Boring, boring, boring. Anna Jones stifled a yawn and tried to focus on the conversation around her. It was the worst party in the history of Halloween. The host was dull, the drinks flat, and the entertainment, well, less than entertaining. When a sudden thunderstorm finally dropped the curtain on that so-called party, Anna took her cue and made an early exit.
The storm rumbled across town, but it wasn’t raining in her neighborhood yet, and the electricity was still on. There was an hour of trick or treating left, so she rounded up some stray pieces of candy and put them in a basket in case any little ghosts and goblins came calling. Catching a glimpse of herself in a mirror, she decided not to change out of her vampire victim costume. Anna smiled, admiring her gown. It was a great dress, something any bodice-ripper novel heroine would love to be ripped out of. The full satin skirt trailed behind her just a bit, and the rich brocade bodice was laced up the front with a satin ribbon, shaping her full breasts very well.
But the most interesting details, the little touches that made her costume, were the torn sleeve dangling off her shoulder and the fake blood dripping from a very distinctive neck bite. Anna smiled into the mirror, raising her upper lip in a hopeful sneer that—much to her disappointment—revealed no fangs. She laughed at herself for being so silly. There’s no such thing as vampires, she sighed. But still, she would love to let Dracula sink his teeth into her just once. Or maybe twice.
Anna sat down on the couch by the front window and watched the storm roll toward her. Lightning streaked across the sky and thunder rumbled in the distance. The shivering treetops cast gothic silhouettes against the darkening horizon. Anna loved thunderstorms. She found them romantic and thrilling and…more exciting than anything else in her life. Her job was boring, her social life was boring, even her looks were boring, she sighed, puffing a lock of straight brown hair out of her eyes.
“Ooo nice.” She caught her breath as a bolt of lightning forked through the clouds. Yup. Her life had to be pretty damn dull if a simple thunderstorm could give her goose bumps.
Just ahead of the storm, two costumed figures walked toward the house. One, short, was dressed as a Jedi knight. The other, tall, dark and too-good-to-be-true handsome, wore a tuxedo and long black cape. Ooo, very nice. Anna was at the front door before the doorbell rang.
“Trick or treat!” the Jedi screamed. Standing silently behind the boy was Count Dracula himself.
Anna leaned against the door and stared at the gorgeous vampire. His gleaming black hair fell in unruly curls around his face, framing his dark eyes. She never paid much attention to eyebrows before, but damn if his weren’t the sexiest she’d ever seen. So expressive and exotic. She guessed he had Eastern European roots, or at least a really good make-up job. Even without his costume the man could have her convinced he was a real vampire. Anna laughed at her own foolishness and he smiled. No fangs.
“Do you have any treats for us?” he asked. She was a treat all by herself. Lucien stared back at her, feeling slightly overwhelmed by his immediate and powerful attraction to her. Lightning danced in her emerald green eyes and shimmered in her lush brown hair. Her full red mouth practically begged to be kissed. No…not kissed. Ravished. He frowned, trying to remember the last time someone—anyone—invaded his senses the way this woman did.
Anna held out the basket of candy for the kid while she and the count lusted after each other. Black eyes seemed to pierce right through her bodice. A delightful tingling in her nipples made her suddenly aware she was not wearing a bra. Anna knew the count was somehow aware of that too.
“Is that all?” The Jedi knight whined.
“Sorry, that's it,” Anna said, not taking her eyes off the vampire.
“Don't be greedy,” the count said to him. “Thank the lady for her kindness.”
“Thank you,” the Jedi said.
“Thank you,” Anna breathed, savoring the sudden heat between her thighs.
“Happy Halloween,” Lucien whispered. His ancient cultured accent resonated over her skin. He stepped closer to her, effectively blocking the Jedi’s view. Taking her hand in his, he bit each of her fingertips gently but hard enough tingle all the way through her. Even her clit reacted. He flashed his dazzling smile and vanished into the night.
The storm was drawing closer. A bolt of lightning cracked the sky and plunged the neighborhood into darkness. As Anna lit candles around the house she savored the feel of the count's lips and teeth on her fingers. Just the memory of his bite sent new tingles to the most interesting places. She ran her hand down her bodice, slowly, and without even realizing it, stroked her mound through her satin skirt. Half an hour later Anna was still suffering from the most powerful lust she’d ever felt when the doorbell rang.
Count Dracula was back. He no longer wore the
Hollywood vampire costume. Instead he was dressed in a buttoned-up shirt and trousers, and he wore a long black leather coat. He stood in front of the open door, unable to enter, unwilling to leave.
