by Brenda Stinnett
Genre: Historical Paranormal set in London, England, after the Restoration of Charles II.
Heat Level : Sizzling
Darius Einhard, demon slayer, will stop at nothing to help Elizabeth Curran, immortal vampire, break the bonds of vampirism, even while helping her protect Charles Stuart II, who’s in danger of being entrapped into becoming an immortal vampire and leading his people into the abyss of hell by the psychic vampire demons.
The ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, England, November, 1675
First to reach the top of the ladder, Elizabeth said, “I see a dim light outside the archways of the church. Follow me.”
They’d almost reached the entrance when a hooded figure came rapidly gliding toward them. In silence, the shadowy figure stepped in front of them, blocking the exit while tossing back its hood. Elizabeth recognized Julian, his horrible eyes blazing blood-red, and his mummified face transformed into a skull whose hinged jaws tantalizingly opened and closed, while his wings beat back and forth.
Fear-frozen, Elizabeth watched the skull increase in size, the jaws continuing to rise and fall. The creature grew until it filled the archway.
With a shout, Darius shoved his three companions away from him and toward the archway. “Run! John, take the women to safety.”
John grabbed both women by the arm and started running with them, dodging the skull and slipping beneath Julian’s enormous wings. Elizabeth pulled back and turned around in time to see the huge jaws closing over Darius. She screamed, but John yanked her back and dragged her and Amelia out of the church forcibly, before she could protest further. He gave a shrill whistle. Darius’s coach appeared in front of the ruins. John shoved the women into the coach, and shouted to the driver, “To the Boar’s Head Inn. Hurry up, my good man.”
In the coach, Elizabeth glared at him with such ferocity that he drew away from her in surprise. “How dare you, John!”
His eyes widened. “What’s wrong? Darius told me to get you and Amelia to safety, and that’s what I’ve done.”
His wife touched his shoulder and gave a shake of her head.
Elizabeth sat up on her knees, pressing her face to the back window of the carriage. Even with her superior vision, she saw neither Darius, nor the huge skull from her vantage point.
“We’ve abandoned him to those horrible demons. We should have stayed and fought.”
When she let out an enormous sob, Amelia gently pulled her back onto the seat. “John was doing what Darius asked him to do. Darius is a great warrior and he can take care of himself.”
Elizabeth hardly noticed Amelia stroking her arm in a comforting manner. She felt a pain in the pit of her stomach grow until it reached up and clutched her heart. How could she live with herself if anything happened to him?
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