Mystic Isle, Book 5. Valencia Fabelle’s book. Finally we understand what Valencia went through, what happened in her past that makes her the woman she is today.
Ice queen? Sure.
But there’s a reason.
Does a blast from the past mean together at last?
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About Bound to the Vampire
Three hundred years ago their covens arranged for them to wed, hoping to end the infighting. He was strong willed and she was hot headed. Their love was instantaneous and passionate. But the night before their wedding, Valencia heard him utter the words that would shatter her heart and send her running.
Now, all these years later, they come face to face at a masked ball at Mystic Isle. Her memory is long and she’ll never forget his betrayal…no matter how much her body might crave his touch now.
He has his work cut out for him where she’s concerned and only four days left to change her mind. His thirst for her is undeniable. Luckily, he has in his possession the one thing she’s always wanted but never been able to possess.
“Hello lady wife.”
Valencia Fabelle froze atop her crystal encrusted Manolo Blahniks. She would recognize that voice till she took her last breath. Two hundred eighty-nine years and ten thousand miles did nothing to lessen its potency.
Her body flushed just as it always had at the deep voice, the richness that was finer than the finest caviar, more delicious than the sweetest Swiss chocolate. Her lungs seized, her heartbeat accelerated and her nipples tightened beneath the silk bodice.
Evidently the others in her small group felt the effects of the honeyed sound as well. Or perhaps they were more shocked at his words. Valencia had always, as far as they knew, been single and celibate.
If only they knew the truth.
Their conversation ceased and Valencia felt their gaze shift from the man at her back to her. It was the opening night gala for her latest Shimmer store and she’d planned this party to the last detail. Special lights twinkled overhead, Avery stood atop a black platform with the most special pendant in Valencia’s collection around her neck. In the corner, the string quartet played a perfect mixture of classics and modern instrumentals.
She’d anticipated everything…except him.
Izzy’s blonde eyebrows were high above her lioness mask, Coco’s goblet halted halfway to her lips and Ceara’s jaw was dropped open so she looked like a fish on a platter.
Licking her lips ever so slightly, Valencia dug deep for the grace she’d relied on for centuries. A vampiress gives nothing away. Never let them see you quiver, her late mother’s voice whispered through her mind.
She kept her expression carefully neutral as she pivoted atop the seven centimeter heels. The train of her skirt twisted around her legs like a tourniquet. And there he was, tall, lean, and more handsome than she remembered.
And arrogant enough to show up to a Masquerade sans mask.
A few centimeters taller than her, even in her heels, refined with hair just this side of jet black and eyes so blue they could seduce the sun. Between his dark brows and the perfect sensuous slant of his lips, she’d always been able to read his expressions. Right up until the night he broke her heart into a billion tiny shards.
He had that same blank, yet carefully constructed facade in place now. Shoulders back with an air of supreme wealth and cool aloofness, he studied her. But there was something else lurking in those eyes that had once stared deep into hers as they’d made love over and over
A half dozen responses sprang to her lips as she stared him down. Though she’d imagined this reunion hundreds of time, she chose her words carefully.
‘I’m not your wife’ wouldn’t do.
After all this time…
One has to get married before one can be a wife.
No. None of those would put him in his place either.
If I’m you’re wife, where’s my ring had a nice, well, ring to it. But Dameon was wealthy enough to buy any ring in her store right here and now. And it would be just like him to make a spectacle of her.
No, she settled for the words that she knew would damage his pride just as he’d destroyed hers.
“I’m sorry. Do I know you?”
There was the briefest flicker of surprise and dare she hope, pain, in his eyes and then he gave her the most wicked smile she’d ever seen. Wide, full, bright white teeth with a flash of fang, he reminded her of the rakish man who’d stolen her heart and claimed her soul beneath a harvest moon. The effect now was no less staggering.
Her toes curled in her shoes and she briefly forgot that she was supposed to hate him.
He took a single step closer, bringing a whiff of expensive cologne with him that made her tingle inside.
“Ahh, you slay me, ma chérie.” He held a hand over his chest where his heart should have been, if he’d had one.
Though his gaze didn’t stray from her face and he kept his hands to himself, her body reacted. Of its own will, her shoulders swayed forward ever so slightly, a delicious heat swept up from the small of her back, snaking over her shoulders before finally lacing around her neck. For the first time in a long time she felt breathless…and aroused.
Annoyed at her body’s obvious interest, she straightened her spine and stared him down through her peacock mask.
Around them, the masquerade continued as if her whole world hadn’t just tipped off its axis. But in reality, it felt more like the earth’s rotation had come to a full stop, perhaps even started spinning in reverse. That would explain why a thousand memories suddenly flooded her mind, yanking her into the past, a past where she’d almost been a wife. In that past she’d given her heart away and in the present, the people dancing and laughing around her hadn’t a clue. Most of them didn’t even notice the showdown in the middle of everything.
She held a hand to her cleavage, just beneath the diamond infinity necklace and cocked her head to the side to show off the column of her throat. With her short hair and delicate platinum tassel earrings shimmying against her skin, he’d no doubt remember the many times he’d kissed her there. And his promise to drink from her on their wedding night.
“The problem is,” she said in her huskiest tone, “I’ve been ma chérie to so many tall, dark and handsome types, I’m afraid it’s hard for me to remember who is who. But one has to be married before one can be a wife.” Truth be told, she’d felt like his wife in every sense of the word. “You must have me mistaken for someone else.”
Once again his brows pinched just enough to let her know that the sharp end of her words had hit their mark. But the wound healed quickly and the corner of his lips tugged upward into a sexy smirk.
So this was a game for him. He prodded, she sliced back. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
He let his gaze travel down the length of her necklace, down the plunging neckline of her royal blue silk dress. If she wasn’t mistaken, his gaze lingered on each of the delicate peacock plums that hugged the bodice. He didn’t stop there. No, he was quickly on to her hips and finally to her toes.
She silently thanked her foresight to wear the elaborate peacock costume because right now she didn’t feel quite so naked under his thorough survey. She was ashamed to admit she liked hiding behind the blue and green feathered mask especially when those brilliant blue eyes returned to her face.
“We both know that’s not true, Val-dear.” He strung the last two words together so they were one; an endearment just for her he’d told her so long ago. She’d believed him, had fallen for him and his sack of lies until there’d been nothing left of her heart.
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