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Authors: Natalie G. Owens,Zee Monodee

Séraphine (Eternelles: A Prequel, Book 0.5)

BOOK: Séraphine (Eternelles: A Prequel, Book 0.5)
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SERAPHINE

 

Eternelles
: A Prequel

 

Urban Fantasy Romance

by

Zee Monodee and Natalie G. Owens

 

 

Copyright © 2011-2013 Zee Monodee, Natalie G. Owens.

All Rights Reserved.

Rose of Atlantis Press

Kindle edition

Publisher’s Note
: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

 

Book cover design by Zee Monodee.

Cover photos courtesy of:

www.dreamstime.com 

Images by Fotokastic and Vukvuk.

 

Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of the copyright owner. This book cannot be resold as a used file, and that purchase and download is a one-time final use of this product.

 

The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the copyright owner is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

 

 

 

ABOUT THIS BOOK

 

Séraphine “Sera” Dionysios has everything she could ever wish for—a
nurturing mother, a privileged life, a man who loves her. But, who is the mysterious stranger who keeps staring at her during dinner on the eve of her departure toward a new life? As she prepares to embark on an equally exciting and frightening journey with her husband-to-be, her world comes crashing down and leaves her reeling.

 

SERAPHINE is a prequel to INESCAPABLE (Eternelles: The Beginning, Book 1). About INESCAPABLE:

 

“You won’t regret reading this series; you’ll regret missing it!”—Rebecca Royce, bestselling author of
The Westervelt Wolves
series.

 

An immortal born from an unlikely alliance...

Beautiful mythic Greek heiress Adrasteia 'Adri' Dionysios has roamed the world for millennia, taking her pleasure where she wanted. Until one night, when Fate drops a baby wrapped in fire into her arms. Motherhood is a formidable challenge, but so is figuring out the identity of a mystery man who makes her pulse race.

A vampyre’s obsession…

S
éraphine 'Sera' Dionysios' origins are shrouded in mystery. Torn between a mother whose blood saved her life, and a man who now possesses her soul, the only thing Sera can still cling to is her heart.

One rule matters above all others: Always protect the portal…

When Evil comes to Adri and Sera’s hometown of Shadow Bridge, a place where the mortal human world ends and the supernatural realm starts, it’s up to them to stop a prophecy as old as time itself...or die trying.

http://www.amazon.com/Inescapable-Eternelles-Beginning-Book-ebook/dp/B00CNBW1XS/

Zee Monodee

 

Website/Blog: http://zeemonodee.blogspot.com

Look for Zee Monodee on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest.

 

Natalie G. Owens

 

Website/Blog: http://www.nataliegowens.com

Look for Natalie G. Owens on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest.

 

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

TITLE

ABOUT

SERAPHINE

BIOGRAPHIES

 

 

S
ERAPHINE

 

Eternelles

A Prequel

 

Square jaw, ebony hair, tanned skin. Definitely not British. Or perhaps he is, but spent time abroad.…

Séraphine “Sera” Dionysios tried her damnedest to focus on the serious conversation with William, her fiancé, and not on the brooding man who kept stealing glances at her from four tables away. Yet, he never stared long enough for her to get a good glimpse of his face.

A dark, gothic hero.
Her gaze flitted from broad shoulders, down a well-formed arm—she swallowed, her mouth suddenly dry—to his hand, a big hand wrapped tightly around a mug of ale, thick veins prominent on the back skin, and fingers surprisingly long and graceful. The grip of a robust, youthful man, and the fingers of a pianist. A paradox. Still, he came across as more refined than coarse. Strange indeed, and the mystery awoke an instinct for investigation. Before her was a man who should be full of confidence, yet a mass of secrets and anxiety emanated from him. His body seemed as stiff as the solid wood chair he sat on.

If she’d been alone, would she have tried to strike a conversation? Such boldness was uncharacteristic of her; then again, she’d never been so intrigued.

William’s worried voice sailed into her reverie, and she scolded herself for the direction she’d let her mind take her.

“Over a hundred and forty deaths, all children, young women.” William swallowed, his brow creased in concern. “Dad was hit hard. To think Harris almost bamboozled him into investing.”

The Triangle Waist Company owned by his family dominated the New York City headlines in 1911 for the worst of reasons—a deadly blaze that killed so many innocents who’d worked in that building under horrific conditions. William’s father, a wealthy industrialist with factories of his own, had come in the line of fire of all the anger and protesting.

