vampire romance book – Seventh Circle – extended excerpt

I’ve already posted extended excerpts from two books in my Vampires Realm series, so now it’s time to add a third. You’ve met the heroine of Seventh Circle, Lilith, in a character interview and have met her hero, Lincoln, in Friday’s flash fiction piece. Here’s your chance to meet them in a little more detail and catch a glimpse of their vampire romance book.

As usual, I’ll post some information about the vampire romance book and a teaser chapter to give you a taste, plus the link to the PDF download.

Seventh Circle
F E Heaton
Born with powers similar to a vampire’s, Lilith has spent her life hunting demons for Section Seven. On the same night as she watches a vampire kill her best friend, she is faced with her worst nightmare—a client who is not only attractive but a vampire.

Lincoln is a powerful pureblood with a problem. He’s caught up in a prophecy and has little time left to unravel the mystery of the contract between his lord and the Devil before he dies. When witches foretell that a vampire hunter will save his life, he’s prepared to work with his most hated enemy, but he isn’t prepared for the forbidden desire he feels when he meets her.

Their mutual attraction becomes difficult to deny as they work together but when Lincoln reveals the truth about her powers, will Lilith find the strength to embrace a side of herself that she wished didn’t exist? And when they discover Lilith’s role in the prophecy, how far will Lincoln go to save her?

Dark, sensual and fast-paced, Seventh Circle is a story of forbidden love so strong that it will save the world.


ebook price: $2.99
paperback price: $9.99
genre: paranormal vampire romance
length: 106112 words
rating: sultry
released: November 2008
Book 7 in the Vampires Realm series

Available in e-book from:
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Available in paperback from:
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No matter where she looked, she couldn’t escape it. It spotted his face and arched over his jaw from the wound on his throat. It seeped into his damp blond hair, darkening the whole side of his head. Turning away, she swallowed her desire to be sick and stared at the ground. Crimson coated the grass until it glistened under the harsh sodium streetlight on the cemetery path. The acrid smell thickened the air, filled her nostrils and choked her lungs. Cold stole through her, rising up from her knees where they pressed into the wet dirt close to his body, chilling her as it swept towards her soul.

“Jackson!” Lilith’s frantic patting of his cheek did nothing to rouse him. Her rough, erratic breathing and the thundering beat of her heart filled her ears as she stared down at him. Panic consumed her. “Jackson, don’t you die on me, Jackson.”

His eyes opened, igniting a spark of hope inside her. The darkness of despair extinguished it when they closed lazily again a second later.

She was losing him.

“Jackson.” She patted his cheek again, faster this time, a constant drumming that matched her pulse. Her other hand pressed the wad of material harder against the wound. Sticky, warm blood coated her fingers, sickening her. “Don’t give up. I won’t lose you!”

He convulsed and his face contorted into a look of sheer agony. A thin line of darkest red crept from the corner of his lips. She held him down, restraining him in the hope of stopping him from killing himself, and her eyes widened as the crimson trail eased down towards his ear.

Everything became still.

Her ears rang with it, with the numb and icy cold filling her, sending sweeps of shivers over her skin as what was happening finally sunk in.

This was no way to feel, so drained of life and welcoming death with open arms, watching for it. Not when the creature that had done this was still nearby.


She focused again, searching for it while applying more pressure to the wound on Jackson’s throat. Was it to stem the flow of blood, or the flow of hope as it left her?

There was no way she could save him.

He was pale now, barely breathing. Tears blurred her eyes, hot against her cold face. Not five minutes ago, he’d been so full of life, full of jokes that had always annoyed her for some reason. Funny how it could disappear so quickly. You thought you were strong, indestructible. In reality you were as fragile as a butterfly when faced with one of them–one of the pure bloodlines.

A low laugh sent a shudder through her.

She knew what it found so amusing.

Jackson was dead.

She closed her eyes, touched his cheek as a goodbye and prayed that he had found a better place on the other side.

Picking herself up, she shut down the side of her that wanted to throw itself over his body and cry her heart out for him, and for her own loss. She had a job to do. He’d understand. It had been his job too.

She stood and stared down at him. The world seemed strangely blue and quiet. Cold. He looked peaceful lying there on the grass, darkness shrouding his body while the streetlight crowned his head in golden light.

Almost angelic.

