Bloodborne Pathogens

A Scarlet Fever: Bloodborne Pathogens Book 1 Sampler

Here is the first scene from my soon-to-be-released vampire, dark fantasy, A Scarlet Fever, book 1 in the Bloodborne Pathogens series (see the blurb here). I’m planning to post the first few scenes over the next few weeks as a taste of things to come. If you’re interested in an adult vampire story, where the main character finds herself unexpectedly transformed, and has to fight the beast inside her while battling the things that go bump in the night, all while trying to keep from reeling into the bed of the nearest blood sucker, I hope you enjoy! And come back soon for scene 2.

It's just another night at the club

‘But some guys are worth the trouble, Mina thought as she scanned the club again.’

A Scarlet Fever: Scene 1

Mina’s dark eyes scanned the faces in the crowded club, seeking the eyes that flickered red in the pulsing light. She found them watching her. Her mouth opened as if to speak, even though the owner of the eyes was too far away to hear her in the cacophony of the club. Instead, her lips twitched into a sly smile as she turned to Cam, who’d just returned with another round of beers. Despite being perennially broke, Cam always managed to score free drinks, the good stuff too. If asked, Cam would wink and say it was her winning smile; Mina expected it had more to do with her roommate’s cascading locks and bedroom eyes.

Mina took the beer Cam offered her, giving up on keeping a tally, then leaned towards her. “What do you think of him?” she shouted over the music, indicating the location of her watcher with her chin, forcing herself not to look in his direction. She took a swig of the beer, and her lips tingled and her ears buzzed: the good stuff was stronger than the swamp water she was used to.

“Him who?” Cam shouted back, looking in the direction she’d indicated. Mina looked over her shoulder. Amber Eyes had disappeared again.

“Hmm, he was just there,” she said as her gaze trawled the crowd. She took another mouthful of beer. “And I’d just started to have high hopes for the night.”

“Doesn’t matter what I think of him anyway. What do you think of this mystery man?”

Mina allowed herself a smile. “Hot. Sweltering.”

Cam grinned back, draping her arm around Mina’s shoulder. “Now aren’t you glad I dragged you out? Made you shave your legs and clean the paint from under your fingernails?” Cam turned her pearly smile on the hulk of a man who was checking her out before returning her attention to Mina. “All work and no play makes Mina a dull, tense girl.”

Part of her hated to admit it but Cam was right: she was enjoying herself. She didn’t know how Cam had managed to convince her to come out. Mina needed to go to school at frickin early o’clock in the morning to spend some time in the studio before her other classes, banging her head against the major art project she’d been struggling to complete so she didn’t fall even further behind. Then there was work in the afternoon since the rent wasn’t going to pay itself.

And she had an appointment with the executor of her mother’s estate tomorrow, in between school and work. She groaned. But maybe that was how Cam had managed it — she knew when Mina needed to cut loose. It always started with the reasoning that Mina needed to come to keep Cam out of trouble. But, more often than not, it ended up with Mina getting into trouble right along with her.

But some guys are worth the trouble, Mina thought as she scanned the club again.

The next song started, the bass pounding in her blood. Cam gave Mina a hug before going off to dance with the football player sidling up to her: her roommate had a soft spot for the beefcakes that Mina didn’t understand.

Still not finding the wolfish grin in the dark club, Mina sighed and downed the dregs of her beer, then jostled her way around the crammed dance floor to the bathrooms. She found the rear door ajar and went outside to cool off, making sure to replace the brick that had been left there to keep the door propped open. Despite the cool weather, the club had been close and sticky. She took a deep breath and looked up at the sliver of sky visible between the buildings. Part of the full moon was visible in the clear sky, but the ring around it presaged rain, or so her grandpa, smelling of salt, seaweed and cigarettes, had told her years ago when they went to visit him in his small house by the sea. She lit the cigarette she’d bummed from a woman in the bathroom. She felt buzzed but she usually only smoked when she was hammered. She could almost hear her mother’s disapproving voice.

“You shouldn’t do that, you know — it’ll kill you,” a deep voice said, definitely not her mother’s.

Mina felt a twitch in her gut. Her blood pounded a little quicker in her ears. She looked over her shoulder at the speaker. The amber eyes and puckish grin met her gaze. His skin was a warm caramel, even in the blue light of the night, and he had an accent she couldn’t quite place. Not Spanish, not French, but something Romantic.

She smiled and looked at him out of the corner of her eye. Long lashes framed the rich red-brown eyes and he had full lips ripe for kissing.
Throwing the cigarette butt to join the others that littered the ground, she crushed it with the heel of her boot.

“Yeah, there’s always something though, don’t you think?” she said, turning away and looking up at the sliver of moon again.

“Yes, there is always something.” He eased up behind her and placed his hands on her hips. “So we should make the most of each day. And each night.”

Mina’s breath tripped and her skin flushed. “Wanna dance?” she asked over her shoulder, trying to reassert her good sense. But that good sense got jumbled when she felt his breath whisper over the hairs on the back of her neck as he leaned into her. She could have sworn he was sniffing her, even though she had not perfume to smell.

“Not really.” He shifted a little closer. “But I will if you let me buy you a drink.”

She felt his lips move by her ear when he spoke. She weighed the effects of another drink on her good sense versus continuing their conversation here. She didn’t like the odds either way.

“Deal,” she said, resigned to getting into trouble again. She grabbed the hand that was moving her short skirt further up her thigh, threatening to expose the moth tattooed on her hip, and led him back into the packed club. After a couple of clinging, grinding turns on the dance floor, all good sense had left the building, and one of them decided it was time to head back to her place.

She scanned the club for Cam, or the football player she’d been dancing with, but couldn’t see either of them. Mina had a suspicion about where they’d gotten to. She pulled out her phone to let Cam know what she was up to but saw that Cam had beaten her to it: GONE 2 PLAY WITH A BALLER CU 2MORO.

Some wing man.

Read the next scene.

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