The Vampire Oracle: Fever [MultiFormat]
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eBook by Sapphire Blue
eBook Category: Erotica/Erotic Romance/Romance
eBook Description: After her parents were killed by a vampire, Charlie Kennedy decided to take justice into her own hands. A self-proclaimed vampire slayer, she's heard of the impending Vampire Rebellion and is determined to take down as many of the blood-sucking murderers as she can. Julian DeLancie's serious about his lifestyle and as one of the strongest of his coven is on a hunt for the head of the Rebellion. But when his task is interrupted by the beautiful and seductive huntress, Julian is forced into a battle of love vs. duty. Julian and Charlie are explosive in and out of bed, their bond deep and binding, but will it withstand the ultimate sacrifice?
eBook Publisher: Cobblestone Press
Fictionwise Release Date: November 2008
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8 Reader Ratings:
Charlie Kennedy pulled on her boots and stood in front of the mirror examining the face staring back at her. It was a normal face, to her estimation, with her mother's roundness and milk chocolate complexion, and her father's subtle brown eyes and pert nose. She wasn't quite sure where her lips had come from, but she figured they fit her just fine.
Her eyes drifted down to her attire, which was standard for a vampire huntress. Black spandex for ease of movement, a utility belt at her waist to hold her numerous weapons, and just because her great-grandmother Violet had insisted upon its effect, a silver chain with a globe-shaped locket holding a pinch of garlic around her neck.
Violet had warned her granddaughter about vampires since the day she was born. Instead, she should have warned her daughter and son-in-law. It had only been five years since the death of Charlie's parents. Five years since their bodies were found, mutilated and drained of all blood. It was a brutal attack, one the police never fully investigated. Charlie suspected because they knew it would lead to the local vampire clans.
The garlic's odor was awful, and Charlie thanked her grandmother for having the foresight to have put it inside the globe so she didn't always walk around with an unbearable stench around her. After all, Charlie was a woman, and there weren't many men who would be attracted to her with that smell.
Oddly enough, there didn't seem to be many men attracted to Charlie regardless. It couldn't be her looks, because she was rather pretty, if she said so herself. And it wasn't her body. Charlie worked out religiously. She had curves in all the right places, and toned muscle in the others. Nope, there had to be another reason men didn't flock to her. Charlie figured it was most likely fear. With her martial arts training and her affinity for weaponry, a man might presume his life were in danger if he dared to piss her off. She had to admit, he was probably right.
Sending a silent love you up to the heavens where both of her parents now resided, Charlie turned from the mirror and grabbed her waist-length leather jacket. Leaving her bedroom, she retrieved her car keys from the mantle. As she turned, her doorbell rang. It was a little after midnight, and Charlie wondered who it could be.
With no boyfriends, or prospects of boyfriends, she was certain it couldn't be a booty call. A tickling at the base of her neck slowed her steps as she headed for the door. She'd had a strange feeling the last few weeks, an anticipation that something big was about to happen.
She reached behind her and put her hand over the hilt of the knife tucked securely into the back rim of her pants. She opened the door slowly, with uncertainty and wariness rippling beneath her skin.
A tall, unfamiliar man with a pale face and black-gloved hands stood before her.
"May I help you?" she asked, with one hand on the door and the other still gripping her weapon.
The tall man dressed in a US Postal Service uniform did not speak, but instead thrust a white envelope in Charlie's direction. It was late to be receiving mail. But then again, the Postal Service only claimed to be reliable. Charlie looked down at the envelope to see that it was indeed addressed to her. With a shrug she took it, and before she could mutter thank you, watched the man turn and hurry down the walk.
Charlie closed the door and stared down at the envelope. "The Postal Service is certainly keeping weird hours these days."
She walked back into her living room still surveying the envelope, looking for a return address. There was none. Only a postmark from El Dorado Springs, Colorado, 80025.
"Who in hell do I know in El Dorado Springs, Colorado?" Charlie frowned. She'd never even heard of El Dorado Springs.
