THE HOT DAMNED SERIES
Fashionably Hotter Than Hell
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What does a frustrated Vampyre do when the woman he’s chased for two hundred years is still trying to get away? He plays dirty, that’s what.
Welcome to my own personal Hell.
Occupation: Vampyre Warrior—one of the deadliest in the world.
I plan. I fight. I win. Always.
However, it’s never taken me this damned long to get what I want before.
Only I would be blessed with a Vampyre mate I’d have to chase for two centuries. The chemistry between us is steamy and the sex is sizzling, but I want more—I want it all.
Now just as I’m finally wearing Raquel down, I find I have competition—not for my mate’s hand—but for her very existence.
Raquel may run and she may hide, but she is mine and I will no longer take no for an answer. Whatever is in the way between us doesn’t matter. We were made for each other.
Nothing anyone can do will change that simple fact…except maybe the Trolls…or the Wraiths…or the reclusive, insane Vampyre sister of my King who wants to drink my mate dry for reasons no one will freakin’ explain to me.
Damn it, I thought the chase was difficult…keeping Raquel alive might prove to be my undoing.
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“If you tell anyone, I will deny it and decapitate you,” she said casually as she pulled her panties on.
“Noted,” I replied. Watching her through hooded lids, I pondered what it would take to get her to remove the offending scrap of material and go for another round. Was I insane? Yes. Did I have a death wish? Absolutely.
“I just said I would remove your head and that’s all you have to say?” she snapped and glared.
“Depends on which head you’re talking about.”
“Oh my God. You’re disgusting,” she yelled as she hurled a lamp my way.
Ducking the light fixture, I rolled off the bed and donned my jeans. I winked as I caught her ogling my backside. “I heard you and I raise you one. I will deflower, deny, and decapitate. Damn.” I shook my head sadly while grinning from ear to ear. “Already deflowered… two hundred years ago.”
“You’re an ass. And I wasn’t a virgin for your information,” she hissed as she yanked on the rest of her clothes, covering a body that was made for sin.
However, the mouth left much to be desired. I certainly didn’t enjoy hearing about other conquests. The need to kill any man who’d even looked at her wasn’t healthy for me or for them. She was much nicer with her mouth closed. Well, not when it was wrapped around my…
“This was a mistake and will not be repeated,” she informed me haughtily as she twisted her red curls into some kind of sexy looking bird’s nest on the top of her head. “Never going to happen again.”
I shrugged and grinned. Who was she trying to convince? Herself? Me? We’d been playing this game for quite a while. I was tempted to make a wager with her due to the fact she had a difficult time passing up a bet or a dare, but that could backfire on me in an enormous way.
“Heard that one before, Red.” I slid my shirt over my head and quickly sidestepped a left hook from the insane woman I’d just given eight consecutive orgasms to.
“My name is not Red. If you value your jewels, you’ll remember that,” she informed me.
She strapped a dagger to the sexiest thigh I’d ever seen and headed for the door.
Why were the hot ones certifiable? I slid my katana into its sheath and waited patiently for the next insult. Was I a glutton for punishment? You bet, but it was worth every damned second.
She paused and glanced back with an evil little smirk that made me simultaneously want to bed her and run for cover. She made me feel alive. In fear for my undead life alive, but alive nonetheless.
“You know,” she purred, “you’re not really that good.”
“Interesting,” I commented as I slipped a knife into my boot. “That’s not what you screamed ten minutes ago.”
The look on her face was priceless. The next words from her mouth… not so much.
“I faked it.”
Rolling my eyes, I wondered for a sickening moment if that was true and immediately decided it was bullshit. I was over two hundred years old. I knew when a woman faked it. Didn’t I?
I stretched, flexed my muscles and made sure she saw what she was missing. “Well, that’s too bad because I enjoyed the Hell out of it. Especially when you screamed my name and your body clamped itself around my… “
“Enough,” she shouted as she practically sprinted to the door. “You’re an arrogant son of a bitch and I can’t stand the sight of you. You will never touch me again. I will no longer slum it with lowlifes like you and your big mouth and your big ego and your big… “
“Dick?” I suggested politely.
“In your dreams,” she informed me over her shoulder as she hightailed it out of my suite like the Devil was on her heels.
I flopped back down on my bed and smiled. Now I knew she was lying…
Score one for me.
Later that afternoon…
All Hell had broken loose. I hadn’t had so much fun in ages. Literally.
