Penumbral Realm

Ravished by the burning darkness in his eyes, Elaine bares her body and her soul in wanton surrender to his touch–and drinks deeply of the elixir that marks her as his sexual thrall, a willing servant of his supernatural desires. For Aramis is a vampire. . .

Category: M/M/F
WARNING: Explicit!

~ Seduction on the Orient Express ~

Elegant, exotic, and mysterious, the legendary train marks a journey between two very different worlds.

Elaine is a university art student on her way to Prague from Rome. Aramus, as mysterious and exotic as the lands they travel through, comes from a darker world — and he wants her company for the night.

In the deep of the night, on the Orient Express, more than a kiss is stolen and treasured, but daylight brings together old enemies and opens a dark doorway to a new and very strange world for the young artist — the scarlet edged court of the Vampire.


On the back Cover:

Traveling alone through Eastern Europe, a young American artist encounters a wickedly handsome stranger. His name? Aramis. Ravished by the burning darkness in his eyes, Elaine bares her body and her soul in wanton surrender to his touch—and drinks deeply of the elixir that marks her as his sexual thrall, a willing servant of his supernatural desires, for Aramis is a vampire.

And so is the mysterious Rafael, lord of the Carpathian castle where she and Aramis are welcomed. Both men will become her lovers and together bring her to undreamed-of heights of pleasure. And both men will partner in her ultimate transformation. In their arms, she finds a savagely erotic joy…and the dark fulfillment of destiny…


If this sounds familiar, it should. This was originally named: NIGHT TRAIN.


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Praise for Insatiable

Fallen Angel Reviews – Golden Angel – Recommended Read

“This was an amazing book! I loved the eroticism and the sheer decadence of the scenes.

Ms Hawke brings a new twist to the vampire legend. Not only do her vampires feast on blood, but also on the talent of artists. The feistiness of the heroine was very refreshing and not forced. The antagonist was fabulously evil and you really loved to hate him. The dynamics of the final relationships were great and left you with satisfying closure. Thanks, Ms Hawke, very much for the fun and fast read!”


“I purchased this book because I have read all of Morgan Hawke’s book and this was the last one I needed to read. She is, by far, the best fiction writer out there. She is able to write about interplanetary travel, vampires, and regular life in a way that pulls the reader into the story.

The only negative comment I have is that her books eventually have to come to an end. I am so invested in the lives of her characters that I find myself wondering what they are doing now–as if they are actual people. Now you may be asking yourself that I am without a life, but read this story and be honest with yourself about thinking the same way I do.

Please Morgan Hawke, write more stories, I’ll be waiting…
— Catherine Edwards —


– 1 –

The Orient Express
In Route to Prague from Vienna
One hour after sunset

“Might I have your company for the night?”

“Huh?” Elaine glanced up from her belly-down sprawl across the private compartment’s plush banquette sofa. The art deco lamp directly over her was on, but the polished cherry wood walls made the rest of the antique Pullman car very dark. She blinked. Where did he come from?

A tall man in a nearly floor-length black leather coat, stood just inside the deep shadow of her compartment’s door. His hands hung loose at his sides. “Pardon the intrusion.” His voice was soft, low, and velvety with a touch of exotic eastern European lilt. He tilted his head toward the closed door. “I did knock, and your door was unlocked.”

Elaine bit her lip. She hadn’t heard the knock. Hell, she hadn’t heard the door to her train compartment open either. Damn it, she had to start remembering to lock that door. She sighed. Too late now. “I’m sorry, my best friend says a bomb could go off when I’m drawing and I’d miss it.”

“An artist’s concentration, I understand.” He stepped into her pool of light. Blue highlights gleamed in the unrelieved blackness of his hair. He wore it combed straight back from the deep peak of his brow, hinting that his hair was long and tied back. Midnight dark eyes peered at her from under straight black brows. Sharp cheekbones and a strong jaw-line defined his aggressively masculine face, but the lush fullness of his mouth and the ivory-pale color of his skin belonged in a neo-classical painting.

Wow, GQ magazine must be missing a model. She had to close her mouth. The man’s face was that freaking gorgeous. “I’m sorry, what was it you wanted?”

One corner of his mouth lifted, hinting at amusement. He clasped his hands before him. “Your company, for the night.”

“My company?” She blinked. That couldn’t be what it sounded like. “For what, exactly?”

“Sex.” His slightly amused expression didn’t change.

“Sex.” Her heart slammed in her chest. Danger, danger, danger . . .  She swallowed. “I see.” Good god in heaven, this guy wanted sex? With her? Was he out of his mind? She wasn’t unattractive; she’d never had a problem getting dates. Her generous bust-line, more than generous butt, and small waist drew the guys out of the woodwork, but this guy was just too pretty to even consider someone that didn’t come straight from Hollywood.

 “I’m flattered, really, but . . . ” She pushed up from the bench and her coiled hair teetered precariously on top of her head. She made a quick grab for the chopsticks jammed in the twisted knot of her long dark blonde mane. Several of her charcoals rolled from her sketchbook to land on the floor with the tiniest sound of breaking glass.

“Oh, damn . . . ” She abandoned her hair and leaned over the side of the banquette sofa, reaching for the fallen charcoals. Her bare foot struck the wall under the night black window and three of the vampire paperbacks by her knee were knocked to the floor.

She groaned in annoyance. It figures . . .  A cute guy and I am an instant klutz. Lifting her feet carefully over the backpack that hogged the far end of the sofa, she turned on her belly to get her feet on the floor. Not the sexiest move in the world. Just call me Grace. She hunched down to gather the fallen books and broken charcoals.

The man crouched at her side and collected one of her fallen vampire books. He scanned the back cover and a black brow rose. “What interesting reading material.”

Elaine stood and her cheeks warmed. “Yes, I read trashy romances.” She leaned over the sofa to stuff her charcoals and her other two books into her back pack. “It’s a girl thing.”

“This is a romance?”

“A trashy romance; it has sex in it.” Elaine glanced over her shoulder and froze.

He was still crouched, but the book was forgotten in his hand. He was focused entirely on the curve of her jean-clad butt less than a foot from his nose. His midnight stare lifted from her butt to capture her gaze. “Then you like sex?”

