Katherine Marie Ernshaw was tired. No—taking on an extra five hours a week at work—wasn’t tired. This was bone shattering, mind numbing, needing four bottles of Nyquil tired.
Work was excruciating. Her boss had the I.Q. of a cold cucumber and the mouth of a wharf worker. Her mother had called at the beginning of the week to inform her that she was getting married, again—to husband number seven. Her half sister was flunking out of college and her pseudo boyfriend had decided finally to cut her loose; i.e. he had dumped her ass.
Yeah. She was tired.
“I need to win the lottery, move to Bermuda, get myself a couple of tropical drinks and a cute Cabana boy,” Katherine muttered under her breath. She pulled the collar of her winter coat tighter and swore. It was freezing, absolutely freezing. Ugh, she should be sniffing daisies right now. Where the heck was spring?
Katherine frowned. Spring was probably taking a vacation—like she should be doing right about now. But oh no, no vacation for her. Her moron boss’ idea of a vacation was taking a trip to Staples for an extra box of manila envelopes.
Oh yeah, life was just triple whipped candy dandy.
“Pretty, pretty girl…come to me, pretty.”
Katherine spun around, where had that voice come from? “Who’s there?” Katherine felt her heart beat faster and she quickened her pace. It was too dark. How had she not noticed how dark it was? She began to fish through her purse for her keys. She had to get home…she had to get home now.
“Pretty, don’t run away from me…”
“Okay, whoever you are, you should just know…I know Karate,” Katherine shouted. Well, it was sort of true. She had seen the ‘Karate Kid’ like four hundred times. She knew wax on, wax off, by heart.
Katherine screamed. Something had her neck. It was on fire. Her heart was pounding in her chest like two caged birds. She felt burning, shocking pain. Oh god, oh god, she was going to die.
“Oh pretty, just a passing death for you.” The voice was at her ear now, low and grating, but surprisingly soothing.
Katherine’s pain-filled eyes began to clear. “You…you’ve killed me,” she whispered.
“Ah no, never that.”
Katherine saw him then. He was hideous, frightening beyond belief. Black hair, clumped around a round, white face, which was dominated by two large red eyes and a mouth—a mouth that was stretched impossibly wide.
It had fangs, oh my god, the creature had fangs! Katherine shook her head. She was delusional. She had lost too much blood and she was seeing things. There was no way she was staring at this thing in front of her. She had been attacked, mugged, that was it, yes that had to be it. Even now her mind was trying to compensate, to make sense of her attack. She was not seeing this.
“Oh yes, you are pretty. But then, noble blood should always have a certain bearing,” the creature spat out. It was smiling, its mouth twisted into a gruesome parody of such things.
“Please…” Katherine whispered. She was lightheaded now, lightheaded and losing more blood than her body could bear.
“Yes, pretty…I plan on pleasing you a lot.”
Katherine began to pant. She desperately tried to keep a rein on her quickly decomposing senses. She turned her head. Where was everyone? Sure it was late, sure it was dark, but there should be people here…it was a crowded city street, right? Oh god, she was going to die.
The creature bent down and began to lick her neck. “The Council…so stupid…they could not even find their Hybriantu…but I did, I found you, pretty…so you are mine.”
“Wrong, she is mine.” The new voice that pierced the dark was beautiful, rich, smooth and creamy. It soothed, caressed and seduced the ear.
Katherine coughed. Blood dripped from her mouth and pain wracked her body. “Okay, I hate to break up this little…convention, but I’m, I’m bleeding to death here…” She groaned. “I need a doctor.” Well she could still give out a good quip—that had to mean she was still conscious, right?
The creature that had attacked her growled. “Mine. She is mine. You cannot have her. I found her.”
“Nonetheless, she is mine.” The man cracked his knuckles. “I suggest you leave her, and leave this place, before I take your head.”
The creature shoved Katherine away. Her head hit the pavement. Blackness engulfed her. It was a blessing, for she could not have borne the pain much longer.
