Blood Moon (Skye Morrison Vampire Series, #5.5)

BOOK: Blood Moon (Skye Morrison Vampire Series, #5.5)
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Table of Contents

Blood Moon

(Skye Morrison Vampire Series, #5.5)

By: J.L. McCoy

 

Copyright © 2014 by J.L. McCoy

EBOOK EDITION

 

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously.  The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.

 

Cover Model: Ashley Marie (
www.facebook.com/Rockstarashleymarie
)

Cover Photo: Mack Butler (
www.mackstudios813.com
) Cover Artist: Omar Rodriguez-V.  (
www.facebook.com/OmarRodriguezV.Art
)

Editing: V.Cantrell (
www.amazon.com/V.-Cantrell/e/B00KVTWBJI/
)
Formatting: Katie Salidas (
http://www.RisingSignbooks.net
)

Other books by J.L. McCoy

 

Skye Morrison Vampire Series

 

Blood of the Son (SMVS, #1)

[
www.amzn.com/B007GYWBLE
]

 

Sins of the Father (SMVS, #2)

[
www.amzn.com/B008LOLPYC
]

 

The Original Sin (SMVS, #3)

[
www.amzn.com/
B009XTVB6Q
]

 

Legacy of Blood (SMVS, #4)

[
www.amzn.com/
B00BGZD0IW
]

 

Revelation of Blood (SMVS, #5)

[
www.amzn.com/
B00DSPPULI
]

 

Blood Moon (SMVS, #5.5)

 

Coming Soon

 

Retribution of Sins (SMVS, #6)

 

This book is dedicated to my oldest, and greatest friend

Nicole “Nikki” Carriere.

<3  Skye’s Nikki doesn’t hold a candle to you, girl.  <3

Acknowledgements

 

This book was a year in the making and I sincerely apologize for the delay.  Sometimes life gets in the way of writing, and that’s certainly the case for Blood Moon (SMVS, #5.5)

 

I’d like to extend a hug and a huge thanks to:

 

SMVS fans for their support and understanding.  You mean the world to me and I’ll try my best not to let you down again.

My beta readers: Virginia Cantrell, Jacqueline Flanders, Ashley Marie Hickey, Stephanie Wallace, Nicole Carriere, Angel Herrera, and Anita Smith-Shields.  Thank you for your friendship, input, advice, and valuable insight.  I couldn’t do this without you.

My B.F.F.F.: Nicole “Nikki” Carriere.  Love you, girl!

Mack Butler for letting me use the amazing cover photo.

The beautiful Ashley Marie for cover modeling.  You make the perfect Nikki! Thanks, love!

Virginia Cantrell, editor and author extraordinaire, for her tireless work and for allowing me to bug her with all my questions.

Katie Salidas at Rising Sign Books for her impeccable formatting skills and her friendship.

My entire family (especially my awesome uncle Gary *wink*) for their unwavering love and support.

My amazing husband Kenny for putting up with me.

You!  Thank you for purchasing this book and supporting Indie authors like myself.

 

If I’ve left anyone out, please forgive me.  All mistakes herein are mine and mine alone.

Chapter One

Nikki

 

 

Numb…I was numb.  I didn’t know where I was being taken, but I didn’t much care at the moment.  I was far away from the horrors the last five days had afforded me and anything was better than that…than them.  Bruised, bloodied, beat to shit, and my soul utterly crushed, I walked away from that middle-of-nowhere airstrip in Podunk Purgatory a complete shell of the person I once was.

I had experienced hell on earth and was shocked I’d lived through it.  The things those monsters did to me…well, I was sure I’d have nightmares about my first night in captivity for the rest of my life. Certain experiences can change a person and I knew without a doubt that I would never be the same again. You could only take so much away from a person before there wasn’t anything worthwhile left.

Leaning my left cheek against the cool van window, I torpidly gazed out at the passing shadows of night; seeing, but not seeing.  The hypnotic motion of the ride mixed with the flickering headlights across my face lulled me further into my much needed detachment.

A brush of warmth touched my knee and I was abruptly ripped from my quasi calm.  I jumped and yelped as I simultaneously, and unconsciously, forced myself closer to the window and further away from the threat.

 “Easy there, toots,” Dean whispered, removing his hand and holding it up.  “I’m not going to hurt you.  I just wanted to see how you’re doing.  Are you okay?”

Meeting the brown pools of his eyes, I swallowed thickly and forced my heartbeat to slow down as I peeled myself off the wall of the van.  “No,” I breathed out slowly, trying desperately to relax somewhat.  “No, not really.”

“You know I’m not going to hurt you, right?” he asked as he lowered his head to catch my now downtrodden gaze.

