THE VAMPIRE'S TOUCH
~ Part Four ~
"Was that him?"
Marcus turned and pinned his second in command under his gaze. "Him?"
"The one you've been pining over."
"Pining?" Marcus Aguilera did not pine after anyone. Ever. He was the prince of his tribe, the ruler of his people. Marcus stiffened and his gaze turned to a glare. "I do not pine."
Marcus growled when Dmitri's eyes rolled. The man really should be more afraid of Marcus. Years of friendship probably had something to do with why he was not, but still. Very few got away with such disrespect.
"Well, you certainly haven't been yourself, not in months."
"The clairvoyant has nothing to do with it."
"Normally, I would be unable to smell a lie on you, but you reek of it."
Marcus clasped his hands behind his back, trying to strike a casual pose. "He was simply a dalliance, Dmitri, a blood donor who peeked my interest until I was done with him."
He refused to admit what Charlie actually was to him. The less people who knew they were mates, the more chance Marcus had of putting this all behind him...just as soon as he figured out how to do it.
"He seems to still have your interest."
"He is of no consequence." Marcus knew he might actually begin to believe that if he kept repeating it in his mind. "I have not seen him since I left him sleeping in his bed after Nikolas Vaile's holiday party. I was unaware that he was the clairvoyant I had sent for until he arrived."
"And now that you do know it's him?" Dmitri asked.
Marcus arched one of his dark eyebrows. "I will use his services and send him on his way."
Even if it killed him.
"Why exactly do you need his services?" Dmitri asked. "Who are you trying to contact?"
Marcus's gaze shot to the other vampires in the room, all of them listening with avid ears. He wasn't comfortable with others knowing his business on a good day. Today was not a good day.
He firmed his jaw as he looked back at Dmitri. "That is my business. I will not discuss it."
Dmitri raised an eyebrow before giving him a slight nod. Marcus knew he'd have to tell his second in command everything at some point—most likely when they were alone—but for now, he had a reprieve.
"I want—" A terrified screamed ripped through the night air, stealing Marcus's words. He swung around and stared at the double doors at the far side of the reception room. For a moment, a breath, he was frozen, unable to move.
The sound of something shattering on the floor above him roused Marcus and he took off running. Vampires jumped out of his way as he rushed past them, some crashing to the floor, others flattening themselves against the wall. Marcus ignored all of them as he ran.
That scream had been filled with terror.
Several vampires were running down the stairs as he ran up them. Marcus pushed past them until he reached the second floor landing. He paused for a moment, sniffing the air. He had told his guards to place Charlie in one of the guest bedrooms, but he had over twenty guest bedrooms. He could be in any of them.
Another loud scream sent Marcus running down the hallway to the left. He almost ran past the open doorway, but the pulsing vibrations from inside the room stopped him. Marcus turned and stepped into the room, scanning it with one sweep of his eyes.
Charlie wasn't here.
"Where is he?" Marcus shouted. He had to shout. It was the only way he could be heard over the screaming. He cocked his head to the side, a curious frown creasing his forehead. Why were they screaming?
A shaky hand pointed toward the balcony.
Marcus took several cautious steps toward the open doors. He could hear nothing, but the faint scent of his mate hung in the air. For a moment, a streak of terror—something he hadn't felt in more years than he could count—flickered to life.
He dismissed his fear as quickly as it had come. If Charlie had been taken, Marcus would be able to smell intruders. He smelled no one except Charlie and those in the room. Still, Charlie's scent was being carried on the breeze blowing in from outside.
Marcus stepped out onto the balcony. He was grateful for his enhanced eyesight as he searched the darkness for his mate. His eyes narrowed when he spotted Charlie running across the lawn toward the wall that encircled his estate. A bluish translucent figure ran beside him.
When Charlie reached the wall and started to climb up, rage unlike anything he had ever felt filled Marcus. His fangs dropped down and his claws extended. As enraged—and devastated—as he was that his mate was running from him, Marcus refused to run after him.
"Charlie!" he shouted, knowing the man would be able to hear him.
Charlie swung one leg over the top of the fence before turning to look back. Marcus knew Charlie could see him. The man stared right at him.
