The Vampire´s Forbidden Love: Bad Boy Alpha Male Pregnancy Romance (Bound by Honor Book 2), страница 1
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The Vampire´s Forbidden Love
Bound by Honor: Book Two
A Paranormal Romance
By Jasmine Wylder
Table of Contents
The sound of the waves rolling on to the beach was like a lullaby to Melody and the sinking sun on the horizon was warm, buttery, and indulgent. For a few minutes, at least, she didn’t have to think about real life.
Here, she was free. She was a beach bum learning to surf with all the other beach bums in Malibu. The room she was renting from some studio exec was well worth the extra expense she paid for the location. She was anonymous. She was alone. She was safe, for now.
She hadn’t talked to her older sister Ember in nearly six weeks. She and her now-husband Kai had been married on the Arkos family island just off Greece two weeks ago, and although Melody was sad to have missed it, she wasn’t ready to come out of hiding just yet. Or every, maybe.
Her eccentric, simple life back in the mountains had been dumped on its head just about two months ago when that Greek alpha vampire showed up in Devil’s Folly and declared Ember was his mate. Of course, neither sister had believed him at first—either about the whole “mated for eternity” thing or even the vampire thing if Melody were being truthful. But then the New Dawn whackos showed up and bullets and mayhem followed them.
Turned out that Ember and Melody Terzi were descended from a long, royal line of vampires, too. Their father had fallen in love with a mortal and had forgone his right to turn into an immortal and chosen to emigrate to America, open a Podunk bar in a Podunk town and raise his daughters to be somewhat normal.
Ha, Melody thought to herself as the warm water caressed her feet. Normal. What a pipe dream that had been.
Ember had chosen to be with her mate, Kai, and Melody had been supportive. But she wasn’t about to live that sort of life herself and before anyone got any funny ideas about “protecting her for her own good” or some such nonsense, Melody had booked it out of Devil’s Folly before anyone was the wiser.
She was living off the money she’d earned working at the ski lodge as a chef over the winter and it was enough to keep her comfortable for at least a few more months. Then maybe they’d forget about her long enough to get their own lives going so Melody could go back to calling her sister every few weeks when she needed something.
The religious nuts. The vampirism. None of that was nearly as intimidating as that giant Viking-looking lug named Aksel who had been her personal babysitter when the shit hit the fan. Her attraction to him had been swift and strong and when they’d finally spent that night (and a half, well into the next morning), she’d been certain they had both gotten each other and the strange feelings she had out of her system.
So why did she dream about all ten of Aksel’s abs each night when she was trying to drift off to sleep? Why did every tall blonde in a crowd make her heart race? Why did she wonder if he was safe at least three times a day?
Hookup remorse, she’d told herself. Nothing more than good-old-fashioned one-night-stand-shame.
The sun was setting now and Melody knew she’d need to start trekking home to make herself something to eat. She’d been ravenous the week or so and she worried that at this rate, she’d eat herself out of her emergency savings by the weekend.
Chuckling, she pushed herself to her feet and let out a huge yawn. Being on the run was exhausting.
Two days later, after three mornings of not being able to hold down her breakfast, Melody found herself holding a plastic pink stick with a magic, life-altering plastic window in her shaking hands. The box had said to wait at least five minutes after peeing on the test strip before expecting results, but Melody hadn’t been able to put the damn thing down.
She was crazy. It was all in her head. There was no way she’d gotten pregnant from that one single night of amazing sex with Aksel.
On the way to the drugstore, she’d played out every possible scenario of what could possibly be going on. She had hoped for food poisoning. Dehydration would have worked and she even stopped in a convenience store and bought water to chug. She even considered the fact that she was having a kundalini awakening.
At the counter, she’d kept her gaze lowered as the teenaged clerk rang up her double pack of pregnancy tests. Sullenly paying for them, she walked slowly out the door and trudged back to her rented room, hoping for some sort of miracle.
A pregnancy was the last thing she needed right now.
Now, standing with the test in her hands, her heart raced as she saw the faint blue lines start to form. When the third line began to solidify, she felt faint. It was really happening. It was really, really telling her that she was pregnant with Aksel’s baby—and she didn’t even know his last name. It’d been something Scandinavian, she had guessed, when she heard her brother-in-law Kai say it once.
Groaning, she leaned against the wall of the bathroom and slowly slid down to the floor in a heap.
This was more than just complicated—this was downright insane.
More than anything right now, Melody wanted to call her big sister and freak out. She needed Ember to tell her that everything was going to be okay.
