“What are you doing here?” I spin around to see a lanky man in a robe staring at me with a raised brow.
“Just walking to see if I can sneak into the creepy mansion down the road. I hear it gets spooky around here at night.”
“Well, there’s nothing here this way. The woods is the place to go.” I nod and turn around and start in the other direction. He reaches for the door, and I’m on him, my claws at his throat. “Open this door before I shred you to pieces,” I warn him.
“You don’t know who you’re dealing with. I’m a warlock.”
“And you have my mate trapped inside. If I lose her, I’ve nothing, so test me.” He unlocks the door and leads me inside. My beauty looks radiant when she sees me her pretty blue eyes light up.
Fear comes over her, and she grabs hold of my shirt with terror in his eyes. “You have to leave, Alaric. He’ll be here,” she cries out.
“Oh, you have been so kind to make it. Tell me, Alaric. What do you think of my bride? The beautiful Allegra, the last of the vampire hunters. She’s mine. I will have it all.”
“The last of the vampire hunters?” the warlock shithead questions.
“Yes, my friend. I may have kept that information from you, but it won’t matter soon. She will be mine, and you will be rewarded. Get her out of here. I will destroy this interloper.”
“No,” Allegra screams.
“Oh, my pet. You mustn’t fight this. After all, your dear Alaric is just working for your father. Alessandro wants total power. That’s why he let me turn him all those years ago.”
“No, you’re lying,” she denies.
“Oh, but it is. Tell her, Alaric. Tell my future bride that you’ve been stalking the sweet Allegra with the help of her father.” She looks at me, and I can’t lie to her.
“It’s not what you think.”
She runs out of the door. “Follow her.”
I’m running blindly into the woods. My father is alive, and yet he’s pretending to be dead. “Stop. Allegra. Stop.” I freeze because the one who has the power over me isn’t Vlad. It’s this little wannabe Voldemort wizard asshole. I spin around in my red gown the creature of the night picked out for me. I hate red. I always have, and this only proves how terrible Vlad would be as a mate.
“Let me go. Why are you doing this for him?”
“He threatened me. The reward is he doesn’t butcher my wife.”
“If you can put a spell on me then you can do it to him.”
“You’re human, he isn’t. I’m not the best damn warlock. I’m fairly new in my family. If I could have gotten her out of her cell in his castle, then I would be fine, but it’s protected against regular enchantments.”
“I can help you with that,” a voice utters from behind me. “Allegra.”
“No, this can’t be happening to me. You’re supposed to be dead,” I cry out, dropping to my knees. “This can’t be.”
“I’m sorry, my little girl.” He throws his arms around me, and I feel the difference. He isn’t human anymore.
“What happened?” I ask. “Damn it, tell me what happened?”
“I was chasing Vlad like always. You know I left you with trusty Willis because I was afraid of Vlad getting his hands on you. I felt you were in danger, but I never thought he’d bite me and leave me there to turn. I struggled to decide if I should come back and confess, but I knew in your heart that you couldn’t kill me. I wouldn’t let you have that choice. I faked my death and prayed that one day when your vampire came to you, you could forgive me.”
“I can’t kill you, but Alaric is in there all alone. Now is not the time for a reunion. I have to help him.”
“We can’t until I get my wife.”
“Fine, we get her, and then we help Alaric. Where is she?” my father asks. He tells us where Vlad’s lair is and with a touch of my father’s hand, we’re no longer in the woods.
“You and I are about to finish this.” The sun begins to set, and I’m feeling twice as strong as before. Nothing’s going to stop me from keeping him away from my mate. An intense desire to finally bond with her is too strong to hold back a second longer. I must destroy Vlad before he can harm her, or even worse, claim her for himself.
“Yes, I’m about to send you on to oblivion,” Vlad laughs eerily. “Like I should have done all those nights ago.”
“Well, it seems that night left a permanent reminder on both of us.” I tap my eye, then point at his disfigured eye, laughing at the wound that she caused him the night she saved my life. His eye recovered mostly, but the scarring around it wasn’t quite cleared up after all this time.