Her gaze fell to her hands as she brought them out in front of her, palms facing the heavens. She frowned at the dark liquid coating them and then at the torn sleeve of her shirt. So much blood but she felt nothing as she stared at it. This was no time for mourning. She could do that later. Right now, she had business to attend to.

She wiped her hands on her black combat trousers and then retrieved her wooden stake from the grass.

A breeze.

A sigh.

The world blurred as she turned on a pinpoint and blocked the vampire’s attack.

It grinned at her, teeth sharp and eyes bright, challenging her to make a move. She knew what it wanted. It wanted her to run, or scream, or at least give it a good fight before it finally killed her. It was playing with her.

Well, she wasn’t about to play with it.

This man, this thing, was going to die for what it had done to Jackson.

It turned and the streetlights caught its eyes, making them flash like mother of pearl. She gave no quarter, turning with it and keeping their arms locked. Its weight pressed against her and she pushed back, her eyes never leaving its. It could throw her if it wanted to. It was far stronger than she was.

That smile it wore wasn’t fading. It was beginning to unnerve her. It curved the vampire’s face, cutting across it in a sinful line that exposed the points of its bloodied teeth. Jackson hadn’t stood a chance.

She didn’t stand a chance.

Neither of them had ever fought one of the pure bloods. Those that did rarely survived to tell the tale. She’d never heard of anyone managing to kill one.

Before she could blink, it had disappeared and she stumbled forwards from the release of pressure against her. She turned sharply in all directions, panic guiding her movements, and then forced herself to slow down. Her senses reached outwards into the inky night, desperate to locate the vampire so it couldn’t attack without her noticing.

The early spring breeze tousled her honey hair, sending a shiver dancing down her spine as its cold fingers worked their way under the hem of her black shirt and into her collar. When she faced Jackson, she sniffed back her tears and tried not to look at him. This was no time to lose focus, or she’d be joining him in the afterlife.

Something shifted.

She tensed and then relaxed when it didn’t move again.

The graveyard was quiet. Too quiet.

It could only mean one thing. The vampire was stalking her. It had slipped into the shadows to watch her. She could feel its eyes on her, touching her, studying her. It was looking for a weak spot, a momentary drop in her defences when it could slip in and kill her with a single move. Her heart thumped hard against her breastbone at that thought and she steadied her breathing in an attempt to slow it down. Panic made her hands shake and her body threatened to join them.

Her fingers flexed around the stake several times. It did nothing to soothe her nerves as she’d hoped. If she didn’t calm down and regain her focus, she didn’t stand a chance. The vampire would be able to sense her fear. It would drive it on. It would make it hungrier for her blood. She had to do all she could to maintain control and a steady heartbeat. Only then would she have the slightest chance of killing before she was killed.

Doubts crept in at the corners of her mind, sending the edges of her thoughts black and sinister. She pushed them away, not wanting the distraction that the memory of seeing Jackson killed was bringing, and not wanting to lose her concentration by imagining herself suffering a similar fate.

No one, not a human and definitely not a vampire, was going to bite her neck.


She frowned into the distance where the darkness swallowed the trees and nothing but the night reigned. She had nothing to fear. An elite hunter had no fear.

Her training had been the same as Jackson’s and the rest of her company, except she’d always excelled where they had merely passed. She’d taken the rank of elite hunter three years earlier than expected. She was one of only a handful to hold that title.

She could defeat this vampire.

She would win.

She had a gift.

Her eyes rolled closed and she released her breath, emptying herself. Her hands came up in front of her, close to her chest, her stake held steady in her right and her left joining it. Her heart rate slowed to a steady beat and her blood rushed through her veins. There was such strength in it if only she’d be brave enough to embrace it.

Her soul surrendered to the call of the night.

The world blackened.

She didn’t need to see the change to know it happened. Everything felt different. The air tasted metallic, like blood. The rising of her instincts made her senses razor-sharp and sent painful throbs down her spine from her aching head.

She could only hold this for seconds or she’d fall into the darkness she could feel encroaching at the corners of her soul.

A few seconds would be enough.

A flicker of movement and she could see the world through her closed eyes. Silvery threads outlined everything, scribbled onto the darkness like rough chalk drawings on a blackboard. She saw the trees sway in the breeze. She saw Jackson. She saw death.

Her eyes shot open and she gasped at air to save herself from drowning in the shadows. It filled her lungs, burned them and her blood. She ran regardless.

