Home > House Of Vampires 7

House Of Vampires 7
Author: Samantha Snow

CHAPTER ONE


People said a lot of things about limits.

Don’t limit yourself.

Test your limits.

Push your limits.

For a long time, I felt like I’d listened to those lines, trusting that they would lead me somewhere special. Sure, I was a college dropout who hadn’t held a steady job in well over a year, but where magic was concerned, I’d learned to look at barriers, lifted my metaphysical skirts, and frolic right over them.

In a way, I had no choice. You couldn’t put a barrier on the worst sort of magic there was. How could you teach barriers to a form of magic that was already beyond every safe wall build?

Teaching necromancer barriers was like telling a serial killer to stop at a certain number of victims.

Killers gonna kill, and necromancers were going to… necromance.

It is what it is.

Necromancing wasn’t a skill for the faint at heart. It was gruesome and ugly. It was the dark side of the moon of magic. While other magic disciplines would be light and sweet, my magic started where nightmares began.

I was the thing that stood between life and death. The Grim Reaper who jumped into the graves of the dead and yelled, “Psych!”

I was certain I’d seen everything I could do as a necromancer, but the crime I’d just committed was the worst of them all.

I finally had my Wei back, the man I counted as my first real love, the one who’d spent late nights with me, teaching me to dance of the samurai while stealing my heart with every breath and every touch.

But Wei wasn’t himself.

For months, I’d done nothing but wait for the day when he’d return to me, but now that I had him here… I regretted it.

“Lorena,” he pleaded.

“Shh,” I whispered with the salty sea wind. Pressing my fingers against his lips was like touching a pillow. “No more.”

He frowned and pulled my hand down. “Lorena, I’m telling you the truth.”

“I know.” I knew he thought he was telling me the truth, but I also knew he had to be wrong. He was trying to convince me that the man I had just learned to trust couldn’t be trusted, and I couldn’t allow that. I wouldn’t doubt Sirius again.

Sirius knew the future. A starteller. A seer who read the sky. Sirius wouldn’t bring Wei back if he knew Wei would rat out his little plan to kill my baby. I knew Wei thought he was right, but he was clearly delusional.

I’d returned him to the land of the living through a shell. A shell was a humanoid whose soul had been ripped from his body as a child. Shells weren’t bright. Their masters told them everything they needed to know, including how to feel about their circumstances. You should make a shell happy with just a command.

Perhaps, Wei’s mind had been affected by the shell who’d eaten his soul stone. I’d have to ask Sirius about this.

Wei snatched my hand from his mouth. “Lorena, you need to listen to me. I’m trying to save your life.”

“I’m so glad you remember my name.”

Save my life? He was definitely talking gibberish. Laying in the stone had definitely done something to his head. I would probably have to put him back to sleep once the boat docked on land. I wasn’t looking forward to it.

“I remember everything, and I’m trying to warn you.”

“Let’s just… enjoy the time we have together.” I ran my fingers down his cheek. The lantern danced above his head with the sway of the boat. His dark hair fluttered around his stony face. Obsidian, almond-shaped eyes glared down at me.

“You’re not listening.”

“I’m listening.” He just wasn’t saying much of anything. I scooted closer into his arms. I loved him so much. I should have let him go with dignity.

He wrapped his arms around me and sighed. “You’re still stubborn.”

I smiled. So he did have some of his wits. Maybe I could keep him around. If I did, keeping him and Sirius apart would be paramount.

Wei had come back to me as nude as a baby but very much a male. If the strength in his arms and the thighs I sat on were anything to go by, he’d retained his destructive physique. He was breathing hard, and my necromancing picked up on his volatile anger. I’d definitely have to keep him away from Sirius.

From my position, I could see the lantern of boats that followed us across the dark sea.

A few minutes ago, there’d been some sort of magical storm. The Kingdom of Water had tried to kill us, but after Wei’s transformation, which had caused an explosion of light the size of a nuclear bomb, the seas had calmed.

I hoped everyone was all right, especially Dr. Shaw and Blair. Dr. Elizabeth Shaw was actually my aunt, and currently, her daughter, my cousin Blair, had her in a magical coma. She was very ill, and using magic only made it worse.

Had I known about her medical condition, I wouldn’t have asked her to come with me to the fae world at all. I wouldn’t have asked her to help me end the war, but fate had other ideas. Sirius had shown me how everything that happened had been necessary in order to fulfill the prophecy.

Every choice I made had a rippling effect, and Sirius was my guide.

I stared at him now. Besides Wei, the only people I could make out were the two vampires in the boat behind mine and Wei’s.

Sirius and Zane. The darkness kept most of their features in the shadows, but I’d memorized their faces. Sirius was the first vampire I’d met with a full, sexy lumberjack beard. He had brilliant-red hair and was Scottish though he could abandon the accent at the drop of a hat and sound like he’d come from somewhere in the middle of America.

Zane, by comparison, was like an African god with bronze skin, hauntingly dark eyes, and the full lips that I loved feeling anywhere and everywhere on my body.

Unfortunately for us, Zane and I were at odds. He was no longer my boyfriend. In fact, two of the devastatingly handsome vampires were on my not-to-do list. While I trusted Sirius as my eyes into the future, I wouldn’t trust him or Zane with my heart.

But rejection hadn’t stopped either of them from trying.

I knew they were watching me. Sirius, who sat closer, had probably heard some of Wei and my argument. Did he know Wei thought he’d betray me in the worst way?

A flicker of light in the water intercepted my vision. Then I saw it again and again. Neon fins broke from the water in shades of yellow, blue, and red, flicking water and stirring the water until the whole sea glowed.

I turned back around just and caught my first true sight of the Kingdom of Water.

I remembered it a little from my first visit. I knew it was a series of islands with pale Greek-style temples, soft sand, and the most colorful people I’d seen in the fae world to date.

This first island was bigger than the ones I remember. There were two large cliffs that seemed to flare out like large waves, leaving a slim opening in the center.

There were people lining the short shoreline, and from their posture alone, I knew they were warriors. My own warrior, Wei, stiffened underneath me. I could read his thoughts. He wanted his gear, his ancient Chinese ensemble with a sword and all.

Unfortunately, I didn’t think the merfolk made such attire. I was just hoping to find anything for him. We couldn’t let Wei walk about in his birthday suit. The man was a stunner and would have the whole ocean dropping their panties in seconds, mine included.

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