Under His Claw (ALPHAS #7)
by Viola Grace
Born to a family tainted by vampire blood, Zora has always felt the stigma of her family’s history. When history becomes vividly real as her great-great grandfather tracks her down and trades her for a blood debt owed to the local vampire king.
After her ancestor hands her over, she finds a way to trade her particular skill set for room and board in the vampire court. Her first week goes well until the king decides that she needs a warm body to relax with.
Regick has come to see the woman that his friend wishes him to heat up, and the shy miss that is surrounded by salivating shifters is what he has been looking for. Her blood will confirm if his instincts are correct, but first, he will taste the rest of her, for his own entertainment.
A dragon’s blood will tell the tale, but will their one night together be enough to keep him from taking her to his lair, or will instinct win the day?
Zora shivered in the rain and looked up and down the open street before she crossed. She always tried to get home before sunset, even though the dark siders were supposed to abide by the standard daylight laws. There was always a look in their eyes that said they might not feel like playing by the rules for a night.
She walked down the street with her head bowed as she tried to avoid getting soaked, even though she was fairly sure she couldn’t get any wetter.
She sidestepped an oncoming woman with brilliant green eyes and didn’t look over her shoulder to continue trying to figure out what she was. The feel of the gaze on her spine let her know it was some sort of predator.
Getting to her building didn’t make things any easier. A hunched shadow sat near the door, and she opened the outer door with a practiced twist, turning to pull it closed behind her.
Zora climbed the three floors and wished for enough money to be able to afford a building with an elevator. She opened her door and closed it, latching all nine locks, one at a time.
There was no dignity to squelching across her tile floor and stripping in the bathroom, but the hot shower felt amazing.
An hour later, she was sitting in a long-sleeved jersey dress with a glass of wine and the wreckage of her dinner next to her. She flipped through the channels and was just settling in for a Friday of investigative television when a knock sounded at her door.
Zora looked over at the door with irritation. “Who is it?”
The knock sounded again.
Zora pulled a shawl around her shoulders to hide the fact that underwear had not been on the evening’s agenda, crossed the room and looked through the peephole. A pair of red eyes stared back at her.
“Tsura Charani Maloney?”
Zora stepped back, away from the door. No one called her Tsura. No one was supposed to know the name. She was Zora Charity Maloney on all of her legal documentation.
The door rattled in the frame, and Zora ran to get her great-great grandmother’s blades. Cutting a vampire went against everything she had inherited, but it was her only chance.
She held up the knives her great-great grandmother had used to fend off her husband, and she backed up against the wall. Her confidence that a vampire couldn’t come into her home without her permission was shattered when the door burst in.
He was tall, lean and elegant, but it was her resemblance to the face she saw in the mirror that filled her with horror. The scars on his face sealed the resemblance to her ancestor. “That’s impossible.”
“Why? I am your blood, darling, and you are mine. It is about to make me a very happy man.
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