into a false sense of security. Wretched demonkind didnâ€™t celebrate the occasion, and some of her busiest times had been over the Christmas period. Besides, the stakes werenâ€™t just for use on the bad vampires. Sometimes she considered using them on the apparently good vampires too.
Shannon opened the door.
Rafe stood on the other side, six feet plus of dark handsome devil perfectly capable of pushing every right button in a woman.
At least, every woman except her.
The left side of his sensual mouth tugged into a half smile that revealed the tip of a canine and his deep brown eyes slid up towards the porch ceiling. Her eyes followed out of curiosity.
Her gaze snapped back to him. He had to be kidding. He stared at her, dark eyes locked on hers in a silent challenge, and rocked expectantly on his heels. He clasped his hands behind his bottom, the action dragging his long black coat back too, revealing the athletic physique that his dark shirt failed to hide.
Shannon stepped backwards into the safety of her house.
She could almost hear what he was thinking, could read it in his eyes. She didnâ€™t care if he thought she was rude because she had never invited him into her home. She had neglected to do so for good reason. It was handy at times like these when he was making her heart jitter and pulse race.
She was not going to kiss him.
There were a million reasons why, but she settled on the safety aspect because her heart couldnâ€™t overrule that one.
If she abided by tradition and kissed him, she would be placing herself firmly within his grasp, and that was a place she didnâ€™t want to be. What would start as a harmless festive kiss would end as a bloodbath with his fangs in her throat. Just the thought of it happening shook her deep inside, dredging up memories best left forgotten and pain she had fought to erase. She would never let anything like that happen again.
Rafe continued to stare, his dark gaze cool but demanding.
Sometimes, Shannon wished the agency hadnâ€™t paired them together. She had never wanted to work with one of natureâ€™s freaks. She just wanted to kill them and get revenge for what they had done to her and her family.
â€œNever going to happen.â€ Shannon pushed past him, slammed the door behind her, and locked it. She didnâ€™t break her stride. Before he could respond, she was at the end of her garden path and walking towards the centre of town.
She didnâ€™t hear him move. One moment he wasnâ€™t there, and the next he was keeping pace beside her.Â Her heart leapt at his sudden appearance.
â€œI told you not to do that.â€ She drew her hand away from her back pocket. It had jumped to the stake on instinct. One of these days, he was going to surprise her and she was going to give him a nasty surprise of her own.
â€œNo need for that.â€ He appeared on the other side of her, his hand slipping over hers and easing it away from the stake. He smiled at her, his cool fingers lingering against hers. â€œThere is a no staking your partner policy at the agency, remember?â€
Shannon snatched her hand back and wished she didnâ€™t remember. It was the only thing stopping her from killing him. A quiet voice at the back of her mind whispered that it wasnâ€™t the only reason she couldnâ€™t bring herself to stake him. She shooed it away.
â€œSo, where are we heading?â€ Rafeâ€™s deep voice swept around her, bathing her in warmth she tried to deny, and she kept her gaze fixed ahead. If she pretended he wasnâ€™t there, she might just make it through the next few hours, and then she was home free. It was one last mission.
For some reason, that caused a dull ache to settle inside her.
She had thought she would be happy. She should be happy. No more working with the enemy. They were reassigning her to warmer climes and a partner-free role. She had proven herself worthy of working alone, just as she had wanted from the start of her career with the agency, and she was finally getting that wish.
So why wasnâ€™t she happy?
â€œTown,â€ Shannon said distractedly, frowning at the pavement and trying to piece together an answer to her own question. There had to be a reason and it couldnâ€™t be the vampire walking beside her. She had grown used to him. Thatâ€™s all it was. He had become a sort of friend. The only person she actually spoke to apart from her handler and a few people at the agency, and she had never told them a thing about herself. She had never talked them, not as she had to Rafe. Shannon cursed herself. She should have kept her distance and not gotten involved, just as she had planned, but two years was too long to work with someone without saying anything to them.
Rafe had slipped in unnoticed, had passed the first of her defences and somehow got her talking one night, and since then, she couldnâ€™t stop her mouth sometimes. Sometimes it all became too much and she had to speak to someone, and he was always there, willing to listen to her silly troubles and doubts about her ability to hunt, her skill, and her future with the agency.
And he always reassured her, and made her feel better.
â€œAnywhere particular in town?â€ Rafe said and her attention snapped back to him. She stared up at him, still half lost in her thoughts, and found herself looking straight into his eyes. Windows to the soul. Rafeâ€™s hid nothing from her. They betrayed everything that he was feeling, and sometimes it frightened her.
Not when he was showing his vampire side. His pale eyes didnâ€™t scare her or the malice that she saw in them, the hunger for violence and bloodshed. It was this side of him that scared her. The gentle side. The one who looked at her with warmth and undeniable affection.
â€œAre you feeling alright?â€ He cocked his head to one side, his gaze holding hers, sparkling with tender concern.
Shannon forced her eyes down to the pavement and studied the cracks as she walked, unable to bring her voice above a whisper.
There was a long pause, full of expectation and unspoken things.
Sometimes, when this feeling washed over her, she had a sense that he wanted to say something to her. He never had though, and she often found herself wondering what it was he couldnâ€™t put a voice to.
â€œSo, where are we going? Into town, or beyond town… perhaps you called me all the way out here on a freezing cold night just to make me go gift shopping with you. If that is the case, I have to say it is in poor taste, as I am a vampire… I do not celebrate Christmas as you do.â€
â€œI donâ€™t.â€ Shannon wished she could take those two words back. They were going to cause questions that she didnâ€™t want to answer. She glanced at Rafe, briefly making eye contact, and then looked away to her right, her gaze eating the streetlamp lit grass and shrubs that she walked past. He sighed but said nothing. She waited a moment longer, afraid that he might just be building up to it, and then released the breath she had been holding. â€œThe report states that there was a demon sighting in the local cemetery just outside the town centre.â€
â€œCemetery?â€ Rafe sounded positively disgusted.
She glanced at him again. He looked it too. He seemed to take it as a personal affront whenever they had to hunt demons in places like old churches, cemeteries and disused factories.
â€œSome demons have no taste.â€
Shannon smiled. â€œSpeak for yourself.â€
He frowned at her but it didnâ€™t stick. It melted into a smile that threatened to steal her breath and she averted her gaze again. What was she doing? Her heart skittered about in her throat and she knew he would be listening to it, and he would know that he was affecting her. She could do this.
It was just one more mission.
And then she would be able to escape these feelings.
She was not going to fall for him.
He was a vampire. She was a hunter.
Her gaze snuck back to him, studying his noble profile, and her heart thudded hard against her chest.
There was no love more forbidden than this.
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