Authors: CC MacKenzie
by CC MacKenzie
"The War Has
Gia Del Russo might be PA to legal hot-shot, Daniel
Gillespie, but she has one ruling passion, music.
Her songs, the power of her voice, make women weep and
But Gia has a dangerous secret... she has a vicious
enemy who will stop at nothing to possess her...
When corporate lawyer and vampyre prince Daniel
Gillespie arrives home to his penthouse apartment in New York, he finds his PA
asleep on his couch. But before he can discover why his gorgeous assistant has
taken refuge in his home, Daniel's vampyre rises and takes Gia's vein.
However, Daniel isn't the only man with plans for
And when that man is an organized crime boss,
Daniel and Gia fight for their lives against a deadly
foe who is not quite... human.
Copyright © C C MacKenzie 2015
Published by More Press
The right of C C MacKenzie to be
identified as the author of this
work has been asserted by her
under the Copyright Amendment
(Morals Rights) Act 2000
This work is copyright.
Apart from any use as permitted under
the Copyright Act 1968, no part
may be reproduced, copied, scanned,
stored in a retrieval system,
recorded or transmitted,
in any form or by any means,
without the prior permission
of the publisher.
This book is a work of fiction.
Names, characters, places and
incidents are either a product of
the author’s imagination or are
used fictitiously. Any
resemblance to actual people
living or dead, events or locales is
CC MacKenzie is a USA Today
Bestselling Author of contemporary and paranormal romance. She loves to hear from
her readers; you can find her at:
Website / Blog:
Facebook Author Page:
Penthouse suite of
the Gillespie, Pattullo and Hindmarch building, New York City, present day.
All things considered vampyre prince Duncan
Gillespie of the Clan Macpherson thought he looked pretty damned good for a man
who'd lived for over four hundred years.
He still had a full head of black hair with just the odd
grey hair making a tentative appearance at his temples. Many a vampyre Elder
had let themselves go, become reclusive and stooped, taking their finger off
the pulse of a vibrant new age in human evolution in the twenty-first century.
Duncan made sure he had his finger fully on the human pulse. He even practiced yoga
and pilates every day. It made his long limbs supple and strong and kept his
mind calm and open to all possibilities. His daughter-in-law Anais told him he
looked like a taller version of Al Pacino in his early forties. Thinking of her
impertinent grin made the edge of his firm mouth kick. Hell, he could live with
that. And he was absolutely thrilled with Anais. Who'd have thought his eldest
son, Marcus, would have fallen so hard for such a feisty little beauty? Now
Duncan wondered how long it would take for them to start procreating. Not that
he'd dare mention it, Marcus would tell him in words of one syllable to mind
his own fucking business.
At least James and Charlotte had fulfilled their
obligations. Charlotte was breeding. And Duncan would be dangling a bairn on
his knee in seven short months. He couldn't wait.
Then his thoughts turned to the next son in line and Duncan's
good mood soured. No sign of Daniel Stewart Gillespie doing his duty to his
father or his kind. Nope. He needed a firm boot up the arse. For a vampire,
Daniel had a soft heart, too soft. His third son, Duncan's lip curled, was an
empath as well as vampyre. What was the bloody point of empathy in a vampyre?
Not that Daniel wasn't a good man in other ways. Pride battled with guilty
disappointment. Pride won. Daniel was sharp when it came to the law, blade
sharp, and no father could be prouder of his boys than one Duncan Gillespie.
But he just wished that Daniel had a little bit of the killer instinct that
defined their species.
With a heavy sigh, Duncan lifted a fine crystal goblet containing
a thick claret colored liquid, a cheeky Spanish Rioja. The wine had been
blended with a new super hemoglobin and multivitamins cooked in Constantine
Mabille's global pharmaceutical company. As he took a sip he let the thick
liquid coat his tongue, the back of his throat. And decided he didn't miss the
messy feeding of the old ways. In the dim and distant past vampyres,
particularly in the Caucasus, had farmed humans, kept them caged to breed for
food. Duncan had never agreed with the policy, he'd preferred his humans free
range and organically rooted in their villages and communities. Although Duncan
had to admit there were times when he missed the old days and the thrill of the
hunt and the chase.
All that was in the past now, thank goodness. Once the vampyre
Precedential Elder and scientist Constantine Mabille had developed hemoglobin
vastly superior to human blood, the health and longevity of the vampyre nation
had increased tenfold. Plus Constantine was working hard on promoting human
However, there was no point in dwelling in the past,
although it had to be said the future was not looking too bright.
