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Lustful Torment [MultiFormat]
eBook by Annie Alvarez

eBook Category: Erotica/Gay-Lesbian Erotica/Romance
eBook Description: Is it not enough that I have put up with her blatant disobedience and have tolerated her abandonment to our way of living and our life together? As Matriarch of the Hightower Clan, I should take what rightfully belongs to me. No one would deny me that right, but I want more than just her body standing next to me. I want her heart and love to follow willingly. {Warning, contains BDSM/Bondage elements}

eBook Publisher: eXtasy eBooks, Published: eXtasy Books, 2010
Fictionwise Release Date: June 2010

Lustful Torment Annie Alvarez Erotica/Romance 2010 by Annie Alvarez First published in eXtasy Books, 2010 CONTROL: PUBLISHER="eXtasy eBooks" PUBURL=www.extasybooks.com COM:TOCSTART COM:TOCEND

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Is it not enough that I have put up with her blatant disobedience and have tolerated her abandonment to our way of living and our life together? As Matriarch of the Hightower Clan, I should take what rightfully belongs to me. No one would deny me that right, but I want more than just her body standing next to me. I want her heart and love to follow willingly.

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The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.

Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage the electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author's rights is appreciated.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Lustful Torment
Copyright (C) 2010 Annie Alvarez
ISBN: 978-1-55487-501-6
Cover art by Angela Waters

All rights reserved. Except for use in any review, the reproduction or utilization of this work in whole or in part in any form by any electronic, mechanical or other means, now known or hereafter invented, is forbidden without the written permission of the publisher.

Published by eXtasy Books
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Lustful Torment

Hightower Book Four
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Annie Alvarez
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To the woman who keeps me in a constant state of checkmate. I love you.

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Chapter One

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"She pleasures my wife again and yet, I let her live," I whispered to my new confidant as I scratched behind her ears. Lately, it had been Izzy's kitten, Zoe, that earned my trust. Even my best friend, Layla, had given me reason to doubt our friendship. Zoe, on the other hand, would visit with me every night. She curled up in my lap as I perched in the tree and watched Izzy's curtain-drawn house from across the street.

I had been careful to stay in the shadows, especially since I had yet to smell one of my own. Witches surrounded me and I knew they would overreact and place protective spells around the town if they found out I walked among them. Sometimes being a vampire was a bitch.

"How long are you going to sit there and watch her?" Layla shifted her weight on the branch closest to me.

I shrugged.

"You can't continue doing this, Tamara. It's insane."

I ignored her.

"You are the new Hightower Matriarch, such behavior is beneath you."

Zoe picked her head up and hissed at Layla.

I am Tamara Hightower and I was, until recently, the Enforcer for our clan. Not only did I take my role seriously, but it suited my cold, hard, uncaring nature. I delighted in bringing swift justice to my own kind when they disobeyed our clan laws. After a series of unfortunate events, I was forced to take my mother's matriarchal position. It was a position that required more than the brute strength and callousness I had so proudly mastered. A position that I felt I had not earned and had no right to claim.

My best friend, Layla, the Vampire Goddess, did not need to remind me of the dreaded events that took place in the last several months and of the sacrifices I had to continue to make.

It started when the Bruja Shamana and her vixen daughter, Celeste, attacked Izzy, my half-witch girlfriend and me. Celeste took a liking to me and her overactive hormones immediately clashed with Izzy's jealous human nature. Over time, this little spat between them steadily grew into a full-blown war, dragging my family into the midst of casualties.

My sister, Kaley, went mad after her girlfriend, Jules, injected her with a concoction Celeste had brewed. In her psychosis, she attacked Izzy, almost killing her. I fought Kaley off, but it was too late. Izzy was already dying in my arms. I had no choice but to sacrifice her humanity or lose her forever. Then Kaley played Houdini, disappearing shortly after our fight. Eventually, Izzy and I ended up getting married--vampire style--with all the other major clan members as witnesses. Unbeknownst to either of us, when we shared our blood in a ritual that would bind us forever, Celeste had once again spelled Izzy, and her blood poisoned me, bringing me back to life. Unfortunately, my dead organs could not keep up with the new demands of my body and in turn, it had slowly been killing me. While I lay dying, Izzy traveled to Texas, met the keeper, Abby, and formed a unique relationship. They found Kaley and returned her home where mother permanently laid her to rest.

Celeste used my weakened physical and mental state against me and gained my trust. I bought a yacht and took everyone to our private Island, where Celeste kidnapped me, taking me to New Orleans and held me prisoner so she could siphon my blood for her sadistic rituals. Again, Izzy came to my rescue with the help of Abby, the Goddess Aisha, the Mother Goddess and of course my good friend, the Vampire Goddess Layla. When we arrived back at the estate, my mother, the true Matriarch of our clan, willingly gave her life force to save me. Now, she will lie in stasis for the next fifty or sixty human years, recovering her exhausted energy, but will not have the strength to rule our clan for a few hundred years. Shortly after my fight with Layla, Izzy packed her things and Abby drove her down our driveway and out of my life. My mother would recuperate, but I had permanently lost my sister, Kaley, and most devastatingly of all, I'd lost Izzy.

It had been six long weeks since Izzy turned her back on our relationship and started a new life with Abby. I tracked the happy couple down to a dankly suburb in Connecticut and for three weeks, I, Matriarch of the Hightower Clan, perched on a tree branch across the street from their new home, watching and waiting for Izzy's blood-thirsty monster to rear its head.

The good news was Abby seemed to keep Izzy's thirst at bay by providing her own blood as sustenance. The bad news was that as a newborn vampire, Izzy needed to drink long and deep, far more than Abby's body could provide. It's inevitable that one day, her hunger would get the better of her and only the mental connection and the physical strength of a master would be able to control her. So, I sat and watched, hoping to divert disaster before it happened. Don't misunderstand. As Izzy's maker, I wouldn't lose a day's sleep if her lack of control took its toll on Abby, but it was my responsibility to keep her safe, even if it meant sparing Abby's life.

It was close to the Winter Solstice and Connecticut was cold, but that didn't bother me. The sleepy little town teamed with suppressed energy that built stronger as each night passed. It was enough that it made me edgy and that wasn't an easy thing to do. Luckily, Faelyn bumped up against New York and Massachusetts so it was only a quick run into the city to visit one of Kaley's Donor Centers, or find an unsuspecting donor to calm my jittery nerves. Either would do for me. I'm not picky about feeding, but I do draw the line on Demons. It takes weeks to get the retched taste out of my mouth.

I heard the branch Layla was standing on creak. I smiled and turned to her. "You are a goddess, and yet, you stand on a limb that cannot hold your weight."

