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Jackie Ivie's novella Dearly Beloved
Dearly Beloved

 


 


WE ARE GATHERED
WE ARE GATHERED
The Vampire Assassin League
by Jackie Ivie

ASIN: B006B7SH74
Release date: November, 2011

Available now at:
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THE CRUSADER

Tristan Navarre Invaris knows everything about honor and chivalry, loyalty and sacrifice, respect and principle. As the Vampire Assassin League's Innovation Specialist, he keeps abreast of every advance, every gadget, and every facet of communication. But there's one thing he knows nothing about: Women.

THE WITCH

Rori knows she's gifted in the dark arts. She's always known – regardless of what others think. She's special. Talented. Odd. Unpopular. She's found at the fringe of any crowd because she likes it there. She doesn't need anyone. Never has. Until one night...on a dark empty street...

THE FUSING

From the moment he's sent to recruit her, Tristan's hooked. She's his mate. It's not open for negotiation or argument. And his presence makes Rori's powers sharper, more visceral, much more potent. Rori doesn't know why she fights this mating thing. Nobody else wants her - and Tristan is the most handsome, heart-stirring creature. But there's that vampire part...

 

excerpt

"You know Tristan, with you holding all the answers and refusing to part with them is really going to make this a long, frustrating night."

"Frustrating?" he asked.

"Oh yes. Totally."

Rori reached toward him and ran her fingernail up the button placket of his shirt, watching each one pop off. She didn't just hear him gulp, she felt it as her fingertips reached the bottom of his neck. Another touch parted the silk fully, giving her a perfect view of exactly what she'd felt every time she'd touched him. The guy was better than muscled. He was ripped. Completely and totally. Beyond anything she'd ever seen. Even more than the guy in the poster in their room.

"Poenari. We're at Poenari Castle." He choked on the name.

"You had this one re-made, too? Amazing. Let's see...that's thirty feet by one-eighty. Right?" Rori counted off steps to the width of the hall. It measured pretty close to thirty. A spin brought her right back to where Tristan stood, shirt gapped to display perfect male, while what looked like goose-bumps flew his skin. "You really have a fixation with Vlad Dracula, don't you?"

"You know your history?"

"I'm majoring in the subject...with a few side trips into Theology."

"The...ology?"

His voice split, but that was her fault. Those were little goose-bumps, and they seemed to move outward from wherever she put her fingers. It was addicting. The more she traced the bumps of his abdomen, the harder and tighter his nipples got. That just made hers a match. She probably should've donned a bra, and the moment she thought it, she watched his eyes widen. She'd been off a little. They weren't completely black. There was the warmest dark brown around the edges of completely captivating and stunning eyes. She watched as he shut them, shuddered beneath her touch, and was still watching when he looked back at her, and then licked his lips.

"It really fascinates me how much cause and effect religion has had on the world. Over time. Vlad Dracula wasn't a real vampire. You know that, don't you?"

He nodded.

"So, why recreate his castles?"

"I knew him."

"You met Vlad Dracula?"

"Well...no. I didn't meet him. Gaining his attention was a dangerous thing. But I attended more than one of his impaling sessions."

"Really? Why?"

"Blood."

Rori made a face. "Oh."

A strange buzz permeated the air. He grabbed for his pocket, moving muscle all over his bared chest. Her tongue flicked out to her lip over it. And then she reached and stopped his hand before he reached the pocket.

"I should get that."

"You're off tonight. Isn't that what you said?"

"It's not work."

"No?"

"He's offering advice."

"Advice?"

Rori pulled back and studied him until two spots of color appeared at the tops of his cheeks. Everything about him enthralled and fascinated and bewitched her. She cocked her head to one side and waited. He moved his eyes to some of the stone view above and behind her.

"Yeah. Advice."

"On what? Me?"

"No. Yes. Well...not specifically, but...yes. I mean, no."

He flicked a glance to her and returned to studying the wall, while everything flushed on him, even his torso. She knew. She watched it happen.

"Okay. Let's say it's a maybe. What advice might he give you?"

"Uh...I'm a knight."

"I already heard. Looks like you trained plenty hard and over a long time, too. That would explain all this..."

Her fingers did the journey for her, showing what she didn't put in words. It wouldn't have mattered. He knew what she was referring to. His trousers weren't hiding much of it. The whiff of air against her hand held a groan; a lengthy one she didn't have any trouble deciphering.

"You don't understand. I'm a Knight...Hospitaler."

"You were a Crusader Knight? A Hospitaler? Okay. If my history is correct, they built and manned the Krak des Chevalier, isn't that right?"

"Yes."

"It's a truly stunning piece of architecture. The most beautiful castle in the world. Or so I've heard. I've never actually seen it. Did you have a hand in its construction?"

He nodded. And then he gulped. It had something to do with how she'd gone from touching him with just her fingertips, to roaming her entire hands all about his chest, and then lower belly, watching and enjoying every shiver, every gasp, and especially the size of his groin as it filled his fly to a straining level.

"How old are you, Tristan?"

"Uh...twenty-two."

"In real years."

"I can't...recall. Seven hundred. No. Eight. And then sixty-three. Uh..."

Rori moved closer, grazing her abdomen against him, and thoroughly enjoyed the jump he made back from her. And then she knew. Her movements stopped, her palms fully settled about his waist, while his words sunk in. Her eyes went wide as she stared up at him. Tristan wasn't looking at her. He had his eyes scrunched shut, while every muscle on him seemed locked to a coil pitch.

"Oh no. You didn't make a vow of chastity, did you?"

 

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