Read on for this Tuesday’s tease…
The raven left the guard’s shoulder and Prophecy followed it as it swooped along the path, cawing loudly along the way. She held her head high while walking past the guards that lined the pale gravel path. Her senses told her that they were all as old as the ones that had been defending the gate and they were all strong. The Validus bloodline was old and there hadn’t been a new addition to their family in countless years.
Her eyes roamed the breadth of the palace. It was as beautiful as any stately home. Even in the rain-soaked darkness, she could make out that the plaster covering its façade had been painted rich ochre. There were so many windows that she lost count and the perfectly manicured garden with tall topiary bushes made it look like a royal palace. She supposed that the Validus were as close to royalty as her species got. The annals always said that it was the reason they had the purest purple eyes when in their vampire form. Royal purple.
It wasn’t just that and their name that made them like royalty. At over three millennia, Hyperion was the oldest vampire in existence. If Ineru were his blood and birth sister like Valentine had told her, then she too must have been over three thousand years old. She wondered what it would be like to live that long. With age came strength in her species. How strong was Hyperion?
The twin tall wooden doors in front of her opened and she stepped through them. She followed the raven still, letting it lead the way to Hyperion.
She couldn’t imagine what it must be like to see the world change like he would have. When he had been turned, there was no Heaven and Hell, no bible, and the ancient civilisations of Greece and Egypt still flourished.
Entering a room, she came out of her thoughts when she felt the presence of great power and blinked when she saw him sitting at the opposite end of the room. He was reclining at a haphazard angle in a huge lushly furnished chair. One of his legs dangled over an arm of it while one hand hung limp, almost grazing the floor with the glass he held.
He didn’t bother sitting up when she approached, he only moved his gaze to rest on her and she faltered under the intensity of it.
His physical appearance wasn’t old like she had expected. His black hair and slim features reminded her painfully of Valentine, only he seemed even younger. At what age had he turned? The man in front of her didn’t look a day over thirty. His rich violet eyes receded, changing into a dark shade of brown that made the colour of hers pale in comparison.
She came to a halt just a few metres from him. His eyes bore into hers and she felt as though he was trying to see right down into her soul. She was about to look away when he raised his hand and the raven landed on it. He placed his half empty glass of blood down and petted the bird. There seemed to be a sad kind of affection between them and a troubled look filled Hyperion’s eyes.
Maybe this wasn’t such a good time to come to him after all. She hadn’t realised just how concerned he would be with his sister and how much it weighed down on his heart, but in his face now, she could see the anxiety and sadness. She could feel it in the house. It was quiet and empty, hollow almost. The whole building felt depressed. It made a strange contrast when compared with hers. Here there were no other vampires bustling around or just relaxing and talking in the drawing rooms and halls. There was no one but the man in front of her, sitting in his chair in a room that made her feel cold and a house that felt as though it was in mourning.
The raven flew up to the rafters of the high ceiling when Hyperion raised his hand and she found him looking at her again. She wrapped her arms across her chest, holding herself.
She had to say something to fill the silence.
“I’m—” she started.
“I know who you are, child of light.” He cut her off and sat up.
Her eyes dropped to the black shirt and trousers he was wearing. The shirt was undone, barely covering the contours of his torso and his bronzed skin. He wasn’t overly tall but his legs were long. She could tell that when he crossed them and leaned back into the chair. They added to his lithe appearance, making her think that he could probably outrun even her. He could probably outrun anyone. When she brought her eyes back up, she caught the look of intrigue on his face and she would have had to be blind to miss the seductive curve his lips took on.
She wondered just what kind of man he was. From where she was standing, he was beautiful and deadly, the perfect vampire. Luring humans to their demise, be them female or male, would never be a problem for him. The smile he was giving her made her want to avert her gaze and she was a vampire. The weaker mind of a human would be unable to resist his allure. He was precisely the type of vampire that people wrote about. The type of man that no one could resist. Seduction would probably be a game to him, a form of amusement that he would entertain himself with before killing his victim.
“Is something the matter?” he said in a low voice and bent down to retrieve his glass of blood from the floor.
“I…I hadn’t expected you to look so young.” She offered him a small smile and felt awkward when he laughed. The sound of it echoed around the high walls. It made her stomach twist upon itself to hear it. It didn’t seem to fit somehow. It was an alien sound for such a sombre place.
“I was thinking the same of you.” He stood up and looked at her, his expression thoughtful while he sipped his blood.
She kept still under his scrutiny, not wanting to anger him by shying away. She’d had other men look at her that way. There was no more desire in his eyes than Venturi had, and nowhere near as much as Valentine showed for her. To this man, she was something to be claimed or won, or even just toyed with. Was he only granting her an audience in order to give himself some amusement for a few minutes? He stepped towards her and ran his eyes back up to her face.
“I have the disguise of immortality, but you are as innocent as you appear.”
She presumed that by that he meant she was young. None of her species could be innocent, not with the things they had to do to survive. Her teeth itched at the thought of fresh blood and her eyes briefly moved to the glass he was holding.
“Your hunger makes you beautiful. My sister cannot resist the lure of blood either. She is as hungry as you, I think.”
She realised that her demonic guise had come to the forefront while she had been looking at the blood. Forcing it to recede, she licked her lips and then promised herself that she would hunt as soon as she’d rescued Valentine.