Instead, Melody curled up around her pillow in a rented house in a brand new town and cried herself to sleep. Alone.
Aksel stretched his long legs underneath the huge maple conference table and sighed. This meeting had gone way beyond its allotted two hours and nothing had been accomplished yet. The old clans were nervous about the increased terror acts happening around the world in the name of New Dawn. Despite the fact that the Arkos had Rouvin Scala in custody and had interrogated him every hour of the day for the past two months, they wanted more measures in place.
They wanted treaties. They wanted increased security details for the elders. But nobody wanted to pay for it and nobody wanted to supply their own men, so here they all sat.
“None of this makes any sense,” a bald vampire from the Sardinian family pounded the table. “You take the head of the serpent and yet the attacks still occur? Our people are still dying? And what is Arkos doing about it? Nothing! Secreting away with a new wife that none of us have met yet!”
Aksel couldn’t blame him, really, but this level-headed Kai made for longer, mind-numbing meetings. New Dawn had done a lot more damage than just tracking Kai to Devil’s Folly two months ago. There’d been a bombing of a vampire-owned resort in the Caribbean and a shooting in Poland—using sterling silver bullets with highly-reactive helionite in the chamber. Helionite was a new substance that was proving deadly to vampires and New Dawn seemed to have an endless supply of the stuff.
The meeting adjourned minutes later with a promise to pick right back up where they left off in the morning. Out in the hallway, after the representatives had left for their rooms, Kai sighed.
“Do you remember the good old days? When we hunted our enemies and drank their blood?”
Aksel could. He missed the days when life and death depended on strength and stamina—not statesmanship and trickery.
“These damned weaklings begging for protection, but not willing to sacrifice a single man or cent toward it. What are they bringing to the table? What good is the Order if three of the nine families pay for everything and suffer the most losses?”
Aksel didn’t have the answer for his friend and only walked beside him in silence.
Later, they were sitting around the dining room table in Kai and Ember’s quarters finishing dinner for the night. Aksel frequently ate with them, as he had no family of his own and was technically responsible for Kai’s safety as his second-in-command. With all of the new faces coming and going to the negotiations, he knew better than to let his guard down.
Besides that, Ember was a fantastic cook and Aksel got sick of eating in the compound’s cafeteria. There were only so many ways the cooks could work with the engineered blood products before Aksel lost his mind. Ember, with her new vampiric abilities, was a bit of a culinary wonder.
The only problem with being around Kai and Ember so much was the fact that the conversation almost always visited a subject that Aksel did his best to avoid.
“Were you able to contact Melody today?” Kai asked Ember. She gave a forlorn shake of her head and looked at the table in front of her.
“I haven’t heard from her in almost three weeks now,” she said miserably. “And even then she was so set on not letting me know what she was up to that we didn’t talk long. I’m worried about her now.”
Aksel stiffened at that. Why was she worried? Could Melody have been in trouble?
“She doesn’t handle change all that well,” Ember said. “I’m just afraid that something terrible could have happened to her and she has no one to help her through it. I think about her alone and afraid.”
Kai reached for his wife’s hand across the table.
“She’s a fighter, my love,” he said, kissing her knuckles. “She’ll be fine and she’ll come forward when she’s ready.”
Ember only nodded, smiling at Kai and pushing herself up.
“So how did the meetings go today?” She asked, a little too brightly. Kai gave Aksel a look that said that his wife wasn’t okay and that this was a show. Aksel knew. The sisters had a bond that he’d rarely seen outside of vampire families. The lack of communication had to be hurting Ember. And Melody, too.
His mind wandered back, as it often did, to that hot, steamy night they shared together in Ember’s cabin. Her arms and legs wrapped around him. The way she’d cried out against his neck as he took her. She was all fire and passion and it’d taken him three days to recover from their time together. His cock stirred to life beneath the table and Aksel cleared his throat and fidgeted in his chair.
Damn, traitorous body.
Aksel blinked and looked at Kai, was staring at him. Kai had just asked Aksel a question, apparently.
Kai raised an eyebrow and gave him a knowing look.
“What I said was, you wouldn’t mind taking a trip back to the States to do a small tactical recovery mission for me, would you?”
Kai’s expression made it clear what he meant—he wanted Aksel to track Melody down and to bring her back to the island for Ember’s sake.
He smiled a bit and nodded. Of course he’d play a little cat and mouse with his favorite prey one last time.
All for Ember’s sake, of course.
Melody had walked to the bookstore earlier in the evening, thinking she’d be back home long before it got dark out.