The office was in shambles, but I couldn’t stop myself. Her anger was as sexy as everything else about her.
“Bet you can’t nail my head,” I challenged. Riling her up had become my favorite pastime.
“Bet this, jackass,” she shouted as she hurled something colorful and large.
The object flew through the air like a bullet out of a gun. I couldn’t even make out what it was.
“Shrew,” I shot back with a laugh as I ducked. The crash was loud. I winced realizing she’d just annihilated an ancient Ming vase.
“Moor dweller,” she hissed as she flung another irreplaceable artifact at my head.
“Very clever,” I replied as I dodged the incoming projectile.
“I thought so… Heathcliff,” she purred.
Her smile was infuriating and lamentably hot. The office was decimated. There was very little else to break, except for her.
It would be far easier to be in a room with the abomination if I didn’t want to kill her or bed her. I was torn between which one would give me more satisfaction—tearing her arm off or losing myself inside her body. Unfortunately, neither was a viable option at the present time. Her fiery red curls had fallen out of the mess on her head and fell loosely down her back. Her creamy skin tempted me to distraction and her scent made me dizzy. She was every man’s fantasy and my personal nightmare. Even the sprinkling of freckles across the bridge of her nose, which she usually disguised with glamour, were making my pants tight and uncomfortable.
Working as a team had been a tremendously bad idea, evidenced by the rubble that used to be Prince Ethan’s study. Ethan was my dearest friend and brother to the nightmare staring daggers at me from five feet away. Thankfully Ethan’s son, young Samuel, our one and only student, had not been present for the latest showdown between his teacher, her… and his fight coach, me.
I could simply leave the office. That was far more mature than throwing her over my knee and spanking her. Or, God forbid, stripping her down and fucking her into submission on the couch we’d destroyed in our melee. Leaving would ensure she lived another day in her long immortal life and that I wouldn’t be brought up on charges for killing a Princess—no matter how much she deserved it.
I stiffly turned to go and was shoved right back into the room by my cousin Astrid, the mother of the child we were supposed to be teaching.
“What in Satan’s slightly misguided obsession with Journey happened to this office?” Astrid demanded as she stormed into the room and plopped down on what used to be a priceless antique settee. “Motherfucker, this chair just stabbed me in the ass.”
“Ask Wuthering Heights,” the flame-haired viper snapped as she pointed at me with her middle finger—definitely not an accident on her part.
I glanced up at the ceiling hoping against hope it would give me the strength not to rip an appendage from her body. I’d had enough of the Wuthering Heights slams. Yes, I was named after a literary character. And yes, my sister was named Cathy. However, my mother had been friends with Emily Brontë, hence the names. I’d come to terms with it hundreds of years ago—or so I’d thought.
“So Cousin Heathcliff,” Astrid said as she grinned at me. “Care to enlighten me?”
“Not particularly,” I told her. “Why don’t you ask the lady?”
My nightmare blushed in fury. Her delicate hands fisted at her sides and her eyes blazed green, which delighted me to no end and made the erection in my pants even more painful. Vampyres didn’t blush, but this one did—an anomaly that always fascinated me.
“Raquel?” Astrid questioned as her head bobbed back and forth between us like a spectator at a tennis match.
“He has anger issues,” Raquel spat.
“Pot, kettle, black,” I muttered.
“Plus, he keeps daring me,” she accused as if it were all my fault.
“Well, that certainly sucks,” Astrid said. She gave me the stink eye while acting as if the bullshit Raquel just spouted made sense. “While I find all of that fanfuckingfascinating, do you think you guys could take this outside instead of destroying my house?”
“Ask him,” Raquel said without looking at me.
“You’re buying this crap from her?” I demanded of my cousin.
Astrid shrugged and grinned.
Raquel completely ignored me and went on. “Anyway, he’s a chauvinistic pig who clearly comes from a line of pigs. I can’t be expected to work with him.”
Astrid appeared to be enjoying herself far too much. She found a clutter free spot on the floor and got comfortable. My cousin, too many times removed to remember the number, loved drama—especially drama that she didn’t create.
“You do realize you just called me a swine, oh soon-to-be sister-in-law,” Astrid announced as Raquel blanched.
No one wanted to incur Astrid’s wrath.
My mother had been Astrid’s grandmother several hundred years after she had given birth to my sister and me. While at first it had been awkward and alarming, since Astrid and I mistakenly thought we were attracted to each other, it later turned out to be a blessing. The logistics of our heritage were complicated. Easiest and shortest way to explain is that there had been reincarnation on my mother’s part.