His mood dipped.
Duncan stared broodingly into the night sky. Even the joyous
sight of a rare blue moon did nothing to lift his spirits. Constellations
glittered like cut diamonds against a velvet blackness. When he was in one of
his black moods, his Scottish mother - may God rest her soul - would have
clipped his ear for being
Running the tip of his tongue over his fangs he figured that
since he was a vampyre whose life had gone all to hell he’d every fucking right
A deep clearing of the throat behind reminded him he wasn’t
being a particularly gracious host to his guests this evening.
"I do not know why you are looking so miserable,
Duncan. You have a grandchild on the way." Cristophe Pattullo’s deep voice
was no more than a growl, his Italian accent thick with emotion.
Duncan’s eyes slid to his friend who pushed an irritated
hand through his thick black hair. Cristophe was angry and frustrated. And no
fucking wonder. He had every right to be since his daughter Eleanor had
betrayed her father and her species by joining forces with dark magic.
Eleanor’s attempts to kidnap Duncan’s son James and kill his wife Charlotte,
had caused the highest powers in their nation, the Elders, to proclaim a Juristic
Ruling against her.
The deep shame the proud Italian vampyre prince endured was
matched only by his utter fury.
In an attempt to soothe, Duncan spoke in a soft voice,
"Charlotte is doing well as is the bairn sleeping in her belly."
Now Cristophe’s obsidian gaze met his.
"No thanks to Eleanor. We almost lost mother and baby
and your son," he roared as he stood to his full height and strode to grip
the stainless steel handrail. A volatile mix of family dishonour, fury and frustration
held him stiff and proud.
On the rooftops of a freezing New York night, for as far as
the eye could see, hundreds of Centuri heard Cristophe's roar and turned as one
to watch their leaders. Then realizing there was no immediate threat, they
settled into a sequence of leaping from one rooftop to the other, on guard and
ready to spring into action.
Nerves were affecting everyone including himself, Duncan realized,
and he didn’t like it. For hundreds of years, in this world, their species had
become accustomed to being at the top of the food chain. To have everything
change within a matter of weeks had made all vampyres, including their Centuri,
edgy and itching for a fight.
And that itch made Duncan’s voice harsh and his Scottish
"It’s nae yer fault that Eleanor is a bampot."
Vampyre Lord Samuel Hindmarch cracked a thin smile.
"Bampot?" he drawled. His cut glass English accent
making a nonsense of the word.
"Lunatic," Duncan tossed back, in no mood for
Samuel's dry sense of humour.
There was absolutely nothing funny about what was happening
in their world.
Again he peered into the night sky.
They were in the dark.
Both literally and figuratively because they had no idea who
or what was behind the portals opening into this reality, permitting dark magic
to enter. The fact Eleanor Pattullo had joined the dark side (Christ, now he
was channelling fucking Star Wars) told Duncan there was a conspiracy afoot.
And it was huge.
So huge that the vampyre Witch Ezekiel and his Legionnaires
had joined forces with the Elders of the vampyre nation to fight it. And Duncan
never thought he'd live to see that day come to pass.
They were in Ezekiel’s debt since he’d saved the lives of
James and Charlotte against a soul-eater who appeared to be under the control
of an Eleanor who’d become a black witch. And Ezekiel was still healing from a
battle with demons who’d come through a portal and sliced him from hip to hip,
their poisonous claws gutting him like a fish.
The whole thing was like something out of the worst
fantastical slasher movie.
Now Cristophe, face like stone, turned towards Duncan and
"I brought her into this world.
fist punched his vast chest as his eyes went even darker with a lethal promise,
"...will take her from it and cast her unto The Fade."
"For a father to kill his child is a mortal sin,"
Samuel reminded them and his eyes, the color of the ice that ran in his veins,
"She has betrayed us." Cristophe’s voice went dark
and deadly. "Worse, she has brought shame to
Duncan could only imagine the pain of a daughter’s
treachery. Pride in his own sons made his eyes sting, and then he caught
himself. Since when had he become a misty-eyed pussy? He still had two sons to
see safely wed and mated, Daniel and Adam. And God knew they were taking their
own sweet time over selecting their mates. Their yearning must be upon them and
still they hadn’t made a move.
He heard himself speak the words of countless parents over millennia.
"I’ll never understand the young people of today."
"Eleanor gets it from her mother’s side,"
Cristophe spat the words. "Treacherous whores in that family, each and
every one of them."