She hadn’t counted on finding the extensive magazine selection and over the course of almost three pots of chamomile and peppermint tea, she’d read every single new release on the rack. The owner had been cool with it, actually, seeing how Melody spent a small fortune in food and tea at the café at least three times a day. Sabrina, the owner, and Melody had a chummy friendship going on and Melody found herself humming all the way home.
Maybe there was a future for herself, and her baby, in Malibu after all.
The day after finding out she was pregnant, it was all Melody could do not to call her big sister and beg Ember to come rescue her. Melody had no plan. No real savings beyond the next few months and no support system. How was she going to make it all work and not damage her child irreparably in the process?
She’d been overwhelmed those first 24 hours to say the least.
But then, the Terzi side of Melody started to emerge and when she really got down to it, there wasn’t much in this world that she couldn’t handle if she set her mind to it.
This baby was a blessing. And miracles happened. The two of them would be fine and eventually, when she was established and safe, she’d tell Ember only if she swore herself to secrecy and promised never to tell Aksel.
The last thing she wanted was that ape of a man to show up in her life and take her baby from her.
The streets were busy enough despite the darkness and Melody made her way quickly down the sidewalks. It was a nice neighborhood and she wasn’t really scared of traditional crime, per se. But the fact that New Dawn had tried to kill her sister and Kai, made her a little paranoid. What if they wanted to come after her next because of her Terzi blood?
The thought made her shudder and pick up her pace again as she dashed across the crosswalk.
Part of her walk took her past the beach and she closed her eyes as she stopped for just a moment to inhale the salt air. Smiling, she wrapped her arms around herself and smiled. In this very small space in time, she was okay. Everything was okay.
Just then, a very specific scent ghosted across her consciousness. Spicy. Woodsy. Male.
Melody’s eyes snapped open and she looked around frantically. It couldn’t be, could it? Nobody was there on the sidewalk with her and Melody chided herself for overreacting. Aksel was long gone and, if things went as planned, she’d never see him again.
Continuing on toward her place, Melody picked up the pace a bit, unable to shake the sensation that she was being followed. Every few steps, she looked behind her and found nothing but an empty sidewalk.
“What’s with you tonight?” She mumbled to herself.
Up ahead, the house came into view. Melody made her way around the side yard and toward her private entrance. Once inside, she shut and locked the door and leaned against it, letting out a long sigh. What was her problem? She was scaring the hell out of herself over nothing.
Melody hung her key on the wall hook and flipped the switch. When the light flooded the small space, she let out a shriek of terror.
Sprawled out on her twin-sized bed was the very same ghost that had haunted her the entire walk home. Who had haunted her since she last saw him two months ago.
“Shit,” she swore and cov
With a lazy smile, he pushed himself to his feet and crossed the small space to stand over her, invading her senses with that same stupid spicy smell of his.
“Your sister is worried about you,” he said simply.
Melody let out a little breath of relief. She’d immediately worried that he had some weird vampiric sixth sense and knew what was going on with her. With them.
“So I’ll call her,” Melody said, backing up a step. She reached her hand out behind her back in search of the doorknob.
“You’ll do better,” Aksel said with a smile, taking steps to close the distance again.
“If you say so,” she muttered, her hand closing around the brass handle. She was almost there. Knowing she couldn’t outrun the brute, her best bet was to make it to the street and cause a scene. Hopefully he’d slink back into the shadows and buy Melody some time to put a little distance between them. His nearness was wreaking havoc on her already.
She twisted her hand and felt the knob start to give. She started a silent count to three and just as she tensed to move, Aksel’s large palm flattened against the door, boxing her in.
“I don’t think so, kitten,” he grinned at her. Momentarily blinded by his dazzling lips and perfect teeth, Melanie forced herself to blink and break the spell.
“Have it your way, Viking,” she whispered and launched her knee straight into his groin. She hit him hard, too, and his reaction was nearly instantaneous. He crumbled, clutching his injured body parts, his face a mask of pain and rage. He was trying to speak but was so far incoherent. Melody didn’t need another invitation and spun on her heels, pulling the door open and sprinting outside.
Muscles burning and lungs nearly bleeding (it felt like that anyway), Melody made it almost a mile before she stopped to catch her breath.
Damn it. Now what? Her wallet, her keys, and her phone were a mile in the other direction most likely guarded by that stupid gargoyle of a vampire and it was almost 11 pm. Almost nothing was open anymore and even if she found a place to hole up for a while, she didn’t have any money to pay for a coffee.