Charming the Darkness is the 4th book in my Darkness series. This is Danny Vega’s—Dante Vega’s brother—story. I love writing humorous dialogue and this one has plenty. My hubby and I have a humorous relationship in that we both love teasing and annoying each other. I put that in Danny and Starla.
Daniel Vega had
never been comfortable as a human so when he was offered eternal life as a
vampire, he turned his back on his family and welcomed the darkness. Then
Chaos, the one man Danny thought he could always count on, goes missing. Now,
shunned by his own kind, it seems that leaving Jacob’s Cove is his only option.
Until he crashes into a high-spirited redhead.
Born from witches, Starla Raine has spent her entire life learning to control and manage her powers. Drawn to Jacob’s Cove, a city magically cloaked in darkness, Starla runs into Daniel, a man connected to the infamous spell, and she knows just what to do. Hold him hostage and, use any means possible to make him give her what she wants.
The two forge an unlikely partnership, with Danny agreeing to help Starla find the ritual, but only if she’ll work with him to locate Chaos. At first he doesn’t mind using her magical abilities, or her body, for his own gain. Sex is just sex, after all… until someone’s heart gets in the way.
She bolted up and Danny had a moment to think damn before his body locked up. It was the best way to describe why he had no ability to move any of his limbs. “What the hell?” As hard as he tried to move he just couldn’t.
“You’re a vampire?” She backed away from him, her brown eyes wide as she glared at him.
“Well…yeah. What the hell is wrong with me? Why can’t I move?” It was like his brain had lost communication with the rest of his body, yet he could feel everything. Weird.
“I froze you. You were going to bite me.”
“Once again, yeah. Vampire here and what do you mean you froze me?” He was straining so hard to move that if he wasn't careful he was going to drop a load in his pants.
“I’m a witch.”
“A witch.” At least he could use his face and, frowning at her, said, “You’re a witch?”
She folded her arms over her chest and cocked her hip to the side. He corrected his earlier thought. She wasn't just hot. She was damn hot! “Yeah, what’s wrong with being a witch?”
“Nothing wrong with it. You just don’t look like a witch.”
“Why, because I don’t have a green face and a pointy nose?” She rolled her eyes.
“No, because…well, you’re hot.” There was no denying it, the woman had curves in all the right places and that tight black v-neck tshirt she wore teased of ample breasts. Never mind the blue jean that looked painted on.
“Only children think witches look like that. I’m not that stupid.” She planted her fists on her hips and gave him an indignant look. “I don’t like your attitude.”
“No problem. Unfreeze me or whatever you need to do to give me back the power of my body and I can be on my merry way. Killer, hurry your ass in there already!” Where was that cat anyway?
“Killer? There are more of you in here?” She spun around, facing towards the entryway to the kitchen.
Oh, this was too perfect. “Oh yeah, there’s a whole bunch of us here and we are all going to take turns sucking the life right out of you.”
She narrowed her eyes as she turned to face him. Maybe he should have used less sarcasm. “I don’t believe you.”
“Suit yourself. Come on out, guys!” This was too much fun. Her face went white as snow. Then Killer walked in, meowed, and wound his body around Danny’s legs. How was he supposed to pretend to be mean when the cat was cuddling up to him?
“There’s no one else here, is there?”
“Sure there are.” He was losing her rapidly.
“I don’t think so.” Daringly, she inched towards the doorway, peering around the corner.
Danny just couldn’t resist. “Get her!” She jumped, spun around in some sort of karate kick, her fists raised and ready. It was the hottest thing he’d ever seen.
“I knew it. There is no one else here.” She spun back towards Danny. “You lied.”
“Can’t blame a guy for trying. All right already, Killer, go lay down on the sofa or something.” The cat was annoying him only because he was tickling Danny’s shins and there was nothing he could do to stop it, being frozen and all.
“Killer? That’s Killer?” she chuckled as she made her way to the cat, scooping him up into her arms. “You don’t look so fierce. Come here, pretty girl.”
“He’s a guy.” The nerve of her assuming Killer was a girl.
“Aren’t you a sweetie pie?” She nuzzled her face into the cat’s fur. “Yes, you are.”
Killer was loving every minute of it. “You wanna unfreeze me now?”
“Right, because I look stupid.” “Well—” “Don’t.”
“You walked into it, toots.” She narrowed those big, brown eyes at him. “Don’t call me that. If I let you go the first thing you’ll do is jump me and bite my neck.”
“Doesn’t have to be the neck and I’d probably do more than just bite you.”
Her eyes narrowed a little more. “What does that mean?”
“Just forget it. If I promise I won’t bite you, will you let me go?”
“Sure. Not!” She laughed at him, then took a seat on the sofa with the cat. “What’s a pretty kitty like you doing with a big bad vampire?” Her head jerked up and her eyes went wide making them look even bigger than they already were. “Oh my Goddess! Please tell me you don't drink from him, do you?”
That was just the most appalling thing he’d ever heard. “What? No way. Killer and I are tight. We’re pals.”
“Yeah, I saved him from a bunch of hungry dogs a few weeks ago and we’ve been roomies ever since.”
“You’re roomies?” Her lips twitch with a grin.
He wasn't impressed. And this was why he preferred the cat’s company to humans. Killer didn’t mock him. “What’s wrong with that?”
“Nothing. It’s sweet. You have a kitty as a pet.” Snuggling the cat to her face, she flashed a huge smile at him.
“Wanna release me now?” He didn’t like the way she was looking at him or being called sweet. He was anything but.
She leaned back and Killer made himself right at home on her lap. “Not yet. So why were you leaving—I don’t even know your name.”
“Cool. I’m Starla Raine. So why were you leaving?”
“Starla Raine? What kind of name is that?”
“It’s a perfectly fine name. Starla was my grandmother’s name.”
“So Raine is your last name?” He’d thought it was one long name rather than two.
“Yes. Why were you leaving?” she repeated, gently stroking the cat’s head. Maybe if he played nice and gave her what she wanted she’d release him and then he and Killer could go on their merry way.
“I’m tired of this town.”
“I would think someone like you would love living here where there’s no sun to burn you up.”
“The sun doesn’t kill us. That’s just a myth. It does give us a nasty third degree burn. I’ve spent twenty years learning to live with the sun, doing so now won’t be any different.”
“Twenty years?” She frowned. “How old are you?”
“Get out? Wow, how old were you when you were taken?”
“Thirteen. I answered your questions, so you wanna let me go now.” His body was starting to cramp up and it was not a good feeling, especially since he couldn’t rub the tightening muscles.
“The response you gave to my question was lame. Now tell me the real reason you and Killer,” she smiled down at the cat on her lap, “were leaving.”
“Why does it matter to you?” She was pissing him off now.
“Just curious. What’s the real reason?”
She just wasn't giving up. “If I tell you the truth, will you please release me?”
“You bet.” She kicked her legs up onto the couch and Killer stretched out, placing his paws and his face on her knees.