Hello! I don't normally post my books on here until after they've been out for a while, but I thought I would try something new. I'm looking for feedback and reviews so I can better my craft and was hoping you could help me out with that. So if you could please leave comments about what you liked or what you didn't, what you want to happen, what you can't believe happened, etc, etc. I would be MUCH appreciated.
In fact, I will be so appreciative, I'll release 'Tricked Into It' chapter by chapter on here even though I only published it a couple of months ago. (:
Many, many cheers and hope you enjoy!
PS: If you want the full story without waiting, you can purchase it on Amazon and Google Play.
Every click of Charlie’s shoes pierced her ears like a knife to the stomach. Every breath she stole from the putrid cold air burned its way down her throat. Every closed door she passed in the empty castle mocked her with the reality of her imprisonment.
The bastard had summoned her.
It killed her to walk at a normal pace when all Charlie wanted to do was run. The suspense was tearing into her heart, ripping out huge chunks of her soul. She needed to know what Sebastian had done to her child more than she needed her pride. But it wasn’t her dignity that kept her legs steady and slow.
It was knowing that whatever she did now wouldn’t matter. Sebastian had already played his hand. Whatever sick action he had taken against her son couldn’t be reversed. Charlie would rather rot in hell than give the bastard the additional satisfaction of breaking her.
So she ignored the sharp pains in her heart that every footfall brought. She ignored the tightening of her throat as sobs lodged there along with the contents of her stomach. She ignored the motherly voice inside her as it begged with constant screams for her to pick up the pace, for her to end the nightmare haunting her imagination.
As much as she wanted to pay it heed, Charlie ignored it all.
She had to.
For if she lost her spirit and weakened her spine, she lost Anthony. Once Charlie was broken, there would be no reason for Sebastian to keep her child alive. So she would take everything that bastard threw at her with her head held high and her shoulders back.
And when she finally had the opening to kill him, she would take it with the utmost satisfaction.
It might not be today. It might not even be in this lifetime. But one day Charlie would find a way to rip the bastard’s heart from his chest and toss it into the Eternal Flames. He would never be reborn again.
She held onto her anger as she walked the halls, desperate to keep her pace steady. With every step, she cursed the vampire’s mind games. Sebastian had the ability to teleport to her exact location. Instead he had sent a bitch with a letter. There was only one word scribbled upon it, but it was enough.
Written in blood, it demanded obedience.
At first she had shaken with rage and fear. Then she’d stilled with cold determination. Fighting the tears and sobs that threatened to break her, Charlie had carefully folded the paper and placed it on her desk. Under the heedful gaze of Sebastian’s minion, she’d refused to look at the severed finger hanging above her.
As frail as her mind was, looking at Anthony’s pinkie would have destroyed her.
But now, as she’d had the chance to build up her strength, envisioning it only brought anger.
The bastard had harmed her child. She was going to kill him.
Over and over she promised this to herself.
But all too soon she was greeted by the menacing door of the throne room. As if doused by a fire extinguisher, her spirit diminished. Shakily, Charlie collected her breath and gathered up the jagged pieces of her soul. After binding them together with tape that did not stick, she shoved her way inside.
“Charlie, my love. How nice of you to bless us with your presence.”
Sebastian’s tone was warm and friendly. Yet it carried the icy touch of death. He grinned just as warmly, just as coldly, as Charlie stepped into the room. His tongue darted out to lick a bloody fang. At her hard swallow, his smile widened.
Holding his gaze, Charlie forced herself to shut the door. She told herself that it didn’t matter, that even with it open she wouldn’t be able to escape. It didn’t help.
Fear danced erratically inside her veins. Her legs merged with the stone of the floor. Only her breath escaped, leaving her cruelly behind. But her life had never been easy. Charlie had long ago perfected the art of walking on deadened legs.
