Dancing on the Dark Side
Spirited college senior Bliss is preparing to make her mark in the world of contemporary dance. She’s thrilled to be training at the prestigious Windhaven College of the Arts in Salem, Massachusetts. But things get weird the moment she sets foot on the campus.
Her new roommate, Rowan, is a mind-reading, storm-calling descendent of the Sidhe, the Fae of Ireland, with a secret agenda.
Ciarán, the charming TA for her performance class, is the most brilliant dancer she’s ever seen. Too bad he hides from the sun and has a taste for human blood.
Bliss should have run screaming in terror, but Rowan’s magic has woken memories of a past life she cannot deny. The more she learns of Ciarán’s tragic past and the family of Sidhe he protects, the more she realizes she is a part of their world and her new ‘normal’ is anything but.
Enter the Order, ancient enemy of everything supernatural. To protect Bliss and the Sidhe, Ciarán draws her into the very heart of his magical world. Soon, instead of dancing together, they are fighting a bitter battle to prevent disaster from tearing them apart again. This time forever.
|Title||Dancing on the Dark Side|
|Genre||New Adult Urban Fantasy|
|Release||January 13, 2015|
|Tags||New Adult, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Shapeshifters, The Fair Folk, Sidhe, Magic, Vampires|
“Bliss? Would you like to start over?” he asked again, sounding patient in a strained way.
“Should I start before or after I accused you of being a vampire?” She edged a little closer to the end of the bench and set her feet firmly into the turf, ready to run.
“Since you raised the issue, let’s go with that. I’m a vampire. Satisfied?”
She stared at him; how was a person supposed to respond to a statement like that? An icy lump formed in the pit of her stomach. His tone was suddenly much harder. And entirely serious. Laughter edged with hysteria burst from her lips. He didn’t move. There was no possible way it could actually be true. Just couldn’t! But even as she watched he changed. It was subtle, easy to overlook if someone wasn’t completely focused on him, but it was real. The eyes darkened until even the whites vanished, like the eyes of some rare and beautiful beast. And between his slightly parted lips, the points of inhumanly sharp canines gleamed.
“Holy shit!” She cringed and pulled away, promptly falling off the bench. Bliss scrambled back to her feet. While Ciarán, the most beautiful dancer she had ever known, watched an air of remote indifference.
* * * *
He watched her struggle to her feet. Her heart fluttered like the wings of a trapped bird. Gradually it slowed. Bliss looked at him intently for several very long minutes, while she collected herself. “You seem to be managing your condition very well,” she finally observed with clinical detachment.
“I don’t have a disease, Bliss. I’m a vampire.”
“So you’ve said.”
She knew what he was and he had no idea what she would do with the information. As usual, he lost the ability to think clearly in her presence. So he got up and walked away.
“You come back here!” She lurched after him, grabbed his arm, and tried to pull him around to face her. He rooted himself to the ground, and she trotted around to face him instead. “It’s all right, Ciarán.” She sounded unbelievably rational and calm; he was on the verge of losing it completely.
“Bliss, do you realize what I am?” Dear Goddess, he didn’t want to hurt her, but he would protect himself…protect the family…
“Yes I do. But now I need some answers.” She held out her hand to him. Very slowly he reached out and took it, allowing her to lead him back to the bench.
“So…you’re actually a vampire? You’re not a spy or in witness protection or something less exotic?”
“No, definitely a vampire—since sixteen-sixty-four.” He waited a moment for her to fully comprehend his statement.
“You’re over three hundred years old?”
“I suppose. Physically, I’m twenty-three—”
“Oh, my God! Is your entire family—er—coven—is that what you even call a group of vampires?” Bliss grasped his arm, excitement erasing any traces of fear. “I thought that only applied to witches. Are they vampires too? I saw them eat—they ate food—Niamh is an awesome cook—was that just an act for me?’’
“Slow down Bliss. They aren’t vampires, but they aren’t human, either.”
She froze, more shocked by that admission than by his earlier revelation. “They’re space aliens, aren’t they?”
Ciarán laughed in spite of himself. “No, but it feels that way sometimes. They’re Sidhe.”
“Sidhe. The Tuatha de Danaan? The Fair Folk?”
“They’re just a legend.”
He raised his eyebrows. ”You’ll accept that I’m a vampire but deny the existence of the Fae? We are descended from them.”
“Vampires are actually Fae? Or Shee?” She didn’t quite get the pronunciation but it didn’t matter.
“I was Sidhe before I became vampire. It’s kind of complicated…”
She looked lost. “Everything about you is complicated.”
“It’s just easier to explain my place in their family. Niamh is a descendent of my brother, Aidan.”
“So he’s a vampire.”
“No, he’s been dead for two centuries.”
She looked at him from beneath a furrowed brow, the breeze drifting her hair over her face. She shoved it back impatiently. He could almost hear the wheels turning.
“I’ll try to explain everything but it could take a while. Could we go someplace a little more private?” He took her hand, and she stared at her hand in his for a moment but didn’t try to pull away. “You’ve obviously been thinking about this for a while now.”
“After I overheard you guys talking, I did some research, but none of it added up. You still seem perfectly normal.”
“Thank you.” There was no attempt to keep the sarcasm out of his voice.
“You’re not what I ever imagined a vampire to be. You work in a coffee house, for God’s sake.”
“Would I be more acceptable if I lived in a castle, wore evening dress, and spoke with a thick Eastern European accent?” He leaned a little closer. “I vant to baht your neck.”
The accent was too much. She giggled.
“I have to blend in to survive. And up until now, I have.”
She sobered briefly. “Do you have a coffin full of dirt?”
“That’s a relief.”
* * * *
Resolve shrieked that she should get the hell out of there now! But Bliss wasn’t getting any nasty vibe from him, which was a little weird. He was three hundred years old. No! He was—immortal. Not to mention that his favourite meal was probably A positive.
Wikipedia needed to be updated. Vampires didn’t smell like rotting meat. Ciarán smelled like a Chicago winter when it was so cold the snow squeaked underfoot. Crisp, cold. Most guys had a sort of musky, sweaty smell…but Ciarán—God, it was intoxicating!