There are so many ways to define a hero. In my vampire romance, HUNGER AROUSED, an executioner wants nothing more than to just do his job. He doesn’t care about being a good guy and certainly doesn’t give a fuck about being a hero. But after Corin starts falling in love with Jasmine, things change….
Their captors knew what they were about this morning. By the time Corin reacted to the sound of footsteps rushing to and then through the bedroom door, he still wasn’t fast enough to keep them from posing a dangerous threat.
One of the men grabbed Jasmine, still nude and drowsy from the attention Corin had paid her through the wee hours of the early morning, and hauled her to his chest. Corin roared, a distinct sound of fury, and vaulted toward them. No fucking way was he letting this male touch his woman and live long enough to regret it.
Ignoring the tangle of sheets, he barreled into the man. Together they slammed against one of the walls. Instinct taking over, he threw a punch into the man’s tender belly before crushing his throat beneath a chop that held the weight of his anger. Satisfaction warmed through him as he listened to the man’s gurgling gasps for breath, attempts that would prove futile through his crushed windpipe.
He didn’t have long to gloat. There were more of Sijourn’s men in the room, and Jas was still not nearly close enough to him. His clothes and therefore his blade were on the opposite side of the bed, also away from Jasmine. Too far away to be of any use. If he hadn’t been sleeping so heavily, if he’d been more alert to their approach…
“Idiots,” one of the men grumbled. He raised a gun to Corin’s head, walking forward with bold strides.
“Give it to her, and let’s get this over with.”
Corin watched one of the men toss a cloth bundle to Jasmine. She shook out an oversized shirt, while a women’s pair of sweat pants dropped to the floor. She shot Corin a puzzled expression. He gave her a curt nod, still assessing their situation and grudgingly grateful for the clothing. Watching the men ogle her would prove one less distraction. There were four guns trained on him; they commanded his attention.
“Corinius, we have instruction to use extreme prejudice when dealing with you. Don’t do anything—” he glanced at the dying man crumpled against the floor, “—else stupid.”
“What do you want?” As if he didn’t know. He needed another few seconds to think though.
“Just her.” He nodded toward Jasmine. “You’ll stay here.”
“Not a fucking chance.” His incisors grew to match his agitation.
“That’s not your choice.” He moved forward, his expression calm, until the barrel of the gun pressed to Corin’s forehead. “How long do you think it’ll take you to recover from a headshot? By the time you do, we’ll have taken her anyway, and all you’ll have for your problems is one hell of a headache.”
He’d take that chance.
“Corin, please.” The worry in Jasmine’s voice punched him. “Please. I’ll be back. Sijourn isn’t going to hurt me.”
He knew that intellectually, but to let her go, to not at least put up some sort of fight went against everything he’d become. He was an executioner, a vampire, her lover.
She must have seen his struggle. “I can’t do this if you’re not safe, Corin. Please.”
At this distance, he had the opportunity to scrutinize old acne scars on their captor’s face. Corin breathed in his expensive cologne, studied a small patch of stubble he’d missed while shaving. He looked into his dead eyes, not caring how they studied him back. A small step forward made the man tense, but Corin’s emotions had gone flat, as well. “One hair out of place when she returns, and I will hold you personally responsible.”
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