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ROMAN




By Nini Church



ROMAN

By Nini Church

Copyright 2018 Christine Monteith

NC Publishing Corp

This is a work of fiction.


NC Publishing Corp Edition, License Notes

Thank you for downloading this ebook. This book remains the copyrighted property of the author and may not be redistributed to others for commercial or non–commercial purposes. If you enjoyed this book, please encourage your friends to download their own copy from their favorite authorized retailer. Thank you for your support.

Contents

Copyright

Dedication

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Epilogue

Dedication


Hey Mr. Knock-Him-The-Fuck-Out,

I never realized until you said those words how much of Roman and my Jinn boys, too, are based in reality. Thank you for your support as I live the dream. Love you tuns along with twenty star galaxies and thirty million redwood trees.

Nini



Chapter 1





Ruler of the Vamps was in a dark fucking mood.

Someone or something…twisted him around inside, so Roman Mangetti felt happy and elated about shit. Shit, the likes of which, Roman had no experience with and he was nearing a few thousand years old.

A very unusual situation for the Chosen One as Roman had a well-known rep for keeping his shit wired tight and no one fucking messed around with him.

No one was stupid enough to dare.

In the HyperChrome, Roman took a hard left, barrelling down Mayberry Street, slamming on the brakes to pull up in front of Sylvains, the hottest nightclub in the very heart of Bellsville.

Here only as a diversion – Roman desperately needed to keep his mind occupied for a few hours. Distraction was his ultimate goal 'cause he didn't want to dwell on the craziness happening to him.

Again, those strangely powerful zingles of energy pervaded Roman’s chest, warming him in ways that never happened to stone cold Vampires. Almost like butterfly wings – of all fuckin' things! – brushing and popping against Roman's skin while unwanted emotions exploded inside him.

Roman climbed out of the HyperChrome, his heart thudding rapidly as excitement drilled through him, filling him to the fucking brim. His gorgeous and very distinctive Aegean blue eyes shot around Mayberry Street – The Bakery directly across the road was completely dark with few of the club crowd gathered on that side.

Too many were glancing Roman's way. He hated drawing attention to himself, but at six foot six and weighing almost three hundred pounds of raw male, Roman was a looker. His finely honed muscles and long black hair only added to his draw.

Still scanning Mayberry Street, Roman's instincts and powerful senses reflected nothing was up. He certainly wasn't nailing any danger or threat nearby.

Silently, using his vast mental powers, Roman sent out his call – Come to me whoever you are. Few to none could resist the strength of Ruler of the Vamp's thrall.

Two of Roman's elite warrior Vamps drove in. Ram pulled in ahead of Roman's HyperChrome as Shoreman parked tightly behind, ensuring the HyperChrome was boxed in.

In the street with hands on his hips, Roman paused beside his car so long – Ram, his First Lieutenant, hustled over to ask, “Everything okay, Boss?”

Uneasy and wary, Roman shrugged away Ram's question. He'd chosen to come to Sylvains since it was all about fantastic female asses, short slinky dresses, sleek long legs, big breasts and small breasts.

For Roman, these were all incentives to lose himself in the club's strobe lights sweeping a crowded dance floor with bodies gyrating and the scent of imminent sex saturating the air.

Yet, the usual distracting atmosphere of the club did nothing for Roman Mangetti. He wasn't connecting to the pounding pulse of the music or any of its patrons. He was too edgy and unsure to enjoy.

It certainly wasn't like him – Roman was known to stay on point twenty-four seven. He also wasn't shy either as usually anything bothering him – Roman always came at it hard.

This time, though, Roman Mangetti experienced sensations of hanging in mid-air and completely out of his usual locked down element. So much so, Ruler of the Vamps didn't know what the fuck to do, what the fuck to think.

Now seated deep in the VIP section against the back wall, Roman caught his breath as another spear of excitement shot through him and unfamiliar emotions took over – joy, contentment and a very rare sensation of utter peace.

Idly, Roman lifted his head, glancing around the club to capture sight of whoever was fucking with him. Never before had anyone crossed the line like this – invading Roman's personal space – in a positive way.

Earlier today, Roman had spent a few hours focusing and concentrating on those fucking zingles of weird energy and his raging emotions – yet Roman couldn’t get a handle on where it was coming from, who it was or how it was happening.

His First Lieutenant, Ram, shifted in beside Roman, dropping onto the thick bench seat, staying silent. At the best of times, Roman didn’t talk much.