Sera nodded in understanding, while a hidden partition in her mind willfully defected and speculated about the stranger.
Curiosity killed the cat. Or perhaps pre-wedding jitters?
To say she’d felt stressed lately would be an understatement. But there was something else at play here, something she couldn’t quite pinpoint, and of all the things in the world she disliked most, an unsolved mystery or problem ranked high on the list. Perhaps she couldn’t control the fact that she didn’t know much about herself, where she came from, but she could master her own mind, and find the explanations as to how and why other things and people affected her. This man was nothing more than a mathematical problem or some ancient hieroglyphic she’d try to decipher. A problem that would niggle at her brain until she came up with a satisfactory solution.

Under the antiquated gas light, she noted hair long enough to fall in haphazard waves over his face. He kept his head bent, his profile to her, so she still couldn’t see the features properly, except the hint of full, lush lips. Plus, all she could make out now came through peripheral vision and a few fleeting looks, lest William, with good reason, think her behavior odd.

If only the man had been sitting closer, then…

Then what? At another peek of that strong frame, the black, shiny locks, the way he sat, a memory stirred.

“…It would have been a disaster.” William shook his head, and a wayward blond curl fell on his brow above striking blue eyes. Sera reached out and pushed it back in place, smiling.

“Your father isn’t a fool, dearest. He would have never given money to someone like Harris. After all, it wasn’t the first time the man has done something criminal.”

“Yeah, and he keeps getting away with it, he and that partner of his. People are mistrustful now.” He gave her an apologetic look. “I wouldn’t be in such a hurry to leave were it not for this—”

“Oh, be quiet! I’m tired of
England anyway and rather fancy a change of scenery.”

Not completely true—her moods hovered from excitement to trepidation, but she wanted to be brave, just like her mother always was. Her mother, immortal Adrasteia “Adri” Dionysios, who’d lived in every place imaginable for the past two thousand eight hundred years or so. An heiress of indeterminate wealth and influence, whose first home had been none less than Mount
Olympus!

Sera placed a hand over William’s as they sat at The Taylor Pub, a respectable establishment and fitting choice for their last dinner in
London. Their simple meal of fish and chips had gone down like a charm. Nothing but a good old British meal would have done on the eve of departure toward her new life in America. She wondered if they’d have such food in New York City. William said everything could be found in the world’s greatest metropolis. Who knew what awaited her there? She swallowed past a sudden lump of emotion and a sense of nostalgia that washed over her. Why did she have to be such a chicken?

The stranger lounged back in his chair and called for the bill. Stretching long, muscled legs under the table, he waited patiently. He seemed somewhat calmer now, as though he’d worked through some difficult problem. She noted he’d only had a beer since she’d seen him come in. No food. He’d drunk very slowly, his posture contemplative. Sera wondered what thoughts could possibly afflict him so.

Something tugged at her brain.
Something about this man….
Once again, she pushed the insidious thoughts away and threaded her fingers through William’s over the table.

“Everything will be fine. Your father is lucky to have you, and you’ll be able to help him more than ever in your new position.”

Morrison, Sr. had scored his son a post as consultant with the newly created American Society of Safety Engineers, who he was involved with as board member. After the factory tragedy, it became clear that better safeguards for workers were needed, and William’s father wanted to be part of that change. To bring his son into the equation, considering William’s chosen career as an engineer, seemed only natural. Plus, William’s grades and stellar academic accomplishments in both England and Sweden made him a shoe-in. She couldn’t be prouder.

The thought of what she was up against made Sera swallow. Until now, all she’d had was her mother who’d taught her she could be everything she wanted to be. Adri had encouraged her in her studies and given her everything she needed to live a happy, normal life, despite their unusual circumstances. Sera had been allowed to exercise her brain and live free of cultural restraints, to excel as one of probably a handful of post-Victorian women to reach such exalted academic heights—and surely the only British woman to possess a doctorate degree in an age when women still had scant footing in non-traditional roles.

No, the woman who’d mothered her had never let her down.

For Sera wasn’t technically Adri Dionysios’ flesh and blood, but just a girl who’d quite literally fallen into the woman’s arms one night in
France. Although her mother had suddenly felt the pain of childbirth and fed her milk from her breast, hers couldn’t have been termed a pregnancy in the true sense of the word. It had been happenstance, fate, magic—nothing that could be explained away with a coating of sanity to a mere mortal. The night it had all come to be, Sera had been but a newborn wrapped in a cloak of flames, yet unharmed, who Adri instantly adopted as her one and only daughter. And Sera was something entirely different—in part a gypsy, perhaps, a clue provided by the unique shell pendant she’d had around her neck at the time, but she’d yet to learn her true origins.

Then again, she was also something more. A creature of fire, of myth, something so extraordinary as to suggest an unbelievable existence—all of this her secret, of course, the part of her she couldn’t share with the very human William. If she’d been working at that factory he had just mentioned, she’d likely have come out unscathed, without a single burn or smoke-related injury. She’d have looked the same way she’d gone in. Her phoenix blood ensured she would. What else Sera could possibly be, she didn’t know. Adri’s intermittent searches into her provenance had proved fruitless so far.

