Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Overture: A Vampire Romance by Kallysten - FREEBIE!


Barnes & Noble

~ Part 1/5 of the Serenade Serial, a supernatural vampire story ~

For six centuries, the vampire Irene has hunted human prey to feed from their necks, sometimes taking them to her bed, too.

For almost as long, she has preserved her memories in music notes, composing on her piano but never sharing except with her offspring.

So when, during a trip to Paris, she stumbles onto a bar in which a pianist plays her music for the patrons, she’s flabbergasted that anyone might be enjoying her compositions and just as outraged that they’ve been stolen from her.

Her first instinct is to take the pianist’s life as retribution, but a few words exchanged with the talented, intriguing and insolent Rachid might change her mind…


Stopping the pointless meandering of my mind, I focused on the music and how smoothly, how flawlessly it rose under Rachid’s touch.
“Nice choice,” I said, leaning a little more against him. I rested one hand on the keyboard and accompanied him, the way he had accompanied me, with just a few notes in counterpoint to the melody.
“I have pieces for four hands,” I murmured. “If you’d care to really play with me.”
“I’d like that, yes,” he replied, smiling as he tilted his head toward me.
I think he only realized at that moment how close I now was to him, and he licked his lips as his gaze dropped to my mouth. Distracted, he lost his rhythm and missed a couple of notes. I clucked my tongue.
“Come on, pay attention to what you’re doing. I thought you were worried about playing badly for me?”
Say what you will, but it is my long-held belief that there are few things quite as endearing as a grown man blushing. On Rachid’s caramel complexion, it was simply lovely to watch all that blood color his cheeks, the tips of his ears, his neck, and the triangle of skin exposed by the open collar of his shirt. I wondered how far down all that beautiful color went. I wondered enough, actually, that I decided to find out.
Removing my hand from the keys, I reached for the first button of his shirt. It easily came undone, as did the next one. Rachid faltered a little in his playing, losing his rhythm again, but another cluck of my tongue was enough to get him back on track.
For a second, I wondered if it was worry that had caused that slight misstep, but there was no trace of fear in his scent. Good. Earlier, I’d all but threatened him, but that had been before he brought back to life a melody I’d been unable to finish for so long. Did he understand I wouldn’t hurt him, or was it his familiarity with vampires that kept him calm? I hoped it was the former.
To the sound of chords not so much played as they were caressed into existence, I slid a hand inside the opening I’d created in his shirt and pressed it, palm down and fingers spread, against the skin of his upper chest. He was warm, warmer than he should have felt, even as devoid of heat as my hand was. Short of stripping him down—and while I fully intended to get there at some point, there was no rush—it was confirmation enough that his blush extended further south.
All that blood roused just for me…
I didn’t withdraw my hand right away. Instead, I moved it to the left until my palm rested over his heart. It was beating faster than the tempo of the music, but as soon as I found it, I forgot all about it, having discovered something much more interesting: the tips of my fingers were brushing against his nipple—and against the metal ring attached to it.
With a hum of surprise, I pushed at the ring with a fingertip, causing Rachid to shiver, although he didn’t miss a note this time. My hand moved to the right, but his other nipple, while it tightened against my questing fingers, was free of adornments. I pinched it gently once before returning to the left to tug at the ring and play with it. In a moment, I’d get a good look at it, but for now I enjoyed exploring the metal, warmed up by his skin, with nothing more than my fingertips.
It was a full circle, smooth, not very thick, wide enough that I could slip my thumb through it—then again, I have small hands, so that didn’t mean the ring was particularly wide. As I flicked the ring back and forth and ran my fingers along it, delicate shivers coursed through Rachid’s body. His nipple was a tight peak against the ring, and I imagined flicking my tongue against it and through the metal. I’d had lovers with piercings before, and they always were marvelously responsive to the smallest sensations.
They also rarely limited themselves to a single piercing…
“Where else are you pierced?” I asked, intrigued.
Still playing—though I admit I’d lost the thread of the composition—he turned a tiny smile toward me.
“I guess that’s for me to know and for you to find out.”

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