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Scanguards Vampires (Book 7 & 8)

Scanguards Vampires (Book 7 & 8)

Collectors edition: Exclusive hardcover box set with dust jacket and sexy hardcover laminate image, color interior images, digitally signed by the author.

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598 pages

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⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Lara Adrian, New York Times Bestselling Author of the Midnight Breed series: "I'm addicted to Tina Folsom's books! The Scanguards® series is one of the hottest things to happen to vampire romance. If you love scorching, fast-paced reads, don't miss this thrilling series!"

Oliver's Hunger (Book 7)
Newly turned vampire and Scanguards bodyguard Oliver has trouble controlling his thirst for blood. Every night is a struggle against temptation, but when Asian beauty Ursula literally falls into his arms, he fears he will lose the battle over his inner demons and succumb to bloodlust.

Enslaved by vampires for her special blood, Ursula has just escaped her captors. She’s rescued by a handsome stranger, only to realize that he’s a vampire. He claims he wants to help her, but can she trust a vampire who’s not only lusting after her body, but also her blood?

Her promise to rescue her fellow blood whores compels her to join forces with Oliver and his colleagues at Scanguards. Will her choice lead to her salvation or her downfall?

Thomas's Choice (Book 8)
Scanguards vampire and master of mind control Thomas has mentored newbie vampire Eddie for over a year—and been in love with him for just as long. But he believes that his love will never be reciprocated.

While patrolling San Francisco for evil vampires, Eddie kisses Thomas as a diversionary tactic and is shaken to the core by his reaction. He’s terrified of his sexual attraction to his mentor and afraid that moving forward and giving into his desires will destroy the relationship they have.

When hurt and disappointment about Eddie’s inability to commit leads Thomas onto a dark path that spells destruction for all those he loves, only Eddie can pull him back from the brink of eternal darkness. But does Eddie have the courage to face his true feelings in time to save the man who’s meant for him?

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1

Hunger clawed at him.
He fought the urge that controlled him, the need that made him shiver like an addict on withdrawal. He’d never imagined it being so painful, so difficult to resist, yet the thought of blood consumed every minute of his waking hours. Even during sleep, he only dreamt of pulsating veins, of warm blood that still contained a human’s life force, of sinking his fangs into a living, breathing being. But worst of all, he dreamt of the power it gave him, the power over life and death.

With a violent shake, Oliver tried to rid himself of the thoughts. But just like most nights, he was unable to shake off his lust for blood, his insatiable appetite for it. Quinn, his sire, had told him it would wane with time, but even after two months as a vampire, he still felt as greedy for fresh blood as on his first night after his rebirth.

As he slipped into his long dark coat and shoved a clean handkerchief into his pocket, he cast a look back over his shoulder. He’d never lived as comfortably as he did now, thanks to his sire. Quinn and his wife Rose had asked him to move in with them after they’d bought a large house in Russian Hill, a neighborhood in San Francisco that reeked of old money.

If he’d had a say in it, he would have chosen the vibrant and young area south of Market Street. It had become his hunting ground over the last two months. When he wanted to feed, he looked for a convenient victim among the partygoers there or in the Mission, but often he didn’t even make it that far.

On those occasions when he allowed his thirst for blood to grow too severe, when he delayed feeding to prove that he was stronger than the invisible foe inside him, he barely made it a few steps from his front door before he attacked an unsuspecting resident.

He’d been hiding his affliction as well as he could from everybody around him, but they knew. Whenever one of his friends or colleagues looked at him, he could see it in their eyes: they thought he wasn’t even trying to resist the urge to take a human’s blood. They believed he was taking the easy route, when in truth, he was fighting with his inner self every night. Nobody saw the turbulent storm that raged in him, the ferocious battles he fought with himself.

Nobody observed him losing those battles and caving in to the relentless demand of the devil inside him. When it happened, he was alone. Lost. Without guidance.

Knowing he couldn’t delay his hunt any longer, Oliver strode down the stairs of the old Edwardian home. Despite the age of the home, it didn’t feel stuffy. Quinn and Rose had taken great pains to furnish the house with a mix of period and contemporary furniture and turned it into a place of welcoming warmth. A true home. Something he’d never had before.