"Come back here now!"
Marcus roared with outrage when Charlie flipped him off before disappearing over the wall. He clenched his hands, crushing the stone railing beneath his fingers. He would get his mate back, one way or another.
And then Charlie O'Bannon was going to wish he had submitted, because Marcus had no mercy. He would not be shamed in front of his tribe, especially not by a human.
Marcus spun around and stormed back into the room. The screaming had stopped, but unless he got some answers, it was going to start again. "What in the bloody hell happened?" he snapped as he pinned his gaze on the vampires cowering in the corner. "How did Charlie get away?"
* * * *
Charlie laughed as he stopped running and bent over, resting his hands on his knees as he tried to catch his breath. "Did you see the look on his face?" Charlie couldn't remember anyone ever being that angry with him.
"He will not take this well."
Charlie lifted his head and glanced at the ghostly figure who had helped him escape. "I don't care." Making Marcus happy was so not at the top of his list of things to do. Soaking his head in a pit of sand, however...
"He will come after you."
"I doubt it." Marcus had made it more than clear how he felt about Charlie, and as much as that pained him, Charlie knew it was for the best. He seriously did not want anything to do with a bunch of blood sucking vampires.
The ghost in front of him didn't count.
"Look, you"—Charlie frowned—"What is your name?"
"Forgive me, young sir." The man smiled as he bowed slightly. "I am Xavier Lucien Dragos."
Huh. that was quite the name.
"I'm Charlie." He didn't attempt to shake the man's hand. That would be pointless. The guy was a ghost. A spirit. An aberration. Charlie's hand would pass right through him.
"Yes, I know." When Xavier started walking, Charlie walked beside him. "I am the one Marcus wished to speak with when he sent for a clairvoyant."
"I am his sire."
"Okay, and that means what?"
"I was his sire."
"What is that?" Charlie glanced at the man, looking him up and down. "You don't look old enough to be his father."
Xavier chuckled. "While I am far older than I appear, I am not his father. I was the head of the coven when he was born. As I had no offspring, Marcus inherited the coven from me when I was killed."
"So, you were like his king or something?"
"We do not have royalty as you would see it, but essentially yes."
"Do you know why Marcus wanted to speak to you?"
Xavier shot him a look Charlie couldn't decipher.
Charlie swallowed tightly before asking, "What?"
"Marcus wishes to break your mate bond."
THE VAMPIRE'S ASSISTANT
Jon Brighten had a brand new college degree, a student loan dogging him, and a spot to sleep on his sister's couch. He knew needed to find a job and move out, especially when he heard that his sister and her husband were expecting a baby. It was time to find his own place, but first he needed a job.
Applying for the personal assistant position to the reclusive Nikolas Vaile, CEO of Vaile Industries, one of the largest pharmaceutical and research companies in the world, seemed a little too high seeking, but what did Jon have to lose?
Note: This book was previously at 17,000 words published with another publisher. This version has been extensively revised and expanded to over 30,000 words.
This is nuts. No way in hell would he get the job. Clearly almost every other applicant far outweighed him in class, education, and experience. Heck, he’d never even seen the inside of an Ivy League school. He’d driven by one once, but that was just to ogle the cute guys. That was probably as close as he would ever get to the upper echelon of high society.
The only thing Jon had was a deep drive to be something better than what he was now. A hunger for success he’d developed in spades after watching his stepfather jump from job to job almost his entire life. Well, when the man wasn’t doing time for some petty crime.
Carl Payne was the perfect example of everything Jon didn’t want to be. The man epitomized lazy, sleazy, and just plain disgusting. His only true pastime seemed to be drinking beer with his slimeball buddies and beating up every member of his family.
Because of his stepfather, Jon never touched alcohol—not even a wine cooler. In his experience, alcohol gave people excuses for the things they did. Jon never wanted to feel so out of control he hurt someone.
He was pretty close to feeling out of control right now, though. His nerves were fried. The economy sucked, and it didn’t seem like anyone was hiring. Jon had a college degree and he couldn’t even get a job flipping burgers.
