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Authors: J.R. Rain

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Moon Child (Vampire for Hire #4)

BOOK: Moon Child (Vampire for Hire #4)
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MOON CHILD

 

by

 

J.R. RAIN

 

Vampire for Hire #4

 

 

 

 

Acclaim for J.R. Rain:

 

“Be prepared to lose sleep!”

—James Rollins, international bestselling
author of The Devil’s Colony

 

“I love this!”

—Piers Anthony, international bestselling
author of A Spell for Chameleon

 

“J.R. Rain delivers a blend of action and wit
that always entertains. Quick with the one-liners, but his
characters are fully fleshed out (even the undead ones) and you’ll
come back again and again.”

—Scott Nicholson, bestselling author of
Liquid Fear

 

“Dark Horse is the best book I’ve read in a
long time!”

—Gemma Halliday, bestselling of Spying in
High Heels

 

“Moon Dance is absolutely brilliant!”

—Lisa Tenzin-Dolma, author of Understanding
the Planetary Myths

 

“Powerful stuff!”

—Aiden James, bestselling author of The
Vampires’ Last Lover

 

“Moon Dance is a must read. If you like Janet
Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum, bounty hunter, be prepared to love J.R.
Rain’s Samantha Moon, vampire private investigator.”

—Eve Paludan, author of Letters from
David

 

“Impossible to put down. J.R. Rain’s Moon
Dance is a fabulous urban fantasy replete with multifarious and
unusual characters, a perfectly synchronized plot, vibrant dialogue
and sterling witticism all wrapped in a voice that is as beautiful
as it is rich and vividly intense as it is relaxed.”

—April Vine, author of The Midnight Rose

 

 

OTHER BOOKS BY J.R. RAIN

 

The Lost Ark

The Body Departed

 

 

VAMPIRE FOR HIRE SERIES

Moon Dance

Vampire Moon

American Vampire

Moon Child

Vampire Dawn (coming soon)

 

THE JIM KNIGHTHORSE SERIES

Dark Horse

The Mummy Case

Hail Mary (coming soon)

 

ELVIS MYSTERY SERIES

Elvis Has Not Left the Building

You Ain’t Nothin’ But a Hound Dog (coming
soon)

 

THE SPINOZA SERIES

The Vampire With the Dragon Tattoo

The Vampire Who Played Dead

The Vampire in the Iron Mask (coming
soon)

 

THE GRAIL QUEST TRILOGY

Arthur

Merlin (coming soon)

 

WITH SCOTT NICHOLSON

Cursed!

Ghost College

The Vampire Club

Daughters of Eve (coming soon)

 

WITH PIERS ANTHONY

Aladdin Relighted

Aladdin Sins Bad

 

SHORT STORIES

The Bleeder and Other Stories

Teeth and Other Stories

Vampire Nights and Other Stories

Nitemare and Other Stories (coming soon)

 

SCREENPLAYS

Judas Silver

Lost Eden

 

SHORT STORY ANTHOLOGIES

Vampires, Zombies and Ghosts, Oh My!

 

 

MOON CHILD

eBook published by Smashwords.com

Copyright © 2011 by J.R. Rain

Cover design by Bren at

[email protected]

 

Smashwords.com Edition, License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal
enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to
other people. If you would like to share this book with another
person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you
share it with. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it,
or it was not purchased for your use only, then you should return
to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for
respecting the hard work of this author.

 

 

 

Dedication

To Tatinha, with love and many beijos.

 

Acknowledgments

A big thank you to Sandy Johnston, Eve
Paludan and Elaine Babich. My crew.

 

 

 

Moon Child

 

 

 

“To be immortal is commonplace; except for
man, all creatures are immortal, for they are ignorant of death;
what is divine, terrible, incomprehensible, is to know that one is
immortal.”

—Jorge Luis Borges

 

“The only thing wrong with immortality is
that it tends to go on forever.”

—Herb Caen

 

 

 

 

 

Previous

 

 

I was flying over the Pacific Ocean.

It was the next night. I had spent the day by
my son’s side, holding his hands, even as the doctors had raced in
and out of the hospital room. Some screamed at me to get out of the
way. One even shoved me out of the way. They fought for his life.
They fought hard to save him.

I watched from his bedside as the doctors
used all their skill and medicines and machines. One doctor told me
to expect the worst. To start making preparations. I told him to go
to hell.

My son, for now, was still hanging on. Still
alive.

For now.

The ocean was black and infinite. Crazy,
glowing lights zigzagged beneath the surface, some bigger than
others, and I knew this was life. Ocean life. Some of the bigger
shapes didn’t zig or zag so much as lumber slowly through the
ocean, sometimes surfacing and blowing out great sprays of water
that refracted the moonlight.

I flapped my massive wings languidly, riding
the tides of night. Cold wind blew over my perfectly aerodynamic
body.

It had been a hell of a day. The black halo
around my son was so dense that it was nearly syrupy. He had only
hours to live, I knew it. Danny was by his side. And so was my
sister and my daughter. Sherbet had stopped by, and so had Fang and
Kingsley. Mercifully, at separate times. Aaron King, Knighthorse
and Spinoza all stopped by, too, each bringing flowers. Aaron King
checked out my healed jaw, saw me talking, and just shook his head
in wonder. Knighthorse and Spinoza were both irked that they had
not been invited to the big showdown at the casino, until I
reminded them that I was a highly trained federal agent who could
take care of myself.

The air was cold, perhaps even freezing, but
I felt perfectly comfortable. The moon was only half full
overhead.