He felt ungrateful now, just thinking that he was going against his sire’s wishes. Quinn had given him everything he could possibly want: a secure home, emotional support, a family. His job at Scanguards, where he’d worked as the owner’s personal assistant for several years, had changed after his turning. And for the better: while he’d loved working directly for Samson, the powerful and ethical vampire who’d built Scanguards into a nationwide security company, he preferred his new title—bodyguard.

Even though he’d already been undergoing bodyguard training at Scanguards while he was still human, he’d had to start nearly all over again, because as a vampire, he was thrown into an entirely different division, one that took on the most dangerous jobs. He thrived on it, loved every second of it. Which made the guilt even harder to bear. How could he ever become as good a bodyguard as his colleagues, when he couldn’t even control his own urges? How could he defeat an enemy when he couldn’t even overpower the demon that controlled him?

Disgusted with himself, Oliver turned at the foot of the stairs and cast a long look down the corridor that led to the kitchen. There, a larder full of bottled blood waited for him. Every conceivable blood type was stored there, even the one that was highest priced among their kind, because of its extraordinary sweetness: 0 negative. It would be so easy to walk into the kitchen, open the pantry and take one of the bottles of donated blood which Scanguards procured via a fake medical supply company Samson had set up years ago. So easy to simply unscrew the cap and take a swig. But even the prospect of gorging himself on the tastiest blood type around did nothing to quell the urge to hunt.

He’d rather sink his fangs into the neck of a homeless person, drink blood that tasted as putrid as the man smelled, because it wasn’t about the taste of the blood, it was all about what it did to him. It made him stronger, more powerful, invincible. He’d never felt better in his entire life than after feeding from a living human. Because blood coming straight from a vein still carried a human’s life force, making it ultimately more potent. It was like a drug to him, giving him an incredible high that he’d never experienced before, not even when he’d been human and had experimented with drugs. Blood coming straight from a breathing human was his drug of choice now. A dangerous drug he should stay away from.

He knew the dangers of drugs too well: as a human, he’d been down that road, but thanks to Samson, he’d turned his life around and made his way out of the hellhole it was leading him toward. He’d conquered the demons once. And he was determined to do it again. But it seemed more difficult this time.

Giving up the sensations that coursed through his body when he fed from a human seemed like an impossible feat. Wasn’t this what it meant to be a vampire? After all, he fed to survive. Generations of vampires before him had done the same. Had they too fought with themselves every night before they went out to hunt for fresh blood?

There were still plenty of vampires who fed off humans every night. Most of the men at Scanguards seemed to be the exception, but did that mean it was wrong that he wanted something different?

“God, why?” he cursed under his breath, knowing that for tonight he’d lost the battle.

He stalked to the entrance door when he heard footsteps coming from the living room.

“Going out?” Blake’s voice cut through the silence in the home.

Oliver didn’t turn to face him even when Blake stepped into the hallway, knowing his eyes had already turned red, indicating that he was about to lose control. He was in no mood to deal with his so-called half-brother.

“What’s it to you?”

“Look at me!” Blake ordered.

“Don’t think just because Quinn and Rose asked you to keep an eye on me, you’re suddenly my keeper.” The two lovebirds had left for a belated honeymoon and traveled to Quinn’s old castle in England, but unfortunately, they had made sure Blake stayed put.

“I’m not blind, Oliver. I can see what’s going on.”

Oliver took another step toward the door. “Don’t get involved in things that you don’t understand!”

“You think I don’t understand? Hell, I’ve been around vampires long enough to know what’s happening.”

He felt Blake approach and tensed. A second later, Blake put his hand on his shoulder, and Oliver whirled around, slamming Blake against the nearest wall in a split-second, then holding him there.

“You think two months with us makes you an expert?”

He had to hand it to him: Blake didn’t flinch, even though he could crush the human with his bare hands if he wanted to.

“No, but we live here as a family. I would be totally dense if I didn’t see what you’re going through.”

Oliver snarled. “I liked you better when you were dense and clueless. Before you found out who we are.”

Blake huffed indignantly. “I was never dense and clueless! So, get your fucking paws off me, because I know you can’t hurt me.”

