Authors: Tessa Dawn
Published by Ghost Pines Publishing, LLC
Volume V of the Blood Curse Series by Tessa Dawn
First Edition eBook Published October 31, 2013
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Copyright © Tessa Dawn, 2013
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This is a work of fiction. All characters and events portrayed in this novel are
either fictitious or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living
or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Ghost Pines Publishing, LLC
Ever since the pivotal scene in Blood Destiny, where his character emerged in a dirty
shed, strapped to a guillotine, Saber’s story has been lurking in the shadows, just
waiting to be told. Even then, I knew there was something special about this vampire;
it was just a matter of when—and where—he would emerge in the series.
I would like to give a special thanks to the Blood Curse Series Street Team for helping
to spread the word about Saber’s book: You guys absolutely rock, and I am forever
in your debt. And as always, to all my fans and readers, you are truly a gift from
Because my love for you knows no bounds!
Because your potential knows no limits.
And because the joy you have brought to my life…is legendary.
Ghost Pines, Publishing, LLC.,
GreenHouse Design, Inc.,
Reading & Critique
In 800 BC, Prince Jadon and Prince Jaegar Demir were banished from their Romanian
homeland after being cursed by a ghostly apparition:
the reincarnated Blood of their numerous female victims
. The princes belonged to an ancient society that sacrificed its females to the point
of extinction, and the punishment was severe.
They were forced to roam the earth in darkness as creatures of the night. They were condemned
to feed on the blood of the innocent and stripped of their ability to produce female
offspring. They were damned to father twin sons by human hosts who would die wretchedly
upon giving birth; and the firstborn of the first set would forever be required as
a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of their forefathers.
Staggered by the enormity of
, Prince Jadon, whose own hands had never shed blood, begged his accuser for leniency
four small mercies—
exceptions to the curse that would apply to his house and his descendants, alone.
Ψ Though still creatures of the night, they would be allowed to walk in the sun.
Ψ Though still required to live on blood, they would not be forced to take the lives
of the innocent.
Ψ While still incapable of producing female offspring, they would be given
one opportunity and thirty days
to obtain a mate—a human
chosen by the gods—following a sign that appeared in the heavens.
Ψ While they were still required to sacrifice a firstborn son, their twins would be
born as one child of darkness and one child of light, allowing them to sacrifice the
former while keeping the latter to carry on their race.
And so…forever banished from their homeland in the Transylvanian mountains of Eastern
Europe, the descendants of Jaegar and the descendants of Jadon became the Vampyr of
legend: roaming the earth, ruling the elements, living on the blood of others…forever
bound by an ancient curse. They were brothers of the same species, separated only
by degrees of light and shadow.
Damien Alexiares paced the floor in his underground lair, feeling the confinement
of the colony more acutely than he had ever felt it before. His stomach literally
hurt, and the helplessness that consumed him made him want to fly off in a rage and
commit indiscriminate murder. The sun would rise at six thirty-five AM, and with its
arrival, he would lose his eldest living son, Saber.
And there wasn’t a damn thing he could do to stop it.
Even if they were willing to go to war, they could not survive the sunlight.
Leaning back against the cold stone wall of his underground lair, he stared at his
remaining sons, Dane and Diablo, wondering if the waiting was killing them as much
as it was killing him.
Dane bared his fangs and scowled. “Why can’t we go get him—before the sun comes up?”
He had already asked the same question at least a dozen times. For a 600-year-old
male, he was sometimes a little slow to catch on.
“You and whose army?” Diablo said with a scowl.
“The sons of Jadon aren’t gods!” Dane stormed, his face twisting with rage. “Why doesn’t
anyone believe we can take them?”
Damien sighed, determined to try once again to provide his youngest son with an explanation.
“Male to male, one-to-one, of course we can. They have no powers we do not also possess—may
the strongest soldier win—but as a group? Our colony against their army? It’s a different
“Why?” Dane demanded.
“Because they have Napolean, and even under the cover of night, he can channel the
power of the sun. We can’t fight in the daylight, and we can’t fight in the light
of Napolean’s being.”
Dane laughed derisively. “The king has never supported an all-out war between our
houses, and he won’t support one now.” He squared his jaw defiantly. “It was different
when he came to rescue the princess; she was a valuable commodity, an irreplaceable
relic in the house of Jadon, but outside of that one incident, when has Napolean Mondragon
ever done anything other than break up the wars and keep both sides from destroying
each other and, more important, from killing thousands in the human population? I’m
telling you, one expedition will not become a war!”
Diablo pulled his hair in frustration. “It’s not just that, Dane. Who in the house
of Jaegar will die just to bring Saber back safely?”
“Lots of males will fight to the death for Saber!” Dane was practically incensed now,
the veins in his forehead throbbing, his blood beginning to boil. “Saber has led hunting
parties for decades, stood as a loyal and faithful servant to the house of Jaegar—hell,
that’s how he got caught, doing the council’s dirty work—don’t tell me there is no
one who will fight for our brother!” He sprang from his chair, and Damien intercepted
him before he could wrap his arms around his twin brother’s neck.