She ran straight at the vampire.

One hand on top of the stone sarcophagus was enough to vault her over it and she landed with precise grace on the other side, right beside her quarry.

Her hand came down in a blurred arc, so fast that the vampire couldn’t fully evade her attack. She missed the heart as the vampire dived to the side. Her stake caught its shoulder, scraped hard against bone. The vampire growled and then roared at her. She flipped backwards before it could attack and gave herself over to the fight, letting her instincts guide her as her senses locked onto the vampire. She could almost see its movements before it made them, a ghost of it shone in her eyes.

Except time was running out.

The lingering effect of her gift would soon disappear, leaving her to fight without these sharpened senses.

She would be vulnerable.

She would be weak from calling on her gift.

That was the price.

She cart-wheeled away, still gripping the stake. The moment the vampire closed in, she stopped and swept her leg around in a fast, hard kick, grunting with effort. The vampire laughed and slid to the side, away from danger. Before she could put her foot down and attack again, it had hit her in the chest with a kick of its own, sending her flying backwards into a tombstone.

Her breath left her on impact, a red hot bar across her back marking where she’d hit the heavy stone. She needed a moment to recover, only she didn’t have one. The vampire was on her before she could blink and she was barely able to block it. She crossed her arms against its chest, holding it off her.

It snarled and snapped its jaw.

With each gnash of its teeth and each millimetre closer it got to her, her heart accelerated, until it was racing so fast she had trouble breathing. Adrenaline mixed with the panic coiled deep inside her. For the first time in her life, she could taste death, could see it coming, and it had red eyes and sharp teeth, and a mane of black tousled hair. It bore down on her, its body pressed hard against hers, trapping her between it and the headstone.

She clutched the stake, hands trembling as she weakened.

The vampire growled.

There was no chance of escape, but blind panic and a will to live forced her to try.

She pushed with all her might, shoving her left hand against the flat end of the stake as she drove it forwards.

The vampire sprung backwards the moment the stake made contact with its shoulder. She didn’t give it a chance to escape. She threw herself at it in a last ditch attempt to be the victor in this deadly dance.

She tumbled to the floor with it, wrestling for control. The world blurred and sped by. The pain of the vampire’s blows barely registered in her tired body as she struggled to keep it away from her neck and get her stake against its chest. The noise was deafening–the rush of her breathing, the snarls of the vampire, and the harsh pounding of her heart.

Then silence.

She was on top.

Her stake plunged deep into its chest.

Her gaze locked with his.

It was a man now in her eyes.

He was breathing, fast gasping breaths. His eyes were wide, wild, as he clawed at his chest and the wooden shaft protruding from it.

She pulled the stake out and stood, looking down on him, watching him die. Her body shook from the adrenaline and the exertion. Her fingers loosened and the stake fell to the grass with a soft thud. Exhaustion surrendered to shock. She couldn’t believe it. She’d killed it. She’d killed a pure blood.

His eyes rolled closed and then he began to disintegrate as time raced to catch up with him. Before a minute had passed, he was nothing more than ashes scattering in the breeze.

She swept a hand over her sandy blonde hair and sighed.

It was over.

No, it had only just begun.

She’d never heard of a vampire of the pure bloodlines travelling into this area. There had been reports of hunters meeting them in London, but never out here, so far from the capital. She’d only ever fought vampires from the weaker bloodlines.

What had he been doing out here?

She remembered the flash of his red eyes. A Vehemens? The violent. The last she’d heard, they rarely ventured outside Scandinavia. All the stories she’d heard had been of hunters encountering vampires from the other bloodlines–the Caelestis, Aurorea, and even sometimes Venia or Validus. Never the Vehemens, Tenebrae or Nocens.

So what had brought him here?

She frowned at the patch of dust that represented him now. Maybe she should’ve asked him. Her superiors weren’t going to be pleased with her. A pure blood in her area and she killed it without any attempt to extract information.

A shiver bolted up her spine and she rubbed her bare arm.

The report was going to be hell to write.

What was worse, a voice at the back of her mind was screaming that what she’d done tonight was going to have repercussions. The pure bloods didn’t take lightly to hunters killing their kind.

Leaning over, she picked up her stake and pocketed it. Her dark eyes scanned the cemetery, searching the shadows for any sign of danger. The moon broke free of the clouds, illuminating even the darkest corner and chasing the shadows away into the trees. Nothing came to her. It was silent and empty. It filled her with cold and dread.

