Thursday, July 09, 2015

Armored Hearts excerpt

Captivity makes the heart grow kinkier…
When interstellar mercenary Captain Nick Rand rescues a beautiful enemy from his own men, he thinks she’s the answer to his vampire prayers. On the verge of starvation thanks to the destruction of his hemosynther, he’s in desperate need of a female blood donor.
Lieutenant Zara Tahir needs him as badly as he needs her. Without Nick’s blood, Zara’s overactive immune system will kill her.
But Zara has no intention of embracing captivity. She’s willing to exchange blood for blood, maybe even play a kinky game or two with the handsome vampire dominant. Still, he’s the enemy, and she can’t allow herself to see him as anything more.
Then Rand’s enemies make things a lot more complicated…

Zara found herself impressed by the enemy vampire’s iron will. If anything, he had to be in worse shape than she was. That was saying something, because every cell in her body was howling its need for release, for the lushly erotic sensation of fangs sinking into her throat, drawing off the brutal pressure that had been building behind her eyes for weeks.
Never mind that he was her enemy, never mind that she didn’t even know his name. Their bodies recognized each other on a level that went beyond politics or war or anything but raw sexual craving. Each could fulfill the other’s hungers. That was all their bodies knew. All they needed to know.
She followed him into the temp shelter he’d seemed to pick at random. It was wrecked and empty, clothes, e-flimsies and furniture scattered wildly, a mark of her fellow soldiers’ desperation as they’d fled. They’d been too badly outnumbered, in too poor a position, to do anything else. Falaran High Command had given the order to retreat, and they’d obeyed.
Zara had volunteered to do her bit to delay the enemy, knowing what she was letting herself in for. It wasn’t as if she could have kept up with the desperate retreat anyway. Lieutenant Colonel Kassir had initially refused to allow her self-sacrifice, until Zara reminded the woman she was dead regardless. The last of the Falaran vampires had died in the Battle of the Sar Caverns five weeks before. Without a vamp to help her subdue her rampaging immune system, she’d be dead within the week. If her life was lost anyway, she wanted to die saving Falaran lives.
It had evidently worked; most of the others seemed to have escaped. She hoped.
“I am in need,” the vampire captain told her, his voice a dark, seductive rumble. Startled, Zara met his golden eyes. They seemed to blaze in the dim light. “May I take you?” he asked.
She laughed, the sound a little wild as she hunched her chilled shoulders. The fever had to be getting pretty high. “You remind me of a courtly wolf, asking the lamb’s permission to eat her.”
“Sometimes even a wolf needs the veneer of civility.” He moved closer until his broad, armored body loomed over her like a wall.
Zara studied him carefully, suddenly aware of just how alone they were -- and how much stronger he was. Yet nothing had forced him to come to her rescue. Hell, he could have easily gone to the head of the rapist line. “It’s more than a veneer, I think,” she said. And maybe if I give him what he needs, he’ll give me what I need. Better not ask him yet, though. What if he says no? I’ll wait until he’s done -- and hopefully in a better mood. Decision made, she smiled slightly. “Yes, Captain. Yes, you can have what you need.” Have it, not take it.
He studied her, his gaze intent, intimate. “What if I need more than your blood?”
Zara licked her lips, suddenly aware again of how very male he was. How handsome, how tempting. She shouldn’t, she knew she shouldn’t. Yes, for both vampires and their VSS, drinking[ blood was a deeply intimate act. In fact, interstellar vamps like the captain often had dominant/submissive relationships with those who fed them. Things were a little different on Falara because she and other volunteers had allowed themselves to be infected in order to better defend their people from invaders.
But she still needed him. “You can have that too,” Zara said hoarsely.
The vampire smiled and took off his helmet, then put it down on the bunk. As she watched in growing tension, he took his armored gauntlets off. He dropped them beside the helmet with a soft, heavy thump. She controlled her instinctive flinch when his hands came up to cup her jaw, his skin cool against her feverish flesh. “Thank you,” he said, his voice deep, sensual. “Thank you for your blood.” Leaning down, he took her mouth tenderly. “Your trust.” His lips soft, he kissed her, suckling her mouth, tasting her lips. “Your body.”
He deepened the kiss, suckling, nibbling gently before his tongue swept in to possess her mouth, swirling and licking. Her knees weakened, and she sank into him, his armor hard and chill against her body. She wished suddenly, violently, that she could touch him.
When he finally drew away again, he gazed so deeply into her eyes, it seemed he saw clear to her soul. He stepped back and took her shoulders, then turned her gently until her back was to him. She realized his air of desperate restraint was gone. Now he seemed to be spinning out the moment before taking her, savoring the erotic anticipation.
