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by Catherine Thomas
Category: Dark Fantasy/Mystery/Crime
Description: Atherina has been imprisoned for a century for a crime she didn't commit. The Old Ones, the leaders of the vampires, release her early to be their personal bounty hunter. If she finds the one who made the existence of the vampires public knowledge and returns the individual to the Old Ones for punishment, her sentence will be commuted. She travels to America and tries to assimilate to the changes a new century brings. She teams up with Detective Forest Green and the first vampire, Wesley Linton. The three follow the clues and manage to save a group of children and destroy Wesley's sire. Along the way, they establish a friendship and a trust. Atherina discovers the vampire she seeks is her ex lover and old nemesis, Donovan. He was the reason she had been imprisoned. She locates him and tries to get him to turn himself in. Unwilling to surrender, he repeatedly attempts to kill her unsuccessfully. During her finally battle with Donovan, Detective Green comes to her rescue saving her life and destroying Donovan. She was badly injured and it took both Green and Wesley to nurse her back to health. Atherina reluctantly shuns Green's offer for a life together and returns to the Old Ones with only a medallion to prove Donovan was dead. She discovers they are interested in Detective Green. She refuses to sacrifice him to secure her freedom. Unable to break her, the Old Ones grant Atherina her freedom and allow her to return to Green.
eBook Publisher: Club Lighthouse Publishing USA LLC/Club Lighthouse Publishing, 2011 2011
eBookwise Release Date: February 2011
4 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [206 KB]
Reading time: 123-173 min.
I REPLAYED THE MEETING with the Old Ones over in my mind. They had dragged me forth fifty years early from my tomb that they had imprisoned me in one hundred years earlier. Then they said I was an abomination and should not be allowed to remain among them. I feared they had grown tired of my pleas for mercy and were planning to kill me. Icy fingers of despair encased my body. I awaited my fate.
The wooden casket was dragged across the cobblestone floor. Each thump sent a shooting pain through my body. I had no idea where I was being taken.
The casket was dropped on the floor and the lid was ripped open. The thralls pulled my dried out husk of a body from the coffin. Fear of reprisal was the only thing that stopped me from grabbing the closest one and draining every ounce of blood from his body. They strapped me down to a wooden plank and pricked me on the arm. Without warning or understanding, I felt my body begin to rejuvenate itself at the point where my skin had been pierced. As my body greedily absorbed the life renewing substance, I revelled in its transformation as my skin filled out and my hair began to grow.
Before my body could obtain all the necessary nutrients to fully restore my normal appearance, I was released from the table and dragged across the cold stones of a long corridor. The thralls deposited me on the chamber's floor at the feet of the old ones.
Even though they held my life in their hands and I was at their mercy, I refused to beg them anymore for my life. I remained in the position the thralls had dropped me in and intentionally failed to give the old ones the homage their position dictated. They sent me images informing me my compliance could buy my freedom. They acted as if they were giving me a choice when I actually had none. I agreed to do their bidding. My mission was to find the vampire who had violated the first rule of vampiracy and bring him before the Old Ones for judgment.
A human was brought forth and bent over me. I watched as one of the old ones used his nail to slice open the jugular vein. As if it was in slow motion, the precious liquid fell into my waiting mouth. I moaned with need as the first dropped touched my tongue. I savoured the sweet succulent nectar. So great was my thirst, I didn't bother to close my mouth to swallow. With each swallow, I felt my body strive to complete the healing process. In my excitement and greed, I reached for the human and felt a foot upon my chest pressing me into the floor. I searched for the culprit but the positioning of the human impeded my search.
I watched in horror as a tongue swished across the human's neck sealing the wound. My feeding was finished and I was nowhere near full.
I was snatched from the floor and thrown into the arms of waiting thralls. They dragged me to a room with a roaring fire placed and a copper tub. Without asking or waiting for my permission, they disrobed me and place me in the empty tub. Had I not been so hungry, I might have been insulted by their lack of interest in my body.
I sat quietly as they filled the tub with sweet smelling water. I made no comment as they jerked my body back and forth as they scrubbed every inch of me. No sooner than I had begun to relax under their impersonal ministration, it was over.
The thralls yanked me from the tub and roughly rubbed me dry. They dressed me in strange clothing and brushed my hair.
Then I was led to a sitting room where the human I had feed from earlier waited. My heart gave an unusual jerk in my chest. My mouth began salivating with excitement at the prospect of another taste; I licked my lips in anticipation. There was nothing like the taste of fresh warm human blood.
Before I could act on my impulse to feed, I was inundated with another barrage of images. I was informed my feeding time was over. I was to search the human's mind for the information I needed to know.
Disappointed, I sat in a chair opposite the human. On closer inspection, I saw she was in her sixties with wrinkled skin. Her far off gazed told me she was in a trance. She would remember nothing unless ordered to do so.
Wasting little time, I peered into her eyes and began searching her mind. I quickly found she was a Professor of History and was filled with knowledge. I was surprised to see much had changed in the hundred years of my imprisonment. People of color and women had been given many freedoms around the world but especially in the United States of America. The humans had made many advancements in all aspects of life including cures for diseases and the ability to fly in a metal tube the professor referred to as an airplane.
Fearful my time with the professor would be limited, I located the information I needed. I must travel to the United States to a place called Rochester, New York. There I would find what I needed.
The two thralls returned. One led the professor away while the other handed me a bag. I took the bag and started walking toward the doorway. A short burst of light filled my mind paralyzing me. I heard a thud, felt a sharp pain in the back of my head before everything went black.