by Patricia Bates
Lady Kora has lived every day of her 300 years behind the stone walls of her family's estate. Yearning for something more, now on the eve of the most important night of her life everything is about to change.
Damien is a slayer - a whore to his sword, paid to take the heads of vampires. Given a task of ridding the last Ancient from a village, he's on edge. The spirits tell him something is coming - something that will have far reaching consequences beyond this night.
The slayer and the vampire drawn together by the fates, their bodies burning with lust can they survive sin's bite?
Pale, silver moonlight crept across the faded tapestries hanging from the cold, dank stone walls. Iron hinges creaked when a heavy door opened. A tiny candle flickered and danced as a lone figure moved through the empty halls. The shadows broken on the narrow beam of light fell on the lone occupant of the massive stone palace. Long golden hair curled down over her hips as she walked through the darkness.
She paused, her hand on the icy wall, her attention focused on the world outside the window. Below her, lights flickered and danced in windows. The rich, sweet smell of blood drifted along the wind through the open shutters. Her tongue rubbed over a single, sharp canine. Her pale eyes flashed with red before she retreated to the gloom.
Heavy, throbbing booms drifted up the stairwell. Scarlet lips lifted in a sardonic smile. Her steps beat a rapid tattoo along as she descended the stairs in a flurry of silk and lace. Smoothing a delicate hand down her body, she opened the door to meet the uneasy stare of a thin, hunched figure wrapped in rags.
“I brung you your order.” He croaked out, his hand shaking badly as he held up a brown wrapped package.
“Thank you,” she turned and lifted a small sack. As she took the parcel, she pressed the coins into the old man’s hand. “You’ll bring me my next order in two days?”
“As you wish.” The old man wrapped his cloak tighter around his stooped shoulders before vanishing into the night.
Pressing the door closed, she eyed the bag for a moment before drifting into the parlor. A flicker of her eyes over the candles had the light rising in the room. Two intricately carved crystal goblets sat atop a silver tray, glittering in the live flames. With care she opened the package and swallowed. A small, intricately stitched leather bag was decorated with bits of bone and feathers, an obvious attempt to procure favor from the gods. Lifting it to her nose she inhaled. Sweet, untainted by the vile habits of humans, it smelled of fresh grass and cool, clear water.
Lady Kora opened the bag and poured it into the delicate looking decanter on the hutch. She drained the last drops into a glass and raised it to her lips. Warm and succulent it slid down her throat with ease, each swallow giving a few more drops of life within her. She sat the glass down atop the polished black piano and took her seat on the padded bench. Her fingers stretched out over the keys, trailing over them like a lover’s caress.
Her pulse throbbed in echo with the music, rising with the wind beyond the stained glass. Each chord sinking like her fangs into flesh, toying with her emotions as she swayed to the beat. Lonely, haunting she closed her eyes as the melody swelled around her like a tempest in a winter storm. The candles in the room flickered, danced before one by one extinguishing into darkness leaving the silver glow of the moon as her only companion.