Her gaze fell to Jackson’s body. The pain she’d been stifling all this time broke to the surface.

She would have to file a full report on his death too. How could she write what she’d seen? Jackson hadn’t stood a chance. The vampire had torn his throat open before she’d even sensed its approach. She’d had no chance of saving him, not even with her gift.

Her heart ached to see him lying on the grass, motionless and cold. It could have easily been her in his place. Would he have managed to kill the vampire? It didn’t bear thinking about. She had survived. Jackson was dead.

She walked towards him and her knees buckled when she reached his side. Their impact with the dirt sent pain shooting up her spine and jolted the tears from her eyes. They dashed down her cheeks, turning into freezing streaks of ice as the wind blew against them.

She let them come, no longer able to hold back the surging tide of her emotions and needing to get them out of her before she returned to the compound. She couldn’t let the others see her like this. Reaching into her pocket, she pressed the alarm button on her phone. It would trigger the GPS back at base and send them to her. She had fifteen minutes to gain control of herself. She would need every second.

Her hand found Jackson’s and she held it, not caring how cold it felt in hers, or the way it made her feel as though she was touching death itself.

The sobs started out slow but built until she was gasping at air, her throat tight and chest aching as she stared down at Jackson’s peaceful face.

She couldn’t let them think she was weak.

She was the strongest they had.

Jackson would tell her that if he was still alive. He’d always told her that. He’d always been there for her, getting her out of scrapes and protecting her.

She’d failed to protect him.

Leaning forwards, she rested her head against his still chest and closed her eyes. Silence engulfed her as she lay with him, her mind empty. The night called her. She always felt this way after she’d used her gift–close to the darkness, at one with the shadows. She didn’t understand the words drifting around her head or the tugging sensation in the depths of her heart. She felt the meaning though. It wanted her.

She curled up.

It couldn’t have her.

She was a hunter.

The elite.

She killed those that heard the call of the night.

She killed any vampire she came across.

Nothing was going to change that.

* * * *

Lilith trudged into the mansion house, desperate for the solitude of her quarters. The team had arrived to find her standing beside Jackson’s body, all sign of her emotions wiped from her face. She had given them instruction to take him back to the compound and had then told them that she would walk back. The thought of travelling with Jackson’s body in the back of the van had been unbearable. The night had offered her so much comfort, the darkness hiding her feelings from the world, and she’d taken it all. The walk back had been long and had given her time to regain true control of herself.

Only now, she was walking the halls where they’d once walked. It was a painful reminder that only one of them had returned, while the other lay in the morgue below her feet.

No one ever spoke of the morgue.

It was as though by never mentioning it, they could make it go away, make all the deaths of their friends disappear.

“What happened?” A sharp voice snapped her out of her thoughts and she found she was standing in the entrance hall staring down at the floor, seeing straight through it to the cold grey morgue below.

She raised her head, looked Daniel in the eye, and then turned away. Her throat was too tight to speak. If she tried, she would lose what little control she’d regained and would start to cry again. She’d never lost a friend on routine patrol before. She hadn’t lost anyone since her sister.

He caught her arm before she could pass him, stopping her dead. She knew better than to break free of his grasp. As her superior, he commanded her respect. Her hands came up in front of her and she stared at her palms, at the dried and cracked blood that still coated them. Nausea swept through her, cramping her stomach, clenching her heart. Numbness followed it, stealing away the sickness until she felt nothing. It was so hard to breathe. Everything was so hard. She was too weak from the fight and the drain of controlling her emotions.

“Jackson. Son of a bitch got Jackson,” she said, voice steady and showing no trace of the turmoil inside of her. “We didn’t hear it coming. I didn’t feel it.”

She stared into Daniel’s green eyes. The amount of concern in them surprised her. He gave a sympathetic smile, causing crow’s feet to surround his eyes. When had he become so old? He seemed so grey now when before he’d always been the young man she’d first known when she had been a child. She looked around the hall, wanting to avoid his questioning gaze. Everything seemed so grey and different.

“It was one of them, a Vehemens,” she said. “What in God’s name is one of them doing around here?”

Daniel didn’t look at all shocked by her news. His expression remained unchanged and he removed his hand from her arm only to place it lightly on her shoulder. She frowned at the strange sensation that filled her–something was wrong.