Had it really been only two weeks ago that
the hulking monster who was Kingsley had appeared in my hotel
suite?

I had checked on Maddie, too. The little girl
was going to make it. She had needed a full blood transfusion. The
black halo around her little body had all but disappeared.

The wind seemed to pick up from behind me,
and I soared effortlessly. Below me, the pod of whales seemed to be
keeping pace, their glowing bodies surfacing and spraying. I picked
up speed and quickly swept past them.

I thought of the water. The dark water. The
world seemed to slow down under water. Sound became muted, and
light diffused.

I looked down again...stopped flapping, then
tucked my wings in and dove.

 

* * *

 

I closed my eyes as I broke the surface.

My aerodynamic body cut easily through the
water, and I shot down into the dark depths. But the water, much
like the air, wasn’t truly dark. Sparks of light zipped through it,
bright filaments that lit my way.

I flapped my wings and discovered, to my
great surprise and pleasure, that I easily moved through the water,
my wings expelling it behind me powerfully, moving me quickly
along. Like a manta ray. I was a giant, bat-shaped manta ray.

I flapped my wings slowly but powerfully.
Water surged past me, but did not hurt my eyes. This creature that
I had become was amazingly adaptive and resilient.

I was amazingly adaptive and resilient.

But my son was not. No, my son was dying, and
he would be dead within hours. I knew it. The doctors knew it.
Everyone knew it. You did not need to be a doctor or psychic to see
the encroachment of death.

I could stop his death. I could give him
eternal life, in fact. I could have my baby boy by my side forever.
Detective Hanner had told me how to do it. The process of
transformation. Of turning mortal into immortal.

It was a crazy idea. A reckless idea.

But I could save him—and then later return
his mortality to him with the medallion.

Maybe. No one seemed to know for sure.

I continued flapping, my heart heavy. A
creature sidled up next to me. A dolphin. No, two dolphins. They
kept pace with me, thrusting with their powerful tails. I knew very
little about dolphins but if I had to guess, they looked perplexed
as hell. I didn’t blame them. No doubt they had never seen the
likes of me. A moment later, they peeled away, their auras leaving
behind brightly phosphorescent vapor trails.

My son was going to die within hours. Maybe
sooner.

This much was true.

I could save him. Giving him eternal
life.

And I possessed a legendary medallion that
could give him back his mortality. A loophole in death.

Not too many people had that option.

Not too many mothers. Desperate mothers.

I heard Kingsley’s words again. And what if
you can’t change him back, Sam?

Anthony would be immortal. At age seven.
Doomed to walk the earth forever. At age seven. To drink blood for
all eternity.

At age seven.

It was one thing to consider turning the
handsome, love-struck Fang into my immortal lover, someone who
wanted to fill my nights with pleasure and companionship, perhaps
for the rest of my existence, which could be thousands of years,
but who knew? It was quite another thing to doom Anthony, my
precious, precious child, to that same fate—he would always be
seven years old, and a vampire. I could not even imagine how to
explain it all to him if the medallion did not work.

My heart gave a tremendous heave.

I didn’t know what to do. Who could possibly
know what to do?

Time was running out.

My son was dying.

I tipped one of my wings and veered back
toward the direction I had come.

My mind raced as I flapped hard, surging
through the water, scattering tiny silver fish before me.

And then I came to a decision.

God help me, I came to a decision.

I flapped my wings as hard as I could and
burst free from the ocean and shot up into the night sky.

 

 

 

Chapter One

 

 

The ocean swept beneath me.

The waxing moon reflected off the ripping
currents, keeping pace with my swiftly racing body. White caps
appeared and disappeared and once I caught the spraying plume of a
grey whale surfacing.

Some mothers would fault me for leaving my
son’s side, I knew this. Some would even fault me for saving the
life of a little girl while my son is sick in the hospital, that I
should be by my son’s side at all times, no matter what. I get it.
No doubt some would feel that I should be beating down doors
looking for a cure, not resting until my son is healthy again. I
get that, too.

Below me, a seagull raced just above the
surface, briefly keeping pace with me, until I pulled away. I
dropped my right wing, angling to starboard. The beaches appeared,
and soon the exorbitantly expensive homes. A party was raging in
the back of one of them. I passed in front of the moon, and I spied
one or two of the party-goers looking up, pointing.

But I’m not like most mothers. In fact, I
would even hazard to guess there are very few of us, indeed. I
could see my son’s imminent death. I could see the doctors failing.
I could see it, feel it, hear it.

And not only that, I knew the hour of his
death, and it was approaching.

Fast.

The beachfront homes gave way to marshy lands
which gave way to beautiful condos and hillside homes. I swept over
UCI and into a low-lying cloud which scattered before me, dispersed
by my powerfully beating wings.

I had a decision to make. I had the biggest
decision of my life to make. So I had to think. I had to get away,
even for just a few minutes to sort through it. I had to know that
what I was about to do, or not do, was the right decision.

Until I realized there was only one
answer.

I was a mother first. Always first, and if I
had a chance to save my son, you better damn well believe I was
going to save him.

I flapped harder, powering through the cloud
and out into the open air. My innate sense of navigation kicked in
and I was locked on to St. Jude’s Hospital in Orange.

 

 

 

Chapter Two

 

 

It was late when I swept into the parking
lot.

I circled just above the glow of halogen
lighting, making sure the parking lot was indeed empty, before
dropping down next to my minivan.

BOOK: Moon Child (Vampire for Hire #4)
9.04Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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