The Avebury Legacy
Vampires: the New Age #1
Vampires: The New Age, Book 1
This publication is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organisations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental and beyond the intent of either the author or the publisher.
Copyright 2011 by Natasha Duncan-Drake
Cover art by Natasha Duncan-Drake
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each reader. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your favourite retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
(In reading order)
Blood Sacrifice: The Avebury Legacy (Vampires: The New Age #1)
The Beginning: Blood and Curses (Vampires: The New Age, Prequel #1)
Link to series webpage:
To every person in history who spoke of monsters that creep in the night; to all the writers who have ever mentioned vampires; to all the film makers who ever thought fangs were sexy: thank you. You are an inspiration.
To my husband, Rob, and my twin, Sophie, without whom I could not do this thing that I love, I thank you with all my heart. Your support means so much to me.
To my readers, thank you, I appreciate every one of you.
I wish to thank the following people for helping me create this book:
Pose reference for cover - SenshiStock at DeviantArt.com http://senshistock.deviantart.com/
And thank you to those who have influenced my reading and watching habits and contributed greatly to my love of vampires and fantasy:
Jan Fisher and James Jeremias (The Lost Boys)
Joel Schumacher (The Lost Boys)
Tim Metcalf, Miguel Tejada-Flores and Tommy Lee Wallace
(Fright Night II)
Stephen King (Salem's Lot)
John Carpenter (The Thing, Vampires)
Bram Stoker (Dracula)
Lara Croft (Tomb Raider)
George Lucas (Indiana Jones)
Too many more to count…
The bar was dimly lit. Just how most of the patrons liked it. Nate walked through the room slowly, taking in everything around him with careful precision. He could see better in the low light than most, but it never did to upset anyone in an establishment like this. It wasn't the kind of place where a polite 'I'm sorry' would smooth things over.
He had spotted the man he was looking for the moment he walked in, but he skirted round the rest of the bar just to make sure he knew the lay of the land. Trouble wasn't likely, but he preferred to make sure.
"Laven," his contact said as he finally walked over to the back table.
"Ren," he replied with a nod.
"Take the weight off," Ren invited.
"Thanks," he replied and took the chair opposite the other man.
"Something to drink?"
"I'm good," he said.
"Been a while," Ren said chattily.
"Hunting was better up north," he said with a shrug, "until Mac called with your local problem."
"I'm still breathing aren't I?" he said.
"Point," his companion acknowledged with a nod. "I heard you've taken up with some woman."
"That's none of your business," Nate said, making sure there was an edge to his words.
"Hey," Ren said, holding up his hands in a peaceful signal, "I was just making conversation. Just always taken you for the loner type. Expected to hear you'd been found in a ditch one day."
Nate just shrugged, that was fair, but he wasn't about to tell Ren anything about Lexie.
"I don't kiss and tell," he said which made Ren grin.
The fact that Lexie was much more than a casual lover was not something Ren needed to know. Grinning back he knew the man would get the wrong impression. However, he wasn't in the mood for playing games, so he pulled a small bag from his pocket and threw it on the table.
"What's with the meet?" he asked. "I could have mailed these the normal way."
"Special clients," Ren replied; "and they want the proof. They weren't believers until recently, if you know what I mean."
Nate knew that feeling and waited as Ren held up the bag to what little light there was at their table. The enamel of the slightly blackened fangs within the plastic picked up the brightness and he saw Ren's lips moving as the man counted them. Ren had never been the brightest, but Nate knew he was reliable. That's why Macintyre used the ex-hunter as a liaison.
Macintyre was the number one man to go to in the world if you needed an independent vampire hunter. He had contacts everywhere and fingers in a lot of pies. He was the type of person who would sell his own grandmother's remains as relics of a saint if he thought it would make some money, but he never screwed around when it came to vampires. Nate appreciated that.
"One alpha, three spawn," Nate said; "not an experienced brood. They were either a breakaway or something took out their original alpha."
Ren nodded and pocketed the bag.
"Any sign of more of the bloodsuckers?" Ren asked.
Nate shook his head.
"The area is clean," he said, "and these hadn't been here long. Your clients don't have anything to worry about for the moment."
With a nod Ren pulled out a phone and typed in a quick text message. To look at Ren didn't seem the type to be up on the latest technology, but Nate was well aware appearances could be deceiving. Ren's phone was the latest model and Ren could take a man down at ten paces without even breaking a sweat. Just because Ren wasn't up to hunting vampires anymore didn't mean he couldn't handle regular humans. Seconds after the message was sent Ren's phone beeped as information came back and after a quick glance Ren put the device back in his pocket.
