Marked by the Vampire Page 2

She braced her feet and kept her death-grip on that railing. The farther they went, the wilder the waves seemed to become, and the wind was soon ripping at her, tossing her hair around her face and yanking at her coat.

“Go below deck!” The captain bellowed. He was sliding behind the wheel. One of the guards was at his side.

A big wave hit the side of the ferry and Olivia almost hit the deck face-first. Going below deck is a grand plan. She slipped and slid her way to the stairs. Then she hurried down into the darkness that waited below. The wind was howling now, the storm a vicious monster, and she wondered why they just hadn’t waited. Hadn’t tried to come out on that ferry the next day. Wouldn’t that have been better?

Another hard wave must have hit the ferry at that moment because the boat shuddered and Olivia fell down the last two steps. She tumbled down and—

He caught her.

She felt the cold metal of the vampire’s restraints against her arms as he caught Olivia in his strong grip. He lifted her up, holding her easily against him.

“Let her go!” A guard snarled.

The vamp didn’t.

The light over them was flickering. The flickering light let her glimpse the vamp’s expression. His gaze seemed to see right into her. “Better be careful,” he told her, his voice the deep rumble that Olivia knew she’d never forget. “You don’t know what waits in the darkness.”

Oh, she had a pretty good idea.

“Let me go,” she told him softly. This vampire didn’t seem drugged. Not at all. Had he started that diluted blood intake yet? He appeared far too powerful. “If you don’t let me go, that guard is going to stake you.” Her words were a real threat because the guard had already pulled out a wooden stake.

Instead of letting her go, the vampire pulled her even closer and he—inhaled?

“I like the way you smell,” he told her, and she felt the slight movement of his mouth against her ear as he whispered, “I didn’t expect to find something so sweet on my way to hell.”

Her hands were braced against his chest. The ferry was shuddering from side to side.

“Shane,” the guard snapped, “don’t make me do this to you.”


The vampire laughed. “And don’t make me kill you, Philip.”

But the vamp—Shane—he slowly let her go. As soon as his hands dropped, Olivia jumped back as if she’d been burned, and she did feel that way. As if he’d burned her or marked her somehow, just with his touch.

“You okay, ma’am?” Philip asked her, that Texas drawl strong in his voice.

She nodded but didn’t look away from the vampire.

“You’re going to make things difficult,” Shane told her. “Wonder how many dumb bastards I’ll have to take out there…because of you?”

She shook her head, totally lost.

“I guess we’ll see…” Shane shifted his body a bit.

Her gaze fell to his shirt-front. She’d grabbed his shirt when she fell, and she’d yanked open the top few buttons there. She could just make out his golden skin.

Her gaze swept over him, studying him now in that faint light. His right wrist was turned toward her, and, curving around that wrist, she could just make out the faint edge of a tattoo.

She inched forward, still staring at that tattoo.

The ferry dipped to the right.

That tattoo…it almost looked like…

The ferry shuddered to the left. She grabbed onto the wall for support.

It looks like a dragon’s wing.

Her gaze rose. Shane was staring right at her. Smiling. Showing his long, dangerous fangs. And looking at her with a fierce desire glowing in his eyes—a desire that said the vamp would sure like to take a bite…of her.


The restraints were a joke. Shane August knew that he could break free of them in less than ten seconds time. It would take another ten seconds to eliminate his guard and then—well, then he could enjoy the delectable treat staring at him with such big, dark eyes.

She wasn’t letting fear show on her face. Impressive. Most humans usually cracked quickly when they were afraid. But her expression didn’t reflect her terror, but her scent did. Fear hung in the air around her. Fear because of the storm. Fear because of him.

He knew who she was, of course. Pate had briefed him on Dr. Olivia Maddox. Shane had been planning for this particular undercover assignment for weeks.

But he hadn’t counted on the Hot Doc.

Pate had totally screwed him on this one.

You work to get Intel your way. Pate’s words played through his mind. And let Dr. Maddox work the inmates her way. She may be able to uncover information that you can’t.

Right…because all the monsters in Purgatory would take one look at her and start salivating. Just like he was doing.

She was all curves and smooth, golden skin. Her hair—long and black—had escaped from the twist she’d worn when she first stepped onto the boat. Now that hair slid over her shoulders, glistening with water.

Her lips were parted faintly, and he sure liked her mouth. The doc’s lips were wide and full, and he wanted to feel her mouth beneath his. No, he wanted her beneath him, and that damn well wasn’t going to work.

He had a mission. He couldn’t afford to get distracted, no matter how hot the doc might be.

She is plenty f**king hot.

His tongue slid over his fangs. Oh, but it would certainly be fun to have a little bite of her.

“Stop it,” Olivia snapped, some fire shooting through her voice as red stained her cheeks. “I’m not on your menu.”

Are you sure about that?

Philip jerked on Shane’s restraints. Ah, Philip—a transport guard who had no clue who Shane truly was. The guy just figured Shane was another inmate. He certainly had the fake rap sheet and sentencing papers to go along with that cover.

But Shane wasn’t a cold-blooded killer. He’d killed, yes, but all of his recent hunts had been sanctioned by the FBI.

It had been years since he’d let the darkness inside of him loose. But once he stepped inside of Purgatory, all bets would be off.

The ferry rolled again. He heard one of the guards beside him swear. The guy was rather green looking. Humans.

“Help! I need more help up here!” The captain bellowed.

Shane just kept his body braced as the ferry rolled. He could hear the thunder of lightning outside.

Philip pulled Shane toward the cell on the right. That had been their destination just before the delectable doctor had fallen—quite literally—into Shane’s grasp. Shane didn’t resist the guard. What would have been the point of that? But he did take his time strolling into that cell. The door—composed of heavy, silver bars—swung shut behind him.

