Scottish Werewolves: freaky Vampires and a Slayer with a bad addiction and an insane legacy.
Add a big dose of sarcasm, sizzling chemistry; a lot of silver and a ton of blood and . . .
Length: 127,000 words
Welcome to the Blood Series.
Welcome to the Blood Series.
Content: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Elizabeth Morgan
Heather Ryan's life has never been simple. The latest in a long line of descendants who have made it their mission to hunt down and slay the Ancient Vampire, Marko Pavel, she is also the first born Infected. Up until recently, the biggest downside to living with the Vampyrric Virus was simply that she craved blood, but after receiving a DVD from her deceased Grandmother Sofia and being kidnapped with friend and so called guardian Werewolf, Brendan Daniels, she quickly discovers that she is also the inspiration behind the Vampires’ attempt to create a whole new breed of super monsters—Hybrids.
The truth comes at a cost, but how much does one have to sacrifice to gain success?
Following the breadcrumbs left by her psychic Grandmother, Heather and Brendan find themselves in new territory. Venice is where Heather hopes to find Marie, the second Bloodling of Marko, along with Brendan's three taken Pack members. But an old Peace Pact between the Italian Pack and the Colony means they are left hunting blind, and due to the Italian Alpha's reluctance to believe their story of kidnap and experimentation on Loup-Garous, time is running out. So when help comes from an unlikely source, they have no choice but to accept.
All families have secrets, but blood can't lie.
Caught up in an intricate and complicated scheme spun by the one she trusts the most and the friend of her enemy, Heather soon discovers that she is the pawn in a plan she would never have been able to conceive. But how many of her new allies were in on the game, to begin with?
This title contains explicit language, violence, and some scenes of a sexual nature.
Download your copy of Blood Secrets (Blood Series: Book Two)
at the celebratory release price $3.49.
Thereafter it will revert to the price of $4.49.
Blood Secrets will also be available in print from Amazon and Barnes&Noble in the next few weeks.
The walkway appeared desolate... Darkness almost shrouded the passage, but the streetlights of Venice, which stretched across the seemingly black water of the Grand Canal, cast slithers of light through the tall stone arches. A gust of wind ran past me and I shivered, the small tremble causing drops of water to fly from my soaked clothing and stain the grey slabs beneath me.
A howl pierced the night sky, then another and another; a unison of agonizing cries echoing around the maze of buildings that made Central Venice so unique.
To say that Ken doll was going to be pissed that I had took off was an understatement, but I couldn’t lose this chance. I wasn’t going to lose Marie.
Pulling my sword from its sheath, I made my way towards the intricate iron gates which were open, held in place by chains that locked into two hoops that protruded from the grey bricks.
Moving past the rough metal, I peered into the square, outer foyer to find the main double doors to the nest stood wide open in invitation, giving me the perfect view of the long, quiet hallway. I inhaled deeply. The stench of ancient earth polluted the air.
With a steadying breath, I stepped through the doorway and past the two round pillars. Three large iron lanterns hung from the ceiling. A mosaic of stained glass caging the bulbs inside, casting fragments of multi-coloured light across the cream walls. The glow from them curled around the sculptures lining the walls, the shadows of their perfect forms stretched across the blank canvas, disfiguring as I moved past them.
My heart thundered in my chest, so loud that I was pretty damn sure it was drowning out the squelch of water in my boots as I tread lightly and swiftly across the coral and ivory diamond tiles. Droplets of water continued to travel down my skin and beneath my clothes, which already clung to me like a second skin. My curls were a drenched mess. Stray strands had escaped the bun I had shoved my hair in earlier, the wet chunks sticking to my face and neck.
I walked past the two sets of closed double doors which sat across from each other. My focus strayed to the enclosed, dimly lit stairwell on my right.... It was now blocked off by an iron gate similar to the one protecting the front entrance. Another set of doors sat closed to my left, but it was the archway at the end of the hallway that I was drawn to—the only other doors that lay wide open in invitation, and despite the light in the chamber being dim, I knew she was in there, waiting for me.
Oxygen burned my lungs. A stitch had claimed my right side, and the scent of blood from my weeping wounds had my senses peaking. Only this task remains.
