Authors: Jenna-Lynne Duncan
couldn't decide which was worse— that he was falling in love with a
mortal or that the only way to break his family's centuries-old curse
would be to kill her. Of all that he was certain was the more time he
spent with her, the more he knew he would do anything to protect
Adriana Alexander, including sacrificing his eternity. What he
wouldn't expect was that Luke - his brother that hated Ana, who
wanted to kill her - would decide he would want her as his own.
2012 Jenna-Lynne Duncan
by Rebecca Wahl
Art by Elena Lee
rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced or
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including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
readers. Without your love of the Boudreaux brothers, this book would
have never been written.
"We are such stuff as dreams are made on, rounded with a
by William Shakespeare.
What had I become? I
hadn’t even bothered paying for the car I was driving. Worse, it
was as if I didn’t even give the stealing a second thought, like it
was second nature to just take and not think of the consequences to
others. Wasn’t that exactly what the Supernatural thought they
, as in superior to the normal, tedious doings of
the human world? So what if the entire human world depended on the
balance that we as Hunters gave it? What I do is nothing to be proud
of. I would never be arrogant about it like some of the others…
My hand clenched the
leather of the steering wheel at the thought. It took me a while to
get off the main road. Soon, the entrance appeared through the
vegetation. This was Louisiana and in swamp territory, what’s not
there one minute can appear the next. Unfortunately, the same theory
applied to the opposite. I turned into the unpaved entrance. The
thin, one-lane road was the only thing cutting through the swamp. As
I drove, the trees were becoming thicker, almost more sinister, like
they knew what the end of this road held. I was almost there, I could
smell it. It was the scent of incense, of candlewood, of death.
I pulled in front of
the run-down house, barely putting the car in park before running to
the front door. I was already doing everything else in supernatural
mode, why not go all in? The humor almost led to a smile.
Sansha was at the door
before I could give it another thought. She wasn’t surprised in the
least to see me. Of course not. Giving me her pearl-and-gold smile,
she held out the door for me to enter.
I kicked away empty
bottles as I walked into her clutter. I would never pretend to
understand the supernatural. Although, Sansha
live in this modest house and that was something I
I realized that I
hadn’t said a word of greeting, which may have triggered the
intense silence between us. Before I could offer a hello, she spoke.
“I hear you were out
of your territory.”
“You hear or see?”
She laughed without
“I needed to get
away. I think even you could understand that,” I offered as an
She nodded. “Your
brother is doing well.” I scoffed, because I didn’t remember
asking about him. “You on the other hand,” she continued, while
giving me a once-over, “you’ve really let yourself go, haven’t
you? What a waste, having a human form!” She laughed with a little
more humor this time.
“I was human. This is
my form.” I bit out. I wondered what she saw in me and I looked
down at my bare torso. It was no wonder, I wasn’t even properly
“Mmm,” was all she
replied as she left me to sit on a chair.
“So, why am I here?”
I remembered my human courtesies and sat down across from her.
She regarded me for a
while and I was silent, letting her play her games.
Her mouth parted for a
while before the words came out, “I think it’s time to go back to
“I was just in New
Orleans taking care of that vampire situation.”
“I meant for good.”
She leaned back in her chair, her braids thrown over her shoulders.
“Are you still planning on destroying yourselves just to break the
I clenched my jaw and
gave her a curt nod. Did everyone know what we were planning? That we
would rather not exist at all then have to continue to serve the
“What if there was
another way? Would you do it? How far would you go to be released
from the hold of the Underworld?”
“Anything,” I said
with slightly more emotion. She already knew the answer.
I scoffed. Wasn’t
that what I was created to do?
Why would they want a
human murdered so badly that they would send supernatural hunters to
do it? Especially since the payment was so high—our freedom.
Yes, I was most
On my way to Tampa, I
backtracked to drop off a stack of cash from where I took the car. A
courtesy of my conscious, if you could call it that.
I cut the drive in half
by not bothering to follow most human roadway laws. It still left me
plenty of time to think, and to think was what I needed. From the
beginning, I decided not to bring Luke into this. How could I trust
him not to do anything impulsive when I myself was unsure of what to
I would have to tell my
mother and father because without their advice, how could I clearly
know if this was the offer of a lifetime, even several lifetimes?
Plus, the slip of control I was feeling lately could only be remedied
by my father, always the one to pride himself on morals and finding
the good in our monstrosities. Yes, they were exactly what I needed
to figure this out.
I rolled down the
windows instinctively as I felt the approach toward the ocean shore.
Within minutes the scent of the ocean, humid and slightly salty,
crept in. I could sense my parents were there but didn’t know if
Luke would be home yet.