Ram, First Lieutenant and Lead to Roman's trio of elite Vamps, was a battle axe of a male. Much shorter than most Vamps, Ram stood at only five foot eleven, but he more than made up for it in style. Shaggy dark brown hair down to his shoulders and a chiseled face with full lips were always an attraction to the opposite sex.

Unfortunately, Ram didn't have time for any kind of personal life as his only mission, his sole focus, was ensuring the Chosen One stayed alive. Dedicated, driven and known to have a core of pure steel, not much stopped Ram from achieving his goal.

Only two feet away, Shoreman, took up position with his hands clasped behind him, legs akimbo and his broad back to the exit door.

Shoreman had gray hair. Few Vamps had gray hair. Shoreman earned every one of them and never wondered why his natural healing abilities skipped over his grays. A huge male, Shoreman stood head-to-head with Roman at six foot six, but weighed more than Roman's three hundred solid pounds.

An integral member of Roman's elite squad, Shoreman had the experience, the skill and the know-how to also keep Ruler of the Vamps alive.

Roman Mangetti never took his eyes off the crowd inside Sylvains – sifting faces, bodies, scents, yet nothing was coming back to him. Nor did it seem anyone was rushing to answer his silent call.

Butt fuck nobody.

It pissed Roman off a helluva lot more than he already was. He’d come to Sylvains as a diversion, to get his mind off that fuckin’ tingly shit going on inside him while stirring up fucking emotions that lay long dead before now.

Not to say Roman didn’t enjoy life – but he remained detached, set apart – simply because that’s the way he wanted it. Liked it. Needed it.

There was no point in connecting with others, he still felt empty and had to fucking fake shit – that wasn’t Roman. It didn’t take long before he felt nothing – but it worked for him. Helped him get through – kept his shit wired.

Slowly, Roman turned his head, his long black hair cascading over his broad chest as his piercing Aegean blue eyes continued to scan the crowd inside Sylvains.

Fuck, nothing was reaching out to him.

Agitated and frustrated, Roman stood and then brushed past Shoreman to push open the exit door and step out onto a wide fire escape. Gobbing in fresh air, Roman hoped it cleared his fucking head.

Those strange zingles of weird energy invading him – more times than Roman cared to admit – were confusing the fuck out of him.

Who? Why? How?

Where the hell was it coming from?

On the fire escape at the back of Sylvains, Ram slid in beside Roman, his shaggy brown hair crowding his worried face as his hooded green eyes studied the Boss closely. “You pickin’ up shit?”

Roman didn’t answer. How could he explain what was goin’ down when he didn’t fucking understand it himself? “Nah. I’m cool.”

Loudly, Ram snorted. “Yeah sure, Boss, cool as a heat seeking missile.”

Roman laughed, remembering he’d come to the club to relax, get his mind off business and the strange fucking shit going on in his head and invading his body.

He bought rounds for the entire club – a few times, but didn’t drink anything himself. Roman's mind was already too clouded.





The following night, The Bakery on Mayberry Street was dark, but the second floor lights were on.

Absolutely exhausted, a headache pounded at the back of Vivian Monaco’s head. Her shoulders were stiff and sore while her stomach made wild gurgling noises. She hadn’t eaten since this morning and now it was almost midnight.

The blaring techno junk music from the club, Sylvains, directly across the street had broken her concentration. Vivian's apartment was on the second floor and still the noise from the club blasted through her big front windows.

Now, her anxiety ricocheted all over the place – Vivian hadn’t quite finished the ward, so it probably wouldn’t hold.

Unfortunately, she’d have to start again.

Never would Vivian have believed she'd spend the whole day learning about warding her home. It was all due to a goddamn unexplainable anomaly – a crack in her normal reality that she still couldn’t quite grasp.

Fear of the unknown drove Vivian to take this strange avenue into the supernatural world.

Covertly, she slipped in beside one of the three front windows to peek at all the action across the street only to see a line of patrons snaking down the block, waiting for a chance to get into Sylvains. It was always like that, busy, loud and all night long sometimes.

Recently, after both her parents died within months of each other, Viv decided to relocate to a new area for a fresh start. This little city of Bellsville had just the right feel to it and a year round warm climate was an added bonus.

Vivian had checked real estate listings and found a property in the heart of Bellsville with a bakery on the first floor – called The Bakery. Best by far, it also had a nice open concept one-bedroom apartment on the second floor.

And, yes, she’d asked about the social club across the street, but the real estate agent assured this was a fabulous part of Bellsville and the club was high-end.

Oh, so casually, Vivian had stupidly taken his assurances as gospel – too excited about purchasing her ideal income property.