Tightening my grip on the hilt of my sword, I moved into the large chamber. No furniture filled the space. All the curtains were drawn. The dark, thick material ran the length of the wall, indicating that the windows stood from ceiling to floor. The walls were painted in panels of patterns so fine, but I couldn’t make out the details. Not that the particulars of the interior of a nest ever really mattered. Although, this was by far the fanciest I had been in. My feet faltered as my gaze landed on him.
He stood like a statue in the centre of the room, his unseeing eyes, like white, misted glass, vacant and icy, focused on me. He could see me. He could see right through me....
The air caught in my lungs as pain seared through my lower back. I lurched, a scream lodged in my throat.
“You should have run while you had the chance.”
His voice sent a chill sweeping across my already frozen flesh.
I spun, sword loose in my grip, swiping at air. A delayed reaction, which only caused pain to ripple up my spine. Heat pulsed at the base of my back, a seeping warmth drawing the material of my damp T-shirt. The scent of my blood hit me once more. Shit.
“Brave of you to come back,” a female chortled.
Wiping the back of my hand across my eyes, I looked round the room. There was nowhere for her to hide but the shadows which claimed the corners. But why was she even hiding?
“What’s the matter, Marie? Are you afraid to face me one-on-one?”I straightened, gritting my teeth at the splintering pain stretching from my head to my toes. “I expected more from a first generation Leech, more from Marko’s Bloodling than peak-a-boo-attack.”
“You flatter yourself,” he said calmly.
I did. There was no reason for her to hide from me. Perhaps she wasn’t. Perhaps, this was just a game of cat and mouse to her, and she wanted to draw it out for as long as possible. Despite the fact she should be running for her wretched immortal life, despite the fact that she was no longer safe in her own territory, she hadn’t run. She was either egotistical or foolish, or maybe just clueless. One way or another, she was going to die before the sun rose.
“Face me, Marie,” I growled, tightening the grip on my sword. “Your son at least had the balls to—”
The air left my lungs as a weight barrelled into me.
In the back of my mind, I registered my sword slipping from my hand. A fact that was confirmed as the sound of metal clattering against marble echoed throughout the room. My head made impact with the wall. Pain exploded at the back of my skull. Stars burst behind my eyelids in a rush of glittering colours. I crumpled to the floor.
“Never speak of my son, puttana disgustosa.”
The words were snarled, but seemed distant due to the pounding in my ears. My eyes snapped open as blood coated my tongue. I rolled onto my side, gagging, wanting so badly to throw up, and yet, I had the urge to gulp, to swallow; to drink, and it was so damn strong.
The word hammered at my temples, causing the pain that already cradled my head to stab sharper.
Pathetic. Perhaps I was pathetic. Perhaps I had been fooling myself all these years for clinging on to humanity when every primal instinct inside me hungered for blood, even my own. I was sick. I was no better than the monsters I killed, but I knew that already... Didn’t I?
“...you are not human, Heather. You have been lying to yourself. Thinking you can survive this way, lead a ‘normal life’ when you were born to be so much more...”
His words echoed in my mind, taunting me even though he stood quietly at the centre of the room.
“It is almost laughable, the idea that you thought you could stop us, destroy Marko after all those before you have failed.”
Breathing fast and hard, I twisted onto my knees. My arms trembled as I tried to push myself up.
“Where is he?” I bit the words out.
Marie’s foot connected with my abdomen. A crunch met my ears. Another scream lodged in my throat. Fists clenched, I curled myself into a ball, sucking in sharp breaths through my teeth as I tried to fight past the pain pulsing inside me.
“Where. Is. Marko?” The words were broken and strained as I tried to lift my head to look at her.
Marie grabbed me by my hair. A strangled cry burst from my lips as she dragged me up, sliding me against the wall. Nausea exploded in my stomach. Numbness claimed my cheeks and neck. I kicked helplessly. My legs were deadweight, but pins and needles shot through my calves each time my boots scuffed against the brick. I couldn’t feel my fingertips as I wrapped my hands round her wrist, feebly trying to break her iron grip.
