Authors: A.C. Warneke
Copyright©2013 Andrea Warneke
All Right Reserved
To three of the greatest joys of my life; you three are amazing and you're all growing up way too fast. I love you!! And to their father for his continued love and support. Love ya!
To friends and family, with love
To the men and women in the Armed Forced who are beacons of light in the darkest nights
There are so many people I wish to thank, from my family for giving me the time and space I need to write, to the beta readers who provide feedback and suggestions that improve the story (epic battle scene – thank you to several readers for that! I hope I have done it justice!)
I would also like to thank the readers; without you I'd still be telling myself these stories and my characters would be lonely and depressed.
homas Jennifer O. Vicki V. Crystal M. Karen S. Jacque B. Angelia F. Jess G.
Jodi N. Lynn Eleighna A. Waleska C. Lee Ann G.
Table of Contents
: the place where the
are kept to serve at the pleasure of the
(pl): the name of the race of beings that are similar to vampires but are not vampires; their bite changes a human at a genetic level. Depending on whether or not the human is given blood in returns determines the human’s fate. The majority of
are recognized by their completely black eyes. They mostly keep to themselves, disdaining all those not
(pl) – When a human is bitten and immediately given
blood s/he becomes a
, a creature devoted to the
. They roam the streets at night and drink the blood of humans in order to feed their
masters. After their conversion their irises turn black.
: the hive-like home of the
; they main
is in an unknown location with smaller ones spread out throughout the world.
: When a human is bitten and is denied the blood of an
. A nasty creature that is nearly impossible to kill once it wakes as such it is illegal to create a
: the Hellish place where the
were once kept. It has been inactive for several generations.
Looking up at the darkening sky, the wind howling through the alleyway, the solitary man wondered once again what he was doing out there. Walking through nearly deserted alleys when a powerful storm was about to hit was not something he ever enjoyed; he much preferred basking in the warmth of soft, feminine flesh. He pulled his collar up higher against the harsh wind, hoping that the rain would hold off for another half an hour. Perhaps he should abandon the foolish quest and return to the warmth of the
, the waiting arms of a willing
; they were all willing.
But then, just when he was ready to give up on his undertaking, he heard it
: that voice that had been whispering inside his head over the past couple of months, the voice that compelled him to find its owner in spite of his misgivings. His brother had frequently told him to ignore it, that it wasn’t their concern and there were more important matters at hand then a lone voice in the wilderness. His brother then reminded him that the two of them were almost free and it would be suicide to deviate from their chosen path.
He could no longer ignore it; the desperation in the small voice called to something in whatever was left of his soul and he had no choice but to offer assistance. And pray he wasn’t too late.
Picking up his pace, he dashed through the labyrinth of streets to the darkened alley next to the small hospital, searching for the owner of the voice and finding nothing. Taking a few steps more, he noticed it: a shapeless form huddled on the ground; a dying woman. She didn’t move but the voice continued to whisper in his head, begging him to hurry before it was too late. Carefully, he walked over to her, reaching his hands out slowly to keep from frightening her. “Madam, you have been summoning me?”
Her head lifted and he saw the pain in her gaz
e. Short brown hair hung in her muted hazel eyes as she remained crouched on the ground. Reaching out a trembling hand, she pleaded, “Save me, please.”
“You know what I am.” It wasn’t a question as his teeth sharpened and his eyes blackened. He could smell the cancer in her, overpowering his senses with its foul odor.
“I do,” she swallowed hard, her body wracked with agony. She let out a weak laugh, “I always thought my meeting with one of your kind would be a grand seduction; I never planned on it ending like this.”
“How did you come to be in such a dark place?” he asked, gently gathering her dying body in his arms.
“I had no choice,” she squeezed her eyes shut and grimaced in pain. It took her a moment to continue speaking and when she spoke, her voice was weaker. “I am dying and this is the only way to save….”
She didn’t have to say the
words, he understood; only a fool or one near death would desire becoming a
. Even knowing how close to death she stood, he had to ask, “Do you understand the price you must pay?”
and I am willing.” Her breath hitched in her throat and a tear slid down her cheek but she held his gaze, “Please.”
He brushed the damp hair away from her neck, baring her vulnerable throat to his gaze and holding his breath against the stench of death within her body. The cancer would make her blood bitter but it was still better than the recycled blood of the
. “Are you sure?”
At her lone nod, he held her head steady as he lowered his mouth to her throat. Feeling the stringy pulse beneath his tongue, he felt moisture on his finger and hesitated; the dying woman was still crying. When he started to pull away, she
clutched his shoulders with the last of her strength and whispered, “Please, don’t stop.”
The points of his teeth grazed against her skin and she winced. This time, he did not hesitate, breaking the skin and drinking fully of her, taking the poison from her body, taking her existence. She
cried out one last time as he continued to drink, following her down to the ground. He felt the previously unknown guards start to fall away; he hadn’t even been aware that she was hiding anything.
Where had the human learned such a powerful spell? What secrets could she possibly be hiding?
As she peacefully lay there, he bit his wrist and held it up to her lips. Holding her head, he gently stroked her hair as she drank, the tears still falling down her face. Frowning, he closed his eyes to see what continued to plague her, what caused her such grief. A crumbling barrier kept him out, but it wouldn’t take much for him to break through. He was impressed by the human’s efforts of hiding her secrets but the spell was for naught – her secrets were his to know and she would have no memories of this life she gave away. The final wall fell and he saw it….
He hissed, pulling his wrist away from the woman, knowing that it was too late, that it was too late the moment his teeth pierced her flesh. With his blood flowing through her veins, the transformation was complete. The child. Oh, hellfire, the child!
She looked up at him, the pain gone from her black eyes, and she smiled, “Thank you.”
He watched as she lost consciousness, her hand moving to her distended stomach. Closing his eyes, he cursed himself for not seeing past the disease, her barriers. He was stronger than that, smarter than that….