My mom always told me not to play with my food. I try to keep that in mind.
She never told me not to let my food play with me, however, so I would let tall, dark, and handsome—with gray eyes, a brilliant smile, and killer cheekbones—flirt with me to his heart’s content. Then I’d let him take me to his place.
Then I’d feed.
By the time he woke up in the morning, he’d remember having great, anonymous sex and nothing else.
That was the plan, at least. That had always been the plan.
Until things changed.
I was just about to leave my apartment when there was a knock at my door. I opened it, and Dotty, one of the second-floor tenants, burst into the room. We weren’t friends per se, but she’d occasionally pop by for some girl chat. I’d told her I worked nights and that I needed my beauty sleep, so she wouldn’t disturb me during the day, but she’d never before come by after nine in the evening, either.
“I need your help.” She gasped for breath as she turned to face me, running a hand through her short, spiky black hair.
At nearly six feet tall, on the heavy side, and with a square jaw, Dotty never seemed to need anybody’s help.
“What can I do?” I secretly hoped whatever it was could wait until my stomach was full. Her outfit somehow made me doubt my hopes would be justified; she looked ready to go out. As did I, which I prayed she’d notice.
She bit her lip, then said, “The sitter was with Mark until now but she had to go, and my date—ummm. I invited him upstairs for a drink and he’s in the car waiting.” She blushed and inhaled deeply, then blurted out the actual reason for her visit. “Can Mark stay here for an hour?” When she finally took in my short leather skirt and bustier that left little to the imagination, she pouted. “I guess not.” With a sigh, she turned for the door.
Even though she turned slowly enough that I knew she expected me to stop her, I felt bad. “Okay, but only for one hour,” I said to her back. I’d looked after him before.
The words had barely left my mouth when she opened the door again and let Mark, her pudgy six-year-old son, inside. “I owe you big-time,” she told me over her shoulder, blew Mark a kiss, and rushed out before I could change my mind.
“Why aren’t you wearing pajamas?” the boy asked, tilting his head to the side. “Did you just come back, like Mommy?”
I swear he would have had a brilliant career with the Spanish Inquisition had he been born back then. Since I always believed in treating children like adults, I opted for the truth. “Nope. I’m going out as soon as your mommy picks you up.”
“Why are you going out after dark?” His thin eyebrows were furrowed, the sharp expression looking out of place in the adorable roundness of his face.
“Why not?” I asked innocently. Ha! I could beat him at his own game.
“My daddy says only bad people go out after dark.” Crossing his arms in front of his easily breakable chest, he looked at me smugly.
I understood why his mother never asked her ex-husband to babysit. “Your mommy was out until now,” I said with a saccharine smile. “Is she bad?”
He apparently took offense, because he stomped his foot. “No!”
“Well, then, your daddy is wrong.” There. I’d had the last word. How would he beat that argument?
“But it was day when my mom went out.” Smug again.
I was tempted to try my brainwash gaze on him but thought better of it. Instead I said, “If you don’t talk again until your mom comes to get you, I’ll give you ten bucks.”
I saw him consider it. “Twenty.”
I should have started lower, but it was too late for that now. “Fifteen, and you never tell her about our deal.” Hey, I said I’d looked after him a couple of times; I never said I was good at it. I’d have to find another way to work around his questions next time. He was getting too expensive!
Dotty wasn’t late to pick him up. She was disheveled and grinning like the Cheshire cat, but not late. I grabbed my keys, stuffed them in the front of my bustier, all but tossed Mark to her, and was out of there.
* * * *
The Gridlock was one of my favorite bars, which meant I visited it only every couple of months. It wouldn’t do to be seen leaving with a different man every night, especially if said man didn’t remember me the following day.
Spacious and dimly lit, the Gridlock was decorated in shades of red and black. Drapes separated a few private stalls, and the upper floor housed the supersecret VIP area. Get your minds out of the gutter; the place wasn’t a sex club. The VIP area was only secret because celebrities often chose it to unwind when they needed to stay away from the public eye for a while—no orgies took place there as far as I was aware. What added most to the bar’s appeal, however, were its patrons: mostly young professionals who weren’t out to get wasted. Pretty people who took care of themselves, looked and smelled good, relaxed on leather armchairs, and the music was to my taste. As was the bartender, but he was off limits.
