"My soul is trapped, tied down to the darkness, with no way out… Painted happiness, a world of façades, no blue skies or smiling stars scattered about… Swallowed by madness, drowning in fear and sadness, body numb, no longer able to feel… My transparent soul, it calls out to you, my dream, my love, an image so surreal…" ~ Rayne
Sharayna “Rayne” Piers has been plunged into a world of darkness, and stripped of her humanity. Half angel and half demon vampire, she is the mythical Dragon Queen, a birthright she finds difficult to accept. She struggles with the dual side of her psyche of good and evil, while fighting the growing urge to sate her unnatural hunger for human blood.
Lucius, the powerful spawn of Satan has risen from hell and released his demons to scour the earthly realm in search of the Dragon Queen. He’s determined to claim her as his mate and use her blood to overthrow his father, so he can take command over the seven levels of hell.
As Rayne’s protector, Demetri Bithanos fights to prevent the master demon from claiming his Queen. As her consort, he struggles with his aching need to be loved by her. But the dark lust of her vampiric nature reaches for the creature who desires to use her blood to fulfill his evil ambitions.
Can Demetri destroy Lucius before Rayne embraces the dark forces growing within her?
*Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Interracial Romance, Series*
Cover Artist: Karri Klawiter
Suffering the ache of their separation, Demetri left the mansion and took to the sky. He entered the nearest drift portal.
A strong lure emanated from the evil beings scattered amongst the population below. The scent of their tainted blood infused the atmosphere around him. He could taste them—theirs sins, their ill intent.
Lucius’ aura not only brought out the demons, but the hell bound souls as well.
The deep yearning to kill snaked through him like an oncoming climax. He bristled. It wasn’t that he strongly desired their souls. That was elemental to his nature. What alarmed him was his demon’s hunger nearly superseded his journey ahead, and nearly overtook his need for Sharayna.
“Damnation.” Surrounded by the celestial air, he paused to gather his self-control. It’d been foolish of him to feed from Sharayna after she’d consumed Lucius’ blood, but it had to be done. He drew in a deep breath and closed his eyes. Currents from the portal whipped around him and tousled his hair as he desperately summoned calm and the will to contain his demon.
If Lucius’ poisonous blood affected him in this manner, he could only imagine what it would do to Sharayna when she awakened.
I must make haste.
Blazing through the cloudy tunnel, he whipped past a large jet and flew across the state of Florida at lightning speed, causing a storm wave to form and trail behind him. When he neared his destination, he slowed his pace to allow the storm to abate and landed directly in front of Indigo’s spa.
Doing his best to recollect his scattered nerves, he entered the building and followed Lady Indigo’s scent into one of the massage rooms. Instead of Indigo, he found Amaya, the priestess’ lover. Her essence layered the girl like a second skin.
Amaya’s hair was pulled up in a bun, displaying her long delicate neckline and the two small puncture marks he’d left her with. To his unnatural eyes, they appeared to be no more than minute-sized beauty marks.
The memory of the night he’d fed from her tugged at his loins. Her blood… so sweet and hot, filled with lust and desire. Perhaps another taste, just a sip of her scarlet wine would cure his growing hunger.
No! He clenched his fangs, struggling to remain on the opposite side of the threshold.
Unaware of his presence, Amaya strutted across a client’s back in a pair of sharp six-inch heels, while hanging onto a metal bar bolted to the ceiling. Soothing Japanese tunes filled the room, along with her client’s throaty cries. She dug her heels into the man’s flesh, bruising him, giving him the cruel and unusual pleasure-pain treatment he desired.
Demetri tapped on the open door with his nail.
Amaya’s head snapped in his direction. A bright smile crossed her lovely face. She immediately ceased her deviant massage to bow to him. “How may I help you, Master Demetri?”
Her client moaned in protest, “Don’t stop! Please, don’t stop!”
She bowed to him again and continued walking across the man’s back. “If you’re looking for Mistress Indigo, she’s in the private room with Master Khovic.”
“Thank you.” He returned the gesture of respect and quickly made his way down the hall. When he arrived at the private chamber, he willed the door open. The scent of freshly spilled vampire blood and semen assaulted his senses. He entered the room and quietly closed the door behind him.
Torture devices of every kind hung from the dusty concrete walls.
Whimpering and trembling, Khovic was shackled to a moveable platform, face down, completely nude with lines of his blood smeared across his back.
Indigo stood a distance from the platform, a leather bullwhip clutched in her hand. Her chest rose and fell with each heavy breath she took. Sweat glistened along her smooth, tawny skin. A black leather bustier hugged her torso, lacy black panties layered her small buttocks and a pair of scarlet patent-leather stiletto boots adorned her feet and long legs.
Prepared to strike, she flicked her tool of choice. A tremor rolled through the tightly woven strap as the end struck the ground like a restless snake. She shook her amber dreadlocks from her lean shoulders and squeezed the handle. The muscles in her forearm and biceps flexed as she reared back and flung the lengthy rod at Khovic.
The snap of the leather echoed throughout the large room, mingling with Khovic’s howls. Repeatedly, the magically infused strap cleared the distance and lashed at his flesh. Blood released from the sharp prongs at the end of the whip and sprayed the walls in a crimson array.
“Ja Herrin-Indigo! Schlagen Sie mich härter!” Khovic cried, begging for more.
