A man. A sexy vampire. A little deceit. A love worth dying for….
One night changed everything for bachelor Justin Bertolli. A womanizer at heart, never quite ready to settle down, he meets the woman who would change his life forever. Ambra Taylor is that woman, but is she all that Justin bargained for? When Justin discovers the truth about who and what she is, will he still love her? Will he still want her? Find out, as their hearts collide in this epic tale of love. Told from a male POV.
Targeted Age Group:: adult audiences
Heat/Violence Level: Heat Level 4 – R Rated
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I wanted to take a normal man and introduce him to fantastic situations. A place where you just might believe it could be real. It is a love story at it's heart.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I had a dream about a woman that saved her lover from certain death. I began to write the story and wondered, what if the woman was a vampire? What if her lover did not know that she was a vampire? What would he do, once he found out her dark secret?
It was dark in the windowless van. He glanced towards the front of the van and his eyes focused on the men who were holding them hostage. Their faces illuminated only by the dim light of the dashboard. One of them turned back to look at him and he quickly turned his head, not wanting to make eye contact. He had to admit that he was afraid. Afraid of what was going to happen to him and most of all, her. He found himself wishing it would have been better if she had never come home, never stumbled in…
He turned his attention to her, sitting there so quietly, almost statuesque. He couldn’t make out her face. Then, a sharp flash of lightning flooded the van and he could see her expression. It was a calm look, not a hint of fear. Almost as if she were thinking, calculating a plan. He wondered how she remained so restrained. She even gave him a small smile and he felt an ease in his anxiety for a moment.
Then, suddenly, mad panic took over and he tried to loosen the ropes that bound his wrists behind his back. He twisted, pulled and then, gave up, yet again. It was a futile attempt. Feeling helpless and very angry, he gave up all hope.
The van came to an abrupt stop and he almost lost his balance. Things happened in such a rapid succession. The van door opened and the next thing he knew; he was being thrown from the van. He landed face first in a puddle of mud. As he spit the gritty water from his mouth, he heard her land beside him with a splash. She was on her knees and peering down at the ground.
“Ambra,” he started and was quickly silenced by a smart slap to his face. It was so forceful that it made him fall back into the mud. He shook his head and raised up again. One of the men grabbed him by the hair.
Now, out in the cold and blinding rain, he felt a surge of anger again. He glanced up, blinking and saw the barrel of a gun, right in his face. He closed his eyes. It was all over now. So, this is how he was going to die. Kneeling on the ground in some muddy park. He waited for the sound of the shot, imagining the burning pain. But it did not come. Then, he heard as the men began to argue and the grip on his hair was released. He breathed and kept his eyes closed. A momentary reprieve, confusion building inside him.
The men continued to argue, and he was shocked by gentle hands on his cheeks. He opened his eyes and looked up, into her eyes. He was stunned as the rain splashed on his face.
“I need you to do something for me,” she whispered. She glanced over her shoulder at the men still fighting. Then, she turned back to me, wiping my face gently. “I need you to promise me that you will close your eyes, and not open them. No matter what you hear, no matter how badly you want to look!”
I nodded blindly.
“But baby, how are you free, how…” I stammered.
“Shhh, no questions. Promise me please!” There was an intensity to her voice.
I bit my lip and nodded, not fully understanding.
She paused a brief second and touched my face, giving me a waning look. She breathed through her nostrils and closed her eyes briefly.
“But baby, I don’t…”
“Justin,” she insisted.
“Okay, I promise,” I whispered. I really didn’t want to, but I did. Her face, a portrait of beauty, pleading. I reluctantly closed my eyes. She kissed my forehead and let go of my face.
I heard a wet, crunching sound and understood that she was walking away from me. The rain was pouring down so hard, I could barely hear the men. I strained to listen and then, I heard….
“What the hell!” A man’s voice, clear as a bell.
“So! We have a fucking Houdini! Now you just go sit your ass back down!”
I heard the undeniable click of a gun. My heart raced, head swirling.
“Didn’t you hear me bitch?” A more determined tone.
My insides were falling. It was a deep empty feeling.
