Thursday Thirteen the Twelfth

This hasn’t been the best of weeks for me. Those of you who came by last week will notice that my last TT is missing from this blog. I removed it. On purpose. Just because someone might misconstrue it. If you really wanna know where it is now, email me. I’ll let you in.

So I don’t have a TT prepared. I’m winging it with some help from the Bar.

Thirteen Mysterious Characters from the Bar Story
1. Macaire – Macaire is a Fallen Angel. The FAs are very powerful. Marius the Archangel “creates” the angels from children who died. The FAs are supposed to be good, but Macaire is extraordinary. He’s stalking Nyx McClaren and already threatened her and her mate Valerian Kronos. He hasn’t done anything against them yet, but he keeps hinting that he will.

2. Damaris Fontaine, the Blood Mistress – Damaris is the keeper of the vampire annals (the history of all vampires) and the vampire bloodlines and lineage. She’s the daughter of the vampire deity, which makes her a demi-goddess I suppose. So far she’s shown herself to be good, but who knows what could happen? She’s just mysterious and powerful enough that you just aren’t sure whether she’s good or evil.

3. Mr. Fabulous – The only thing we know about him is that the Blood Mistress is afraid of him. That means, he must be more powerful than her. No indication yet whether he is good or evil, but he may be a vampire and may have some sort of ties to the demon realm. He may also have ties to the vampire deity.

4. Darrien Ellsworth – Darrien is a vampire. Someone in the story is his father. So far his father hasn’t been revealed. Dad doesn’t know he has a son. Darrien’s gonna tell him in a not so nice way. We don’t know yet if Darrien is good or evil, but he and his brother Sebastian are hanging out stalking Darrien’s dad.

5. Kendall Reed – The vampire musician shares a past with rock star Rune. Not a carnal past, but a past that has to do with their childhood, music, and secrets. She has Rune by the balls over a song he stole from her. It’s not known yet whether she will twist them or forgive him.

6. Bram Steele – Bram is a former junkie. He lost almost everything to drugs, which seems odd for a vampire, but it’s true in Bram’s case. Now, he’s rebuilt his life and his music career. He’s just made up with old friend Dominic Solent. It seems pretty obvious that Bram is a good guy, but who knows what’s in his past waiting to come out.

7. Garren Fairfax – Garren is a mage who inherited a strange magical house. In the house is a huge golden cage that encircles Garren’s current captive. The cage moves when the captive moves. So basically, the captive has free run of the house. There’s magic in the house that allows it to not be seen except by certain persons. Garren first looked like a bad guy who was holding someone hostage. Now that he’s taken in Khatira the djinn’s bottle (her brother put the golden cuffs on her making her a genie), he seems more of a good guy.

8. Seth Chrysaor – Seth is a legendary creature. The chrysaor is the son of a god and a Gorgon. He has strange powers, and a mouth full of sharp pointed teeth when he’s in battle mode. He has already shown that he’s a good guy when he helped kill the demon who was possessing Rune and helped kill the Black Widow, Rachel Sullivan.

9. Christian De Ambrose – Christian, yet another vampire, is the former lover of rock star Carlisle Ross. He broke up with her, and left to pursue a career as a writer. Now he’s in Paris, stalking Carlisle, and digging up dirt on her fiance’s family. He has not yet shown whether he’s a good guy or a baddie.

10. Devlin Von Karman – Devlin is some kind of ancient shape shifter. He appears to be a good guy so far, because he’s helped out Aneira Rudolph the white werewolf, for whom he has a little crush. However, there is something else lurking beneath the surface. His friendship with vampire Veronica Pierce, for one.

11. Eden Wellesley – Eden is human and is the bloodmate of a vampire. So far, Eden has resisted his attempts to bond with her. For some odd reason, she does not want to live forever. An ex-CIA agent, Eden has already shown herself to be one of the good guys, but why are there strange “relatives” from her past, who have connections to mages, showing up on her doorstep?

12. Elysia Grenville – The head of the Fallen Angels is strict and upright. She shows no emotion to either the people who work for her or her younger sisters. She’s a good guy, but she’s not very likable yet. Maybe there are secrets in her past… Certainly, she’s bound to show more of her hand when her youngest sister asks to be released from the FAs to go to the Afterlife.

13. Drey Wulf – Drey is a werewolf. He’s shown both good and bad sides to the readers by attacking Aneira, by having sex with her mom Jensen, who is in love with his brother, by teasing a wildling and a host of other things. Drey is a bad boy whom everyone loves because he just tells it like it is. He’s rough around the edges and manipulative, but he’s really just young and hotheaded rather than evil.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Hope you enjoyed another peek at the Bar characters. Have a great Thursday!

Melancholy Marcus Monday

I’m a little melancholy. Missing Rott I guess for one. For another, people in general sometimes get me down. (See the rant below.) I spent part of Sunday photoshopping Marcus. I stuck him into a pic with a girl in a designer dress. Then I photoshopped Kelly Monaco’s face on the girl. It’s not a very good job. I was distracted. The upshot is that if I had really worked on the details it would look much better. It’s for the Bar, so it doesn’t have to be some fantastic thing.

The picture is because Lex and Alaric are going to a wedding. Lex, who is starting to show her pregnancy a little, doesn’t fit in the dress she was going to wear, which would allow her to wear the very expensive Manolo Blahnik’s she wore at her own wedding. So Lex has to choose a different dress. The post is about how Lex comes to realize that her body is about to undergo some major changes, and at the end of it all, her life will be decidedly different.

When I first wrote Lex, she was a background character, meant to fuck one of the main characters, get dumped by him, and eventually end up dead. But Lex is tenacious. She wanted to live. She wanted a chance at her own story. She refused to do what I had originally planned for her. Now, Lex is probably the most 3 dimensional character that I have. I invest a lot of myself in her too. So when I did the 6 word memoir and realized that Lex is the best vehicle I have as a writer, I created The Lexography. The Lexography is Lex’s biography. Told in diary format from her voice, and the voices of those who love her. If you’re interested in Lex, you will find the link to the Lexography on the sidebar to the right. The girl with fangs won’t be posted here on Tuesdays any longer.

I have a little rant that I wanna get off my chest now. Have you ever been in IM or chat or on a MB with someone who disliked you, but was being passive aggressive about it? They make these little remarks that are digs, but they cover them, attribute them to someone else, or backtrack so you don’t call them on it? Usually, I call them on it anyway because it annoys the hell out of me. I would much rather people say right up front what they think so I, and everyone else, knows that they don’t like me. Then I don’t have to make nicey nice and talk to them anymore. And everyone else will not expect me to.

The problem I have these days is that there are places where I am the admin and/or moderator. I’m not supposed to be confrontational. There are five places on the net where I have this job. Five places where I have to take the high road and let people speak to me in snide asides. It goes against the grain with me, but I agreed to take these jobs so I’m not about to let others down by not doing the right thing. What kills is that sometimes these queens of passive aggressive behavior use that against me. They know they can throw as much below the radar crap at me as they like, and I cannot retaliate or respond. They revel in the fact that they can do this. It’s pathetic.

I bet you want to know why they don’t like me, these passive aggressive queens. As near as I can figure it, it’s because I’m me. I come into a chatroom or a board and I talk to people. I joke and tease and flirt. Sometimes other women do not like this about me. They think I do this to draw all the attention to myself. They are resentful and it shows in their little remarks to me, and in the way they draw the man’s (men’s) attention back to them by talking about something I am not privvy to.

