DEFEAT THE DARKNESS
Book 1 Hearts of Darkness
By ELIZA MARCH
DEFEAT THE DARKNESS two excerpts ...
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New Orleans, present day
The afternoon air sizzled in the New Orleans summer heat. As the rain started, Shelby inhaled the steamy air from the open balcony and stared out, unfocused. The light rain hit the hot pavement on the empty street below while the fan inside the room blew warm air over her naked skin. There was still time to convince Kyle to stay or take her with him. She tied her hair into a loose knot on top of her head, determined not to give up this fight without another attempt at changing his mind.
“I have to admit, I love the view.” His deep voice sounded raspy from sex and sleep.
It startled her never the less, even though she knew he’d been on the verge of waking when she’d slipped out of bed. Kyle’s voice revealed more than a hint of his upper crust Boston accent. It revealed his arousal.
The timber carried across the room sending a trill of excitement through her, along with a spark of heat. The expression on his face made her heart clench when she took a quick glance over her shoulder. With her arms crossed over her chest, she turned to confront him. He rolled completely in her direction while he sprawled sexually spent in post coital bliss on the trashed bed. His eyes were hooded, barely opened. The expression he wore revealed how much he enjoyed casually studying her.
Yet, her soul ached because the man who’d become as necessary as the air she breathed was leaving for Guatemala the following morning--without her. When the knot in her throat tightened, she sighed to prevent the distress from turning into a torrent of tears. Squaring her shoulders, she swallowed her sorrow.
EXCERPT TWO after Guatemala
The stasis effect happened as Dylan had described. Kyle grew more and more tired, and felt heavier and heavier as the sun rose, until he couldn’t move. As Garr predicted, the stasis came upon him less than twenty-four hours after they found the murdered couple. Before he succumbed to the deep sleep of the immortals, Jackson, Dylan, and Garr helped move him into what he’d come to think of as the bowels of the old mausoleum.
Located in a private cemetery on a remote section of Dylan’s Sang-froid estate, the ground was high and dry for this area of Louisiana. The overgrown trees and brush made the place hard to find even if you knew what you were looking for. All the old marble monuments were covered in moss and overgrown ivy. The chamber where they placed him was one of many, and most were impossible to differentiate from one another by sight. Dylan identified the one he placed Kyle in by scent.
The entire following week, the others watched after Shelby while Kyle remained in stasis, the final stages of his transition. When he awoke, it wasn’t dark like he expected. The crypt burned with gaslights.
He sat up, feeling remarkably different—more together. Muffled sounds from above outside, cleared. His heightened senses were even stronger than they’d been after he shifted the first time, and now he had more control over them.
The concrete bunker lined with rich earth beneath the marble had protected him like a cocoon while his body permanently absorbed all the DNA he’d acquired from Amyra, from the jaguar that bit him, and the original supernatural DNA from his own genetic code. He should have been frightened to face what he was becoming, but he wasn’t—not now with Shelby in danger. His demon might be the one thing capable of stopping Amyra.
Kyle flexed the stiff muscles in his arms and legs, stretched his shoulders, and stood. He whirled around when he heard the soft swish behind him. Whoosh!
He turned and glanced over his shoulder. Rising up from his back, each with a ten-foot span, stretched enormous black, leather-like wings tipped with razor sharp talons. He rotated his shoulders and tested the muscles across his back. The wings moved, flexed, and curled. He relaxed and willed them to do the same. They retracted into his back, disappearing along the ridge of his spine.
Kyle released a long breath and sat back down. The demon was out.
Wasn’t it what he wanted? What they needed?
Yes. But… He took a deep breath, feeling a mixture of fear and excitement. He dressed quickly, putting on the clothes Dylan left there for him, and followed the lit corridor to the gated entrance. Jackson was pacing in front of the crypt.
He jumped and let out a low growl when Kyle surprised him. “You supposed to be keeping watch?”
“I wasn’t expecting you tonight. Garr said it could be another day or two.” Jackson laughed, sounding relieved when he saw him.
“I need to find Dylan right away.”
“He’s at the house. Garr is out with Salazar, but they should be back soon.”
“Salazar’s here? Even better.” Forgetting, he whipped out his wings, ripping apart his shirt, and said, “I’m going to need help with these.”
“Whoa, dude. Those are awesome.” The hybrid wolf prince’s youthful exuberance made Kyle grin.
“They are pretty impressive if I do say so myself.” He whipped them once and stretched them out to full span. “I wish I knew what to do with them.”
“I know what I’d be doing.” Jackson grinned. “Dive bombing the guys in the pack.” He stared at Kyle and motioned him to follow. “Dude your eyes have gone blood-red. And get a load of your fangs. They’re an inch longer than any I’ve seen. You need to feed.”
“This is more than hunger. The demon is rising. I need Salazar right away. Lead on.”
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All rights reserved. No part of this may be copied or reproduced without the written permission of the author. Copyright 2012, Eliza March