A Vampire's Fallen Christmas Star
Vampires on Holiday
Genre: Paranormal Holiday Romance
Publisher: Buffalo Mountain Press
Publication Date: October 23, 2014
Cover Artist: Viola Estrella Cover Art
Number of Pages: 174
Word Count: 51071
It's the week before Christmas but the last thing Jayden Kye wants to do is celebrate. He blames himself for his twin's brother's death. He hikes up to Rainbow Lake to make peace with him, but Jayden slips down a snowy embankment and impales himself on a tree. He is dying.
Eleanor Baines has been a vampire for over a hundred years but she's never been tempted to turn a human before. Now, facing the sexy rock star, she has a choice, let him die or let him live.
Now, she finds herself with a head-strong rock singer who breaks all the rules.
Jayden discovers everything he thought he knew is wrong. His best friend and lead guitarist are legendary vampire killers bent on killing him and Eleanor. He must learn to trust Eleanor, a total stranger, to survive. When his manager kidnaps Jayden's mother and threatens to kill her, Jayden is forced to kill his best friend, or hand over the woman he loves.
Summer, Present Day, Frisco, Colorado
Eleanor Baines ran down the deserted street. Pain throbbed in her arm, and blood dripped down her sleeve. She couldn’t believe the damn vampire killer had nicked her with a blade that was coated with hallowed mud. Usually the assholes sported a tattoo of a dagger stabbing an opened-mouthed skull with long incisors, but this kid didn’t have one. Luckily, she had built a resistance over the years to hallowed mud, but it wasn’t enough. Her muscles were weakening, and her vision was becoming blurry.
Donna pass out.
She glanced over her shoulder. The chubby killer hurried after her and would soon overtake her. He’d surprised her at the post office when she went to open her safe deposit box. Her fault. She hadn’t thought he’d be threat—he wasn’t even sixteen. How had he known she would be there at midnight? She had even used a pseudonym.
Her heart beat hard, and each time, terror thumped between her temples. Nausea gripped her stomach. Damn! The poison was working swiftly, breaking down organs and closing up veins. Only human blood would stop the shutdown of her system. Her mountain home was a mile away, and she’d never make it in time to drink the harvested blood in her refrigerator.
She glanced over her shoulder to find the damn killer gaining on her. Her legs were so heavy it felt like she was trudging through mud. She turned, but slammed into a brick wall and stumbled. Strong arms gripped her, stopping her from her falling down.
“Hey, are you all right?”
Her rescuer lifted her to her feet. She stared into the darkest, midnight-blue eyes she’d ever seen.
A shirtless man held her arms. He had chiseled abs, and long brown hair that flared over his broad shoulders. God, he smelled good. Pine with a hint of lemon and sage. She panted. “Help…me.”
“Get away from her,” her pursuer said. “She’s a vampire.”
The man shoved her behind him. “What the hell are you talking about?”
“I know it sounds crazy,” her enemy said. “But it’s the truth. She’s going to rip your throat out.”
Please. She hadn’t ripped anyone’s throat out except for Emmet Carver’s. This young killer had watched too many vampire horror flicks. Eleanor’s legs wobbled, but she drew on her strength. If she fainted, she’d fall into the death sleep with hallowed mud pumping through her system—then she’d never wake.
Her fangs lengthened as hunger consumed her. Blood. She could smell it rushing through the man protecting her. His back was slick with sweat. She wanted to lick him, then sink her teeth into his flesh.
The man faced her hunter. “Are you hallucinating?”
Eleanor swayed and fell onto her hands and knees.
“Let me finish her—” The smacking of flesh made Eleanor lift her head. The vampire killer lay sprawled out on the sidewalk. She couldn’t believe a single punch had flattened the man, but she was glad, damn glad.
Running feet came rushing outside. A mixture of worried and mixed male voices surrounded her.
“What’s going on?”
“Jayden, are you okay?”
“Yeah, I’m fine, Desmond. Justin, have your bouncers call the cops.”
“Sure. Is she okay?”
Eleanor couldn’t make out who was saying what. All she saw were a pair of athletic shoes, a pair of black cowboy boots, and a pair of loafers. She was lifted into strong arms and carried into a bar. Beer and sweat clung to the air. She laid her head against the man’s naked chest, clamping her mouth shut to keep from biting him. “You’re safe now, sweetheart,” the man said.
But he wasn’t. He set her down in a bathroom, and she winced at the bright light.
