I know I promised to keep up to date with my WIP Wednesday posts but I’ve been so busy trying to keep on top of my schedule that these fell to the back of my mind. I’ve had my head down over the past few months writing Hunger, which will be the next Vampires Realm romance series book. It is now written and edited, and I’m about to begin proofreading it.
Hunger is Tor and Eve’s story. You’ve met Tor in a short flash fiction piece I posted here on my blog a year or two ago. Eve is Lilith’s sister. You remember Lilith. She’s the heroine in Seventh Circle. Tor and Eve were also mentioned in Masquerade, the last release in the series. Hunger will be out this May in ebook and paperback.
Tor is hard to put into words, so I think I will let Eve tell you her first impressions of him in this sneak peek of the book… to make up for my lack of updates on my scribblings, it’s going to be a long one today, and I hope you enjoy it!
As always, it’s still waiting for me to polish it to perfection, so forgive any mishaps. Happy reading!
She turned to face the three men waiting for her. The dark-haired one who had made her intimately acquainted with the bar stooped and picked up her knife. She palmed the one she held and calculated her chances of survival.
Slim at best.
With her head pounding and dampening her senses, hunger riding her mercilessly and weakening her, she wasnâ€™t up for a fight against one strong vampire, let alone three. If the fourth chose to join the fight, she was definitely dead.
Eve inched to her right, towards the open space where she had been speaking with Oneiric before the intrusion. The sounds of his fight carried through the darkness and her dull senses said that he had already dealt with three of his foes. She had yet to dispatch one.
It marked the vast difference between them. They were of the same pure bloodline and she should be strong enough to fight these weaklings, but she wasnâ€™t. She was weaker than these men before her, and it was her own fault. She could have easily dispatched them if she had been feeding. If she had been strong.
Her stomach turned at the thought of taking human blood and she kept edging away from the men, buying herself space and time. A fourth vampire disappeared from her senses. Oneiric was down to three. If she could keep her four occupied while not giving them a chance to kill her, Oneiric could make it back to her. She hated having to rely on him to fight her battles, and knew he would use it to illustrate his point about her need to feed, but she had no choice. She couldnâ€™t die here. She wasnâ€™t ready to go to Hell yet.
The three vampires tracked her and the fourth stumbled to his feet. He pulled his hand away from the deep slash across his throat. It had stopped bleeding.
Eve turned with them, her back to the dance floor now.
She readied her knife and called on her senses, allowing them to stretch out and encompass the men. Silver lines shimmered over their bodies, forming ghost versions of each of them. Those ghosts moved, her senses predicting the paths they would take, giving her a shot at taking at least one of them down. Three of them had multiple paths, a blur of motion that made it dangerous to act on.
The path of the fourth, the one with the neck wound, was as clear as night and he was about to make a grave mistake.
He disappeared from behind the other three vampires, a shadow of movement through the tables. Eve waited for the critical moment and then thrust her right hand in a sharp diagonal arc at her side, burying her knife to the hilt under his chin. He gagged and cold wet gushed over her hand and trailed down her arm.
Eve pulled the blade free and swept it across his throat, throwing all of her strength into the blow. The knife cut deep, severing his spine, and he dropped hard.
The remaining three weakling vampires snarled and launched themselves as one at her. Eve did her best to block each blow they threw, her forearms taking the brunt of their wrath, and tried to get some attacks of her own in. They were relentless, driving her backwards, crowding her and making it impossible for her to escape.
She bit her tongue to silence her cries as claws cut and fists slammed, each blow weakening her a little more.
She couldnâ€™t die yet. She needed peace. She needed to make the bastard pay.
It couldnâ€™t end here. Now.
A cry escaped her as sharp talons sliced through her right biceps and she dropped her only weapon.
A deep male voice rolled over her like a storm, his foreign tongue dark and sinister.
The three vampires crowding her eased back and turned as one to face the newcomer. Eve withdrew, clutching her arm. Blood spilled from between her fingers and the ever-present hunger grew worse, bringing out her fangs as it demanded she taste the sweet, coppery liquid.
A fifth male melted out of the shadows at the entrance of the club, a six-foot-five wall of lethal muscle and deadly grace, his face obscured by the hood of his oversized black sweatshirt. Calm laced with malice rolled off him and she felt his gaze flicker to her.
A hot shiver went through her in response to the intense feeling, the incredible awareness that shot an arrow straight through her heart and made the rest of the room fall away in an instant, drawing every shred of her focus to him.
