Sunshine DeMarco is a blonde-haired, blue-eyed vampire who just doesn’t fit in with her own people. She doesn’t really like the whole vampire lifestyle–the opulent surroundings and overindulgence in everything from food to drink to blood. But even she has family and social obligations. While attending a party for a special European dignitary, she finds herself captivated by a tall, dark stranger. One sensual dance between them leads to a passionate tryst in the host’s garden. Reality intrudes and Sunshine flees, but she hasn’t seen the last of her mystery lover.
NJ says: Some authors and I were on a chat group one afternoon and we were talking about vampires–specifically vampires who were different. I had a vision of a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, short vampire who was unlike her tall, dark-haired, dark-eyed brethern. Throw in the fact that she likes to garden and has a “day” job, so to speak, and she’s really a misfit among her rich, aristocratic contemporaries. I wondered what would happen if she had to attend a social function. Sort of a vampire Cinderella story. Thus began the story of Sunshine DeMarco and her most memorable night at the ball.
At last, a vampire novella…
Silvestru admonished himself to slow down even as he picked up speed. He’d had women before—everything from the most practiced courtesans from the pleasure palaces of the east to the most innocent of maidens ensconced in a medieval castle, and every other class and type of female in between. But never in his one thousand years had such a craving come upon him as he had for this woman in his arms. She was a song in his heart, a fever in his brain, as necessary to him as the blood he had to consume to survive.
He wished he could read her mind, know what she was thinking at this moment. But vampires had strong shields that guarded their thoughts from others. Only after they shared blood could they read each other’s thoughts, and not always then. But Silvestru was certain he’d be able to know what was in her mind after he’d taken her blood. He was stronger than most, able to push past barriers that would keep others out.
Still, he would never take what she would not willingly give.
“What are you thinking?” He entered the maze, striding confidently through the twisting, winding path.
She sighed and her arms tightened around his neck. “How perfect this night is. A time out of time.”
“What is your name?” He wanted to know. Needed to know.
Her small hand came up to cover his mouth. “No names. There is only now.”
Every part of him shouted his denial. She was mistaken if she thought he’d let her escape him. But he had not risen to a place of power within the vampire ranks without knowing when to take a step back. He would wait for his opportunity. At this moment, he had the most fascinating and delectable woman he’d ever met in his arms and she wanted him. He planned on making the most of the situation.
He snaked his tongue out and licked the fingers that were still covering his mouth. Her hand jerked away and she laughed. She closed her fingers into a fist as if capturing his touch. He smiled at her. “Since you will not tell me your name, I will call you Sunshine.” He finally broke through to the center of the labyrinth, which was little more than a grassy square. There was no bench or seating of any kind. Damn! He’d have to make do.
She stiffened in his arms as set her down beside him. “Why did you choose that name?”
He reached behind her and plucked the jeweled pin holding her hair in its elaborate twist, sucking in a breath as the mass of blonde cascaded all the way to her hips. “That is why.” His voice was husky as he slipped the pin into his coat pocket. “You are like a ray of sunshine in the darkness that is our world.”
“What should I call you?”
He wanted to tell her his name, wanted to hear her call it as she cried out in ecstasy, but he didn’t know if she’d recognize it or not and he was loath to break the easy companionship of the moment. He gave her a wicked grin. “You may call me ‘my prince’ or ‘my love’. I will answer to either.” She laughed, even though he was deadly serious. He was a prince in his homeland and he longed to make her his princess.
The thought stopped him cold. Was she the one he’d been searching for? Only time would tell.