Seraphina Scala has just confessed she's never had an orgasm and now her friend has the perfect solution?a night spent at Captive Fantasy, a club that guarantees to fulfill every deep, dark, secret desire. Sera would rather admit she's a vampire than join her friend at such a place, but she doesn't, and she finds herself surrounded by ravenous women and drop-dead gorgeous men. One in particular steals her attention...
Valentino was literally created to make fantasies come true. He's used to the eager women who flood into Captive Fantasy every night to take what he offers, but when he meets the shy Sera, he knows he has his work cut out for him. Something about her strikes a chord deep inside, and he soon realizes he wants more than just a breathy thank you for a "job" well done.
Valentino awakens a side of Sera she's kept locked away for nearly three centuries, and now she must confront her past, her present and her future. Doing so won't be so bad with Valentino by her side, but will he want her once he realizes what she really is? Or will his secret be the one thing they cannot overcome?
“Welcome to Captive Fantasy, ladies,” the man announced. A smattering of clapping followed, and he waited for silence. “I do hope you’ve all had ample time to glance through your brochures.”
Sera met Becca’s gaze and mouthed, “What brochure?”
Becca shrugged then slid her glance behind Sera. She motioned with her head, and Sera turned to find Stefano at her back. He held out two shiny brochures.
“You forgot these.” He winked and slipped away.
Sera looked at the brochure and saw all the same headshots that had been on the website. Good lord, it was like a catalogue.
“Do we just choose and point, do you figure?”
She didn’t know, so she let Becca’s question go unanswered. The man with the microphone pulled their attention back to the center of the club.
“If it is your first visit tonight, I suggest you take the time to allow the gentlemen to get to know you, before making your selections. For those of you who have been here before, you know where to go and what to do.” He lowered the microphone and gave a little bow.
Sera looked away from the women splitting up into tiny groups. “This place is creepy.”
Becca shrugged. “Let’s stick around long enough to see the guys, okay?”
“Where did Jennifer go?” Sera didn’t see anything that resembled a bar, but obviously the drinks had come from somewhere.
“She comes here all the time, so she must know where to go and what to do.”
“I’m right here,” Jennifer said behind them. She smiled at their startled expressions and held up her little glass. “I told you I was getting a drink.”
“Where?” Sera demanded. “There isn’t any bar.”
“Are you going to question everything that happens tonight, Sera?” Jen’s tone made it clear how annoying the prospect was.
Sera bit her tongue and looked away.
“Let’s go over here, Becca, and leave the spoil sport to her own devices.”
To Sera’s horror, Becca allowed Jen to lead her away. Fine, if they didn’t want to be with her, she’d leave. She turned back toward the door, only to have her way blocked by a solid male body. She stumbled to a halt, stared at the open collar of his dark brown shirt, then lifted her gaze slowly to his face. Her heart, which most definitely never raced, sped up and flipped over as she recognized Valentino from his pictures on the website. He had been handsome online, in a poster boy sort of way, but in the flesh he was staggering.
“You aren’t leaving are you?”
Sera searched for her voice and forced it out past the lump in her throat. “Um…”
Valentino smiled, showing a set of dimples and a mouth full of perfect white teeth. “I’ll take that as a no.” He reached for her and slipped his fingers around her elbow. “Can I get you a drink?”
“Shouldn’t you be working?”
His smile grew, and he jerked his head to toss a few sable locks out of his eyes. His hair had a natural wave to it that was really sexy, and his eyes were deep chocolaty brown. “I have a few minutes before I need to clock in, and I thought I should spend them convincing the sexiest woman in the place to stay a little longer.”
Sera tried to stay immune to the heavy dose of charm but failed. She blushed and licked her lips. “Considering the reaction my friends had to the outfit I’m wearing, I know I am far from the sexiest woman here.”
Valentino arched a brow and began to lead her back toward the club proper. “Let me be the judge of that, all right?” He led her past the milling women, and Sera realized there really was a bar. It was tucked into a shadowy corner and unnoticeable until you almost slammed into it. Valentino stretched his free hand across the polished surface and slapped a little bell. Then he glanced over at her. “What do you drink?”
Blood. Not that she dared to say that out loud. “Um…water?”
