Darkness Everlasting

By: Alexandra Ivy


"Are you going to bite me?" Darcy whispered.

She could feel the shudder that rippled through his body. As if the thought of biting her was a potent one.

"Do you want me to?"

"Does it hurt?"

"Quite the contrary." He teasingly scraped the tips of his fangs over her skin. "A vampire's bite brings nothing but pleasure. We are forced to be very careful to ensure our companion does not become addicted."

Her breath caught in her throat as he nuzzled lower, tugging at the loose T-shirt so he could trace the line of her collarbone with his lips.

"Companion or prey?" she demanded.

He shifted her on his lap to allow one long-fingered hand to stroke over the bare skin of her thigh. "Some times one, sometimes the other, sometimes both."

"And which am I?"

"Which do you want to be?"

She licked her lips as his hand moved toward the sensitive skin of her inner thigh. "I think I'm a hostage. One you intend to hand over to a pack of werewolves."

"Nothing has been decided yet."

Lowering his head, Styx captured her lips in a demand ing kiss. At the same time, his clever fingers found the edge of her tiny underwear and slipped beneath ...

Chapter One

As far as nightclubs went, the Viper Pit was by far the most expensive, the most elegant, and the most exclusive in the entire city of Chicago.

Oddly enough, it was also the most obscure.

There was no listing in the phone book. No gaudy ads on billboards, or flashing neon lights to reveal its location. In fact, the entire building was hidden behind a subtle glamour.

Anyone who was anyone knew how to find the place. And those anyones didn't include humans.

Moving among the marble pillars and glittering fountains were various demons, all indulging in a vari ety of nefarious activities. Gambling, drinking, exotic dancing, discreet (and not so discreet) orgies.

All of which cost a small fortune.

Delicious pastimes no doubt, but on this cold De cember night the vampire known as Styx was not in terested in the activities available below the private balcony. Or even in the various demons who paused to perform a deep bow in his direction.

Instead he regarded his companion with a measure of resignation.

At a glance the two of them couldn't have been more different.

Well, that wasn't precisely accurate.

After all, they were both tall and blessed with the muscular bodies of all vampires. And they both possessed dark eyes and the prerequisite fangs. But that's where the similarities ended.

The younger vampire, Viper, had come from the northern Slavic lands and possessed the pale silver hair and even paler skin of his ancestors. Styx, on the other hand, had come from the hot lands of South America, and even after his transformation maintained the bronzed skin and proud angular features of the Aztecs.

Tonight he had put aside his traditional robe and chosen black leather pants, thigh-high boots, and a black silk shirt. He had assumed the garb would make him less noticeable as he traveled the streets of Chicago. Unfor tunately, there was no means for a six-foot-five vampire with raven hair braided to his knees to go unnoticed.

Especially from the mortal women who held no de fense against the thrall of vampires.

He had gathered nearly a half dozen adoring fe males as he had walked through the dark streets. At last he had taken to the rooftops to avoid their persistent attentions.

By the gods, he wished he could have stayed hidden in his caves, he acknowledged with a sigh.

For centuries he had lived the life of a monk as he had protected the Anasso, the leader of all vampires. He had been an enforcer and a guardian, rarely leaving the ancient vampire's side.

With the Anasso now dead he was being forced into the role of leader, and he was discovering that he could hide no longer. Not when there was one trouble after another plaguing him.

It was enough to annoy the most patient of demons.

"I am always delighted to have you as my guest, Styx, but I must warn you that my clan is nervous enough having you among us," Viper drawled. "If you don't stop scowling at me, they are bound to fear they will soon be without a clan chief."

Realizing he had allowed his attention to wander, Styx abruptly straightened in the plush leather chair. By instinct his hand lifted to touch the bone medallion tied around his neck.

It was a symbol of his people.

More than that, it was believed to be a means of pass ing spirits from one generation to another.

Of course, as a vampire Styx had no tangible memo ries of his life before rising as a demon. That didn't, however, keep him from holding on to at least a few of his more sacred traditions.

"I am not scowling."

Viper smiled wryly. "You forget, Styx, I have a mate, which means that I am intimately acquainted with every variety of scowls. And you, my friend, are most certainly scowling." The smile faded as the vampire re garded him with an expression of shrewd intelligence. "W hy do you not tell me what is troubling you?"

Styx paused before heaving a faint sigh. He had to do this. Even if he would rather be flogged, flayed, and de- fanged than admit he needed help.

As clan chief for the territory, Viper was more familiar with Chicago than any other demon of his acquaintance. It would be beyond foolish not to accept his assistance.