Good, the Bad, and the Vampire

By: Sara Humphreys

You’re playing with fire, she thought.

“Yes, ma’am.” His grin widened as he looked her up and down in one slow, lazy pass, lingering briefly on her breasts before finally locking his gaze with hers again. “You look like you were made for it. In fact, if you ever wanna learn the ropes, I’d be happy to teach you a thing or two.”

If Trixie didn’t know better, she’d swear the man was flirting with her and egging her on. She let out a short laugh and shook her head slowly. He had no idea who he was dealing with. If Dakota wanted to play this game, he was no match for her. In the field of battle he would be the undeniable victor, but flirting was her specialty.

She shouldn’t feed into his taunting, but Trixie never did know when to quit. Besides, there was something about this vampire that kept her coming back for more.

“I doubt that there’s much you could teach me, cowboy.” Trixie kept her voice low, barely above a whisper, and moved closer so their bodies were mere inches apart. His eyes widened slightly as she met his challenge. “And if I’m going to kick some ass…I’m totally gonna start with yours.”

“That so?” Dakota pulled a lollipop out of his pocket before quickly unwrapping it and popping it into his mouth.

“What kind of vampire sucks on human candy?” Trixie arched one eyebrow. “What’s with that, anyway? That is, like, way weird.”

“I enjoy the way they taste. That’s all.”

“Yeah? Well, it’s strange.” She tilted her chin defiantly. “I should kick your butt for that offense alone.”

“Easy there, darlin’.” He slid the sucker from his lips and pointed it at her. His voice dropped to a low rumble as he leaned closer and murmured, “Your threat sounds more like a promise. If you’re not careful, I’ll have a mind to make you keep it.”

The sweet scent of cinnamon filled her nose and mingled with the dizzying buzz of lust, which was why Trixie barely noticed that the door to the apartment had opened. She blinked and stepped back, suddenly and acutely aware of her body’s intense reaction to the nearness of his. When she finally tore her gaze from Dakota’s, she found Doug holding the door open and looking at her and Dakota suspiciously.

“I thought I heard you two out here.” Doug stepped back and gestured for them to come in. “We were waiting for you before we brought out Emily’s cake. Come on in and let’s get my baby girl’s party started.”

“Right.” Trixie cracked the knuckles on her right hand and handed him the present. “I was just about to knock.”

“Uh-huh.” Doug glanced back and forth between them and nodded slowly. He’d been a homicide detective in his human life, which made getting anything past him more than a little difficult. “Well, no need to knock. You two are family. Come on.”

Doug took the gift and headed into the apartment. Before Trixie could force her feet to move, Dakota slipped past her and whispered, “I’d say that round goes to me. Wouldn’t you?”

Trixie opened her mouth to respond but snapped it shut when her sibling Maya came running over and wrapped her up in a bouncy hug. Maya’s long blond hair obscured Trixie’s view as Dakota strolled casually into the apartment.

“I’m so glad you’re finally here,” Maya squealed. She must have noticed how annoyed Trixie was because her giddiness faded quickly. Maya glanced over her shoulder at Dakota before stepping into the hallway and closing the door behind her. “What’s going on?”

“Nothing,” Trixie lied. She tried to get past Maya to the door but her sister blocked the way. “Come on, Maya. It’s nothing. Let’s go inside.”

“Yeah, right,” Maya said with a roll of her big blue eyes. “Are you gonna tell me what’s happening between you and Dakota or not?”

“There is nothing happening.” Trixie placed both hands on Maya’s shoulders. “Other than the fact that he’s freaking annoying me. Now move it.”

“Mmm-hmm. I knew it.” Maya’s eyes narrowed and a smile curved her pink lips. “You like him,” she said in a conspiratorial whisper. She poked Trixie in the chest. “Ha! I knew it. You’re so full of it.”

“Shut up.” Trixie slapped a hand over her sister’s mouth, but Maya shoved it aside. “Not so loud.”

“Sorry,” she said in a barely audible voice. “But you two have been flirting forever! Why don’t you just sleep with the guy and get it out of your system? I mean, seriously, everyone knows you two have the hots for each other. Why not just go for it? I mean, let’s be honest, it’s not like you’re shy. You’ve gotten it on with a bunch of human guys, so why not give a vamp like him a chance?” She arched one eyebrow. “You have to admit, he’s a hottie.”

That was an understatement. Dakota was a tall, gorgeous vampire with a naughty twinkle in his eye and a jacked body, but all Trixie said was, “Not gonna happen. It’s too complicated.”

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