About the Book
As her surgeon headed for the door, Novo admitted to herself that he was right. It was way too ambitious on her part to think she’d be able to fight in two days. The pain in her chest was incredible, the kind of thing she felt up in her molars and down to her toenails, even with all the drugs she was on. There was no way that was backing off by next nightfall.
She looked at Peyton. He was sitting in that chair like he was on the verge of bursting to his feet, his torso leaning forward, his hands planted on his thighs as if he were going to push himself up.
“What?” she asked him. “You look . . . as if you want . . . to be called on in class.”
Novo tried to take a deep breath and just ended up wheezing. “What . . . ?”
“He said you’re supposed to eat it for your throat. I’ll get you some.”
“No.” In fact, the more she thought about it, the more she wanted to gag. “Oh, no. Stomach . . . no.”
“I just want to help somehow.”
She stared at him for a while. In all the ways that mattered, Peyton was the very thing she detested in a male, all that glymera bullsh** wrapped up in a package that, as much as she tried to deny it, even she recognized as attractive.
He was her sister’s type, as a matter of fact.
Good thing Sophy was never going to meet him. Or Oskar would learn firsthand how it feels when someone you think loves you treats you like you’re an iPhone 5 in an X world.
Actually, wasn’t that a tempting fantasy . . .
What was the question? God, her brain was fuzzy. Oh, right . . . Peyton was everything she hated about wealthy high-society types who were all too good for everyone else around them–but there was one part to all that which did work for her.
His blood was liable to be hella pure, to the point of being medicinal.
“What can I do?” he asked. “And if it’s leave you in peace, I can do that for you, too.”
In the back of her mind, a warning went off, the little ring-a-ding-ding pointing out that maybe, just maybe, it might be better for her to never know what he tasted like.
Although, come on, she’d already learned her lesson with males, and it had cost her a piece of herself. Literally.
She was not that stupid–and she really f***ing wanted out of this bed.
“Let me . . . take your vein.”
As she said the words, Peyton’s eyes flared like that was the last thing he had ever expected her to say.
“Please,” he said roughly as he extended his wrist to her.
Except he immediately retracted his arm and brought his own flesh to his lips. His brows tightened only a fraction as he bit into himself, and then he extended the punctures over to her.
Her jaw cracked as she tried to open her mouth, and things seemed hinged in a bad way by her ears, maybe part of the whole emergency intubation. But she forgot about all that as a drop of his blood landed on her lower lip.
The scent along was like food in a stomach when you were weak from hunger, everything waking up with vitality–no, f*** that. It was like a hit of cocaine. And then she was extending her dry tongue and licking–
Dimly, she was aware of groaning as her eyes rolled back in her head . . . and not because she was dying. Oh, no, she was suddenly very alive. His taste. His taste was like a crash cart hooking up to her sliced-and-diced heart, the jolt that went through her chest, cranking her entire circulatory system in to gear with so much more power.
“Take from me,” he said from a great distance. “Take it all . . . ”
As he lowered his arm down, she formed a seal around his vein. Her first couple of draws were sloppy and uncoordinated–she cured that quick, though. Before long, she was taking the kind of long pulls you might if it had been years since you had been properly nourished.
Holy . . . s*** . . . she had never had this kind of sustenance before. Craeg and Boone had volunteered earlier, back when she had been in and out of consciousness. And prior to that? It had been other civilians, just like herself. But Peyton was high-test to all that discount gas, to the point where the singeing path burning its way into her gut made her break out in a sweat–and sure enough, alarms began to go off, her heart thundering behind that recently sawed-open sternum of hers.
She really didn’t care if she stroked out. Or if her cardiac muscle exploded all over everything. Or if her head popped off her spine, her feet grew fifteen sizes bigger, or she went blind, deaf, and mute.
Instinct, bred into her species, took over, the hunger owning every part of her.
And then her eyes locked with Peyton’s.
She told herself this was about getting well, triumphing over her injury, making herself stronger. But the more she drank of him, the more she took of him into herself, it was clear there was another drive at work.
He was a meal she feared she was going to want again. Even when her survival was not at stake.
And she wasn’t going to need only blood.
A vampire aristocrat, Peyton is well aware of his duty to his bloodline: mate with an appropriate female of his class and carry on his family’s traditions. And he thought he’d found his perfect match—until she fell in love with someone else. Yet when his split-second decision in a battle with the enemy endangers the life of another trainee, Peyton has to face the idea that his future, and his heart, actually lie with another.
Novo, as a female in the Black Dagger Brotherhood’s training program, feels like she has to prove herself to everybody—and she has no interest in being distracted by falling in love. But when Peyton proves to be so much more than a rich playboy, she is forced to confront the tragedy that has broken her soul and closed her off from love.
As the two grapple with Novo’s past and Peyton’s present, another couple must contend with an erotic connection that is unparalleled—and potentially scandalous. Saxton, who has had his heart broken, discovers in himself a deep-seated attraction to Ruhn, a new member of the household. But will the other male explore the connection? Or will he close his mind and his heart to what could be true love . . . and cost Saxton everything?