Elaine swallowed the lump in her throat. Oh boy, I really stepped in that one. She stood upright slowly, struggling to gather what dignity she could, then turned around to face him. “Yes, I like sex.” It was too late to deny it now. She tugged the hem of her thick white cable knit sweater down over her hips, and butt. She held out her hand. “My book please?”

He rose to his feet in one smooth effortless motion and held the book slightly out of reach. He was a full head taller and the bulk of his leather coat crowded the small compartment with his presence. “May I have you for the night?”

Elaine was forced to look up to see his face. The back of her knees were against the seat, and her nose was less than six inches from his broad chest. She took a deep breath. The warm masculine scent of leather caught her attention. He smelled good. He smelled . . . sexy. Her libido awoke with a lazy curl of warm interest.

She turned her head slightly away and shivered. Down, girl. “Look, I don’t have sex with people I don’t know.” No matter how devastatingly cute they are. She set her hands on her hips. “You haven’t even told me your name.”

His black brows lifted along with the corner of his mouth. “Pardon me.” He stepped back and held out his empty hand, palm up. “I am Aramus.”

Elaine wiped her damp palms down her hips and frowned a little. Where had she heard that name before? Oh, yes . . .  A small smile inched its way across her lips. “Aramus, as in: ‘The Three Musketeers’?

He lowered his hand and his gaze, then let out a soft sigh. “Surrounded by books, I should have guessed you would know.”

“Well Aramus, any friend of Alexander Dumas is a friend of mine.” She grinned and held out her hand. “I’m Elaine.”

His head lifted and a smile flashed briefly across his lips. His slightly cool fingers and smooth palm closed around her smaller hand. “Elaine.” He turned her hand palm down and bowed gracefully over knuckles. “I am charmed.” He remained bowed but lifted his gaze. A breathtaking smile bloomed across his full mouth and his eyes narrowed slightly with sudden intent. “Such eyes; the color of new leaves. Do you have any idea how lovely you are?”

Yikes! Elaine sucked in a sharp breath. They should bottle that smile and label it ‘raw sex’. They’d make a mint. “Thank you.” She swallowed. “You’re very handsome yourself.”

Aramus straightened, but held onto her hand. “Now that we have been introduced . . . ” He tossed the paperback onto the sofa behind her and reached out to collect her other hand. He focused his gaze on hers and his smile disappeared. “I should very much like to have your company for the night.”
Elaine rolled her eyes. He was certainly persistent.

Aramus lifted her hands and pulled slightly, forcing her to take a step closer. “Am I not agreeable to you?”

She lowered her gaze and twisted her hands slightly. He couldn’t be serious?

His fingers tightened. “Elaine?”

She looked up at him.

His dark eyes were dilated wide and his mouth tight. “Please.” His voice was barely a whisper. “Let me have you for this night?”

Elaine felt her heart slam in her chest. He was serious — really, really serious. A bead of sweat trickled down her back. Is it getting warm in here, or is it just me? She licked her dry lips. “Aramus, I don’t just sleep with anybody who wants me.”

“That is . . . reassuring.” A smile flashed across his lips. “However, I should like it if you made an exception.”

“This is all very sudden . . . ” Elaine felt a tiny shiver of nervous amusement. Hello, can you say, heroine in a Gothic Romance? “Can I think about it for a little bit?” Can I have a little breathing space while we’re at it?

“Of course.” Aramus lowered his gaze, released her hands, and stepped back with a sigh. “May I stay while you . . . think about it?”

Elaine smiled. “I wasn’t going to throw you out, I just wanted to get . . . used to the idea.”

“I see.” His head lifted and he smiled, just a little. “May I remove my coat?”

Elaine shook her head. Aramus and his politeness… “Sure.” She turned to collect the paperback lying on the seat and stuffed it in her backpack. “Remove what ever you like.” She set her backpack on the floor and picked up her abandoned sketchbook.

A warm chuckle came from behind her. “With pleasure.”

Elaine flinched. Maybe that wasn’t such a good thing to say? She turned back with the sketchbook clutched before her.

With his back to her, Aramus let the heavy black leather slide from his broad shoulders. He wore a creamy white sweater similar to hers, only his was obviously real Irish-knit wool. The long tail of his night-dark hair fell straight and sleek toward a waist that was obscenely narrow. He took two steps toward the door and set his coat on the hook. The slight motion showed quite plainly that his pants were tailored closely, and that he had an ass to die for.

Elaine’s nipples tightened in blatant interest and moisture dampened her panties. She had to sit down before she fell down. God in heaven he’s freaking beautiful. And he wanted to sleep with her? On second thought, a lot of guys wanted to sleep with her; they just didn’t want to be seen in public with someone built like they belonged in the Victorian era.

In two long unnervingly sensual strides, Aramus stood before her.

Elaine had to remember to breathe. He didn’t just look like sex, he moved like sex. The rich scent of leather and male drifted over her. She shivered slightly. God, he smells like sex.

“May I see?”

“Huh?” Elaine forcibly dragged her mind out from under her libido. “I’m sorry, see what?”

Aramus tapped a finger against her tightly clutched sketchbook. “Your drawings.”

She lifted her shoulder just a little. “If you like, but . . . “

“I’d like.” Aramus smiled and plucked the book from her fingers. “But?” He turned and sat down on the sofa next to her.

Elaine winced. “But I’m not very good.”

“Is that so?” He opened the large book, spreading it across his lap and over onto her knee.

The book had been new when she brought it overseas with her to Rome. Her sketches began with page after page of museum and gallery statuary renderings, then fountains and monuments. A few grave statues were tossed in, here and there with the occasional portrait. The two-inch thick book was three quarters full and she was already on her third box of fine charcoals.

He leaned close to her, their shoulders and knees in warm contact while he flipped the pages.

Embarrassed warmth filled Elaine’s cheeks. Having Aramus looking at her sketches was more intimate than if he had been looking at her naked body. Displayed across his lap lay her very soul . . .  She rolled her eyes. Okay, let’s not get overly melodramatic here. They are just still-life and statuary sketches, not nudes. She bit back a smile. Those were in her other sketchbook.

