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Out of the Shadows [Shadow Ancients]
by Cammie Eicher

Category: Dark Fantasy/Romance
Description: There's a new Ancient in town...and he's out for blood. Thirteen years ago, Ahnya Fahre fought for her life on the mean streets of Chicago. Tonight, she's on the run again, this time with a newborn vampire who may be a child of prophecy, destined to destroy the entire Ancient civilization. Desperate to save the child from vengeful enforcers sent by the Ancient's high elder, Ahnya forms an uneasy alliance with the vampires' deadly enemy: a bounty hunter intent upon killing every elder of every clan left on Earth. But when evil comes to her door, Anya will be forced to choose between the man she's come to love and the child she promised to protect. The choice can either save the Ancient's civilization and her own, or serve as the catalyst for the destruction of both worlds.
eBook Publisher: Resplendence Publishing, LLC, 2010 03/01/2010
eBookwise Release Date: April 2010


10 Reader Ratings:
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Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [309 KB]
Words: 64084
Reading time: 183-256 min.

Chapter One

Hide in the open.

The whisper from her subconscious quieted as Ahnya Fahre backed the small sedan between two SUVs in the cul-de-sac of a suburban neighborhood. The dash clock read a few minutes after four. She was grateful for a nearby street lamp and the glowing landscape lanterns in the yard beside her. Their narrow tunnels of light brightened the dark of early morning and made her feel less alone.

Exhaustion washing over her, Ahnya fumbled for the lever and released her seat to its full reclining position. She made certain the doors were locked before turning on her side to face the sleeping infant in a car seat next to her.

"Welcome to the world," she murmured to the hours-old child, placing a protective hand on the baby as she herself drifted off to sleep.

She was awakened later by the dim dawn. Her neck was stiff, her shoulder ached from laying against the seat belt buckle, but her tiny charge was safe. Nothing else mattered.

Pulling the seat upright, she unlocked her door and stepped outside to stretch. She welcomed the pull in her muscles as she raised her arms above her head, then bent down to loosen her back. The small ache reminded her how soft she had become. She hadn't been on the run for a long time. And back then, she'd been alone, with nothing at stake but her future.

She had a child to protect now. As the realization of what she'd agreed to struck Ahnya anew, she folded her arms around herself and gave in to a moment of fear.

"Misha," she whispered, "what if I fail?"

Her only answer was the whisper of the wind and the song of a few early birds. She was alone, with nothing more to guide her than the contents of the envelope Misha had thrust at her as he'd urged her to take the baby and flee.

A substantial amount of cash, a false driver's license for her and a fake birth certificate for the infant. But most importantly, the envelope also contained directions to find Misha's deepest enemy.

The one man who could be trusted to keep her, and this child, alive.

* * * *

Louisville, Kentucky

Thirty-six hours earlier

Griff huddled beneath the protective branches of the old weeping willow tree, night goggles trained on the limestone mansion across the street. His camera with its zoom lens lay within easy reach. As stakeouts went, he'd been on worse. He liked this part of the city. Old Louisville, the locals called it, the epitome of Victorian elegance and tradition. The neighborhood was especially beautiful now in late April, with the dogwood trees in bloom and brilliant azalea bushes in red and pink flanking the wide steps to the houses. Since he was going to spend the night out here, he might as well enjoy the ambiance.

"Aw, shit, don't park there," he muttered as a long, black sedan coasted by. He held his breath as it slowed, expecting the driver to park between him and the mansion he watched. He settled back as the car sped up and turned at the end of the block, leaving the view unimpeded.

Griff relaxed and returned his attention to those entering the house. Dressed in formal wear, some carrying gifts, their appearance led him to new speculation. Maybe the event was nothing more than a Derby party. Only two weeks remained until the famed Run for the Roses, and Misha Tsarentza was known for extravagant entertainment during the season.

Yet Griff was sure whatever was going on had nothing to do with horseracing.

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