Since I’m going through my old EC and posting snippets, and since my next Hunter book is due out soon…maybe I should start posting snippets from the series. :-)
The older Hunter books are hotter than the later ones-shorter, more focused on the hero and the heroine. As the world evolved, the books got more complicated. But it started here…
Declan Reilly was trying desperately to get drunk.
He’d been brooding in front of the fire, drinking slowly and steadily from the bottle of good Irish whiskey, while he stared into the dancing flames. He wasn’t getting drunk quickly enough.
Tori was gone.
Tori McAdams, the sexy P.I. he had been trying to get close to for months. Everything about her drove him insane, from her tightly curled, long chestnut- brown hair to her big blue eyes. From her high rounded breasts and slim waist to her full hips and curvy ass, to the way she smelled like peaches and sex. But most of all, that stubborn, feisty spirit, and that soft heart she tried so hard to hide.
She was gone.
His eyes seemed to burn as his head fell back and he tried to block the images from his mind. Her neat, spartan little office had been destroyed, splattered with blood, human and not. He knew the scent. It had been faint and decaying, but he knew the scent. The blood of a vampire was hard to mistake, once you knew it.
There had been a good deal of it.
But even more of Tori’s. Oh, God. Tori.
His hands clenched and the glass tumbler in his hand shattered. He closed his fist over the shards of glass buried in his hand, welcoming the pain.
He had failed her.
She had called, finally. She had called him, had needed him.
And he hadn’t been here.
A weak, scrambling sound tickled his ears.
He almost ignored it, too caught up in his own grief.
But he got up, blood trickling down his fingers to fall on the floor as he walked to the front door and opened it.
She almost fell at his feet.
Declan stumbled and caught the lean brunette who tumbled into his arms, out of the pouring rain, dead white and half unconscious.
It was Tori, who had been missing for a good week, and presumed dead after police discovered her office in a bloody mess, literally, blood and gore staining the walls, furniture smashed, filing cabinets overturned.
He hadn’t been in town last weekend. And he had cursed himself. If he had been around, he would have found her, maybe before it was too late. He would have been with her when it happened, and he could have stopped it. And he had suffered through night after sleepless night, suffered through a rage more terrible than any he had ever known.
Tori, who had a left a terse, “Call me,” on his machine the night she was last seen by anybody. Followed by another, more urgent message. This is Tori. As soon as you get this, call me. Declan, I need you.
He had started lusting for flesh and blood, to find that bastard who had done this, and rip his guts out.
But by the time he had gotten back to town and been informed of what had happened, it was too late. The trail nearly cold, and all the clues he could have used were demolished under the heels of his fellow officers.
But she was here now.
It was Tori, who had rebuffed him in every way imaginable. And now she was on his doorstep, lying listless in his arms. Listless, pale and still. Humans had more movement than that, made more sounds.
Sharp hearing detected something.
Or rather, a lack of something.
Declan hissed, his eyes narrowing as he carried her to the couch and jerked her shirt open. Laying his head on her chest between her breasts, he listened.
Thirty seconds passed before he heard it again.
He leaned over, pushed her wet ringlets away from her neck.
He took a deep breath, forced himself to open his eyes and saw it.
The ragged wound, gaping and huge when fresh, now closing, remnants of bruising. She had fought.
Had she been drained?
Just a reminder… EC cut prices on some ebooks at 3rd party etailers…(my titles included…)