The party was already in full swing.
Teetering on hooker heels, Eve Montgomery pushed her way through the crowd. Several partygoers stopped to gape at her costume … or lack thereof. A mix-up at the costume shop forced her to make do. Instead of the leafy bikini she’d ordered, she’d ended up with only a fake plastic snake and a shiny red plastic apple. Not very much of a costume.
Luckily she was an artist, if a bit of an underpaid one, and a stroke of ingenuity led her to paint on her costume. It was a very Playboy bunny thing to do. Although she’d sworn never to take her clothes off again to make a buck, five hundred dollars for a few hours of dancing was an offer she couldn’t refuse.
Unfortunately it was hard as hell to paint one’s own backside, so she’d had to call in a favor from a friend. Shazzer was a decent painter, more than capable of slapping on some green paint and glitter to cover Eve’s ass.
“Knock ’em dead, girl.” With a wave, Shaz headed for her own cage.
Eve gazed at the other three cages, seeking the one she was supposed to dance in. With a groan, she caught sight of a very familiar male body cavorting a few feet above her head.
Adam London was the bane of her existence. He lived a few doors down from her and made no secret of the fact he found her attractive. When she’d first come to New Orleans after hanging up her Vegas showgirl heels, he’d tried to get her to dance for his company. She’d gone to a few performances. The productions were much too sexy and avant-garde for her liking. Tits and ass had made her career, but she doubted she had the acting chops needed to join The London Company.
The party’s host had sent out invitations to all partygoers, even the staff. She’d received a torn half of a tarot card, The Star. Upon arriving at the party, the dancers had been ordered to find their match for the night. What sort of fucked up luck had made Adam draw her card? She wasn’t into astrology or voodoo mumbo jumbo, and she was sure something other than Fate was responsible for Adam getting the matching half of her card.
The cage was tiny, barely four feet wide. There was no hope of avoiding him in such close quarters. Gritting her teeth, she climbed the steps leading to the cage and slid inside.
Adam whistled after a full six seconds of checking her out. “Sexiness.”
His British accent, combined with a firmly muscled body, was the stuff dreams were made of. Just not her dreams. She’d been burned way too many times in the past to fall for a handsome face.
She put a hand against his chest … his sculpted pecs! … and made him keep his distance. “Listen, London. I’m only here to work. Keep your hands to yourself, capisce?”
His bluer-than-blue eyes twinkled. “Adam and Eve, huh? Very apropos. Are you here to tempt me to sin, darling?”
“You could only be so lucky,” she said with a laugh.
Turning away from him, she wrapped her hands around the bars of the cage and sent a sultry smile toward the crowd. A man in a mask and feathered wings caught her eye. Then his gaze moved to man behind her and lingered. Figures.
Huffing, she glanced over her shoulder. “Seriously, dude. Is there anyone immune to your good looks?”
“So, you do admit I’m good-looking?” Adam’s hand slid around her waist and pulled her toward him.
The feel of his tight body against her bare skin sent shivers racing down her spine. He bent down, his cheek resting on the mass of upswept curls pinned at the back of her head. “These people came to see a show. I can’t have you dancing way over there.”
She arched her spine, which brought her bottom into shocking contact with his crotch. Only a tiny slip of felt leaves and imitation fur covered his manhood. Gasping at his size, she tried to move away.
He clamped his hand against her hip and held her in place. “That’s it, darling. Keep that up and the crowd just might be fooled into thinking you like me.”
Truth be told, she liked him a little too much. Not that she’d ever admit it to him or anyone. Adam was so far out of her league, it was laughable. While she struggled to make ends meet, rooming with Shazzer and two other girls in one of four units created out of an older house, Adam owned a successful dance company and a large, beautiful home.
“Loosen up,” he whispered. “Just dance. This is your favorite song, isn’t it?”
She didn’t even question how he knew. The catchy beat of the latest Robin Thicke song poured through the speakers. No matter how many changes she went through in life, one thing remained constant. Her love of dancing had carried her through some really rough patches. Although her dream of Julliard had been cut short by a torn Achilles, she’d never given up. Instead of a career in ballet, she’d made a name for herself in Vegas. Not exactly the life her parents had dreamed for her to have, but a successful one nonetheless.
That was until the Vegas revue’s married producer had hit on her one too many times backstage. His wife had caught him attempting to kiss her and that had been the end of her career. Names like homewrecker and whore were hurtful, especially when she was innocent. Not that anyone had believed her.
