- The Vampire and the S.A.
Special Agent Bryan Walker is both excited and apprehensive when the director of the F.B.I.'s paranormal division chooses him to partner with vampire Viktor Karnov on a mission in Russia. Viktor is a legend within the ranks of the F.B.I., a perfectionist and a loner, and unimpressed with Bryan's lack of field experience. The two don't exactly hit it off on their first meeting, but after a forced trial run Viktor agrees to partner with Bryan.
In Moscow they face a cabal headed by Alexander Krychev that threatens to bring down President Petr Volstoy, a democratic leader who has reinstated civil rights for minorities, and whose lover is vampire, Louis Cadinot. Viktor and Krychev are old enemies, Krychev being responsible for Viktor's only failed mission, and the death of friends.
To add to the chaos, Viktor recognizes Bryan as his destined mate but fights the primal need to claim him because of the danger that surrounds them, and his pledge to bring Krychev to justice. However, sometimes Fate has its own way of stacking the deck, and making sure that no matter what the odds, the winner takes all.
- 1 Read list
Publisher: MLR Press
Heat Level: 4
Romantic Content: 4
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: Ageless/Immortal
Protagonist 2 Age: 26-35
Word Count: 40K
Setting: Los Angeles/Moscow
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Same Universe / Various Characters
Bryan made the left turn off Beverly Boulevard as directed and slowed his 2037 Ford Mustang to a crawl as he scanned the address numbers on each house he passed.
"Classy neighborhood. Bit like Georgetown. There it is..."
He pulled up onto the driveway and his nerves kicked in as he climbed out of his car. Meeting someone like Viktor Karnov didn't happen every day, even in his line of work, and Karnov was something of a legend. Not everyone knew he was vampire, but many agents knew of his exploits over the five years he'd been with the Bureau and how many criminals and spies he'd stopped in their tracks. His only failure that Bryan knew of was letting Alexander Krychev and Justin Waring escape. And Bryan knew that event probably stuck in Karnov's craw...especially as it had resulted in the death of his partner, Alicia Berghoff. Through the grapevine he'd heard they had been very tight.
That had to have hurt...READ MORE
He paused at the imposing oak door, took a deep breath then rang the bell. It was swung open almost immediately and Bryan came face to face with Viktor Karnov. He tried not to stare, but God, it was difficult not to. The man was in a word, sensational. Tall, with long dark hair that fell in waves to his wide shoulders. His face was near perfection; sharply chiseled aristocratic features softened only by the fullness of his mouth and a carefully trimmed goatee.
For a long moment the two men stared at each other, Bryan for his part, just a little lost for words. Then Karnov stepped back. "Please come in, Agent Walker."
Bryan extended his hand. "Thanks. Glad to finally meet you." An involuntary shiver ran down his spine when his hand was taken in Karnov's. The vampire's skin was cool and sensual to the touch and Bryan hoped his own palm wasn't damp from nerves.
"I would offer you a glass of wine but as you said, you are driving."
Karnov's smile was just the slightest bit predatory and made Bryan's skin prickle with...what, he wasn't sure. Excitement, anticipation, fear? Bryan stared into the vampire's emerald green eyes and tried to ignore the pulse of desire in his groin. It wasn't easy...
"Uh, maybe one won't hurt..." Give me something to hold. He looked around the living room while Karnov busied himself pouring the wine. "Nice place, Agent Karnov. Have you lived here long?"
"Two years. And perhaps we should be on a first name basis, do you agree, Bryan? Agent this and agent that is so clumsy if we are to work together."
"Oh, sure." He took the glass the vampire offered him. "Thanks, Viktor."
"Come sit by the fire."
Bryan followed him trying not to zero in on Viktor's ass, which was another sensational part of the man's anatomy. He couldn't resist imagining what he'd look like naked. Pretty spectacular he'd bet.
And...yeah, don't forget he can read your mind, so keep it clean.
He wondered how old Viktor had been when he was changed. He looked to be in his late twenties, maybe thirty. It was hard to believe he was hundreds of years old.
They sat facing each other on opposite sides of the fireplace. "I guess you want to ask me about my experience with the Bureau."
"Or lack of same."
"Director Verbohn informed me that you do not have much field experience." Viktor circled the rim of his glass with his forefinger, his expression impassive. "You do realize that should we undertake this operation together we will be very much exposed, that confrontation with the enemy will be almost unavoidable, and that your life will be in danger almost every hour of the day."
"I am aware of that," Bryan replied evenly, hiding his irritation. "Before I transferred from DC to Los Angeles I underwent six months extensive field training. It was pretty punishing, but I endured it because this is what I want to do, and before I could qualify I had to show I was physically capable. I also went on a covert operation in Boston which was successful, but hey, if you feel I'm not up to the job then let me prove to you that I am."
"And how do you propose you do that?" Viktor didn't look too impressed with Bryan's outburst. "The proof will come when you are faced with real murderers, not programmed holograms, but men trained in killing who will give you no quarter, no mercy. I have worked with agents who were skilled fighters and yet who lost their lives in combat."
"I've known some of those men," Bryan snapped, putting his wineglass down on a small table at his side. "Some I regarded as friends. There are always risks involved. As I mentioned previously I have already seen that firsthand. I completely understand this will not be a cakewalk."
Viktor smiled. "Do you really?"
"Yes." The vampire's condescending tone was getting on Bryan's nerves. He might be hot but he's already proving himself to be all kinds of an asshole. "I also understand that you are considered the best field agent there is. Even among the vampires engaged in tactical operations it is said you have no equal. My friend Daniel Vale always spoke of you with admiration. I didn't expect you to be quite so arrogant, however."
Viktor paused in the act of taking a sip of his wine and leveled a piercing stare at Bryan. The corners of his mouth twitched. "You are a man who speaks his mind I see. I am glad you are not intimidated by me."
"Should I be?" Bryan kept his voice low to mask the irritation he still felt. "The way I see it, we'll be working together. I can't afford to be cowed by your attitude. If you are not happy with the prospect of us being partners, I suggest you let the director know that and give her the opportunity of finding someone else who just might meet with your approval."
Viktor shrugged. "I have already been upfront with the director about not wanting a partner for this mission, but she insisted, and I bowed to her wish. She also reminded me of the Bureau's policies on that matter."
"I am sorry if you consider me an inconvenience..."
Viktor stood abruptly. "Director Verbohn wants me to take care of this situation as quickly as possible. Meet me tomorrow at six p.m. at the World Gymnasium on Melrose. You will show me what your training has done for you. I will then make a decision as to whether you come with me or not on this mission. Is that acceptable, or am I still being too arrogant?"
Bryan stood also. "Yes, to both questions. I'll see you at six. Thanks for the wine. Good night."
The vampire walked him to the door. "Drive carefully, Special Agent Walker," he murmured.
"Oh, we're back to that are we?" Bryan's smile was rueful as he walked to his car.
Guess I pissed him off as much as he did me. Son of a bitch is a jerk. Gorgeous and sexy as hell...but a jerk nevertheless.
Any fantasies he'd entertained about getting to know the vampire on a more intimate level were going to remain just that...fantasies.COLLAPSE