Heads turned as I entered, but I maintained my cool. The outfit I’d chosen was at odds with the surroundings, but by the time I’d left home, I’d been in too much of a hurry, and the club I’d initially had in mind was too far away. I might have gone through the trouble of finding another place that suited my attire, but a phone call earlier that evening had jarred me—always, always change your cell number after breaking up with someone, or they can bug you for years. I looked too cheap for the place, but it was too late to do something about it now. Holding my head high and keeping from swishing my butt too much, I made my way inside and pretended not to notice the glares a group of women in their thirties, in skirt suits and with perfect coiffures, threw my way. I was there for a reason.
I moved toward the bar with deliberately slow steps, only occasionally glancing around. Gaze not lingering on a face for more than a split second, I tried not to let anyone know I was looking for someone to fulfill my needs for the night.
I spotted the perfect guy within twenty-five seconds of scanning the room. I was sure I’d never seen him around before. Believe me, I’d remember if I had. He was a head taller than everybody else, and his shoulders looked as wide as my bed. He was leaning casually against the bar, holding a bottle of beer.
Even at a distance, I could see his eyes—fringed with long, dark eyelashes—were the same charcoal gray as his shirt. And they were locked on me. The first phase of the plan was complete: the prey had seen me and was attracted.
Phase two consisted of faking disinterest until he made a move. If I took the first step, he might deem me too easy, and that often wasn’t enough of an ego booster to make a man take me home, as I’d discovered in the past. Although, if I played my cards right, it might be more than enough to make him follow me into the ladies’ room.
With the rent deadline approaching, I needed money that night almost as much as I needed blood, so the ladies’ was not an option.
Oh, the blood thing reminded me, there’s something I should have said earlier.
My name is Cherry, and I’m a vampire.
Sadly, with society these days not really brimming with jobs for an ex-catalog model turned aspiring porn star turned vampire, I often found myself in need of cash. When that happened, I looked for someone to serve as a…sponsor rather than merely a blood donor. For the day, not indefinitely.
Despite having been in a couple of adult movies, I was never a sex-worker. Most of the guys I fed on got nothing other than the promise of sex. If they turned me on, I might do them as I fed, but I never did it because I thought I had to. Letting someone cover my expenses in the long run would change that dynamic.
So would falling in love with someone. A breathing someone, with a pulse and an expiration date.
It would screw things up majorly, which was why I’d never slept with a living guy more than once since I’d become part of the living dead. The living dead. It sounds so very ominous; however, some of us are nice.
But I’m digressing.
One of the coolest vampire powers is mind control, which some swear is the best way to a healthy relationship. I, however, prefer not having to wipe my lover’s brain clean every so often. A steady human boyfriend from whom I’d have to hide my true nature would, therefore, be out of the question.
Male vampires, on the other hand, mostly have relationship issues. The way I see it, knowing you’ll be around for a very long time makes you extremely picky as to whom you want by your side.
And they are patronizing, controlling assholes with superiority complexes.
And they cheat on you.
I admit, I only know one of them that well, but I’m making an educated guess.
I approached the side of the bar farthest from the guy and ordered a Bloody Mary. Silly private jokes like that, lame though they are, always give me a weird sense of accomplishment. I know; I need therapy.
Drink in hand, I tapped my foot to the rhythm of the music and observed the crowd dancing—slowly swaying, to be more precise—while I mentally counted the seconds it would take for him to approach me. When he hadn’t moved any closer after sixty whole seconds, I turned and gave him the squint.
The squint is a leftover from my short days as a catalog model, before I decided on a major career change and made my first of two adult films. To achieve it, you narrow your eyes just enough to make your gaze look focused and promising. Overdo it, and you look myopic. Combine it with a slight pout, and you have guys eating out of your hand.
Or flashing you a smile, as was the case now.
His smile was dazzling. Straight, white teeth—I’m a vampire; we pay attention to teeth—and a lower lip that begged me to nibble on it. And oh those cheekbones!
