The Cat The Canary and The Vampire
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Description: Sex, Murder, and a Crazy Cat Show.... Synchronicity--a Dangerous Love Connection.... Sexy celebrity author Andrew Augustine's book promotional tour was almost over. His last stop--Houston, Texas--the Gladstone Hotel's Mind and Body Conference. No ordinary man--Andrew was an immortal vampire--constantly on the prowl, always seeking a replacement for his long lost soul mate Samantha. Devastated from yet another break-up, Valerie Stevenson thought she'd never find her 'Mr. Right.' Hopping into her blue sports car with her award winning Selkirk Rex cat, she headed for the Fall Frolic cat show at Houston's Gladstone Hotel. No idea she was driving into her future--with danger around every curve. In the middle of everything, Chester the cat took center stage--at the cat show, a jewel heist--even in Valerie's secret relationship with a tall dark handsome mystery man. Playing around with a vampire was like playing with fire. Would Valerie's reckless desire lead to her own destruction?
eBook Publisher: L&L Dreamspell/L&L Dreamspell, 2006 2006
eBookwise Release Date: September 2007
4 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [323 KB]
Reading time: 194-271 min.
Andrew moistened his lips. Blood.
Hearts beating, the fluid of life rhythmically coursing through countless sleeping bodies. People completely unaware that he prowled their streets, his keen ears listening, receptive tongue tasting the night air.
Each evening Andrew was cautious, dead silent. Like tonight--stalking, waiting for hours to make his intrusion, timing so important. Women never heard him slipping into their bedrooms and into their beds.
Dallas, his favorite hunting ground, seemed so distant tonight. Traveling most of the year, Andrew hated being away from his Texas property for months. Business--exhausting book promotions at dozens of metaphysical conferences up and down the east coast, dark hotel rooms his transitory lairs. After this weekend in Houston Andrew looked forward to returning home to his sanctuary. Gone far too long this time, he hated keeping strange hours. A vampire dodging the sun's rays, blending into society.
Back at last, tour almost over, he drew closer to this evening's quarry. He inhaled ... fresh blood scent nearby. Texas felt good, comfortable, the weather still warm even in autumn. Andrew smiled, Lone Star women were delicious. Like the Yellow Rose of Texas they knew how to please their men--anticipation surged through his body. Extreme hunger gnawed at him, his body grew colder and soon his starved muscles would weaken. He hadn't taken enough during the feeding last night. Now, well after midnight, he'd need to find a victim soon.
His heightened vampire senses lead him to this upscale suburban neighborhood, close, not many miles from the hotel. Andrew's keen eyes could see all the way down Falcon Lane. Well manicured lawns stretched deep and wide, verdant green carpeting for the front yards of each home. Amber porch lights illuminated white columns that flanked enormous entry doors, inset with sparkling etched glass. Grape ivy topiary obelisks adorned low verandas. Pleasant homes belonging to gracious families, beckoning to welcome guests, he felt them inviting him in.
Deciding which section of the subdivision to explore first on tonight's blood quest, guttural moaning sounds somewhere nearby startled Andrew. Not usually surprised, now nervous, he searched for the source. A girl giggled, did someone see him? No, but he saw her!
Relieved, now amused that he'd been so unnerved Andrew stood silent, observing a lusty display. Across the street a huge wooden porch swing cradled a young couple. Unaware, locked in their intimate embrace, the boy's hands explored the shape of his lover's exposed breasts. They thought darkness covered them but Andrew's extraordinary vision saw everything. He felt their passion. He sensed the life force pulsing in their genitals. His craving for blood became almost unbearable.
Starving for his liquid pleasure, his longing for the bite's climactic release much stronger than that boy's desire for his girlfriend's tender young body, he hurried past the amorous pair, walking faster down the brick patterned sidewalk. Stopping just two houses away--a singular, strong heartbeat pulled him closer to his desired prey.
Nostrils savoring the fragrant elixir of life, somewhere nearby a virtual fountain overflowed with his necessary nourishment. Which house? Left or right? Closing his eyes, he tuned into the rhythmic beat, the core of her being now a beacon, from the two story red brick house to the right. His body now felt reenergized, anticipating the bite, and the girl inside had blood so rich he'd only need a little. He'd take a minuscule amount. Andrew trained himself to temper his inescapable need. He fed without killing his donors, vampires didn't have to be murderers.
Certain the time was right, he slipped between two borders of pungent rose bushes, approaching the south facing side of the structure. Making sure he wasn't observed, his preternatural strength propelled him fifteen feet onto a second story railing. The sound of her heartbeat stronger, he was right, this must be her room. Roses again. Pink stained glass roses decorated both upper corners of the beveled glass. A feminine window, a girl's bedroom. Two massive oak trees embraced this little faux balcony, obscuring people's view from the street and neighboring houses, perfect cover. First he'd just observe, watching, making sure she slept. Always so cautious and vigilant.
Andrew saw her in the unlit room, vampire eyes accustomed to darkness. Across a sea of thick beige carpet, past two pink floral upholstered slipper chairs slept a modern day princess. Soft, pale blue covers outlined her torso and legs, turned down enough to reveal a youthful ruffled nightgown. Curly brown hair flowed across one fluffy pillow, her neck beckoned to him, skin smooth and firm. This girl looked really young, no more than seventeen.
