LOL! Yes, I’m teasing you about the upcoming March 2009 release FURY CALLS which features Blake, one of my favorite heroes of THE CALLING. Those of you who have read the earlier books in the series may remember Blake from TEMPTATION CALLS, but he also got his own chance for some loving in DESIRE CALLS.
DESIRE CALLS is a free novella that you can still read at eharlequin.com. Just click here to start from the beginning. Or visit the Harlequin Paranormal Romance Blog to download a free e-book version of this novella. You can click here for that, but hurry since it’ll only be available until October 31st!
Why do I love Blake so? He’s sexy. He’s brave. He’s honorable. He’s obstinate. He’s passionate. In FURY CALLS, he’s determined to become a better man for his first love – Meghan. But he makes mistakes. Despite that, he never gives up on the idea that someday he will find true love.
Without further ado, here’s an excerpt from DESIRE CALLS (and if you’re as intrigued by Stacia as Blake is in this scene, don’t worry. ARDOR CALLS, featuring Stacia, will be out in 2010).
He had never seen her in such a fine anger, Blake thought, while dangling nearly a foot above the ground. Trying to placate her, he said, “Stacia, please—”
With a flick of her hand, he flew across the alleyway and into the wall. His head connected with a loud crack and stars swam before his eyes. He struggled for a hold on the wall, but soon found himself sliding down to sit on the cold stone floor.
His vision wavered and he forced himself to focus on something as he tried to regain his senses. Her boots. Black. Shiny. Pointy.
Coming toward him in a wicked, quick beat. Giving him no time, he thought, as she once again grabbed the front of his jacket and picked him up as if he didn’t weigh a thing. With him in her grasp, she entered the bar.
His head was still whirling and something wet ran down the back of it. She walked with him without laboring, her immense elder power giving her strength beyond his. As he shook his head to try to clear his senses, a lot of other things came to him about what the elders could do to him, creating a cold knot of fear in his stomach.
You can’t even begin to guess.
Stacia’s thoughts entered his head as she obviously knew what he was thinking.
I didn’t want any problems for you. Things are different now, he offered in apology, but Stacia’s only response was to motion with him to the door before them.
Even in his dazed state he recognized the entrance to one of the back rooms in the Blood Bank. Foley kept them for his special visitors who would pay a fee for the use of the specially equipped rooms. Not that Foley would dare ask a fee from Stacia or, for that matter, stop her from doing what she would with Blake in that room.
“Don’t beg, beloved. It’s so unbecoming,” she said as she raised her hand and thrust open the door without even touching it. She strode in, shut the door with another flick of her hand and tossed him onto the metal cot along one wall.
He wouldn’t beg again, Blake thought, even as Stacia exerted her elder’s power to keep him immobile as she shackled him to the sturdy iron frame.
Blake watched as she walked to the far wall, which was equipped with an assortment of toys and other devices. As Stacia stood there considering what to choose, her mental hold on him relaxed, and he pulled against the leather cuffs that had him spread-eagled on the bed, but couldn’t free himself.
The cuffs and bed had clearly been chosen with a vampire in mind since they were thick and sturdy. He realized he could not get loose and bit back his concern as Stacia turned and displayed a rather large and nasty-looking dagger.
She sauntered over, the blade held upright in her hands, plainly visible as if to inflict some mental torture. “Do you know what you did, Blake?”
He wouldn’t show her he was worried. With what he hoped was a careless shrug—which was kind of difficult when one was lashed to bedposts—he calmly said, “I was only trying to help.”
Stacia laughed harshly. “Help? You helping me? That’s rich.”
“It’s the truth. Things are changing around here,” he said again, but Stacia would hear none of it.
She brought the blade down to his cheek. The metal was cold against his skin. Leaning close, she said, “Since when do we care whether we drain a human?”
“Since maybe some of us know that it’s wrong?” he shot back, remembering all too painfully what had happened with Meghan.
Stacia was too omnipotent not to pick up on what he was feeling. Bringing the knife to his wrist, she slipped it beneath the leather and said, “Intriguing. You actually feel…regret and love? You fancied yourself in love?”
He felt the prick of the knife lightly against his skin and then the cool air of the night as she sliced open one sleeve of his jacket, then reached over and quickly did the same to the other sleeve.
He met her gaze as she paused, the knife poised above his midsection and directly above a most delicate area. As she slid the blade beneath the hem of his T shirt, he shivered from the cold and from the anxiety he couldn’t contain. One little slice of the knife—
Not yet, beloved. I’ll have my satisfaction first.
“Well, that’s good, luv. I’d hate to pass without at least getting a look,” he said, determined to not let her be totally in control.
“What? A look? You want a look before I geld you?” she asked with an uneasy chuckle, and the knife wavered against his midsection.
“If that’s the price to be paid for a slight misunderstanding, the least you can do is let me see if what’s beneath all that sinful black leather is as beautiful as the rest of you,” he said, and surprisingly he meant it.
Stacia was a remarkably stunning woman with her exotic almond shaped eyes, dark and filled with so much emotion. Right now, a slight furrow marred the space above her brows and that one golden earring. But then a glitter crept into her eyes and was followed by a wide smile across her full lips.
“You are ballsy.”
He chuckled, shot a look down at his naked parts and said, “Definitely.”
She laughed out loud at that, strode away from him and back to the wall with all the assorted gadgets and accessories. She placed the dagger back into its holder, paused for a second before turning to look at him. She tapped her lips with one finger. “You’ve been naughty, Blake. Very, very naughty.”
Blake sensed the change in her. The playfulness in her tone that said he had reached past her anger to something else.
Something way more interesting, he thought, wondering about the complex creature that she was.
As she turned away from him and toward the wall, he realized she was working at something with her hands. A second later, she shrugged off the vest she had been wearing, exposing the long, slender line of her back. The perfect expanse of creamy skin that he suddenly itched to touch, wondering whether it would feel like smooth alabaster beneath his fingers.
He had been so drawn to that sight that he didn’t realize she had grabbed a cat o’ nine-tails from the wall until she stood before him, the weapon in her hand.
But even then his mind was not so much on the pain she might inflict as it was on the truly rewarding sight of her naked. Her breasts were full. Her nipples hard with her passion and the shade of golden honey, a surprise given her dark coloring. He wondered how they might taste and didn’t even realize he had asked the question until she said, “You wanted to see and now you want to taste?”
He salivated at the thought of it, but couldn’t voice anything else as she brought the cat-o’-nine-tails to rest on his thigh, which immediately grabbed his attention.
“You are…engaging,” she said as she slowly trailed the leather strips studded with small metal balls up his thigh until they rested against his erection. The contrast of the smooth leather snaking around him together with the cold of the hard metal balls was a shock.
“I could be much more engaging if you let me go,” he said, because all he could think about was having her even if there would be pain afterward. Hell, with women there was always pain afterward.
Do you fear nothing? she asked silently as she continued to fondle him with the cat o’ nine-tails, yanking a moan from him with the caresses.
Blake met her gaze and he thought he caught a reflection of something familiar. Something they might share. “I fear living the rest of my life without love.”
She stopped her strokes and a spark of anger came to life in her eyes. “What do you know about living without love? You’ve been undead but a second compared to me.”
“That’s right. But at least I’ve had a taste of it. Can you say the same?”