Jagger (Blood Brothers)

BOOK: Jagger (Blood Brothers)
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Jagger

 

 

 

By

 

Eve Vaughn

 

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons living or dead is entirely coincidental.

 

All trademarks, service marks, registered service marks are the property of their respective owners and are used herein for identification purposes only.

 

 

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Jagger

Copyright © 2014
Eve Vaughn

E
lectronic book publication July 2014

 

With the exception of quotes used in reviews, this book may not be reproduced or used in whole or in part by any means without permission from the author,
Eve Vaughn
.

 

WARNING: The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. No part of this book may be scanned, uploaded or distributed via the Internet or any other means electronic or print, without the author’s permission. Criminal copyright infringement without monetary gain is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in Federal Prison and a fine of $250,000. For more information regarding the government’s stance on copy
right infringement visit
:
http://www.fbi.gov/ipr.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dedication

To my readers, thank you so much for supporting me, and keeping me going. I hope you’ll enjoy reading this book as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jagger Grimaldi wanted Camryn Williams from the moment he laid eyes on her. He knows with absolute certainty that she is his bloodmate. The only problem? She doesn’t seem to agree.

Camryn Williams hasn’t believed in happy ever-afters since she was a child. Having witnessed the breakdown of her parent’s marriage she shuns anything that remotely resembles a commitment. Too bad a certain vampire-warlock won’t take the hint…although he is kind of cute.

A special family event brings these two together, but Jagger’s need for Camryn has driven him to the point of madness. Can he convince her they belong together before it’s too late?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prologue

“You’re not concentrating, nephew. If you want to perfect your skills, you’ll need to concentrate. Pull that door off the vault, shatter it, and then return it to its original form,” Steel instructed.

Jagger took a deep breath and focused on the vault in the center of the abandoned bank. He pushed his hands forward and pulled them back to guide the door per his uncle’s instructions. It rattled and broke off its hinges, but it wouldn’t budge any further. He growled in frustration. “I’ll try again.”

“Yes, we’ll keep doing this until you get it right. This should be an easy task for you. As much as I loath to agree with my father, perhaps your mother did coddle you a bit too much. You should have more of a handle on your powers.”

Angered by the criticism of his mother’s parenting skills, Jagger found the fire he needed to rip the door off its hinges with a mighty heave of his hands. It flew off its hinges as if pulled by invisible cables. Using the anger boiling within the pit of his stomach, he liquefied the fortified metal. Then he combined each droplet and reshaped them until the vault door was back to its original form. With that task completed, Jagger returned it back to where it had been before.

“That was impressive, but as I said, your concentration was elsewhere. I shouldn’t have to push your buttons in order to make you do a task so simple. You see?” And as if to demonstrate, Steele replicated Jagger’s trick with the door with seemingly little effort and in far less time. “See? That is how it’s done. I apologize for that jab because I know how extremely protective you are of my sister but there will be situations where you won’t have time to draw on your emotion. You simply just do it. Do you understand?”

“Yes, Uncle. I’m sorry. I suppose I do have other things on my mind, but that is no excuse of course.”

His Uncle Steele, who was a formidable warlock, respected not only for his old family name but also impressive skills, could be a hard task master and difficult to please at times but Jagger respected him almost as much as he did his own father. He didn’t want to disappoint the Uncle who had been a surrogate father to him most of his life.

Steele closed the distance between them and slung his arm over Jagger’s shoulder. “There is no need to apologize. You could never let me down. I only want you to live up to your potential. Your mother has told me of your adventures with the Underground these past months and she’s boasted of how well you’ve managed to handle yourself. But she’s also concerned for your safety. These Underground missions are dangerous. And if you continue to participate in them, you might not always meet an opponent you can best through talent alone even though you have an abundance of it. You must hone these skills so that you may get yourself out of any dangerous situation. It is how our family has managed to maintain our powers throughout the years. You are aware of the battles years ago between warlocks?”

“Yes, Mama told me of them. Grandfather’s house was full of servants who had once been witches and warlocks, conquered by him and grandmother and drained of their powers.”

“Yes. And because of that, our family always had to be on our guard. It’s been at least a century since a Romanov has been challenged in a battle for power but we immortals live forever and some of us are known to carry grudges. It’s why we must always be on guard. It is why you are now training with me. You have the added advantage of your vampire side, of course, but there are things you can do as a warlock that a vampire cannot. Do you understand, Jagger?”

