Authors: Violette Dubrinsky
Leon Arnaud is a French werewolf on a mission in America. Unlike most of his kind, he cannot sit idly back and watch humans commit one of the vilest atrocities he’s ever seen: slavery. With wealth and connections at his disposal, he arrives in Louisiana with one purpose and one purpose only: to free as many slaves as possible. His mission is upended when he finds not only slaves on his newly acquired plantation, but one of his own kind, a female werewolf.
A slave, Penny has never met a white man who does not think her beneath him. Her new master is an anomaly. Not only does he does he treat her as an equal, but he’s like her: able to change forms, taking that of a wolf whenever he chooses. From Leon, Penny learns that what she’s previously dismissed as a curse is her true nature. As he teaches her how to control her bodies—wolf and human both—and use her powers, the attraction between them grows, quickly becoming undeniable.
Can their love survive on a plantation in the slave-holding South?
Colorblind is a tale of love in adversity, of two souls defying the odds to be together.
Copyright © 2013 by Violette Dubrinsky.
All rights reserved. The illegal distribution of this book by any entity (individual, corporation or robot) will be deemed fraudulent.
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Any resemblance of characters to people, living or deceased is unintentional. All trademarks herein are the property of their respective owners and used only for the sake of creating a believable work of fiction.
Thank you for your unwavering support. I am so excited that many of you enjoyed
Taken By Moonlight
, and want more of the Moonlight series.
was written years ago and started out as a fan-requested short story, which quickly grew in length as I realized there was much more to tell. Although I call it the prequel to
Taken By Moonlight
, this can be read as a stand-alone story.
focuses on two different characters, Leon and Penny, who made a brief cameo in
Taken By Moonlight
and are integral characters in this series.
I hope you enjoy this one as much you did
Taken By Moonlight
To my readers.
You inspire me to continue telling stories.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
“Here are your keys, Monsieur Arnaud. I believe you will be very satisfied with your new home.”
Reaching out a large, tanned hand, Leon Arnaud took the heavy stack of keys and flashed a smile, revealing straight, white teeth to go along with equally perfect features. The proprietor’s grin faded and he coughed to hide his sudden nervousness.
Walter Charles was a small man, barely five and a half feet tall and of a wiry build in contrast to Arnaud’s overly tall and muscular frame. It was natural for him to be intimidated by the larger man’s stature, but there was something else about the Frenchman that gave him pause. Although dressed in the elegant traveling finery of a man of wealth and standing, something lurked in the cool green of his eyes, in his lazy yet controlled gait, something that was extremely…unsettling. Arnaud was unlike any of his other clients, who were wealthy and arrogant enough, but whom he could cut down with a witty phrase, put in place with a calm lift of a graying brow. Instinct told him the man before him would not be so easily cowed.
Clearing his throat, Walter turned back to the sprawling white-column plantation. Oak Alley. Seated proudly at the end of a long, oak-lined drive, it was easily one of the DuPont Bank’s most elegant properties. In anticipation of Arnaud’s arrival, Walter had the building washed, and devoid of the reddish brown dust the Louisiana winds easily kicked up, it was striking. Although a typical two-story estate, the house towered over many of the neighboring properties. The original owner had packed the earth higher to increase drainage in the event of harsh rains and floods. Additionally, the solid Greek pillars that wrapped around the entire building sported artistic designs at the bottoms—some of lion and gargoyle heads—and pairs of maroon shutters rested near every window.
A sneeze pulled him from his admiration, and Walter found himself staring at a young slave boy wielding a broom and dustpan. He stood mere feet from them on the lower patio, moving at a snail’s pace and peeking at them as he swept.
“Mr. Pleasant is in charge of the slaves,” Walter told Arnaud absentmindedly. “He is one of the overseers here.” Pulling out his pocket watch, he surveyed the time. It was just after eleven o’clock in the morning. “He should be meeting us shortly.”
“How many slaves will I take into possession?”
Arnaud’s voice had a deep, commanding timbre with the barest hint of a French accent. Walter didn’t know much of the man—just that his family was well-known in French society with substantial ties to their government—but he assumed Arnaud had spent time in England, as many Europeans did, possibly for education. With his air of cool indifference and self-importance, Leon Arnaud struck him as an Eton and Oxford graduate.
Gently pulling at his tie, which suddenly seemed a bit tight, he replied, “Fifty-seven, Monsieur Arnaud.”
A dark brow lifted and the barest hint of smile disappeared. Green eyes narrowed. “You stated sixty in our correspondence, Mr. Charles.” Before Walter could make an excuse, the Frenchman added, “I agreed to purchase this plantation with all of its slaves. Sixty, to be exact. I expect a reduction in price, else you will find me three slaves of the same caliber. Is that understood?”
Swallowing, Walter nodded immediately. “O-of course, Mr. Arnaud. Some of the slaves took ill. .Fever I believe. Don’t worry. I had every intention of reimbursing their cost.”
