Book VI of the Vampire Queen Series
(Vampire Mistress, Part 1 of Daegan, Anwyn and Gideon's story, should be read first)
Released September 2010
Vampire hunter Gideon Green sure as hell never intended to become a vampire’s servant. But when Anwyn Naime, a woman with whom he shared an unforgettable night, is turned by a vampire pack, they become bound by something far greater than either imagined. It also forces Gideon into an uneasy alliance with one of the most terrifying vampires he’s ever encountered: the mysterious Daegan Rei.
Daegan also has a vested interest in Anwyn. His history with the lovely nightclub owner is both intimate and intense. As Gideon and Daegan shepherd Anwyn through her dangerous validation with the Vampire Council, it’s clear the three of them must learn to trust each other. But as boundaries between them erode and vulnerabilities surface, Gideon realizes he is no longer the man he thought he was--changed by a strange and unexpected bond with the two new people in his life he can’t survive without…vampires.
© Copyright 2009 - All Rights Reserved
Background: Anwyn’s turning was violently done by a schizophrenic vampire. As a result, in Daegan’s absence with the Council, he’s asked the scientist, Lord Brian, to stay with her to see what can be done to help stabilize her transition seizures. In this scene, she and Brian are at dinner with Gideon and Debra, their respective servants, when Brian tells her he needs to monitor her vitals during a sexual experience to get a better baseline for the seizures. Needless to say, it puts a different spin on dinner conversation...
Now she turned her gaze to Brian, arching a brow. “Will masturbation provide the same data?”
He cleared his throat, giving her some small satisfaction at her reminder that on some things, at least, she didn’t need kid gloves.
“Similar enough. And tonight would be preferable,” he said, with just the right note of apology and concern in his eyes.
“All right. But first I want to know something. The first night Debra made us dinner, when she pulled out the table settings, she stopped and looked at you, as if waiting for an answer to an unspoken question. You said, ‘We’ll all eat at the table. No games.’ What did that mean?”
“Good memory.” Brian nodded. “You remember Lord Daegan said you and your servant were exclusive until your transition was complete and he returned?”
Dear Goddess, let him come home before the transition is complete. That could take up to three months. If she had to wait three months to see him, she might completely lose it. But she nodded. She felt Gideon’s gaze on her. Since, as her servant, he could be in her mind and she wasn't so adept yet at keeping him out, she knew he might have heard that thought.
“Vampire social gatherings always involve sexual games with the servants. It’s required by etiquette, and there are many political strategies worked out through such games. Though it’s also for the pleasure of the diners.”
Brian lifted his wineglass without glancing toward Debra. Putting down her fork, she immediately rose, took it from his hand and went to the sidebar to pour him another glass. “During a typical social gathering,” he continued, “a vampire’s servant either stands behind her Master’s chair, or kneels next to him, if he wants to feed her portions of the meal he’s sampling.” He glanced at her blood-laced wine. “You and I are not sampling human food. And I am here merely for your protection and diagnostics. Therefore, it made more sense to have our servants join us at the table and engage in conversation. Keep it more informal and relaxed.”
“So this is the vampire version of eating dinner at home, in front of the TV?”
Brian inclined his head toward Gideon, acknowledging the sardonic question. “If you like. But there have been times, even when eating alone, that I have bade my servant perform at my direction as she would at a gathering. Test runs, to help her confidence.” He turned his gaze back to Anwyn, a clear message there. “As well as for my own pleasure.”
Brian shifted from absentminded genius professor to urbane and well-versed dinner guest with barely a grinding of gears. Since he was a born vampire, his father a Region Master, it shouldn’t surprise her that he’d been trained to handle himself that way. Had Daegan imposed that directive about Brian not sharing servants because he didn’t think her capable of the other right now? Or he didn’t want to share her with anyone? Perhaps he was concerned about how Gideon would handle such a situation. She’d caught his sharp glance at the exchange. She knew Gideon wasn’t going to participate in anything like that, because she could hear it in his head. A cold day in hell before that will happen...
It was no less than what she expected, but it still added to the heavy, cold weight in her lower belly. Every day she grew more dependent on him, the first man in her life she could say that about and not feel she’d betrayed herself. When he left...
By the time that happens, you’ll be on your feet again, Anwyn. You’ll have graduated, gotten your full-fledged bat wings and not need me in your head anymore.
