Embrace the Heat (Moon Virus Book 2)

By: Cassandra Lawson
Acknowledgments


As always I am awed and humbled by the support of my readers. Thank you all for taking a chance on my writing. A special thanks to my aunts, Donna Lee and Edna for their kind words and encouragement.


I am also grateful to my fabulous beta readers, Kari, Levenia, Melissa, Ria and Trista. They are always here to help me work out the bugs in my final draft.

While I design my own covers, I could not do that without the help of my cover design and critique team, Daniel, Josh, Kari, and Levenia.

Finally, I want to thank everyone who takes the time to write a review for one of my books. I know we all get busy, and I really appreciate the time you take to tell others what you think of my writing.








Prologue


Trent Whitaker never expected to find himself living in California. A die hard Texan, he’d always looked down on the inhabitants of this liberal hell hole. When his good friend, Charles Graham III moved his main pharmaceutical plant to California, Trent called him every kind of fool.


Charles was a fool. The man had wanted to kill off most of the poor and had come up with a plan to do just that, but that plan had gone horribly wrong. While Trent agreed that poor people wasted precious resources, he was smart enough to realize the value of having them. Trent liked having people below him on the food chain. Power was better than sex.

Power was the motivation behind Trent’s little enterprise back in Texas. Bringing in illegal immigrants to sell off to the highest bidder was risky, but the thrill was too irresistible. The whole thing had always been about power, not money. Forcing mothers to act like whores to save their children got him off like nothing else. He’d recently started selling men and found it to be quite lucrative. Many people wanted to feed their fetishes without having others find out. They’d also liked the idea of being able to punish their property for tempting them to sin. Yes, it had been a shame to lose that business.

Now, he stood to gain even more power. Better yet, the government would fund this venture, and nothing he was going to do was illegal. It was the perfect set up.

Sitting across from him, in his new home was his long time friend, Charles Graham III.

Trent shook his head. “I still can’t believe you turned people into vampires,” he said with a chuckle. “Who would have believed that was even possible? I won’t lie; I was pissing my pants when this all started. Not just about the vampires runnin’ around. I had to close up my side business when they shut down the borders. You caused me no end of trouble, my friend. Demand actually increased as a result of your mistake, leaving me with orders I couldn’t fill. Seems men get real horny when they think they might be killed by vampires.”

“As far as I can see, this situation is working out pretty well for you, Whit,” Charles said with a genial smile.

“That it is, Charles,” he said and stared out the window at his expansive yard which seemed small compared to the ranch he’d left behind. “Too bad Texas didn’t start reservations for their vampires. I really didn’t want to move out here to California.”

“What are they doing with the vampires there?” Charles asked.

“We hunt and kill ‘em.” Trent said. “Don’t matter if they come to us for help or not. We don’t tolerate any dirty bloodsuckers in Texas. I agreed with that until I heard what y’all had planned in California. Hell, I was even considering setting up a side business to let people hunt the less violent ones in a more controlled environment. I figured it would draw in the tourists when some of the fear died down.”

“This seems more your style,” Charles said. “I’ve managed to get all of your permits fast-tracked. As soon as you have the area set up, they’ll deliver your vampires right to your gates, and you can do whatever you want with them.”

Trent rubbed his hands together in anticipation. He’d purchased a large chunk of Emeryville for the reservation. That was one of the areas that had been hit hardest, and any survivors had moved elsewhere. It was perfect. Now they were building everything they’d need to run things, and the government was even footing the bill for construction.

“I do have one minor problem with the original plans,” Charles said hesitantly.

Trent took a deep calming breath. Problems, he did not have time for. He of all people knew how fickle the government was. Had the government decided to put restrictions on how he could treat the vampires? Damn Charles for waiting to drop new information on him. “I’ve given up everything for this, so it had better not be anything serious,” he said almost angrily.

“The mothers have to be allowed to bring their children,” Charles explained calmly. “We argued that all vampire children be sent off for experiments, but the liberals fought it. Stupid vampire rights activists tried to impose restrictions on how the vampires could be used at the reservations. The children with no one to care for them can be taken for experiments, but the ones with a guardian of some sort are to be shipped to the reservation with their parents, and blood must be provided for them.”

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