“Bill! You tie her up again and this time…do it right!”
Then, a quiet sound, unexplainable.
“Hey! Didn’t I tell you to tie that bitch up?”
“Bill! I am fucking talking to you! What is your problem?”
Silence again. I wanted to open my eyes so badly.
A gasp. A horrified gasp.
“She…. she’s not right! Her eyes! Her fucking eyes!”
It was the voice of a man, but he sounded like a scared child.
“What the hell are you talking about!”
I heard a scream, an ear-piercing scream.
“What’s the matter with him?”
I detected a tone of fear in the voice.
Without warning, a bang. And another bang, and another…
I felt sick to my stomach. Tears welled up in my eyes. Oh, my god! They killed her!
“Do you see what I am seeing! She is still standing!! Did you load that?”
Two more shots fired.
“Shoot her again! Again!”
“I did! I am!”
“But she is still standing! I mean, she is walking! Jesus! Get her away from me!”
I heard running, grunting. Men screaming and then, nothing.
“Shall I shoot you?” I heard her speak. “with this… this useless toy?
That was not the voice I knew, that I was familiar with.
“Get…get away from me! You demon! Demon from hell!”
I heard a whimpering. A crawling sound. Whoever it was, was blubbering like a baby.
“I am afraid that escape is no longer an option.” Her again. I was so confused.
“It is too late for redemption.”
There was a crescendo of noise… gurgling, grunting, panting. The rain splattering all around. Then, nothing. No struggling or voices. I was shaking from the cold rain and adrenaline. I could not understand what was going on and it was driving me mad. My breathing increased. I was getting a little light headed. My curiosity was at a peak and it became impossible to keep my eyes closed. But I did. I kept them closed.
I heard a dragging noise. I shook my head and tried to blow the water off my nose. I was soaked to the bone. I waited what seemed a lifetime for her to speak to me, to come to me. I could hardly stand the wait. I heard the van door slide shut.
I felt her hands on my face and I glanced up. Relieved.
There she was, hair dripping wet. She looked down at me and did not speak. I stared at her. There was blood all over her face and gown. She placed her fingers on my mouth and shook her head.
“Justin, I would never hurt you…you know this? You know that right?”
There was something so different about her expression, her face. She almost had an embarrassed look upon it. I had never once seen the look of shame on her face. Not on her fine face. I could not answer her. I did not know what to answer. I was in a state of shock. She pulled on the ropes behind me and they came off. My hands were numb. She turned away from me and walked towards the van. I watched as she got in and opened the passenger door. I stood and just stared at her.
“Justin. Come on and get in,” she called to me.
I stumbled over to the van and got in. As I shut the door, I took a good look at her. The blood, dripping from her hands as she put the van into drive. Although she was covered in it, I could not see a mark, cut or anything. The only evidence I saw, were the holes in her gown. Holes in the fabric on her chest and waist. Shaking, I turned to look into the back of the van. The bodies of the men were back there. I focused on one, eyes open and glistening. Then, I saw his throat. It was torn open. Gory and grizzly. I realized all of them, had their throats torn to shreds. I turned back quickly to the front of the van and held on to the dash. I thought I was going to vomit.
“Are you hurt?” I asked, breathlessly. Of course, she isn’t hurt! She is moving without a complaint of pain! She did not answer me. I glanced over at her.
As she entered onto the highway, the silence was unbearable.
“God! I wish you would speak to me!”
“I do not know what to say Justin. I did not ever want you to find out,” she stated.
“Find out? Find out what! What the hell are you talking about!”
She shook her head.
“Find out what!” I repeated. “What you are? What are you! I don’t even understand! Tell me baby!”
“You have seen enough. Please, do not make me say anymore. Let me take you home,” she said, just staring ahead.
“I am not just fucking going home! You! You just killed three men…you were shot, and you don’t have a cut or scratch or… or anything! You saved my life! I want to know how! You tell me!” I was livid.
She slammed on the brakes. I was thrown forward so hard, I hit my head on the dash. I swear, I saw stars.