"This is not about me." She stepped onto a thicker branch. "This is about you maintaining order in your clan. You've sat here night after night, indulging in self-pity, watching what you once had instead of reassuring your clan that your strong hand will continue to protect them. "

"They are vampires," I said, stretching my leg off the branch and casually swinging it. "They should take care of themselves."

Layla firmly grabbed the limb above her and swung her body close to me. "Need I remind you that you are only as powerful as your clan? If you continue to lose members, you will have failed your mother as well." She paused. "Look." She pointed across the street. "In the three weeks you have been perched here, she hasn't noticed you because she's moved on with her life, as should you."

Layla was right. Yesterday, their neighborhood was a typical foliage-covered, standard-looking suburb, and tonight...it glimmered with shiny, white Christmas lights and solstice wreaths cleverly hung from trees. Their house was no exception. They were preparing for the Winter Solstice. Layla had an incredible knack for making a point and this one stung. I already felt as though I failed Izzy and now for a little extra spice, she added mother to my already simmering pot of failure. Maybe she had been right. What I needed was a good fight to get my head and my new priorities screwed on straight.

"Very well. Where shall I make my appearance tonight?"

A smile curled on her lips. Layla wasn't good at hiding her small victories, either. "A small clan has challenged the Hightower hold in New York. A rash of riots the police are calling gang related are plaguing the city." She emphasized the term gang related. "You have already lost several loyal members. I suggest that you squelch this territory war quickly. It will not only save the rest of your clan there, but also increase its size."

"I see," I mumbled unenthusiastically, knowing that this was only a small part of Layla's bigger plans. "How many have I lost and how many will you gain by this?"

Layla was and will always be about what benefits her, and while it's true that all vampires were a part of her, as heads of clan, we influenced whom our clan worshiped. As Layla's numbers dwindled, so did her powers. She was constantly looking to increase her flock. Personally, I didn't care who my people devoted themselves to as long as they didn't push their beliefs on others and recognized me as their primary source of life and death. If they didn't, I quickly offered a permanent remedy for their confusion. There was no point in having vampires who believed in some half-baked god or goddess's stupid ideas. Layla seemed calmer and far more intelligent than some of the other deities, so I ignored her sales pitch when she approached my newest clan members.

A sinister grin broke across her face as she laughed. "You do know me well don't you, my friend."

"I know you well enough. How many?"

Her laugh came to an abrupt end. "Forty-two were lost in the last three weeks, and we'll gain two hundred."

I raised a questioning brow.

She made a tisk, tisk sound then exhaled, correcting herself. "You'll gain two hundred...there, does that make you feel better?"

The situation was indeed serious. Forty-two vampires were a lot to lose in three weeks. If I intend on keeping my family together, I'd better make an example of this renegade clan so, that other clans would think differently about challenging my territories.

"Who challenged me?" I rolled my eyes because I had yet to encounter an opponent whose battle skills rivaled mine. Mediocrity just takes the fun out of fighting.

"His name is Alexander. He is a youngling, barely under three hundred, but he is hungry for power and cares not how it gets it. He forcibly takes pleasure from the human females while he makes their mates watch, then changes them against their will."

I couldn't believe what I had heard. The mere thought that I had let him wander my streets all this time put me in a worse mood. The transformation is difficult enough, it's too easy to lose one's compassion and turn into a monster, but when it's done in a violent manner, it's guaranteed you'd create a cold-blooded killer. Hell, it wasn't easy for me to turn Izzy. I struggled with the probability that the change would affect her in ways I hadn't even thought possible. Everyone reacts differently to it. Some fair okay while others lose their minds, you never can tell. Even after hundreds of years, I still struggled about bringing someone over. What Alexander was doing was barbaric.

"Come with me," Layla suggested as she extended her hand.

She would transport me there goddess style, riding through the rips of current between this human world and her goddess world, which usually consisted of me leaving my stomach behind.

Zoe who had fallen asleep in my lap after hissing at Layla, jumped up and scrambled out of the tree, hissing again.

"Is it really necessary?"

"Yes, many more will die tonight if you don't intervene," she said.

I hesitated putting my hand in hers, but she didn't give me the chance to protest as she grabbed it and said, "Close your eyes."

I smelled the ionic tinge that only traveling between worlds held. I felt dizzy, lightheaded and nauseous all at once. My skin crawled with a tingle of electrical charge as I tightened my grip on her hand and heard her laugh. The last time I had let her transport me, I made the stupid mistake of watching. One minute, I was at home and within seconds, we were standing on top of a mountain with a goat herder yelling at us for scaring his animals. It took several hours for my mind to recover from the disorientation. It was a lot easier if I didn't watch a new place materialize.

"You can open your eyes, now." Layla chuckled, and released my hand. "I have put you two blocks away from Alexander. Now, it is up to you."

The smells were the first to hit me--rotting garbage, exhaust, anger, pheromones, vampmones and fear. Then I heard the overwhelming sounds of cars honking and people yelling. I slowly opened my eyes, giving my mind time to catch up with my new surroundings. We were on a rooftop. The skyline of tall buildings illuminated the night where stars should have been. Damp laundry strung across poles, hung still in the heavy air and graffiti covered every inch of the rooftop access.

"Go that way to find him." Layla pointed north. "I will return you to your comfy perch when you are done here." She stepped off the rooftop and disappeared into the night.

For a moment, I stood there and took in the human pollution that had overrun this city. New York used to be my favorite place to visit back before the invention of cars, when horse and carriage were still a reliable way of transportation. When locking your doors at night was unnecessary and people took pride in keeping their city streets clean. A time when your neighbors delivered homemade meals to your house, welcoming you to the neighborhood and everyone was your friend. New York had been a peaceful place until the religious rejects or as history books called them, the colonist, outnumbered the good folk that lived here, but those days are long past. New York had changed, and I didn't miss it or what it offered.

A woman's terror-filled scream brought me back to the dismal reality of where I stood. Her unspoken words sang to me in a sweet melody of panic that enticed my hunger. The same kind of panic I've instilled on the despicable scumbags I've fed from when the need to hunt for my food overwhelmed me. I knew that I could visit any one of Kaley's Donor centers, and feed off the willing, but I still enjoyed a good chase. I may be a bit more refined, but I was still a predator after all. The panicked, ear-piercing scream that announced her worst fears had materialized, echoed through me, sending shivers down my spine, exciting me.

I started running and then took flight from one rooftop to another as I followed the agonizing cries that called to me in a sweet seduction. Reprieve came as I soared through the air letting the wind hit my face before I landed on another rooftop and took flight again. It's not that I actually defied gravity when I flew. I still needed to land and get adequate footing underneath me to take me into to the air again, but I could also jump far enough to give the illusion of flying.