Aramus stopped and ran his finger down a ragged paper edge close to the spine. “There is a page missing.”
 “Anthony, one of the art students I met in Rome, took it from my book when I wasn’t looking. It was his portrait, so I understand why he took it.”

“He stole it?”

“No big deal.” Elaine shrugged. “Anthony got what he deserved later when he tried to pass it off as his work.”

Aramus frowned. “He told someone that your drawing was his work?”

“Yep.” Elaine grinned. “Too bad he couldn’t actually draw portraits that well. From what I understand it got him into a lot of trouble when the drawing master interviewed him for an apprenticeship.”

“I would assume so.” Aramus raised a brow and his mouth curled into a cynical smile. “A good drawing master always asks for a demonstration.”

Elaine chuckled. “Anthony is actually a good artist, just not for portraits.”

“He should not have tried to claim another’s skill.” Aramus turned the page and stopped at one of her better portraits. The young man had been watching something just past her shoulder and a slight breeze had tousled his hair while she sketched. She had tossed in a slight rendering of the renaissance fountain behind him, just to give the portrait theme.

Aramus frowned slightly. “I’m afraid I do not understand.”

Elaine looked down at the portrait. “Do not understand, what?”

Aramus glanced at her with a quick smile. “I do not understand how you could possibly think that you are not good.”

She felt heat creeping into her cheeks. “Okay, even I know that picture is good. But for every good one there’s about a dozen that are dismal failures.”

He raised a black brow. “Indeed? Show me what you consider a failure.”

She looked up at him and bit down on a nervous smile. “Do I have to?”

Aramus pushed the book onto her lap. “I insist on proof.”

She groaned just a little and flipped to her last sketch, the portrait he had interrupted. The face just wasn’t coming out right.

“Ah . . . ” He frowned at the page, then turned to face her, his lips barely a kiss away. “This young man does not look drawn from life, imaginary perhaps?”

“Fictional.” Elaine reached out to smudge a line with her finger. Nope, the picture was hopeless. “I was trying to draw a character from a book.”

“But . . . ” He frowned at the sketch. “The proportions are off on some of the features in this one, the ears, the eyes . . .  This does not even look human.”

“That’s because he’s not.” Elaine hunched her shoulders. “He’s supposed to be a vampire.”

Aramus stilled. “Indeed?” His voice was barely a breath.



– 2 –

Elaine could feel the tension in his thigh and shoulder where they touched. Her heart began to hammer.

Aramus’s gaze focused tightly on hers. “You have a fascination for vampires?” The word ‘vampire’ was curiously exotic in his lilting eastern European accent. He turned to gaze at her with intense yet hooded eyes. “The soulless damned?”

“The soulless damned?” Elaine felt a nervous chuckle forcing its way up. “Well that all depends on whose story you’re reading.”

His brows rose. “You do not think they are the soulless damned?”

Elaine coughed to keep from laughing out loud. “I really wouldn’t know. I’ve never met one.”

“So you would reserve judgment on a creature of the dead?” Aramus lowered his chin and tilted his head toward her drawing. “Is that not a trifle . . . naive?”

“You’re sure vampires are creatures of the dead, huh?” Elaine crossed her arms under her breasts and lifted her chin. “Have you met one?”

His black eyes held her gaze. “Perhaps I am one.”

Her heart stopped for a single beat then her pulse leaped in her throat. Suspicion ignited a spark of temper. If he thinks pretending to be a vampire will get him into my pants, he better think again! A smile as cold as ice curled her lip and narrowed her eyes. “You breathe, and you’re warm, so you’re not dead. Does this make you merely the soulless damned?”

Aramus closed her sketchbook carefully, lifted it from their laps and turned away to set her book against the wall behind him. “There are those who believe that drinking blood is enough to damn one.”

“Oh please . . . ” Elaine rolled her eyes and grinned. “They obviously haven’t been around the fetish crowd. Lots of people do bloodletting and they aren’t damned or even vampires. They just think it’s . . . stimulating.”

“Do you?” Aramus turned to her with eyes that were pits of darkness so large the whites were nearly gone.

Elaine’s breath stopped in her throat. No human being had eyes like that. She’d seen too many Goth kids in spooky contacts to know that she was looking at the real thing. Good God in heaven, what if he was telling the truth? What if he really was . . . a vampire?

Aramus turned his whole body to face her, his bent knee bushing hers. “Do you think bloodletting is . . . stimulating?” The gleam of long upper incisors and smaller lower canines showed while he spoke.

Fangs? Elaine bit down on her bottom lip. Those were not dental caps. She had a set of porcelain vampire fangs made by a dental assistant. His were definitely real.

So, how the hell did one answer that kind of question to someone who might actually be a vampire? She licked her lips. Oh, what the hell . . . She took a deep breath. “Yeah, as long as I’m not scarred, maimed or killed in the process.”

Aramus raised a brow over an inhumanly dark eye. “It does not frighten you, to have someone shed your blood?”

Elaine gave him a slight shrug. “It’s the fear that makes it exciting.” She narrowed her eyes at him. “But blood-play is not something you do with someone you don’t trust.”

Aramus chuckled. “I should say not.”

Elaine’s heart slowed to a more sedate panic. Weird eyes and long teeth aside, the laugh made him seem less alarming, less . . . alien. “Out of curiosity, I thought vampires only had upper teeth?”

“All predators have both.” Aramus looked down, hiding his eyes. “Do I frighten you?”

Did he? Elaine glanced at the back of the couch. “I think intimidated would be a better word.”

Aramus lifted his gaze to hers and his brows dipped. “How so?”

Elaine lifted her brow and gave him a crooked smile. “Well, you did come on a little strong with the sex.”

His brows rose and his eyes widened, then he scowled. “I am a vampire. I drink blood. This does not frighten you?”

Elaine stared him straight in the eye. “Are you going to kill me?”

He jerked away to sit with his arms folded across his chest. “I do not kill.”

Elaine shrugged. “I didn’t think so.”

He turned sharply to look at her with wide eyes. “What did you say?”

Elaine had to bite her lip to keep from laughing. “Oh come on! You’re way too polite to do something as vulgar as murder.”

