Bite of Darkness
Shadow Creek 2
Ashly Marrouch is given an important task: deliver a box with a secret, lifesaving antidote to the alpha of Shadow Creek. For Ashly, this is another night’s work for the vampire king he serves. What should have been a simple drop-and-go is anything but when Vuk Remmington opens the door and Ashly finds himself face-to-face with his imposing, frighteningly handsome werewolf mate.
Vuk is one of Shadow Creek’s fiercest guards and his alpha’s second-in-command. Naturally, he is suspicious of Ashly and the antidote he delivers. Fighting his hunger for the small, gorgeous, witty vampire proves impossible, and Vuk finds himself desperate to repair the damages his initial attitude has caused between them.
When Vuk and Ashly are ambushed by human hunters, one thing becomes clear: Vuk can’t live without Ashly, and Ashly will sacrifice himself to save his wolf.
Vuk demands to know the origins of the antidote. But the antidote is the least of Vuk’s worries when Ashly becomes the prime target for the hunters.
Siren Publishing: www.bookstrand.com/book/bite-of-darkness
A gust of air ruffled his hair and his shirt. A strange, sensual aroma slammed into him. For a split second, he stared back at a startled man whose eyes widened and the blues glowed. He grappled for the closed door with his free hand, trying to steady himself, nearly tripping over the lip on the floor.
And as quickly as the perspective transfer occurred, he was back in his own body, this time staring at a heavily cloaked figure whose haunting silver eyes shimmered from the deep shadow of his hood.
Vuk swallowed. The telltale sign of mates crossing paths left him weakened at the knees in a time he couldn’t afford the distraction. Unfortunately, his body thought otherwise, straight to the damn hard-on that filled his jeans against his better judgment.
“I’m here to see Raul Carney on behalf of Mallouch Cavanough. I’m to see him in person to deliver the package he is awaiting.”
Vuk tore his gaze away from the mesmerizing silver glow and lowered his attention to a small box barely visible from beneath the cloak. The tips of the vampire’s pale fingers, nails painted to match the blackness of his clothing, were all that Vuk could see of this smaller creature. His voice, however, was an entity of its own. Sultry, fluid, like a dark symphony reaching out to his soul and coaxing him to fall into the shadows of unknown promises.
Vuk cleared his throat, giving his head a slight shake. It did little to dispense the fog that crept along the outskirts of his thoughts.
He held out his hand for the box. “No one is to see him. I’ll bring him the box.”
The object of secrecy disappeared, as did the vampire’s pale fingertips. “My apologies, but I was given strict orders from Mallouch that no one is to touch this parcel except for Raul Carney. That includes the leader of the guards.”
Vuk narrowed his eyes and lowered his head slightly, trying to get a glimpse of the face that spoke his knowledge of who Vuk was.
“What’s your name?”
“My name, sir, is not important. The contents of this parcel are. Your time is running short. Raul is sick, is he not?”
Tension rippled between them, an unseen force that kept Vuk on edge. It didn’t help that his wolf had begun a relentless pacing at recognizing his mate. By all he could sense, the vampire hadn’t a clue that Vuk was his mate.
“It must be administered immediately,” the stranger murmured. “We must not delay.”
“What are you asking to administer?” Vuk countered. He spoke just as quietly, aware that others had begun to notice their unusual exchange so soon after a night full of bloodshed. He couldn’t keep the gruff growl of his wolf from the edges of his tone.
“A potential cure.”
Vuk straightened up, squaring his shoulders to the vampire, showing him his full height and the strength he held. The vampire, to his surprise, seemed to shift beneath the cloak, mimicking his stance.
“You are wasting precious time. Take me to Raul.”
Vuk recognized the push of force behind those words. It was a hum, a vibration that spread throughout his mind, begging him to obey a command he did not want to obey. He growled, this time showing fangs to the vampire. Mate or not, no one fucked with his mind to persuade him to do something he did not want to do and think they could get away with it.
“Don’t use your powers on me, mailman. They don’t work.” Vuk stepped to the side. Despite his reluctance to let anyone near Raul while his alpha lay in a state of vulnerability, Raul was aware of the package coming to him and had not seemed nervous. Vuk might not trust a vamp whose face he couldn’t see but whose presence lit him on fire, but he trusted Raul with his life. “Follow me.”
The vampire stayed close to Vuk’s heels as they made their way to Raul’s private chambers. The smaller creature’s scent—an intoxicating concoction of fresh pine and a warm, underlying sensual spice he couldn’t quite pin down—infiltrated his head. It wasn’t helping the problem that rose in his jeans, leaving him tense and edgy by the time they arrived at Raul’s door.
Vuk rapped on the door and was momentarily surprised when Cael, the Creek’s on-site physician and sorcerer, greeted them with a solemn grin.
“Thank you for coming so late and on such short notice,” Cael said, stepping aside so Vuk could lead the cloaked vamp into the room. Cael closed and locked the door behind them. “Mallouch advised me about the antidote.”
Vuk paused, casting Cael a shaded glance. Cael ignored his silent inquiry, holding a hand out to the vampire.
The creature lifted a delicate hand from beneath the heavy material and pushed his hood back with a movement so fluid and graceful, Vuk wasn’t certain he saw the man move at all.
His curiosity vanished the moment he got his first look at his mate. The drum of his heart sent waves of blood throughout his body, weakening him, deafening him, tunneling his vision until all he saw, all he cared to see, was the vampire. As his hand was delicate, so was his face, a carefully carved and molded mask of ivory beauty enhanced by the slant of dark brows and a swell of red lips. When the vampire stole a split-second glance in his direction, those silver eyes glowed, lined with black liner and thick lashes. His hair, as black as midnight and cut to frame his gorgeous face, held streaks of dark red that caressed his cheek.
Vuk jerked out of his trance and twisted to find Raul leaning up against the archway into his bedroom. He cradled his left arm, sweat beading along his brow, his eyes flashing with the pain he kept at bay. Those same eyes pinned him with a mixture of concern and intrigue until Vuk nodded, then panned toward the vampire.
Cael spread his arm toward Raul. The vampire bowed his head with an Old-World elegance that snatched Vuk’s breath and demanded his attention.