The woman's loud shrieks turned to a muffled cry barely audible to a human's ear, but I heard her plead and beg for her god to save her from the demons that surrounded her. I would have bet that it wasn't demons, but rather my own kind that had found her.

I landed on the rooftop next to the alley and scoping it out I saw two vampires huddled over a woman's body lying on the dirty pavement. The fresh smell of blood hovered in the air and sat on the back of my throat enticing my thirst. I couldn't help licking my lips in anticipation.

She moaned and struggled to get on her feet as the taller of the men kicked her in the side, heaving her onto several large garbage bags. Then both men laughed while unzipping their pants. I stepped off the ledge, letting gravity take me down the fifteen stories of the Building, and landed in a crouching position ten feet from the vampires. Hitting the ground from that height always rattles my insides. It took me a few seconds to let things settle back in place...a few seconds I knew that the defenseless woman didn't have.

"Oh, boys," I called, still crouched with my chin tucked into my chest.

"Well, well." I heard one of the men's enthusiasm spike. "Now we each get a girl."

I stayed as still as death as I heard a slow, limping gait approach me.

"Please..." the woman begged.

I heard a slap, then silence. Hiding the exhilaration that my predator would play tonight, I smiled.

He was close. I smelled his musk, but I wanted him closer.

Wait...just a little longer I told myself as his bloody construction boots came into view. Eagerness swarmed under my skin, but I held my stance. I didn't even flinch when he grabbed my leather jacket and raised me to my feet, slowly bringing his dirty, ripped jeans and flannel shirt into sight.

I disregarded the blood stained clothing--we all make mistakes--but the closer I got to his face, the harder it was to ignore his breath. Most new vampires didn't realize that brushing after feeding is a good thing to place on the top of their priority list. Alexander obviously hadn't been teaching his fledglings the importance of good hygiene.

As his eyes met my fully extended fangs and aqua blue eyes, his face went blank. He quickly released me and dropped to his knees. I didn't always have blue eyes. My true color is an emerald green, but they've changed since I became a Matriarch.

"Come on, Pete," the other man cried out as he continued to fumble with the woman's clothing. "Get her over here, man. I thought we were doing this together."

Looking down at Pete, I placed a finger over my lips, silencing him. I grabbed his shirt and dragged him behind me as I headed to meet his overly enthusiastic friend.

"Put that thing back in your pants," I demanded as I clutched onto the back of his neck.

"What the..."

"You heard me." I tightened my grip. I would have had a harder time killing one of my own without first punishing them, but he didn't smell of my blood. "You are not of the Hightower clan or you would not be so stupid as to break our laws."




"They belong to me," a man's voice called from behind.

Pete and his partner, wiggled in my grasp. I released my hold and watched as they scurried behind a tall, thin man wearing a silk, double-breasted, red paisley waistcoat, a black pair of gloves and a black frock coat that hung right above his knees. His tight, flat front, black striped trousers sat high on his waist and bulged at his groin. He was a step back into the Victorian age, complete with a black velvet top hat and a fancy bone handle cane. This was going to interesting.

"You must be Alexander." I hissed through taut lips.

"I am," he said as he casually strolled toward me. "You must be, wait--" He stopped, raised a finger and smiled. "Another messenger from the Hightowers. Such a pity." He shook his head. "That they have sent someone as beautiful as you to do their dirty work. Tell me, how many must we kill before your Mistress accepts that we have laid claim to New York?"

Alexander freely admitted to violating one of our most sacred codes--you cannot harm a member of a clan when they are acting as a messenger between two rivaling houses in an attempt to diffuse an impending war. Our last notable war lasted ten years, ending in 1802 with the Treaty of Antoinette. The surviving vampiric houses grouped together to form a ruling body of thirteen members, known as the Senate, to enforce our new code of ethics. Hard to believe that the French Revolutionary War, which claimed thousands of human and vampire lives, started as a vampiric misunderstanding. Layla was right. This had gone on far too long. When my mother passed me the role of the Hightower Matriarch, she also passed upon me the title of an automatic Senate member, and now it was my responsibility to enforce the Senate's laws.

Growing angrier by the moment, I stared at Alexander. He stretched his arms out to his sides, portraying himself bigger than he truly was.

"Will you worship me and beg for mercy?" He cupped his hands over the cane's handle, using it to support his weight and leaned forward. "Or whimper as the others did?"

He had lost his mind and I had lost my patience. "I am not a messenger," I shot back, lunging toward him, connecting a well-placed jab against his jaw, knocking him to the ground. I stood over him growling. "I am the message."

He leapt to his feet, taking a martial art stance, and motioned his lackeys to surround me. I shook my head at his stupidity. He would not be the first or the last, to underestimate the strength of my linage.

"No one touches God without his permission," he spewed, spitting out blood at the same time.

I raised a questioning brow. He was suffering from what we have come to know as mad-mind disease of which, there is no cure. If we did not exercise our mind and continually learn new things, after time, we developed ideas of grandeur and lost touch with reality as it truly is. We were not smart because we were born that way. We were smart because it kept us sane.

His underlings slowly began to close the circle around me, then one of them got antsy and rushed me from behind. The moment before contact, I turned and helped push him past me--untouched. Another one also rushed me from behind, only this time he came low, and I jumped to avoid their grasp. Again untouched.

"You send children to do your dirty work. Are we going to play or fight?" I egged Alexander, but incited his cronies instead.

The woman closest to me, hissed and stepped into a roundhouse kick, throwing her full weight behind her as she swung her leg. I went low, kicking and contacting with her other leg. Her knee caved in and she fell to the ground screaming.

I felt a punch to the ribs. Damn that hurt. I turned, he swung, I blocked. Another jab from behind. Shit! I had lost my balance--no, I didn't. My feet had been pulled out from under me. I fell into a huddle of punches and kicks. Enough with being Miss Nice. I mustered my strength and stood, throwing Alexander's followers off me. I wasn't the callous monster that preceded my Executioner reputation. In fact, for the last hundred years, I'd only extinguished vampires that merited death, and I was quick about it, not slow and devious. I reached behind my back and pulled two silver daggers from their sheath. Only the older vampires knew that wood replaced silver because of its availability and price. Everyone had a nearby tree with a branch strong enough to whittle into a stake. At one point, being staked by wood was an insult. It meant the noble class had stopped hunting us.

I knew of men like Alexander. He would continue to hide behind any standing henchmen and his cowardice grated my nerves. Their seven to my one was barely a fair fight. They should have prayed for the kindness of the gods.

A younger vampire careened toward me. He couldn't have been more than eighteen human years old. I reached out, grabbing his arm and spun him tightly against my front, driving my dagger deep into his heart. The poor kid never saw it coming. Six to go.