Duncan shook his head unwilling to take a step into the
landmine filled past of Cristophe Pattullo and his children. Unlike most vampyres,
Cristophe hadn’t taken one woman to mate, he’d taken seven (the mind truly
boggled) causing himself and his children no end of emotional fallout as the
wives had gone to war with each other. A war that even now raged through the
Italian vampyre prince’s many homes and palaces. Where he found the sexual
stamina to deal with seven women throughout his long life, Duncan had no idea.
Each child had a different mother, except for the twins Eleanor and Saira.
Cristophe’s six sons were typical Latin's, tall and dark like their sire with
smiles and velvety dark eyes that made women, vampyre and human alike, swoon
and drop their panties. And like their sire the men openly enjoyed the fruits
of the dropped panties wherever they found them. When Duncan took their sexual
behaviour to task, Cristophe simply shrugged and said his sons were entitled to
a little fun before they settled down. They worked hard and so they played
hard, which Duncan conceded, was nothing less than the simple truth. The
Pattullo vampyres were brilliant investment analysts, charismatically clever
bastards who ran the financial side of Gillespie, Pattullo and Hindmarch.
As for Cristophe’s other daughter, Saira, he was rightly
proud of her. She might be a handful but Saira Pattullo, a vampyre medic,
appeared to want to stay on the straight and narrow. And she’d proved her
loyalty and her worth again and again. Marcus and James Gillespie gave thanks
for her every day by the way she’d saved the lives of their human wives when
they’d become newborn vampyres.
Now Duncan frowned. At least his family had learned
something, learned not to permit a newborn to drink too freely from the pure
blood of a vampyre prince. If only they had the ancient texts to study, to
instruct them to safely bring a human hybrid to mate.
Bitter acid of regret for how he’d failed to protect their
heritage rolled into Duncan's throat. Like a fool he’d kept the wives and
children of his Centuri in one town. A town the Legion had burned to the
ground, killing the women and taking their precious offspring. And destroying
every single ancient text written since the time of The Maker.
Over two hundred years later and they still hadn’t found the
children of their bloodline, cast to the four winds of this earth.
Duncan prayed to God that his remaining sons learned the
hard lessons from their brothers to avoid almost killing their mates when they
took their vein.
Then he turned to study Samuel Hindmarch, Lord Hindmarch of
Devon and Cornwall. Back in the day, Samuel had been a swashbuckling pirate. A
daredevil with sparkling eyes, a quick and ready smile with a wonderful sense
of fun and a joy of life. Not that you’d know it looking at him now. Four
hundred years had not been kind to Samuel. The loss of his pregnant mate two
hundred years ago had embittered his heart and darkened his soul. These days he
embraced a rigid discipline in all things. He had two sons, tall and fair of
hair and skin with the cool grey eyes of their sire, men who dealt with the
cloak and dagger side of their business. They were masters of deception and
could change their appearance, hair, eyes, skin colour almost at will. A skill
that came in very handy when the firm needed information or something, usually
nefarious, done in a hurry. Due to their coloring, the way they moved and the
softly spoken voices, other vampyres referred to them as
their Centuri were a different breed from the rest. They were lean, fast and
moved with pure stealth.
Now Samuel studied the Italian Prince through cold eyes that
held deep censure.
"Your sons need to understand their duty to our race,
Cristophe. Dipping their wicks into any inkpot to prove their masculinity is
always a grave mistake. Plus, their partying is documented in every single
tabloid throughout Europe. No self-respecting, intelligent woman would touch
them. They must know that they will spread disease among human females. Haven’t
we done enough harm?" he said. The voice was soft and the tone
Cristophe puffed on a fat cigar, blew a ring of smoke in the
air and didn’t, Duncan was relieved to see, rise to the bait.
"There was disease among humans long before we were
made," he responded, his deep voice rumbling in his vast chest as
annoyance made his accent stronger. "The swine flu epidemic was a mistake
and you know it."
The English vampyre liked to think of himself as the voice
of the vampyre nation’s conscience. A misnomer if ever there was one. A stand
that had made him too many enemies.
"We do not feed on humans," Samuel began in a didactic
tone that set Duncan's teeth on edge. "Those days are long past. And those,
who insist on clinging to outdated ways, dance with a catastrophe we will be
unable to control. We are receiving more and more reports of vampyres returning
to the old religion in Northern Italy, Slovakia and Romania. They are feeding
from humans. We are in the days of the internet, twitter, Facebook and cell
phones and twenty-four hour news. It’s just a matter of time before one is
captured feeding. The council have been informed. If you do not clean your
house, Cristophe, then the Precedential Elders will do it for you."