Lady Emma Sandford is the perfect Victorian socialite by day and slays demons with her family at night. Daughter of the Slayer and a Master Vampire, she is powerful enough not to need anyone, or so she believes. After all, Emma has enough to worry about at the moment—whether her mother will decide to be turned or not. She could certainly do without the appearance of the handsome Lord Alaric and the distraction he brings.
Alaric, the Earl of Northwich, has been sent by the Vampire Elders to observe the family of Slayers. He needs to determine whether they are a threat. He never expected to meet his old friend Dominic and become involved with the family. Nor did he intend to fall for the lovely Emma.
Will he manage to convince her they are soulmates or will the Guardian’s Guild and an unknown group of malicious vampires ruin their chances?
“You can come out now.”
Alaric froze. Was she talking to him? He was cloaking his presence from her, or so he thought.
“I said you can come out now.”
The girl sounded bored rather than afraid of anything that might jump out at her as she stared straight into the shadows where he was hidden. One hand rested on a hip, the other held a stake down by her side.
Alaric stepped out of the shadows, fully expecting the girl to step back in wary preparation at the size of him. Instead, an eyebrow was raised and long-lashed blue eyes looked at him, unimpressed.
“I wondered how long you thought you could skulk in the shadows, vampire.”
Skulk? He didn’t skulk. As a former soldier in the late Roman army, Alaric preferred to think that he had used stealth. Yet this young girl had known he was there the whole time—the vampire half of her enabling her to sense him despite his power. Half impressed and half annoyed about the fact, Alaric wondered what other abilities she had.
Emma looked back and forth in astonishment as each member of her family showed enthusiasm for letting Alaric into their lives. Was she really the only one who had a problem with it? It would appear so and she frowned. They had enough to worry about at the moment, for instance whether her mother was going to be turned. Oh, Emma had heard all the secret conversations between her parents about the pros and cons of doing it. Whether to inform the children. Well, too late—Emma knew what they were discussing. Considering they were a family, where all members had preternatural hearing, one would think her parents would know better. Damn it. She didn’t know how she felt about it either and now this vampire had come along to complicate things further.
“You’re very quiet, Emma,” her mother suddenly said, and Emma forced a smile on her lips.
“I think I’d like to get home and wash this off, that’s all.” She pulled her bloodsoaked shirt away from her body as she spoke, and her mother nodded.
“Yes, of course. Let’s go. We’ve staked enough vampires and demons tonight.”
The two women turned and walked away, knowing the men would follow. “I noticed you remained silent on the subject of this Alaric,” Sarah remarked.
Emma bit back a curse. Mothers were so shrewd. “I think we should be a bit more cautious of him, that’s all.”
She felt her mother’s penetrating gaze on her and determinedly faced forward. “Your father trusts him,” she said softly.
Well, I don’t.
“I can’t ignore the fact he’s here to observe us. It doesn’t sit well with me.”
“I’m sure it will be fine. Your father won’t expose us to danger unnecessarily.”
Emma paused. She knew that, but couldn’t shake the feeling that things were never going to be the same for any of them again. This Alaric was trouble.
“You’ve been avoiding me, Lady Emma,” he drawled, and his deep voice made her stomach quiver. Which was ridiculous. No male affected her. She swung around to face him.
“Yes, I have.” She wasn’t going to deny it, and she looked him over coolly as he lounged against the locked door with his arms folded over his broad chest.
“My family seemed to have welcomed you, but I don’t trust you.”
Emma didn’t need to explain herself, but she wanted him to know that she wasn’t scared of him or of any threat he might pose. The Elders may be different, though, and she wanted to know more about them from him.
“I’m sorry you feel that way.” Alaric sighed. “I’m sure your father has told you that I was sent to London to observe the Slayer’s family.”
She narrowed her eyes. “Oh, I know you were. And then you realized that it was my father who had married the Slayer, so you thought it was your chance to worm your way into our house and our life. Supposedly you’re no threat.”
Well, she wasn’t convinced.
“Emma.” He eased himself off the door. “I am only an observer. I’m not here to harm you.”
“What about the Elders you’re reporting to?” she hissed at him, revealing her small fangs.
Alaric seemed taken aback by the sight of them. “Incredible. You have fangs.”
Emma retracted them. “I’m half vampire. Of course I have fangs.” She spoke to him as though he was a dullard. “Now, tell me about these old vampires.”
He stared at her for a moment longer as if transfixed and then shook his head. “Suddenly you’re interested in me?”
“Hardly.” She was quick to deflate his ego. “I’m interested in what you can tell me about them.”
She tensed when he took a step toward her.
“What will you do if I don’t comply?” he purred. “Beat it out of me?”
“If I have to.” Emma frowned when he laughed. Didn’t he believe her? She’d taken larger vampires than him out and had no qualms about using force where necessary if it meant protecting her family.
Alaric looked her over, his green eyes lingering on certain parts of her body longer than others. “Are you going to pummel me in that pretty gown of yours?”
As an attempt to distract her it was pathetic. She wasn’t falling for that one. The second she looked down at her dress, he’d pounce on her. She smirked at him. “You’d be surprised what I can do in this gown.”
