Authors: B. Kristin McMichael
Tags: #vampire, #coming of age, #paranormal romance, #paranormal, #young adult, #werewolves, #tengu, #vampire fantasy romance, #baku, #vampire battles, #paranormal high school, #coming of age adventure
By B. Kristin McMichael
Copyright © 2013 B. Kristin McMichael
August 31, 2013
This book is licensed for your personal use
only. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by
electronic or mechanical means without written permission of the
author. All names, characters, and places are fiction and any
resemblance to real, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Summary: Arianna is now the prize of the
competition- too bad she doesn’t believe in just sitting and
waiting for the men to decide her fate. To get what she really
wants, Arianna must take fate into her own hands.
To Stand Beside Her
The Blue Eyes Trilogy
The Legend of the Blue
Becoming a Legend
Winning the Legend
Chronicles Book 1
My past defines who I am
by the choices I have made.
My future is defined by
being smart enough to learn from those choices.—Ari
Arianna Grace looked up from the floor where
she lay sprawled on the training mat. Her dark blond, sweat-soaked
ponytail was hanging limply. It had been twenty-nine days of
endless training, and she still couldn’t fight back well enough to
defeat Andrew Lucan, even though he wasn’t even fighting at full
power in his baku night human form. She had gained ground in
fighting him in day human form, but once they were night humans, it
was hopeless. Andrew had been through too much training. Arianna
brushed back her sweaty bangs and pushed herself off the floor. Her
muscles ached, but she wouldn’t quit. She couldn’t quit. The fate
of everyone Arianna knew hung on her ability to win. Strength was
the only ally she had at this point, and the only one that would
save everyone. She had to get stronger.
“I think it’s about time to go over
everything else one last time with Thomas,” Andrew replied. He was
the picture of perfection. His wavy, almost black, shoulder-length
hair wasn’t even messed up as he gazed at her with steel gray eyes.
He didn’t take any pleasure in beating Arianna. He was probably one
of the strongest opponents she would ever face, but even that
didn’t deter her.
“One more time,” Arianna begged.
Andrew reluctantly stood back in his
starting spot across the room from her. He hadn’t yet even broken a
sweat, but Arianna was relentless in her effort. Arianna already
knew she’d won that argument before he even moved. Her
persuasiveness was actually her strongest trait. Andrew could never
really say no to her.
“Fine, but after you promise to go straight
to Thomas? No begging Molina next.” Unfortunately, Andrew was
already two steps ahead of her.
Arianna grumbled at his
suggestion. It was her plan to beg Molina next, but she wasn’t
going to admit that. After a month of hapkido,
jiu jitsu, jeet kune do, keysi, and street fighting training
for eight hours a day between Molina and Andrew, Arianna was
getting better. She could now fight in both night and day human
form toe-to-toe with Molina. Arianna preferred to fight with
Molina, who didn’t have to hold back. Andrew was much stronger and
every fight showed how unequal their abilities still
Andrew mockingly bowed to Arianna and waited
for her to make the first move. He was anxious to stop her
overexertion, but it was best to use her skills against herself
rather than attack first. Arianna moved, and Andrew countered the
punch, deflecting her momentum. Arianna regained her footing
momentarily, only to find that Andrew had a lock on her arm.
Instantly he twisted her arms while swiping her feet. Arianna
flipped to counter his move, but she exerted too much spin on her
flip causing her to grab Andrew’s arm for support. Arianna let him
flip her around to lessen the damage as she hit the floor, she knew
that Andrew had the upper hand the moment she grabbed his arm.
Andrew rested, pinning her on the floor beneath him.
“Fine,” she mumbled, tapping the floor. The
full-grown baku pressing her to the floor made her belly flip, but
she wasn’t about to give him the satisfaction of not only beating
her in less than two minutes, nor of making her go weak in her the
knees just by his presence. Arianna closed her eyes to not have to
look at him as she admitted her defeat.
Andrew smirked and leaned down to kiss her.
He already knew his effect on her was the same as hers on him, but
he was much more schooled in hiding his thoughts from others.
Andrew’s lips gently touched hers. Arianna wanted to pout more but
couldn’t. She eagerly returned his kiss, sliding her hands down the
chiseled chest that was keeping her pinned to the ground
“Is this a new method of teaching?” Thomas
asked from the corner of the room. He had watched Arianna get beat,
and then watched it turn into a make-out session on the training
floor mats. Most of the fights ended that way these days.
Arianna blushed as Andrew very deliberately
stood slowly and pulled her up with him, keeping his hands on her
exposed abdomen. Just his touch alone was enough to cause the
blushing to escalate to a full-scale red face. Andrew chuckled as
his hands skimmed the top of her shorts as she marched over to
Thomas and ignored Andrew.
“So, what was the bet this time?” Thomas
asked Andrew, trailing Arianna. In all her fighting with Andrew,
she had only once actually put a scratch on him. After that, Andrew
had beat her every day, though she didn’t give up trying.
“I gave her the day off,”
Andrew replied reluctantly. He followed her, disappointed that
Thomas had to be there
. Andrew wouldn’t mind having a few
extra moments alone with Arianna.
Arianna sulked. “No motivation makes me do
worse.” She wiped the sweat off her face and retied her
“I doubt you need much motivation beyond the
joy of actually beating him,” Thomas mumbled as he watched her.
