Sometimes love can lead to one’s own demise, no matter how much they try to stop it.
Jayce has always felt it was his duty to protect those who were in trouble. When a new vampire trainee, by the name of Carlos, turns up at Jayce’s door asking for help, Jayce is powerless to stop himself. But Jayce soon finds out that Carlos has deep, dark secrets—ones that could very well get them both killed. Jayce could easily show the young vampire the door, were it not for the fact that Jayce has developed strong feelings for Carlos.
What’s a vampire to do? Go for love? Or save his own hide?
The sound of gunfire filled the air, and for once, it didn’t mean Jayce was in trouble or running for his life. Crazy at it was, nobody was more surprised than him at the situation. Instead, he was walking behind a line of students. They were all on their stomachs, one eye pressed against the scope of their sniper rifles as they shot at practice targets. As their instructor, Jayce moved up and down their ranks, giving them advice and praise where needed. While Jayce knew he should be giving all of the students a fair amount of attention, his gaze kept returning to one student in particular—Carlos. Or as he might as well be called, the forbidden fruit. Not only was he one of Jayce’s students, but he was also too young. But it was so hard to remember those rules whenever he got an eyeful of Carlos. With his creamy Latino complexion, short dark hair, big brown eyes and small stature, he called out to Jayce like no other had in a long time. Then there were also Carlos’s full lips that just begged to be kissed. His rounded cheeks that were made to be stroked, and his slightly muscular chest that seemed to be made for Jayce to explore. Jayce shook his head. He had no right to be thinking such things. If Carlos knew his instructor had a teenage crush on him, he would no doubt report him in a second. Then Jayce would lose his new job at the Vampire Federation League. But, that hadn’t stopped him from eyeing up Carlos for the past six months that he’d been Jayce’s student. Since Jayce had just worked freelance before, he didn’t want to go back to that. More than once, he’d found himself working on the wrong side of the law and having to do things that he hadn’t liked. So the last thing he wanted was to lose his current job over some hot body. Jayce looked back over at Carlos…well, maybe the last thing he would do would be to lose it over a hot body. The vampire was damn good-looking He just might be worth the risk. Then again, Carlos had yet to show a bit of interest in Jayce. So the whole point could be moot. For all Jayce knew, Carlos just saw him as an instructor and nothing more. Which would be a huge blow to Jayce’s ego since he’d never had to work hard to get any man. Not that he had a huge ego or anything. It was just that guys seemed to gravitate to him, and who was Jayce to say no? Jayce walked down the row again, stopping once at a female named Emma to adjust her position. Once she managed to fix that for good, she was going to be one hell of a sharpshooter. She might even be better than Jayce. She looked back at him, her long, dark ponytail whipping around her pale face, blue eyes twinkling with guilty mischief. “Sorry about that,” she said. “I promise to work harder on it.” “You better. You never know when your or another’s life may depend on your shooting skills. Sometimes you’ll only get one shot, so each one has to be accurate,” Jayce reprimanded her. “Don’t worry, by the time I’m out of here, they’re never going to know what hit them.” Her upper lip lifted up in a snarl to reveal one fang. Jayce raised an eyebrow. “And who exactly is they? Somehow I don’t think you’re talking about the enemies of the vampires.” “No, I’m not.” “Care to share with me?” “Nope.” She then turned around and began shooting again. So that’s how she wanted it. Fine, Jayce would leave it be for now. He knew he would get to the bottom of things eventually. It was only a matter of time before he got her to open up to him. Jayce began to move down the line until he was right behind Carlos. Jayce couldn’t help but admire that fine ass. Round but not too big, it was the perfect size to be a handful. Jayce could just imagine grabbing it as he fucked Carlos from behind as the other man arched his back in the throes of pleasure, a look of pure bliss on his face. Jayce snapped out of lust mode and put himself into instructor mode. Carlos had good form, and he was hitting the target most of the time. All he needed was a bit more practice, and he would make a damn good sniper. Which was a great thing since the League needed more snipers. They were desperately short on them, hence the reason why they’d turned to somebody who only did freelance work, like Jayce, for help. Carlos stopped shooting long enough to glance over his shoulder at Jayce. Jayce felt himself captured in that brown-eyed stare. His heart began to pound, and he even felt a fluttering in his stomach. Shit! What was going on with him? Sure, he’d been with plenty of men, but all of those had been wham, bam, thank you mans. None of the guys had ever made Jayce feel this way. At the moment, he was one step away from drooling he was so mesmerized by Carlos. “How am I doing?” Carlos asked. “Not too bad,” Jayce replied. “You just need to practice a little more on pulling to the left when you shoot. That’s what making it so you don’t hit your target every time.” Carlos smiled at him, and it was so sexy, yet sweet at the same time that Jayce could feel himself getting hard just from looking at it. Never before had he been glad that the night was cool, and he was wearing