Authors: Jenika Snow
Copyright ©2010 by Jenika Snow
First published in 2010
The Darkest Pleasure
(C)Copyright Jenika Snow 2010
Cover Art by Natalie Winters (C)Copyright July 2010
Edited by Elizabeth Delisi
This is a work of fiction. All characters, places and events are from the author's imagination and should not be confused with fact. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, events or places is purely coincidental.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any material form, whether by printing, photocopying, scanning or otherwise without the written permission of the publisher, Total-E-Bound Publishing.
Applications should be addressed in the first instance, in writing, to Total-E-Bound Publishing. Unauthorised or restricted acts in relation to this publication may result in civil proceedings and/or criminal prosecution.
The author and illustrator have asserted their respective rights under the Copyright Designs and Patents Acts 1988 (as amended) to be identified as the author of this book and illustrator of the artwork.
Published in 2010 by Total-E-Bound Publishing, Think Tank, Ruston Way, Lincoln, LN6 7FL, United Kingdom.
This book contains sexually explicit content which is only suitable for mature readers. This story has been rated
The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of the following wordmarks mentioned in this work of fiction:
Jeep Liberty: Chrysler LLC
U-Haul: U-Haul International, Inc.
Architectural Digest: Advance Magazine Publishers Inc.
He watched her from the shadows, the covering of the night concealing his every move. She walked the small dog through the poorly-lit park, the trees swaying as the wind whispered through. The dog barked happily, glad its owner had taken it out tonight. The female wasn't stupid, though, her eyes continuously scanning her surroundings as she picked up her speed.
"Come on, pumpkin, it's time to go home."
She spoke quickly to the dog, as if the act would ease her. She walked right by him, unaware that he could have reached out and caressed her hair. Her heart beat strongly, the loud thumping causing his teeth to descend and his mouth to water. He ran his tongue along his fangs, the sharp edges cutting him, warm blood oozing into his mouth. It inflamed his senses; that one small taste of blood had every instinct on high alert.
The dog started to bark wildly, not from happiness, but from fear. It sensed him, stopping in the middle of the sidewalk and staring right at him. He smiled at the creature, knowing the dog could see him clearly. It whimpered, causing the female to look around. Her breathing picked up, her heart beating so loudly it vibrated his bones. This was life, what his existence was about: the hunt, the chase, the capture. He inhaled deeply, smelled the adrenaline that ran through her blood. It excited him.
He didn't waste any more time. He stepped out of the shadows and smiled at her. Her eyes grew wide, her hand gripping the leash so fiercely her knuckles turned white. He stepped closer, staring into her eyes, urging her to comply.
His voice was low, his eyes compelling her to listen. She visibly relaxed, her eyes going half-mast and her lips tilting into a small smile.
The dog continued to bark, the high-pitched yapping grating on his nerves.
"Drop the leash."
She immediately obeyed. Not wasting any time, the dog sprinted away. He stepped closer to her, inhaling her sweet fragrance as his mouth watered.
"You smell delicious, my dear."
He stared at her, taking in the long, graceful line of her neck, his throat burning from his hunger. He ran his hand along her exposed flesh, feeling the strong pulse that beat under his fingers. He led her towards the dark trees, her eyes glassy and her movements loose. She was completely under his compulsion now; anything he ordered, she would do. He enjoyed the thrill of the hunt, revelled in the fear that his prey emitted. With her, though—another story entirely. He was going to savour her, enjoy every drop of blood that her body had to offer.
He pushed her against a tree, her head falling to the side as her eyes closed. He didn't wait any longer, his hunger too far gone for him to play with her. He lunged down, his fangs easily piercing the soft flesh of her throat. She moaned, his compulsion still working on her fragile human mind. As he drank, he could hear her heart slow, the pumping becoming weaker and weaker. She could no longer hold herself up, and so with one last great pull from her neck, he released her. She slumped to the ground, an empty smile fixed across her face. Her pale skin was a stark contrast to the dark surroundings.
He looked at her as he licked his lips, still able to taste the adrenaline that laced her blood.
"Not the best I've had, but good enough."
