I'm so excited about my new release, Possessing Hayley, my first with ! I thought it would be fun to share some "trivia" with you about the story, such as the original title and how this story relates to some of my earlier vampire romances. I hope you enjoy the tidbits then post a comment for a chance to win a copy of Possessing Hayley!!
What you might not realize about Possessing Hayley:
- The original title was Claimed.
- The coven that Alec calls home is the same coven appearing in 3 of my earlier stories, , Captive Fantasy and Exiled.
- The master of said coven is a vampire of mystery. Only his queen knows his name, well, and anyone who reads all the way to the end of Blood Ritual ;)
- Inside the coven's dungeon are swords and coffins used to punish unruly coven members. One coffin is currently occupied by a troublesome vamp from my novel, Captive Fantasy. I wonder if he'll ever get out? ;)
- When heading out to save Hayley, Alec is told to bring along a servant. He takes Chase, a character who made his first appearance in Exiled.
- Speaking of Exiled, that book's heroine, Nadia, is briefly referenced in a scene between Alec and Hayley.
- And on a final note: just because a story ends it doesn't mean we have to say goodbye to the characters forever. One never knows when or where they might show up next!
Alec has resisted the idea of an eternal bond for six centuries. Now his master has ordered him to save a woman who has been left for dead, and there’s a catch—in order to successfully save her life, Alec must make Hayley his own. In every way…
Hayley was only looking for a good time, but when the good time turns into a strange waking dream full of vampires, bloodlust and scorching sex, she no longer recognizes who she is or what she has become. She clings to Alec, the sexy vampire with possession in his eyes. Without him, she’ll never be able to adjust, but he holds back, denying the bond she craves.
But it’s a bond that cannot be denied for long. Upon returning to the coven, a simple truth awaits. If Alec does not claim Hayley, another will.
Reader Advisory: If it’s bloodlust you want, you’ll get more than your share in this scorcher that offers a little ménage, a little M/M foreplay and a whole lot of bloodsucking sizzle.
An Excerpt From: POSSESSING HAYLEY
Copyright © L. ROSARIO, 2010
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
The underground chamber, or dungeon as most called it, was not a happy place. Very few coven members had ever stepped foot down there, nor did they wish to. Used primarily for punishment, the dungeon housed a half-dozen coffins and an impressive collection of swords. The coffins were for bad vamps the master hadn’t decided to kill yet, and to Alec’s knowledge one was currently occupied. The swords were for…well, it was rather obvious what the swords were for.
Alec sidestepped the row of coffins and found the master standing at the back of the room. They made brief eye contact then Alec followed his gaze toward the wall. He halted in his tracks.
Ben. The vampire was chained, and by the smell of burning flesh in the air, the chains were silver. He was naked, emaciated and looking like he’d just crawled from a grave. It wasn’t a good look. Even for a vampire.
Alec moved alongside his master, unable to tear his gaze from his old, yet unrecognizable, friend. “You sent for me, my master?” Given the situation, not to mention the location of the meeting, total deference seemed a good route to go.
“As you can see, Benjamin has decided to drag his worthless hide back to the coven.” The master crossed his arms and looked at Alec. “It seems life on the outside was harder than he anticipated.”
Ben had run away? What fool would leave the coven and all its delights for life on the outside? “Why has he been quarantined?”
“You know the rules, Alec. Benjamin ran away and then suddenly reappeared. It would be irresponsible to allow him to run about the coven before ascertaining if he is clean.”
“And is he? Clean?” Alec glanced at Ben, who looked anything but clean.
“No.” The master moved closer to Ben, which caused an immediate reaction. As if jolted from a deep sleep, Ben jerked his head up and violently fought against the chains. Smoke wafted from his wrists as the silver burned away more flesh.
Alec wrinkled his nose and turned away. Poor bastard. “I sense we aren’t talking about hygiene, Master.”
“No, not at all.” The master lashed out and took hold of Ben’s greasy hair to yank his head back. “Would you like to tell your friend what you are guilty of, Benjamin? Tell him why you are chained to a wall contemplating the kiss of a sword at your neck.”
Ben’s wild gaze found Alec. His throat worked, his lips parted but speech seemed beyond him. Clearly if Alec wanted the story from Ben, he’d have to go in and get it. Holding Ben’s gaze, he forced himself into the vampire’s mind. Weak with hunger and fear, Ben was easier to read than a picture book.
There was a woman, dark and sultry. Her husky laughter crawled through Alec’s senses, enticing him as it must have enticed Ben. She was so real, so tangible, he could feel the heat of her skin, smell the fragrance of her hair and taste the sweetness of her lips as Ben kissed her. He wanted to bite her. No, that was what Ben wanted, what he asked for. Another laugh, another passionate kiss then she stripped out of her dress to offer the perfection of her body. Ben swept her hair aside, placed his mouth to her neck and unsheathed his fangs.