I clenched my jaw and made a show of turning away. You want me, buddy? You have to come and get me.
He didn’t, but a fifty-something man with alcohol-laced breath and red-rimmed eyes appeared out of nowhere and cornered me against the bar. Just my luck. There was one person in the establishment who hadn’t bathed for a couple of weeks, and of course he decided to make a pass at me.
“Can I buy you a drink, honey?” His words were slurred, and he stood too close for comfort.
I could have ripped his head off his shoulders within seconds, but I don’t generally like violence. Placing a hand on his shoulder to keep him at arm’s length, I indicated my glass. “No, thanks. I’m set,” I said with a smile, allowing just a bit of fang to show. He couldn’t possibly have enough credibility to expose us.
The drunk stumbled back, hands held up in the universal giving-up sign, just as the yummy male specimen made his way to us. I saw Yummy’s face fall and thought, Aha! Hero complex.
“I was coming to save you,” he said, “but I see you handled him yourself.” His voice complemented the rest of him. Deep, masculine—the voice you’d want whispering dirty things in your ear.
The ball was in my court. “Maybe you should stick around, in case I can’t handle the next one.” I smiled. No fangs.
He grinned, giving me a better look at his pearly whites. Yup, still flawless. “I’m Alex. Alex Marsden.”
“Cherry.” No last name for me. There was no reason.
Up close, he looked even better. I figured he was in his late twenties, thirty tops, and it seemed like he worked out. His fingers, which I got a good look at when he raised his beer to his mouth, were long, and I couldn’t help but imagine how his big hands would feel on me.
“So, what do you do?”
His question threw me. People didn’t usually care what I did when I was dressed in leather and thigh-high boots. I wondered how he’d react if I said I was a lawyer.
I took a sip from my overpriced, alcohol-laced tomato juice. “Used to model. I’m between jobs now.” Had been for a long time, since my maker hadn’t bothered to ask about my future plans before turning me. At first I’d been really pissed off to wake up dead while at the peak of my career.
Meh! I may as well be truthful here. I hadn’t been at the peak, just at the beginning. I’d filmed two highly erotic movies as an extra and had just been given the starring role in a third one. And the main reason I’d been pissed off for the better part of six years was that I’d been turned before getting the lipo and boob job I’d planned on pampering myself with for my twenty-fourth birthday. Now I was doomed to go through eternity without the perfectly flat belly and double D breasts Dr. King had promised me.
Alex nodded and looked me up and down. “You look familiar, and I don’t follow fashion. Have we met before?” To his credit, his gaze didn’t pause anywhere but on my face during his perusal.
Classic pickup line, although he actually might have seen me before. I couldn’t really ask him if he liked porn, so I just shook my head. “What do you do?”
“I’m a cop. Detective.” He shrugged like he was saying nothing special.
A detective. That could be bad. Those guys have good memories as a rule, and he might have seen my missing person report. Still, I wouldn’t panic. I’d gone from blonde to redhead for Knotting Cherry Stem—hell, I’d changed my name for it—and had bangs now and forever. No, he wouldn’t recognize me.
And no, I’m not telling you my real name.
“Sounds exciting,” I drawled, all wide-eyed. “You should tell me more.” To stress how interested I was, I ran the tips of my fingers down his bicep. Nice and firm. Yum squared!
As if he didn’t even notice, he began saying something about my eyes. Most guys would be all over the chance to touch me back, but not him. I could see he was the type to really take his time with a woman, and it intrigued me. I suddenly wanted to find out for sure. Would he take his time with everything?
I cut him off, pointing to the speaker booming overhead. “It’s too loud in here. Maybe we should go somewhere quieter?”
His left eyebrow arched, but he put his palm on the small of my back. The touch gave me goose bumps, and that’s a real feat when talking about a dead girl. “My place is quiet.” Ah, he got the hint at once. Smart man.
As soon as I left my drink on the bar, he caught the bartender’s eye and paid for us both. I didn’t offer to cover my half, but I made a mental note to thank him properly once we were alone.
