In case you’re new to my Immortal Guardians, I’ll just take a moment to explain that the vampires and immortals in my series are both infected with a rare symbiotic virus that produces the increased speed, strength, and regenerative properties, as well as the photosensitivity and need for blood, that both possess. Vampires are humans who have been infected with the virus. They suffer brain damage that causes them to rapidly descend into madness. Immortals are gifted ones, men and women born with advanced DNA, who have been infected with the virus. Their advanced DNA protects them from the madness and bestows upon them special abilities that help them as they hunt the maddened vampires who prey upon humans.
An extensive network of humans aids the immortals, including Seconds (personal guards). Today a Second by the name of Sheldon will be interviewing Melanie and Bastien.
Sheldon: Thanks for sitting down with me for an interview, guys.
Melanie: Thank you for agreeing to do it. I know Chris Reordon often conducts interviews and didn’t think he would be able to . . . get past . . .
Sheldon: The deep-seated hatred he feels for Bastien?
Sheldon: His desire to kill him?
Bastien: We get it. First question.
Sheldon: *clears his throat* Right. So. Melanie, how do you like working with vampires on a daily basis? You’re the first mortal to do so for this length of time.
Melanie: It’s been an amazing experience. And a heartbreaking one, too. The vampires surrendered during Bastien’s uprising and were provided with apartments down at network headquarters.
Sheldon: Right across from your office.
Melanie: Yes. It was a difficult adjustment for them, but they’ve settled in nicely and have really advanced our understanding of the virus and the madness it causes.
Sheldon: Were you scared?
Melanie: I was nervous at first. Who wouldn’t be? But, working with them every day, getting to know them . . . They’re friends now. Family. It kills me that I haven’t been able to help them.
Bastien: You HAVE helped them.
Melanie: I haven’t found a cure. And, even if I did and managed to destroy the virus, they would be left with no viable immune system.
Bastien: You’ve helped them, Melanie. In dozens of ways. And, if anyone can find a solution to this, you can.
Sheldon: *nods* That’s what everyone is saying.
Melanie: That’s a lot of pressure.
Bastien: But you’re handling it beautifully.
Sheldon: *smiles* They say that, too. So, what do your colleagues think of your working hands-on with vampires?
Melanie: I don’t really think about that.
Bastien: *snorts* The men are total wusses and make snide comments because they’re too cowardly to do it themselves.
Melanie: You know about that?
Bastien: The walls at the network aren’t soundproof. The vampires hear EVERYTHING that goes on there and passed it along.
Melanie: *nibbles her lower lip* You didn’t . . . do anything . . . did you? To remedy it, I mean? Because there haven’t been any snide comments of late and I’ve been wondering why.
Bastien: I may have held a conversation with Dr. Whetsman and his cronies.
Melanie: *groans* Bastien, what did you do?
Bastien: *innocent look* Nothing . . . *sly smile* . . . that they didn’t deserve.
Sheldon: *laughs as Melanie groans again* You’d better hope Chris Reordon doesn’t find out. He already wants your head on a platter.
Bastien: I’m pretty sure they won’t tell anyone.
Sheldon: I bet they won’t. Now, Bastien, you seem to spend an awful lot of time at the network visiting the, uh, vampires.
Bastien: They’re like brothers to me.
Sheldon: And it’s purely a coincidence that you usually visit during times they’re working with Dr. Lipton?
Sheldon: Dude, come on. I saw you kiss her.
Bastien: No, you didn’t.
Sheldon: Yes, I–
Bastien: *eyes flash bright amber*
Sheldon: *swallows* No, I didn’t.
Bastien: *nods, eyes returning to their customary warm brown*
Sheldon: Okay, off the record, I did. Note I said OFF THE RECORD, so you don’t have to hurt me.
Sheldon: And she didn’t try to stake you, so she must have been willing. Melanie, when did you first realize you had a crush on Satan?
Melanie: *laughs* You love to live dangerously, don’t you? I was intrigued by Bastien before I even met him. The vampires talked about him often in their early days here. Still do, in fact. And I liked what I heard. Once I met him, *sends Bastien a flirtatious glance* I liked what I saw just as much.
Sheldon: Gag. Bastien, when did you first realize you had feelings for Melanie?
Bastien: None of your business.
Sheldon: Good enough.
Melanie: *laughs again* He isn’t what you think he is, Sheldon.
Melanie: Bastien is a good man, not the monster so many believe him.
Sheldon: He raised an army of psychotic vampires with the intention of destroying all Immortal Guardians.
Melanie: That was just a misunderstanding.
Sheldon: Uh huh. You’re not going to convince me, so I’ll just change the subject. Melanie, rumor has it you can kick some serious ass.
Melanie: *blushes* Not really.
Bastien; Yes, she can. I’ve seen her in action. Melanie can hold her own against vampires, an amazing feat for a mortal.
Sheldon: Really? I thought only Ami could do that.
Melanie: I’m not nearly as good as Ami.
Bastien: Melanie is a superlative warrior.
Sheldon: But, how is that possible? You’re a doctor, not a Second.
Melanie: Chris wouldn’t allow me to work with the vampires unless I could defend myself with as much skill as possible. I underwent extensive training in weapons and martial arts.
Sheldon: That. Is. Hot.
Bastien: Yes, it is.
Sheldon: I love strong women.
Bastien: As do I.
Melanie: *leans into Bastien’s side*
Bastien: *eyes flash a brilliant amber once more*
Sheldon: What just happened?
Melanie: Bastien can feel the emotions of anyone who touches him and is . . . reacting to something he felt when I leaned into him.
Sheldon. Oh. Ohhhhh. Gross. He’s turned on, isn’t he?
Bastien: Interview’s over.
Sheldon: Hell, yes. Melanie, it was nice to see you again. I have the name of a good psychiatrist if you ever want to have your head examined and find out why you like this guy so much.
Bastien: If you don’t want to get an eyeful of my naked ass, I suggest you leave now.
Sheldon: I’m out.
Bastien: And remember, this was off the record.
Sheldon: Far off the record. So far off the record that the record can’t even be–
Sheldon: Right. *hustles out the door*
Bastien: *caresses Melanie’s face* I still don’t know what you see in me.
Melanie: *catches his hand and presses a kiss to his palm* Don’t worry. You will someday.
Dr. Melanie Lipton is no stranger to the supernatural. She knows immortals better than they know themselves, right down to their stubborn little genes. So although a handsome rogue immortal seems suspicious to her colleagues, Sebastien Newcombe intrigues Melanie. His history is checkered, his scars are impressive, and his ideas are daring. But it's not his ideas that have Melanie fighting off surges of desire. . .
Bastien is used to being the bad guy. In fact, he can't remember the last time he had an ally he could trust. But Melanie is different--and under her calm, professional exterior he senses a passion beyond anything in his centuries of experience. Giving in to temptation is out of the question--he can't put her in danger. But she isn't asking him...
Don’t miss my big kindle contest! In addition to the giveaway here at Books and Things, I’m giving away THREE Kindles (or Kindle Gift Cards if you already have one) to celebrate the release of PHANTOM SHADOWS. See my website for details.
Dianne's Website: http://www.dianneduvall.com
Dianne's Website: http://www.dianneduvall.com
I hope you’ll enjoy Bastien and Melanie’s story! Thank you for joining us!
Oh now I hope you see why I enjoyed this one so much. And guess what? Dianne has offered one lucky winner the choice of any Immortal Guardian book! So if you need the first, second or third you can get the one you need! Oh and guess what? It's INTERNATIONAL! Sweet, right? To enter just fill out the rafflecopter form below. Good luck!
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