#TyOnTuesday – The Belladonna Agency Begins with Turned by Virna DePaul
Welcome to #TyOnTuesday – every Tuesday stop by for a snippet of Virna DePaul’s new release, TURNED on sale 4/1/2014 – This is week 2, Chapter One where Ty and Ana meet – enjoy!
About the book:
Welcome to a mesmerizing world where vampires hide among humans. This centuries-old species has its own rules, code of conduct, and taboos. Only the FBI knows that vampires exist—and although the Bureau agrees to keep their secret, it also plots to give humans the upper hand.
Turning mortals into vampires is forbidden.
But there are creatures who refuse to play by the rules.
Ever since he was turned, FBI special agent Ty Duncan has had one mission: bring rogue vampires to justice. As a recruiter for Belladonna, a shadow agency formed to keep vampires in check, Ty must tap Ana Martin, a troubled ex–gang member and one of the few mortals who can infiltrate places that his kind and the law cannot. From their first encounter, Ty fights a hunger to make Ana his own.
When Ty claims to have information about Ana’s missing sister, Ana has no choice but to trust this captivating stranger who awakens her deepest desires. But as she and Ty climb the heights of pleasure and passion, an enemy is conspiring to destroy them both.
Can Ana help Ty find his humanity in a love that could heal them both, or will their passion lead them into a darkness impossible to escape?
THE JOB OFFER – Seattle, Washington
A few weeks later . . .
Back in the Bronx, Eliana Maria Garcia’s weapons of choice had been a smart mouth, the occasional threat of a knife, and her fists. Now, standing with her back pressed against the brick wall behind Monk’s Café, Ana Martin had something even better— a gun. One she was hoping she wouldn’t have to use.
Confronting the man who’d been following her, however, was unavoidable. She’d noticed him at the bank yesterday, then the market. But last night she’d seen him outside her house. And moments before? Across the street.
That was one coincidence too many. She’d left Primos Sangre over seven years ago, but if there was one thing the gang had taught her, it was that survival meant confronting danger head-on rather than running from it. Since she didn’t trust the cops—didn’t trust anyone—her only choice was to handle this herself. Her way.
If only she wasn’t so scared. But she’d put her old life behind her, and even though she wasn’t happy—could never be happy without her sister—she was often content.
Sometimes when she looked in the mirror she even managed to like the person she saw looking back at her. The thought of losing that scared her more than any
threat of physical harm ever could. And it scared her enough that she was willing to fight to make sure it didn’t happen.
The sun had set long ago. Now and then a stab of light from a passing car pierced the shadows of the alley where Ana was hiding, forcing her to dodge back.
Invisible, shrouded in darkness, she waited. When she heard footsteps, she knew it was him.
Forcing her near-numb fingers to tighten their grip on the gun, she watched as he walked past her, then made her move, coming at him from behind, pressing the barrel of her gun against the back of his head.
He didn’t even jerk.
From the back, he looked big. Broad. Muscles rippling. Dangerous.
But from the front? Even from a distance, he’d looked more than dangerous. He’d looked deadly. Beyond handsome.
Midnight hair and eyes just as dark. Savage and sophisticated at the same time. She’d never seen his equal. Certainly never met anyone that came close.
Part of her knew she’d gotten the drop on him a bit too easily. That perhaps she was doing exactly what he’d been expecting. Hoping.
But it was too late to go back now.
“Hands where I can see them,” she managed to get out.
Slowly, he raised his hands in surrender. Only she still wasn’t buying it. Her nerves screamed at her to run, but logic kept her feet planted firmly on the ground. Somehow, she knew if she ran, he’d only come after her.
“Why are you following me?”
No answer. No surprise.
With her free hand, she patted him down, the way she’d learned to do in the gang. By the time she’d frisked him from the back, she was the one who was sweating. And not from exertion.
Nothing about him was small. He was tall and buff, more than big enough to overpower her slight frame.
Sangre-style paranoia set in, and it occurred to her that this guy might be undercover. She instantly recalled the run-ins she’d had with cops as a teenager. The way they’d often pulled her long dark ponytail, hard enough to make her back arch and breasts lift. The way they’d sometimes copped a feel or implied they’d leave her in peace if she made it worth their while. She’d never given them that satisfaction.
But no, she decided. This guy’s vibe was just too different. Not so much cop as outlaw.
His entire body was contoured with interesting ridges and bulges and planes. This close she could smell him, a subtle spicy scent that managed to convey unabashed maleness and warmth despite what seemed to be a rather low body temperature. The man held himself in control. Unlike her. Gritting her teeth, she ignored the rush of heat to her cheeks and moved faster to disguise the telltale trembling of her hands.
“Turn around,” she commanded. Slowly, he did.
Despite the heat in his gaze, his mouth was tipped into a mocking smile, as if he knew how affected she was by touching him. What he didn’t know—couldn’t know— was how confused she was by her reaction. He made her feel . . . restless. Edgy. Vulnerable.
She hated it.
As such, she hated him.
Methodically, she frisked him from the front, delving between his denim-clad legs to make sure he wasn’t packing more than nature had provided.
He grunted slightly and said, “Keep that up and you might find more than you want, princess.”
His accent was clipped and tidy—upper-crust British. Despite herself, her gaze shot to his.
“Don’t call me that,” she said automatically, just before she found the gun tucked into a sleek holster concealed inside his waistband.
She pulled it out, and the sight of the Luger didn’t surprise her. The well-made weapon suited him. Swiftly, she slipped it out of his holster and into the front of her own waistband.
The only other time she’d seen a Luger was when she’d delivered a package to Pablo, the leader of Devil’s Crew, another street gang, and he’d insisted on inspecting the contents before he paid. He’d told her the guns had been stolen from some Richie Rich who liked fancy cars as well as fancy guns. When he’d asked her what kind of car she drove, she’d told him the truth. None. She’d only been fourteen at the time.
Even so, her youth hadn’t stopped her from fighting the gang leader when he’d decided to inspect more than the package she’d delivered. All she’d gotten for her trouble was a beating and the ugly scar on her face.
To her, big and male was synonymous with power and violence.
“I’m not going to hurt you,” the man in front of her said softly, as if he’d read her mind. “If you’ll listen to me, I can help you, Ana.”
The fact he knew her name shocked her . . . and scared her even more. “Fuck you,” she snapped without meaning to. Swearing was an old habit, one she’d fought hard to break, but sometimes it came out. When she was angry . . . when she felt threatened . . . the tough girl inside her lost control, cursing and spitting and speaking Spanish in an effort to protect herself despite the fact it merely revealed how vulnerable she really was.
She bit her lip, furious that he’d sensed her fear. Furious that his offer of help made her easily long for things she couldn’t possibly have.
About the Author:
Virna DePaul is a former criminal prosecutor and bestselling author of steamy, suspenseful fiction. Whether featuring vampires, a Para-Ops team, hot cops, or swoon-worthy identical twin brothers, her stories center around complex individuals willing to overcome incredible odds for love.