“Where's your...kid?” Anna asked.
Lucien smiled. “He's with his father. I told them there was one more treat I wanted to devour.” Wanted, needed, desired, craved.
Anna’s heart skipped. One look in his eyes and there was no doubt she was that treat. She waited for him to pounce, but he just stood on her front porch, devouring her with his eyes. She was still wearing that enticing gown. Lucien sucked in his breath as the torn sleeve slipped further down her arm, revealing more tempting flesh to his hungry gaze. The bite mark on her neck was obviously fake and in the wrong place. An amused smile tickled his lips and he wondered if she had any idea how appealing she was.
He wasn’t pouncing. “Do you need an invitation?”
Lucien laughed at that. “Yes actually, I do.”
“Oh.” Anna stepped back. “Please come in.”
“Thank you.” He smiled wickedly and closed the door behind him. “You have a beautiful home.”
“Thank you.” Anna glanced around. Lightning and candlelight illuminated the room. How on earth was she going to entertain a man in a blackout? One idea, a very exciting idea, quickly came to mind, but she dismissed it just as quickly. It was too risky, being alone with him in the dark. Why, “I don’t even know your name.”
“I am Count Lucien DiMera.” How did that slip out? He never used his title anymore.
Wow! He really was a count. If he really was a count, was he a vampire too? Anna gave herself a mental slap. Vampires don’t exist!
“And you are?”
Completely clueless, Anna blushed. “Anna Jones.” She held out her hand for him to shake, but as he took her hand is his, he turned it over and lifted it to his lips. The touch of his lips to her skin sent lightning bolts through her brain, rendering her incapable of intelligent speech. “It’s um…it’s ah…pleasure to meet you,” she babbled.
“The pleasure is mine.” Black eyes sparkled with mischief.
And maybe even a little danger, Anna’s heart thumped wildly.
Lucien couldn’t take his eyes off the rise and fall of her breasts, the warm pink flush of her skin. Still holding her hand, he pulled her closer, feeling her heartbeat even though they weren’t yet touching. His body hummed in her presence. He couldn’t remember the last time he felt so alive.
“Would you like a drink?”
Anna’s question interrupted his turbulent thoughts.
“I have a bottle of Merlot I was saving for…something.” Her words faded as she couldn’t figure out how to finish that sentence.
“Yes I would.” Lucien heard what she didn’t say. He sensed in her a longing equal to his own. A longing for something, for someone….
She fumbled though the dark kitchen and found two wine glasses. The room was brightest in front of the sliding glass doors where lightning flashed and a several candles blazed on the kitchen table. She brought the glasses to the table where Lucien opened the bottle and poured the wine. Anna’s hand trembled as Lucien handed a glass to her, spilling Merlot onto her bodice.
“I’m such a klutz.” She picked up a towel and blotted the spill, mortified that she was acting like such a doofus just because she was alone in a dark house with a gorgeous vamp…man.
Lucien watched her clean her dress, mentally kicking himself for not offering to help. “Your costume is enchanting. Why did you choose to dress as a vampire’s victim?”
“It started out as a damsel in distress, but it had too much of a romance novel cover look to it. So I added the bite mark and the blood to make it look more ghoulish.”
“You like romance novels?” He’d read one or two of them in his time.
“Yeah,” Anna admitted, “especially the vampire stories.”
“There are vampire romances?” Lucien found that very interesting.
Anna took a sip of her wine and nodded. “I have a whole collection of them.”
He couldn’t resist asking. “Why are you so interested in vampires?”
“I have always thought they were sexy, erotic, sexual. They’re mysterious and misunderstood and just a little bit wicked.” She looked into his deep eyes and saw everything she just described. It frightened her a little but intrigued her more.
“Sexual, yes,” Lucien agreed, feeling very sexual at the moment. He smiled at her, his lips curling dangerously. Her green eyes grew wide and dark. Darkness suited her. “You like wicked.”
How did he know? “Yes,” she breathed.
“You like danger.”
Lucien put his full wine glass on the table then set hers next to it. He stepped toward her, determined but patient.
Anna stepped back.
“Don’t be afraid.”
“I’m not afraid,” she said as she stepped back again. Okay she was afraid but in a good way.
“You want me.” It was a statement, not a question.
“I want you.”
“Yes.” She stopped abruptly against the sliding glass doors. But Lucien didn’t stop until his body was pressed firmly into hers. Anna moaned.
