Little bit of Broken by Fate, book two in the Bad Blood Empire series. (Currently in editing.)
He pulled his shirt off and dropped it on the floor. Lila shed her clothes. He turned on the water and tested it with his hand until it was warm enough but not hot. He kicked off his shoes and pants and stepped under the spray. Lila joined him and wrapped her arms around his waist. Guilt was a shitty feeling and he was fucking swimming in it. How could he have let himself get this involved? He couldn’t remember the last time he cared that much for anyone. Holding her close, feeling her warmth, hearing her blood rush and her heart beat; he was totally screwed. Love was dangerous. And he couldn’t help but feel he was cheating her out of a normal life and that made him a selfish asshole.
He kissed the top of her head. “Staying with me won’t be a party, Lila. You can forget every romantic notion that Hollywood sells about vampires. We don’t sparkle in the daylight, we catch on fucking fire. We seduce you to get what we need. We’re a selfish species.”
"I know it won’t be easy.” She stared up at him with those ocean blue eyes, made all the more blue by the contrast of her dark lashes and pale skin. “I want to be with you. I’m just…” She paused and looked up at the ceiling. “I’ve never been away from my family.”
He knew that feeling. He’d gone through it too. He would never admit it to anyone but he’d had nights when he missed his mom so much he’d cried. That was after he was changed and it was too late. Before that, when he was being a prick and asserting his independence he hadn’t missed her. In fact, he was annoyed every time she called and wanted to chat with him about how he was doing and when he was going to come home for a visit. It wasn’t until the option to see her, to hug her, to just be with her, was gone that he really felt it. And it hurt like hell.
He'd met Lila’s family a few times and got the distinct feeling they didn’t like him much. And he didn’t blame them. If he had a daughter, he wouldn’t want her to date someone like him.
Looking at the big picture, Lila hadn’t really lived all that much. She was in her twenties, still in school and very much immersed with her family. She was no angel but had led a fairly sheltered life and a privileged one at that. Not many people could keep switching their major while they figured out what they wanted to do with their life. Lila was lucky. Until now. Sean was that fork in the road that could ruin her life.
With him, there would be no white picket fences, no babies, no family reunions. Lila would keep getting older. A lump formed in his throat. Her life would pass before his eyes and then he would have to watch her die.
He squeezed her a little tighter. “It’s not too late. I think we could work something out and you could go back to your family. But you’d have to forget you ever knew me. You’d have to forget all that you’ve seen. It’s the only way you’d be safe.”
She smiled and knitted her brows at the same time. “We’re in this together. You can’t expect me to just forget about you, Sean. I love you.”
He swallowed hard. Those three words coming from her choked him up. She didn’t say it casually. Her body language said it too. Her heartbeat sped up and he could smell the sweet scent of the pheromones her body released because of it. They weren’t just words.
"I love you, too.” He was afraid too but he didn’t voice that feeling. Love involved responsibility. And he’d spent a good part of his life avoiding just that. In some ways, becoming a vampire had made him a better person because he had been a selfish shitty human. It took losing everything for him to appreciate any of it. Hindsight was a motherfucker.