* * * *
Lex eyed the wraith in front of him. The creature was foul. It disturbed his sensibilities that such things were even half considered to be in the league of vampires. This creature was nothing but a shell. It was not human, not true immortal, merely twisted and unfulfilled. It was not and could never be a vampire. Then why did mortals believe such? Believe that this thing was a Night Walker.
“She is mine…” The wraith spat out. It was crawling now, crawling on all fours toward the shining dark one. This Night Walker could not have his prey, she was his, first bite, first claim…it was his right. Suddenly he lunged.
Lex easily jumped back from the slashing claw that came at his face. It was laughable, this wraith thought to destroy him? With one graceful jump he was elevated five feet off the ground. He stood suspended there, waiting, eyes gleaming and anticipating. He crooked his finger at the wraith tauntingly. “Come. You want the girl—prove to me that you are worthy.” He laughed as the wraith launched himself into the air toward him.
Lex’s fingers pulled and stretched until his talons were free. Their points were razor sharp and with one swipe, he easily slashed the wraith’s neck open. He watched as the wraith screamed and fell to the ground. It was so easy it was almost sad. “You see, you cannot win.” He leaned over the wraith. “I give you a choice now…easy…or hard?”
The wraith was making gurgling sounds from its torn throat. Blood was pouring in great waves from its broken flesh. And yet it still had the strength and will to lunge forward, grab the dark one’s leg and dig its claws into his flesh.
Lex pulled his leg free and sighed. “Hard then. It was your choice, wraith.” Lex removed a long silver dagger from his arm sheath and with one efficient motion cut the wraith’s head off. The wraith’s body wriggled and jerked and Lex took that moment to cut out its heart and drop it along side of its head. It stopped moving then. “Your choice,” Lex whispered, dropping the dagger.
Lex made his way over to Katherine. He checked for a pulse and when he found one he smiled. She was still alive, thank the stars for that. She was still alive, thus she could still be turned.
Lex gathered Katherine up in his arms and shot up, disappearing into the night sky, shadowed by the clouds.
Katherine groaned. Everything hurt. She felt as if she had been run over by a semi. What the hell had happened to her? One minute she was walking home and the next…the next…well, that was still fuzzy. Had she been mugged?
Her hand went automatically to her side, feeling for her purse. There was nothing, literally nothing.
Oh god, she was naked.
She swallowed and looked down. Yep, she was naked all right. Okay, there was a perfectly good explanation for all of this. She had to still be dreaming. This was all part of her delusion. She had been attacked, yes, that made sense. She had been attacked, wounded, she lost a lot of blood and she was still delusional. That would account for her nakedness, the fuzziness in her brain and of course…the weird sensations that were flooding her body.
“Good, you’re awake.”
Time stopped. The most beautiful man Katherine had ever seen appeared in front of her. He was so beautiful in fact, that she knew she was dreaming. Because men this yummy just didn’t exist in real life.
“You slept well. I believe your body has healed itself. We’ll be able to proceed with the ritual soon.”
Katherine swallowed. This man was just too gorgeous to be true. He had hair the color of honey and eyes so silver they appeared twice touched by lightning. His features were perfectly patrician, high cheekbones and well defined mouth. Only his complexion remained odd. He was pale, deathly so. He was so white that Katherine wondered if he, too, had lost blood. Had the thing that attacked her, attacked this man? No, he looked too virile, too good to have been attacked by a wild animal, or a wild man?
“What is going on here?” Katherine whispered more to herself than to anyone else.
“I have been searching for you a long time. I saved you. I saved you, my Kat. Your life now belongs to me, so shall your death. I will be the first…the only to taste the blood of a Hybriantu. Now come, come to me Kat.”
Katherine shook her head wildly. What the hell was going on here? She skittered backward and gasped when her very naked back touched cold…brick? Oh god, where was she?
Lex was confused. She was not supposed to resist him. He had saved her from the wraith and cleansed her. She was now infection free and ready to be turned—by him. He had probed her mind. She was still human and thus she should be susceptible to immortal thought. She should want to come to him. He had planted the seeds in her mind. Why then was she resisting him?
“Okay buddy, just because you’re better looking than Brad Pitt, doesn’t mean I’m not going to scream the place down if you don’t give me a phone, like right now.”
