Anne Malcom is stopping by today for the release of ETERNITY’S AWAKENING, book 3 in The Vein Chronicles! Check it out and grab your copy now!
Heartbeats had a pesky way of complicating things.
They almost always came with the nasty side effect of humanity and finally… death.
Since Thorne came into my life, I’d been plagued with both.
Heartbeats and humanity.
Both of these things were going to be the death of me.
One way or another.
And the death of everyone I knew and loved, a list growing longer with every beat of my newly repaired—and irritating—heart.
That pesky humanity was almost as toxic as the most debilitating illness on this hunk of rock, killing more humans than any vampire could.
And there I was, attached to a slayer who I couldn’t be undead without.
Friends who I was becoming increasingly attached to.
All things—people—he would take away from me.
Then he’d take me too.
But if it came to that, I’d yank out my beating heart and crush it in my hands before he could touch me.
It was lost anyway. If he won, my eternity would come to an end. As it happened, so would the world.
That only meant I couldn’t lose.
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“We need to talk about him,” Thorne said, his voice tight.
“Who?” I asked, swiping my face with blush and pretending to be innocent.
It didn’t work well, despite me being an excellent actress. Someone as fucked up as me couldn’t even feign innocence; they could only ruin it.
Plus, I knew who he was talking about. I could sense it in his very words. We hadn’t uttered his name since we left the compound, and the all-night sexathon did not warrant such conversation.
Thorne’s quicksilver gaze bored into my reflection. “Your fucking husband.”
I paused for a sliver of a second before I resumed applying my makeup. “I’d say that our marriage is considered null and void after he faked his own death and then tried to kill us both, don’t you?” It was a considerable effort to keep my voice tight with sarcasm and nothing else, but I did it.
“He was something to you, Isla. You told me as much when you told me the story of his death.” He paused. “He was something to you, and now he wants you back. And he’s made it quite clear that he’s going to kill every single person who gets in his way. I didn’t miss your reaction when Alexus said those words.”
I put the brush down, laying my palms flat on the marble counter, glaring at his reflection. “No, he was something to the human I used to be,” I corrected, my voice rising slightly. “He’s nothing to the vampire I am now. Nothing but another target to take out in the middle of this war.” The lie sounded weak even to my ears.
Thorne stepped forward, face tight and blank, his energy swirling around me. “You may be able to lie to yourself about that, but you can’t lie to me. There’s still something there. He still has something over you,” he rasped, coming to stand behind me but not touching me.
I pretended I didn’t care, that I didn’t crave his touch, that I didn’t need it to chase away the sickness that carried Jonathan’s memories. “He doesn’t. Videos weren’t invented five hundred years ago, so he can’t show everyone how dreadfully dense I was,” I retorted. “Nor can he broadcast my equally dreadful fashion sense, so I’m good.”
Abruptly, Thorne’s fist shattered my reflection. Glass rained down around us, and the fragrance of his blood filled the air, mingling with his hot and wild fury.
“Stop it!” he roared, snatching my shoulders to painfully twist me around.
The pop of my shoulder dislocating echoed through the room.
I gaped at his fury-filled eyes. They were so far gone he hadn’t even noticed injuring me in the midst of it.
“Stop with the jokes, with the sarcasm,” he hissed, voice a blade. “I watched it. I watched you fucking freeze and turn into some kind of robot in the middle of the battle at your parents’ house. Watched you walk toward him. Nothing has control over you. Or I’d thought that until I saw him. He has control over you, Isla.” It was an accusation, but it was something else too, something more than jealousy.
Something like dread. A sickening premonition of the visceral fear he’d feel when we were faced with Jonathan again.
But I wasn’t about to inspect it, because it would mean that I had to recognize whatever feelings had been dredged up from the grave along with Jonathan. “No one has control over me, Thorne,” I lied. “Not even me.” My voice was pure ice. “And especially not you.”
I wrenched myself out of his grip and stormed from the room.
He didn’t follow me.
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Anne Malcom has been an avid reader since before she can remember, her mother responsible for her book addiction. It started with magical journeys into the world of Hogwarts and Middle Earth, then as she grew up her reading tastes grew with her. Her obsession with books and romance novels in particular gave Anne the opportunity to find another passion, writing. Finding writing about alpha males and happily ever afters more fun than reading about them, Anne is not about to stop any time soon.
Raised in small town New Zealand, Anne had a truly special childhood, growing up in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. She has backpacked across Europe, ridden camels in the Sahara, eaten her way through Italy, and had all sorts of crazy adventures. For now, she’s back at home in New Zealand and quite happy. But who knows when the travel bug will bite her again.
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