Sylvains had thick brass railings running up a wide sweeping staircase to big black double doors. The square one floor building was painted pristine white – kept neat and tidy – and it didn’t have any windows in front.

Unfortunately, Vivian had also assumed it was a private club.

Idiot!

After closing on her ideal property purchase two weeks ago and moving in, Vivian knew exactly why the price was too good to be true. Sylvains was the hottest nightclub in this sweet city of Bellsville and it was goddamn Party Central!

Even though she was alone, Vivian shifted to the side before slipping away from the big front windows, returning to learning about how to set wards.

Protective wards.

Her first time ever – learning how to make and set a ward and Vivian was frustrated by the complicated process, but refused to give up – her apartment needed protection.

Damn! It was Vivian needing protection – against invisible strange stuff.

Really crazy stuff.

That crack in Vivian's reality, that unexplainable anomaly, happened yesterday evening – and, in a blink, unexpected change charged in, twisting her life around while opening a mysterious and scary door leading into the unknown.

It had totally goddamn freaked Vivian out.

Late last night, too antsy and unable to settle her mind – the tenants of The Bakery below had given their short notice to vacate which meant a loss of income and Vivian had set to pacing while brooding.

Anxiously, she’d glanced out the front windows, mindlessly watching the crowd milling around in front of the nightclub.

A sleek black sports car sped to the curb in front of Sylvains, pulling in sharply as a second car drove in hard behind with a third car looping ahead to park tightly in front.

As a professional Researcher, the car riveted Vivian – it was a Svengali HyperChrome. She’d only ever seen pictures of the highest performance car in the world and was aware very few were hand crafted.

Coal black with a dull matte finish, this Svengali HyperChrome almost blended into the dark night.

Yet…the superb car wasn’t what truly captured Vivian's attention…what her violet eyes locked onto, what took her breath away...

It was the impossibly tall, gorgeous man climbing out of that Svengali HyperChrome.

All the air rushed out of Vivian's body. He was bloody beautiful – what a man! She also noticed every woman in the line outside Sylvains was now staring at said exquisite man and a spike of jealousy shot through her.

Vivian couldn't see all of his face, but his profile was Grecian, European and wonderful all rolled into one.

A patrician nose and full lips with a heavy brow – now creased as the beyond delicious guy scanned up and down Mayberry Street. No doubt, waiting on his equally gorgeous girlfriend to show.

Vivian tried sucking in a tiny breath, but it wouldn't go in nor could she force herself to move back from the window so the handsome man didn't spy her ogling him from above.

Impossibly, Vivian was rooted to the spot – her feet now made of stone. Weird impressions floated through her mind as Viv wondered if she could just slide the nearest window open and climb down the outside of the building. It would be the quickest way to get to him…

His black hair caught the streetlights and shone deep navy. Shoulders like a linebacker, his black t-shirt sculpted his big arms and broad chest. He wore all black, black leather pants and big black cowboy style boots.

Her heart fluttered in her throat and Vivian felt like she was smothering. The pulse at her temple jumped rapidly, erratically, and her heart pounded so hard she was sure everyone on the street could hear it.

A strange and undeniable urgency came over Vivian, to move, to go downstairs, to get to the gorgeous guy.

Shaken by such ideas, Vivian inched away from the big window.

For the first time in her life, she didn’t feel in control.

Of herself. Her body. Her mind.

Without meaning to, Vivian turned. Puppet-like, she took one step, then two. As if she were pushed from behind, Vivian took a few more steps, desperately pining to dash downstairs – in her oldest flannel nightie and ratty hockey socks – to run her hands through the gorgeous man’s black hair and kiss him silly.

Uh, huh.

Except, Viv couldn’t believe she was heading for her front door with no will of her own. Determination like a raging fire inside – urged her onwards, demanding, compelling Viv to go to him.

In her anxiety ridden mind, she screamed in terror – Stop! I won't go! Yet, her feet continued to carry Vivian towards the front door.

Terrified, Vivian grabbed the arm of the nearest chair and hung on, her violet eyes sweeping the front room.

A wide three drawer antique dresser sat next to the front door. In seconds, Vivian was sweating after shoving the heavy dresser against the front door – so she couldn’t get out.

Physical exertion hadn’t lessened Viv's goddamn driving overwhelming urge to run downstairs and throw herself at the mercy of his beautiful feet… Have thrilling raw sex with him… Plead, beg him…in the street.

As if her butt was on fire, Vivian raced back across the front room to hover near the far end of the couch. She chanted to herself – No! You're not going downstairs. No. No. No.

