Sample from “Fanged Destiny (Fanged Universe #2)”

Posted: February 5, 2012 in Fanged Universe series, Legion of Angels series, samples, The Vampire from Hell series

Learn more about other characters you’ve read about in the Vampire from Hell series.

With some modifications to the plot, Grace’s story picks up where “Fanged Love” basically ended. If you haven’t read it, click here so you can. The following sample will be included in “Fanged Destiny (Fanged Universe #2)” which will be released at the end of March 2011. For more info, see the Fanged Universe series. Later, all of Grace’s stories will be included in “Death Uninvited (Legion of Angels).”

From “Grace’s Choice”

I wasn’t exactly thinking clearly. I probably was distraught, or I just panicked. That’s the appropriate word. I panicked. It was Nathan’s knife, the one he had used on me that night. I didn’t think to bring it with me. I could have planted it on him. Well like I said, I wasn’t exactly thinking clearly.

“Hey friend, did I just see you punch that lady in the stomach? What’s wrong with you?”

I didn’t recognize the man’s voice. Then I heard T reply, “Keep walking, GQ. This doesn’t concern you.”

Suddenly the tall man yanked a chair from the adjoining table and plopped down next to T. Sitting across from him, I admired the view. This stranger was the man I had seen pass by the window a few moments ago. He took my breath away. Casually I took inventory of his assets: dark blue jeans, light gray leather jacket, bright white t-shirt, light blonde highlights scattered through his dark blonde hair, chiseled face, strong jaw, and amazing blue eyes, the color of sapphires. His clothes appeared to have been tailor-made to fit his exquisite physique. I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. Now that’s what a knight in shining armor should look like, I decided.

As if he could hear my declaration, he gave me a devastating smile. My heart sank. Before I could stop myself, a stupid notion flew into my head. I wanted to live. I wanted to grab this stranger’s hand and run away with him. I didn’t care anymore. Where was he from? He had to be some actor from Los Angeles, visiting San Francisco for the weekend. He looked like he had walked off a movie set.

I recognized that all three guys were staring at me. A smirk settled on the stranger’s face while Nathan and T both glared at me. It was then I realized I had been panting while I gazed at the stranger, panting like a dog. Oh how embarrassing!

“A woman who knows what she wants when she sees it.” The stranger lifted a cigarette to his lips and lit it.

“There’s no smoking in her,” Nathan whined.

The stranger glanced at Nathan and then returned his attention to me. He inhaled deeply and blew cigarette smoke in both guys’ direction.

The smoke sent Nathan into a coughing fit.

Slightly I smiled.

“You don’t remember sending for me?” the stranger asked me.

Nathan and T both stopped what they were doing and turned around to stare at me. “What?!” Nathan bellowed. “What is he talking about Grace? I told you…”

“I didn’t send for anyone!” I corrected the stranger, knowing Nathan’s threat from earlier could become a reality. I didn’t want this guy to die as a result of a misunderstanding.

“Then why did you hurt yourself?” the stranger retaliated as he extinguished his smoke in Nathan’s remaining beer.

“I’ll kill this son-of-a-bitch,” Nathan started.

“No, no! We don’t have to do anything like that. Nathan, this guy is confused.” I pushed myself to a standing position. A sharp cramp hit me and I froze. “Clearly, clearly confused,” I added weakly. I returned to my chair. Wrapping my arms around my stomach, I rocked my body. If I could calm myself, I would forget the pain. Don’t focus on it, I thought. Forget it. Forget the pain. Forget it, I repeated over and over to myself. I chewed on my lip, hoping to hide my discomfort.

“Grace, I don’t have a lot of time. We need to get going.” The stranger’s voice was music to my ears. He studied me, waiting for a sign of objection.

“Who are you?” I whispered.

From out of nowhere, a jolt of energy hit me. The man’s eyes were as dark and powerful as he was. I probably lost all memory of my relationship with Nathan at that exact moment. I forgot the wounds pulsating in my stomach. Without warning, I felt nothing. I was weightless, free, drifting away. Was the stranger my way out? As I stared at him, I placed my hand over my mouth to close it shut, or to think, or just to buy time. Who are you? I thought.

Nathan erupted, “Grace, what have you done? You idiot! You’re bleeding!”

Startled by his yell, I removed my hand from my face and let it fall. I jerked involuntarily at the thud as it hit the table. The palm of my hand was covered in blood, my blood. Fear seized me. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t exhale. I couldn’t do anything. Nathan would surely kill this man. I had to do something! But I couldn’t. I stared blankly at my hand. Either I was having a panic attack or I was truly dying. Gazing at the dark reddish color of my blood, I lost all rational thought. What have I done?

***

A few minutes passed. Maybe more. My eyes flew open. Nathan and T sat, hunched over each other at the table. They look like they were lovers, having just fallen asleep in each other arms. The stranger sat by them finishing a cigarette.

“What did you do to them?” I asked.

His very tan and well-manicured hand reached out and grabbed mine. He placed a white linen handkerchief in my hand and proceeded to wipe away the blood on my hand. He dabbed it a few times in T’s beer and gently cleaned the blood from my face. The cold liquid instantly revived me. Or was it his touch? A fleeting thought flew through my mind.

“Always worried about others? It’s a fine trait to have if it doesn’t get you in trouble,” he said.

“Are they dead?”

“No, they’re just sleeping. Don’t worry. You, on the other hand, you’re dying. You realize that, don’t you?”

I shrugged my shoulders. Giving up was my best option, I thought. “So,” I said decisively.

He smiled at me again. A low chuckle rumbled in his throat.

Quickly I glanced away, hoping to not get distracted again by his beauty. But if this was the last thing I saw on Earth, this gorgeous man, what was wrong with that?

“I like your optimism,” the stranger spoke up.

“Did I say that aloud?”

“No, I can hear your thoughts. As an Angel of Death, I can hear mortals’ thoughts.” His dark blue eyes fixed on me, intensely, almost seductively.

I gasped. The room started to spin.

“You sent for me, Grace,” Death replied. “It’s time we get going. Okay?”

I gripped the sides of the table to steady myself. I muttered something about not wanting to leave Nathan, that I wasn’t ready, that I didn’t fully understand his request, that I was too young to die. I couldn’t think straight. I couldn’t process what this man was saying to me. Was he really who he said he was?

He leaned in closer and whispered to me, “Don’t faint, Grace. Don’t. It’s best if we don’t make a scene. However…” His hand delicately rubbed the inside of my throat. “I can carry you if it comes to that. Is that fine?”

I nodded without knowing what it meant. I just nodded. If he truly was the Angel of Death, why not go with him?

“Let me make a quick call and we’ll go, okay?”

Again I simply nodded. I was unable to form any words of objection.

“Ra, it looks like we may have a sighting at a bar called the Golden Skull in California. You know the place? It’s in San Fran. Okay, good deal. I’ve got some errands to run, so call me if you or the others find her. Okay? She should be showing up any minute now.” He paused for a moment, listening to the other person on the line. Then he continued. “Okay. Got it. Oh, and if you see Gab, tell him I’ve got two guys for containment. I’ll drop em off at the police station. By the way they smell, I’m guessing they’re big time potheads.”

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