“Your hatred is misplaced, Dane. I know this is killing you, but attacking Diablo
isn’t going to bring Saber back.”
“Bring Saber back?” Dane echoed frenetically. “You act as if he’s already dead.”
Damien stiffened, stilling himself against the pain of Dane’s words. It was just too
much to bear. Stepping outside of the room for a fresh breath of air, he seriously
considered petitioning the dark lords—or even the celestial gods—whichever set of
deities might be most inclined to save his son, for help.
And wasn’t that just the dilemma of the past eight centuries—as well as the greatest
lie he had ever told? The most seditious secret?
Which group of deities was he to petition?
Damien rubbed his palm against the cold, abrasive wall and then scratched a mysterious
symbol into the stone with a hardened claw. Placing his palm over the pictogram to
hide it, he hung his head in shame, remembering the night of Saber’s birth. Recalling
everything he had done. Wishing like hell that he could just go back in time and have
that moment to do over, he shook his head in confusion: Would he, though, do things
any differently, that is?
Damien had brutalized the frail human woman for days, before viciously mounting her
in order to sire his first set of twins—surely, there was nothing he would have done
differently there. The female had been a small, diminutive woman of little consequence:
In fact, he could hardly remember if her hair had been brown or blond. He did remember,
however, that she had put up quite a struggle on the sacrificial stone as his twin
sons clawed their way out of her fragile body, tearing through her innards, shattering
her ribs, and forcing their way into the world. He had been forced to incinerate her
corpse almost immediately in response to the horrific smell, and then he had turned
his attention directly to his duty: to the requirement of the Blood Curse—sacrificing
the firstborn son.
He moaned at the strength of the memory. He had turned his back on the second-born
child, the one who would live, for only a second—
just one second
—while he had placed the firstborn child on the altar.
But that one second had been one too many. Far too long.
Why had he set the baby down?
The decision, as he thought back on it, was incomprehensible. Maybe he had wanted
to keep his living child far, far away from the greedy clutches of the Blood, lest
the vengeful spirit get confused and take them both. Or maybe he had just been so
full of hubris, heady from the power of the rape and kill and the ensuing birth, that
he had thought himself and his children invincible.
Damien Alexiares had been wrong.
And his remaining son had paid with his life when the human brother of the woman he
had violated, a vampire-hunter on top of everything else, had stormed into the cavern
and sprayed the child with diamond-tipped bullets, tossing him into the very fire
that consumed his sister in his lust for revenge.
Damien had flown into a virulent rage. He had been utterly inconsolable. On one hand,
the Blood had come for his firstborn son, taking him in an eternal cycle of vengeance
that never ceased, even as, on the other hand, the brother of the worthless piece
of trash he had used to incubate his children had put his second son to death.
He had been absolutely devastated—just as he was now.
Rendering himself invisible, Damien Alexiares had shredded that brazen vampire-hunter
into a thousand pieces of so much trash, sending him to whatever afterlife his sister
now inhabited. Yet even that had not been enough. He had stewed and paced and spat
in a red haze of fury, until, in a rare moment of clarity, he had remembered the house
of Jadon and the recent Blood Moon: that damnable, taunting sign that appeared in
the heavens whenever a son of Jadon was given his
…and his own twin sons.
In the midst of his grief and rage, Damien had somehow recalled the fact that the
sign had occurred exactly thirty days before: The celestial god Serpens had showered
his favor on one of the sons of Jadon, giving him thirty days to claim his
, bear twin sons of his own, and sacrifice the Dark One of the two progeny to the
It didn’t require any divination to figure out who the chosen male was, or to obtain
the name of his human
: Such things were common knowledge in the house of Jaegar, and whenever they could,
the Dark Ones used that knowledge to strike out at their formidable enemies of light.
Indeed, the male had been a Master Warrior, not yet an Ancient, named Rafael Dzuna;
and his destiny had been a human woman passing through the valley by the name of Lorna.
A quick trip to the upper hall of annals, and Damien had garnered the name of their
surviving son: Sabino Dzuna, born under the ruling moon of the god Serpens, child
of light to a sacrificed twin of darkness.
Had Damien’s own tragedy occurred only a couple of hours earlier, he might have had
a chance to steal the dark twin, the child that was to be turned over to the Curse,
but fate had not blessed him so that day.
Thinking of Saber now, how could he wish that? The dark lords of hell could not have
given him a better son than the one he had taken on that fateful night.
He smiled at the memory, even as his heart wept from the knowledge of his impending
loss. Eight hundred years ago, the Light Vampyr had lived in hidden cliff dwellings
as well as sparse stone lodgings that were much more spread apart. As attacks from
Dark Ones were infrequent, they were generally carefree in their comings and goings.
Taking Sabino—Saber—from his crib had been as easy as taking blood from a human baby,
hardly sport at all. But the moment he had looked into those dark eyes, he had known…this
was his son for all time.