I circled, motioning at each one to come for me. An older woman rushed me and learning from the kid's mistake, she kept her hands close as she leapt in the air, bringing her fist down toward my head. I scooted under the arched frame, thrusting my arm up and plunged my dagger into her heart while she was still air borne. This was too easy. I couldn't help but wonder if they had learned to fight watching old Bruce Lee movies. Five to go, then, Alexander.

As the five remaining jumped me, I felt a slight twinge of excitement. Perhaps I would get a decent workout after all. I centered my point of gravity and spun into a roundhouse kick while slamming my dagger into a woman's chest. My boot hit its target, but only enough to send him stumbling back a few steps. The woman fell backward taking my knife with her as she exploded into ashes. Four left.

I heard a slicing sound with a drag behind it. It took me only a moment to identify the sound from days past. Shit! An arrow had been unleashed. Not knowing which direction it headed in, my reflexes threw me into the center of the chaos, using the vampires around me as a shield. I'm not fond of arrows--lost too many friends to the retched, medieval contraptions. I kept low and scanned the air for the flying death trap. The man hovering above me suddenly went still and then burst into ashes. Damn that was too close!

The three remaining vampires scrambled to rush out of the alley, but the arrows sliced through the air quicker than they could find an escape.

Getting out of the open view, I approached Alexander, who had hidden behind one of the large dumpsters. He squatted against the brick wall and the steel can. He had lost his velvet top hat revealing a large bald spot, but acquired an arrow in his right leg and his trousers weren't the only thing soaked in blood. His bloody tears had etched a trail down his face. He raised his head and locked his gaze on me. "Please, get me out of here alive, and I'll give you whatever you want."

I snickered, taking pleasure in seeing him paralyzed with fear. In the end, fear would do that--it would kill you, if I didn't get to you first. "You dare call yourself a god?" I grabbed him by the collar and swung him into the open alley watching him scramble for cover. Stepping out behind him, I proclaimed, "What I want is your heart."

He struggled with his right leg to get on his feet, but once he had gotten his balance, he quickly hobbled away as he continuously looked over his shoulder. Effortlessly, I caught up with him, tripping him on his staggered steps. I grabbed his neck, raising him up, beyond his tiptoes.

"You can't kill me," he yelled. "Without me, my clan will attack this city!"

The thought of swiftly killing him crossed my mind, but Layla wanted me to unify our clan and the only way to do that was to drink the blood directly from his heart. It was barbaric, and messy, but a necessary thing to do to merge our rivaling kin.

"Your clan will belong to me, Tamara, Matriarch of the Hightowers."

Alexander must have known what the ritual entailed because his eyes went wide and his mouth opened as he started struggling to get out of my grasp. Without a moment's hesitation, I drove my right hand into his chest, wrapping my fingers around his heart and yanked it free. As I pulled his heart out, he burst into ashes. I stared at his black heart, and then brought it up to my mouth. Vampire or not, I believed the act was barbaric, but I bit into it. His blood ran down my throat, establishing the connection with my new members. Before this was over, they would know me as well as I knew them.

Memories flooded my mind as the bond between master and servant took. Layla had lied about the number of Alexander's followers. Two hundred were adults in their late twenties and two hundred and thirty were in their late teens. My clan size just increased to over thirty-two hundred, which by senate law meant I had to divide my territories into more manageable sectors and put a ruling body in each. That didn't bother me, the part I dreaded the most was dealing with the teenagers. They were obstinate in human form, and worse as vampires.

I didn't know how to deal with teenage sniveling, whining and complaining except to put distance between us, but as their master, it was my responsibility to teach them about their newfound hunger and powers. They would need to be taught everything, of which I didn't have the desire or the patience. As I contemplated shirking off my obligations and sending the lot of them to boarding school, I had the idea of starting my own live in school. They would still be under my watchful eye and therefore, the Senate couldn't accuse me of neglecting my wards. I'd get Stacia working on it as soon as possible.

The sound of another arrow cutting through the air caught my attention. I glanced up in time to catch the shaft right before it lodged itself into my chest and then felt a sharp burning pain run through my left thigh. Damn! I hadn't seen the second arrow and from the way my leg burned, I knew it had been a silver tip that had sliced me open. Thankfully, it only grazed my thigh as it whizzed by. As it stood, I would end up with a slight case of silver poisoning. It would hurt, but if I fed soon, the wound would heal in a day or two.

Had the tip embedded into me, I could have ended up with severe poisoning that would put me down for days, if it didn't kill me. I scanned the rooftops until I caught sight of a figure quickly moving away from a ledge. I jumped clearing the twelve floors, and landed on the roof with such impact that the knee on my injured leg, buckled. I faced a woman about five foot seven, wearing a tight pair of black leather pants with a matching black leather top, black combat boots and a custom built, double action crossbow pointed straight at my heart. Her long red hair draped over her shoulders, cascading onto her full size breasts.

She smiled. "Well, it's about time I got your attention," she said, not lowering her weapon.

"My fight was not with you until now." With my left leg aching, I leaned on my good leg feeling my pants stick to my skin. I knew my wound was bleeding and the longer I went without feeding, the more it hurt. The burning I felt could have easily compared with dropping molten lava on my thigh.

"I needed to get your attention," she repeated and then added. "The sun is coming up soon, you need to get inside. Follow me."

Without hesitation, she took off running, scaling the rooftops, and I took off after her. I had no idea where she was leading me, but decided to follow her any way. Wherever it was, it gave me the chance to find out more about my mysterious archer. She ran, hopped and leapt for five city blocks, then climbed down the side of an old church. She stood patiently waiting for me at the door as I painfully trailed behind. I jumped off the rooftop to meet her at the church doors. As I landed on my feet, my leg buckled from the pain that jolted through me. It took everything I had to keep upright and from falling to the ground. I stood frozen in pain, something I had not experienced in over fifty human years.

"Come on," her voice commanded from inside the church. "The sun won't wait for you. It's unsanctified. You can come in."

I tested her theory by slowly putting one foot across the threshold and true to her word, I gained access. The last time I was in a place of worship was two centuries ago when I followed one of Mila's killers inside a catholic church. I had persuaded the priest to invite me in. When I finally left the next evening, I had strung up one of the murderer's body next to the crucified statue they adorned, unsanctifying their holy grounds.

The only difference was that this church already carried the smell of old, stale blood, mold and pain when I first walked into it. Something as horrific as my last churchly encounter must have happened here in order to leave such a strong imprint behind. Lingering sentiments usually vanished within a couple of months, but from the cobwebs, the pigeons and rats that made their homes in the ornate statues and pews, I'd had guessed the building had been abandoned for a few years, at least.

