BY ELLA J PHOENIX
Today Ella J. Phoenix is sharing an excerpt from her paranormal release - Dragon Heat. Enjoy! And stop back tomorrow to read an excerpt from her new book Manatka.
Zoricah, the draconian demigoddess, has limited time to uncover a series of killings before one of her own meets the same fate. Determined not to let that happen, Zoricah has no other choice but to ask for the help of her race’s archenemy.
Tardieh, the Vampire King, has long learnt not to trust the Dragons but when the flames of passion ignite between him and Zoricah, he finds himself torn between overwhelming sexual heat and his centuries-old distrust.
Together they have to overcome their own prejudices before it is too late for their races and their love.
The air around Zoricah changed slightly. The hairs on the back of her neck stood up and she heard a barely audible sound of a shoe scraping on the floor – her balcony floor. On a fluent movement, Zoricah pulled her combat knife out of its holster on her hip, sprung out of the couch and positioned herself facing the area where the noise had come from.
“Be at ease, draconian.” Tardieh’s grave voice came out of the darkness, shortly followed by his muscular tall body.
Zoricah held her breath. He was wearing black pants and a forest green long sleeve shirt that highlighted his green eyes. His dark brown hair, cut short at the nape and a bit longer in the front, contrasted his vampiric almost-translucent skin and framed his chiseled jaw perfectly. Even from a distance, she had to look up to match his intense stare. She wasn’t usually considered a short female but he was at least a head taller than her.
Tardieh narrowed his eyes, clearly noticing her detailed scrutiny of his body, and repeated the words she had given him in the park. “I come in peace.”
Zoricah noticed the sarcasm in his voice but decided not to reply. She went for the attack instead. She raised her knife higher and said with deceivingly easiness. “How did you find me?” All she had was her combat knife. Damn it, all her other weapons were in the house; too far for her to reach them before he reached her.
His lips curled up slightly. “Did you really think you could hide for long in my own territory?”
No, she didn’t but she had taken all precautions to at least have some time incognito before she had to worry about him knowing her location. Now it was too late for regrets. It was time for damage control. With her knife firmly pointing at him, she replied. “Fine, you found me. What do you want?”
His head tilted slightly to the side but he didn’t come any closer. “Funny, that’s exactly what I wanted to ask you.”
“You know why I am here, Tardieh. I’ve given you enough proof of the seriousness of our mission.”
Tardieh’s voice took on an even lower, more menacing tone. “Proof that could have been easily doctored.”
Zoricah could not understand where such resistance was coming from. Tardieh had been known to be hard-headed but he was also known for his quest for the truth. It had saved him from a number of attempts to destroy him and his closest friends.
Letting her frustration show, she exclaimed. “Tardieh, it has been more than two hundred years! Why would I come to you after all this time if not for something of the utmost importance?”
“Because you are the master of stratagems.” Tardieh responded taking a step closer. “After all, you were the one who managed to get me out of the draconian prison back in the war. You, only you, and no one else.”
“Yes! And I thought you would be grateful for that!” Zoricah said, not able to mask her frustration.
“Grateful?!” It was his turn to show his frustration but just as fast his features took on the cynical tones from before. “Oh, please forgive my lack of manners, Your Holiness.” Bowing low, he carried on with the sarcasm. “Please let me make proper amends.”
Zoricah realized his intentions a second too late. With his vampire speed, Tardieh grabbed her hand which was holding the combat knife, twisted it behind her back while seizing her nape with his other hand. Just before he struck, Zoricah saw his fully extended fangs reflecting the moonlight.
He pierced her neck with vigor but not violence. His strong arms enveloped her and locked her in place. She tried to move but his hold on her left arm was in such an angle that to break away she would have to dislodge her shoulder first.
After the first pull, Tardieh seemed to have paused for a millisecond, as people do when they savor a rare wine. Zoricah felt the surge of power passing through them. Her blood streaming out into his lips. The initial pang from having her skin pierced quickly eased up with the anaesthetizing poison released by vampire fangs, giving room to the hypnotizing feeling of pure life energy flowing between their bodies.
His right hand started caressing her nape and massaging the base of her skull. Taunting, gentle and then pulling her even closer. She tried to resist but soon lost the battle. After a few more sips, she felt his hips closing in on her body. When she didn’t push him away, his strong pelvis became more imposing, rubbing her on the right places. It started small, almost imperceptible, forwards and backwards. Instead of listening to her inner voice that was screaming for her to fight him off, she lifted her chin and gave him easier access to her neck. He took it. His left hand started caressing her back, the same way he had done two hundred years before. His lips touching her skin as if kissing her as much as sucking on her. Her hips moved against his, wanting more, needing to feel more. She was soaked with wanting. She could feel his very hard cock rubbing deliciously against her. Damn clothes – who was the killjoy who invented them?
He lifted his lips from her neck and searched her eyes. She looked up at him, barely noticing he still had her in check by holding her arm behind her. His characteristic almost-translucent vampire cheeks were flushed - most likely because of her hot blood now coursing through his veins. He was even more handsome like this.
