A little, somewhat edited, snippet to introduce my new favorite vampire. Rajmund (pronounced RYE-mund) is just about 200 years old and very powerful. Rajmund, (Raj, to his friends, with a soft “g” like in Roger) is lieutenant to the Vampire Lord Krystof Sapieha who rules the Northeast. We first saw him in RAPHAEL at the Vampire Council meeting when Raphael is listening to his host Krystof’s quaking voice. Rajmund is the powerful young vampire standing behind Krystof who meets Raphael’s gaze from behind their respective sun glasses.
This snippet is the first meeting between Cyn’s friend Sarah Stratton and Raj.
So, this was Raj, their host for the evening. He was dressed in elegant formalwear, a tuxedo jacket and pants, and a crisply white formal shirt with smooth, flat pleats. But the neck of the shirt was open, the top button undone, as if he’d just whipped off the formal and too confining tie. He was big, like Raphael, but blond, with clear blue eyes in a face so stereotypically Slavic he defined the word. High, flat cheekbones, slightly narrow eyes, a strong jaw and a beautiful smile filled with white teeth, but no fangs, she realized. None of their party was flashing visible fang. Probably some sort of protocol thing, like not bringing your guns to the peace table.
Raj stopped just short of Raphael’s security and gave the massive Juro a grin that managed to be friendly and challenging at the same time. The pressure against Sarah’s chest increased minutely and she wondered if she’d survive the greeting portion of the night, much less whatever came after. Juro blinked, then stood aside with a small nod. Raj took a single step forward and bowed slightly. “My lord.”
“Rajmund,” Raphael acknowledged.
Obviously vampires didn’t waste words, Sarah thought, somewhat frustrated and wondering how much longer this would take. Her new shoes were spectacular and the four inch heels did wonders for her legs, but they were never intended for standing around.
“And who is this?”
Sarah looked up and found her gaze neatly captured by a pair of icy blue eyes. A frisson of energy sparked and every nerve in her body suddenly woke up and began to hum happily. She forced herself to move, to offer a handshake. She felt the strength of his fingers as they wrapped around hers, dwarfing her hand. “Sarah Stratton,” she said, somewhat breathily. He smiled—a slow, lazy smile that sucked away in a millisecond the little bit of air left in her lungs, leaving her gasping for breath and trying not to show it. Something in his eyes told her he knew it anyway, and she was suddenly struck by vivid images of naked bodies in a darkened room—or no, not in the dark. He’d leave the lights on, so those icy eyes could drink in every tremor of her body as she writhed beneath him. Jesus, Sarah, get a grip!
This, she told herself, this was a vampire. Suddenly she understood what Cyn had been talking about all these months, what it felt like to have all that power and energy focused on only you. He was not just tall, but big. His shoulders, his upper arms and chest were massive, tapering to narrow hips and muscular thighs and . . . oh my. Sarah had always liked big men. Of course, most men were big compared to her, but she liked big men, the kind who gave off heat, an imminence, as if they could spring into action at any moment.
She jumped a little when he spoke, aware she’d been staring. “Rajmund Gregor,” he said in a rich, unhurried voice. “Raj, to my friends.” His words were deep and resonant, starting way down in his diaphragm and making the long journey up through that wonderful chest to her ears.
His eyes glinted with humor and Sarah realized she was still staring. She bit her lips against the urge to get even closer to him, to feel that big body wrapped . . . What was wrong with her? She swallowed hard and managed a weak smile. “Nice to meet you, Raj,” she said lamely. “I’m Cyn’s friend, Sarah Stratton.”
His eyes warmed briefly in fresh amusement and she realized she’d already told him her name. She felt herself blush again and cursed her pale skin. He laughed cheerfully and placed his huge hand at the small of her back. “Let’s get you seated,” he said, propelling her across the floor in Raphael’s wake.
Definitely . . . to be continued!