“Yes, Uncle. I promise I’ll do better.”

Steel gave Jagger one of his rare smiles. “Good. I won’t lecture you anymore today. We can resume your next lesson another time. Let us get out of here and perhaps we can talk about your distraction.”

 

Jagger pressed his head against the cool glass of the large window overlooking the city in his uncle’s Moscow condo. The chill against his skin was only a temporary relief for the sudden heat that coursed through his body. He wasn’t sure what was happening to him but for a few weeks, he noticed strange changes within him. He was hit with heat flashes at any given time of the day, he grew irritable over the slightest things, and he found it more difficult to reign in his powers.

“Here. This may help you relax.” Steele joined him by the window and offered Jagger a glass of clear liquid. “It’s the good stuff.”

Jagger took it gratefully and finished in one big gulp. “
Spaciba
, Uncle.”


V chem delo
, Nikita. Tell me what’s on your mind?”

Jagger made his best effort to smile but failed. “You haven’t called me that since I was a child. It reminds me that you still see me as a boy.”

“I apologize I made you feel that way. Of course, I know you’re an adult but I suppose in my heart I’ll always remember the little boy you once were. I think that is natural for all parents. You were always like a son to me.”

“I know you meant nothing by it. I guess I’m being sensitive.” Jagger returned his attention back to the view outside. And that was an issue. He’d recognized how testy he had been lately and there wasn’t anything he could do about it and he didn’t know why.

“Don’t shut me out, Jagger. What’s going on?”

“It’s nothing, Uncle.”

Steele clasped Jagger’s shoulder and turned him around, forcing the younger man to face him. Eyes so light a blue that they were almost white, darkened. Steele firmed his lips into a thin line. “You’re not a very good liar. Something is worrying you, is everything fine with your mother?”

“Of course. Mama is great. I’ve never seen her happier since she has reunited with my father.”

“Perhaps, it’s this Underground business your father and uncles have you involved in. When I heard you were involved in Dante Grimaldi’s group, I can’t say I was pleased. I’m surprised your mother and father allowed it.”

Jagger shrugged. “As I’ve already pointed out and you agreed, I am no longer a child and am quite capable of making my own decisions. But trust me, they tried to talk me out of it. Papa even forbade me to join them but I refused to sit back and do nothing while my family is under attack. Besides, this
il Demonio
is a danger to the Grimaldi’s and everyone connected to us regardless of whether I stay inactive or not, as has already been proven. I knew nothing about him when he basically kidnapped and brainwashed me into believing something that wasn’t true. I was there when he and his minions murdered innocent people. And he would have killed me, too, had it not been for my Papa. It’s why I’m back in Russia while there’s a lull in enemy activity. I need to sharpen my skills because I’ll need them when that bastard attacks again.”

Steele was silent for a moment as if he were considering his nephew’s words. “That’s very admirable of you, Jagger. Believe it or not, you have the potential to be one of the most powerful warlocks in the world, coupled with your vampire heritage; you’d be hard pressed to find your equal.”

Jagger raised a brow. “Are you saying I have the potential to become as powerful as you, Uncle Blade and Uncle Cutter?”

“Actually, more so.”

Jagger snorted with disbelief. He’d yet to see warlocks that could match the skills of his uncles. He doubted he’d ever reach their level.

“I see you don’t believe me, but it’s true. Jagger, you were demonstrating a great level of skill at an early age. You were doing things from the crib that most warlocks and witches can’t do until they’re well into their teens. Had you began your training sooner, you’d realize that. My guess is, being that my sister bears the mark of Hecate, you might have inherited some of her skill.”

His mother’s powers had been suppressed by his grandfather for many years, but once they were unbound, they were like no others. “I’d never thought of it. Honestly, I’d never had to use my skills much other than to amuse myself because we’d lived mainly among humans but this…it’s a lot to take in.”

Steele gave his shoulder a comforting squeeze. “I know, but you will be able to handle it. Now, getting back to my original question, what’s been bothering you?”

Jagger turned to face his uncle. “That’s just the thing. I don’t know what’s irritating me.”

Steele gave him a thoughtful glance. “May I?”

