Thursday, October 4, 2012

DON'T DRINK THE BLOOD by Cheryl Dragon

DON'T DRINK THE BLOOD by Cheryl Dragon

When Emma walks into a vampire bar, Bill knows they’re both in trouble and he needs to get her out of there. He takes her home and their passions click.
Unfortunately, she’s caught the eye of an evil vampire who loves trophies and wants Emma. Even worse, she’s not happy with a human! She wants to experience a real vampire.

Bill is just a vampire hunter who rescues innocent humans. After Emma rushes into danger, he saves her from the vampires, but the trouble is far from over! The vampire wants revenge, and this time it's up to Emma to do the hunting and rescuing!


Life was supposed to be an adventure! All of Emma Lacey’s life had been spent in a quaint suburb on the north side of Chicago, and life had always been dull. She even worked out of her apartment.

With both parents as scientists, she’d turned out to be the dreamer in the family. Her computer-generated art was real to her, whether the graphics ended up in a video game or the side of a bus. At twenty-five, she’d made a successful start to her career, but she’d grown bored already. The dreamer in her wanted to live out the art and fantasy, not simply create it.

So she’d decided she’d finally have some tonight, and she’d taken the train into the city as dusk started to fall.

Drac’s Place wasn't a very subtle name for a bar that catered to vampires and their friends. She found it easily, but one glance disappointed her. No flashy sign. Not even a guy at the door checking IDs.

Walking in, she surveyed the poorly lit room as she shrugged off her long, black, wool coat. The unpredictable Chicago weather had made for a chilly October already, but for a vampire bar, this place was warm. The layout was average with a bar on one side and tables and booths on the other. In the center was a dance floor and at the far end were a DJ and a hallway. The people were a mix: male, female, old, young. Some were dressed up for the occasion, wearing all black and exaggerated makeup. Others appeared very casual.

Emma felt better that she’d stuck with her normal wardrobe. The pretty purple dress with silver swirls that she hadn't been able to resist buying fit in perfectly well here. That and the silver pumps weren't her everyday wear of jeans and T-shirts in front of her computer. Most of her friends were married, in serious relationships or had moved away for their career. Her life was increasingly online.

No doubt, something was missing for her every day existence.

As she approached the bar, Emma wondered if she’d find that fulfilling adventure here. In her work, vampires were her favorite creations. The myth and fantasy were so sexual and thrilling. Who wouldn't want to see it for themselves? To live forever and never age was a dream.

Not that Emma longed to join the undead. She wanted to meet them and make her work as real as possible. So much had been done in art. Was there anything new? Deep down, she wondered if she hadn't met the right man because he’d been turned. Maybe, vampires were all part of her destiny?

The bartender appeared human with a big cross hanging around his neck. Maybe vampires weren't really hurt by religious icons? It was more plausible that he was a human, and it was all decoration for the visitors. She ordered a margarita then turned to watch people for a bit. The DJ fired up the music and people crowded the floor. Some were vampires. Their pale skin and blatant fang displays made it obvious. The humans seemed eager to be picked up as they mingled without fear.

As always, Emma faced serious competition! Watching a busty blonde pull a vampire’s face to her chest, Emma began to doubt she’d fit in here either.

A tall and beautiful man sat beside her with a nod. Dark eyes and black hair made him look extremely pale. The quiet power about him made her curious. He didn't smile; she couldn't see his fangs.

“I’m Emma,” she said.

“Pierson. Your first time?” he asked.

She nodded. There was nothing usual about his voice, but he had to be a vampire. Why else would he sit next to a human? She could tell it wasn't his first time here.

Unlike some of her friends, she lacked the gift of gab. As she tried to think of something to say, another man caught her eye. He appeared to be coming from the back hallway.

He had short, dark-brown hair, lean muscle and pale skin. Her hopes for a connection grew when she saw he was casually dressed in black jeans and a University of Chicago T-shirt. He was no college kid. She saw the maturity and confidence in him as he cut through the dancing crowd. He leaned on the bar to her other side and gave her a quick smile then a long look.

“Beer, please,” he said to the bartender.

Emma smiled, but her tongue tied in her mouth. Her attraction to him was undeniable, and she didn't want to screw it up. While she hadn't planned to have a one-night stand with a vampire, she couldn't ignore the desire to touch danger and explore the undead. She sipped her drink and tried to look friendly but not desperate.

As he sipped his beer and checked out the crowd, Emma checked out him. When he asked her a question, she almost missed it. “I’m sorry, what?”

“Would you like to dance?” he repeated.

“Sure!” It flew out of her mouth before she processed the question. Luckily, the DJ had changed to slow songs.

“I’m Emma.” She took his hand. His skin was cool to the touch yet it sparked her interests.

“Bill. You've never been here before?” he asked.

“Nope. First time. But I’m a big fan.” Her hand slid along his shoulder, and it felt as if he were warming up as well. Maybe, she turned him on?

Maybe he’d just fed?

“Fan?” Bill asked.

“I’m a graphic designer. Vampires are big business.” She shrugged. “What’s down that back hall?”

“You don’t want to go back there. So this is research for you?” Bill’s smile went flat.

“No, not entirely. I’m curious. Attracted to it. I was just wondering where the ladies room is. If it’s not down that hall then where?”

“Oh yeah, it’s there, too. Just be careful. Some people go back there to feed. Things can get dangerous. Not everyone here is nice like me.” Bill sounded more like an older brother.

“I’m not looking for danger, but I can take care of myself. I’m really looking for an up-close, friendly experience, not a fight.” She pressed to him and never wanted to let go. Physical attraction fogged her brain. No man had ever made her feel this way, at least not one who returned her lustful thoughts.

“I agree, private is best. Are you here with anyone?” Bill asked.

“No. All alone. Sometimes, I feel like I’m alone all the time. Work and being single. We all need to connect.” She inhaled his masculine scent. It reminded her of wood and incense.

“We do. Maybe, you could come by my place and we could talk? I really hate bars.” Bill smiled.

It was too fast, but her body knew he wasn't just interested in talking. While he was the perfect gentlemen, she saw ulterior motives deep in his eyes. Vampires could be dangerous, but he wasn't staring at her neck or feeling her pulse. This felt far more sexual, and she could handle that. “ I've never had any luck at the bar scene, until now.”

“May I cut in?” Pierson stepped up.

“We were just leaving,” Bill said flatly.

“She hasn't been here that long.” Pierson glared at Bill and turned to her smiling. “You haven’t even been here an hour. Why not stay and explore?”

“There’s always tomorrow night.” She wanted an adventure, and being with Bill would be exactly that!

Dashing to get her coat, she found him at the door holding it open for her. Such a gentleman! She kissed him impulsively and gave into her to darker side.


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