Rapidly, Viv sucked in a few huge breaths, thinking it might clear her mind as she furiously shook her head – when the overriding compulsion to go downstairs to the exquisite stranger completely disappeared.

Bald fear staggered Vivian – she actually felt the compulsion end as her body sagged as though something literally released her.

Badly shaken and her energy oddly drained, Vivian now lay with her knees on the floor and her chest and head on the seat of the couch. That’s all she could manage.

Her brain was popping and sizzling.

In her early thirties, Vivian was way too young to have a stroke. Perhaps a heart attack? There wasn’t any pain, but something happened.

That’s why Vivian Monaco spent the day trying to ward her apartment after rushing out early this morning to buy a ton of books about protection wards, spells, and all manner of witchery and weird fuckery.

To protect herself against whomever got out of that Svengali HyperChrome.

Somehow, Vivian just knew he wasn’t a…normal man. There was something unnatural about him. He was too beautiful, too perfect, and too superb in every way.

He was supernatural.

Supernatural Man.





His mind still stuck on the strange shit happening to him, Roman groaned loudly after spotting Aunlee, Maria and a few more of his regular females bursting into Sylvains. As the bouncers tried to wrangle the females, Roman watched Aunlee slap one of them.

Roman hissed softly. Too often, they used his name to get whatever they wanted. Most times, lately, it wasn't cool with Roman and he was going to put a hard stop to it soon.

What he needed to do was switch out all his regular Vamp females. Roman had no remorse or regrets nor would it be difficult to replace them – without meaning to, Roman just seemed to collect females.

He wasn't an egotist, Roman was simply a good looking Alpha-Alpha Vamp and females loved that.

Tonight, Roman wanted nothing to do with his regular bevy of beauties. In truth, he was completely bored with that lifestyle – as many females as he wanted without ever caring about even one of them.

Roman did care – he just never bothered to show it. Yet, not one female had ever reached inside him and touched those places that meant anything to him.

So, he sifted his females through his fingers like flour through a sieve. It wasn't boasting – just simply the truth.

“I’m outta here.” Roman tapped the table and stood. Silently, he withdrew his initial call – Come to me whoever you are – knowing its effects could linger and dangerously so. A call, Roman noted, that had gone unheeded.

Regretfully, Ram hustled to his feel and mowed in beside Roman.

Shoreman, long mated, took up position behind Roman, wondering and worrying why the Boss was leaving Sylvains when his personal party of Vamp females had just arrived.

Shoreman knew Ram, a committed bachelor, had already made plans to bang a couple of sweet club patrons. Shoreman wasn't interested in anyone else, but his Ivy, his mate.

Admittedly, Shoreman was mystified. It was fucking weird 'cause Roman was usually all in when it when it came to females. He always juggled a bevy of regular beauties, but never once took an interest in anyone tonight.

Once outside, Roman prowled towards his car as a wave of absolute pure fucking joy exploded across his chest. Like a second skin, those zany zingles popped all over his face. Butterfly wings brushing up against him – butterfly wings with a sizzling pop.

Strange damn shit was happening here. "Ram, wire this street tight," Roman demanded. "Check everyone and then push it out a couple of blocks. I wanna fuckin' know who everybody is.”

Ram nodded uneasily. “Sure, Boss. Wanna give me an idea what we're lookin'…”

Roman slammed his car door and gunned the high–powered engine. Shoreman got into the car parked tightly behind the HyperChrome and shifted into reverse, rolling backwards as Roman ripped away with screeching tires smoking.

Two black muscle cars with heavily tinted windows blasted in behind Ruler of the Vamps.

Whatever the fuck was going on – Roman was gonna nail it and someone was gonna pay the consequences.

Whoever the fuck was doing this crazy shit to him – was going to learn quickly never to ever fucking mess with him again.





Late the next day, Ram returned to Roman’s compound and went below to Central Command with fucking zip, nothing of any interest to share with the Boss.

Today, six of their best Enforcers, including Ram himself, spent hours combing through those living near Sylvains on Mayberry Street. They'd covered both sides of the street and then four blocks around it.

Ninety-nine percent were human – very ordinary, mundane humans, living pedantic lives. They’d found a few Demons, a number of other races and a Vamp – an old timer – who asked to be left alone.

With a keen nose for trouble, it surprised Ram he hadn't found one individual, one human, one Demon or Vamp – who was out of place, who didn’t fit or made his instincts rear up. None stuck out who might have even a remote fucking interest in Roman Mangetti.

