Home > Sex and the Single Vamp

Sex and the Single Vamp
Author: Robin Covington

Prologue

Williamsburg, Virginia, 1775

There was so much blood.

Master Thomas Samuel Deacon reeled back from the scent, even though it was enticing to his kind. The hunger grew in his belly to find the source and drain it dry, but he fought the beast. Terror and anger were more powerful than his thirst.

He dropped to his knees, ignoring the blood seeping through the thin cotton of his breeches as he checked for any sign of life. The young boys were dead, their usually rapid heartbeats stilled forever by the cruel slice across their throats.

Josiah and his daughter Felicity lay close together, their hands intertwined in a tableau of familial devotion that brought a prickle of tears to his eyes, blurring his vision. He groped blindly for their wrists, his joy and panic competing for precedence when he found them both still alive. Their pulses were weak, the sound of their heartbeats easing down into a death cadence.

Not Felicity. Not her.

The words shouted in his brain, rendering him useless as he watched the life drain out of the only woman he’d ever loved. The only woman he ever would love. In this moment, it didn’t matter that she’d rejected his offer of marriage. It was inconsequential that she did not return his affection.

“Save her.”

Thomas turned to Josiah Trent, his dearest friend. He tried to ignore the loss of focus in his clear blue eyes, the pallor of his usually ruddy complexion. This man was his friend, almost his father.

“Save her, Thomas.”

“I cannot.”

“You can. Make her like you. Protect her. Love her.”

“To bring her into this world, this existence, would be cruel. Selfish.”

“No, you are wrong. Both of you are so stubborn.” His breath hitched with a gurgle as he struggled to communicate his last wish. Thomas leaned down to hear his words. “Turn her. Protect her with your life, promise me.”

Thomas pulled back, the horror at Josiah’s demand surely evident on his face. He could not promise this.

“My friend, my son. Promise me.”

Guilt swept over him. This man considered him a son even after he’d failed them all. After he’d already broken his promise to protect this family. He’d been off, licking the wounds of his heartbreak, and left them vulnerable to attack from his enemies. Members of the Fellowship of Adam’s Race who targeted men like Josiah because they aided and protected his kind.

He would own it; this tragedy had begun the moment he’d allowed Felicity to entice him into things he’d known were wrong. His kind and humans were not meant to be together. And now he’d learned this lesson at the sacrifice of others. Thomas had known this danger was coming. This was his fault.

“I promise.” He almost wept at the peace spreading over Josiah’s face. He did not deserve this trust. He would make it right. “Tell me who did this.”

Josiah grasped his collar, pulling him down to whisper the name in his ear with his last breath. Rage coiled in his belly as he shifted over to Felicity. She was pale, almost gone, and he had no time to waste if he was going to turn her. He would give her life and then take her to Tilly. The old witch would help her through the First Phase and beyond. He could not. He could not stay knowing she didn’t want him.

To know that she existed would be comfort enough.

He leaned over her, letting his fangs descend as he prepared to drain the last of her and feed her his own blood.

And then he would kill the bastards who did this, who killed his Felicity and forced her into a life she had never asked for.

Chapter One

Washington, DC, 2014

The bastard was making her wait.

Felicity “Cici” Trent looked around the plush office and had to admit she couldn’t bitch about the location, just the waiting. If she didn’t already know that the owner was a rich, powerful player on the local scene, her surroundings made the point quite well.

The office in Aura Mortis Security sat in the corner of the penthouse in an exclusive building in downtown Washington, DC, with a spectacular view of the many prestigious marble buildings and monuments that acted as landmarks to tourists and locals alike. The office was warm and comfortable, anchored by heavy high-end pieces of dark furniture, soft upholstered seating, and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and display cases. Even the small kitchen area was equipped with snacks and beverages—soft, hard, and bloody.

Suddenly thirsty, she grabbed a bottle of A-positive and poured the liquid into a glass whose heft attested to the quality of the crystal. She could say one thing about Thomas Samuel Deacon—he didn’t skimp on quality and treated his guests like queens and kings while he cavalierly missed their appointment.

