Single White Vampire by Lynsay Sands is Paranormal “[Sands's] trademark humor and genuine characters keep her series fresh and her. When I sat down to write Lucern's story, I couldn't think of anything less likely than a grumpy, six hundred year old vampire who wrote romances. And then, I. Single White Vampire - Argeneau Series Book 3 Single White Vampire is the story of Single White Vampire (Argeneau #3)(17) Author: Lynsay Sands "Oh," the.
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SINGLE WHITE VAMPIRE By Lynsay Sands SINGLE WHITE VAMPIRE LYNSAY SANDS LOVE SPELL NEW YORK CITY Prologue January Single White Vampire (Argeneau #3)(9) Author: Lynsay Sands. She was a sight. Single White Vampire by Lynsay Sands Book #3: Argeneau Series Source: Purchase (Print and Single White Vampire (Argeneau Vampires, Book 3) - PDF . There are a lot of books, literatures, user manuals, and guidebooks that are related to single white vampire argeneau 3 lynsay sands such as: time well spent .
She offered him some, but he merely sneered and shook his head. He'd been repeating it every few minutes since leaving the house. The image shattered when the woman dragged her luggage up the porch steps, paused before him, offered him a bright cheerful smile that lifted her lips and sparkled in her eyes, then blurted, "Hi. The wedding of his sister to Gregory Hewitt had been a nightmare. I'm grateful to you for being here to accompany Luc. She would stick to her plan to check him in an hour.
In fact, she apparently saw him as the one in distress. She was staying "for his own good. She made that announcement the moment they were seated in his living room, then calmly set about removing the tea bags from the pot and pouring tea while he gaped at her.
Lucern didn't need her help. He hadn't really hit his head that hard, and even if he had, his body would have repaired itself quickly. But that wasn't something he could tell the woman. In the end, he simply said, with all the sternness and firmness he could muster, "I do not desire your help, Ms. I can take care of myself.
As he began to unravel it, Kate added, "Don't remove it on my account. It looks rather adorable on you and makes you far less intimidating. He ripped the flowered tea towel off. There would be no argument that would make her leave. Perhaps mind control… It was a skill he tried to avoid using as a rule, and hadn't exercised in some time. It wasn't usually necessary, since the family had switched to utilizing a blood bank for feeding rather than hunting.
But this occasion clearly called for it. As he watched Kate sip her tea, he tried to get into her thoughts so that he might take control of them. He was beyond shocked to find only a blank wall. Leever's mind was as inaccessible to him as if a door had been closed and locked. Still, he continued to try for several moments, his lack of success more alarming than he would have expected.
He didn't give up until she broke the silence by bringing up her reason for being there: Giving up on controlling her mind and making her leave, he leapt to his feet. They're upstairs, all three on the left.
My room and office are on the right. Stay out of them. Take whichever of the guest rooms you want. He could put up with her for one night, he told himself.
Once the night was over and she was reassured that he was fine, she would leave. He would see to that. Trying not to recall that he'd been just as determined and certain about expelling her after she finished her tea, Lucern snatched a glass and his last bag of blood from the fridge.
Then he moved to the sink to pour himself some dinner. He could probably get a quick cup while Ms. Leever was occupied in choosing a room. He'd thought wrong. Lucern had just started to pour the blood from its bag to the glass when the kitchen door opened behind him. The sweet, tinny scent of blood seemed rich in the air, though he doubted Kate could smell it from where she was across the room. It was distracting, and even more distracting was the rushing sound of it all running out of the bag and down the sink.
His dinner. His last bag. His mind was screaming NO! His body was cramping in protest. That being the case, Kate C. Leever's words sounded like "Blah blah blah" as she moved toward his empty refrigerator and peered inside. Lucern didn't bother to stop her this time. Apart from the blood from earlier, it was completely empty. However, he did try to concentrate on what she was saying, hoping that the sooner he dealt with her question, the sooner he could save his dinner.
Try as he might, however, he was really only catching a word here and there. Blah blah blah… really don't have anything here.
Blah blah blah… shopping? He wasn't sure what the question was, but he could sense that a no would probably provoke an argument. Much to his relief, the answer pleased her and sent her back to the hall door. He moaned. The bag was almost completely drained.