Aramus glanced to the side and frowned. “So, I am too polite to frighten you.” He gave her a tight smile. “Should I be offended, or not?”

“Relax.” Elaine patted his knee. “You’re still sexy.”

Aramus raised his brow and gave her a thoroughly cynical smile. “You think so?”

Elaine winced. Me and my big mouth. She sighed. “Yes Aramus, you are incredibly sexy. I don’t think I’ve ever met a sexier man than you.” She smiled. “Feel better now?”

His smile faded. “Would you kiss me?”

“Uh . . . ” Elaine focused on his lush mouth. Everything in her body leapt to aggravated erotic attention. He might be a vampire, or he might be something even scarier, but he still had the most kissable mouth she’d ever seen in her life. She licked her lips. “Sure.”

His eyes widened just a hair, then his brows dipped. “You would?” He lowered his arms and turned to face her. “As I am now?”

She smiled. “I like vampires, remember?”

Aramus turned to sit facing her with one knee up on the sofa. “Elaine, I should very much like . . . ” His gaze focused on her mouth and he licked his lips. “Will you kiss me?”

Kiss him? Oh hell yeah! Elaine brought both knees up onto the sofa to kneel in front of him.

He watched her, his eyes wide, his mouth slightly open. Clearly unsure of what she intended.

Elaine smiled. “It would be my pleasure.” She leaned forward, setting on hand on the back of the sofa for balance. Her lips brushed his. Warmth, breath, velvety softness . . . Her eyes drifted closed and her tongue swept the fullness of his bottom lip. She felt the edge of one long tooth. It wasn’t sharp, exactly, but it was pointed.

His mouth opened against hers. He released a sigh.

She dipped her tongue into his mouth and brushed against his tongue fleetingly, then again to explore. He tasted vaguely of expensive coffee and oddly, of vanilla. He smelled of rich leather, a little of warm wool, but also of aroused male. Her nipples tightened. She pressed deeper to taste more of him.

He shifted on the sofa while his tongue parried hers, teasing her with light strokes. He released a soft yearning moan and leaned back.

She released the sofa and reached for his shoulders to get closer. One knee jammed against the back of the sofa, the other precariously perched on the edge, framing his knees. His sweater was warm under her palms and the muscle hard under the thick wool. She pressed her mouth to his, seeking a deeper kiss.

His hands cupped her hips and slowly drew her toward him, his tongue sliding in a wet sensual flirting dance against hers. He nipped gently at her bottom lip with his long teeth.

God in heaven, the boy knows how to kiss! Her hands slid around his neck, her fingers tangling in the silk of his black mane.Her knees spread wide to straddled his thighs and her breasts pressed against the broad wall of his chest.

His fingers slid up and around her waist, his hands pressing at the small of her back. He angled his mouth pressing firmly, his tongue stroking boldly, tasting her, encouraging her to kiss him the same way.

She stroked his tongue while he stroked hers. Heat, hunger, urgency . . . A small moan escaped her throat. Her thighs tightened around his.

His arms closed around her waist, pulling her tight against his body.

She could feel the hard length of his erection pressing against the seam of her jeans. Her nipples peaked to hard hot points against the tender irritation of her lace bra. Moisture dampened her panties. She groaned and pressed into him, nipping at his lips and tongue.

Aramus fell backwards with a small gasp, his body unfolding to lay full length on the sofa.

Elaine sprawled on top of him, straddling his hips. The chopsticks fell from her hair and her dark honey mane uncoiled to tumble down around her hips. She pushed up, her hands splayed on his chest. She shoved the hair back from her face and grinned. “Oops.”

“Oops indeed!” Aramus grinned from among the cushions and reached up to coil a lock of her mane around his finger. “You have me in a compromising position.” He chuckled. “Do you plan to ravish me?” He lifted his knees, pressing his cock up against her crotch and her clit.

Carnal heat seared her, and her core clenched with demanding appetite. God, he feels so good. She rocked her hips rubbing against him. Tension coiled with delicious ferocity and a small groan escaped. “You know, that doesn’t sound like a half-bad idea.”

“Excellent!” He folded his arms behind his head and smiled. “I am ready.”

She choked on a laugh. “Eager to be ravished, are we?”

Aramus leaned up on his elbows and grinned at her. “It has been a long time since I was ravished and thoroughly debauched.” He raised a brow at her. “You have some experience at this I assume?”

“I’ve done some ravishing.” She bit her lip. “I don’t know about debauchery.”

“No?” He rolled his eyes and collapsed, lying limp beneath her. “I am deflated.” He sighed dramatically.

She blinked at the unusual word. “Do you mean, defeated?”

“No, deflated.” He glanced from sided to side scowling. “No, you are right that is not correct. Ah . . . ” He looked her straight in the eye and gave her a tight smile. “Disappointed.”

“Disappointed?” She sat up with her hands on her hips. “What do you mean disappointed?”

He raised his brows and pursed his lips in a small pout. “If I am going to be ravished I should like to be debauched as well.”

She crossed her arms over her breasts and lifted a brow. “I can do kinky, I don’t know about debauchery.”

“Oh, that is too bad.” Abruptly he pushed up, sitting with his knees raised and his hands on the sofa behind him for support. “Perhaps you should let me ravish and debauch you?”

She lowered her chin and raised a brow. “I am sure you have tons of experience ravishing women.”

Aramus smiled. “And debauchery.”

She rolled her eyes. “Oh, of course.”

“In fact . . . ” Aramus pushed forward, forcing her back until he sat up completely while she had to fall back onto her hands to stay upright. “I am something of an expert at both.”

Elaine swallowed. “You don’t say?” Her heart began to pound with increasing speed.

Now . . . ” His eyes narrowed and he smiled showing the full length of his feral teeth. “Will you let me have you for the night?”


– 3 –

Elaine shivered and nibbled on her bottom lip and stared up at the vampire. “I suppose it’s a little late to say ‘no’?” According to the howling uproar in her body, it was way beyond too late. Her panties were soaked through to her jeans from excitement.

