The Chosen Sin
Release Date: October 7, 2008
“Vivid details and imaginative settings make the Chosen world intriguing and almost believable. High-voltage action keeps things moving while the in-depth characters have you rooting for their success”
— Romantic Times BOOKreviews
“Anya Bast pulled another winner out of her pocket. If you are looking for a paranormal story that is just out of this world pick up THE CHOSEN SIN. You will get more than just the generic vampire story.”
— Night Owl Romance Reviews
In this sensuous and lust-filled otherworld, the Chosen are vampires fighting for their very existence.
It is Daria’s destiny to become one of them…
Daria Morris is a special forces agent with one obsession: to wreak vengeance on the brutal vampire who nearly destroyed her. Now she’s finally about to get her chance, on one condition. She must become something she detests: a vampire.
Her fate rests upon one man’s lethal bite. His name is Alejandro Martinez, and he can help her infiltrate a highly guarded group of the Chosen. But Alejandro is also a distraction for Daria. Because thirteen years ago, they shared a scorching night of passion neither has forgotten.
Now, while Daria struggles against her newfound bloodlust, the two must slip into the shadows to bring a monster to justice—even as their desire threatens to consume them. But under the cover of night, they’ll discover that it’s the darkness within that may stand in the way of their hunger for retribution…
Alejandro leaned against the bar and watched the crush of dancers gyrate to the pounding beat in the Blood Spot. Lights flashed through the dark interior of the building, periodically illuminating bodies clad in almost nothing.
Blood hunger stirred within him, restless for a drink that had nothing to do with the imported bourbon in the glass he held. This place was rich with promise for a vampire. All those young bodies flushed from the energy of the music and their dancing, it was nearly irresistible. It would be so easy to pull one of the lush women from the crowd, lead her into the velvet darkness of the back of the bar, ease her head back and drink from her throat. He’d make sure she liked it. He’d make sure she climaxed while he drew the blood from her veins.
His gaze focused on a twenty-something brunette, whose hips twisted and snapped to the frenzied music. She had beautiful tanned skin—the kind of woman typically found out here in the sun-baked Darpong sector. The dark part of Alejandro whispered, you could make her beg for it.
Hell, most the patrons were here because they hoped they’d find a vampire to bestow the dark kiss. The bite of a vampire was a rush to a human, like a drug. The venom secreted by a vamp’s fangs caused their victim to relax and become aroused. Too much of the venom could kill them, or turn them, but most were willing to take the chance for the high. The Blood Spot was known as a place where willing human donors and vamps could meet up. The Chosen and humans alike came from miles around to this desolate location for just that purpose.
That little brunette out there would probably welcome his bite. In fact, she was probably looking for it. He could press her back against the wall, slide her skirt up to her waist, part her thighs and ease his cock inside her while he drank. She’d feel so smooth, soft and hot around him, and her muscles would ripple and tighten as he made her come.
Alejandro swore under his breath and stared down at his glass to distract himself from the thoughts that assaulted his mind. He downed the remaining liquid, letting the alcohol burn down his throat. Blood hunger twisted in his gut and he pushed it away. It remained tamped down for the moment, but he doubted his ability to keep it that way. He didn’t deal well with temptation. Never had. Not even before he’d been Chosen.
He was here on business for the GBC, the Govererning Body of the Chosen,, not to avail himself of the willing donors who surrounded him. He could resist. He had to. After ordering another drink, he settled back against the bar and watched the dancers through heavy lidded eyes. The bourbon wouldn’t make him drunk, but the enticing morsels shaking themselves in front of him could.
A redhead in the crowd caught his gaze and smiled flirtatiously. He looked away. Goddamn it. He was supposed to be meeting Daria here. Where the hell was she? If she didn’t get here soon, all his self-control would dissolve.
Alliance law decreed that vampires were supposed to feed from only the sub cubaire, the class of Chosen that gained their sustenance from sex instead of blood. As long as vampires fed from willing human blood donors, the law wasn’t typically enforced. However, the Governing Body of the Chosen, the law making and enforcing organization for vamps and sub cubaire, had the same law and they were strict. They were especially hard on the vampires who worked directly for the GBC. They were not allowed to feed from a human, no matter how willing the human might be.
He swirled the bourbon in his glass and tried not to stare at the redhead who still endeavored to catch his eye. Yeah, he had a problem with the regulation placed on him by the GBC. He craved human blood, wanted to feel a human body crushed against him when he drank. It was a like a hole inside him he felt compelled to fill. Some humans found being bitten by a vamp an addiction, but he found taking their blood just as big an enticement. Human blood was sweeter than the blood of the sub cubaire and far more intoxicating.
