Darkness Calls (Silhouette Intimate Moments #1283)

Darkness Calls (Silhouette Intimate Moments #1283)

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by Caridad Pineiro

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Darkness Calls by Caridad Pineiro released on Oct 1, 2007 is available now for purchase.

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Darkness Calls by Caridad Pineiro released on Oct 1, 2007 is available now for purchase.

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Darkness Calls

By Caridad Pineiro

Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.

Copyright © 2004 Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-373-27353-3

Chapter One

His was a life filled only with empty dreams, if one could call those fleeting thoughts in a vampire's sleepless nights dreams. His existence was without end and ruled by a loneliness that made each day harder to bear than the one before.

High above the crowd, Ryder Latimer smelled the sting of the alcohol as the humans drank and spilled it in copious amounts in their search for oblivion or nirvana. Acrid smoke from cigarettes floated high into the air, and in that hazy cloud were the underlying tones of sweat. Sweat laced with lust, he thought, sniffing the air and detecting the ripe pheromone the humans exuded as they played their pitiful mating rituals.

Scents, he had discovered, were important to a vampire. Musks and other aromas literally brought out the beast in him. He normally avoided the smells, but it was tough to do in a crowd as large as this.

This far up, the sounds of the band and the crowd were garbled. Indistinct. A low buzz, like static, and a heavy thumping vibration from the bass of the music. An insistent lub-dub lub-dub, like the beat of a heart.

Ryder closed his eyes, placed his hands on the metal railing of the catwalk and the vibrations traveled up his arms. He took a deep breath, absorbing the smells. Soaking everything up as if by doing so he could restore a small part of the life he had lost when a strange turn of events during the Civil War had condemned him to this solitary life. It was a fleeting moment, the human scents and sounds racing through him, enervating him as he stood near the ceiling of the club.

In no time, however, Ryder was back to normal, watching like a disinterested deity, bored by the repetition of the activity below. Every night the same scene was replayed. Until tonight.

He had discovered in this morning's paper that there was some killing going on in that mob of humans. The murderer had struck last week and then a few nights ago. Maybe he would hunt another soon, Ryder thought, glancing down and wondering who might be the next one to be taken. Who might become another trophy for the psycho stalking his club. The papers hadn't mentioned The Lair, but Ryder had no doubt it was here that the hunt was on.

Ryder had sensed something different in the last few weeks, that unique smell of bloodlust that had made him wonder if another of his kind had come to feed. A club like this would be an excellent place to select a victim and then cull them from the herd.

He looked down once more and he saw her, standing at the edge of the crowd, searching for someone.

It wasn't possible, he thought as he hurried along the catwalk, keeping the apparition in sight. For nearly a century she'd been in his dreams. Or maybe it was better to describe them as his restless nocturnal musings.

Regardless, Ryder had stopped questioning why the spirit came to him. Sometimes she arrived at times of unrest, the visions she brought portents of things to come. At other times, when the monotony and uncertainty of his existence made him question why to go on, she'd come to soothe his soul and give him the peace he was unable to find elsewhere.

But tonight, she was no longer just an apparition - or was his loneliness deluding him?

He struggled to get a glimpse of her face, but even with his vampire night sight, he still couldn't be certain his imagination wasn't getting the best of him.

After all, for more than a century, he had been virtually alone with only a human keeper and his apparition to comfort him. Maybe that was why his mind and eyes were playing games with him tonight. It was just a trick, Ryder told himself, and yet he stood, poised on the edge of the catwalk. Watching. Waiting. Hoping.

The loud, driving beat of the bass pulsed through Diana Reyes's body, the vibrations pulling at something deep inside her. On stage, a guitarist thrashed around, his arm wildly circling as he strummed chords in sync to the pounding of the band behind him. A spotlight focused on him, picking up the gleam of sweat on his lean torso and the dark, swirling artwork on his upper right arm and shoulders. With a final jump and strum, the song ended, but the band quickly launched into another, its rhythm and violence not much different from the first.

Diana withstood the assault on her eardrums, watching from the periphery of the large crowd. There was a crush of bodies trying to make their way deeper into the space. Beyond them, other patrons lounged at tables along the border of a dance floor that was so packed she wondered how anybody could move to the music.

It was dark in the club, nearly pitch-black in spots. Overhead, dangling from an irregular maze of catwalks, wires and ropes, was an assortment of lighting equipment and mirrored balls that shot off erratic spots of light to create a jarring visual display on the dance floor. The only steady sources of illumination were those directed at the stage and at the long metallic bar along the side of the building. The bar was bathed in red spotlights, making the metal of its stainless-steel surface gleam as if coated in blood.

Apropos given that two women had lost their lives here ... or at least commenced their journeys to death in this place. Those deaths were the reason FBI agent Diana Reyes had offered to go undercover. Her profile of the killer indicated this was the place where he'd selected his victims. And Diana was his type.

The two victims she had seen in the morgue days earlier had been young and pretty until the killer had gotten to them. His sociopathic handiwork suggested he was someone who liked inflicting pain. Someone who knew how to make it last. The medical examiner had implied that at some point, the victims may have passed into a "no pain" zone, courtesy of the adrenaline coursing through their bodies.

