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She's just Food

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  • 7.5
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In a world where blood is currency, one woman’s blood is priceless… In the kingdom of Nocturnia, twenty-year-old Amelia Valentine lives under the care of her godmother. Donating blood to the vampire kingdom is essential for survival, and when her godmother becomes ill, Amelia breaks her one rule: never, under any circumstance, donate blood to the kingdom. The simple act of donation triggers a dangerous reaction, one that captivates the attention of three powerful beings—the ruthless vampire king, his seductive consort, and a lone werewolf, who all become determined to possess her by any means necessary. But Amelia’s spunk and defiance disrupt the kingdom’s balance, making her the center of everyone’s attention. As her life comes full circle and dark secrets of the past are revealed, Amelia must make a decision. Will she choose one, all three, or none?

One Rule

Amelia-POV

“This is a bad idea.”

“This is a bad idea.”

“This is a bad idea,” I repeated in my head as I stood in line.

The morning sun was almost at its peak, shining brightly above me, but it wasn’t warm enough to soothe the goosebumps that peppered my skin. The breeze was stagnant, and the lingering pungent scent of rust and iron was nauseating.

“NEXT!”

Each bellow of “NEXT” from the menacing vampire standing at the entrance of the pavilion grated on my nerves, bringing me one step closer to a decision I knew I shouldn’t make.

When I was growing up, my mother had one rule; she’d ingrained it into me. A lesson of the utmost importance drilled into my consciousness almost daily until she vanished on my sixteenth birthday.

“Never, ever, under any circumstance,” she’d whispered with fervor, her words echoing in my mind like a chant to a curse, “donate blood to the kingdom.”

“NEXT!”

But here I was, inching forward, closer and closer in this suffocating f*ck*ng queue, like a little lamb being led to the slaughter—for the kingdom.

The king’s decree was as ridiculous as it was relentless, and every household’s survival depended upon the sacrificial offering of blood.

But not just any blood—our own.

Twice per month, a member of a registered household could donate. There were too many humans, witches, and wolves in Nocturnia for them to keep up with us by name, so they—the vampires—classified us by households.

“NEXT!”

“D*mn it,” I mumbled through chattering teeth, crossing my arms over my chest to hide my shaking hands. Nerves, it was just nerves—I was nervous because it was my first time donating.

At twenty years old, I’d lived with my godmother, Agatha Amana, ever since my mother disappeared. Aggie was a witch, and it was often rumored that she was the oldest one in the entire kingdom, although she would never admit it. She’d been my pillar of strength and my shoulder to cry on for the last five years, and even when I turned eighteen almost three years ago, she still insisted on being the only one of us to donate.

Aggie had claimed this responsibility as her own and, by using her ominous mystique within the kingdom, she'd allowed me to skirt the obligation. And that’s exactly what it was—an obligation, because if your household didn’t donate, your household didn’t eat.

“NEXT!”

There were only five others ahead of me now, the line dwindling faster than I’d expected. My pulse spiked again, and I drew in a deep breath to suppress the apprehension knotting my stomach. The muscles in my legs quivered in quick spasms and I was positive that by the time it was my turn, I’d be close to full body convulsions.

I shouldn’t have been doing this. I knew the rule, although I didn’t know the reason for it. There was still time to turn back, but I couldn’t retreat. My feet stayed planted, like I was rooted to the earth—I was doing this for us.

Despite the rumors of her true age and power, Aggie had always been in good health. That was until two days ago, when she came down with a nasty cold. She’d painfully talked me through how to concoct one of her witchy brews, but even that couldn’t knock it out. She hadn’t even realized that it was donation day, and that's why I was here, breaking the rule. If I chickened out, we would starve for the following week.

“NEXT!”

Four people ahead of me. I glanced over my shoulder to see how many were waiting behind me, and to my surprise, I was the last one.

I squeezed my upper arms and hugged myself tightly. I’d bit my bottom lip to stop my chattering teeth when, out of nowhere, two arms snaked around me from behind: one over my shoulder, a hand covering my mouth and another around my torso, holding me in place. Warm breath tickled the lobe of my ear and a low growl reverberated through the muscular chest pressed against my back.

“What the F*CK do you think you’re doing, Amelia?”

That, ladies and gentlemen, would be Quincy Forrester. My best friend with bonus benefits, and my only other ally in this ungodly world. He was a lone wolf with a devil-may-care attitude, and right now, he was going to be really p*ss*d off.

“I said, what the f*ck are you doing here? You know the rule, and I’m going to turn your *ss red when I get you home just for standing in this line.”

The thought of his hand striking my flesh sent a sizzling tingle down my spine, like a bolt of lightning straight to my core. I squeezed my thighs together at the pulse it caused, my p*ssy clinching as I arched my back. My *ss brushed against the permanent bulge in the front of his pants, and he groaned, a guttural sound as intense as his next words.

“Do that again and I swear to the goddess, I’ll f*ck you from behind right here in the mud. Please, do it again…I’m begging you.”