“And who would you call, Kat?”
“Katherine…my name is Katherine.” She shook her head to clear it. “I need to call…well first off, I should call the police.”
“And tell them what?”
Katherine swallowed. “That I was attacked by something…something really ugly.”
Lex laughed. “You’re precious, my Kat. Yes, you were attacked. But I saved you. I saved you and now you’re indebted to me.”
She didn’t like the sound of that. “Okay, if I owe you thanks for helping me out with the ugly mugger—here—thanks. But I’m going to go now, okay. I’ll send you a fruit basket later.” Katherine looked around for her clothes.
Lex was thoroughly bewildered. She was behaving so strangely. They should be having sex by now, not arguing about her clothes and a phone.
“Where are my clothes, you pervert?”
“Your clothes were ruined. They had to be destroyed.”
Katherine narrowed her eyes. She vaguely recalled lots of blood. All right, perhaps her clothes had been ruined. But what about her undergarments? Had they been ruined too? Because she knew she had been wearing a bra and panties. She wasn’t the commando sort of girl—not daring enough. “So, give me a towel or something.”
He rocked back. “A towel?”
“Yeah, I need to get home.” She groaned…her head was killing her. “I have to feed my cat, call my sister, and oh god, do my taxes.”
“Taxes?” Lex was not following this conversation.
“Yeah, taxes. They’re due the 15th, you know.”
Lex glided over to Katherine and graced her with a large, blindingly brilliant smile.
She frowned. Shit, why did he have to go and do that? Now he looked like Brad Pitt crossed with Orlando Bloom—yeah, that yummy. She shook her head, again. Jeez, she had to get her thoughts under control. She was shacked up with a lunatic, a gorgeous lunatic, but still a lunatic. She couldn’t find the nut case attractive. Weren’t there like rules against that?
Lex took advantage of Katherine’s stupefied nature. He easily pulled her into his embrace, encompassing her with his heat. He leaned over and shook his hair free. It fell in honeyed strands against her bare skin. She shivered.
He bent over and licked the delicate shell of her ear. When she moaned, he blew gently against her neck. “Beautiful…” Lex whispered against her heated flesh. He drew his hand down her back, taking in the smooth, perfect plane of her. When he reached the globes of her ass he squeezed gently.
Katherine whimpered. Oh boy, oh boy she was in trouble. Yes, she was trapped in a room with a beautiful madman, but that wasn’t her biggest problem—the biggest problem she had was currently pressed against her thigh.
“This is crazy…you’re a figment of my imagination.”
“Am I?” Lex began to knead her flesh. He locked his mouth onto the skin directly under her ear and bit, gently.
“Oh…oh,” her breath quickened.
He smiled against her skin. “Like that, my little Kat?”
“Uh yes, I can like anything, right? It’s my dream.”
“We should get something straight…” Lex said, all the while rubbing his length against her. “This is not a dream. I do not feel right continuing this if you still believe you’re dreaming.”
Katherine pulled her head back, confused. “Are you telling me you don’t want me?”
He groaned. “Not want you?” Lex reached for Katherine’s hand and drew it down over his crotch, letting her feel exactly what she did to him. “I’m hard as a steel pipe. Not want you? Are you daft?”
Lex shook his head, exasperated. “We’ll deal with the English lesson later. We have more important things to deal with now.”
Katherine ran her hand down the length of him. She was frustrated by the fact that he was still wearing clothes. If she was naked, then he should damn well be naked. “Off,” she said, tugging at his belt buckle.
Lex jerked and grabbed her hands. “Kat, Kat, we’ve got to talk.”
“Sex first, then talk,” Katherine said. Oh yes, eureka, she felt the buckle come loose and she had her hands on the first two buttons of his fly. Perhaps she was better at this entire undressing the opposite sex thing than she had originally thought.
Lex groaned when he felt Katherine’s hot, wet mouth on his skin. She had her mouth on his chest and she was using that talented tongue of hers. Jeez, what he would give to feel that talented tongue on a different part of him…
He clenched his jaw and brought his raging thoughts under rein. He had to get through to her. He could not complete the ritual if she believed she was dreaming. He had to make her understand. “Katherine, Katherine.”
