Blurb for The Cougar and Her Vampire:
Recently divorced Payton Fleming vacations in Crete, looking for a quiet resort to get away from the chaos of the death of her best friend, serial killer, and an ex-husband. The adventure at the resort brings more than she expected—a young man with a story to tell. Concerned with the age difference, Payton knows there is something else he is keeping from her.
Christian MacKenzie is an entrepreneur in the hospitality and entertainment business, owner of Nocturnal Entertainment and Hospitality Corporation (NEHC), luxury resorts and nightclubs around the world. He escapes to his favorite resort on Crete, and meets his vision of a Greek goddess, a mysterious beauty, but fears she will reject him because of what he is, a vampire.
“Maybe,” he said, wondering over the nervousness he sensed in her. “Why don’t you tell me more about yourself? I want to know the real Payton. What makes you laugh? What makes you cry? What makes you happy?”
“You know I’d have to think about that for a bit. No one has ever asked me in quite that way before.”
“Really? Are you happy being with me right now?” he asked.
She looked up at him. “You sly devil. You made me fall right into your little trap. Yes, I am actually. This is a happy moment, while it lasts anyway.”
“You don’t think you can be happy with me forever?”
“C.J., you know I have reservations about us because of our age difference. You’ve shown me how the geographical distances could be overcome.” She smiled coyly at him, and then continued, “The age difference is still a problem.”
“Not for me, Payton.”
“Of course, you can say that. Except for me, age is a problem. I have to live with the difference staring back at me every day from the mirror.” She paused, took a deep breath, and continued. “I’ve been married three times, and all three of them left me for younger women. The most recent divorce is still raw, which is one of the reasons I’m here in Elounda. He left me for a twenty-something bimbo. I can’t compete with younger women anymore. They left me! How am I supposed to recover from that?”
Her revelation dumbfounded him. For a moment his lips moved but no words came out. She didn’t wait for him to answer as tears welled up. Turning away, she ran into the villa, the tears flowing freely.
Following her, he grabbed her by the upper arm.
“Payton, stop. I’m sorry. I didn’t know. I’m sorry.” He embraced her tightly, his arms around her shoulders and waist. Could he be wrong about doubting her intentions? Reading her mind came more difficult the more emotionally attached he became. He sensed her sincerity, which confused him more. “C’mon back and let’s talk.” He ushered her back to the chaise lounges situated around the pool. They sat down and silence weighed heavy in the air for a few moments.
“I’m here to listen, if you want to talk. No judgments. I told you the first day I met you, I would listen, and I sincerely meant what I said.”
A few more silent moments passed.
“I’m sorry. I’m such an emotional wreck lately. I came to this resort to clear my head about my recent divorce and other things going on in my life. Then, I met you and got sidetracked. Everything has happened so fast, I’m having a little trouble processing what’s happening between us right now. I told you I have baggage, and you didn’t need to get involved with me.”
“You don’t have more baggage than I do. Trust me, I think we all have problems, but in different degrees. So what if you were married to three idiots masquerading as decent men. I’d be willing to bet that each one of your ex-husbands were narcissistic pretty boys—they were into themselves and what they wanted and didn’t give a rat’s arse what you wanted in life. They didn’t care what made you happy. I bet they didn’t want children, either, did they?”
Payton’s head snapped back slightly from his question. “How’d you know? No, they didn’t. They all said we had to enjoy each other before we could bring another life into the world. Except I did want a child. By the time I married Demetrius, he decided he was too old to have children and had a vasectomy before we got married. I should have known something wasn’t right when he had the procedure done without discussing anything with me. By doing that, I see now I couldn’t trust him, but I was in denial, I suppose.”
“Payton, I would never treat you like that. I find you to be a smart, beautiful, intriguing woman, and no younger woman could come close to comparing to you. Yer life experience alone is sexy as hell to me. You’ve seen all the young women here at the resort. I’m attracted to you, no one else, now or ever.”
“How can you make a statement like that? You are so young, and you have your whole life ahead of you. When I’m old and gray, you’ll still be an attractive, handsome, virile man wanting to have sex, and not with a wrinkly, dried-up cranky old woman. How are you going to feel then?”
“Payton, if I love you, nothing else matters. We will find a way to make this work. I can guarantee you, I won’t be boring, and I promise I’ll be gentle.” He gave her a smile and moved closer to her.
“Gentle, like last night, right?”
“Aye, you caught me humor?”
“Yes, are you trying to tell me to stop being so serious about this?”
He brushed back a few tendrils of her hair that had fallen out of her ponytail while he told her, “Aye, my beautiful goddess, life is too short to fret over this age difference between us. Be honest with me, Payton, be honest with yourself. If you want our relationship to work, you have to let go of the hurts from yer past. They’re holding you back.”
“You’re right, I do have to let go. I can’t let the men of my past ruin the men of my future.” She lifted her chin and made a gesture toward him.
“What do you mean by men? I hope to be the only man in your future.” He dropped his voice to a low, rich pitch, filled with a seductive promise for more than casual talk.
“How can you talk about loving me after only knowing me a couple of days? I’m nothing special, especially for someone like you.”
“Do you believe in love at first sight?”
“No, not anymore. I told you three marriages kind of ruined that ‘let’s live happily ever after’ fairy tale for me.”
“I do believe. I knew the moment I saw you.”
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