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Authors: Amanda Ashley

Bound By Blood

BOOK: Bound By Blood
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“JUST A TASTE, LOVE, THAT’S ALL.”
 
She rarely drank from a living source. Being only half vampire, she lacked the inescapable need to hunt, but there was no denying that taking blood from mortals was a pleasurable sensation. No one had ever taken her blood. What would it be like, to be prey instead of predator? To feel Zack’s fangs at her throat? Driven by curiosity, she canted her head to the side, giving Zack access to her neck, only then realizing that she was putting her life in his hands. He was older, stronger. If he decided to drain her dry, she wouldn’t be able to stop him.
He must have sensed her sudden apprehension, because he said, “It’s all right, Katy. You don’t have to do it if you’ve changed your mind.”
“I haven’t,” she said, and it was true. At that moment, she wanted nothing more than to nourish Zack with her life’s blood.
Murmuring her name, he bent his head to her neck.
She had expected it to hurt, at least a little, but there was only a rush of warmth when his fangs pierced her skin, and then a flood of pleasure that was sensual beyond belief. Heat flowed through her, bringing all her senses to life, pooling deep within the very heart of her being, stealing the strength from her limbs, until all she wanted was to lose herself in his touch.
Books by Amanda Ashley
 
BOUND BY BLOOD
 
BOUND BY NIGHT
 
DEAD PERFECT
 
DEAD SEXY
 
DESIRE AFTER DARK
 
EVERLASTING DESIRE
 
EVERLASTING KISS
 
IMMORTAL SINS
 
NIGHT’S KISS
 
NIGHT’S MASTER
 
NIGHT’S PLEASURE
 
NIGHT’S TOUCH
 
A WHISPER OF ETERNITY
 
 
Published by Kensington Publishing Corporation
B
OUND
BY
B
LOOD
 
Amanda Ashley
 
 
ZEBRA BOOKS
KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.
http://www.kensingtonbooks.com
 
All copyrighted material within is Attributor Protected.
To Sweet Sue
I love you, Cuz
Prologue
 
From the Journal of Alexandru Chisca
Senior Member of the Romanian Vampire Council
 
I remember it well, the night that Calin Sherrad, Master of our Coven, called our people together. Calin was a tall, imposing figure, feared and respected by one and all. A proud man, never defeated in battle, he stared at those of us assembled in the Great Hall of the Carpathian Fortress. The tension within the Hall was a palpable thing as all who pledged their allegiance to Calin waited for him to speak. Most of us were related to Calin by marriage or by blood. The members of the Vampire Council, myself among them, stood to one side of the Great Hall. We all wore the long black hooded robes of our office.
A hush fell over us as Calin began to speak.
“I have called you here on a matter of grave importance.”
Calin spoke quietly, yet his voice filled the room. I felt a shiver of unease as I waited for him to go on.
“For many years, we have lived in peace, carefully keeping our existence a secret from the mortal world. Occasionally, a rogue has brought the hunters down upon us, bringing danger to us all.”
He spat out the word
hunters
as if it left a bad taste in his mouth.
“Not only do the humans outnumber us,” he said, his voice rising, “but they have the advantage of being able to hunt during the day, when we are at our most vulnerable. Many of our people were killed in the last Great Hunt.
“It was for this reason that my father built this Fortress. It was his example that caused others of our kind to build similar places of refuge in other parts of our country. Since the last Great Hunt, we have endeavored to keep our existence a secret from the mortal world.
“For many centuries, it was believed that the vampires of Romania were the only vampires in existence. But that is no longer true. I do not know where these Others came from or how long they have existed, but they are not like us. They kill indiscriminately, feeding on men, women, and even children. Unlike our kind, they are able to create others like them. These fledgling vampires have an insatiable thirst for blood. They often leave their prey lying out in the open, drained of blood, to be found by humans.”
Murmurs of disbelief ran through the crowd.
“Mortals cannot differentiate between our kind and these barbaric Others,” Calin said. “Vampire hunters are out in force, killing our kind and the Others, and, in their hysteria, hunters have been known to kill those of their own kind. In some parts of the world, the ground is soaked with the blood of vampires and innocent mortals alike.”
I glanced at the other members of the council, and saw my own horror reflected in their eyes.
Calin paused, his gaze again moving over the assembly. “This cannot go on,” he said, his voice ringing from the walls and the rafters. “Tonight, I am declaring war on the Others! We must find them and annihilate them before they destroy our people and our way of life.”
There were scattered shouts of approval from the younger vampires in the crowd.
“By my decree, every Romanian male will make this fight his own.” Calin’s gaze moved over the Hall, settling briefly on the face of every man. “So let it be recorded,” he intoned with great solemnity. “So let it be done.”
“So let it be recorded,” the members of the council repeated in unison. “Done and done.”
As I spoke the words, I wondered at the wisdom of our decision.
There followed a period in our history known as the Dark Times. Many Romanian vampires were killed as the war raged throughout the known world. Some were destroyed by hunters, some by the Others. Towns and cities were laid waste.
As soon as our children were old enough to understand, they were taught that the Others were the enemy. From childhood, every Romanian male was trained in the art of war. Many of our unmarried women joined our men in battle.
Peace had been taken from our land and our people. Hatred for the Others grew, instilled in the hearts of our children and our grandchildren.
The war against the Others lasted for over a hundred years. In that time, many lives were lost on both sides, including that of Calin. His oldest son, Rodin Sherrad, assumed his father’s place as Master of the Coven. None challenged his right to do so.
Rodin was a fierce and fearless warrior. Ever valiant in battle, he was driven by a relentless need to avenge his father’s death. His daring and determination infused our people with courage and a renewed determination to win.
Within a year, the Others had been defeated and peace was restored.
Rodin deployed our men to every part of the world to act as keepers of the peace. They were charged with the task of assuring that any Others who had survived the conflict were destroyed before they could wreak havoc among the humans, or create more of their kind. Our people established new covens in other countries throughout the known world.
Under his leadership, our existence has remained a secret.
The Others have been mostly forgotten.
Our way of life is safe once again.
Our people have flourished.
Long live Rodin Sherrad, Master of the Carpathian Coven. And long live those of his blood.
BOOK: Bound By Blood
13.03Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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