Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Date Published: March 5, 2013
Series: The Seven Signs
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Japheth the Tainted is on the hunt for a mysterious demon vampire. But meeting her face-to-face might disarm his warrior spirit—and spark an unquenchable passion with apocalyptic consequences.
As a fallen angel, Japheth is determined to make his way back to heaven by staying pure and slaying hellspawn. With a new scourge of vampires unleashed by a blood-drinking demon, the Prince of Thirst, there’s plenty to be done. But Japheth is after one vampire in particular—the one they call the Angel Slayer.
Rose Harley never wanted to be a vampire, but the Prince of Thirst can turn even the kindest soul into a soldier of hell. Feeling abandoned by God, she stalks the West Village taking revenge on his angels—until she meets her match.
When Japheth and Rose encounter each other, the battle is fierce and charged with desire. But when they discover a common enemy—the Prince of Thirst himself—they form a dangerous alliance that could either cost them their eternal lives, or spark a love more powerful than heaven or hell.
That female still huddled against the wall. He could smell her terror, bitter and sharp like lemon. It bristled his feathers. What was she thinking, hanging around the West Village at night? Everyone knew the vampire coven ruled these streets. And now she was doomed . . .
But his fingers clenched, unwilling to strike. So delicate and innocent. Damnation was a b— well, it was unfair, when it wasn’t your fault. When you caught it like a disease. Unlike the Chosen—who’d all submitted gleefully to the demon prince’s tricks, how else did you swallow a demon’s blood from the source?—she likely didn’t deserve the place she was going.
But he didn’t know for sure she was infected. And he couldn’t just leave her here, covered in blood like shark bait. “I’ll take you home,” he offered coldly. “It isn’t safe here.”
She just sobbed, hiding her face.
He crouched, impatient, wings flaring aglow. “Don’t be afraid. I won’t hurt you . . .”
The woman looked up, and Japheth’s voice died, strangled by the sudden hitch in his throat.
Heaven’s sweet grace, she was lovely.
He swallowed, painful. Hot dark eyes, bottomless, framed in long curling lashes. Exquisite heart-shaped face, bruised with bloody tears.
A pretty dark freckle graced her left cheek. And that mouth . . . he’d be haunted tonight by visions of those full, cherry-ripe lips. He wanted to taste them, drink the soft honeyed heat of her kiss . . .
He coughed. Yeah, well, he wanted a lot of things. Wanting and doing weren’t the same. Like he’d remember how to kiss a woman in the first place.
But his skin tingled, hot and glittery, and blood rushed to all the awkward places. He shifted, aching. Lord, he was flushing. She’d see what he was thinking, laugh at him for it. “Umm . . . are you okay? You’ve got blood . . .”
“Yeah.” Low voice, a husky promise of pleasure. She wiped her face, and laughed shakily. “They attacked me, but I ran away . . . God, I’m so embarrassed. I don’t usually lose my cool like this. You must think I’m such a flake.” She licked her bloody bottom lip, and turned her haunting gaze up to him.
Japheth stared, transfixed. The tip of her soft pink tongue was the most hypnotic thing he’d ever laid eyes on. Hell, no. Don’t go there . . . but too late. He’d already imagined her warm dark flavor, the softness inside her mouth, that naughty tongue teasing his. Those swelling cherry lips, sliding over his cock, drowning him in her sweet heat . . .
He clenched shaking fists, willing this ugly desire to fade. He didn’t know her. She was wounded, bleeding, frightened. Thinking about . . . those things with her was very uncool. Heaven, forgive me . . .
She inhaled, and the tiny catch in her breath quivered his feathers stiff.
And for the first time in centuries, his ice-walled resolve melted.
In a flash—how did it happen?—he was on his knees. The wall at her back grazed his palms. Her breasts swelled against his metal-clad chest. She gasped, rich with excitement, and hot blood pounded in his head and he wrapped his fingers in that sinful dark hair and gave himself up to her kiss.
Oh, Lord. She tasted of flames and blood, so good he groaned. For one precious, shocking moment, her lips molded to his, delicious, alive . . .
And then his mouth caught fire.
Pain flashed, accusing. Burnt skin soured his tongue. Her hair sizzled his fingers with telltale wrath. And a hot demon-spelled blade pressed sweet agony against the thudding pulse in his throat.
Ash rained like snow, the broken remnants of demon magic. Too late, hellcurse’s foul stink sickened him. He’d been holding his breath, he realized distantly. Hadn’t smelled it. Too fixated on sinful pleasures to see the evil glimmer in her eyes. But now, her scent was unmistakable.
No accidental vampire, this scheming seductress. She was Chosen. Hell’s whore. The demon’s willing slave.
She laughed, and her sharp fangs crunched out. “Bleeding Christ. You’re all so stupid.”
Japheth’s mind stumbled, dizzy. His heart still pounded, his blood still screaming with toxic need. Should’ve known his irrational lust for her wasn’t real. She’d spelled him with her evil magic, and he’d fallen for it spectacularly.
But that didn’t change the ugly truth. The beautiful bitch was hellspawn. And he’d kissed her.