WARNING: This short story novella contains graphic sex and explicit SKIN/FUR INTIMACY.
Massive tiered chandeliers hung from the vaulted ceiling that stretched four stories in the air, silent spectators to an evening filled with unrestrained lust and debauchery. Their glittering light cast wantonly over the dancing throng below as Marku made his way through the crowd.
His path wasn’t difficult. Party guests gave him a wide berth, quickly moving out of his way, none wanting to incur the wrath of the notorious and cruel Bloodline Vampire.
Even with the cloud of delicate lights hanging high in the air, the floor was still shrouded in shadows; however, Marku’s steely gaze missed nothing. His pale silver eyes, almost the shade of ice, swept over the horde. In every direction, prestigious dignitaries had become drunken party revelers.
It was the same every year. Vampires, from every corner of the world, converged at one of the five Bloodline Vampire kingdoms for the Alliance Meeting to address matters of territory and business. This year, the distinct pain in the ass responsibility of playing host fell on his shoulders.
The earlier hours of the meeting consisted of hardcore negotiation, including fear tactics and intimidation. But the nighttime was reserved purely to indulge their baser desires. And Marku had arranged for every expectation to not only be met but exceeded in spades.
Reaching one of the many open bars stocked with an obscene amount of alcohol, Marku settled onto a tall stool. Polished to a brilliant shine, the stainless steel perch coordinated with the sleek, contemporary aesthetic that appealed to him—cold and hard.
In addition to the thousands of bottles of liquor in every shape, size, and color, he had ensured the other tastes and inclinations of his guests were taken care of as well. Every human pet in his kingdom had been meticulously cleaned, inside and out. Each scantily clad pet wore an identical accessory, a crystal collar bearing his royal crest—an open invitation for any vampire to indulge as they saw fit.
The display of skin wasn’t limited to the pets. Most males, Marku included, hadn’t bothered with shirts. And most females wore little to next-to-nothing.
Marku rested his arm on the glass bar counter and angled his body to face the crowd. His mouth curved down into a frown.
He was bored.
He could have any woman he wanted, all at the same time if he was so inclined. But none of the half-naked vampires or human pets interested him.
With a glance over his shoulder, Marku caught the bartender’s eye. The tall male immediately dropped everything else he was doing and supplied Marku with a glass of the finest Russian vodka money could buy.
Refocusing on the crowd, Marku absentmindedly brought the clear liquor to his lips, enjoying the soft burn that trickled down his throat.
His hand rose for a second sip when a stir in the crowd to his left caught his attention and a woman emerged.
The female was startlingly beautiful. She wore a nude colored dress with crimson embroidered flowers, climbing up her torso to strategically cover her pert nipples but left the lush, rounded edges of her breasts revealed. They were plump, full, like the sweetest ripened fruit. Delicious.
Marku licked his lips.
Her bronzed legs were bare. A blood-red chiffon drape hung from the crest of her backside, pooling on the floor at her feet.
But it wasn’t her hourglass figure, full lips, expressive eyes or shocking amaranth red hair that captured Marku’s attention.
It was the glint in her eye.
And her scent.
Marku’s nostrils flared. It had been many years since he’d had the pleasure of sinking into the warm abyss of one of her kind, so aggressive and animalistic.
Werewolves avoided vampires at all cost. So, what was compelling shewolf doing here? Why would she surround herself with predators?
His mind pondered the possibilities as he watched her walk through the crowd, hips swaying with her natural lithe gait, head held high and confidence, no, it was more than that, defiance flashed in her cobalt eyes.
She walked with purpose, intent on getting to her destination.
But who was she there to see?
Marku wasn’t the only one who had noticed her presence. Several vampire males and even some females swiveled their heads around to see the woman with the captivating scent. Indeed, it was mouthwatering. The most tantalizing prey, hard to resist for any predator. But she was no ordinary prey. She had teeth and claws to combat any threat made against her, and from her fiery constitution, she wouldn’t hesitate to use them.
The gorgeous female was less than fifteen steps away from the bar where he sat when one of the vampires made his move. Caelan, a Royal Guard of the Tremidael Empire, approached her from the side. Before even speaking a word of introduction, he grasped one of her arms and pressed himself tight against her back. His other hand gripped her hip.
