Magic Graves Page 7

"Don't you ever frighten me like that again."

"He didn't die," I said, still stunned by the recent events. "I twisted a blade in his heart, but he didn't die."

"Like he said, situs inversus." At my confused expression, Bones went on. "Means he was born with his organs backward, so his heart was on the right. That's what saved his life before, but he shouldn't have admitted it while I could hear him."

I hadn't known such a condition existed. Note to self: Learn more about anatomical oddities.

Bones scanned the parking lot, but the only vampires out here were the ones gathered around the side of the nightclub. Onlookers, I thought in amazement. Had they stood there the whole time and just watched?

Fear leapt in me. "Where's Tammy?"

"I ran her inside after the car blew up," my mother said. "She'd be safe in there, you said."

And then she'd come back outside to face a pack of hit men. Tears pricked my eyes even as Bones smiled at her.

"You saved my life, Justina."

She looked embarrassed, and then scowled. "I didn't know if you were finished getting that knife out of Catherine. I couldn't let him sneak up on you and stab you until my daughter was okay."

Bones laughed. "Of course."

I shook my head. She'd never change, but that was okay. I loved her anyway.

Verses walked out of Bite with Tammy at his side. From her red-rimmed eyes, she'd been crying.

"It's over," I told her.

Tammy ran and hugged me. I wanted to say something profound and comforting, but all I could do was repeat, "It's over."

At least Tammy wouldn't remember any of this. No, her memories would be replaced with one where she'd been sequestered by boring bodyguards provided by her father's former friends. Tammy would go into adulthood without the burden of knowing there were things in the night no average human could stand against. She'd be normal. It was the best birthday present I could give her.

"You fought on the premises," Verses stated.

Bones let out a snort. "You noticed that, did you, mate?"

"Maybe if you wouldn't have stood there and done nothing while we were ambushed, your precious premises would still be in one piece!" my mother snapped at Versus. "Don't you have any loyalty? Bones said you were a friend!"

Verses raised his brows at her withering tone, then cast a glance around at the parking lot. Vampire bodies littered the area, one of the cars was still on fire, and various others were smashed, ripped, or dented.

"I am his friend," Verses replied. "Which is why I'll let all of you leave without paying for the damages."

"He doesn't sound like we'll be welcomed back," I murmured to Bones. "So much for coming here during the rest of our vacation to explore all those private areas."

Bones's lips brushed my forehead. "Don't fret, luv. I know another club in Brooklyn I think you'll really fancy..."

The End


Jeaniene Frost

Get a special sneak peek into Jeaniene's upcoming novel, ONCE BURNED, the first book in the new Night Prince series. From the back of the book:

She's a mortal with dark powers...

After a tragic accident scarred her body and destroyed her dreams, Leila never imagined that the worst was still to come: terrifying powers that let her channel electricity and learn a person's darkest secrets through a single touch. Leila is doomed to a life of solitude...until creatures of the night kidnap her, forcing her to reach out with a telepathic distress call to the world's most infamous vampire...

He's the Prince of Night...

Vlad Tepesh inspired the greatest vampire legend of all-but whatever you do, don't call him Dracula. Vlad's ability to control fire makes him one of the most feared vampires in existence, but his enemies have found a new weapon against him - a beautiful mortal with powers to match his own. When Vlad and Leila meet, however, passion ignites between them, threatening to consume them both. It will take everything that they are to stop an enemy intent on bringing them down in flames.

Note: This excerpt does not include the entire beginning of ONCE BURNED, so it does not start at chapter one. Since this has not been through final editing yet, portions of the excerpt may change slightly from the published version.


I faced my captors in what looked to be a hotel room, my hands folded in my lap as if I was placing a dinner order and they were waiters. If you ever meet another vampire, don't panic. You'll only smell like prey, Marty had warned me. I knew what my captors were after seeing their eyes turn glowing green. That was why I didn't bother lying when they asked me how I doubled as an electric eel and had the ability to siphon information through touch. If I lied, they'd only use the power in their gaze to make me tell the truth - or do whatever else they wanted - and I didn't want to give them any more control over me than they already had.