Now, I’ve been on this planet for awhile. There’s stuff I know. First off, it’s freaking typing, people. Second, what’s wrong with a little fun? It’s not like I’m inviting your husband to cheat on you. Third, it’s not about me, it’s about others, making them smile and have fun. I don’t even post a lot on some of these boards, so when I do, I wanna have fun! Fourth, you don’t OWN those men that I talk to on the boards and chatrooms. Some of them are married or have girlfriends. You do not have dibs on them! And yes, I talk to women too! Not just the guys. Although, the way these P-A-Qs act, you’d think all I do is go around to MBs and chats and steal “their” men. Sheesh.

I tell myself that this is nothing. They prolly have pathetic lives in dead end jobs, no boyfriend or husbands or kids… or they have those things and are unhappy with them. Hell, I could BE them. The difference is, I choose not to be. I choose to fill the empty places with things I enjoy. Creative things like that stupid little photoshop pic, or writing Lex, or calling in to Turnbaby’s show and singing a really bad rendition of the Yogi Bear song because I’ve forgotten the words because my dinner is burning. (Smoke sucks.) I just have to content myself that the high road is the better way to go and ignoring barbs is good for the soul.

Okay, rant over and it’s time to add up the Marcus’ for this week. Fab picked up 7 this week followed by Mary with 6, Matt and Shiny with 5, Susan with 3, and Livvy with 2. There’s a whole host of people who got 1 each. Most of them on my TT about the cemetery. Why is it that people are so very curious about the cemetery?

Anyway, since it’s been 4 weeks since our last update here’s how the numbers shake out in terms of the top 5: Mary-68, Matt-53, Shiny-52, Susan-47, and Fab-37. Maybe it should be whoever gets to 100 first wins or whoever has the most come June 1. Next time around, I’ll do the contest different. I’m liking how Matt does the COW.

By the way, I’m still battling with WordPress on my writing blog. If anyone knows someone who can answer q’s for me and maybe mentor me a little, I would much appreciate it. I need to make the errors go away and do a couple of little tweaky things, but I’m having a helluva time finding answers in all the miles of WordPress docs, forums, and codex. I don’t need someone to do it for me, I just need someone to point me in the right direction so I can fix it myself.

That’s it for this Monday. Have a great start to the week everyone! MUAH!

Loves Fab’s Fisting and Matt’s Meat

The wondrous Olivia, the English Courtesan, tagged me with the Six Word Memoir. That title up there was my first attempt. Well, not really. But it sounded hawt! Livvy’s six word memoir was quite striking, I must say. (If you want to know what it is, you must visit her blog!) She said she had a little difficulty with it at first, wondering, how could she describe her life in six words? She did very well though. Much better than I did with my attempt to be amusing in six words.

When she tagged me, she said she deliberately chose bloggers who can write. I think I preened a little. I call myself a writer, but other than a few poems and the stuff I post at the Bar, I’ve never been published. I know that being published does not make one a writer. However, I’d like to think that one day I will finish something and have it published. It’s not a dream of mine, the way some people have a dream that is really a goal. Instead, it’s one of those things that is highly attainable, but always gets pushed back because other things in life are more important. I guess some day it will happen. I know I have the talent. Too many diverse people have told me that I do, for me not to believe it. Now, I just need find to the right vehicle and the time to create it.

Maybe Lex is the vehicle, because Lex is me. Not in looks, but in her soul. She was gang raped by the Nazis. I’ve been gang raped by Life. Yet Lex continues to hope. When she thinks she has nothing left inside her, Johann shows her that it isn’t true. He shows her how her actions give away the hope that continues to well within her. I don’t know where it comes from, but it wells within me too most days. Like Lex, the dark sometimes rules, but the light always returns. So perhaps my vehicle is Lex, taken from the context of the Bar and given to the world… It’s certainly an idea I’d not thought of until this moment.

So, my six word memoir is easy. And it’s so me.

Thanks for tagging me, Livvy. I think I needed to get those words off my chest. I’m not going to tag anyone else, but those of you who read me, who are writers too, if you haven’t done this… then you should. There is a freedom in the release of those words, that I can’t exactly describe. Sort of a feeling of coming home. Maybe I’m waxing poetic or being melodramatic or diva-ish. Don’t know. Don’t really care. I just know those words felt good.

Happy Friday, luscious ones. I’ll be reading all your blogs this weekend, after I post more sex at the Bar.

Yes! I am Crazy! Guest Bloggers

I don’t feel good today. Not mentally. Not physically. So I have guest bloggers for you. Sorta. Please be kind and gentle to them. They have been through a lot in their lives, but they are both good people who now have happiness in their lives. You’ll like them a lot. The men will like how hot they are. The women will like their fun, but caring personalities. Today, I give you Alexandria Valentine Morosci McBain Kohl, Duchess of Saxe-Altenburg aka Lex, Lexie, Angel, or the Megabitch AND her partner in crime, best friend, and boss, Carlisle Ross aka Lady Rosslyn deVere, Duchess of Carlisle. (BTW… Lex really doesn’t like it if you mention her Playboy spread and Car really does love Chivas.)

Lex stared at the empty coffee pot. Her sharp eyes went to Carlisle who shrugged. “Don’t look at me, Lexie. I can’t make coffee. I’m a Chivas girl, remember?”

“She needs coffee, Rosslyn. She can’t stand at the counter long enough to make it. She’s been coffee-less all week. I feel sorry for her,” Lex said, crossing her arms over her ample breasts, those same breasts that had been displayed so lusciously in Playboy.

Carlisle sighed. “Yeah, I feel sorry for her too, but I can’t make coffee, Lex. I just can’t. For one, it goes against my reputation as a dark hearted rock star and duchess. For another, if I make it, it will taste like bad tuna. Trust me on this.”

“Her back hurts. There must be something nice we can do for her to make her feel better,” Lex said in a frustrated voice.

Carlisle began to laugh. “Give her your husband for a night or two.”

Lex stuck her tongue out at her best friend and boss. “Fuck you. Give her your man!”

“Stein doesn’t do it for her like Al does. We all know how much she loves Al. Every word she writes about the man proclaims how he curls her toes,” Carlisle replied with a wicked gleam in her midnight blue eyes.

“Well, shit. There must be something we can do to make her feel better, other than me giving up Alaric for a few nights. Not that he’d go. These days, he can’t sleep unless his hands are on my belly,” Lex snorted, rolling her eyes a little. “The man is obsessed with his son.”

“She understands you know. Better than most.” Carlisle speared Lex with those keen dark blue eyes. “She wouldn’t take him anyway. She loves you too much.”

Lex’s face softened. “I know. I love her too. So do you. Which is why we need to figure out how we can make her feel better when she’s been coffee-less and in pain for a week.”

Carlisle sighed. “Maybe Spyder will do it. He’ll patch things up with Bianca and make her cry with the HEA. Or Rune! Maybe Rune can do it. After all, he figured out who his Cherished One is and cut off his hair. He’s turned over a new leaf.”

Lex shook her head. “This is something you and I need to do. She loves us more than them.”

Silence reigned for a few minutes. Finally, Lex snapped her fingers. “I’ll call Ronnie. He’ll know what to do for her. He always knows that shit.”