The redhead broke away from the crowd and approached him on long, shapely legs. A short black skirt sheathed her from the waist to mid-thigh. Red stiletto heels, the same color of her filmy, almost see-through top, encased her slender feet. The fashion was retro these days—Earth at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Out here in the Logos Territories, the settlers had a lot of nostalgia for the home planet. An expensive ruby pendant nestled in the smooth hollow of her throat. More rubies hung from her delicate earlobes. The woman who approached him now was probably rich and slumming it out her in the outreaches of the Darpong Sector, looking for a thrill or two.
“You look lonely over here,” the redhead purred at him. She touched his chest with long, manicured nails. They scraped his skin through the material of his shirt. Her voice lowered predatorily, her eyes lighted with speculation. “You’re a vamp, aren’t you, handsome?”
Daria Morris pushed the door open and stepped into the Blood Spot. Her pupils adjusted to the dim light and her nostrils flared at the heavy odor—a combination of Darpongese booze, the bitter smoke from rashish cigarettes, and the metallic scent of blood. The pounding beat of the club’s music assaulted her eardrums.
There were vamps in here. She could feel them. This sleazy club in the outreaches of the Darpong was well known as a place where glamjammers, blood donors who were psychologically addicted to a vamp’s glamour and physically addicted to the chemicals secreted by a vamp’s bite, hung out, waiting for a vampire to grace them with their presence…and their fangs. The edges of her mouth curled down in disgust.
Alliance law had made blood extraction from a willing donor a consensual crime long ago. It went unpunished except in the most conservative parts of the Allied Territories. Darpong Sector, where she was now, was definitely not a conservative part.
If it was up to Daria, glamjamming would be illegal everywhere. She found the practice abhorrent, despite the supposed joys of having a vampire sink his or her fangs into you and unfurl their illusions within your mind.
There were addiction clinics all over the Logos Territories. You’d think people would learn not to get their kicks this way. There were even isolated cases of groups of vampires trafficking in the sale of addicted humans they called blood slaves. She shook her head, glancing around at the people that filled the building. The fools.
Daria’s hand rested on her patrol-issued disruptor, a weapon capable of briefly preventing muscular impulses, or the cessation of synapses firing in the brain, depending on the setting. The weapon worked on most species, even the Chosen. She was not a willing blood donor and she’d be damned if anyone mistook her for one.
Her pupils finally adjusted to the dim light and she sought out Alejandro Martinez. She hadn’t seen him in over thirteen years. All the same, she spotted him right away since he still looked like sin made flesh. A black leather dune-biker jacket sheathed broad shoulders and his muscular arms and chest. Thick black hair framed a face hewn in masculine lines, with a strong chin, chocolate-brown eyes, and a mouth made for kissing…and other things. She filled in from memory what she couldn’t see, since his face was currently buried in the neck of a tall redhead.
Daria hung back, watching him sway and dip the woman in his arms, his pelvis moving sensually against hers. The rhythm to which they danced was a lot slower than the music. They looked like they were in the throes of a slow, pleasurable fuck, oblivious to everyone around them.
Daria shook her head. It had been far too long since she’d had one of those. Everything looked sensual to her these days. Although, Alejandro had always exuded confident sexuality, even before he’d been Chosen.
What the hell was he doing biting a human? That was against GBC regulation.
She worked her way around the edge of the room, picking past entangled vampires and donors and stepping in sloshed beer and other substances she didn’t care to identify. Finally, she entered the crush on the dance floor and elbowed her way to him.
“Alejandro?” she queried loudly, competing with the music. “It’s me, Daria.”
No reaction. Just that irritating sway and thrust.
“Alejandro,” she repeated, louder this time.
He raised his head. His dark eyes were heavy lidded, and a hank of black hair had fallen across his cheek. Dark stubble graced the square jut of his jaw and shaded the skin around his well-formed mouth. Those beautiful lips twisted. “Your turn?” he drawled with a trace of a Spanish accent.
He released the glamjammer redhead who stumbled back drunkenly with a smile on her face. Daria stepped away, but he grabbed her around the waist and drew her close.
Her protest died on her tongue as his hot breath caressed her throat. Some strange quirk of vampire chemistry made a Chosen’s breath consistently sweet. Their non-human bodies took the blood they drank and transformed it into pure energy, pure life. Scientists had hypothesized that it acted as a mild tranquilizer, lulling their human victim. Daria held her breath, trying not to inhale it. Alejandro bussed his lips across the bare skin between her collarbone and shoulder. The hard rake of fangs followed the sensation.
That broke her momentary stupor. She pushed him away and hooked her leg around to sweep his legs out from under him. He went down hard on his back, scattering the bar’s patrons around them. Daria knelt beside him, drawing her disruptor and pointing it at his temple. It whirred up, readying to fire. “I told you, Alejandro. No fangs.”
Someone to their immediate left gasped, another screamed. They all backed away. But Daria knew that in this place ruckus wasn’t uncommon. They’d go back to their drinks and dancing soon enough.