So with a false bravado, she moved between a double row of obsidian pillars. Each one was carved into a spiral of flocking ravens. They petered out at the top, morphing into the face of a prominent vampire. Ancient mythical lords and ladies stared down at her from both sides and Charlie couldn’t help but flick her gaze between them.
Oddly, they were soothing, offering strength where her heart and soul could not.
As she neared the end, her eyes dropped to the throne. Sebastian lounged across it, a leg lazily sprawled over an arm. Dressed in his usual aristocratic wear, the bastard looked as if he actually belonged there. Like an arrogant prince about to be redeemed in a fairytale – if not for the bruised and battered soul tossed at his feet.
The man’s face was heavily disfigured. His skin was pale beneath the marks of Sebastian’s rage. His clothes had been ripped from his body. His pride had been shattered so fiercely that he no longer tried to cover himself.
Curled up in a ball, he was undoubtedly wishing for the nightmare to be over.
Charlie, however, had learned the futility of such a wish long ago. Holding the bastard’s gaze, she stopped at the bottom of the steps leading up to the throne and waited for her nightmare to continue.
With a small grin, Sebastian lifted his bloodied wrist to his mouth. After sniffing it like one might a luxurious meal, he gave it a leisurely lick. As he slowly cleaned the stains from his skin, his eyes never left hers. It was a game he delighted in playing, one she would never let him win.
He might be able to hear her rapid heartbeat and smell her terror, but Charlie would die before she let him see it.
Chuckling, Sebastian finally dropped his hand to his side. Rising with the grace of a king, he descended the few steps to her, stopping only a hand span away.
A moment of silence strained between them.
Seconds ticked into minutes, but still he said nothing.
She clenched her fists for strength.
He stared at her without a word.
Her throat tightened to the point of strangulation.
And still the bastard stayed silent.
Charlie’s urge to look away, to speak, was becoming unbearable. Her mind screamed to be heard, demanding that she ask what he had done to Anthony. Her heart wailed in agony, pleading that she drop to her knees and beg for his forgiveness.
But she did nothing.
She would not break.
Tilting his head, Sebastian used it to point at the man behind him. “You remember Kevin.”
She flicked her eyes to him, but came up blank. With her photographic memory, Charlie normally didn’t need more than a few seconds to recognize something familiar. Though given the man’s current state, he could have been her deadbeat father and she wouldn’t have known.
“No,” she answered calmly. “Should I?”
Sebastian shrugged. “Doesn’t really matter. He died months ago.”
A strangled noise sounded from behind the vampire. Whether it was one of fear or relief that the pain would soon be over, only the man could say.
Not that it mattered. As Sebastian had said, the guy was already dead. Any of his pleas would go unheard.
Just as hers did. Just as Tony’s did.
Ignoring the memory of her son’s screams, Charlie bit out, “So is there something you actually wanted me for or am I free to go?”
He grinned like a superstar, his two dimples appearing with a warmth that mimicked the sun. “I love that about you. Always so willing to take off your clothes for me.”
Her jaw tightened as she dug her nails into her palms. His eyes dipped to them and she knew he scented her blood.
If she could lace it with poison, she’d do it in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, the bastard would smell it before he sank his teeth into her flesh.
Striving for an air of boredom, Charlie asked, “Is that what the note was for?”
He gave a half-hearted shrug as he began to circle around her. She stifled the urge to turn with him. He might now be at her back, but it wasn’t like she could have stopped him had he attacked from the front. Still, as Sebastian continued his slow perusal, Charlie had the instinctive urge to run.
He stopped right outside of her peripheral vision and her entire body cranked alive. She was intensely aware of the monster beside her. Her skin crawled. Her breath hitched. Her pulse painfully slowed in suspense.
When he leaned in to whisper, his breath hot across her neck, she couldn’t help but shiver.
“I called you here, love, because Kevin there told me a little secret about the Scrolls.” He trailed a finger down her shoulder, her back. Cupping her ass, he purred, “Imagine my joy when I learned that what’s inside your head could be in mine.”
