Alaric Normand is a solitary predator, so when he meets a man who kindles long-dormant emotions, he dismisses the attraction. What does he need with a lover? A consort bond spells nothing but vulnerability for a vampire who’s been alone for five centuries.
Ex-priest Gideon Keegan has lost his faith, so when he witnesses a supernatural killing, how does he accept the reality of evil? And why does he feel attraction for such a violent individual, especially when he’s already in love with someone else?
Everyone thinks Hannah Ward is an innocent, but she knows the truth: she’s done terrible things, and so she hides her affection for Gideon. She isn’t worthy of love, yet when a handsome stranger kisses her she falls hard, despite her sense that something is wrong. How can she have feelings for two men at once? Must she choose between the dark and the light?
Alaric shook his head. “You’re not a priest. I would’ve sensed it.”
“I’m not a priest anymore,” Gideon said softly, suppressing the familiar stab of anger. Leaving the priesthood had been the toughest thing he’d ever done.
“But you used to be.” Alaric half-smiled. “Well, well. How interesting.”
“It’s only interesting to me. Now get out of my way,” Gideon said, trying to shoulder past.
Alaric grabbed him again, this time shoving him up against the wall. “Not so fast, my dear. I’m not done with you yet.”
Gideon flushed at the words, feeling more turned on than threatened, though why, he didn’t know. This man had, after all, attacked two people that he knew of, and possibly more. Alaric was dangerous. Of course, you’re not an old man like that poor sucker outside was. You can take Alaric down any time you want. Strength doesn’t trump balance, he reasoned, breathing deeply to center himself. He glanced at Hannah again, needing to know if she could see him stuck in the corner with Alaric, and found her watching them.
When their eyes locked, surprise chased across her face, probably because he and Alaric looked like they were embracing. She had no idea he liked men, too. As his former student, it wasn’t any of her business, dammit, but it looked like all his secrets were about to be exposed whether he liked it or not.
“I’ve seen you looking at the pretty bartender,” Alaric murmured softly, leaning in as if he was about to kiss Gideon, or possibly bite him. “She seems young for the job, and oh so sweetly innocent, especially for this place. Those gorgeous brown eyes are staring at us, you know. She looks shocked. Do you think she likes watching us together? Is that why she’s working in a gay bar?”
“Leave her out of this.” Gideon put his hands on Alaric’s wrists and squeezed, but he couldn’t break the vampire’s grip. “And let me go. I don’t want to hurt you.”
Alaric chuckled. “You couldn’t hurt me if you tried.” He leaned in closer. “I bet she’d enjoy watching us kiss.”
The image Alaric painted aroused Gideon more than he wanted to admit. Angry now, he tried again to escape, squeezing harder. When that did nothing, he kicked out with a foot.
Alaric pushed up against him roughly, using his body to hold Gideon immobile against the wood paneling. “None of that, Gideon. Let me have my say.”
Gideon gritted his teeth when he felt Alaric’s cock pressing into his hip, thick and hard. God, it felt good. “Fuck you,” he said, slightly breathless. Shame washed through him. He hadn’t tried very hard to get away, and the truth was, he liked being manhandled like this.
“Perhaps I will let you someday. I’d enjoy that very much,” Alaric said, smiling slightly. “But what of the girl?” He cocked his head slightly, blue eyes luminous. “She likes you, my dear. I can sense it.”
Gideon swallowed an angry retort. The creature was playing with him. “She’s innocent. Leave her alone.”
“If you tell anyone what you saw outside, I’ll have to take steps,” Alaric whispered threateningly.
Gideon flinched when Alaric’s lips touched his temple. His cock was hard now, too, and aching. He resisted the urge to rub himself against Alaric’s strength. “What kind of steps?” he asked instead, like a fool.
Alaric inhaled. “God, you smell good.”
Gideon’s breath hitched.
“Did you know I like both men and women?”
Gideon honestly wasn’t surprised, not after the way Alaric had noticed Hannah. “What kind of steps?” he asked again, more forcefully.
“Perhaps I’ll ask your girl out. Take her dancing.” Alaric touched his mouth to Gideon’s lips and kissed him softly. “I’m sure I’d enjoy tasting her like this.” He kissed Gideon more aggressively, licking inside and taunting with his tongue.
Gideon choked on a moan as Alaric held him against the wall and ravished his mouth. He felt himself weakening and bit Alaric’s lip, warning him he wasn’t some damsel in distress. He couldn’t let his guard down, no matter how desperately aroused he felt being constrained like this.
Alaric chuckled. “Mmmm. I like that. Bite me again.” He rubbed his cheek against Gideon’s. “Or perhaps I’ll bite you. I bet your blood tastes sweet as candy.”
“What are you?” Gideon asked, breathing harshly as another pang of heat shot through him. God help him, but he wanted to drag Alaric into the darkness and fuck him until he couldn’t think straight anymore.
Alaric leaned back. His blue eyes had bled to midnight again. “I’m exactly what you think I am, my dear.”
Gideon’s heart knocked against his ribs, hard enough to hurt. “Don’t touch her, or I swear—”
“I won’t, as long as you keep this delicious mouth shut,” Alaric said, kissing him again.
Evernight Publishing- http://www.evernightpublishing.com/bitter-bite-by-erin-m-leaf/
Erin M. Leaf is a romance novel devotee, the steamier the better, with a specialty in edgy erotic tension. She also writes romance as Marie E. Blossom.