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This is an original publication of The Berkley Publishing Group.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
THE CHOSEN SIN
Copyright Â© 2008 by Anya Bast.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
eISBN : 978-0-425-22356-7
1. VampiresâFiction. I. Title.
PS3602. A8493C47 2008
ALEJANDRO leaned against the bar and watched the crush of dancers gyrate to the pounding beat in the Blood Spot. Lights flashed through the dark interior of the building, periodically illuminating bodies clad in almost nothing.
Blood hunger stirred within him, restless for a drink that had nothing to do with the imported bourbon in the glass he held. This place was rich with promise for a vampire. All those young bodies flushed from the energy of the music and their dancing, it was nearly irresistible.
It would be so easy to pull one of the lush women from the crowd, lead her into the velvet darkness of the back of the bar, ease her head back, and drink from her throat. He'd make sure she liked it. He'd make sure she climaxed while he drew the blood from her veins. His
was strong when it came to giving pleasure.
His gaze focused on a twenty-something brunette, whose hips twisted and snapped to the frenzied music. She had beautiful tanned skinâthe kind of woman typically found out here on sunbaked Darpong. The dark part of Alejandro whispered,
You could make her beg for it.
Hell, most of the patrons were here because they hoped they'd find a Chosen to bestow the dark kiss. The bite of a vampire was a rush to a human, like a drug. The venom secreted by a fully Chosen's fangs caused their victim to relax and become aroused. Too much of the venom could kill them, or turn them, but most were willing to take the chance for the high.
A Chosen's veil, their ability to twist and mischief a mind, further intensified the pleasure.
The Blood Spot was known as a place where willing human donors and vamps could meet up. The Chosen and humans alike came from miles around to this desolate location for just that purpose.
That little brunette out there would probably welcome his bite. In fact, she was probably looking for it. He could press her back against the wall, slide her skirt up to her waist, part her thighs, and ease his cock in and out of her hot little slit while he drank. She'd feel so smooth and soft around him, and her muscles would ripple and tighten as he made her come.
Alejandro swore under his breath and stared down at his glass to distract himself from the thoughts that assaulted his mind. He downed the remaining liquid, letting the alcohol burn down his throat.
Blood hunger twisted in his gut and he pushed it away. It remained tamped down for the moment, but he doubted his ability to keep it that way. He didn't deal well with temptation. Never had. Not even before he'd been Chosen.
He was here on business for the GBC, the Governing Body of the Chosen, not to avail himself of the willing donors who surrounded him. He could resist. He had to.
After ordering another drink, he settled back against the bar and watched the dancers with heavy-lidded eyes. The bourbon wouldn't make him drunk, but the enticing morsels shaking themselves in front of him could.
A redhead in the crowd caught his gaze and smiled flirtatiously. He looked away.
He was supposed to be meeting Daria here. Where the hell was she? If she didn't get here soon, all his self-control would dissolve.
Alliance law decreed that vampires were supposed to feed from only the
, the class of Chosen that gained their sustenance from sex instead of blood. They were humans who'd been Chosen, but hadn't made it through the arduous process. They were not
Chosen, only halflings.
As long as vampires fed from willing human blood donors, the law wasn't typically enforced. Basically it was a consensual crime without punishment.
However, the Governing Body of the Chosen, the lawmaking organization for all Chosen, had the same law and they were strict. They were especially hard on the vampires who worked directly for the GBC. They were not allowed to feed from a human, no matter how willing that human might be.
He swirled the bourbon in his glass and tried not to stare at the redhead who still endeavored to catch his eye.
Yeah, he had a problem with the regulation placed on him by the GBC. He craved human blood, wanted to feel a human body crushed against him when he drank. He was driven to fill the hole it created inside him. Some humans found being bitten by a vamp an addiction, but he found taking their blood just as big an enticement.
Human blood was sweeter than the blood of the succubare and far more intoxicating.
The redhead broke away from the crowd and approached him on long, shapely legs. A short black skirt sheathed her from the waist to midthigh. Red stiletto heels, the same color as her filmy, almost see-through top, encased her slender feet.
The fashion was retro these daysâEarth at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Out here in the Nabovsky Galaxy, named for the astronomer who'd discovered it, the settlers had a lot of nostalgia for the home planet.
An expensive ruby pendant nestled in the smooth hollow of her throat. More rubies hung from her delicate earlobes. The woman who approached him now was probably rich and slumming it out here in the outreaches of the lawless Logos Territory on Darpong, looking for a thrill or two. He'd bet any amount of money she had a wealthy husband back on Angel One.
“You look lonely over here,” the redhead purred at him. She touched his chest with long, manicured nails. They scraped his skin through the material of his shirt. Her voice lowered predatorily, her eyes lighted with speculation. “You're a vamp, aren't you, handsome?”
DARIA Moran pushed the door open and stepped into the Blood Spot. Her pupils adjusted to the dim light and her nostrils flared at the heavy odorâa combination of Darpongese booze, the bitter smoke from
cigarettes, and the metallic scent of blood. The pounding beat of the club's music assaulted her eardrums.
There were vamps in here. She could feel them. This sleazy club in the outreaches of Darpong was well known as a place where
âblood donors who were psychologically addicted to a vamp's veil and physically addicted to the chemicals secreted by a vamp's biteâhung out, waiting for a vampire to grace them with their presence . . . and their fangs. The edges of her mouth curled down in disgust.
If it was up to Daria, veilhounding would be illegal everywhere. She found the practice abhorrent, despite the supposed joys of having a vampire sink his or her fangs into you and unfurl their illusions within your mind.
There were addiction clinics all over the Angel System. For the love of the quad planets, you'd think people would learn not to get their kicks this way.
There were even isolated cases of vampires trafficking in the sale of addicted humans they called blood slaves. Sometimes they abducted veilhounders from places just like this one and sold them into it.
She shook her head, glancing around at the people that filled the building.
Daria's hand rested on her patrol-issued pulse disruptor, a weapon capable of briefly preventing muscular impulses, or the cessation of synapses firing in the brain, depending on the setting. The weapon worked on most species, even the Chosen. She was not a willing blood donor and she'd be damned if anyone mistook her for one.
Her pupils finally adjusted to the dim light and she sought out Alejandro Martinez. She hadn't seen him in over seven years. All the same, she spotted him right away since he still looked like sin made flesh.
A black leather dune-biker jacket sheathed broad shoulders and his muscular arms and chest. Thick black hair framed a face hewn in masculine lines, with a strong chin, chocolate brown eyes, and a mouth made for kissing . . . and other things. She filled in from memory what she couldn't see, since his face was currently buried in the neck of a tall redhead.
Daria hung back, watching him sway and dip the woman in his arms, a veilhounder most likely, his pelvis moving sensually against hers. The rhythm to which they danced was a lot slower than the music. They looked like they were in the throes of a slow, pleasurable fuck, oblivious to everyone around them.
Daria shook her head. It had been far too long since she'd had one of those. Everything looked sensual to her these days. Of course, Alejandro had always exuded confident sexuality, even before he'd been Chosen.
What the hell was he doing biting a human? That was against GBC regulations.
She worked her way around the edge of the room, picking past entangled vampires and donors and stepping in sloshed beer and other substances she didn't care to identify. Finally, she entered the crush on the dance floor and elbowed her way to him.