I bit my lip hard as I willed my eyes to again meet his.  I took my time studying his face, a face I was acquainted with but did not truly know.  Dean was a werewolf; an honest to God, stalk the night, howl at the moon, sprout fur and walk on all fours werewolf, and I was way out of my element here.  I’d just found out vampires weren’t the sparkly teenage boys Hollywood had manufactured for us humans, but real life, bloodsucking creatures straight out of our worst nightmares.  Vampires weren’t just a story told around campfires. They were real and they had kidnapped and done unspeakable things to me.  Dean and the other occupants of the van I was in fell into that same mythical sort of category.  Even though he saved me from those monsters, and I didn’t truly think he would hurt me after going to all the trouble of saving me, I was being cautious.  I had to be.  I hadn’t been cautious before and my own boyfriend, the person who I shared a bed and my deepest secrets with, betrayed and handed me over to those bloodsuckers.

“I can see the gears turning behind your eyes,” Dean whispered with a twitch of his lips.  “You’ve got questions and I promise to answer them in due time.  But right now, I need you to know that I have no intentions of ever hurting you, Nikki.  No one will hurt you again.  You are safe with me…with us.  My pack and I will protect you and help you get through this difficult time.”

My brow furrowed and I looked up at him questioningly.  “Why?  Why are you helping me?”

Dean gave me a small smile as his eyes scanned my features.  “I’ve always been a sucker for a pretty face.”

I swallowed hard and watched as he turned his attention to the front of the van.  He leaned forward to speak to someone and I sat further back in my seat, confused but oddly a bit more at ease.  Hugging myself tightly, I turned my gaze back out to the night sky.  The quarter-full moon was peeking over the tops of the passing trees and casting its light through them onto the van.  I stared at the dark craters and for the first time in my life, wished I was there, far away from my current reality.  I daydreamed about how still and quiet being on the moon must feel.  Right now, I’d give anything for that.

A chill traveled down my body and I shivered as I tugged nervously on the micro mini-dress.  It was a skimpy, cut-out, off the shoulder monstrosity that I wouldn’t normally have been caught dead wearing if I’d had any choice in the matter.  It barely covered my ass and I felt too exposed.  Those bloodsuckers had dressed me up like the whore they’d treated me as and I suddenly wanted nothing more than to rip it off and throw it from the moving van.  Just the mere sight of it was a harsh reminder of the last four days I’d spent in hell.    

Movement on my right drew my attention and I watched as Dean leaned forward and took off his black t-shirt, leaving his broad, tattooed chest bare.  “Here,” he said, offering it to me.  “Put this on.”

Looking confusedly down at the black mass in his hand, I shook my head.  “No. I’m fine.”

“Don’t argue,” Dean insisted gently as he moved his hand a little closer. 

Eyeing it hesitantly, I shook my head again.  “It’s got blood all over it.”

“So do you,” he said, cocking one eyebrow at me.

I looked down at myself again, and for the first time, noticed the streaks and splatters of blood on my arms and legs.

Sighing, he tossed the shirt onto my lap.  “Like I said, don’t argue.  Just put it on, Nik.  Besides, I hate seeing you in that crap.”

With a furrowed brow, my eyes flickered down to the blue ‘dress’ and then back up at him.  “Not a fan of ‘Hoe Couture’?” 

A smile slowly slid across his face, revealing a perfect set of white teeth, deep dimples, and pointier than normal canines.  “It doesn’t suit you,” was all he said as he patiently waited for me to put on the shirt.

I managed a quick quirk of my lips as I accepted the offering.  As soon as I pulled the black shirt over my head and down my thighs, I was enveloped in warmth…his warmth.  The shirt was toasty and smelled strongly of man and aftershave; a surprisingly calming scent given what I had just been through the last few days.  When Dean finally turned his attention back to the front of the van, I took a deep breath in and relaxed into the window again, his scent and warmth surrounding me like a big, much needed, hug.

We started to slow as the van pulled off the freeway and I looked over at Dean again.  “Where are you taking me?”  

“We’re heading to my house,” he said, still looking toward the front.  “You’re going to be staying with me for a few days, if that’s okay.”

I nodded my head and turned to look out the window beside me again.  I noticed the stars were out in force and they shined like diamonds against their inky backdrop.  “I’m scared to be alone right now,” I whispered, more to myself than him.

“You won’t be,” Dean said gently.  He’d saved my life not even an hour earlier and he was the only person I really trusted at the moment.  Besides, it’s not like I could call up any of my friends and tell them that I was kidnapped by vampires.  They’d have me committed for sure.  Speaking of vampires…

“Lyric is still out there,” I whispered, resting my left temple against the cool glass as I gazed out.  “I didn’t see him among the vampires tonight.”  Lyric, my now ex-boyfriend, was the one who handed me over to those vicious, disgusting bloodsuckers and allowed them to use my body any way they wanted.  If I couldn’t trust someone I’d almost loved, who could I trust?  Who had my back now?  I’d never felt so alone and vulnerable in my life. 

I couldn’t trust my best friend Skye anymore, and I think that hurt the most.  She’d been my closest friend and pseudo sister for the last four years, and to know I was taken because of something she did felt like the worst betrayal there was.  After I was taken, I’d found out that she was a vampire like my captors.  How could my best friend be a monster like them and, more importantly, why didn’t I see it sooner?  I didn’t know who to blame, Skye for putting me in the situation or myself for not seeing her for what she really was.  Regardless, I didn’t think I could ever speak to her again.

