Series: d'Argent Honor
The d'Argent vampires nearly destroyed the evil Fox, only to see him recover miraculously and continue his deadly quest for vengeance, this time in Miami Beach. Miami-Dade homicide detective Mara Leone is no stranger to vampires. Knowing Alex d'Argent may be the only chance she has of stopping Reynard's mad killing spree, she joins with him — in more ways than one.
From past personal experience with Alex's kind, Mara is wary, but she's never met anyone as determined as the sexy vampire, and vampiric compulsion or not, the attraction is immediate — and deeper than either Alex or Mara expected. The eternal bachelor soon discovers the feisty cop is the one woman he can't walk away from.
Note: Story contains one scene of same-gender sex.
The vampire sitting calmly at the bar sipping a draft of blood had her heart beating double-time. Not just because he had the most compelling smile, or because the twinkle in his deep green eyes seemed to be focused exclusively on her. It wasn’t the ripple of powerful biceps that she sensed he did deliberately, just for her. And it wasn’t only the impressive bulge of his sex that drew her eye beyond muscular jeans-clad thighs and between his casually spread legs. Nope. Alexandre d’Argent, if that was his real name, was the epitome of a vampire seducer…an expert at the art of vampire compulsion, so practiced he wouldn’t need to exert conscious effort to draw a woman in.
Like Dante, who’d come and gone twelve years ago and hadn’t bothered to give her back her heart. Mara glanced over at Ben, whose eyes had widened with undisguised interest when he heard the name “Reynard”.
“Pity you haven’t managed to stop him.” She kept her tone deliberately noncommittal even though her clit swelled against her panties when she imagined how it would feel if he rubbed that short, crisp-looking beard and mustache against her there.
“Yes, it is. Which is why I’m here to finish the job.” He picked up her badge and traced the raised numbers on the shiny brass with his thumb.
How would it feel if he used that thumb to trace along her cheek? Over her nipples? Mara’s pussy clenched, oblivious to reason, to anything but the mindless desire this vampire kindled with such a simple gesture. Stop it! You’ve got a job to do, and it won’t get done if you get tangled up with Alexandre d’Argent.
Wait. Mara suddenly realized she’d heard that name before. Ben. He’d said members of the d’Argent clan had gone against Reynard three-on-one last year. That was how Reynard had ended up so battered no one had believed he might live to kill again. “What makes you think you can come on my turf and destroy this vampire? We’ve got laws to take care of criminals. Prisons.”
Alex reamed her with that emerald gaze. “Lieutenant Leone, there’s not a prison on earth that can hold Louis Reynard. Like it or not, you need me.”
Mara didn’t want to need a vampire. Dante. No, Alex. She didn’t want her pussy creaming the way it was doing now, when Alex met her gaze and smiled. She didn’t want to bare her throat, feel the pressure of his fangs, the incredible sexual rush when he pierced her. And she certainly didn’t want him to pump his big, hard cock into every orifice she possessed. So why was it she couldn’t break this sensual spell?
“Boss?” Ben’s concerned voice dragged Mara from a world where she’d sworn she’d never go again. “He’s right. If we’re going to take down Reynard, we need to work with him.”
Vampire compulsion. She understood it. Ben didn’t. He felt it, though. Mara sensed his capitulation in his voice, and in the way he looked at d’Argent with rapt interest. A picture came to mind of Ben’s sweet young fiancée—Susan something or other, she’d never been able to remember the girl’s name. “Go on back to the station, Ben. I’ll be the one working with the vampire.”
“If you argue, Braunstein, I’ll have you walking a beat in Liberty City.”
“Damn it. I was the one who figured out we were looking for Louis Reynard.”
Almost a head taller than Ben, Alexandre stood and stared down at him. “Good for you. Now go back and stick your nose into your computer. Solve another crime or two and leave Reynard to Ms. Leone and me. Mara, come with me.” Like Ben, Mara felt the compulsion that flowed as smoothly as d’Argent’s words.
* * * * *
The eastern sky was beginning to lighten as they walked toward Alex’s hotel, the velvety black of night transitioning to soothing tones of pale gray and lavender. The moon hadn’t yet given way to sun, but dawn was breaking. Alex figured Reynard would be back in his hideout by now, sleeping off his latest overindulgence. He’d contacted Philippe, told him to find a way inside the old mansion, locate Reynard and not let their prey out of his sight.
“Where are we going?”
Alex squeezed the lieutenant’s elbow. “To my hotel. Might as well get some rest before we go after him again. He won’t be going anywhere for a while. Sunlight hurts Reynard even more than it does most of us vampires.” Her muscles tensed beneath his fingers, as though his touch confused her as much as his own compulsion to take her perplexed him. Despite her silky auburn hair—his favorite color—Mara Leone wasn’t his usual type of bedmate.
Idly, he delved into her mind. She’d had a vampire lover a long time ago, one who’d left her emotionally bruised and bitter. Fuck. That explained why she’d sent the young detective away, to protect him from the disillusionment she felt was inevitable if he stayed and joined them en ménage. “I’m not like any other vampire you may have known, sweetheart. We’ll get the bastard before he kills again. I promise.”
The strain evidenced by her tone of voice made him want to take her in his arms, soothe away the tension…replace it with tension of another, sexual kind. It also engendered a need in him that he didn’t quite understand—a compulsion to wrap her in his protection, keep her from harm. And he wanted her to do it on her own.
“Trust me,” he coaxed, but he knew asking wasn’t going to cut it. The walls of hurt and suspicion Dante had forced her to create for herself somewhere along the way were way too tough for a mere request to break through. Alex grasped her chin and tilted her face where she had to look at him. Without the slightest bit of conscience he looked into her solemn brown eyes and put her under a vampire spell.
In his room he closed the curtains then undressed her as though she were a child. First the ugly blazer, then the shoulder holster. “You know, this thing’s pretty much useless against one of us,” he commented as he laid it on the bedside table.
“So I’ve been told. I’ve never been on a vampire hunt before. Guess I’ll have to requisition some silver bullets and wooden stakes.” She sounded softer, compliant now that she’d shed that tough cop veneer.
He ran his hands up her arms, tracing the veins, feeling the toned muscles that didn’t begin to compensate for the fragility of the bones beneath them. “Scratch the silver bullets. I already tried using them on Reynard. They didn’t faze him.”
“You mean that’s just legend, that silver bullets kill vampires?” When he connected with her mind once more, he learned she was thinking about her lover, who’d succumbed to a barrage of them from a team of mortal hunters. Alex regretted having stirred her hurtful memories.
He laughed, not wanting her to know he’d read her mind. “There are vampires…and then there are vampires. Some go down like sitting ducks when you pump them full of silver bullets. Others don’t. There are only two certain ways to destroy almost any sort of vampire.”
She looked up at him, her eyes wide as he spread her collar and tackled the buttons down the front of her sleeveless white blouse. “And those would be?”
“I think I’ll keep that information to myself, sweetheart.”
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