Marex paranormal romance.., p.1
Marex_Paranormal Romance Novella, page 1part #1 of Immortal Forsaken Series Series
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Ascend: verb. The act of a vampire rising from the earthly plane to a higher spiritual place.
Avow: verb. The ritual performed so that a couple who are not fated can seal their bond. A show of protection and commitment.
Before the light: a phrase vampires utter in respect to the time when creatures of the night ruled before the sun and humans.
Depths: noun. A purgatory where vampires are sent to receive punishment for crimes they committed in the true life.
Ecca: noun. A beautiful place of light & dark that vampires spiritually rise to after their earthly death.
Entire Law: noun. Ancient scrolls. A code a vampire is commanded to live by according to the gods.
Fated: noun. A male or female vampire that has found their true mate by blood.
Fateblood: noun. A vampire born to a fated couple.
Gods: The 9 gods & goddesses vampires. Vampires refer to them simply as “the gods.”
Nine Group: noun. The 9 original families. The wealthiest, most prestigious, powerful, and influential vampires in history.
Oria: noun. A spiritual counselor.
Pürblood: noun. A vampire born to a non-fated parents, but is natural born.
Remnant: noun. The binding scent a male will imprint on a female during the avowing ritual. Cannot be removed without approval from the gods.
Royal: noun. A vampire whose ancestors fought in the original underworld wars and were granted royalty titles for their service.
Sensa: noun. The energy a person gives off demonstrating emotion and desire. Vampires feed on and exchange this with humans and other vampires for sustenance.
Shadow: noun. A person born as a human who is turned into a vampire.
Vesser: noun. The oldest vampires living. Once the age of one thousand years, a vampire is considered a Vesser.
“I trust you realize you are a dead man.”
Sitting on the filthy floor of his cell, head hung, shirtless, barefoot, Marex ignored the guard’s macabre statement. He lifted his head and squinted as small halos of light flickered in the darkness. The chains on his wrists scraped the cold stone floor as he looped his arms around his knees.
“Damn the light. I don’t want it,” he drawled as the portly, lethargic prison guard ignited the oil lamps along the corridor.
“What you want is irrelevant,” the stout vampire grumbled as he moved from lamp to lamp.
“Why are you bothering to illuminate this wretched piss hole, George? Trying to give me some ambiance before I’m executed?” Marex sneered.
The guard’s voice carried down the hall as he shuffled his fat feet. “Because you have a visitor.”
Due to his notoriety, Marex had been thrown in the final cell at the end of the row, farthest from the door. The rest of the cells were vacant on purpose, to isolate him, to punctuate that he was utterly and truly alone in his final days.
But what vampire prisoner on death row was permitted visitors? It perhaps explained why they let him take a decent shower an hour ago. Obviously, it wouldn’t be anyone he longed to see, like his friends, or the men in his circle that he considered brothers. The Underworld Crown Council—responsible for enforcing vampiric law and order—had thrown him in this cage eight days ago for a misdeed he’d never committed, sentencing him to death without a trial or his testimony. Someone must’ve paid an exorbitant amount to skip right to the execution.
Why the hell they hadn’t gotten it over with, he hadn’t a clue.
He’d been tortured almost daily. Everything from good old-fashioned bare-knuckled punches and blinding boot kicks to being forced to choke down animal blood with a tube shoved down this throat. Perhaps the guards had grown bored, and planned on getting more creative with this “visitor” before they burned him to ashes.
The UCC had no mercy for traitors...or, those whom they believed were traitors. Every time he thought about the charge against him—murdering a Vesser—nausea paralyzed his entire being. A crime he’d rather slit his own throat than commit. He’d been framed. His enemies were aware of, and despised, how close he was to forming a truce between vampires and wolf shifters. An armistice that might end centuries of conflict, distrust, prejudice, and carnage, but most of all, would birth a pact unlike any other.
He sighed and pushed a palm under his jaw to crack his sore neck.
What the old, backward coots of yore didn’t understand was that turning enemies into allies made both more powerful. By all accounts, neither group would ever hold complete dominance, evident after centuries of each trying without success.
He, and many of his kind, didn’t see the point or the meaning of an eternal war. Behind closed doors, they secretly sought a sustainable solution. Two decades later, the finish line was nearer than ever.
Just when he’d been invited to a pack ceremony by an alpha wolf—an unheard-of invitation for a vampire—he’d been intercepted by soldiers of the UCC and thrown in the back of a truck. Marex remembered hearing his friends shouting for justice, for a reason, all while they fought with fists and shouts for his release.
Not until he’d been shoved before the council in shackles, his eyebrow and cheek bleeding after a guard had taken a cheap shot, did he receive an explanation.
Murder. Vesser. A witness.
Vessers were the oldest living vampires. Revered and rare in number, they were even harder to access than the pope.