a long, heavy jacket. Otherwise, the other vampire would have seen just how much of an effect he had on his instructor. “Thank you. I hope that someday I can be as good as you are,” Carlos said. “Who knows, you may just get better than me.” Carlos ducked his head a bit. “Naw…everybody knows that you’re the best. You’re a legend amongst sharpshooters and wannabes like me.” Jayce knew he should have been pleased with the praise, but it only served to remind him what a big target he was. If it wasn’t somebody who wanted to take him out so they could claim the number one slot, then it was a relative of one of his former targets looking for vengeance. Either way, he had to live his life always looking over his shoulder. Which was a sucky way to live. Not too long in the past, Jayce had lived a carefree life, going from one party to another. Those days were way behind him, though. Now, he mostly stayed in for fear of being caught off-guard and killed. It wasn’t exactly the best way to live. It was a lonely and sad life. Which was the main reason why Jayce had taken on this job. With it came some security, and he could actually interact with others without worrying about one of them going for his throat…for the most part. There were still a few jerks around, no matter where Jayce went. But he’d quickly learned who those were and had avoided them for the most part. Walker, one of the other instructors, came over. He was all muscles, had his dark hair in a buzz cut, icy blue eyes and a menacing look about him. Jayce’s first impression of the guy was that he was a meathead soldier type, but Jayce had quickly found that he had been wrong. Walker was as big a rule breaker and cut-up as Jayce. So the two had become fast friends. “How’s it going?” Walker asked. “Fine. Where are your students?” Jayce asked. “They’re sparring right now.” Walker let out a yawn. Alarmed, Jayce asked, “Shouldn’t you be supervising them? What if one of them gets hurt or something?” Walker shrugged. “Then they’ll learn from their mistake. It’s not like I gave them real weapons or anything, and we are immortal. So it’s not like anybody is going to get killed. They may just get an ouchie or two.” “And they call me the irresponsible one,” Jayce drawled. “You have that award tied up and in the bag.” “Hey, they told me to teach them to fight. They never told me to be their nursemaid. That’s two entirely different things. You want to ditch this place and go get something to eat?” Jayce was aghast, which said something since it took a lot to shock him. “No! I have students with live rounds here. I can’t just walk away and leave them unsupervised.” “You sure can be a buzzkill sometimes.” Jayce gave a half-laugh. “I think that’s the first time I’ve ever been accused of that. Usually, my friends are telling me to rein it in a bit.” Walker shook his head. “Okay, I’ll let you off, but only if you promise me something.” “What?” Jayce asked warily. If there was one thing he’d learned about Walker, it was not to trust him whenever he said only if you promise me something. Walker always had something up his sleeve. Be it having somebody else doing his laundry for a week or worse, cleaning out his car. Jayce had gotten himself stuck doing that once, and he still had nightmares from that experience. Jayce never knew that so many different types of fungi existed until he’d seen them in Walker’s vehicle. And the smell…oh god, don’t even get him started on that. It had smelled worse than a hundred corpses that had been left outside to rot for a week or two. Walker held his hands up in surrender. “It’s nothing bad this time, I promise you. You’ll probably even like it, if you let yourself loosen up a bit.” Jayce decided to let the loosen up comment slide. “Okay, I’ll bite. What do you want me to do?” “Get your head out of your ass and hook up with that Carlos student of yours already. I’m getting sick of watching you moon over him all day.” Jayce jerked in shock. “Have I been that obvious?” “Only to me and that’s because I’m your friend and I know the look you give when you want a taste of somebody. Trust me, you’ve been giving it to Carlos in spades. The only thing missing is your tongue hanging out while you pant over him.” Jayce ran a hand through his short hair. “As much as I would love to, I can’t, and we both know it. Carlos is my student, and that means he’s hands off.” Walker cocked a brow at him. “Says who?” “The nice big rule book they gave us when we hired on to work here.” “Awww…nobody pays attention to those damn rules.” Walker made a shooing motion with his hand. “I’ve known of tons of cases where instructors have gotten up close and friendly with their students.” “I’m sure you have,” Jayce shot back sarcastically. “Yeah, I’ve even done it myself a few times.” “You have not.” Walker suddenly grew serious, the smile fading into a stoic expression. “Hey, we’re friends, right? I would never lead you down a path that would get you in trouble. I’m not that type of person. Would you trust me to have your back if we went into battle?” “Of course I would,” Jayce replied, not missing a beat. “Then trust me on this.” Jayce still hesitated. “I don’t know. Carlos has never shown any interest in me. What if I make a move on him and he gets insulted and reports me? It’s just too risky.” Walker let out a chuckle. “Oh, he wants you all right. I’ve seen the way he stares at you when you’re not looking. It’s like he’s a dog and you’re a piece of rawhide that he wants to take a bite out of.” “That’s the second time you’ve made a dog reference. You sure you’re a vampire and not a werewolf?” “We all have our secrets,” Walker said ominously.