The smell of death and pain snapped at my senses as I followed her down the center of the large pews and down an abandoned staircase. At the end of the hallway, there hung a large wooden door. With it being so close to dawn, my strength was diminishing, and I couldn't afford to take any chances. I leaned against the doorframe with my knife in hand, and I poked my head in.

"You'll be safe in here for now." The mysterious woman struck a match, lighting candles in the smaller, meagerly decorated room. It was a far cry from the massive hall with all the stained glass windows, but it provided safety from the sunlight, a cot, a table, a couple of chairs and some dusty boxes. The large wooden door was the only way in and out, and from my viewpoint, that was extra security.

"The cot isn't very comfortable--ouch." She flicked the match out of her fingers and then stuck her finger in her mouth. "It's yours if you want it," she offered while sucking on her fingertip.

"Why bring me here?" I limped toward the cot, feeling the pull of the sun. This wasn't the smartest thing I'd done, but I didn't have time to find another place to spend the daylight hours. I could always kill her, I reasoned, thereby insuring that I would be safe, but something scratched at my instincts to trust her.

"I'm Joan, a mutual friend told me you needed help, tonight." Lighting the last candle, she placed it on the table and sat in one of the rickety chairs, while she watched me fight against the sun's pull.

"Oh, sorry. I confused you shooting me with a silver arrow as trying to kill me," I mocked with unrestrained sarcasm. As the sun pushed darkness into me, I dropped onto the cot, closed my eyes and hoped for the best.

Sleep well. Layla watches over you, were the last words I heard before nothingness filled me.

* * * *

Chapter Two

* * * *

I woke with the taste of blood in my mouth, sat straight up in the cot, and checked out my surroundings. Joan sat at the table watching me. I was grateful she hadn't staked me during the day and left me for really dead. I then settled back down.

"For someone who dies during the day, you sure do talk a lot in your sleep."

"That's news to me," I replied, settling back on the cot and rubbing my injured leg. I felt skin, my skin. I was naked except for the hot pink Scooby-Do boxers that blindly clashed against my pale skin and the tight gauze wrapped around my thigh. "Why was I undressed?" I sneered, agitation filling me.

Joan snickered. "The boxers were Layla's doing." She leaned in the chair, resting it on its two back legs. "I patched you up and fed you some of my blood. Your wound is healing nicely, thanks to me."

"I would not have a wound to worry about, if not for you." I rubbed my sore thigh. Her blood helped, but it wasn't enough to repair the damage from the silver. That would take several days or a good healthy feeding to fix quickly.

Joan sighed, dropped the chair on all four legs and stood. "I need your help," she said, pacing in front of me. "Someone or something has been killing people in my city."

"Good god, woman. First you shoot me, and now you want my help?" I sat up in the cot, showing my bare chest. Joan's mouth dropped open. "Why should I help you?"

With her gaze focused on my breasts, she replied, "Because I'm asking nicely."

"Well, that settles it. Let me get dressed and I'll go kill your boogeyman," I chided her as I lay back down.

Joan kicked the foot of the makeshift bed. "This may have something to do with your girl, Celeste. Aren't you even curious?"

I closed my eyes and concentrated on letting my body regain its strength. Unlike what you read in novels, we were not at a hundred percent when we first rose. I finally answered her query. "Unless you know where to find her, so I can kill her, then no, I'm not interested."

She kicked the cot again. "Can I change your mind?"

Her tenacity was reminding me of Izzy, again. There isn't an hour that goes by that I didn't think of my wife. I sat up. We were not only weakened when we rose, but we were extremely short on patience. "No," I slid out of the hot pink boxers. "I need to feed." I grabbed my torn pants, but before I could step into them, Joan ran her hand over my thigh. Placing her hands on my shoulders, she pushed me back down on the cot.

"You've bled a little. I should put clean bandages on you before you get dressed. It'll only take a minute." She leaned over and pulled the first aid kit from the table, then knelt in front of me, caressing her hand along my leg as she slowly peeled back the layers of bloody gauze. I thought nothing of it until her hand inched up my thigh.

I took her hand in mine. "This is not something you want to start," I warned.

She smiled as she pulled her hand out of mine and pressed soft kisses along my thigh until she was within reach of my curly hair. She raised her face and fluttered her long, red lashes, and a sheepish smile extended from her lips. "I thought about this all day while I watched you sleep. I'm obsessed with tasting you." Her lips continued to lay gentle kisses on my skin, while her tongue glided a teasing path to my sexual essence.

Although, I couldn't shake the connection between Izzy and me, for the last six weeks, I have felt the emptiness of her touch grow inside. I had abandoned sex, even when feeding. Perhaps, Layla was right. I had allowed myself to wallow in self-pity far too long. I leaned back letting the wall hold me in a semi upright position while spreading my legs further apart as Joan's tongue parted my lips and her warm breath stimulated life back into my neglected core. Each flick of her tongue fueled a new level of primal desire. A desire--not demanding release--but demanding the possession of what belonged to me. In my world, Izzy was rightfully mine to do with as I pleased. As if knowing my attention wasn't fully hers, Joan slid two fingers deep inside my emptiness, filling me with a fervor that encouraged my mind to forsake the thoughts of Izzy and submit to the carnal pleasures she offered. Her tongue stimulated my aroused state as I gripped her hair and moved her face to a place of my choosing. If she was going to do this, then she may as well do it right. My body warmed, feeling as if I had just fed and the air around us crackled with power, but I thought nothing of it. Whatever Joan was, it paled in comparison to my own abilities. I would let her play with her magic, until I thought better of it.

She pulled her head back and stared at me with wide eyes. "May I touch myself?"

With her head still in my grasp, I pressed my groin to her face and slid my pussy against her mouth. "Yes," I answered, and she slid her hand into her pants, moaning.

Joan had played on my need for dominance, and she had done it well. That's right, I thought. I am the Master.

And I command your pleasures, Izzy's voice screamed in my head.

Hello, my love, I answered, knowing she would hear me.

Why are you doing this? her words bit with sharpness.

Is it not enough to know that I have listened to your cries of passion, knowing someone else satisfied you? Have I hurt you so badly that you would also deny me my pleasures as well? I had heard every moan, every groan, and every thought that crossed her mind while Abby fueled her desires. She had done little to shield her thoughts from me and had done even less to sever our mental connection.

Noticing that Joan's lapping intensity grew as she massaged herself quicker, I barked, "Do not come, yet."

She slowed her pace and I allowed her to work her tongue around my swollen lips and stiff nub while occasionally teasing my opening. Still clutching a handful of hair, I pulled her up along my body until we were at eye level, and then forcibly yanked her head back. She yelped as I held her by the hair, exposing her neck and throbbing artery.

"Remove your clothes!"