How do you know?
Because I know you. And because I won’t leave until that happens.
Was it something perverse in her that wanted to test that?
“What kind of things?” she asked Brian with not-so-casual interest. Crossing her forearms, she leaned forward, toying with the stem of her glass. Her nostrils flared, catching the scent of fresh blood as Debra cut her wrist with a tiny pearl-handled knife she’d had tucked in her bodice, let it flow into Brian’s glass. He drank white wine, so the crimson exploded like a flower blooming, sparkling in the candlelight Debra had set in the center of the table.
Brian glanced toward his servant. She’d changed for dinner. While Anwyn expected it was still demure and casual by vampire standards, the short, sleeveless lavender dress hugged Debra’s curves and gave her gray eyes a violet hue. Her hair was down, and the straight strands teased her fine cheekbones and lightly glossed lips.
As if visually recalling some of those “tests,” Brian’s gaze lingered on her as he spoke. “Simple things. Requiring that she strip naked and cook me human food, gourmet choices. Then lay on the table before me, with those samples placed on her body so I can use her as my table, my plate. Sometimes I bind her to a chair, with a vibrator inside of her, and watch her writhe and beg to come while I drink her fresh blood from a glass and go over my notes for the day. If she’s been a little too opinionated”—his eyes glinted as she turned back toward the table carrying the wine—“she kneels between my knees and holds my cock in her mouth as long as I demand. Not sucking or stimulating, merely holding it, feeling it grow harder until it fills her mouth and pushes into her throat.”
Brian took the glass from his servant, his hand closing over hers. Debra was still, her eyes lowered, her lips pressed together, but Anwyn recognized the flush of arousal on her soft cheeks. She wasn’t wearing a bra, because her nipples were points pressing against the fabric.
Gideon had put down his fork, sat back. Though he was trying to stay removed and wary from the turn in the conversation, Anwyn could tell the images Brian had painted were affecting him, as they would any male with alpha tendencies. Which her vampire hunter had in spades.
“That takes some self-discipline,” she observed. “For both of you.”
What Brian had described fired her own blood, ratcheted up her earlier yearning to be more demanding with Gideon again. But each time she thought about it, she remembered the way she’d lost control when she was overstimulated by the club environment. A Mistress’s first responsibility was protecting her slave, and she was his worst danger. Vulnerability had crippled her confidence. Brian was here, yes, but she didn’t trust him the way she trusted Daegan.
They said they needed readings. Gideon’s voice, in her mind. Why not handle two birds with one net, Mistress? Confidence and coitus?
She didn’t smile, because his mind-voice, which had some of the same sexy, deep cadence it had when spoken, ran chills and pleasure both up her spine. He knew. Of course he did. He was in her mind, but more than that, Gideon was always hyperintuitive when it came to her. He would have noticed her holding back.
You don’t want me to do this. Not this way.
Yeah, I do. Because I miss the woman I met in the Queen’s Chamber that first night. Almost as much as you do.
I don’t want to hurt you.
You won’t. Not that way. Just... I don’t want him anywhere near me, all right? That’s all I ask. On everything else, I’m all yours, Mistress.
This was why she needed to work harder to turn the thin screen between their minds into a solid wall when needed. He already knew what would heat her blood, arouse her Mistress instincts and put them in forward drive. She felt like a teenager whose driving instructor had just mashed down the gas pedal, taking them into a merge lane toward a busy interstate. Out of control, but a surge of exhilaration, knowing she could do this; she was just scared. She hated her own fear almost worse than anything else, but fear of what she might do to someone else was a harder animal to control.
Gideon rose from the table, collecting his dishes as well as Debra’s, taking them into the kitchen. He dumped them in the sink and ran some water over them. Watching him do the domestic task, his hips shifting with the movement, head tilted down and shoulders flexing as he moved the dishes into the dishwasher, she made her decision.
He straightened, turned, met her gaze. Whatever he saw told him she’d transitioned into that mode, because his firm mouth curved. “Mistress?”
He was calling her that more often now. To help her confidence, yes. If only for that, it would have irritated her, made her feel patronized. But in those dreamland drifts through his mind, she’d found he liked using the title, though like so many things, he couldn’t define why, or admit it to himself when waking. Gideon’s mind was divided between the lies he told himself to function while awake, and the truths that comforted him in his dreams.