“What’s your name?” he asked.
“Eleanor Baines.” Her voice was strained. Not nervous wreck strained. But hysterical eye-witness strained. Why the hell did she tell him her real name?
He examined her bleeding arm gently and frowned. “It doesn’t look deep, but you probably need to go to the hospital and have it stitched.” He grabbed some paper towels and wet them. “I’m Jayden Kye.”
“I’ll be fine,” she said.
In the blaring light, Jayden was handsome with high cheek bones and firm chin. Dark eye-lashes emphasized those deep-set eyes.
“Yeah, sure you will.” He dabbed her wound with the paper towels. “This isn’t going to stop the bleeding.”
She stared at his lips, and self-preservation took over. Pulling on the last of her remaining strength, she drew on her vampire magnetism. Janus had taught her to put her victims into a trance, take what she needed, and then erase their memories. She didn’t like doing it, and she preferred the blood bags at home, but her life force was draining fast.
He dropped to his knees, and the paper towels slowly fell out of his hands. The familiar blank stare fell over his eyes. Guilt hit Eleanor. Jayden had protected her from the kid, and how did she repay him? By stealing his blood.
“Sorry, Jayden,” she gasped. She pushed his hair back from his neck with her shaking hand then bit into his flesh. His blood was hot, warm, and spicy. She sucked hard and grabbed his shoulders. It had been so long since she’d fed from a man. Men still scared her, even though she knew was stronger.
She licked his neck and healed his wound. He tasted like lemon and sage. She was tempted to lick his delicious body filled her, but she shook her head.
She gazed into his handsome face. Voices came down the hall, and she had to get out of there fast before they discovered her attacker was telling the truth. Unable to resist, she kissed his lips, but he was frozen and didn’t respond. Why was she disappointed? He was a handsome man, and she’d met many of those, tasted them. None of them stirred her the way Jayden had. Was it because he’d saved her and she’d been alone for so long? She shook her head and sighed. This wasn’t meant to be.
Eleanor didn’t seduce men. Besides, kissing had led to clumsy coupling that she never enjoyed. No matter how she tried to forget it, the horrible night she’d been attacked and raped had ruined any pleasure she’d endured from any man, so she stayed away from them. She couldn’t recall the last time she’d been with a man, or even desired one. Until tonight.
But how could she resist this champion? He’d stood up for her and saved her life, even tended her wounds. She glanced at her arm. It had stopped bleeding and was slowly healing. Human blood was a fast a healer. But she needed more.
“Good-bye, hero,” she said. “Thank you for saving my life. I won’t take anymore from you. I’ll be able to make it back to my car and home.”
Jayden didn’t move or answer. He stared straight ahead, lost in a trance. She had no idea why she was thanking him and reassuring him that she would be safe—he couldn’t hear her nor would he remember her. But she’d remember him.
Well, maybe she’d take one more thing from him. She glanced at the closed door and Jayden. Wanting to treasure him, she indulged in her fantasy and licked his chest. It tasted even better than his neck.
The voices grew louder as men gathered outside the door. Their conversation froze her spine.
“Desmond, why did your nephew have that damn blade?”
“It’s an heirloom. Been in the family for years. You didn’t have to call the police.”
Eleanor shook. Grand. She’d been in the den of vampire killers. Time to get out of here. The doorknob started to turn.
“Yeah, I did. Keep your nephew on a leash.”
Jayden’s blood had replenished her enough to escape. The door opened, and she flashed out of the bathroom. She was faster than the human eye and sped past the surprised men. Lord, she recognized Desmond Carver. So, Emmet Carver’s family still possessed blades designed to kill vampires. Desmond sported the dreaded tattoo on his shaved head—a dagger stabbing an opened-mouthed skull with long incisors. The mark of a vampire killer.
About the Author:
M.L. Guida has been in love with the paranormal since she was a little girl.
Vampires, demons and witches oh my! She has always been fascinated by these supernatural beings and weaves these creatures into her novels. But the love story is the center of every novel. Strong heroes and heroines are what drive her stories and their ability to overcome conflict and live happily ever after.
She lives in beautiful Colorado and many of her stories are based in the mountains. Besides writing, she enjoys taking her dog for walks and cheering her nephews and nieces on at their games. When on vacation, she’s always up for a good ghost tour and has gone on tours in London, Edinburgh, Rome and Key West. Her favorite being London’s Jack the Ripper tour.