Heat flared in his eyes and she regretted her words, especially when he took another step closer. “I mean I can still fight perfectly well in it.” Damn him. It was just like a man to deliberately misinterpret what she’d said. And she could fight in a gown. Combined with her other powers she was pretty lethal in one, but he didn’t need to know about those yet. Keep your enemy wondering was her motto. She’d only use them if he didn’t start talking soon.
“Do you normally beat up your father’s guests?” he inquired in a lazy drawl as he took yet another step closer.
Emma gulped. He was getting far too close for her comfort and would end up forcing her hand. Determined to get that information, though, she lifted her chin. Nobody mocked her. “Only the inconvenient ones.”
“I hope you’re not leaving London,” his friend interrupted.
“No.” God, how did he phrase this? It seemed ridiculous. He’d only met Emma for five minutes. He looked the platinum blond in the eye. Best to just say it, he supposed. “I would like to court your daughter, Dominic.”
There, he had done it.
Silence followed for a few long seconds and then his friend threw back his head and roared with laughter. Not quite the response Alaric was expecting.
“What’s so damn funny?” he growled.
Dominic looked back at him. “Sorry.” But his eyes were full of mirth and it was clear he was having difficulty preventing more laughter. “I don’t have a problem with you courting Emma. In fact, I’d welcome you into the family.”
Alaric was confused. “Then why is my doing so amusing?”
Dominic grinned. “Because my daughter is not going to make it easy for you. She is going to make your life hell.”
Alaric gave a lopsided smile. “I wouldn’t expect it any other way.”
A mate shouldn’t be easily won.
“Did you manage to find her last night?”
“Yes.” And Alaric confessed that he’d kissed Emma.
Half expecting his friend to react with anger, Alaric was surprised again when Dominic laughed. “What did she do to you?”
“She pulled a stake on me before teleporting away.”
For the first time ever, a male body had the effect of distracting her and before she realized it, she’d backed herself up against something solid. Reaching out a hand behind her, Emma tried to feel what it was while she watched him close in on her. It wasn’t a wall, it was a wooden crate, about the height of her waist. “You flatter yourself.” Chin in the air, she tried to stall him. “I’ve kissed other men.”
Alaric’s eyes flared with gold for a second and then he chuckled. “But I’ll wager they weren’t as good as mine.” His gaze lowered to her heaving breasts and then to her exposed legs before returning to her wide-eyed face. “Now, if you’ve quite finished talking, I want to kiss you again.”
Emma knew it would be more than that this time, and she gulped as she watched his phallus hardening between his strong thighs. “We can talk about this, Alaric…”
“No. We can’t.”
And then with preternatural speed he took her in his arms, lifting her up and laying her down on the large wooden crate. She barely had time to think how conveniently wide the crate was for him to do so, let alone blink, when he pinned her arms above her head, holding them down with one hand while he lay half over her.
His mouth took hers and Emma could taste him—tangy and pleasant as his tongue slid in. She gave a little moan as he explored. She couldn’t help it. She wanted more of him and opened her mouth to participate fully in the kiss, adding her tongue to toy with his. This time, Alaric was the one to be vocal and Emma reveled in hearing his groan.
“That’s it. Accept me, Emma,” he rasped, pulling back for a moment to look down at her.
The desire she saw there made Emma’s breath hitch and something very basic stirred inside her. When Alaric leaned over her to run a feathering caress down her neck and across her breastbone, she found herself arching toward his hand. Her gown was in the way. She wanted his touch on more of her bare flesh.
He must have guessed her thoughts because the next moment Alaric ripped her gown and chemise so that it lay in tatters around her, exposing her from the waist up.
Emma gasped in surprise at the violence of his motion, but then quieted at the sheer heat in his green gaze as he stared at her naked breasts. “Just like in my fantasy.” He reached out his hand and cupped one. “So firm and pink-tipped—exactly how I imagined.”
Emma didn’t really care about his fantasy as long as he kept touching her with those fingertips light and sensual on her skin. She felt him release her arms, but she kept them above her head as he used both of his hands to explore and arouse her body.
“Oh, God,” she cried out when his thumbs passed over her nipples, coaxing them into taut peaks. Excitement filled her and fire streaked through her veins. Then Alaric lowered his head, his mouth circling a sensitive, puckered nub before sucking it hard. Emma didn’t think she’d ever known such pleasure.
“Alaric.” She sobbed his name and arched her back, each pull on her nipple sending an answering clench in her womanhood. But he was far from finished with her and she cried out in delight as he continued to taste each breast, tantalizing her with his tongue and teeth.
Emma was so overcome by passion and how incredible it felt having Alaric make love to her breasts that she didn’t notice him remove what was left of her gown or her underwear until she felt him nudge her legs open and lay between them. The hardness of him was pressed up against her. She panicked then. “No, Alaric.”
He pulled back. “I only want to feel you, Emma.” And he moved his hips to rub against her slick sex, groaning as he did so and watching her face all the while.
Emma sucked in a breath. It did feel good, but this was dangerous territory. She hadn’t wanted things to go this far. She was about to open her mouth to tell him, when he surprised her by saying, “Don’t worry. I’m not going to take you now. But I am going to taste you.”
Slayer’s Soulmate is available on Amazon