At hearing her full name from coming from the hot guy’s lips, her head jerked up. “Yeah, what do you want? I’m sort of busy here.”
Lex tried not to laugh, and tried to think thoughts that weren’t sexual. He had to get control of things. Okay, thoughts that excluded sex…
He growled…he was going to have to think of another plan.
Katherine was completely befuddled. Her dream man wasn’t supposed to be resisting her advances. It was her dream and she wanted sex. Why wasn’t he cooperating?
“Katherine.” Lex’s voice was hoarse.
“For a figment of my imagination, you sure talk a lot.”
That stopped Lex cold. “The men in your dreams do not talk?” What was he talking about? He couldn’t believe he had asked that question. Better not to encourage her.
“Well…” Katherine thought for a split second, “No.”
His mouth dropped open right before he burst out laughing. “So they’re mimes then.”
“Your men, the men in your dreams, they’re mimes.”
Katherine frowned. “Don’t be ridiculous.” Ugh, this was getting to be the WORST wet dream she had ever had. Oh well, at least her dream guy was gorgeous…her mind had done something right.
Lex ran a hand through his thick hair and sighed. “Katherine, what I am about to say is dearly important. You must listen to me.”
Katherine groaned. It was getting worse by the minute. God, even in her dreams she didn’t get any. “Fine, fine.” She looked around for a place to sit down—other than the giant bed. Finally she plopped her naked self down. “So handsome, what do we need to talk about?”
Lex swallowed hard. He had to remember that he was not an untried youth. He was a vampire, a very experienced vampire. But damn, did she have to be so delectable, so beautiful?
He had expected the rush of power he would feel when he took Katherine Ernshaw into his arms. It was to be expected, she was a Hybriantu. He had expected the thrill of victory, the sensation, the adrenaline that came with knowing he would win. He had not expected this, this odd feeling he had every time he looked at her. She was special, that was for sure, but she was also mysterious.
“Are you going to talk, or just stare at me?” Katherine crossed her arms under her breasts, lifting them up. “Well?”
“You are a tempting morsel,” he struggled to keep his voice light and detached. “And there is little doubt as to your…charms…however you have an annoying way of disassociating yourself with reality.”
Reality? Was he kidding? Katherine couldn’t stop herself—she burst out laughing. Once she started she couldn’t stop. She felt pain clench her stomach as laughing cramps overtook her. Oh, oh he was too funny. “You’re a riot. Now I see why I’m having this dream. I needed some laughs in my life.”
Lex was at a loss. What the hell was he supposed to do now? Left with no other option he lunged forward, grabbed her by her forearms and pulled her up, flush against his body. He ignored her startled expression, loosened his jaw, and opened his mouth to reveal huge gleaming fangs.
Oh no. It had to still be a dream. But why then was she dreaming about a man with fangs? A nightmare, yes a nightmare, that made sense.
“Katherine Ernshaw,” Lex’s voice was deep and serious. “I claim turning rights. I invoke the Rights of Blood and claim you as my mate.” With those words he dropped to his knee formally, touched his fingers to his forehead and then his lips and waited.
“What is going on?” Katherine was beginning to realize she was way out of her depth. This dream was getting too real for her. “If this is a nightmare it’s the weirdest one I’ve ever had, and I’ve had some weird nightmares—like the time I dreamed that bitchy Patty Turner had poured ketchup all over my new white shorts, making everyone believe that I had…”
Suddenly Lex was in front of her, hand over her mouth, effectively shutting her up. “No dream, Kat. I have invoked rights and I mean to claim them.”
“What rights? Who are you?”
“I am Lexarius Maxim,” he winked, “affectionately known as Lex. And I’m a vampire, Kat. A Night Walker.”
Katherine snorted, but her face turned somber when she saw his expression. “You really believe this, don’t you?”
“I believe because it is true.”
“Listen, vampires don’t exist,” she poked him in the chest. “There are no such things as vampires.”
“How do you explain the fight, the fangs and the fact that you’re touching very real flesh right now? None of this would be possible if this were a dream.”
