Treachery & Danger: Sneak Peek

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A Vampire’s Thirst Novel

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Treachery & Danger is a standalone novel in A Vampire’s Thirst series, but if you are curious about Adrian and Lavinia’s backstory, and you haven’t read it yet, here is a sneak peek from Adrian as well.

Prologue

Lavinia yawned and turned her face to the window. Outside, a whimsical sight surprised her. Rome’s concrete, brick, and marble landscape had transformed into a winter wonderland while she had been studying for her exam. Large, silvery flakes floated softly, pushed by a chilly breeze against the glass panel. She unfurled from the comfy loveseat facing the fireplace to open the glass panes and stick her head out. Below, a thin layer of white dust covered any surface that wasn’t moving. People exited the stores and cafes to admire the event.

“It’s snowing!” Lavinia shouted as she ran upstairs to the terrace.

She didn’t hear Adrian’s response, but she knew he had heard her from his studio. He worked on the second floor, one below hers. After attempting to remain in the same room while he took care of his business and she studied, they had realized it could never work. Not because he needed to take phone calls and she used to repeat out loud passages from the text books. They couldn’t keep their hands off each other, drastically reducing either’s productivity to the point where little was accomplished. Hence the two studios where they spent a few hours of the day separated from each other.

Lavinia looked up at the afternoon sky and opened her arms as she slowly spun on her bare feet. Sometime between the first chapter of the History of Modern Drama and the tenth, the frigid rain had become snow. The flakes landed softly on her hands, making her feel like a little child again.

The muted sounds and colors made the world look like a more peaceful place—a haven where racism and cruelty didn’t force half-breeds to live a nomadic life, always on the run, escaping the bigots who wanted to purge Italy of people like Lavinia. 

“You’ll catch a chill, my love.” Adrian appeared behind her, holding a long coat. “Come here.”

“It’s so beautiful.” Lavinia entered his embrace as he gently laid the soft angora on her shoulders.

“You are beautiful,” Adrian said, locking eyes with hers. “Nothing compares to you.” He closed the lapels of her coat before drawing her to him.

“Can you remember the last time it snowed in Rome?” The flakes melted on her heated skin, leaving trails of icy water all over her head, face, and hands. The cold terracotta tiles under her feet made her dance on her toes. She laughed.

“I remember every single one of them.” Adrian smiled, leaning to kiss the tip of her nose. “It’s happening more and more lately, but it used to be rare. One year, it snowed in August.”

“Really?”

Eyes bright with mirth, Adrian nodded. “It was the fifth of August of the year 358. It was deemed a miracle.”

“It must’ve been magical.” Lavinia snuggled closer still, raising her chin to offer her mouth.

“Not as magical as kissing my bloodmate.” His lips brushed hers before claiming her mouth.

She opened for him, accepting his sweet invasion. His tongue pushed inside, caressing her as his hands roamed possessively over her back. Adrian pulled her against his hard body, warming her immediately. His kiss seared her, making her wish for more. Even after almost a year living together, he still could spirit her away to a realm of pure pleasure within seconds of kissing. Sometimes, his mere sight would fire her senses.

His mouth devoured her, leaving her gasping for more. He stopped, though. Her disappointed grumble elicited Adrian’s low chuckle.

“I have a surprise.” He gave her lips one last peck before leaning away to face her.

“A surprise?” She didn’t care for surprises. Before meeting Adrian, surprises had always been bad.

“You’ll like it.” To her mutinous expression, he added, “I promise.”

“What is it?”

“Victor Strong just called. He invited us to a masquerade ball.”

“A masquerade ball?” Lavinia asked.

“Yes. He thought it would be a good idea for couples like us to meet.” Adrian gestured between them.

“I’d like that very much.”

Bloodmates were rare and almost unheard of until recently. In the last months, rumors had spread about several of them being found around the globe, but the Directive kept the utmost secrecy about their identities. Vampires wouldn’t expose their most precious gifts to a world still dominated by too much violence and hate. A secret division had been created inside the Directive to keep the newly discovered mates safe as they investigated the phenomenon.

“To get to know other bloodmates like me would be awesome.” Excitement bubbled inside her at the mere idea.

Adrian nodded. “That would be the main reason for this gathering. To mingle and share ideas. I know it’s hard for you not having someone close to talk to about us.”

Lavinia had nobody she could confide in about her blood bond with Adrian. She had talked about it with her parents, but they knew less than she did about the topic, or about vampires in general. Her werewolf father and human mother weren’t equipped to counsel Lavinia when it came to bloodmates. They did their best, though, offering suggestions about mated life, which sometimes led to cringe-worthy conversations.

“Where is it going to take place?” she asked.

“That’s the surprise part.”

“Is it?” Lavinia laughed.

“For security reasons, we won’t know our final destination until we are there.”