“Jennings, you keep an eye on him,” Philip ordered.

It looked to Shane as if Jennings could barely keep his lunch down.

Philip touched Olivia’s shoulder. “He’s contained. You don’t have to worry.”

Yes, she did.

Philip hurried up the stairs. And Olivia—

Well, well…

She came closer to Shane. She was smaller than he would have liked, probably only around five foot four or five. He was much bigger and stronger than she was. If they both survived Purgatory, he’d have to be careful with her.

“You don’t seem afraid.” Her words were soft.

He stepped closer to the bars, the better to inhale her scent. Delicious. “Why should I be?”

“Because you’re heading to prison.”

His shoulders lifted in a shrug. He could see the pulse pounding at the base of her throat. Racing so frantically. He’d like to lick her there.

Then bite her.

“Prison doesn’t scare me,” Shane said. Those words were true. Nothing scared him. He’d lived too many centuries for fear. When you’d faced all the darkness that he had, there was no room for such a human emotion.

Especially when he’d never been human.

Her gaze slid over him, as if she were searching for something.

The ferry tipped again, a hard slant, and her fingers flew out and locked around the door’s bars as she tried to steady herself.

Jennings slumped against the floor, covering his face. The guy even let out a moan.

The human guards were making deadly mistakes. If he’d wanted, he could have killed them all so easily.

If he’d wanted…

Shane’s hands lifted. His fingers brushed overs hers. Olivia’s hands were soft, warm. “You’re the one who should fear Purgatory.” He was trying to warn her. Pate should never have sent her in. Shane didn’t care what kind of mind games the lady could play with killers. She was in way over her head.

“I’m not a prisoner.” One of her dark brows lifted. The lights were flickering over them, but he would have been able to see her perfectly in the darkness. “You’re the one caged.”

“You…you should back away from him,” Jennings managed to huff out. The guard appeared to be turning green.

She didn’t back away. Foolish or brave? He decided she might be both.

“You have a tattoo on your wrist.”

Now she’d just caught him by surprise. “Admiring me, were you?”

The boat rolled again. He felt her hands tighten around the bars. She shouldn’t have been afraid of falling. He had her.

“It looks like a dragon’s wing.”

Shane didn’t reply.

“Is it?”

Jennings had made it back up to his feet. “Get…get back, doctor. He’s dangerous.”

You have no idea.

He let her hands go. Took a step away from her.

Slowly, Olivia slid back.

He kept his eyes on her. The delectable doctor had noticed his tat—one that had been a real bitch to get since he healed from most injuries. But the artist had been used to working on vamps, and that ink had been a very special blend.

Once upon a time, he’d battled his share of dragons.

Now, he would battle different beasts in prison.

The doctor staggered a bit as she headed for the stairs. A few seconds later, she fled into the storm.

Laughter came from him. She wasn’t going to escape from him…once the ferry reached the island, they’d both be trapped in Purgatory.


They’d made it to the dock, to Purgatory.

The rain was still falling in heavy bursts, plummeting down as Olivia made her way off the ferry. Armed men were waiting to meet her, all wearing guard uniforms.

One man advanced toward her. “Dr. Maddox?” He offered his hand to her. “I hope the crossing wasn’t too difficult.”

It had been a nightmare. But she’d managed to keep her cool. The poor guard, Jennings, hadn’t been so lucky. He’d been viciously sick several times.

She took the man’s offered hand. Felt his calluses against her fingers. As his hand held hers, she was caught by his bright, blue gaze. A very cold gaze.

“I’m Warden Case Killian.” Another guard rushed up with a large umbrella, one that covered both Olivia and the warden. Case let go of her hand. “Pate told me that you were coming.” He motioned to the guards and another one took her bag. “I’ve prepared temporary quarters for you, but you must be aware that we live a very Spartan existence here. I hope that won’t be a problem for you.”

“No problem at all.” She tried to sound brisk and efficient, a hard task since her teeth were chattering and her clothes were soaked.

The warden gave a nod. “Good.” Then he was turning and leading her toward the heavy stone walls of the building.

Purgatory resembled an old stone castle far more than it did a prison. High towers rose from each of the four corners of the facility, and she could make out the shadowy form of guards walking along the walls up above.

She hurried to keep up with Case, but Olivia found herself glancing back over her shoulder.

The vampire was being taken off the ferry.

“We only transport prisoners once a week.” Case’s voice drew her gaze back to him. “We have to make sure all of the others are in lockdown then.” The heavy doors were opened for them at the entrance to Purgatory. When Olivia stepped inside, the silence was immediate.

Even the roar of the ocean stopped. She just heard…nothing.

This time, her shiver had nothing to do with the cold.

“We have to be very…careful about our new arrivals. Containment is always a priority,” Case added.

She pushed back her hair, sending droplets of water falling around her. The place looked like something from the Middle Ages on the outside, but inside the facility, technology was everywhere. Video cameras. Computers. Sensors.

“Every cell is monitored, twenty-four hours a day. Security was increased substantially because of an…incident that occurred a while back.” Case’s gaze raked over her. “Thought you’d be older.” He shook his head. “Hoped you’d be uglier.”

Her jaw dropped. Had he seriously just said that to her?

“But it is what it is.” He motioned to the guards. “Let’s take the doctor to her room and get her settled.”

That was it? Well, hell, what had she really expected? A red carpet welcome? “Thank you,” Olivia said, her words rushing out. “But I-I was hoping to see the inmates and—”

“Tomorrow. Pate has already sent a list of the inmates you can access. Though why the hell you want to talk with them is beyond me.”

Shane had entered the prison. Case’s gaze shifted to him. The warden’s eyes narrowed. “They’re all evil, straight to the core,” Case said flatly. “Prison is a waste for them. They should just be put down.”

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