Bastard.

Too antsy to sit down and mess up her pristine and carefully chosen Vera Wang suit, she took a stroll around the room and through three hundred years of history. She recognized the Northam family crest on a few items, wondering how many of them Deacon had brought over with him on the ship that transported him to America.

With every step around the perimeter, each carefully labeled artifact took her to a memory she’d filed away with each passing decade of her life. She’d long ago learned to let go of the past as two hundred and thirty-nine years had flown by at the speed of horse and buggy, then automobile, then airplane, and then space shuttle. Life flew by even when you had forever.

In all the memorabilia, Deacon failed to change. Dark hair; brown eyes with a hint of copper; large, broadly built body that perfectly suited his height of six feet three inches; and angular features that hinted at his lofty human pedigree. He was a damn sexy vampire, always outshining whatever general, movie star, intelligence director, dictator, or president he was standing next to in the photos lining the shelves. He was the last person on the planet she ever wanted to ask for help, but these photos reinforced her knowledge that he was the only one who could help her.

“Happy.” The voice was deep, rough, and right f**king behind her. She spun to greet the man in the flesh.

She barely caught a glimpse of his face before he drew her close and pressed his lips to the skin of her cheek, almost touching her mouth, but just shy of a real kiss. His scent, male with a dash of expensive aftershave and the essence of cold winter air that always surrounded those of their kind, immediately took her back to the time when he’d abandoned the colonial formality of using only full names and first uttered that particular nickname in her ear and cast his wicked spell.

She was once again in that dark alcove all those hundreds of years ago, with the murmuring of the party crowd just beyond the edge of propriety where she’d gone with him and allowed the first touch of a man’s lips against hers, eagerly opening to his searching tongue, and experiencing the unfamiliar ache of wanting. In the present, she automatically reached out, lightly grasping the soft fabric of his T-shirt, but it was the memory that assaulted her equilibrium.

Deacon was first to pull back from the greeting, his expression dark, but softened by the arc of memory and emotion pulsing between them. She looked up at him, her body swaying toward his, and he mirrored her own movements until her br**sts brushed his chest. She bit down, suppressing the urge to let her fangs descend and bite into the sweet spot where his neck met his shoulder. She knew he’d taste sweet and spicy, like all things forbidden.

“You haven’t changed at all,” Deacon said, his voice low and deep.

“A blessing or a curse of our kind. Your perspective is a vampire’s choice.”

Deacon’s head dipped closer, his full lips coming dangerously close to completing the kiss promised a few seconds earlier. She remained still, willing her body not to lean forward and meet him. Damn, even after all this time their very inconvenient passion still raged between them. How many lifetimes would it take to put it out?

“In your case…” His gazed roamed her face, so intense she had to fight back the urge to hide, to avoid his scrutiny. He was the last man she wanted to get in her head. “…or should I say in my case, it is a blessing.”

He turned away. His retreat gave Cici plenty of time to gather her wits and ogle his fine ass before he slid into the leather chair behind his desk. He was quick but not fast enough to hide the rim of glowing topaz around his iris that betrayed his arousal, his reaction to her presence. Cici blinked to clear the shot of blue she knew was in her own eyes. This particular quirk was the bane of vampire existence—they didn’t need to wear their emotions on their sleeves when they flashed like neon from their eyes. But now she knew Deacon still felt the pull between them. Good to know she wasn’t the only one who hadn’t cooled down in over two centuries. This man played high-stakes poker–dangerous and deadly. You could never have too many aces up your sleeve.

“Cici.”

He was back to the usual Deacon—cocky, calculating, and charming. He leaned back in his chair, long legs extended to prop his heavy boots on the exquisite desktop as he shook back his shoulder-length hair and gestured toward the previously unnoticed third person in their party. “My second-in-command, Andy Silverfox.”

