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Although she stood several feet away from him, she noted the stranger’s fitted black T-shirt, which revealed sinewy muscle, and snug leather pants that emphasized a lean waist and long, brawny legs. His frame towered in front of her so she had to crane her neck to look up at him. His raven-black hair touched the tops of his shoulders, strands pushed behind his ears, but a single dark lock lay along his striking face. He was the most handsome man she had ever seen. His nose was long and straight as an arrow, centered between high, smooth cheekbones, and he had a wide slash for a mouth…which was curled now in a vicious grin, baring gleaming white fangs for her view. For a second, she looked into his eyes. Pitch-black orbs,
cold as death, stared back at her and attempted to seize her mind, to pull her into their swirling depths. She immediately averted her gaze.

Summoning her best malicious smile, Alyssa readied her body to strike. “Why, the pleasure is all mine.” Before her words ended, she flipped into the air, kicking and spinning at the same time—and connected across his shoulder with a wicked slash of the stake. She landed before him in a crouch.
The smell of burned flesh filled the air.

In a flash, she struck out with her weapon again, intent on ending his life, but
he brought his hands up. Without touching her, he somehow sent her body
hurtling through the air. She tried to scream, but the breath was knocked
from her body when she crashed against a dumpster and fell hard to the
ground. The stake slipped from her fingers and rolled away down the slight

incline in the pavement. Groaning at the impacts from the dumpster and
ground, Alyssa looked up to see the vampire approach her and rose warily to
her feet.

Her eyes narrowed at the trickle of blood staining his black shirt; she snarled
at him, pleased at the sight of the bubbling, searing wound she’d scored.
“You bleed just as humans do. Vampire.” She couldn’t help but taunt him,
feeling a victorious satisfaction, although her hands were now bare.

Touching his fingers to the wound, he looked at her, his eyes beginning to
glow. She moved sideways along the wall while he smiled and brought the
long digits to his lips, licking the dark liquid from their tips. She sneered in
“I imagine yours tastes much sweeter.” His voice was a seductive murmur,

sending chills down her spine.

Enraged, Alyssa lunged toward him. Her fist shot into his jaw, whipping his
head to the side. She lashed out her foot and hit his chest, slamming his body
into the wall behind him. Before she could follow up on her surprising
success and tear him to pieces, his hand snaked out, grabbed her wrist,
twisted her body around, and yanked her to him. Her back was now pressed
against his chest, his arms wrapped around her, binding her in the iron cage
of his arms.

She fought his hold with everything she had, but he laughed. At that, Alyssa
stopped struggling, held her head high. If this were to be it, she wouldn’t go
down like a coward. Refused to. She’d make her family proud!

Lowering his head toward her, Damian whispered against her ear. “You’ve
killed too many of D’Angel’s offspring, thus, you’ve ended your own life.”
He held her tightly against him for a moment before continuing. “Did you
not know when you began this murderous spree, you would die?” He kissed
her earlobe, pulled it into his mouth with a slight suction. She trembled as
waves of warmth rushed through her at the rasp of his breath, the deep
baritone of his voice, and yet, chills raced up her spine at his softly spoken
words. “How is it you found out about vampire kind? Watch too much Buffy
and Angel?” His mouth moved below, and pure fire sizzled along her flesh
as his tongue caressed its way to her rapidly beating pulse.
Alyssa was mortified that her body reacted this way, betraying her every

instinct. Her mind screamed at him to stop, but she seemed to melt against
his hard, sinewy length.

“Your death does not bring me joy, but I must do it just the same.”

Her eyes closed and she gave a small cry; her body jerked in his embrace as
his fangs pierced her flesh. White heat seared her, then, shockingly, she
surrendered to him, despite the warnings clamoring in the back of her head.

She moaned as pleasure swept her away, drowning her in waves of foreign
sensations. His lips were unexpectedly gentle as they caressed and suckled at
her flesh. Alyssa wanted him to take her, to give her what seemed just out of
reach. The needy intensity grew in the pit of her stomach, and her breasts
tingled as though they might burst into flames at any moment. Instead, the
ache traveled south, settled between her legs, throbbing, begging for release.

It felt as if she’d been waiting her whole life for his touch.

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