She grabbed me by the throat with her free hand and pinned me high above her head. My hands dropped to the arm now holding me against the cold wall. My eyes widened as she stepped closer, into the soft stream of light coming through the doorway. If I could have breathed, I would have stopped at the sight of her angular, almost amphibian features.
Sweet Jesus, so this is what a first generation Vampire in full form looks like?
Like all transformed Vampires, her head was void of hair, but the bones beneath her face were moving. Her skin looked pasty and brittle as it stretched across the sharp and unnatural angles of her jaw and cheek bones. Her nose had caved into her skull, but her nostrils were large and wide, bat-like. And her eyes—deep crimson, so fucking inhuman, so lifeless I might have shivered if I had the strength to. The skin wriggled across her face... She was still shifting?
How much uglier can she get?
I jolted as something razor-sharp punched into my gut. Blood flooded my mouth, leaking from the corners as I fought to breathe. Tears filled my eyes as I glanced down, noting her free hand had pushed against my abdomen, her fingers embedded deep inside me.
“In the last place you, or any of your pathetic family, would ever think to look for him.”
Reality slowed down, or perhaps it was my heartbeat. Perhaps I was blacking out, but despite the pins and needles that tingled from my fingers straight down to my toes, the numbness that claimed every part of my body, despite the only feelings I had left being pain as she squeezed every breath of air from me, despite that, at this very moment, the only thing I should have been thinking about was that I was about to die, that I had failed my family, my grandmother... Brendan... a bulb pinged in my mind, and I had never seen the light so fucking clearly.
Her tongue slithered towards me, flicking across the blood staining my lips. She shuddered. “You should not have murdered my son.”
A howl echoed throughout the building. Hope fluttered in my struggling heart.
“It is time to leave.”
His voice jolted me, so innocent and calm, completely un-fazed by the scene playing out before him.
I lurched as she pulled her hand from inside me. Through my blurred gaze, I caught sight of the length of her now blood-stained talons as she brought her fingers to my face.
“Die knowing that you have failed, like the rest of your feeble family.”
Bones cracked and her jaw dislocated, her mouth widened, as her fangs extended—
A mountain of black fur barrelled into her.
I landed on the floor. My body screamed in protest, but no sound left me. I couldn’t feel my fingers or toes. Hell, I couldn’t feel my body. Just the pain that resided in every point she had struck.
Dark shadows moved around the room, accompanied by growls and ear-splintering wails.
Another thundering howl rang through the building. I moved my focus to the doorway and found a copper-blond Werewolf standing in the frame. His golden gaze landed on me, widening.
My eyes fluttered, and the next thing I knew, he was beside me.
“I know where he is,” I rasped as Brendan’s flushed, sweat-slicked face filled my vision.
“Shit. Heather?” Brendan’s hands fell to my stomach.
Searing pain exploded outward, stretching to my head and toes. An inhuman cry gurgled in my throat, the action causing more blood to ooze from my mouth.
“Christ.” Tears threatened to emerge in his emerald gaze. His hands moved to my face. “Why—What?” His jaw was tense. A growl vibrated in his throat. “God damn it, Heather. Why couldn’t you have fucking waited?”
A smile touched my lips. “Because, silly Wolf—” I closed my eyes. My brain felt as though it were churning in my skull, “—I now know where Marko is.”
Darkness took me.
Elizabeth is giving three lucky winners an ecopy of Cranberry Blood
(Blood Series: Book One) AND an ecopy of Blood Secrets (Blood Series: Book Two).
(Blood Series: Book One) AND an ecopy of Blood Secrets (Blood Series: Book Two).
So, if you are interested in winning yourself this set then make sure to leave an entry on the rafflecopter, and don’t forget to go download your FREE copy of She-Wolf
(Blood Series: Prequel) which you can read while you wait. ;)
(Blood Series: Prequel) which you can read while you wait. ;)
Like her tagline says; A pick ‘n’ mix genre author. “I’m not greedy. I just like variety.”