Carlisle cocked up an eyebrow in amusement. “Better hurry. The managers will be out of their meeting soon. She has to get back to payroll.”

“Gimme my Blackberry! I’ll call right now!” Lex reached across the counter, grabbed her cell phone, and began to dial.

“You know, Lex… maybe all we need to do is tell her we love her,” Carlisle said thoughtfully.

Lex put down her cell phone. “You’re right you know.” She turned to face the computer monitor. “We love you, Mom. If we could, we’d make you coffee and have Alaric rub your back. Rosslyn and I appreciate everything you’ve done for us. You’ve written us happy. We appreciate that.”

“You bet your fucking Dooneys we do,” Carlisle chimed in. “Feel better soon, Mom! We have some ass kicking to do and no one can write us but you.”

“And all you bloggers out there?” Lex added, her dark eyes glowing with emotion. “She shares us with you because she loves you too, and she thinks you’ll like us. Hey, if you do, that’s great, but even if you don’t, the fact that she shares us makes us love her more.”

“Shhh!” Carlisle warned, elbowing Lex. “You’ll make them think she’s nuts, talking to herself and shit.”

Lex frowned, perplexed. “But they all talk to themselves. It’s what bloggers do.”

Carlisle made a face. “And now we’re her guest bloggers? Do NOT let the press get hold of this, Lex. I have a reputation remember?”

Lex snorted. “A reputation for boy toys.”

“Not anymore. She wrote me happy. Brought Stein back into my life.” Carlisle’s face took on a proud expression. “SHE makes me happy.”

Lex’s lips curled up in a warm smile. “Me too. Maybe she’ll feel better this weekend. If she does, she’ll visit all their blogs.”

“And write us some more,” Carlisle nodded. “I’m down with that.”

“Good. Let’s just hope everything works out and she’s better by tomorrow. Then we can have a big weekend,” Lex sighed happily.

“You can have a BIG weekend… with BIG AL,” Carlisle joked. “C’mon, tell me how big his dick is. The man’s 6’6″… it has to be big.”

Lex shook her head. “Like I told you before, I refuse to talk about Alaric’s penis. Besides, the bloggers are listening.”

“They’re horn dogs. They wanna know,” Carlisle replied, her eyes amused.

“Not telling. Now, say g’bye, Rosslyn. It’s time for us to go.” Lex cocked an eyebrow at her friend.

Carlisle sighed in resignation. “Bye bloggers! Read the Bar Story and maybe I’ll worm out of the old Megabitch here how big her husband’s penis is.”

“Car!” Lex gasped. “That’s no way to sign off of Mom’s blog!”

Carlisle snickered, her expression wicked. “Sure it is. People will come back for more if you talk penis.”

“You have the craziest ideas sometimes,” Lex complained in exasperation.

Carlisle wiggled her eyebrows. “I’m crazy like a fox. Mom knows. She created me.”

Lex waves at the computer monitor. “Just ignore her, she’s being difficult. It’s what rock stars do, ya know. Thanks for reading us and we hope to see you again some time!”

Thursday Thirteen the Tenth

Kiss me. People don’t say those words any longer. They just do it. Sometimes I wonder where the romance in a simple kiss has gone. Everyone thinks it’s so much more romantic to shove your hand down someone’s pants. Okay, maybe I do like the latter, but I like the former as well. Therefore, I give you, 13 kisses from the Bar Story.

Thirteen Kisses from the Bar Story

1. Alaric and Alexandria’s first kiss:

I found myself staring at Alaric while Carlisle’s beautiful voice sang to Stein. Suddenly, I wished with all my heart that Alaric would love me. That he would feel, say, and do everything that had happened in my dreams. I knew instinctively that if he loved me he would treat me as Stein treated Carlisle, as Alaric himself treated me in the dreams, the way my heart yearned for. He was a Kohl, but he wasn’t Johann… and he was a stranger to me except for what I knew of him from my dreams… what my heart knew.Carlisle stopped singing, and I blinked back a rush of tears, as Alaric turned away from my gaze. He stepped toward the door, and I sidestepped to the left to let him out. He stepped to his right, leaving us blocking each other again. He moved again, but this time I didn’t, and he knocked into me, almost knocking me to the floor. Anger, at my helplessness to have any control over my life, flooded me. “Bloody hell, Kohl! You’re freaking everywhere! I can’t get away from you. You even invade my fucking dreams!” My voice was hoarse and overflowing with emotion. I jerked away from the doorway.

His arms snapped out, dropping the suitcase on the floor as he grabbed me by the shoulders, growling, “What did you say? Did you say dreams? Cause I’m so tired of waking up hard, after spending my dreams being with you.”

I stared at him stunned, my lips parted in shock. “What the hell?” I whispered. He had the dreams too! What the hell was happening to us?

“Ah, fuck me,” Alaric muttered. He jerked me toward him, his head coming down as his mouth found mine. Electricity crackled between us as our lips met. The most exquisite pleasure I had ever felt seared its way through my body. Alaric must have been feeling something profound too, because he moaned against my lips and ran his hands down my back to grab my ass, lifting me off the ground as his tongue swept into my mouth.

The touch of his wet tongue to mine was like a match to dry brush. I went up in flames as my dreams came to life. I wrapped my arms around his neck and thrust my fingers into his dark silky hair. He kissed me so deeply that if I’d had a soul he would have touched it. I was drowning in sensation and then…I was on my own two feet staring wide eyed at Alaric whose chest was rising and falling rapidly with his jackhammer breathing.

“We need to talk,” he said breathlessly, his electric blue eyes boring into mine. “Not right now, but later. I want to know if your dreams are exactly like mine.”

“What does it mean?” I whispered, suddenly frightened.

He must have known what I was feeling, because he reached out a hand and tucked my hair behind my ear. “Don’t be afraid, Alexandria. We’ll figure it out,” he said softly in that honey over gravel voice. Then he turned and picked up his case, leaving the room with the soft click of the door closing behind him.

2. Rune and Gracie’s first kiss:

She didn’t speak to me or look at me during the elevator ride and once we got to the suite, she bolted for the bedrooms, looking for Spyder’s I figured. I went to the bar and poured myself a Jack and Coke. A weak one. I needed a shot to help steady my fractured emotions, but I wasn’t about to drown myself in case something went down. Two swallows into my drink, Gracie came storming into the room.“Where the fuck is my brother? All his stuff is here, but he isn’t. You said he was meeting us here,” she demanded, her foot tapping angrily on the carpet.

I took another swallow of my drink. “He went to see Bianca. He said he would meet us here. He didn’t exactly say when,” I said coolly, waiting for the explosion. It wasn’t long in coming.

“You bastard! You lied to me!” she fumed. “If my brother went to see his bloodmate, he won’t be back here until sunset. Which means, I’m outta here!”

She swung her backpack over her shoulder and headed for the door. I caught up with her in two long strides. “No, you’re not, Grace,” I growled, grabbing her arm and swinging her around. “Your brother gave me strict orders not to leave you alone today. I love Spyder like a brother, so I’m not about to go against his wishes. Added to that, it goes against everything I am to let you walk out of that door and into danger.”

She pulled against me, trying to free her arm from my grip, but couldn’t. That infuriated her. “Let go of me, you fuck! Everything you are is a big fat nothing! You’re just a poor fucking slob from Wales who got lucky with a guitar!” she yelled, struggling to free herself.

