The purpose here is to spotlight a few lines or a few paragraphs from a new release or backlisted title. This way my readers get to sample some delicious snippets and I'll do my best to tease, titillate and tantalize you into the weekend.
Today I'm teasing with my re-release of HER DEVOTED VAMPIRE, a revised and expanded edition of an older story. Bridget Shanahan was mugged and stabbed, so Fredrick brought her to his home. But when she wants to leave, he says no.
“Bridget, I can’t let you leave quite yet.” He caught her right arm in a gentle but firm grip. “Not until you tell me what you are.”
“You can’t let me leave? Or won’t?” She pulled against his grip, but it was like being handcuffed to a concrete post. “Who the hell are you to keep me here against my will?”
“The result is the same regardless of semantics. And I’m the one protecting you.”
“Protecting me? Buddy, where I’m from, this is called ‘kidnapping’.” She tugged against his grip again and fear ramped up in her gut. “Why are you keeping me here? Did you escape from a mental institution? Forget to take your meds today? I have got to get out of here!” The last was shouted at him as she jerked her arm to get away. She kept pulling despite the pain in her shoulder as his grip tightened. “Let me go!”
She yanked the full weight of her body against his hold on her arm and her shoulder separated. Excruciating pain lanced through her as his fingers bruised her arm, and she whimpered. Fredrick’s expression shifted into feral intensity and panic rose to screaming pitch. She pulled harder, trying to breathe through the pain.
Fredrick squeezed her arm until it went numb from the elbow down, the muscles of his jaw clenching while his eyes burned. Holy shit, he’s gonna kill me.
Bridget tried to think of a way to get free, but the pain overwhelmed her brain. Must get away. She moaned with each frightful second before she got an idea.
Gathering what strength remained, she reversed her momentum and swung her free hand, balled into a fist, at his head. To her amazement, he caught and held it, not crushing her fingers, but holding them tightly closed. She paused, absorbing the meaning of his strength, and realized she’d never get away from him.
He’s too strong to fight. It infuriated her she was so easily defeated, and she directed all that impotent rage at him through her livid glare.
“Let. Me. Go.”
“You are tired and overwrought. You should rest.” He met her gaze unflinchingly. “We will speak more after you’ve slept.”
Fredrick didn’t release her until she relaxed her body back into the pillows on the bed. Only the shock of his strength kept her there. If looks could maim, he’d be a writhing mass on the floor. Her eyes burned with the fury, and two tears slowly spilled over her lower lids to drip down her cheeks. She didn’t sob, nor did her lips tremble, but her anger seethed beneath her skin. She said nothing, her voice strangled by her wrath.
“Don’t try to escape.” His voice crackled with cold fury as he stepped back.
What the hell does he have to be mad about?
“I will tell Cynthia and the others to keep an eye and an ear out for you.” He raised his chin in warning. “One thing about werewolves and vampires you should know. We are a hundred times faster and stronger than the average human male, so you won’t be a problem to catch. I don’t recommend trying to run.”
She wanted to tell him to fuck off, but the pain in her shoulder cut off her words. Instead, more tears escaped.
He picked up the tray and stepped back from the bed. Bridget said nothing, just stared at him with recrimination. She wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of rubbing her numb arm where sensation slowly returned. The pain threatened to make her throw up, but she swallowed against bile. It was badly bruised, maybe even dislocated, but she didn’t look at it. She glared as he nonchalantly turned his back on her and strode to the door.
Before Fredrick left, he reached out and grabbed the pocketknife, then switched off the light and shut the door behind him. She lay in the dark with nothing but the bright crack beneath door to illuminate her tears. She’d be damned before she let him keep her. At the soonest possible moment, she’d find a way out.
She waited until his shadow stepped away before she rolled over and allowed herself to cry.
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