And that she does, so look out for more information on her upcoming releases at her website: www.e-morgan.com
Away from the computer, Elizabeth can be found in the garden trying hard not to kill her plants, dancing around her little cottage with the radio on while she cleans, watching movies or good television programmes – Dr Who? Atlantis? The Musketeers? Poldark? American Horror Story? Heck, yes! – Or curled up with her two cats reading a book.
If you’re new to the Blood Series, but think you might enjoy the books then download your copy of She-Wolf (Blood Series: Prequel) for FREE today.
And in preparation for the long awaited sequel, Cranberry Blood (Blood Series: Book One) is available for the bargain celebratory price of $2.99 until April 30th. Thereafter it will go back to its former price of $3.99.
Blood Series Prequel
Length: 78,000 words
Content: Paranormal Erotic Romance
Publisher: Elizabeth Morgan
Trying to convince his mate he does want to be with her? Bloody impossible.
Owen MacLaren is the Alpha's son and the Pack's second, and he has never been one to let anything get to him. So when a bunch of Rogues begin purposely dumping mutilated bodies around the Pack Keep, he is more than ready to deal with the Werewolves responsible.
But one night off and a trip to a local strip joint for a colleague's stag night changes things, and Owen soon discovers he isn't immune to everything . . . .
Being an independent Loup and travelling the world? Easy.
Having to come home and face the Werewolf who broke her young heart? Challenging.
After five years away, Clare Walker finds herself back home in Scotland, working in a strip club. The tips are decent, and she gets to dance, but it isn't a place she thought she would ever be, let alone Owen, her Pack second and the mate she has always desired.
Although Owen is determined to prove he wants to be with Clare, things can't go smoothly between them, not when they have past issues to sort out and a bunch of unusual 'Rogues' to deal with.
This title contains explicit language, violence, and graphic sex.
She-Wolf is also available in print from Amazon and Barnes&Noble!
Blood Series: Book One
Length: 96,000 words
Content: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Elizabeth Morgan
Tracking someone? Simple.
Helping, and protecting a Vampire slayer . . . . Bloody hard work!
Thirteen years ago, Brendan Daniels made a deal with a psychic. In exchange for information on the whereabouts of a Rogue Werewolf, he promised to help and protect Sofia's granddaughter. Unfortunately, he had no idea what he was letting himself, or his Pack, in for.
Nothing about Heather is simple, from her weird dietary needs to her life’s mission. The girl can handle herself, but the promise to protect her soon becomes a need, and one he can't fully understand.
Addicted to blood . . . but not by choice.
Heather Ryan is the current Slayer in a long family line. Like all before her, she has spent her life searching for her ancestor, Marko Pavel, the Vampire her family has sworn to kill. If that isn't complicated enough, she is also a born "Infected", and to keep her from becoming insane or giving in to her darker side, she is on a very strict diet.
Now that her Grandmother Sofia has passed, it is up to Heather to take the family legacy into her own hands. Or at least, it would have been...if her Grandmother hadn't sent a Werewolf to help her.
What is the irritating Brendan supposed to help her with? Sofia never told either of them. Luckily, it doesn't take long for Heather and Brendan to find out that the Vampires have big plans, and that the Leeches have waited a long time for them both.
This title contains explicit language, violence, and some scenes of a sexual nature.
Cranberry Blood is also available in print from Amazon and Barnes&Noble!
Prologue from Blood Secrets
October 15th, 2015
Sestiere San Polo, Venice, Italy
Colours dispersed and the world turned to black once more.
“What did you see, Galen?” Her voice held an edge of expectation.
Lifting my head, I reached out with my mind, collecting the threads of consciousness floating about me, pulling them into myself, and reconnected with my four Bloodlings—Sorina, Leonardo, Kiya, and Carlos—who still stood in the corners of the formal first floor sitting room. Their sight became mine and their focus had remained on Marie still seated on the purple chaise longue opposite me. The crystal wine glass cradled in her hand was half drained, the blood trailing down the transparent surface indicating she had just taken a mouthful a moment prior, but now, her attention fixated on me.
“She is here.” I relaxed into the matching arm chair. “The Ancestor is in Italy.”
One finely plucked eyebrow arched. The muscles in her neck flexed. “When did she arrive?”
