Dreamspell Fangs Volume 1
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by Lisa Rene' Smith
Description: First by John Richters The very first vampire is still around today but he's about to make a colossal mistake. The trap is set and First is about to walk into it. Will he survive to prey another day? Dating Sucks by Melanie Marks Irelan has a new boyfriend. She really hopes she doesn't kill him. The Effect of Degraded Food Supplies on Indigenous Populations by Jaleta Clegg Modern life takes a toll on more than just humans. What about the poor vampires trying to subsist on our cholesterol laden, prescription laced, chock-full-of-additives-and-preservatives blood? Vlad and his cohorts decide to relocate, with disastrous results. Forbidden by Frances Pauli It's Lorenzo's birthday, and this vampire wants more than blood--he seeks the forbidden?
eBook Publisher: L&L Dreamspell/L&L Dreamspell, 2011 London, Texas
eBookwise Release Date: January 2011
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [80 KB]
Reading time: 45-63 min.
All Other formats: Printing DISABLED, Read-aloud DISABLED
Lorenzo pulled the black cloth tighter around his shoulders and closed his eyes. He inhaled and caught the whisper of scent, the source of his desire, on the wind. His mouth watered. He hungered, and the night provided.
The aroma tugged at him. The smell woke memories and fears alike. His salvation or his death--possibly both--called to him like a lost lover. He dropped from the rooftop in a fluid leap, landing without sound at the end of an alley. The scent wavered. A haze of blue smoke blocked the trail, winding from the glowing tip of a cigarette.
Lorenzo stepped from the shadows. He stood in the light filtering through a layer of grime that coated the nearest street lamp. The kid smoking against the building turned ashen and tried to choke on his Marlboro. Lorenzo advanced a step. He flung an arm across his face, let the cascade of black cloak block his body and favored the boy with a raised eyebrow and a smile that showed his fangs in full glory, "Good Evening."
He stretched out the words the way he'd heard done in the movies. It worked. The Marlboro dropped to the pavement and the kid ripped out of the alley in a flurry of limbs and cuss words. Lorenzo let him go. His yearnings tonight went beyond blood. Tonight, he wanted something far more dangerous.
He shrugged, melted into the thin shadows and slid along the street, invisible unless he chose to be seen. The kid would talk. He'd tell the stories, and the stories kept the hounds at bay. At least tonight's story would. Lorenzo fought the urge to shudder. The other stories, the new ones, only drew unwanted attention. They drew wide-eyed, breathless idiots too young and foolish to fear the name Vampire.
He scowled at a passing car and pressed closer to the bricks at his back. Not that the popularity was all bad. It brought its share of food his way. He smelled it now, young blood, wafting from the car and the coffee shop across the street. It hung thick in the city, the odor of culinary iron.
But he didn't want that, did he? He sighed and tested the air again. He wanted the old days. He wanted home, tonight of all nights. It tickled his nostrils and teased him into motion again. Home called to him, and he answered as he did every year on the date of his birth, the one night when his craving, his centuries old hunger, refused to be denied.
He shook off a wave of nostalgia and found his trail again. Strong, this one. He nodded in anticipation. He could almost taste it already. He ducked into a side street, leapt a dumpster and took to the roofs again. The odor hung thick there, almost palpable. It wound over the buildings like a fat, sinuous snake. A venomous snake by his thinking, one quite capable of killing him.
Maybe he wished it would. Had he walked the night so long that he tired of life--any life--and sought to end it? He couldn't say either way, but every year, he sought out this particular scent. Every year he fought his soul's desire. He battled an irrepressible urge, and every year, he survived it.
He followed the siren song over the rooftops. Sometimes he leapt, outlined against a glaring moon. Sometimes he flew. The nearer his goal, the stronger it pulled at him until his mind narrowed, and every thought stretched toward satisfaction. The hunger burned in him. The memory alone was pain.
He tuned out the clatter of vehicles, the shouts and conversation flowing between buildings. He ignored the city completely.
When he neared the source, however, he returned to the streets. This time, he drifted along the back of buildings, blending with the fences, slipping through them as smoke. He wafted as the scent wafted. He vanished and reappeared. He disintegrated behind bars and rose like mist from puddles. This, he thought, was Vampire, the silent shadow creature out for the kill--deadly, predatory, a hound on the trail of its next victim.
He found it abruptly. Slamming into a wall of aroma so thick there could be no doubt. It oozed from the next building, blanketing the night and sending his senses into high gear. He had to have it. Every breath assured him of just how much he needed it.
The moon painted the back lot in slashes of silver and black. A dumpster stood guard at the fence, and a strip of garden, long since gone to seed for the season, hugged the back door. Lorenzo faded into the swath of darkness beside the rusting metal bin and focused on the golden-lit windows.
Silhouettes crossed them, blocking the incandescent glow and causing the yard to flicker. Lorenzo studied them. He labeled the figures and waited for the perfect target. His nostrils flared and quivered. He licked his lips, ran the tip of his tongue across each fang and sighed.
The girl waited on tables inside. She carried trays and leaned forward, no doubt sharing her ample cleavage with the patrons. She hadn't bothered to restrain her hair. I flowed in a dark cascade over one shoulder. Yes, she'd definitely do.
He reached out and touched her mind. Lorenzo willed her to his bidding, and she gave like soft butter to his touch. No resistance. Easy. "Come to me." He whispered it, borrowed from the movies again. "Come."
It took her less than a minute to emerge. The back door creaked, parting the silence with rough hands. The girl stepped onto the cement pad. She looked left and right.
Lorenzo felt her confusion and tugged again. The scent came with her, only a whiff, but enough to set his hands trembling. He tried to focus, despite the distraction, but the aroma invaded his senses, heady, delicious, and just as deadly as he.
"Hello?" The girl's voice brought him to attention. She stood alert and peering into the shadow. "Is someone there?"
Lorenzo solidified. He straightened and stepped into a slant of moonlight. "Goooood Eeeveninnng."
"Oh, my god." Her delicate hands flew to her mouth. Big, brown eyes widened at the terrifying picture he made.
Lorenzo smiled and couldn't resist a small flourish of his cape.
"Vampire." He finished her stutter and raised an eyebrow menacingly. "I am Vampire, the Undead, Lord of the Night and--"
"Oh my God, that is so sexy."
Lorenzo groaned. Damn. He looked at her face and grimaced. Wide, glassy eyes, breathless, pouty expression--this one had heard the other stories. "I'm not," he assured her. "I am unbelievably dangerous."
"Are you going to bite me?"
"No." Even if he'd been hungry, he probably would have denied her. She just looked too damned eager.
The girl's shoulders sagged visibly. Her face fell, and a small sigh escaped her full lips. "You don't find me attractive."
"It's not about that!" Lorenzo's frustration put more force behind the statement than he intended. "I'm a vicious, blood-sucking creature, not a--" Before he could finish, the scent reached his nostrils, drifting faintly from the girl's clothes, her hair, her breath. Desire shivered down his spine. His feet moved, brought him closer to the smell and right up to the idiotic girl's side.
"Oh." She whispered in an awe-struck tone that should have stopped him.
Lorenzo threw out an arm and wrapped her in the circle of his cape. He leaned closer, disgusted by the way she tilted her head, less than subtly exposing the stretch of her neck. He ignored the flesh and put his lips to her ear. He whispered his compulsion and backed it with the full force of his will.
"Really?" She blinked and stared at him.
"Now!" He pushed the order with his mind, and she turned away, headed back to the door without questioning him again. She'd do what he asked. He'd give her no choice. When Vampire ordered, no mortal refused him. Besides, it was his birthday.