Marku’s lips curled, amused by the exchange, anticipating what was to come. The vamp clearly had no experience with shewolves. His approach had a high likelihood of costing him the loss of his arm.
Not that Marku minded the resulting bloodshed. He just hoped she put on a good show.
The red-haired beauty froze, hackles raised, standing even more erect, presenting the illusion that she was more substantial than she was.
She tried to pull free from Caelan’s grip, but he held her that much tighter. He leaned down to whisper in her ear, lips brushing her soft skin, tasting her neck.
Another mistake. Marku chuckled to himself and raised his vodka, taking another drink. Precisely as anticipated, her expression turned feral. Her lip curled back, revealing razor-sharp canines. Cobalt eyes blazed the darkest blue, almost black.
Her Wolf had come to join the party.
Caelan hadn’t noticed her change in appearance. The stupid male was too busy rubbing his swollen manhood against her backside, while he continued to savor the flesh on her neck, tongue languidly running along her carotid artery.
Shewolves enjoyed a good hump—when done correctly, by a skilled partner—but her body language and the primal gleam in her eyes nearly shouted he was an unwelcome and inexperienced male.
She turned slowly in his embrace, rubbing her breasts against him. Caelan’s eyes flashed crimson, lust coming off of him in waves. His mouth set in a satisfied smirk with the misconception she was responding to him. He closed his embrace, trapping her palms against his chest, utterly confident in his ability, so sure he had her right where he wanted her.
Marku snorted. Little did he know.
The alluring female rubbed his chest with her hands and arched her back. Caelan let out a low growl, his hands instantly dropping down to clutch her ass. He ground himself against her belly.
Marku rolled his eyes at the amateur move. Unless he had her legs open and she could feel him at her core, that little bump-and-grind was meaningless and utterly ineffective to her, more annoyance than seduction.
Eyes glowing, half of her lip curled into a smirk as one of her hands began a slow trek down his body, while the other crept up toward his neck. Caelan eagerly gave her some room, loosening his hold, anticipating her plan to feel him up.
Marku smirked. Without a doubt, she planned to become acquainted with his cock, but the idiot male wasn’t going to enjoy what she had in mind. The would-be-predator never should have left himself vulnerable to an unknown and temperamental shewolf.
Her hands reached their destinations at the same time—one curled around the back of his neck, the other around the base of his extended cock. In less than a blink, her claws fully extended and the razor-sharp tips sank deep into his flesh at both locations.
Blood spurted from his neck, but it was her hold on his dick that made him yelp in pain.
Red liquid dripped through her fingers and fell to the marble floor as she held tight to his shaft, her claws fully embedded in his balls. Her voice was low and dangerous, a growl, more animal than human, “I will rip your shit right off if you don’t unhand me.”
Instantly, Caelan’s hands went into the air, eyes wide, completely caught off-guard by her assault. He heaved breaths of air through the pain.
To someone else, the vampire’s actions may have appeared as though he was giving in, but Marku knew their conflict wasn’t over. The fight was just beginning.
Marku leaned forward slightly, anticipation winding through him. Now he would see what the little vixen was made of.
The initial shock had worn off of Caelan. Furious snarls reverberated from the male’s chest. She held firm for another minute, deep Cobalt eyes glinting as they bore into him, making her point, before releasing him slowly.
As soon as he was free of her claws, Caelan swung, a right hook aimed at her face.
But she was ready. In a lightning-fast move, she blocked his strike and crashed her fist into his stomach. He stumbled off balance.
It was all the advantage she needed.
Slamming her knee into Caelan’s still severely damaged and bleeding groin, she wrenched his arm, twisting it. His upper body folded in on itself as she threw him to the ground.
The male fell hard, landing with a thud.
She stood, bouncing lightly in four-inch heels, ready for him to get up. But Caelan seemed to finally be feeling the full effect of the damage to his manhood because he didn’t move, hands clasped over his crotch, his face contorted with pain.