It must’ve taken considerable planning, and undoubtedly a betrayal, to get him in here. The only aim had been to take him out of this world altogether, with a black mark forever on his name to boot. The anger seared his gut like liquescent poison. He wished with every fiber of his being that he knew who did it. Everyone he thought of, he dismissed, which meant that whoever sold him out had been very good.
The long screech from the dungeon’s door sounded, and he frowned in disdain at the arrival of this unexpected visit. He rose, unable to move closer to the bars to see who was coming, his chains bolted to the wall. He tightened his fists. If one of his enemies had come here to gloat or taunt…
“Here he is,” George introduced in his gravelly voice. “You’re sure you want to do this? With him?”
“I’m absolutely sure. Leave us.”
He couldn’t check his shock. A woman? But who? Marex couldn’t tell. His visitor wore a fitted, hooded trench coat, face unseen in the dimness, but all curves everywhere else.
She handed George a roll of cash, which he snatched from her hand and sniffed, then opened the cell. “I have to lock you in with him. No exceptions. Not even for a lady.”
Perplexed, Marex kept his back erect as she took slow steps in and stood across from him, bringing in a sensual, calming sensa with her, surrounding him like invisible smoke. Hit with a wave of sweet, feminine perfume, he instinctively melted, then tensed, clenching his jaw.
Who the hell is she? He distrusted her seductive energy, even though it damn near hypnotized him with its allure.
The guard slammed the bars shut, snickering when he saw the woman jolt. “You’ve bought yourself thirty minutes. No more.”
“Leave us,” she ordered, and moments later, George waddled away, keys jangling from his belt.
He snarled at her, flashing his canines. “Who are you?”
“Someone who wants to be close to you, Marex.”
“How did you get in here? Besides promising the main guard a bundle of bills? Bribery alone on that slug isn’t enough. I’m a highly-classified priority prisoner. You’d need connections. How did you get them to agree to this—visit?”
With a gloved hand, she pulled back the hood.
Marex gulped at her beauty, but kept his gaze hard.
By the gods, she was striking.
Had his friends sent her as one last gift before he ascended to his afterlife? He’d seduced many like her, with same the physical characteristics, but none of them came close to his true fantasy. Until her. His attraction to hair the color of sunset, baby blue eyes, and supple little lips never ceased to obsess him. Ever since he’d reached his maturation age, he hungered for every woman with a combination such as this. It was a wicked addiction.
She looked him up and down. “Everyone has a price, no matter who they’re guarding. What wouldn’t a lonely vampiress pay to lay with a pürblood with a notorious reputation? Even one accused of the murder of a Vesser?”
He marched toward her, halted inches from her face by the chains.
She didn’t even flinch.
The subdued light of the dank space created an ethereal glow around her, and if Marex hadn’t been certain he was still alive, he would have definitely thought he was dead, and that she was an angel. Not that an actual angel would ever spend time alone with a dark soul. “You talked your way in here to have sex with me?” He arched a brow, voice edged with sarcasm.
“Yes, and I paid considerably for it,” she said, leaning to her right to look out the cell bars.
The far door slammed closed. George was gone.
Her gaze came back to his, wide and bright, voice hushed. “Actually, that’s not the true reason. My name is Nadine, and I made up a story of how I wanted to seduce a dangerous pürblood. It was the only way I could get close to you without too many questions. I had to cash out my savings account just for this half hour.”
Marex eyed her warily, confused, and he prided himself on being fairly sharp. “What’s going on?”
“Shh.” She moved aside the slit in the coat, showing her thigh.
Damn it to hell, was she naked under there? He tore his gaze away, teeth vibrating in his gums.
The fact she made his cock rise in his pants bore no effect on her.
“I knew they would search me for weapons so all I managed to bring was this,” she explained, and he glanced at that showcase of beautiful skin once more. She gestured to the metal piece hanging from her garter, high on her thigh. “It’s the closest to a real key as I could make. It took me weeks to get it right.”
He jerked his gaze to hers. A key? That meant... “You’re here to break me out?”
“Yes, of course,” Nadine said, as if it were blatantly obvious from the start.
Marex had the impulse to laugh out loud, but she did not appear to be joking. “Who sent you?”
“No one.” She continued unfastening the key from a ribbon around her thigh, the tight knot giving her trouble.
This must be a hoax. Maybe he was hallucinating, grasping for a fantastic illusion because reality had been too depressing to bear. “You’re here to save me from a death sentence, under the pretense of wanting to fuck a pürblood, with a key you manufactured, and no one sent you?”
She gave an impatient sound. “Yes to all. Now quit asking questions I can answer later. Give me one of your arms so I can unlock it.”
Instead of offering his wrist, he snatched both of hers, startling her. “You’re out of your mind, siren. Even if we managed to get out of this cell, we’re on UCC territory. It’s risky as hell. There are guards outside, dozens of them. Not to mention, alarms.” For some reason, the thought of something happening to her just to save him angered Marex like nothing ever had. He gritted his teeth, giving her a small shake. “This was foolish.”
