Authors: Lacy Williams as Lacy Yager,Haley Yager
Tags: #Romance, #Paranormal, #Vampires, #Teen & Young Adult, #Literature & Fiction, #Action & Adventure, #Science Fiction & Fantasy, #Fantasy, #Paranormal & Urban, #Teen fiction, #YA fiction
Why haven't I been able to forget her?
And why is she here now? Alone?
I don't know why the General has brought me here to watch, but he never does anything without reason.
Everything in me is cranked up, tuned in, as I watch her. My heart is choked up in my throat; my hands have gone sweaty. I can’t explain it. Maybe it’s a physical reaction from the memory of going up against her, or my brain playing a trick on me as if I’m down there fighting against her now.
It’s obvious she’s tiring. She’s left her right flank vulnerable. That’s a misstep.
One of the vamps gets in a blow to one of her legs and knocks her forward.
The fact that she's been able to hold all five of them off for any length of time is impressive.
I can't tear my eyes away as she turns the stumble into a hop-kick and nails one in the gut. But two more circle behind her.
"I want you to make it up to me," the General says suddenly.
Watching her, I'd almost forgotten his presence. Mistake.
That’s my immediate, irreverent thought. I've always had a problem with authority. I don't voice it, though. I don't have a death wish.
Rachel swings out with a silver flash—a knife?—and nearly decapitates one of the vamps.
She's not that great a fighter. She's a girl, so there are height and weight issues, but what she lacks in technique, she makes up in spades with her passion.
The girl has guts.
I can't believe I'm admiring a Chaser, but there it is. Plus she's hot.
When the General doesn't say anything else, I voice the unspoken but obvious. "You want me to kill her?"
"No." There is a sick kind of satisfaction in his voice.
Three of the vamps converge on her, taking her to the ground.
"I want you to watch her."
No one says 'no' to the General
Something inside me roars as one of the vamps slits her throat and blood pours.
I hold perfectly still, denying the flash of intense pain. How can someone so vital be dying?
Then another vamp steps up to her, marking her cheeks and forehead with blood. I can’t hear the words he seems to be saying, but I’m familiar enough with what he’s doing.
her? Making her one of us?
I break, ready to demand something—I don’t know what—of the General. But when I turn to confront him, he has disappeared completely.
Probably wise, since the edge of the sky is turning gray. My skin prickles hot, a warning to get inside and take cover. It only takes seconds for vampires to burn to death in the sunlight, and I usually don’t even risk coming outdoors this close to sunrise.
What did he mean, "watch her"? Watch what happened to her? Or watch her in a large sense? As in, take care of her?
I clatter down the stairwell, briefly considering whether I should stay inside this abandoned building or even try and return to the barracks.
But I find myself hauling it toward the attack I’d just witnessed. The other vampires are gone. No doubt they’d completed the General’s mission and left.
There’s a trail of blood across the pavement, leading to an alley between two buildings. Her blood. I can tell by the unique scent. There’s an industrial trash bin that she could be hiding behind.
The sun is close. I’m out of time.
I hole up in the closest building, leaving her behind.
In this abandoned area, no one will come for her. She’ll be weak and disoriented. Not fully a vampire for several more hours, maybe after dusk, so the sunlight isn’t a danger to her. Only to me.
If the General has some reason for keeping her around, she won’t be a target.
I can't sleep, haunted by questions about his intentions and her coming reaction once she realizes what has happened to her.
I pace between two large, empty interior rooms, pitch dark to protect me from the sun. I don't need sight—I can rely on my extra-keen hearing and the hyper-sensitivity of touch to know where the walls are.
What is the General playing at? There's no way he could've known I had some kind of weird connection to Rachel. I've heard of warlocks that can sense thoughts—Rachel's little sister, the witch, apparently could—but not a vamp.
So is this some kind of test?
I can't help remembering the night I was turned. The cold ground beneath me. The blood. My disorientation, the choking fear.
It's eerie how Rachel's situation mirrors mine. Had the General chosen her for that reason? I haven't publicized my past, and most of the vamps that were there aren't around any longer, and I doubt they’d have told him, anyway. Not that it matters. He seems to know everything.
What was Rachel doing here in London, anyway? Where was her brother? Had she crossed the Atlantic alone?
It's a good thing vamps need little sleep, because my swirling thoughts refuse to quiet. It’s the longest day I’ve faced in awhile.
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I dedicate this story to my big sister, and co-writer, Lacy, who has spent her whole life encouraging me to follow my dreams, and helping one of my biggest dreams come true by helping make the world of Unholy Alliance come to life. Love you, sis! – Haley
For my sister, who fights through life with courage just like Maggie, holds on stubbornly just like Shane, and works magic on those around her, just like Hannah and Chloe. I love you, “brave girl”! – Lacy
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
HALEY YAGER was born in Moore, Oklahoma, but soon moved to a small town in western Oklahoma to her family’s farm. She was homeschooled with her older brother and sister, and has been close with her family throughout her life. Haley has always loved to daydream and create fantasy worlds with her imagination, and decided to put that imagination to work in her writing. She resides in Oklahoma City where she loves spending time with her nieces and nephews, and two black labs.
LACY YAGER married her college sweetheart and became Lacy Williams. She also writes Inspirational romance under her married name. As the oldest of three siblings, Lacy exhibits most of the typical first-child characteristics and has always loved to boss around her younger siblings. Now that she’s married with kids, she has plenty of people to play house with!