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My Sunny Vampire
After centuries alone in darkness, how far will a vampire go for Sunshine?
Jack VanAllen has spent his long life following the rules and, as a member of the Vampire Committee, he also enforces them. So, when he awakens in an alley next to an illegally-turned vampire who resembles his late wife, he must prove his innocence or suffer the punishment: death. The problem? He doesn’t remember a thing.
Sunshine Petersen’s life as a vampire isn’t getting off to a great start. She’s got no control over her powers, can’t find a job, and sexy Jack is being stand-offish. The only thing she’d like more than catching the creep who turned her is getting Jack into the closest bed. But, could Jack be the one who turned her?
When he and Sunny team up to find the culprit, Jack discovers feelings he hasn’t had in years. But once Sunny finds out he’s keeping a major secret, she disappears. Unfortunately, the man who turned her still has plans…
CONTENT WARNING: Some graphic violence, sensual sex scenes, and a vampire who’s finally found his ‘sun’
A Lyrical Press Paranormal Romance
The Jeep Diva
Jack VanAllen woke and immediately knew something was wrong. Contrary to many myths, vampires never slept, and since becoming one, he’d never passed out.
The cloying scent of wet cardboard and urine heightened his sense of wrongness and he bolted upright. Snow fell off his face and chest. What the hell? Close to six inches covered the ground. How did he end up in a narrow alley beside a dumpster? He searched his memories and came up with…nothing. Blank. Zip. Zilch.
Whatever that bum drank or snorted had sure done a trick on Jack. Damn Frank for wanting to go out in the first place. So what if it was New Year’s Eve? It wasn’t like he hadn’t celebrated over two hundred of them.
Jack brushed the snow off his hair and gazed upward. Crap. The sky should be inky-black, not medium-blue tinged with pink. He scrambled upright, flinging snow in the process, and checked his watch.
Seven-thirty? The sun would rise in less than fifteen minutes. If he didn’t get his ass in gear, he could very well fry, but where the hell was he?
He sloshed through the snow and stumbled over something solid, landing face first in the fluffy stuff. As he stood and spit out the ice crystals, the lump moaned.
“Frank?” He frantically brushed away the snow, uncovering the back of a hooded, blue coat and long, shapely legs. Well, she was definitely not Frank. And her shoes were missing. Damn, she had to be freezing. He pulled the hood down.
Red hair framed a flawless, creamy-white face.
“Clara?” His heart skipped a beat.
No. Wait. Not Clara. This woman sure looked like his long-dead wife, though. Then it hit him. She’d been at the bar Frank had dragged him to. The reason he’d fed from that bum. So what was she doing out here?
“Miss?” He tapped her face. “Come on, sweetheart. Wake up. I can’t stay out here much longer.”
Her head lolled to one side. No, no, no. This couldn’t be. Two bluish welts stood out on her slender neck, a couple of inches apart. Only venom injected into a human would leave those marks and they couldn’t be hidden.
A vampire had turned her.
Damn it. Jack punched the side of the dumpster. The explosive sound echoed in the alley as the container slid several inches. Why? Was the vampire an idiot? There was no way someone had permission to turn her. As a Committee member, he’d have known about it. And why dump her in an alley as if she were trash? None of it made any sense.
The woman moaned, bringing him back to the present. Time was short. If he didn’t get them to safety before sunrise, they were cooked.
After gently wrapping the coat around her and tying the empty sleeves to hold it in place, he easily lifted her. At least she hadn’t been lying in filth. The snow helped in that regard. She moaned again, hitting him with whisky-rum-and-whatever-laced breath. Come to think of it, his breath smelled pretty rank, too. While he’d never drunk to excess before, could it be he’d just passed out? Would that explain his memory loss?
Whatever happened, maybe it was a good thing she was drunk. He remembered searing pain and begging for death during his turning. She was barely moaning and didn’t seem far along in the process. Of course, the booze might have something to do with that and once it wore off… Oh hell. It was going to be a long day.
Happy fuckin’ New Year.
Jack cautiously approached the street. He was closer to the safe house than Frank’s, but still a good distance away. He’d be lucky if he made it there before the sun rose.
Each second that passed, the world became brighter. Any activity out of the ordinary might be noticed and carrying an unconscious woman through the city of Pittsburgh already surpassed ordinary. He trudged through the snow-covered sidewalk, but whenever traffic cleared, zipped down the plowed street. Thank God for the holiday and the light traffic.
Once he reached his street, he avoided the snow-covered sidewalks altogether and trotted in the plowed road. Zipping, or even running, would be faster, but not worth the risk of some busybody peeking out their window. He’d made it half a block when the sun broke the horizon.