“Do you have a car?” he asked as I let him lead me to the exit. “You can follow me in it, or I can drive you back here…” His voice drifted off. What would he say? What could he say? Later? After? I decided the fact that he hadn’t finished his sentence was for the best.
Not all of us can fly but only because some cannot fathom lifting off the earth and therefore can’t focus their will enough to achieve it. I can. I’d flown to the bar, but I couldn’t really tell him that. “No car. I took a cab.”
“Are you okay with taking my car? Riding with strangers and all?” He was so thoughtful, and I had to try not to swoon until he added, “We could go to your place, if you’d feel more comfortable.”
No no no no no. No. It was bad enough that I was still going through with my plan even though he was a policeman—but he was so hot, who could blame me? Bringing him to my apartment would take risky to a whole new level. “I wanna see how a cop lives.” A bat of my heavily made-up eyelashes and the deal was closed.
* * * *
The drive to Alex’s place was just long enough to get me wondering if he was some psycho killer looking for a place to have his wicked way with me. If that was the case, he was so in for a surprise that I felt bad for him. Although the possibility of that being his agenda made me feel less bad for what my agenda was, and that in itself was weird.
I’ve never felt any shame or guilt for feeding off unsuspecting victims. Never ever. It’s not like I do them any harm. Nothing like the harm that was done to me, anyway.
I’d been at a party when I’d met my maker. His name was Willoughby, and he’d been gorgeous and polite, nothing like the grabby crowd my agent usually brought me into contact with. When he’d suggested driving me home, I’d been all up for it. Maybe the mention of a limo had added to the appeal.
We never reached my home. We started making out in the car—I remember giggling too much, probably because of the champagne—and things had gotten heated rather fast. My sequined dress, extremely short to begin with, had bunched around my waist, and he had his hand inside my panties when I felt a sharp pain at my neck. I never really liked hickeys and I’d been supposed to begin shooting Knotting Cherry Stem the following day so I’d tried to push him away, but to no avail.
The shooting of Knotting Cherry Stem had been canceled, of course. I hadn’t been sued for breach of contract because nobody had been able to locate me. Willoughby had dumped my lifeless body in an alley.
Alex didn’t seem like the kind of man to dump someone in an alley. Maybe that was why I felt a pang at the thought of using him. A pang, mind you, not guilt. We, creatures of the night and all, don’t feel such puny emotions. Just a pang when he opened the passenger’s door for me, another when he didn’t try to cop a feel while grasping the gearshift, another when he asked where I was from, how old I was…
Turning sideways in my seat, I took in Alex’s profile. He reminded me of a Greek god: nose a bit too large, adding a masculine tone to his face that would otherwise be too pretty with the long-lashed eyes and pouty lips, and hair just long enough to curl over the collar of his shirt. The streetlights gave the black curls a shine that tempted me to run my fingers through them.
He pulled into a driveway, and I focused on the scenery outside for the first time since we’d gotten into his car. A nice street in Monterey Hills with single and two-story houses only. Not the kind of neighborhood I’d associate with a cop.
Then again, the house that the driveway led to didn’t look at all like what I’d expected a cop’s house to be.
He seemed apologetic while telling me there had been a gas leak in his apartment in the city. “My mom’s away for a few weeks and said I could crash here until it’s fixed.”
His mom’s? He’d brought me to his mom’s? Okay, so she was away and his place wasn’t habitable at the moment, but hadn’t he heard of hotels? And how would I even enter the place? “She won’t mind you having company over?” I asked, trying to decide whether to stick with him and see if I could enter the house, compel him to take me somewhere else, or cut my losses and find someone else to get me through the night.
“Nah. I grew up here. It’s as much my home as it is hers.” From where I stood at the threshold, I saw a wistful smile grace his lips. “Plus it’s always tidy and with a full fridge.”
It was the smile that sold me; this place was special to him, and something deep inside made me want to see it. And even if he turned out to be a momma’s boy after all, I wouldn’t stick around for it to matter. That was one problem solved.
He gave a half shrug and held the door open for me. “Come in.”
Gesturing to his right, he indicated the living room. “Make yourself at home. I’ll get us something to drink.”