It was flat. Feeling somewhat desperate, he picked it up, tipped it over his mouth and squeezed, trying to wring out the last few drops. He got exactly three before giving up and tossing the bag into the garbage with disgust. If there had been any question before, there wasn't now. Without a doubt, Kate C. Leever was going to make his life a living hell until she left. He just knew it.
And what the heck had he agreed to anyway? Chapter Two "Shopping! He'd been repeating it every few minutes since leaving the house. At first he'd said the word as if he couldn't believe he'd agreed to go. Then, as they'd driven here in his BMW, that dismay had turned to disgust. You'd think the man had never gone food shopping before now! Of course, judging by how empty his cupboards were, Kate supposed he hadn't. And when she'd commented on the lack of food in his home on the way out of the house, he'd muttered something about not having replaced his housekeeper yet.
Kate presumed that meant he ate out a lot in the meantime.
She hadn't bothered to inquire as to what had become of his previous housekeeper. His personality was answer enough. No doubt the poor woman had quit. Kate herself would have, she knew. She led him to the rows of empty shopping carts. As she started to pull one out, Lucern grunted something that might have been "Allow me," but could just as easily have been "Get the hell out of the way.
In Kate's experience, men always preferred to do the driving—whether it was a car, a golf cart, or a shopping basket. She suspected it was a control issue, but either way it was handy; it meant she was free to fill the thing up.
She began to make a mental list of what she should get as she led the way toward the dairy section. She would have to be sure she got lots of fruits and vegetables for Lucern. The man was big and muscular, but far too pale. It seemed obvious to her that he was in dire need of some green leafy vegetables. Maybe vegetables would improve his mood, too. Lucern needed blood. That was the one thought pulsing through his mind as he followed Kate C.
Leever through the dairy section, the frozenfood section, and now down the coffee aisle. The cart was filling up quickly.
Kate had already tossed various yogurts, cheeses, eggs and a ton of frozen gourmet dinners in it. Now she paused in the coffee aisle and considered the various packages before turning to ask, "What brand do you prefer? What do you normally drink? Tea, then? She was the first shopper they'd come across since entering the store.
Between the debacles with the blood bags, the tea in the living room, and the bit of time Kate had taken to settle in and change, it was now nearly midnight. The grocery store wasn't very busy at this hour. Now that her giggle had caught his attention, the shopper batted her eyelashes at Lucern and he found himself smiling back, his gaze fixed on the pulse at the base of her throat. He imagined sinking his teeth there and drawing the warm, sweet blood out of her.
She was his favorite sort to drink. Plump, pink women always had the best, richest blood. Thick and heady and— "Mr. Earth calling Lucern! He turned reluctantly back to his editor.
He glanced back at the shopper. What brand? His eyes settled on a dark red can with the name Tim Hortons. He'd always thought that was a donut shop or something. Still, it was the only name he recognized, so he pointed at it.
She picked up a can of fine grind. Lucern hadn't noticed the price. I am paying for the groceries. I said I'd pay and I will. He couldn't recall; he hadn't been paying much attention at the time.
His thoughts had been on other things, like the blood dripping down the sink and not into his parched mouth. His gaze slid back to the plump, pulsing-veined shopper who continued past him. He imagined he looked like a starving man watching a buffet being wheeled past.
He was hard-pressed not to throw himself onto it. Warm, fresh blood… much nicer than that cold bagged stuff he and his family had taken to ingesting. He hadn't realized how much he missed the old-fashioned way of feeding. She wasn't where she'd last stood, but had moved on down the aisle and was waiting for him. She wore an annoyed expression, which in turn annoyed him.
What did she have to be irritable about? She wasn't the one starving. Then he had a vague recollection of her saying she hadn't eaten since breakfast, and he supposed she was hungry too and therefore had just as much right to be grouchy. It was a grudging admission.
I will feed you. Well, not what he most wanted to do. He'd rather feed on the plump little brunette behind him. He had always found the blood of sleek, blond creatures like Kate C. Leever to be thin and bland. Plump-girl blood was better-tasting, more flavorful, fuller-bodied. Of course, he couldn't feed on anyone. It was too dangerous nowadays, and even if he himself was willing to take the risk, he wouldn't risk the safety of his family just for a few moments of culinary pleasure.