Katherine exploded. “It’s not possible now. This is totally impossible.”
Lex brushed a strand of her hair away from her face and smiled. “Do you not believe that things exist beyond this realm, Katherine? Or, at least acknowledge the possibility?”
Lex laughed. He began to slowly knead her breasts. Katherine’s nipples had gone instantly hard and were now pebbled beneath his palm.
She began to hiccup. “St-hic-stop that.” She slapped his hands away. “You’re distracting me. I’m trying to rationalize your presence here.”
“Stop rationalizing. Perhaps there is no explanation…perhaps the explanation is that no explanation exists.”
Katherine’s face screwed up and she began to shake her head wildly. “And perhaps you’re loony as a toon. And…and…I don’t like philosophical shit.”
Lex looked into Katherine’s confused and annoyed face and thought she looked adorable. He swooped down and locked his lips to hers, silencing all protests, mumbles and squeaks.
He smiled against her mouth. His tongue laved her tongue and tickled her teeth. He pressed his body tightly against her and deepened the kiss. He wanted everything. He wanted to inhale her, drown in her and sail away. She felt so good. Her mouth was so sweet…he knew everything would be sweet.
“You claimed to want sex before…” he murmured against her mouth.
Katherine raked her hands down Lex’s back and groaned. “No, no more talking. We’re just getting to the good stuff.” She smoothed her hands against his chest, reveling in the hard flesh under her palms. He was flawless. She needed, wanted more.
She quickly undid the buttons to his pants and pulled them down. Her mouth dropped open. Oh my, now that was impressive.
Her dream man’s cock was huge—then again he was her dream man. He was long, smooth, perfectly formed and hard. Even now, as she watched in amazement, he grew larger.
Katherine tossed him a coy look before she wrapped her lips around his cock. She licked the bulbous head and ran her tongue down his length, taking her time to taste him entirely. Relaxing her throat she drew him more deeply into her mouth. Digging her hands into the flesh of his thighs, she tightened her lips and began to suck. She moaned in delight when his cock began to leap and jump within her wet mouth.
Lex dragged Katherine up his body and, ignoring her yelp of surprise, claimed her lips in a searing kiss. He dug his hands into her ass and moved his mouth to her neck. Licking the soft, sweet flesh of her neck, he groaned when she began to wriggle and squirm against him.
Katherine shook her head, gasping when Lex’s teeth scraped her shoulder. “I can’t stop…I don’t want to stop…” Katherine grabbed the back of Lex’s head and pulled him in for another kiss. When she had kissed him thoroughly she broke away, panting. “Now…fuck me.”
Lex let out a sound that was halfway between a laugh and a groan. “How can I resist that sweet plea?” scooping Katherine up and striding toward the bed.
She gazed up at Lex through her lashes. He was so beautiful. And he was hard everywhere.
She licked her lips and watched as he began to crawl up the bed toward her. His hair was free, brushing her body as he moved up her length. His face held a knowing, predatory smile. Katherine gasped when she felt his hot mouth against her ankle and instep. God, she had never known she was sensitive there. She jerked and moaned, oh yeah this was good…totally worth waiting for.
Lex moaned at the first taste of Katherine’s heated flesh. She tasted just as good as he knew she would…better.
He abandoned Katherine’s foot, smiling when she uttered a feeble protest, and continued up her leg. He paid ample attention to her gorgeous thighs, they were fleshy and yet toned in all the right places. She had thighs that begged to be wrapped around a man’s waist, squeezing and loving. He kneaded her flesh and nibbled, loving the taste of her
Lex parted her legs wider, and inhaled…yes…so very, very sweet. He felt the thrum of energy that was emanating off of his Kat and smiled. Passion, he had known she would be passionate. It was a pleasure to discover how much so. He ran his hair between her legs, tickling the soft lips of her pussy. When she moaned and thrust upward toward him, he couldn’t resist—he covered her fully with his mouth.
She was ripe as a peach and just as sweet. He took his time getting to know her, all of her. He nibbled on the fleshy lips of her pussy and then dipped his tongue deep into the heart of her. He smiled when she groaned and shouted out his name. It was good. It was right. She should shout out his name for all eternity.