His eyes widened, as did his smile. “All right, water it is.” The bartender appeared, and Sera tried not to stare as Valentino ordered an ice cold water and a beer. The tall, muscular, nearly naked man nodded his head and walked away.
“You seem overdressed.” Sera longed to die the moment the words slipped out, but wait, that wasn’t an option. She felt Valentino’s gaze on her profile, but refused to return it. His fingers squeezed her elbow, and his soft chuckle crept under her skin.
“We’re allowed to wear clothes when we’re not working, but if you’d like, I can get into uniform for you.”
Maybe the floor would open up and suck her into the pits of hell? She stared at the ceiling, and Valentino chuckled again.
“Here’s your water.” He pressed the glass against her arm, chilling her through the thin sleeve of her blouse.
Sera avoided his gaze as she took the glass. He released her elbow to take his beer from the bartender. “Thanks, Mike.”
“Mike?” Sera echoed. The name sounded too normal for this place.
Valentino sipped his beer and nodded. “Yep. Actually his name is Michelangelo, but he prefers Mike.”
“And do you prefer Val?”
He looked impressed. “You know my name.”
Sera carried her drink to her lips to hide her embarrassment. She sipped the water, really wishing it was something else. Valentino’s blood, to be exact. The thought rocked her. She didn’t do humans. It was a code she lived by, and it wasn’t one she planned on breaking. The little bags of blood waiting in her fridge were good enough, and she’d snap one open the moment she got home. Her strange little craving was probably just a result of not drinking enough before Becca picked her up.
“Does that mean you’ve been on the site, ‘cause I know I’ve never seen you here before.”
Sera pushed away the thought of blood. “I was on the website, yes.”
“See anything you like?”
He was teasing her, and she knew it, but still she felt compelled to answer. “Maybe.” It wasn’t like her to play coy, but if ever the time seemed right, it was now.
“I see,” Valentino mumbled then took another swig of beer. “Only seems fair to tell me your name.”
Surely there was no harm. “Sera.”
Sera nodded. “Yeah, just Sera.”
“Okay. Sera. Have I convinced you to stay a while longer?”
She laughed, surprising both of them. “A glass of cold water is supposed to convince me to stay?”
Valentino set the beer bottle down and turned to lean a hip against the bar. He crossed his arms and steadied his gaze on her face. “What if I told you I could make all your deepest, darkest fantasies come true?”
Sera suppressed a shiver and looked anywhere but into chocolate depths of Valentino’s eyes. “You sound like a commercial I’ve heard on the radio.”
He chuckled. “But it’s true.”
Sera risked a glance at his face. “I’m not the kind of girl to harbor deep dark fantasies.”
He looked her over then shook his head. “I don’t believe that. You strike me as someone with a great deal of depth.”
The observation unnerved her. After another sip of water, she placed her glass on the bar. “I think I’ll go now.” His arm snaked around her waist to stop her from moving away. In that instant his scent nearly overwhelmed her. It was a mixture of rain and dewy grass. Odd, but pleasant. It took a lot of willpower not to lean into the solid wall of his body.
“I didn’t mean to offend you. I’m sorry.” He looked so sincere, she instantly nodded. His gaze softened and he reached up to feather his fingertips over her lips.
Sera jerked at the contact and pulled against the arm at her waist. She was strong enough to break free, just one of the perks of being a vampire, but something stopped her from doing so. She stared into Valentino’s eyes and stilled as he made another pass over her mouth.
“Why are you here, Sera?”
She licked her lips and tasted the flavor of his skin. “My friends forced me to come.”
“But you’d rather be at home, I take it?” He sounded offended.
“I want you to stay. I want to perform for you.”
Her stomach did a little flip. The visual of this guy peeling his clothes off for her, and her alone, did mighty strange things to her insides. “Um…”
He smiled and tightened his arm to snuggle her flush against his chest. His body was all hard muscle, and it felt really nice through her jeans and blouse. It would feel even better if they were both naked.
Good God! Where had that come from?
“Is that a yes?” he teased.
“I say it is.” He touched her lips again then set her away from his body. “I’ll make sure you don’t regret your decision to stay, Sera.” He finished his beer, and then left her with a bright smile on his mouth.
Sera collapsed against the bar, staring at the mouth-watering sight of Valentino’s ass in snug dark jeans. She didn’t know what had just happened, but she’d stay, if for no other reason than to see what happened next.