CAPTURED© (an excerpt from Mists of Eternity)
CAPTURED© (an excerpt from Mists of Eternity) by Anya Ligeia Rakoczy 4/30/2012
A highly trained operative in the elite paramilitary Supernatural Task Force, Lydia was no stranger to fear. Fear honed the senses and sharpened the mind—and fear was no match for the goal, the quest that drove her onward: to bring in the elusive master vampire, Diego Vespertillo. Years of training, in which her male colleagues passed her in promotions and honors had enforced her grim determination for the mission. Success tonight would mean her reputation as an elite slayer was assured for all time.
Tracking Diego to his lair in the Sangre de Cristo mountains of Colorado had been an operation conducted over many nights. And now she had found it: a vast stone mansion built into the side of the Mount of the Holy Cross. The irony made her smile.
Prowling the foundation of the mansion—castle, more like—she found a casement window with a rusty latch and pulled it open. Whispering a hasty Act of Contrition, habit of a long-forgotten childhood faith, she steeled herself to enter. This night either she would prevail or die.
Lydia landed on her feet in the basement of the vast stone mansion. Quickly, she used the electronic device in the palm of her metal gauntlet to disarm the contact before it could set off the alarm.
Scanning the room, she checked her weapons and moved silently to the dimly lit steps. Crossbow at the ready, she reached the top step … and gasped. Well over six feet tall, in leathers and a black silk shirt, eyes like red hot coals, and fangs bared: Diego Vespertillo, nine-hundred-year old Master of the Americas. The deadliest vampire on earth.
In a flash, he was on her, knocking the crossbow from her grasp. It tumbled down the stone steps, splintering into pieces as he pinned her wrists to the wall.
“Dioses de la Sangre,” the master vampire growled, his glowing eyes raking her curves. “The fools send a female to take my head?”
Lydia’s eyes met his and she drew a quick breath. This male radiated a raw, compelling power even greater than the legends had foretold … Showing any sign of weakness would be fatal. Willing herself to stop trembling, she summoned her courage and lifted her chin in defiance. “The SIA always sends their best.”
Diego released his hold on the female soldier’s wrists and chuckled, low in his throat. “Do you say so, my little one? Very well. Show me what a deadly assassinista you are.”
Avoiding the master vampire’s eyes, Lydia counted the weapons concealed about her body, reassuring herself they were all in working order. Years of training made the inventory a litany which calmed her …
Suddenly, the knives, guns, vials of holy water, and stakes flew from their pockets and holsters, summoned by Diego.
“Gracias, mi hijita,” he said, softly. “You have saved me the trouble of searching for these crude tools you bring into my home. Has no one ever told you, the mind itself is a double-edged sword?”
A chilly wind made Lydia’s eyes widen. All on their own, her shirt unbuttoned itself. She clutched it, holding it closed. This male had powers beyond the ones in the training grimoires. All by itself, her head turned, exposing the soft ivory skin of her neck to his lengthened fangs.
Diego lifted a stray tendril of golden hair from her flushed cheek and laughed softly. “You have only had a taste of my powers, little one. But you will feel them all, by the dark gods, before the dawn. This I promise you.”
He sent all eight of his senses into her body and mind, probing. What the female lacked in size and strength she made up for in the green fire flashing from her eyes. She projected fierce resistance, born of her military training, and courage. She had the heart of a lioness. Admiration made him pause.
Her rapid heart rate and breathing told him her coolness was an act … as did her scent, saturated with primal fear, and the unmistakable musk of her arousal.
Dios mio, but you are lovely. Diego’s eyes narrowed. Slayer and trained assassin you may be; female are you also. You should be mine.
He took a step back. Dimming the glow in his eyes and retracting his talons, he withdrew into stillness and focused on her.
With his will alone, Diego caressed her skin lightly, all over her luscious body. He heard her gasp, and smiled. Into her mind he spoke silent words, words as soft as his touch on her:
Si, querida. Open yourself. Feel me.