“Justin. It is over. I am not going to explain, not anymore.”
I was rubbing my head and she reached over to me. She picked me up with one hand. I stared at her in disbelief. She placed me back into my seat firmly.
“Now, no more questions. Do you understand?” Her voice was deeper, almost a growl.
I sat there in angry silence. Breathing hard and fast. I turned my head and glanced out the window. I watched the trees whizz by as we drove away from the park that we had been taken to. I shook my head thinking that I was supposed to be dead right now. I should not be seeing the trees go by or the rain splashing on the window. I should not be hearing the van driving through the rain on the wet roadway. I would not be feeling this overwhelming fear that was flooding my body as she kept on driving. I wouldn’t have all these damn questions either. She would not speak to me. It was the longest ten minutes of my life. Then, she pulled up in front of my house. She just sat there, looking straight ahead.
“Aren’t you going to say anything!” I yelled.
She turned to look at me. That face I loved so much. I started to smile thinking she was going to speak to me. But then, her eyes changed. In them, an iridescence I had never seen before. I reached up, realizing my hand was shaking and touched her face, refusing to believe what I was seeing. She did give me a smile, but it was a smile that sent a cold chill run through me. Her teeth were startling white and in the front, I noticed something I had never seen before. Fangs. Her skin was on fire as my cold fingers felt her cheek. The water from her hair was causing the blood to run down the sides of her face. For a split second, I believed I saw a tear well up in her eye. She removed my hand from her face. I was shaking my head unconsciously.
“Do you see? Do you see now, Justin!”
“No, I don’t. No,” I rambled.
“Get out,” she yelled at me. It hurt my ears.
“No baby, no. Not until you tell me, not until…”
I did not finish my words. The very next thing I knew is the van door opened and I was out of the van. I saw nothing. The van began to move.
I reached out, as if to stop it and ended up pounding on the side as it squealed away from me.
“Ambra!” I yelled into the air. The van was almost out of sight. “Come back!”
But she left me, standing there on the curb. I dropped my head back and looked up at the night sky. The black clouds were giving away to reveal the moon. The wind was blowing as I stood there and looked up into the night sky. Biting my lip, and angry tears streaming down my face. I did not move for a very long time.
“It’s a Wonderful life”
I lived in New Hampshire, in a little suburb of Manchester. It was a picturesque little town, straight off the cover of some greeting card. I had lived there my entire life. I had grown up in a town called Franklin. My father had made a decent living as a pharmaceutical sales rep. My mother never worked outside the home. Our family had never wanted for anything. I had the best education available, went to college and majored in Advertising. I had a great job. A nine to five, Monday through Friday, lots of vacation time and awesome benefits. I was living a normal life.
My father had died in 1993, after a series of strokes. My mother, soon followed him. I knew she would not last long without him. He was her rock, her life. Right before she died, she had apologized for not having more children. She feared that I would be alone, and she was right. The only other relatives I had left were in Italy, and they never acknowledged that I was born. So, I was alone. But I was not lonely. I had friends and they became my family.
I had been out to dinner with Racheal the night that I met Ambra. Racheal Mathers was one of the few women I allowed myself to date on a more regular basis. She was tall and very beautiful. A bit on the stuck-up side, but it was tolerable. She had a funny way about herself. She was also in the middle of an ugly custody battle. There were so many rules she had to follow. I did not mind being second on her list. I knew how much her children meant to her.
While at the restaurant that night, she had been complaining about her new problem with her ex, and I thought I would fall asleep. I was wishing my food would just come so I could get her out of there. But I had to play the game. Buy her dinner, say the right things, listen to her and then, end up in the sack. That was it. Simple. The waiter finally brought our food.
