Read Out Of The Darkness Online

Authors: Calle J. Brookes

Tags: #Vampires, #Wolves Shifters, #Shifters, #Gods, #Goddesses, #Goddess, #Magic, #Paranormal Romance, #Love Story, #Demons, #Romance

Out Of The Darkness

BOOK: Out Of The Darkness
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Out Of The Darkness
Dardanos, Colorado [11]
Calle J. Brookes
Lost River Lit (2014)
Rating:
****
Tags:
Vampires, Wolves Shifters, Shifters, Gods, Goddesses, Goddess, Magic, Paranormal Romance, Love Story, Demons, Romance

Every Kind had its Evil...

He was the monster in her nightmares, and he knew it.

Her grandfather had tortured him and made him into a monster - part vampire, part shifter, part goddess-only-knew what. He wasn’t what a naive young woman like Cassandra needed.
Even if she was the mate given him by the goddess he so despised.

He’d promised to keep his distance and had kept that vow for over a year -
until something yanked Cassandra into another world.

Now Nalik will do anything to keep her safe.
Even if that means he has to claim his mate to do so…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other Titles

By

Calle J. Brookes

 

Paranormal

The Blood King

Awakening the Demon
’s Queen

The Healer
’s Heart

Once Wolf Bitten

Live or Die

The Seer
’s Strength

The Warrior
’s Woman

The Wolf
’s Redemption

A Warrior
’s Quest

The Wolf God & His Mate

 

Romantic Suspense

Watching

Wanting

Second Chances

Hunting

Running

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

C
alle J. Brookes
is first and foremost a fiction writer. She enjoys crafting paranormal romance and romantic suspense. She reads almost every genre except horror. She spends most of her time juggling family life and writing, while reminding herself that she can’t spend
all
of her time in the worlds found within books. Calle J. loves to be contacted by her readers
via email and at
www.CalleJBrookes.com
.

 

 

 

 

For my very own hero. Thank you for always believing in me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

OUT OF DARKNESS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Calle J. Brookes

 

 

 

 

 

 

Springs Valley, Indiana

 

 

 

The Lost River Literary name and imprint are the sole properties of independent publishers Calle J. Brookes and B.G. Lashbrooks. They cannot be reproduced or used in any manner; nor can any of their publications or designs be used without expressed written permission.

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, or locations, is entirely coincidental.

 

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever.

Copyright © 201
4 Calle J. Brookes

Cover by B.G. Lashbrooks

All rights reserved.

 

ISBN-10:  1940937051

ISBN-13:
   978-1-940937-05-2

 

 

 

 

             

 

 

 

OUT OF DARKNESS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A DARDANOS, CO NOVEL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 1

 

You buried your dead. You moved on. You tried to pretend there was more in this life than your miserable existence. Damned hard to do when you were close to immortal.

As he plunged the sword he
’d carried for more decades than he could remember into the dirt at his feet he wondered yet again when that miserable fact would end.

He
’d tried a time or two in his weakest moments to do it himself, but had failed.

There were only a handful of ways a Dardaptoan could die. Beheading was
one—beheading killed damn-near all Kinds—and blood loss. Blood infection. Flames. Those were the main ways. And starvation. Starvation was the worst way to die, your cells crying out for the blood they so desperately needed. He’d experienced that agony firsthand. And that had been one way he’d not been willing to try at all.

Only by the curse of the goddess had he lived. If he
’d been luckier,
he’d
have been the one to die instead of his brother. Or his sister.

They
’d been collateral damage in a war his people hadn’t known they were fighting.

Would that it had been him; without his brother and sister he had nothing.

These boys surrounding him understood that. He had nothing to give and nothing to lose.

Only a bare sense of loyalty to
his
name, to the ones who’d come before him, even had him in this damned mountain town still.

That and the fact that men he
’d once considered friends had decreed that he kept himself confined in the walls of the hotel, the gardens. He was no longer free.

His own people had robbed him of that.

Did they even understand what that meant to him?

Had it not been for her, he would have shown them. But for her, he would be long gone of this place.

He looked at the boy before him. Less than thirty years, a single percentage of a Dardaptoan lifespan. Yet the arrogance was there, the belief the young male had that
he
mattered more than the head of the House of Black.