After overhearing his brother-in-law, Ben, complain to his sister again last night about when Jon would be moving out, Jon decided he’d apply for every job he could find, no matter what, even flipping burgers. He’d do whatever it took—legally anyway—to be able to afford a roof over his head.
Ben wasn’t a bad guy, and he adored Jon’s baby sister, Gina. But they were barely making it financially. Having an extra mouth to feed was hard, even if Jon tried to help out around the house as much as possible. The odd job here and there brought in a little money, but it just wasn’t enough. Jon needed to find his own place.
He took in a deep breath and let it out slowly. He checked his appearance in the mirror, groaning when he spotted the large water spot on his white dress shirt. Just fucking perfect. Could his day get any worse?
He grabbed some dry paper towels and tried to wipe away as much of the water as he could manage. Shaking his head, he tossed the towels in the garbage then ran his fingers through his brown hair, wishing just once the curls would behave themselves. No matter what he did, his hair would just bounce all over the place.
Figuring there was nothing else he could do to make himself any more presentable, Jon made his way back down the hallway to the office. He opened the door and then stopped, glancing around in surprise. The waiting area, filled only a few minutes ago with about a half dozen people waiting to be interviewed, was now totally empty.
Jon took a cautious step into the room, the office door closing behind him with a soft whooshing sound. His heart began to sink as he looked around the empty room and listened for sounds of anyone else.
Had someone gotten the job already?
A loud crash from the room behind the secretary’s desk startled Jon. Curious, but also apprehensive as every horror movie he had ever watched flashed through his mind, he took a hesitant step closer, then another and another until he could peer around the edge of the doorway.
His eyes widened and his jaw dropped as he took in the destruction of what must have once been a beautiful office. Chairs lay overturned or broken into pieces all over the floor. A large, wooden desk sat on its side near one wall. Shattered picture frames, torn books, and shredded papers littered the room.
Terrified he might have walked in on a break-in, Jon started to back out the door. A deep rumbled growl behind him froze Jon in his tracks. Low and menacing, the sound made Jon’s blood run cold.
He’d only heard that type of growl once before in his life, right before a rabid dog tried to attack him. He’d fought for his life then, and he felt pretty sure he would be fighting for it once again, only this time he didn’t think the growl came from a rabid dog.
He just wasn’t sure what it came from.
As slowly as he could, Jon turned to face whatever was behind him. He had just enough time to see red glowing eyes devouring him before a blur of motion took him to the floor with a loud painful thud.
The agony exploding in Jon’s back as he hit the hard floor was nothing compared to the pain ripping through his throat. He tried to fight back, hitting and scratching, biting at the body pinning him down, but the thing holding him in a death grip was too strong.
As Jon’s vision began to blur around the edges, he absently wondered at the strange taste in his mouth. Blood, obviously, based on the coppery tint, but somehow sweeter, less metallic.
How weird was that?
Nikolas’s calm was shattered by the hunger welling up inside of him as he kissed Jon’s mouth. He slipped his hands down Jon’s arms then gripped his hips, pulling him closer. He caressed the length of Jon’s back.
The hard shaft pressed against him told Nikolas Jon’s desire mirrored his own. He couldn’t be more thrilled at the prospect. To not be desired by his rajaaka would be a nightmare of epic proportions.
Jon groaned, his hands tightening on Nikolas’s shirt. Nikolas felt a low rumble build in his chest. Before he could stop himself, he licked his way down to the soft pulse in Jon’s neck and sank in his teeth.
Jon arched toward Nikolas. The combination of Jon’s hard body pressed against his and the taste of sweet, hot blood exploding across his tongue created a heady combination. And knowing it was his rajaaka he held in his arms only added to the desire coursing through his veins.
Using his superior strength, Nikolas picked Jon up in his arms and carried him back over to the bed. He lowered him to the mattress, moving to cover Jon’s body with his own.
Nikolas extracted his teeth and licked the bite mark closed before lifting his head to look down into Jon’s dark, chocolate-brown eyes. He smiled, nearly overcome with the knowledge that the man he held in his arms was his rajaaka…the one he’d searched for all these years.
