Blood and Sex, Volume: 1 Michael [MultiFormat]
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eBook by Angela Cameron
eBook Category: Erotica/Erotic Romance/Romance
eBook Description: A totally original--and spine-chillingly sexy--tale of a vampire Mafia and the detective who is determined to bring it to justice.... Detective Victoria Tyler is investigating Collins Bay's new serial killer, one of the city's vampires. Since they have marked her as a human to be killed or conquered, Tori knows that Michael is her only hope for survival. But she hasn't spoken to him since the night she tried to kill him. As the enforcer for the Italian vampiro cosca, Michael expects a certain amount of cooperation from his boss. That amount has been shrinking ever since their leader took a new sadist lover. So when the detective requests his help, it's just the excuse he needs to take control of the city--and the delicious human. Risking it all, Tori agrees to let Michael take her neck and lead her on a journey through a world of bondage, domination and blood to stop the killer. But can she resist the dark lusts he sparks? Or will her weakness get someone else killed?
eBook Publisher: Ravenous Romance, Published: 2009, 2009
Fictionwise Release Date: February 2009
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38 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats [MultiFormat - What's this?]: eReader (PDB) [179 KB]
, ePub (EPUB) [188 KB]
, Rocket/REB1100 (RB) [150 KB]
, Portable Document Format (PDF) [585 KB]
, Palm Doc (PDB) [165 KB]
, Microsoft Reader (LIT) [207 KB]
, Franklin eBookMan (FUB) [196 KB]
, hiebook (KML) [425 KB]
, Sony Reader (LRF) [245 KB]
, iSilo (PDB) [137 KB]
, Mobipocket (PRC) [173 KB]
, Kindle Compatible (MOBI) [235 KB]
, OEBFF Format (IMP) [245 KB]
Reading time: 149-209 min.
Microsoft Reader (LIT) Format: Printing DISABLED, Read-Aloud ENABLED
Portable Document Format (PDF) Format: Printing DISABLED, Read-Aloud ENABLED
All Other formats: Printing DISABLED, Read-aloud DISABLED
Victoria Tyler knelt in front of the nude corpse in the dark alley between the worn brick buildings of Third Street, the home of Collins Bay's strip clubs, peep shows, and tattoo parlors. She managed to tune out the traffic roaring down the streets that met the alley on either side, but when the scent of blood and garbage wafted upward on the sudden breeze, her stomach flipped. She breathed out hard, just like she always did to clear the smell of death from her nose, and fought back the twinge of nausea.
Her hand was steady as she used the slim metal pointer to move a blood-matted clump of long blonde hair away from the corpse's neck. She saw a big bruise that matched the others that were scattered across the body. She aimed the flashlight at the spot, but couldn't tell exactly how old the injury was. The mix of hot days and cool nights could do strange things to a body in Florida in October.
Another dark spot peeked out from beneath the girl's arm, and Tori gently raised it for a better look. Just to the left of the breast was a circle of bloody dots and dashes, with long trails of fluid that crusted on the skin. She'd bet they'd find more bruises, just like this one, when the body wasn't slumped beside a dumpster on a cloud-covered night. After all, the bite marks were why the newspaper had given the killer the name "Bay Gnasher."
Footsteps shuffled behind her. She glanced up and saw Joe Phillips looking over her shoulder. Joe was one of Collins' finest, a clean cut uniform with dark hair that remained in a perpetual crew cut. He was a little cheesy and a few brain cells short of detective material, but he seemed nice enough. He'd been with the force for years, even before she started, and tried to downplay his interest in crime scene investigation, but they all knew. It was hard not to know when he never stopped talking about those damned forensics shows on television.
Tori shook her head to fight back a smile that tickled her lips, and then motioned to the mark. "What does this look like to you, Joe?"
He hovered over her shoulder, and his uniform pressed against her back. If he'd been anyone else, she'd have clocked him for invading her space. "Bite marks?"
