An ember of sorrow ignited deep in my stomach, and my chest seemed to ache with an indescribable pain…and unease. Trace pushed the door open, never losing the slightest grip on my hand as he pulled me into the darkness beyond and led me down a cold stone stairway filled with pungent, rancid scents, and underneath those I could taste a residue of old blood like a film along my taste buds. “What is this place?” I asked, my voice an eerie echo all around me.
“This is the dungeon,” he called back. “We keep all of our prisoners here.”
Torture seemed more fitting than his use of the word keep, but I kept that to myself as I followed him downward still, listening to the shuffle of our boots. And as we finally took the last step, we entered a rather large corridor lined with secured chambers that seemed to go on the length of a couple football fields. Rustic iron fixtures hanging from the ceiling emitted soft, yellowish light that cast shadows on the bare stone walls and slate-like floors. I could feel the thrum of magic prickling my skin like static electricity, causing the hair on my arms to rise, and I knew that that power was ultimately what held these prisoners inside their cells—not the metal doors, or even the manacles I saw wrapped around the first couple of vamps we passed as we moved ever closer to where Tyler was being held.
Trepidation intensified with each step, and as we approached a couple feet in front of where my boyfriend was locked up I tugged Trace firmly and he turned, looking at me with his right brow raised. But I sensed he knew what I wanted—some privacy while I confronted Tyler—so he gave a slight nod, then leaned close, his lips brushing across my ear as he whispered, “I’ll be waiting for you in the hallway just outside the dungeon.” Then he planted a gentle kiss on my cheek before turning on his heel and heading back out the way we’d come.
I swallowed hard, my nerves racing like currents of raging water inside my flesh. But there was no reason to prolong this—it was time to find out why Tyler once again lied to me and if he’d actually be able to offer the right excuse to keep me with him this time. After everything we’d been through, all the betrayal that he so neatly packaged in a resonating way that enabled me to see the good in him, the reasons his lies were actually his way of trying to help me, everything that had made me believe him. I’d fought for his safety and even went to the extent of giving him my blood to save him from Bronx, then gave him another dose to sustain him as he fled from the Council…and perhaps the Resistance.
Thinking back to when Tristan had asked if I’d be willing to turn Ty into one of us, I’d been perplexed, not knowing if I could, or if I even wanted to do that at all. Clearly there were reservations with him, deeply rooted inside, unwilling to reveal themselves through the haze of blind love I’d thought I felt. But I refused to be so naïve that someone I cared for would walk all over me yet again, I couldn’t allow it, wouldn’t stand for it, and I damn sure wasn’t going to play the victim card.
About Crimson Flames
Half-vampire Abby Tate is determined to learn more about the sorceress powers that were awakened inside her when she was turned into a vampire—making her a whole new hybrid species. There’s a group of rogue vamps banding together and forming a Resistance against the vampire governing body, The Head Council, and Abby’s newly discovered powers are the key to the Council’s victory. Now the Resistance will do anything possible to remove the hybrid threat, and with no other options, Abby is forced to rely on the aid of the Council, yet can she trust the very vampires that hunt for her human lover? And even worse, can she fight the unwelcome attraction that’s growing between her and one of those ancient vampire rulers?
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