Authors: Tarah Knight
|Moonlight & Lace |
|Tarah Knight (2014)|
After receiving the “Gift” of the dark kiss by her slime-bag ex-boyfriend, Haven wakes up in his cellar to discover fangs shooting from her gums and a ravenous hunger burning in her belly. Her world had been changed forever, but being the trooper that she is, she deals, and adjusts. She learns to control her thirst (the hard way!) feeding only when she can’t take the hunger pains any longer. She was pretty darn proud of herself, and her undead life was rolling right along until…
While hunting one night she lures in what she was sure to be her tastiest snack yet. (he certainly looked mouth watering!) But Deacon Northcross was no ordinary male; born over seven hundred years ago tonight he was the hunter not the prey, and he would claim what was his!
Being informed by her snack that she was actually his soul mate, and that she really didn’t have any choice in the matter does not exactly go over well with Haven; (not that she could deny the sizzle in her blood at his touch!) but then finding out that he may not have the only claim to Haven does not exactly go over well with Deacon!
Could it be that Haven may have a choice after all?
opyright © 2014 by Tarah Knight
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner without written permission from the author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and for review purposes.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and events are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblances to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons living or dead, are entirely coincidental.
The use of artist and song titles throughout this book are done so for storytelling purposes and should in no way be seen as advertisement. Trademark names are used in an editorial fashion, with no intention of infringement of the respective owner’s trademark.
Table of Contents
Haven crouched in the dark alleyway waiting for her dinner. She prodded her sharp fangs with the tip of her tongue trying to make the ache subside just a little, but no luck. If anything the burning increased. She silently thanked her lousy ex-boyfriend for gifting her with the dark kiss. Not. Ever since she woke up three months ago in his basement with dog fangs shooting from her gums and a ravenous hunger burning in her belly, she felt a special sort of love for the guy. A love that she would make sure that he understood one day.
Shifting slightly to ease the pressure from her left leg which was trying to go to sleep she peered around the dumpster once more to see if anyone was coming. The alley was empty and Haven didn’t think she could stand to wait much longer before she lost control and went rabid on some poor soul. After she woke up for the first time she was sorry to say she
did exactly that. Tore into the first thing passing by. How she stopped herself from draining him dry she would never know, but she was forever grateful. Now she knew just how long she could take the hunger before things got dicey and she knew she was approaching her limits.
Finally she heard footsteps coming her direc
tion! She got to her feet hesitantly putting her hand to her head like she was confused or disoriented this little ploy worked every time. The footsteps got slower as they approached. Haven peeked up from under her dark lashes to see a tall figure studying her. She swayed slightly on her feet waiting for the guy to reach to steady her.
He didn’t. What a jerk! She would bite him extra hard just for not being a gentleman! She moaned softly surely that wou
ld appeal to his sense chivalry. When he just continued to stand there looking at her she gave up on the damsel in distress routine, and tried to engage his “other” instincts. She stepped out from behind the dumpster to let him get a good look at what was before him.
Deacon looked at the young female that had finally stepped out from behind the dumpster. He had waited for over three
months to be able to look fully upon her shapely form. It was worth the wait. He knew she was beautiful all people of the legend were, however this female, his female, was exquisite. Her body was lush and created to tantalize and tease a man’s senses. Golden hair fell past her shoulders in a riot of cascading curls that wouldn’t be tamed, though he would try. Large eyes slanted like a feline, and hazel in color were now changing to a deep green. Right now they were glowing softly as she tried to entrance him. Though she wasn’t very tall she had long legs and rounded hips made for a man’s hands. High full breasts sat above a tiny nipped in waist. She perfect and she was his! Deacon had known the moment his love had taken her first breath upon awaking that first night. He had felt his heart jump in his chest and start to pound clumsily for the first time in centuries. He gasped as his lungs filled with oxygen and he tried to remember how to breathe after so many years of not needing to. All that was happening to his body had caught him off guard. He fell to his knees gasping and choking trying to regain control of his functions once more. He had given up on finding his love, after so many centuries he had decided she had either not survived her transformation or he had missed her somehow. Then suddenly he was brought back to life with her first breath. He didn’t have to search for her his connection to her was strong and it was instant. He closed his eyes and pictured her country of birth then narrowed it down by state then town, and finally to her resting place. He wanted to wait until she had learned what she was and what she was capable of before he claimed her. He knew she would hate him if he claimed her immediately. But now… now she was ready and he would claim what was his!