But after shaking the envelope, she decided to go ahead and open it. There was a lone card inside. Charlie pulled it out. The moment her fingers touched it, her palms heated. The card was eerie, with a black and red clouded background and the word Fever scrawled in its center.
"Great. Probably some chain mail thing, or something equally as irritating," she mumbled, tossing the card and its envelope onto the sofa table against the wall.
The moment she released the card, Charlie's nipples tingled and her heart rate increased--but not from fear. No, it was a familiar feeling. It was arousal, thick and heavy. It cloaked her, until her nipples pressed painfully against her tight shirt and her center pulsated with the awareness that there had been nothing there save Charlie's fingers for way too long.
A thin sheen of sweat lined her forehead, and her entire body trembled, as if sweet release were just moments away. She leaned against the edge of the table, reached for the first thing available, and fanned herself with the card she'd just received.
"Get a grip, Charlie. You've got work to do," she said, trying to talk her way through the moment, wondering if this were something akin to a woman experiencing hot flashes. Charlie was only twenty-seven; no way was she going through menopause already. Still, she couldn't explain what was going on.
After another moment, she stopped trying. She had no idea what had come over her. All she knew was that she had a job to do. Vampires to kill. So she stood up straight and strengthened her resolve. She was ready to take on the world--all the while knowing that if a tall, strong, sexy man walked into her apartment at this very moment, she would have no problem stripping him and riding his thick cock into oblivion. And that, for Charlie, was something new.
Her sexual relationships were few and far between, but when she did indulge, it was with someone she'd taken the time to get to know, someone she believed she could trust. Orgasm was Charlie's preferred form of release. After hunting and killing vampires, she enjoyed nothing more than climaxing until her body was limp with pleasure. Unfortunately, the bulk of those climaxes were brought on by studious masturbation.
Her fanning increased, until the card flew out of her hand to rest on the floor by the sofa. For what seemed like a lifetime, but was most likely only a minute or two, Charlie could do nothing but stare at the card. She had an overwhelming urge to retrieve it, to try and figure out what it meant. But at the same time, she felt as if she already knew.
Waving a hand, she decided to forget the card and her arousal altogether. She had vampires to hunt. Charlie's distaste for the vampire community had to take precedence over her curiosity about the card, as it had taken precedence over every other aspect of her life. Avenging her parents' deaths was first and foremost in Charlie's mind and heart, and that wasn't about to change.
Julian DeLancie's teeth ached, and his cock was hard. He was hungry and horny--a deadly combination for such a powerful vampire.
The sun had gone down two hours ago. Since then, he'd paced the length of his room trying desperately to ignore the symptoms that continued to plague him. His room was dark, just the way he liked it, its twenty-foot high ceiling and twenty-foot wide dwelling space more than enough room for a man his size. At six-feet, seven inches tall and two-hundred-sixty pounds, Julian was no lightweight. He was all muscle, all male, all powerful. All vampire.
And he was proud of it. One-hundred-and-fifty years ago, his life had changed, and for what he now knew was for the better. He'd been raised in the Clan DeLancie of the Calmae Vampires, and after years of training and proving himself worthy, he was now second in command. He ruled just beneath the Clan Matriarch.
It was because of the Matriarch and the meeting he'd had with the Council last night that Julian was so tense. The Council had been in rare form from the moment Julian arrived. There were six of them, all heads of the clans of Reece and the surrounding counties in Boston, and they were meeting to discuss the rise of the Rebellion and what they needed to do to stop it. Julian's solution was simple--kill the insubordinate bastards.
The Rebellion was a vicious group of vampires that had rallied against the colonization the Council had established. Throughout the country, vampires lived among humans, existing in a world that feared their kind. This had remained possible thanks to laws established by the Council. Now the Rebellion wanted no part of those laws. They believed vampires were superior to humans, and that now was the time for them to claim their rightful place in society. The Council, on the other hand, believed in peaceful co-existence between humans and vampires. So to protect all the Council and their predecessors had worked for, Julian was now prepared to fight.