"Looks like it." She glanced again at the woman's wrist, where a hunk of flesh was missing, then to what was left of a youthful face. Such a shame. "You said no one was around when you found her, right?"
Tori stood so quickly that Joe stumbled back to dodge her shoulder.
"Alright, get statements from everyone who is within sight of this dumpster, including those apartments." She pointed down the alley, toward another brick building that erupted from the concrete at the opposite end. "If they're not home, come back tomorrow. Right now, we have nothing and this guy's got eight victims in two months. I don't think he plans to slow down anytime soon."
"We'll get on it, Tori."
She gave him a pat on the shoulder. If they did great work, they'd save her a lot of time. "I know you will."
She didn't watch Joe turn, but heard his clinking footsteps move toward a cluster of cops drinking coffee and laughing about something, probably a dirty joke. She glanced around once more and saw something glinting from under the edge of the dumpster. She bent and pulled it forward with her pointer.
It was a key with a smooth black plastic tag and shiny silver ring. She fished the metallic point through the ring and balanced it closer to her face. Stamped on the tag, in blood red, was a three-part symbol similar to a yin-yang. A private room key from The Scene. She shook her head and sighed. Of all the places to be involved, a club for vampire BDSM junkies hadn't been on her short list, especially one with a reputation for being the last location of so many missing persons.
"What's that? Find something?"
Tori folded the key ring into her hand and closed the pointer for distraction. She turned her head and saw Joe squinting from the edge of a crowd of officers.
"Nothing. Just a piece of garbage." She tucked both into her jacket pocket and moved toward the group.
Vampiro involvement was one thing, but The Scene was out of her league. She'd have to call in some help. She shivered at the thought. Those walking leeches couldn't be trusted, not one of them, but going into that club without a dominatore was just plain asking for it. She was the only unbound human in the city with knowledge of them. She didn't plan to become one of their mindless goons anytime soon.
Michael snaked through the crowd, watching Damon, the protégé of the city's head vampire, towering over the figure of a frail young girl in some Goth getup against the far wall. He could smell her fear, even across the room. It mixed with the scent of warming female flesh and made his teeth ache.
He shook his head, trying to swallow down his hunger. In spite of the thumping music, he could hear her pulse hammering under her thin veil of skin. The monster inside him trained on the sound, and his mouth watered.
Her thoughts came to him in swift flashes. She'd lied, used the fake ID, and now she wished she hadn't. The pale guy with dark eyes and hair wouldn't leave her alone. She couldn't make herself walk away, or even turn her eyes away from him.
Michael forced the thoughts away, and then watched Damon lean down toward the girl's neck. His hand spread wide on her shoulder. The fool wouldn't bite her in the club, would he? He couldn't. He knew the rules.
He walked faster. If the humans weren't so close, he could stop Damon in an instant. But they were, and their safety mattered above all else. Plus, the Alleanza called for the death of any who revealed their true nature to humans. The girl was important, but stopping Damon from feeding in public wasn't exactly worth being hunted and drained.
The warm metallic scent of blood sprayed through the air. Pale faces in the crowd turned toward the couple. Michael's own blood pounded in his ears, his face began to burn, and his teeth lengthened. He breathed in, forced the hunger back, fired up the anger within him, and then threw it at the man's back like a dagger. He saw Damon stumble forward, and rushed toward them as fast as he could without spooking the humans.
Damon glared over his shoulder. "Back off."
Michael's voice came out as a growl, but he managed to keep it low. "Leave the girl and go back to Castillo. You've broken the Alleanza more than once tonight."
He released the girl so fast that she stumbled against the wall. Locks of red and black hair quickly fell in front of the two neat holes in her neck, hiding them from the humans.
When he turned to face Michael, they were almost eye-to-eye, although Damon's bodybuilder physique made him appear much larger. "Are you threatening me, boy?"
There was a push of his dark power, and Michael answered it with a bigger push. "I'll make it a fucking promise if you don't get out of my face."