“Can’t I?” he taunted, even though he knew Blake was right. Quinn would have his hide. It didn’t mean he’d have to advertise that fact to Blake.

“Quinn will punish you.”

“You think you’re closer to him than I am? You think if push came to shove, he’d take your side?”

Truth be told, Oliver doubted that Quinn would take sides at all. During the short time the four had all lived together, Quinn had tried to be impartial. He hadn’t interfered in the fights he and Blake seemed to have on a regular basis. Even Rose had shrugged it off, claiming there was just entirely too much testosterone in the house, and it was therefore inevitable that quarrels ensued.

Blake narrowed his eyes. “I’m his flesh and blood. As well as Rose’s.”

Oliver let out a bitter laugh. “You’ve barely got any of his blood left in you. You’re his fucking fourth great-grandson! His blood is already so diluted, I can’t even smell it on you anymore. But the blood that runs in my veins, the blood that made me into this, it’s still strong. And he knows it. I’m his son—”

Blake suddenly chuckled. “Fuck, you’re actually competing with me.”

Oliver pulled back, loosening his grip. “It’s no competition when it’s pretty clear who’ll win it.”

“I wouldn’t be so sure about that, little brother. You might be a vampire. But don’t think you’re stronger than me.”

Oliver couldn’t help himself, but he had to cut Blake down a bit before he got too self-confident. “You weren’t talking like that when I bit you.”

Instantly, Blake’s face reddened like a ripe tomato and his chest puffed up. Yes, he could still push the punk’s buttons whenever he wanted to.

With more force than he’d expected, Blake pushed him off, freeing himself. Then he jabbed his index finger into Oliver’s chest.

“I swear to you, one of these days, you’re going to pay for that. Your fucking fangs are never gonna get anywhere close to me ever again, or you’re a fucking dead man.”

Blake’s hand moved behind his back, but Oliver snatched it and grabbed what he’d hidden in the back of his waistband.

Inspecting the offending item, he shook his head, then waved pointedly with the stake that he’d taken from Blake. “And you still haven’t learned that I’m faster than you.”

Then he tucked the stake into his coat pocket and addressed him again, “You should be careful what you bring into this house. If Quinn and Rose ever find out that you’re arming yourself, they’ll be pissed.”

“They have stakes in the house too! And other weapons that can kill vampires,” Blake defended himself.

“Yes, but those weapons are locked up. As they should be.”

“Hypocrite!”

Oliver let the word roll off his back, noticing that it didn’t have any effect on him. “I suggest you go back to whatever you were doing, and let me be.”

“Or what?” his half-brother challenged, raising his chin in defiance.

Stupid!

If only Blake knew how he was provoking him right now. If only he knew how close he was to snapping.

“I’m very hungry,” Oliver answered between clenched teeth. “Very hungry. And if you give me any more lip, I’m going to forget what I promised Quinn and feed right here. And once I’m done with you, you won’t even remember.”

Blake backed away, his single step echoing in the empty hallway. “You wouldn’t!” But despite the words, his eyes showed that he wasn’t entirely sure about his statement. Doubts had crept into his mind.

“Wouldn’t I?”

The way he felt right now, he’d sink his fangs into anything with a heartbeat. Blake’s stupid attempt at trying to keep him from going out had pushed his need too far. Hunger surged. As it crested, Oliver felt his gums ache. He couldn’t stop his fangs from descending, reaching their full length in the blink of an eye.

A snarl ripped from his throat.

His hands turned into claws, the fingertips now graced with sharp barbs that could rip a human’s throat out in a heartbeat.

Blake retreated farther. “Fuck!”

“Run,” Oliver whispered. But the word was meant for himself, not Blake. “Run!”

Finally, his body reacted. Oliver turned on his heel and charged for the door that led down to the garage. He more fell than ran down the stairs and reached his dark minivan just as another wave of hunger pain ripped through his body.

Shit!

He had to get away from here. Far away, or he would hurt Blake, and he knew he couldn’t allow himself to sink that low. Despite the fact that he and Blake fought at every occasion they got, they were family. And hurting Blake would mean disappointing Quinn. And despite what everybody thought of his inability to control his hunger, one thing he didn’t want to do was to lose Quinn’s support.

