Evangeline & Orion (Excerpt 1)
Evangeline ducked behind a pillar. Peaking around it, she watched Orion mingle with the other guests. A devoted flock of ladies had surrounded him. She spotted the same woman she had caught him kissing and had watched him vanish into a room with as he held her gaze while closing the door. She flinched remember the fury and disgust in his eyes that night. She remembered the hurt, the despair, and the painful reality check. She flinched remembering the impact with vivid clarity.
His blood had long gone left her system, but she hungered for it. Seeing him now was torture! She wanted to taste his blood again and see his memories. She wanted to be closer to him than any of those flighty broads clinging to him like a second skin. Ha! She had been the victorious one! She might not have made love him, but she had tasted him. She knew things that no other woman knew… even man.
Quickly stifling the flaring possessiveness, Evangeline drew back ashamed. She had no right over him. She had no claim over him. She swallowed hard and felt lightheaded.
Damn! He found her. Evangeline turned to her step-brother and smiled.
Amused, Caleb raised an eyebrow. “Why are you hiding?”
“You’re going to have to see him sooner or later,” he told her. “I suspect he’ll probably hunt you down if need be.”
Evangeline laughed. She shook her head at the ridiculous thought. Like he’d really waste time tracking me down! The thought was merely fantastical but unrealistic. She sighed stealing an eyeful of him before turning back to Caleb.
“He has better things to do with his time.”
When she moved to retreat to the safety of the dining area in the deep pocket of shadows, he grabbed her arm causing her to look up.
“You do realize that Orion turning you wasn’t just some simple ordeal? He’s from one of the purest bloodline around. The blood is the closest to Rolland Faye. Faye bestowed Orion’s father DeMetri with the dark gift. Vampires, no matter what gender or House, they would all kill to have been in your place. Not many people are honored to have that pure of blood in their system. The Cristos are very fickle about who they let into their blood circle. You see, with a blood like that, Orion may dally around with his share of women, he’s careful to who drinks it. If anyone, lovers included, bit him, they’d never live to enjoy the thrill of his blood.”
Evangeline looked away more ashamed now than ever. It sickened her. No wonder why he had outright and publicly refused her. It was perfectly acceptable for his treatment of her afterwards. Her stomach felt unsettled. The glass she had earlier now disagreeing with. Placing a hand over her stomach, she felt even more lightheaded.
She briefly muttered she needed to sit down then she hurried to find some safe haven to hide in the shadows. She vowed she wouldn’t ruin it for him. If he had suffered her that much, he probably didn’t want anything to do with her. She had dirty blood. He probably was disgusted with the fact she deluded his blood with hers.
Caleb sat down beside her as she took a seat. He gave a sympathetic look. “I didn’t say that to make you guilty. When a powerful vampire like Orion bestows the gift, it’s not just some every day occurrence. The person they chose is significant to them. I just don’t think you understand the implications--”
“He-He should’ve left me to die.” She had decent view of the vampire in reference. No wonder why everyone looks at her with disgust. They knew he was out of her league. “You should’ve stopped him. You promised me you would!”
“I didn’t have a choice in the matter. Before I could explain or react, he had already sunk his teeth in you. The worst thing you can possibly do if you’re planning to survive is to interfere with a vampire’s affairs.” He sighed, patting her hand.
“Very wise words of advice.”
Evangeline’s eyes widened at the voice of a newcomer. She lifted her eyes and looked straight into Orion’s eyes. The hunger intensified. His blood called to her and she was sure her lust for it was in her eyes. Quickly bowing her head, she focused on her hands.
“Good to know you two could make it,” Orion continued. She watched her step-brother and him embrace.
Her eyes drifted to his bandaged wrist. She was erotically drawn to the wound that hid beneath it and repelled by it knowing how much he had sacrificed. She wasn’t paying much attention, just battling her inner-emotions when Caleb distracted her.
He was about to walk off and leave her alone with Orion. Was he mad? “Caleb! Where are you going?”
Without waiting for her to respond, he walked off. Evangeline watched in dismay as he made his way towards the festivities. She briefly glanced up into Orion’s eyes and immediately looked back down.