I also didn't try to run even though they hadn't tied me up. Most people didn't know vampires existed, let alone what they could do, but because of my ability to pick up information through touch, I'd known about vampires since before I met Marty. My abilities meant I knew all sorts of things I wished I didn't.

Like the fact that my captors had every intention of killing me; that topped the list of things I wished I didn't know at the moment. I'd seen my death after being forced to touch the auburn-haired vampire again, and it was an image that made me want to clutch my neck while backing away screaming.

I didn't. Guess I should be grateful that my unwanted abilities meant I'd experienced so many horrible deaths; I could look at my impending execution with a morbid sort of relief. Getting my throat ripped out would hurt - I'd relived that through other people enough times to know - but it wasn't the worst way to die. Besides, nothing was set in stone. I'd seen a glimpse of my possible future, but I'd managed to prevent Jackie's murder. Maybe I could find a way to prevent my own.

"So let me get this straight," Auburn Hair said, drawing the words out. "You touched a downed power line when you were thirteen, nearly died, and then later, your body began giving off electric voltage and your right hand divined psychic impressions from whatever you touched?"

More had happened, but it wasn't information I wanted to reveal and he wouldn't care about those details anyway.

"You experienced the voltage part yourself," I said with a shrug. "As for the other, yeah, if I touch something, I get impressions off it." Whether I want to or not, I silently added.

He smiled then, his gaze roving over the thin, jagged scar that was the visible remains of my brush with death. "What did you see when you touched me?"

"Past or future?" I asked, grimacing at either memory.

He exchanged an interested look with his buddies. "Both."

How I would love to lie, but I didn't need psychometric abilities to know if they doubted me, I'd be dead in moments.

"You like eating children." The words made bile rise in my throat that I swallowed before continuing. "And you're intending to drink me to death if I don't prove useful to you."

His smile widened, showing the tips of his fangs as he didn't deny either charge. If I hadn't seen similar menacing, fanged grins through the eyes of people I'd been psychically linked to, I would have been pants-pissing terrified, but a jaded part of me simply acknowledged him for what he was: evil. And I was no stranger to evil, much as I wished otherwise.

"If she's the real deal like we heard, it could give us the edge we've been looking for," his brunet companion muttered.

"I think you're right," Auburn Hair drawled.

I didn't want to die, but there were some things I wouldn't do even if it cost me my life. "Ask me to help you kidnap children, and you may as well start in on my neck now."

Auburn Hair laughed. "I can do that on my own," he assured me, making my stomach lurch with revulsion. "What I want you for is more...complicated. If I bring you objects to touch, can you tell me about their owner? Such as what he's doing, where he is, and most importantly, where he will be?"

I didn't want to do anything to help this disgusting, murderous group, but my choices were grim. If I refused, I'd get mesmerized into doing it anyway, or get tortured into doing it, or die choking on my own blood because I was of no use to them. Maybe this was my chance to better my circumstances and change the fate they intended for me.

Why do you want to? a dark inner voice whispered. Aren't you sick of drowning in other people's sins? Isn't death your only way out?

I glanced at my wrist, the faint scars that had nothing to do with my electrocution marking my skin. One time, I'd listened to that despairing inner voice, and I'd be lying if I didn't admit part of me was still tempted by it. But then I thought of Marty, how grieved my aunts would be, how I hadn't told my dad I loved him the last time we spoke, and finally, how I didn't want to give these bastards the satisfaction of killing me.

My head came up and I met the leader's gaze. "My abilities are tied to my emotions. Abuse me mentally or physically, and you'll have better luck calling a psychic hotline to find out what you want to know. That means no murdering anyone while I'm getting information for you, and no touching me at all."

That last part I said because of the lustful look the brunet had been giving me. My skintight leotard and boxer shorts didn't leave much to the imagination, but it was what I trained in. I hadn't expected to be kidnapped today or I'd have worn something more conservative.

"Don't think you can mesmerize me into forgetting whatever you do, either," I added, waving my right hand. "Psychic impressions, remember? I'll touch you or an object nearby and find out, and then your human crystal ball will be broken."

All the above was bullshit. They could do anything they wanted and I'd still pull impressions from whatever my right hand touched, but I'd used my most convincing tone while praying that for once, I'd prove to be a good liar.

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