Andrew hesitated, he tried to avoid teenagers--prone to shrieking when taken by surprise. Mature and experienced women accustomed to sharing their bed with men seldom screamed--seduced by his large dark brown eyes, pupils glowing red when aroused, one glance capable of instant thought control. Another useful vampire skill, necessary for survival. * * * *
Andrew knew after satisfying his needs he'd use hypnotic power to erase all memory of the visit. Able to channel universal energy through his hands, healing the bite wounds, leaving little or no traceable marks--his predatory presence indiscernible to mortals. Killing donors meant possible exposure. He loathed the idea and exercised a great deal of self control ... Foraging for a few ounces every night became a necessary evil, his immortal curse.
He had a particular taste for slender brown haired women in their late twenties or early thirties. Memories of his past lover, a mortal woman of twenty eight, influenced every search for female sustenance. Preternatural faculties always allowed him to find her facsimile, to sense a single heartbeat that excited his recollections of their passionate mortal love. Andrew would strike, savoring the vampire kiss on a silky white throat, one like his beloved's slender neck. Reliving the same scenario, a dark unnatural romance, Andrew satisfied more than a vampire's appetite. Every victim became Samantha, calling out for his return.
Andrew smiled at his fantasy, thinking how each night's brown haired woman waited for him--she'd summoned him, wanting the encounter as much as he needed her. He enjoyed creating a dream-like mutual seduction in her own bed--some gentle foreplay to arouse and prepare the delectable female for his penetration--sharp fangs slipping into her throat without struggle and without pain. Andrew's gentle swallows of her liquefied life force produced an unearthly crescendo of pleasure for both of them--then afterwards, saying goodbye to another night with Samantha, his final farewell with hypnotic eyes erased any memory of the preternatural tryst. He romanced and loved the same mental image from the past, time after blood feeding time.
Andrew wondered if women ever remembered his caresses and love bites in their dreams. Controlling their waking minds seemed so easy--their subconscious minds remained a mystery. Women were always a mystery. He'd never understood Samantha Bradford during their entire two years together. He missed her passion for life and laughter. Soul mates, separated by his mortal death. Never wanting to touch her again, to frighten her with what he'd become--easier to let her go on thinking he'd died. Everyone believed he'd perished in a car accident, an unrecognizable body they'd buried in a grave marked 'Andrew Michael Augustine 1907--1939.' * * * *
Too much time thinking about the past, waiting for the moment to intrude on this young girl's slumber. Pulsing veins in his temples, slight dizziness, he had to get inside soon--he needed blood. He ran his tongue over his teeth. Fangs ready and waiting, he'd have to risk it, taking this underage youth as his lover tonight.
Scraping sounds emanated from the window sash causing her to stir and roll over, but not awaken. Andrew couldn't walk through walls or window panes, he had no choice but to keep sliding the heavy wooden frame upward. Opened just wide enough, he climbed through then straightened up to his six foot five inch height. The girl sighed and rolled over. Geez, she'd better not wake up yet! Andrew stood next to her in an instant, another of his many preternatural talents.
Floral perfume met his nostrils and his heart pounded in rhythm with hers. Tossing back the comforter with one hand, he slid the other behind the girl's back, causing her head to tip, her neck bare and ready. Too weakened by hunger, no time for seduction, this time only the bite. Without even opening her eyes she screamed. Panicked, Andrew clasped a hand over the slim girl's small mouth and at the same moment pierced her throat, sucking fast, taking what he could as she kicked and fought. Typical teenager, how he hated when this happened.
"Ouch!" She bit into his hand. Enough of this childish nonsense. Retracting his fangs, he tried to get her to look into his eyes, to erase the memory of this encounter gone awry, and then he'd get away. Now terrified at the sight of his face, fresh hot blood dripping from his mouth, the girl kneed him in the groin. Andrew howled. He really hated that. Doubled over in pain, his eyes glowed like fire in the darkened room. The girl jumped off her bed and reached for the doorknob.
In a flash Andrew reached her side, his manhood still throbbing, now worried that family members would appear. Grabbing the girl's shoulders, yanking her away from the door, he forgot his strength and heard her neck snap. No more struggling, no more life, just a limp rag doll.
"Jessica! What's going on?" A woman's voice called out.
Andrew dropped the dead young girl onto the bed and zoomed out the window. From the street looking up at the house he saw lights go on, heard the screams of her mother. An awful accident! He wasn't a killer, not if he could help it. Sickened, he hurried down the road, to a small nearby park. Stopping, he leaned against the rough bark of an oak tree and looked up toward the moon, his black clothing camouflaging him from passersby in the darkness.
"Forgive me, mother, I swore I wouldn't kill, except in self defense, and now I've broken my promise."
His chest ached, so grief-stricken. Andrew wasn't a killer before he'd been made into a vampire. After that unfortunate turn of fate, he swore he'd avoid killing unless it was the only way out of a situation. Clouds drifted over the full moon, deepening the darkness, and deepening the pain in Andrew's heart. He wanted to be 'normal,' perhaps someday find a lasting human female companion, another Samantha to love again. Yet he'd lost control and turned into a monster, a vicious beast. Disgusted with himself, it would be very difficult to give his presentation Friday evening at the conference--somehow he'd have to get out of this black mood...