Racheal just kept on talking and I almost yawned. All this, just for a little piece of ass. I glanced up and around, sighing. Then, I noticed there was a woman sitting directly across from me in the room. And it was as if suddenly, all the sounds in the restaurant faded away. Every other person disappeared as I became locked on that face. She was looking right at me and I became aware of myself. I cocked my head to the side. She was fair skinned, almost ivory. I began to fall into a trance, staring at the corners of her lips as they began to smile. I smiled at her. She knew I was looking back at her. Her hair was a chestnut brown and long. It framed her face. She wore all black and had silver earrings on. But her eyes had me. They were big, brown eyes. I felt her stare. It was all over me and suddenly, I felt self-conscious. I began to blush, unsure exactly why. I quickly looked back down at the table and my plate of chicken scallopini. I chuckled to myself and shook my head. I built up the nerve to look back up and when I did, she was gone.
Racheal was still babbling and had not even noticed my inattention. I suddenly felt discouraged and scanned the room. I didn’t see her anywhere. I quickly told Racheal that I had to use the bathroom and excused myself.
I headed for the bathrooms, searching for her. I walked down the dimly lit hallway until I reached the dead-end. Puzzled, I gazed back towards the dining area.
When I started to walk back, I felt a chill and then, she was there. She was standing against the wall. I could not have passed her by. I stopped and looked at her, my eyes taking in the entire view of her. Absolute perfection. I had a slight wave of a drunk like feeling come over me. Suddenly, she grabbed me. She said nothing. I flinched a little when her hands reached up to my face. I was not understanding what was going on, but relaxed as soon as I felt her touch me. She was probing my skin like a deep massage. My eyes began to close, and she nuzzled up to my neck. I breathed in the scent of her. Some perfume I could not recall. It was a subtle, sweet scent. Then, she moved and placed her lips on mine. It startled me, but at the same time, it turned me on. I pulled her body closer to mine as she began to kiss me. Her scent, seeping into my nose. I became uninhibited and placed my hands firmly on her body. Started acting like I was some teenager. I kissed her back and the taste of her drove me wild. She pulled back abruptly, and I felt a sharp pain. I wanted more, I did not want the kiss to end. I had only heard of first encounters like this. Maybe in some sort of romance novel. I didn’t care. I reached out to pull her back to me, catching her by the nape of her neck.
“Who are you,” I asked.
A man exited the bathroom and gave us a strange look. I quickly looked back at her. Our eyes met, and I was frozen by it. She did not answer me. I reached out, touching, feeling her chest as if I had never touched a woman before. Her damn coat was in my way. I maneuvered my hands and fingers around it, in a desperate attempt to reach bare skin. The material gave way and I got a chance to feel that skin, the softness of it.
“Jesus! Get a room,” a voice complained.
I felt a huge grin come across my face. I pushed her backwards and we bumped into the wall, knocking a fake planter down to the floor. I heard it break but did not pay attention. I pushed her arms wide open and pressed my body up against her. I took hold of her face with one hand, squeezing her cheeks, running my thumb across her velvet lips. Then, I leaned in and laid one on her. It was far more intense than the first kiss. That first kiss, I had been in a state of shock, but this one, I was wanting… needing. It was initiated by me and I had the control. I was touching her anywhere I could, pressing my hips up against her to let her feel what she was causing in me. She was starting to make these sweet noises and it only made me more lustful. They were slow, deep breaths all in my ear. I couldn’t take anymore. I heard people talking, but I ignored it. I could have laid her down right there and taken her, without a care in the world. I literally forgot where I was. I did not care who she was, who I was, anything. All I knew was that I wanted her. So badly. More than anything, or anyone I had ever wanted before.
I felt a very annoying tap on my shoulder. I disregarded it and kept on, touching her, wanting her to give it to me.
I heard it and still did not respond. My hand had found the soft flesh of her inner thigh. I had to touch her, there. I was going to lose my mind.
“Excuse me, but people are starting to complain. Please don’t make me call the authorities!” I heard a desperation in the tone of the voice.
I turned, bothered, still caught up in what I was feeling. It was one of the waiters. He was nervous and glancing at the floor. He looked terribly uncomfortable. I felt her hand on me. I looked down and she had a hold of me. She squeezed softly, and I felt faint. He caught a glance at where her hand was and cleared his throat.
“If you do not take this somewhere else, my manager instructed me to call the police. I am only trying to give you the opportunity to come to your senses,” he said, still glancing to the floor. “Please don’t make me cause more of a disturbance!” His voice was pleading.