It didn't mean he couldn't dream about it, though, so Lucern spent the next few moments trailing Kate around the canned food and dry goods aisles, absently agreeing with everything she said while he fondly recalled meals he'd enjoyed in the past. She'd been a tasty little bundle. Warm and sweet-smelling in his arms, little enjoyable moans issuing from her throat as he'd plunged both his body and teeth into her… Oh, yes.
Feeding could be a full-body experience. That had been his first feeding on his own. A man always remembered his first. And just the thought of his sweet little Maria made him warm all over. Such deep, dark eyes and long, wavy, midnight hair. He recalled tangling his hands in that hair and the deep groan of pleasure she'd breathed into his ear as he'd given her his virginity and taken her blood at the same time. Truly, it had been a sweet and memorable experience.
It was steak, nice and bloody, and though he normally preferred human blood—even cold bagged human blood to bovine—the bloodsoaked steak smelled good at the moment. He found himself inhaling deeply and letting his breath out on a slow sigh. The package was jerked away. Red meat is better. He had always been a meat-and-potatoes man.
Rare meat, as a rule. The blood was dripping, and he almost licked his lips. Then, afraid he might do something distressing in his present state, like lick the package, he stepped back and set the meat down. Taking hold of the cart, he began moving it along, hoping to get to a less tempting section. Now the temptation would follow him. He had to contact Bastien or Etienne and see about borrowing some blood.
Perhaps he could make a quick stop at Bastien's on the way home. He could leave the unshakable Kate Leever in the car with the groceries, run in, gulp down a bit of nourishment and… Dear God! He sounded like a junkie! Have you ever considered going to a tanning salon? I have an… er, skin condition.
And I'm allergic to the sun, too. Peering at him wide-eyed she asked, "Is that why you are so difficult about book signings and other promo stuff? As she began picking up all sorts of green things, he grimaced. In defense, he picked up a twenty-pound bag of potatoes to fill the cart, but it was soon covered in green: Dear God, the woman had a green fetish! Lucern started moving the cart along a little more quickly, forcing Kate to hurry as she started on other colors.
Orange, red and yellow vegetables flew into the cart and were followed by orange, red and purple fruit before Lucern managed to at last force her to the cash register. The moment he stopped the cart, Kate began throwing things on the conveyor belt. He was watching her absently when the plump shopper pushed her cart by. She smiled and batted her eyelashes again, then gave him a little wave.
Lucern smiled back, his gaze affixed to the pulse beating in her neck. He could practically hear the thump-thump of her heart, the rushing sound of blood, the— "Lucern? Where are you going? His possible dinner looked back and smiled again before disappearing down the frozen-foods aisle. Lucern started after her. He hurried to the frozen-foods aisle only to find another shopper there in addition to his plump lovely. They hadn't crossed paths with any but the plump shopper all night, yet now there was another one present, hindering him from a quick bite!
Sighing inwardly, he moved to the ice cream section and glanced distractedly, over the options. Chocolate, cherry, Rocky Road. He glanced toward his plump lovely. She was watching him and giving coquettish smiles. She looked like a big, smiling steak on legs. Damned woman! It's not nice to tease, he thought unhappily and opened the cooler wider as he stared.
She approached, smiling widely as he pulled ice cream out of the cooler. She didn't say a word, just smiled naughtily as she walked past, her arm brushing against him.
Lucern inhaled deeply, nearly dizzy from the scent of her. Oh yes, her blood was sweet. Or was that the ice cream he held? He grabbed another carton and watched her disappear around the corner with a sigh.
He wanted to follow. He could use his brain-control trick to lure her into the back of the store for a little suck. But if he was caught… Sighing, he gave up on the idea and grabbed some Rocky Road ice cream.
He could hold out a little while longer. Just a little while more, and he would be free to escape to Bastien's or Etienne's. Surely Kate C. Leever was exhausted after her workday and flight, and would want to make a night of it. Lucern glanced down at the four cartons he held and dumped them onto the conveyor belt with a shrug.