He nodded in acquiescence. Jagger wasn’t thrilled about opening his mind to his uncle, but if one of them could figure out what was going on, then he could figure out how to resolve his issue.

His uncle lightly touched Jagger’s temples. After what seemed like minutes but was probably only a few seconds, Steele stepped back.

“What, Uncle?”

“We may need to postpone your training for another time. As much as I’d like to help you, I don’t think I can in this instance. My suggestion would be for you to go to Los Angeles and see your father.”

“Why?”

“What’s happening to you is definitely a vampire thing.”

 

Chapter One

Jagger wiped away the sweat beaded on his forehead. Had the temperature gone up? Squirming in his chair, he tried to focus on what his father was saying. His lengthy flight from Russia to L.A. had been in relative comfort but since then his condition had rapidly deteriorated. Though he was happy to see his parents again after a few weeks apart, there was somewhere else he desperately wanted to be. Once he knew the root cause of this sudden change within him, he could think of nothing else. But Jagger realized he couldn’t do anything about it until he learned about this malaise.

Niccolo Grimaldi must have noticed his son’s discomfort because he turned amber eyes in Jagger’s direction, clear concern within their depths. “Are you okay, son?”

“Is it me or is it unseasonably warm today? I understand it’s mainly sunny in Southern California but this heat is excessive.”

His father raised a dark brow. “You’re hot?”

“Yes.”

His parents exchanged a nonplussed look and Jagger immediately understood. It made no sense that he’d be so affected by extremes in the weather because his physiology made adjustments for that.

His mother walked over to him and cupped his faced in her palms. “Your skin is warm to the touch,
m
alchik
moya
. But, I don’t understand how this could be. Niccolo? What’s happening to our boy?”

“Mama, I’m thirty years old. At what point will you stop referring to me as your little boy.”

She dropped a kiss in the middle of his forehead. “Never. You will always be my baby forever.”

“Sasha, you’re embarrassing him.” Niccolo lightly scolded his mate, although there was obvious affection for her in his voice. Whenever Jagger’s parents, the two people he loved above all others in the world, spoke with one another, that particular emotion always lingered there. Sometimes Jagger felt like a third wheel when he was with them, but it was never because they made him feel unwanted or unloved. They simply had the kind of love that poets wrote about and singers described in songs.

“I can’t help it. I’m worried about my baby. I haven’t seen him like this since he was thirsting for his first blood.”

His father’s brow was furrowed, confusion etched on his face. “That was
la morte dolci
. He’s already had first blood.”

“Uh, Mama, Papa, I’m sitting right here. There’s no need to discuss me as if I’m not in the room.”

Sasha patted his cheek again. “I’m sorry,
moy malish
. How long have you been feeling this way? And do you have other symptoms?”

“Actually, that’s kind of why I’ve cut my training off early with Uncle Steele. I was hoping to get some answers. He suggested I come see Papa because he would know more about it than he did. But now that you mention it, these symptoms are a lot like how I felt when I was in need of my first blood but worse. When I was in Russia it wasn’t so bad, but it’s gotten a little more intense since I’ve been back in the states. While I was training, I found it difficult to focus and every little thing seems to irritate me. It’s been a constant battle to reign in my irritation with the most mundane things of late.”

“But you’ve only been here for a day,” Sasha pointed out. She looked to her mate. “What’s happening to him?”

Niccolo slid out of his chair and closed the distance between them. Slinging a casual arm around his mate’s shoulders, he kissed her on the ear. “
Tesoro
, would you mind if I had a word with Jagger alone?”

Sasha frowned. “Why? I’m his mother.”

Now, Niccolo kissed the side of her neck. “I know, Sasha, but I need to have a man to man talk with our son. I promise to fill you in later…tonight.” Their gazes locked and Jagger watched the meaningful look his father exchanged with his mother until understanding finally dawned on her face.

Sasha turned a bright shade of pink. “Ah. I see. Well, I guess I can find something to occupy my time. Perhaps, I’ll go shopping and pick out clothing for GianMarco and Maggie’s baby. There’s a cute little boutique in town that sells the most adorable little dresses with matching accessories.”

“That sounds like an excellent idea, but I wouldn’t buy so many girl outfits as you’ve been doing. The chances of Maggie giving birth to a daughter are quite slim. In fact, a female vampire hasn’t been born in at least a century.”

