The sequel to Ward of the Vampire is still with my editor, but I thought I'd give you a little peek at how its starts... as well as unveil the cover...
“I won’t kill you.”
As far as reassurances go, this one didn’t do much for me. I doubt it’d have done anything for anyone, not when it was uttered in Mr. Ward’s cool, emotionless voice, not when he was barely looking at me, not when he was already turning away.
A few hours earlier, before setting foot in his mansion as a guest of Miss Delilah, his sister and my boss, for his birthday bash, all I’d known of Morgan Ward was his voice, which I had heard on the phone a few times, and the gossip I’d read on blogs and in newspapers. Now, I knew a lot more.
I knew how dark his eyes were; darker than endless wells.
I knew something was different about him. Not different like a reclusive millionaire bachelor can be, but rather different in a not quite natural way. Not quite human, maybe, but I had a hard time wrapping my mind around that idea even after seeing him and Miss Delilah move with speed that should have been simply impossible.
I knew, also, how soft his skin was, and the feel of his lips on mine, and the way he moved when he made love. Except, it had all been a fantasy; that was what he’d called it. But no fantasy, no daydream, no dream of mine had ever felt this real. I’d almost died on that balcony. I’d also experienced two very intense orgasms. That, at least, was no fantasy.
The most important thing I knew, however, was that none of it made sense.
“I don’t understand,” I said before he could walk away.
He turned the faintest of smiles back at me. “How could you?”
“Explain to me.” It wasn’t the first time I’d asked him to explain, and I suppose, if I’m completely honest, I can say he’d tried. But every word of explanation he’d offered me had only confused me a little more. Still, I insisted. “What happened here tonight?”
His smile faded. “Which part? The part about you intruding where you weren’t wanted? Or the part about my dearest sister giving you to me as a gift, also very much unwanted?”
“I’m not anyone’s gift,” I started, and Mr. Ward laughed.
This, believe me, was not a happy laugh. It chilled me down to my bones. For a moment, it was as though we’d been back on that balcony where I’d sought refuge from the bustling party. The December night air had been cold, but my host even icier. At least, at first he’d been icy. In my fantasy, not so much anymore.
“Also true,” he said. “But since, as I told you, I am not inclined to kill you, and since you can’t leave, I guess the semantics of it all don’t matter much. I’ll have Stephen show you where you can sleep.”
And with that, he left the room.
I had a dozen, a hundred questions, but when I said his name he didn’t stop or look back, he just left me alone.