Book I of the Vampire Queen Series
Released July 2007
His blood. His soul. His body. Hers for the asking…
Lady Elyssa Yamato Amaterasu Wentworth is a centuries-old vampire who’s been given a new servant – Jacob, a total alpha male unaccustomed to submitting to any woman’s wishes. What really binds Jacob to her are not her sensual midnight hungers, but something far more provocative. It stirs her blood, renews her life and awakens her soul like only true love can. The passion between Lyssa and Jacob yields something else unexpected – a shared history that reaches back through the centuries and is fated to challenge their destiny like nothing ever will again.
© Copyright 2007 - All Rights Reserved
"Why do you want to become a human servant? Are you running from death? Or are you one of those idealistic idiots who believe vampires are misunderstood creatures, issuing pretentious threats while we cling to the shadows and whine out our angst over our lost mortality?”
The description made Jacob smile. Too late, he realized he should have curbed the urge. He’d been warned her moods changed as quickly as the snap of a whip.
In a blink, the room closed in on him with a suffocating energy. Making the chamber much warmer than the gas log fire, the power raised the hairs on his neck in warning.
“Do you realize, mortal, I could rip you apart limb by limb? Tear out your entrails and take your blood while you watch, choking on your last breath? Don’t play games with me, and do not speak false, or those words will be your last.”
When Jacob raised his gaze, he saw her eyes had taken on a reddish cast as she spoke, a hint of fang pushing over the right side of her full lip. The humanity had disappeared from her expression.
A wise man would have taken his hands off her foot. Put about a hundred feet between him and the threat he knew she was capable of executing. But Jacob knew that would be it. Game over. The last nine months of his life a waste. Most importantly, he would fail her, something he’d sworn to a dying man he would not do.
“I know you can destroy me,” he said quietly, staring back down at that shapely foot. “My reasons for wanting to be your servant are complicated and personal, my lady. My tongue isn’t clever enough to explain them as you wish me to do. But I can prove myself to you, if you’ll give me the opportunity.”
It took Herculean effort to manage the words in an even tone, to raise his attention back to her face and hold that preternatural gaze without flinching, though his muscles tensed in an involuntary readiness he knew would be futile if she chose to strike. “I suspect if you truly intended to tear my limbs off, you wouldn’t take the time to threaten me.”
“Perhaps I feed on fear.”
“There are other, more satisfying meals I can offer you.” Daring or just plain stupid he didn’t know, but going with his gut, Jacob bent and placed his lips against the top of her foot.
* * * * *
Small, fine-boned, cold. Like his mother’s china. When he was little he’d been forbidden to touch it. As a man, he’d learned how to handle delicate things, enjoying the sensation while taking the proper care to keep them from harm.
Despite her strength, which could tear out the concrete foundation of the Eldar if she chose to exercise it, he thought of her as delicate. There were many formidable women, with or without vampire strength. But it was his experience that all of them had a need for love, unless damage to their heart had caused them to wall it off. They all desired to be cherished emotionally, and the art of conveying that through physical touch was one of the most potent ways to do it.
His lady appeared to have some sizeable fortifications around her heart for reasons he knew too well. Even so, he thought he could see a light guiding him through the crevices that still remained in those walls, toward the dark center of her soul.
Perhaps that intuition came from Thomas’s many insights into her. Or maybe it wasn’t intuition at all, merely the rationalizing stupidity that came with a man’s lust. But though Jacob had woken countless times in the middle of the night bathed in sweat, his cock spent like a teenager’s over the dreams he’d had about her, as many or more times the dreams had been about other things. Things that created a deeper-than-physical yearning unable to be assuaged with the touch of his hand on his cock. Only the feel of her in his arms would be enough. He let that guide him now.
Thomas, her former servant, had exaggerated nothing, even the way she made this abrupt transition from haughty goddess to merciless sorceress. As overwhelming as she was, he wanted to please her, to give her the gift of losing herself in her own desire. She was so lonely. He felt it from her like a labored heartbeat that made his own chest ache.
So he shifted his lips to her instep, tasted her there, his tongue flicking along the curve as he nuzzled the sole of her foot. When she placed her other foot against his shoulder, he figured she was about to shove him back on his ass. Or through a wall. But when he lifted his lashes, he found she’d gone motionless and was watching him. Turning his head, he brushed his hair along her ankle before he put his mouth against her calf. Slowly, so he conveyed his respect and his intention, he gripped her ankle and lifted her foot from his shoulder, supporting her calf in his other palm as he tasted her, all along the length of that fine limb.
The gauzy points of the skirt brushed his forehead. His nostrils flared when he smelled her response, which spurred his cock like a shot of adrenaline. Steady, mate. Make it about her.
He didn’t suppress the male passion that made him nip at her as he reached her knee, her thigh. She arched, a gasp leaving her at the rougher contact, and he did it again, marking her lightly with his teeth. Her other foot moved, rested on his thigh as he squatted before her. Then, not content with that, she slid it under his arm, bent her knee so her leg curved around his bare back, drawing him in. He made himself take his time though, nuzzling the thigh of the leg he still held, working his way up in millimeters. A tiny caress of his tongue, a quick suckle from his lips, then that scoring again, tasting her flesh in his mouth, feminine, silky skin.
Always ask permission.
The recollection of Thomas’s instruction was an irritating intrusion. Jacob didn’t ask women’s permission to drive them to pleasure. He took his cues from their bodies, their gasps, the grasp of their fingers. With her response, he felt an aggressive need to prove he could take over her senses. Perhaps it was because she was challenging him in an aggressive way no woman ever had. Or perhaps it was because he sensed against all logic and Thomas’s teachings she needed him to try to take her over. But for the moment, he chose to obey Thomas’s directive. In his own way.
He made himself look up at her. “My lady, you don’t need to tear me limb from limb to destroy me. Just deny me the taste of you now. May I give you pleasure?”
He was already giving her pleasure, on so many levels all Lyssa could think was she wanted his lips to be doing far less talking. But the part of her that still hung grimly to a shred of rationality was reassured by such hardcore evidence of Thomas’s tutelage. She suspected her answer was obvious to him, since her eyes could not help but drift down his bare upper body to the hard and impressive evidence of his own desire, revealed by his spread thighs. His cock was a long hard ridge against the hose, held against him only by the tight constraint of the fabric. There was a small wet area marking the tip as she’d suspected.
“Put your mouth on me, Jacob,” she said softly. “Prove to me you want to be my slave.”
Most human servants were not fond of the term, but that was what they were. Bound to her service forever, compelled by an oath to serve whatever need his Mistress demanded of him, a servant could not deny the true nature of the role. So she used it deliberately, watched his gaze flicker, a flare of resistance. But as she moved, intending to push him back from her, he took the challenge.
Wrapping his arm over her bent knee, his palm hot on the inside of her thigh, he levered it outward. Followed the line of her flesh beneath her skirt with his mouth, the gossamer fabric drifting over him as he worked his way ever closer…