The following story is down right amazing, I probably shouldn’t mention it, but it’s my favorite of the event ^^ I can’t help it, I’m a romantic! This scene was hinted at in Blood Law, but Jeannie expended it for us – it’s when Varik proposes to Alex!
Sleeping Beauty, Varik Baudelaire thought as he watched his protégé and live-in girlfriend, Alexandra Sabian, sigh in her sleep. He hadn’t thought of the Charles Perrault fairy tale in years, but as new morning light filtered into the room around the edges of the blackout curtains, he couldn’t keep the comparison from forming in his mind.
Like the Prince in the tale, he was helpless before Alex’s beauty. She’d captivated him the first time they met nearly ten years ago at the Federal Bureau of Preternatural Investigation’s Academy. She was still a student, and he’d been a visiting instructor. She was daughter of Bernard Sabian, Varik’s former partner in a covert operations unit of the FBPI, and Varik had resisted his attraction for the sake of honoring Bernard’s memory.
Varik requested Alex be assigned to him for field training when she graduated. At the time, he thought it was a good idea to keep Bernard’s daughter close so he could protect her.
He shifted in his chair beside the window and brushed a corner of the curtains aside so he could see the sun rising over the Louisville skyline. Holding up the ring he’d had specially made from a teardrop-shaped pink diamond that had been in the Baudelaire family for generations, he knew he’d been deluding himself for years. His request to have Alex assigned to him wasn’t out of some sense of duty to his deceased partner. He’d made the request because he was a man smitten.
Alex stirred and mumbled in her sleep.
Varik eased the curtains closed and clutched the ring. A knot formed in his stomach, twisting his insides and making his heart race.
She settled into her dream once more.
He rose and approached the bed. If he was going to do this, he needed to do it before he lost his nerve.
Alex lay on her stomach with her left hand resting on the pillow beside her head. A hint of the delicate points of her fangs peeked out from her slightly parted lips. Her deep auburn hair covered her bare shoulders but couldn’t hide the small square of white gauze over her right shoulder blade.
His anger flared. Three days ago, they’d been attempting to apprehend a suspect accused of selling Midnight, a deadly drug that was linked to a rash of brutal vampire-related killings in the Louisville area.
While Varik wrestled with the enraged suspect, Alex had tried to keep the vampire’s family at bay. The suspect’s sister rushed Alex as a distraction and the mother stabbed Alex in the back with a knitting needle. The injury wasn’t severe but it did require Alex to take a few days off, which she’d used as an excuse to catch up on her sleep.
Varik pushed his anger aside and took a deep breath to steady his nerves and his hand. He slipped the two-carat pink diamond ring onto her finger. Stroking her hair, he kissed her cheek and whispered, “Marry me.”
She mumbled something in her sleep and her hand closed, clenching the pillow, but she didn’t wake up.
He snuck out of the bedroom and walked down the hall to the kitchen. The knot in his stomach refused to go away as he began cooking bacon and brewing coffee. Questions ran through his mind. Would she say yes? Would she say no? Would she want scrambled or fried eggs for breakfast?
Several minutes passed before he heard the floorboards in the bedroom creak. His hands shook as he tried to pour the coffee. He splashed hot coffee onto his hand and hissed. Blotting the liquid with a towel, he tried to pull himself together. He’d been a Hunter charged with policing his fellow enforcers of vampiric law and capable of killing someone without batting an eye. He’d faced death countless times without fear. Why was proposing marriage so bloody hard?
Quick footsteps in the hall announced Alex’s approach. She entered the kitchen wearing a faded red terry-cloth bathrobe and holding her left hand in her right. The diamond sparkled as brightly as the captured tears on her lashes, but she was smiling.
“I made coffee,” he said, offering the mug with the most liquid. He was pleased that both his voice and the mug were steady despite the turmoil ranging within him.
Alex took the cup and set it aside before she jumped into his arms. She wrapped her own arms around his neck and her legs around his waist.
Varik stumbled back with the force of her attack and crashed into the counter, knocking jars from the spice rack beside the stove. Her breath was warm on his ear as she spoke. “It’s beautiful.”
The knobby terry cloth felt rough against the palms of his hands as they cupped her bottom, supporting her weight. “The coffee?”
“The ring, you jackass.”
Varik smiled and the knot in his stomach eased. “So can I take this as a ‘yes’?”
She kissed him and his knees threatened to buckle. Pulling away, Alex tucked a strand of hair behind her ear and grinned.
“That doesn’t really answer my question,” he teased.
Her eyes narrowed. “You’re totally spoiling the moment.”
“And your eggs are burning.”
Keeping one hand under Alex for support, Varik turned off the stove top and moved the smoking pan of blackened eggs to the sink. The stench of sulfur and charcoal filled the kitchen.
“Ugh,” Alex muttered, burying her face against his neck. “That turns my stomach.”
Varik grunted and then gasped as she teased his earlobe with her fangs.
“I think the air is much better in the bedroom,” she whispered.
Easily supporting her weight, he headed for their shared bedroom. “You still haven’t answered my question,” he said as they crossed the threshold.
Alex met his gaze. “Are you really that dense?”
“I want to hear you say it.” He dangled her above the bed. “Will you, Alexandra Marie Sabian, marry me?”
She kissed his forehead, then each cheek, and brushed his lips with hers as she murmured, “Yes, Varik René Baudelaire, I will marry you.”
Varik eased her onto the bed and covered her body with his. He took her hand in his and kissed her knuckles above the ring. “And we’ll live happily ever after,” he whispered as she smiled and pulled him closer.
Jeannie also wish to offer a signed copy of the second book in the series, Blood Secrets, to one (1) lucky winner!
WHEN ALEXANDRA SABIAN SINKS HER TEETH INTO AN INVESTIGATION, SHE DOESN’T LET GO.
Alex allowed a case involving murdered vamps to get personal and is suspended from the Federal Bureau of Preternatural Investigation. Now she’s facing an official inquiry but has a chance to redeem herself. The catch: She must once again work with Varik Baudelaire, her former mentor and ex-fiancé, as he spearheads a search for a missing college student. But Varik has been keeping secrets from Alex, and his mysterious past is on a collision course with his present.
When Alex and Varik discover a carefully handcrafted doll at a crime scene, neither of them can see how close the danger really is or that a killer known as the Dollmaker has made Alex the object of his horrific desire. Now the only way out of the Dollmaker’s lair is through the twilight realm of the Shadowlands, where all secrets—for better or worse—will be revealed.
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Prize: 1 signed copy of Blood Secrets by Jeannie Holmes
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Ends September 7th, 2011.
Jeannie Holmes is the author of the Alexandra Sabian series, and fears spiders, large bodies of water, and bad weather. She moved from the backwoods of southwestern Mississippi to the Alabama Gulf Coast where she now lives with her husband and four neurotic cats. She enjoys art, exploring old cemeteries, traveling, and when she isn’t writing or has her nose stuck in a book, she spends her time searching for a really good cup of coffee.
More books by Jeannie Holmes