The Promise

What Happens in Vegas...After DarkWHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS…AFTER DARK anthology
Harlequin Spice
ISBN-10: 0373605315
ISBN-13: 978-0373605316
Release Date: May 1, 2009

Read an Excerpt

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Anya Bast’s story in this anthology is called THE PROMISE. It’s a prequel to THE DEAL, (WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS… the first anthology, released in 2008), and tells Damian’s story and how/why he came to jilt Cassidy at the altar on their wedding day.

Las Vegas… it’s the town that lives up to the promise of its nickname, Sin City. A gamblers’ paradise for innocent tourists, it conceals a darker, sexual world where the ethereal and wraithlike meet to play a different game….

If there’s one thing succubus Deitre understands it’s revenge. That, and enticing men into arousing, exciting and, okay, perilous sex (for him). Beautiful on the outside, demon on the inside, she’s going to get back at the naughty firefighter in Darkness…unless he plays his cards right.

Bounty hunter Nell is a hell of a tracker. Now she’s in Vegas on the tail of the witch who dared to steal from her clan. She’s going to get the unsavory harlot through the woman’s ex-finance, and nothing about their charged encounters will be shallow, quick or friendly.

When the half-blood fae male comes to Club Darkness, Elena can’t resist acting on the mind-blowing heat coursing between them. She might be betrothed to another, but fae culture says sex with other men until marriage is most definitely foretold.

Tattoo artist Devi is the latent vampire the warlocks need to heal all wounds. But taking her power is a sexually exhausting and dangerous task requiring dark deception…and gambling on her life.

Excerpt

They loaded Damian into an SUV and took him to the strip. Secreted in between two buildings and across from The Liege casino, was a night club that he’d never noticed before. Not in all the times he’d been up and down this street. He’d been born and raised in Las Vegas; he thought he knew every stick and brick in this city. Yet, there it was, hidden away in an odd space that seemed to suck away and make disappear all the light around it. The club was aptly named.

Darkness.

The thugs parked the SUV on a side street and yanked him from the vehicle. They muscled him up to the front entrance of the building, pushing him through some unseen film of stickiness that made his stomach turn. It made him want to turn around and run the other way…even more than he already did.

Another thug opened the door and Thug One produced a card and flashed it at him. Damn. This was obviously an establishment of many thugs. Not where he wanted to be.

They pushed him inside.

“Look, guys, nice as this visit has been, like I said, I’ve got somewhere to be.” Yeah, an altar.

Thug Two pushed him forward again, into the club proper. “Elena wants to see you.”

He spoke as if that answered everything.

Damian stumbled forward and caught himself against a chair. When he looked up, he gawked. The interior was done in all black and dark, deep red…blood red. It looked like a place where Goths would hang out.

A bar lined the wall and the place was filled to bursting with tables and chairs. This time of day, he’d expect a nightclub to be closed, but this place was pretty packed…and these patrons were definitely not local. His eyebrows rose into his hairline as he examined the nightclub’s unique customers. Some guy with pale skin and prosthetic fangs peeking from curled lips snarled at him.

“What is it, Halloween?” he mumbled as Thug One took him by the arm and pushed him to the left.

A tall, tattooed woman passed him, bared her teeth and hissed, her eyes flashing that strange silver sparkling whatever at him. Okaaaaaay. Yeah, this was a Goth club all right.

They prodded and muscled him through a door near the bar, then through a kitchen to another door at the back of that room. They pushed him through that one so hard, he stumbled and fell to his knees.

“Fuck! I’m really starting to get annoyed,” Damian said, staring at the blood red carpet he’d landed on.

Nothing. No response but the sound of a closing door. The thugs had left him alone.

Damian raised his head, looking up slowly. Standing in front of him with one hip cocked was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen. That was not a good thought to be having on his wedding day, while Cassidy waited for him at the altar this very moment.

God, he was such an asshole.

He lowered his forehead to the carpet, closed his eyes and counted to five. Maybe this was all some kind of hallucination brought on by the stress of impending lifetime commitment. Maybe when he opened his eyes the next time, the Most Beautiful Woman In The World be gone.

“You punched Hugo,” his dream woman said in a liquid silver voice. “That’s why they manhandled you. Otherwise, your trip to Darkness would have been uneventful.”

Damian opened his eyes and stared into the red. Damn it, she was still there.

He raised his gaze. She wore fuck-me shoes of tooled black leather. From there things just got better. Her legs were bare, shapely and creamy pale. She wore a short black shirt, slit to show one mouth-watering thigh. Her shirt was a shimmering blue button-down, opened to show just a hint of cleavage. Long dark brown hair tumbled around her shoulders and framed a heart-shaped face with a small, pointy chin, a longish nose and beautiful dark brown eyes. She wasn’t tall, but she was curvy.

Full ruby red lips parted and she spoke again. “Do you have a brain in your head? You haven’t said a word.”

She was pretty, but apparently not all that nice. And he was on his knees in front of her. Great.