Lana Roberts has come to Boston searching for her twin sister, Sarah. The last place Sarah was seen is an underground club called The Mausoleum. Not realizing what she has gotten herself into, Lana enters, only to find herself in the company of a seductively frightening vampire named Christian Sterling – the only creature in the place that wants to help her. But there’s one problem.
Lana is still human.
If she goes back into The Mausoleum, she’ll be killed, but Christian has a plan…if he can only convince her to go along with it. Can a pair of Halloween costumes, the sexy stranger she has found herself falling for, and a little bit of unorthodox behavior save the day? And just how long can Lana keep telling herself she doesn’t want him?
The waitress appeared again, depositing two plates of greasy food before them, but Lana made no move to eat. She continued to stare at the table, her gaze hazy as she mulled over the idea. The longer he looked at her, the hungrier Christian got. And though it was no consolation, he picked up the greasy, half-bloody burger and bit into it.
No, bovine blood was certainly no consolation.
“How long would it take?” Lana asked after several moments of silence. She shook her head and her eyes seemed to clear. Then she looked up at him, and her cheeks turned a warm, tempting pink color.
“If timed carefully, just a few hours.”
“What happens if it isn’t timed right?”
“You take in too much and turn.” He bit into the burger again, and her face crumpled in confusion.
“I thought vampires couldn’t eat human food,” she said, and glanced down at her own plate. Her stomach growled.
“Vampirism isn’t like you think, Lana.” He placed the burger back on the plate and wiped his hands on his jeans. “Like I said, we eat and drink, we breathe, we have heartbeats. We also crave human blood and will wither and die without it.”
“That’s kind of gross,” she replied, startling a laugh out of him. However, the laugh quickly died as he spotted two familiar faces peering through the grimy door at him. He looked straight at her, reaching across the table to take her hand.
“Are you planning to eat?” he asked. She looked down at the plate, then back up at him.
“Because I think we’re about to have company. We need to make a quick exit.” She grabbed two fries from the plate and shoved them in her mouth whole, which puffed her cheeks out like a squirrel. Christian smirked and patted her hand before pulling a twenty-dollar bill from his wallet and throwing it on the table. “Chew fast, sweetheart,” he said, rising from the booth. She grabbed the burger, took a large bite, then grabbed her straw and stuffed her mouth further with soda. Shaking his head in amusement, he took her hand and led her to the side door just as the front door opened.
The pair watching him paused, then whispered something to each other that was lost in the din of the restaurant. Christian tugged her out the door and started down the sidewalk at a brisk pace. Beside him, Lana chewed the mouthful of food quickly, fighting to swallow it without choking. Any other time he’d have laughed at her, but he heard the door of the diner open and the pair following them call his name.
“Chew faster,” he urged, picking up his pace. Lana was nearly running when she swallowed the final time and gave a weak, gagging cough.
“What’s going on?” she choked out.
“We’re being followed.”
“Exactly.” He swept her into his arms and began to run. Nine blocks later, Christian ducked into an alley and dropped her to her feet. “Do you trust me, Lana?” She looked up at him, her eyes wide and perfectly round, and nodded. “Then just go with me on this, okay?” She nodded again. He peered around the alley wall, listening as the footsteps moved in. “They’re coming,” he said, turning and walking her back into the shadows. He pushed her back against the wall and took her face in his hands. “Just go with it,” he said, and kissed her.
This was no tentative first kiss. Christian pressed his full body against her, pinning her to the wall as he threaded his fingers and laid siege to her mouth.
A tremor of delight winged through Lana’s belly. With his body pressed so fully against her, she could feel every ridge of muscle, every twitch, and every beat of his heart. Or was that her own? Either way, it didn’t matter. He tasted of rare meat and grease, and his fingers, like ice, danced along her hairline as his tongue swept into her mouth and tangled with hers. As his slid his fingers over her shoulders and around her back between her and the wall, she let go a desperate whimper and leaned into him. There was no denying now how badly she wanted him.
The kiss seemed to go on forever, that sweetly erotic push-pull that made her lightheaded and reckless. When he finally pulled back, he sighed and pressed his forehead against hers.
“I have wanted to do that since I first saw you,” he said with a weak chuckle. “And I want to do it again and again.”