Paranormal Romance Author

Annie Nicholas

Writing Romance with Bite

Excerpt for BAIT


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    Live bait made all the difference, pretty much a no-brainer. If the prey hungered, it was best to use someone like me.

   I needed to attract my quarry’s attention so I dressed outside the Budapest nightlife norm. The beautiful, exotic eastern European women filled the place with their form fitting, dark clothes and smoky make-up. This fashion did not complement my five foot, two inch, olive skinned, 'holy cow she's got curves' frame

   Instead, I tousled my shoulder-length, dark-blond curls and applied a little lip gloss. The high-waisted, filmy white dress, which possessed a neckline low enough I had better not sneeze, with the silver stiletto heels, made me a beacon. Time I hooked me a monster and reeled him in.

   The popular nightclub jammed, and on any other night I’d be having a great time, but the crush of people made it difficult to spot anyone. Even with heels I'd have trouble seeing Rurik. I twisted and swung my hips to the pounding music as I grooved across the sunken dance floor. Tables stood around the edges so the patrons could watch.

   I should have shimmied instead of turned when someone's elbow made contact with my forehead. Flailing, I tottered on my heels, tripped over someone’s foot, and landed on the empty staircase.

   Legs sprawled, white dress twisted too high and pulled too low, I gripped my throbbing head in surprise as the world spun. I was the picture of American class abroad.

   A shadow blocked out the colored lights reflecting off the mirrored walls. It distracted me from my revealing predicament. Large, strong hands grasped my shoulders. I gazed up and my heart raced.

   Rurik. The target I had hunted for in every ruin-club, open-air party, and disco in Budapest. A delicious, hunky, make-me-swoon vampire.

   He lifted me to my stiletto-laden feet.

   Most people don't believe in vampires, thinking them myth or legend. I know otherwise. My job comprised of luring these monsters to their executioner.

   I was bait.

   Rurik said something in Hungarian.

   Tourists had a better grasp on the language than I did. I shook my head. “English?” My heart hammered faster than the music's beat. I’d searched weeks for him and he found me, I couldn't have planned a better scenario.

   His cold, arctic, eyes bore into mine. Even with me wearing heels he towered over me. I couldn't help but admire his dark, slicked back hair, exposing fine sculpted cheekbones, a narrow face, and a set of full lush lips--all male and very tasty.

   Once assured I could stand on my own, he released me, and brought my hand to his mouth to brush those lush lips against my knuckles. “You're an unexpected treasure, my angel,” he translated over the loud music.

   “Thanks.” I’d lost hope of ‘bumping’ into him and just complied with Colby’s--my employer’s--routine orders. Seduce him into following me to the hotel room close by where they waited.

   Vampire or not, he provoked a forbidden lust. I was still a woman, after all.

   Rurik belonged on the cover of GQ. His black Italian suit contrasted nicely with his white dress shirt and pale skin, tailored to fit his athletic build. Everything about him was simple and elegant.

   Everything except the ring on his left pinky finger. A gold antique, with a rock set in it big enough to choke on. Only the Overlord of a city could wear such a ring. It symbolized his power--like a king's crown.

   His hand trailed up my arm, to touch the thin, white fabric of my dress. He said something but the music drowned him out. I didn't really need to hear him. The hunger in his eyes told me everything. He liked me.

   “Do you still want to dance?” He shouted and  gestured to the packed floor.

   “No, I think I should quit while I'm ahead.” I pointed to my forehead, where a welt throbbed with my racing heart.

   He chuckled. “Then let me buy you a drink. My name is Rurik.” His grasp tightened on my arm as he led me away from the dance floor. The corners of his mouth lifted into a small pleasant smile as he turned from me. It wouldn't do to flash fang and scare dinner away.

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