He had no idea what flavors several of them were, and in his distraction hadn't even realized he'd grabbed so many, but it didn't matter. They'd get eaten eventually. Kate protested his paying, but Lucern insisted. It was a man thing. His pride wouldn't allow a woman to pay for food intended for his home. Kate opened a bag of rice cakes to munch on the way back.
She offered him some, but he merely sneered and shook his head. Rice cakes. Dear God. Lucern managed to not stop at either of his brothers' houses. He was rather proud of his self-restraint. He and Kate carted the groceries inside his home; then he insisted she start cooking while he put them away.
This made him look helpful and useful, when in truth he just wanted her to cook her damned meal, eat it, and go to bed so that he could go in search of what he needed.
Not that he couldn't enjoy food, too. A little food wouldn't go amiss, but regular food wouldn't help his main hunger. His people could survive without food, but not without blood. Fortunately, Kate C. Leever was apparently ravenous, because she made a quick meal, grilling a couple of steaks and then throwing together a bowl of a bunch of green stuff with some sort of sauce on it.
Lucern had never seen the attraction of salads. Rabbits ate greens. Humans ate meat, and Lucern ate meat and blood. He was not a rabbit.
However, he kept his opinions to himself and finished up with the unpacking at nearly the same time as Kate finished cooking; then they sat down to eat. Lucern dug into his steak with fervor, ignoring the rabbit bowl. He'd asked for the meat rare, and he supposed it was rare to most people—but rare to him was rare. Still, it was tender and juicy, and he ate it quickly. He watched Kate finish, but shook his head when she offered him salad.
It was due to lack of blood, however, which reminded Lucern that he should see if Bastien was home. Excusing himself, he left the room and went to his office.
Much to his disappointment, when he called his brother, there was no answer. Bastien was either out on a date or had gone back to Argeneau Industries. Like Lucern, Bastien preferred working at night when everyone else was sleeping. The habits of a couple hundred years were hard to break. Lucern returned to the kitchen, to find that Kate Leever had finished eating and had already rinsed off most of the dishes and set them in the dishwasher.
It was hard to believe this was the same man who had written those short "nos" in response to her letters and been so rude when she'd first arrived. His helping her unload groceries and apparent consideration now made her suspicious. The hopeful look on his face didn't help much, either. However, she was tired. It had been a long day, so she reluctantly admitted, "I am tired, actually. I shall probably work all night as usual and sleep most of the day.
If you rise before me, eat whatever you wish, drink whatever you wish, but do not poke around. I'll just do that until you get up. Good night. Kate turned slowly toward it, almost expecting to hear the door's lock click into place. She was relieved when that didn't happen. Shaking her head at her own suspicious mind, she moved to her suitcase to find her nightgown, then went into the en suite bathroom to shower.
She was just crawling into bed when she recalled the excuse she'd used to get to stay here. She paused to glance around. Spotting the small digital clock on the bedside table, she picked it up and set it to ring in an hour. She had every intention of getting up to check to be sure that Lucern hadn't fallen asleep—and that if he had, he could still wake up. Kate set the alarm back on the table and crawled under the covers, thinking of those few panicked moments in the kitchen.
She drew a deep breath through her nose, recalling Lucern Argeneau standing before her, blood streaming down his head and face. Dear God, she'd never actually seen a head injury before. She'd heard they could be bloody, of course, and that they often looked worse than they truly were, but there had been so much blood. She shuddered and swallowed a knot of anxiety. Kate hardly knew the man, and he'd been nothing but rude to her since her arrival, but despite the fact that it would serve him right after his behavior, she really didn't want to see him dead.
How was she going to impress her boss that way? She could see it now. No, nor the television shows. Er… no, he won't be doing signings either. Actually, I might have been able to convince him, except I killed him instead. It was an accident, Allison.
I know he is our latest cash cow, and I truly didn't mean to kill him despite the fact that he's a rude, pigheaded… No, really, it was an accident! Yes, I do realize I'm fired. No, I don't blame you at all for not giving me a reference.
Yes, if you'll excuse me I'll just go apply at McDonald's now that my publishing career is ruined. Thank goodness Argeneau seemed healthy—except for the pallor. She sat up in bed, concern eating at her again. He really had been awfully pale. It looked as if he'd lost a quart of blood. Or at least a pint. Maybe she should check on him now. Kate considered the matter briefly, partly wanting to check on him, partly reluctant to have him bark at her for interrupting him at whatever he was doing.