For a moment, our gaze locked on each other. Her eyes were hardened slits and her breathing changed to slow, shallow breaths. My brows pinched and my lips tightened. I was in no mood to repeat myself. Her anger danced between us, swelling the air with more excitement. As she undid her zipper, I released my grip and watched her scoot out of her pants, letting them drop to the floor. She was indeed tan, toned, and a natural redhead.

I smiled. "Now the shirt!"

She pulled the shirt over her head, revealing hard nipples pushing against a white lace bra, and a full, flawless cleavage.

"That, too," I ordered, pointing at her bra. "I want you naked."

Will you please stop? I really don't want to hear this. Izzy's forced words rang in my head.

If you don't like what you're hearing, ignore it, but I will not stop.

You're a bitch! she yelled.

I smiled because she was wrong. I hadn't been a bitch, yet, but now that I knew how to get her attention, I would diligently work at fulfilling my new title.

Without the bra, Joan's breasts held their full, perky form and her nipples grew hard in the chilly air.

"Fuck yourself," I ordered.

She threw me a sideways glance than slowly caressed her hand down her flat stomach. "I would prefer to taste you again," she said as she curled a strand of red pubic hair in her fingers.

"I'll be the one tasting you tonight," I coldly replied.

Her fingers disappeared inside her, and she began to moan. Her excitement permeated the air, calling on my own desires. I stood, holding her tightly in my arms as I moved her hand onto my groin and slowly rubbed against her. Her fingers slid inside me, filling my loneliness as she teasingly bit my neck. Obeying her commanding presence, wetness escaped me.

Fingers still inside me, she led me forward and in one swift motion, cleared the table, and laid with her legs spread open as she gently rubbed my stiff nub.

"I want to feel you inside me when you drink."

I leaned closer, our pubic hair now touching and slid two fingers inside her. "We cum together!" It wasn't a suggestion.

"As...you...wish," she whispered, in labored breaths.

I rammed my fingers deeper inside her tightness. Her back arched, but she never faltered in stimulating me. Her muscles tightened around my fingers as she threw her head back against the table. "I'm going to cum," she cried out.

I lowered my fangs and bit deep into her neck. The first drop of blood threw me over the edge. My body stiffened, and my senses dulled as my orgasm successfully claimed my neglected spirit filling it with a burning passion.

She dug her nails deep into my shoulder, squirming underneath me, and wailing.

Feeling better? Can I get back to work, now? Izzy's voice broke through the moment.

I licked Joan's wound, watched it close and silently thanked the heaven's Izzy reached out to me.

I haven't stopped you.

You know I can hear you. I can't focus on work when you're screaming a bloody orgasm in my head! Izzy snapped.

Really? I had no idea, I lied.

You're only doing this to get on my nerves! she accused.

Joan pressed her lips against mine and caressed my back. "That was wonderful. I'm yours anytime you want to do that again," she offered.

Oh that's just great, Izzy sounded exasperated. Now you're going to fuck her all the time.

"Oh, I think I will," I answered both women.

Over the years, Kaley had bought property in key locations, and not just in New York, but everywhere our family's hand ruled. She paid a witch to set up psychic homing beacons for each house so that, if need be, all within our clan could find a safe haven for a night or two. In this case, I wasn't seeking shelter. I was looking forward to taking a hot shower and getting into some clean clothes.

Refusing to let me out of her sight, Joan drove me to one of the Hightower Station Houses, which was a feat all in itself. All I had was an internal homing beacon that led me there, and with a plethora of pointing, followed by turn here's, we were on our way.

I sent my thoughts out to Jazlyn, who's now the oldest and the most trusted servant I had, not to mention a great bedtime companion. She was to meet me at the House with a set of clean clothes and dinner for our guest, Joan. I had the feeling that Joan wasn't going anywhere, any time soon, but most importantly, it was the polite thing to do after the healthy feeding she provided.

As Joan pointed out, my lack of proper pointing skills compounded the stress of the horrendous stop-and-go traffic. By the time we were in the correct neighborhood, she had been mumbling obscenities under her breath. The area wasn't the rich section of town I had been used to in previous visits, but it was well maintained. Everyone's lawn looked perfectly kept, and the houses all seemed to blend together--same lawns, same basic style and almost the same color splashed on the outside of their homes. I only hoped that I would get used to the sound of the ferryboats engines and train's horns polluting the night air simultaneously. When we finally turned onto the right street, Joan was uttering something about what I could do with a flea-ridden werewolf.

"For the record," I informed her, "I'm not a directionally challenged vampire, and I would never do that with a dog."

"I said wolf, not dog," she snapped.

"Same difference, dog or wolf, it's still insulting. You're the one who's had trouble following my direc--stop!" I shouted while pointing to my right. "That's it. That's the house."

"Which one?" She slammed on the brakes, bringing the car to a squealing stop. "They all look alike!" She raised her brows, stared at me impatiently and then added, "See, that's what I'm talking about. You could have mentioned we were close a couple of houses down!"

Before she shifted the gears into park, Jaz opened my door, and greeted me in the usual exposing-her-neck custom.

"It is good to see you again, Jaz," I said, getting out of the car. I then turned my attention to Joan, who had started rummaging through the trunk's contents.

"Ah huh!" she mumbled, and turned toward me holding a mini version of her double action crossbow.

Jaz hastily jumped between us, put herself in the direct line of the crossbow and then hissed at Joan. I placed my hand on Jaz's shoulder and gently moved her aside. "There is no need for that," I explained. "Joan was merely showing me a prized procession."

Jaz immediately relaxed, but Joan cocked her head at me.

"You are my guest, and you'll be safe for as long as you decide to stay." I approached Joan, placing my hand on the tip of the crossbow. "Jaz will see to that."

"Of course, my lady," Jaz replied, and rushed into the House.

Joan raised a questioning brow and laid the weapon back into its case, then slammed the truck shut.

"I hope you're right," she said, as she joined me on the sidewalk with a perplexed look on her face. Taking a deep breath, she exhaled slowly and looked up at the house. "Does she always dress like that?"

I was so used to Jaz's style that the low cut shirts revealing her stomach and flowy tie-dyed skirts didn't faze me anymore. I had to admit that as Jaz's fashion changed, it had been difficult for me to accept her new look. Her pitch black, short hair clashed against her pale white complexion, but in our world, it made her look regal. My issue rose when she refused to leave the sixties behind and added a kaleidoscope of colors to her outfits. Now, she just looked odd.

I chuckled. "Yes, she is rather eccentric." Sensing turmoil coming from inside the three-story house, I shook my head. "Shall we see what my children are up to?" I asked as I held out my hand.

"Be aware, that if any of them gets out of line," she said, then smirked while placing her hand in mine. "I will kill them."

