Please enjoy this excerpt from my novel Breathless. It's available in hardcover form, and also in ebook format (only $2.99!). Links follow the excerpt for those who are interested.
Leesa couldn’t believe she was having this conversation with a guy who was probably a vampire. She wondered if Rave could have been wrong about Stefan. What the heck, she thought. Might as well ask. If Stefan meant her harm, she couldn’t stop him in any case.
“Stefan, are you a vampire?”
A look of surprise flashed across his pallid face. “That’s a strange question to ask someone,” he said after a moment. “What makes you think that?”
Leesa kept her eyes on his face, focusing on his mouth to avoid his eyes. “Just something someone said.”
“Really? I’m surprised—not many people believe in vampires nowadays. Do you believe in them, Leesa?”
Leesa thought about how to answer that. “Let’s say I’m keeping a very open mind on the subject,” she said. “But you haven’t answered my question.”
“If I said yes, would you be frightened of me?”
Leesa shifted her gaze to his eyes. They were black mirrors now. “Should I be?”
Stefan smiled, and his eyes became inviting pools once again. “No. I would never hurt you, Leesa, nor do anything against your will. I seek more from you than that.”
Leesa’s brain raced. He still hadn’t admitted he was a vampire, but he hadn’t denied it, either. She struggled to put it all together. What did he mean he sought more from her than that? More than what? She wondered if she could use whatever it was to get the answers she sought about her brother. Before she could think of a way to ask, another voice broke the silence.
“Get away from her, vampire.”
Leesa could not believe her ears—and eyes. Of all the times for Rave to show up! She silently cursed herself for staying out here in the open with Stefan. What had she been thinking? She hadn’t been, of course. Thinking, that is. She’d been too engrossed in prying information from Stefan. Now what was she supposed to do?
Rave loomed above them, barely ten feet from where they sat, his eyes locked on Stefan. She could see the tension in his limbs, and the tiny blue flames flickering from his fingertips. Beside her, Stefan uncoiled slowly to his feet. Two wicked-looking fangs dropped from his upper teeth and a menacing growl rumbled from his throat. Leesa sat paralyzed, unable to will her muscles to make her stand up.
“I said get away from her, Stefan.”
Stefan’s face was a mask. “Do I know you, volkaane?” He began unbuttoning his long coat, using only one hand.
Rave followed suit, unzipping his raincoat with equal care.
Leesa felt as if she’d become invisible. Her eyes darted back and forth between Rave and Stefan. With his pointed fangs and ominous growl, Stefan seemed by far the more dangerous. But she’d seen Rave in action and had felt the heat of his inner fire.
She suddenly realized the rain had stopped. It seemed she could hear every drop falling from the tree and spattering onto the soggy leaves below. Surprise, Rave had said. That’s what usually made the difference in these contests. With Stefan distracted by their conversation, Rave could have had all
the surprise he needed, but obviously had not wanted to risk any harm to her.
She could not let this continue, could not take the chance of Rave getting hurt. Hunting vampires was what he did, but he had already given up his advantage and would be distracted by her presence as well. She remembered him saying how powerful Stefan was. No way could she let Rave fight him under
these conditions. Nor did she want Stefan destroyed, for he might have the answers she needed. No, this was a fight she had to stop.
She forced herself to her feet. Sucking in a deep breath, she stepped between them….
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