#FlashbackFriday from The Black Lion
When Melissa fleetingly meets Sascha in The Black Lion nightclub, she hopes he will approach her.
Sascha has secrets and it’s a long time since there was a woman in his life. He hesitates, even though he’s drawn to her until...
When she is threatened, he acts. When he is hungry, she hunts.
Unknown to both of them someone watches jealously.
Will this jealousy stop the budding romance between two people who both have something to hide?
An erotic, paranormal romance, full of surprises.
Read the teaser Chapter
The leopard jumped the fence and padded around the perimeter of the compound. She merged with the night. An onlooker might say she was a black panther, until she leapt to a wide tree branch. The moonlight caught her silent, powerful form and her spots were visible on her sleek coat.
She stared down into the compound. Her eyes, silver-gray with a flash of emerald green, sought out the pool. She leapt down alongside it, taking care to give the alarmed fence a wide berth. She knew exactly how to breach the security in the zoo.
A beautiful golden and tawny spotted leopard joined her. Clearly friends, they butted their heads together. A soft, deep purr sounded between them. They ran happily around together, through the specially built environment, up and down trees, splashing in the pool, until they stopped and sat close to each other. The older leopard licked the face of the visiting cat. She got up and padded away into the sleeping cave. The black leopard rose and with a soft mew left the way she’d come.
Gnawing hunger forced him from his sanctuary. He traveled swiftly over the rooftops and down the alley to the nightclub on the outskirts of the city. Human scents swamped him in the warm summer night. Perfumes, dirty hair and clothes, fragrant food, desire, all mixed with the overwhelming lure of blood. He drifted to the paved ground a little way from the red lacquered door of The Black Lion. His boots made a muffled thud as he landed. He adjusted his jacket, ran his hands through his thick, dark hair, and approached the closed door.
A few promotional posters for former guest bands curled on the dimpled wood. The door opened to his push. Sascha knew it would. When the club closed, bolts and a bar on the inside were used to lock the door. He walked down the short corridor toward the swirling darkness, the thump of base, the promise of a meal.
“Evening, Sascha. You’re early tonight.” Gary, the bouncer, grinned at him from the arched entrance to the nightclub dance floor.
Sascha glanced at the closed hatch of the entrance ticket booth behind Gary. The club only charged after midnight. He pasted his charming smile on his face.
“Yeah, it’s been a boring day, thought I’d start early tonight.” Sascha sauntered to the bar. There were few people around. It would get busy later. Friday night usually was. A large group of young women danced in a circle to the thumping music. A couple propped up the bar at the far end. A young man lounged against one of the pillars, watching the circle of swaying breasts and asses. Sascha inhaled the delicious aroma of the barman. “Gin and tonic, Jeff, thanks.”
He paid and turned around to lean against the counter. He never drank a drop of it.
Not for the first time, he berated himself for coming to the club. Sascha chose it initially because it was easy to fit in there with his mostly black outfits, ultra-pale skin, and when he occasionally lapsed and allowed his fangs to show, no one batted an eyelid. All kinds of sub-cultures gathered in the club. It was an interesting place and Sascha enjoyed being amongst the usually happy throng, out to enjoy the nights after work.
He could see easily in the semi-darkness. He’d come out too early. There was no way he could take a meal from the few people there with any safety. He never killed any more. Those days were gone. Sascha’s need for blood clawed at him. He’d left it too long between meals.
He tuned into the sounds of the city night. Mostly he turned that ability off. The din could be debilitating. The strident voice of a young woman seeking to be heard over the dance track cheered him.
“Sue, I’m going to the restroom … coming?”
Her friend answered. “Nah, I’ll get some drinks.”
Sascha saw them both step away from the dancing circle.
This was his chance to feed.
The restrooms were to the right of the dance floor down a corridor that also led to the manager’s office. The place was always darker than the dance floor. Couples sometimes edged in there to make out.
In a burst of speed that rendered him invisible, Sascha appeared in front of the young woman on her way to the restroom door. He blocked the corridor. Tall, muscled, spectacularly gorgeous, he never failed to stop a woman in her tracks when he loomed out of the darkness.
“Sorry, bit dark in here.” He grinned at the girl.
Her pulse throbbed in her neck. Her heartbeat sped up.
Sascha savored the scent of her blood and the sound of her reaction to him. She liked what she saw. He saw it in her eyes, scented it on her skin. He leaned toward her.