She’d left Vegas behind and returned home to New Orleans to pursue her second hobby, painting. Unfortunately, it didn’t pay the bills. She supplemented her income with waitressing, but it was still hard to make ends meet. The offer of five hundred dollars had come at just the right time. She’d been worried about making her share of the rent.
So here she was, shaking her ass for all she was worth and pretending the man holding her didn’t turn her on. And damn, was she ever. A costume of paint couldn’t hide her response. Her nipples puckered. The green paint and twirling vines were no match for her body’s reaction.
“When this is over, come home with me.”
His audacity made her gasp. “Is sex all you think about?”
He spun her around and dipped her. He brought her body up. His sexy smile made her knees go weak. “Who said anything about sex?”
Pressed tightly against his oh-so-drool-worthy chest, she struggled to remember the reasons why she shouldn’t get involved with him. Not a single one came to mind. “It’ll never work between us.”
“Why?” He calmly stared at her, his eyes daring her to tell the truth.
“I’m not the type of girl you think I am.”
A dark look crossed his face. “I’m probably not what you think either.”
She shivered at his expression. The noise of the music and the crowd seemed to dim. Staring at him, an irresistible attraction pulled her. Why did she keep fighting it?
After sixty minutes of dancing, Eve took a break. Adam, who hadn’t even broken a sweat, joined her. Carefully making her way through the sea of guests, she went out a side door that led onto the verandah. For October, the weather was pleasantly mild, which was a good thing considering her lack of clothing.
“The party seems to be a success,” Adam remarked. He propped a hip on the railing and turned to face her.
She kept her distance, stretching her arms and legs to relieve the tired muscles. After an hour of dancing with him, her body hummed with unfulfilled desire. He was sex personified, lounging in his barely-there loincloth.
Moonlight peeped through the overhanging branches and illuminated Adam’s face. A glimmer of white flashed as he smiled.
She blinked. “Are you wearing fangs?”
His smile faded, only to be replaced by an intense look. “Why do you ask?”
She took a step forward, curiosity and an undeniable pull making her gravitate in his direction. “No reason.”
Eve peered at him and wondered if exhaustion had made her imagine the pointy teeth. He smiled again, his canines perfectly human-shaped. Despite the easy smile, his eyes remained guarded.
How could she have missed it? Adam was a freaking vampire.
Everything made sense now. His ageless skin. His seemingly inexhaustible energy. The lack of perspiration. Even her undeniable attraction to him. For centuries, the women in her family had become entangled with vampires, some sort of curse the Montgomery females suffered.
“I’ll be damned,” she whispered.
Adam straightened and reached for her. “What’s wrong? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”
Judging from the cemetery across the street, it was quite possible a spirit or two lingered around the mansion. But right now the only paranormal creature she was concerned with stood less than three feet away. “I’ve never seen one of you up close.”
“One of me?” He frowned. His accent grew more pronounced.
She lifted her hand and touched his arm. Curiously warm, as though blood still moved within his veins. Was it possible she was mistaken and he was merely human after all? Her fingertips tingled where their skin met. She had to be right. “You’re a vampire.”
He moved swiftly and clamped a hand over her mouth. “Are you crazy? You can’t go around blurting out nonsense.” He glanced around as if he were worried someone had overheard her.
She tugged his hand away. There was no one but them on the verandah. “It’s not nonsense. You should’ve told me.”
Resignation appeared. “And risk scaring you off?”
Why wasn’t she scared? She should be. Shouldn’t she? “My family has an odd sort of … history with vamps.”
“Really?” Disbelief colored his expression. “What sort of history?”
A blush tinged her cheeks. “I can’t believe I’m going to tell you this.” She put her hands over her eyes and winced. “Both my grandmother and great-grandmother had vampire lovers.”
“I’m intrigued. What happened to them?”
She lowered her hands and shrugged. “They ended up marrying normal men.”
“So, does this mean I have a shot with you after all?”
She chuckled at the hot look he sent her way. “Keep dreaming, Romeo.”
He moved closer. Bending down, he brushed a kiss across her cheek. “Why break with tradition? You know you want to.”
She did. She really, really did. And not just because he was a vampire. She wanted to know what it was like to be with him … with Adam.
Shaking off the lust swamping her, she glanced at the door they’d exited. “We should get back. Break is over.”
She turned to leave. Adam’s whisper of “Coward” haunted her.
* * * *
Several hours later, long after the party guests had left, Eve lingered in the cage. The other dancers had collected their pay and left a few minutes before. A pink and gray dawn peeped through the windows. It was time for her to go, but she sat in the cage and examined the torn half of the card she’d been given. The Star. The image was of a kneeling woman grasping two water urns. Supposedly the card’s meaning offered hope or possibility. Speaking of possibility…
Had Adam already left?