Great, just great. Sunlight spread like greedy fingers over most of the street and the sidewalk he needed. He jumped the plowed snow pile to the shady side and used the houses, trees and bushes as a shield from the sun.
Up until this point, the woman had been relatively quiet. A couple of moans here and there, but no earth-shattering screams. Hopefully, those wouldn’t come until he was safely inside.
He reached the old two-story house. Sunlight splashed across the front door.
“Shit.” He kicked at a chunk of snow, sending it to the street. Wasn’t anything going to turn out right? He took a deep breath to focus. Now was not the time to panic. He could do this.
Why the hell didn’t the Committee buy a house that faced west? Because no vampire in their right mind would wait until the last minute to get to safety, that’s why. Sure, he could use the back door, but he refused to toss her over the six-foot-high, gateless fence like a bag of trash.
He stared at the lighted front door. Exposure would be unavoidable, the quicker he worked the better. If anyone saw him, he’d take care of it later. He closed his eyes and pictured the route, taking calm, soothing breaths in the process. Once he was ready he opened his eyes. Keeping to the path with the most shadows, he hopped over the first snow mound, zipped across the street, hopped over the second snow mound and jumped up onto the porch, bypassing the four snow-covered steps. The sunlight hit him full on the back. A slow-burning, tingly sensation spread along his exposed skin.
With little effort, he adjusted the woman to free his arm and quickly punched in the security code on the keypad. A distinctive click registered the correct combination and Jack scooted inside. He kicked the door closed and leaned against it, welcoming the darkness that surrounded him. Relief rushed through him and he let out a long-held breath.
Sticking his elbow out, he flipped a switch. A dim light illuminated the small foyer and the stairway hugging the left wall. He carried her to the living room.
It had been years since his last visit and he’d forgotten how tiny the room was. And whose idea was it to cram it full of furniture? He walked around one of the two chairs flanking the couch and kicked the coffee table out of the way. The remotes to the high-definition television, DVD player, and game systems slid to the wood floor with a clatter.
After placing her on the couch, he straightened, hands on hips. She didn’t appear all that comfortable wrapped up like a damn cocoon. The binding might actually cause her to panic. He bent over and lifted her, but she cried out. Either the booze was wearing off or her turning was gaining speed. Instead, he slipped his hands underneath and felt for the knot. Even this little bit of movement caused her to moan and each moan stabbed him in the heart.
With the sleeves free, he pulled the coat off and was greeted with the scent of roses. Her royal blue halter top, bunched up from the movement, barely covered her breasts and, damn, she wasn’t wearing a bra. Quickly, he pulled the top down to her short black skirt, covering up her tan skin and taut belly. He went through the coat pockets and found fifty dollars in cash, a credit card and a Florida driver’s license.
Sunshine Petersen. Twenty-seven years old. Not a bad age to be stuck in. He should know. He was stuck at twenty-eight.
He knelt beside her and gently brushed the hair away from her face. She didn’t have freckles and her cheekbones were higher, still she bore a remarkable likeness to his late wife. His heart ached for the woman he’d lost over two hundred years ago.
Little Jack stirred to life. He stood and paced around the living room, hoping to slacken his arousal. Caring for Sunshine was going to be one hell of a test of his morality. Not to mention his libido. Why’d she have to go and look like Clara?
Listen to him. It wasn’t her fault who she looked like. It wasn’t her fault some deviant decided to turn her. Man, if he could only remember what the hell had happened.
So what drug would wipe his memory? He’d taken blood from inebriated donors before without any ill effects and always avoided donors who had taken an erectile dysfunction drug. But no vampire had ever lost their memory from feeding, so he never thought to ask what the donor had ingested.
Then there was Sunshine. The only thing he remembered about her, besides wanting to avoid her, was her klutzy friend who Frank had wanted to hook up with. Which reminded him, where was Frank anyway? He reached inside his jacket and came up empty. He checked every pocket--no cell.
“Great, just great.” Hopefully, Frank was okay and had made it home. “He better have my phone.”
After Jack found his friend and a phone, he’d have to contact the Committee Head. Of course, if the Committee had seen fit to supply the safe houses with phones and/or internet access, he wouldn’t have to wait to call it in. Maybe now they would listen to him about upgrading to the twenty-first century.
Sunshine let out an agonizing cry as she began thrashing on the couch.
Jack went to her and held her head. She quieted to a moan and her movements stopped. He ran his thumbs across her cheeks and temples. “Easy, now. You’ll be fine in a few hours. Try to relax.”
His words were a joke. Relaxing was the last thing she’d be able to do, but his touch seemed to calm her, so he continued to caress her face.
Who was this woman and how did she end up like this? “I swear I’ll get the bastard who did this to you. I just hope you remember more than I do.”
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