We’re four days in, and we’ve already raised nearly $300 for our Greater Chicago Food Depository Virtual Food Drive! Great job everyone, and keep those donations coming! And don’t forget that ANY donation–big or small–will get you entered to win a Wi-Fi Amazon Kindle!
Since ya’ll are being sooooo incredibly generous, maybe I should tempt you with another HARD BITTEN teaser?
And if anyone feels motivated to give a gallon of milk to the GCFD as a thank-you, go right ahead! Just CLICK HERE.
Oh–and before I forget–you still have FIVE DAYS LEFT to enter the GOODREADS ARC contest. Penguin is giving away 12 ARCs of HARD BITTEN!
And now, without further ado . . . .
* * * *
As much as I loved casual, and as steamy as August had been so far, I knew jeans and a cotton tank top weren’t going to cut it tonight. We were heading to a rave. At best, it was going to be a party for vamps, and I needed to look the part; at worst, it was going to be a battle of vamps, and I was going to need the protection.
No, tonight was a night for leather. Well, leather pants, at least, since it was much too hot for the full ensemble.
I know, stereotypical vampire. I had that thought every time I pulled the leather out of my closet. But you ask any Harley rider who’s experienced road rash, and he’ll explain why he wears leather. Because it works. Steel can slice, and bullets can pierce. Leather makes those things a little harder to get through.
I pulled a longish, flowy, gray tank top from the closet and paired that with the leather pants, then pulled my hair into a high ponytail, leaving a fringe of bangs across my forehead. I skipped the Cadogan medal—I was attempting to fly undercover, after all—but I pulled a long necklace made of strands of pewter-colored beads over the tank. With my black boots, the ensemble looked half-runway, half-party-girl. It didn’t scream vampire soldier, which I figured could only help. Element of surprise, and all that.
I slid my dagger, inscribed on one end with my position, into my right boot, then stuck my phone and beeper into a tiny clutch purse. I wouldn’t take the purse or the beeper to the event, but at least I wouldn’t have to carry a handful of gadgets to the car. En masse, they weren’t exactly ergonomic.
I’d just added blush and lip gloss when there was a knock at the door. Luc, I assumed, having been sent upstairs by Ethan for a last-minute strategy session.
“About time,” I said, pulling the door open.
Green eyes stared back at me. Ethan hadn’t sent Luc upstairs; he’d come on his own. He scanned my outfit. “Date night?”
“I’m trying to fit in with the rest of the partygoers,” I reminded him.
“So I see. You’ve got weapons?”
“A dagger in my boot. Anything else would be too obvious.”
The emotion was clear in his eyes, but I needed to stay focused. I kept my voice neutral, my words careful. “I’ll be safe. And Noah will have my back.”
Ethan nodded. “I’ve updated Luc. The guards are all on standby. If you call, they come running, immediately. If you need anything, you call one of them. If anything happens to you—”
“I’m immortal,” I interrupted, reminding him of the biological clock he’d stopped from ticking. “And I have no interest in taking liberties with my immortality.”
He nodded, regret in his eyes. That look made it seem he was seeking a discussion between two lovers, not between boss and employee. Maybe he did have feelings for me. Real ones, unbound by obligation or position. But even if I was interested in pursuing that lead, now was not the time. I had a task to perform.
But before I could remind him of that and send him on his way, he cupped my face in his hands.
“You will be careful.” It was an order that brooked no argument. That was convenient, since words failed me.
“You will be careful,” he repeated, “and you will stay in touch with me, Luc, or Catcher. Darius will be here, so Malik and I may be indisposed. Get in contact with whomever you can. Take no unnecessary risks.”
“I promise I wasn’t planning on it. Not because you asked me to,” I hastily added, “but because I like being alive.”
He clearly wasn’t dissuaded, and stroked my jawline with his thumb. “You can run. You can keep running to the ends of the earth. But I won’t be far behind you.”
“No. I will never be far behind you.” He tipped up my chin so that I could do nothing else but look back into his eyes. “Do the things you need to do. Learn to be a vampire, to be a warrior, to be the soldier you are capable of being. But consider the possibility that I made a mistake I regret—and that I’ll continue to regret that mistake and try to convince you to give me another chance until the earth stops turning.”
He leaned forward and pressed his lips to my forehead, my heart melting even as my more rational side harbored suspicions.
“No one said love was easy, Sentinel.”
And then he was gone and the door was closed again, leaving me standing there, dumbfounded, staring at it.
What was I supposed to do with that?
(Copyright Chloe Neill and all that jazz)
45 thoughts on “GCFD Food Drive Update + HARD BITTEN Teaser No. 2!”