Aramus pressed forward onto his knees, driving her back. “Much too late.” He licked his lips and flames flickered deep in the heart of his eyes. “I confess that I am quite desperate to have you.”

Pressed back she fell beneath him onto the sofa cushions with her knees splayed open, framing his hips. Fear mixed with excitement in a boiling morass of unbearable erotic tension. She swallowed. “Um, just how desperate are we talking here?”

“I have a terrible hunger for you, Elaine.” Aramus arched over her with his palms to either side of her head. “I would have all of you.” His knees spread, urging her to open, and lowered his hips. “All that can be taken.” He came down on his elbows, his chest brushing her breasts. “All that can be possessed.” His trapped cock pressed against her crotch in blatant demand. His smile tightened. “But I would have your willing consent before I partake.”

Elaine could barely breathe past the pounding of her heart, and the hot wet throbbing in her core. “You’re going to drink my blood?”

“Yes.” Aramus lowered his mouth. “Only a little, and not all at once,” he whispered against her lips. “I need your pleasure, as much, if not more so . . . ” He turned his head and his lips brushed her cheek. ” . . . Than your blood.” His lips caressed her ear. “Will you let me have you for the night, Elaine?” His hips ground hard against hers and he groaned.

Heat, fire, hunger . . . She writhed under him. Reckless passion stole her breath. “Yes,” she whispered. “Yes, Aramus!”

His breath was hot against her ear. “All of you?” His hands slid under her sweater to brush her waist, his cool fingers drawing shivers from her fevered skin. “Every part that I desire?” His hands slid upward shoving her sweater before him to expose her lace-covered breasts. “In every way that I desire?” His mouth descended and his tongue swept across her swollen nipples, wetting the lace, then sucking and nipping on the aching flesh beneath it.

She wrapped her arms around his waist and arched, pressing up against his mouth while digging her heels into the cushions to grind up against him. “Oh God, yes!”

His head lifted. His eyes were narrowed to slits and his smile held pure masculine triumph. “Done.”

Elaine blinked up at him through her sensual fog. His feral smile was unnerving. Uh oh . . .

Aramus took her mouth in a ferociously possessive kiss.

Elaine moaned and writhed while her tongue parried his, her concerns washed away under a ruthless flood of carnal heat.

Aramus released her mouth with a smile. “At last.” He sat upright, bringing her with him. “We shall share such pleasures, you and I.” He turned to sit with his feet on the floor with Elaine astride his lap. “Disrobe. I would see you. All of you.”

Elaine slid from his knees to stand on her bare feet. Her core throbbed with hunger and her nipples ached. “Aramus . . . “

Aramus reached down to remove his shoes. “It is too late for regrets, Elaine.” He lifted his chin and his smile tightened. “You already agreed; every part that I desire in any way I desire.”

Elaine swallowed. She had agreed; she just hoped she hadn’t done something supremely stupid. She caught the hem of her sweater and lifted it over her head, then tossed it to the floor. What was a little blood anyway? She’d done scarier things before. She reached behind her and unfastened her black lace bra, releasing the round fullness of her breasts.

Aramus tossed his shoes toward the window and stared fixedly at her breasts. He licked his lips. “Very, very nice.” He stood and jerked his sweater up and over his head revealing a deep exquisitely defined chest with dark erect nipples. His arms and belly were corded with muscle.

Elaine froze with her hands on the button of her jeans. Whoa . . . Those muscles did not look like they had been built in a gym, but rather through use. He looked like a professional fighter. The hair rose on the back of her neck. He could have raped her the moment he walked through her compartment door, and she would not have been able to stop him.

But he hadn’t. He had taken the time to talk her into willing sex. Well okay, he’d done a bit more than talk. That didn’t change the fact that he had gone out of his way to get her hotter than she’d ever been. Seduction . . . She blinked. That’s exactly what he had done; he’d seduced her. A small smile lifted her lips. Well damn, here she was back at being a romance novel heroine.

Aramus set his hands on his hips. “I am waiting.”

Elaine looked away and opened her jeans. He was freaking gorgeous, and he obviously knew what he was doing. It had been forever since she’d been properly laid. What the hell, why not go for it? She pushed her jeans and panties down past her rounded hips and full bottom, then bent over to peel them from her legs. She tossed her jeans over to where her sweater lay, facing him with her shoulders squared, and her chin lifted. “Okay handsome, I’m naked. Your turn.”

Aramus barked out a short laugh. “Now, who is eager?” His gaze drifted across her breasts then down her belly to her neatly trimmed mound. “You are quite lovely.” He opened the button of his trousers and the fly. “I shall very much enjoy having you.” His pants dropped to the floor. From a nest of dark curls, his cock rose in a smooth arch to his navel. The broad head peeking from its sheath was flushed with excitement. His ball sack hung plump and ripe between muscular thighs. He stepped free and tossed his trousers to the side. He grasped his shaft and stroked it with slow deliberation. “Come here and kneel.”

He wants a blow-job. Why, am I not surprised? Elaine released a breath and dropped to her knees at his feet. He might have the seduction thing down, but she had read a lot of erotica over the past few years, and had practiced a few of the more interesting things. Let’s see if I can surprise him.

He pushed his shaft down toward her lips. “Your mouth.” His voice was husky.

Elaine stared at the cock pointed at her and worked her mouth to generate saliva. He was big, thick and long. She was not going to be able to deep-throat that monster. That meant keeping her hands on him to make damn sure he didn’t shove that thing deeper than she could handle. She licked both palms and reached out to smooth both wet palms along the warm length of his shaft from head to root, pushing the sheath back to fully expose the blushing purple head.

He groaned and his mouth opened just a little.

Elaine’s smile broadened. Oh, he liked that did he? She leaned forward with her very wet tongue extended and twirled it around the top of his cock-head. He tasted clean. She could smell the soap he’d used under the rich musk of male arousal. She widened the circling of her tongue until she stroked the flared edges, then took him deeper, and deeper, to the back of her throat. Her hands grasped the rest of his length extending the reach of her mouth. She pulled back slowly while sucking strongly. He slid from her mouth with the sound of wet suction.

Aramus rocked on his heels and gasped. “I have a strong suspicion that you are talented.”