Ram walked into Central Command, spying Roman with his left knee bent and the flat of his shit-kicker pressing into the stonewall.

Intense Aegean blue eyes turned on Ram and he sensed Roman had been anxiously waiting for him to return.

Grumpy as hell, Ram wondered – why the fuck this was so important to the Boss? They had a couple of hard core fires to put out, but Roman focused on those living around Sylvains!

It was confusing as hell for Ram. He’d been with Roman last night at the club and nothing fucking happened, except Roman's strange foray onto the rear balcony to get some fresh air. That was weird.

Strange, too, when Roman never bothered answering the myriad of beautiful females who approached their table, making it clear they were offering whatever Roman wanted, yet he’d only looked through them not even bothering to answer any of the lovelies.

Ram huffed out a big sigh. It was all fucking weird, man.

Roman quirked a black brow at his First Lieutenant. “Spill, Ram.”

“Not much to spill, Roman. We didn’t find anything on Mayberry Street. They’re all human, most of ‘em anyway. For example, directly opposite Sylvains – the female who owns the building with The Bakery is friendly, says she goes to bed early. Yada, yada, yada.”

Ram didn’t bother mentioning Miz Vivian Monaco was a stunner of a human female or that she had a great personality and a body with all the right curves. Hell, yeah.

Ram was fully aware Roman never went near human females – even if those like Miz Monaco were the sweetest tidbits of deliciousness.

Stacey, Roman’s sister, popped into Central Command, hoping to catch Roman for a few minutes. She also had blue–black hair that fell down her back and intense blue eyes, but not Aegean blue like Roman. Stacey was slim, sensuous and a powerful fighter with an equally powerful temper.

When Stacey saw dark circles under Roman’s beautiful blue eyes and his oddly tense expression, her heart went out to her brother.

Ruler of the Vampires, Roman battled through every day and took on stuff others wouldn’t touch – just to keep the peace and the general law.

Her brother ruled with an iron fist – and always had – but that fist could be gentle and compassionate too. Stacey loved every facet of her hard–core Vamp brother, the Chosen One.

Even though fake, Stacey plastered on a big smile. "Got a few minutes for your Sister?”

Roman shoved away from the wall.

Stacey waited for him outside in the hallway. When Roman came through the double doors, she saw his pumped muscles and also that telltale hard set of his jaw line – something was wrong. “Thought I’d drop by, say hello." Always prodding, Stacey added, "I can see you need to talk, Roman.”

“Yeah, I do, Sis. Privately.”

Stacey’s curiosity popped up to level ten.

Once inside Roman’s underground sound and blast proof office, Stacey didn’t wait. “Tell me what’s going on, Brother.”

Roman sat behind his desk, leaned back in his chair and scrubbed his handsome face with both hands. “Where do I start?”

Uneasily, Stacey laughed. “Start at the beginning. Tell me what’s bothering you. I can see it in your eyes. You’ve got dark circles like an Elder.”

“It’s not what’s bothering me, Sis. It’s what’s happening to me.”

Stacey slid into a chair in front of Roman’s desk, her heart in her mouth. Was he sick? Her heart plummeted – had his use of Dark Magic finally caught up with him? “Roman, what’s happening to you?”

He rubbed his broad chest. “Keep getting this sensation, sensations, feelings, and fucking emotions…in my chest, my head…”

“Pain? Do you mean pain?” Stacey got up and leaned across the desk to grab his big hand and squeeze.

Roman pulled his hand away, shaking his head, his troubled blue eyes sheepish now. “No, fuck, no. It’s not fuckin’ pain, Stacey. It’s…everything all at once…it swarms over me. I’m not real up on the emotional spectrum, but it feels like intense happiness… manna from fucking heaven…joy and contentment.”

“Happiness? Manna?” Stacey got up to storm around. “What else did you say – contentment and joy? And, that’s a fucking problem how?”

Roman roared with laughter. “I know! Right?”



Chapter 2





Stacy loved when Roman laughed since it happened so rarely. “So, Brother, do you know who’s doing this to you?” A bit more relaxed, she slid back into her chair.

“I don’t have a clue, Stacey, who or where it’s comin’ from. Can't say how it’s comin’ to me either. Suddenly, I’m just swamped with it.” Roman sucked in a huge gob of air. “And, that’s not the best of it either.”

Now on the edge of her chair, Stacey waited.

“Here’s the fuckin’ kicker, Sister, whatever the fuck it is, I feel warm inside… I sense it flowing through my veins. It’s beyond glorious, makes me feel so alive and I'm owning every fucking minute of it.”