He was surely going to bark enough when she checked on him every hour through the night. But he had been terribly pale after hitting his head. On the other hand, she had noticed his pallor on the porch before he'd ever hit his head.
Or had that been the lighting? It had been nighttime, and the light on the porch had been one of those neon jobbies. That might have simply made him appear pale. She mulled over the matter briefly, started to slip her feet off the bed to go check on him before she went to sleep, but then she paused at the sound of a closing door.
Stiffening, Kate listened to the soft pad of feet down the hall, then forced herself to relax and lie back down.
The footsteps had been soft, but otherwise normal. Lucern didn't sound to be staggering or unduly slow. He was fine. She would stick to her plan to check him in an hour.
Relaxing, she lay back and closed her eyes. She wasn't going to get much sleep tonight and knew it. In truth, she'd really rather be in a hotel somewhere sleeping soundly. And she would be—head wound or no head wound—if she weren't so afraid that once he got her out of the house, Lucern Argeneau wasn't likely to let her back in. Kate couldn't risk that; she just had to convince him to do one of the publicity appearances.
Any one of them would do. She very much feared that keeping her new position as editor depended on it. She really thought all that blood was from a little bump on the head?
Lucern ignored his brothers' amusement and sank his teeth into the second bag of blood Rachel brought him. He'd already ingested the first. He had insisted on doing so before explaining why he'd shown up at Etienne's home pleading to be fed. The first bag had allowed him to get over his surprise that Bastien was there. It had also given his brothers time to explain that Bastien had come by to help sort out some last-minute problems with the wedding.
Which explained nicely why Lucern hadn't been able to reach him. He placed both empty bags in the hand Rachel held out, then watched her walk out of the room to dispose of them.
Etienne and Bastien stared at him, stunned. When Lucern shook his head, Etienne dropped onto the chair across from him and said, "Well, don't tell Mother if you don't want her pushing you two together. The minute she heard that I couldn't read Rachel's mind was the minute she decided we'd make a good couple.
Leever is not perfect for me. The woman is as annoying as a gnat flying about your head. Stubborn as a mule, and pushy as hell. The damned woman has not given me a moment's peace since pushing her way over my doorstep. She…" He paused suddenly and sat up straight, recalling her promise to check on him every hour to be sure his head injury hadn't done more damage than he believed.
Would she really do that? He glanced sharply at his brothers. My thanks for the drinks, Rachel," he called loudly at the other room. He'd locked his office door before leaving the house, and Kate might assume that meant he was in there, but if she really did check on him hourly and got no answer when she knocked on the door, the damned woman might decide he'd died or something and call the police or an ambulance. She might even break down his office door herself.
There was just no telling what that woman might do. He came up with a couple of doozies as he hurried home. Fortunately, she hadn't done any of them by the time he returned. She was up and trying to rouse him, though—that much was obvious the moment he opened the front door. He could hear her shouting and banging on his office door all the way downstairs. Rolling his eyes at the racket she was making and the panic in her voice as she called his name, Lucern pocketed his house keys and jogged upstairs.
He came to an abrupt halt at the top of the steps. Dear God, the woman didn't just eat rabbit food, she wore rabbit slippers. Lucern gawked at the ears flopping over the furry pink bunny slippers she wore, then let his gaze slide up over her heavy, also pink and fuzzy, housecoat.
If he didn't already know she had a nice figure, he wouldn't know now. Then he caught a glimpse of her hair and winced. She'd gone to bed with wet hair and had obviously tossed around a lot in her sleep; her hair was standing on end in every direction. On the bright side, she obviously didn't intend on stooping to seducing him into doing any of those publicity things she was so fired up for him to do.
Oddly enough, Lucern actually felt a touch of regret at that realization. He didn't understand why. He didn't even like the woman. Still, he might have been open to a little seduction. He found himself gaping again, as Kate C. Leever whirled around to face him. I thought…" She turned to the locked office door, then back to him. I thought you were in there, and when you didn't answer, I…" Her voice trailed away as she took in his expression.