Sasha smiled knowingly. “But Maggie is certain the baby’s a girl. A mother is instinctively aware of these things. I may not be a gambling woman, but I’d put my money on Maggie. In fact, I’ll be taking your credit cards.” She grinned at her mate angelically.

Niccolo rolled his eyes in mock agitation. “You’re going to make us paupers with your spending.”

“You’re exaggerating. I could spend several thousand dollars an hour and not put a dent in your...our fortune. By the way, may I take the Ferrari?”

“Of course,
tesoro
, as long as you promise no more racing. My police connection is a tad bit overworked from having to erase all those tickets you’ve racked up lately.”

She pouted. “What’s the point of having such a powerful car if I can’t drive fast?” Niccolo furrowed his brow and frowned. She quickly amended her words. “I’ll be as careful as I can.”

Jagger noticed she made no promises to his father. As he watched the interaction between them, Jagger was a bit jealous of the special bond they shared. Both had gone through so much to be together, but he didn’t begrudge them their happiness. Sometimes, he wished he could have what they did.

He had gone most of his life without knowing who his father was, though he’d asked his mother about him on numerous occasions. After seeing how broken up his inquiries made her, he stopped asking but he’d always remained curious about the man who chose to stay away. He’d carried a lot of hurt, anger, and resentment. It wasn’t until several months ago, when he experienced unexplainable changes within himself that he realized he needed to seek out the man he believed had abandoned him and his mother.

What he’d found himself embroiled in was an adventure beyond his wildest imaginings but, in the end, he had finally met his father and seen his parents reunited. Despite their short time together, Jagger had felt an instant connection to Niccolo and their bond was cemented from there, as strong as any between father and son. Though he loved and respected his uncles who had served as father figures, those relationships couldn’t compare with what he had with the older vampire. In the few short months they’d gotten to know one another Jagger had learned to embrace the vampire heritage he’d spent most of his life trying to suppress. But
la morte dolci
was still something that he had yet to fully grasp.

Once Sasha had left the men alone, Niccolo took a seat on the sofa beside Jagger. “Son, when was the last time you got laid?” That was his father: straight to the point with little to no preamble. It was still something Jagger was getting used to.

Jagger shuddered as he remembered his last encounter with a woman. It was an encounter he wished to forget. “Maybe a month ago. I was visiting one of your clubs to check out the operation as you suggested and I was accosted by a pretty brunette. She was aggressive, going as far as to put her hands down my pants right on the dance floor. I’m a man, so of course I responded. She took me back to her place.”

“And it’s been that long since you last fucked?”

“I haven’t had much time for anything else what with our missions for the Underground.”

His father nodded. “Was the experience with your brunette satisfying?”

Heat flamed Jagger’s cheeks but not from illness. It didn’t matter that he and his father had grown close, it was still uncomfortable to discuss his conquests with the older vampire. Breaking eye contact, Jagger mumbled, “I’m not sure why you need to know all this.”

Niccolo placed a hand on Jagger’s shoulder and gave it a slight squeeze, compelling him to meet his amber gaze. “Humor me, son.”

Jagger released a deep sigh. “It’s almost too embarrassing to mention, but I could barely finish. She was a beautiful woman and I was aroused but performing the act was a chore. I-I could barely keep it up. It took more concentration than I’ve ever needed to be with a woman, especially one so beautiful. And yes, I was extremely frustrated afterwards. I felt like my body had been set on fire.”

“This fire was it before or after you left this woman?”

“Afterwards?”

“Did you get hard when this heat engulfed you?”

“Yes. How did you know?”

Niccolo closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose with his thumb and middle finger.

“What is it, Papa? What’s wrong with me? I never thought I’d feel this way again after I received my first blood. But this is much worse than the first time.”

“Who is she?”

“She?”

“The woman you’re pining for. I imagine the reason you couldn’t keep it up with your brunette was because she wasn’t who you really wanted to be with. In fact, you were probably with this woman from the club to prove to yourself that you could be with other women. Am I right?”

Jagger’s mouth fell open at his father’s dead on description of everything that had run through his mind that night. “How did you know?”