Everything about her was perfect from head to toe, yet all he felt
was the intense need to protect her. His attraction to her wasn’t
physical like Andrew’s, but more of a family bond. Thomas wanted to
feel the passion he always saw between them. They were amazing when
they were together, either in combat or not.
“Time for a shower before we start?” Arianna
asked, looking down at her sweat-stained sports bra and shorts.
“Always,” Thomas replied. He, like Andrew,
was not in the habit of telling her no.
Arianna ducked out of the training room and
ran past their hosts on her way to get clean. She needed to make it
back to Thomas within five minutes. Maxim Moro nodded to her as she
passed him a second time. He was the youngest of his clan at
twenty-two, and there wouldn’t be another for at least eight years.
The cycle to increase the clan members would begin again soon, and
he would be expected to contribute. The wurdulac were a dying race,
as they could only feed on loved ones. They were always born with
pairs in mind, and while his mate had been born two years before
him, Maxim was completely captivated by Arianna. She was similar to
them in many ways, especially being limited to the blood of only
people she loved, but since she came from multiple night humans she
had an abundance of people to feed from. Jealously of her freedom
kept Maxim around, but more so, he was fascinated by the outsider.
The wurdulac didn’t often allow outsiders to enter their territory,
let alone their homes.
Serge Moro, Maxim’s father, followed Arianna
as she made her way to the library. He lagged a bit behind. Both
father and son watched her intently. They could feel the immense
power that came off such a small girl. She did her best to rein in
her power, but even before she had taken the five keepers’ blood a
month ago she was never really good at keeping her power to
herself. They were as fascinated by Arianna’s personality as they
were with her uniqueness.
“Surveillance shows eight people around the
estate,” Serge said, joining Thomas and Arianna.
“Only eight?” Thomas asked.
“The rest are with Devin and Turner,” Molina
replied, entering the room as well. “They assume that if they can’t
follow Arianna, they can always follow Devin.”
Arianna took the bottle of water from Andrew
as he entered, now fully-cleaned and changed. Andrew sat down
beside her and wrapped his arms around her waist, pulling her into
him. Arianna leaned back into his arms to listen to Thomas and
Molina talk more with Serge. It was distracting to sit like that,
but her time was limited. Soon, they would be surrounded by men
trying to win her, and if she couldn’t prove herself to the men,
she wouldn’t get any more time with Andrew. Arianna worried that if
they failed to win the tournament, Andrew would truly lose it, and
against nine powerful night humans, he didn’t stand a chance.
Andrew’s hands skimmed down her arms, distracting her from her
“It looks like they found tunnels seven and
nine last night,” Serge added, watching Arianna’s mood
Thomas rubbed his forehead, ignoring Arianna
and Andrew. “Then that leaves only tunnel three to leave from?”
“Yes,” Serge replied. Unlike his son, he
wasn’t just fascinated by the outsiders. Instead, he felt an
overwhelming sense of duty to help this young girl after the visit
from her great uncle. Gabriel had showed up on his doorstep only a
month ago asking for a favor after years of not seeing each other.
In return, he promised the wurdulac a possible cure from their
limited feeding. Serge didn’t want to change his clan, but it was
only a matter of time before they would die out. Fewer and fewer
children were being born each cycle, and Gabriel offered hope to
him. Gabriel had assured him that the young, innocent girl sitting
before him was the key.
“That makes things a bit harder,” Thomas
complained. “I really wanted to have at least two tunnels open so
that we would create a distraction.” The wurdulac estate sat above
a honeycomb of tunnels. For over a century the wurdulac had used
the tunnels to come and go without other clans knowing the exact
entrance to their estate. While keeping them isolated from the
world, the tunnel system also kept them safe.
Thomas looked at the screen of the computer
before him. It would have been nice if all the tunnels were open,
but that wasn’t going to happen. The leading clans were all too
persistent in their claim of Arianna. If only her guardian Devin
had somehow tricked her into marriage before she turned seventeen,
this all could have been avoided. Clan law stated an unwed female
was up for contest by all clans if unwed by seventeen. Thomas tried
to study the screen. Heck, at this point he would have married her
to keep her from this fate. Arianna reached over and placed her
hand on Thomas’ hand.
“Getting away shouldn’t be a problem,” she
tried to reassure him as the worry creases deepened in his
forehead. Thomas looked up from the screen and smiled slightly at
“I know,” Thomas replied. She was stronger
now. They didn’t need tricks to escape, but it didn’t hurt to have
Andrew had made sure she was completely
trained to sneak around. It would be the only skill that could keep
her alive when all hell broke out. Thomas tried to plan for every
scenario that might happen at the clan tournament, but he was sure
nothing would go as planned. Thirteen powerful men, all hungry for
her blood, in one location was not going to lead to anything
productive. Thomas’ need to protect her outweighed every other
thought for the past month. He was thinking in circles from sundown
to sunup. He didn’t have the brawn to fight for her, but he did
have the brains. It was just that there were so many unpredictable
‘We can do this,’
Arianna tried her best to reassure Thomas
mentally. She sensed the strain pour off him. Arianna leaned back
again into Andrew and looked up to his eyes. He felt Thomas’ worry
also. She didn’t think this would turn out well either, but she had
to be strong for everyone. Each day of training was making her
stronger, but they were out of time.
“I can take her out through the lower
caves,” Maxim suggested from behind his father. Thomas looked to