Alejandro blinked. “Daria? Jesus, I didn’t recognize you.”
Self-consciously, she touched her hair with her free hand. She’d undergone a lot of cosmetic work for this operation. The face of the person she’d been when she’d known Alejandro was now permanently altered. Her dark chestnut-colored hair was now blond, and her jaw was shaped square instead of delicately pointed. Her lips were fuller and her cheekbones more prominent. The only thing she’d left untouched from the neck up were her eyes. They were still a dark blue. When she went undercover, she’d turn her blue eyes brown with an ordinary pair of colored contacts. There’d be no way her quarry would recognize her even without the added precaution of the contacts, but there was no sense in taking chances.
Sante used to say he loved the color of her eyes, the bastard.
“You haven’t changed at all,” she said. “Don’t sink your fangs into me, got it? No biting. No fangs.”
“That’s kind of ironic considering what you want me for. How do you think this is going to work, anyway? I can’t Choose you without taking your blood.”
A fine tremble in her hand shook the disruptor. “I know.” She was still in denial about that part. She’d do it, but until that time, she didn’t want to think about it…or talk about it. “But that’s for a good reason. I don’t want you to bite me just for kicks. I’m not a glamjammer.”
He stared at her for a moment before speaking. “You’re not ready for this at all, are you?”
She ignored the question and cocked her head to the side. “What the hell are you doing breaking GBC law, anyway? Are you blood drunk?”
“What makes you think that?”
“You let me spill you on your ass, Alejandro, and me a puny human and all.” She smiled. “You a lush now, big guy?”
With the kind of speed achieved by only the Chosen, he disarmed and flipped her in one smooth motion. She tried to strike out at his throat and eyes, but he grabbed her wrists and pinned them to the floor. “If I was blood drunk, would I have been able to disarm and restrain an agent of the Allied Bureau of Investigation so easily?”
“You son of a bitch, Alejandro. I could’ve killed you if I wanted to. Your brain was only a trigger squeeze away.” She lifted a brow. “If I didn’t need you for this mission, I’d report you to the GBC for your little…slip. I wonder how often you’re slipping these days?”
Fear flashed through his eyes and he clenched jaw before responding. “Such fire, Daria. I don’t remember you being like this. It’s so arousing.” He lowered his mouth and brushed his lips across hers. “I might have to change your mind about not allowing my” —he inhaled her scent and groaned— “fangs to sink into you.”
His accent rolled over her and tingled places that hadn’t tingled in a long time. She ignored it. “Some things never change,” she said. “Not after thirteen years, not even after you’ve been Chosen. You think all the women will just fall at your feet.”
He smiled. “Didn’t you?”
“That was before you were Chosen. It wouldn’t happen now.”
White teeth flashed, making him look feral in the half-light. His fangs were retracted, thank God. “It would be even better now.”
It had been fantastic before. She could still remember that night, the taste of him in her mouth and the feel of him moving inside her. He’d brought her to climax hard and fast at first, and then he’d taken his time with her, drawing out two more orgasms before he was finished. He’d been better than Sante had ever been, and Sante had been Chosen when she’d slept with him, even though she hadn’t known it.
She’d used Alejandro that night. He’d known it and hadn’t minded. She’d needed him to help her forget what had happened, to drown her in lust so she wouldn’t drown in sorrow. He’d done a good job. For that one night, he’d been like a knight in shining armor to her damsel in distress.
Daria shivered as his mouth came down on hers. His lips slid over hers like silk, in just the lightest brush. Pure desire shot down her spine straight to her sex. Damn him! She was still attracted to him after all these years. And, of all the things he could be, he was a vampire. She bit his bottom lip and tasted blood. It spread across her tongue like silk and wine. She resisted the urge to spit.
Swearing, he jerked back and Daria rolled away. She snatched up her lost disruptor and stood, wiping the floor yuck from her clothing with a grimace. “Get up, Alejandro. We need to move.” She offered her hand and he took it.
Once he was on his feet, she turned on her heel and headed straight for the bar. She needed to take a minute to settle her nerves. Whisky could be a good thing, and right now, Daria thought it might be the very best thing ever.
“Rocks?” the bartender asked.
She gave her head a shake.
The bartender served her the shot and she downed it. There was nothing like Darpong whiskey. It was a little like Earth whiskey, but stronger and with a slightly bitter flavor.
Alejandro touched her shoulder. “You okay?”
She shrugged him off. “I’m fine.” She set the shot glass back on the bar and closed her eyes for a moment. It was a lie, one she was desperately trying to believe.
Two years of service in the Galactic Patrol, eleven years in the Allied Bureau of Investigation, two medals of valor, numerous undercover operations and hundreds of busts and she still wasn’t sure she could handle what was to come.