He calmly set his black duffle down on the bar and strode forwards with purpose, his black army boots loud on the wooden floor. She felt his eyes leave her. The room crashed back into existence and air rushed into her lungs again.
The low lights flickered over the lower half of his face, giving tantalising glimpses of firm, sensual lips and a defined jaw. The corner of those lips quirked, a split-second shift that she would have missed had she not been staring so intently at them.
Panic began as a low thrumming in her belly, a turbulent swirling that made her take another step back for each one he advanced, placing more distance between them. The malice and darkness he emanated grew stronger and her instincts warned her away, screamed that she stood no chance against this newcomer.
He was stronger than the other four combined.
Stronger than Oneiric.
Her panic exploded into outright fear as the man reached behind his back, whipped out a black pistol and fired off a round, nailing the vampire she had tagged as the leader between his eyes. His head snapped backwards, blood spraying from the gaping wound in the back of his skull, and he fell into a table, crushing it under him.
The other two rushed the man.
They didnâ€™t stand a chance.
He took the first out with lethal efficiency, kicking him hard in the balls and then catching him with a diagonal uppercut as he doubled over, snapping his neck.
Eve stood frozen to the spot, unsure what to make of the deadly new combatant, and unsure whether he was friend or foe.
She hoped to God he wasnâ€™t foe.
She wasnâ€™t even sure he was a vampire. Her scrambled senses said that he was but he didnâ€™t fight like any vampire she had ever met. None of them had used guns for a start, and none of them fought dirty as this man did.
The remaining male bravely faced off against him, brandishing both of her fallen knives.
It didnâ€™t help him.
The huge male cupped his hands and stepped forwards, nothing more than a blur as he closed the distance between him and the remaining vampire. He slapped his hands over the vampireâ€™s ears, the crack as they connected startling her into moving, placing even more distance between them. The vampire unleashed an agonised snarl and thrust with one of the blades. The man sidestepped, caught his arm and twisted it hard, bringing his other hand down in a devastating blow that shattered the bone.
The vampireâ€™s agonised snarl became a scream.
The man calmly grabbed him by his throat, pressed his free hand against his face, and shoved forwards, snapping his head backwards and breaking his neck.
Eve took another step backwards, towards the door to the back rooms. Maybe she should have made a break for the exit while the man had been occupied with neatly defeating three vampires in under three minutes.
He advanced on her, the sense of malice coming from him not abating. If anything, it was getting stronger.
When he reached the gunshot victim, he casually crouched over him and ruthlessly snapped his neck, twisting hard enough that the crack was audible and sickening, making her own spine ache in response and her stomach turn. He rose to his feet, his backdrop a vision of darkness as the vampires began to turn to ashes, and approached her, silent but not wary.
Confidence and danger flowed from him, as if those two words were created for him alone.
A man bred for the purpose of killing.
She had met men like him in her years as a hunter, but not on his level.
Eve backed off another step and hit the wall beside the door to the back rooms.
The man continued his advance, each step closer he came only making her more aware of how immense he was as she had to tilt her head back to keep her unsteady gaze on what she could see of his face.
Oneiric appeared beside her and the man halted his approach.
â€œI dealt with all the ones out the back. Are you alright?â€ Oneiric said in a low voice, his crimson gaze never leaving the newcomer.
Eve kept her eyes locked on him too and nodded. â€œSustained a few injuries but theyâ€™re healing. I took one down, andâ€¦ wellâ€¦ he handled the rest. Any idea what they wanted?â€
She waited, curious and a little afraid, as the male shifted his focus to Oneiric.
â€œI imagine it was the usual grudge against our kind. My ones had a few choice things to say about us.â€ Oneiric moved closer to her, a protective gesture by the vampire who called himself her father, one that she appreciated.
â€œIt must get tiring. You think they would get bored of killing themselves.â€ She glanced at him, catching his brief smile.
They had spent hours discussing how foolish the weakling vampires were, those with muddied blood that made them far less powerful than vampires of the seven pure bloodlines. They often attacked pureblood vampires. Oneiric had called it suicide. She had to agree. As a hunter, she had seen weaklings picking fights with purebloods and it always ended the same. A gruesome death for the weakling.
She pressed her palms against the wall behind her, clinging to it for support as her tired body threatened to give out under the stress of the fight and the presence of the assassin.