"Money will be in the bank in twelve hours," Ren said.
"Good to know," Nate replied and stood up. "Good doing business with you, Ren," he said and held out his hand.
Ren smiled and shook it. They weren't friends, they never would be given the nature of their business, but it was always good to show respect.
"Don't die," was all Ren said; "at least you never try to shoot me."
Nate grinned; some of their brethren were paranoid bastards.
Nate's phone beeped, he picked it up and checked the new message from Macintyre.
"Payment has been made."
It was almost exactly half a day since his meeting with Ren and he opened up his bank account details to check. Macintyre had always played it straight, but Nate was nothing if not careful. His balance did indeed have several more noughts than it had had before. Now there was one less bloodsucking brood to trouble regular society and a nice fat payoff for him and Lexie; perfect.
It was, however, about the only thing that was perfect.
Running his fingers through his hair, he put the phone into silent and glanced towards the refrigerator. He could smell the meat in there even with the door closed and he felt the hunger rise inside him. The feeling was intoxicating, but almost painful and he licked his lips unconsciously.
It had been six and a half months since he had been infected. Only just over half a year since Lexie had saved him, but passed on the curse of the vampire at the same time and he was beginning to forget what being completely human was like. He was the youngest successful hunter in the business, but if others in his profession knew what he really was there would be hunters coming for him. If Ren had so much as suspected even the burnt out has-been would have tried to take him down.
There were symptoms that went with being a partially turned vampire and the craving for red meat was one of them. After he had first been infected it had been blue steaks, but cooking the meat first was only to satisfy ingrained social niceties. He had stopped pretending when the craving hit and just about any bloody meat would do to satisfy the hunger.
The small kitchenette they had rented for the week housed other types of food; he and Lexie ate normally most of the time, but it was the meat that had his attention now. He was glad Lexie wasn't there. Sometimes he found it a comfort that he was not alone in this half-life, but at others he found it uncomfortable to be able to see his condition so clearly mirrored in his new lover. They'd been hunting partners for months, ever since Lexie had brought him back from the edge of death, but that had changed recently. They avoided talking about their condition as much as possible and took comfort in each other instead.
Reluctantly Nate climbed to his feet and walked the few feet to the refrigerator. He had noticed that, just recently, the cravings were coming more often. He was going to need to perform the purification ritual that held his vampire nature at bay as soon as he had fed. The last hunt had been a long one, they had had to spend days hunting down their quarry, and he hoped to god it was just fatigue.
As he pulled the door open, his senses were assailed by the smell of fresh meat; so much stronger with the door open that he was taken by surprise. The craving became an unquestionable need and he felt the world come into sharp focus. Without even thinking about it, he reached for the platter of steak and ripped off the plastic wrap cover. Before his mind could even catch up with his actions he tasted the cold salty blood in his mouth as his teeth daggered into the flesh.
He instantly felt more alive and he revelled in the feeling of power the metallic liquid brought with it. It made him feel as if he spent most of his life asleep and he let his senses roam free.
He was so caught up in the sensations running through his body that he was not concentrating on his surroundings and it was only when there was a noise behind him that he actually became properly aware of himself again. He spun on the spot and came face to face with Lexie. To his enhanced vision her dark hair seemed to shimmer and her face was all but flawless; teenage beauty trapped in a moment by the same power that had him.
At first glance Lexie had an expression of warm greeting, but in a moment it was shocked horror he could see, and she took a step backwards.
Conflict enveloped him in less time than it took for a normal human heart to beat. Part of his mind screamed that Lexie's reaction was a warning and he was close to the edge. Another part enjoyed the fear he could see in her eyes. His rational brain told him that this woman was his friend and sometimes lover; his vampire instincts told him this thing before him was a shell of a human being fit only to be slaughtered.
"Nate," Lexie's voice would have been steady to a normal ear, but to Nate's acute hearing the slight quaver was obvious, "you're scaring me."
"Really? I'm so sorry." But he wasn't, not in the slightest and he smiled at her.
"Oh crap, fangs," Lexie said, the fear evident in her voice.
She took another step backwards.
Nate stopped for a moment, curious, and he ran his tongue across his teeth. The sensitive nerve endings found two very sharp fangs, one on either side of his upper jaw.
"Guess I'm evolving," he said and laughed at his own joke.
