Shy nurse Cora both dreads and lives for the moments she sees Zeke, an orderly at the hospital where she works. Zeke is too handsome, too compelling, too much, and seems totally unaware of Cora. But before she can bring herself to his attention, an explosion rips through the hospital Christmas party.
Zeke has noticed Cora—in fact, he’s so irresistibly drawn to her that he saves her from the explosion by turning her into a vampire, much to the jealousy and resentment of his partner, Merrick. Zeke hates being a vampire, and now that she’ll live, doesn’t want Cora to suffer his fate. If they can both resist the overwhelming instinct to bond, joining their bodies as Cora draws her maker’s blood, she might be able to return to her normal human life.
As Merrick uses every erotic trick to keep Zeke distracted from the blood passion, Cora becomes more and more drawn to both of her reluctant captors. And more and more happy to abandon her old life in exchange for an eternity with two hot immortal lovers. All she has to do is convince Merrick and Zeke that being a vampire isn’t all that bad.
Cora did her best not to stare at his face while he was talking. She forced her gaze downward, away from the bright and brilliant light of his eyes, and found herself gawping at his hands instead. She’d never noticed his hands before that night. They were enormous and somehow fine at the same time, with these heavy-boned knuckles she couldn’t quite look away from. They didn’t seem like a hospital orderly’s hands.It was impossible to look away from Zeke. The moment she thought she was safe, some other insane thing drew her back in. There were times during her workdays at the hospital that she’d take an entirely circuitous route, merely to avoid the glare of him—even though a circuitous route was practically death for a nurse. No one ever walked more than they had to while on shift, because walking more than you had to meant blisters. It meant exhaustion, and working in a hospital was quite exhausting enough on its own.
But she walked it for him, and had for the past six months since he started working there.
Or rather, she walked it so as to avoid embarrassing situations like this, where he stood in front of her and expected her to engage in a conversation. Any second now he was going to notice her fumbling, her awkwardness, her desperate attempts to look at anything other than his face. It would click in his mind that she’d spent the last five minutes of the staff party staring at the Christmas decorations next to his head, instead of meeting his gaze like a normal person.
And then it would occur to him why.
Of course it would. Men like him probably encountered this issue all the time. Or did other women feel no shame about swooning or fawning? She suspected they didn’t, because she’d seen Caitlin flirting up a storm with Zeke outside cardiology. She’d smiled in that twinkly way and tossed her hair, while Cora had looked on with a mixture of amazement and envy. How did people swallow their fear so easily?
Maybe other people felt no fear. Maybe they stared at men like Zeke and didn’t get that swell of vertigo, as though he was a cliff and she was poised on top of him. All he had to do was move a little to the left and she would fall, she was already falling, couldn’t he see that she was about to smash against the rocks?
She needed him to stop talking to her, before it was too late. She was so overwhelmed she didn’t know what he was saying anyway, so what did it matter? He could easily move on to someone else—someone who could actually answer him, and wasn’t about to throw up. That girl by the sparkling drinks stand looked pretty stable, even if the world around her didn’t. The world around her was swaying and swirling in a kaleidoscope of Christmas glitz, to the point where Cora began to wonder.
Was this really all him? Was this really all nerves?
About Charlotte Stein:
Charlotte Stein is an RT-nominated erotic romance writer of over thirty novellas and novels. She lives in West Yorkshire with her husband and cheeky dog.
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