In fact, he was itching for some action. Which, in his case, wasn't exactly a good thing. It was no secret that Julian DeLancie was one of the most deadly Calmaes to walk the earth. Although he was a relatively young vampire, his power had been instant, growing into a force that made even veteran vamps leery.
It wasn't only his size that intimidated them, but his looks as well. His creamy, butter-colored complexion was in stark contrast to his dark, domineering spirit. Eyes as deep and green as the sea, and a face that looked to have been sculpted by an angry artist made him appear even more intense. The scar that ran from just below his left earlobe to the center of his neck made him look angry. All this, coupled with his strength and surly attitude, created one not-to-be-fucked-with vampire.
Julian accepted his reputation as easily as he had his destiny. He was true to his clan and their cause. He was a vampire, and damned proud of it. And at this moment, two things a vampire could not fight for long were threatening to bring him to his knees. He needed to feed.
Bloodlust ran through his veins like lava flowing from a volcano. His stomach had already begun the minor cramps that signaled he was close to the breaking point. Council law dictated that vampires feed only from fellow vampires. This had been proven to be healthier for them; the intake of blood with like powers kept them alert. Besides, when drinking from a human, a vampire had to be especially careful not to drain their prey or allow the human to drink from them, or they risked turning that human.
For that reason alone, Julian stayed away from humans. Never would he risk converting someone to the life of a vampire without their permission.
Julian's other ailment was a bit more basic. He needed to get laid. That admission made his balls draw so tight he thought they might burst from the pressure. It had been months since he'd had a woman, although Calmaes were known for their insatiable sexual appetites. At one time, sex had been more than just a chore for him. He'd enjoyed the intimate act of sex with his beloved. But that was all over now. That particular hunger was simply an itch that needed to be scratched.
A soft rapping at the door captured Julian's attention, and he immediately ceased his pacing. He'd been awaiting news of the Rebellion leader's whereabouts and prayed this was it. Moving quickly and without a sound, he opened the door to see Sparco, his manservant, standing on the other side.
Sparco was old, but stood as straight as a strapping teenager. His eyes were sharp; his tongue was quiet one moment, and whiplash quick the next. He'd been in the house as long as Julian had.
"What have you learned?" Julian asked.
"He is on the west side tonight, master. His minions have already made a kill."
Julian's lips peeled back and his fangs lengthened, pressing painfully into his lower lip. He snarled and turned quickly from the door.
The time to fight had come.
* * * *
Julian roamed the long, dark, open-ended alley, which was damp from a fresh rain. He picked up the scent of the Rebel instantly. It was Kline, their leader and the most vicious of the bunch. Julian wanted him with a fierceness that managed to push his other hungers to the back burner. With Kline out of the way, the rest of the Rebels would fall easily and the lifestyle of the vampires would be preserved, at least until the next uprising.
He heard a sound and turned toward a trash bin. His vision was excellent, as was his hearing. But it was his scent that worked in his favor tonight. The Rebel's raw stench assaulted Julian, and he moved swiftly. Yet before he could get any closer, the trash bin was lifted from the ground and sent soaring through the air. Julian's quick reflexes had him leaping back and pressing himself to the wall so he wouldn't be seen.
A flash of black moved through the air and landed with a thump against the far wall. Julian edged from the shadows only to see that there was not one, but two other figures in the alley with him. A fight broke out between the other two, and as Julian moved in closer his senses assailed him.
One of them was Kline. There was no doubt about that stench. But there was also someone else, and the urge to protect that person rose in him with vicious intensity. Without further thought, Julian jumped on the Rebel's back and pulled him off the person--the one with whom he felt such a strange connection.
She was quick, her muscled legs lifting to land a foot in the center of Kline's massive chest. The vampire fell back against the wall, and she nailed him with a fist to his throat. Kline was still a vampire, however, and a deadly one, at that. With lightening quick movements, he slid his large hand around the female's neck. With an effortless motion, he shoved her. She flew across the alley, banging into the wall and falling to the ground.
Julian placed his body between Kline and the feisty female. Kline growled, bared his teeth and pulled a dagger. Julian yanked his own blade from the holster at his back and faced his opponent.
