Vampire Trouble (Dead in the City #2) - Sara Humphreys

Sara Humphreys - Dead in the City #2 - Vampire Trouble

Vampire Trouble (Dead in the City #2)
Sara Humphreys

fantasy/vampires/romance

Chapter 1

The air around him was void of the normally incessant sound of fluttering human heartbeats or the typical noises of New York City nightlife. No honking horns. No inane human conversation. Nothing.

For a split second, Shane thought he’d awakened somewhere other than his apartment within the Presidium’s New York facility. Standing ramrod straight, fangs bared and senses sharp, he surveyed the empty, hauntingly quiet Manhattan street.

Shane Quesada hadn’t been blanketed by silence like this in more than four hundred years, not since that fateful summer night so long ago. Though it had been centuries, he still recalled that hot August evening with vivid clarity. The mysterious woman visiting his village seduced him, turned him and then after toying with Shane for a century, Selena left the way she’d found him. Broken and alone.

That man—the one who wept for the woman who abandoned him—no longer existed, and Shane knew this particular moment was certainly not the time to revisit that period of weakness. Shutting down the unpleasant memory with the cold, calculating demeanor of a vampire sentry, he focused on figuring out where in the hell he was.

As he struggled to understand what was happening, his hands balled into fists and his jaw clenched. He could see he was standing outside The Coven, the club owned by one of the new czars of New York City, Olivia Hollingsworth. He’d frequented the place most nights over the past several months, but certainly not for the ear-shattering music, the stench of sweating humans, or the undrinkable swill that was served.

Instead, the blond, youngling vampire bartender had captured Shane’s interest and drawn him there night after night. Most evenings he wouldn’t stay long, only a few minutes before or after his sweeps of the city, but he’d discovered that skipping even one night made him surprisingly agitated. Even if only a moment or two, he simply had to have a glimpse of her. Maya Robertson, the flirtatious beauty who had a penchant for toying with human men, had become both the bane of his existence and the object of his long-dormant desire.

It had been years since he actually wanted a woman for more than her blood. However, the moment Shane encountered the curvaceous beauty with the compelling blue eyes, lust gnawed at him. His sudden and instant attraction to the beautiful little vampire was highly unsettling. The nagging, pulsing need for her clawed relentlessly, deep in his gut, and even though he wanted nothing more than to claim her, Shane resisted.

He had no time for an emotional entanglement, let alone with one of the czar’s progeny. Emotions were dangerous and distracting. He was known as one of the finest and most focused sentries within the Presidium’s ranks, and he had no interest in losing his position or getting sloppy.

Aside from the fact that Maya was a youngling, only turned five years ago, she was reckless. And if there was one thing Shane couldn’t abide, it was recklessness. Maya had a fondness for human men, and from what he could tell, she’d taken many of them to her bed. His jaw clenched and anger fired through him at the mere thought of her with another man.

Shaking his head, he set his mouth in a tight line and fought to remove the image of her gorgeous oval-shaped face from his mind. Her skin was fair with not a freckle on it, and the only things more alluring than her hourglass figure were her enormous blue eyes. They were almost lavender, and she seemed fully aware of their hypnotic power. Maya might not be able to glamour Shane or any other vampire the way she could a human, but she certainly seemed to have him under her spell.

The woman had become a distraction, and in his line of work, things like that could get a vampire dusted. Shane sharpened his focus and tried to concentrate on the matter at hand—where the f**k he was and why the city had suddenly fallen silent.

What he found even more perplexing than the unsettling quiet was that the world around him was painted in black and white. Normally, with the night vision of a vampire, he would see the colorful world in varying shades of sepia tones, but not now. He blinked and turned slowly, surveying the familiar neighborhood, but things remained colorless and mute, as though he’d stepped into a silent film. There