“As you wish, you filthy vampire.” Indigo struck him harder.
The prongs slashed through his skin and tendons, straight down to the bone.
As much as he enjoyed the show, Demetri had urgent business with her and the small amount of patience he possessed was swiftly wearing thin. He cleared his throat.
Indigo whipped her head in his direction. “Oh, Demetri. Good, you’re here. I didn’t think you would come,” she said in a rush, panting. “I’m almost finished with this session. I’ll be right with you.”
“No, m’dear. I must speak with you now.” Demetri glanced at Khovic, who had his head turned to the side, glaring at him in a most particular way. “My apologies for interrupting and rushing you along, but I have an urgent engagement after I depart.”
She brushed a lock from her face and pushed out a hard sigh. “Ah yes, the Andausians. Sorry to say, but you will have to make a pit stop before seeking them out. Dominique has important news for you. Have you been in contact with―?”
The handcuffs clanked, jarring their attention.
With his hands curled into fists and eyes glowing solid red, Khovic shot off the platform, shattering his restraints, and stood up to face Demetri.
“Get back on the table, Khovic,” Indigo ordered. “Your Mistress hasn’t given you permission to move.”
Fangs lowered, he snarled at her and narrowed his glare at Demetri.
“I said, zurück auf der Tabelle, jetzt!” she shouted in German, pointing to the table.
Ignoring her, Khovic advanced toward him, fury in each step.
At first glance, it seemed Khovic was upset with him for disturbing his session with Indigo, but after Demetri took another look into his blood colored eyes, he found this vampire’s anger was fueled by something else entirely.
Khovic cracked the floor in a mad sprint.
Demetri shifted aside, dodging his attack. “If it’s a battle you seek, I’m more than willing to give you one, but I refuse to fight you while you’re in the nude. You could at least clothe yourself.”
“Demetri, don’t kill him, please!” With confusion and panic washing over her face, Indigo backed up against the wall. “He’s apparently deranged.”
“Matters not to me. If he attacks again, I will indeed kill him.”
“Khovic!” Indigo shouted. “Stop this madness. I will not finish your session if you continue this way!”
“Das Blut, das Blut!” Khovic growled. “Ihr Blut!” He charged at Demetri again.
This time, Demetri didn’t avoid him. He waited until Khovic got in range, cocked a fist back and stuck him in the face, shattering his skull on impact.
Khovic’s body flew back across the room, through the platform and into the wall.
“That was a warning strike. Next one will be fatal. Now please, clothe yourself so that we can handle this as two civilized opponents.”
Khovic pushed out of the indention in the wall and rattled his head. Bits of debris and concrete showered to his feet. As the broken bones in his face reconstructed, his reddened glare deepened. Khovic shot across the room in a blur, moving so fast the torture devices lifted from the wall and trailed behind him in a whirlwind.
Tracking Khovic’s demonic approach, Demetri reached out, latched on his face and snatched his head from his body. Before the vampire’s remains could burst into dust, he spun across the room and pulled Indigo out of the way of the flying apparatuses.
Everything smashed into the adjacent wall, causing quite a clamor.
Her mouth agape in shock, Indigo eyed the destruction of her private torture chamber. “What the hell got into him?” She glanced over at the ashes scattered across the floor. “This was so unlike him.”
Demetri took ahold of her upper arm and ushered her out of the room. “You should refrain from taking anymore vampire clients until the dark prince is disposed of.” Before he departed, he flipped his hand and released his dark magic to restore the room to its original state.
“Is that what it was? Aww, I looked forward to my sessions with Khovic. He paid good money for a beating, and he never whined when I went too far. I don’t suppose you’d like to give it a try?” Her eyes sparkled in mischief as she grinned up at him. “It’ll help me blow off some steam.”
“You called me here for a reason.” With a firm hold on her, he marched her down the narrow corridor, pushed the door open to her bedroom and all but shoved her in. “A reason I sincerely hope isn’t a waste of my time. I suggest you talk quickly.”
She plopped down on the couch and tied her locks back from her face. “Alright, straight to business then. Close the door, have a seat.”
Pushing past the darkness clouding his mind, he held out his hand and placed a sound barrier around the room.
Her heated gaze followed him as he found a seat in the worn leather chair across from her. “I find it difficult to dismiss the feeling that you know more about Khovic’s behavior than you’re leading me to believe,” she averred, eyeing him suspiciously. “When Khovic said das Blut, I wasn’t sure who’s blood he was referring to, but then when he said Ihr Blut, Her blood, it became blatantly obvious that you’d fed from the Queen. However, something else isn’t quite right here.”
Demetri crossed his legs, propped his elbow on the armrest and rested his chin on his fist. He held her steady gaze with one of his own.
“Really? The silent treatment? Honestly Demetri, there’s too much at stake for you to play this game. Give me something to work with and I’ll tell you what I know.”
“What you know?” He could simply siphon it from her mind with the mere thought if he wanted to, but using this ability while the dark poison manipulated his actions wouldn’t be very wise. “The blood, is Lucius’ blood. Khovic sensed it coursing through my veins. That’s why he attacked me.”
She gasped, her eyes stretched in horror. “You didn’t tell me you drank his blood!”
“I didn’t,” he stated sharply. “I drank her blood.”
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