Oliver jumped into the car. When the engine howled, he shot out of the garage and raced down the street.
His knuckles clutched the steering wheel so tightly that they went white. Again, he’d cut it too close. One of these nights, he wouldn’t be able to pull himself back from the brink and would do the inevitable: kill somebody.

2

Ursula heard the determined footsteps that echoed in the hallway and knew what this meant. The guard was coming to get her. Every time it happened, she dreaded it. After three long years in captivity, one would have thought she would be used to it, but with every time, the disgust for what they did to her grew. As did the fear, the fear that she would give up the fight, that she would finally succumb and lose herself, become a mindless vessel that only existed to serve their needs.

Twice a night, sometimes three times, they called upon her. She was growing weaker, she could feel it. Not only physically, but mentally too. And she wasn’t the only one. The other girls were in the same situation. They were all Chinese like her. Some young, others older. It didn’t seem to matter to them, because it wasn’t the women’s beauty they were after.

She’d been barely twenty-one when they’d captured her one night in New York after she’d left an evening lecture at NYU. It was her last semester, but she would never finish it. How she had dreaded the final exams—how eager she was to please her parents! If only she had those kinds of simple problems now. They seemed so trivial now, so easy to solve.

Getting up from the bed, she grabbed the frame and pushed it closer to the wall, hiding what she’d carved into the exposed wooden beam behind: her parents’ names and address and a message, telling them she was still alive. Every day she survived, she added a date to the list, her carvings now covering virtually the entire area hidden by the headboard.

She’d only started the carving at this place, to which they’d moved her three months earlier by her own count. At her previous prison, there’d been no possibility to do the same—the walls had been made of concrete. Why they had moved her to this place, she didn’t know. But one night, they’d simply packed everything and everybody onto several trucks and deserted the building from which they’d conducted their bloody business.

When the key turned in the lock, Ursula looked at the door. It swung open, revealing the guard who’d come to lead her to a room where the next customer was already salivating for a taste. She recognized him as Dirk, and of all the guards, she hated him most. He took obvious pleasure in seeing her suffer, in seeing her be humiliated night after night.

There were always four guards on duty for the thirteen-or-so prisoners if she’d counted correctly, even though there were more vampires on the premises. Whether her count of the girls was correct, she could never be sure; recently they’d brought in two new girls, and it had been a while since she’d seen a girl called Lanfen. Had she died? Had they finally wrung too much from her fragile body? Ursula shuddered at the thought. No, she couldn’t give up. She had to fight on, hope that she would somehow be saved.

“Your turn,” Dirk ordered with a motion of his head.

She complied as she always did, setting one foot in front of the other, knowing that he would use whatever means necessary to make sure she executed his command. And means he had plenty. She’d been at the receiving end of each and every one of them and could say with certainty that she liked none of his methods.

As she walked past him, her head held high, she felt his body shift. Then his mouth was at her ear.

“I like watching you the best. You’ve got more spirit than all the others together. Makes it so much more exciting. Have I ever told you what a turn-on that is for me?”

A cold shiver of disgust ran down her spine.

“Always have to jerk off right after it.”

Ursula closed her eyes and pushed down the bile that rose as a result of his words. How dare he taunt her with something he knew was beyond her reach and the reach of every woman they’d kidnapped?

When she turned and glared at him, he laughed.

“Oh, I forgot, that’s right, you can’t get off, can you? Despite the arousal that we allow you to sense, you’ll never climax. Pity that.”

Without thinking, she spit in his face. “Sick bastard.”

Slowly he wiped the spit off his face, glaring at her with red flickering eyes. It took only a second for his fangs to descend. Then the back of his hand hit her right across the cheek, whipping her head to the side so forcefully that she feared it would rip her head off her shoulders. Pain seared through her, a feeling she’d learned to tolerate to a greater extent than she’d thought was possible. A defiant glare still in her eyes, she was aware that he would hurt her no further. She was too valuable to them. He couldn’t kill the golden goose. His leader would stake him for it without giving it a second thought.

Dirk was holding onto his control with his last ounce of strength—she could see it in the glow of his red irises and the way the cords in his neck bulged. For an instant, she felt pride wash over her. She’d gotten to him.

