I stirred with the toe-curling sound of a tiger's wail. It was coming from the darkness outside the hut and it sent a shudder through my wounded body. Whatever caused it couldn't be good. I lay still and stared at the ceiling, waiting.
Wondering what would happen to me. To us.
How long had Evie and I been here? One day? One week? I had no idea. I was unconscious most of the time anyway, given my near fatal injuries. I spent my few waking hours silently watching Evie, wondering if she'd ever forgive me. That and dwelling over the fact that I had killed my own sister.
A chorus of angry shouts arose outside. I strained to hear and immediately winced as a stab of agony spiked through my side, setting off a swirl of haze.
And then complete darkness, as I drifted back into pain-induced oblivion…
A soft tickle against my chin pulled me back. Soft and soothing and explorative, like a fingertip. Cracking my eyes open, I struggled to focus but the combination of oppressive heat, lack of water, and constant agony battled with my vision, leaving everything blurry. Luckily a fire now burned bright outside, casting enough light through the tiny window to illuminate the hut's interior.
And that's how I first saw the angel hovering over me. Bathed in a glow, surrounded by haze, an angel with perfect curls and mesmerizing emerald eyes gazed down at me, smiling.
"Am I dead?" I asked, my words coming out in a hoarse whisper. "Are you here to take me away?"
The angel's plump lips curved into a smirk. "Yes, Julian. I am." The way she said my name in that raspy voice of hers sent shivers up my spine. But it didn't outweigh the stir of disappointment in my stomach with her confirmation. After all I'd been through, this was it. I'd join my parents and Valentina in ... somewhere. "Okay. Will you tell Evie I'm sorry," I asked with a resigned sigh.
"I guess I can ..." The angel leaned forward until her face was inches from mine, enough that I could see it more clearly. Damn, angels have gorgeous eyes. And lips … And … I felt my eyes widen as awareness hit me. "Holy shit, you're Amelie!" I blurted out, remembering that face from Evangeline's pictures. How could I ever have forgotten it! I'd stared at it for weeks in the mountains, wondering what she'd be like in person, shocked that something so beautiful could exist outside of dreams.
And be a vampire.
My body stiffened a notch as I realized my predicament. I was a limp sack of nothing - unable to move, to defend myself. No doubt she knew that. She was a natural predator, after all. And I could be her next meal.
So I lay still, my gaze straining to the door, wondering where the hell Evie and Max were and why they'd left me alone with a friggin' vampire. Even one with the mouth of an angel.
As if aware of my discomfort, Amelie sat back on her haunches, chuckling softly as her eyes drifted over my bare torso, settling on the stiff clothe that hardly covered me from the waist-down. "Please don't be afraid of me," she whispered softly, her eyes shifting to my face in a playful way. "I just want to be friends. I won't hurt you."
"No?" For some reason, I believed her. This is why humans are stupid, I reminded myself.
She smiled. "No ... never." Her delicate hand reached forward to graze my chest, her fingers gentle and feeling every bit like a young, curious woman and not a blood-thirsty animal. Leaning forward until her mouth hovered above mine, she whispered so sweetly, "I would never hurt you Julian. Never."
I don't know what kind of vampire voodoo she was using on me but it was working. Quickly, surely, I felt all fear and worry fall away under this intoxicating creature's power. I found myself physically unable to peel my eyes away from her mouth, wondering what it would feel like to have her curl up beside me, to say my name over and over again.
The second those lips connected with mine, I knew I was hers forever.
Evangeline finally got what she longed for—the cursed pendant off her neck and Caden in her arms—only it came at a steep price. An unknown poison now courses through her body, slowly morphing her into something no one but the Fates can foresee.She has her suspicions, though...and if she is right, it will spell certain ruin for her and Caden. But she won’t last long enough to realize that, if Viggo and Mortimer uncover the treasonous secrets she keeps from them– that Veronique, no longer entombed, is now in the torturous clutches of the witches and the People’s Sentinel, or that she is protecting a Sentinel within their very midst.
Always the naive human caught in the vampires’ web of deceit, Evangeline is now weaving her own dangerous web so she can keep her friend alive, rescue Veronique, and stop a seemingly inevitable war from erupting. But can her honor handle the depths of duplicity to which she must descend, in order to be in league with the vampires?
Dark and gripping, riddled with angst, Allegiance will have readers anxiously turning pages to find out if Evangeline can survive, or if she’ll spiral into disaster.
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