Concerned and alarmed, Stacey asked, “Warm inside how?”

Roman's smile turned wickedly wide. “Hot. Heat. Warm blooded. I don’t fucking know, Stacey. It confuses the hell out of me.”

“Roman, that’s fucking impossible and you know it. Neither one of us will ever be warm blooded.”

“I know, but I…that's how it feels. How it's comin' at me.”

Stacey continued to worry. “Do you think someone’s trying to break you down?”

“Nah. Spells and Dark Magic have a certain essence that’s hard to miss once you know it. I’ve told you that before, Stacey. There’s nothing like that around me. Besides, Ram pretty much keeps me locked down and I’m covered at all times.”

“You never know,” Stacy cautioned.

“Stacey, it’s a time of peace for us Vamps after centuries of negotiations and hard work. Most of the bad shit has been weeded out and our race is on an even keel. I’m happy with that, but you know Ram. He’s got his eagle eye on me until this is over.”

“So, you’ve shared what's happening with Ram?”

Quickly, Roman shook his head. “No one, but you.”

Stacey huffed, her protective instincts for her brother roaring to life. “I say you get the hell out of Dodge for a few days. Let things cool off.”

“Run? Hide? That’s special, Stacey, coming from you.” His sister never backed down, never ran, and had a temper like Krakatoa.

Stacey winced. “What are you going to do?”

Aegean blue eyes hard and stormy, Roman admitted, “I’ve no idea, but when I find the answers there’s going to be fucking hell to pay.”





Out for a late walk the next day, Vivian Monaco went into a little boutique and tried on a pair of heavy iron bangles. The dark metal clashed with the big gold ring she wore on her left hand. It had a thick crest on the front and was from her mother.

Although, the two metals clashed, iron and gold, she wasn’t taking the ring off.

She loved recycled jewellery and the bangles were made from melted down railroad spikes. That wasn’t why Vivian liked them so much – it was because they were pure iron.

In one of those witchery fuckery books she had bought, it said pure iron protected against the unseen – the supernatural. Like monsters and demons.

Viv bought the pair of heavy iron bracelets and headed for the grocery store.

She was spending a lot of money – on books and bangles. Money Vivian didn’t really have to throw away on such foolishness and all due to an incredibly beautiful man whom she'd never met, yet he drew her in against her will.

She’d had no control over her own body – beyond attracted to Supernatural Man like silk to skin or her teeny moth to his massively mesmerizing flame.

It gave Vivian goose bumps even thinking about such nonsense. However, there was no denying things had been a tad strange since moving into her second floor apartment two weeks ago.

Only a few days after moving in, something big flew past her front windows as Viv was turning in for the night. Too fast for her to see anything, but the shadow cast across her front room was gigantic.

Afterwards, Vivian wondered for a few days – what kind of bird it could be and why it flew at night when birds don’t normally fly. A really huge darn bird.

Then, only a couple of days ago and out of the corner of her eye, Vivian saw someone appear on the sidewalk across Mayberry Street as she was enjoying an evening stroll. It startled the hell of Vivian, but she put it down to the play of light and shadows as the sun fell.

Viv didn’t have any experience with the Occult, but now believed firmly – after skimming most of those witchery fuckery books – there was definitely something supernatural about that incredibly handsome stranger standing beside the highest performance car in the world – the Svengali HyperChrome.

Without even knowing she was watching him from the second floor, Supernatural Man had mesmerized her. Somehow, he compelled her to go to him, a beautiful stranger, a man she'd never laid eyes on before.

How that was possible was anybody’s guess.

Reading so much supernatural garbage didn’t help either, fueling Vivian’s exploding imagination with the possibilities those books presented. Was another world sitting right next to hers? Was there a demon in the corner she couldn’t see?

Would the wards work? She’d set about twenty of them around her apartment – even in the bathroom…

Over the top and completely crazy, Viv shook her head and turned her mind to more pressing matters. Like if she didn’t get another tenant to rent The Bakery downstairs, she might have to sell the building and she’d just bought it.





Roman Mangetti was slowly going insane waiting, wondering and still not knowing where those fucking zany zingles were coming from. If that wasn’t enough, Stacey checked in on him every hour on the hour. He answered his ringing cell. “Roman.”

“Jericho Sullivan. Heard you were having some trouble and I thought I’d call to offer whatever help I can.”

“Great, kill off Wonka and his crew of turned Vamps eating away at that sweet little town north of us, Cherry Lane – now with a population of two, Jericho. Yeah, I can always use extra firepower if you and your Jinn boys wanna jump in.”

