an excerpt

Luke Shelton was fucked. Not in the spine tingling awesome way either. Nope. In the 'he owed the wrong people a lot of money' way. It should have been a sure thing, but luck wasn't with him. Nothing new there. Of course he didn't have the money to pay back the loan shark either. He'd used up all his family's savings. That was why he was in the warehouse district. He had a choice give himself up and get a little of his cash back on top of paying off the bookie or lose more than money, maybe his life--or even his family. It was better this way. The loan shark owed some vampire and Luke was going to be the gift to make vamp man happy.

He had no idea what that meant, but he wasn't going to question it. His mom could get the operation to repair a valve thing in her heart and he could set his brother and sister up with college funds so they could get out of the slum they've lived in all their lives. Jose, the bookie, told him he would want for nothing if he did this one little thing for him. It was win-win in Luke's eyes. Luke had to look at the big picture. His family was more important than he was.

A click close to his ear jerked him out of his pity party for one. His handlers had attached a leash to the leather collar around his neck.

It must be close to time.

Luck shivered. He thought he was only there as a blood donor, but he'd been told to strip when he walked in and he was only given a pair of fishnet stockings that didn't leave much to the imagination and a pair of funky heels with buckles and buttons on the side. It felt like he was part of a fraternity hazing ritual or something else as idiotic. It was a bit humiliating, but he had to do this. He'd been promised big things if he went along with whatever was planned. He had to keep psyching himself up--put on a good show, whatever that was supposed to mean. His handler jerked on the leash and Luke stumbled. He was off balance because of the stupid shoes. It wasn't like he walked in the things all the time.

"Hey!" He held a hand out to steady himself.

"Shut it. No talking from here on out." The jerk holding his leash sneered.

Luck gave a mental sigh. He wasn't so good at keeping his mouth shut. It usually got him in trouble. He just gave a nod and waited.

They were in some sort of club. Right now he'd give anything for a vodka tonic. He was somewhere backstage and he had a feeling the vampire was holding court out front. There were a few people milling about.

Luke walked around as much as the leash would allow, getting a feel for the heels. He still had no idea what Jose had been thinking. He was getting colder and he wanted the whole thing over with. His wish was about to get granted, they moved to the stairs. He guessed if anything the heels showed off his killer calves. Luke had a good body, not great, but good. Nothing to be ashamed of, but walking close to naked in front of how many people he didn't know, didn't sound like a good time to him. Well--maybe if he was in the audience and not being paraded around.

They walked to the center of the stage. The lights were very bright. At least it was warmer underneath them. He covered his eyes with a hand to ward off the glare. The lights were turned down and he blinked at the change. At least the heat didn't go away. His whole body was flush, but that could be from embarrassment.

At least now he could see into the heart of the club. There were only three people there and it didn't talk long for Luke to spot the vampire. He radiated power and fuck if he wasn't hot. All dark chocolate and muscled. He was almost coming out of his shirt. Luke gulped and wondered if he was big--all over.