Unleash the moon the pre.., p.1

Unleash The Moon (The Preternaturals Book 6), page 1


Unleash The Moon (The Preternaturals Book 6)

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Unleash The Moon (The Preternaturals Book 6)

  Unleash The Moon (The Preternaturals, Book 6)

  Zoe Winters

  Smashwords Edition

  Copyright 2014 © Zoe Winters

  All rights reserved.

  Smashwords Edition License Notes

  This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be resold or shared. If you did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please purchase your own copy. Respecting the hard work of this author makes new books possible.

  Publisher's Note:

  This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

  Unleash The Moon Description:

  … Can two souls trapped in separate cages ever find each other?

  Twenty-six years have passed since the link between heaven and earth was severed and all hell broke loose. The fighting raged until the human magic users took over the cities, driving most of the preternaturals into hiding.

  This is the world Sydney Burgess has grown up in, locked inside her father’s compound. As the daughter of a human mother and a vampire king, she has all the weaknesses of a vampire but none of their strengths. Anthony keeps her on a tight leash, ever-vigilant against the constant imagined threats to her safety. But all she wants is to break free and start a real life.

  Noah Riley has lived in captivity for the past twenty years, so long he barely knows how to be a werewolf anymore. Even with a photographic memory, most of his past before the facility feels fuzzy at best. His strongest memories are of the little girl he protected during his childhood: Sydney. When he reaches his full power on his twenty-eighth birth moon, he’ll have a chance to break free to find her and finally reunite with his family.

  But vampires and werewolves are mortal enemies. Even if Sydney is Noah's true mate, the vampire king would kill him before he ever let a filthy werewolf near her, especially one of questionable sanity.

  For Lesley P.

  Here, have some more werewolves. :)

  Chapter One

  26 years in the future.

  The reinforced steel made an ominous sound as Sydney slammed the door. Her room was windowless, but that might be because it was underground. Not much of a view except for the earthworms. A moment later the door opened again, and her father—the vampire king—stood framed in the doorway, eyes glowing in what she was sure he felt was an ominous threat. She’d seen it so many times the effect had blunted.

  She was too old for this fight. Instinctively she knew it. She’d become emotionally-stunted at adolescence, but he would never set her free. How could she discover who she was or how to be anything other than a child if she never left home?

  “Dad! I’m twenty-seven. You can’t keep me locked away in your creepy compound for the rest of my life. However long that turns out to be!”

  She might be immortal or she might have a normal human lifespan. They didn’t know. She was an oddity in the vampire world: born, not made. Her mother was human and the vampire king’s claimed mate. The claiming was the thing that made Sydney’s bizarre existence possible. She wished her parents had thought to use birth control because she had all the weaknesses of a vampire and none of the strengths.

  Anthony growled. “I am trying to protect you. It’s not safe out there! You know it’s not safe.”

  “Just get OUT! And send Jacob in. I’m hungry.”

  The blond vampire’s hands clenched and unclenched at his sides as if he wanted to throttle her but feared he’d kill her if he ever gave in to temptation. “I don’t like you alone with him. He could hurt you.”

  They’d had this conversation for nearly ten years now. Yet another stale script.

  Sydney rolled her eyes. “Then maybe you should have let me claim him instead of one of your minions.”

  “I won’t allow my daughter to be mated to something so pathetic. He couldn’t protect you from a horsefly let alone a genuine threat!”

  It wasn’t as if the vampire suitors were lined up down the streets. She’d never find a mate locked up here, that was for sure. And living here forever with her parents was just too humiliating. Practically every vampire left standing after the war wanted her dead because she was so weak. And they didn’t like for weak things to live.

  Anthony disappeared down the hall and returned minutes later with Jacob in tow.

  The human was Sydney’s age, one of many boys brought in for her to feed from over the years—just another thing that made her entire existence ghoulish. A five-year-old girl sucking the blood from a similarly innocent boy’s throat was disturbing in the extreme. She was glad she could barely remember it. She’d blocked out many of those she’d accidentally killed over the years.

  Since the preternaturals lost the war and humans were protected in their magically warded cities, stray humans had become harder and harder to come by. It was necessary now to secure a permanent food source and lock it in through a mating. There was no more free range feeding unless it was wildlife in the forest, and that could only take you so far.

  When Sydney was seventeen, it was decided that she should have a single, safe food source who wouldn’t die from too much blood loss.

  Elise, a vampiress in the king’s employ had been ordered to claim Jacob as a mate and allow Sydney to feed from him. It was a mating of convenience—or by royal decree. Elise, not wanting to lose her safe resting place inside the vampire compound, had reluctantly and bitterly agreed, knowing she could never claim nor be claimed by another if she ever found real love.

  The bitch hated Sydney for it, and the feeling was mutual. If Anthony was so concerned for her safety, maybe he should get rid of Elise instead of worrying so much about the human.

