Scarlet Heat (Born to Darkness)

By: Evangeline Anderson

Born to Darkness Series book 2



Prologue





My name is Taylor Hendricks and I am a vampire.

Oh God, that sounds like an introduction at a twelve step program to get over some kind of awful addiction, doesn’t it? But the only addiction I have is to blood—I can’t live without it. And vampirism isn’t something you can get over by going to weekly meetings—or at all, for that matter. The only thing that could cure me of being undead would be a swift stake to the heart or prolonged exposure to sunlight.

To be honest, I have considered both options.

Back in my human life, I always thought of myself as a strong, smart person. I was at the top of my class in school and I never needed any help to get by. I lived with my best friend Addison, and I was in my last year of veterinary college with my whole future ahead of me—it was a great life.

Then Celeste came along. Celeste is a three-star vampire—meaning she has been undead for three centuries, making her incredibly old and powerful. She also happens to be incredibly cruel. For some reason, Celeste took a liking to me and turned me into a vampire against my will.

I don’t know what she thought she saw in me but I don’t make a very good vampire. I just don’t seem to be suited for the whole undead business. I can’t glamour humans and even if I could, I can’t bear to do glam-sex—a kind of mental porno most vamps are capable of projecting into a willing human’s mind—in exchange for blood. In fact, I’m embarrassed to say that if it wasn’t for Addison’s willingness to be my donor, I probably would have wasted away entirely by now.

My vampire mistress, Celeste, hated me for being a failure and treated me accordingly. She used me as a slave for the first six years of my new undead life. She beat me, berated me, and broke every bone in my body multiple times. And then it got worse.

When the vampire Area Inquisitor came to town, Celeste gave me to him as his personal sex slave. Roderick did things to me that…well, I’m trying to forget them. I don’t want to say any more than that.

Anyway, the whole miserable situation forced my friend Addison into an alliance with Corbin, the only vampire strong enough to take Celeste on and win. Unfortunately, though Corbin rescued me, Celeste and Roderick didn’t want to let me go. From what I heard, Roderick was talking about taking me back to meet the Undead Empress—also called The Lady of Shadows—at the vampire court.

I’d rather meet the blazing sun at noon.

In order to put me out of Roderick’s reach, my new master Corbin had me blood-bound to a werewolf named Victor. Now you have to understand that vampires and werewolves really don’t like each other. In fact, we’re pretty much mortal enemies and Victor made it plain he had no interest in marrying a “fanger” like me. I wasn’t too wild about having a hubby that got furry every full moon, either. But Victor owed Corbin fifty thousand dollars and I would literally rather have died than go back to Roderick. Victor was a better option.

Corbin promised us both we need only stay together for three months—just enough time to satisfy the Laws of Ownership. But he did warn us that breaking the blood-bond between us early would have serious consequences—I don’t know what those might be and I don’t intend to find out. I’m just going to do my time like a good little vamp and when this whole thing is over maybe I can go back to veterinary school and get my life back on track.

There’s only one problem—ever since I had Victor’s blood from the Chalice of union   during our “wedding,” I’ve been having the strangest…feelings. Feelings I thought I’d never have again for any male after what Roderick and some of Celeste’s other “friends” did to me. And now Victor has come to claim me.

Oh God, what am I going to do?





Chapter One—Taylor



Sitting beside my new husband in his rugged black pickup truck, bouncing along down a bumpy unpaved road toward the huge werewolf’s land, I couldn’t help noticing how angry he seemed. His eyes glowed a steady animalistic gold in the deepening twilight and his scent, wild and musky and somehow entirely masculine, filled the cab of the truck.

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