Her words cut my heart to ribbons, but I didn’t let go of her. “You can curse me all you want, Gracie, but you are not leaving this suite! If I have to handcuff you to the bed, I will!” I yelled back at her, fear and pain twisting inside me.

Her lips curled in derision. “You would. It’s probably the only way you really get girls,” she spat cruelly. “I’ve seen the tabloids. They all say you’re a closet fag! You probably are, which is why no one ever sees you with women. It’s not because you were deathlessly in love with Lex Valentine, it’s because you fuck men!”

The venom in her words cut me so deep that my masculine ego couldn’t take anymore. I jerked her against me, and held her immobile with one arm. The iron band of my arm around her made her eyes widen in shock and alarm. “You don’t really think that, Gracie,” I said in a low, menacing tone. “Half the reason you’re such a bitch to me is because you’re attracted to me. If you don’t believe my words, maybe you’ll believe this!”

She tried to turn her head away, knowing what was coming, but she couldn’t get away. My mouth found hers and for a split second her lips were clamped tightly together. When she discovered that my kiss wasn’t hard and angry, they suddenly gave way. Startled, my tongue stroked her bottom lip and the kiss turned hot and hungry. I could have sworn she was as caught off guard by the passion as I was, but then decided that I could have been wrong. Gracie effectively ended my internal debate when she kneed me.

As pain exploded in my groin, she shoved me onto the sofa and stalked off to Spyder’s bedroom saying over her shoulder, “I hope your dreams are sexual just to make it hurt worse! I’ll be in Spyder’s room. Don’t even fucking think of coming in!”

3. Spyder and Bianca’s first kiss after being separated by misunderstandings:

Pushing myself out of the chair, I stalked past Spyder and down the steps of the VIP area, heading across the dance floor toward the bathrooms. Several men whistled at me and tried to catch my attention, but I was angry and not in any mood to acknowledge them. However, behind me I did hear a few remarks like “Hey, what gives?” and “What the fuck?”. I ignored the surprised exclamations until, as I stepped into the dimly lit hallway where the bathrooms were, a hand grabbed my elbow, spun me around, and shoved me bodily up against the wall.A hard male body pressed into mine and warm breath teased my ear as Spyder hissed, “What the fuck are you wearing and where did you get it?”

I glared up at him, anger and pain ripping through me like giant claws. “I’m wearing clothes. Clothes I purchased with my own money,” I gritted out, trying to free my wrists from his iron hold.

Spyder’s jean clad hips ground into mine, holding me pinned as his hands pushed my wrists up until they pressing into the wall on either side of my head. “You don’t dress like this, Bianca. Whose clothes are they?” he asked angrily.

“Mine!” I spat, furious that he wouldn’t believe me. “I do dress this way! This is who I am now! Who you’ve made me into! I’m a woman who sleeps with any handsome man who comes along and lies to her!”

“Damn you,” he said hoarsely, his eyes filled with anguish and rage.

Spyder let go of my wrists and sank his long fingers into my hair, cupping my skull. My breath caught as I realized what he was going to do, but I had no time to escape before his mouth came down on mine. His lips were hard and firm, but the kiss itself wasn’t painful or angry. It was as if he couldn’t bring himself to touch me in such a manner. I opened my mouth on a silent sigh and his tongue slid against mine.

Every fiber of my being came alive. I didn’t know how I’d never recognized the signs. My body cleaved to his, my skin rippling with awareness, my breathing taking on a completely different tenor. He was my mate. I had given him everything there was of me to give. By the laws of my kind, I had mated him. And I was dying without him.

My heart swelled with an ache that sent gooseflesh over every inch of my body. I slid my arms beneath his duster and beneath his sweater, my fingers stretching out to touch his skin. An electric shock rolled though me as I touched him. I could feel how my body soaked up energy from being close to him, my power was so close I could taste it, but I knew there was only one thing that would give it back to me, and that was to bond with Spyder. If I didn’t mate him by the laws of his kind, I would remain powerless. If I remained apart from him as I was now, I would die. It was that simple. The die was cast and I could do nothing to change it. My very life was poised at a crossroads. The divergent paths were literally life and death.

Spyder tore his mouth from mine as I stroked my hands up his hard spine. “Are you staying here in Paris, Bianca?” he rasped, his breathing rough and rapid. “Because if you are, you might as well stake me now. Seeing you and not being with you, is killing me slowly. So tell me now, are you staying? Cause if so, you can have the city to yourself. I… I can’t be here with you and not have you. And since you don’t want me, I’ll leave.”

I stared at him, shock and pain widening my eyes. His face was ravaged, and he looked like someone had run over his puppy. I licked my lips and his eyes darkened. “I never said I didn’t want you, Samuel,” I croaked, my voice a bare thread of sound. My heart was thundering in my throat and I didn’t know what to say to him, what to do to unravel what was wrong between us.

4. Tarren and Helios’ first kiss:

I got up and unlocked the door. Ten I sat down on the chaise, setting Doro beside me and pulling my legs up to my chest so I could wrap my arms around them. I turned my head when I heard the door open. Helios slipped in dressed in jeans and a white tank top. That’s when I realized I was in my underwear and I grabbed the small lap blanket, wrapping it around my lower body. Doro scampered to the end of the chaise, staring at us with wide blue eyes. Helios looked at me and his eyes darkened, then he deliberately locked the door. I turned away from him staring at Doro who was now washing his face. Helios sat down beside me and reached out to take my hand in his. His thumb stroked my palm in a caress that sent shivers down my spine.“Can’t you look at me?” he whispered.

I turned my head back toward him, noticing how close he was. He sat on the other chaise and his knees were right up against the one I sat on. He was leaning forward so that he was actually only inches from me. Our eyes met and my heart began to race. I swallowed hard. His free hand came up and slid into my hair testing the texture. Then his fingers cupped the back of my head and he pulled me toward him. His mouth touched mine briefly, hesitantly. Electricity crackled through my body lighting every nerve ending. When I didn’t pull away, he kissed me again, this time more urgently, his tongue parting my lips, then sliding against my tongue.

I sat there not really kissing him back, but not putting up any resistance either. Everything I’d begun to feel for him since the moment he’d walked into Blackthorne Castle rushed to the surface as he kissed me. I felt as if I was coming alive. I tingled as if with an electric shock, and my skin burned with heat. I could feel Helios’ emotions flooding his thoughts and by extension, my own thoughts. He pulled away, his thumb coming up to stroke my bottom lip as we looked at each other, trying to figure this thing out.

“I can’t believe I didn’t know,” he murmured, his eyes never leaving me, never wavering. “The moment I touched you just now…I could feel it. I can feel the pull, the knowing, the feeling that this is what is right, what’s meant to be. You can hear my thoughts, you know the truth of what I’m feeling. Tarren, I…” He shook his head almost dazedly. “I want you. That kiss just told me that. And you want me too.”

5. Rhiannon’s first kiss ever, with Tobias, who turns out to be her mate:

“Hey!” the silver dragon said as the refrigerator door closed. “What about me? I could use a drink.”I turned back to the refrigerator and yanked out a carton of milk. I slapped it down on the counter beside him and reached for a clean glass from the cupboard beside his head. My bare midriff lightly touched his hand where it was now gripping the edge of the counter. I barely kept myself from sucking in a breath. His skin was very, very warm, and he smelled deliciously of exotic spices.

