Read Bonds of Blood [Lords of the Expanse] (Siren Publishing Classic) Online
Authors: Honor James
Lords of the Expanse
Bonds of Blood
It was an arrangement, a contract, a deal between factions. Andries Mauricio is a soldier, does his duty, serves his people, and prays to die with dignity when his day comes. But then
steps into his life, rearranges all his preconceived notions, and puts his carefully controlled world into a tailspin. If only he knew for sure she was there for him and not to gain information for her backstabbing father.
Every moment of her life is filled with terror and worry, every moment carefully thought out so as not to bring pain. Xandra Ripley knows how her days will end. Then it all changes with the first kind thing ever done for her.
With war imminent, there they are, in the middle. Xandra wants safety. Andries wants his enemies dead. Can two more different people ever see what they both have before it's too late? Time is running out, and everything, including their hearts, is on the line in the most important battle of their lives.
Futuristic, Science Fiction, Vampires/Werewolves
Lords of the Expanse
Siren Publishing, Inc.
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A SIREN PUBLISHING BOOK
IMPRINT: Erotic Romance
BONDS OF BLOOD
E-book ISBN: 978-1-62242-320-0
First E-book Publication: February 2013
Cover design by Harris Channing
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Bonds of Blood
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BONDS OF BLOOD
Lords of the Expanse
Copyright © 2013
Vampire Genesis–In a time long since forgotten
Of all things in life there are only certain constants. Life, death, war, and greed, these are all things that remain the same no matter which life you come from, no matter which race you are. Human, Vampire, non-Vampire, it’s all the same, these constants. Sometimes, however, there are some others thrown in, rare and beautiful as they are—kindness, hope, love.
The Vampire Nation was formed in darkness. It crawled from that darkness in its beast form and was eventually tamed by wisdom.
In the beginning the battle between Vampires and non-Vampires of the world Castitas was legen
dary. Brutal and savage, the Vampires began to cut through the more human side of their world like a hot knife through butter. It mattered not to them the destruction they wrought. Their hungers, their base desires were all that mattered.
And then it changed. One day all of this changed when from the non-Vampires came a woman. She was not a woman of large or massive stature, but the power she wielded, the strength she showed brought all battles to a halt. She was a seer, a prophet, and the words she spoke would change everything.
Soft and gentle the words were spoken. The ruler of the Vampire nation laid down his weapon at her feet and listened.
From the non-Vampire of our world will come the first daughters. The daughters of Eve. They will be the beginning of your future Vampire lord. They will lay the foundation of what will come, what will be one of the greatest and most powerful nations in the universe ever.
In the beginning they will bind their souls to the lords of the Vampire nation, teaching them, showing them love and trust. But in time, those first seeds sown will spread on the winds to other worlds to find those lines worthy and strong enough to be a Vampire lord’s true mate.
Together the first daughters here in the non-Vampire realm and your chosen of the Vampire nation will learn just what it means to be bound as one. They will be the future for all, Vampire and non-Vampire, my lord. Soon each of the High Lords who serve under you will begin their house. Honor, truth, justice and equality will be at the very heart of this. To these first High Lords a bride shall soon come and from there, my lord, we shall make history.
Staring out the window that had been specially treated to keep out the damaging rays of their sun, Andries’s mind was on things other than the discussion in the room behind him. He knew that he should be paying attention, but he had no patience for politics and the mechanics of the so-called “peace” talks. He knew war, how to kill in absolute silence, how to take a life with ease, thousands of variations and all of them without a weapon. Put a weapon in his hands and, just as it was with his men and the others of their military, he was nigh unstoppable.
“Colonel Mauricio,” one of the voices behind him called, attempting to regain his attention to the discussion currently on the floor.
Turning his six-foot-six frame, Andries lifted a brow which matched the blacker-than-night hair cut in the brutally short military style as he focused his citron gaze on the speaker. As it always did, his unusual eye color made the man decidedly uncomfortable, so much so that he looked down to the papers before him to avoid it. “Yes?” Andries asked, his voice a low rumble of sound, one he’d once heard made a man wish for death rather than hear anything more from his mouth.
Clearing his throat, the chancellor, a member of their ruling Alliance, glanced to the others as though hoping they would speak up so as to remove Andries’s attention from him. They all appeared to be ignoring him, quite pointedly. “What are your thoughts on what the Syndicate has proposed?” the chancellor asked after a moment of discomfort.
Ah yes, the Syndicate of Systems. A rather innocuous term for the human vultures and butchers that led the people under them with bloody and iron fists. Any who opposed the Syndicate became barely even a footnote in history as they were crushed under the Syndicate’s bootheels. And they dared to refer to his people as animals. At least his people had come to a peace amongst themselves and the worlds under their umbrella of protection, and it hadn’t been done in oceans of blood either.
Running his tongue lightly over his teeth, Andries considered the “offer” the Syndicate had proposed not a fortnight before. A high-born daughter of one of their leaders in marriage to a lord of his world. It was the Syndicate’s hope that this marriage would allow them entry to what the Castitans controlled, their space, the planets, and, most importantly in the Syndicate’s minds, the natural resources undisturbed upon said planets.
“You would need to find yourself a lord willing to take on a human female, chancellor,” he said in a low tone, ever careful of every word he spoke. “Not just any man is going to accept this, and I doubt greatly that any on our world will see it as the honor these humans continually claim it to be.”
The chancellors all nodded, but he knew that they’d already considered that fact, and he had a sneaking suspicion they’d already decided just who would be the one to receive the “honor.” What made his skin crawl and his blood chill was the dawning realization that he was a sitting duck for their grand plan. Andries was not just a soldier of their people, but, because of a circumstance of birth, he was also a very high-ranking lord.
All of a sudden so much came to him in crystal clarity. Stepping forward, he cut the distance that he’d been careful to maintain up to that moment for their “comfort” and watched with some internal satisfaction as they all forced themselves to remain in place, though many flinched and he was sure at least two jumped practically from their skin. “If you are thinking of having me step into this ‘honor’”—his lips curled up in a sneer that bared one of his long incisors—“you had better think again.”
Clearing his throat, the chancellor seemed to be searching for his voice as he eyed him. “But, my lord,” he said, his voice higher than normal, “we’ve already spoken with your father and he’s agreed this is exactly what should happen.” Those words were thrown out as if they might save him from Andries’s wrath.
It did have the effect of stopping Andries where he stood. “He what?” he asked in stunned horror. The man that had given him life had never been his father in any sense of the word, and yet, they thought his “permission” would put him in his place.
“Your father told us to let you know that it was his wish you accept this newest station or…” Another of the chancellors trailed off when cold yellow eyes turned his way.
“Or?” Andries growled the word out in question.
“Or he would remove his claim to you being his son,” the chancellor finished in a barely there whisper.
Stunned, Andries stared at him for a long time as those words ricocheted in his head. If his—he sneered internally—father removed his claim of the blood tie between them, Andries would lose his position in the military and be shunned from all of society. He saw the sympathetic looks the chancellors directed his way, but he ignored them. Swallowing hard, his pride pricked by the hateful position his father had placed him in, he nodded. “Fine,” he said in a biting tone. “If that is what needs to happen, then so be it, but if she is not in agreement of this fully, without threat from the Syndicate, it’s off.”