Friday, February 10, 2012
Dark Reign-- Atonement by Mychael Black
Dark Reign: Atonement
by Mychael Black
Cover art: Reneé George
Theme(s): Vampires, Werewolves, Gay
Series: Dark Reign (#3)
Page Count: 38
Marcus Deleon has spent most of his life saving his fellow weres from the hands of his ex-lover, the vampire Dalton Gray. Now he's facing an all-out war after one of his Enforcers kills several of Gray's guards. The allies he has to rely on can be counted on one hand until unexpected help arrives, bearing the fragile body of an injured were child and inside knowledge into Gray's operations.
Dark Reign: Atonement
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2012 Mychael Black
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Jordan winced with the impact, but he didn't struggle against the werewolf's grip around his throat. The man tightened the hold, claws threatening to pierce Jordan's skin.
From one set of captors into the hands of another. "Deleon. I need to speak to Deleon!" Jordan had expected a cold reception, but he hadn't realized just how strong the wolves were.
"Who are you?"
Despite the hand at his neck, Jordan glanced over to his right. A tall, muscular figure stepped out of the shadows. His long coat obscured his body. When the hood fell back, Jordan could only stare. He'd seen many werewolves in his lifetime, but none quite matched the allure of the man before him.
Jet black hair fell over broad shoulders, and the sharp features of the man's face held no flaws whatsoever. Where Jordan was slim and lithe, this man was nothing but pure muscle. Jesus...
"He asked you a question," the brute with the iron fist growled, snapping Jordan's attention back to the matter at hand. "Answer or..."
"Release him, Vaughn."
"Of course." The brute -- Vaughn, apparently -- stepped back, letting Jordan fall to his knees on the filthy alley pavement.
"You are not one of us." The man in the coat crouched down before Jordan. "You are one of them."
"Jordan Silva." Jordan coughed. He glared at Vaughn, then looked back to the man before him. "I was told to find Deleon."
Jordan gestured to the rusted door a few feet farther down the alley. Vaughn headed for the door and jerked it open. Jordan looked back at the man in front of him. "I was told Deleon could help her."
The man -- Marcus -- stood and joined Vaughn. A moment later, they emerged from the doorway, the young girl in Vaughn's arms. Jordan prayed the man was gentle with her. Marcus returned to Jordan, surprising Jordan by offering him a hand up.
"Come with us."
"What? Marcus, he's a vampire!" Vaughn snapped, shooting Jordan a scowl that would've curdled a human's blood.
"Take her home, Vaughn. Tia will look after her."
Vaughn snorted but obeyed without further question. Marcus sighed.
"You must forgive him. He has a strong dislike for your kind."
"After what I've seen, I would too," Jordan said.
Marcus lifted one dark eyebrow. "Why did you leave Gray? Why risk your life for one of ours?"
Jordan stared at a point over Marcus' shoulder. "Working for Gray wasn't exactly by choice. I was ordered to kill her, but I couldn't. I need to speak to Deleon."
"Come. I'm sure he will very much like to hear what you have to say."
Jordan followed Marcus a short distance to a sprawling house surrounded by a tall security fence. Marcus keyed in a series of numbers on the keypad, and the gate unlocked. Jordan didn't see any sign of Vaughn or the girl, and he hoped to the gods she was okay now.
"The others will not take well to a vampire being in our midst," Marcus warned as he led the way up a long driveway. "So long as you stay with me, you will be safe, however."
The front door looming before them opened and Jordan stepped in behind Marcus. The house felt deathly still. Jordan knew the wolves watched him from shadows. Marcus continued down a hall and stopped before another door. He opened it and waved Jordan inside.
"I really need to see Deleon."
Marcus sat behind a dark wood desk, feet propped on the edge, chair tipped back. "So speak."
Jordan sat down, mouth dropping open. "You..." Marcus nodded. "I know this is all suspicious, but I'm here to help."
"Why would a vampire -- one of Dalton's vampires -- help us?" Marcus stood, his chair hitting the floor with a loud bang. Hands braced on the desk, he leaned over and glared at Jordan. "Your kind has done nothing but treat us as slaves. Gray has stolen our people, killed countless others. What the fuck do you want?"
"I know what he's doing," Jordan answered. "And I know where."
Marcus' dark blue eyes narrowed. "What's in it for you?"