Home > Kiss of Crimson (Midnight Breed, #2)

Kiss of Crimson (Midnight Breed, #2)
Author: Lara Adrian

CONTENTS

 

Cover Page

Title Page

Dedication

Acknowledgments

 

CHAPTER One

CHAPTER Two

CHAPTER Three

CHAPTER Four

CHAPTER Five

CHAPTER Six

CHAPTER Seven

CHAPTER Eight

CHAPTER Nine

CHAPTER Ten

CHAPTER Eleven

CHAPTER Twelve

CHAPTER Thirteen

CHAPTER Fourteen

CHAPTER Fifteen

CHAPTER Sixteen

CHAPTER Seventeen

CHAPTER Eighteen

CHAPTER Nineteen

CHAPTER Twenty

CHAPTER Twenty-one

CHAPTER Twenty-two

CHAPTER Twenty-three

CHAPTER Twenty-four

CHAPTER Twenty-five

CHAPTER Twenty-six

CHAPTER Twenty-seven

CHAPTER Twenty-eight

CHAPTER Twenty-nine

CHAPTER Thirty

CHAPTER Thirty-one

CHAPTER Thirty-two

CHAPTER Thirty-three

CHAPTER Thirty-four

CHAPTER Thirty-five

CHAPTER Thirty-six

 

About the Author

Also by Lara Adrian

Preview of Midnight Awakening

“I want to kiss you again, Tess.”

 

 

 

For Cappy and Sue Pratt,

 

my traveling PR team and favorite cheerleaders.

 

Thank you for all the love, support,

 

and the countless good times.

 

I believe I hear the Caribbean calling again….

 

 

Acknowledgments

 

With many thanks to everyone at Bantam Dell for helping me bring the world of the Midnight Breed to the page and into my readers’ hands, most especially: Shauna Summers, Kristin Doyle, Nita Taublib, Kathleen Baldonado, Theresa Zoro, Anna Crowe, the fantastic art department, and the wonderful sales and subrights teams. I’m so pleased to be working with you all.

With continuing gratitude to my agent, Karen Solem, and to my publicist, Patricia Rouse, for always looking out for me and keeping me on track.

And with deepest appreciation and total adoration to my husband—my secret weapon—for all the killer ideas I happily take credit for, and for cheerfully (maybe that’s too strong a word) picking up the slack around home when I am deep into one of my books (which is pretty much always). I couldn’t do it without you, HB!

 

 

CHAPTER One

 

 

Dante smoothed his thumb over sweet female flesh, lingering at the carotid, where the human’s pulse throbbed the strongest. His own pulse quickened too, responding to the rush of blood flowing beneath the surface of delicate white skin. Dante leaned his dark head in and kissed that tender spot, letting his tongue play over the fluttering race of the female’s heartbeat.

“Tell me,” he murmured against the warm skin, his voice a low growl amid the heaving beat of the club’s music, “are you a good witch or a bad witch?”

The female squirmed in his lap, her fishnet-clad legs straddling him, black lace-up bustier pushing her breasts up under his chin like a buffet. She twirled her finger in her bright fuchsia wig, then let it trail down suggestively, past a Celtic cross tattoo and into her swelling cleavage. “Oh, I’m a very, very bad witch.”

Dante grunted. “My favorite.”

He smiled into her drunken gaze, not bothering to hide his fangs. He was one of many vampires in the Boston dance club that Halloween night, although most of them were pretenders. Humans sporting plastic teeth, fake blood, and various ridiculous costumery. A few others—himself and a handful of males from one of the vampire nation’s Darkhaven sanctuaries, hanging out near the dance floor—were the genuine article.

Dante and the others were Breed, a far cry from the pale, gothic vampires of human folklore. Neither undead nor devil-spawned, Dante’s kind were a hot-blooded hybrid mix of Homo sapiens and deadly other-worlder. The Breeds’ forebears, a band of alien conquerors who crash-landed on Earth millennia past and who were now long-since extinct, had bred with human females and given their offspring the thirst—the primal need—for blood.

Those alien genes had given the Breed great strengths and shattering weaknesses too. Only the human side of the Breed, those qualities passed down by their mortal mothers, kept the race civilized and adhering to any kind of Order. Even then, a few of the Breed would succumb to their savage side and turn Rogue, a one-way street paved in blood and madness.

Dante despised that element of his kind, and as one of the warrior class, it was his duty to eradicate his Rogue brethren wherever he found them. As a male who enjoyed his pleasures, Dante wasn’t sure what he preferred more: a warm, juicy female vein under his mouth, or the feel of titanium-edged steel in his hand as he sliced into his enemies and dispatched them to dust in the street.

“Can I touch them?” The pink-haired witch on his lap was staring at Dante’s mouth with rapt fascination. “Dang, but those fangs look wicked real! I just have to feel them.”

“Be careful,” he warned as she brought her fingers to his lips. “I bite.”

“Yeah?” She giggled, gaze widening. “I’ll bet you do, sugar.”

Dante sucked her finger into his mouth, contemplating the fastest way he could get the female horizontal. He needed to feed, but he was never opposed to a little sex in the process—prelude or chaser, didn’t matter. It was all good as far as he was concerned.

Chaser, he decided on impulse, letting his fangs puncture the fleshy tip of her finger as she started to withdraw it. She gasped as he suckled from the small wound, refusing to let her leave him just yet. The small taste of blood inflamed him, sharpening his pupils to vertical slits in the middle of his gold-hued eyes. Hot need rushed through him, settling into the swelling bulge of his cock, which strained beneath the black leather of his pants.

The female moaned, closing her eyes as she arched catlike on his lap. Dante let go of her finger as he wrapped his hand around the back of her head and pulled her neck closer to him. Taking a Host in a public place wasn’t exactly his style, but he was bored out of his skull and needed the diversion. Besides, he doubted anyone would notice tonight, when the club was rife with faux danger and open sensuality. As for the female on his lap, she would feel only pleasure as he took what he needed from her. Afterward, she’d remember none of it, her memory scrubbed of all recollection of him.

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