The vision had been strong, so much stronger than the last time I had perceived the events to come, but this time, it had been different. This time, I had seen the upcoming events through the Infected Slayer’s eyes and not my own, which meant only one thing—Marko’s Ancestor was close.
The eyelids of my Bloodlings flickered. Scenery flashed through my mind, changing within the blinking darkness. I reached out through them, to the others I had planted around the borders, until I found someone close... “Her feet hit Italian soil almost fifteen minutes ago. She is alone, and she is in Venice.”
I pulled back until my focus returned to the room once more. A smile tugged at the corner of my lips at the sight of Marie sending her wine glass towards the wall on her right. Crystal broke into a thousand small shards. The blood splashed against the gold, paisley-patterned wallpaper before sliding all the way down to pool on the mahogany panelled floor.
Pushing herself from the chaise longue, she twisted in the direction of the closed double doors.
“Emilio!” Her voice bellowed throughout the tall front room.
No doubt the rest of the Colony had heard her throughout the building. Easy to imagine the rage thundering in her voice had sent ripples down the Grand Canal. The idea amused me.
“You are too late.” I laced my palms and laid them in my lap. “She has been picked up already. The Alpha sent someone for her. A human, naturally. The car is already en route, and I would say she has less than ten minutes before she crosses into Werewolf territory...” and out of your reach.
My unspoken words weighed heavy in the air, and I delighted in the fury that sent her perfect posture rigid.
The thick mahogany doors to the left of the room flew open. One panel banged into the corner of the nearby dresser, sending the set of unlit candles and their polished gold holders tumbling onto their sides. The other door had almost blocked out the view I had of the room, but my mind filled with the sight of Leonardo’s hand as he curled his fingers around the edge, stopping the heavy wood before it hit him in the face.
Emilio strolled in. The burly male tipped his head to his Mistress. His dark eyes penetrated her on a level that screamed carnal desire. “You called—”
Marie held up her hand to cut off her Bloodling.
“Why am I only just hearing of this, Galen?” Her head flicked back to me. The loose dark curls that had been purposely left out of her pinned-up hair bounced around her slender face. She moved towards me, one long leg before the other, her black leather pencil skirt rippling like a second skin and the strike of her heels replicating the cool and steady beat of the pulse she didn’t possess. “Why did you not tell me sooner? Marko will—”
“Do not pretend to know what the Master will do.” I unlaced my hands and rested them on the arms of my chair. “The Ancestor’s arrival is as...surprising to myself as it is to you, but then after the recent change in our plans, my instructions were to keep watch over the projects and keep tune to the path that will lead us all to success.”
I moved my focus swiftly and watched through the eyes of Sorina, who stood behind me on the right, as Marie circled round me.
“But do you not think the Slayer is able to ruin our plans? Do you not think it would have been wise for your focus to partly be on her also?”
“I am following the instructions of our Master, but yes, I suppose you are right. Then again, if she had died when she was supposed to—”
“But she did not die, did she?”
“Her survival is not my fault.”
“No, but you never mentioned that her survival was a possibility. Strange in itself, and I am sure Marko will think the same.” She stopped in front of me, a smile creeping along her full lips. “Whatever will he think when he hears that you have neglected to inform him of the girl’s actions for a second time? Anyone would think you wanted her to survive. That you wanted her to—”
“Her survival was always a possibility. Something I have pointed out before, but it seems no one is ever interested in listening to the details. Although, I have to say that our Master seemed rather pleased to hear of her survival.”
A smile graced my lips at the sight of the frown forming on Marie’s face. “So, sadly, Marko will not share your views on finding such matters strange. Then again, he does grasp the details of my gift far better than you ever have.”
Her frown morphed into a scowl.
“It is an extraordinary gift, Marie, but alas, I am not God. If I were, then, and as I assured Marko, everything would have gone to plan, but since I have to rely on others of our kind and their abilities to follow instructions, well, I am surprised we have gotten to this stage of the plan.