Her hands were all over my ass now. It was feeling so good. I turned and looked back at the dining room. The whole crowd of patrons, staring at us. It was silent in the restaurant. I quickly realized that we were the main attraction.
“I… I am sorry. We will stop, we…” I started and then, another squeeze and a tugging on my belt.
“Thank god.” The waiter whispered in an angry way.
I looked back to my accomplice and she had started giggling. I started laughing too. Her eyes sparkled. Then, the feeling started again. It built inside me and I felt myself moving towards her again. I was needing it. I had the urge to just pick her up and take her back home with me. To my bed.
A familiar voice called out my name. My stomach hit the floor. I had completely forgotten about her. I cautiously turned and there she was. Racheal. She was looking confused and a little angry. I raked my fingers through my hair and became aware of my embarrassment. My face felt flushed and warm. It was starting to sink in, what I had just done.
“Racheal,” I started, clearing my throat.
“Take me home……now!” she snapped, staring at the woman.
“Yeah, you’re right. I’m sorry,” I said. My brain was on automatic, speaking words that I did not want to.
I turned back to that perfect face one last time. She placed her fingers on my lips and smiled at me. Then, she placed her hand on her chest and stood there quietly. I really did not want to leave.
“Justin!” Racheal blasted. I almost turned to go. I was so torn.
“I believe we will meet again, Justin.” The woman spoke, with a little glimmer in her eye. She reached up to touch my face and I felt myself smiling back at her. I could not move.
She walked out of the dim hallway first. People were gawking like we were two lovers caught in a torrid affair. Racheal glared at her as she passed by. She walked, head held high and smiling an incredible smile. Some people snickered as they felt they had just witnessed some lewd act. As she moved, her long coat floated behind her. She was completely unaffected by the event.
Racheal grabbed me by the arm and pulled me towards the exit. I am sure I paid as we left. I just could not get her out of my mind. I was still turned on. I wanted… needed to know her name. We walked onto the street and I found myself trying to follow her. She was only a few feet ahead of us. Racheal was digging her fingers into my arm, trying to lead me the other way.
“Wait,” I called out before I knew what I was doing. “I didn’t get your name.”
I couldn’t help myself. The woman paused and looked over her shoulder at us. Racheal was swearing at me and I ignored the words. I pushed Racheal off me harshly. The woman smiled and blew me a kiss. She turned and continued her way. I felt a hard slap to my face. Still with all the stinging, I kept on staring, watching her walk away. Feeling an ache inside me that I have never known. Racheal grabbed at my groin and pulled as hard as she could. I jumped back.
“Oh, my god! You’re still hard,” she yelled at me.
Her words stunned me, and I looked around suddenly, coming back to reality. People were still staring. I huffed through my nose and then, Racheal grabbed my face, turning it to her. I kept my eyes on that woman turning the corner. I felt as Racheal kissed me. It was a hard kiss and I could not respond to her, to the kiss. My eyes were locked on the corner, wishing she would come back around. Racheal became more determined and pressed harder upon my lips, almost causing pain. I backed up abruptly and wiped my mouth. Racheal was shocked and then, her face changed to rage.
“What? I am not good enough now,” she asked me, sharply.
“Stop it Racheal,” I whispered.
“Don’t talk to me like that!”
“I’m sorry,” I muttered. I wasn’t, I was wishing she would just shut up.
“I’m sorry? How… how could you do that to me? I am so embarrassed!”
“I…she…” I was not thinking clearly.
“Why Justin! Who is she?”
I looked at her, her face was coming into focus. She was angry, downright angry. Face red, eyes sharpened, staring me down. Her hands, on her hips and all I felt was hate spilling from her.
“I don’t know, I don’t know who she is,” I answered.
“What? You don’t even know her? Are you fucking kidding me,” she hollered.
I shook my head.
“I swear, I don’t know her,” I answered.
“Well, that’s awesome! You were acting like some teenager in there. You have never kissed me like that. You have never touched me like that. I saw you Justin. You were like a dog in heat!” Her voice was rising with every word. She pulled out a cigarette and lit it.
