by Silvia Violet
Cover art: Bryan Keller
Theme(s): Ménage, Vampires, Magic and Mayhem
Vivian used the power of the written word to free Niall from an evil wizard and discovered a world of vampires, magic, and incredible sex she thought existed only in her fantasies. Now the wizard's power is growing and Vivian and Niall must work with the Vampire Consulate to destroy him before he unleashes his power on humans and non-humans alike.
As danger intensifies, Vivian and Niall's connection strengthens until there is no doubt she is his Companion. Their desire for one another rages out of control, but will fear of what the future holds keep them from sealing their bond?
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2011 Silvia Violet
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Niall slid silently from the bed, cursing his lack of a weapon. Someone was on Vivian's balcony. He could hear a single heartbeat. He reached out with his mind, but whoever it was had shields too thick for him to break without giving himself away. The balcony door slid open. Niall stepped into the living room, cloaking himself. No human would be able to see him now. Of course, he doubted the intruder was human, but he could always hope.
A tall man stepped into Vivian's apartment.
The man captured his wrist in an unbreakable grip. "You could have told me you'd reclaimed your body."
"Ethan." Niall's partner dropped his arm, and Niall stepped back.
Ethan growled. "Why didn't you call me?"
"I needed to regain my strength."
Ethan arched a brow. "Based on your smell and appearance I'd say you needed to fuck someone's brains out."
Niall ran his hand through his ruffled hair. "I would have contacted you as soon as we woke."
"It's not like you to be distracted from a mission."
"After months of being trapped by that bastard I deserve a night to feed and fuck without the Consulate coming down on my ass."
Ethan grinned. "That's true enough. Tell me how you got free."
Niall explained how he'd sent out mental feelers from the story world where he'd been trapped by Lorcan, a wizard so powerful even his band of elite vampire assassins had been unable to capture him after months of trying. Vivian, a romance writer, had been the only one to respond to his calls.
She'd listened to him tell the story of his fight with Lorcan and his capture, thinking he was a character out of her own imagination. When she'd finished writing his tale, the magic of her words brought him back into his body and transported him to her apartment.
Ethan frowned. "When did you return to your self?"
Niall glanced at the clock on the wall. It was nearly 10:00. "About twelve hours ago."
Without warning Ethan lunged for him. Niall countered the attack, blocking Ethan's attempt to smash his jaw. He sent Ethan flying backward with a swift kick.
Ethan held up his hands in surrender.
Niall snarled. "What the fuck was that about?"
"A test. You're back to nearly your full strength."
"You should need days to recover after going so long without feeding. There's something you're not telling me."
"Apparently, I'm stronger than you thought I was." Vivian had restored his energy almost instantly. She responded to him like a Companion, yet even a Companion shouldn't have such power before being Turned. He needed more time to examine their connection before sharing it with anyone, even Ethan.
Ethan growled. "You're lying. We can't afford secrets on this mission."
Lorcan was the greatest threat to their kind Niall had encountered since joining the Protectors. "There is nothing you need to know right now. I'll tell you when I can."
Niall hoped there would be nothing to tell. The thought of letting Vivian go made his stomach knot, but she didn't deserve to be forced into a bond with him, especially one that linked their lifeforces so closely. He risked his life every day as a Protector, and when a vampire died, his Companion rarely survived.
Ethan stepped back onto the balcony and retrieved a bag. He tossed it at Niall. "Duval expects us at sunset. I brought you some clothes and weapons. You'll get a new phone tonight."
"Damn! I was hoping to avoid him for a bit longer." Like until he figured out whether Vivian really was his Companion or if something even stranger was going on. Companion bonds had become rare in the last few hundred years and he'd never heard of one that formed this fast.
Ethan shook his head. "It's a formal summons. He'll drag you there if you don't come willingly."
He would too. The bastard. "How pissed is he?"
"Well, you did get caught."
"God damn it! Nobody knew Lorcan would be able to suck me into his enchanted book. I'll not be --"
He realized Ethan was laughing at his vehemence. "Fuck you."
"You're the best Protector the Consulate has. The fact that you got caught shows how strong Lorcan really is. We've been unable to locate him since you disappeared. Then last night, Duval sensed you again, and I sensed Lorcan's magic. Vivian breaking his hold on you must have weakened him temporarily. We know where he's hiding."
"Then let's go get him."
"How well did that go last time?"
Niall snarled. "I want the bastard dead."
"As do we all, but this is too big for the two of us. We need Duval. Hell, we may need every last Protector and all the allies we can bring in. We've got a few shifters watching the townhouse he's using for his base. They'll alert us if he leaves."
"This can't wait. We need to go in now."