Recently, I just finished TAINTED BLOOD, The Enchanted Sight Book One, which is the spin-off from The Magical Sword Series. It’s been critiqued and I’m just going through a final round of edits before it’s off to submission with Liquid Silver Books.
Here is a little peak at part of chapter one:
Blood dripped off white fangs. The vampire’s dark eyes were clouded with blood lust as he dropped the body of a young woman he just killed to the ground. A smile lifted up the corners of his mouth as he turned and looked toward his next target.
A woman stood, terror filled her expression as she stared at the end of her life. “Why are you doing this?” Her voice came out in a soft shaky whisper.
The vampire began to step forward and the woman cowered in response. “You’re all a stepping stone in our wants…this is a necessity.” Then, with vampire speed he lunged at her, grabbed her around the back of the neck and angled her head to the side. “Don’t take it personal.” Without another word, his fangs penetrated her skin.
Within a few short minutes, her life began to drain away. Once finished, he let the woman crumple to the floor, barely a drop of blood left in her when her heart stopped beating. The vampire raised his head, blood trickled down his chin and glanced down to the body. “Like I said, it’s not personal, but damn woman, you tasted delicious.”
Right then, a small squeal flew through the air. The vampire’s gaze locked on a woman that hid under a desk. She sobbed―never looked up as if the idea of hiding would save her. The vampire was there a second later, ignored her pleas to God to save her, and took her life.
Sabi watched and listened to the screams. Horrified sounds of lives being taken filled the space around her as one by one, men and women were slaughtered in a blood bath. She couldn’t help any of those being murdered, as much as she wanted to. Her focus stayed on the disbelief and dismay in each of the human’s eyes as their life was stolen. She tried to focus on anything that would give her a better understanding. Of anything that could help them locate this vampire in time, yet her only focus were on the ones losing their lives.
She felt their sadness, their rage, their utter desperation because they were helpless to fight against this evil that picked them off as if they were nothing more than livestock.
Her visions left her unable to provide assistance to them. If only she could focus away from the death, steady herself on the elements that she needed to find out where they were to offer them help. To stop this event before it occurred. But she couldn’t will herself to let go of her stunned emotions.
Only the cruelty of this moment captured her. Such innocence lost, so many lives affected by this single act. And for what? So, a vampire could have his fix. But still, she couldn’t deny something more was going on here. He should have been sated after the first kill. Why did he continue to take life after life? It didn’t make any sense.
The vision began to blur as the vampire dropped the final body on the ground. The clarity of the moment fogged, and Sabi was relieved to know this vision was about to end. Soon, she would be removed from this tragedy and return to her body where violence like this was only in nightmares.
“Sabi.” A voice roared through the fading screams that echoed around her. “Sabi, snap out of it.” The urgent tone came again, this time more forceful.
The scene dissolved, reality snapped back in full force. Sabi gasped out a breath as her eyes refocused on the here and now. She drew a breath back into her lungs to stabilize herself before she even dared to speak.
Ryker knelt on the floor next to her. His gorgeous, yet commanding blue eyes were filled with concern. The normal off–the-charts sexiness about him had been extinguished. Of course, the Guardian would always be a heart throb with his large body of muscles, face that’d make any woman do a double take, and tough, kick-ass attitude. They were all reasons Sabi had first taken notice of him. Now, it was his worry for her that really touched her heart.
She looked away from him and tried to gather herself. First, she saw the clay tea kettle smashed on the ground, broken into a hundred pieces. Hot water lay in a puddle around her. Finally resolved she could speak without stuttering, she glanced back to Ryker. “I had a vision.”
He nodded and gave her a knowing look. “A tough one by the looks of it.” He grasped onto her arms and helped her into a sitting position. “What happened?”
Sabi wiped the sweat beaded on her forehead and released a long deep breath through her mouth as she ran through the past events that had just stolen her thoughts. “I came in here to make some tea…then the vision hit me―hard.” It wasn’t always this intense, especially since the Underworlds’ demise. Her visions of the future had become much easier to deal with. Normally, they were little flashes of a vampire taking too much blood from a human, or one turned against their will―events that she did share with the rulers of the Otherworld, the four Masters. But it was just ordinary stuff―everyday happenings.
This however was something entirely different. All those lives lost. “Something very bad is going down.”
“What did you see?” Ryker asked.
Sabi shook her head in an attempt to clear the images from her mind. “A vampire…killing…” she gulped deeply, “lots of killings.”
Ryker’s hands stayed tight on her arms as an offering of support, which she didn’t mind. Her body felt so very cold.
“Did you make anything out?”
She shook her head again in response. “Just their eyes…the sadness in their eyes.”
“A hard thing to watch, yes?” Ryker’s voice was gentle.
Ryker went quiet a moment as he studied her, he finally said, “Was there only one vampire there?”
“I think so, but there were lots of humans. It was in a big open room, like an office or something, but once the murders started happening…I…I couldn’t make out anything after that.” Humiliation set in as the realization of just what she had done hit her. “I’ve failed again.”