He looked at her limp body, watching as her breaths grew shallow. Her eyes opened wide and he heard he take her last breath, a small smile playing upon his lips. That was his favourite part, that very last breath that escaped their bodies. He stared at her, hating this part of the evening—having to clean up the mess. Some called him a monster, a beast, or the devil himself. In truth, he was just at the top of the food chain, everyone and everything else fair game. He turned at the sound of footsteps behind him, smiling at who stepped out from beneath the heavy fall of the trees.
"Take care of this.” He waved his hand at the young woman's body. “I have more hunting to do, and the night is still young."
His son stared at him, then his gaze went to the woman. No emotion played over his features as he nodded and got to work. His hand automatically went to the gold band that hung from the heavy chain around his neck. He ran his finger over the smooth metal, anger at last distorting his features.
As I drove down highway 565 towards my new home, I really should have been more pleased. Getting a great job offer right out of college was a huge accomplishment, and being offered a position with one of the most well-respected advertising agencies in the country should have made me downright giddy. I was happy and relieved that I didn't have to hunt for a job like so many of my classmates did, but I still wouldn't say I was happy. I had to relocate thousands of miles to where my new home would be—closer to the firm, but far from everything I knew. Of course it wasn't as if I had many friends or any real attachment to anyone or anything in particular. I just hated the idea of leaving familiar surroundings and starting over in a new place.
Shifting in my seat, I switched the CD player on, hoping the music would wash away my now-depressing thoughts. Why the thought of starting over was depressing, I really had no clue, but I turned the radio up and let the sounds of Muse's New Born carry through my car. I was happy, at least I tried to tell myself that.
I was a grown adult with a degree under my belt and a promising job awaiting me, and if it killed me, I was going to make it work. Humming along to the song, I watched the yellow line flow beneath my tires. I had opted to drive instead of take the plane that my new employer, Cayne & Cayne Advertising, had offered. I liked road trips and I had wanted to see a bit of the countryside. It was a long drive, but it had been well worth it. Now that I was thirty minutes from my new home—the small town of Westerbrooke, Colorado—I actually started to feel excited.
My life hadn't been memorable thus far, so the twinge of excitement in my stomach made me smile. Maybe those long talks with the college counsellor had done some good. Of course, I had cringed when one of my professors had suggested I speak with Dr. Clay. I hadn't known I needed to speak with someone. I had a 4.0 GPA, and had made the dean's list. I thought I was doing pretty well. My professor's suggestion made me wonder if I had just fooled myself into thinking everything was okay, when the problems in my past still haunted me.
I was still a virgin, and to some people it may be a great treasure, to save a virtue that told of your innocence. Of course for me, it wasn't as if I wanted to be a virgin, but with my past, I hadn't let myself give up that one thing. Maybe it was also because the right guy hadn't yet come along. Dr. Clay had advised me that in order to get over my past, I needed to start a new future. Losing my virginity was part of that new future. I had been stunned when he had suggested such a thing, thinking it rather unprofessional for a doctor to speak with me about losing my virginity. I would be lying if I said I didn't think about it all the time, though. I felt that many things held me back from what I could achieve. I knew I had to change how I thought, as well as how I acted. In college it was easy to ‘get laid', but my heart wanted what my brain pictured. Needless to say, I didn't go back to Dr. Clay.
My haunted past was what stood in the way of my happiness, I know that, but how could I push my past away? It was easier picturing doing so, in my mind, but my mother's soft, beautiful face always flashed into my mind, a reminder of why I was already doomed. I had done something terrible long ago, something that had forever changed my life and had made me the near-recluse I was today. I hoped that this move would change all of that, that I would be able to break through my shell and become the woman my mother had always wanted me to be. That was one of my big dreams, if not the biggest, to make my mother proud, even though she was gone.
A road trip was a good time to remember the past, to go through and think about what was important and what didn't matter. My memories always started the same way. From the time I was a teenager, I had envisioned my ‘knight in shining armour'. I knew he'd be the one to save me from the nightmare my life had become. I can't even remember how it all started, how his picture came into my mind. I just remember lying on my bed, staring at the ceiling and suddenly seeing his face. His hair was so dark, his eyes a vivid light blue. Although I could never distinguish his actual features, I knew he was devilishly handsome. When I started college, my visions of him became more illicit. It was as if my mind had made up what it wanted most, what it needed. His perfectly-honed chest was smooth and golden. His body was like a Greek god's.