All the King's Men: The Beginning (16 page)

BOOK: All the King's Men: The Beginning
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"Name's Severin. But everyone calls me Sev." He held out his hand.

"Sev's joining our team," Malek added, noting the nickname.

Trace regarded Sev's outstretched hand, but instead of shaking it, he formed a fist and bumped the back of Sev's knuckles with it. "Hey. Welcome."

"Thanks." Sev glanced curiously at his hand.

Trace parked at his usual place against the wall and crossed his arms. "Where's Micah?"

As nonchalantly as possible, Malek shrugged. "You know Micah. Maybe he'll be here, maybe he won't." He met Trace's gaze for a split second, and Trace's eyes narrowed. "Let's get started."

* * *

Something wasn't right.

Trace watched Malek closely, and it was clear he knew something was up with Micah, so why was he keeping it such a big secret?

Damn. This wasn't good. Trace needed to get out of there and go make sure Micah was okay.

Seconds ticked by at a snail's pace, and even though the meeting took all of five minutes, it felt like an hour. When Malek dismissed them, Trace beelined for an SUV, and then raced toward Micah's apartment. On the sidewalk across the street from The Sentinel, he gazed up to the eighteenth floor, where the blackness of pain and agony ripped the air like invisible lightning without the thunder.

It didn't take a physicist to realize Jackson had broken up with Micah. Motherfucker. That fucking little asswipe of a weasel. Trace had known this day was coming. He had bumped into Jackson at a bar a couple of months ago. He'd been bragging about his time with Micah and how he'd gotten Micah to flog him. "See, told you I could pull him out of retirement." The fucktard had no real feelings for Micah. He was just using him for bragging rights with his friends…as if Micah had been nothing but a bet. A goddamn bet!

Everyone knew the reputation Micah had as one of the most masterful Doms in the Chicago area. And not just a Master, but a Lord, no less. It was a title Micah had never entirely took ownership of, but one that, from what Trace had learned, fit Micah perfectly. Submissives still sought him, even though he'd been out of the leather scene for years. And even though Jackson wasn't a true submissive, he was what Trace called a leather whore. Someone who didn't live the life but enjoyed affiliating himself with those who did. The little bitch.

Trace snarled aloud before he could stop himself, and his right hand twitched. Shit, but he needed to get himself under control, and that male up there on the eighteenth floor was his ticket to make that happen. If Jackson had destroyed his only chance for peace of mind, Trace would hunt that little prick down and make him pay. Fucking hell, he would make that shit stain pay with his life, and he would take great pleasure in making Jackson suffer before squeezing the life from his heart.

* * *

Micah paced in his apartment, his heart aching. Jackson was gone. His life was over. He was a dead man walking.

As pain ripped through his soul, he slid the door open and stepped out onto the balcony. Cold wind whipped his hair over and away from his face, and snowflakes splattered his skin like tiny airborne missiles…stinging tears to match those that rolled down his cheeks.

The past few weeks had been building toward this moment, and he'd set everything into place. Malek would protect his privacy, and he had pushed everyone else away. No one would come to find him. No one would interfere with his demise. All he needed now was time, and then he would finally be at peace.

Peace. Something he hadn't felt in almost a thousand years. The new world had sprung up around him, technology had altered and reinvented life time after time, and the planet had become both a safer and a more dangerous place all at once. Land had eroded, rivers had dried into beds of dust, and the polar ice caps had shrunk. For all the metamorphosis the world had undergone, Micah had remained the same wounded soul he had been after Katarina's death. He seemed to be the one constant in a sea of change, but now was his time to erode. To wither into dust. To die.

Only a miracle would keep Micah alive, and Micah didn't believe in miracles.

It was time for him to say his final farewell. He was among the oldest vampires still alive, considered a young ancient. But as he stared over the lights of Chicago, closed his eyes, and listened to the city's heartbeat within the hum of traffic and rushed steps of pedestrians hurrying along the sidewalk, none of that mattered. He was lost. Utterly swept into darkness.

He had fallen into hell, and in hell he would remain until death stole him.

Soon, he would see his beloved Katarina again. To walk with her in the afterlife where their souls could spend the rest of eternity with one another. Would she be sad that he hadn't fulfilled his promise to survive, or would she be happy to see him again?

"I'll find out soon enough," he muttered into the night.

Yes, soon, for mighty Micah had finally fallen.



Thank you for reading All the King's Men - The Beginning. An excerpt of Rise of the Fallen, book one of the series, which tells the rest of Micah's story, follows. But first, if you enjoyed this novella, please take a moment to leave a review on the site where you bought it. More than ever, authors rely on reviews and feedback from their readers, even if only a sentence or two. I appreciate it.



Excerpt from Rise of the Fallen

Samantha shut the door to her dressing room and took off her mask then hung it on the wall. Another shift at the Black Garter was over. Thank God.

She wasn't wearing much, just red lace panties, which she quickly peeled off and threw in the laundry. Then she got dressed. Tips had been good tonight, and she was that much closer to being completely free. She grabbed her bag, opened the door, shut off the light, and waved to Ted and Jose, the bouncers, as she slipped out the back.

Sam's skin crawled as she left the gentlemen's club and crossed the parking lot. She just wanted to get home and shower, as she did after every shift. She didn't have sex with the men—only danced for them. But some still touched. The only way she could endure the degradation was to remind herself that she only needed to do this a couple more years and she would be able to buy herself a new identity and a new life.