I really couldn’t make myself at home with all the frilliness and floral patterns surrounding me, but I tried. I sank into the huge sofa, crossed my legs demurely at the ankles, and waited for him.
An “uh-huh” came from the kitchen, followed by “I knew she had liquor here.” Alex’s head poked out of the doorway that separated the kitchen from the living room. “What’ll it be?”
My turn to shrug. “Do you have beer?” I didn’t feel like making him prepare me a cocktail.
“Beer?” He mock scowled. “What kind of drink is that for a lady?”
I made a show of looking around. “Lady? Where?” If that wasn’t an invitation, I don’t know what would be, but Alex laughed. It was a nice laugh—deep, like his voice, rich and hearty.
“All women are ladies until proven otherwise,” he said with a wink before disappearing from sight.
I wanted to prove myself otherwise. And fast. Other than having the serious munchies, I was more attracted to him than I’d been to anyone since I’d broken up with my ex-boyfriend years earlier.
He brought me my drink and sat in the armchair to my right. That wouldn’t do.
“Why so far away?” I asked. “And aren’t you drinking?”
He shook his head. “I’ve had enough for one night.”
He didn’t explain his seating choice, and I was confused. He wouldn’t have brought me there unless he was attracted to me, so I didn’t get why he wasn’t doing anything about it. “So…are you seeing someone special?” I didn’t know why, but I really wanted to know the answer. And I wanted it to be no.
He took some time to reply, and the look in his eyes made me antsy. It was too serious. Maybe he was seeing someone. Maybe he was married, despite the lack of a wedding band on his finger, or lived with his girlfriend, and that was why he’d taken me to his mother’s house. It would explain why he was reluctant to make a move.
It felt like forever until he spoke again. “No.” He sighed. “I couldn’t be more single. You?”
“I don’t do relationships anymore.” Not since I’d found Constantine in bed with his maker. Constantine, who’d promised to love me forever and had then broken my heart.
Silence again. I hate silence sometimes. This was one of those times.
He opened his mouth, then closed it again and rubbed his temples. “I may be about to say the stupidest thing,” he said, “but…I’d never pay for sex.”
I looked at him, mouth agape. My first instinct was to go over our interactions trying to find what I’d done wrong to give him that impression, but I held back. It wasn’t my fault he’d jumped to conclusions. He was an asshole, pure and simple, and the only thing that saved him from a full-on angry vampire attack was that said angry vampire was too shocked to react.
“It’s not about my job.” Sighing dramatically, he leaned forward, elbows on his knees. “I’m not going to arrest you or lecture you, even though going after someone you know is a cop is stupid. I just thought we could talk.” After a pause, he added, “I’m not paying for that either.”
I wanted to slap him, but that might end with his head flying into the wall and I’d hate to ruin the beige tapestry with bloodstains. “I don’t charge,” I said through gritted teeth.
“Come on, Cherry.” He placed his hand on my knee in a brotherly fashion. “The clothes, the attitude…”
I hated the tears that sprang unbidden to my eyes as I jumped up and turned toward the door. “I’m leaving,” I said. “You’re an asshole.” My taste in men seemed consistent, if nothing else.
He was fast for a human. And strong. He grabbed me by the arm and spun me to face him. “You’re telling the truth.” He sounded incredulous, which gave my anger a fresh boost.
“A woman can’t go out at night by herself to have a drink? She can’t see a man she likes, and—and want him, without being a prostitute?” If I’d fed, I’d have been beet red by then.
“Cherry, I’m sorry. I—all the leather and the way you came on to me… I thought—”
“What you should have thought was that you were about to get incredibly lucky.” I shook his hand off. “Not anymore, though.”
I kept glaring, even after he grabbed me again and brought his lips to mine—glared for all of a second before melting into the kiss. His lips were soft and moist and apparently magical, because while they were attached to mine, I forgot all about how he’d insulted me.
When I remembered, I pushed him back hard enough to send him flying into the chair he’d recently vacated. “Oh, now that you know it’s for free, you want it?” I leaned over him and grabbed the arms of the chair, trapping him. “Well, you can’t have it!” I said the words slowly, keeping my tone even. I can now say with certainty that vampires can’t kill with our eyes, since Alex survived the daggers thrown by mine.