OMG so awesome. I just fell back in love w/Ethan w/that scene. Thanks for sharing!!
OMG!! I can't wait!!!!! Sooo good!!
*Breathe in… breathe out… breathe in…*
Gods. May come now!
Thanks for this teaser. The best.
OMG…. Can't wait to have your hot little book in my hands.
OMG! no words can describe the flutters deep inside me. SWOON. love Ethan. Always have. Always will.
YOU'RE KILLING ME HERE! I NEED THIS BOOK NOW!!!!
I absolutely love it! Though I hope Merrit stays strong for a while because Ethan has a lot to make up for!
OMG!!! I want the book now!! I hate being patient!
OMG!!!!!! Can the book get released any earlier.
Aww, that is so sweet:) Glad to see Merit still has her priorities in order though;)
I hate being tormented by these teasers but I know the wait will only make the story so much more sweeter to read.
YOU ARE SUCH A TEASE!!! …I'm absolutely dying over here! …HURRY UP MAY! haha
Holy cow, I can't wait for this book!!!
Oh my Starrrs! That was a fabulous scene! Thank you for sharing it. Just what the doctor ordered before a day in the trenches! I cannot wait until the book comes out in May!
OMG!!! I so cannot wait til your next book comes out!!!
Squeeeeee! Great scene, Chloe!
I feel Merit's conflict…but glad she is staying strong. Eager for May!
AHHHH *dies* cannot believe we have to wait a month for this!!!!!!1
Please Chloeeee don´t keep up the torturing!!!! I can´t wait anyy longeeerrrr!!! I don´t want to read anything more till I have the book, the complete book in my hands!!! I can´t stand little samples anymorreee!!!!!
Gotta love those Charming and protective Ethan moments. He is so romantic! I can't wait for the book! More teasers please!!!!!!
Wonderful scene! Thanks for sharing. I hope the on again off again thing with Ethan won't be a recurring theme. Once is a good titillation play, twice would be frustrating.
::Heaves huge sigh of relief and goes back to sleep till the next teaser::
I was compelled to make my contribution to the Chicago food bank because of your release of this awesome excerpt. How could I not? – I admit I love a good "remorse, pursuit and grovel" tactic, and that its done by Ethan makes it even better.
@Anonymous – "Remorse, pursuit and grovel" = Well put. 🙂
WOW ! Dang it if you are not a fabulous story weaver !
OMG Chloe!!! That was fabulous!! I can't wait to read this from cover to cover (even if I can't get it until May 12th in UK!!)
Even whilst he's grovelling, Ethan is still a Master Vampire – gotta love the guy (and we do!) AND we get Darius in the mix as well, just keeps getting better and better.
I LOVE it!!
I sure will need an oxygen tank……..
Thank you that was amazing! I melted right along with Merit when I read that. I can't wait!!
Wow. I just. With the rave! And the leather…and Darius? And then oh holy hell Ethan!?!
If David Beckham turned up and said that to me, regardless of past c**k-ups , I'd have waved my little White flag.
Wow….I can't wait for this book to come out!
Totally melted me like butter!
Thank you! Thank you!! Thank you!!!!!
O-my-gawd–> I can't wait until May!!
So close and yet sooooooo far….. (Sigh…)
Wow i am a puddle on the floor, i melted along with Merit and every other woman who read it. Roll on May only problem is i could have no nails by then as the suspense is killing me.
Owwwn, Ethan being protective, HOW CUTE!!! *o* I need to read this book!
i need a defibrilator now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
OMG!! I Loved!!! *-*-*-*
Owwwn, Ethan being protective, HOW CUTE!!! *o* I need to read this book! 
OMGGGGG!!!!! I already pre-ordered this book but now I want it RIGHT NOW!!! Chloe you're literally torturing us.
ahh, can’t wait! I am so excited that there are 2 books coming out this year too….but the waiting is pretty much torture!
OMG I can't wait!!!! May 2nd get here quick!
omg , i want to read the book now , by now i mean now not in 3 MAY
ahhhhhhhhhhhhh , i want to read it , i feel like crying because i don't have the book , how i will rest until 3 MAY , i re-read the other book maybe 3 time and i finish
what to do now ????
OMG, I will die, just DIE if she does not get off it and get back with him! Please don't makeus wait 2 books for her to forgive him already!!!!
*SQuueeee* omg thank you for the absolutely wonderful snippet! Made my day. ^^
*shakes head* Ohh Ethan… now you’re regretting what you said before. haha..xD
I get chills every time Ethan acts like that. Every. Single. Time.
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