I've always loved vampire lore, from the pre-Dracula masterpiece Carmilla to the sensual feast of the Sookie Stackhouse series. But something that few, if any, of the vampire fiction I've read touches on what happens to these bloodsucking fiends when they 'die' during the day. The souls of the nightwatch simply seem to cease to exist until sunset returns them to their bodies.
In my new series Netherworld, I decided that much like the ghosts of the truly dead, the spirits of the vampires should be able to wander about as phantoms as well. As ghosts, they are restored to their human personalities before the vicious need for blood altered them. Tristan Keith, the vampire love interest of Brandilynn, recognizes how different he is between his two personas:
But flirting is as second-nature to me as breathing. I couldn’t help myself, so I asked Tristan, “Are you this nice when you’re a vampire?”
“No.” His handsome face turned dark, but he stayed utterly human. “I’m very different when I return to my body.”
“That’s too bad.” I meant it, because my word, he was gorgeous as all get out. Looking at him made me feel a whole lot better. I decided being horny did beat being hysterical with grief after all.
“What can we do to make you feel better?” Dan asked.
My Marlboro Man so shouldn’t have asked that question because of course my mind went where it shouldn’t. How could it not with them both standing there, looking good enough to eat?
We needed to talk about the weather or the season the Braves were going to have this year before I humiliated myself. But before I could switch the tracks my naughty brain-train ran on, Tristan flashed his devastating grin. “Ah yes, the one thing that makes us all feel alive and well.”
The men exchanged knowing smirks, and I wished the floor would open beneath me and swallow me whole. How embarrassing.
Tristan laughed out loud, and his voice rolled over me, giving me shivers. Darn, this man didn’t need the extra charm being a vampire would give him. He had charisma to spare already.
Tracing a finger down my arm, he said, “Don’t look so horrified, my girl. We all use sex here to affirm our existence. The dead have nothing but time and little to fill it with, so lovemaking is a very casual affair in the netherworld.”
Trust a man to put the words ‘casual’ and ‘sex’ in the same speech. The glint in Dan’s eyes told me he shared Tristan’s view. Well, I wasn’t easy, and I’d never been cheap. Not even with two bona fide hunks like these.