He leaned back slightly, the movement grinding his erection into her belly, and took her face in his hands. Lightning played across his face and she saw his mouth open. She closed her eyes and waited to feel his bite on her neck.
But his lips met hers with a tenderness she didn’t expect. Soft, sweet, gentle, fierce. His kiss became hard, almost brutal, as his tongue parted her lips with demanding thrusts. Her tongue responded with its own demands. Lucien crushed Anna against the glass with his powerful body, moving his hips in slow enticing circles. Anna wrapped her arms around his back, clawing, pulling, wanting him closer. She couldn't get close enough. His lips slowly left hers to kiss her cheek and nibble down her neck. That was too dangerous even for him, so he moved to her shoulder and pushed her sleeve off with his tongue. She tangled her fingers in the soft curls behind his neck and tugged, trying to pull his mouth lower. He resisted.
“Please,” she begged.
“Patience,” he whispered. “I will satisfy you thoroughly. I promise.” He smiled as his fingers traced a heated path from her shoulders to her breasts, across and up and back again. He followed the burning trail repeatedly, each time letting his fingers slip further under her bodice, just barely teasing her nipples.
“More,” she pleaded. Anna arched her back, straining up toward his elusive touch.
“Shhh.” He put his finger to her lips. “I'm just getting started.” He leaned forward and took the laces of her bodice in his teeth, tugging on them gently until they loosened enough to push her bodice below her breasts, exposing them to his exploring fingers.
“Shouldn’t we go in the bedroom?” Anna looked over her shoulder out the door. The neighborhood was almost completely dark, eerily lit by lightning and an occasional candle. “Someone might see.”
“Does it matter?” he asked, tracing a fingertip around her hardened nipple. “Isn’t it more exciting to take the risk?”
Until that moment, Anna never realized why her life was so boring. She never took risks. Never took a chance to be anything but ordinary and predictable.
Lucien waited for her answer. If she wanted him to take her to the bedroom, he would. Hell, he’d take her anywhere she asked. He watched her face, and when something wicked flickered in her eyes he held his breath. Her hand slid under one full breast and she offered it to him. No words were needed.
Something dangerous stirred inside him as he took that nipple between his teeth, the other between his fingers. He suckled each one in turn while she writhed in his grasp. Her breasts throbbed under his touch. She unbuttoned his coat and pushed it to the floor, frantically working at the buttons on his shirt, and then she attacked his pants. Anna wanted him naked. She tore his shirt off and flung it away. He moved away from her just enough to let his pants drop to his ankles. Her hands slid between them and she gasped when she touched his naked erection.
“No underwear?” She swallowed an excited giggle. “Isn’t that dangerous?”
“But you like dangerous,” Lucien argued weakly as she stroked him. She was very thorough, taking her time to explore every ridge and ripple, his entire length and width.
Their bodies wrapped together as much as her dress would allow, Lucien struggled with yards of satin, trying to pull her skirt from between them. He growled and dropped to his knees in front of her, grabbing the hem of her skirt. Looking up at her with a naughty gleam in his eye that made her gasp, he tore her skirt straight up the middle, all the way to her waist. He pushed the two halves of her skirt aside, one at a time, revealing soft trembling thighs. Fighting the urge to sink his teeth into her tempting flesh, he wrapped his arms around her bottom and kissed the flat of her stomach, moving low to dip his tongue under the lace trim. His hands slipped inside the back of her panties and caressed her bare skin. He pressed his mouth against the wet satin between her thighs, teasing her clit through the thin fabric. The scent of her aroused body was driving him mad, but he had to hold on to his control. He had to.
“I need to taste you,” he groaned. He tugged at her panties with his teeth. Anna shivered as he pulled them all the way to her ankles. She slid down the glass toward his mouth, parting her legs, urgently needing his tongue. Her pink folds dripped with anticipation.
“Please please please,” she moaned.
“Please what?” She felt him smile against her thigh.
“Lick me,” she whimpered.
Anna gasped as he slipped his tongue behind her knee. “Yes but not there.”
“Where?” He chuckled softly. “Here?” Slowly he circled his tongue up the inside of her thigh toward her pulsing clit. Closer, yes! But not close enough. He traced his tongue around the edge of her folds, over the top just missing her clit then back down her other quivering thigh.
“Anywhere! Everywhere! Lick me, suck me, bite me. Anything!”