No sooner had she thought of him than he appeared. He leaned inside the cage and hovered over her. “Do you need a ride?”
She’d ridden to the party with Shazzer, who’d ended up leaving with her dancing partner. Not wanting to be a third wheel, Eve had decided to call a cab instead. “I’ll be fine.”
“Don’t be ridiculous. We live on the same street.” He took her hand and hauled her out of the cage. “I promise not to bite.”
A glimpse of fang appeared. She narrowed her eyes in suspicion. “Funny.”
“I thought so.” His fangs retracted as he gave her a slow, sexy smile.
She picked up her bag. A T-shirt and a pair of jeans were stuffed inside. Although she hated to go out in her painted costume, the thought of ruining her favorite pair of jeans was worse. “I’m afraid I didn’t think this costume all the way through.”
Adam’s gaze moved down her body, lingering on her green-tinted breasts and hips. “I can’t say I mind.”
“Of course you wouldn’t.” She rolled her eyes. “I don’t want to ruin your car seat though.”
“You won’t. I have a towel in the trunk.” Looping his arm through hers, he escorted her outside and to his sleek black sports car.
The ride home was mostly silent. When he pulled up in front of his large house, she didn’t question him. She knew what he wanted. The only question was whether she was prepared to give it to him. Not wanting to barge in on Shazzer and her male guest, it wouldn’t hurt for her to visit with Adam for a little bit.
“I’m not sleeping with you,” she pointed out as he opened her door.
Early morning sunlight gilded his dark hair. She’d learned from her grandmother that the whole no sunlight thing was a myth. Thank goodness. The last thing she wanted was to see him burned to a crisp in his driveway.
He seemed amused. “Sleeping is the last thing on my list right now.”
She strolled into his house, pausing briefly to admire the elegant furnishings. What in the world was she doing in Adam’s house, practically butt naked, at six o’clock in the morning? Pushing aside her reservations, she moved toward the living room. Then she remembered the paint. No way was she sitting on his plush white leather sofa.
“Would you like a shower?”
The sound of his voice directly behind her made her jump. “You just want to get me naked.”
He winked. “Of course.”
She looked down at the paint covering her breasts. Sweat and hours of dancing had smeared it. She looked a mess. “I suppose a shower would be nice.”
The bathroom was gorgeous. She ignored the king-sized bed in the room they passed through. It had to be the master.
“Here you go. I’ll go get your bag.” He handed her a fluffy white towel and then left her alone in the massive marble-lined bathroom.
The water ran green for several minutes as she scrubbed at the paint. Sudsing up her hair and body, she washed the remainder of the glitter away. The expensive shampoo and soap softened her skin, even though it made her smell like a dude. The enticing scents of citrus and sandalwood reminded her of Adam.
After she’d showered and dried off, she cracked open the door. “Adam?”
He entered the room, carrying a small pile of clothing. He dropped her shirt and jeans on the bed and stared until she felt self-conscious. He must’ve taken a bath in another bathroom. Gone were his costume and the faint traces of glitter that had transferred from her body to his during their dancing. Nylon shorts were all he wore, leaving his delectable chest bare.
Gripping the towel around her body with one hand, she patted her damp hair. “What’s wrong? Did I miss some paint?”
“No.” He strode forward. Nothing but mere inches separated their bodies. The heat in his eyes consumed her. Passion, desire, whatever synonym she could think of, flared to life.
She wanted to be with him.
Opening the door fully, she stepped across the threshold and fully into his bedroom. Her fingers curled into the soft cotton and slowly undid the knot she’d tied across her breasts.
Adam grew quiet, his gaze locked on her chest. She opened the towel, baring her body. Without missing a beat, he stepped forward and wrapped his arms around her waist. The towel dropped to the ground as she clung to his shoulders.
The kiss was hot and openmouthed, everything she’d dreamed it could be.
Nothing mattered but skin and sensation as she glided closer. Broad shoulders, firm biceps, tight pecs. She explored his body with the palms of her hands, memorizing every part of his upper body.
Adam did the same as he traced his hands over her breasts and waist. Then he slipped his fingers lower, seeking out the warmth between her legs. She gasped. Her hips moved in tandem with his questing fingers.
She slid her hand down and palmed the heavy weight of his cock through the nylon he wore. She curled her fingers around his length and slowly stroked up and down. Adam dropped his head onto her shoulder and groaned. A second later, she felt the tiny prick of his fangs on her neck. Her knees went weak.