“Besides a need for first blood, the most common cause of
la morte dolci
is unfulfilled desire. Your Uncle Marco experienced this with his mate. He was in a bad way; volatile temper, severe hot flashes, and arousal at inopportune times. The more he denied himself what he really wanted which was Maggie, the worse his symptoms grew. He became quite irritable and would often start arguments for no reason. By the time he finally gave in to his needs, he’d placed his mate in danger. Had Dante not intervened, Marco could have hurt her badly, possibly killed her. So it’s important for me to know who this woman is, otherwise, you run the possibility of hurting her and yourself.”

Jagger shook his head vehemently. “I’d rather die than hurt her. I don’t think it’s possible that I could.”

One woman had remained on his mind since the moment he’d laid eyes on her. She haunted his dreams and even while he was awake he imaged seeing her everywhere. He’d memorized her every feature and often conjured up her smooth dusky skin, large soulful eyes, and inviting lips. Jagger fantasized about having her beneath him, with her dark hair fanned out against a white pillow as contrast.

His heart raced as he imagined tasting her plush lips. He pictured how they would look circling his cock. The mere thought of holding her in his arms gave him a hard-on of the likes he’d never experienced. Jagger didn’t know why he wanted her so badly beyond the fact that he simply did. After all, she’d given him no indication his interest was returned. In fact, she’d been quite vocal in her rejection of him. No doubt she was lovely, but he’d been with women equally as gorgeous, yet she was the one who occupied his every waking thought.

“I’m sure you wouldn’t—in your right mind. However, when one is in the throes of
la morte dolci
, you don’t think clearly. You’ve seen your Uncle Marco with his mate. Do you think he would ever dream of hurting her?”

Having seen those two together, Jagger couldn’t imagine it either. Besides his parents, he hadn’t seen a more loving couple. “Of course not.”

“And he didn’t think he could either but from what I’ve been told of the incident, he nearly killed her. So I ask again, who is this woman?”

Jagger raked his fingers through his hair, positive his father wouldn’t like the answer. “Well…”

“Son,” his father prompted.

“Camryn.”

Niccolo’s eyes widened. “Camryn Williams? As in your uncle’s stepdaughter?”

Jagger nodded. “Yes. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about her. I knew from the moment I saw her that Camryn is my mate.”

“Are you certain?”

“As you’ve already explained, I’d hardly be experiencing
la morte dolci
again if she weren’t the one.”

“I suppose not.”

“You sound like you don’t approve.” Though his father’s blessing would mean the world to him, Jagger wouldn’t let it deter him if he didn’t get it.

“It’s just that…I haven’t interacted with her much but I can tell she’s not completely comfortable around our kind, Marco has said as much himself. She accepts Marco because he makes her mother happy but my guess is she’d prefer to keep her distance from the rest of us.”

Jagger raked his fingers through his hair again. “I’m already aware of that, but it doesn’t make me want her any less. I can’t eat, sleep, or do anything properly because of her. During my training with Uncle Steele, I could barely wield my powers in ways I’d been doing since childhood. She’s become my obsession. I even flew to Atlanta just to get a glimpse of her. I felt like a stalker, just watching her with jealously in my heart as she laughed with her friends and gave them the kinds of smiles I would kill for.”

“Does she know you were there?”

“No, I used a cloaking spell so I would remain undetected.”

“This at least explains where you went when you disappeared some weeks back. Am I to assume when you said you needed a few days to yourself that’s where you were?”

Jagger nodded. “Pathetic, isn’t it?”

“Not at all. Son, even though you’ve been raised as a warlock, you’re also a vampire. We feel things more intensely than any other being so never be ashamed of your feelings. But I hope you know what you’re in store for should you pursue Camryn. From my observance of her, she’s smart, easy on the eyes, and has a pretty good head on her shoulders. But she’s blunt and often says what’s on her mind. I guess that comes from being young but she won’t be an easy conquest.”

“I’m not interested in conquering her. I want to spend the rest of eternity with her. Papa, in my heart, body, and soul, I know she’s my woman.”

Niccolo pulled away from Jagger, stood up, and paced the floor. His expression gave nothing away which worried Jagger. One thing he’d learned about his father was that he was a man who weighed his words carefully before speaking. Judging from his silence, Jagger wasn’t sure if he’d like what would be said next.

“Say something.”

BOOK: Jagger (Blood Brothers)
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