“Oh, yeah. Toby meet Rhiannon Blackthorne, daughter of the real black wyvern, Tristan. Rhi, this is Tobias Kronos, brother to Dare and Helios.” Vanora waved her fork in the air as she made the introductions. “Toby’s gonna be your bodyguard.”

I kept myself from showing any reaction to the small skin on skin touch and poured Tobias a glass of milk, turning away to put the carton back in the refrigerator. The microwave dinged, and I yanked Vinicio’s plate out without bothering to grab a pot holder. I felt the hot ceramic searing into my hand, but ignored it. I set the plate in front of Vinicio, who thanked me, and then bit back a swear word when he touched the hot plate. He stared at me in astonishment. “How did you touch that? It’s very hot!”

I shrugged and placed the bowl of cranberries on the table. I could feel my fingers blistering and muttered a short healing spell. The blisters began to recede. Just then Tobias grabbed my hand and looked at the fading red mark and blisters. “How the hell did you do that?” he asked. “And why the hell did you give me a glass of milk instead of a glass of wine like Vanora and Vinicio?” He looked down at me with a frown between his dark blonde eyebrows.

I jerked my hand away from him. “I have some ability with magic. I’m Welsh after all. As for the milk,” I spun away and pulled some rolls out of the breadbox, setting them in front of Vanora. “You’re working. No alcohol. I don’t want to have to save the sorry ass of my own bodyguard because his reaction time was slowed down by booze.”

“My reaction time is a lot quicker than yours, little girl,” Tobias snorted, but he drank down the milk anyway.

My eyes met Vanora’s, and the two of us exchanged a very female look. “I’m not so little, Tobias,” I told him in a matter of fact voice, ignoring the little shiver I got speaking his name for the first time and equally ignoring the fact that his name on my lips caused his hand to jerk as he set down the empty glass. “I’m almost as tall as you and my reactions should be far better than yours because I’m not corrupting my body with booze or staying out to all hours of the night draining my powers with sex.”

Tobias made a rude face. “Oh. A virgin. I should have known. Geez, Vanora, why couldn’t you have asked me to help out with someone a little closer to me in age? Someone who likes to have fun.”

Vanora pinned Tobias with her blue eyes. “She is close to you in age, Toby. Just because she’s a virgin doesn’t mean she’s not of age. And I know for a fact she likes to have fun. I seem to recall her doing a very sexy little dance while singing Miss Murder with Dominic Solent at the S&M.”

I hissed in a breath. Trust Vanora to defend me and let slip something that would have been better not said. Tobias gave me a thoughtful look and his silver eyes gleamed. “Wyvern’s daughter, huh?” he murmured. I thrust my chin in the air and stared him down with a look I copied from my father.

“I know the value of my place in this universe and I know how bad things are in the dragon community at the moment. I’m not about to put myself in jeopardy just because I don’t like your tone of voice,” I said, imitating my dad’s tone. “But I don’t have to like you one lick to appreciate or accept necessary extra protection.”

“How about a few licks, baby?” Tobias purred.

I drew myself up to my full height and my breasts strained at the old t-shirt. I shot him a look from my golden eyes that should have seared the scales from his hide. “You’re an arrogant ass,” I ground out.

“And you’ve got the nicest tits I’ve seen in a long time,” he grinned and reached out with a lightning fast hand to grab my wrist. “Let’s go outside and have a little chat. Maybe we can work out our differences so that we can manage to keep you safe without you blistering me with those golden flames you call eyes.”

Tobias pulled me out the kitchen door and over to the driveway where a beautiful Italian motorcycle sat. He leaned on the leather seat and eyed me thoughtfully in the moonlight. “I’ve never known a wyvern’s daughter,” he murmured. “You’re not really what I expected.”

“What did you expect?” I asked, thrusting my hands into the tight pockets of my jeans. “A prissy little princess?”

“Yeah, I guess so,” he smiled wickedly. “Certainly not a girl like you.”

“I suppose you want me to ask you what kind of girl you think I am?” I raised one eyebrow at him.

To my surprise Tobias shook his dark blonde head. “Nah. I’ll just tell you. You’re definitely proud. And you’ve got a touch of that arrogance you accused me of. You’re obviously very intelligent although I could question that since you didn’t fall right into my hands like a ripe peach.” Tobias grinned at me. “You’re certainly not little. You’re almost as tall as me. And there isn’t a thing about you that’s prissy from that ear full of holes to the hole in your nose and the streaks in your hair.”

“I have a tattoo on my ass too,” I murmured with a reluctant grin. “But my parents don’t know about it.”

Tobias’ eyes flashed at me and suddenly the air was charged with awareness. “Careful princess, I’m not a schoolboy,” he said softly.

I stared at him solemnly. “I know that. But I’m not your average dragon girl and by that I don’t mean the whole princess bullshit,” I told him plainly. “My family has been in hiding my entire life. Our lives are in danger every day. My father is half Moravian and my mother is a Siren. I have the blood of Welsh witches in my veins. I see things and dream things and know things that go far beyond what you can imagine. I have a responsibility to my family and my sept, once we return to it. I’m not a frivolous person going from one fun thing to another like you. My life isn’t about a good time.”

I stopped and drew a deep breath not thinking about how it would stretch that little t-shirt over my breasts. Tobias noticed, but didn’t react. Instead, he did something I never expected. He told me the truth. “My brothers have always been the responsible ones. There was never anything for me to do but have fun. They’re older, wiser, smarter, and better than me at everything,” he said with a grimace that wrenched at me. “The only thing I’ve ever been able to best them at is partying.”

He looked at me with such sincere eyes. I wanted to say something to make him feel better, and then realized I had the answer. “Tobias, obviously they aren’t better than you at everything,” I said in a low tone. “If they were, they would be here protecting me. Vanora isn’t a stupid woman. She wouldn’t have asked you to protect me if there was someone better.”

He laughed softly. “You sure Van wasn’t just trying to hook us up?”

I shook my head. “No. I doubt she thought a guy like you would even look twice at a girl like me. I’m not beautiful, and I’m way too tall to attract men. And you yourself said it…I’m a virgin.” I shrugged in a careless manner, hiding the fact that the conversation was suddenly severely depressing me. “Guys don’t like girls who don’t ‘do it’ and certainly no guy wants to be the one to risk the wrath of the black wyvern by kissing his daughter.”

I looked over my shoulder at the house with its golden light spilling from every window. When I turned my head back, Tobias had moved closer to me, his tall lean body only a few inches from mine. “Who the hell ever told you that you weren’t beautiful?” he said in a low tone. “You’re like a wild rose, all thorny and different, but with a beauty unlike any other rose. So beautiful, in fact, that I think I’ll risk the wrath of the black wyvern just to be the first one to taste those lips…”

His dark gold head leaned down and his hands settled on my shoulders. Then I felt the briefest of pressure on my closed lips. I stared up into Tobias’ eyes which were as open as my own. His breath was warm on my face then as his lips parted mine and clung damply. He kissed me softly several times. Then I felt the tiniest touch of the tip of his tongue in the center of my bottom lip, and I gasped.

Suddenly, Tobias jerked his head up and a growl emerged from deep in his chest. He was looking up at the sky. I tilted my head back to see what he was looking at. Coming toward us swiftly, were six black dragons flying in formation. Tobias hooked one hand around my arm and pushed me ahead of him, as he ran for the house. “Go!” he yelled at me.