Suddenly self-conscious, she pulled the edges of her ratty old robe together as if he might be trying to catch a better look at the flannel nightgown showing at the neckline.
What is that goop on your face? It was obviously some sort of beauty treatment, Lucern deduced, but Kate didn't stick around to explain exactly what sort. Turning on her heel, she fled back to the guest room and closed the door. After a heartbeat, she called in a strained voice, "I'm glad you're all right. I was worried when you didn't answer my knock.
I'll check on you again in an hour. Lucern waited a moment, but when he didn't hear the sound of footsteps moving away from the door, he decided she was waiting for some sort of response. He didn't want her checking on him. He didn't want her here at all. But he found he couldn't tell her that. She'd appeared terribly embarrassed to be caught looking as she had, and really he couldn't blame her; she'd looked awful in a cute, bunny type way. He smiled to himself at the memory of her standing there in his hall looking like hell.
Kate had looked bad—but in the sort of adorable way that made him want to hug her… until he'd seen the cracking green mask on her face.
Lucern decided not to further distress her with the "no" she no doubt expected and instead called out "Good-night" in an uncomfortably gruff voice. As he moved to his office door and unlocked it, he heard a little sigh from the other side of her door, then a very small "good-night" in return.
Her soft footsteps padded away. She was going to bed, he thought. There came a snap, and light fingered its way out from under the guest room door. Lucern paused. Why were the lights on? Was she resetting her alarm clock for an hour from now? The silly woman really did intend to check on him every hour! Shaking his head, he stepped into his office and flicked on the lights. He'd give her fifteen minutes to fall asleep and then go in and turn off the alarm clock.
The last thing he needed was for her to be pestering him all night. Although it did occur to him that if she didn't sleep much tonight, she would probably sleep longer in the morning to make up for it, which would give her less time to nose around on her own while he was sleeping.
No, he decided. She'd said she wouldn't poke around, and he believed her. Chapter Three Kate poked around. She didn't mean to. In fact, she had made plans for the day which definitely did not include poking around—but, well, the best-laid plans and all that. They always went awry. Kate woke up at ten a. Her first thought was to wonder where she was. Her second thought—once she recalled where she was and why—was "Oh, shit, the alarm didn't go off. It was set to the off position.
Kate frowned at the thing, sure she had reset it after checking on Lucern the first time. She distinctly recalled resetting it and turning it on. But it was off. She set it back with a frown. Had she woken up the second time just to roll over and turn it off?
That must be it, she realized and grimaced to herself. The one excuse you had to stay here, the one opportunity to ingratiate yourself with the man, and you blew it. But now that she'd failed at her task, he'd have her out of there by noon—if he hadn't written all night as he'd claimed he was going to do. If he had written all night, he might not wake up until two or three o'clock. Which meant she'd be out of there by three or four.
Now she'd have to come up with another good excuse to stay until she convinced Lucern Argeneau to cooperate. Kate pondered the problem while she showered, while she dried off, while she dressed, while she brushed her teeth, while she fiddled with her hair and while she dabbed on a touch of face powder.
At last she gave it up as a lost cause until after she'd eaten. She always thought better on a full stomach. Leaving the guest room, she paused in the hallway and stared at the door opposite her own.
Maybe she should check on her host. She hadn't done her checking through the night. The man might be lying comatose on his office floor. She pursed her lips thoughtfully over the matter, then shook her head. Not a good idea, she decided. She'd neglected her duty to check on him last night; the last thing she wanted was to wake him up before she'd found some way to redeem herself. Turning on her heel, she moved as quietly as she could to the stairs and down them.
Her first stop was the kitchen. She put coffee on, then surveyed the contents of the fridge. Though she knew every single item in it, it was fun to look at all those goodies and pretend she might have something greasy and bad for her like bacon and eggs.
Of course, she didn't. She settled for the less satisfying but healthy grapefruit and cereal. Then she poured herself a cup of coffee and sipped it as she peered out the window into Lucern's backyard. It was a large, neat, tidy lawn surrounded by trees, obviously professionally kept. Just as the house was. Lucern's home bespoke wealth and class, both inside and out. It was large and filled with antiques, but outside was the true treat.
