Thrown into the world of Vampires, Julie discovers she is way out of her league when it comes to Thyre, an ancient, powerful vampire who holds her enthralled by his dark passions.
Word Count: 21,385
Genre: Fantasy/Vampire Romance
Available formats: PDF, RTF, Epub, HTML, Mobipocket (.prc)
© Cover Art by Jenny Dixon, December 2006
New Concepts Publishing
Lake Park, GA 31636
This is a work of fiction. All characters, events, and places are of the author's imagination and not to be confused with fact. Any resemblance to living persons or events is merely coincidence.
"Change, vampire! Change shape!"
Standing in the shadows of his mausoleum home, Thyre du Belvoir narrowed his eyes at the distant words.
A figure ran between the moss-covered gravestones, traveling in sweeping serpentines in his direction. In the descending darkness, he caught a hint of a womanly shape.
He watched for another glimpse of her, his nostrils flared. Something malicious and new to his experience hovered behind her, above her. He'd felt the dark force earlier in the evening and smelled the sulfurous odor of it -- before he saw the woman running to him.
He'd waited for it in silence, with his senses alert, seeking. He'd been unable to glean an accurate reading of the dark thing's location. Experience taught him all he could do was allow it to come to him.
And be ready.
Now, he barely drew breath as he strained to see the woman again, to hear her speak again.
Many years had rolled past since he'd sought out his own kind. Other vampires. Other immortals. Matters tended to get complex too fast when living among those of his kind. One of the keys to staying alive and breathing as many centuries as he had was cultivating the lifestyle of a loner.
His self-imposed isolation brought him eternal days stretching on and on with no one but the cemetery spirits, who occasionally asked him for his help, and his music collection for company.
Of late, he'd begun to think of finding a way to end his solitude.
But, damn, that whole walking into the sun thing hadn't worked out at all. Self-preservation had kicked in big time, causing him to dash back to his cave-like sanctuary to care for his burns.
On his big screen TV--he loved technology--the vamps on Buffy reruns went out of this world in a blink, a puff of gray, bloodless mist. He should've known better than to go by any of the myths by now, after all these years of reading and taking in everything in fiction from Polidori's The Vampyre to all of Anne Rice's work. Unfortunately, he had no other Vampire User's Manual.
"Vampire, can you hear me?" the female yelled again.
Moved to action, he swung open the black wrought iron gate in front of him. The hinge gave a groaning squeak.
The last rays of the sun were gone now.
Her rapid movement flashed again out beyond in the falling shadows.
There. He saw her again.
Long, blood-red hair flowed out behind her as she ran, the kind of glorious red hair that had thick lowlights of black streaking through it. He focused his exceptional night vision on her hair. Her running footfalls, her rapid breathing echoed in the silence around him now.
Her supple legs, encased in black jeans, lengthened stride, doubling her pace, fit muscles rippled with each running stride. She was hauling ass.
As she approached his position, she doubled her effort and moved even faster, leaping over the gravestones like hurdles now.
Her athletic ability surpassed all mortals. Much too fast, even for the natural spirits of the dead who dwelled here with him, darting around at will.
As she drew closer, he saw her large, black eyes. Gloriously feminine eyes they were. Their piecing gaze trained on him, firing his blood with sensual interest.
Lord help him, she was a sight out of a man's fantasies.
His heart stopped in his chest, then jerked to motion again.
She was of the People. A vampiress.
He knew it. Probably had known at the first hint of her female presence in his domain.
Shaken from his numbing boredom, Thyre strode toward her, intrigued, curious, wondering if he could pick up her thoughts.
Damn, he actually hoped he would.
Uncaring that the approaching red-headed vampire female might mean him harm, Thyre slung himself through the old iron gate and ran toward her as fast as he could, his long legs eating up the ground between them.
Even immortal, her lungs were near bursting, her heart straining. He felt the pounding beats in the air around him. No one pushed themselves that hard, human or immortal, unless….
The evil something chased her, threatened her life.
Well, hell, the dark force would have to go through him first. He would not accept her demise easily.
He opened his mind to her completely, not guarding even a corner for himself, seeking any telepathic message from her. That leap of faith surprised him to his toes.
The telepathic communication of the Vampire People in times of emergency had never worked with him and the insane Silvia, the woman who'd made him undead. Silvia had claimed he blocked her, said he feared relinquishing full control to her. True.
Change! Change! the woman demanded again, this time in urgent, snarled mental words.
The two words invaded his mind with driving power and focus. He resisted the urge to clap his hands to his temples.
Shift, damn you! Now!
She closed ground enough he could see her well. God, her eyes were beautiful.
She yelled the words aloud this time, leaping straight upward to become an amazing tropical bird.
"Beautiful," he whispered. Colorful, iridescent and radiant, like a South American quetzal, but not entirely the same either. A bird pulled more from her vivid imagination than nature.
The invisible matrixes that molded her supernatural shielding together around her form had better be as spectacular as she was. If not, some hunter would shoot her pretty tail feathers off in no time.
"Change shape. Shift!" Once again she ordered imperiously, hovering overhead, flapping her wings with rapid-speed like a hummingbird. This time she tried something different to communicate with him, the word was the call of a bird, but he understood.
His hackles rose. He stopped making his way to her. Spreading his stance and folding his arms at his chest, he glared.
"You are speaking to me, ma chérie?" he asked. No woman had ever ordered him about. Not even the deadly, soul-sucking Silvia. He and Silvia had come to a grudging understanding on that point.
"Who else is the big bad-ass vampire dude around here? Yeah, I'm talking to you. Move your handsome male butt," she said. "Make yourself something that can fly. Now! Fast! Move it! I grow tired of telling you."
Unworried, he smiled at her indignation. Amazing the hell out of him, he found himself aroused by this woman's voice ... er ... hell, bird voice ... as it strummed through his system. She stirred him, even though she was more bird than woman at the moment. The sound of the telepathic messages she so easily transitioned to and from enthralled him as well--and disturbed him.
The rush of adrenaline he'd long forgotten called to him.
"I have not done this in far too many years, little one. I may blow apart in the air around you."
"Shit," she said. "No time for a refresher course, big guy. Clear everything else from your mind. Concentrate."
Why not shift shape and see where she'd lead him?
Centuries beyond fear for his own safety, Thyre flashed to a bat.