“No!” I cried out. “I won’t leave you alone to face them! You’re outnumbered, Tobias!”

“Damn you,” he growled. “Get the hell inside, princess, and let me do my job.”

6. Mace and Sterling’s first kiss, in the cemetery in the middle of a vampire war:

Thinking of Desperians brought Mace to my thoughts. I’d seen him drive up in the Mustang and pull the Hellbound out of the trunk. Something about him sparked my interest. I hid a smile. It wasn’t an innocuous something either. He lit my panties on fire. One look at that bad boy expression and I’d been as wet as if he’d been touching me. All I needed was fifteen minutes alone with him, and I could end this night, and my life, in a way that would make me happy.I peered down the narrow cemetery road looking for vehicles or anyone headed this way. There was nothing. From inside the mausoleum, I heard the Hellbound yelling and laughing in his crazed manner. Then I heard Mace lose it. This was my chance I realized. I stepped silently into the mausoleum. Mace was thumping the Hellbound’s head against the granite side of the building and no one was stopping him. “Where are they, you crazy fuck?” he snarled.

“Turn him loose,” I said, gesturing to the Hellbound with the Glock in my hand. “He’ll lead us to his mistress. He knows nothing except to return to her side. Besides, I’m pretty sure they are below the Larouche mausoleum.”

Mace’s eyes met mine, and I saw instant sexual tension in them. He looked me up and down, and I could swear I saw his groin swell. I stepped away from the mausoleum door and Mace let go of the Hellbound. “Yes ma’am,” he murmured, his eyes telling something other than his words.

The Hellbound streaked out of the mausoleum and I turned to follow. Even without looking I knew that Mace was on my heels. We followed the Hellbound directly to the Larouche mausoleum. He wasn’t smart enough, or sane enough, to hide where he was going. I stepped up to the door and saw him disappear into a panel in the floor. I turned and found Mace looking over my shoulder at the disappearing Hellbound. My body brushed against his as I stepped down onto the dark narrow pathway. I slipped between two tombs and walked a short distance down the path to a shadowed curve where a tree stood next to the dark corner of yet another mausoleum.

I stopped and looked over my shoulder to find that Mace had followed me, as I’d known he would. I slipped between the mausoleum, the tree, and a tall wrought iron fence, my back against the cold marble. Mace stepped close to me, his body brushing mine.

“You’re giving me signals, Blondie,” he said in a low rough whisper as his fingers snaked through my silvery waves.

“You’re giving signals as well, Bad Boy,” I murmured and set my Glock on the ledge next to me. With a flick of my wrist, I popped the buttons on my leather jeans. I heard Mace draw in a hissing breath. Then his mouth was on mine, hard and grinding.

His fangs cut my lower lip, and I tasted blood. He ground his hips against mine, pressing me back against the cold marble wall, as his hands first gripped my shoulders then moved down to slide under the edge of my leather corset top to squeeze my breasts roughly. I thrust my tongue into his mouth fiercely, my hands clutching at his thick neck and muscular shoulders. His hands moved from my aching nipples to slide over my naked buttocks beneath my loosened jeans. The jeans slid to my knees and Mace’s knee wedged between mine, spreading my thighs for the rough caress of his fingers.

He groaned when he discovered my wetness, and I reached between us to unzip his jeans and release his hard cock. The velvety tip was already leaking fluid. I stroked it and his head fell back, a shaft of moonlight showing me the pleasure on his face. He groaned again. Then his head moved and his eyes met mine. “I don’t have a condom,” he gritted.

I shook my head, strands of my hair catching in the dark stubble on his jaw. “You don’t need one. I’m going to die tonight,” I told him, as I nipped at his strong neck.

7. Carlisle and Stein’s first kiss after a separation spanning several centuries:

The water felt soothing and warm. It caressed my skin like a lover. My sleep had been fitful. My emotions were a mess. I knew I was going to have to face Stein tonight. Strangely enough, my first thought was what the hell to wear. I grimaced as I washed my hair. How freakishly female of me to worry about what to have on when he saw me again after centuries.I rinsed my hair and began to sing Stevie Nicks’ Sorcerer. The song always reminded me of Stein. He’d been like a sorcerer to me, mastering my emotions, controlling my heart. I stood with the water cascading over me, when I heard the door open. I frowned. Dom wouldn’t come in while I was showering. I saw a dark shadow on the other side of the frosted glass. A tall, dark, man sized shadow. “Dom? What the hell are you doing in here?”

I heard a growl and my eyes widened. That was not Dominic. I took a step back, away from the glass as the door of the shower opened with enough force to wrench it from its hinges. A very big, very angry, Stein stood there. I gasped, partially because his beautiful hair was gone and partially because he was there in front of me, an angry alpha male, his brown eyes sweeping over my nakedness. A startled scream emerged from my mouth, but was cut off as Stein’s hand wrapped around the back of my neck dragging me to him as his mouth covered mine.

Shock held me still. I’d expected an angry kiss, but it wasn’t. It was hot and filled with longing. I melted like ice in a microwave. His tongue swept over my bottom lip and I moaned. Water spilled over his head as his tongue took possession of my mouth and his hands came up to cup my naked breasts. Suddenly, he pulled away from me and I stood there in the shower with the water spilling over me, gasping.

“Get dressed,” he growled and stalked from the room, leaving me trembling with shock, lust, and pain.

8. Dante and Roman’s first kiss:

She went at him for a good ten minutes, until he knew he couldn’t take anymore. He wondered if her jaw hurt and stroked his fingers over it as he pulled away from her. Her lips were red, swollen, and wet. Just looking at her sexy mouth made him want to come. He pulled her to her feet and ripped the little pink thong from her body. Then he realized he’d never even kissed her! Dear God, she taken possession of his body and he’d lost all his brains with one good suck of her luscious mouth.He speared his hands into her silky hair and tilted her head back. Her ice blue eyes were even paler if that was possible. He bent his head and nibbled at her bottom lip. She moaned, and her hands slid up his rib cage making him shudder. Her touch set him on fire. He’d never been so hot for a woman before. His mouth took hers and a bolt of sheer lust rocked him. Then her tongue touched his and fireworks exploded in his head. She was his. She had to be. No woman had ever made him feel like this. He didn’t want it to end. He wanted to cage her and keep her forever.

He groaned her name and her fingernails raked his back. The pleasure pain rippled through him, so intense he wished she’d clawed his flesh from the bone. His hands were all over her, the feel of her skin against his palms making him break out in a sweat. He was covered in gooseflesh, his nerves completely alive. One hand slipped between her thighs, and he found that she was hairless and soaking wet. Warm sticky fluid coated his fingers as he searched for that one special place… His forefinger grazed her clit. She bit his bottom lip, stifling a scream as her body went rigid. He couldn’t believe she was already orgasming.

Dante’s hips jerked as pleasure washed over her. She felt caught in a rip tide unable to catch her breath or make it to the surface. She was drowning in sensation. Being with Roman was like nothing she’d ever experienced before. Never in her life had she found so much pleasure in sucking a man’s cock. Never had she come so quickly or so hard just from the touch of his fingertip. Panting, still feeling the effects of her orgasm, she climbed his body, forcing him to grab her ass and hold her up. She threw her arms around his neck and clung to him, her mouth grinding against his.

