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Authors: Kaitlyn Davis

Tags: #Vampires, #love, #paranormal romance, #Fantasy, #Magic, #Young Adult, #heroine

Scorch

BOOK: Scorch
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Scorch

Midnight Fire Series Book Four

 

By

Kaitlyn Davis

 

Smashwords Edition

 

 

Copyright 2012 Kaitlyn Davis

 

Cover Art: Manipulated by Kaitlyn Davis from
attribution licensed flickr creative commons photos by:
Jason Hargrove
and
Swami
Stream
.

 

The right of Kaitlyn Davis to be identified as the
author of this work has been asserted in accordance with the
Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988

 

This eBook is copyright material and must not be
copied, reproduced, transferred, distributed, leased, licensed or
publicly performed or used in any way except as specifically
permitted in writing by the author, as allowed under the terms and
conditions under which it was purchased or as strictly permitted by
applicable copyright law. Any unauthorized distribution or use of
this text may be direct infringement of the author's rights and
those responsible may be liable in law accordingly.

 

This is a work of fiction and any resemblances
between the characters and persons living or dead is purely
coincidental.

 

 

 

Other Titles by Kaitlyn Davis

 

Ignite
(Midnight Fire Series Book One)

Simmer
(Midnight Fire Series Book Two)

Blaze
(Midnight Fire Series Book Three)

 

 

 

To my family for their unconditional love,

my friends for their overwhelming support,

and my fans for their incredible enthusiasm.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

 

 

 

Table of Contents

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Epilogue

About the Author

 

 

 

Chapter
One

 

From a chair in the corner of his hospital
room, Kira looked at the steady rise and fall of Tristan's chest.
His movements were in tune to the constant beep of the machines
wired to his body. They were the only things telling her that he
was alive, because every other part of him was still. His mouth was
relaxed, slightly open to let each exhale escape. His eyelids were
closed, his brows were flat and the stress-induced wrinkles
normally bunching his forehead were gone. He looked oddly at peace,
floating between the realm of the living and the dead.

But it was time for him to wake up.

Two days had passed since the fight in
Aldrich's castle: one long day of travel from England to Sonnyville
and one long day explaining everything to the Protector
Council.

Kira couldn't erase the pain in her
grandfather's eyes as she told him that his only daughter, her
mother, was truly gone—that a vampire had stolen her memories,
replicated her face, and pretended to be her just to fool Kira.

She couldn't forget the wounded look on
Luke's face as she explained Tristan's miraculous transformation to
the other conduits. His kiss still burned in her mind, playing on
repeat, making her feel alive. Her love for Luke had been simmering
in the back of her thoughts all this time, and it had finally
broken to the surface, blossoming to a strong flame before she
really even realized it was there. But looking at a human Tristan,
now so fragile and new to the world, Kira wasn't sure she could let
him go and make him face it alone.

But most of all, Kira couldn't loosen the
knot in her chest, knowing she let Aldrich free—knowing that
somewhere out there he was alive and knew her secret. That was the
worst part of it all, the darkness hiding inside of her that she
couldn't share with anyone, not even Luke. A wedge of evil had
lodged itself in her heart, a little black hole had nestled within
her flames, and it wasn't going away.

She knew it.

Aldrich knew it.

And Kira didn't see Aldrich forgetting about
that any time soon.

Which was why she had holed up in Tristan's
hospital room, waiting with only her thoughts for company. After
learning that she had been dating a vampire, the other conduits in
Sonnyville started avoiding her. Her grandparents wanted to
reconnect with her, but Kira couldn't stand the waves of
disappointment churning in their eyes—after giving them new hope,
she had failed to bring her birth mother home. Her adoptive parents
had been furious when they heard about her trip to England and Kira
had hung up the phone to escape a lecture. And Luke, Kira's best
friend in the entire world, was getting impatient. He wanted her
decision and she wasn't ready to give it.

So, take away all of those people and who was
left? Her comatose, once vampire now human, ex-boyfriend who
thought he was living in the 1800s. Oh, and who almost choked her
to death when he woke up because he thought she was a demon
witch.

Perfect.

Kira sighed, rolled her eyes and knocked her
head back against the wall. She really was in a corner—physically
and mentally stuck. And she needed Tristan to wake up right now,
before she actually went insane. She needed a distraction, and
telling someone about the one hundred and fifty years of human life
they had missed, well, that ought to take some time.

Antsy, Kira stood and walked to the foot of
Tristan's bed just in time to catch his foot twitch. The conduit
doctors had been keeping him heavily medicated for the past day in
order to study his cell composition, but the twenty-four hours Kira
had granted them was over and Tristan wasn't going to be a lab rat
any longer.

Farther up in the bed, his fingers bent into
a fist and then flexed straight in a stretch.

Kira moved closer, stepping next to his face
so she could put a hand to his warm cheek. His skin had a healthy
flush and a slight tan, which, though natural for a human, seemed
unnatural on him. The tips of her fingers brushed his silky black
hair and Kira studied the slightly curled strands for a moment
before focusing on his eyes.

They blinked once and closed again, but
Kira's heart stopped.

Brown.

She wasn't used to those chocolaty irises
yet. And when he blinked again, Kira forced her breath to
steady.

