ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS A VAMPIRE
by Kerrelyn Sparks
From chapter two…
She made a stunning cat burglar, dressed entirely
in black spandex that molded to her waist and sweetly
curved hips. Her golden hair hung in a ponytail down
her back. The ends swished gently across her shoulder
blades as she moved her head from side to side, scanning
She stepped to the side, silent in her black socks.
She must have left her shoes outside the window, thinking
she’d move more quietly without them. He noted
her slim ankles, then let his gaze wander back up to
golden hair. He would have to be careful capturing
her. Like any Vamp, he had super strength, and she
looked a bit fragile.
He moved silently past the wingback chairs to the
window. It made a swooshing sound as he shut it.
With a gasp, she turned toward him. Her eyes widened.
Eyes green as the hills surrounding his home in Scotland.
A surge of desire left him speechless for a moment.
She seemed equally speechless. No doubt she was busily
contemplating an escape route.
He moved slowly toward her. “Ye willna escape
through the window. And ye canna reach the door before
She stepped back. “Who are you? Do you live
“I’ll be asking the questions, once I
have ye restrained.” He could hear her heart
beating faster. Her face remained expressionless, except
for her eyes. They flashed with defiance. They were
She plucked a heavy book off a nearby shelf. “Did
you come here to test my abilities?”
An odd question. Was he misinterpreting the situation? “Who—” He
dodged to the side when she suddenly hurled the book
at his face. Bugger, he’d suffered too much to
get his older, more manly face, and she’d nearly
The book flew past him and knocked over the lamp.
The light flickered and went out. With his superior
vision, he could see her dark form running for the
He zoomed after her. Just before he could grab her,
she spun and landed a kick against his chest. He stumbled
back. Damn, she was stronger than he’d thought.
And he’d suffered too much to get his broader,
more manly chest.
She advanced with a series of punches and kicks, and
he blocked them all. With a desperate move, she aimed
a kick at his groin. Dammit, he’d suffered too
much to get his bigger, more manly balls. He jumped
back, but her toes caught the hem of his kilt. Without
his sporran to weigh the kilt down, it flew up past
Her gaze flitted south and stuck. Her mouth fell open.
Aye, those twelve years of growth had been kind. He
lunged forward and slammed her onto the carpet. She
punched at him, so he caught her wrists and pinned
her to the floor.
She twisted, attempting to knee him. With a growl,
he blocked her with his own knee. Then slowly he lowered
himself on top of her to keep her still. Her body was
gloriously hot, flushed with blood and throbbing with
a life force that made his body tremble with desire.
“Stop wiggling, lass.” His bigger, more
manly groin was reacting in an even bigger way. “Have
mercy on me.”
“Mercy?” She continued to wriggle beneath
him. “I’m the one who’s captured.”
“Cease.” He pressed more heavily on her.
Her eyes widened. He had no doubt she was feeling
Her gaze flickered down, then back to his face. “Get
“I’m halfway there already,” he
“Let me go!” She strained at his grip
on her wrists.
“If I release you, ye’ll knee me. And
I’m rather fond of my balls.”
“The feeling isn’t mutual.”
He smiled slowly. “Ye took a long look. Ye must
have liked what ye saw.”
“Ha! You made such a small impression
on me, I can barely remember.”
He chuckled. She was as quick mentally as she was
She looked at him curiously. “You smell like
“I’ve had a few.” He noted her dubious
look. “Okay, more than a few, but I was still
able to beat you.”
“If you drink beer, then that means you’re
She looked at him, her eyes wide. He had a sinking
feeling that she thought he was mortal. She wanted
him to be mortal. And that meant she knew about Vamps.
He studied her lovely face--the high cheekbones, delicate
jawline, and beguiling green eyes. Some Vamps claimed
mortals had no power whatsoever. They were wrong.
Their eyes met, and he forgot to breathe. There was
something hidden in those green depths. A loneliness.
A wound that seemed too old for her tender age. For
a moment, he felt like he was seeing a reflection of
his own soul.
“Ye’re no’ a thief, are ye?” he
She shook her head slightly, still trapped in his
gaze. Or maybe it was he who was trapped in hers.
“Ian.” Footsteps approached them. “Ian,
what the hell are you doing?”
He dragged his gaze away from her and saw Phineas
standing beside them. “What?”
Phineas gave him a confused look. “Why are you
beating up on Toni?”
