Within the brotherhood, Rhage is the vampire with the strongest appetites. He’s the best fighter, the quickest to act on his impulses, and the most voracious lover – for inside him burns a ferocious curse cast by the Scribe Virgin. Owned by this dark side, Rhage fears the time when his inner dragon is unleashed, making him a danger to everyone around him.
Mary Luce, a survivor of many hardships is unwittingly thrown into the vampire world and reliant on Rhage’s protection. With a life-threatening curse of her own, Mary is not looking for love. She lost her faith in miracles years ago. But when Rhage’s intense animal attraction turns into something more emotional, he knows that he must make Mary his alone. And while their enemies close in, Mary fights desperately to gain life eternal with the one she loves.
“You are a manipulator.”
“I like to think of myself more as an outcome engineer.”
“Fine. If I can’t have you, then you do the taking. Have all of me, part of me, a small piece, whatever you want. Just please, have something.”
The front door flew open, and Mary shot out of the house, jumping off the porch, not even bothering with the steps to the ground. She ran over the frost-laden grass in her bare feet and threw herself at him, grabbing on to his neck with both arms. She held him so tightly his spine cracked.
She was sobbing. Bawling. Crying so hard her whole body was shaking.
He didn’t ask any questions, just wrapped himself around her.
“Even when there were no more options for the body, the heart’s wishes find a way out, and as with all warmth, love rises.”
“- I will not fall in love with you,” she said. “I can’t let myself. I won’t.”
– That’s all right. I’ll love you enough for the both of us.“
“My name…my name is Mary. I’m here with a friend.”
Rhage stopped breathing. His heart skipped a beat and then slowed. “Say that again,” he whispered.
„Ah, my name is Mary Luce. I’m a friend of Bella’s…We came here with a boy, with John Matthew. We were invited.”
Rhage shivered, a balmy rush blooming out all over his skin. The musical lilt of her voice, the rhythm of her speech, the sound of her words, it all spread through him, calming him, comforting him. Chaining him sweetly.
He closed his eyes. „Say something else.”
„What?” she asked, baffled.
„Talk. Talk to me. I want to hear your voice.”
She was silent, and he was about to demand that she speak when she said, „You don’t look well. Do you need a doctor?”
He found himself swaying. The words didn’t matter. It was her sound: low, soft, a quiet brushing in his ears. He felt as if here being stroked on the inside of his skin.
„More,” he said, twisting his palm around to the front of her neck so he could feel the vibrations in her throat better.
„Could you… could you please let go of me?”
„No.” He brought his other arm up. She was wearing some kind of fleece, and he moved the collar aside, putting his hand on her shoulder so she couldn’t get away from him. „Talk.”
She started to struggle. „You’re crowding me.”
„I know. Talk.”
„Oh for God’s sake, what do you want me to say?”
Even exasperated, her voice was beautiful. „Anything.”
„Fine. Get your hand off my throat and let me go or I’m going to knee you where it counts.”
He laughed. Then sank his lower body into her, trapping her with his thighs and hips. She stiffened against him, but he got an ample feel of her. She was built lean, though there was no doubt she was female. Her breasts hit his chest, her hips cushioned his, her stomach was soft.
„Keep talking,” he said in her ear. God, she smelled good. Clean. Fresh. Like lemon.
When she pushed against him, he leaned his full weight into her. Her breath came out in a rush.
„Please,” he murmured.
Her chest moved against his as if she were inhaling. „I… er, I have nothing to say. Except get off of me.”
He smiled, careful to keep his mouth closed. There was no sense showing off his fangs, especially if she didn’t know what he was. „So say that.”
„Nothing. Say nothing. Over and over and over again. Do it.”
She bristled, the scent of fear replaced by a sharp spice, like fresh, pungent mint from a garden. She was annoyed now. „Say it.”
“Fine. Nothing. Nothing.” Abruptly she laughed, and the sound shot right through to his spine, burning him. „Nothing, nothing. No-thing. No-thing. Noooooothing. There, is that good enough for you? Will you let me go now?”
What you just had is nothing compared to what I want to do to you. I want my head between your legs so I can lick you until you scream my name. Then I want to mount you like an animal and look into your eyes as I come inside you. And after that? I want to take you every way there is. I want to do you from behind. I want to screw you standing up, against the wall. I want you to sit on my hips and ride me until I can’t breath.
Although she was ashamed to admit it now, the darkness in him had been the largest part of his allure. It was such an anomaly, a contrast to what she’d known from life. It had made him dangerous. Exciting. Sexy. But that was a fantasy. This was real.
“How can you stand to have me near you? ”
“The only thing I can’t handle is your leaving.”
“Mary is…different to me. I’m not going to pretend I understand why. All I know is, she’s a pounding in my chest that I can’t ignore…hell, that I don’t want to ignore.”