Here is the premier excerpt of my upcoming release with Eternal Press, Malevolent Dead. Due out on September 7th! Blurb: To save everyone, she'll have to do the unthinkable. Werewolf Sarah Vargas thought all she had to worry about was the Blood Moon Corporation's retaliation. She never dreamed that another vampire would arrive, disputing Damian's claim over the throne to
Charleston, SC.To make matters worse, he is no ordinary vamp; he's a vampire necromancer. Exceptionally hard to kill, Sarah will have to do what ever she can to keep those that she loves safe... Even if it means doing the unthinkable.
When my phone vibrated at 2am, I knew it wasn’t good.
As I rolled over to answer it, my mind ran through the list of people who could be calling me. Donavan? Nah. He was on his second honeymoon with his wife, Monique. They vacationed in the middle of the Caribbean right now. Jared? That thought immediately banished as I had to reach over his sleeping body to get to my phone as it crawled across the bedside table. That left only one person.
“What do you want, Damian?” I muttered as I snapped my phone open.
“Good morning to you too,” Damian said, his ancient accent sliding across my skin and slithering down my spine.
I crawled out of bed, doing my best not to wake Jared. Like I even could. He slept so heavily I doubted that Armageddon could wake him. I slipped into the bathroom and shut the door.
“Why are you calling me?” I asked as I flipped on the bathroom light. Damian rarely used the phone. When I did get a call, usually Dez relayed Damian’s orders. This was different and when it came to the born vampire on the other end of my phone, different was bad.
“I need you to come to the club. We have a visitor that would like to meet you.”
Several things made my spidey-sense tingle. One; I lived in one of the guestrooms at Damian’s club, Malevolent Dead. Damian made it sound like I lived somewhere else. Whoever was there, the born vampire didn’t want them to know I lived with them. Two; who in the hell would make Damian that nervous?
“Are you in trouble?” I asked. I heard Damian grunt.
“Immediate, no. Given some time, yes.”
“’ll be right there.” I glanced at my pajamas in the mirror. “I have to change first. I don’t think Hello Kitty will make a good first impression.”
Damian laughed. Even over the phone I could feel his laughter travel over my skin, making me shudder. I flipped my phone closed, disconnecting the call.
Grabbing my clothes from yesterday out of the hamper and my Walther P22 from the dresser, I quickly changed and combed out my black hair. My blonde roots were starting to show. I had to either dye it again, or do something to make it look good while I grew it out. I liked myself better with black hair, but it represented a part of me that I’d rather forget.
Six months ago I tried to kill Jared because I discovered he was the Were that changed me. No, not tried. Did. I threw the silver knife and delivered a mortal wound that only Damian could fix. I despised myself for letting my hatred go as far as to hurt the man I loved. I felt guilty whenever I saw the scar over his heart.
Jared still slept when I left the bedroom and headed toward a little known emergency exit. I cautiously exited the club, relieved to find no bad guys around. The only person outside was Nyesha, an ebony-skinned witch that sold her sweet grass baskets near the entrance of Malevolent Dead.
“Sarah, is everything okay?” She knew damn well I lived here and could easily exit the club from the front door.
I shrugged. “Don’t know yet. We’ll see.”
“And you’ll tell me, right?”
That woman just loved her gossip. “If it’s mine to tell.”
She nodded, her head dropping back down to the basket in her lap. With patrons coming in and out of Malevolent Dead until the early morning, Nyesha made a killing on our corner. The chilly
Charlestonair sent shivers up my spine, and I wished that I had thought about throwing on a jacket. I walked around the corner to the main door of the club.
From the outside, Malevolent Dead didn’t look like much. There wasn’t even a sign out front, just tinted windows and a heavy bass pounding from the inside. Humans who came here to dance slowly left as I walked through the coffin encased foyer and upstairs. I heard them grumbling about it closing early. I didn’t blame them. Most nights, Malevolent Dead stayed open until 5am.
I crossed the dance floor and opened the door marked, “Employees Only.” Everyone in the room looked up as I entered.
