Phoenix Moorhaven liked things just so. He likes his house running in perfect order, his coffee with a bit of blood and his manservant untouched by anyone—ever. When Declan decides to start dating Moor scrambles to intercede. After all messing with Declan could upset the pristine organization of his household.
Declan has pined for Moor long enough. Determined to have a life of his own Declan accepts a meeting with a blind date. However vampire masters and dating don’t mix and at the end of the night he’ll see a side of Moorhaven he never expected.
Enjoy this Excerpt!
“You’re not still mad at me, are you?”
Phoenix watched his best friend pour himself another scotch. The girls were already gone, having been bundled into their limo, previously arranged by the everefficient
“Stay away from my butler. I don’t like to see Declan disturbed,” Phoenix said.
He’d like to ruffle the prim butler himself, but he refused to ruin the smooth flow of his household.
“It would take a natural disaster or a herd of dust bunnies to bother that man. He’s unflappable. Are you certain he’s not a robot?”
Phoenix gave a bark of laughter. “Yes, I’m positive.”
“Have you ever tasted his blood?” Lorrie asked curiously.
“No! He’s my servant, not my food source.” He scowled at his friend.
Lorrie flashed him a cheerful smile. “Good, then you won’t mind if I try a sip as long as I don’t steal him away.” Lorrie’s chatter ended when Phoenix flashed across the room and wrapped his fingers around Lorrie’s throat. He leaned in close so there was no way his warning couldn’t be heard.
“If you ever bite my butler, I will rip out all your teeth and you’ll have to figure out how to suck blood through a straw.” Phoenix shook his best friend, slamming him repeatedly against the wall as anger burned through him like an out of control brush fire. “No one touches Declan! No one!” he screamed.
“Whoa.” Declan’s smooth voice broke through Phoenix’s rage as his soft hands pulled ineffectively at Phoenix’s wrist. “Master Phoenix, let go of Master Lorrie.”
He released Lorrie, pleased when he crumpled to the floor clutching his throat.
“I beg your pardon, Declan. I lost my temper,” he apologized to his butler. He hated for Declan to see him at less than his best. Declan’s good opinion of him mattered above all.
The butler stared at him for a long moment. Declan’s eyes were the barometer of his soul. Light green when happy, dark green when sad, and an uncertain hazel when upset. Phoenix hated when they turned hazel, the color facing him right now.
“I think Master Lorrie might be the one you owe the apology to,” Declan reproved.
“It’s all right, Declan. I was baiting him.” Lorrie climbed to his feet with a rueful grin.
Declan raked a hand through his sunshine-gold hair. He kept it cut in neat, even layers that always made Phoenix long to touch him. Declan debauched would be quite the sight. Not for the first time, he wondered what his butler would look like naked and in his bed.
“Please refrain from getting yourself killed,” Declan scolded Lorrie before turning on the heel of one highly polished shoe and walking back out the door.
Phoenix glared at his friend. “You got me into trouble. My coffee will probably be cold when I wake up.” He hated it when Declan was upset with him. Instead of the smooth operation of a happy Declan, the entire household suffered.
Lorrie laughed. “I can’t believe you let that human rule your house with an iron fist.”Phoenix shrugged. “Declan keeps things in perfect order. That’s an irreplaceable skill. I won’t have him worried about whether a visiting vampire is going to bite him.
He’s off-limits and that’s final.”
Lorrie frowned. “Does he ever leave the house?”
“Of course.” Phoenix searched his mind. “Wednesdays. Every Wednesday, he has off.”
“Where does he go?” Lorrie asked, his eyes lit with curiosity.
“Why the hell do you care? Stop speculating about my butler. In fact, go home.
We’ll work tomorrow.” Phoenix didn’t like Lorrie’s new interest in Declan. No one should be thinking of his servant—at all. Maybe he should stop inviting people to the mansion. It only encouraged them to visit with Declan. Other vampires often became jealous when they saw Declan’s efficient control over Phoenix’s household.
For the first time in centuries, his good friend rubbed Phoenix’s nerves completely raw. It didn’t help that the next day was Wednesday, the worst day of the week. He didn’t care if Frank, the underbutler, did a decent job. He wasn’t Declan.
Declan added a certain panache to everything. He not only brought Phoenix’s coffee but positioned it at the perfect angle with the exact amount of blood he liked.
Lorrie scowled. “Tomorrow is Wednesday, isn’t it?”
“Maybe we should start having Wednesdays off. Frank never gets my drink right,” Lorrie mused.
Phoenix laughed. “We don’t get days off. You can’t oversee the needs of an entire coven if you’re unavailable once a week.”
Lorrie gave a long sigh. “Fine. But I think giving the butler a day off is highly overrated.”
“Me too. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Phoenix sat watching the fire and tried to gather enough energy to leave the toasty warmth of the den to go to bed. Before he could stand, Declan arrived with a familiar tray. Phoenix watched as the butler set down the serving platter. A silver coffee pot and a plate of his favorite cookies rested on top.“I thought you were off for the evening. By the way, how did you know I was strangling Lorrie?”
Declan smiled. Phoenix froze at the beauty of Declan’s expression. Sometimes he forgot his stiff and precise butler was still in his early twenties. He ruthlessly shoved that information to the back of his brain where it belonged.