Alec sucked in a deep breath. He could feel her pulse against his own mouth; feel the tension in her body as it anticipated the bite. His fangs throbbed, his mouth watered. He heard her gasp, smelled the momentary fear then tasted the blood. She was delicious. Clean. Unsullied by the feedings of other vampires. Envy grabbed hold of Alec. Who was Ben to enjoy such a treat? Alec was older, more powerful, more deserving. The woman should be his.
Lost in his own cravings, Alec nearly missed the feel of the woman’s pulse slowing against his mouth, the taste of her blood changing. She was dying, and yet Ben continued to take. The images shifted, blurred, until Alec could see nothing but red. The woman’s blood. It poured from her, from the tear in her throat. She lay on the bed whimpering, once, twice, then nothing. He saw her from far away, as though Ben stood on a threshold, unsure if he should stay or go. As the images faded to black, Alec recognized the dark city streets and tasted Ben’s horror.
The bastard had left her. He’d left her to die.
Alec took a step back, disgusted to be so close to the monster he had once called friend. “Do we know where the girl is?” He kept his gaze on Ben but addressed the master.
“That is why I summoned you, Alec.” Releasing Ben, the master stepped back. “Benjamin was kind enough to supply this.” He reached into his shirt to pull out a necklace. Taking it off over his head, he tossed it toward Alec, who plucked it from the air. Dangling from the long cord was a key. On one side was the logo for a seedy motel, and on the reverse, the number sixty-six.
Alec frowned. “He left her here?” If she hadn’t been dead when Ben left her, she would be now. The motel was located in just about the worst part of town imaginable. The master couldn’t possibly be thinking to send—
“I want you to find the girl.”
“If she is dead, dispose of the body.”
“And if she isn’t?” Alec put the key around his neck. Centuries of loyalty kept him in the room when all he really wanted to do was leave before the master could answer.
“Make her yours.”
The frantic rattling of chains and the smell of burning flesh drew Alec’s attention back to Ben. “Mine,” the captive vampire hissed. “Mine!”
Alec arched a brow at the master. “He doesn’t seem too happy about this.”
“Benjamin has lost the right to an opinion.” Ouch. “I will keep him alive until you find the girl and contact me about her condition. If she’s alive, killing Benjamin might harm her. For the time being, he is her sire.”
“Unless he didn’t get around to giving her any blood.” Ben’s final memories of the incident had been fractured by fear and guilt. Alec hadn’t been able to tell exactly what had happened once the girl’s throat had been ripped open, just that Ben had placed her on the bed before fleeing the scene. Blood could have been exchanged, but he doubted it.
“We will play it safe and keep him alive for now.” The master left Ben and took hold of Alec’s arm to guide him away from the prisoner. “If you find the girl alive, she will be confused, angry even. Being with someone who understands abandonment should help her.”
“Forgive me, Master, but my sire abandoned me well after the change was complete.” And good riddance to the selfish bastard. Once the initial shock of being alone had worn off, Alec had been better off without his sire, safer too. There’d been rumor of the vampire’s capture and destruction. Never confirmed, but a void existed in Alec where a blood link should be, leaving him to believe rumor was fact.
“Aye, I know, but I still believe you’re the best one to see to this.” The master’s stern expression discouraged protest, even in one as old as Alec. Maybe in the outside world, were they to meet one on one, Alec could take the master. His sire might have been a bastard, but he’d been old and powerful. It would be one hell of a fight, to be sure, but Alec didn’t exist on the outside. He existed here, in the coven. The master’s coven; where obedience bred happiness.
“Very well, I’ll call you the moment I find the girl.” He’d do as instructed and save her life if possible, but the part about making her his? The memories he’d pulled from Ben, the woman’s laugh, her scent, her naked perfection, they reappeared long enough to make Alec falter.
No, he did not crave a bond. What he felt for the woman was pity, nothing more.
The master studied him closely. “I can only imagine the thoughts you’re hiding behind that mental shield of yours.”
Alec smiled, confident in his ability to keep the master out.
With a soft chuckle, the master shook his head and moved toward the door. The air barely stirred in his wake. “One more thing.” He halted and turned. “Find an unbound male servant to take with you. If you find her alive, and she survives the transformation, her body will crave more than just blood. You will be grateful for the help, trust me.”
Having never made a vampire, Alec could only go by his own experience and how he had felt upon awakening for the first time. He’d been beyond hungry and hornier than a teenager with his first hard-on. Within the first six hours he’d fucked his way through four whores, and had all but drained three of them of blood, before his sire stopped him. Yeah, he was going to have his hands full.
“Will one servant be enough?” Why not bring two? Or three?
The question seemed to amuse the master. “Do you question the stamina that has earned you a rather interesting reputation within this coven, Alec?”
Reputation? What the fuck? “I had no idea I had a reputation.”
The rare grin actually widened. “One servant will suffice, Alec. Be gone within the hour, and good luck.”
Thank you for stopping by, thank you for taking the time to check out Possessing Hayley's little known facts and don't forget to leave a comment for your chance to win your very own copy!
A special thanks to Darah for letting me celebrate my release here today!
A special thanks to Darah for letting me celebrate my release here today!