“The possibility of the Slayer’s survival had been minimal, which means her death was a very strong possibility, but then due to the spontaneous decision Luca made at the last second, her chance of survival expanded. Luca’s foolish choice to indulge himself cost us time. He did not inform Constance that the Ancestor had followed him to the allocated blood house, meaning Michael was not informed, and therefore, she had a chance to slay all our kind who were present, and her Wolf wrecked the place. Their abduction was supposed to be swift, easy. If it were not for the one surviving Vampire who had the sense to flee and inform Constance, the Slayer would have skipped out of the blood house and we would have lost our window of opportunity to take her and the dog.
“As for Lance, as idiotic as he was in his theories of what she is, he did manage to get the results needed, but the fool clearly did not make the right calculations for sedation when it came to the Werewolf. Ridiculous, since he had been studying their kind long enough, but the proximity of the facilities’ location to the Pack and the full moon played key parts in his failure. It is not my fault that the lower generation are completely incapable of doing as they are told. Trust was instilled to them. They were informed of our goal, and the severity and importance of what we wish to achieve. They were all given a time frame to work in, but Lance took his time and decided to divert from his purpose and that of the Farr facility.”
Lance had been put in charge of finding out if it were possible to reverse the effects of our mutation in Infecteds. There were far too many due to the carelessness of the lower generation not feeding properly, and too many idiots had been given the gift of immortality. The Farr facility had been a holding pen, if anything, for all the Infecteds we had managed to round up in the last ten years. Population control, as it were; not that they wouldn’t serve some use in our cause.
Lance had been instructed to take some DNA samples and run tests, to check the Slayer’s vitals and then dispose of her once we had everything we needed. The secret of her DNA was all we needed. He had been told to get as much Were-gene as possible from the male as we were running low on it, and to send any Loup-Garous they caught to us. He was not told to figure out how the girl had survived for twenty-one years, or to test if she had any of our abilities. Such information could be discovered by testing our theories on any of the Infecteds or whoever was needed, but Lance had always been a curious, sadistic creature who wanted so much to excel at everything. He had taken his role far too seriously and got it into his head that he was solely responsible for our endeavours, that the advancement of our species had been his idea and his alone. His curiosity mixed with his need to prove our theories had been wrong. By conducting his own experiments, he had almost ruined everything. Thankfully, he never had the eye for details. Unfortunately, he had been the only suitable Vampire to put in charge of the Scottish facility, but fortunately, such egotism and reluctance to do as he was told had inevitably cost him his life, and regrettably meant that the Ancestor and her pet had escaped.
“Am I supposed to watch everyone?” I lifted my head, and through Sorina’s eyes, I could see my face was at the right angle to be on level with Marie’s. “Do you suppose Marko blamed my slips in focus when he heard how I had to figure out an alternative path for us, which would not have occurred in the first place if your foolish son could follow the simplest instruction—?”
Her hand was wrapped round my throat within an instant, grip tight considering her slender fingers. Her lips hovered near my ear as she leaned over me. “Do not speak ill of my son, Galen, or—”
I remained still. My connection fixed onto Kiya as Emilio’s men crowded in the doorway. Shifting focus, I looked through the eyes of Carlos who stood to my left; a clear view of the side of Marie’s face came into focus and I noticed her skin ripple across her bones.
Luca was still a sore point. Perhaps he always would be. The idiot had been her only son, and her first Bloodling, and she had suffered greatly at his demise a few weeks earlier; was still suffering from the severed link.
He had deserved to die, though. It only served him right for choosing to indulge in carnal pleasure instead of calling for the United Colony leader, Michael, the instant he knew the Slayer had followed him.
Although Marko hadn’t been pleased to learn that Michael—despite being aware of our plans and knowing full well that Luca was only making an appearance in London as a form of bait to ensnare the Infected Ancestor—had sent some lower generation Vampires out the night before, to kill her. Laughable in itself since the fresher batch of our species were clumsy and driven only by their cravings, but even more so was the thought that the United Colony leader thought he would get away with blaming the oafs for not knowing any better. Luckily, and despite my current argument, I always kept watch. My own Bloodlings were planted in every country throughout the world and therefore at my use to run interference when and if needed. I learned a long time ago that one could never fully trust or even depend on their own species. Unlucky for Michael, neither Marko nor I cared enough for him to divulge that his pitiful existence was going to be cut short, and very soon.