The fiery shewolf took a satisfied step back—only to discover there was a small crowd surrounding them. Most looked on in humor as Marku had.
But not all.
Echo Tremidor, ruler of the Tremidael Empire, and three more Royal Guards converged in on her from both sides. Echo’s face held a sneer of contempt for the wounded guard on the floor, and unrestrained lust for the Wolf who was vibrating with aggression.
Echo took a calculated step forward. One meant to intimidate.
She eyed him warily. He shifted slightly to the side. She followed suit, turning her body to keep him entirely in her sights. Her eyes darted back and forth to the other three men. Echo smirked.
Marku shook his head. It was clear this idiot also underestimated her as a foe.
Echo leered, “I’ve always wanted to fuck a little bitch. Why don’t you join my men and me, so we can see if you’re as talented with that pretty mouth of yours as you are with your claws.” There were hungry growls of agreement from the men.
And one growl of unbridled rage from the Wolf.
Her lips curled back into a snarl, revealing elongated canines. “You want to put something in my mouth? Go right ahead. I will chew you up and spit you back out again!”
Echo seemed unbothered by her threat to castrate him and remarked slyly, “You have plenty of other holes we can fill.”
Her eyes flashed with fury. Her form blurred slightly. She was close to shifting.
Under normal circumstances, Marku wouldn’t have cared if they dragged her away, kicking and screaming. He wouldn’t have intervened.
But he had other plans for her that evening. Plans better suited for a female who wasn’t healing from a fight. Wolves didn’t recover as quickly as vampires, and Marku wanted her in prime condition so he could thoroughly enjoy everything he suspected she was capable of.
He pushed off the bar and strode into the middle of the small group. Silence fell. Echo eyed him guardedly and took an instinctual step back.
However, the shewolf appraised Marku as if he were her new prey. She didn’t flinch or retreat.
Marku’s anticipation grew.
His voice was low and deep, his command felt in his words, “No one touches her.”
Echo glared, jaw clenched, the skin on his neck tight. “We demand retribution for her assault on Caelan. She is ours to do with as we please.”
"Fucker!" the irate shewolf hissed under her breath.
Marku chuckled, turning to her, his eyes dancing with humor. “No. Not a fucker, my dear. Clearly, the men are pussies if they cannot handle themselves any better than that.”
She let out a snort of laughter. Similar sounds of snickering rumbled in the crowd.
A furious growl rolled through Echo’s chest.
Marku’s head snapped toward the offending vampire. His normal pale ice eyes blazed crimson. His lips curled into a cruel smirk of anticipation.
Echo froze and fell silent, staring at the oncoming storm in front of him. Marku’s reputation was legendary. His bloodthirst for violence made Echo and his men look like kittens. It only took another second for Echo to bow his head and mumble, “I apologize, my lord.”
The room waited to see Marku’s reaction, almost holding their breath as a collective, to see if he would begin removing heads and limbs from bodies.
Marku let the silence linger, allowing the dread to build. He wanted Echo to feel the full force of his intimidation. Finally, he snapped, “Get the fuck out.”
Echo and his men, even the bleeding male on the floor, needed no more inducement than that. They turned and fled, knowing they had escaped a volatile and deadly situation.
Marku faced the shewolf. “Join me for a drink, my dear?”
She studied him for a long moment, appraising him up and down. She inspected his unusual eyes, straight nose and angular jaw, her gaze following the pattern of the scar that ran along the right side of his face and the tribal tattoo adorning his left cheek, up around his eye and onto his forehead. Some might think they made him look dangerous, but she didn’t appear intimidated or even fazed.
Her sharp attention traveled down, taking in his broad chest, chiseled abs and leather pants, slung low on his hips.
Marku watched her careful inspection of his body. He enjoyed her boldness. Patiently, he waited for her to finish.
Her decision would be easy.
He knew what his body had to offer and he exuded confidence in his skill to use it.
Not to mention, her knowledge of who he was, would convince her to say yes.
The fiery redhead slowly returned her gaze to his. Her voice lilted with perfect manners as she politely replied, “No...but thank you for the offer.”
Without waiting for his response, she stepped around him and continued toward the bar.