"Castillo would have your head."
"You won't live long enough to tell him."
The man blinked and Michael felt a quick flash of his fear.
"You can be replaced, Michael. He relies on my word, and my word says that you're nothing more than a hired gun."
"But he depends on my power."
Damon smiled, but it didn't reach his eyes. "Let me have this one and all is forgiven."
Michael leaned forward, bumping the man's chest. "Leave now and I'll pretend that you didn't just try to bribe the Garante."
The man's eyes searched his. Michael could feel the press of power that searched for a crack in his resolve. He wouldn't find one. It had been years since he'd had a sense of self-preservation. Now, no one threatened him without backing it up. So far, no one had actually managed to live up to their threat, except for Castillo.
"Boys." Christine, that brown haired angel in a red dress, crooned and hooked her slender arms through theirs. "The night is young. Don't deny the ladies the feel of your teeth on their throats tonight."
Damon's shoulders relaxed only a little. Michael gave him one last glare. "Take him, but make sure he stays away from the humans."
She nodded and kissed Michael on the cheek. "As you wish, my padrone."
He watched her escort the idiot toward the private rooms, while he slid the dizzy human into a seat. He'd kill that leggero one day. One day when Castillo wasn't the ruler of this city. * * * *
Tori gripped the steering wheel of her Jeep and fought the urge to throw the phone out the window onto the damp pavement. Instead, she listened to the sound of Chief Ives' breath coming in long draws and watched as her headlights illuminated one street sign after another.
"Have you seen the papers today? They're calling for my resignation. You know that if this doesn't work, you're off the lead. We're up to eight bodies, Tyler, and I'm getting pretty fucking tired of having my ass bit off for you."
"I know, Chief. I'll handle it. I'm close. I'm going to meet with another contact this evening." She steered into the parking lot between an abandoned warehouse and Michael's club, which looked like any other old warehouse from the outside, except for the red neon sign on the building that simply said The Fallen.
"Make this work. You've got one week."
"I will. Gotta go." She clicked the phone shut and tossed it into the passenger's seat.
Her heart thumped in her throat until it became a knot that threatened to choke her. Nobody needed to remind her what was at stake. That's why she'd come to this hellhole of a club in the first place. Sam, her vampire informant, made it very clear that Michael was the only one who would and could help her. Damn him.
She stepped out, slammed the door, and clicked the remote over her shoulder, locking the doors with a honk that reverberated off the block walls around her. She straightened her black skirt and black halter-top, and hoped she didn't look like a prostitute. That was another reason not to be here. She didn't dress in a skirt for anyone she didn't want to sleep with. Still, here she was, headed to see that jerk, and in a damned skirt no less. God, there'd better be a promotion in all this.
She went for the sidewalk, hung a left at the corner of the building, and then weaved through the crowd that waited to enter near the door. Strange bodies brushed hers. Perfumes mingled with the smell of sweat and marijuana in the air, creating a sickening sweet smell that made her wrinkle her nose.
"Hey, don't shove, bitch."
She jerked her head around to see an awkward, pimpled boy decorated in black, wiry tattoos and silver piercings. He looked like a nerd trying to reverse his position as the football team's whipping boy by going Goth. Figures.
His eyes widened, but he threw out his chest and stood a little straighter, as if the height made a difference.
She moved toward him. "What did you say to me?"
The kid's mouth gaped open.
His friend elbowed him. "Dude, she's hot."
She shot the shorter guy a warning look and moved closer. "Did you call me a bitch?"
"Uh. Yeah." He lifted his chin so that it topped her head. "Yeah, I did."
He was too tall for a clear punch, so she drew back a foot and landed the blunt tip of her shoe in his nuts. "Fuck you."
His short friend howled in laughter as the lanky kid crumpled onto the concrete.
