Blood Lust

Blood Lust

by Alexandra Ivy

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Overview

Blessed and cursed by their hidden abilities, the Sentinels have no choice but to live, and love, on the edge of humanity…

The Sentinel assassin, Bas, is facing the greatest challenge of his outcast existence. His young daughter, Molly, has been kidnapped. But her disappearance has brought the return of her mother, Myst, whom Bas has never forgotten—or forgiven.

Haunted by a vision that she's destined to create a weapon that will destroy thousands, Myst was never impulsive—until she met the irresistibly handsome Bas. But with the Brotherhood, the enemy of the high-bloods hunting for her, Myst had to stay on the run, to keep her child, and the world, safe. Now, with the most important thing in both their lives at stake, she and Bas must embark on a treacherous journey to save Molly, to confront the truth of Myst's fate—and to face their fierce desire for one another.

Praise for Blood Assassin

"Ivy knocks it out of the park…A strong paranormal romance with an excellent backdrop of intrigue and supernatural war." —Fresh Fiction

"Riveting. . .engrossing." —RT Book Reviews

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781420137590
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 05/31/2016
Series: The Sentinels Series , #3
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Alexandra Ivy graduated from Truman University with a degree in theatre before deciding she preferred to bring her characters to life on paper rather than stage. She currently lives in Missouri with her extraordinarily patient husband and teenage sons. To stay updated on Alexandra's Guardian series or to chat with other readers, please visit her website at www.alexandraivy.com.

Read an Excerpt

Blood Lust


By Alexandra Ivy

KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.

Copyright © 2016 Debbie Raleigh
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4201-3760-6


CHAPTER 1

Bas had retreated to his penthouse suite in the luxury Kansas City hotel after fleeing from the clusterfuck that recently destroyed his highly profitable business.

Not that he gave a shit about the money.

He had enough wealth stashed in various properties around the world to last him several lifetimes.

And he gave even less of a shit about ending his role as the leader of a renegade band of mercenary high-bloods who defied the laws of Valhalla to sell their various talents for an indecent price.

It'd been fun, not to mention highly profitable, to create his merry band of misfits, but he'd made more than his fair share of enemies over the years. A fact that had come back to bite him in the ass when a former employee had kidnapped his precious daughter and used her as leverage to try and gain control over a volatile high-blood who could have started Armageddon.

Now all he wanted to do was find someplace safe to raise Molly.

He could, of course, have gone underground. Keeping a low profile was easy for a man who had his talent for altering his appearance. But he wasn't going to drag Molly from one seedy location to another.

She needed love and peace and stability in her young life.

Things he fully intended to give her. Once he figured out how to avoid being arrested and thrown into the dungeons of Valhalla.

He was in the process of plotting his future when he heard the pitter-patter of tiny feet.

He turned to watch Molly enter the salon, her stuffed hippo, Daisy, clutched in her arms.

Joy pierced his heart as he studied his daughter's sleep-flushed face surrounded by her silvery curls. Christ, he still got up a dozen times a night to make sure she was safely tucked in her bed. Molly, on the other hand, barely seemed to remember her time as the witch's captive. Thank God.

"What are you doing out of bed? Did you have a bad dream?" She flashed a smile that could light up the world. "Mama called me."

Bas swallowed a curse. Molly often spoke about Myst. Almost as if she was a constant companion instead of the woman who'd given birth to her and then promptly disappeared.

"Called you?" He gave a teasing tug on a silvery curl. "On the phone?"

She giggled, the dimple he loved appearing beside her mouth. "No silly. In my head."

"It was a dream," he gently assured her.

Her bronze eyes, which perfectly matched his own, widened. "No. It was real."

"Molly."

"She talks to me all the time."

Bas bit his tongue. He couldn't tell his daughter that five years ago he'd had a one-night stand ... no, it hadn't even been that.

Myst had come into his office, desperate for a job. She'd claimed to be a clairvoyant, but she hadn't been capable of providing even one reading of the future.

He hadn't had much choice but to tell her that he didn't have a place for her on his payroll.