The house was set on a good-sized property surrounded by trees and grass, all well kept and set up to disguise the fact that the home sat on the edge of a huge metropolis. It was gorgeous and restful, and Kate enjoyed it as she drank her coffee. Pouring herself another cup, she wandered out of the kitchen and strolled up the hall, her mind searching for some plot to keep her in the house for at least another night.
She really had to convince Lucern to do at least one of the interviews. Kate suspected he would never agree to do the book-signing tour and she had already let go of that idea, but surely he could be persuaded to do a couple of interviews.
Possibly over the phone or via the Internet? A couple of her other authors had done it via e-mail. The interviewer sent an e-mail with the questions, the author answered by email. Or there were the various messenger services; she'd heard of authors doing interviews that way as well. Geez, surely that wouldn't be such a big deal? Lucern wouldn't even have to leave his house.
She was about to turn into the living room with her coffee when she spotted the box on the hall table. Kate recognized it at once.
She'd packed the damned thing full of fan letters and sent it herself. Changing direction, she continued up the hall to the table and glared down at the box. She'd sent it three months ago! Three months! And he hadn't even bothered to open the damned thing, let alone answer any of the letters it held. That was the first thing Lucern heard upon awaking. He recognized the tune; it was a hit at the moment.
A brief image flashed in his head of a thin, handsome Latin man dancing around on a stage in dark clothes. The music made it easy for him to find Kate. He merely followed the sound to his living room, where he paused in the doorway to gape at the shambles the room had become while he slept.
The room that had been neat and tidy when he went to bed was now awash in paper. Every available surface had open letters and envelopes piled on it. Leever boogied around a box in the center of the mess, pulling letters out, opening them, and gyrating to one pile or another to add the letter to it before boogying back for another.
Kate, who had been doing some sort of bump and grind—a rather sexy bump and grind, to be honest—with the half-empty box, gave a squeak of alarm.
She whirled toward the door, upsetting the box and sending it to the floor. She bent to gather up the box and its contents. Moving forward, he towered over her as she scooped up the escaped envelopes.
Standing, she glared back. The box was right there on the hall table. I noticed it in passing. Is it not a federal offense? Three months ago! She explained, "I saw that you hadn't even opened it yet, and thought perhaps I could help.
It was obvious you were overwhelmed by the number of letters. I had no idea of the number of letters. I hadn't opened it.
Then she asked, "What is it with you and mail? I've never met anyone who left mail lying about for months like this. It's no wonder you were so slow to answer my letters. Without them, you're nothing.
They pay good money for your books, and more good money to tell you they enjoyed them. Your books wouldn't be published without readers to read them. How can you just ignore them like this?
They took the time and trouble to write you. They say wonderful things about you, your books, your writing! Didn't you ever admire someone's work or enjoy it so much you wanted to tell them of your appreciation? You should be grateful they've taken the trouble to do so! She was quite impassioned, her face flushed, her chest heaving. And what a nice chest it was, he noted. She had a nice figure altogether, even in the comfortable jeans and T-shirt she'd chosen to wear today.
All of which was interesting to note, but not very useful at the moment. He reprimanded himself and took a moment to clear his throat before trying to speak. The problem was, he couldn't recall what she'd said or what he should say in response.
Because it's true. You have been terribly lax in tending to this matter, and I've decided—out of the goodness of my heart—to help you. You needn't thank me," she added in a rather self-righteous tone. Then she grabbed and opened another letter. Lucern found a grin pulling at his lips as he watched her. He didn't have to be able to read her mind to know that this was not out of the goodness of her heart, but an attempt to remain in his home long enough to convince him to do some of her publicity stuff.
He decided—out of the goodness of his heart—to let her stay long enough to help him with the letters. He hadn't intended to answer them. He didn't know any of these people and it was a burdensome task, but now… Well, her tirade had actually reached him. To some degree. You may help me with the letters," he announced.
Kate shook her head at Lucern Argeneau's magnanimity. How grand of you to allow me to…" She paused. Her sneering words were a wasted effort; Lucern had left the room. Damned man! He was the most frustrating, irritating… And what was with his proper speech all the time?