Tori turned and moved toward the door again. She pushed a few more people out of the way and finally stood in front of two burly men in black shades and T-shirts that had logos matching the sign and SECURITY written on the sleeves. The shades, though--she'd never quite figured out why nocturnal monsters would wear sunglasses. Go figure.
Gregory was the one with bleached blond spikes and a silver hoop in his ear. Blaine's dark hair had fluorescent green tips that glistened in the moonlight. Together, they looked more like bodybuilders than real fighters, but they made a nice wall of muscle.
"Detective Tyler." Gregory smiled, and she caught a flash of white fang. "What brings you here?"
"I need to talk with Michael."
Blaine laughed. "Man, I knew you'd be back. You can't li--"
Tori threw up a hand. "Don't start. I'm here on official business."
He pulled his shades down his nose with one finger and looked at her over the top. "Well, if that's the new uniform, daddy likey?"
She shook her head and groaned. "Just let me in, Blaine."
Gregory shook his head. "I don't know. I think we'd better check with the boss. Last time you caused a shitstorm."
"If you don't let me in, I'll bring the whole force down here to investigate the two underage kids I just saw go in." She hadn't really seen any go in, but Blaine had a habit of letting in the girls he planned to hit on later. They were usually blond, clean, and right out of Catholic school.
They glanced at each other.
Gregory said, "Alright. We'll let him know you're here."
"Try not to kill anyone tonight." Blaine shook his head and pulled one of the heavy steel doors open. Metal music poured onto the sidewalk.
Tori nodded and stepped inside. The door slammed behind her. She stood still, waiting for her eyes to adjust to the darkness. Michael probably already knew she was here. With all that telepathy floating around, who could tell what they did and didn't know?
She turned to see a statuesque woman in a black latex French maid costume smiling down at her from behind the coat check window. "Your gun."
Shit. She'd really hoped to sneak in with it, but they always knew. Did they see it? Of course not. Maybe it was that she always had a gun. She slipped the gun out of the back of her skirt, and handed it to the girl grip first. "Just don't scratch it up, Susan."
"Thank you." The girl winked her dark shadowed eye and slid the gun under the counter. "I'll keep it warm and cozy just for you."
Something in the way that she said it made Tori shiver. When another leather-laden couple approached, she slipped away toward the double doors. A tiny girl in red leather pushed through ahead of her and sent a rush of heavy rhythms through the room. With the deafening sound came the sweet smells of sex, alcohol, and smoke of various kinds. Bleach faintly lingered with it, followed by something metallic. Blood?
Tori stepped through to the edge of a small ocean of bodies that writhed in time under flashing lights, like a leather orgy. She weaved toward a table in the darkest back corner. She needed the darkness, especially in here. The less people saw of her, when half of the city wanted her head on a stake, the better.
When she slid onto the smooth leather stool at the high table, she felt eyes on her, the eyes of people that probably could read her mind--and probably were. Shit. This was a bad idea. She should've come after hours when the humans were gone and there was no pretending, but even that was risky. Why did the vampiro always make her feel more like the vegetable of the day on the menu at Bruno's Diner than a cop?
"Ya want a drink, honey?" Jude, a gum-smacking waitress with short magenta hair, came forward and leaned her arms on the table as she bent toward Tori's face. Her breasts were full and threatened to spill out over the rim of the black corset she was wearing.
Even to a straight girl like Tori, it was distracting. She pulled her hand away from the girl's to give it a little distance. "Hey, Jude. Margarita--and tell Jack I said no funny business, okay? Just a plain margarita."
"Well, you're no fun tonight."
"I had a little too much fun last time."
A wicked grin spread across the girl's dark lips. "You did, didn't you?"
"Yeah, let's just keep it simple tonight."
"Suit yourself." The girl shrugged and walked away.
Tori wiped a pearl of sweat off her brow and leaned back against the chair. She was warm, but her core felt cool, almost chilled. Something about this place always made her feel hot and cold at the same time. Maybe it was another vampire trucchi.