  “Well,” Sydney said, “are you going to just stand there and watch? Can I just say, gross?” While it hadn’t been that way in the beginning, once she’d become a teen, her feelings about feeding had shifted. It had become something her parents were not welcome to observe. She needed privacy. “Go!”

  “If you hurt her…” Anthony growled at the human.

  “I’d never hurt her,” the man said.

  Sydney thought Jacob was half in love with her. He was a good-looking man, but the feeling wasn’t reciprocated on her part. Even if it had been, it would be too weird that he was another vampire’s mate, even if in name and mystical link only. Sydney couldn’t let herself get attached.

  “Dad, get out. I swear to you I will intentionally starve to death if you keep standing there.”

  Anthony’s eyes flashed red, but he grumbled something incoherent and left, shutting the door behind him.

  When she and Jacob were alone, Sydney deadbolted it. Her father could invent a reason to bust in, but at least she’d have a split second of warning first.

  Jacob inclined his head. “Princess.”

  “I’m not a princess, and you know it. And my father isn’t really a king. Kings need subjects, and in case you haven’t noticed, there are less than twenty of us in the compound. And Cary Town is a ghost town. Those days have been over for a long time.”

  Cary Town wasn’t even protected anymore. The city’s protections and organization had broken down in the fighting, and no one had bothered to put the wards back up. It was something about how too much of a magical signature might draw the magic users back. Now only a few places were protected, not the whole city. The compound was one of those places.

  She’d heard the stories of her father, decades ago, how ruthless he’d been. How he’d ruled over hundreds of thousands of their kin
d and even therians—the shapeshifting races, striking fear into the hearts of any who would dare go against him. Now most of the vampires were dead, and those remaining had scattered, with only the most loyal few staying behind with the royal family.

  Jacob peeled his shirt off so it wouldn’t get blood on it. “So, what’s your pleasure today, Syd? Arm? Neck?” He winked at her. “Something more risque?”

  She crooked a finger at him. “Come here.” Sydney sat on the edge of the bed, and Jacob joined her. She wished she felt that way about him. It would be so simple. He was attractive and kind. Even though he wasn’t strong like a preternatural, she believed he would give his life to protect her. And not out of some misplaced loyalty to her dad.

  “This is so wrong,” she said. The past few months, the weight of what they were doing hung over her like a heavy fog.

  Jacob pushed the long wavy blonde hair out of her eyes. “I love these freckles on your nose.”

  Sydney scrunched her face in annoyance. She’d gotten those freckles from her mother, and she wasn’t nearly the fan of them Jacob seemed to be, which was another point in favor of him being smitten.

  “Are you listening to me?”

  “Yes,” he said. “What’s so wrong?” But she knew he was playing dumb and just wanted to avoid the conversation altogether.

  She waved her hand around. “This! Me feeding from you. It’s just… I’m using you.”

  He pressed a kiss against her throat. “So? Use me. I’m here at your disposal and pleasure. You have to eat, Syd.”

  “And then what?”

  “What do you mean?”

  “I’m always going to be this weak abomination that other vampires want dead. I’m always going to be a liability. What if I’m effectively immortal? Am I going to be locked away in this compound for hundreds or thousands of years? What’s the point of living that way? What’s the point of living at all?”

  She wondered if she’d be stronger if she drank something stronger. Perhaps therian or guardian or magic user. But therians were well-hidden these days, and her father didn’t have the power to capture one against their will for her feeding needs anymore. Guardians, too, had deserted. Ever since the link between heaven and earth had been severed, the fallen angels no longer feared retribution from heavenly spies for banding together. So they had.

  They still guarded and took odd jobs in the preternatural world, but they only did exactly what they wanted, and their price was always high. And they absolutely refused to work for her father for any reason or price even if he had it.

  Her father used to have an army of guardians that watched over her and her mother. But after the link was severed and after the war, they’d deserted, no longer fearing the king’s retribution. Nobody could get fangs into a guardian without their permission, anyway.

  That left magic users, but nearly all of them had stuck with their own kind—other humans—and now lived in the well-guarded human cities, ruling over the normals with their enhanced powers. The few magic users nearby all had mates, and Sydney highly doubted their mates would appreciate some weakling half-breed feeding on them.

  Humans were all that was available, not that she didn’t enjoy drinking from Jacob. He tasted like home and comfort—or what she imagined home might be for a normal person in another time. Not this cold, sterile compound she was kept in like some lab animal.

  “I’d be really upset if you weren’t here.” Jacob’s hand was on her shoulder. God, he was so nice, so… everything… except that he didn’t make her feel that thing she thought she was supposed to feel for a man she was sleeping with.

  Yeah, she was sleeping with him. If she was to be locked up like a princess in a tower, she hadn’t been about to be a permanent virgin. And it wasn’t as if her overprotective father would allow anyone else near her for a proper romance to bloom. One took what one could get.

  She swiped at a tear as it escaped down her cheek. “You know I don’t love you.”

