Crimson Flames (The Crimson Series#2) by Ashley Robertson
Half-vampire Abby Tate is determined to learn more about the sorceress powers that were awakened inside her when she was turned into a vampire—making her a whole new hybrid species. There’s a group of rogue vamps banding together and forming a Resistance against the vampire governing body, The Head Council, and Abby’s newly discovered powers are the key to the Council’s victory. Now the Resistance will do anything possible to remove the hybrid threat, and with no other options, Abby is forced to rely on the aid of the Council, yet can she trust the very vampires that hunt for her human lover? And even worse, can she fight the unwelcome attraction that’s growing between her and one of those ancient vampire rulers?Cover by PhatPuppy Art ( http://phatpuppyart.com/ )
Chapter One Crimson Flames Sneak Peek
MY STOMACH CLENCHED as I sensed the vampire’s approach. He was close. So close I could feel the thrum of his power vibrating along my skin. The hairs on the back of my neck rose, and I knew if I was going to use my power for defense, then I needed to bring it forth now. I closed my eyes, forcing myself to breathe as deeply as I could—which thankfully had gotten easier with practice. I focused on the energy inside me, willing it to the surface, and as I felt it swelling, building like an approaching storm, I threw out my hand, gripped Stone’s shirtsleeve, and urged him to the floor. “Get down! He’s here!”
Stone raked me with a look that told me he was not too pleased, but then fear swept over his face when he realized just how little time we had.
The wooden door to the pub suddenly burst open—bits of wood and dust raining down from the force. Even though Stone should’ve cowered behind me—since his gift of reading blood wasn’t something he could fight with—somehow he’d found some bravery and boldly stood by my side. Though I appreciated it, I didn’t like it, and desperately wished he had listened to me. But I couldn’t think about that and call forth the fire within me at the same time. So I pushed Stone to the back of my mind with the silent promise of dealing with him later. Then I returned my attention to the power building inside me. One last deep breath and my heart shuddered to life inside my chest, making a rhythmic pattern with my faux breathing. A tingling warmth spread from head to toe, then settled on my awaiting hands. Seconds later, there was a glowing orb of fire (about the size of a basketball) cupped inside my palms. And just as the vampire appeared through the settling fog, I called out, “Not another step, Tristan, or it will be your last!”
“I think you should reconsider your threat,” Tristan shot back. “We are on the same side.”
That I sincerely doubted, but I knew killing a member of the Head Council would definitely put me on the “Most Wanted” list. Which I might already be on, since I’d helped the human this vampire was here to claim escape.
“She’s not bluffing!” Stone said through a snarl. I wanted to glare him into silence, but I refused to take my eyes off of the vampire standing in the broken doorway, wearing a black Armani-looking suit—now lightly covered with dust. It was a custom for all members of the Head Council to wear black suits, but each of them would wear shoes and an undershirt of their own choosing. I guess it was a way to express their individual personalities. Yet this one seemed to express himself through his spiked, platinum blond hair, not the basic black undershirt and matching boots—which were much more boring compared to what I’d seen a few of the other Council members wearing. But this vampire was far from boring. He was a tracker for the Council—one of the best hunters on earth. And he was after my human boyfriend.
“You know why I’m here, Abigail,” Tristan bit out. “The human was here.”
I felt my gaze narrow as I carefully took a step forward, the ball of flames growing hotter in my hands. “Yes, he was. It’s my fault he wasn’t captured.”
“That’s not exactly true,” said Stone as he moved up beside me.
I stole a few deep breaths, fighting the urge to throw my fireball at him instead of the blond vampire in the suit.
“Please explain!” Tristan ordered with impatience. But as Stone attempted a reply, he was cut off. “Not you! I want to hear this directly from Abigail!”
“Abby,” I corrected, feeling sweat forming above my brows and pooling between my breasts.
The blond vampire smirked, folding his arms in front of his chest.
“I did not restrain him because I do not believe he will be kept safe once in your hands,” I went on. “And until I can prove his innocence in all of this, I feel it’s best that he stay far away from you.”
A tinge of red formed a ring around Tristan’s irises as he scowled. “That is not your decision. He must pay for his involvement with those rogue vampires, including Bronx. He cannot get away with helping them try to destroy our stronghold.”
“I made an agreement with the other Council members,” I reminded him. “Doesn’t that count for something? Your word is nothing if your actions do not back up what you say.” My voice was getting louder, my patience thinning. And the angrier I got, the more difficult it became to control the fire in my hands.
“Yes. We have a deal,” Tristan assured. “We will not kill him or harm him—just as we told you—but that does not mean he won’t be punished some other way.”
“I don’t believe you,” I snapped.
Stone put his hand on my shoulder. “Abby, maybe you should—”
In a flash of movement, the vampire closed the distance between us and held Stone in a headlock from behind with his fangs hovering over my friend’s neck. And since it wasn’t to drink Stone’s blood, since Stone was also a vampire, then that meant it was a threat to rip out my friend’s jugular. From there it would be too easy to finish Stone by ripping off his head. And that’s when my patience snapped. There were only two ways to kill a vampire—burning to death or decapitation—and he was about to find out firsthand just how very dangerous I was. Sure, he could threaten to kill my friend, but he’d be burned alive before Stone’s head hit the ground. I placed all my focus on the orb of heat in my hand, willing it to retract to half its size while intensifying, growing hotter, then I thrust it at Tristan’s face. In a blur of motion, he ducked, throwing Stone to the floor as the fireball grazed over his head, singeing the soft tips of his hair. A snarl erupted from his throat as his fiery gaze locked onto mine. There was a brief hesitation, burnt hair and musk filling my senses, then something similar to curiosity flashed over his eyes and he was airborne, plunging straight for me. My body shuddered as heat blasted out of every pore, radiating from me like invisible steam. Throwing his arms over his face, the vampire faltered midair and fell sideways, then jumped back once he landed and retreated by the door from which he’d entered. Satisfied I’d made my point, I pulled all the heat back inside me, then rushed over to Stone and helped him up. “You okay?” I asked.
He nodded by way of an answer, then ran his hand through his coffee-colored hair—which was completely messed up now….
Check Out the book for the rest of the chapter...
Crimson Groves (The Crimson Series#1) by Ashley Robertson
Abigail Tate was a normal human girl—until the day Bronx the vampire barges into her life and turns her against her will. Held captive while forced to deal with never-ending cravings for blood, Abby prays for a way to escape. Only when an opportunity arises, it’s with the aid of an innocent human named Tyler—except vampires are forbidden to interact with the unbitten. But Abby quickly learns this human has secrets of his own...secrets that can either help her or get her killed. Only Abby soon discovers that she is the one with the biggest secret of all.
Crimson Groves -Goodreads link: