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Mechele Armstrong
Blood Lines 5: Bitter Love

Publisher · Loose Id
Release Date · July 2008
eBook ISBN · 978-1-59632-733-7
Genre · LGBT vampire paranormal
Length · Novella

Amaretto is out for a night on the town, a little dinner, a little dancing, maybe a little getting lucky... until he gets a stake in the back. Good thing he really is a vampire.

After getting knocked out by his prey, the would-be vampire hunter, Leif comes to... tied up and at the sexy vampire's mercy. His wannabe slayer days are over. Now he's got no choice but to team up with Amaretto and catch the rogue vampire terrorizing his city.

Soon, their nights are spent pursuing the killer and building sexual tension between them. Leif can't be attracted to a vampire, can he? The sex is hot and there's definitely something there, but Amaretto's not into forevers. Still, he's never been so tempted to try something long term as he is with Leif. When Leif takes off and gets himself into trouble with the killer, who's all too human, it's up to Amaretto to figure out how to save him and whether he can find a love that's never bitter, only sweet.

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Anal play/intercourse, male/male sexual practices, strong violence.

Blood Lines 5: Bitter Love

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"Bitter Love is a bit bitter-sweet but in the way of good chocolate and just as excellent. Lovers of several genres will enjoy Amaretto and Leif."
—Jo, Joyfully Reviewed


Copyright © 2008 Mechele Armstrong

Grasping the man's head tighter so he couldn't move away, Amaretto sunk his fangs into his fleshy bicep. The man's non-muscular arms lent to the best place to feed from this angle.

The man squirmed but continued to buck his hips, lost in the swells of his orgasm.

Life giving nourishment fell into Amaretto's mouth. His senses hummed with the feeling of feeding. The allure of the blood.

The smell of garlic increased.

Shit, were they near a pizzeria? Shouldn't it be closed this time of night?

He stilled as pitter sounds entered his range of hearing. Listened over the rush of the feed. Had he heard a soft footstep? No, he would have smelled a human approaching. His sense of smell often kept him in the know more than his sight.

Pain exploded in his back. "Gahhhh." He let go of Bud to turn. His hands went to the center of the pain to find an arrow. Holy shit.

Bud retched behind him. "Fuck man. You've been shot."

"No shit." Way to state the obvious. Pain burned down Amaretto's back.

A man stepped out of the shadows holding a crossbow. Armed with another arrow, he aimed it at Amaretto's chest. "Demon of destruction. I will send you back to hell where you belong." He motioned to Bud. "I saved you. Now get the hell out of here or face my bow." He wore a necklace that looked like flower bulbs. The smell of garlic increased to overpowering as he stalked closer.

Bud didn't think twice about staying. "Sorry man." He jumped in his car and sped off at high speed, almost running up on the curb in his haste to get away.

So much for the rest of his meal. Or a heroic lay. Would he call the cops to rescue? Unlikely, but it did mean whatever he was going to do, Amaretto better do it fast. He yanked on the arrow, but he couldn't remove it without some leverage. Not to mention, right now it plugged the hole, keeping him from bleeding out. Loss of blood from this wound wouldn't kill him but the blood loss would weaken him. He'd have to have a full meal or a healing sleep at some point soon. Adrenaline would keep him going for now. Long enough to deal with the bow wielder. "What in shit's name are you doing?"

The man moved forward with the bow. "Slaying you."

All he'd wanted was a meal and maybe a fuck. Now he'd been shot it the back. Amaretto shook his head. What bad luck to come out tonight. The story of his life. "You're nuts." Did the man think his name was Buffy? He sure as hell didn't look like Sarah Michelle Gellar. Or Kristy Swanson. And this wasn't some script written by Joss Whedon. Amaretto would have to teach this imbecile a lesson. Before he encountered a vampire who wasn't as civilized as Amaretto and considered being shot in the back fighting words.

"And you're a vampire. That I will send back to hell. For killing my people."

A nutjob that knew what Amaretto was. Great. "I don't kill, asshole. Will you now… Look out!" He pointed with a shaky finger, and horror punctuated his face.

The man turned, and Amaretto tackled him. Lucky thing the man must not watch many horror movies. What on earth did he think he was doing?

They struggled over the crossbow. Amaretto would win, but he tried not to hurt the crazed lunatic. "You interrupted me. From a good fuck." And a meal but he wouldn't go there.

"From killing. You demon seed. You'd have drained him." The lithe man moved like a slippery eel trying to evade Amaretto.

"Shit. I told you I don't kill." He never had. He tired of the fight. Maybe a little hurt would help him put this man in his place. He wrestled the bow away with ease and slapped the man upside the head with the weapon. Another hit thwacked upside his head for good measure.

The man went unconscious with one final curse.

Amaretto stared as the man slumped down.

Now what was he supposed to do?

· · ·

Amaretto rubbed his back, which ached a little, though the wound had already knitted over. He looked at the arrow he'd pulled out. Looked like something from an old cowboy movie. It was nothing like real arrows from history. Or at least the history Amaretto had lived.

He'd managed to stop the bleeding from his back without too much trouble. A fresh delivery of emergency blood from his blood bank contact had been delivered, so he should be okay, despite the blood he'd lost.

He took another sip of blood from a coffee mug. He preferred fresh, warm blood taken directly from the source, but he'd do what needed to be done. He always had. Should have heated his meal up but hadn't taken the time as he kept an ear out for his attacker to wake up. Maybe later he'd warm some and have a feast.

Since he'd been denied much of a feed and now couldn't go hunting.

He walked out into the living room of the spacious rental house to check on the reason he couldn't go hunting and hadn't taken time to heat his meal.

Blondie's head still hung down to his chest. He was tied to a chair.

Amaretto had plucked off the garlic strand before hauling him back to his house where he'd promptly tied the man up. Luckily, he didn't live too far away from the club and had no neighbors on either side. The rental house he lived in rested on a less traveled side street, too. The better not to hear Blondie scream for help. Which he would, once he woke up and saw who had secured him.

Amaretto couldn't leave him out there in the world. Not without some cold, hard facts. If Blondie encountered a vampire who killed for food, this Buffy wannabee would be toast. Humans couldn't kill vampires. The man wouldn't have a chance and would get picked off like a lice in someone's hair.

What drove a man to shoot someone he thought was a vampire? Not exactly a typical human. How the hell had he found Amaretto and decided he was a vampire? Not that Amaretto took extraordinary care to conceal himself, but he did take some to keep his nature secret.

He looked at the man's face. A slight grizzle of whiskers grew on the angelic looking visage. He had what others called a baby face. Probably looked years younger than he was. He was slender but his muscles were rock hard. And having carried him for several blocks, Amaretto could say he was solid. Unruly blond curls spiked up from his head. His full lips looked red against his pale skin. An earring glinted from one ear. A long gothic cross necklace hung around his neck where it had been tucked behind the garlic. He dressed in all black from his button down shirt to his jeans to his boots.

Amaretto took another sip of blood as he continued to peruse the man who'd shot him. His cock sprang to life. He blinked, looking down into his drink. "Oh. no." A spike of desire ran up his spine.

An adrenaline rush had to be causing this arousal. No way he could be attracted to Blondie, a man who'd shot him in the back.

Only that was a crock of shit. And Amaretto knew it.

As a man, Amaretto had swung both ways. As a vampire, he'd doubly swung even higher with his lusts. It didn't take much for his attraction to heighten.

Look at Bud.

He looked at Blondie again. Blew out a deep breath. The man wasn't gorgeous but it was the flaws that set him apart. That made his looks extraordinary. The divot on his chin. The too wide nose. His rough hands that had bitten down finger nails.

Amaretto's beast rose up with a decidedly snappish flair to tell him to claim the man and do it now. His heart rate tripled, as did his breathing.

His first good look at the man almost brought him to his knees.

Yeah, attraction to Blondie would go over well. He'd already gotten one arrow in the back. Try to take him and he'd probably end up with an arrow in more sensitive parts of his anatomy.

The man's eyes blinked under his lids.

The man's even breathing had become more ragged in the last few seconds. His heartbeat had elevated. While Amaretto had been checking out the stranger, the stranger had come to. "You can stop pretending. I know you're awake."

The man opened his lids slowly to reveal grayish, blue eyes. His mouth curled into a sneer, lips drawing tight. "Go to hell."

"You already tried to send me there. It didn't work." Such bravado from a human. The man had some fear. But he did well to mask his emotions. He also did well to block Amaretto from his thoughts. He couldn't sense anything in the man's mind. How unusual. That had never happened with a human before.

The man stared sullenly at him.

He was a brave little shit, that was for sure. "What made you think I'm a vampire? Why shoot me?"

No answer. Only a glare.

Amaretto sighed and turned back toward the kitchen, taking a sip from his mug. That had gone as expected. The man wouldn't talk now. Give him a few days. Then, he'd be vocalizing whatever Amaretto wanted to hear.

Which begged the question, how long was he going to keep the man?

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