The man had antique phrasing and a slight accent that she couldn't quite place. Both of which were beginning to annoy her. She was just turning back to the box to continue sorting the letters into categories when a series of loud chimes rang through the house.
Recognizing it to be the doorbell, she hesitated, then dropped the letters and went to answer. She opened the front door to find a uniformed man on the other side, a cooler stamped "A. You're a cutey. Marguerite," he added when she continued to look confused, but it didn't help Kate much. The only people she'd met since arriving were the pair who had been leaving when she got out of the taxi, and the woman certainly hadn't been old enough to be Luc's—er, Lucern's—mother.
Kate shrugged that concern aside as the other connotations of what he'd said sank in. Our dads are brothers. Oh, this man was tallish and had dark hair like Lucern, but Luc didn't smile, and this young man hadn't stopped smiling since she'd opened the door.
It was hard to believe they were related. She would have placed both men around the same age. Lucern was coming up the hall, a scowl on his face as he glanced from her to his cousin.
She sighed inwardly at his obvious displeasure. Apparently, he didn't like her answering his door. Geez, the guy was such a pain. Why couldn't Thomas here have written the vampire novels? He would have been much easier to deal with, she was sure.
He held out the cooler. That you were seriously lacking and in need," he added with a grin and a wink. And his face didn't crack and fall off. As he turned toward the stairs he warned, "Try not to bite my guest. She can be… provoking. She turned with a wry smile and asked, "Has he always been this irritable, or is it just me? At her crestfallen expression, he started to laugh. Then he took pity on her and told the truth. It isn't you. Lucern is kind of surly. Has been for centuries. Although he seems to be in a good mood today.
You must be having a good influence on him. Believe me, there was more than one person who looked at me with worry as I scribbled and chuckled away in restaurants and coffee shops. I hope this letters gets to you, finds you well, and that you had a happy holiday season. The first was mailed just before Christmas. No doubt it was lost in the holiday confusion. As to the reason for writing; I am pleased to inform you that the Vampire series you write under the name Luke Amirault is quite popular with readers, much more so than we ever expected.
There has even been a great deal of interest in a possible book signing tour. So many stores have contacted us regarding this possibility that I thought I should contact you and find out if and when you would be interested in undertaking such an endeavor.
Sincerely, Kate C. Leever Editor Roundhouse publishing Co. New York, New York. I received your letter this morning and while I gather you are not interested in a book signing tour, I feel I should stress just how deep the interest in your books are. Your popularity is growing rapidly.
Several publications have written requesting an interview. As to a book signing tour, not only have we had phone calls regarding this, but a highly successful bookstore chain with outlets in both Canada and the United States has even announced that it would be willing to foot the bill to have you visit their larger stores.
They would arrange and pay for your flights, put you up in hotels at each stop, and supply a car and driver to collect you from the airport, see you to the hotel, then to the signing and back. This is no small offer and I urge you to consider it carefully.
As mail from here to Toronto appears to be quite slow - though your return letters seem to take the usual ten days - I am sending this back overnight express. I would appreciate your immediate response and please remember to include your phone number this time.
Leever Editor Roundhouse Publishing Co. Once again you have forgotten to include your phone number. That being the case, I would first ask that you please call the office at once and speak to either myself, or, if I should happen to be out of the office when you call, my assistant Ashley.
You may call collect if necessary, but I would really like to talk to you myself because I feel sure that you may not realize how popular you have become, or how important and necessary contact with your readers can be. I have mentioned the requests for a book signing tour in previous letters, but should tell you now that they are reaching unmanageable proportions. It seems almost every book store around the world would love to have you visit and are sure the signing would be a major success.
While you could not possibly hit every store, we think that one store in every major city would be manageable. I would also like to urge you to consider giving an interview or two and am including the letters we have received from various publications regarding this. As you will notice, these requests come from more than just romance publications. Your popularity has gone mainstream as is reflected by the fact that various newspapers and literary magazines are also requesting interviews. We have even had interest from a couple of the morning news show.
While the news shows would have to be in person, the newspaper and magazine interviews need not be, they could be managed either over the phone or even the internet if you are on it. Are you on the internet? If so, I would also like your email address and would encourage you to get Windows Messenger or something similar so that I could speak to you over the internet.