Elaine leaned back. “I read a lot.” She opened her mouth and took him swiftly to the back of her throat. Looks like he hasn’t had a decent blow-job in a while. Good. Sucking strongly, she pulled back until he slid past her lips with another wet smack.

He choked. “You learned this from books?”

“Some of my books are really detailed.” Elaine grinned. “Practice makes better.” She took him back into her mouth, lashed her tongue under the shaft, and swallowed him deeper.

Aramus threw his head back and groaned. “Mother Night, ah!” His hips bucked reflexively, fucking her mouth in short jabs. “You are going to make me cum very swiftly.”

Elaine smiled around the cock pumping in and out of her mouth. That’s what you think. She closed one hand around the base of his shaft, pressing a thumb against the thick vein on the underside, right up against the start of his ball sack. At the same time, she used her other damp palm to stroke what she couldn’t get into her mouth.

Aramus’s mouth opened on a choking gasp, his hips thrusting. He leaned over her to grasp her shoulders and came up on his toes, pushing into her mouth at a frenzied pace. He moaned through clenched teeth.

Elaine felt a pulse against her thumb warning that he was about to cum in her mouth. The little shit hadn’t bothered to warn her. She applied just a tad more pressure and stopped the flow. Nice try, buddy.

Aramus dropped onto his heels gasping and groaning. His whole body trembled with denied release.

Well aware that he was a lot more sensitive after his misfire, Elaine lashed the head of his cock unmercifully with her tongue.

Aramus gave a frustrated gasp and jerked back, pulling completely from her mouth.

Elaine widened her eyes and looked up at him with her best innocent expression. “What?”

His eyes were narrowed to slits, his cheeks flushed and he panted for breath, but he smiled. “You are perhaps a bit too talented.”

Elaine tilted her head, keeping her eyes wide, but her mouth tipped into a small smile. “Goodness, what ever do you mean by that?”

Aramus pointed a finger at her. “Do not move.” He stepped past her to go to his coat hanging by the door. He pulled the tie belt from the belt loops.

Elaine bit her bottom lip. Uh oh . . .

He stepped behind her. “Give me your hands.”

Elaine tucked her hands under her arms and hunched. “I don’t want you to cum in my mouth Aramus.”

“That is too bad, because I very much wish to. Give me your hands.”

Elaine shivered. “Aramus . . . “

“Give me your hands, or I will take them. I will not be denied again.”

Elaine lunged from the floor.

Aramus caught her around the waist, lifted her, and shoved her face-down on the sofa in half a breath.

Elaine yelped in surprise and twisted under him. “Hey! Cut that out!”

He chuckled and dodged her kicking feet, wresting her hands to the small of her back. “Oh no, since your hands are too talented to trust, you shall not have them.” In two breaths, he had her wrists looped and bound behind her with the broad supple belt to his coat.

Elaine writhed in his hold and twisted her wrists. The knot was just out of finger reach. She was not going to be able to get it off. “Aramus, this isn’t fair!”

“It is perfectly fair. You agreed to give yourself to me for the night. It is you who is not fair.” Aramus levered her back onto her feet and turned her to face him, pulling her tight against his body. “Make no mistake I will have you, in every way I desire.” He caught her hair at the back of her head and took her mouth in a ruthless kiss.

Elaine fought the kiss, writhing against the sweat-slick muscles of his body, but her own excitement worked against her. She wanted him too badly. A small whimper escaped and she began to return his kiss.

Aramus pulled her head back and smiled. “Much better. Now, on your knees.” He shoved.

Elaine dropped. She looked up at him panting with need and a touch of fear. “I don’t mind sucking your dick, but I don’t want your cum in my mouth.”

Aramus gripped his shaft and stoked the rigid length. “That is too bad, as I need you to drink it that I may feed properly on your blood.” He caught the hair at the back of her head and pushed his cock toward her lips. “Open your mouth.”

Elaine tried to turn her head.

“Elaine, please.” His voice was patient, but his entire body was rigid and trembling.

Elaine focused on the cock less than a breath from her lips. Damn it, it was only cum; it wasn’t poisonous. But she was not going to swallow it if she could avoid it. She opened her mouth and took his hot shaft in. A bead of slightly salty moisture spread across her tongue. A tingle of warmth shivered through her, like the tingling buzz from fine whisky but without the numbness. It didn’t taste bad; in fact, it tasted rather . . . interesting. She stroked her tongue across his cock-head to taste more.

Aramus sighed. “Oh yes, blessed Night . . . ” His hands clenched in her hair and he thrust a little ways into her mouth. “Suck me, take me deep.”

Elaine drew as much of him into her mouth as she could, but without her hands to stop him, he went deeper than she intended. Her throat closed slightly. She swallowed to clear it. She took him again, but again he slid just a bit too deep.

“Ah, yes . . . ” Aramus groaned and began to pump his hips, fucking her mouth with increasing speed.

Elaine simply held the suction steady and used her tongue while he took her mouth. With his hands guiding her head and her hands tied, she couldn’t control his speed or his depth. His cock struck the back of her throat. She was forced to swallow between snatches of breath to keep from gagging.

His hands tightened in her hair and he came up on his toes.

Elaine shivered. He was about to cum. She spread her knees and tensed to turn away. She was not going to swallow if she could avoid it.

Aramus set a hand on her shoulder and shoved her down lower, jerking her head back by the hair. He arched over her and shoved his cock straight down her throat. “I cum,” he choked out.

Her nose pressed into his belly, Elaine couldn’t take a breath past the cock deep in her throat. Her throat closed tightly and a whimper escaped her.

Aramus choked and shuddered. “Drink, Elaine. Drink me.”

Hot liquid gushed deep in her throat. She moaned and shuddered in panic, unable to breathe and unable to stop him from pouring straight into her stomach.

“Yes . . . ah!” Aramus pulled from her throat.

Elaine fell back onto the floor and sucked in a deep breath. She choked in reflex and had to swallow twice to clear her throat. The thick liquid burned in her stomach. She groaned and rolled onto her side as her vision blurred. I’m getting drunk? It didn’t have the numbing quality of alcohol; it was hotter, more urgent, and more carnal. “What is happening to me?”