Whenever his focus leaped to her, she felt the full extent of his power and it pressed down on her. Oneiric had warned such a thing would happen around stronger members of the seven pure bloodlines and she hadnâ€™t believed him until now.
This vampire was more powerful than any she had met. What did he want with her father? Had he just been passing and had sensed the fight, and had come to help them? Or did he have business at the club? He would make one hell of a bouncer.
Her father eyed the ashes of the vampires and then the man before them.
â€œI thought Lilith would be the one to come for Eve,â€ Oneiric said and Eve swallowed hard.
This man couldnâ€™t possibly be her escort.
She wasnâ€™t going anywhere with him.
The towering male said nothing in response. He simply stuck his gun down the back of his black jeans and then casually pushed his hood back.
Eveâ€™s breath left her in a rush.
Piercing glacial blue eyes held fast on Oneiric, the pale white-blond eyebrows above them drawing down, causing them to narrow and intensify. The man was handsome, not at all as she had expected, but radiated danger too, a sense of deadliness that his appearance could easily belie.
She had never thought she would face a vampire and think they were beautiful. Her body heated, her blood turning to liquid fire at the sight of him, a startling reaction that she couldnâ€™t control.
He glanced at her and then his cold eyes shifted back to Oneiric.
Eve could only stare at the contradiction before her. No doubt he made the perfect assassin. His looks distracted her from the darker side she could feel in himâ€”the vast coldnessâ€”and the dangerous side she had witnessedâ€”the lethal, efficient killer. His pale eyes glittered with intelligence as they held Oneiricâ€™s, filled with a calculating edge that made her feel he was five steps ahead of them, already predicting the outcome of every move he made or thing he said.
Here was the kind of man that nothing slipped past. Not even the smallest detail. He was dangerous because of that, and confident too. He knew himself and his skills, and that he could take down both Oneiric and her without breaking a metaphorical sweat. That scared her a little, but didnâ€™t stop her from feeling drawn to him. If anything, it only pulled her deeper under his spell.
The man he was inside lent a rough edge to his beauty that made him masculine. Probably the closest definition to male she had ever met. A feral, deadly devil wrapped in the guise of an angel. She had never seen anything like him, and knew she never would again.
His blue eyes flickered back to her, his eyebrows twitching into a brief frown as if her scrutiny unsettled him, and then went back to Oneiric.
â€œIs Lilith coming?â€ Eve cursed the way her question came out squeaky, in a manner that should be reserved for schoolgirls with crushes, not a skilled huntress like herself. She cleared her throat and pushed away from the wall, refusing to use it for support and giving this man any reason to think she was weak, a woman in need of protection.
â€œLincoln sent me to retrieve you.â€ His deep voice held a thick accent similar to Oneiricâ€™s. Her bloodline hailed from Oslo in Norway, and this man had either been there for many years or came from that frigid and isolated land too.
â€œI want to know about my sister. Why couldnâ€™t she come?â€ Why had her mate sent a six-foot-five wall of muscle to take her to Oslo? That one she was keeping to herself. The next one she was putting out there. â€œAnd I donâ€™t like being talked about as if Iâ€™m some package that needs to be picked up.â€
Neither male jumped on that one. Wise bastards.
Oneiric moved another step closer. â€œWhat is your name, stranger?â€
The formidable ice-blond vampire switched his focus back to her father. â€œTor.â€
â€œI know that name. Lincoln thinks to send a hunter to escort my daughter to Oslo?â€ Oneiric said.
The air thickened as Oneiric stared at Tor and folded his arms across his chest, a deep frown furrowing his brow.
Torâ€™s emotions didnâ€™t shift on her senses and neither did his body. He remained perfectly still and composed, as calm and cold as before, unmoved by the sneer in Oneiricâ€™s tone or the warning his body language was tossing at Tor like a big flashing neon sign.
â€œLincoln gave me this mission and I intend to complete it to his satisfaction. The female will be safe in my care,â€ the big assassin said in a flat tone, one that lacked feeling but brooked no argument from her father.
Eve stared at Tor, unconvinced that he knew the meaning of care and safe. He didnâ€™t look as if he had any softer emotions or could comprehend why Oneiric was uncertain about entrusting her to him, or why she needed an escort at all.
There was something she could comprehend though.
The way Tor handled himself, and had handled those weakling vampires with ease, said that he was her ticket to getting the taste of revenge she hungered after so badly.
What do you think?