It was euphoric and wonderful and he felt such dominant power as he smelt Lexie's fear.
"Nate, you need to purify," Lexie didn't even bother to keep the obvious tremor out of her voice this time.
"And why would I want to do that?" he replied. "You know what it feels like, Lexie. You know what the power's like. Why are we bothering to fight it? This is too good to miss."
"You don't want this," Lexie tried again, but she was edging towards the storage area at the side of the room and the cabinet that held some of their vampire killing supplies.
Nate moved faster and he hopped over the central table with ease, putting himself between Lexie and the weapons.
"Who are we kidding, Lexie?" he said and advanced on her. "This is fun, why fight it?"
She didn't back away as he moved in very close. Nate could feel the slow rhythms of her body as he drew in a breath and drank in the scent of her. To a vampire Lexie was a strange mixture of human and undead. To Nate she was intoxicating and he was not sure if he wanted to taste her or kill her.
"Give in," he whispered in her ear, "we can live forever."
Lexie was stock still as he bent and kissed the side of her neck, but she mewed as his lips touched the pale scar that marked where her whole nightmare had begun. With shaking hands Lexie pushed him away and he surprised himself by letting her do it.
"I won't be one of them," she said and he watched, fascinated, as a tear rolled down her cheek. "If you are going to let them win then you will have to kill me."
The conflict in Nate flared into life again as the vampire in him warred with the man. He was frozen as it caused a reaction in his very being that he had never experienced before. It felt like his soul was being torn in two. The pain was excruciating and he folded like a rag doll onto the floor. There was nothing except fire in his veins that, for a second, made him believe he was in the pits of hell.
Then there were hands on him and words being chanted and something was cutting into the tender flesh of his arm. Part of him howled in anger and he heard himself growl at the owner of the hands, but his body knew what his human half wanted. In his mind he tried to form the same words as slick fingers were forced against his mouth. He tasted the bitterness of his own tainted blood and, as the circle completed, he felt the fire began to die.
When Nate could finally think again he found himself on the floor curled in a little ball and he could feel Lexie's arms around him. All he could do was lie there and shake.
"It's not working properly anymore," he said, voice cracking when he was finally able to speak.
For sixth months they had searched for a cure or at least hope they were not damned to their fate and Nate was all too aware they were running out of time. The legendary Avebury ritual seemed like a chance, but every scrap of information they had, they had paid for in time and sweat. The puzzle was right there in front of them, but the locations of the pieces were still a mystery. The hunting community was secretive by nature and the part run by the various churches of the world even more so. The Avebury ritual was one of the oldest legends, mostly forgotten until a few years previously when the vampire it had been created to defeat had resurfaced. It was really nothing other than whispers and rumours, but from his and Lexie's investigation, Nate was sure it was real.
Their only hope was the cure the ritual promised and the latest lead had brought them to Canada of all places.
Summer on the Saskatchewan prairies was hot and there was a hell of a lot of open space; Nate hated it. The only plus was that they didn't have to deal with too many people. They'd been through a small, very pleasant town, so pleasant in fact that it had felt like a whole other world. The Canadians really did seem to be too nice for their own good, especially after Nate had revealed he was British by birth. He looked and sounded like any other Californian after fifteen years, but as soon as he had mentioned British blood there hadn't been enough the locals could do for them.
It was always easier if a lie was based on the truth and he and Lexie were pretending he was researching his family. Since he knew he had relatives in Canada somewhere, they didn't have to make too much of it up.
"Looks rundown," Lexie said as they pulled to a stop.
They had managed to convince the nice couple with whom they had taken bed and breakfast that one of Nate's relatives had become a monk. They knew there was a monastery in the vicinity, but they didn't know exactly where it was. Their hosts had been reluctant to talk about it, but they had pointed them at someone who could be of help.
"But secure," Nate replied and pointed at what appeared to be extra fortifications on the side of the small house they were looking at.
It was nearly dark, but the gloom was no problem for him as he peered over the top of his dark glasses. The house was in the middle of nowhere and, from the looks of it, designed to look completely uninteresting, but Nate's sharp eyes picked out little details that made it anything but.
Climbing out of the truck, he walked round the back of it and opened the doors. He slipped a gun into his waistband under his jacket and checked the large knife in the holster under his arm. The man living in the house was supposed to be human, but it never hurt to be armed. He passed Lexie a gun of her own and then they were ready.
