Are you ready for a Halloween read that has vampires and necromancers?
Well, you should be, because Those Who Wait is up for preorder now and will be released on Friday the 26th of October! That’s only two weeks from today!!!
But just to give you a taster…
You can have a sneaky Halloween read of chapter one, here, today:
I looked up from my iCom. The thing I’d been playing had ended ages ago, but I’d been staring at the game over screen for a while. How long was hard to say. Time isn’t exactly an issue when you’re a thousand year old vampire on a lead.
Lia’s voice penetrated my thoughts, that invisible internal rope jerking in response to her. Centuries tethered to the woman that had turned me had not been kind on my temperament. And, worse, I knew, even if she didn’t, that we were both drawing close to a final conclusion.
A few years from now and we’d both be dead.
“I hate when you mope. Can’t you be happy in your work?”
She glanced up from her tablet as she swiped the screen. She had no idea that, in about eight years, she’d find a time machine and travel to a past that would both begin and end our connection in a complicated series of events. It was where she would turn my previous incarnation from human to vampire. And it was when her connection to my current form would end for good.
That would mean I could travel as far as I liked away from her. It would mean no more taking orders like some sordid lapdog. But…
It could also mean… my death.
“Are you ordering me to be happy?” I drawled, my tone dry and humourless.
“Don’t be smart.”
A muscle in my jaw flickered. It would be foolish to smile. She’d become much more vindictive over the centuries, treating me more and more like a beast than a human.
Still, the only thing she seemed unable to order me to do was to change my emotions or thoughts. They were the only things I could keep for myself. The rest…
She could order me to sleep with whoever she wanted. Kill whoever she wanted. Steal whatever she wanted. Punish myself in whatever way she wanted. I was there for her every whim. And the immortality that she’d inflicted on me made that a longer sentence than most slaves had to endure.
“I am getting sick of your face, though.”
“Then find a way to cut me free,” I quipped without remorse.
Violet had been born in this century. She was the reason why Lia would go to the past. She was the reason why I’d been waiting so long.
I wondered what she looked like now. Still a teenager, probably, but coming into womanhood. Our goodbye had been bittersweet. I squeezed my eyes shut on the thought. Time travel was complicated.
“Impossible,” Lia answered, idly.
Clearly, she was in a better mood after last night. Cerin had returned from a trip and the whole goddamn row of terraces had known about it. But if it hadn’t been for the release of that tension, she would probably have already told me to set fire to my hand again for being impertinent. The third degree burns from the previous day had only just healed. Both a curse and a blessing of vampire mutation.
“Not that I care to. You’ve been very useful over the centuries.”
“Send him away for a bit. He’s a nuisance when I’m researching.” Cerin shrugged, tapping away at his archaic keyboard. It made that horrible early 21st century ka-chunk with every keystroke. “The long hair and the clothes. Ugh. Move with the times, Ruari.”
My lips thinned as I observed him. He hated me. He hated my presence, wanting Lia’s attention to himself. Hell, he could have it. I didn’t want it. I just wanted to be free, but she enjoyed the premise of having a lackey.
“Change your name. Make yourself more modern.”
Like Celia had become Lia? Or Kenneth had become Cerin?
I narrowed my eyes, muttering thinly, “Learn to spell it.”
“I prefer it O R Y.”
“Well, I don’t.”
“Don’t argue back, Ruari,” Lia quietly ordered. My lips involuntarily sealed shut at her command. “And your name is very old fashioned. I mean, McCulloch? Muclock is newer. Fresher. And you could become Ri instead.”
I glowered. “I’m not some popstar from the last millennium.”
She rolled her eyes, still relaxed in her chair, still keeping her attention on whatever she was reading. “Fine. Then take a holiday. It must be a century since your last.”
It was two centuries. Two. But who was counting?
Not that a holiday meant anything when you couldn’t physically travel far enough away from your work without an invisible cord to your boss killing you if you got too far from her.
Besides, I had no family alive and no friends. My occasional forays into a world without Lia usually meant enough alcohol and good sex to last me until another century of her rule started to break me. All ‘holidays’ passed in a blur.
“What about De La Coeur?” Cerin asked his partner, pausing to look over his shoulder at her. She glanced at him and they shared one of their creepy smiles.
Her gaze came to rest on me and my heart sank a little. “Yes. There you go. Check in on my bastard spawn and see if he’s ready to be plucked from daddy, yet.”
“You’re reneging on De La Coeur?”
Lia couldn’t be that foolish. Felix De La Coeur was another, older vampire that she and Cerin had once had the stupidity to cross. He was on the brink of burning us all alive when Lia had made a bargain.
Of course, the bargain had only been for her and Cerin.
I’d endured some more torture before I’d managed to fight tooth and nail to escape, literally. She hadn’t cared that I’d had nothing but gums and only the occasional fingernail left, though, and had immediately set me back to work.
The joys of being a bitten vampire.
Felix De La Coeur was not the kind of man you crossed lightly. And the nature of his deal with Lia?
He’d wanted a son. An heir to a vampire throne, if you will. Naturally, only a full blooded heir would do. Vampires are so narcissistic. And Lia was a handy female who couldn’t really say no.
That’s the thing about vampire bodies, we can choose to impregnate and be impregnated. That’s why there are so few to spot, even in a supernatural world.
After thousands of years of waiting, Lia was the first female vampire to agree to De La Coeur’s demands.
That made her either the cleverest or the stupidest.
But reneging on him?
“I agreed he could have the boy. Not the man he becomes.” She paused with a crafty smirk. It was a clever wording loophole to exploit, but De La Coeur wouldn’t see it that way. I was going to get my fingers burnt again dealing with this. “Check up on him. Cerin can give you details on how to find him. And then you can report back to me after your holiday.”
I got to my feet, slowly pocketing my iCom as if a sudden move would make her change her mind. “How long?”
She raised an eyebrow and gave me a dirty look. “Long enough for your face to remember that it’s immortal. Lines aren’t becoming on a visage that should be handsome like yours. But take no longer than a month.”
“Fine,” I murmured. “It’s not as if I can go far, anyway.”
“Far enough for me,” Cerin hissed, returning to his computer screen.
To be continued…
So Many Questions!!!
You’re looking forward to this Halloween read, right, but you want to know more? Well, that’s great!
Those Who Wait is part of the Indigo Skies series. It’s a prequel, but it’s also a continuation of the current story arc. My last blog post went into more detail about this, but, suffice to say, you don’t need to have read your way through the book series to fully appreciate this novella.
Preorder Your Halloween Read
As I mentioned previously, Those Who Wait might be a Halloween read, but it is ready for preorder. So, you can ensure you get your copy sorted for the 26th October. That way, your Halloween read is ready for a dark fantasy night in!
Preorders are available from Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, and more! Just check the official book page on my website to click through.
What are you waiting for?
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