“Nuh, uh, Roman, that’s not the trouble I’m calling about. Cal and Stacey were here last night at my place and she’s worried sick you're under some kinda invisible attack.” Cheekily, Jericho added, “Got you some prime time emotional shit happenin' too, from what I understand, man.”

Roman quirked a hard black brow. “Little bitch. Stacey knows better than to talk about my personal shit.”

Jericho released a heavy sigh. “Hey, Roman, here’s how it works in my world. I consider CCX family and, since he mated your sister, Stacey, she’s part of my family. By some fucking stretch of the imagination, that includes you. So, she wasn’t out there sharing your shit with just anyone, but those she loves and trusts.”

Roman sighed. “Fuck off, Jericho. I know you’re right, but fuck off.”

“Little testy are we?”

“Got a lot on my mind.” Roman ended the call. He’d have to warn Stacey to keep his business to herself or he’d stop sharing shit with her.

Inside his compound, Jericho Sullivan, King of the Jinn, sat in his office, hearing the chatter from the kitchen as dinner was prepared. When Stacey had first revealed the fucking mysterious shit happening to Roman, Jericho wondered.

Now, his curiosity spiked. Jericho was well aware – it was flat out fucking unheard of for a Vamp to feel warm-blooded.

It wasn’t his gig and Jericho wouldn’t mention his suspicions, but if his instincts were on target, Roman Mangetti might be in for the ultimate ride.

The ride of Roman's fucking life.

With a laugh, Jericho slapped his palm on top of his desk and headed for the kitchen to find his mate, Annabelle – Abe – and his twin babes, Daisy and Deos.





At Roman's compound, downstairs inside Central Command, the third and final member of Roman’s elite crew, Field, banged away on his laptop, checking Inventory to see if they had enough infrared glasses.

Field was the youngest of Roman's trio of elite warriors. He was a big male with short blonde hair and green eyes. His shoulders were wide as he liked to work out and his machine gun arms proved it. He'd earned his place on Roman's elite crew through tenacity and his inability to give up. Not to mention Field was an incredible fighter with a keen eye for the win.

Onwards, Ram ranted, “I want Roman on infrared every step he takes tonight. He’s going back to Sylvains in an hour and I want all eyes on fucking deck, man. Also, let’s make damn sure the vid feed goes on when the infrared glasses activate. Afterwards, we’re gonna comb those videos with a fuckin’ vengeance.”

“What,” Shoreman lifted a questioning grey brow at Ram, “are we looking for in these vids? What are you after, Ram?”

Curtly, Ram stated, “We'll know when we see it.”

“Fuck, Ram, that's about as cryptic as I ever heard.” Shoreman snapped his mouth shut and adjusted his infrared glasses to fit his head perfectly. Shit was up and Ram wasn't sharing. It ruffled Shoreman's feathers and put him on edge.

Ram wasn't sharing because he couldn't. Ram didn’t know exactly what was happening to Roman, but only an hour ago the Boss mumbled about unseen shit bothering him. That small admission alarmed Ram – a fuck of a lot.

He’d sworn a blood oath to protect and serve the Boss – even when Roman wasn’t sharing his shit. Bad shit Ram didn’t know anything about – so, Ram was gonna stay on point and stay right on top of the Boss.

Roman didn’t drive directly to Sylvains, but decided to take a spin down a few of his favorite country roads. Once away from the outskirts of Bellsville, he smashed the speedometer into the orange zone as the red tachometer needle crashed to the right.

The HyperChrome, a high performance machine and Roman’s current favorite car, purred with pleasure as his shit-kicker pressed deeply into the gas pedal.

It was like riding on a cloud of cushioned air – a sleek, smooth ride. That wasn’t why he liked the car so much – it was because no matter what Roman needed – the HyperChrome performed on demand.

Down a long, shadowy stretch of road, the HyperChrome thundering under him, Roman felt all four racing tires leave the blacktop when he hit a dip in the road. Squealing, skidding tires and the wheel wobbling in his big hands, Roman brought the HyperChrome under control, yet never decreased speed.

Usually, near death experiences cleared his mind – got rid of the cobwebs. This time, it didn’t work. Nada. Zip.

The strangest part – all fucking day today Roman hadn’t experienced one zingle of excitement nor the emotional pleasure and happiness that went with it.

Not once.

By fuck – it worried Roman.

Would he never feel it again?

Those butterfly zingles brought him alive with too many emotions and powerful sensations Roman wasn’t used to working with. In his ugly world – it was a big fucking miracle he felt anything.

