To whet your appetite for the release of Redemption, which is tentatively scheduled for June 19, 2014. I will be needing beta readers who are willing to provide honest feedback on the first draft, so if you want to be on the list, please leave a comment below!
From Chapter One:
“He’s alive,” I say, my hand on Dylan’s arm.
He turns to me, his face immediately dark, his brow furrowed. “How do you know?”
“He entered my mind when I was trying to go to sleep.” I shiver and pull my sweater around my shoulders more tightly. “He spoke to me using telepathy.”
Dylan shakes his head as if in disbelief. “What did he say?”
“He said I was a very bad girl.”
I shrug. “It was enough to let me know he’s alive and remembers what happened, and knows I’m the one responsible.”
Dylan sits for a moment in silence, staring at his hands, which are folded in his lap. I can almost see the wheels turning in his mind as he tries to figure it all out.
“If he’s alive, we really are in the dark about what he is. He should have been killed by the nanobots. He should have.” His hands fist and for a moment, I can see him grind his teeth. Then, he turns to me once more, his warm brown eyes concerned. “You’re in danger, Eve. We have to get you somewhere safe. I’m sure Michel and Julien will agree.”
“I don’t want to leave. I love it here. Beef up my security at the cottage.”
He shakes his head. “No. You’re too vulnerable here. We can’t police the ocean. We can’t protect you from the sky here. You’ll have to go to a safe house somewhere in Boston.”
“I don’t want to go to Boston. It’s so… dismal there.”
I think of what has become of my beloved city due to the plague and general unrest. Buildings destroyed by fires no one can extinguish. Stores looted. Roving bands of thugs looking for food, fuel, and weapons. Women.
Vampires attacking at night – the attacks sporadic for now, but still, a threat.
“This isn’t about what you want, Eve,” Dylan says, his voice low. “It’s about the future of humanity.”
“Don’t put that on me.” I shake my head, my body tensing at the thought. “It’s too much.”
“You know it’s true. You’re key to everything. We have to use you – Michel, Julien and I — or Soren will. Blackstone will.”
I sigh, for I do know what he says is true. “That doesn’t mean I have to like it.”
He smiles ruefully. “I know. Believe me, I wish the two of us could live quiet lives here, but we can’t.”
I wrap my arms around myself, suddenly cold. “Sometimes, I wish I would have died instead of them saving me.”
“Don’t say that,” Dylan says, leaning closer, his expression dark. “You don’t really mean that.”
“Don’t tell me how I feel.” I move away from him, angry that he sees me as just a tool as well. Willing to use me. I know that it’s true – that I am a tool – but I can’t help but wish that at least one of the men in my life would see me first and most as a woman they love and not as a means to an end.
Later, both Julien and Michel show up uninvited. Of course they would – finding out that Soren has escaped, that he has survived and recovered from the effects of the virus means we have to plan.
“Eve,” Julien says and comes right over to me, wrapping me in his arms, pulling me close. As usual, he looks devastatingly handsome wearing his leather bomber jacket, white t-shirt underneath, and a deep blue scarf highlighting his blue-blue eyes. His hair is military-short and there is a bit of scruff on his very-square jaw. He has a sword in a scabbard on his hip and a stake hidden somewhere on his body. He’s a warrior once more, killing vampires for the Council — whatever remains of it. Staking them before beheading them with his incredible strength and exceptionally sharp steel blade.
He kisses me, and for a moment, I’m overwhelmed by him, by his strength, by his concern for me. I can tell he misses me and wants me right now by the thrill of desire I feel in him when we kiss and our senses connect. He squashes it down and pulls away, trying to be professional. Realizing that both Michel and Dylan are watching.
I can’t help but steal a glance at Michel, whose face has a haunted expression, his eyes revealing hurt and jealousy. He’s gorgeous as well, dressed in a long black leather cassock coat, black jeans and a black t-shirt. The black highlights his pale skin and piercing blue eyes. He’s not wearing a sword, but I can see the leather strap of a holster crossing his chest. He’s packing a weapon as well, filled with silver bullets. Another vampire hunter. A gold cross dangles around his neck. Dressed all in black like that, he could be a priest.
I go to him, cup his face with my hand.
“Michel,” I say and smile. I run my fingers through his hair, which, as usual, is messy from the wind. He’s so beautiful with his black-lashed blue eyes that it takes my breath away. I lean up and kiss him and for a moment, he resists, still jealous of seeing me with Julien, but then he responds. He kisses me back, his arms wrapped around me, and his passion is strong, overwhelming his resolve to be chaste with me in front of Julien. I see it in his mind as we connect for a brief few seconds.
“Eve, you have to come to Boston,” Julien says from across the room, breaking Michel’s and my kiss, and our connection. I’m sure that was Julien’s intent.
How can I choose between them?
In that moment, I almost believe in a god – a god who is punishing me for being greedy enough to want them both.
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