I smiled. "Not if I get to them first."

Joan's interesting character had certainly commanded my attention. It gave me a temporary retrieve from Izzy, and the drama that had built between us. I wouldn't be surprised if she tried to sever the mental connection we had soon.

The house was quiet as I opened the door and stepped into the large foyer. We both looked at each other with puzzled looks on our faces. Then Joan simply shrugged. "Remember what I told you."

Custom dictated that you welcome a Master or Mistress and the oddity was that no one came to meet me.

"Yes, yes. I remember. No one will hurt you here. You have my word," I pledged as I entered the large, open living room. A 60-inch plasma television hung on the wall to our right. A black, sleek sectional and a chaise lounge sat in front of a massive wood-burning fireplace. The decor had Kaley's name written all over it. It was minimalist, but classy. It was the first time I had truly missed my sister.

From where I stood, the kitchen seemed picture perfect. Bright, new, stainless steel appliances occupied space with their large, yellow, price stickers still attached. I doubted anything except the refrigerator and the microwave had been used.

I paid close attention to any sounds and heard nothing, which wasn't surprising since vampires don't breathe, but this, was indeed peculiar. I took a deep breath, inhaling the smells, but found nothing out of the ordinary. No blood, no fear, no live humans or dead ones for that matter, just vampires and the dewy morning scent that Joan carried.

Joan shrugged again. I turned to investigate more of the first floor and heard a thump from upstairs. It sounded like someone hit the floor--hard.

I ran upstairs and threw open the bedroom door to find the house occupants holding down a newly turned vampire, compliments of Alexander before he died. As soon as I stepped into the room, I raised a brow at the two naked women and swept everyone's mind, forcing them to their knees. I knew the poor bastard had no idea why he had knelt in my presence in the first place and why he couldn't move now. Mental control of my fledglings had been my first lesson as a Master. It wasn't something that I used frequently anymore, but I was still proficient at it. During my quick brush with their minds, I knew everything I needed to know.

The new fledgling's name was Rick. A forty-three-year-old maintenance worker, turned four nights ago. He unexpectedly ran into Alexander and his cronies while they fed. His reward was to become a vampire and now, he faced the very real probability of not surviving a fifth night as one of us. The hunger had raged for too long in his body. Brian, a seventy-eight year old vampire with the body of a nineteen-year-old, held Rick's right arm.

The person holding Rick's left arm, Daniel, was born, raised and turned in New York at the beginning of the twentieth century and couldn't bring himself to leave the city he loved so much. Alice, Kimberly, Mandy and Vanessa, formed a tight circle around him, ready to contain his movements in case he got away.

Raised in the country, Alice was turned on her first visit to California over forty years ago. She met Vanessa and now flirted with the idea of a stable relationship.

Vanessa, on the other hand, had a dark past. She was the proverbial troublemaker, hunting whenever, and wherever she chose. She had to conform to the Hightower rules quickly since my mother was the only Matriarch left that granted her access into our territory.

Mandy had her thoughts privately tucked away from everyone's prying mind, except mine. Tall, tan, shy and homey was the only impression I had gotten from her.

Kimberly was a different story, indeed. Just short of 400 years old, she had not yet earned the trust to train for a Mistress position. Her anger fueled her immediate need to react, flying off the handle frequently. She had made an example of everyone who crossed her. She was physically strong, loyally dedicated and emotionally cold. If she had managed to get her anger under control, she would have made a great Mistress.

Jaz, the oldest, led the group, trying to regain control of the unruly vampire.

"Forgive us, my lady." Jaz bowed her head while she rested her weight on one knee. "He showed up a little while ago. We couldn't throw him to the street in his condition."

She was right. The hunger had already taken a toll on his body. His features were sunken, skin taut against his bones. His eyes had a wild, untamed look as he fluttered his gaze around the room, then locked on Joan. His jaw tightened and his lips parted as he tried to jump toward her. Joan took a step behind me. "Uh huh," she mumbled. "I knew it was a bad idea to leave it in the trunk," she whispered, not that it mattered in a room full of vampires.

One of the benefits of being a vampire is that words are rarely needed. I tapped into Jaz's mind and showed her my ideas for the new teen-vamps I had acquired. The Hightower's Private Academy for Wayward Teens would house, teach and protect the youngest members of our family. Then I showed her the council requirements for my territories.

"Call the center and have them send a couple of donors, then call Stacia," I said as I released Jaz from my hold. "Tell her to make proper arrangements for my territories and for our youngest members. I entrust you to find them and take them to their new home, unharmed."

Jaz rose to her feet and Rick flinched, trying desperately to break free of his bonds. Joan gasped and took a step toward me, clasping her hands around my waist. I knew the vampire would not move. I was confident in my abilities, but--I didn't mind Joan pressing against me either.

"Yes, Mistress," Jaz replied, heading out of the room. She stopped and turning to look at me, bowed her head. "Your bags are in the main room."

"Thank you, Jaz." I smiled. "Oh, come to my room before you leave."

She winked and with a grin, disappeared down the hall.

"Do I even want to know how many women you've slept with?" Joan asked, slightly releasing her grip.


I reached deep into the new vampire's mind, trotted through his thoughts and memories until I came to the place where when we transform, was nothing left except, the blood thirsty hunger. Our unconscious mind was a dark, empty canvas thriving on the need for self-survival. It constantly fed our need to drink blood, keeping us moving forward in our infinite existence.

Relax, I slid the thought into his mind. You are not starving. Your hunger betrays you...relax.

Rick immediately settled down, finding comfort in my words, and I released the hold I had on the other vampires. I had lied. Death was a very real possibility for him, if he didn't feed soon.

"Stay with him and see to it that no harm comes to the donors." I spoke to Brian and Daniel. Both men nodded in agreement as they helped Rick to the bed.

"My Lady." Alice stood and stepped forward, keeping her head bowed. "Vanessa and I were preoccupied. May we be excused?" I glanced at a naked Vanessa, who shifting on her knee, bowed her head.

"Is it serious," I asked, looking back at Alice. "Or are you simply passing the time?"

Alice raised her head and held my gaze. She knew that I must sanction a relationship before anyone recognized them as a couple.

"I...I," she stuttered.

Vanessa quickly came to her feet, shoulders back, head up and locked on my gaze. "My Lady," she interrupted, "since you raised the issue...I would like to ask for your blessing." Her fangs protruded as she spoke. "We have been together nearly two years now," she snarled. "There is no reason why we shouldn't be recognized as a couple. We have not broken any of your laws, on the contrary--"

I raised a hand, stopping her in mid-word.