Still, it didn't make the after-effects of every shift any easier.

Her keys jingled in her hands as she approached her car then suddenly she heard an outburst of laughter coming from inside the parking garage across the street. But this wasn't normal laughter. This was the raucous laughter of men doing bad things to someone.

Looking around to see if anyone else was near, she found herself alone. Of course, it was nearly four o'clock in the morning. Who would be out at this hour besides an exotic dancer and a group of thugs engaged in what sounded like one hell of a beat-down?

A voice in her head told her to just get in her car and leave—to forget what she heard and go. But the ex-military veteran who had been beaten by her husband for eight years cold-cocked that voice into silence and then gave her a shove as if to ask what in the hell she was waiting for. Before she knew what she was doing, she had grabbed her Beretta out of her bag, along with the extra clip, and rushed across the street.

Flat-backing herself against the wall with her gun held close, she peeked around the wall to see what was going on. Damn! Five men—well, she thought they were men, but they looked a bit…
—beating a sixth man. The sixth wasn't resisting, even though something about him made Sam think he could easily take all of them, despite his inferior size. Not that he was small. He just looked…well, he was too thin, like he was sick or hadn't eaten in a while. The five beating him had long, black hair and their skin had an odd bluish color. Something seemed strange about them, but maybe it was just the lighting.

"Hey!" She jumped into the open and pointed her gun at them. "Get away from him."

Five sets of eyes turned on her as the sixth man fell to his knees under one of the garage's overhead lights.

Not backing down an inch, Sam stepped closer, poised to open her own can of whoop-ass if they didn't walk away.

As one of the men started to approach her with a nightstick gripped in his fist, his eyes flashed red. What the fuck? Fear rattled her spine and she shot off a round.

"NO!" The sixth man held up one hand, trying to stop her as he crumpled in on himself.

Stop her?
What the hell was going on here? Was this some kind of gang initiation?

"Like hell I will!" She stepped forward and fired again, hitting the one coming toward her in the shoulder.

He flew backward from the impact and threw his head back as an ear-splitting shriek broke the air. Was that him? Sam clamped her free hand over her ear and winced, shying away briefly before glancing back at the sixth man who now lay motionless on the pavement. She had to help him. Resisting the ear-splitting screech, Sam forced herself to stand her ground, her gun trained on the asshole doing a banshee impersonation.

Suddenly, the devil-man's scream stopped and his mouth snapped shut. He fixed Sam with an icy glare that looked abnormally blue, just like the rest of him, then the five attackers turned as one and fled, disappearing so fast Sam actually entertained the thought that she had only imagined them. Until she looked back and found the dark-haired man still lying face-up, deathly still. Shoving the Beretta into the waist of her jeans, she rushed toward him.

* * *

Micah lay on the ground, looking up at the light shining down like a mockery of the light he had hoped to see as he entered the afterlife and took his final walk into Heaven, or whatever awaited a vampire when he died.

He was still alive. Someone had saved him. Why? Why had someone interfered? All he wanted was to die. Just die and be done with his horrible, wretched life.

The scent of lilacs, subtle and feminine, wafted over him like angelic perfume as the woman who had saved his life against his will knelt beside him.

"Hey…hey, can you hear me? Can you move? What's your name? Can you tell me your name?"

Her intoxicating voice soothed him instantly, but Micah couldn't see her as he blinked against the bright light.

"Who are you?" He groaned, and his entire body protested his attempt to talk.

"I'm going to save you."

As she bent over him, the overhead light formed a halo around her head as it shone through her spiky blond hair and shadowed her face. The smell of lilacs grew even stronger, pleasing Micah's senses.

Whoever she was, she looked, smelled, and sounded like an angel.



About the Author

Donya Lynne is an award-winning author of paranormal, erotic, and contemporary romance. Making her home in a wooded suburb north of Indianapolis with her husband, Donya has lived in Indiana most of her life and knew at a young age that she was destined to be a writer. She started writing poetry in grade school and won her first writing contest in fourth grade. In junior high, she began writing romantic tales for her friends, and by her sophomore year, they had dubbed her Most Likely to Become a Romance Novelist. In 2012, she made that dream come true by publishing her first three books in the All the King's Men Series. She has several more stories planned for the series, as well as two sister series that are in development. She also has several stand-alone novels, novellas, and short stories, as well as more series planned for the future. Look for more from Donya in the years to come.



Books by Donya Lynne


All the King's Men Series

Rise of the Fallen (Book One)

Heart of the Warrior (Book Two)

Micah's Calling (Book Three Novella Supplement to Rise of the Fallen)

Rebel Obsession (Book Four)

Return of the Assassin (Book Five)

All the King's Men - The Beginning (Book Six)


Non-Series Related Work

The Arms of Winter

Novella Published by Silver Publishing


Coming Soon

Severin's Muse (AKM novella)

Bound Guardian Angel (Trace's story)

Good Karma (Book One in the much-anticipated Strong Karma Trilogy)

Finding Lacey Moon (stand-alone contemporary romance)



Connect With Donya Lynne Online


AKM Fan/Reader Group: All the King's Men Reader Group


Fan Page:

Twitter: @DonyaLynne

If you'd like to email me: [email protected]



Table of Contents




The War

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

About the Author

Books by Donya Lynne

Connect with Donya Lynne Online

BOOK: All the King's Men: The Beginning
2.95Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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