Ryker’s brows drew together as he frowned. “Sabi, I thought we already went over this. You’re doing your best. Cut yourself a break. You’re not used to these images. Give yourself time to grow into this new ability. No one expects anything from you, you know this.”
She understood what he meant. Before the Underworld went belly up, her visions only focused on Black Magic. Now, with it gone, these visions of hers had picked it up a notch. They’d steal her mind daily―sometimes twice a day. And she wouldn’t even attempt to lie that seeing so much death wasn’t affecting her, because Ryker would know she was lying. “It’s just….” She couldn’t even find the words to explain.
Ryker’s expression eased as he brushed his hand across her cheek. “I realize that this has been hard for you. The transition from seeing premonitions of Black Magic, to now facing the cruelty of a life being taken cannot be easy. But we need to find a way for you to deal with this better. I can see it all over your face right now, you have to put a wall up and remain distant. You can’t be responsible for all those lives. You’re only one Witch.”
Yes, she was that. The Earth Element had granted her this special gift, which she hadn’t yet decided if it was more of a curse. Before, it was easier. Black Magic usually showed rituals being conjured, never deaths. Nowadays, her visions came harsh with horrible images that she couldn’t sort out or through.
Clearly, Ryker knew it wore on her. In that moment she let go of the lingering fear she felt and pushed it away. She didn’t want to be babied. “I’m fine.” She wiggled out of his arms, stood and went to the stove to grab a tea towel.
She hadn’t heard Ryker stand with her, but felt his hand grab at her wrist. “Sabi,” he said softly.
When she turned toward him she found a gentle expression on his face. Not one typically found in Ryker. That was one of the reasons she was attracted to him from the get-go. Yes, their relationship was new, but the heat between them was instant. His tough, kick-ass attitude set her aflame. She wasn’t used to him being sweet. “What?”
He pulled her forward so she closed in on his body. “You don’t have to do this alone.”
“I know I don’t,” she whispered, leaned up and kissed him, wanting to end this conversation. She didn’t feel like being lectured, and truth was, she just needed to figure this out before she had a conversation about it. The images of those bodies still bore heavy in her mind. Even as she did her best to ignore them, she knew it still affected her. His mouth fit around hers perfectly as their tongues swirled together in a passionate kiss.
Forcefully, he backed away. Stood and stared at her with eyes that could melt a thick patch of ice. “As much as I want to continue this, I’ve been called out on an assignment with Kyden.” He cleared his throat. “I wanted to come and tell you that.”
Sabi’s gripped the handle of the stove behind her in order to regain her composure. Arousal burned in her blood and warmed her in all the right places because he felt the need to share this information. They weren’t committed, or they hadn’t declared it yet anyway. Maybe this was more serious than a friend with benefits type of thing. But she wasn’t too convinced, it is Ryker after all. This Guardian’s bed post certainly had many notches. “Going out with Kyden.” She forced a smile to her face. “Are you two going to play nice?”
Kyden, another Guardian, was someone Ryker tended to knock heads with. Nexi, Kyden’s mate, attributed it to the fact they were so alike. Sabi wasn’t really sure what it was, but found the feud amusing.
Ryker grinned. “We shall see won’t we?” He took a step forward as if he was about to kiss her goodbye before his feet planted firmly in place and he cleared his throat again. “Right then, I’ll catch up with you later.”
Sabi nodded. “Don’t make it too long. After that kiss, I doubt I’ll get much done around here.”
Ryker smiled in his own sexy way. “And that’s a sure way to bring a man home in a hurry.” After a wink, he left.
When the front door closed, Sabi released her hands around the stove’s door and let out a breath. Resolved to get her mind back to the present, she quickly cleaned up the water that spilt on the floor and put the shattered pieces of clay into the garbage. If Earth had granted her the magic most witches got, she could have just cleaned it up and repaired the tea kettle. But nope, her abilities were to see darkness within her light world. That was her gift. She just had to sort out what that all meant now.
But as it was with witches, not only did they gain a unique talent, but they also held defensive magic, which came in handy. Sabi could work Earth to devise a distraction, move the Earth, call the vines to wrap around someone to hold them, things such as that. But compared to most, her talents were weak, except for the visions. Those were powerful, and yes, she was the only witch known to date who held that ability. Yet, no one had ever said they wanted her gifts. She wasn’t thought of as special, and she sure didn’t feel that way. Seeing into the pits of hell wasn’t a great way to spend a day.
And that’s what nagged her. Before she felt a purpose, saw evil and acted on it. Now, the images only haunted her. She couldn’t get anything out of them that she needed to. The problem being, she was too distraught to focus on what mattered. The images shook her soul and left her incapacitated.
As it was, she only had minutes to work with. If the Council didn’t act immediately after she saw the vision, it’d be too late. And so far, she’d proved to be useless as she couldn’t focus on anything but the death she saw in front of her. Innocent lives taken over, and over again. Yes, she had to get past this, she just didn’t know how.