The original outcast.

The boy was probably right about that.

Nalik
’s house numbers were dwindling—death and despair eating away at his family the way maggots did a piece of meat.

How could he blame the males of his House for taking their females and leaving, forging out to find their own ways, or melding themselves into their females
’ family Houses?

It was what he would do in their same positions, with a leader like him. Now. Once he would have challenged the
Equan
for the right to guide his people.

“Death comes when you are not ready,
no matter how you may think you are prepared to meet it; in a war such as this
no one is ready.
Swords will do us little good. Think you the demons will use swords? No, they’ll use magics and weapons the kinds we do not know. They and the others—the
whatever
Kinds are coming—will look at these pitiful toothpicks, these traditions, you cling to as toys. Jokes. Decorations to be hung on their walls the way the Jareth
Equan
hangs Lupoiux coats upon his own hall walls. Because that will be all that is left of you when it is over.”

“What are you suggesting then, Black? That we do nothing?” the leader of the youth demanded. Nalik stared at him, trying to remember just who had sired the little whelp.

He wore
black
tied around his waist.

Nalik should know him. He was ultimately responsible for the whelp, after all. He should at least care enough to know the youth
’s name.

But he didn
’t. What did that say about him?

“I
’m suggesting no such thing, because doing nothing
yields
nothing, but doing something will also yield nothing. All you can do,
boy,
is pray to the goddess—damned cold bitch that she is—that you and yours survive what is to come.” Nalik spit on the earth, then pulled his sword free. He wiped the mud from the blade and slipped it back to the scabbard. Kept his back to the boy.

What did such youth matter?

If this war was to come, like the seers predicted, then the boy would probably be dead within the next two years.

A blink for him.

“Protect your family, protect your House, protect your people, and hope to hell you don’t die in the process. That is all you can do.”

“And pray we don
’t screw it up like you have?” Disgust was in the boy’s words now, and had Nalik been any other kind of man, the boy would be down in the dirt, with a few less teeth.

As it was Nalik just walked away.

A passivist carrying the sword of a killer. Tasked with training the very ones he was supposed to protect to enter battles they had no hope of winning.

If he had still possessed a soul that knowledge would have eaten away at it. As it was it both saddened and disgusted
him.

Almost seven hundred years now he
’d walked this world, seeking to protect his people. And that had brought him nothing but loss.

Her grotto called to him, as it always did when he was hurting.

It had since his first night back in Dardanos, He’d spotted her
humming
as she did something as humble as digging in the blood-scarred earth.

Why did he torture himself thusly?

He knew she waited before he even parted the large hibiscus leaves that separated the grotto from the rest of the resort’s gardens. Large rocks, native to the area, had been hewn into crude benches, and through the decades weathered into smooth private nooks perfect for lovers.

Or for young women more at home with their own thoughts than in large crowds, even when those crowds were her family. A quiet, unassuming woman who was kind to everyone whose path she crossed. Who was always carrying some sort of flowers. Who sang to those plants every single day. Good, kind, sweet—the opposite of everything he
was.

Cassandra.

She waited there, like he knew she would. He
always
knew where the girl was. A blessing and a curse from the goddess he despised.

What type of deity would curse a person of her own Kind to live the hell he had?

Did. Did
live is a better way to put it.

The goddess had given him to mate one of the very people he was sworn to hate and despise. How was that what was best for him?

It for damned sure wasn’t good for the woman barely out of her girlhood.

It was a sadistic torture—the kind only mirrored in the records of the most forgotten Greek or Roman myths.
His
goddess was supposed to be better than that.

He watched the woman-girl for several moments, feeling like the nightmare of the night she had to know existed.

He had spoken less than a handful of words to Cassandra in more than a year.

He
’d touched her not a single time.

And he almost prayed that he never would.

If he did, all resolve he now possessed would be gone. Leaving nothing but the monster he knew her grandfather had made him behind.

 

***

Cass knew he was there. She always knew when she wasn
’t alone; that was a gift she had long taken for granted. She’d been maybe twelve or thirteen before she realized that others didn’t have the same talent. Her cousin and best friend Jade maybe, but that was all. Jade was just as different as Cass knew
she
was. Becca probably could, but Cass had never asked.