He blinked and glanced at the woman he’d pinned
to the floor. “Ye’re...Toni?” Their
new guard was a woman?
“You’re Ian?” Disappointment flickered
in her eyes before she looked away. “You’re
one of them.”
That hurt. For centuries he’d been judged too
young, and now, after all the pain he’d endured,
he was still found wanting. His jaw shifted as he ground
his teeth. “Ye have something against Vamps?”
Her eyes flared with anger. “Yes. I tend to
get really pissed when they attack me.”
“She’s got a point, bro,” Phineas
muttered as he adjusted the tie around his purple satin
bathrobe. “You shouldn’t attack her. She’s
Ian moved his weight off her. “Friendship is
She scooted away from him and sat up. “I’m
not here to be your friend. I’m your guard. That’s
He stared at her. Connor had hired a woman to
guard men? This was unheard of in the vampire
world. A mortal woman wouldn’t have the strength...unless
she was a shifter like Phil and Howard. “Are
ye—” How could he put this when shape shifters
were a secret? “Do ye change a bit at a certain
time of the month?”
She gave him an incredulous look. “Are you asking
me if I get PMS? Are you serious?”
“Nay! I dinna mean—” Ian stopped,
interrupted by Phineas’s laughter.
“I know what you’re thinking, man,” Phineas
said, “but she’s normal.”
“Normal?” She glared at Phineas. “I
nailed your ass earlier this evening.”
He held up his hands in surrender. “Don’t
hurt me, sweetness. You’re a strong, beautiful
hunk of woman.”
She inclined her head. “Thank you.”
“Connor told me on the phone that he’d
hired a Tony,” Ian muttered. “I thought
ye would be a man.”
Her eyes narrowed. “I thought you would be somewhat
“Snap!” Phineas grinned. “She got
you good, bro.”
Ian scowled. “It was perfectly logical to assume
Tony was a man’s name.”
She lifted her chin. “Is it logical to attack
people without talking to them first?”
“In this case, aye, it was. The window was open—”
“I opened it,” she interrupted. “It
was as stuffy as a tomb in here, and I was hot.”
“Sweetness, you’re so hot, you’re
sizzling.” Phineas made some hissing sounds.
Ian shot him an annoyed look, then resumed his explanation. “The
window sensor triggered the alarm, and when I investigated
the matter, I found you looking at verra expensive
books, dressed like a cat burglar.”
“Yeah, you do look like a hot and sexy Catwoman,” Phineas
clawed at the air. “Meow! Hiss!”
Now she gave Phineas an annoyed look. “These
are my workout clothes.” She switched her green-eyed
glare to Ian. “And I never heard an alarm.”
“Only Vamps and dogs can hear it.”
“Oh. Which one are you?”
“Snap!” Phineas slapped his leg. “She’s
killing you, man.”
“Phineas,” Ian growled. “I’m
trying to have a conversation here.” He turned
to Toni. “I’m sorry, lass, but this will
never work. Ye canna guard a houseful of men. Ye see
how Phineas reacts to you.”
“He’s a lot nicer than you are!” Her
eyes glinted with anger. “And it’s not
my problem if you’re a bunch a sexist pigs. I
can do this job, with or without PMS. I beat Phineas
earlier, and I would have pinned you down, too, given
“Lass, ye would never pin me.” He leaned
toward her. “I like to be on top.”
Her eyes flashed with green fire.
“Good one!” Phineas shook a fist in the
air. “You’re making your comeback, bro.
You da man!”
“He’s a pig,” Toni grumbled.
“Oink, oink,” Phineas squeaked.
“Enough, Phineas!” Ian glowered at him. “I
can see why ye were murdered young.”
A laugh escaped from Toni, but she quickly squelched
it and frowned at him.
She had a sense of humor? It wasn’t all that
important in the grand scheme of things, but Ian was
suddenly taken with the challenge to make her laugh
again, or at least, make her smile. Unfortunately,
he couldn’t think of anything amusing to say.
He rose to his feet and executed a gallant bow. “I
apologize for attacking you. I hope I dinna hurt you.”
Her frown relaxed slightly. “I’m okay.”
He offered a hand to help her up.
She regarded him suspiciously. “You’re
not going to tell Connor to fire me, are you? I really
can do this job.”
An uneasy feeling settled in his gut. Why on earth
would a lovely mortal woman want a job guarding vampires?