As a special Valentine's Day gift to my lovely readers, supporters and well wishers, here is a sensual, seductive, and relatively spoiler free excerpt from Time's Fool.
[TW: dub/non-con. Blood.]
The Vampire's Kiss
He was standing beside her bed. She lay, calm and asleep upon her side, her hair spreading across the pillows like smoke, her smoke-grey eyes pressed closed. He inhaled, tasting the scent of her sleeping body. The heaviness of wine, rancid upon her breath, her perfume, her sweat, the oil in her hair. So beautiful.
And pale. So very pale.
The creature knelt beside the bed, staring into her face, half fearing, half hoping to see revulsion, refusal, but there was only peace. It even seemed as though the memory of a smile lingered on her lips. Her breathing was somnolent, low and regular, washing over the steady beating of her heart. The creature watched her, shutting out the city's grating clamour, the obtrusive breathing of her fiancé’s rest. The creature's eyes traced the blue shadows on her face, the fine lines of her jaw, her nose. His fingers ached to caress that skin, but he knew that he must not. One of her hands emerged from the blankets, wrist extended, fingers uncoiled, relaxed.
Always the same hand.
The darkness strengthened his eyes and he could see the pulsing arteries beneath the skin, the little scratch his nightly attentions had left. He bent his head to the hand, as if to kiss it. The fingers were damp and smelled of sex.
He almost choked.
Until that moment, even kneeling beside her with the teeth in his mouth long and urgent, he had hoped he would find the strength to leave. Every muscle in his body was tense, coiled, as he burned towards her, needing to run his tongue over every inch of her skin, to taste and caress her body, to subdue it with pleasure, destroy it with ecstasy...
The creature closed his eyes, his fists tight clenched and jaw set, waiting until that violence ebbed away. Then, calmer, he wrapped his fingers about her palm and, with infinite gentleness, raised the wrist to his lips. His teeth thrust longer in his mouth, tearing his gums in exquisite agony. He waited. Then, with more tenderness than he had ever used, he reopened the wound.
Sophia stirred in her sleep; she moaned, her body arched. Blood welled. With the point of his tongue, he licked it away, the bent closer, worrying the incision open. The blood came more steadily, each drop upon his palate a blessing, a moment of completion, of overwhelming bliss.
His body tingled and thrilled aware. He fought himself, keeping back the urge to rend. With restraint like a lover's, he concentrated, kissing away each beat of her heart.
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