Off balance Roman stumbled, slamming Dante’s back against the wall. He pressed against her, his thick cock sliding easily along her wet swollen flesh. She ripped her mouth from his and clutched his shoulders. “Fuck me,” she panted, her chest pressed tightly to his. “Fuck me hard.”

9. Nyx and Valerian’s kiss after he discovers she didn’t die when she was knocked off the roof of Blackthorne Castle into the North Sea:

Power flowed through me. It was rich and wonderful. I stretched my arms and tumbled effortlessly in its embrace. Cold and wet and salty. My wings floated out from me, and I felt myself at one with the water. I didn’t understand how anyone could mistake me for who I really was. Nessie, my ass. I glowed with joy at being free and felt my essence reaching to the surface of the water, glowing with happiness and power.Then I felt something disturbing the natural balance of the sea’s elements. I swirled in the water testing it, tasting it until I realized that someone’s tears were dripping into the sea. Alarmed, it dawned on me why tears were falling into the ocean. Valerian. He was mourning my death. My death? I wasn’t dead. Part of my body hurt like hell from hitting the bottom of the ocean floor at velocity, but I certainly was not dead. The ocean was my element. I breathed in the salty tang of the water and exhaled the water from my nostrils.

I opened my mind cautiously, not wanting Valerian to freak out. That’s when I knew that he had given up on finding me. I had been in the water too long to survive had I been a mortal or earth bound faerie. As much as I reveled in being in my own world again, where I could draw upon the source of my power and truly be myself, I had to go back. I began to swim for the shore feeling my body become less ethereal and more corporeal as I drew closer to the water’s surface. As I drew myself from the water up onto the rocky shoreline, my wings melted away. I shivered in the cold night air, wrapping my arms around myself. I sat down on a rock, half in and half out of the water, my legs and arms pulled close to my naked body to help keep the heat in.

Since I was still partially in the water I could feel that Valerian’s tears of pain and despair continued to drip into the sea. I took a deep breath and coughed as the last of the sea water was pushed out of my lungs by the air. Then I reached out to my love…

Val? I’m cold.

At first there was silence. A very stunned silence. Then I heard Helios tell his brother, Holy Aminan! Val, she’s alive!

Suddenly, a blast of pure joy enveloped me as Valerian shifted into dragon form and took to the sky looking for me. I tipped my head up and moments later saw him coming toward me, flying swiftly. All you needed was faith, Val. I would never leave you my love. My soul is useless without you, I told him trying to reassure him.

He landed awkwardly on the rocky shore, in a hurry to reach me, his huge body ungainly on the ground. His eyes met mine, as he shifted into human form once more. My eyes traced his beautiful body, every hard contour of his chest and thighs. Mine, I thought possessively as he came toward me.

Yes, Nyx. Yours. Forever yours.

The ground was uneven and rocky, and he was barefoot, but it was only a couple of minutes before Valerian reached the rock I sat on. He scooped me up into his arms and sat down on the rock, beginning to shake violently with reaction, as his mouth slashed down on mine. I wound my arms around him and kissed him back.

Nyx. Oh, Nyx. You scared me so badly. I couldn’t hear you. I couldn’t find you. I was so lost without you…

He continued to kiss me as his hands stroked me and pulled me into the hard warm curve of his body. He was frantic to touch me. I held him close and felt his fear begin to ebb away. As much as I’d loved being in the water again, taking my real form once more, and feeling my fae powers come to life, I could never leave my love behind. I looked into his eyes, those silvery eyes that glowed with love and looked like moonlight…moonlight? I pulled away from Valerian, breaking the kiss.

“The wash of the moon!” I exclaimed, clutching his naked shoulders in my hands. “It’s silver!”

He shook his head dazedly. “What are you talking about? Nyx, I thought you were dead! You disappeared into the water. I didn’t see you anywhere. What the hell happened to you? Caden hit you with his magic, you hit the water, and poof, you were gone!”

“Magic,” I murmured, my mind racing as I thought of how I’d felt when I returned to the water and my powers became fully vested. “The magic of the sea.”

I stared at Valerian’s puzzled and pain ravaged face, and suddenly I knew what was meant to be.

10. Tait and Mace’s first kiss:

A strange expression crossed his handsome face. I saw deep in his eyes that something in his hard won control cracked. With a swiftness of movement that I barely saw, he leaned across the table and took my mouth in a hard kiss. I gasped as his lips touched mine and, as my lips parted, his tongue darted between them, flicking at my tongue. Fire licked through me, and I felt myself launch into full blown arousal. My hands came up to cup his face and his kiss deepened. My eyelids fluttered down, and I gave myself over to the sensations his kiss was rousing in me. His tongue tangled with mine, and I moaned softly into his mouth. I opened my eyes then and saw him looking at me as he kissed me. His nostrils flared as he caught the scent of my instant arousal.I pulled back and dropped my hands from his face. Heat flooded my cheeks with wild pink color. I knew my eyes were deep dark purple, stormy with my emotions and my need to be with him. I knew that he knew how much I wanted us to take that kiss to the next level. His hands reached out and clasped mine on the worn formica table. “Where do you want to take this, Mace?” I asked in a shaky voice as my fingers caressed his.

He shook his head as if to clear it. “I just don’t know, Tait.” He drew a deep breath that expanded his already considerably broad chest. “I’m confused obviously. I’ve been through a lot lately. First I find my bloodmate and she’s killed the same night saving my life. I thought part of me died with her, I hurt that bad.”

“Silver Queen,” I murmured, my voice full of understanding.

He nodded. “Hard on the heels of that loss I discover I’ve already got a new bloodmate,” he sighed heavily and squeezed my hands tightly. “She’s everything I ever wanted, but my past came back to haunt me. Insecurities and torment that were all fed to me by my uncle who hated me. Then he tried to kill me,” Mace growled and I looked at him startled and filled with pain for what he had suffered. “I thought this record deal and having money and a future would make things easier for me and Vanora, but it hasn’t so far. She’s not ready to settle down and have children and that’s what I want right now. So when King Oberon took her, I was angry, but some of that anger is because I’m beginning to feel that maybe she’s not meant for me. There are too many obstacles. How could it be right?”

“I don’t know, Mace. I know Obie and he’s not easy to deal with. I wish I had answers for you, but I don’t. All I can tell you, is that I know how you feel.” I held his hands tightly and stared deeply into his eyes. “The things I want in life have been denied me too. I wonder sometimes why I bother to keep trying.”

A fierce expression settled on Mace’s handsome face. “The moment I heard you sing my song I felt something inside me,” he growled. “It scared me. I felt like I knew you, like I was meant to know you. When you licked that chocolate off my arm, you lit my body on fire for you.”

I gazed at him amazed. “How can you feel that way if you have a bloodmate?”

“I don’t know,” he replied. “All I can tell you is what I do know, and that’s pretty fucking simple.” He leaned across the table until his mouth was only a breath away from mine. “I want you.”

I gasped and he swooped in for another short hard kiss. Then he was rising from the booth and throwing some money on the table. He grabbed my hand and pulled me from the booth.