“I wanted it from the start!” He got in my face. “Just not…not the way I thought it was offered.” His voice gradually lost oomph, until the last few words were whispered, his face a study in misery. “I am an asshole. You looked so pretty and so out of place, and I couldn’t believe that you just—” He ran his palm over his face. “I’m an asshole.” He brushed his thumb over my cheek. “And I’m so very sorry. Both for insulting you and for screwing this up. I’ll drive you to your place, and then you never have to see me again.”
There was no doubt in my mind he felt bad about what he’d thought and said, but he’d really insulted me. I should just accept his apology and walk away. But maybe I shouldn’t be hasty. I mean, he’d said he was sorry and he’d called me pretty. Too pretty for him to believe I’d genuinely been into him—that had to count for something, right? Most importantly, though, I shouldn’t care what he thought of me. I should feed, have fun, and get out of there.
This time I kissed him.
I wasn’t in the mood for softness and hadn’t been for a while. I pressed my lips against his violently and invaded his mouth with my tongue. After his shock wore off, though, he took over, his languid pace lulling my sense of urgency. He cupped my face with his palms and withdrew enough that his breath merely caressed my lips. I tried to kiss him again, and he chuckled.
A mewling sound came from my throat. That snapped me out of my lustful haze long enough to push his hand away and crawl onto his lap. I wasn’t the prey, I was the predator, and it was about time Alex knew that. Knees framing his thighs, I undid his belt and pulled hard enough that it came out, ripping a couple of loops in the process.
He unzipped his pants one-handed, the fingers of his other hand bunching around my thong and pulling it aside. Stretching awkwardly to reach his back pocket, he fished out a condom. Since I couldn’t explain why there was no need for it, I took it from him, ripped the packaging with my teeth, and slowly rolled it down his cock. I took my time touching and stroking his long, hard shaft, enjoying his gasps. He was hard for me, gasped for me, and that only made me want him more; I had the sort of power over him that had nothing to do with physical strength. I relished it.
He grasped my wrist, stopping my movements. Time held still for a second as our gazes locked. I could get lost in those eyes, and that was dangerous. I squeezed my eyelids shut, shifted my grip, and guided him inside my pussy. I didn’t want to look at his face; that might make it more than sex.
His hands closed on my hips, lowering me onto him slowly. Inch by agonizing inch, he entered me, and I wanted nothing but to take all of him in. I couldn’t be patient. There was a void inside me that ached to be filled.
Alex wouldn’t be rushed. “God you’re beautiful…so beautiful.” He caressed my hip bones with his thumbs, and I got goose bumps all over. “I want you so much. Feels so good being inside you.”
His words wouldn’t let me focus on the feeling of his cock. I kissed him to shut him up. I didn’t want to hear all the pretty words when I knew he wouldn’t remember saying them later. I just wanted to ride him until I saw stars.
Suddenly he thrust upward. I sucked in a breath. He was big, stretching my pussy just this side of pain. I liked it, but it wasn’t enough.
He fisted his hand in my hair and pulled my head to the side to graze my neck with his teeth. “I didn’t prepare you,” he whispered.
I hadn’t believed he needed to; I’d been wet since his fingers had made contact with the skin of my lower back at the club. I tried to swivel my hips to show him just that, but he held me still.
“There’s no rush. Let me make it good for you.” He pulled me backward and lowered his lips to my collarbone, his free hand fiddling with the laces of my top.
I couldn’t imagine how he’d make it any better. Every nerve ending in my body felt exposed. His breath caressing me set my skin ablaze. “Fuck me.” I slid a hand inside his shirt and dug my nails into his shoulder.
His hips bucked, and he hissed but wouldn’t move other than that.
“Let me make it good for you,” he said again, finally uncovering my breasts.
My keys fell with a happy jingling from where I’d stashed them in my cleavage; I’d left the house thinking there would be no undressing. Handbags, clutches, and the sort aren’t very easy to handle during an emergency takeoff, and I always thought dancing while holding a handbag looked stupid.