Aramus dropped to his knees and wrapped his arm around her, encouraging her to sit up. “Forgive me, but it was necessary.”

Elaine fell back against his arm and shivered, her body coiling and tightening under a hot wave of rampant lust. A needy whimper fell from her lips. “What have you done to me?”

Aramus pressed her head against his heart. “Be at ease, the dizziness will soon pass.” He brushed the hair from her face and pressed his lips to her brow. “And then there will be only pleasure.”

A solid wall of red lust washed over her and swept her away.


– 4 –

Somebody was moaning like a cat in heat.

Then the rest of the moan escaped her throat. Elaine sucked in a startled breath and opened her eyes. She was face down on the sofa with Aramus’s big warm body pressed against her back and his leg thrown over both of hers. “Please tell me I wasn’t making all that noise.”

Aramus pressed his lips to her temple and tugged at the belt still tied around her wrists. “Oh, but you were.”

Elaine turned her head to look past her shoulder at him and stuck out her bottom lip. “You could have lied,” she said in a small voice.

Aramus pulled the belt free of her wrists, caught her by the shoulder, and turned her onto her back. “I find the truth far more entertaining.”

Elaine rolled her eyes and scowled. “You would.” She lifted up on her elbows and moved to get out from under him.

Aramus shifted to stay on top of her and chuckled. “I see that you are feeling more yourself.”

“First the bondage, and now you’re holding me down?” Elaine wiggled her trapped fingers. “Has anyone ever told you, that you have control issues?”

Aramus rolled his eyes and pursed his lips. “Perhaps once or twice.”

“Speaking of issues . . . ” Her eyes narrowed. “What the hell is with drinking your cum? And what the hell did it do to me?”

Aramus lowered his gaze and sighed. “It was necessary, to heat the blood.”

“Heat the blood . . . ? You mean it makes my blood pressure rise?”

He smiled. “That, and makes the needs of the body run hot.” He leaned down and laved his tongue across a peaked nipple.

Erotic fire blazed from her nipple to her core. “Oh shit!” Elaine gasped and arched under him. He wasn’t kidding about the hot. “Is that all it does?”

Aramus turned his head away, refusing to look at her. “It enthralls.”

Elaine’s eyes opened wide. “Are you saying, that your cum is addictive?”

“You will not crave it, no.” He lifted one shoulder in a half-shrug. “It makes the will more compliant.”

“More compliant. I see.” Elaine felt her temper rise hot and fast. “How compliant, exactly?”

Aramus sighed. “It makes denial difficult.”

Elaine ground her teeth. “Your cum is a date-rape drug?”

He flinched. “I prefer not to describe it as such.”

Elaine scowled. “But that’s essentially what it’s for; to make me obedient to your sexual demands.”

Aramus lifted his head. His eyes narrowed and he spoke through clenched teeth. “It is for your survival. It contains a property that allows you to recover from blood loss quickly so I may drink without endangering your life. It increases your lust so that you will find pleasure in the taking.” His lip curled in an angry snarl. “And yes, it makes you inclined toward obedience, to make it easier to take you without force or harm.”

“Making me the perfect meal; willing, able, and submissive.” She rolled her eyes. “Great.”

“Yes.” His brows lowered and he locked his gaze on hers. “However, I would not use the term submissive to describe you.”

A small smile curled Elaine’s lip. “Good.”

His brows shot up then a tight smile appeared. “However, it will be quite difficult for your body to resist the call of mine.”

Elaine scowled. “Never mind the fact that I was having trouble resisting you before . . . “

“Elaine.” Aramus’s smile disappeared. “What I have given you . . . “

Elaine set her jaw.” Your cum.”

He curled his lip baring a long tooth. “Yes, my cum, will cause you to have great difficulty resisting the demands of any vampire that finds you.”

An icy chill raced up Elaine’s spine. “There are other vampires?”

“Of course, though not many.” His hands tightened on her. “I suggest that you stay indoors after sunset for the next three nights.”

“Three nights?” Well there goes any chance of dancing at any nightclubs in Prague. Elaine’s brows shot up. “Wait a minute, then vampires do have a problem with daylight?”

Aramus gave her a small smile. “No, we may walk day or night, but night is when our appetites awaken and our senses are at their sharpest. At night is when we hunt, and feed. Night is when you are more likely to be discovered.”

“Discovered?” Elaine shivered, just a little. “How?”

Aramus sighed. “A vampire will know by your scent that you have been enthralled, and primed for feeding.” He looked away. “They will know that you are . . . easy prey.”

Elaine smiled grimly. “I’ve never been easy prey.”

Aramus’s brows shot up and he smiled. “Somehow, I can believe that.”

Elaine smiled then rolled her eyes. “So, how long do I have to worry about other vampires?”

Aramus sighed. “After three days the scent of your enthrallment no longer rides on your skin, but a kiss will still betray you to one of us. After nine days you will no longer be enthralled, but you should still exercise caution, day or night.”

“Nine days total?” Elaine groaned and closed her eyes. “Great, and I have no clue how to tell one of you from anyone else.”

“For all nine days you will know. For some it is longer. In fact you will know one of us before we will know you.”

Elaine opened her eyes. “How?”

“A vampire will know you by scent or taste.” Aramus’s gaze was steady. “But, your blood will know us. Your lust will warn you that one of us is near.”

Elaine tilted her head to the side and lifted her brow. “So, during the next nine days, if I suddenly find myself wildly aroused by somebody, there’s a good chance that they’re a vampire?”

“Yes.” His eyes narrowed. “You must avoid us at all costs. There are those that will not hesitate to take you and perhaps keep you as part of their . . . harem.”

Elaine’s brows shot up. “Vampires have harems?”

Aramus nodded. “It causes less harm to sip from many than to feed from only one.”

Elaine raised a brow at the vampire above her. “But not you?”

“No.” Aramus looked down, hiding his eyes. “I do not…keep thralls.”

Elaine felt a small stab of disappointment, and squashed it immediately. “Are there vampires in Prague?”

“There is only one vampire in Prague. If you sense him, you must flee immediately. He will drain you of your artistic talent if he catches you.”