“Did you kill it?” he said.

“Of course.” She went to move past him again. His hand tensed, gripping her shoulder and stopping her. She sighed. “Daniel, I really need a shower and bed. Can’t the debrief wait until morning?”

“It can, I wouldn’t want to make you talk about what happened until you’re ready… but… I need to speak to you about a contract that just came in.”

Her right eyebrow rose. It had been a while since Section Seven had been contracted by anyone. They were rare and required only the elite hunters.

It piqued her curiosity and almost made her agree. The ache inside her overruled it though. It had become a dull throbbing and she knew that warning well enough. She was close to collapse.

“Can’t that wait too?” she said, hopeful.

“I don’t think the client will wait any longer.”

Her eyes widened. “They’re here?”

“They’ve been waiting all night for your return,” he said. “I know this isn’t the best time, but it has to be now. It can’t wait.”

Staring into his eyes, she could see that he wasn’t going to budge on this. She had to meet the client tonight. He was right. It would be rude to keep them waiting until she’d had a chance to get some rest and she didn’t want to blow her first contract.

“I’ll clean up first if that’s okay?”

He nodded. “He’s waiting in my office.”

She watched Daniel walk away. He? She wondered what kind of problem they had as she walked. Someone was in the first bathroom she came to so she carried on along the hall until she was near the cafeteria. She avoided going in. By now, news of Jackson’s death would be spreading and she didn’t have the energy to meet her client let alone field all the questions people would have. A couple of men from her company walked out of the room. She dived into the nearest bathroom, desperate to hide from them. Locking the door, she pressed her back against it and stared at herself in the mirror.

She looked like hell.

Moving closer to the mirror, she gingerly prodded the cuts and bruises on her face and arms. The vampire had done a real number on her. At the time, she hadn’t noticed. The adrenaline and shock had taken all feeling away. Washing her cuts, she stared into her brown eyes and thought about what had happened tonight. Why hadn’t she sensed it? Normally she could sense vampires before they got within twenty metres of her. Normally she was fighting weaklings.

Were those of pure blood really so superior?

Her phone buzzed in her pocket and she didn’t need to check it to know it would be Daniel. She finished making herself look more presentable and then stared at her torn shirt. She couldn’t do anything about that.

Stepping out of the bathroom, she hurried down the hall. She turned the corner that led to the commanders’ offices and bumped into a woman from her company.

Her eyes fell to the woman’s black jacket. “Can I borrow that?”

The woman hesitated for a moment, looked her over with a raised eyebrow, and then peeled the jacket off. “Important meeting, huh?”

“You could say that. Do you know about the client?”

“I heard someone arrived… walked in through the door with the section chief from London… but I didn’t see him.”

Lilith slipped the jacket on and buttoned it up.

“Thanks for the loan.” She waved idly and walked away, her thoughts now firmly fixed on her client. A man that had arrived with the section chief. Whoever he was, he had to be important to garner that kind of escort.

Reaching Daniel’s door, she rapped her knuckles against the mahogany and waited.

“Come in.” Daniel’s muffled voice drifted through it.

She paused, needing a few seconds to gather herself and push her fatigue and feelings to the back of her mind, and then opened the door and walked into the large office.

Directly in front of her was a heavy mahogany desk. Daniel was leaning against it with his arms folded and a wary look on his face. The tall curtains of the office’s two windows framed him. They were drawn. She glanced at the clock on the mantelpiece. It was nearing six in the morning. The sun would be rising by now. It was unusual for Daniel to keep the curtains drawn against the sunrise.

She sensed her client’s presence. He was sharp, focused, watching her and studying her movement across the room. There was something familiar about that.

She stopped in front of Daniel. Worry had joined the concern she’d seen in his eyes earlier. He knew she wasn’t in the mood for this meeting. If he hadn’t been so insistent, she would have continued to refuse his orders until he backed down. His words, however, had made it clear that this client was important and he wasn’t one to wait any longer for an audience with her.

Her eyes roamed the room, seeking the man out. They scanned along the packed bookshelves and their leather-bound tomes. They found him masked in the shadowed recess to the side of the bright fire. Darkness shrouded his face and obscured his figure. Her senses spoke to her.

Here was a dangerous man.

Here was one who demanded respect and commanded power.

