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By Rene Lyons
Samhain Publishing, Ltd.Copyright © 2006 Rene Lyons
All right reserved.
Chapter OneAllie laughed softly at Sebastian's astonished stupor. By the look on his face, she had the distinct feeling if he'd been standing when she told him she loved him, he would have fallen right on his ass.
"Too bad I don't have a camera handy," Allie teased weakly, her voice a hoarse whisper. "The look on your face is priceless. I bet the boys would love the chance to see it."
All he seemed able to do was sit in amazement. "You can't mean it."
"Yes I do."
Stretching out on the bed, every part of her ached. The cold she felt from the inside out was something she knew the Templars suffered the last seven hundred years.
How awful to always be this cold.
Sebastian sat next to her on the bed. The sheet was tossed aside-thankfully onto her-leaving him to hang out in all his naked glory. The man definitely had no shame. Not that he needed any. With a body as gorgeous as his, covering it with clothing was a crime.
She finally had a clean view of his incredible tattoo. Black and gray work, the design was a classic Dark Ages dragon crawling down his shoulder. The tail wrapped around his neck, ending behind his ear.
When she sat, Allie dragged the sheet with her. Clutching it tight around herself, she wasn't exactly as immodest around Sebastian as he obviously was around her.
She placed her hand on his knee, shocked at how warm he was-as warm as any living being. Her life lent him a temporary reprieve from the cold. That alone made it worth it for her to put aside her reservations when it came to him feeding from her.
"I wouldn't have said it if I didn't mean it," she assured him. "Not to sound pathetic, but the truth is, I've been half in love with you since I first saw you."
Sebastian made a very male grunting sound and finally looked at her. His disbelief was evident. "How can you love me?"
The incredulity in his tone pulled at her soul. "How can I not?"
Sebastian was quiet for so long, Allie grew incredibly uncomfortable under his intense stare. He seemed to be trying to see past the surface of her and glimpse into her heart.
Without a hint of warning, he grabbed her by the back of her head. She sucked in a startled breath when his hand fisted in her hair and he pulled her head toward him. From the look on his face and the hungry gleam in his eyes, for a moment she swore he was going to eat her. Instead, his mouth came down on hers in a kiss meant to claim. To dominate.
She'd never forget this kiss.
Dizzy with passion when he released her, Allie was still in her right mind enough to raise a brow at the undeniable male arrogance oozing off of him. She wanted to say something witty, but was too dazed to form a single coherent thought.
Allie finally learned what it meant to be "kissed senseless".
"You make me believe miracles are real."
Nothing else he might have said would have made her feel more cherished. "Sebastian ..."
Medieval warrior, damned vampire, Templar, label him whatever you wanted and it would make no difference. He was an incredible man and she adored him no matter what he was or the things he'd done in his past.
He'd been judged enough. Now it was time for him to be accepted and loved.
Throwing herself at him, she wrapped herself around him, bear-hugging him for all she was worth. He pulled her onto his lap cradling her. This time, it was her turn to steal some warmth from him.
He tucked her into him, resting his chin on her head as his fingers idly danced over her arm. Nearly lulled to sleep by the tender touch, she snapped awake when he spoke. "Did I hurt you? Before?"
Surprisingly he hadn't. Not like when that other vampire took her blood. "Nope."
His hand petted her hair, lulling her into a totally relaxed state. "Why did you let me take your blood?"
"It felt right." Though a part of her didn't want to know the answer, the question tumbled from her before she could stop it. "How many times have you fed since the night at The Gate?"
Sebastian didn't hesitate in his answer-unfortunately "Every night."
Gone was her relaxed state. Hurt and jealousy exploded through her like the shattering of glass. "Oh. I hadn't realized it was that much."
Not being the jealous type, this was all new to her and left her heart raw with pain.
Allie never thought herself a violent person, yet her heartache made her want to smack Sebastian right in the mouth.
Disgusted, she went to climb off his lap but Sebastian stopped her. He settled her back on top of him and placed a finger under her chin. He tilted her head so he could see her face. "I haven't touched another woman since the night I found you poking around my room."
Okay-now she was confused. "But you've been feeding."
He gave a small shrug. "Animals, Allie. I've been feeding from animals."
Her jealousy died instantly. "I thought vampires couldn't do that."
"We can, but it only quiets the hunger. It doesn't sate it."
The admission floored her. Five nights had gone by since the night at The Gate. Five nights he'd suffered with the hunger. It had to have been sheer torture and so much more than she expected him to put himself through.
"You didn't have to do that."
"Yes I did." He stroked her cheek tenderly. "The thought of my hands on another woman made me sick."
That statement was worth a million "I love yous".
She gave him a fierce hug and showered his face with kisses. "Thank you,"
He smiled and she saw his fangs peeking out from behind his lips. "You're welcome."
Excerpted from Midnight Sun by Rene Lyons Copyright © 2006 by Rene Lyons. Excerpted by permission.
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