One nil for the human.

“Watch out, Ursula, one day you’ll pay for this.”

“Not tonight, vampire.”

Because tonight, a customer was waiting for her. And he wanted his merchandise unblemished. After all, he was paying a high price for it.

Ursula had overheard the guards talking about the amounts of money that changed hands, and she’d been shocked. At the same time, it had made her aware of just how valuable each of the women they held was. And that they couldn’t afford to lose one. It gave her some leverage.

Ursula turned and walked ahead of him, refraining from touching her cheek to soothe the pain. She wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of letting him know that her flesh still stung from his violent slap. She had too much pride for that. Yes, even after three years, she hadn’t let go of it yet. It was what kept her going, what fueled her defiance.

“The blue room,” Dirk ordered behind her.

She turned the corner and headed for the room at the very end, passing a small window that would have provided light during the day, had it not been painted black from the inside. As she entered the familiar room, she allowed her eyes to roam. It was a corner room. There were two windows, one overlooking the main road, the other the side alley that culminated in a dead end. Both windows were small and hung with heavy velvet curtains.

In contrast to the sparse bedroom that Ursula lived in, this room was furnished rather lavishly. Two large sofas upholstered with the same velvet as the drapes dominated the room. A small washstand was tucked away in one corner, a supply of towels and soaps stacked next to it. A shelving unit occupied one interior wall, providing visual as well as audio entertainment should the customers wish this distraction. Many didn’t.
When she heard the door shut behind her and the key turn in the lock, she reluctantly looked at the man who sat on one of the sofas.

“Sir,” Dirk said behind her. “May I present your dinner and entertainment for tonight.”

Then he gave her a shove into the other vampire’s direction and hissed behind her, “Play nice, Ursula. You know I’m watching.”

As if she could ever forget that.

The stranger patted the place next to him with his palm.
“Since this is your first time, I’d like to reiterate the rules,” Dirk interrupted.

The customer raised an eyebrow, but said nothing and simply continued to run his eyes over her body. His fangs peeked from between his lips, and she knew they’d extended fully. He was trying to act civil, when underneath the calm exterior, she could sense his impatience, his hunger for a special treat only few were privy to.

“You may choose where to drink from her. But you may not have sex with her.”

“But—”

His protest was instantly cut off. “I said no sex. You’re here for a taste of her blood, not her pussy.” After giving him a stern look, Dirk continued, “You’ll stop when I tell you to. No exception. Her blood is potent. If you take too much, there’s no telling what will happen.”

The vampire narrowed his eyes. “What do you mean?”

Dirk took a step closer. “I mean that you’ll become delirious if you take too much. Like an overdose. Understood?”

He nodded in response.

“Go ahead,” Dirk ordered, tossing her a sideways glance.
Ursula steeled herself for what was to come as she took the few steps to the couch and stopped in front of the man. Leeches, she called them. Because that’s what they came here for. To feed off the girls imprisoned in this godforsaken place.

Raising his eyelids, the strange vampire looked straight at her. There was a coldness in his look that chilled her. But she suppressed the shiver that ran down her spine. The goose bumps on her skin, however, she couldn’t prevent. A lascivious smile curved his lips when he noticed them.

“I’ll take the neck,” he said.

Figured! Most of them did. They loved digging their dirty fangs into her neck while they pulled her against their vile bodies, pressing their hardening dicks against her like rutting animals. Few drank from her wrist, and those who did, eventually moved on to other areas of her body, losing control over their actions as her blood drugged them.

It was the reason why a guard was in the room at all times, forcing the leech to dislodge his fangs should it become evident that things were getting out of control. The guards were there for the girls’ safety, but in Dirk’s case, Ursula knew he took particular pleasure in the act of watching her.

A firm tug on her hand made her lose her balance and land on the sofa. Before she could straighten, the leech was already on her, his strong body holding her down as the sofa cushioned her back.

From the corner of her eye, she noticed that Dirk had taken a seat on the sofa opposite, his legs spread wide, one hand already resting on his crotch. The other unhooked the walkie-talkie from his belt and set it next to him on the couch. It appeared that he would already start fondling his dick during the show he’d come to watch, only to finish himself off afterwards.

