First in a brand new vampire romance series!
There is nothing so dangerous as a predator who loves…
Cursed long ago to check their growing power, vampires can only coexist in small groups. Yet despite their many conflicts, those Of the Bloode possess similar traits. All vampires, no matter where they came from, are male. They can go unnoticed by humans unless they wish otherwise, and they can’t survive sunlight.
Mormo, servant of the goddess Hecate, has created a small, new bloode clan at her behest. The six vampires he commands are rough, ill-disciplined, and mean, and they fail to follow orders on a daily basis. But they’re needed. Something big and bad is coming. Hecate, goddess of death, magic, and gateways, has a duty to guard the borders of the mortal world. She knows that without a strong force to contain the threat, chaos will come, destroying everything in its wake.
Hecate’s secret weapons are those Of the Bloode—vampires. Though they refuse to worship anything but themselves, she loves their wild ways. In order to battle gods and monsters and survive, they’ll need ferocity, inner strength, and something to fight for. Because there is nothing so dangerous as a predator who loves, and those Of the Bloode protect what’s theirs at all costs, in undeath and beyond.
And Varujan of the Night Bloode has just found the one female he can’t do without…
Distantly, as if dreaming, Varu glanced through the bay window to see Orion punch two men hard enough that they flew into a brick wall and slumped to the ground in the alley. Then he engaged with what looked like a lycan.
Kraft snarled at something that snarled back. Then he started hitting and biting and moved out of sight. More noise outside, then a cough distracted him. Varu looked back at the female, peering at the unnatural darkness under her hood. He thought he could make out her eyes. A silver glow appeared and brightened.
Then she was petting him, and he sighed with pleasure.
“That’s right. Good vampire. Just a little more. Down, boy.”
He lowered his arms, setting her on her feet. And then he was no longer holding her, his arms by his sides. He blinked, feeling silly. He’d missed what she’d said. But…
A lovely laugh that made him smile in return broke the silence between them.
“Oh, I’ll be the toast of the town when I return with upir gold.”
Upir gold? He should know that term.
A small but gracefully shaped hand with trimmed red nails trailed his forearm to his shoulder. She reached up to touch his hair, rubbing the black strands between her fingers.
“So soft. Who would have thought?” Her voice sounded like the tinkle of wind chimes, magical and soothing. So sweet.
She leaned closer, and he scented that delectable perfume again. The one that made him hungry for something other than food.
Her finger caressed his throat.
The touch of a stranger against the most vulnerable part of him shocked Varu out of his stupor. Wait. Had she said upir gold? Considered a delicacy in many parts of the divine world, and a bountiful harvest to those who dealt in power and sacrifice, a vampire’s bloode and brains—upir gold—could fetch a pretty penny.
He snatched her hood back, exposing a female with long black hair threaded with white streaks. Her eyes were lavender, the sclera a small presence of white, the irises glowing, her pupils, a darker purple, overly large. Her face was inhumanly beautiful. The pearlescent shine to her skin, a lovely shade of light gray—no, a pale cream color, he thought as the moonlight streaming through the window changed—emphasized her plump, blood-red lips and rosy cheeks lush with life. He could hear her heart racing, the evidence of her vitality intoxicating.
Yet for all that, she wore nothing out of the ordinary, just jeans and a hoodie and sneakers. So plain and uninteresting.
Overwhelmed by a confusing sense of lust and danger, he started to lean forward, unable to help himself.
The dagger she thrust at his throat had him springing back several feet with a snarl, flashing his fangs. How the hell had she surprised him once again?
Instead of being properly intimidated, she narrowed her eyes and threw the dagger at him.
He hadn’t expected her to throw with such speed and accuracy. The damn thing nearly severed his head from his neck and bounced off the wall behind him.
Done playing the fool, Varu retaliated immediately, launching himself and tackling her to the ground. He pinned her down while avoiding her stare, since she’d earlier beguiled him into letting her go.
“Get off me, blood-sucker.” Several more swears and insults to his lineage followed, her voice husky with anger, no longer so airy and musical.
He grinned at the epithets, not at all offended. Instead he found himself intrigued. It had been so long since he’d had anything to smile about.
The female continued to struggle with a strength not common to humans. Definitely not a mortal, then. Interesting that she lacked the power of a stronger magir, like a shapeshifter or lycan.
She planted her hands flat on the ground, trying to push him off her. To his astonishment, she started to gain leverage.
What was she?
He leaned closer to sniff her neck, and she screamed.
The sound shattered his eardrums, and the force of it threw him through the already cracked bay window into the alleyway.
But immediately up and moving, he ignored the ringing in his ears and wiped away blood obscuring his vision from a jagged head wound, even now healing. He raced after her, hearing her pounding footsteps on the other side of the building. Except he got there too late.
Exploding into the road behind the storefront, with Orion and Kraft right behind him, he watched a fast-moving van snap her up. As it carried her away, she stuck out her head, stared back at him, and flipped him off. Then the van turned out of sight.
Varu cracked his neck, annoyed, intrigued, and bless it all, amused.
Orion scowled. “What the hell was that?”
“Varu, you have blood on your face.” Kraft frowned and handed him the dagger the woman had thrown. “Here. I found this inside the building. It wants you.”
Varu clasped the dagger, shocked at the sudden hum of connection. “We need to find her.”
“We need to get out of here,” Orion corrected. “Mormo was pretty clear about not calling any attention to ourselves. I left five bodies in the alley.” He paused. “Kraft left two.”
Kraft scowled. “Hey, I killed those two before I had to fight battle beasts. Not my fault I couldn’t shake them to help you with those pesky humans.”
“Dick.” Orion huffed. “Like I needed any help.”
Kraft ignored him. “I’m still hungry.” He paused. “And I want to drive home.”
“You drive like a ninety-year old.”
“I am a ninety-year old!”
Orion scoffed. “You hit like one too.”
While they bickered, Varu studied the dagger. Touching the edge burned, so he knew it to be silver. The leather hilt, however, had been pressed with runes. And beneath it, something beckoned the bloode inside him. So peculiar. He sniffed the weapon and scented the odd female all over it. Longing pulsed, a repeated plea to touch, to claim. But from the dagger, or was that in response to the murderous female?