She’d been the kind of Mistress who made a man face his truths, to bring them both the maximum pleasure that such brutal honesty could invoke. She could be that again.
“Leave the dishes for later. I want to give Lord Brian his readings. Go to the playroom, bring the strap-on with the six-inch phallus. The curved one that vibrates, and some lubricant.”
He’d anticipated, or perhaps hoped, that it would be simple, she straddling him on the couch or chair, where he could close out everything but the vision of her riding him, the feel of her cunt clamped around him. The arch of her throat, those miles of hair tickling his bare thighs as she dropped her head back, her breasts straining upward, begging for the cup of his hands.
No part of my body begs, Gideon. It demands, and you beg for the right to give it what it wants. She arched a brow. You wanted me to reclaim my confidence as your Mistress, right?
A rueful, somber smile touched that tempting mouth, and he set aside the dish towel, giving her a look before moving toward the playroom. Anwyn concentrated, hard, brought that screen down, where thoughts and words, unless directed right at Gideon, were harder to discern, like parceling out chatter at a crowded mall. Looking toward Debra and Brian, she discovered the rules were not so different here than in the underground level of Atlantis.
When he’d released her hand, Debra had gone to a kneeling position next to Brian’s thigh. He’d taken his wineglass from her, letting the silent interaction between Anwyn and Gideon play out while Debra assumed a common submissive position. Her hands were clasped behind her back, her knees spread in the short dress, making it ride high on her thighs. As Anwyn watched, Brian painted a drifting line of the blood-laced wine along the upper portion of her bosom, exposed by the low scoop neck of the dress.
Desire curled in Anwyn, seeing the tableau. She’d missed watching the games above, unable to spend time in her club during open hours. She could get the video feed, still did a lot of review of those tapes, but it wasn’t the same as being a direct witness. With his vampire senses, Brian picked up on her response. Though he could send a command to Debra’s mind, Anwyn realized he was offering her, a Mistress, something directly with his spoken words.
“Unzip your dress and let it fall to your waist. I want full access to your breasts.”
Debra complied, and tugged the soft fabric over her aroused nipples, giving Brian a wider expanse of flesh to paint, increase that flush of arousal and the still tension of her body. Anwyn realized she could smell the response of each one of them. Debra’s moistening sex, her own. Even Brian was hardening, such that he already had some fluid leak at the tip under his slacks. Heartbeats were quickening, Debra’s breath becoming more shallow.
“Lord Brian, I’m on familiar and yet unfamiliar ground here.” Anwyn straightened in the chair, met his gaze when it turned to her. He had such a level, calming expression, but now, in arousal, it had taken on that faint predatory gleam she realized that even a vampire scientist could possess. “I assume you would tell me if any step risks either of our servants?”
“I will. I assume you would tell me if anything we do risks your protector’s displeasure?”
Anwyn smiled at the quirk at his mouth. Having been raised in Britain, Brian possessed that dry humor that struck at unexpected times and made the green eyes and sculpted face all the more appealing. She’d noticed he often pushed the dark blond, straight hair that fell over the high brow out of his eyes with muttered impatience when trying to look through a microscope. Despite his good looks, he didn’t seem the vain type, so she’d wondered why he didn’t cut it. Sliding a glance to Debra, noting her studying that very feature in his profile, she thought she maybe had her answer.
According to Daegan, Brian and Debra were supposedly a textbook example of the perfect Master-servant relationship. While there was an obvious deep bond there, Brian was clearly Debra’s Master, in a way that even exceeded the definition of the 24/7 couples Anwyn had seen at the club. There was the same flavor, in terms of the sexual practices, but a different animal entirely in how it was manifested. Debra truly belonged to him. Anwyn didn’t want to equate it with historic slavery or even indentured servitude—there was a willingness and devotion here that characterized neither of those situations—but the power Brian held over her, and her submission to him, were close kin to those states. And unlike the world in which her 24/7 couples lived, the vampire world did consider human servants property of the vampire who marked them. Debra seemed not only to understand, but to accept that.
She wondered if that was another reason Daegan had wanted them here. To remind her vividly of why Gideon couldn’t be a permanent part of her life? Or to give Gideon an example to follow, a way to learn without dictating to him?
