Book Excerpt: Darkness Embraced by Winter Pennington
As part of our effort to profile more authors within the LGBT community, we present Winter Pennington.
Winter is an author, poet, artist, and closeted musician. She is an avid practitioner of nature-based spirituality and enjoys spending her spare time studying mythology from around the world. The Celtic path is very close to her heart. She has an uncanny fascination with swords and daggers, and a fondness for feeding loud and obnoxious corvids. In the shadow of her writing, she has experience working with a plethora of animals as a pet care specialist and veterinary assistant.
Winter currently resides in Oklahoma with her partner and their ever-growing family of furry kids, also known as, “The Felines Extraordinaire.”
Here is an excerpt from her book Darkness Embraced: A Rosso Lussuria Vampire Novel from Bold Strokes Books.
“If you were offered a second chance at life, would you take it?”
It was a strange question, and I did not comprehend why she asked it. I only knew by her visage and the tone of her voice that she was not jesting.
“There is no cure for what ails me, lady.”
“Ah,” she said, lips curving, “but there is.”
One moment I was gazing into the blue fragments of her eyes. The next I was falling into them, drowning in waves that crashed in my mind and thrummed against my skin.
Ensorcelled by her, rationality left me. A carnal hunger sang through my veins, kindling a fire between my legs.
I knew the kind of aching fervor that had nothing to do with illness and everything to do with want and need and the dire urgency to feel her bare skin against mine.
I pressed myself against her, molding the lines of our bodies. Her lips found mine, parting. Our tongues touched and I fed at her mouth. Her hands branded my skin, resting at the base of my spine. A flood of strange longing spilled from betwixt my legs, dampening my thighs.
She drew away, breaking the kiss, breaking her spell.
I cried out, falling to my knees on the rough floor.
A great void nipped at the edges of my being.
I was crying and shaking and did not know why.
“Epiphany,” she said, her voice rendering a spark in the void. I raised my chin to look at her.
“Do you begin to understand?” she asked.
“What are you?” The question spilled from my mouth in a breath.
Her eyes glistened with amusement. “I am the one mortals pray their Gods will keep them safe from.”
Her words made me think past the void. “And when they pray, whose side are you on?”
She smiled. “Neither.”
“There are stories,” I said, “stories of demon-women who crawl into one’s bed at night.”
“Shall I crawl into your bed, Epiphany?” She closed the distance between us, touching my hair. “Would you have me climb atop your body and show you pleasure such as you have never known, such as no mortal lover can give you?” I turned my face into her hand, unable to resist the call of her skin. She traced my bottom lip with her thumb.
“What have you done to me?”
“This.” She trailed her hand down my throat, causing my eyelashes to flutter. I leaned my head back, arching into her touch. Her hand continued its steady descent, sweeping across my breast. My nipples stiffened like tiny dart tips against the chemise. “This is your own doing. I no longer hold you in thrall, and yet”—she caught my nipple between her fingers, sending a shock of pleasure and shame through me—“you sway at my touch.”
She jerked the chemise out from under my knees, raising it. Her fingers traced the dampness at my thighs, and without thinking, I opened to her.
Those fingers slid across the lips between my legs and I gasped.
“You are a virgin, no?”
Whatever she was, it did not matter. She parted me, brushing those fingers against the source of pleasure between my legs. Her fingers circled me, sweet and slow, summing waves of honey and ecstasy from my withering body.
I cried, albeit silently, joy and sorrow spilling down my cheeks.
She drew her hand away and the void returned, threatening to crush my heart.
“Epiphany,” she said, lightly touching my shoulders and coaxing me to her, “come here.”
I went as she pulled me into her lap, arms encircling me. She stood and I wrapped my legs around her waist, feeling the fall of her silken hair against my face.
“What are you doing?” I whispered, knowing full well we were moving toward the bed.
Her reply, when it came, was a whisper. “Making you mine.”
God help me, I wanted her to.