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The Vampire's Sunny Sweetheart
Author: Kristen Painter



Published in the United States of America



Welcome to Nocturne Falls, the town that celebrates Halloween 365 days a year. The tourists think it's all a show: the vampires, the werewolves, the witches, the occasional gargoyle flying through the sky. But the supernaturals populating the town know better.



Living in Nocturne Falls means being yourself. Fangs, fur, and all.



Sunday Wells comes from a long line of powerful witches, but that doesn’t explain why she’s plagued by dark shadows everywhere she looks. It’s not a great way to live, especially for a preschool teacher with young impressionable minds to watch over. Desperate to get control of her questionable powers, she gets help from the only reliable source she can think of. Her very powerful great aunt, Alice Bishop. But what Sunni finds out about herself will change everything.



Vampire Lorenzo Robillard has dedicated his life to rescuing kidnapped children. It’s dangerous work with high stakes, and Ren ends up with a lot of enemies. Like the European crime boss who’s currently after him. With a target on his back, Ren runs to the safest haven he knows, his distant great aunt, Elenora Ellingham. But his troubles are far from over, and not just because there’s a woman in his aunt’s house he wasn’t counting on.



Sunny and Ren clash like night and day. They’re so very different. And yet, so much alike. Love isn’t something either of them wanted, but the heart wields a magic neither of them can control…



"For everyone who wanted more Alice."



Lorenzo Ellingham Robillard exhaled as the chartered jet touched down in Montreal. Not home, but closer. The night sky was clear, the twinkling stars promising, but there was still a possibility that another obstacle might appear in his path. Ren couldn’t relax just yet.

Thankfully, he was now only minutes away from delivering his precious cargo into the hands of the woman who’d hired him.

Madeline Schuss, currently living under the alias Michelle Chastain, should be waiting for him in the hangar.

He glanced at his knuckles. The mission had been mostly without incident. Only the faintest traces of the punches he’d thrown remained. Vampires healed quickly, but he hadn’t fed lately, and he was tired. Seventy-two hours without sleep so far.

“Are we home now?”

Ren glanced down at the little girl beside him and smiled. “Yes, peanut. We are.”

“Can I take this hat off now?”

“Not just yet.” He shook his head. Six-year-old Lizbeth Schuss was wearing a knit cap with blond braids attached to it, her own brown locks tucked up underneath. She’d had it on since he’d located her in Warsaw and taken her into his protective custody. Then the hat had been to disguise her. Now it was a protection against the chance that Wilhem Schuss, Madeline’s ex-husband and Lizbeth’s father, had men looking for them at the airport. “Better leave it on for a few more minutes.”

“It’s itchy.” She frowned, the disappointment in her eyes surprisingly mature for one of her age.

He dug a grape sucker out of his pocket and showed it to her, a blatant bribe, but candy rarely failed. “Look what I found. Do you know anyone who might want this?”

She grinned, showing off her little fangs. “I do!”

He handed it to her with a wink before looking out the window again. Wilhem Schuss was an old, powerful vampire who ran a good chunk of the paranormal crime syndicate in Europe. He had deep pockets and a vitriolic temper that bordered on manic.

Ren was a vampire too, but he wasn’t as old or as powerful. Neither were his pockets as deep. But he had some borrowed magic on his side that gave him an edge. That strong magic allowed him to do things other vampires couldn’t, and that helped quite a bit in his work.

It had even saved his life on several occasions, something for which he’d forever be grateful.

He glanced down at Lizbeth, his precious cargo, and wondered if being taken by her father would leave any permanent scars on her. He hoped not. He wished her a happy, safe childhood from here on out.

After her mother, Madeline, had divorced Wilhem and moved to London from their home in Warsaw, Wilhem had apparently been reasonable. They’d shared custody of Lizbeth, sending her back and forth between the two cities without incident.

Then Wilhem had changed his mind. On Lizbeth’s last visit with him, he’d decided she should stay with him. Permanently. He’d sent word to Madeline that she would no longer be allowed contact with her daughter.

Two months later, desperate and reeling, Madeline had contacted Ren. How she’d gotten his name was of no concern to him. The most desperate always did. Because recovering children, those with paranormal parentage to be specific, was what he specialized in.

The plane taxied toward the hangar. Everything looked in order, but he wouldn’t feel any real peace until Madeline and Lizbeth were safely together once again and on their way to their new life.

He watched the shadows for movement, scanned the surrounding area for suspicious cars or people, anything unusual that might trip his sixth sense. There was nothing.

Inside the hangar sat a sleek silver SUV, windows tinted dark. Madeline would be inside, waiting. Once she and Lizbeth were reunited, they’d be driving directly to their new home in a town even he didn’t know. He wouldn’t know Lizbeth’s new name, either. It was better that way.

Although the sun would be up in approximately five hours. There was only so far they could go before they’d be forced to seek shelter.

As for him, it was time for him to lie low too. If Madeline could find him, so could Wilhem. But Ren wouldn’t stay hidden for too long. There would be new missions. New people who needed him. Parents missing their children. He’d only stay out of sight until things cooled off. How long that would be, he wasn’t sure.

The plane rolled through the hangar doors. Ground crew immediately began closing the doors to the halfway point. Enough to give some privacy but still let Madeline’s car exit.

The plane stopped. Within minutes, the hatch was opened, and the pilot gave them the okay to disembark.

“Stay here for a moment, Lizbeth.” Ren unbuckled his seat belt and got up. From the overhead compartment, he took out his bolt gun, keeping it close by his side.

He approached the door sideways, keeping the narrowest part of himself toward the opening. He scanned the hangar, including the ground crew.

All clear.

The rear passenger door of the SUV opened, and Madeline got out. She looked at him with hope in her eyes. “I wasn’t followed,” she promised.

He nodded and glanced back at Lizbeth, bolt gun still at his side. “Come on, peanut. There’s someone waiting for you I think you’re going to want to see.”

Lizbeth released her belt and jumped up, racing toward the door. She paused at the top step, eyes lighting up. “Mama!”

Lizbeth hurtled down the stairs. Madeline scooped up her daughter, eyes pooling with tears. She hugged her child tight, kissed the top of her head, then quickly ushered her into the safety of the waiting vehicle.

Madeline exhaled, composing herself as she took a medium-size padded envelope from inside her coat. She held the envelope out to Ren. “Thank you.”

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