He was dressed in black, his usual choice, not only as a metaphor for the loss of his soul, but because black was perfect camouflage for slipping in and out of darker places.
He and his brethren, called the Seven, had chosen ebony for the background of their crest, highlighted by a golden cup centered between two parallel stripes of crimson. One red stripe to represent the blood of the mortality they had left behind, and one for the first drink of the new blood that changed them so radically and forever.
They had painted this design on their shields with fluid from their veins, and etched the same design into the skin of their upper backs with the tip of a heated knife.
The tattoos were there now, between his shoulder blades; an ever-present reminder of what he had become and the goal he served-all of those things so much bigger than anyone knew.
He remembered, as he stared down at the crowd gathered by the club's entrance, how people had once flocked to him and his brethren for aid. And how, over time, those same people had run from the sight of the fated knights who never aged.Times had changed, but his goals hadn't. Presently, he was more or less in disguise as just another immortal amid the world of London's immortals, playing a part, acting less than he was after a long, self-imposed exile.
| IMMORTAL OBSESSION
Excerpt 2 - Meet Madison Chase.
Someone still watched her.
Madison glanced up at the balcony, and found the culprit. Her breath caught. Behind the ornate railing stood one of the most beautiful men she had ever seen. Every working woman's version of a wet dream.
Tall and broad-shouldered, the wickedly handsome observer leaned against a pillar with a self-assured, languid pose. Immaculately dressed in black, a visually stunning contrast of fair hair surrounded his sculpted, angular, aristocratic face.
Having noted his interest, Madison figured that any other woman would have run right up to that balcony and handed him her hotel key, desiring his touch and to hear his haughty British accent. Happy to have been singled out by such a creature, they'd have wished for a kiss, a condom and the luck of being chosen as his one-night stand.
Any other woman . . .Care had to be taken in London, because, at least according to rumor, things weren't necessarily what they seemed.
| IMMORTAL OBSESSION
With a last brief return to Madison's lips, he pulled back. Madison should have been running by now. He wasn't holding her so very tightly.
A non-physical touch pierced his mind. Coldness invaded, quickly overwhelming and replacing Madison's marvelous heat. This cold was far more lethal than his ambitious liaison with Madison. This cold would eat the woman in his arms alive if it touched her.
He set Madison down, and stepped in front of her to deflect the chill. Although it was imperative that he keep hold of her, and hide her latent abilities from the others, it was equally as important to maintain his disguise. So much depended on that disguise.
Madison moved at last. Sidestepping him, she looked to the immortal in the doorway, then back to St. John.
She was a sight, with her dress creased and her hair in disarray. Her smeared lipstick gave the impression of a chin covered in blood. She looked wild, and so very lovely.
Beneath wide, uncertain eyes, her swollen lips opened. Steadying herself with a bracing breath, she tried to take a step. Satisfied that she could walk, she took another step, then another, her heels making tapping noises on the concrete as she headed for the club's entrance. There, as she made to brush past the two-hundred-year-old vampire who kept St. John in his sights, she paused, as though some part of her recognized that the entity in the doorway might be dangerous.
St. John felt the shiver that ran through Madison. He watched her last step wobble. Do not let him know about us, he wanted to shout. Do not meet that creature's eyes.Had she heard? She left the entity in the doorway alone, and said over her shoulder with a vehemence of tone that didn't quite ring true, "Damn you, and the fantasy you rode in on, St. John. If you try to kiss me again, I'll sue."
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