She yanked her wrists out of his hold with surprising strength. “You think I dared to come here without a plan?”
He leveled his gaze. “Tell me it. Now.”
She lifted a brow with a haughty air. “As part of my payment, I brought a crate of whiskey and gin. Moonshine. Because they would get into trouble for allowing a woman inside with such a notorious prisoner, they kept the shipment a secret from the council. Your guard doesn’t seem to be indulging in it, but it doesn’t matter. They’re taking turns right now swilling down my drugged liquor. A recipe I came up with myself, thank you. They’ll be passed out in a matter of minutes.” She crossed her arms. “As for the alarms, there are none. The council thinks the most secure place is the one that cannot be found with satellites or GPS. They rely on secrecy and foot soldiers. Unfortunately for them, males can be manipulated when one knows what they’ve been deprived of, which is usually sex and liquor. And, since driving in with a truckload of women isn’t very subtle, I had to settle for the latter.”
“What about the secrecy? How were you able to get the specs on this place?”
“Some of my money went to someone who couldn’t keep the location a secret, a disgruntled soldier, who wasn’t hard to find. He also told me just what kind of locks they used so I’d be able to create a sufficient key.”
He needed the reason this arresting creature would dare put her freedom—her life—on the line for a stranger. “Why are you risking everything for me?” An obvious question. They had never met and she claimed she hadn’t been sent by anyone he associated with.
She dropped her voice to a low volume, toying with the tips of her fingers. “I know you were framed for the murder. Your efforts, and the respect that the wolf shifters have for your negotiating skills, have started a quiet revolution. Without your leadership, a truce may never come to pass.”
Turning her back, she took a few careful steps away from him, and added, “You aren’t the first to want to unite shifters and vampires. A long time ago, I was engaged to be married. My fiancé strived for a similar goal many years ago, though he didn’t get as far as you did. Before he could accomplish anything worth mentioning, he was taken and beaten to a pulp. Then they bled him, and left him for dead. By the time I found help, it was too late.”
She faced Marex again, no tears in her eyes as he’d expected. She took a step forward; he took an equal step back. “My fiancé had a true purpose, just like you. You must stay alive and finish what you started. With me at your side.”
Just then, the door of the dungeon creaked on its hinges.
“Damn it,” she whispered in panic, pushing him against the wall. “He’s coming back. Hurry.” At Marex’s questioning gaze, she unbuttoned her coat, letting it fall to the floor, exposing her lush figure in nothing but black string panties and a bra.
While he stood, stupefied, she grabbed his hands to set them on her waist. “We’re supposed to be giving each other pleasure, remember? Take me.”
He hesitated only for a moment, his baser desires overshadowing his suspicion. Making a feral sound, he turned and threw her against the wall roughly, and hooked her left leg around him. She gasped as he hoisted her up and crushed his lips to hers. Their joining sparked an unstoppable force to take and take. She parted her mouth, and he sank his tongue deep inside, tasting like possible freedom.
She moaned, running her fingers over his jaw to grasp behind his head, delving and tangling her tongue with his. Yes. He needed this, needed her. Pressing his hand against her thigh, he traced his fingers up to her hip. Silky, hot skin. Her panties were tied together at the hips. It would be so easy to pull the ties.
By the gods, he would do just that.
Slide into her, fuck her, feed from her, until she screamed for him to stop…
No. He couldn’t. They were only pretending. Weren’t they? He pulled back, chest heaving, locking his gaze with hers. She was a stranger, but the strange yearning in his soul was begging to recognize her.
He’d seen these eyes before...
He rolled his hips against hers, forcing her to know how hard he’d become, and what he wanted.
She let out a breathless sob, bit her bottom lip as her eyes glazed and hooded. She scrambled her hands down to his waist, yanking his sweatpants down over his ass, setting his erection free against the juncture of her thighs, with nothing but her underwear between them. He briefly closed his eyes at the passion closing in on him.
From somewhere behind him, he heard George’s steps echoing down the hall.
Grasping his face, she kissed him again, moving her hips up.
Gods have mercy.
He growled, briefly closing his eyes. Reigning in the powerful urge to ravage her, he cupped her knee, buried his face in her neck, and pretended to plunge inside her luscious body with quick thrusts as George watched them. Mindless pleasure was easy to perform when a woman looked and felt and smelled like this, but it took every ounce of Marex’s control not to turn around and grab the guard, slash his throat, and witness his life blood spray on the floor for daring to look.
Seconds later, the guard mumbled something and left.
The echo of the door’s closure should have alerted Marex to stop the charade, but he couldn’t. Not yet. He stared at her neck. Ravenous. His teeth lengthened, full and sharp.
by Verika Sloane have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes