Excerpt for Once Bitten - Chapter One Preview by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

This page may contain adult content. If you are under age 18, or you arrived by accident, please do not read further.

Once Bitten

Copyright © 2018 Zoë Mullins

Published by: Zoë Mullins

ISBN: 978-0-9958005-6-4

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only, and may not be re-sold or given away to others. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return it and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author. To obtain permission to excerpt portions of the text, please contact the author at zoe@zoemullins.ca

All rights reserved. This book is a work of fiction. All characters in this book are fictitious. Any resemblance to persons living or dead are entirely coincidental.

Chapter One

Long shadows danced across the bed, and Paige knew she should be walking away. No, not walking, running. To ask Malik for help was to make a pact with the devil. He would make you pay. He would make you bleed.

Knowing that was still not enough to keep her away. Renting the apartment above the store to her ex was a bad idea on so many levels, the least of which was how easy it was to forget the devil he was and climb those seventeen stairs—she had counted—to his apartment, to his bed.

Malik was sex on a stick and that arrogant rock star swagger promised sensational sex. He worked nights as a bartender and she’d watched the endless parade of barely legal girls doing the walk of shame as she opened the art studio downstairs each morning. Few had the strength to leave him before dawn and, much to their disappointment, fewer were invited back a second time.

Except Paige. She’d been coming back to him for nearly ten years. Since I was barely legal, she thought, shaking her head. Just because his door was always open to her, didn’t mean she should continue to use it. Even if she was desperate to find a way to take away the angst clawing at her belly, making her hyperaware of the world around her. He hungered for her energy and well, the sex made the pain he put her through worthwhile. Most of the time.

“This isn’t working.” She sighed and swung her legs over the side of the bed. Her wrists were throbbing from where he had held her down. Squeezing her wrists until her eyes watered and she had cried out in fear he’d snap the fragile bones.

Not even Mr. Sex-on-a-Stick could help expel the energy threatening to burn Paige alive today.

“Stay in bed with me babe.” His voice sounded tired and gravelly.

Paige grabbed her jeans off the worn, leather chair next to the bed and began searching the laundry-littered floor for her panties. She suspected the floor was his alternative to a wardrobe or a chest of drawers. She pulled out a pair of pink striped thongs. Nope, those are not mine.

“Don’t go,” he commanded. He sat up in the bed, the sheet barely covering his lap as he watched her search the room. She was also missing her bra.

“I see no reason to stay,” she bit out. She was trying to chill the fire raging inside but she wasn’t used to being cold.

He grabbed her hand. “Jesus, Paige. It’s getting worse. I’ve never felt you so worked up before,” he said, concern lurking his aquamarine eyes. “Give me a chance to quell it. Let me bring my A-game.”

She watched him pick up the bottle of Jack Daniel’s he kept next to the bed and take a long swallow. His blue eyes were heavy lidded but the spark of fire in them was not the least bit slumberous. It was nearly seven in the evening and he hadn’t gotten out of bed yet. His tan skin looked swarthy and dangerous with two days’ growth of golden whiskers along his jawline. She reached up and pressed her hand over her neck where the sting of whisker burn raged.

“Jack is your A-game?” she asked as she stepped back to the bed.

“Fuel, baby.” He pulled her closer and she straddled his thighs. He licked his lips and held out the bottle. She tilted her head back, one hand on his shoulder, the other covering his as he poured the coarse, amber liquid into her mouth. It burned her throat and she coughed, pushing the bottle back at him.

He laughed and took another long swig as she wiped her mouth with the back of her hand.

He put down the bottle, his hands shifting to cup the cheeks of her ass. “You’re still vibrating. I can take care of that.”

“It’s better than it was,” she lied, and his expression said he knew it.

She looked down the long line of his body, at the thin line of golden brown hair that started beneath his sternum and continued on beneath the sheet on his lap. She traced that line with the forefinger of her right hand.

She thought about why she came here, to him. Why his energy could quiet her own. At least she understood her power. She was a witch, and her powers were increasing all the time. But she had never figured out what Malik was. “What are you?”

“I’ll tell you when I figure that out.”

She could feel his grin as he nuzzled his face between her breasts. There was nowhere that she wasn’t red from his whiskers.

“My power has grown with yours.” His voice was a caress as it whispered across her skin. “I need to feed, and you are the most satisfying dish I’ve ever been served.”

Psychic vampire?” she wondered. That made sense, though she preferred her vamps to have fangs. Don’t go there, she warned herself. Don’t think of him now.

Paige sighed as she kissed the top of his head, her fingers tangling in his hair. “Hurt me.” She wouldn’t have recognized that desperate whisper as her own. It seemed outside of herself. As if the need were someone else’s. She hoped he knew what that request cost her dignity.

She groaned as his tongue laved at her breasts. He had gotten what he wanted. Complicity.

With a small bark of triumph, he rolled her beneath him. She was a mannequin that he manipulated, positioning her the way he wanted. The sheet fell from his lap as he moved her arms above her head and pushed her legs apart. He slid a cushion beneath her hips. He grinned down at her.

“It’s like I’ve served you up for my pleasure,” he said, winking at her.

“And will it be pleasure?” she asked as he fanned her hair out against the mattress. It was long and he took his time, clearly enjoying spreading the auburn waves across the white sheets. He hadn’t answered her, and she wondered if he had any idea what he was doing. If his powers were growing along with hers, how much better would he know how to control them?

He tweaked her nipple, startling her from her thoughts. “I need your attention.” He frowned.

“Do you actually know what you are doing?” she asked. They hadn’t done this before, but then again, the fire inside had never raged this hot.

He settled between her thighs. Thanks to the pillow, her ass settled on his thighs. “Trust me. And don’t fuckin’ move your hands.”

He pressed his palms to the outside of her hips, skimming his calloused hands from her hip to knee. It was tingly—a frisson of awareness skating across her skin. It was not unpleasant. He made a humming noise in the back of his throat that suggested he was pleased with the result.

She began to shift her hands restlessly against the bed.

“Don’t,” he commanded, his voice rough.

She stopped, blinking up at him.

He looked at her reassuringly, then rewarded her obedience by sliding his hands along her torso.

It was a light, massaging touch and she closed her eyes. He splayed his fingers against her abdomen. Paige gasped, feeling a heat building under his touch, her energy drawn to him. When he lifted his hands from her skin, he took that heat with him, pulling it in to himself.

“Fuck,” she cursed out loud.

When Malik didn’t reprimand her again, she opened her eyes. My god, you’re beautiful, she thought. The setting sun illuminated his ivory skin and made the gold in his hair shine like a halo. But his eyes said he was no angel, as the color bled from deepest blue to nearly black. The energy twisting inside her, eating her alive, stilled. Just as he had promised. By the time he had passed his hands over her once more, she was panting with need.

Paige resisted the need to reach out and run her hands over the hard planes of his chest or stroke his thickening shaft. As if he read her desires, he suddenly reared over her, holding himself there, he kissed her gently. A move so at odds with what he had been doing to her that it was distracting. Distracted her from his true intent.

She sank into his kiss. The sweet suckling of his lips upon hers, his tongue parrying with her own. He settled against her. His cock hard against her pubic bone, her nipples pressed against his chest. She groaned at the heat of his body.

His lips still locked to her, he whispered, “Trust me.”

She didn’t have time to question it, as he pressed his thumbs hard into the muscle at the crease of her elbow. Blinding pain attacked her senses. Paige prided herself on being able to give herself over to the pain, find the pleasure and release that it brought. But this was different.

This destroyed. This made her scream.

Malik’s mouth was still on hers, swallowing the scream as the energy crackled between them. It had its own presence now, pressing against them. It was thick and hot, and it held her down.

Malik lifted his body off hers and settled back between her legs. He was breathing heavily, his head thrown back. As Paige cradled her arms she realized what this cost him. “This hurts you, too, doesn’t it?”