“I didn’t mean you,” Raquel replied contritely.
“Heathcliff is my thirty-fourth or seventy-eighth cousin,” Astrid told her as she played with the shattered pieces of a vase that was older than dirt. “So while he may be all those other things, his line is pristine.”
I had to roll my eyes at that one. I was a Vampyre and Astrid was half Vampyre and half Demon. Pristine was pushing it.
“Raquel, come with me,” Astrid said as she got up and stepped on an ancient scroll. Both the bane of my existence and I winced at that one. “We’ll find Samuel and you can teach him quantum physics or some other equally redonkulous bullshit like algebra.”
“My pleasure,” Raquel said as she waved goodbye to me with her middle finger and flounced out of the room.
That would definitely be the first body part I would remove.
“Heathcliff, you wait here. Ethan wants to talk with you.”
The sound of Raquel’s laughter as she sped down the hall made me grind my fangs. She wouldn’t have the last laugh. Nope, I’d make sure of that.
“She’s a pain in the ass and as difficult as they come, but she’s brilliant and she’s my sister. You will make this work. And for God’s sake, stop betting her or daring her to do things. She can’t stop herself,” Ethan said tersely.
My oldest and closest friend ran his hands through his hair in frustration as he took in his office. I glanced around at the disaster and looked down at the floor. I never lost control. Ever. That woman was knocking me off my game and I didn’t like it.
“She not difficult. She’s a fucking menace,” I told him. There simply had to be another way.
“Correct.” Ethan grinned, enjoying my pain. He was just as bad as his mate, Astrid. “You two are the best qualified. Astrid and I trust you with the life of our son and that is not something we do lightly.”
“She blushes,” I said.
“I’m sorry, what?”
“Raquel blushes,” I repeated.
Ethan busied himself with trying to piece together a statue that had been the victim of his sister’s wrath. He ignored my query.
“It’s not normal,” I went on, glaring at his back.
“Nothing about my sister is normal. Most of what I know about her defies logic. However, that’s her story to tell. Not mine. Furthermore, you are both related to my son by blood. And unfortunately, the two of you are the most qualified to teach him what he needs to know,” Ethan snapped as he tossed the statue into a wastebasket. “My child is six months old. He’s the size of a four year old. He can turn people’s skin all colors of the rainbow, not to mention he can conjure Trolls and Gnomes.” Ethan shuddered. “He’s been kidnapped by Fairies and he needs to be trained to defend himself. Not sure how much clearer you need me to make this.”
“Let me teach him to fight and send her back to the rock she lives under,” I shot back. “He doesn’t need to know his multiplication tables to kill a Troll.”
“And that is where you are wrong, my friend,” Ethan said. “His mind is a wonder. We need to feed it and keep it occupied so he stops animating stuffed animals that have death wishes.”
“No, I’m not joking. Not even a little fucking bit,” Ethan ground out. “Have you ever been attacked and almost decapitated by an army of orange and blue teddy bears?”
I was speechless.
“I thought not,” Ethan said wearily. “Add to that a fire breathing purple plastic dragon and a dagger throwing headless doll. My son thinks these sorts of things are funny.”
“It actually is kind of funny.”
The glare I received made me bite back the tasteless dragon joke on the tip of my tongue. Samuel was not just a Prince and the child of Astrid and Ethan. He was a True Immortal—one of nine. God was Good. Satan was Evil. Mother Nature was Emotion, her husband, the father of Satan was Wisdom. Hayden, the Angel of Death was Death. Elijah, the Angel of Light was Life. Dixie, Satan’s daughter was Balance, and her half-sister Lucy was Temptation. Astrid was Compassion and Samuel was Utopia—a combination of all of them.
That kid had one Hell of a row to hoe.
“I knew this would be difficult,” Ethan admitted, “but it is what it is. You’ll do this because I have asked you… and you will do it well.”
“Yes, of course I will. But I won’t be responsible if your sister loses a few limbs.”
There was no choice in the matter. I had no issue with training the child. I adored Samuel and it was an honor to have been asked. But getting along with his shrew of an aunt was difficult at best and impossible at worst.
“As long as it’s not her head she loses, then I’m fine with that. Just don’t do it in front of my child,” Ethan said. “Clear?”
It was a promise I didn’t know if I could keep.