The tall man, Native American in appearance and shy in demeanor, walked over and put out a long graceful hand to her. “Ms. Trent, good to meet you.”

She smiled. His skin was warmer than hers and his scent was not vampire. “You’re a were.”

“Yes. Sioux were-shifter.” He nodded toward the empty chair and remained standing until she was seated, his old-school manners giving her a decent clue about his real age. Shifters were long-lived depending on their ancestry, and she’d known a few ancient Sioux in her time.

“Sit down, Andy, and stop making me look bad.” Deacon smiled slightly, his fangs hidden away, customary of the older generation. Required to hide their true identity, the teeth came out only when engaged in one of the three Fs: feeding, fighting, or f**king. Cici couldn’t rule any of them out. He turned his attention back to her.

“Don’t be fooled by the ‘aw shucks, ma’am’ routine. He isn’t quite housebroken.”

“Bite me.” Andy laughed as he lowered into the seat beside her.

“I think that’s my line.” Deacon grabbed a paperweight from his desk, turning the metal cube over and over in his hand. Silence enveloped them and dissipated the easy camaraderie of a few moments before.

“So, Cici. We haven’t spoken since 1943 and while I’d love to think you’re here because you’re finally going to pay the fifty dollars you owe me, I’m not holding my breath.” He paused and shrugged at his own comment. “If I actually breathed, that is.”

It wouldn’t have surprised her to hear a bell ring, signaling the beginning of round one.

“You cheated. I don’t owe you the money,” she said, surprised at the decades-old indignation burning in her belly.

“The deal was that you would pay me if I had to save your ass.”

“I didn’t need your help. I was fine, but you had to sweep in and be the hero.” She crossed her arms and her legs knowing how childish she looked. Deacon had the ability to make her lose her well-honed cool. And she didn’t know if it was the loss of control or the fact that she enjoyed it that bothered her more.

“You were surrounded by Nazis. You were not fine.”

“It wasn’t the first time and I had a plan that you screwed up with your theatrics. I’m not paying you.”

“Wait? Nazis?” Andy asked, looking back and forth between them as though he was watching a tennis match. “How long have you two been friends?”

“We aren’t friends.” They answered in unison, the moment almost comical with the way their gazes crashed into each other across the room.

“Okay…so, how long have you two not been friends?”

“Two hundred and thirty-nine years,” Cici said.

“Two hundred and forty.” Deacon paused the turning of the cube as he interrupted her. “It was just after I moved to Williamsburg. You were still human.”

His eyes locked with hers and she recalled that he had the right of it. It had been a very long year waiting for Master Thomas Samuel Deacon from Northam Glen plantation to speak to her, and her world had spun on its axis when it finally happened. He’d asked what book she was reading and she’d fallen in love. Silly girl. But several lifetimes had banished that girl for good, and the woman who remained needed to get down to business.

“Deacon, I need your help and I don’t have anywhere else to go.” Cici didn’t think it would do any good to mince words when desperate times called for eating decades-old crow. She absolutely hated owing anyone a favor, but she was truly at the end of her rope.

“Well, that’s honest and I know how much you hated to say it. Spill.” He placed the cube on the desktop, lowered his legs and leaned forward, completely focused on her. The attention was comforting, but it also made her squirm with awareness of him. She planted her ass firmly in the seat, steadfastly refusing to get up and pace the room. She was a professional. She was a successful business owner. She was not the girl who’d longed each day to see him walk down Duke of Gloucester Street from behind the counter of her father’s shop. That girl died a long, long, time ago, along with the rest of her family.

“I have a dating agency, Your Other Half.” Cici recrossed her legs; just talking about her worries made her skin crawl.

“I’m familiar. It’s hard to miss your tour of every magazine and talk show recently,” Deacon said, barely disguising his dislike of her using the media. He avoided the spotlight just as the young vampires had to avoid daylight to avoid the “crispy critter syndrome,” which only succeeded in making sure he was on the front page more often than she was. Nobody, not even the media, could resist the hot guy who refused to be caught in their high beams.

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