This man watched her a lot. More than any others, though she knew that many of the Dardaptoans found her worth watching.

She was one of
them,
after all. A Taniss, one of the most reviled creatures on Earth to these people. It didn’t matter that
she
had never hurt any of them. Or that she had nothing to do with the company that had been built on their blood and pain. It didn’t matter that the whole idea of it horrified every bit of her soul.

She was a Taniss, and that was enough for them.

Someone had thrown mud at her the day before. Mud and rocks. And called her filth.

How was she supposed to deal with that? She hurt for the people her grandfather had harmed, how could she expect them to treat her with respect when she lived in
their
world now?

She wanted to go home, to her own room—the one she had grown up in. The one with her father and Claudette and the rest of their family nearby. Her sister was in
this
place and several of her cousins, but
her
greenhouses, her gardens, called to her.

She
’d spent years developing the plants and seeds in those buildings. And it had been months since she’d been allowed to spend more than an hour every few months or so in the gardens she’d been building since she was thirteen years old.

Her father and family thought she
’d be safer in this strange place with her sister and her brother-in-law than in her own home.

She understood that. Theoretically. It
was why she hadn’t insisted on going home.

Someone had placed a price tag on her head; on hers, her sisters, her cousins, even the children. And she could never understand or forget that.

She could live without her plants—though it almost hurt her to think about it—but she couldn’t live with the idea of losing anyone else she loved.

Especially her sister or her cousins. Her best friends.

And until her brother-in-law Rydere figured out
who
threatened them all, Cass would just content herself as much as she could with the hotel gardens. They had been well tended before she came to Dardanos, and the gardens housed several strains of plants she had never seen before. Plants that she had spent the last year studying under the tutelage of the Dardanos head gardener Uruses. He was wise in the ways of Dardaptoan plants, and he’d freely shared. She’d spent her time tending and loving, every spare moment that she could.

When she especially needed soothing the way only plants could she came
here.

It was actually a horrible piece of
ground—or it had been a year ago. The tiny patch of land right next to the water was where her cousin Josey had nearly died. No one had told her exactly what had happened, but from the moment Cass had been brought to this place she had
known
that her cousin’s blood had seeped into the dirt. And the dirt cried from the pain Josey had known.

Cass would never seek to explain how she knew
that.
It was just something she knew and something she accepted.

She was doing her best to remove the scar upon the land. To erase the poison of violence from this little place.

She tapped some soil around the roots of a tiny plant she’d been nurturing for weeks, then dipped her dirty hands into the cool waters of the small pool. She swooshed her fingers around, idly drawing shapes in the water.

A quick look around told her that no one else was about; except the leader of the Black House. He was usually in the gardens this time of night.

Unwinding from the brutal military maneuvers he was training the Dardaptoan and Lupoiux wolves in. She shivered.

She
’d never understood those who made their ways in war.

Still, whenever he was in the gardens, there was an odd peace about the place that she had found she needed some times. And no one bothered her when he was out there.
And he had seen her swim before.

She couldn
’t see or hear anyone else out there now. She would slip into the pool and wash the dirt off of her skin.

She wore her swimsuit, a modest blue one, under her short and tank top. She
’d left the pool where Josey and Jade had been relaxing a few hours earlier and skipped going to her room, choosing her plants instead.

They
’d upset her with the talk of war that was coming. She’d felt so helpless, and she’d been able to hear the sounds of Equan Black’s army in the courtyard outside the private swimming pool.

It had made it all so real.

People would probably die, people she knew. And possibly some she loved. How was she supposed to ever understand that?

She slipped into the water, hoping to somehow erase
the very idea of war from her soul.

 

 

Chapter 2

 

He watched her, like he had so many times before. Why was she so drawn to the dirt? He’d never seen a human with such a need for plants as his little
Rajni
. Was it just because of that bastard Leo Taniss’s experiments?
Had
he done something to this girl when she was just a babe, like he had the Lycurgus
Equa
? What?

BOOK: Out Of The Darkness
2.21Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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