Uncontrollable bloodlust and an ever-shifting world rule her nights now. These twisted politics are deadly enough, but now her heart is the newest battleground. There’s no hiding from the one who hates everything she was born to, a spy who embraces everything she’s become, and a King who vies for someone she may soon remember.
The games have begun. The House of Conrath is growing. Blood will be shed, the bodies will fall. Alliances will be tested and old enemies look like harmless children compared to the new ones rising from the shadows.
“You are a most excellent hunter,” Cyrus says. “In that, you are indeed like Sevan.”
But his words are background noise. I pull. One long drink after another.
“And you certainly have picked a beautiful specimen,” Cyrus says approvingly. He walks around the two of us. And as my belly fills with the blood of this person, the heady fog fades from my brain. I feel my animalistic side begin to ebb. The predator is satisfied. And the humanity in me returns once more.
My fangs instantly retract. The individual I’m holding onto collapses to the ground as I let go and take five horrified steps away.
It’s a woman. She’s young, probably no more than a year or two older than myself. Her eyes are closed, blood running down her neck from the two puncture wounds. Her face is beautiful yet intimidating. Harsh cheekbones, a square, sharp jawline. Long brunette hair, lighter than my own, falls around her in soft waves.
“You need not feel ashamed, my dear,” Cyrus says as he crosses to me and pulls me into his arms. “This is what our kind does. It is our instinct and without following it, we experience something worse than death. Do not be regretful for what you are.”
But my eyes stay staring at the woman, wide and horrified. This is my third victim. And I can’t seem to help it. My thirst takes over and I kill.
I kill innocent people.
I watch as all the color leaves the woman’s face, she grows white and her lips look blue.
“Come,” Cyrus says. He releases me, but holds onto my hand and pulls me toward the door once more. “Let us finish the delicious meal you prepared for us and think of this no more.”