“You’re very pretty. What’s your name?” He stared into her eyes sending a powerful suggestion to relax. “You know me. I won’t hurt you.” His touch was gentle, sexy, reassuring, as he moved her hair from her neck, and held her head. Sascha kissed by the side of her mouth with a brush of his beautiful lips as his fangs lengthened. He nibbled down her neck. His other hand slid under her ass and he kneaded at the top of her thigh. He lifted her to mold against his hard body. The scent of her creaming pussy filled his head and he drank.
The rush hit Sascha hard and he reeled for a few seconds. Then he carefully placed the girl on her feet. He whispered sweet things in her ear and licked her wound. Sascha was practiced at leaving only the tiniest mark. His ancient saliva sealed and healed.
“Lovely girl, thank you. I’ve enjoyed meeting you. Goodnight.” He woke her from his spell as he drew away and pressed back against the wall for her to pass him. As she moved on, he exited the corridor, quietly, swiftly, in a blur of ink black. At the bar, he sighed in relief. The pain in his stomach eased. The edge of his hunger dulled, Sascha picked up his drink, walked past a table, and placed it there. He sat to watch the parade of people that began to throng the club.
Most of them wore the garb that signified their particular subculture. Sascha smiled at a few people he’d met in the club who strolled by and nodded at him. He inclined his head graciously. Lots of these people were what he, as an old vampire termed, ‘very ordinary.’ He had no problem with their appearance. Hell, he couldn’t care less what people wore, or even looked like, though he enjoyed beauty. He detested violence, spite, prejudice, and avoided people who showed those traits. In his lifetime, he’d seen enough of it. He wanted peace, gentleness, and in his darkest hours—love.
He’d not tuned out yet to the din of humanity, and just as he thought about doing that, he heard the heartbeat. Why it called to him out of all the others he could hear, he didn’t know, but it did. The swish of blood, the sudden onslaught of female pheromones put a tingle of desire up his spine. He looked around for the source, and there she was.
Sascha’s entire body clenched with sexual need. Longed for sensations coursed through his thighs, his balls, and his cock stirred deliciously. The young woman walking past him filled his head with pictures of kisses. Her scent infused him with yearning for soft skin under his fingertips, a woman’s cream on his lips, and his tongue against her clit. Sascha stood. He stepped into her path.
She gazed up at him and in that second he wanted her so badly, he thought he would fall down.
Sascha’s expression softened. He looked into her eyes and saw desire.
Her eyes were dark with it.
Her scent flooded over him.
She pulsed with sexual need that matched his.
Sascha felt the seconds fall away as they gazed at each other in the silent dance of communication between strangers who suddenly connect on that deep mysterious level.
She must have become embarrassed because she suddenly smiled in a self-deprecating way, her hand fluttering to her cheek, and down, to smooth the blue velvet dress she wore.
Sascha couldn’t let this meeting pass.
“Hi.” It was all he could muster. His voice throaty with emotion, he smiled sincerely at the young woman.
She smiled at him, quickly, and answered, “Hi,” but then she walked on, around him.
Sascha turned to watch her go. Is she with someone? Is she with a man? His thoughts churned.
She greeted two other young women who sat at a table on the far edge of the dance floor.
“Hi, Melissa, you’re late again. You can spring for drinks. We’ll have cherry vodkas.”
“I worked late. Okay.”
Melissa turned away and wove through the crowd to the bar.
Sascha got there before her. He stood close and soaked up her presence. He stared ahead through the strangely bronze tinted mirror behind the bar.
She looked at him in the mirror, her expression conveying interest, encouragement.
Fuck, I’m so out of practice. I have no idea how to do this. Sascha slumped in pain. He left the bar and the nightclub in a haze of regret.
The soft pad of his boots echoed back into his sensitive ears as he walked down the alley. He wanted that girl so much. He couldn’t just leave. He glanced around for observers and finding none, he leapt to the balcony of the nightclub. The club management opened the doors on summer nights such as this. People made their way up to the mezzanine floor above the dance area where they could watch the moving crowd below and talk. This generally happened around one in the morning when the club was full to the gills and pungent with bodies and drink.
This midnight a couple lay entwined in each other’s arms on one of the black faux-leather sofas and a solitary man chatted to the barista at the coffee counter there. Sascha entered from the balcony casually. He walked to lean against the smoked glass and black wrought iron safety barrier around the edge of the mezzanine. Eagle eyed, he sought out the girl whose heartbeat thumped through his chest like the deep base of a rock tune through a high volume speaker. There she was. Sascha sighed with satisfaction.
Copyright Elodie Parkes Hot Ink Press
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