“Lilith, our client,” Daniel said behind her.

The man stepped forwards and the warm firelight instantly chased the shadows from his face. He was young, handsome in a way that had her staring. In fact, she couldn’t take her eyes off him. He ran slender fingers over his short black hair and then around the back of his neck, drawing her attention to it. She frowned at the scars there. Bite marks? Was he a victim of a vampire attack? Her eyes darted to his mouth, absorbing the gentle bow of his lips, and then rose to meet his.

His dark eyes met hers and a shiver of recognition bolted down her spine and sent alarm bells ringing in her head.

His mouth became a thin line and tilted into a cruel smile, one that fitted him perfectly.

She’d been wrong.

He wasn’t young.

His appearance betrayed his age.

Here was one older than she’d ever met.

She stepped forwards, defiant in the face of him, and reached for her stake.

Anger rose inside her and everything faded until there was only him.

He was no victim.

He was a murderer.

“Vampire.” She sneered, assuming a fighting stance.

He growled and she felt that command deep in her soul.

She refused follow it.

To drop her stake would be to leave herself open to attack.

“Lilith!” Daniel said, his hand on her wrist making her tense. He lowered it for her.

She looked at him, stunned. Her eyes slid warily to the vampire, her anger not abating. How had he fooled her? She’d thought him nothing more than a man. She’d found him attractive. Her stomach rolled with that thought. Only the darkness in his eyes had betrayed him and lifted the veil from hers.

“Mr. Lincoln is our client.”

She glared at the vampire. He had a name.

They’d never had names before.

They’d been nameless, faceless demons for her to eradicate. Now there was one whose name she knew, and for some terrible reason, it made him seem more human.

The vampire smirked, a challenge, the same as the one in the cemetery had issued her. She amused him. He meant to provoke her.

“I am not working with it!” She flung her arm around to point at the vampire at the same time as she turned to face Daniel. There was no need to look at the vampire to know he was glaring at her. The heat of it caressed her skin until she was burning wherever it touched. She shook the feeling away, and the attraction she’d felt towards him, and focused with all her effort on Daniel. “For all we know this could be bullshit. It could want to drain me dry.”

The vampire snorted contemptuously, as though that was one thought that would never cross his mind.

“I’m being serious.”

Daniel just shifted position, folding his arms across his chest and giving her the impression that her tirade had fallen on deaf ears. The only one paying the remotest of attention was the vampire. Her eyes roamed to him against her will. A brief glance was all it took to see he was still standing in the same spot in front of the fire, staring at her with intense dark eyes. She told herself that look wasn’t making her body burn. It was anger and the fire.

A sigh drew her attention back to Daniel.

When she looked at him this time, she could see that he wasn’t happy. She frowned at the floor. The section chief from London had brought Mr. Lincoln to this place to meet with her and Daniel. Daniel had as little choice in this matter as she did. The vampire had cleverly gone over their heads and left her superior powerless, unable to get her out of this mission.

Her eyes narrowed on the vampire. He smirked and nodded. If he’d had a hat, she swore he would’ve tipped it. Her fists clenched and she wished to God that she could wipe the smug look off his face. Taking a deep breath, she clawed back a little control. He wasn’t going to provoke her. He didn’t frighten her. She was going to find out what this contract was about and then do everything she could to either get rid of him as soon as possible or get out of it.

“So what do you want, vampire?” she said, striding up to him until she was close enough to see he wasn’t breathing.

He was very old then, and he was powerful. At this range, she could feel it radiating off him, sparking her senses and making her instincts kick into gear. They told her to run. She stood her ground.

“It is a pleasure to meet you too, Lilith,” he said in a mixed accent. There was a lot of English in there and an equal amount of European too. If she had to guess, she’d say he’d spent a lot of time in Scandinavia and wasn’t a weakling.

“What bloodline are you?” Her tone was nothing short of venomous. Her eyes searched his, trying to discern whether he was going to lie to her or ignore this question too.

He straightened to his full height and looked down on her.


That one word made her stomach drop and broke the restraints that had been holding her anger at bay. Before she could stop herself, her hand was around his throat and she was forcing him backwards towards the fire. She growled when he planted his left foot against the cast-iron fireguard behind him, effectively stopping himself from moving, and yanked her hand away from his neck.

