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Home > Kiss of Crimson (Midnight Breed #2)

Kiss of Crimson (Midnight Breed #2)
Author: Lara Adrian

Chapter One

Dante smoothed his thumb over sweet female flesh, lingering at the carotid, where the human's pulse throbbed the strongest. His own pulse quickened too, responding to the rush of blood flowing beneath the surface of delicate white skin. Dante leaned his dark head in and kissed that tender spot, letting his tongue play over the fluttering race of the female's heartbeat.

"Tell me," he murmured against the warm skin, his voice a low growl amid the heaving beat of the club 's music, "are you a good witch or a bad witch?"

The female squirmed in his lap, her fishnet-clad legs straddling him, black lace-up bustier pushing her br**sts up under his chin like a buffet. She twirled her finger in her bright fuchsia wig, then let it trail down suggestively, past a Celtic cross tattoo and into her swelling cle**age. "Oh, I'm a very, very bad witch."

Dante grunted. "My favorite."

He smiled into her drunken gaze, not bothering to hide his fangs. He was one of many vampires in the Boston dance club that Halloween night, although most of them were pretenders. Humans sporting plastic teeth, fake blood, and various ridiculous costumery. A few others--himself and a handful of males from one of the vampire nation's Darkhaven sanctuaries, hanging out near the dance floor--were the genuine article.

Dante and the others were Breed, a far cry from the pale, gothic vampires of human folklore. Neither undead nor devil-spawned, Dante's kind were a hot-blooded hybrid mix of Homo sapiens and deadly other-worlder. The Breeds' forebears, a band of alien conquerors who crash-landed on Earth millennia past and who were now long-since extinct, had bred with human females and given their offspring the thirst--the primal need--for blood.

Those alien genes had given the Breed great strengths and shattering weaknesses too. Only the human side of the Breed, those qualities passed down by their mortal mothers, kept the race civilized and adhering to any kind of Order. Even then, a few of the Breed would succumb to their savage side and turn Rogue, a one-way street paved in blood and madness.

Dante despised that element of his kind, and as one of the warrior class, it was his duty to eradicate his Rogue brethren wherever he found them. As a male who enjoyed his pleasures, Dante wasn't sure what he preferred more: a warm, juicy female vein under his mouth, or the feel of titanium-edged steel in his hand as he sliced into his enemies and dispatched them to dust in the street.

"Can I touch them?" The pink-haired witch on his lap was staring at Dante's mouth with rapt fascination. "Dang, but those fangs look wicked real! I just have to feel them."

"Be careful," he warned as she brought her fingers to his lips. "I bite." "Yeah?" She giggled, gaze widening. "I'll bet you do, sugar."

Dante sucked her finger into his mouth, contemplating the fastest way he could get the female horizontal. He needed to feed, but he was never opposed to a little sex in the process--prelude or chaser, didn't matter. It was all good as far as he was concerned.

Chaser, he decided on impulse, letting his fangs puncture the fleshy tip of her finger as she started to withdraw it. She gasped as he suckled from the small wound, refusing to let her leave him just yet. The small taste of blood inflamed him, sharpening his pupils to vertical slits in the middle of his gold-hued eyes. Hot need rushed through him, settling into the swelling bulge of his cock, which strained beneath the black leather of his pants.

The female moaned, closing her eyes as she arched catlike on his lap. Dante let go of her finger as he wrapped his hand around the back of her head and pulled her neck closer to him. Taking a Host in a public place wasn't exactly his style, but he was bored out of his skull and needed the persion. Besides, he doubted anyone would notice tonight, when the club was rife with faux danger and open sensuality. As for the female on his lap, she would feel only pleasure as he took what he needed from her. Afterward, she'd remember none of it, her memory scrubbed of all recollection of him.

Dante came forward, tipping the female's head aside, mouth watering in hunger. He glanced past her and saw two Darkhaven vampires, part of the general Breed population, observing him from a few yards away. They looked like kids--current generation, no doubt. They whispered among themselves, clearly recognizing him as one of the warrior class and trying to decide whether or not to approach him.

Bugger off, Dante thought in their direction as he parted his lips and prepared to open his Host's vein.

But the vampire youths ignored his dark glare. The taller of the two, a blond male in desert camo pants, biker boots, and a black tee-shirt led the way. His companion, tricked out in baggy jeans, high-tops, and an oversize Lakers jersey, strutted along behind him.

"Shit." Dante didn't mind a small bit of indiscretion, but he sure as hell didn't need an up-close audience gawking at him while he fed.

"What's wrong?" his would-be Host whined when Dante pulled away from her.

"Nothing, sweetheart." He placed his palm against her forehead, wiping the past half hour from her mind. "Go on now and join your friends."

She obediently got up from his lap and walked away, fading into the press of bodies on the dance floor. The two Darkhaven vampires gave her only a passing look as they approached Dante's table.

"What's up, fellas." Dante tossed the greeting out with zero interest in chitchat.

"Hey." Blondie in fatigues nodded, striking a pose with his muscled arms crossed over his chest. Not a single visible dermaglyph on that young skin. Definitely current-generation Breed. Probably not even out of his twenties yet. "Sorry to interrupt, but we had to tell you, man--that was some kick-ass business you guys dealt the Rogues a few months ago. Everyone's still talking about the way the Order took out an entire colony of suckheads in one night. Blew that mofo sky-high. Freakin' awesome, man."

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