Not only because she didn't bring the skills that could make his business money, but because he'd been rattled by his intense reaction to her fragile beauty.

He was nearly three centuries old. He'd had countless lovers. Some had been passing acquaintances, some he'd enjoyed for several years.

But none of them had ever come close to making him a conquest.

Which was why he hadn't been prepared when Myst had stepped into his office, nearly bringing him to his knees with the force of his instinctive, gut-wrenching desire.

Even now the memory of her beauty haunted him.

Her pale, exquisite face that was dominated by a large pair of velvet-brown eyes. And the long, silvery blond hair that looked as if it was spun silk.

She was danger. Pure female danger wrapped in the warm scent of honeysuckle.

Unfortunately, before he could get rid of her, Myst had caught him off guard when she'd burst into tears.

He might be a bastard, but he'd been unable to toss a sobbing woman out on her ass. So instead he'd given her a good, stiff drink to calm her nerves. And then another.

And the next thing he knew they'd been naked on his couch and he was lost in the spectacular pleasure of her body.

Bas gave a sharp shake of his head, his hand reaching into the pocket of his slacks to touch the locket he'd carried for the past five years.

He'd wasted too many nights recalling just how good it'd felt to have Myst pressed beneath him, her legs wrapped around his waist.

The only thing that mattered was that she'd disappeared from his office the second his back was turned. And then, nine months later, slipped through his security to abandon Molly in his private rooms.

What kind of woman did that?

"Okay," he murmured, fiercely attempting to disguise his opinion of Myst. "What does she say?"

"That she has something she has to do, but she misses me," Molly said. "And that soon we'll be together again."

"I don't want you to be disappointed if she can't come," he said gently. He tenderly smoothed her silken curls. "You have me. And I'm never going away."

"But she is coming." Molly bounced up and down at the sound of the door to the suite being opened. "See? I told you."

Bas surged upright, his hand reaching for the gun holstered at the small of his back.

What the hell? How had an intruder gotten past his security system?

"Molly, go to your room."

"But it's Mommy."

There was the unmistakable scent of honeysuckle drenching the air before a silver-haired female stepped into the salon, her yellow sundress swirling around her slender legs. Bas hissed, feeling as if he'd been punched in the gut.

Christ.

She was just as beautiful as ever.

Perhaps even more beautiful.

"Myst." The name was wrenched from his lips.

Her delicate features were impossible to read. "Hello, Bas."

He gave a shake of his head, trying desperately to dismiss his potent, intoxicating response to the sight of her.

"What the hell are you doing here?" Her gaze shifted to the tiny girl standing beside him, a luminous smile lighting her fragile features.

"I've come for my daughter."

* * *

Myst had learned to endure living in a constant state of terror.

It wasn't like she had a choice.

For years she'd attempted to avoid her inevitable fate, always on the run, always looking over her shoulder.

Stupidly, she assumed that she'd become so accustomed to her sense of dread that nothing could rattle her.

Until five years ago.

The day she'd first met the man who was standing in front of her like an angel of retribution.

Not that she'd felt dread when she'd walked into his office. She only wished she had.

No. If she wanted to be brutally honest, she'd tumbled into instant lust. Who could blame her? Bas Cavrilo was a stunningly beautiful male.

His features were carved by the hand of an artist. A wide brow. A narrow, arrogant blade of a nose. Full, sensuous lips that hinted at a passionate nature beneath his stern facade.

His skin was a pale ivory and satin smooth unless you counted the small eye-shaped emerald birthmark on the side of his neck, and the thin horizontal lines tattooed beneath it.

In contrast his hair was as black as midnight and cut short to emphasize his male beauty.

And his eyes ... Lord, those eyes.

A tiny shudder had raced through her at her first glimpse of the metallic bronze eyes that held a cunning intelligence.

She'd felt as if something vital had been switched off in her brain. That would explain why she'd so recklessly chugged the scotch he'd offered after refusing to give her the job she so desperately needed.

And then another scotch had been chugged....