“I know. I am sorry,” I said, again.
“Don’t say it one more time. Sorry my ass! Just take me home!”
I turned away from her mean expression and started walking towards my car. She walked behind me, muttering under her breath.
I tried to open the door for her and she pushed me out of the way. I went around to the driver’s side and got in. Then, I noticed she had tears now.
“How could you! How could you kiss one woman and now I am nothing!”
“Racheal,” I started, and she turned her back to me. I sighed.
I started the car and drove her home. I did not speak. She on the other hand called me names, and rambled on, the whole way to her house.
“I am not stupid. I know you have been with other women, but not in front of me. No way. I thought you might be different. But you are not. You are just like him. Like all the other men I know. Fucking men ruled by their dicks. And you, the worst! We were friends. Fucking asshole!”
I shook my head. I had to bite my tongue. I knew it would only make matters worse.
I pulled up in front of her condo and I started to get out, to walk her to the door.
“No way! You stay here. I don’t want anything to do with you. Not anymore. Not after that.”
“Racheal, I just want to make sure you are okay, that you are safe.”
Her eyes widened, and she clenched her teeth.
“You know what Justin? Fuck your concern. In fact, fuck you!”
She twisted all over dramatic and got out of the car. She slammed my door and stormed away. I stayed until I saw her enter her condo. Then, feeling a little put off, I drove away.
When I got home, I threw down my keys and flung my coat on the couch. I went to the bathroom and took a look at myself in the mirror. I examined myself long and hard. I couldn’t believe what I had just done. I laughed out loud at myself in the mirror. I was looking rather guilty. My hair was all messed up and I had a red mark across my face where Racheal had slapped me. My shirt was unbuttoned, untucked and twisted. I smiled at myself in the mirror. I had to admit it, I was still aroused. Shaking my head, I could not concentrate on anything but the shape of her face, embedded in my mind. Those velvet lips on mine and that feeling of lust. I touched my own lips remembering hers on them. I had not felt that way in years. Not since high school, going all the way in the backseat of my car with Susan. First time I had ever had sex and it was so short lived. I had no idea on how to control myself back then. All I remember was a drunken lustful feeling and then Susan saying…
“Is that it?”
Although I have improved and am quite skilled at the fine art of lovemaking, I have not felt that way in a very long time. Not with anyone. Not one woman. Not until now. I had this crazy idea to try to go out and find her. I shook the idea from my mind, swung by the fridge and grabbed a beer. I flopped on my couch and stared at my front door. I didn’t turn on the TV or anything. I just sat there in silence. I kept imagining her coming in, the door opening and her bringing that sweet body over to me. Oh god, if she would only come through that door. I dropped my head back, closed my eyes and imagined her sitting on me. I was so blown away by her. Nothing like this had ever happened to me before. Not me, no way. I smiled as I thought it. I had liked it. Shit, I had loved it. I wanted more. I found my hand touching myself as I thought about it.
I sat on that damn couch all night long. Stuck in some sort of dream land waiting for some fantasy lover to come through that door. Then, the morning light came through the windows and stung my eyes. My poor eyes were all red from staying up all night. Damn it! Why hadn’t she come? But I knew it was insane. She didn’t even know where I lived. I laughed. I had gone off the deep end. I stood and stretched, looking around my living room. I had planned on working around the house today. It was my first Sunday off in over a month. I had been working on a large advertising account the last six months. I had finalized the deal Friday and made a huge commission. It was the reason I had taken Racheal out, to celebrate. I had planned on wining and dining her and then, some hot sex. But it did not turn out that way. I grinned, it had turned out better than I had expected.
I was still wearing my clothes and did not want to take them off. I could still smell the faint scent of her perfume on them. I flopped on the bed, still dressed and dreaming of her body next to mine.
I finally dragged my ass out of bed around one in the afternoon. I was a little tired. Disappointed was more accurate. I wanted more of what I had experienced the night before. I wanted that woman and I had no idea how to find her. Sunday had been a very long day.
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