Did she know what she was saying? Lucien decided not to think about that and continued tormenting her. Her clit was aching, throbbing for his tongue. Anna pinched her nipples until she could no longer stand it. He watched her for a moment, fascinated, his breath coming slowly and heavily, then he started nibbling his way up her thighs, first one, then the other. His tongue burned circles around her sex. Closer, closer, closer….
“Are you ready?” His tongue flickered over her clit.
“Yes, oh yes!” She cried out to prove her readiness.
“Are you sure?” Another too brief touch.
He looked at her, surprised.
“I mean no don't stop!”
Lucien laughed and plunged his tongue into her hot folds, feasting on her like a starving man. Anna wrapped her hands in his silky black hair and held him to her, demanding the satisfaction he promised. His talented mouth did wicked things to her wet flesh. He tasted, nibbled, nipped, and finally bit her tender bud. Anna squealed as pain burst into pleasure, sighing when his lips closed over her tortured flesh, soothing it. Sliding his fingers inside her, he started all over again. Licking, sucking, biting.
Anna’s legs trembled. She could barely stand up. Bracing against the glass, her mouth fell open and she let out a long low moan, echoing through the room like the thunder echoing outside. Lucien waited until she reached the breaking point. He timed his movements perfectly, first a finger thrust, then a circling lick, and finally a firm nip pushed Anna over the edge into dark dangerous oblivion.
He caught her when she fell, lifting her up in his arms to let her rest against the glass. His mouth came down on hers, hard, brutal, barely restrained control. What would it take to make him lose control, Anna wondered. Did she dare try?
“Lucien,” she pulled her head back and looked into his eyes. Circling her fingertips around his nipples, she stared at him, her eyes wide and seemingly innocent. “Fuck me.”
Lucien snapped. He spun her around and slammed her up against the glass. That damn skirt was in the way again. He decided to get rid of her dress once and for all. Grabbing her bodice at the front, he ripped it completely in half and tossed it away.
“Yes!” Anna gasped. He thrust her thighs apart and yanked her hips back. Reaching over her shoulders, he locked his fingers with hers and pressed their palms flat against the glass. He entered her hard, fast, and continuously.
Anna’s naked ravished body was displayed to the entire neighborhood, if anyone wanted to look. Their mating was as violent as the storm outside. She should’ve been frightened, and she was, but in the best way possible. She never felt so erotic and sexual in her entire life.
Lucien knew something was wrong. He knew he had to regain control but he’d be damned if he could. Hell, he didn’t want to. His thrusts came harder and deeper. He couldn’t believe the heat coming from this woman. It warmed him like nothing ever had. Her blood burned through her veins and consumed him.
Anna tossed her head back, losing control of her senses. He buried his face in her neck and groaned from deep in his throat. Her legs gave way under her, but Lucien held tight, clinging to her. He lifted his head and turned her lips to him, kissing her. They tasted each other as he spilled inside her.
Anna turned and collapsed in his arms. Senses spinning, she rested against his chest, drawing on his strength. Candlelight flickered. Thunder roared. Lightning illuminated their naked flesh. The storm outside couldn’t compare with the storm inside her body.
“I don’t want to leave you,” Lucien moaned into her hair.
“I must.” He lifted her chin and kissed her, teasing her with his tongue. “For now.”
“When will you be back?” She tried not to sound needy, but she did need him, desperately. She felt as if she was a part of him now.
“Soon, I promise. Soon we'll be together forever.”
“I can't wait.” She knew he meant it. He already demonstrated, quite thoroughly, that he kept his promises.
Lucien glanced at the horizon. “I have to go before the sun rises.” Anna picked up her shredded dress and tried to cover herself. “No.” He smiled wickedly. “I want to remember you like this.”
“As you wish.” She dropped the dress and let the candlelight play off her naked body.
He groaned and kissed her, ravishing her mouth the way he wanted to the first time she opened the door to him. And then he was gone.
Anna picked up Lucien’s glass and drank his Merlot, completely naked in front of the sliding glass doors. She smiled, enjoying the sensual freedom.
Thunder rumbled in the distance and lightning faded away. The darkness outside reflected the candlelight inside, creating a mirror effect in the glass. Anna stretched and flipped her hair back over her shoulders. Then she noticed something odd—two sets of bite marks, the fake ones and….
The memory came back to her with startling clarity. She tossed her head back. He buried his face in her neck and suddenly she felt joined to him more intimately than she ever thought possible as his fangs sank into her flesh. He kissed her and she knew the salty taste on his lips wasn’t sweat. It was blood. Their blood.
Vampires do exist.