Dante's Awakening (Vampires of Hollywood, #1) by Devon Marshall

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Dante Sonnier is a successful Hollywood agent. She is also a friend to the secret community of vampires living in Los Angeles, and occasionally she assists them when they have a problem that requires a human to handle it. The vampires are led by Voshki Kevorkian, a gorgeous, sexy female vampire, who has made it clear that she would like Dante to be her human. Dante, although attracted to Voshki, is wary of the possessiveness and jealousy involved in being a vampire’s chosen human lover and resists.

When the Children of Judas, a two-thousand-year-old sect of murderous, rebel vampires shunned by the main community, rise up under a new leader and threaten to topple Voshki’s leadership and expose the whole community, the vampires turn to Dante for help. Dante travels to a small town in upstate California where the Children seem to be active, in the company of Ellis Kovacs, another vampire sired by Voshki, and Voshki’s “right-hand woman.”

There, whilst investigating the Children and their leader Robin Shepherd, Dante succumbs to being seduced by the alluring Ellis. When Dante is kidnapped by the Children, Voshki decides it's time to take matters into her own hands.

Hell hath no fury like a vampire scorned.

This is the first in a brand-new series.


Let me share another little tidbit with you about vampires: if they want something, they usually end up getting it. Doesn’t matter whether it’s a Ferrari, or a particular human being. Ellis wanted me. That much was obvious. Voshki wanted me too. I had told both of them no and, to be fair to myself, I thought I meant no.

My resolve to not sleep with Ellis washed away on three bourbon shots and two beers. I spent the evening at the bar in the horrible brothel-like hotel, in the company of Ellis, Samson and Mike the proprietor, all four of us listening to a guy named Willie play honky-tonk on the piano. Mike the proprietor regaled us with tales of the hotel’s actual days as a brothel-cum-saloon. Apparently his great-great-granddaddy owned the place then. In the midst of one of Mike’s bawdy tales, I felt Ellis’s hand come to rest on my knee and squeeze there. Little electric sparks of desire traveled the length of my inner thigh.

I gave her a glare meant to warn her to back off, but it was lame sauce. She knew it. Her hand moved higher. The room immediately became several degrees warmer.

Less than an hour later we were back in the room and I was hanging by my last fingernail to any resolve whilst Ellis kissed me everywhere in ways that were intimate and erotic and frightening, and about the most thrilling thing I had ever known. My skin erupted into fire wherever her lips landed. I had no knees and my brain was gushing out of my ears. I felt my last fingernail-grip loosen, and then I no longer gave a damn whether Voshki or anyone else found out what we were doing, nor what the consequences of that might be.

We all but tore each other’s clothes off. I think my shirt lost a few buttons but I didn’t care about that either. I was way too busy getting drunk on the sight of Ellis without clothes. Three hundred-odd years old or not, she has a smoking hot body. When she backed me against a wall in one of those hungry, fingers-in-the-hair, who-needs-oxygen-anyway kisses, it felt to me like she had six hands, all of them able to work independently on different parts of me at once. I let her guide me to the double bed (which she had undoubtedly known all along we would end up using for exactly this purpose, damn her and bless her), and then I also let her go to work on my southern districts with the same talented lips, tongue and teeth that had just turned an ordinary kiss into something that makes you wonder if you’ve ever really been kissed before in your life. I could vouch that I’d never had that done before in the way Ellis did it.

I suppose I had always figured Ellis for one of those wild rides that you get on not because you know you are big enough and strong enough to take it, but because you are driven to get on it, and which you don’t come off without being changed in some major ways by it. In part, she enthralled me for much the same reason Voshki Kevorkian did, because I knew either of them could, in the words of Nietzsche, equally deftly wield a dagger against me. Or maybe, in their case, a set of fangs. The lure of a dangerous woman. So it’s corny, so shoot me. Hell yes, she also annoys me, drives me fucking crazy, but since when has that been a reason not to want to have sex with someone?

As for not wanting to get involved with all that possessiveness nonsense that earmarks a vampire relationship, well, that was a bridge I’d decided to cross later. Maybe around the same time I got to crossing the bridge of Voshki’s thinking she had any prior claim on me.

As I may have mentioned, vampires tend to bite when they are having sex. They usually bite on the neck, although if their human prefers someplace less conspicuous there are main arteries in other areas of the body that will suffice just as well. There is the femoral artery, for one. Having a pair of deft fangs sunk into you here is often even more pleasurable than getting it in the neck. It was to this southern artery that Ellis went, and I did nothing to even try to stop her. Actually, I just spread my legs wider for her, like the shameless hussy I had lately turned into. Maybe it was the effect of staying in a hotel that used to be a brothel.

Oh well. As my mother, the legendary addict, always says: If you’re gonna be bad, you may as well be bad to the best of your ability. Amen.

Ellis drank her fill of my blood, the warm viscous feel of it trickling down my inner thigh acting as an aphrodisiac on me as well as her. She returned to administering to me with her tongue, and soon I was clinging to the ceiling with my fingernails and eyebrows, on the brink of an orgasm that I just knew was going to be so shattering it would be a wonder if it didn’t cause a goddamn earthquake all the way back in LA. But instead of allowing me to tumble over the brink, she conspired to leave me on a plateau, gasping and shaking, while she slid up my body and kissed me on the mouth. I could taste my own sex and my own blood on her lips. Rather than being turned off by the latter, I liked it. I wished she would just devour me whole. As she kissed me, she played her hands over every inch of my flesh, leaving trails of fiery tingling everywhere she touched, my shoulders, neck, the little hollow at my throat, down between my breasts, across my ribs…my stomach muscles fluttered as she trailed her fingertips across there, moving south in no great hurry. Finally she slipped her hand between my legs and brought me to orgasm with her fingers, and it was without a shred of doubt the best orgasm I’d ever had. I think I may have passed out briefly from pleasure. There were bright colors and loud noise inside of my head, and there was a sensation like falling off a cliff into a velvet-lined abyss, tumbling and spinning downward, only to bounce back up and go soaring into air that was as soft and sweet as marshmallow.

Shattering. Like I said.

In the aftermath of this devastating encounter I lay breathing heavily and streaming sweat, sticking to the rumpled sheets, just trying to get my brain back from the outer stratosphere, whilst Ellis lay on her side, looking down at me, one hand still stroking my inner thigh. She was not even winded. Her eyes were still glowing red, like a sunset. And there was blood at each corner of her mouth. My blood. Now that she had drunk from me, she would form a sort of connection with me on the emotional and psychic level. It would have been stronger had she invited me to drink her blood. That she had refrained from doing this told me she was being at least a little cautious with regard to Voshki’s claims upon me. I was not quite sure how to feel about that.

“What happens now?” I asked once I had my breath back.

Ellis smiled, shook her head. “I don’t know. I’ve never stolen a human from Voshki before.”

I was irked suddenly. I glared at her. “You didn’t steal me from anyone because I don’t belong to anyone. Least of all to Voshki Kevorkian.”

“Vosh laid a claim to you. We’re supposed to respect that.”

“And I told Vosh that I didn’t want to be her human.”

“It doesn’t matter…” Ellis’s smile was both wistful and amused… “I should still have respected her wishes. I should have at least asked her permission before I made a play for you.”

  • Published by: Untreed Reads

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