Daegan was mysterious, manipulative and arrogant. But he was also insightful, exceedingly clever and unmatched in his judgment of people. Seeing such a relationship was entirely too fascinating to her Mistress nature and the vampire blood in which it now churned. She kept telling herself to proceed cautiously in those waters. She had to proceed cautiously in all waters, because any type of volatility or passion could be taken way too far.
But still, as she heard Gideon returning, saliva gathered around her fangs, reacting to the surge of adrenaline through her chest, the tightening of her thighs and breasts. A simultaneous animal possessiveness and wave of lust washed over her as she turned to look at her servant.
He brought in the strap-on, carrying the sterilized sexual aid rolled up in his hand and low to his side, the way men carried things they didn’t particularly want or know how to carry in a masculine way, like a woman’s purse. When she reached for it, he gladly turned it over to her. Rather than rising to initiate something, however, she laid it on the table, in front of Debra. She shifted her gaze to Brian.
“I would like your servant to wear this, and take my servant from behind, while he is inside of me. Would you permit her to do that, Lord Brian? Can you perform your readings that way, or do you need her direct assistance?”
Brian considered that, glanced toward Debra. Debra had lifted her gaze to Gideon, briefly, then cut back to her Master, awaiting his decision. Anwyn saw trepidation and curiosity simmering in the gray gaze. Debra had never done that to a man. And definitely not to a man like Gideon.
“Yes,” Brian said at last. “I think that will work. Debra, remove all of your clothes, except your heels and stockings, and put on the harness.” He glanced toward Anwyn. “Do you think the couch would be best?”
She nodded. If Debra wasn’t involved, she would have chosen the easy chair, aligned with the sofa. She told herself it was a coincidence that it was Daegan’s favorite chair. It was best suited for a larger man’s frame, was all.
Brian got up to retrieve the sensors. She’d been aware of the turmoil in Gideon’s mind, and now tilted her head back, studying him upside down, standing just behind her, arms crossed and thumbs hooked in his armpits.
“Gideon,” she murmured. “Take off all your clothes as well.”
His gaze flickered to Debra, already lifting her dress over her head. She was entirely naked under it, except for the thigh-high stockings Brian had mentioned that she wore with three-inch ankle-strap heels. She’d been wearing a choker of steel links with a pendant. Anwyn realized it was a collar, something that Brian must have gotten for Debra, liking the symbolism of it. It was a romantic gesture, making her wonder anew what lay under the surface of the “textbook perfect” Master-servant relationship of these two.
Anwyn brought her attention back to Gideon, who hadn’t yet started to undress. Not afraid of two girls, are you?
He narrowed his eyes at her. I think you’re obsessed with sticking things in my ass.
I’ll take a strap to your ass if you don’t start undressing.
You and what army? But the devilish thought came with compliance as he unbuttoned the shirt he’d borrowed from Daegan’s closet for their more formal dinner. He looked incredibly handsome in Armani, those vivid blue eyes even more compelling, the ends of his hair brushing the collar, but when he shrugged out of it, with a ripple of chest and biceps muscle, it was enough to make any woman take a breath. Anwyn rose, cognizant of Debra’s gaze passing over those muscles, down to the waist and below, a moment before Anwyn shifted to block the view, deliberately bringing her gaze back to her.
“You’ve never done this before.”
“No, ma’am. But I’ve had it done to me.”
“All right.” Anwyn unpinned her hair, let it tumble down her back until it caressed her hips. She shook it out, threading her fingers through it, and felt Gideon’s hands pass over it, a quick tug. But when she glanced back at him he was unfastening his belt, the picture of obedience. An illusion, she was sure. “Then you should know you ease in. Let him relax, and I’ll help him get that way.”
“I’ll be fine,” Gideon grumbled. Anwyn pivoted on her heel. With unerring direction, she closed her hand over his testicles in the slacks. They were a little snug, because though Gideon had a whipcord musculature she wanted to feed, it still had more Irish brawler bulk to it than Daegan’s graceful physique.
“That’s enough,” she said softly, looking up at him. “It’s time for you to listen, and be still, and obey your Mistress. Do you understand?”
There it was, that quiver in the muscles her senses were fine-tuned to detect. She’d been so gun-shy of doing this, but all of a sudden, she knew what she wanted and how she wanted it. She was demanding it from him. She wouldn’t hurt him. Brian was here, and it was going to be okay. She could be the Mistress she’d been aching to be to him for three long weeks.
His gaze held hers for a long moment; then he gave her a nod.