As soon as he stepped past the half fallen-down fence around the property he felt it: there were anti-vampire protections on the place. A spell was unlikely to keep anything but the newest spawn completely out of a house, but it might make an average vampire think twice. Protections meant knowledge and it was always easier to take from the unwary.
"This is going to be interesting," Nate said and carefully walked up to the front door.
There were more obvious protections on the frame and Nate could smell blood and salt.
"Powerful," Lexie said as she looked over the carvings.
"Anything I need to know?" Nate asked, since Lexie was the expert.
He knew the basics, every hunter did, but that was as far as his knowledge went. As far as he was concerned magic was about belief more than ritual.
"No," Lexie replied, "but this guy knows what he's doing."
Nate nodded an acknowledgement and then knocked on the door. They could at least pretend to be civilised even if it probably wasn't going to last long. When vampires came into the equation civilisation often took a back seat.
"Mr Kane," he called out, "Mr and Mrs Cole gave us your address, we're doing some family research."
He didn't really expect a reply, where there were protections there were probably alarms as well, but it was worth a try. After about a minute when there was no response he looked at Lexie who indicated the side of the house with her head. He nodded and went to step off the porch. Just as he was about to move the front door was wrenched open and he found himself on the wrong end of a shot gun.
"Did you hurt them?" the man holding the gun demanded.
It had to be Kane, but the man was far younger than the image Nate had formed in his head. Kane couldn't have been more than twenty if he was a day.
"No," Nate said, raising his hands in what he hoped was a non-threatening gesture, "why would we have done that?"
"Because I know your kind," Kane said, flicking his attention between Nate and Lexie, "and if you move I'll fill both of you with salt and blessed silver."
Nate was impressed; it wasn't a weapon that would kill a vampire outright, but it would put them in a world of hurt. Of course it most likely would kill him, so he made sure to stand very still.
"We're not vampires," Lexie said in her usual straightforward manner.
"Yeah right," Kane said, clearly unimpressed, "not all humans are as ignorant as you'd like us to be."
"And not everything is as obvious as you think it is," Nate said and drew Kane's attention back to him.
That was when Lexie moved and there were some definite advantages to being part vampire. Speed was on her side and she grabbed the end of the shot gun, forced it upwards and the only thing Kane shot was the roof of his porch. Nate followed closely as Lexie forced Kane back into the house. The young man had good instincts if nothing else, most people would have tried to regain control of the gun, but Kane let go and ran. If they really had been vampires the gun would have been as good as gone. As Lexie took charge of the weapon, Nate ran and cut Kane off before the man could reach the next room.
Kane immediately changed direction and dived to the side of a very old looking arm chair. Nate jumped after Kane and flattened the man before Kane could reach whatever it was that was hidden just behind the chair.
"Oh no you don't," he said and all but sat on the struggling man.
He was bigger than Kane, so he used his body weight to pin his adversary to the ground. In the process Nate's dark glasses fell off and Kane began to struggle even harder.
"Enough," he yelled, doing his best to keep his temper in check, "I am not a vampire."
"Your eyes are blood red," Kane spat back, still struggling.
"We're infected, not turned," Nate tried again, because it was like trying to hold an oiled pig as Kane wriggled.
He readjusted his estimate of Kane's age; the kid was adolescent skinny, if Kane was twenty he was a late developer.
"We're looking for a cure," Nate said, finally managing to pin one of Kane's arms down properly without employing any vampire advantages.
The last thing they needed was him losing control.
"We need the Avebury knife and the scrolls," Lexie backed him up.
Kane redoubled his efforts and Nate was almost bucked off.
"Don't make me hurt you," he growled and pushed down hard.
Kane grunted in pain and was finally still.
"If I was a vampire don't you think I would have bitten you by now?" Nate said, nose only inches from Kane's. "You'd be helpless against me then, spawn to do my will."
For the first time he saw a hint of fear in Kane's eyes; it seemed he had found what really frightened the young man.
"Spawn aren't very bright, I might lose whatever information you want to know," Kane said and he had to give the kid credit for balls.
"Screw this," Nate said and made a decision, releasing Kane and pushing himself away, grabbing his glasses on the way, "we're not here to hurt you."
They were short on information, they needed Kane and they needed him to trust them. If Kane went for a weapon, Lexie still had the shot gun.
It seemed to be the right thing to have done, because Kane stilled completely and just lay there, confusion clearly written on his face.
"We are not here to hurt you," Nate reiterated, "we are here for information. We're looking for Simone Davidson because she has information on the Avebury ritual."