Marie still didn’t understand how events were linked, but that was simply because she forgot the fundamental rule—though Fate was prewritten; we all had our own will, and our choices affected everything and everyone around us. One decision could break an easily made chain of circumstances and a person could veer from the path completely. Fusing those events back into the original plan was never easy, but often possible, especially if the weaver was determined to achieve a particular goal.
We had lost a couple of hours due to Luca’s idiocy, and if Lance had killed the Infected Slayer when he had been told to instead of toying with her at every opportunity, then she wouldn’t be in Italy at this very moment. She wouldn’t be able to ruin our plans.
Sitting straight, I turned my face so my own lips were resting against Marie’s ear. “What do you think you can do? Kill me? Do you know what Marko will do to you, if you were to end me?”
Her grip tightened.
My voice dropped to a rough whisper.
“Kill me, and you will kill all hope of success for our race, for the plan Marko has had for a decade, the plan he clings to as though it were a lifeline.” Pain pinched my fingertips as my nails lengthened. “I was his first Bloodling, or have you forgotten that fact? I am his first, Marie. I am his main lifeline.”
I punched my hand through her stomach, my talons slicing easily through her flesh and muscle. She lurched. Her blood coated my skin as I rummaged round her innards, curling my fingers around her spine. Her body grew rigid. Her hand left my throat, falling to my arm. Nails dug into my flesh as she tried so hard to break my grip.
“Galen.” My name left her lips on a broken whimper. “Ti prego...”
I rubbed my cheek next to hers, the tiniest spark of heat generated at the friction, and I watched through the eyes of my tense Bloodlings as her rich-toned skin paled, as her own pathetic Bloodlings shrank back in the doorway, unsure of what to do.
I kept my voice low, calm.
“No matter how you may see me, Marie, let this be the last time you forget who I am.” I tightened my grip on her spine. A crunch broke through the silence and she trembled. A raw cry scratched her throat. “My body might be small, my persona innocent, but never forget the fact that I am older and stronger than you, and if you ever disrespect me before this Colony, or any other, again, not only will I pull your fangs from their roots, I will also rip your tongue from your throat. Do I make myself clear?”
She nodded, her cold skin brushing against mine once more, the tiny spark of heat so sweet, and yet so unbearable.
Letting go of her spine, I withdrew my hand and beckoned Carlos forth. He removed his white shirt and offered it to me.
Marie stumbled back until her legs hit the chaise longue. The front of her ivory silk blouse was in tatters. Blood, thick and black, oozed from the wound in her midriff, coating her fingers, soaking the expensive, glossy material. She collapsed. Her face was a gratifying picture of shock and mortification—mouth slack, skin paler, eyes wide and glazed.
Emilio rushed towards her, grabbing the glass bottle of blood from the side table. Guiding her head back, he pressed the rim to her trembling lips and poured the crimson liquid down her throat.
Hand and arm clean, I handed back Carlos’ now blood-stained shirt.
“The Ancestor has come to Italy to find you, and you can thank your son for that.” I rested my hands on the arms of my chair and relaxed into the cushions. “Luca gave up your whereabouts in a plea to save his life. Much good it did him.”
Emilio moved back as Marie sat up, the wound in her stomach closing.
“If she is here...” she swiped the blood from her mouth with the back of her hand and looked towards me. “Then she will die?”
A question, as though she doubted her own ability to kill the Slayer. Perhaps she was humouring me, or being coy. Maybe her question was genuine, but no, like her Maker, she gambled too much on the knowledge she was given of the future. Like her Maker, she had never fully understood that Fate didn’t lay out one single, straight path, but a map with many routes. Certain choices could change one’s direction, but then there was always more than one outcome to any situation. Still, some moments were just fixed in time, some events had to happen, some were written in stone, and no matter what choices were brought into play, the outcome would remain the same. Or at least it would if it was a wanted outcome and one had a little insight to give guidance to the necessary individuals. Success was always possible when one had the power to keep an eye on matters.
“Heather Ryan’s life will end here.”