She snuck another glance at the stranger, his profile thoughtful again. Could be he felt as lost, as disconnected from reality as she sometimes was. Maybe that familiar emotion was why he’d piqued her interest, plucked at a loose thread in her memory bank.

Does anyone love you, handsome stranger? Do
you
love anyone? 

She shrugged inwardly. It didn’t really matter for they all simply lived their lives—and for her, things had been good. Of all people, she had the least reason to complain of a heavy heart.

After she let William pay for their meals upon his insistence that “a real man always took care of his woman”—the only one of her fiancé’s qualities that irked her mother, the ultimate feminist, to no end—they emerged in the crisp evening air.

A cursory glance showed her the man no longer sat at his table, which had since been cleared and prepared for another patron. Sera frowned, oddly disappointed as she’d wanted to get a good look at his face from a better angle. When had he left?

She brushed the thought away and took in Mayfair’s pretty electric city lights that sparkled over the busy establishments. The last time she’d see them for a while.

Exhilaration thrilled the air as the largest ship ever prepared to sail the next day from
Southampton: The Titanic. She’d be on it, a part of history in the making, standing on deck watching England become smaller and smaller in the distance. Her mother planned to leave at the break of dawn. She’d never understood Adri’s reluctance to travel under the cloak of darkness. Too dangerous, her mum said.

Sera shrugged. She shouldn’t be thinking about all that. Her thoughts should be on the fact that she’d be with the man of her dreams, the love of her life, and soon-to-be husband. Her mother would travel with them and spend some time in
America enjoying the glamor of New York. Sera couldn’t ask for more other than the person who’d meant most to her growing up would be present to share in her joy. Everyone she loved, right there, with her….

“Are you sure you don’t want to call a cab?”

Sera smiled. “It’s such a wonderful evening. Cold, but that doesn’t bother me much.”

William shook his head. “I swear, you amaze me sometimes. As far as I’m concerned, I’m glad for this thick overcoat.”

“I was sure living in Sweden had made you immune to these temperatures. Come on now,” she teased.

After giving her a peck on the lips, he linked her arm with his and they started down the pavement.  They didn’t talk much, just enjoyed the sights. She turned and studied William’s handsome profile as they walked quietly together, a slow trek back to her home. He hadn’t changed much since the early university days in
Lund, Sweden, where they’d first met and found their language in common as outsiders trying to fit in. The language of shared interests—the theater, music, art, beauty, books, and study. The language of love. Everyone had thought them made for each other, and Adri encouraged the relationship, wanting a normal life for her daughter. And so, their engagement was a matter of when rather than why. It seemed now that William’s parents were anxious to meet the non-American girl who’d stolen their son’s heart.

In forty minutes or so, they found themselves on a street illuminated by electric lanterns, just one turn from Sera’s townhouse and around the back.

William looked suspiciously ahead. “I prefer seeing you to the door,” he said when she told him she could go on alone.

Her laughter tinkled in rhythm with their last steady footsteps together. “You would fit right in as a knight in shining armor, my love,” she said, leaning into him. She secretly liked his chivalrous ways but would never admit to such, of course.

He frowned. “It’s dark and this is London. I’m exercising common sense, not being old-fashioned.”

“True, but look over there.” She pointed at the street ahead. “It’s barely twenty steps to the house and you have things to do. Just think about tomorrow! I’ll be fine. Please?”

With a reluctant expression, he relented. They stopped and faced each other.

“I can take care of myself, you know,” she said, playfully swatting him on the arm, then regarded him affectionately. “I thought you’d have figured that out by now.”

They held each other’s hands for a while, and Sera laid her head briefly on his chest, feeling his heartbeat, letting the steady sound wrap around her like a wool blanket, before pulling back and looking into his eyes. So transparent, so full of adoration for her. How could she have gotten so lucky?

“I never will.” He embraced her then, like a man returning from war embraced his wife after a long separation. Finally, he kissed her goodbye, a firm kiss on the lips, and said he’d let her go, but only because he had to finish packing for the trip, he sheepishly admitted.

“Tomorrow our lives start to change. What do you think about that?” he drawled in pure New York dialect.

He smiled a dimpled smile, wickedly aware of his American accent making her weak at the knees. That rough-and-tumble inflection always did funny things to her insides.

But rather than let her go, he gathered her closer in his arms, as if reluctant to leave her.

“I’m ready.” She grinned. “Mum, as well. One would think she’s the one moving house with all the luggage she’s bringing with her.”

BOOK: Séraphine (Eternelles: A Prequel, Book 0.5)
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