Sweeping her into his arms, he carried her to the massive bed and placed her upon it. She sank into the feather-soft mattress. Sweetly scented sheets and the intoxicating feel of him covering her body made her mind spin wildly out of control. What was she doing? Was she really about to have sex with Adam?
Oh, fuck yes. Nothing short of an atomic bomb could make her leave his bed now.
“I’ve dreamed of this. Dreamed of you,” Adam whispered as he cupped her breasts. He lowered his head, his tongue flicking out to lave one nipple. His fangs scratched the tender surface, but not enough to draw blood.
Would he drink from her? The thought intrigued her more than it scared her. She’d overheard her grandmother say that giving her blood to her vampire was better than any orgasm she’d ever had.
Adam moved lower and traced a path down her belly with his wicked tongue and then further south. She held her breath as he gently parted her pussy lips and rolled his tongue across her clit.
“Holy shit.” Her fists curled into the sheets in an effort to keep from screaming.
He lapped at her sex, his tongue teasing all the sensitive spots around and inside her opening. Moving her hips restlessly, she yearned for more. She was close to coming when he turned his head and sank his sharp fangs into her thigh. He sucked and she felt it all the way to her toes.
He fingered her clit as he drank from her thigh. The sensation of her blood moving through her veins and the tickle of his fingers sent her over the edge. Crying out, she came hard. Harder than she’d ever dreamed possible.
She was limp and trembling from her climax as he lifted his head. His fangs glinted, a dark look of bloodlust in his eyes. With disheveled hair and flushed cheeks, he was sex personified.
“More,” she whispered. “I want more.”
Adam smiled. The sight of his sharp canines sent a delicious shiver down her body.
In a blur of motion too quick for her eyes to track, he moved off the bed. He came to a stop beside the bed and shoved off his shorts. Adam was larger than any of her previous sexual partners. A thrill of anticipation shot through her.
Climbing back into bed, he covered her body with his. His hard, lean physique fit perfectly against her soft dips and curves. It was as if they’d been made for each other. Perhaps they had been. Who knew what sort of odd magic was at work?
Softly kissing her lips, he nudged her chin up until she met his gaze. The emotion in his blue eyes made her suddenly feel like weeping. “Tell me you won’t regret this.”
It was eerie how well he knew her. With most of her other lovers, she’d known it was a mistake to sleep with them. If he’d asked her the same question thirty minutes ago, her answer would have been different. But now, she knew it was the right thing to do.
“I want to be with you.” Her heart melted as he threaded their fingers together. “I won’t regret it.”
He kissed her again. A bit of tongue came into play and soon she was breathless from the dizzying effect. His cock moved against her mound. His naked cock. “Condom,” she gasped out.
“It’s not necessary, but I can wear one if you prefer. I can’t impregnate you or transfer disease.” He planted tiny kisses to the corner of her mouth. “Your call.”
If there was no possibility of harm, she saw no reason to use one. “Forget I asked.”
He re-positioned himself between her legs. Easing his steely cock inside her, he urged her to wrap one leg around his waist. She gasped as he slid inside. The width of his cock stretched her wide open. A delicious tingling came from their joining.
At first, he went slowly. It took her some time to adjust to his size. Once she had, the tension left her body and she clung to him. She felt boneless, all her senses engaged by the sensation of him inside her.
“The things I want to do to you,” he whispered into her ear. “You can’t imagine the many ways I want to fuck you.”
She came apart at his naughty words. Crying out, her hips lifted and cradled his cock. His thrusts came harder and faster. The bed frame knocked against the wall as he fucked her. She clung to his shoulders, the thin line between pain and pleasure driving her close to the edge again. Was it possible for her to come a third time?
With a harsh groan, Adam reached his peak. He thrust into her and held still as pulses moved up and down the length of his shaft. The tiny reverberations nearly made her come, but her orgasm remained just out of reach. Her body was too exhausted.
Adam’s gaze flicked to her face. Worry etched across his handsome features. “I’m sorry. I didn’t hurt you, did I?”
“Don’t you dare apologize for the best sex of my life.” She cuddled against him as he moved to lie next to her.
“The best?” His eyebrow cocked. “I’ll be sure to top it next time.”
“Can’t wait.” She yawned, suddenly tired despite her desire to remain awake.
Adam tenderly kissed her forehead. “Get some sleep. I’ll be here when you wake up.”
“Hope and possibility,” she murmured against his hard chest.
“Hmmm?” His arms tightened around her.
“The tarot card. I think I like our fortune.” Closing her eyes, she went to sleep, dreaming of the endless possibilities to be had with one sexy vampire.