Elaine frowned. “What has my drawing ability got to do with anything?”

“The vampire feeds on the creative spark, the source of your talents. Blood is how we access that essence.” Aramus focused on her. “Elaine, this evening I was drawn by the fire that shines from your soul from across the dining car. Others will be drawn to you primed or not, for exactly the same reason. Make no mistake, it is not your blood we hunger for, but to feed on your artist’s soul.”

My art . . . ? Elaine stared up at the vampire above her. Drawing and painting, her creativity was all she had. After her parent’s nasty divorce, and the hopping from one relative to the next, her ability to put her feelings on paper was the one thing that no one had been able to take away from her. And yet, that’s exactly what he said he . . . consumed. Fear seared through her. “No . . . ” She jerked and shoved to get away from him. “Not my art!”

“Elaine!” Aramus grabbed her wrists and pinned her under his body. “Elaine, I mean you no harm.” His dark gaze caught and trapped hers. “Be calm, I swear that I would never destroy such a talent as yours. Be calm, relax. Trust me.”

A wave of warmth and stillness washed through Elaine. She fought to keep struggling but the languorous heat flooding her body defeated her until she lay quiet under him. “I want to believe you; I want to trust you . . . ” She did, she really, really did, but . . .

“Believe me.” Aramus smiled. “Do you not remember? I am too polite to do something vulgar, yes?” He released her wrists and brushed the hair from her brow.

She swallowed. He was pretty damned polite. In fact, he had gone out of his way to get her permission for just a kiss, and then again for sex, when he was fully capable of just raping her. Those weren’t the actions of someone who would destroy her talent. And . . . and she wanted to believe him, very, very badly.

Was that why she had just stopped fighting? Or was it . . . ? Suspicion burned in her. “I guess you weren’t exaggerating about the compliant part?”

“No, I was not.” Aramus brushed his thumb across her bottom lip. “Elaine, I have no desire to harm you.”

“Okay . . . ” Distracted, Elaine’s worries seemed to melt away as though unimportant. More important was the gentle pressure of his thumb against her bottom lip. She opened her mouth without thinking about it, touching his thumb with the point of her tongue.

“More,” Aramus whispered and pressed his thumb against her tongue. “Taste me.”

Elaine sucked his thumb into her mouth. She could actually taste the salty musk of his arousal on his skin. Moist warmth flooded her core and slicked her thighs. A groan came from deep in her throat.

Aramus smiled. “Ah, I think you are ready.”

“Hmm?” She released his thumb.

Aramus rose above her and smiled while licking the thumb that had just been in her mouth. “Mmm . . . Yes, I see that you are.”

Elaine licked her lips. “Ready, for what?”

“For your ravishment, of course.” He crawled backwards and then knelt between her knees. “Open and spread for me. I would taste you.”

Elaine blinked. He was going to eat her pussy? Hot damn! She brought her knees up and spread.

Aramus dropped down to his belly, kicking his feet up and perching on his elbows. His hands swept across her closely trimmed mound. His palms spread her open to expose the pink folds. “Ah, a succulent feast.” His mouth descended. His moist warm breath brushed her intimate flesh.

Every muscle in her body clenched in voracious eagerness. Elaine bit back a yearning moan.

His black eyes watching her, he opened his mouth on her flesh and the wet heat of his tongue brushed lightly yet seared across the tender oversensitive folds.

She choked and arched up from the sofa; her body shuddering with violent hunger. “Oh my fucking God!”

“You are very, very ripe my sweet.” Aramus chuckled and wrapped his arms around her thighs to hold her still. “And this is barely the beginning.” His head dropped and his tongue delved among her moist folds then burrowed into her center seeking her cream.

It was too much. Elaine bit back a scream and struggled to get away from the searing intensity, but his arms held her still for his lashing tongue. Helpless under the onslaught of torturous pleasure, she cried out and writhed, her hips rising in time to his working tongue.

He smiled and sucked, groaning his delight. His tongue swirled lightly against her clit.

Climax rose with brutal intensity. She threw back her head and cried out, her hips bucking – and went nowhere. She wailed in frustration and writhed against his mouth. “Please?” The word simply slipped out.

Aramus’s black eyes creased with amusement. “Please what?” He lowered his mouth and sucked noisily.

Elaine’s need coiled tighter but no closer to the edge. She shuddered and trembled, whimpers becoming cries that escaped her lips, but climax would not come. Something was holding her back, something was missing. “Please!” It exploded from her mouth.

Aramus lifted his head, not even bothering to hide his broad grin. “Please what?” He pushed a finger deep into her core and flicked deep within her.

Elaine howled and bucked in time to his finger’s possession. “Please, Aramus, let me cum!”

“I will have to bite you.”

“Then bite me damn it!”

“As you wish.” He pulled fingers from her core and lifted his arm to press her thigh against the back of the sofa. He opened his hand on her outer thigh and held it down against the cushions, spreading her wide and holding her perfectly still.

Elaine panted while orgasm retreated and sanity returned. Oh God, I just told a vampire to bite me . . .

His mouth and tongue descended to her tortured flesh. His long finger slid back into her slick core. He pressed rhythmically within, while his tongue slowly circled her swollen clit.

Searing heat, voracious hunger, hammering need . . . Elaine arched, twisted and gasping cries burst from her lips.

He trapped her leg flat and firmly on the cushions. His mouth moved from her aching flesh to the crease dividing her mound and the softness of her inner thigh. His tongue darted out, wetting a spot close to her thigh’s juncture and his thumb slowly circled her swollen clit.

Elaine’s body stilled. The hair rose on the back of her neck. She panted in dread and anticipation. She felt the press of pointed teeth against the softest flesh of her inner thigh. Tension coiled, clenched, knotted.

A small but sharp burn scored her inner thigh. A soft whimper escaped. Wet warmth . . . Her body released in a brutal explosion of icy-hot fire that blazed up her spine to scour the back of her skull. A waterfall of pleasure crashed down on her.

His mouth closed on the burn and his tongue lapped while his finger plunged and his thumb flicked across her aggravated clit.

She drowned under wave after wave of glorious delight. Her delighted cries filled the small compartment in time to his sucking mouth.


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