Damian leaned against the wall, his arms crossed over his bare chest. He wore a pair of dark-washed jeans tucked into black leather boots. A Celtic knot necklace hung around his neck. When his eyes caught sight of me, he smiled and held out a hand.
“Phaedra, my love. Look who’s come to visit us.”
I was careful not to let my confusion show as I took his hand. He guided me into his arms. I looked up into his plum colored eyes, waiting for some kind of explanation.
He said nothing. Instead Damian turned me to face his guests. A man sat on the couch across from us, backed by five Necrovamps. Icky, disgusting Necrovamps. They were the product of a vampire transformation gone wrong. Their bodies slowly rotted, exposing muscle and bone. Gore leaked from them, creating a kind of snail trail on the ground behind them. The worst part of all were their fangs. Super long, the Necrovamps couldn’t even close their mouths because of them. They were mindless killers and took orders from only one type of creature. A necromancer.
“Marcellus, you remember my wife.”
The man in the chair nodded. “Of course. How could I forget such beauty? But as I heard it, she died.”
Damian laughed. “Does she look dead to you?”
Marcellus shook his head. “Not at all. How is it that she’s still alive?”
“I changed her.”
Marcellus laughed. “I can hear her heart beat, old friend. I’d say she’s human, but she reeks of Were.”
I huffed. There was something important about Marcellus thinking that Damian’s wife still lived. I decided to just go with it and hoped to God that Damian explained it to me later. “Shows what little you know, Marcellus.” I turned to Damian. “How much longer will you be, baby? I’m ready to go home and the bed is so cold without you.” I stood on tiptoe to place a light kiss on his lips. Damian smiled as he rubbed noses with me, his hand sliding down to cup my ass.
“Not much, my pet. Marcellus was just about to tell me the reason for his visit.”
Marcellus grinned. “I know you killed the Skyner twins, Damian. Only a fool would believe the lies floating around. Only a fool would believe that two Weres from that dreadful corporation did the deed. You know that it’s against our laws to kill another vampire. I’m here for that reason.”
Our laws? I took a deep breath through my nose and finally picked up the scent I hadn’t noticed earlier; vampire. Marcellus wasn’t only a necromancer, but he was a vampire to boot. This didn’t bode well.
Damien’s voice turned to ice. “Excuse me?”
Marcellus stood and slowly walked over to us. “Since you murdered the twins, I’ve been sent here to be the new lord of
Charleston. Your position is forfeit.” He drew a sword out of a sheath on his back. “As is your life.”
Damian laughed. I felt his power flowing out, wrapping itself around Marcellus. Damian’s hand cupping my ass moved up and unholstered my Walther P22. He held the gun up, aiming at Marcellus’s face. The gun wasn’t loaded with wooden rounds, but the shot would still hurt Marcellus. It would slow him down enough for Damian to get the upper hand.
“You are no longer welcome here, old friend. Leave and take your rotting scum with you.”
Marcellus hissed as he backed away. I narrowed my eyes as they left, realizing something important. Marcellus had no intention of killing Damian today. He wanted to draw it out. After all, it wasn’t every day that a vampire was allowed to kill one of their own. Damian sagged against the wall once they left, dropping my gun onto the polished marble floor. “Dammit,” he growled as he raked a hand through his ebony hair.
I sat in the chair Marcellus had just vacated, waiting for Damian to collect himself. “What the hell?” I asked when he finally did. I didn’t need to go further than that. Damian could read my mind like a book. He knew everything I felt curious about. Damian shook his head.
“Not here. I don’t trust it.” He stood up and walked over to a large black door that led away from the club. I stood and followed him, hoping he wasn’t going to keep me in the dark about all of this. I mean, he was the one that dragged me into this.
“I’m not,” Damian said. “We’re going to my study to speak about this.”
Damian’s study was a small room with a bookcase and desk tucked in the corner. A large decorative curtain hung on the wall, and I assumed it covered a window.
The moment we entered Damian’s study I tore into him. “What’s going on? I thought you were safe? Why is Marcellus after you? How can he be both a necromancer and a vampire? And who the hell is Phaedra? And why did he think I was her?”
Damian sighed. “I hope this will answer your last question.” Damian walked over to the far left wall and pulled the decorative curtain aside.