He reached out for his Jack and took a swig. “I learned a long time ago that I could feed on all sorts of energy, but I pay for it. Never doubt that.”

“It exhausts you.”

He laughed, and it was a more bitter laugh than she had ever heard from him. Malik was hardened, cocky, stubborn, but never bitter.

“I’m not a lazy bugger by choice.”

She was suddenly sorry that she hadn’t caught on to that before. “And violence?”

“Violence. Sorrow. Grief. It’ll all work,” he confirmed.

“So why feed on sex?”

“Sex. Happiness. Joy.” He shook his head and she could see how his hair was damp against his neck. “You may think I’m a man-whore but trust me I am a better man this way.”

She still wasn’t sure she could straighten her arms. She gave him a look that asked, This is better?

“Violence begets violence. I used to crave it. You remember me in high school. You didn’t want to cross me. When I feed on violence it’s cold and dark and my only thought is that I want more. If girls hadn’t been attracted to the bad-boy image I would never have discovered how satisfying it is to feed from desire, lust. It’s a better addiction even if you think it makes me a man-slut.”

“I don’t.” He had just described her experiences as a witch perfectly.

He gave her a cocky grin then clasped my knees. “Of course then I discovered you and you give me two for the price of one.”

“What do you mean?”

“You have all this excess energy rolling around inside you. I felt it the first time when we were still in high school. Do you remember?” He picked up her hand, stroking his fingers over the tender flesh of her wrist. A fresh wave of energy washed through her at his touch and her sex clenched.

She shook her head. Tristan and Malik were ahead of her at school. She’d known of them because those two would always be hard to miss. Tristan, a ginger hippie. He’d had a full beard by the time he was seventeen, and spent lunch hour casting runes or reading tarot.

Malik wore his dark blond hair long even then. He was quiet, sullen, but also a total smartass. At least once a week he was in a fight with someone. She vaguely remembered that had changed their senior year. Malik had gone from bad-boy to boy-god. Every girl had wanted him. So had she.

“Our first date was my eighteenth birthday,” she reminded him. “We double dated with Tristan and Lyssa. We saw a horror movie. Lyssa kept turning away from the screen and burying her head into Tristan’s chest.”

Malik grinned. “He said I had to meet you. That your aura was a tornado of color. He wanted to see my reaction to you. And it was immediate. Your energy that night was volcanic. I never saw someone burn so bright.”

She sighed. She knew why her energy had skyrocketed that day. “Rhysse had shown up the night before. I was still reacting to his presence nearby.”

“I don’t know whether to hate that bastard or thank him.” Malik shook his head. “I knew then that I could hurt you, that you would want me to. I also knew that the energy I drained from you would be as sweet and pure as anything I could ever do or taste. I am never more exhausted or more satisfied than when I feed from you. Your energy calls to mine.”

As if to demonstrate, he opened his mouth over the soft flesh of waist, and bit down. She gasped. This wasn’t little love bites. This was fierce and dangerous, and she loved every second. She was limp beneath him as she tried to breathe through the warring sensations. Pain. Compression. Cold. Then there was fire. The energy a live-wire arcing between them.

He moved a little farther down to the edge of her hipbone. She pushed at his shoulders, “Enough,” she whispered, but her flesh was already between his teeth. Tears slipped from her eyes, but her lips curled into a smile.

“I wish I had fangs to sink into you. I would take everything you have to give.”

She writhed under him. She was so close to coming. He grinned up at her. “You’d like that wouldn’t you.”

Yes, she whispered silently because she couldn’t say it aloud. She wouldn’t give him that power over her, no matter how true it was. She did want that. She’d had that, and she had missed it more than she’d allow anyone to know.

“Please, Malik.” She didn’t know what she was begging for. Maybe for the devil to let her go. Maybe to make her come. She just knew in that moment she needed more.

He trailed his fingers down her thighs, wrapping his hands around her knees. He answered her plea, and he made her scream.

Download this book for your ebook reader.
(Pages 1-10 show above.)