Tardieh opened his mouth to say something but decided against it. His eyes were frowning, as if she was a too-complicated puzzle he was trying to decipher. A light breeze blew across Zoricah’s face and she closed her eyes trying to prolong the moment and memorize the feeling of his body against hers – for she knew it would not last long. Soon he would wake up and take on his accusing tones again.
He surprised her once more. His nose flared as if taking in a divine fragrance. His eyes went wild with fierce wanting; an eerie red glow cloaked them for a split second then his lips crashed against hers with unexpected passion.
After taking a second to recover from the surprise, Zoricah gave in and returned his kiss with equal fervor. His lips were lush and inviting; his tongue searched hers in a sensuous dance. She lifted one of her legs in response, giving his fullness more access to its target.
She felt his deep groan reverberating against her lips. Tardieh finally let her left hand go, after safely throwing her combat knife on the floor, grabbed her ass with both hands and lifted her off the floor. Zoricah felt the cold wall against her back. It was fascinating how its coolness contrasted with the intense heat growing inside her. Wrapping her arms around Tardieh’s neck, she rocked her hips slowly against his and was rewarded with another deep groan. He gently stroked her flat tummy then lifted her tank top up and caressed her ample breasts. It was Zoricah’s turn to moan. He deepened the kiss while playing with her left nipple. She was so wet she could barely think of anything else but to take him inside her. His lips left hers and found her already hardened nipple. He suckled her, teased her, taunted her to the edge. She heard more moaning and realized it was she who was emitting it. She was close, oh so close.
Too soon, he lifted his lips and whispered something in her ear but Zoricah was too consumed by the fire he had lit inside her.
“Tell me, Zoricah,” this time he tried to say it more clearly but his voice was quite hoarse, “why are you here?”
“W-what?” It took Zoricah a few moments to understand where the sudden conversation was heading to.
Tardieh kissed her neck. “Tell me who you’re working for.” He said, licking the wounds induced by his fangs. “Tell me and I will spare you. Oh, hell, I may even keep you for myself.”
His words had on Zoricah the same effect of a bucket of cold water on a balmy lazy cat. She pulled away and looked him in the eye. She was almost at his height in that up-in-the-air position. “Is that why you started this?” She said barely containing her fury. “Is that why you fucking kissed me? To get information about my supposed stratagem?”
He returned her fury with a portion of his own. “Isn’t that why you came to New York? To ploy against me and kill me the same way you had my father killed?”
Zoricah was stunned by his accusations. She shoved him away while pulling her tank top back in place. “You are insane, you know that? You have surrounded yourself by so many deceiving people that you can’t tell friend from foe anymore!”
“Do you really want me to believe that you knocked out one of my personal guards just to get in touch with me?” He replied as if that explained everything.
“That’s because you are stupidly impossible to reach!” She tried to find where her combat knife had gone but was too furious to focus. “You know, that says a lot about your leadership style!”
“You are on my territory, Zoricah, you should have come to me by official channels as tradition dictates.”
“Tradition!?” She was screaming now. She could not believe his words. What had happened to that prince who was willing to fight against all odds just because it was the right thing to do? “You know, I do apologize, I thought I was dealing with a true leader not a despot with a self-inflated ego!”
Tardieh did not take her offense lightly and said through clenched teeth. “Well, you don’t have to worry about self inflated ego, my dear, your band of little girls proved once more that there’s always an agenda behind female kindness!”
That was the last drop. Zoricah could feel her dragon stirring inside her, begging to come out and break his skull in two. “Get out!” She shouted. So much for teaching Yara about toning it down. “Get the fuck out of my balcony before I fry you to dust!”
She heard noises in the house. Great, she had awakened the girls – no! They were not “girls”; they were fighters, her fierce warriors – and yes, with a very important agenda, to save his freaking race!
Tardieh seemed to have heard them too. “I will leave, little goddess. But know this – I will know of every step you take inside my territory.” He gave her one last look over and dematerialized.
Damn it! So that was why he had bitten her! Despite popular folklore, vampires could not track down someone just from drinking their blood. But they could sense whenever that person was close by. The foreign blood acted as a kind of a biological alarm clock for the host. Stupid Zoricah! She should have seen through his intentions; she was an experienced fighter and strategist, that was an affront to her intelligence! And she fell for it like an inexperienced teenager. What was happening to her? She wasn’t like that, she did not let any male, of any species, make her lose control of the situation, let alone lose her cool! And there she was, panting and worn-out from yelling her head off at Tardieh.
“Zoricah, is everything alright?” Yara was at the door pointing a 9mm Heckler at everything in front of her. Her eyes were filled with worry and determination. “I heard you shouting.”
Zoricah took a deep breath. This was not the way of a good leader. It was certainly not leading by example. She would not allow Tardieh to mess up with her head or with her plans. “It was nothing, Yara. Thank you for coming down and checking up on me, though.”
“Oh, well, I was just finishing my snack when I heard the shouting. Was it a male who was here?”
“It was no one, believe me – no one.” She found her knife that had slid under the sofa in the mist of her ridiculous pashing session with Tardieh. “Let’s go to bed, honey. Tomorrow we will bring Deirdre back even if the Apa Dobrý descend upon us themselves!”
Yara gave Zoricah a satisfying smile. “That’s what I’m talking about!”