It was in my best
interest if he wasn’t.
I instinctively pressed
down the gas pedal and was pulling into our beachfront home within
seconds. I thrust the car in park and left for the front door,
leaving the car keys inside. That would be the last time I could
drive that car anyway.
My father met me at the
door; a smile was on his face until he took in my appearance. At
least I had the chance to clean up a little for them.
“Where’s mom?” I
ignored the questions on his face.
“In the kitchen. She
felt you coming.” We walked silently into the other room. I saw her
behind the steel doors of the refrigerator.
She let the door slam
closed as she came out with container of mushrooms and something that
smelled like parsley. “I hope you’re hungry.”
I wanted to laugh.
Hunters never ‘got’ hungry. “I don’t feel like going through
the motions tonight, mom.”
I felt a twinge of
guilt at the pain my words caused her. She was always trying to be
normal, always trying to do what’s best. “I like what you’ve
done with the place,” I added as amends after seeing she
She managed to smile at
this. “I’m glad at least someone took notice.” She wiped her
hands on an apron and shot a playful glance at my father. She looked
back at me as if to take in my demeanor. Then she frowned. She met me
on the other side of the kitchen’s island and sat down on one of
the steel bar stools. “What’s happened?” She touched the chair,
too worried to say sit down with words.
I placed my hands on
the counter and hung my head. “I don’t know yet. It could be
My father crossed his
arms but didn’t say anything, even though his face threatened me to
I shook my head and
decided it better to just come out with it. “They want me to kill a
My parents loosened
their arms, looking relieved. “Well you know more than anyone that
it is not in our contract.” My father’s words were laced with
confusion as if he were waiting for me to state my dilemma.
Mothers always knew their children best.
I smirked. “Our
My mother’s gasp was
drowned out by the sound of Luke in the kitchen. I cursed under my
breath. I was so involved with telling my parents I had failed to
sense that Luke was home.
He looked at me from
the doorway with a knowing smirk on his face. “You were trying to
keep this little nugget of information from me, weren’t you?”
“It is not even
something worth considering.” I glared at him.
“The hell it isn’t!
Even your father didn’t jump right into the whole morality speech.”
“Wait just a minute
now, boys..., “my father quickly realized his mistake and tried to
“Maybe the reason I
was trying to keep it from you is because you’re young and
just too stupid to see what’s in front of you!”
I pushed the stool back
with a growl. I walked right up to him, so we were nose-to-nose. He
was really becoming a liability. “I’m the stupid one? You are
willing to kill an innocent human girl without wondering why?”
“Why, what?” He
sneered back at me.
“Why they would put
her as the price of our freedom? Why the underworld cares about, as
you said, a human girl who is of no consequence?”
“He has a point,
Luke. You cannot just do this and not look at the reason. It already
seems too good to be true that after all these years they would offer
our families release from the curse. So we need to know why they want
her and why they would send immortal Hunters to do it,” my father
said from behind me, making no move to separate us. He would know
better than to interfere if we fought. When Luke’s father was
alive, they often brawled. It was what brothers did, he told me.
Luke and I finished
scowling at each other. “Fine.” He added, “We’ll check her
out, but then it’s—“ he made a motion against his throat. “This
came a little too late for my parents and I’m not going to risk
losing this opportunity. We grab her and go to a safe house where we
can question her. Where is she?”
I turned away from
He shook his head. “It
is not our job to decide anymore. You will have to do what you think
is best. You know we don’t have to kill humans, you know how I feel
about that. But to give your mother a chance at a normal life…”
his words trailed off, not making my decision any easier.
I turned back to Luke,
resolved. “We do this my way or not at all. Once we confirm
she is we find out
she is, understand? We are not rushing
this. I will explain everything on the way to New Orleans.”
“Yes. I’m driving.”
Luke smiled his
sinister smile, “When do we leave?”
How long had it been
since I'd actually attended school? Sure there were times where my
hunting had led to high schools. The Supernatural didn’t age and
they could be found anywhere and everywhere. Cleaning up in such an
impressionable, public place was never easy. But this time was
different. This time I was actually
. There was no
doubt that we may garner some unwanted attention. Despite our human
appearance, we would never be normal.
It didn’t help that
Luke was basking in the female attention. He was young, irrational,
I should have done this alone.
trust him to actually do this my way. He had to agree because he had
no other option; he didn’t know who or where she was. Luke didn’t
care about answers; he just wanted to be relieved from duty.
I just needed to find
“Come again?” I
asked Luke, who was looking at me as loathingly as I was looking at
“Chill your language,
man. This is high school, not the 1800’s.”