Title: Vampires Thirst
Series: The Awakening Series #2
Author: Cynthia Garner
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Released: May 6th 2014
In a post-apocalyptic wasteland, civilization no longer exists, and only the strongest survive. The few remaining humans must band together with supernatural beings to battle unspeakable evil-or all hope will be lost.
After accidentally starting the zombie apocalypse, Kimber Treat now lives with her vampire lover in a compound where humans and vampires live together peacefully. A gifted necromancer who can summon the dead, Kimber is beyond happy when she learns she's pregnant. But as her body changes, Kimber fears that her powers are being influenced by evil, a fact she must keep from everyone, including Duncan . . .
Duncan MacDonnough is preoccupied with his new role as leader of the local vampire conclave, but not so preoccupied that he doesn't notice that Kimber is acting strangely. She's grown distant, and Duncan is convinced she's hiding something. Duncan knows the key to stopping the apocalypse is Kimber's powers, but using them puts her life at risk. With the threat from the Zombie outbreak looming, will Kimber and Duncan learn to trust each other once more to save themselves, their unborn child, and the rest of the world?
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Kimber awoke with a gasp and shot upright in bed, her pulse thudding in her throat. The tendrils of the dream that had interrupted her sleep slid away, except for one lingering visual. Pregnant Maggie complaining about perpetual morning sickness.
She fought back rising nausea. Since when was just thinking about morning sickness enough to make her feel ill? She swallowed the bile rising in her throat, and swallowed again before she realized that she really was going to throw up. She bounded off the bed and rocketed into the bathroom, barely making it in time.
As she rose to her feet and reached for the mouthwash, she started counting days. Telling herself to not be silly, she realized how long it had been since she’d had a period and felt her skin go clammy. At least two months. She hadn’t really thought about it until now, but even if she had, she would’ve assumed her lack of monthly bleeding was stress-related and not from the rare possibility of being pregnant with a vampire’s child.
“God.” She stared at her wan reflection in the mirrored medicine cabinet above the sink. “I can’t be pregnant. Please don’t let me be pregnant.”
She had part of the Unseen in her. How would that affect a fetus?
First things first. She had to know for sure. Pregnancy tests weren’t something vampires kept around, and she sure as hell had never thought she’d need one. But now she did, and that meant a trip to the nearest drugstore. The shelves were probably mostly empty, but how many looters had decided pregnancy tests were necessary items in an apocalypse?
She went back into the bedroom and threw on her clothes. On her way through the living room, she picked up her trusty hatchet and slid the handle through a belt loop on her side. She opened the door and headed toward Duncan’s office, glad that the two guards outside their suite didn’t comment on the weapon hanging at her side.
Giving a perfunctory knock on the door, she pushed it open, glad to see Duncan was alone. “Hey.”
His brows drew into a frown, and he got up and came around the desk. “Hey, yourself.” He pulled her into a loose embrace and stared into her face. “What’re you doing up?” Gently he pushed her back a little, his frown growing. “And why are you dressed like you’re going out?”
“Because I am going out,” she said with a smile. “I need—”
“Duncan,” a deep voice intruded, “I hesitate to impose further upon your hospitality— Oh, I apologize. I didn’t realize you had someone with you.”
Kimber turned to see one of the most gorgeous men she’d ever laid eyes on hesitating just inside the room. He stood a few inches over six feet, with shiny black hair that fell to the top of his broad shoulders and dark blue eyes framed by thick lashes.
Duncan pulled Kimber to his side. “Xavier,” he said with a smile. “You wanted to meet my very good friend Kimber Treat. Here she is.”
Kimber shot him a glance. Very good friend? What the hell?
“Kimber, this is Xavier Vachon, leader of the Cleveland enclave.”
She gave the model-gorgeous vampire a smile of welcome. “It’s a pleasure to meet you,” she said, and shook the vampire’s hand.
“The pleasure is mine,” he responded with a slight smile curling his lips.
“I hope you and Duncan were able to make progress,” she said.
“Yes, indeed.” His gaze lingered on her face before dropping to her waist to light upon the hatchet. He met her eyes again. “You are braving the wilds, then?”
She nodded. “Yep. Need to run out for some…things.”Duncan placed one broad hand on her shoulder. “Kimber, we need to talk about this.”
She glanced at him. “It’s not a big deal. I just need…” She shot a look at Xavier. It was bad enough that she was going to flat-out lie to Duncan, but she was going to do it in front of another vampire king, and to top it off, the lie she was using was that she needed feminine hygiene products. There was no getting around it, so she just blurted it out. “I need tampons.”
Duncan’s nostrils flared as he drew in a breath. “You’re not having your period.”
Damn vampire sense of smell. “Not yet. I’m due to start any time.” She held his gaze and tried to ignore the fact that they were talking about such a private thing in front of a stranger. “I can’t sit around an enclave full of vampires and not have tampons, Duncan.”
He looked at her, and finally a sigh left him. He glanced out the window. She followed his gaze to see the sky was lightening as dawn approached. “Fine,” he said. “But take Atticus with you.”
She leaned up and kissed him on the cheek. “Thanks. I will.” Turning, she headed toward the door. “It was nice to meet you,” she told Xavier as she passed him.
“You too,” Xavier responded. As she pulled the door closed behind her, she heard him murmur, “If you have a moment, Duncan, I had another idea for the corridor.”
Kimber ducked back into her rooms long enough to grab a backpack, then headed down to the security office on the ground floor. Atticus was there with two other vampires. “I need to hit a drugstore,” she told him as she shrugged into the backpack. “Duncan wants you to go with me.”
Atticus glanced at his wristwatch. “Give us a few minutes to get ready,” he said.
“I’ll wait in the lobby.” Kimber walked out to the main receiving area and dropped onto a sofa. So far, so good. She really, really hoped the nearest drugstore, a couple of blocks away on Broadway, had what she needed. She didn’t want to drag her posse of vampires all over town, especially if she found tampons at the first one. What excuse would she give to get them to go to another store?
She heard footsteps and looked up to see Atticus coming her way, the two guards behind him. “Let’s go,” he said.
She could tell from the look on his face that he’d double-checked her story with Duncan and wasn’t happy being assigned babysitting duties. Oh well, sometimes it sucked being the second-in-command during a zombie apocalypse.
Sometimes it sucked being the possibly pregnant lover of a vampire during a zombie apocalypse, too.
Cynthia Garner discovered her love for writing when her sixth grade teacher told the class to write a story that began "It was a dark and stormy night..." With that Cynthia's love for all things paranormal was born. When she's not working her day job as a mostly mild-mannered Human Resources Manager, she's on her laptop writing or playing way too much Solitaire. Originally from Northeast Ohio, Cynthia now lives in the desert Southwest.
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