There was no point in being delicate about it, either Kane would give them the information they wanted or the kid would brush them off. Nate waited as Kane slowly climbed to his feet, eyeing both of them as if they might jump him at any moment.
"How can you be infected but not turned?"
"Same way you protect your home," Lexie replied, "magic."
Kane looked at Lexie and then at him and Nate rolled up his sleeve and held up his arm. Lately the ritual left no marks, but there were still fading scars from before the vampire taint had become so close to the surface.
"Blood magic," he added for clarification.
From the frown on the kid's face, Kane knew enough to believe that might be possible, but was very unsure.
"This could be a trick," Kane pointed out and Nate gave a humourless laugh.
"And you could be Santa Claus," he said; he was not in the mood for verbal sparring.
He gave Kane another glare for good measure and then pushed his shades back on to hide his eyes. He didn't like looking at them, so he was pretty sure they were completely freaking Kane out. Putting his arms across his chest, he then looked at Kane in a way he hoped said 'your turn'.
"What do you know about Avebury?" Kane asked, clearly still very suspicious.
"We know that it was the site of a ritual to destroy Morrigan of Leyland one of the most powerful vampires of all time," Nate revealed, quite willing to put their cards on the table if it gained them information. "The ritual took place in 605 A.D, a cooperation between the early Church and Pagan leaders and was supposed to banish her evil, but it only partially worked. Everyone was told it worked completely, but Morrigan resurfaced about five years ago and nearly took out two teams of the world Church's best hunters. Two of the second team survived, one, Reverend Simone Davidson, came here to the monastery of St Thomas with the knife and the scrolls associated with the ritual. Are we close?"
Kane looked astonished.
"How could you possibly know that unless you're working with the vampires?"
They were back to the hostility.
"Lots of people died," Lexie said, apparently losing patience, "not even the might of the combined Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican churches could cover that up completely. We have very good sources. We also know there are other legends associated with the relics, legends that are our only hope. Where is Simone Davidson?"
Nate had to sit on the desire to destroy something at that news. As far as they could tell, Davidson was the closest thing to an expert on the Avebury relics that existed. The woman had been a college professor until she had moved to the UK and become a Church of England minister after the death of her husband. She had served the church using her skill to organise their archives and she was an expert on ancient ritual in the early church and, according to their sources, the only one who knew about Avebury. This was so not what they needed, not with time running out. With a sigh he sat down on the nearby couch.
"Do they still have the relics at the monastery?" Lexie asked, apparently taking the news far better than he was.
"There is nothing left," Kane said, voice suddenly emotionless; "it was destroyed last year soon after the Reverend died."
This time Nate had to channel the anger somewhere, so he swore long and loud. Lexie took a step away from him, probably from fear of feeding off his anger. He did his best to calm himself since it wasn't helping.
"Who did it?" That was from Lexie.
"Her name was Dahlia, she came with her spawn looking for the relics," Kane said, still eyeing them warily. "She announced herself to the whole monastery as the sister of Morrigan. The monks sent the novices into the cellar to hide before the slaughter began. I was the only one who survived."
It was a story told in a way that Nate recognised all too well; disassociation due to trauma. He knew a survival tactic when he saw it. Kane was as damaged as just about every other person Nate had met who had come into contact with the vampire community.
Nate regretted asking as soon as the word was out of his mouth, because he saw pain flicker across Kane's gaze.
"I'm small, skinny, I could crawl where the others couldn't. The vampires missed my hiding place."
There was something else as well, but Nate didn't push. Trauma was simply that and often it was best left buried.
"Can you point us at the monastery?" he asked, trying to look for anything positive. "There might be something there that can help us."
Kane looked surprised again, for a moment the suspicion falling off his young face.
"I can draw you a map," was the eventual reply; "it's not far."
That was something at least and Nate stood up again, taking a long, calming breath.
It didn't take long for Kane to find a pen and paper and draw them a rough sketch of a few landmarks. Kane kept eyeing both of them nervously, even after Lexie gave the kid the shot gun back, but Kane did seem to be beginning to believe them. However, it wasn't until they were heading out the door that things finally changed.
"Wait," Kane said before Nate was fully onto the porch.
Time was not on their side, but there was something in Kane's voice that made Nate turn back even though he wanted to be on his way.
"What?" he asked, possibly a little more coldly than he should have.
"I just wanted to tell you a few areas might still have their protections active," Kane said in an almost apologetic tone; "it might make it uncomfortable for you."