"A sneak attack?" Kline snarled. "I would have expected better of you, Calmae."
"Just as I would expect an asshole like you to hit a defenseless woman." Julian heard the female struggling to stand behind him, and rethought the term defenseless. She was feisty and strong. Still, he wouldn't kill Kline with her watching, especially if she was a human. He would have to wipe her memory clean, and he hated doing that. It was a messy job and some humans, depending on their health, did not handle it well.
"I'd like nothing better than to rip your evil heart out right now," he said to Kline. "But as you well know, we have company."
"And that company will rip both of your evil hearts out."
Her voice was husky, and Julian was instantly struck by the vision of her delectable, naked body lying on a bed of black satin sheets, waiting ... for him.
Kline laughed, a sick ugly sound, and attempted to knee Julian in the groin. Julian reacted fast, anticipating the strike since his thoughts had wandered to the human woman. No doubt Kline had picked up on that vibe. He slammed his fist into Kline's face with a deadly roar and was rewarded with satisfaction as his opponent's nose cracked from the force.
Julian sensed the female's movement before her blow landed on his back, and he turned, pinning her with an intense stare. For a moment, their gazes held. Then, to his surprise, she struck anyway, spinning to land a kick against his waist.
Kline slipped from Julian's grip and crawled away, leaving Julian to curse and face the female alone. His job was to kill Kline and put an end to the Rebellion, not fight humans. He had a duty to the clan, after all. This female was distracting him from his sole purpose in life, and Julian didn't quite know how to handle it.
The word astonishment didn't accurately describe what Julian felt when he looked at her. She was definitely human--a human vampire hunter, he surmised by the cross bow she had drawn and aimed at him, ready to fire.
The word echoed in his mind as he looked at the hottest human female he'd ever laid eyes on.
In his hundreds of years, Julian had seen plenty of females, be they human or vampire. But none compared to this one. Her eyes met his, and the connection he'd sensed upon arriving in the alley expanded. He sensed her reaching out to him even though she hadn't moved an inch. And he could feel himself going to her. This was some weird shit, and Julian didn't know what to make of it. But first things first; he had to diffuse this situation before she fired.
"You have no idea what you're about to do," he said to her, hoping like hell he could talk her down.
Her facial expression did not change as she declared, "I'm about to kill me a blood sucker."
"No. You're about to be our dinner," Kline said, using wall to support him as he rose behind the sexy hunter. Blood streamed down his face.
Julian reached into his coat, pulled out an acid-tipped disc, and hurled it at Kline's neck. It sliced the vampire's throat clean through, and blood spurted into the air. The huntress ducked as he threw the disc, although he knew it would not hit her. Julian was a perfect shot, always. Kline's blood spewed her face, and she dropped her bow.
Julian used his mind to move the bow far enough away that she could not get to it without turning her back on him completely. Then he lunged for Kline, but knew his attempt to capture the vampire was futile. He would seek cover, take the night to heal himself, and emerge again, his goal to kill humans still foremost in his mind.
Julian cursed and turned to check on the spitfire huntress. Her fist landed against his jaw with a loud crack. His head snapped back and, as she was gearing up to hit him again, he grabbed her wrists and held them tightly at her sides. He pushed her up against the wall.
"I warned you, huntress," he growled.
She glared at him. "And I warned you, freak."
Damn, she was sexy, with her dark brown skin and even darker eyes. She was spitting mad. Rage radiated from her body in thick waves, slapping against him with tremendous force. No. It wasn't rage that emanated from her. It was lust.
Hell, she was wet. He smelled the scent of her arousal as it seeped from her body. Her breathing was erratic; her eyes, even now clouding with desire. What the hell was going on here?
"Who are you?" he asked.
Her tongue swiped her bottom lip, and she squared her shoulders. "I'm your worst nightmare."
She was brave, he'd give her that. As one who kidded herself into believing she could hunt a species as powerful as vampires, he figured she'd have to be. "You might just be right about that," he said, a second before his lips crashed down over hers.