“So how is it going to work?”

“Victor is lending us his private jet. We’ll be picked up at Ciampino Airport and flown directly to the venue.”

Lavinia raised a brow. “And you are okay with it?”

“Not at first,” Adrian said.

“I bet.” Lavinia couldn’t help but chuckle.

Adrian thoroughly vetted his personnel and trusted nobody outside his small circle of friends. He only hired the best of the best. Ex special ops comprised the majority of the men and women working for him. Since Lavinia moved in, Adrian had doubled the number of professionals keeping their house under constant supervision. It must have taken a lot of reassurance from Mr. Strong to convince him otherwise.

He leaned his forehead against hers. “You are my priority.”

She brushed his lips in response.

“I’d never put you in a dangerous situation,” he continued.

“I know, my love.” Lavinia smiled. “I’m always safe with you.”

In the last year, she had gone out by herself to run errands or see friends and family. Life didn’t stop because she had mated with Adrian, of course.

The first time she informed him she would join a study group they had a lengthy and heated conversation about her outings. At the time, they had been together for less than one intense month. They met soon after Lavinia’s roommate was found dead, and immediately after, they discovered Lavinia’s grandfather was behind the murder and was also out to kill her. Bigot purists were still out there, looking to exterminate the half-breeds. Adrian had been terrified to lose her, but she argued against living in fear. Finally, he agreed to let her go to that first appointment because four bodyguards followed her.

By now, Lavinia had grown used to Adrian’s need to be constantly in control. Being an ancient vampire came with perks and quirks. Overprotectiveness was one of them. She didn’t mind, though, because he always came around to meet her needs, be it a night out with friends or a weekend with her family. It was also nice to finally go through daily errands without having to look over her shoulder.

“I agreed to Victor’s plan because the fewer people who know about the ball’s whereabouts, the better it is,” Adrian said. “Not every bloodmated couple will attend, but some of them have accepted the invitation.”

“Thank you for saying yes.” Lavinia kissed him.  She could only imagine how much it had cost Adrian even to consider the offer.

“I don’t want you to feel you are missing out because of my fears.”

“I don’t,” she reassured him. It was the truth.

“It’s just that I still can’t believe you are real.” He stroked her cheek ever so sweetly. “If anything happens to you—” His voice broke.

She shushed him with a caress before taking his handsome face in her hands. “Nothing will ever happen to me because I am a badass wolf, and my bloodmate is one powerful vampire. Together, we can conquer the world.”

“It does feel that way with you at my side.” He kissed her thoroughly then.

When she came up for air, she asked, “When are we leaving?”

“The ball is in a week. We’ll leave the day after tomorrow, so you have time to buy a gown and anything else you might need.” Adrian grabbed her by the waist and spun her around.

“I can use the evening dress from the charity auction—” It was a bespoken Balenciaga gown in a shade of lilac that had been the talk of the night when Lavinia entered the Capitolini Museums on Adrian’s arm. She wasn’t vain, but that dress was a dream-come-true for her.

“I want you to have something new.” Adrian kissed her. “Please?”

She knew there was no convincing her bloodmate otherwise. Her frugal nature made her feel bad for accepting his extravagant gifts, though. Poverty had been her way of life for a long time; it didn’t come naturally to Lavinia to spend on clothes, or perfumes, or accessories, with Adrian’s same ease. It didn’t matter he had enough money to buy a country and live the rest of eternity wanting for nothing. She didn’t have it in her to squander in frivolous expenses.

“I wish to pamper you,” he continued saying, his elegant hands skimming the edge of her bra.

When he touched her like that, Lavinia could barely string two coherent thoughts together, and he knew it. That was the risk of having an old and powerful vampire as a bloodmate; he was a world-renowned expert in the art of seduction where she was a novice. 

His fingers inched the lace lower, uncovering the swell of her breasts to his touch.

“I think a crimson velvet cape would go great with new La Perla bras and panties,” Adrian whispered against her ear before biting gently on the lobe. “The new lingerie collection looks like it was designed for your curves, my love.” He would know. High-end fashion brands hosted private viewings for influential clients, and Adrian was always invited. Several outfits in Lavinia’s luxurious closet wouldn’t come out until the beginning of the new season.

“You win.” She arched her throat, thrusting her chest against him. “Tomorrow we go buy my gown.”

“And lingerie,” he whispered against her breast. “And stiletto heels.”

Lavinia heard him purr against her nipple, “And matching silk ropes to tie you down,” and she couldn’t help but shiver in anticipation…

Follow Monica La Porta’s newsletter to keep updated on her new releases.

Treachery & Danger is a standalone novel in A Vampire’s Thirst series, but if you are curious about Adrian and Lavinia’s backstory, and you haven’t read it yet, here is a sneak peek from Adrian as well.

Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CAAmazon AU








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