Nate was almost sure that was not what Kane had been going to say, but the young man's body langue was now completely cut off, as if Kane just wanted them to leave. There was no way Kane was going to say anything else now.
"Thanks," he said, wondering if he had just made a mistake.
Kane's information about the monastery was probably all there was to know, but Nate believed in checking out everything he could for himself. That was why he and Lexie took Kane's hastily drawn map, climbed back into the truck and set off. Given their extra sensitivity to all things vampire it was possible they might pick up on something useful.
"Stop the car," Lexie said as they drove down yet another dirt road.
Her tone was urgent, so Nate did not argue, just drew off to the side as Lexie undid her seatbelt and leant over her seat into the back. It was then Nate realised what she was doing. They had a cooler behind the seat, but it wasn't full of soda.
"Are you okay?" he asked when Lexie came back with a bag of blood.
"The fight pushed my control," Lexie replied, breathing just a little harder than usual, "I need to ... I'll just go ..."
Lexie was clearly embarrassed and a little afraid, so Nate didn't push, he just let her go as she fled the car. He doubted they were really dangerous to each other when they fed, not since they had graduated to real blood, but it was such an intimate thing. Nate sat back in the driver's seat and looked at the road ahead as Lexie disappeared into the darkness.
With a sigh he closed his eyes and prayed for deliverance. They were chasing a dream, mostly myth and unsubstantiated, but it was all they had. Just occasionally he wondered what it would really be like to let go. Not since the first time when they realised everything was going wrong had he come close.
Luckily his phone dragged him from his morbid thoughts.
"Macintyre," he greeted after seeing the caller ID, "tell me good things."
"Nice to talk to you too, Laven," the man on the other end said with sarcasm dripping from his voice. "As it happens I found that name you were after."
Nate sat up straight; that was good news.
"The man you're looking for is Brian Hawker," Macintyre told him, "he's old school Vatican, not someone you want to mess with."
"Wouldn't if I didn't have to," Nate replied.
"I'll send everything I've been able to dig up to your phone," the other man told him.
"You know," Macintyre said, sounding as if he wasn't sure he should be saying it, "this quest of yours is beginning to look really dangerous. Why are you so hell bent on finding these things?"
Nate smiled to himself; Macintyre was the least paternal man he knew, but it seemed as if there was something under the hard exterior after all.
"Don't ask questions you really don't want the answers to, Mac," he said. "You find the info, I'll pay you; trust me, that's as far as you want to go."
"You in trouble, Nate?"
"I'm always in trouble, Mac," he replied. "I'll have your money transferred before morning."
"Actually," Macintyre said, dropping the subject, "there's a job you can do for me up where you are, I could take my fee out of the payoff."
"What kind of job?"
"Just some vermin," the other man replied, "in a settlement about fifty miles west of you. An alpha must have been through there and left behind some garbage, one, maybe two spawn, nothing big. So far they've had one death and several cattle mutilations, none of it pretty."
"As always. If you can't I can send up another team, but you're already across the border."
"Send the details," Nate replied. "Lexie and I have a lead to check out, I'll let you know if it's a go once we're done."
"Don't take too long," Macintyre responded.
"Give us a couple of hours, if you don't hear from me by then, send in the other team."
"Watch your back, kid,"
"Of course," he replied and hung up.
After a few seconds his phone beeped, telling him he had data to download. Within a couple of minutes he was reading and he only put the phone down when Lexie returned to the car. She climbed in and he started the engine, neither of them choosing to speak about what they had been doing.
Thank you very much for reading this sample chapter. If you enjoyed it, you can find the full novel at many of the major eBook retailers. Please click the link for more information:
The Beginning: Blood and Curses
(Vampires: the New Age, Prequel #1)
Nate hunts vampires and he’s good at it. However, when he comes across Lexie while stalking his latest quarry, he finds out life can be a whole lot more complicated than even he knew. Lexie is a white witch with a dark secret. When one of the vampires Nate is tracking turns out to be an initiate of the worst kind of blood magic, that secret might just save his life.
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Tasha was born and raised in rural Kent, England where she still lives with her husband Rob, just down the road from her twin sister and sometimes writing partner Sophie. Tasha has been writing since she was a pre-teen and chose to take it up as a full time career when her company downsized and made the whole software engineering department redundant. After setting up Wittegen Press with her sister as a brand for their books she has not looked back, publishing novels, novellas and short stories in a wide range of genres.
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