The release of Night’s Honor, book seven of the Elder Races series by Thea Harrison, is only 10 days away! We thought we’d treat you to an excerpt this weekend as we all anticipate this next book’s arrival. Enjoy!
Pre-order: Amazon Barnes&Noble Kobo
Oh, to hell with it. It wasn’t like she could truly hide how she felt anyway. He was reading her as easily as he had read his book.
“I’m intensely uncomfortable around all Vampyres, but even more so around you.” She forced a deep breath into her constricted lungs. “Is what they say about you true?”
He lifted one sleek eyebrow. “To what are you referring?”
She met his gaze. “That you were a priest when you were human. The Inquisition killed your family, and that was when you became a Vampyre—and you went after all of the officers of the Inquisition until everybody who had been involved was dead.”
Something glittered deep in his eyes, a fierce, hot spark of reaction, until his eyelids lowered again to cover the expression, and he looked as cool and collected as he had before. “Yes.”
It was the smallest betrayal of feeling, that spark, but she had seen it, and her perception of him altered again.
What kind of rage and pain drove a young man to end life as he knew it, so that he could bring justice to those who had killed his family?
For some reason, she glanced down at the book where he had laid it on the table. The name of the author and title were clearly stamped in black on the old leather cover: Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy.
The book was worn and had clearly been read often. So, not only did he have excellent taste, and evidently sincere feelings for at least one of his attendants, but he enjoyed philosophy too. The business of compartmentalizing him into a box labeled “monster” was quickly getting more complicated than she had expected.
Clearing her throat, she fumbled for something appropriate to say. “I know it happened a long time ago, but I’m sorry for your loss.”
“Thank you,” he said. “And I’m sorry that circumstances have forced you into being here, when you are clearly so uncomfortable. I will be blunt with you—you are of no use to me if you are forced into doing something you cannot come to terms with. We will not be able to maintain a liaison if you cannot banish your fear, or at the very least control it.”
Her hands tightened into fists, and her breathing roughened. He wasn’t going to change his mind, was he? Not after she had spent the last of her cash just to get here?
“I’m sorry if it seems otherwise to you, but I do want to be here,” she said tightly. “And if you need for me to prove it, I will. The first night of a patron-attendant liaison is supposed to involve the first blood offering, isn’t it?”
His eyes narrowed. “Yes.”
“So, bite me.” Oh, dear. That sounded so much ruder than she had meant for it to. If Xavier was a painting by Monet, nuanced and elegant, then she was a picture drawn in crayon by an angry kindergartner.
He lowered his hands, uncrossed his legs and rose to his feet, all in one sinuous, graceful movement. His steady gaze never leaving her face, he walked forward and crouched in front of her chair. Everything he did was at an unhurried pace, all with the same incredibly beautiful economy of motion. He simply flowed like water.
If a wild lion had walked up to her, it could not have been a more powerful experience. A deep shaking started in her limbs and intensified as he took one of her fists and lifted it. Gently but firmly, he pulled her fingers out and turned her wrist up.
His slim fingers felt cool and light on her overheated skin. Bending his head at a slant, he watched her face as he raised her wrist at the same time. In the firelight, his eyes had turned the shade of green bottle glass, bright and glittering, and his skin appeared tinged with a faint wash of color.
She couldn’t look away. How she had ever thought he was plain-looking, she didn’t know. He might not be conventionally handsome, but everything about him, from the power of his presence to his quiet dignity of manner, was unspeakably striking.
Then he put his mouth on the delicate, thin skin at her inner wrist. His lips were cool as well, but not unpleasantly so. Resting his mouth on her like that . . .
It felt almost as if he kissed her.
(sigh…) I love this excerpt! Hope you enjoyed it, too! Stay tuned for sneak peak #2 next Saturday…
Have a great weekend!
Janine – Assistant to Thea Harrison