Now, though, Roman worried. Was it only a few times off and then those crazy zingles of fizzling energy and all the raging emotions were gone forever?

Somehow, someway, he regretted they might never return.

Roman slammed on the brakes, wide tires screaming and laying down ribbons of smoking black rubber on the tarmac, the Svengali HyperChrome started to spin out.

Hand over hand, he worked the bitch – forcing her to his will, making her perform like the superb machine she was.

Finally, Roman realized racing his favorite car down a dark stretch of road did absolutely nothing to ease his confusion or the many questions relentlessly bombarding him. He spun the HyperChrome into hard fast circles until she came to a dead stop.

Back and forth, the HyperChrome rocked as rippling heat waves exploded off her long matte black hood.

Frustrated, confused, Roman pounded the steering wheel before he flung the door open and stormed around the exquisite car.

Never had Roman Mangetti been so confused in his life – he wanted the zingle shit gone and now worried it might never come back.

WTF?!

Resentment and rage climbing, Roman seethed inside – he only now realized. Fucking boiling with anger it was happening to him and massive resentment those weird zingles and emotions hadn’t happened all day.

Talk about fucking confusion. He hated that more than anything. Always Roman worked with a clear mind, a clear head. He didn’t do drugs – not often – and only drank moderately. His workout routine was rigorous and done daily. He ate well – in all regards.

His mind should be fucking clear.

Indeed, a clear mind was exactly what Roman wasn’t working with.

Nobody interfered in his life.

Nobody messed with Ruler of the Vamps.

Nobody would dare.

For that reason, he’d searched his mind for anyone who might want to fuck with him – in such a nice way.

No one ever fucked with Roman in a nice way – by making him feel all warm and joyous, happy and contented.

Back in the car, he gunned the engine and headed for Sylvains. When he turned onto Mayberry Street – the zingling promptly spread over him.

Sharply, Roman pulled to the curb.

His chest, his heart, his mind, his body were bathed in loving, warm heat with zingles of energy – butterfly wings – brushing and popping all over his body.

It was fucking nirvana for Roman.

Bliss, man.

He turned the car off and got out. As soon as he went to cross to the south side of the street, the zingles faded. Roman’s head shot up and his piercing blue eyes scanned up and down both sides of Mayberry Street.

Quickly, he jumped back to the north sidewalk.

As he always did, Roman let instinct guide him and headed in the direction of Sylvains.

Adrenaline crashed through the big Vamp's system and he took a moment to get it under control, but his excitement was through the fucking roof – no way in hell could Roman contain it.

Slowly, he moved up the street and very soon more powerful waves of roaming zingles erupted all around him and in him – Roman felt them popping inside his mouth like little fizzling firecrackers.

Black brows drawn together in a hard line, his Aegean blue eyes honed on everything around him, Roman's intuitive senses rumbled to high alert. Whatever it was – wasn’t comin’ from Sylvains as it was on the south side of Mayberry Street.

The powerful Vamp's fangs bulged under his top lip as a deadly hiss escaped.

Whatever was doing this shit to Roman was close by.

Very close.

Ruler of the Vamps, the Chosen One, became the natural born predator he was.

A predator now seeking his prey.



Chapter 3





Vivian didn't know what it was – only that there was an edgy, ominous feel to the evening. An unnerving supernatural sensation…was hanging about.

In a twinkling and with a soft smile, Vivian realized it was all down to spending too much time reading those witchery fuckery books!

Now pitch black outside, Viv scurried back down for the last bag of groceries and tore up the stairs. Eagerly, she slung the last grocery bag onto the kitchen counter next to the others and breezed into the living room to turn on the lights.

First, she had to try on her new jewellery. The two iron bracelets were certainly heavier than she’d like. Next to the front door, Vivian flounced in front of the wall mirror hanging above the antique dresser to see if she liked the look.

When the doorbell chimed, Viv automatically reached for the front door.

As the door opened, her inner balance canted and Vivian’s breath escaped as a nauseating, spiraling swirl jumped in front of her eyes. Boneless, Vivian collapsed, curling downwards to hit the wood floor hard.

The moment the front door swung wide, Roman Mangetti slammed to his knees on the wide porch off the second floor. He couldn’t move, couldn’t think as his inherent energy drained away.

Powerful zingles of crazy energy were now popping all over Roman as each butterfly wing brushed and fizzled against his sensitive skin.

Roman's only driving desire was to reach out to the chestnut–haired beauty with stunning violet eyes now sprawled on the floor.


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