Dianne Duvall: Darkness Rises

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Dianne Duvall Darkness Rises
  • Название:
    Darkness Rises
  • Автор:
  • Издательство:
    Zebra
  • Жанр:
    Фантастические любовные романы / на английском языке
  • Год:
    2013
  • Язык:
    Английский
  • Рейтинг книги:
    3 / 5
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Darkness Rises: краткое содержание, описание и аннотация

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Krysta is used to getting the drop on vampires. Her "special abilities" aren't much, but the plan is simple -- she plays helpless pretty young thing to lure them in. Then her shoto swords come out and it's bye-bye, bloodsucker. Until one night she finds herself with an unexpected ally. He's a vampire, all right, but different. Mysterious. Handsome. And more interested in saving her skin than draining it. Étienne has been an Immortal Guardian for two hundred years -- long enough to know that Krysta is special. He can't stop thinking about her long legs, even more than her short swords. Then he discovers the vamps she's exterminating have friends in high places, and the Guardians are in danger, too. He'll have to accept Krysta's help to save them. The stakes for a mortal are high. But the cost to his heart might be higher . . .

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 Darkness Rises

Immortal Guardians - 4

by Dianne Duvall 

For Dad

MAN IN BLACK

A low chuckle wafted on the night.

Eyes widening, she drew her second sword and turned in a slow circle. “Damn it! Show yourself!”

“Well, since you asked so nicely,” a deep voice laced with a French accent purred behind her.

Gasping, she spun around and swung a shoto.

Once more, he caught her wrist. “Careful.” The warning was gentle, carrying neither malice nor anger.

Krysta stared.

His touch sent electricity tickling its way up her arm. His flesh was warm, his long fingers free of calluses.

Her heart slammed against her ribs as butterflies erupted in her stomach.

She should be furious. Frightened. Instead, she felt as excited as she would on a first date.

Crap.

Stepping back, she withdrew her arm from his grasp.

Dropping his hand, he tilted his head and studied her with those entrancing amber eyes.

Yeah, he was hot all right.

Short, midnight hair glinted in the moonlight. Faint stubble shadowed a strong jaw. Straight nose. Broad shoulders. What was clearly a well-developed, muscular build beneath a black T-shirt that clung to him courtesy of the vampire blood that saturated its front. Slim waist. Slim hips. All revealed by the gap in the long, black coat he wore.

She didn’t let her gaze stray farther. The last thing she wanted to do while facing him was blush like a schoolgirl if he had a nice package.

His tempting lips stretched in a slow smile.

Chapter 1

Étienne stared down at the house across the street and watched shadows writhe and dance on the closed curtains. The music and drunken laughter that swelled every time the front door opened didn’t surprise him. But those curtains did.

Hard to imagine a bunch of frat boys out shopping for them. Choosing the right decorative curtain rods. Finding fabric of a pleasing look and texture. Damned if it didn’t look like it was floral. He would’ve thought bent, dusty blinds would be more their style.

A faint breeze ruffled his hair.

If he concentrated, he could read the thoughts of everyone partying within. Not much there really. Just sex and a determination to get blitzed. And one poor guy who thought he had flunked his biology final. A quick scan of his memories confirmed that he had.

Étienne sighed. Things had been slow of late. Dare he say boring?

For a while there, vampires had roamed in such large packs that he and his sister, Lisette, had had to hunt together just to ensure they would survive the battles. But now . . .

The frat house door burst open as a woman stumbled out.

Booming bass swelled and pulsed through the night as a tall, broad-shouldered figure stepped into the doorway behind her and held the door open. “Come on. Are you sure I can’t talk you into staying?” the man—twenty-one or twenty-two years of age—asked.

The woman staggered to the edge of the porch and tripped down the steps. Low, sultry, feminine laughter wafted up to Étienne.

Nice. If the woman weren’t sloppy drunk he might find her appealing.

“You know me,” she slurred. “Places to see and people to go.”

Her friend laughed.

Odd. It was late May. Nighttime temperatures in North Carolina had been mild, in the sixties perhaps. Yet the woman wore a long, black coat not unlike the one he sported himself.

His own concealed a small arsenal of weapons: katanas, daggers, throwing stars, and autoinjectors Dr. Lipton had prepared that bore the only sedative that worked on vampires and immortals.

Hers was pretty formfitting. And fit a lovely form. She was slender, perhaps five foot five, with long, black hair that concealed her face as she fought to keep her balance.

The college boy grinned. “Hey, maybe I should walk you home.”

Again she laughed. “Who says I’m going home?”

She wasn’t a Goth. The style of the coat was wrong and her hair was naturally black. Or perhaps a dark brown. While he could see as clearly as a cat in dim or even no light, he sometimes had difficulty discerning color in those conditions.

The woman finally succeeded in planting both boots firmly on the pavement and straightened. Combing a hand through her hair, she drew the tangled locks back and gazed up at the moon.

Étienne’s breath caught. She was beautiful, with porcelain skin, her features pert perfection.

And she seemed to be looking right at him.

She even froze for a moment.

Impossible. There were no lights up here and he stood in the shadow of a chimney where the moon’s beams wouldn’t touch him.

“Hey, Krysta!” someone called.

She looked to her left.

Three more college boys, who clearly had already been celebrating the end of the spring semester, approached the frat house, trampling grass strewn with the occasional empty beer can.

“You aren’t leaving, are you?” a jovial blond asked.

She smiled. “Yep.”

“But we’re just getting here!”

She shrugged, swayed a bit, then pointed at them. “Your loss, knuckleheads.”

All laughed.

“Couldn’t you just stay for one game of beer pong?” the blond asked hopefully. “Or maybe to shoot some pool? I need to win my twenty bucks back.”

“Already spent it,” she called merrily. “See ya!” She waved, nearly losing her balance again. Stumbling to one side, she threw her arms out as though she were on the deck of a rocking ship, listing one way then the other. When she didn’t fall, she grinned big and threw her hands up in the air like an Olympic gymnast finishing a routine.

The men all clapped, whistled, and cheered.

Laughing in delight, she staggered down the sidewalk, turned, and headed up the street.

“You think we should walk her home?” the blond asked softly.

The brunet beside him leered after Krysta. “I’ll walk her home. I’ll walk her alllllll the way home.”

The blond shoved him. “Cut the shit. She isn’t like that.”

Étienne decided he liked the blond.

The brunet scowled. “Whatever.” Loping up the steps, he entered the house.

The blond frowned after Krysta, then—urged on by his other buddy—joined the party.

Étienne watched Krysta pause under a streetlight, part her coat, and reach into an inner pocket.

Beneath, she wore tight, black pants that showed every shapely curve of her long legs and a black T-shirt that hugged small, firm breasts.

Étienne had always been a sucker for women with athletic builds.

Out came an iPod touch. She conquered her inebriation long enough to tuck earbuds into her ears, but the battery must have run down because she swore and tucked everything back into her pocket.

Étienne rose.

That pause had cost her.

Dark figures slithered from the shadows on either side of the frat house and followed her as she resumed her trek uphill.

Étienne leapt nimbly to the next roof, careful not to make any sound that would alert the vampires to his presence.

He counted four and monitored their progress as they slunk from shadow to shadow, dogging the woman’s wobbly footsteps.

Krysta began to sing, utterly oblivious to the creatures who stalked her.

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