The next thing she knew she was giving in to the passion that had exploded between them with electric force. Once sanity had returned, she'd slipped away, hoping to put the crazed incident behind her.

Of course, she couldn't be so lucky.

Instead she'd discovered that she was pregnant, and she'd learned the true meaning of terror.

Now she licked her lips, her heart thundering like a freight train in her chest as she forced herself to meet the scorching bronze glare.

"How did you get past my security?" Bas snapped.

Before she could speak, Molly was darting forward, ignoring her father's biting fury with the confidence of a child who knew that she was well loved.

"Mommy, Mommy!" she cried.

Myst fell to her knees, enfolding the wiggling bundle of sunshine in her arms.

For a perilous second she closed her eyes, savoring the pure joy that briefly drove away the nightmares that were Myst's constant companion.

"Hey, baby," she murmured softly.

A shadow fell upon her as the tall, lethally dangerous assassin moved to tower over her. "I asked you a question."

She pressed her cheek to the top of Molly's soft curls, staring at the original Renoir painting that was hung on a far wall.

"I heard you."

"Then you have no excuse for not answering."

"You didn't hire me, remember?" she muttered.

There was a startled silence. "I remember everything," he at last said, the words oddly husky.

Myst shivered. Heavens. His voice was magic. Low, and whiskey smooth. Sometimes she woke in the middle of the night, imagining she could still hear him whispering words of pleasure in her ear.

"You're not the boss of me."

He snorted, unimpressed. "And?"

"And I don't have to answer to you."

Tiny arms wrapped around her neck as Molly smacked a moist kiss on her cheek. "I missed you, Mommy."

Her arms tightened around her daughter, tears filling her eyes. "I missed you too, baby. More than you could ever imagine."

She heard Bas swear beneath his breath.

"Molly, go back to your bed so Mommy and I can have a little chat."

"No, I don't want to go to bed," Molly pouted, burying her face in Myst's neck. "I want to stay with Mommy."

"Molly." The edge in Bas's voice warned that he was at the end of his patience.

Keeping her arms around the fragile little girl, Myst rose to her feet and carried Molly toward the door that led to the back of the suite.

"It's okay." She brushed her lips over Molly's forehead. "I'll tuck you in."

Molly gazed up at her with shimmering bronze eyes. "I don't want you to leave."

Pain sliced through Myst. She'd known this was going to be difficult. But she hadn't realized it was going to feel as if her heart was being ripped out.

She forced a smile to her lips. This was for Molly.

After everything her daughter had been forced to endure over the past week, a visit from her mother was the least she could do for her.

"I'm not leaving," she said, pretending to ignore the large male form prowling behind her like a panther shadowing its prey.

The hair on her nape stirred, her mind urging her to flee as she walked down the short hall that led to two bedrooms. She chose the nearest, heaving a silent sigh of relief at the sight of the toys piled in the corner of the elegant black and gold room.

The last thing she wanted was to accidentally intrude into Bas's privacy.

Not that she feared he would toss her on his bed and strip off her clothes. Her lips twisted. His expression when she'd entered the suite had revealed what he thought of her.

And it was nothing good.

But it would have been ... unnerving.

"You swear you won't leave?" Molly pleaded as Myst crossed the lush black carpet to settle her daughter on the bed. "A pinkie swear?"

She gently tugged the gold comforter over Molly's tiny body. "I swear."

"You shouldn't make promises you can't keep," Bas growled from behind her.

"We can discuss it later," Myst muttered, concentrating on her daughter, who was snuggling into the mattress with her stuffed hippo pressed to her chest.

Although they'd been in constant mental contact, she'd never had the opportunity to savor Molly's delicate beauty or the pure innocence of her soul, which glowed around her with a golden aura.

She was ... perfect.

And worth every sacrifice that Myst had to make.

"Will you tell me a story?" Molly pleaded.

Myst gently pushed a silver curl off her daughter's cheek. "Of course."

Molly flashed her a dimpled grin. "I want to hear the one about the princess who saves the troll and he turns into a prince. That's my favorite."