  He pressed a kiss to her forehead. “I don’t care. It’s enough just being here with you.”

  “It’s okay with you that you live with vampires? That you lost your human family? That you’re my dinner and after-dinner amusement? Really? That’s okay with you? Because it isn’t okay with me. I’m getting out of here. This is nonsense. I should have left a long time ago.” She went to her closet and started tossing clothing out behind her. Jacob sat immobile as pants and tops landed on him.

  “You’ll die out there, Syd.”

  She rounded on him. “Then maybe I should die. Maybe it’s not natural for something so weak to live at all. I wouldn’t be a stress or burden on my parents, anymore. They’d get over it. They’re immortal! I wouldn’t be a prisoner. I’d be… free.”

  But would she? She’d heard the stories about heaven. The idea of going there, being in another sterile prison, scared her almost more than her current situation, but something had to change. She couldn’t go on this way.

  “Where will you go?” Jacob asked.

  He was only humoring her. She couldn’t even read minds like a normal vampire, and even she knew that. He was treating her like a child, just like her father—like some recalcitrant toddler proclaiming they were running away.

  “I don’t know. I don’t care. Do you know I’ve never been outside these walls without guards? And even then I’ve never been more than a few blocks away. I don’t even know what all of Cary Town looks like! I want to see something worth seeing.”

  “It’s not like I get to wander much, either. Come here. You’re just hungry. You need to feed.”

  Jacob pulled her into his arms, and she allowed herself to melt into his warmth as he pressed her mouth against his throat. She hesitated, just breathing in his warm, clean, human scent. Dinner.

  Her fangs emerged, and she bit down.

  Jacob let out a hiss of pain as his muscles clenched against her bite. She wasn’t even strong enough to hypnotize him into not feeling the pain. Not that a vampire could get into the head of someone else’s claimed mate, anyway. She was sure when Elise fed, it didn’t hurt him because of their link.

  Sydney closed her eyes and pushed the thoughts away, pushed everything away but the taste of him. He patiently held her in arms that felt strong to her because she only had human strength herself.

  “That’s it. Just drink. It won’t seem so bad after you’ve fed,” he said as he petted her hair.

  Her hands strayed down his muscled back. She felt his erection pressing into her leg. She was moments from taking his pants off and removing her own clothes, but she caught herself in time and instead ran her tongue over the wound on his throat to get the last bits of blood. She couldn’t keep using him like this. Maybe feeding was necessary, but sleeping with him wasn’t, and she was only leading him on, only hurting him. That wasn’t who she wanted to be.

  He healed, not from any healing power she had—she had none—but from Elise’s claiming bite.

  Outside in the hallway, someone jiggled the doorknob.

  “Go away, Dad! Do I interrupt you and mom when you…”

  “It’s Elise.”

  Sydney growled and went to the door. She turned the lock and flung it open. “What?”

  Elise looked past her into the room. “I’m hungry. I need my mate, please.” She said it as if she were jealous, as if she had actual feelings for him. The claim would make her feel possessive, but Sydney knew the other vampire wasn’t in love, either.

  Poor Jacob. Sydney had no doubt Elise was sleeping with him, too. He was being used by both of them, and he’d never be free. Jacob seemed less thrilled to feed Elise, but he followed her out of the room without comment, his concerned gaze going back to Sydney.

  She mouthed the words, “I’m fine.”

  He nodded, but she knew he didn’t believe her. She was such a bad liar.

  When they’d left, she shut the door and locked it back then turned to the pile of clothes on the bed. She filled a duffel bag with what she thought
she might need, then shoved it into the back of her closet. Would Jacob tell someone? Had he even taken her seriously? She’d made empty threats of running away before. But this time, it was different.

  Sydney had reached her breaking point. She felt she might die in this cage. It was bad enough that she’d never seen sunlight and would never see it—not outside a movie or photograph, anyway. She had to get out there into the world. The bag was abandoned in the closet. She needed to know where everybody was before she made her escape.

  She’d need to find resting spots during the day to shield her from the sun. If she picked wrong, she might not wake up. No, that wasn’t true. She’d wake up in heaven. And no matter what they’d said about the place, it couldn’t be any worse than here. Almost nothing could be worse than here.

  What would she do about food? Did it even matter? Couldn’t she eat wildlife? How would it be possible for her to be any more weak and useless than she already was? What difference did it make if she dined on Jacob or Bambi?

  She closed the door carefully and snuck down the hall. Blue LED lights on the walls came on via motion detector as she moved past the other vampire resting chambers. Most were unoccupied these days. This level was also where they’d kept prisoners, back when there had been executions.

  Sydney eased past Elise’s room. Hopefully the vampire was too busy with her human to notice. From the sounds behind the door, she was distracted enough.

  At the end of the lighted path was a steep set of stairs that led to the main levels. Her parents were in the living area cuddled on the couch like a couple of college sweethearts. She envied that her mother once had the option of college. Sydney had only read about it in books.

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