The Red Lily by Juliette Cross
Vampire Blood, Book 2
When Red falls for the Big Bad Vampire…
The Black Lily resistance needs a larger army if they are to defeat the vampire monarchy. In order to do so, former lieutenant and traitor to the vampire Crown, Nikolai must seek help from
the red-hooded temptress he needs to avoid at all costs. The secret he carries could prove dangerous for her if she gets too close…even though keeping her close—very close—is the only thing on his mind.
Sienna will do anything for the Black Lily, and when Nikolai asks for her assistance to gain the trust of the commonwealth, it’s the last thing she wants to do. The thought of leaving her woods and her wolves behind is terrifying…not to mention the danger being with Nikolai poses.
“What can I do for you?” he asked so casually that Sienna felt her pulse pound even faster.
“Are you utterly mad?”
“Sweetheart, you will have to come right out and tell me what has made you so furious.”
“Lieutenant, she could be a spy for the queen.”
“Who? Colette?” Nikolai’s perfect mouth slid into a salacious grin, his canines sharp and ready. “Highly doubtful. Colette is motivated by other means.”
“You’re a fool to fall into such a woman’s trap.”
His smile faded. “Am I?” He edged closer, standing straight. “And what trap is that?”
“She’s just using you.” Unable to bite back her tongue, Sienna continued on. “She’s a…a blood whore.”
He corralled her till her back hit the wall. “Oh, she most definitely is that.”
“You’ve been with her before, haven’t you?”
“A vampire must feed.” He braced one hand above her head, his gaze intent and watchful. “And I am very hungry, sweetheart. The voyage from Cutters Cove was over a week on the ocean, and I haven’t fed since we set on land. I came directly to find you, my primary objective.” His voice dropped two octaves when he said the last, his body inching closer. “You do not like Colette? Fine then. Choose another for me, and I’ll proposition her.”
“A vampire must pay for his services. Either in coin. Or pleasure.”
Her breath came rapidly as she remained transfixed on his vampire eyes, glowing a supernatural blue.
“Which did you offer Colette? For her services?”
“Ah, well, Colette is one of those women who pretends to be a bleeder for the money and the hardships she must overcome in life.” He swept a long lock of Sienna’s hair over her shoulder, one finger trailing across her collarbone and shoulder. She tried to hide her shiver, but failed. “But what she really wants is the pleasure. If Colette upsets you, I will certainly choose another. There are at least two more in the room who would be willing.”
Sienna’s mouth fell open in shock. “How do you know that?” she asked, darting a glance to the side but seeing no one. The crowd still hovered close to the Barrow brothers, and Nikolai effectively blocked out the world, forcing her attention only on him. He grazed a finger along her jaw, sliding it down her neck to where her pulse beat rapidly in her throat. She thought his canines grew even longer right before her eyes, but it must’ve been a trick of the light.
“I know, because I have been alive over a century. And in that time I have studied the mannerisms of mankind. I know all the tells a woman makes when she wants me. The furtive glance. The parted mouth. The rapid heartbeat. The light sheen of sweat on her skin as she pretends I cannot tell it is all for me.”
Hoping her voice didn’t tremble too much, she asked, “And there are others in this room who fit this description?”
“Indeed. The barmaid, Lizzie, is one. And there’s a farmer’s daughter still sitting on a barrel of ale in the back who will serve. So tell me, sweetheart. Who will it be? I’ll let you choose.”