The vampire keeps trying to make a mate. The gravedigger keeps killing them before they rise. Ivory's got a bone to pick with Fletch ... and a proposition.
Ivory, a Wild West whore of renown and an unrepentant vampire, has tried without success to create herself a mate. Obviously, something's gone terribly wrong, and she suspects the interference of the pious gravedigger.
Fletch Conroy has been trained all his life to fight the forces of darkness through ritual and consecration. But after a rash of mysterious slasher deaths, Fletch decides it's time for him to start hunting for the vampire responsible.
What he finds turns out to be more than he bargained for. And Ivory intends to take full advantage of that fact to show Fletch she's not the monster he expects.
Reader Advisory: This book contains some scenes of violence and vampiric dubious consent; bloodsport (of course) and one of the characters undergoes some personal religious conflict/shame.
General Release Date: 13th December 2013
Franklin tickled the ivories of the piano. And near the piano, Ivory peered through the crowd to find someone worthy to tickle her.
Lively music accompanied rich, boisterous laughter in the bright bordello. Shouts from testosterone-charged, rugged, rough and ready men drinking at the bar or clinking chips at the tables mingled with come-ons and purrs from the girls as their perfume of the night interwove with the sweat of the day.
Men from around the whole county as well as those just traveling through all flocked to Ruby Rue’s every night. There was never a shortage of company. Ruby Rue—a ponderous woman who laughed with the men and could drink several of them under the table before offering them the services of her establishment—could afford to be particular with her girls. This was why the madam was known in all the territories of the Union and beyond for her discerning taste in a finer breed of whore. Reputation as much as happenstance brought curious men, young and old, through the swinging doors of Ruby Rue’s. No one left feeling short-changed, although they did leave with fewer coins or notes lining their pockets than when they entered—now tucked into corsets and garters and under pillows.
Ivory had worked with Madam Rue for nine years, easily one of the odder additions to her eclectic collection of working women. Whereas most of the girls stuck together for safety and as a kind of patchwork family, Ivory kept to herself. She also rarely trolled the room for just any john that tripped into her bosom, instead preferring to stay in her corner by the piano. Franklin didn’t mind. Gave him something nice to look at while he had his back to the rest of the room.
Ivory was very selective about with the men she brought to her bed—it was considered a badge of honor as prestigious as a battle scar for Ivory to invite a man up. Some nights, she never moved from her chair. Many men swore she never even blinked, just sat still as a statue with her dark gaze considering the crowd, the skin she was named after scrubbed and matte pale, the generous dark curls of her hair pinned up and framing her face. Tonight, she had propped her boots up on an ottoman, the leather as black as her eyes—an impressive feat in a dusty town.
Her gaze lit upon a dirty, scruffy newcomer striding through the doors. Just from the set of his hard, defined jaw and the scars and lines of his face, Ivory detected the kind of man that could nurse a grudge for decades, who would wait patiently for just the right moment to put a knife to the back or a bullet in the head. A gunslinger if she ever saw one, but not trouble of the bar-fight kind, which wasn’t the kind of brawny she was looking for.
Determined, passionate, wicked, resourceful and unafraid of getting a little dirty. That was the kind of man she wanted in her bed tonight.
“Leave ‘im cross-eyed and bow-legged, Ivory,” Franklin called after her as she stood.
“May you be as fleet-fingered on other instruments, Frank,” she replied, making him laugh. Ivory liked him. Most of the girls did. He enjoyed looking at them, but everyone knew he preferred saddle horns to stirrups. He was the only man allowed in Ruby Rue’s during the day because he had no use for women of the night.
Ivory wound her way to the bar where her man swigged from a tumbler of whiskey, and came up behind him. As was her trademark with a client, she said nothing, merely slid her hand down over his arm to where he held the tumbler. When the man turned around to see who had interrupted his drink, she plucked the glass from his hand. He stopped mid-snarl as he took her in, his blue eyes darting over her, clearly unable to find somewhere to linger with such a sumptuous feast before him. From the way he had nursed his whiskey, company hadn’t been forefront in his mind after his journey, although Ivory was confident it would have become more important in the hours ahead after he’d imbibed sufficient alcohol.
Ivory had better use for those hours.
“What’s your name, tall, strong and handsome?” Ivory asked softly, the murmur of a city girl of a much higher station, her drawl less pronounced than her counterparts. It was one of her charms—cowboys stumbled from the whorehouse feeling like they bedded the finest lady, finer for her willingness to satisfy their quite ungentlemanly desires.
“Wynn Rhodes, ma’am,” he replied, tipping his hat to her. “Just passing through.”
“Where to?” Ivory asked.
“Wherever my horse carries me,” Wynn said. “I got half a mind to be a lawman, if a town’ll take me.”
“Tell ‘em Ivory took you first,” she said, caressing his rough hand with her thin fingers. She never took her eyes from his, and eventually his hungry gaze couldn’t look anywhere else. “Any John Law’ll respect you then.”
“I’m sure they would, ma’am.”
“You come on up with me now,” Ivory said, easing the layered fabric of her skirts between his legs to press close. She stroked the dusty and sun-browned chest exposed above the buttons of his shirt.
What would any red-blooded man say?
His drinking companions let out a shout and clapped him on the shoulder. He barely acknowledged the congratulations as Ivory hooked a finger in one of his belt loops. She drew him through the throng behind the train of her bright red satin dress, less gaudy than many of the other girls but fancy nonetheless. The skirts hid her legs but showed off the enticing curve of her hips and ass before flaring out in swirls of fabric like flame. The scarlet corset drew her waist in and displayed to full advantage the breasts spilling over it, barely encased by the rest of the satin bodice that pulled off her shoulders to reveal a generous expanse of unmarked cream-colored skin.
The staircase to the girls’ rooms was narrow, almost too narrow for Ivory’s skirts, but Ivory had practice navigating the staircase and the corridor. As they passed by other rooms, they heard creaking beds, rough grunts and high-pitched moans through the closed doors. Wynn became more impatient, barreling them through until Ivory stopped in front of her door at the end of the hall.
Aurelia T. Evans is an up-and-coming erotica author with a penchant for horror and the supernatural.
She’s the twisted mind behind the werewolf/shifter Sanctuary trilogy, demonic circus series Arcanium, and vampire serial Bloodbound. She’s also had short stories featured in various erotic anthologies.
Aurelia presently lives in Dallas, Texas (although she doesn’t ride horses or wear hats). She loves cats and enjoys baking as much as she dislikes cooking. She’s a walker, not a runner, and she writes outside as often as possible.