Diana absentmindedly nodded and rubbed at the ridge of scar along her own rib cage. She had firsthand knowledge of just what someone could do when her body shut down from an excess of physical and mental pain. She had crawled to her father, cradled him in her arms and tried to stop the bleeding from the bullet that had ripped into his chest, courtesy of a gang's drive-by shooting. Futilely, she had pressed her hand against the wound, watching his blood leak between her fingers as he died in her arms. It wasn't until after his death that she realized she had also been hit.

Diana was certain that for these victims, the killer had made the pain a real living thing. And at the end, she thought with a shudder, the two women had likely realized death was close at hand.

She intended to put an end to the killer's spree. She threaded her way through the crowd, in search of her partner and hoping to become visible to the murderer.

Her investigation had confirmed that both victims had planned to come to this establishment on the nights they were killed. Even before eliminating known acquaintances as suspects, Diana was certain she had a serial killer on her hands. One who would likely strike again, and soon. The second girl had been murdered only a week after the first. Tonight's surveillance should give Diana a feel for the place before she intensified the investigation with more equipment and personnel.

The mark on her hand - the red bat used as proof that IDs had been checked and the entrance fee paid - confirmed that the victims had in fact been here. She traced the edges of the design with her hand, thinking how it marked her in another way - as prey.

A touch came against the bare skin at the small of her back. She turned and faced David, her partner. Like the others in the club, he was dressed in black, from his jacket and T-shirt to his jeans, but with his blond, prep-school looks, it was hard for him to seem tough. Even the scruffy beard he'd grown did little to help. It was barely a peach fuzz on his boyish face.

He grinned and moved his hand. Her backless halter exposed her right shoulder blade, and he traced the edges of the tattoo there. "Nice touch. Both the shirt and the tattoo. Shame it'll wash off," he said, and Diana didn't correct him.


Excerpted from Darkness Calls by Caridad Pineiro Copyright © 2004 by Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Darkness Calls (Silhouette Intimate Moments #1283) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
tracier More than 1 year ago
Darkness Calls is Magnificent I found myself engrossed in Darkness Calls from the very beginning and quickly fell in love with the strength and emotions of the characters and their stories. Ryder Latimer has chosen to live his life in the shadows. Owner of 'The Lair' a local nightclub Ryder is all too aware of what he is and what he has lost. FBI Agent Diana Reyes is good at what she does but she has let her personal heartache spiral her out of control before and she is determined to not let it happen again. A spree of killings has led Diana and her partner to 'The Lair' a popular nightclub to try and catch the killer. Ryder is stopped in his tracks when he sees Diana and know he should stay away but with a killer on the loose he will not be able to stay in the shadows forever. Diana will need Ryder's help to solve her case, but will Ryder tell Diana the truth before things go to far and will they catch the killer before Diana ends up being his next victim. I loved reading Darkness Calls and look forward to reading the rest of the series.
Intrigued_by_Romance More than 1 year ago
FBI Agent Diana Reyes is on the case to find who is brutally killing women. Diana and her dad were close; but when her dad is killed and she witnesses it; she closes off those who try to get close to her. She dives into her work, giving everything she has in order to solve mysteries. Ryder Latimer is a man of mystery. He owns the Lair; a night time hang out where people go to drink and dance (a place to unwind). He pretty much keeps to himself, but when the killings happen close to his place of work......FBI Agent Diana Reyes and her partner are on the case to solve the mystery. When FBI Agent Diana Reyes meets Ryder, something special sparks between them. There is definately a connection, but being the hard worker she is Diana must investigate everyone....and I mean everyone. Ryder tries to help Diana solve the mystery of all the killings...but she has hesitations because she is not sure if He is the killer or what his intentions are. The more time they spend together, the more awkward life is turning out to be. Is Ryder Latimer the Killer? What are his intentions towards FBI Agent Diana Reyes? Will Diana drop down her wall around her emotions and trust Ryder? Who is the Killer? You have to read this book! It definately is a must read. Caridad Pineiro did a Fantastic book. I found it really hard to put it down. Check it out!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This novel is a very unique mixture of suspense,romance and sci-fi. WOW!! The author does a wonderful job of flawlessly melding the quite different genres into a book which is truly hard to put down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Though the link of the last two victims is a nightclub, the serial killer has frightened much of New York City, especially Manhattan. The FBI assigns Agent Diana Reyes to go undercover to ferret out the murderer. Club owner Ryder Latimer meets Diana and they are instantly attracted to one another. However, he is has been a vampire since the Civil War and knows first hand the fleeting life of mortals and though he desires the cop he wants to end their relationship before it begins so neither gets hurt........................................... Diana deduces that there is something special and different about Ryder when she begins dreaming of him in gory environs. She wonders if she gave her heart to a killer of women. However, will the truth prove kinder to Diana and if so can they truly make THE PERFECT MIX NOW AND FOREVER?................................... DARKNESS CALLS is a superb blending of a police procedural with a vampire tale. The story line works because the lead couple, her partner, and several club employees and customers make the Manhattan scene including a vampire and a serial killer seem genuine. Fans who enjoy a well written but different type of novel will want to read Caridad Pineiro¿s sensational supernatural FBI investigative romance...................... Harriet Klausner