It went straight for the stake in her pocket. She grabbed it and lunged at him with it. He caught her wrist and twisted it until she had to kneel in order to stop him from breaking her arm. His eyes darkened. Her heart sped, fear saying he was going to attack.

He surprised her by releasing her the moment her knees touched the floor. She was back on her feet before he could move, the stake still held firmly in her hand.

“Lilith!” Daniel stepped between them, his hand on her shoulder forcing her backwards. She moved farther away and pocketed her stake to show him that she wasn’t going to attack again. He went back to his desk. She glared at the vampire.

“Bastard!” She spat it at him with as much hatred as she could muster. “It was your fault wasn’t it? You’re the reason they were here!”

He looked confused, a trait she’d not witnessed in one before. She hated him even more for it–for attempting to look human by reflecting such emotions. She had no doubt that he knew what she was talking about. It couldn’t be chance that two Vehemens had arrived in her city in the same night.

“I wish to discuss the contract in private with you.” His words were calm, measured.

Her attack hadn’t shaken him in the slightest. The idea of that made her feel weak and fatigue crept in again as she remembered watching Jackson die. She’d been powerless then, and she was powerless now.

“Discuss it in private all you want, but I’ll still have to write it all in my report anyway, and everyone will know. Hell, I might post on the bulletin board that you’re a vampire and sit back and watch the show.” She hoped that her words carried all the spite behind them. It was childish, but she wasn’t about to make anything easy for the vampire. If she couldn’t attack him physically, words would have to do.

“Lilith,” Daniel warned again. She sighed and ignored him.

“Why do you hate my kind so much?” the vampire said. It caught her off guard.

She stared at him, knowing that she looked like a rabbit in headlights and that she needed to recover herself before he realised that he’d rattled her.

“You seem very driven to hate us… to kill us.”

Her eyes never left his. She held his gaze even as the barrier around her heart came back up as swift as a dart, shutting out his attempt to peer into her innermost thoughts and feelings. She wished she could shut out the pain as easily. She turned away from him and walked to the door.

“Come with me,” she said and stepped outside the office.

Lincoln stared at the open door and the hall beyond. He frowned, dark thoughts stirring at the back of his mind and plaguing him. A glance at her superior told him that he wasn’t pleased with the way his subordinate was acting. She seemed headstrong and wilful. Perhaps a little too wilful.

“She openly detests my kind,” he said, getting the superior’s attention. In his world, a superior wouldn’t tolerate such behaviour from one below him. He had never tolerated it. “Are we going to have a problem?”

The man looked thoughtful. “No. Today has been hard on her. She’ll work with you as agreed in your contract with us.”

“I would like to know one thing.”

“And that is?” The man pushed away from his desk and walked around it to sit in the plush leather chair.

“Why does she hate vampires so much?” he said with another glance towards the door.

He could feel her waiting in the hall, knew that she would be able to hear him. She hadn’t answered his question, and he needed a reply. The idea that she would hate him contradicted everything he’d been told.

The man sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose.

“Her sister was murdered by a vampire,” he said and then looked at the open door, “and tonight Jackson was killed. He was Lilith’s closest friend and he died at the hands of a Vehemens.”

Lincoln frowned. That explained her outburst. She was probably right. Not many of his bloodline lived outside the safe houses scattered across Europe or the family mansion in Oslo. The Vehemens had been here because of him.

“I think it’s understandable that she should hate your kind… you.” There was so much anger in the man’s voice, so much loathing and disgust in his words. He’d never realised the extent of the humans hatred towards his species. “No one here is going to welcome you with open arms… no matter how much you pay our superiors.”

He gave the man a dark look, matching his glare and tipping the balance in his favour. The man looked away, turning towards the closed curtains. Lincoln turned towards the door and reached out with his senses, focusing them on the woman. Lilith.

Had they been wrong about her?

Could one so fixated on destroying his kind truly save him?


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About Felicity Heaton

I'm a NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY best-selling author writing passionate paranormal romance books as Felicity Heaton and F E Heaton. In my books I create detailed worlds, twisting plots, mind-blowing action, intense emotion and heart-stopping romances with leading men that vary from dark deadly vampires to sexy shape-shifters and wicked werewolves, to sinful angels and hot demons! If you're a fan of paranormal romance authors Lara Adrian, Larissa Ione, Kresley Cole, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter and Christine Feehan then you will love my books too.

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