Charlie did swirl around then, her eyes wide and her fists tight. Her heart thumped wildly as she feared what would happen if the claim was true. Sebastian had told her never to disappoint him – not if she wanted her child to stay safe.
“Bullshit,” she growled as she jerked backwards out of his touch.
“You calling me a liar?” Sebastian asked with a raise of the brow and an oh-too-smug look on his face. His eyes, however, were deadly.
“No,” she spat as she jerked her head to the pathetic man behind her. “I’m calling that dick one.”
Sebastian cocked his head to look at the guy over her shoulder and then gave a casual shrug. “Maybe. I did torture him a bit before he told me. At that point the bastard probably would have said anything.” He sighed heavily in disappointment. “They just don’t make them like they used to. One little session and your kind breaks.”
He stepped past her, his pace slow and uncaring. There was so much carnage around him, caused by him, and yet he didn’t care. Charlie cringed with the knowledge that whatever she claimed, he would not believe her.
“Then again,” Sebastian drawled as he turned back around to face her. “You didn’t finish reading all of the Scrolls, did you love?”
Charlie swallowed hard. She had no refute against that. Still, she had to try. “I can’t even vocalize its secrets and you really believe there’s a method for me to give them to you telepathically? Come on, you sick fuck, you’re smarter than that.”
Sebastian smiled in amusement as he reached out to toy with the golden strands of her hair. If this exact moment was taken out of context, captured in its own still frame, Charlie had no doubt that people would find it lovely. It was only her own disgust that would hint at something more vile and unfortunately, people were all too willing to overlook that.
Though it’s not like anyone could actually help her if they had noticed anyway. As always, Charlie would have to save herself.
“If you truly believe his claims,” she countered, “then why not kill me and use him?”
Her heart danced frantically from her question, but she couldn’t do anything to take it back. Even if she had the power to command time, she would still leave her words hanging heavily in the air.
Sebastian didn’t want another weak puppet at his command. He was finding pleasure in her strength and it was because of her entertainment value that she was still alive.
He stepped forward, closing the distance between them. Almost tenderly, he gripped her hips and pulled her the remainder of the way. He lowered his face to a scant inch above hers. The way he looked at her lyingly spoke of a man in worship.
“Because, my love, I live for the day you will break. The day when you’re down on your knees in front of me and doing whatever I desire. Anthony will already be dead, sucked dry as you watched, and yet you will never leave me.” He trailed his fingers along her cheek before cupping the back of her head. As if drugged by an immobilizer, Charlie couldn’t break away.
“The doors will all be open,” he continued softly. “The sunshine will be lighting your way to freedom. And yet, you will never feel its warmth.”
Struggling just to breathe, Charlie wasn’t sure where she found the strength to snarl, “And you’ll grow bored within the hour.”
He shrugged, then dropped his hand from her face and crossed over to Kevin. Despite being half the man’s size, Sebastian lifted him easily with one hand. He held him by the throat, of course, and raised him until his feet no longer touched the floor.
“Maybe, but after the ritual, you’ll turn into a vegetable. I might as well have a little bit of fun with what remains of you.”
He flicked her a godly grin before jerking his prey down to his face and biting deep into his vein.
Charlie’s stomach revolted, but she kept her voice strong. “You’re really going to risk going after the Scrolls on a deadman’s tale?”
Tossing said deadman to the floor, Sebastian phased in front of her. “No, I’m going to do that for fun.” With his bloodied tongue, he licked her face, smearing death from her chin to her forehead.
In little more than a whisper, the vampire vowed, “The Elv’ve’Norc stole from me and they will pay with their lives. I will wipe the entire organization from every plane and every history book. People will be so horrified over their downfall that not a single word of them will ever be uttered in fear of my wrath.”
Gripping her chin, Sebastian jerked her forward for a hard, rough kiss. He released her just as quickly, his eyes dancing with an honesty that chilled her bones.
“And you, my love, are going to help me do it.”