I shook my head, clearing the provocative thoughts. Not that I doubted he would engage in such an act with an audience watching, but rather, I knew he would. I wiggled my arm free and pulled his hand away from my mouth, turning my head to look up at him.

“Stop it, Quin. We’ve already talked about this. There is no other option because I’m not letting you donate twice in one day. And don’t f*ck*ng sneak up on me. You know I hate that!”

His smirk faded as his hand gently caressed my cheek. He used his curled index finger to turn my head, tilting it up more, so he could stare deeply into my eyes.

“You’re not donating, love. I won’t let you. Aggie has always been adamant about it, and I will not let you go behind her back while she’s sick to do the ONE thing your mother asked her not to let you do.”

“NEXT!”

I glanced up and realized there was only one person standing in front of me. His promises of punishment had distracted me, and I’d lost track of the line. I squirmed in his grasp, loosening his hold, and turned around in his long arms.

“It’s not that big of a deal, Quincy,” I said, reaching up to run my hand over his buzzed head before cupping his scruffy cheek in my palm. I wasn’t sure who I was trying to convince more at this point; him or myself. “This is happening. I’m not twelve anymore. I’m almost twenty-one.”

His thick brown eyebrows pulled together, scrunching like I said something outrageous, and he growled under his breath.

“It’s not that big a deal, Quincy," he mocked my voice, his nails digging into my side. "Are you f*ck*ng serious, Amelia? It's the only f*ck*ng deal! You do not donate!”

“NEXT!”

His words went in one ear and out the other. This was the moment. I was finally next.

The very unattractive vampire sneered in our direction, and I knew it was directed at Quin. He either remembered Quin and knew he was a wolf, or he’d just been able to scent him from where he stood.

“I’m doing this, Quin. We need rations this week. I will be in and out in under five minutes, just like everyone else. Are you going to stay and wait for me?”

“Amelia…” he whined, stomping his foot in the mud like a child.

“No, Quincy, don’t Amelia me. Wait for me and I’ll go back to your den with you,” I said, rising on my tippy toes to kiss him softly before nipping at his bottom lip.

“F*ck woman, you’re going to be the death of me,” he grumbled, running his tongue over the plump flesh I’d bitten. “You realize Aggie is going to kill you, right? She’ll probably turn you into a mouse or something, and I don’t fantasize about f*ck*ng little mice from behind.”

“LAST.”

My heart pounded in my chest, and I rolled my eyes, ignoring his commentary. “She won’t if she doesn’t find out,” I said coyly.

“Goddess-damnit Amelia! You make a sucker out of me every f*ck*ng time.”

I pulled back as he let me go, and slid my hands down his muscular forearms, tracing the intricate tribal tattoos etched on his tan skin. I laced my fingers with his and swiped my tongue over my bottom lip before I yanked him down for another brief kiss.

“There’s nothing I enjoy more than making a sucker out of you, and you're by far the best sucker I've ever had.”

He and Ira growled nearly roared, and the walls of my core quivered in response, a reaction that only they could elicit. I couldn’t help my giggle as I stepped back, and he swatted at my *ss like he always did when I turned around.

“You're mine when we get home, love.”

I smiled, bouncing on my feet as I approached the giant holding the clipboard, my nerves seeming to have settled with Quin’s approval. The vampire’s expression was neutral at first, but after a moment, his pupils dilated, and his nostrils flared as if he was scenting something.

He tipped his head to the sky and sniffed once more, licking his lips. His head dropped back down, and the gaze of his dark eyes landed on me.

“Species?”

What? My mind went blank, like I was suffering from a sudden bout of amnesia.

Did he mean was I human?

“Did you forget what you are, little girl? Do you need me to examine you so we can find out together?”

Just as the words left the vampire’s lips, a ferocious growl sounded from behind me, and I knew Quin and Ira had heard his question.

“I’m human.” I said, finding my voice to quell the growing tension.

“Household?” he retorted, staring at my face before he glanced at Quin.

“Amana…The Amana Household.”

The Vein Drain Gang

Quincy-POV

“How many do each of these deserve for what you just did?” I asked, sliding my hands down her sides, caressing them over the curve of her hips. I spread my fingers over the tan pants covering her cheeks and squeezed hard, relishing the way they molded to my palms.

“I don’t think I deserve any; I did what I had to. You…you won’t punish me for doing what I had to do, will you?”

Amelia peered up, batting her long lashes. She rose on her tippy-toes and wrapped her slender arms around my neck as she playfully nibbled on her bottom lip. It was her flawlessly perfected, “forget everything and fuck me” look, and she knew it ignited a wild lust in both me and my wolf, Ira.

“Nice try,” I chuckled, tucking a stray wisp of auburn hair behind her ear. “As much as I adore those fuck me eyes, you broke the rule, love—the only rule. That deserves punishment before pleasure.”

Her head tilted back with a whiny moan, and the scent of her arousal perfumed the ai

Heroes

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