Haven looked at the man that was staring at her like she was a long lost treasure. Quite frankly it was freaking her out. Time to munch and scoot! She approached
him slowly putting a seductive roll to her hips as she walked toward him. He smiled slightly and she couldn’t help but notice he was pretty darn hunky. He was really tall, well over six feet with broad shoulders and slim hips. He was dressed in dark slacks and a checked button up shirt. The shirt was opened to mid-chest and she could see the rapid strong beat of his heart low in his neck. She quickly averted her eyes somewhere else. His hair was dark not quite black but a rich dark sable it was very nice. His eyes were similar to hers hazel with a dark green ring around the iris. Very, very, nice… Oh yeah… He was definitely the finest snack she had dined on thus far.
“Hey there handsome I’m not feeling so well, would you mind walking me home?” Deacon smi
led at her attempt to lure him in, he would play along… for now. “Would be my pleasure my lady.” He held out his arm in an endearing old-fashioned gesture. Haven smiled revealing dimples in each cheek and took his arm. Deacon folded her hand around his arm and placed his hand over hers. He tried to keep his body in check, but actually touching her was making it very difficult to keep his mind on the task at hand. “So do you dwell near here my lady?”
at his odd speech. He acted so old fashioned. “Umm… yeah… sure I ‘dwell’ fairly close to here actually. Just around the next corner.”
Deacon nodded but refrained from saying anything more. He was fighting every
bonding instinct he had to keep from claiming her right on the street! Touching her soft warm skin and smelling the fragrance of her hair was causing total devastation to his mind and body. He had waited for so long! So a few more minutes wouldn’t matter he told himself firmly.
Haven led her gentleman around the corner away from the view of the street and the building next door. When he turned the corner she pounced!
She shoved him hard against the brick wall holding him by the throat with one hand while jerking his head back with the other. One perk to all this blood sucking business was superhuman strength. She stared into his eyes allowing hers to start glowing to entrance him. “Don’t worry handsome this won’t hurt …much.” She then whispered against his ear. “If you’re a good boy I might even make it fun for you.”
Deacon froze as
he felt her warm breath move slowly from his ear down the skin of his throat. He actually trembled when she slowly licked a couple of times to numb the area. He wanted… No, he needed… to feel her tiny fangs sink deeply into his skin so badly, but he knew she couldn’t… not yet! “Haven, don’t!” He whispered hoarsely.
Haven jerked back when he spoke her name. She looked at him with narrowed eyes. “How do you know my name? I have never seen you before in my life.” She studied the man she had pinned to the wall. She would have certainly remembered so
meone like him. He slowly tilted his head down at her opening his eyes. “Oh my God!” Haven jumped back and turned to run, but hard hands clamped around her waist and over her mouth. She struggled with everything she had to get free but his arms were like bands of steel!
Shh… be still my love, be still. I will not harm you. I have waited so long for you.” He whispered softly in her ear. As gently has he could he turned the struggling woman in his arms to face him. She was doing everything in her power to get away from him. But it was useless. He was centuries old she was a youngling. He silently held her until she tired out then he swept her up into his arms and took to the skies.
Haven lay limp in the arms of her abductor. It didn’t take her long
to understand there wouldn’t be any over powering him she would have to out think him. She had avoided other vamps for this very reason the males were all like a million times stronger than the females. Seems like nature didn’t change that when vamps were created.
When he took her in his arms she was expecting anything except what happened next. He flew! He was actually flying through the air like
freaking Superman! It would have been nice to know that she had this cool ability, think of all the cab fare she could have saved. She peeked up at him, but all she could really see from her angle was his jawline. But it was a nice jawline as jawlines go. She sniffed, he smelled really good too. Better than any man she had ever smelled before. She gave her head a slight shake. What the hell was wrong with her? He was kidnapping her, and she was laying here almost crushing on him! Good grief. When he had opened his eyes, and she saw that all too familiar yellow glow she bout peed her pants, or she would have if she still had that particular body function. As it was she had to deal with a still hungry and now nervous tummy. Haven eyeballed his throat watching the strong beat of his pulse, which was tantalizingly close, tilting her head slightly and licked softly, maybe he wouldn’t notice a just tiny sip? Opening her mouth she bit down gently.