Disgusted, she closed her eyes and clamped her jaw shut. She would get through this, just like all the other nights. She simply had to block everything around her out. Think of a better place, a safer place.

A rough hand brushed her long black hair away from her neck, then jerked her head to the side. The leech’s hot breath invaded her senses as his head came closer and his mouth connected with her vulnerable skin. Instinctively, she shuddered. A grunt came over the vampire’s lips just before he pierced her skin, sinking his fangs into her.

The pain was only momentary. The humiliation lasted longer. It was only the start. As he fed off her, greedily drinking her blood, gulping it down like a man who’d just run a marathon, she felt the ripples go through her body again. Slowly, they traveled from her neck down to her torso, crawling toward her breasts. Her nipples were already chafing against her T-shirt, and the zipper of the vampire’s leather jacket pressed painfully against her sensitive flesh. When the tingling sensation reached her breasts, it combined with the pain and sent a hot flame shooting through her body.

She cried out, unable to keep her jaw clamped together any longer. A groan from the leech was the answer, before she felt his hand wander over her upper body, fondling, grabbing, squeezing. She knew Dirk wouldn’t stop him as long as he didn’t try to stick his dick inside her, because he enjoyed watching her discomfort, almost as if he could see the shame that flooded her.
Shame, because the vampire’s actions aroused her.
She knew it wasn’t natural, simply a byproduct of the feeding, and there was nothing she could do about it; nevertheless, she was ashamed at the way her body reacted. The way her pelvis tilted toward him, how her sex rubbed itself against his hardening dick, how her nipples sought the teeth of his jacket’s zipper to find relief. Relief her captors had been denying her for three years.

With every pull on her vein, more sensations flooded her body, igniting a need in her that grew to monumental proportions. It was like this every time. It made her writhe underneath every leech she’d ever had, rub herself up against the strangers who violated her body in this way, who took from her what she was unwilling to give.

But as much as she struggled, just as she did now, her fists beating against him at the same time as the rest of her body pushed against him with an altogether different motive, she knew she wouldn’t win tonight’s battle. The vampires were always stronger, their bodies hard and heavy, their hold on her unbreakable, and their fangs lodged so deeply in her neck that she dared not turn her head for fear of having her throat ripped out.
Even as tears welled up in her eyes, she panted like a bitch in heat, her moans mixing with those of the vampire feeding off her.

Dear God, let it be over, she prayed.

But just like every night, nobody was coming to her rescue. Just as nobody was helping the other girls who shared her lot. Even now, she could hear similar noises coming from the room next door, only louder and as it appeared, more violent. She felt a kindred spirit to the other women, knew what they were going through, and her heart wept for them, because it was unable to weep for herself. No, she couldn’t allow self-pity, or she would lose her resolve and her strength.

The leech’s hands started to become less focused, veering off their aim, the way a drunk’s movements eventually became uncoordinated. Soon, he’d let go of her. Soon, her ordeal would be over.

A crackling from the walkie-talkie suddenly broke through Ursula’s consciousness. Then a voice came through.

“Red room, I need help. Now! The client is going apeshit on the girl! Reinforcements now!”

Dirk jumped from his couch, cursing. “Shit! On my way.”

He ran toward the door and unlocked it, when a scream came from the other end of the hallway where the red room was located.

“Fuck!”

Then the door was slammed shut and Dirk was gone.

Ursula waited a couple of seconds, listening intently, but there was no other sound at the door; he hadn’t locked the room on his way out.

Was this her chance?

About the Scanguards Vampires series

The Scanguards Vampires series is full of fast-paced action, scorching love scenes, witty dialogue, and strong heroes and heroines.

Vampire Samson Woodford lives in San Francisco and owns a security/bodyguard company, Scanguards, which employs both vampires and humans. And eventually some witches. Throw in a few immortal guardians and demons later in the series, and you'll get the drift!

Each book can be read as a standalone and always centers around a new couple finding love, but the series is more enjoyable when read in order. And of course, there are always a few running jokes - you'll understand when you meet Wesley, a wannabe witch. Enjoy!

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