"Hear this and hear it well." My jaw tightened as I spoke. "Your outburst has done nothing to earn my blessing. I will speak to Alice privately and then I will make my decision. In the meantime, I suggest you reconsider the tone you use with me." I turned to Alice and noticed, Jaz leaning against the doorframe. "Meet me in my room, now," I said, waving my hand.

As I stepped out of the room, I heard Kimberly whisper, "She'll fuck her first, then decide."

"There is no point in whispering around me, Kimberly," I warned as I was halfway down the hall.

Joan had followed my every step. I stopped in front of the closed bedroom door, and she stepped in front of me, blocking my entry. "Are you really going to sleep with her?"

I slowly leaned forward and placed my lips upon hers. My tongue gently brushed her lips as it commanded entry into her mouth. As she surrendered to my desires, she wrapped her arms around my neck and pressed herself into me. As one, we escaped from the reality of the evening. Our worlds blended into a quiet, peaceful moment until she bit my lower lip, pulling away from me.

"You didn't answer me." We were cheek to cheek as she nibbled my earlobe.

"Sleep with her--no," I whispered. "Fuck her--maybe."

Joan exhaled and rested her head on my shoulder. "Will I be safe while you are indisposed?"

I took a step back, holding her hands in mine and yelled out, "Kimberly!"

A moment later the blonde vampire appeared. "Yes, My Lady."

"You will see to it that no physical or mental harm comes to Joan. If so much as one hair is out of place, you will forfeit your life." I looked at Joan, then at Kimberly. "I will take my time with your death. There will be no mercy killing in your future."

"I am not happy about it, but--" Kimberly huffed-- "...I understand."

I turned to Joan, and leaning into her ear, I whispered, "Behave yourself in my house. Do not provoke her just to get her killed."

I closed the door behind me and heard the shower running. Jaz came out of the bathroom naked with a hop in her step.

"I thought I heard you come in," she announced, while unbuckling my pants. "I've got a nice, hot shower going for us."

Jaz had truly been God-sent. She cared for me in a way no other could, including Izzy. Jaz had the unique ability to know what people needed before they even knew. The woman could make a zombie feel better about being a half-decaying corpse.

She led me to the bed, threw herself on me, knocking us both on to the mattress. She then scooted down and took hold of my boot, slipping it off.

"I wasn't sure if you wanted a threesome, but I've got Alice in the shower, just in case."

She tugged on my other boot, then let it drop to the floor and pulled my pants down.

"How will Vanessa take it if their Mistress fucked her girlfriend?" I asked, unbuttoning my shirt.

She hopped on me and started giggling. "Does it matter?" She pulled my shirt off and kissed my chest.

"No, I suppose it doesn't."

Jaz clung on my back as I entered the large, extravagant, steam-filled bathroom. Kaley hadn't spared a penny when she designed this space. A dark slate tile floor complimented the equally dark slate double sink countertop. Towel warmers hung neatly on the wall adjacent to the doorless walk-in shower, tiled in river stone and a claw foot tub sat opposite of a tiled sitting area, complete with sauna.

As I stepped into the shower, I turned, letting the water beat on Jaz and placed my hands on either side of Alice's head, then leaned close, our lips barely touching.

"How important is your commitment to Vanessa?" I made sure that my lips brushed against hers.

Shying away, she leaned against the wall, tucking her chin into her chest. "Very important."

I nuzzled my face into the crook of her neck, smelling her skin and letting the hot water droplets warm my cold body. "Important enough to satisfy my needs?" My hand followed the outline of her thigh. I had deliberately put her in a compromising position. Even if her relationship was that important, she couldn't very well deny me without the fear of major repercussions. The flip side was that I was feeling generous and would have sanctioned her relationship if she had the nerve to stand up to me. Regardless of the rumors, I do admire courage.

Alice raised her head and lovingly gripped my face between her hands. "If that's what it takes to get your approval." She stared into my eyes and tickled my lips with her tongue, then placed her hands on my chest, and gently pushed me backward. "Then you can keep it. I will not be one of your toys."

A seductive move indeed, she earned some respect for that. Alice seemed like a nice girl compared to Vanessa's extreme possessive traits. I wanted to scream at her to run the hell away from the pain and sorrow that love offered, but I couldn't. It was her decision to make. I couldn't keep Alice from getting hurt. Perhaps, I underestimated her and thought of her as an amateur compared to Vanessa or maybe, I could shed a brighter light on Vanessa's controlling side.

My lips tightened into a smile. I slowly pushed myself further back until the water soaked into my hair, cascading down my face and chest.

"Very well, but you'll stay until, Jaz and I are done. If, Vanessa believes that you have remained faithful to her, then she deserves your love, and you'll have my blessing."

Jaz soaped up my hair, massaged my scalp and then pulled me into the water flow and into her arms. As the shampoo ran out of my hair, our lips met and her embrace tightened around my waist. Her hand followed the path of the soapy water until it reached my butt cheek, giving it a little squeeze. Slippery and wet, she rubbed her breasts against my chest. Her nipples grew harder with every pass. I reached between her legs, my hand palm up and fondled her crotch. She dropped her head on my shoulder, sinking her teeth into me as she held back a cry. The hot steam rose around us, enveloping me in its warmth while her bite captivated my senses, encouraging my sadistic side to emerge. I had all but forgotten what it was like to be with another experienced vampire. We loved pain and we loved to bite.

I gripped her hair and pressed her face into my shoulder. I wanted to relish the sting of her fangs for as long as possible. I forcibly drove three fingers deep inside her cunt, and she bit harder. Tendrils of pleasure latched onto every nerve, and I spiraled into a passionate frenzy. Alice moved rapidly as I turned and slammed Jaz's back against the wall where she once stood. Jaz moaned, released her bite and then filled me with her fingers, compelling my tightened muscles to give way.

As the hot water beat on my back, Jaz continued to fuck me, unrelentingly, driving her fingers into me, adding more fervor to each new stroke than the last. My knees had threatened to buckle. I knew I would come if I didn't stop her. At the same time that I grabbed her wrist, pushing her arm down forcing her fingers out of me, I latched my teeth onto her shoulder, maneuvered my back against the shower wall and jutted my fangs into her flesh. She moaned and her knees gave. I held her tightly against my body with one arm clasped around her waist. My other hand invaded her wetness while I dug my fangs deeper and drank from her shoulder. Suddenly, the hot water turned to a cold spray. As I gripped Jaz by the waist and threw her out of the shower, I saw Alice moving her hand away from the faucet handle. I hissed and grabbed the back of Alice's head, getting a handful of her hair in my grasp.

"You were draining her," Alice pleaded in self-defense.

"She is mine to do with as I please," I snarled, then yanked her head back exposing and biting her neck. Careful only to take a small amount of blood from her, I forced her mouth to my already healing shoulder and made her taste my blood.

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