jerked as he felt fire race through his veins when Haven’s fangs pierced his skin sinking into his throat! He jerked his head away trying to pull free, but she just growled and latched on tighter. “Haven stop! You don’t know what you’re doing! Stop before it’s too late!” He searched the ground frantically for private place to land. He finally spotted a small grove of trees in a park that would at least offer a semblance of privacy. The moment his feet touched ground Haven wrapped her arms around his neck tighter moaning as she moving her body seductively over his. Deacon stumbled back against a tree fighting his own desires to have her continue and go even further. He closed his eyes groaning as she stopped, licked then bit down again. Finally he reached up and prying her hands from around his neck he tossed her to the ground.
Haven landed on the hard ground with a thud.
Her body was on fire and she wasn’t satisfied… not by a long shot! She glared up at her kidnapper/snack. “That wasn’t very nice.” She grumbled then she got to her feet slowly looking around trying to gauge exactly what her situation was. Deacon licked his hand then held it over his bleeding throat until it healed. “I’m sorry to treat you so roughly, but you do not understand the peril you were placing yourself in.” Cocking her head to one side she crossed her arms over her chest. “Peril? Really? So do tell, exactly what peril am I in?” She fanned herself trying to cool her overheated blood. What the heck was wrong with her tonight? She never got like… that when she fed! The man walked away rubbing the back of his neck shaking his head muttering to himself. He finally turned back to her. “Haven, I have botched this whole meeting up rather badly, please accept my apologies.” He looked really sorry for something, she wasn’t exactly sure what though. “Ok, how do you know my name? Why did you kidnap me? What are your plans for me?” He nodded sharply like he had come to a decision, then walked up to her holding out his hand. “Let me try this the way it should have been done. I am Deacon Reinhold Northcross, I have known of your existence from the moment you took your first breath as a youngling. I came for you three months ago, but waited to let you find out what you are and to adapt to your new life. I wanted to approach you like this earlier this evening and introduce myself. But the timing was never right.” Haven struggled to make sense of his words. He was speaking clear if somewhat old world English, but he wasn’t making any sense! “Ok, back up just a minute. You said you knew when I first woke up like this? How? How is that possible? What do you mean you came for me? You seriously better start making some sense Mr. Northcross or you can color me gone!” Deacon searched his mind for words that would be easier for her to understand. “What is it that troubles you the most? Let’s start with that.” He watched as she scrunched up her nose in thought as she considered his question. He found it enchanting.
“Where are you from?” She ask
ed him. “I am from many places.” He replied. “I have traveled the world many times over and I call many places home.” Haven frowned at his non-answer.
“Budapest. Really, Haven you can name every country and continent on both hemispheres. I have seen them all and lived in most for a duration. But I can tell you anything so what does this really prove?” She chewed her lower lip for a moment. “I don’t know.” She admitted. “Maybe you can explain how you knew when I woke up?” Deacon sighed once more how did he know she was going to ask that? He looked at her carefully. “Are you sure you want the answer to that particular question right now? Perhaps it should be further down your list.” She shook her head smiling at him. “No I’m good with you answering that one right now, as a matter of fact I kind of insist on it.” He nodded. “Very well then. I had hoped to wait until you were more educated on your circumstances, but I’ll abide by your wishes. Would you mind if I gave you a brief history lesson about our kind? It will only take a few minutes I feel you will better understand the answer to your question.” Haven rolled her eyes then sank to the ground cross-legged gesturing for him to continue. Deacon paced as he walked with his hands held behind his back. He reminded her of the pictures she saw in her history books of the former presidents and members of congress during the powered wig years. Deacon would fit right in, except you know, he was a hottie.
“Our kind live for a very long time, yet we are not truly immortal. We can be killed
under very specific circumstances, with that being said we were created to bond or to love only one special person. We call them our Serah’s. The term is for both male and female and it basically means the other half of our hearts. We each only have one and if we cannot find that certain someone or if tragedy befalls and they die then we must live on without them. But we will not love again… ever.”