"Shh," she cooed while stroking his cheek.
The glaze over his eyes began to recede, replaced by confusion and
fear, both somewhat muted from his medication.

"Where…?" He began in a scratchy voice, but
stopped mid-sentence when his gaze caught the fluorescent light
blinking overhead. "What…?" His head tilted and an odd expression
gathered on his face as he surveyed the room.

Oh right, Kira thought, electricity. It was
easy to forget how long ago 1864 really was.

"Please try not to panic," Kira said. After
thinking about this moment for the entire plane ride home from
England, she had decided to leave their relationship out—to pretend
they were never more than friends. It would be easier that way… for
her at least. "I'm Kira," she said, "do you remember your
name?"

"Tristan, Tristan Kent," he said with a deep
swallow and locked his gaze on her, sending a little swarm of
butterflies into her stomach.

"Nice to meet you, Tristan." Kira leaned
back, letting go of his cheek to shake his hand.

"And you, miss…" He trailed off, waiting for
her last name.

"You can just call me Kira," she said. He had
to be introduced to the twenty-first century at some point—might as
well start now.

"Miss Kira," he breathed, letting the words
roll off of his tongue while he reached for her outstretched hand.
Unexpectedly, he brought her fingers to his mouth for a quick
kiss.

Kira untangled their fingers, forcing more
intimate memories out of her head. "What's the last thing you
remember?"

"I was in a forest. Men were screaming all
around me. I was wounded, the pain in my leg was worse than any
other I've felt. I was a foot soldier in the Confederate Army and
the Union had just delivered us a harsh blow."

"Good," Kira said and patted his hand. He
didn't remember England at all—Kira silently thanked her good luck
for that. "The thing is, Tristan, I have a sort of crazy story to
tell you and I need you to just sit there, listen and try to take
it all in. Can you do that?"

"Of course, Miss," he responded before
lifting his hand closer to his face. He tugged at the wire stuck to
his wrist, the one monitoring his pulse.

"Leave that there," Kira said, covering the
spot with her hand.

"But, if I may ask, what—"

"Just listen, I promise I'll try to
explain."

Tristan nodded and set his hand back down on
the bed. His movements were slow and seemed slightly disconnected
from his brain, letting Kira know this calm mood would probably
only last until his meds wore off.

"You don't remember, but we've been friends
for a little while—good friends. I know a lot about you and I know
how you came to be here, in the hospital. But Tristan, I have to
tell you something that will seem a little scary." Kira squeezed
his hand, trying to provide an ounce of comfort. "We're in the
future. The Civil War happened one hundred and fifty years ago,
and—"

Tristan jerked into a seated position and the
beeping of the machines grew to a frantic pace. He squeezed her
shoulders, digging his fingers deep into her skin.

"What do you mean?" He said in a harsh
whisper.

"Tristan, please calm down."

"What year is it?" He said a little
louder.

"Tristan," Kira said, trying to escape his
hold.

"How is this possible?" He shook her, hard
enough to hurt, and an animalistic fear seeped into his stare.
"Where are my men? What did you do?"

Kira slapped him across the face. The sound
echoed against the sterile hospital walls and she stared at her red
palm in shock. She looked up at Tristan, who looked back at her
with an equal expression of surprise.

"I'm sorry," she said slowly.

"No, it is I who must be forgiven. Please
excuse my abhorrent behavior, I am just… well, I can't quite
explain it…confused, scared, lost…to treat a woman so—"

"It's alright," she soothed while taking his
hand, "I understand."

"I do not. How did I come to be here?"

"Let me show you something first."

Kira stood and pushed the chair aside.
Lifting her palm before Tristan's eyes, Kira lit a small and
controlled flame above her fingers, suspending it for a moment.
Tristan inhaled sharply, cutting the air. Kira sucked the fire back
in and dropped her hand.

"There are a lot of impossible things in this
world," she said before Tristan had time to regain his composure.
"And I'm one of them, but so are you."

"Are you a witch?" he asked, unable to hide
the current of fear and hatred traveling with that word.

Kira shook her head. "I'm a conduit, a
vampire hunter, and you were my friend—a good person trapped in a
life he never wanted."

"And what life was that?"

"You don't remember because I just cured you,
returned your humanity, but for decades you lived as a," Kira
hesitated, hating how crushing this word would be to hear, "as a
vampire."

Tristan flat-lined.

His human heart had had too much and it
stopped as soon as she uttered the word. His chest fell back
against the hospital bed, while his head banged painfully against
the wall.

"Tristan!" Kira jumped and shook his
shoulders, trying to wake him up. An alarm sounded from the side of
the room and the intercom system started flashing.

"Help!" Kira yelled, hoping the lightly
staffed conduit hospital still had some nurses available
somewhere.

Leaning over his chest, Kira listened for a
heartbeat but there was none. Forming a fist with one palm over the
other, Kira pumped on his chest to the count of three. She widened
his lips and forced her own breath down the opening, praying he
would wake up.

She pumped again.

His lashes slipped open to reveal nothing but
the whites of his eyes and Kira screamed.

"Move, please," a doctor charged through the
door, pushing Kira gently to the side. He put his fists on
Tristan's chest, pumping, while a nurse jammed oxygen into his
lungs.

BOOK: Scorch
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