Sample: "In 1000 Years"

Characterization, descriptive detail and setting drives this paranormal romance. In this scene,
the vampire meets a beautiful human and exposes his nature far too soon. How would a woman react?

"He and his wife are just over there," Charles said, pointing to the large bar area of the enormous, three-sided room.

"Good, I am so glad to know they could come." A waiter came by with a tray of champagne, and Jean Claude neatly snagged one in passing.

"Everyone is here, J.C. Absolutely everyone. Tom Cruise is over there. One Direction is tuning up."

Jean Claude ran his eyes over the crowd. Who was that, with the glorious red hair? She was far away from where he was standing, at the apex of the triangle, opposite the bar. Her hair shone in the brightly lit room, a bright flame against the jade dress he caught a glimpse of, in front of the mirrored wall.

He craned his neck.

"Who you looking for?" Charles asked, trying to follow Jean Claude's eyes.

"She is across the room, the redhead in the green dress. Do we know her?" He sniffed the air, delicately.

"No, sorry Boss, I have no idea."

"I shall be back," Jean Claude said. He pushed through the throngs of people separating him from the redhead, never losing sight of that magnificent fall of hair, tall as he was.

Finally he stood on the outskirts of the small group she was in, all talking with animation. She, though, remained silent, her eyes playing lightly about the room. Jean Claude moved to her side and inhaled deeply.

The faint smell of her blood tantalized his nostrils, overshadowed as it was by the scent of ginger. He looked at her plate. A half-eaten gingerbread man. His favorite, blood spiced with ginger. He inhaled again, and caught a hint of death. Someone in the group had cancer, then. Not her, the scent was coming from his left.

He looked at her over his champagne flute. Her hair was up on her head, yet fell to her hips in glorious shades of red streaked with gold. Her eyes were green. She wore her makeup sparingly, he noted with approval. A hint of brown above her eyes, coral on those perfect lips. He noted a small mole to the left of her lower lip, and thought of running his tongue over it.

He inhaled deeply once more.

Ginger and blood.

How was a man to stand it? Though he hadn't been a man for many years, too many to consider.

"Excuse me," he asked her, "Could I have a bite?"

"I beg your pardon?" Those green eyes turned up to his own.

"Your gingerbread man. If you are not finishing him, I am particularly into ginger."

"By all means." She proffered her plate. "And you are?"

"Jean Claude Cargyle."

"Oh, the architect! I have heard so much about you. Congratulations on such a beautiful building. It's surely a wonder, I'm Gail Hanson," she said, in her soft Southern accent.

"Thank you. You are not from the City."

"No, I'm from Searcy, Arkansas."

"And what brings you to the City?" Jean Claude asked, noting the skin-tight glimmering green dress which swooped low over her breasts, tightly about her hips, then fell to the ground in soft folds.

"I am  a programmer. I've done some of the work on this smart building of yours. Especially the security implementation."

"A geek girl, is it? I like that."

He was watching her closely, so he was aware when she stopped speaking, and her eyes widened with something like fear. She was staring over at the elevator, where a new group of party goers had just entered the room. He heard a crunch and a soft curse.

He looked down, and the glass in her hand had shattered. Her hand ran with blood.

"Come with me." He took her elbow and whisked her to the elevator, down a floor, and into a dark, leather-filled office. "Here we are." Behind the office, he pulled her into a lush bathroom. Before she could say anything, he took the injured hand in his own and inhaled deeply.

"Ginger, my personal favorite. You must have a fast metabolism." He brought her hand to his lips and lightly lapped the blood with an eager yet gentle tongue. Gently he sucked at the wound, then ran his lips over it in a soft, butterfly kiss. He noted her eyes were closed, and her breathing had quickened.

Those green eyes snapped open. "And what do you think you're doing?"

"Just a bit of cleaning up and healing. All better now?"

"Not even a cut. What did you do?" Gail asked, examining her thumb.

"Why did you break the glass?" he countered.

"I'll tell you that, if you tell me what you did to my hand."

"Deal. Nothing much, in actuality," he responded with a sharp smile.

"Oh, this is much more than nothing." She looked up at him. "Exactly how does that work? You lick my hand, and it's all better?"

"I do not suppose you could just take it on faith," he drawled softly.

"I don't suppose I could. Out with it."

He sighed. "Well, as long as you promise not to disappear into the night…"

"I'll do no such a thing," she said in her soft southern accent.

"I happen to be a vampire, and I don't believe I'm telling you this, on such short acquaintance." His blue eyes narrowed, watching her carefully for a reaction.

Her own green eyes widened. "You can't be serious. Such things don't exist in the real world."

"But indeed we do, even if our numbers are few. Is not that proof, what I just did to you?" He smiled down at her.

"I suppose it's possible… but how do you live, then? Do you hunt like the stories say?" She turned several shades paler than her tan.

"In this day, we can exist off blood banks. I do still hunt criminals from time to time. Prison is one of my favorite hunting grounds."

"Seriously?" Gail was fascinated. "How do you get in and out?"

"Easily," Jean Claude said. "With the help of a small vampire trick."

"Do tell," she said.

He grinned and vanished. She yelped, and looked around the small office. She shrieked at a touch on her shoulder, as he appeared behind her.

"Quite useful, that particular trick," he said.

"My God, I never would have believed such a thing possible. You really are a vampire, aren't you? This isn't some strange dream?"

"No, sweetness, this is very much real. Now, for your part of the deal. Why did you break that glass?"


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