11. Lorenzo and Althea’s first kiss, while Lorenzo is sleeping:

I stared at the beautiful sleeping Lorenzo and decided that I’d kiss him and then figure out if the spark was there. He was certainly handsome enough and charming enough for me to be attracted to. Without the test I would never know though…Sliding over the counterpane, I crept closer to Lorenzo’s warm naked body. Once I was beside him, I reached out and touched the rough silk of his skin where it stretched over the muscle and bone of his shoulder. He sighed in his sleep and smiled lazily. I knew my touch was pleasurable to him. There was no way the touch of a fallen angel wasn’t pleasurable. I stroked my hands over him, and he pushed against me, obviously wanting more. I bent down and kissed him, my lips teasing him. He pulled me into his arms and leaned over me, one thigh coming between mine.

I moaned as he deepened the kiss, his tongue stroking against mine. His body was hot and I realized the spark was more than there. The erection he was pressing against me was huge and hard and told me how much he wanted me. I let my hands stroke over his back as he kissed me. Then, with a sigh, I turned my head away and his face fell into the curve of my neck, his voice murmuring to me. I knew he was still asleep. Since I was in full angel mode, he would think what happened was a dream.

12. Dominic, the rock star, and Avalon, the demi-goddess:

She stood up and her clothes dissolved. I’d seen her naked a couple of times before during some crisis or other, but this time was different. There was no crisis, nothing but the urgency that filled the air between us. As soon as she made her clothes disappear, she slid into the bed beside me, taking the warm spot that I’d just vacated. I reached out and tipped up her chin, leaning in to kiss her lips.“You taste different,” I murmured against her mouth.

“You talk too much, Dom,” she smiled and sank her fingers into my shoulder length hair.

Kissing Avalon was like kissing the first woman you’d ever been with. The excitement was overwhelming, the anticipation rushing through you until it felt like your veins were on fire. Her tongue touched mine, a delicate sinuous movement than made me instantly hard. I pressed against her, letting her feel what she did to me. She wound her arms around my neck and a whimper escaped her mouth.

My hands swept over her body, and I felt how she responded instantly. Foreplay took on a whole new meaning with a woman who fired at your least touch. Her slender thighs shifted restlessly, and she hooked one over my hip, pulling me into the curve of her body. My hips flexed, and I let my thick cock stroke the soft inside of her thigh. Her hands drifted down to my shoulders, her fingertips igniting the nerve endings in my skin. I couldn’t remember ever wanting a woman this much. I was ready to go, aching to be inside her already. Her fingers settled on my hips, pulling me against her.

“You don’t have to wait,” she whispered, her eyes glowing with desire. “I’m ready. I want you. When have we ever danced around each other, Dominic?”

I pressed her thighs apart and my fingers found her slick wetness. Her body arched against me as if she’d been hit by lightning. I teased her swollen flesh, and she cried out. “I like to dance,” I chuckled as my fingers circled her rigid clit.

She twined around me. “Then we’ll cha cha later. For now… I want something more primal,” she insisted, her voice rough with passion. She took hold of my cock in her small hands. I felt it twitch in her grasp, already wanting to be inside her.

She pulled me toward her and I leaned over her, wondering why this was going so fast. Then I kissed her again and all rational thought left my head.

13. Alaric and Alexandria’s kiss when she tells him some very important news:

“Alaric, it’s admirable that you wanted to help and that you wanted to save someone you will always care about,” I told him, my hands coming up to rest on his chest. “I guess I should be more understanding.”“No, Angel. You’ve been more than understanding. I’m the one who needs a lesson in understanding. I need to know how to always put you first no matter what other crisis is going on around us. I’m sorry for this whole fucking mess today.” He bent and kissed me. I melted against him. I loved him so much. “I’ve never felt so helpless as I did today, feeling your tears and knowing that I caused them. Every tear, every sob, tore me apart because it knew it was my fault.” He paused for a moment then said in a voice filled with guilty anguish, “I promised never to break your heart … and then I did it.”

I leaned against his broad chest, feeling so warm and loved. I wrapped my arms around him, loving the feel of his hard body. “It was partly my own fault,” I admitted. “I’d been blocking you out of my head. That’s how you didn’t even know I was there.” I tipped my head back to look into his worried face. “I should never have shut you out. I love you Alaric.”

“Ah, Angel. I love you too. So very much,” he murmured and covered my lips with his.

I felt Alaric’s tongue teasing the inside of my bottom lip and I shivered. He picked me up and carried me to the bed laying me down on the comforter and brushing my hair from my face, his thumbs tracing the tear tracks. “So, are you gonna tell me what you’ve been keeping from me?” he murmured as he stared down into my eyes. Then his eyes widened. “Oh, fuck! You were with St. James! I completely forgot!”

He stared at me, fear flickering in his eyes but I smiled at him and wriggled, feeling a big lump underneath me. I reached under my back to pull out the toy giraffe. Alaric stared at it, puzzled. “You got me another giraffe?”

“No,” I shook my head and set the giraffe on Alaric’s pillow beside me. “It’s not for you.”

Confusion filled his eyes. I smiled at him and reached into my jeans pocket pulling out the pregnancy test stick I’d taken from James before I left his suite. I handed it to my husband. “Look, Alaric,” I said softly, my voice filled with satisfaction. “It changed color.”

All the color drained from Alaric’s face. He took the stick from me and stared at it as if he had no clue what it was. “Mother of All Vampires,” he breathed, his eyes meeting mine. “Does this mean… are you… are we…?” He stopped and swallowed hard as tears of hope and joy filled his blue eyes. “Oh, Angel. Tell me it’s true! You’re pregnant?”

I nodded and saw the most incredible happiness suffuse his face. One of his tears spilled over as he closed his eyes on brief prayer of thankfulness that I wasn’t ill and that the Mother had gifted us with a child. Then he tossed the stick aside and lay down beside me, taking me in his arms and holding me as if I was made of glass. “Alexandria, you have no idea how happy you’ve made me,” he whispered, his voice rough with emotion as he covered my face with feather light kisses.

“Hey! I didn’t do that much,” I teased, stroking my hands over his hard arms. “I had help.”

Alaric’s eyes glowed electric blue just like in all our dreams and my emotions spilled over until my chest ached with them. He held me close and kissed me deeply, his lips and tongue telling me how much he loved me. When he broke the kiss I was breathless and smiling. He pushed me onto my back and jerked up my t-shirt. Then he unbuttoned my 501’s and pushed them down knocking them and my Cons to the floor. He stared at my flat stomach, the hip bones protruding a little where the straps of my bikini panties curved over my hip. He bent and kissed me next to my belly button, his fingers delicately stroking the skin of my stomach. “My son is in there. I’m going to be a father,” he said, his voice shocked and filled with love at the same time.

My Cherished One looked up at me and I saw that his eyes were filled with tears again. Oh, Angel. This is so amazing. It was such a short time ago that I was bitter and unhappy. Now every dream I ever had is coming true. I have the most beautiful, most generous, and loving bloodmate in the world. She’s my wife, and my partner, and now she’s the mother of my son. All our dreams are coming true, Angel. This is the destiny my heart chose when it chose you. My heart is so full it feels like its going to burst.

Ditto. I looked at Alaric and grinned, speaking the word I’d said that first morning in New York City after Alaric had carried me to the bottom of the plane’s steps, the moment when we’d looked at each other and realized our lives had changed the moment we met, whether we wanted to acknowledge it or not.

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Whew! Those are some hot kisses. I hope they’ve inspired you to go kiss someone. Go on, go get your mack on! Happy TT!