Tyra let out a warning growl. Someone was touching her.
She pried her eyes open but couldn’t see a thing. A whole lot of bright and blurry invaded her senses. She was lying down, while someone stood over her. Calloused fingers brushed her face. A fellow vampire would have spoken up and identified themselves right then. This was a bad sign.
A very bad sign.
Fueled by adrenaline and fear and strength she wasn’t sure she had in her, Tyra launched herself, fangs bared, at the threat. She may have been half human, but she let the royal, feral blood of her vampire ancestors take the lead. Lying down with someone over her meant she was in enemy hands. No way was anybody cutting her chest open to take out her heart. Clawing and scraping against a tile floor, she pulled a heavy body beneath her.
A soft, flannel shirt tangled in her grasp. Stubble scraped under her hand. A male gasped when her fangs sank cleanly into the warm skin of his throat.
Thick, smoky blood hit her tongue.
“Tyra, are you okay?”
That voice. Things were so fuzzy, but she could swear she knew it from somewhere. Her first instinct had been to drain the man, enough to immobilize him at least. She realized he wasn’t fighting back. His body had gone still beneath her, save for the tentative tap of fingertips on her shoulder.
Something familiar in the taste on her tongue and the touch on her skin gave her pause. Why was he asking if she was all right? Confusion warred with the hum of fresh plasma hitting her system.
Unbelievably, his head tipped back to give her easier access. “If you need to feed, Tyra, go ahead.”
Please, Tyra… Please feed from me.
“Oh my God. Oh my God.” Her head snapped up so fast she almost-almost-forgot to lick closed his wound. “Anton.”
The voice. The smoky, almost piney taste of blood. She remembered now. Tyra clapped her hands over her face. No.
Please feed from me.
“It’s me, yeah. Is something wrong with your eyes? Can I call someone? What can I do to help?” Those warm fingers of his were brushing her face again.
For one infinitely dangerous moment she forgot everything. Allowed his hand to linger as his fingers slid comfortably into the grooves between hers. No.
She shook her head, and pulled back, rubbing the collected grit from her puffy eyes. “I’ll be fine.” Her vision was already clearing. Thanks to his blood. Like the blood she’d drunk from him right before she’d passed out.
Please feed from me.
Another rub of her eyes and a few hard blinks, and finally she could match a real face with the memory: His strong, square jaw had a heavy dusting of stubble that would be a beard soon if he didn’t shave. Short, soft-looking hair and a strong nose with a slight bump like maybe he’d broken it before. Wow. Those eyes. Sharp and steel gray, but amazingly kind, considering…
Holy crap, she was still on top of him… and he was aroused.
Instantly Tyra shot into the air. First to the bed she’d been lying on and then up to standing, so fast it was like she was in one of those pinball machines she’d seen once in a pizza parlor. Anton ejected himself in the opposite direction like he, too, had realized their awkward physical situation. Metal scraped on linoleum when he pulled out the desk chair to sit down.
He stared at her in the way she imagined a hungry, stray dog would: leery but hopeful. “You’re sure you’re okay?” His knees bounced nervously. One hand dabbed at the bite on his neck, checking for residual blood or something.
Heat crept up the back of Tyra’s neck, and she swiped a hand across her lips. It came away with a trace of crimson. “Fine,” she said. “Confused…” She took in the metal desk and the dingy, chipped linoleum floor. “This is your room.” Anton had been a resident at the shelter in Ash Falls, Virginia, where Tyra volunteered. Just another homeless human with amnesia, they’d thought at first. Not even close.
He swallowed hard. His eyelids drooped for a moment, but he took a deep breath and repositioned in his seat. Trying to make himself look taller? “You passed out. The chances of someone finding you were way lower here than in your office.” He blinked and lifted one shoulder awkwardly. “More comfortable, too, maybe.”
Sweaty, shoulder-length curls clung to her face and neck. She pushed them away with an impatient hand. Her heart pounded wildly, almost painfully. To hope that his intentions were truly good was so dangerous. “You’re a wizard. I remember you telling me that before I-” The abhorrent realization hit that she’d drunk blood from a wizard not once but twice now…
Only it hadn’t been the least bit disgusting. That unique woodsy flavor had actually been sort of… nice. “Your species and mine have been at war for centuries. I’m the vampire king’s sister. This can’t be happening.”