“I want to make love to you, rajaaka,” Nikolas said softly.
Jon inhaled, his eyes widening. “J–Jon.”
Nikolas smiled and reached up to caress the side of Jon’s face again. He couldn’t get over how soft the man’s skin felt, how wonderful it felt to just touch him. He couldn’t wait to feel Jon’s naked body pressed against his. The sensation would be like wrapping himself in warm silk.
“I know who you are, rajaaka.” Nikolas saw the wonder in Jon’s deep-brown eyes and smiled. What color would those eyes be when the man was in the midst of an orgasm? “I still want to make love to you.”
“I–I don’t even know you.”
Nikolas could see the confusion in Jon’s face, the uncertainty. He could also see the desire to give in. Nikolas stuck his index finger into his mouth and pricked it on one sharp fang.
“You know me,” Nikolas said as he rubbed his bleeding finger over Jon’s lips. “You know me better than anyone in the world.”
Nikolas growled low in his throat when Jon poked out his tongue to lick at the blood on his lips. He rubbed against Jon’s tongue with his finger then slipped it into Jon’s mouth.
Nikolas inhaled sharply. His cock grew achingly hard when Jon’s lips closed around his finger and the man began sucking on it. He felt each draw of Jon’s mouth on his finger in his cock.
Nikolas suddenly knew his rajaaka was going to be big trouble for him. He seemed very oral. Nikolas had no doubt Jon could get him to come just by sucking on his finger. He’d probably pass out from ecstasy if Jon sucked on his cock.
When Jon’s brown eyes fluttered up to his, Nikolas knew he was lost. He clawed at Jon’s clothing, ripping it away. He needed to feel the man’s body beneath his hands. He needed to feel his body pressing down on Jon’s. He just needed.
Nikolas’s lips followed his hands. He kissed each inch of naked skin he bared until Jon writhed under him, small pants and moans falling from his lush lips. And Jon had the fullest lips Nikolas had ever seen.
“Nik–Nikolas,” Jon moaned beneath him.
“Petjya, my sweet,” Nikolas corrected. “I want to hear you call me petjya.”
“Petjya?” Jon frowned. “I thought your name was Nikolas.”
“It is. Petjya is, um…” Nikolas frowned as he tried to best to translate the ancient vampire word into one Jon might understand. “It is like lover or mate. It is the proper way to address someone you are intimate with.”
“Are we going to be intimate?”
Nikolas glanced down at the nearly naked body beneath him then looked up to give Jon a feral grin. “That’s the plan.” He leaned down to take one brown-hued nipple into his mouth.
Jon cried out and arched up into him. Ah, a sweet spot. One he planned to exploit to its fullest. He moved his mouth across Jon’s chest to the other nipple, finding it already pert and stiff. He growled as he latched onto the hard little nub, nicking Jon accidently with his fang. Hot, sweet blood blossomed in his mouth. Nikolas sucked harder, wanting more of the satisfying taste.
“Ni–Ni—Petjya, please!” Jon wailed.
The sound of his rajaaka pleading for release ramped Nikolas’s arousal to a fever pitch. Refusing to release the nipple in his mouth, Nikolas reached down and ripped the rest of Jon’s clothing from his body.
He stripped his own clothing away at the same time, bemoaning the fact he had to let go of Jon’s taut nipple to get his shirt over his head, but the feeling of Jon’s naked body pressing against his more than made up for it. Nikolas hunched over Jon. He grabbed him by the hips and pulled him up until their cocks brushed together.
Jon’s legs surrounded him, wrapping naturally around his waist as if they had been there a hundred times. Nikolas delighted in the way his tanned hands looked against Jon’s pale skin, the contrast both amazing and mesmerizing.
“I’m going to love you now, rajaaka,” Nikolas said.
Stormy believes the only thing sexier than a man in cowboy boots is two or three men in cowboy boots. She also believes in love at first sight, soul mates, true love, and happy endings.
You can usually find her cuddled in bed with a book in her hand and a puppy in her lap, or on her laptop, creating the next sexy man for one of her stories. Stormy welcomes comments from readers. You can find her at:WWW.STORMYGLENN.COM