She heard him sigh as he sat down in the chair Caleb had used. He was too close. Way to close. The temptation was mounting and she was certain if he didn’t move she’d offend him by sinking her new teeth into him. She could feel them against the corners of her mouth. It took all her strength to dispel the lustful images in her mind.
“Evie,” he whispered.
She refused to look at him. His voice wasn’t helping the matter at all. It only made it worse for her. She tensed up, wanting nothing more to give into her desire.
“Damn it, Evie! Look at me.”
When she didn’t, Orion had grabbed her chin forcing her to look at him. Evangeline sucked in a breath. His closeness. His touch. His body. His blood… everything called to her. She wanted him – no, she needed him. It was tearing her apart.
A slow smile crossed his face as he looked into her eyes. He let go of her chin and told her, “You can’t fight it forever. I’d force you to drink, but I’d never force you to be with me. That’ll be your doing. Until then, I think I’ll catch up with Lord Kerr unless you have something you would like to tell me.”
Jealous. Downright inflamed jealousy! That’s what coursed through her veins.
Evangeline tortured herself, watching Orion flirt naturally with his flock of admirers. She watched the daring ones brush kisses against his mouth and cheek. He didn’t return it, but he didn’t push them away either. She wanted him badly. She wanted his blood – yes, but his blood made her think of different things. The intimacy that called for tasting each other’s blood made her want to truly and intimately introduce her body to him.
With a shaky hand, she nursed the wineglass filled with blood. Her eyes narrowed when that damned woman was back again. She had slunk her way to the front of the pack. She demanded his full attention and he gave it willingly. Well to hell with him! IF he wanted to a reunion with that hussy, he could because he would certainly never get her.
Knocking back the rest of her drink, she got up and proceeded to the entrance of the house. Evangeline knew the way back. It wasn’t that far her brother’s townhouse. She had made it to the front door when a hand grabbed her arm.
“Where do you think you’re going?”
She turned around and faced Orion. Her glare matched his. She ripped her arm away from his grasp. “I don’t see how that’s your concern. I’m sure that woman would love to intimately entertain you! It seems to be a bad habit of yours to satisfy your sexual appetites are other people’s dwellings. For someone so lavish and charming, you’d think they’d have some indication of manners.”
“Manners, hm?” Amused, he chuckled before continuing. “And how do you think I ought to behave?”
“Well considering your blood is probably the most prized in this social event and probably in most events, I would think you’d be a bit more reserved than provocative. It’s like your provoking them to come bite you!” She opened the door once again, but she stopped when she heard his voice.
“Mm, what is it exactly that you find so offensive?”
“Well, for one thing,” she gasped, looking over her shoulder. “I mean look at you! You’re pants are indecently snug. And your shirt!” She shook her head as she brushed her fingertips against the triangle of skin showed at the plunging open v-neck black shirt. She sucked in a breath but didn’t remove her hand. “You show too much skin.”
There was twinkle in his eyes. “Right now, I do not believe I am showing enough,” he murmured, breathily.
Her breath caught. Her eyes rested upon his mouth. So, so close. When she began to take the bait and go in for a kiss, someone cleared their throat causing Evangeline to shake out of her trance. She blinked still looking up at Orion and then quickly jumped back. Panicking, she placed her hands behind her back and squeezed them into fists pressing against her lower back.
She shook her head. How could she have lost herself in the heat of the moment? She reminded herself it could’ve been worse. She heard Orion sigh of frustration.
“Sorry for the intrusion,” Lord Mickin said. “I just wanted to bid you two farewell and it was a pleasure for you two to join us.”
Evangeline looked up at Lord Mickin. “Thank you, but Orion is--”
“Escorting this lovely lady home,” Orion cut in. Evangeline glanced up at him. “It was good to see you again, Lord Mickin. I will see you at Lord Dennings’ dinner party. Oh, and could you please inform Caleb of our departure?”
Lord Mickin nodded then turned and disappeared inside the crowded hall. Evangeline shrank back when Orion’s attention turned back to her. His eyes trailed up and down before once again returning to her face. “We will continue this um… shall we say interlude at a later point in time. Come, we will take my carriage.”
“Honestly, Orion. You do not have--”
“I am not letting you walk home by yourself. We could make it longer and I will walk you home or we could take my carriage. Your choice.”