She felt her nipples pebble against the material of the one-piece unisuit one of his men had found for her.
Smoothly, his hands moved up her arms to the closure of the uni, unsealed it, and pulled it off her shoulders to hang from the crook of her arms, leaving her breasts naked under his eyes. “You will not regret your generosity, lieutenant.”
His long, strong fingers flicked delicately at the hard tips of her nipples, then gently pinched and pulled, sending a jolt of pleasure up her over-sensitized nerves. “My name,” he said in her ear, “is Captain Nick Rand.” Big hands cupped her breasts, pulling her back against him.
He lowered his head until she could feel his breath blowing along her pulse. “And I promise you, captor or not, I will not take anything you don’t choose to give. Ever.”
A sudden, hot pain made her spine arch as he sank his teeth into her throat. He growled in pleasure and gathered her closer, pinching her nipples with sweet, wicked skill.
Zara gaspe as he released one aching breast and brushed his free hand down the front of the uni to find her bare cunt in the unbuttoned opening. Long fingers stroked between her lips. She’d begun creaming the moment she saw him, and now she was richly wet. A thick tapered forefinger slid easily into her core as he pinched and squeezed the hard tip of one breast with the other hand. His mouth moved over her flesh, feasting from her throat. He rolled his armored hips against her ass. She wished she could feel the length of his cock against her back, knew it would feel hard and demanding.
Closing her eyes, she sagged against him, surrendering herself utterly to the vampire’s appetite. This is only the beginning. Her body leaped at the thought, hot with need and lust. Once he’s had my blood, he’ll want to fuck me next. Godsson’s zealots being the jealous assholes they are, he probably hasn’t had access to a woman in months.
She shouldn’t do this. He was the enemy, and she shouldn’t sleep with him, no matter how much she wanted to. It was wrong.
But oh, sweet God, how she wanted to. The thought of sleeping with him despite every dictate of common sense maddened her with its sheer kinky recklessness. Gasping, she rolled her butt back against him hard, imagining the bulk of his cock driving inside her.
Whimpering, Zara felt the pleasure unspool through her like hot satin ribbons. His fingers pinched her nipple even harder, as a second finger joined the one plundering her juicy cunt. He drew hard on her throat, drinking her blood as his fingers pumped, his thumb flicking over her clit. Each skillful strum over her button intensified the pleasure until she writhed against his armored chest, pumping her hips, gasping, whimpering.
With a scream that blended pain, delight and erotic surrender, Zara came in the arms of her vampire enemy, barely aware of his rumble of predatory delight as he fed.
The last juicy throb faded, and she went limp in his arms, sagging, weak-kneed. “OOoh, my God,” she moaned. “That was so good.”
He rumbled back at her, a hum that sounded more than a little satisfied. And very male.
When he was through, he drew his fangs carefully from her throat. Pressed a surprisingly tender kiss to the point of her jaw. “I feel a little strange asking this, under the circumstances, but what’s your name?”
She grinned, enjoying the delicious post-orgasm glow. “Lieutenant Zara Tahir. Vampire Support Specialist.”
“Thank you, Lieutenant Tahir.” He pulled away slightly. Turning her head, Zara watched as he lifted his wrist and raked his fangs over the skin until blood dripped. Then, to her blank astonishment, he put the sliced wrist in front of her mouth. “Drink, Zara.”
She half-turned in his arms, staring up at him with wide eyes. He was actually going to give her his blood?
“I know you need it,” he said softly. “I can feel the heat of fever rolling off your skin. You’re bloodsick. That’s why you didn’t kick the collective asses of those fucking rapists.”
“Not rapists,” she said hoarsely. “They didn’t rape me.”
“Because I stopped them.”
She licked her lips, smelling the intoxicating scent of his blood. “Yes. You did.”
“Drink, Lieutenant.” His tone made it a dominant’s order.
She bent her head to his bleeding wrists. Sealed her lips over it. The taste flooded her mouth, rich and coppery, but with a hot pepper edge that was more than human. She swallowed, once, twice. Started to lift her head.
“More,” he said softly. “You’re sick enough to need it.”
And so she swallowed again and yet again. Swallowed at his murmured urging until heat rushed through her with a dizzying intoxication. When she finished, she felt stronger, as if his blood was already bringing her immune system under control, restoring her body to her previous power, speed and agility.
Her previous life.
“Thank you,” she said softly. “You didn’t have to do that.”
The vampire met her gaze frankly. “We need each other.”
“Yes,” she said steadily, “We do. But you could have taken me by force.”
His gaze cooled. “No, actually, I couldn’t. And I won’t.”
That sounded like a vow. Zara wondered if he’d keep it.