And Lyric…I feared him.  We had a passionate, intense relationship that was good until it suddenly wasn’t.  I’d thought he was the perfect man—a humble, compassionate Jain vegan, animal shelter volunteer, and a community Co-op grow participant.  He’d told me he wanted to make the world a better place and I believed him whole-heartedly.  Things began to change a month ago when he finally introduced me to his friends.  They were nothing like him and, quite frankly, they scared the socks off me.  There was something about them that wasn’t quite right.  The way they treated women was appalling, like they were nothing more than property, and I told Lyric I wouldn’t hang around with them anymore.  But, Lyric didn’t seem to care what I thought.  I believed I was falling in love with him and didn’t want to lose what we’d built, so I bit my tongue and followed along, all the while hoping he’d outgrow whatever fascination he had with them.  To deal with the discomfort, I began to drink more.  The more I drank, the less I cared; I just wanted Lyric and I to get along.  I finally wised up and began planning to break things off.  He wasn’t the man I thought he was and no amount of drinking could hide that fact anymore.  The night I was going to break up with him was the night I was drugged and taken by him and his friends as insurance.  They’d wanted Skye.  The fucking luck I had…

“We’ll find him,” Dean assured me, pulling me out of my inner turmoil.  I glanced over at him on a tired sigh and was surprised by what I saw.  His eyes bore into mine and held me captive with the promise of vengeance I saw in them.   “I swear to you.  Lyric will never hurt you again.”

For some reason, I absolutely believed him.

A few minutes later, the van turned off onto a bumpy road and passed through a tall gate.  The dirt road was long and tightly enclosed by trees on both sides.  After crossing through a small stream, the trees opened up and the van stopped in front of a sprawling, one story, ranch style house.

Dean opened the sliding door, stepped out, and turned back to me.  He held his hand out, offering me assistance in getting out of the vehicle.  I steadied my nerves and carefully slipped the tips of my fingers onto his, being mindful about not touching him longer than necessary.  After what I’d just endured, I wasn’t quite ready for another’s touch.

Dean took notice and kindly dropped my hand as soon as my feet hit the ground. Putting his head back into the van, I heard him address someone.  “Zee, I need you to call your sister and tell her to have the new girls pick out a wardrobe for Miss. St. James.  Size four.  Have them bring it by here tomorrow.”

“Um…no new clothes,” I spoke up.  I was sick to death of people dressing me. I desperately needed something of my own and craved the comfort that only my clothes could bring.

“You can’t go back to your house right now,” he said, not looking at me.

“Well…would someone be willing to pack a bag for me then?”

Dean glanced back at me and slowly shook his head.  “That’s not possible, Nikki.  I’ll explain why in the morning.”  I noted the anger on his face and wisely decided to drop the topic as he turned his attention back to the van. 

“Have Primo manage Tricky Dic’s for the time being,” he said, addressing the same man.  “I’ll be in and out.”

“You got it, boss.”

I listened as the men bid their farewells and then watched the taillights disappear as the vans headed back out the way they came.   

Dean cleared his throat and motioned with his head toward the door.  “Home sweet home.”

I waited as he unlocked the door and then followed him in. Taking a good look at my surroundings, I noticed his house was older but nice.  The furniture was black leather and the decorating style screamed busy bachelor, but it was homey. 

Wrapping my arms around myself, I watched as he emptied the contents of his pockets onto the kitchen bar and then grab two beers out of the refrigerator.

“I hope you like Miller,” he said as he approached me, offering me a can.  I noted his movements were slow and deliberate, almost like he didn’t want to startle me.  I can’t tell you how much I appreciated that.  I was jumpy as all hell and just waiting for the other shoe to drop. It’s a hard adjustment going from fearing for your life one minute to hearing promises that you are safe the next. 

“Miller works,” I nodded, accepting the icy can.  We were silent as we each popped the tabs and took a few guzzles.

Swallowing thickly, I raised my eyes to his. “So—” I started.

“Would you—” he said at the same time.

I shook my head and awkwardly shuffled my bare feet.  “Sorry.  You go first.”

Dean rubbed the back of his neck and looked across the room toward the hallway.  “I was just going to ask if you’d like to take a shower and change into some fresh clothes.”

Nodding my head, I bit my bottom lip as I looked down at myself.  “I’m a fucking mess, aren’t I?”

“No more than me,” he said with a smirk, motioning to his bloody skin with a sweep of his hand.

With an understanding twitch of my lips, I followed him down the long hall and to a guest bedroom with an adjacent bathroom. 

“You can sleep in here,” he said, following me in.  “Some of my boys usually bunk in the spare rooms after a hunt, so there should be plenty of extra clothes in the dresser.  They won’t be your size of course, but they’ll do for tonight.” 

I nodded my head as I glanced around the room.  The bed was a king size, mission style with matching nightstands on each side, and a simple five drawer dresser in the corner with a small, old television sitting atop it.   

BOOK: Blood Moon (Skye Morrison Vampire Series, #5.5)
10.29Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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