"Her favorite?" Bas growled, abruptly grabbing Myst by the arm to tug her away from the bed. "What's she talking about?" Myst made a sound of impatience as they halted near the doorway. Okay, Bas had every reason not to trust her. She got that. She truly did.

But she only had a limited amount of time with Molly.

She couldn't afford to waste a minute.

"It's a fairy tale that I made up," she confessed, forcing herself to meet the bronze male gaze even as tiny shudders raced through her body.

Who wouldn't shudder when an assassin was scowling at her as if he was considering where he intended to dump the body?

It had nothing at all to do with the fingers that had loosened their grip and were absently stroking up and down the bare length of her arm.

"Fairy tale?" he snapped.

She shrugged, wishing she wasn't such a shy, timid mouse.

If she was one of those beautiful, sophisticated women that seemed born with the knowledge of how to manipulate men, she could use her wiles to convince this man to let her stay.

As it was ... she had no flipping idea how she was going to perform that particular miracle.

"It's a harmless story."

The stunning metallic eyes narrowed, the air heating. Bas was not only a witch, he was a born Sentinel, which meant his body temperature ran hotter than other people's. Especially when they were pissed off.

Or in the throes of passion ...

She slammed shut the door on that agonizingly vivid memory, watching as the bronze eyes narrowed, his heat spiking.

Almost as if he'd managed to catch her wicked thoughts.

"Myst —"

"Mommy," Molly called from the bed.

Myst released a breath she didn't know she was holding. Thank God for a timely interruption.

"Coming." She moved to step around the male only to come to a halt as his fingers tightened on her arm. She tilted back her head to glare at his painfully beautiful face. "Let me go, Bas."

He refused to release his grip, but his fingers instantly eased. She blinked in confusion. Was he afraid he was hurting her?

That seemed very ... unassassin-like.

"Have you been sneaking in to see Molly?" he growled.

She shook her head. "No."

"Then how did you tell her a fairy tale?"

Myst hesitated. She wanted to lie, but she feared he would sense she wasn't telling the truth.

Probably not the best way to convince him that she could be trusted with their daughter.

"We're psychically connected."

His dark brows lifted in surprise. "You told me that you're a clairvoyant."

"That's one of my gifts," she agreed, her voice carefully devoid of emotion.

"One?"

Her lips twisted in a wry smile at the disbelief in his tone. She was used to being dismissed as a mere scribe with meaningless powers.

"Yes."

He looked ... offended.

"You didn't tell me you were a telepath."

She shrugged. "You didn't ask."

"You applied for a job. I assumed you would have shared your complete resume." He leaned down, wrapping her in the scent of clean male skin and scotch. "Or were you keeping secrets even back then?" His lips brushed the top of her ear, sending streaks of lightning through her body.

Danger, excitement, and pure lust twisted her stomach into a knot.

Dammit. She'd spent the past four years isolated in the bowels of a Russian monastery. She wasn't prepared to deal with the cascade of sensations.

She struggled to suck air into her lungs. "I wasn't a telepath when I applied for the job," she said in hoarse tones.

He frowned, his fingers resuming their absent path up and down her arm. Was he even aware of what he was doing?

Her skin shivered with delight.

"Is that supposed to be a joke?" he demanded.

She grimaced, understanding his annoyance. High-bloods were born with their mutations, even if some didn't reveal themselves until after puberty. Most people only had one, but a rare few could claim a combination.

Like Bas, who'd been born with both the magic of a witch and the superior strength of a Sentinel. And even more rare were those powers that appeared later in life, seemingly out of nowhere.

None of the healers had an explanation.

It simply happened.

"The talent didn't reveal itself until I was pregnant," she grudgingly confessed.

He lifted his head, genuine amazement in his eyes. "A spontaneous manifestation?"

"Yes."

He studied her with a searing intensity. "Fine. You should have told me you were in contact with Molly."

She forced herself to hold that raptor gaze. Bas was a natural leader with a male confidence that easily intimidated others.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Blood Lust by Alexandra Ivy. Copyright © 2016 Debbie Raleigh. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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