And so it came to pass: He had brought the light infant back to the colony and passed
him off as the child he had lost, a son of his own blood, subject to the approval
of the dark lord S’nepres—the twin energy of Serpens, residing in the abyss. When
at last he bathed the child in his own blood, and S’nepres consecrated the babe by
turning his hair a true crimson and black, like those of the males born to the house
of Jaegar, Damien had known it was fate.
Always meant to be.
For whatever reason, his true firstborn son had been lost, but Sabino Dzuna, inaugurated
with the name Saber, had simply and divinely taken the lost child’s place. And 200
years later, when Damien had decided to kidnap and violate another human woman in
order to sire more sons, he had been allowed to keep both of the twins: Dane and Diablo.
His family had been complete.
Only now, he would lose one of his own, the most precious to his rotting soul.
Damien stared at the symbol he had etched into the wall, the pictogram representing
the celestial deity Serpens, and quickly scratched it out, lest the dark lord S’nepres
strike him dead where he stood. Would S’nepres answer his prayer now and save Saber?
Demons rarely delighted in the giving of life, but if he prayed to Serpens, the true
god of Saber’s birth, would even Serpens care enough to help the child now?
He hung his head in despair and fury.
By all that was unholy, Saber was going to die.
Saber Alexiares tugged at the ties that bound him to the post, knowing that he was
too weak from blood loss to break free or escape. As he glanced toward the eastern
horizon, his heart sank in his soulless chest.
That great ball of fire that journeyed every day from the east to the west…
Entire civilizations of humans had worshipped it throughout history; many more counted
on it to give life to the trees and the plants of the fields today; but to his kind,
the sons of Jaegar, it was an abomination, a scourge of nature to be feared above
The sun was dreaded more than the vampire-hunting societies, the Lycans, or even the
males in the house of Jadon—for its rays meant certain death. And not an easy or painless
passing, but the slow, insidious cleansing of darkness by light. A purging by fire
that was said to burn like acid flowing through the veins, like alcohol permeating
an open wound, to pierce the skin and the internal organs like a thousand blades of
steel, each one sharper and more finely honed than the last, rendering the dying vampire
incapacitated by an agony that assaulted his mind, body, and soul without mercy.
It was a final reckoning that no one dared provoke. And even young boys were taught
to flee from its light, to dive away from busted windows in desperation, to calculate
their comings and goings from the colony with infinite precision for one reason and
one reason only: to always,
avoid the sun. The fear of the sun was more than ingrained or conditioned; it was
instinctive and all-consuming.
Despite his desperate attempt at courage, Saber’s heart thundered in his chest, and
he refused to meet the eyes of his accusers, not because the warriors in the house
of Jadon intimidated him—and not because he gave a damn what they thought—but because
his mind was too consumed by primordial terror to focus on who was in front of him.
Eight hundred years of conditioning had stricken terror into his soul, and his vision
was growing blurry beneath the onslaught of fear.
He hung his head forward, not wanting to meet the sun with his gaze when, at last,
it rose over the horizon. From all he had been told, the first rays burned the orbs
right out of their sockets, and then it began to penetrate the brain—
“Stop!” he commanded himself, helpless to get control over the fear. “Do not think
In his debilitating state of weakness, he swayed where he stood, hanging from two
posts like a sacrificial lamb, and then he prayed to the dark lord of his birth that
the demon might take his soul before the sun began to scorch him: Even the tortures
of hell were a welcome substitute compared to what would soon be rising over the canyon.
Saber felt a sickening wave of nausea wash over him, and he struggled not to vomit
in front of his enemies. And then he saw the faintest glimpse of something he had
never expected to behold in all of his 800 years.
Natural, solar light.
The sun peeking its blazing face over the horizon.
Terror seized him like a vise, and the air rushed out of his body. Every instinct,
every ounce of training he had received over the centuries, assailed him at once,
demanding flight. Demanding that he flee to the shade.
He had to get out of the sun!
Summoning whatever strength he had left, Saber succumbed to pure hysteria, his mind
a red haze of insanity.
Get out of the sun! Get out of the sun!
The light! The light!
The sounds that came from his throat were inhuman; the contortions of his body, as
he bucked and pulled and twisted and turned in a feverish attempt to break his bonds,
were desperately grotesque. His arms snapped like twigs, and the vertebrae in his
spine popped like corn behind the effort, yet he still continued to struggle mightily,
his frenzied psyche driving him over a ledge from which he would never return. The
flesh on his feet grew bloodied and torn as the appendages tore against the stones
on the ground. As he tried in vain to run.
But the air wouldn’t move through his lungs!
His body wouldn’t budge—not even when he broke his wrists in an effort to free his
hands from the manacles.
Saber could not escape.
As his world became nothing but a living, breathing ball of fire, scorching away even
the last remnants of what had been his sanity, Saber Alexiares descended into a world
of madness where the sun was the devil, and he was the greatest sinner on earth.