He quickened his pace. She was so beautiful, his Kat. He located her clit and ran his tongue gently over it. When he felt Kat tug at his hair he laughed and wrapped his tongue around the hard bud. His hands dug into her thighs and his mouth continued to taste and learn her essence.
“Oh god, it’s so good…” she breathed out.
Lex answered with a broad stroke of his tongue against her clit.
Katherine screamed and thrashed. “My god…”
He looked up then. His lips were glistening, shining with her juice, and smiled. “Not god—Lex. Say my name Kat, say it.”
She gasped as one of his strong fingers entered her pussy.
“My name, say my name Katherine,” Lex added another finger.
“Lex, oh my god, Lex…”
He laughed a joyous laugh. “Yes, that will more than suffice…for now.” Lex felt the heat of her passage. She was burning up. Her pussy was scalding his finger, surrounding it in molten lava. “I need you, my Kat.” He stared at her flushed face with passion-glazed eyes.
Katherine sighed in relief. Thank God. “Well, what are you waiting for?” and let out a peal of laughter when Lex whooped, wrapped his arms around her legs and flipped her easily onto her stomach. “What…what…” Her voice was muffled against the thick mound of pillows.
Lex captured her wrists easily and held them down. He swallowed, his voice thick with emotion. “Do you even know how beautiful you are?”
Kat’s voice was breathy. A shiver of anticipation ran down her spine.
“I want this gorgeous ass of yours in the air,” Lex said.
Katherine could do nothing but obey. Truthfully, she wanted nothing more than to obey.
A moment later Lex entered her. His cock imbedded deep with the first thrust.
Katherine groaned and thrust back against him. She felt his hands digging into her ass and his cock pressing deeply within her body. She molded her hands around her breasts and began to knead. The sensations were overwhelming. He was so big and hard and now, now, he was in her.
She could feel her pussy as it began to quiver and shake. Her body was a mass of nerves, all of which were on fire. Her heart was pounding and she was seized by hot and cold flashes.
“Oh God!” Katherine screamed.
“Not God…” Lex panted from behind her.
“Lex…Lex…” Katherine gasped as his strokes quickened and deepened. She hadn’t known it was possible to touch her so deeply.
Katherine felt each nerve in her pussy responding and she clenched her lower muscles automatically. She smiled when she heard his responding groan. She clenched again and his groan turned into a growl.
“It’s time,” Lex whispered in her ear.
“Time?” Katherine panted out.
She gasped when she felt herself flipped onto her back. But her beautiful dream man was still plowing into her—so it was all right. She arched her back and hips and wrapped her arms around him.
He was moving more quickly now, more forcefully. Katherine felt his hands in her hair pulling her head back. She opened her glassy eyes and saw his face. He was so beautiful. But what was with the eyes? His eyes were now solid black. No pupil, no nothing, just a yawning pit of black. She opened her mouth to ask him, but suddenly heat seared her chest and she was thrown into a realm of pleasure she didn’t know existed. She vaguely felt as hands gripped her head and brought it down to solid, muscled flesh—and then salty metallic liquid was filling, flooding her mouth.
It felt as if she were flying, soaring, and her body was elevated on a cloud of pure paradise. She could still feel him hard and thick within her body. And he was still moving with steady grace in and out of her pussy. But now, now, she felt everything. She could hear her heart beating—she could actually hear it speaking to her. She could hear her muscles, tendons, veins and arteries as they worked together towards her pleasure. And she could hear—
“My beautiful Kat!” Lex’s voice was meltingly seductive in her head.
“What’s happening to me?” Katherine felt her pussy clench and white lights were dancing in her head. She clawed at the blankets of the bed and went climbing toward her orgasm.
“Yes, yes, come for me…my beautiful Kat.”
“Ohhhhh my…ohhhhhh FUCK!” Katherine wailed. She felt Lex as strongly as she felt herself, and she knew that he was going to come. His cock leapt and pulsed and just as she let herself go, let her own body find its fulfillment, she felt him filling her with his essence.