Alex, unaware of my self-ass-kicking, fastened his lips around one nipple and rolled his hips. I could do nothing but moan as he began pumping inside me slowly, his shallow thrusts synchronized with the pulls of his mouth. His tongue flicking my nipple sent a tingle down my spine, but it was his cock driving in and out of me that sent jolt after jolt of pleasure to my core.
His thrusts became deeper, harder, adding to the fire he’d lit inside me. He turned his attention to my other breast, his warm mouth making me shiver. I arched my back in abandon, offering more of me to his wandering mouth, his hold on my hip the only thing keeping me from falling backward.
I clawed the air, seeking purchase against his shirt and failing. The silky material evaded my fingers, but I stopped trying. I couldn’t focus on anything but the pressure building between my legs.
Alex pulled me up by the shoulders and gathered me to him. The angle changed, and he started rocking his hips faster, every stroke sending me higher on a seemingly endless spiral of pleasure.
His chest was sweaty against my breasts. My nipples, already tender, throbbed as they rubbed against his glistening skin. I nuzzled his neck, nibbling on the smooth skin over his pulse point. I wanted to penetrate him like he was penetrating me. I wanted to taste his blood. I wanted more of him inside me than I already had. I ran my tongue down the column of his neck and loved the goose bumps that rose when I blew my breath on it.
He bit me.
Blunt, perfectly human teeth dug into my shoulder at the same time he raised my hips and slammed me down on him again. His balls slapped against my ass, and I couldn’t hold back under the sensations assaulting me. My entire body tightened, and the tension in my belly uncoiled in every direction, wiping all logic and turning me into a creature made of pure need. A scream of delight burst through my open lips before I fastened my mouth on Alex’s neck and pierced his skin with my fangs.
I tried to be gentle—if done right, a vampire bite can be painless—but his fierce thrashing under me and plunging inside me made me lose my mind. I drank and drank, drawing more of Alex inside me with every sip. Each pull on his blood made my pussy spasm and drew out my orgasm, his moans music to my ears.
For a few moments there, it was like I was floating. My lips felt dry. I opened my eyes and had to blink a couple of times before my vision cleared. What had just happened was…wow. My brain was too fuzzy to search for the right word.
I licked the wound on Alex’s neck tenderly, closing it. Then I cleaned my lips with my tongue and raised my gaze to his, getting ready for the moment that canceled the whole night: the moment to erase me from his mind.
He smiled at me and held me tighter, apparently oblivious to what I’d done. His chest heaved with panted breaths; his heartbeat pounded in my ears.
I hated that I liked it.
I started to stand on leaden legs, letting his softening cock slip out of me, but his grip felt made of steel despite the blood I’d taken from him.
“Stay,” he said. Though worded as an order, it sounded like a plea.
“I can’t.” I really couldn’t. If I did, there might be no turning back.
He kissed me leisurely, intimately. It was too much. I gave in. “Only for a little while.”
He shifted me sideways in his lap and gathered me to him, tucking my feet snugly between his thigh and the armchair. “I wish there was a blanket down here,” he said. “Or do you…want to go upstairs?”
Upstairs. Where the bedrooms probably were. Where he’d probably want me to stay longer. I should just have gone. Right then.
I shook my head. “I like it here.”
Laying his cheek on my head, he whispered against my hair, “I like it too.”
I stayed there, cuddling with him, for longer than I should have. Unwilling to let go of his warmth, I listened to his heart rate slow down to normal and his breath even out. Once he was asleep, I thought it’d be a shame to wake him and wipe his memory. Instead I watched him until the angles of his face, the curve of his lips, and the smoothness of his brow were imprinted on my mind. My gaze fell to his neck. Despite everything, my bite mark was nothing more than a couple of dots, like pinpricks. I kissed my mark and inhaled Alex’s scent to complete my mental picture of him.
I never allowed myself to fall asleep anywhere but in my basement apartment, and I made sure I was back there before sunrise. The sun coming up doesn’t make us narcoleptic, but it can make us nice and crispy, so I always made a point of checking the sunrise time online before going out—better safe than sorry, as they say.
I fell asleep.