He hadn’t. He’d hoped that like many of the new slave masters coming from abroad, Leon Arnaud would not remember how many slaves had been agreed to, just that there were slaves. The sound of a horse whinnying caught his attention and Walter looked up and to his right to see a scruffy man with long, dirty, blond hair, an unkempt beard, and an overly disorderly visage, approaching. His mouth curled at the sight, but he managed to say, “And here is Mr. Pleasant now.”
Leaping from the horse, the burly man wiped a hand across his brow, before sliding it along his already soiled pants. He spat into the grass and approached Walter, holding out the offending appendage.
He shook it as grudgingly as he had the first time he’d met the man, before he introduced Arnaud to his new overseer. The Frenchman looked in no way intimidated by the brawny American. It didn’t surprise Walter, not the way Leon Arnaud towered over him, too.
“So you’s the new owner of Oak Alley?” He waited for Leon’s slow nod before nodding himself. “I’s in charge of these here niggers. Hollis too. He watchin’ ’em right now. Any punishment, you send ’em to me or Hollis, and we shape ’em up right.” He touched his hand to a thick, coiled, black whip attached to his waist, and grinned.
“That’s good to know,” Leon replied in a terse, no-nonsense voice. “I want to see them.”
Pleasant seemed taken aback and turned to Walter in confusion before shaking his head. “It’s harvest season, Mr. Arnaud. Most of ’em in the fields ‘til sundown.”
“Perhaps you can be introduced to the slaves in the house first?” Walter suggested.
Arnaud contemplated before he nodded. “Yes, and Mr. Pleasant, I want the rest of the slaves lined up and ready for inspection before dusk.”
The overseer shrugged then nodded. “’Course, Mr. Arnaud.”
Leon Arnaud surveyed the slaves lined up neatly before the large kitchen. They were house slaves and as he expected: light of skin, some of hair and eye. He’d been informed by both American and European contacts, many of whom were family, that this was the case in the Americas: the darker slaves were put to the field while the lighter ones, many the offspring of the master and other masters who’d sold them, tended the house. As if slavery wasn’t enough, that these human men—white men—would treat their own children so….
He found the idea of human slavery atrocious. Every species had had some form of it. Centuries ago, vampires had kept humans and witches before being forced to stop by their lost ability to roam in the daylight. Likewise, powerful witch covenants had enslaved vampires, as had his own kind, the werewolves. In the midst of war, many things had been accepted, even condoned. The major difference was that unlike the humans, vampires, witches, and werewolves understood that such enslavement could not last more than one lifetime. Most hadn’t even lasted so long. The humans, by far the weakest of the species, had little concept of that. Their idea of slavery was forever.
This was not his fight.
Most werewolves refused to intervene for that very reason: human affairs were none of their concern. As long as their community flourished undetected, all was well. But Leon could not sit back at his grand estate in France, comfortable in the knowledge that he had basic liberties, and “let the humans be”. They were the animals, his kind, yet none would treat another of kind—or of a different species—in this abhorrent manner. Even animals had morals.
“What’s yer name,
?” Pleasant demanded this of a woman who looked at least twenty years his senior.
Resisting the urge to toss the man against the wall and teach him the proper way to address a female, an older one deserving of respect for her wisdom, Leon slowed his breathing and looked on, seemingly unfazed. Pleasant, so ironically named, would be the first of the staff to go.
The woman visibly cowered, her golden-brown skin blanching as she stepped forward, eyes lowered. “Clarisse, sir.”
When Clarisse remained silent for moments too long, Pleasant growled, “Tell ’im wha’ you do!”
She flinched, but never did she lift her gaze. “I’s the cook, Massa.”
Pleasant continued in that manner until the others introduced themselves. There were six in total. Four women, all of varying ages, and two young boys who resembled each other, and probably the last master, with their dark blond curls and blue eyes. They couldn’t be more than ten, and from the quick and curious looks they passed him when they thought he wasn’t watching, they had yet to learn their “places” in this society.
After his introduction to the house slaves, Walter Charles took him on a tour of his new home. It was Leon’s first time seeing it beyond sketches and markups. After arriving in Louisiana two days ago, he’d sent his clothing ahead and booked a room in a Baton Rouge tavern, where he’d briefly met with others of his kind who shared his views.
Like its outer shell, the inside of the plantation was magnificent. The wooden floors seemed recently polished, the walls freshly painted, and even the furniture appeared new. Even as he appreciated the beauty of the place, Leon’s mind was already pulling away from the scenery and returning to his mission. He couldn’t force American humans to end slavery; that would lead to exposure and he’d never break the unspoken rule of silence among his people. What he could do was help some of the slaves. He was in Louisiana to bring north as many slaves as possible. As their new owner, it would be easier to do so without suspicion, at least for some time.