“I hear many things about you, child of light,” he said and she started wondering why he was calling her that. Is that what the prophecy called her? Surely Hyperion would know it in its true form, not the tangled web of lies that everyone else had been fed. He was old enough. “Some speak of you and say that you have secrets in your past.”
She nodded. “I did. I know them now.”
“That is a good thing. A secret, even one you are unconscious of carrying, is a heavy burden to bear.” He moved around her and she could feel his eyes wandering over her again.
She kept her face forwards and stared at the tapestries that hung on the rear wall of the room behind Hyperion’s throne.
“Not as heavy as the weight I bear from the prophecy,” she said and when he made it back around to the front of her, he frowned and nodded.
“The burden you bear is not one which will be easily dispatched but there is a great strength in you, the likes of which I have never seen before.” He moved back to his throne and sat down. “What is it you want from me?”
“I need your help to save someone from my blood brother, Arkalus, and the lord of Aurorea. They are holding him at the Aurorea’s mansion not far from here.” Her voice trembled while she spoke and she couldn’t stop her nerves from showing. She had felt fine before and almost at ease around him, but she didn’t know how he would react to her request and it made her uneasy.
He sighed and leaned back into his chair. “That I cannot offer you. I have kept my hounds at bay, but I cannot align myself with you, not at this juncture.”
Disappointment weighed heavy in her stomach, making her feel sick. “Why not? I need your help, Hyperion, and you turn me away?”
“It is too risky.”
“Is this because of Ineru?”
His eyes darkened. “This has nothing to do with her. Leave her out of this.”
“Have the Law Keepers found her? I met two in Budapest and they weren’t there looking for me. Just like they weren’t looking for me at the masquerade.”
“She is safe. They will not find her,” he said and she got the feeling that there was a deeper reason behind why he had been so reluctant to see her.
“Is she here?” She watched his face closely.
He paused and it told her everything that she needed to know.
“I understand now why you won’t help me,” she said.
“I will help in any way that I can without openly aligning myself with you. When it has passed, you can count on my assistance. I need to know that she is safe first.” The pensive look on his face disappeared and he smiled at her. “My Watchmen have reported to me in the past that you are searching for the scrolls. I was against splitting them. It was a tactic devised by the elders to scare the younglings and keep the truth about you hidden.”
“We have one part of the scroll, but the other is lost and the one lead we had was murdered before we could speak to them,” she said.
“It is in London.”
Her eyes widened. Was he being serious? He knew the location of the second part of the scroll? She stepped towards him, struggling for words while she thought over the connotations of what he’d said. They had been so close to it all this time.
“The British Museum has it. It is on display there and they describe it as a cuneiform text of unknown origin. It is not dated.”
She didn’t know what to say.
His smile widened. “It will be easy to find. You have seen the other half. You will recognise it.”
She laughed at the word easy. She’d lost hope of discovering where it was and now the location of it had fallen into her lap.
“Thank you,” she said and frowned when he shook his head and sighed.
“I wish that I could be of more assistance to you, but my sister needs me more. Love makes her weak, but it only serves to strengthen you. I am certain that you will succeed in rescuing your love.” He stood again and walked to her, his lips still curved into a slight smile.
She didn’t stop him when he placed his hand under hers and raised it. He pressed a kiss to it and looked deep into her eyes.
“Just as I am certain that we shall meet again,” he said.
Did you enjoy today’s tease?
Prophecy: Caelestis and Aurorea [book 2]
F E Heaton
In a world of darkness and danger, Prophecy will fight to her limit to save the vampire she loves and stop a terrible evil from unleashing Hell on earth.
A female vampire on the brink of discovering the true depth of her extraordinary power, Prophecy’s strength of heart is put to the test when her blood brother, Arkalus, and Valentine’s lord set in motion a terrible plan that threatens to destroy her. Old friends turn their backs on her, unlikely allies come to her aid, and with the help of the dangerously seductive Lord Hyperion, the scroll that foretells her true destiny is completed, but nothing can prepare Valentine and Prophecy for what lies ahead.
When her visions show her the dark path they must take, will Prophecy and Valentine be able to do what is necessary to win against the mounting threat of a mysterious enemy?
Following on from Prophecy: Child of Light, the tension rises and love grows in Prophecy: Caelestis & Aurorea, a thrilling second part to the trilogy that draws you into a dark, exhilarating world of vampires, werewolves, magic and the war to end all wars.
You can get your hands on the first book in this series, PROPHECY: CHILD OF LIGHT, for FREE right now on selected Amazon Kindle, Kobo and Apple iBooks Stores. Find out more at my Paranormal Romance Ebook Offers page.
If you haven’t had a chance to read any of the books in the Vampires Realm romance series yet, they’re all available at major ebook retailers and some are available in paperback, and you can find the links and samples of the books at my website:
Prophecy: Child of Light (Vampires Realm Romance Series #1)
Prophecy: Caelestis & Aurorea (Vampires Realm Romance Series #2)
Prophecy: Dark Moon Rising (Vampires Realm Romance Series #3)
Eternity: The Beginning (Vampires Realm Romance Series #4)
Spellbound (Vampires Realm Romance Series #5)
Reunion (Vampires Realm Romance Series #6)
Seventh Circle (Vampires Realm Romance Series #7)
Winter’s Kiss (Vampires Realm Romance Series #8)
Hunter’s Moon (Vampires Realm Romance Series #9)
Masquerade (Vampires Realm Romance Series #10)