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Vampire Mistress (Vampire Queen #5) Cracked Up To Be

I nodded, sobering. I know that. But I also knew what I had to do, and more importantly, how to do it.

Don’t be stupid, Chantal. There are all kinds of people I can call on, people who owe my family debts that they are eager to pay off. He walked back to the bar and poured more Family Reserve into his glass. Or how about this one. How about those medical records fall into the hands of the press, or maybe an online site? People would understand why I’m divorcing you—and you’d have a hell of a time finding another husband. Unlike up north, we Southern men have standards for our wives, and they do not include abortion.There was a long stretch of silence. And then the smile that came back at him was inexplicable, so confident and calm, he wondered if she’d gone daft in the last two years.

Hellboy: The Dragon Pool

You have more to keep quiet than I do, she said softly.Do I. He took a deep draw from the edge of his glass. How do you figure that. All I did was the right thing by a woman I supposedly got pregnant. Who knows if it was mine, anyway.She pointed to the paperwork. You are going to make that go away. You are going to allow me to stay here for however long I want. And you are going to escort me to the Derby festivities tomorrow.

Timeline

Her hand went to her lower belly. I’m pregnant.Lane barked out a laugh. You tried that once before, sweetheart. And we all know how it ended.

About you stealing jewelry? Maybe. We’ll see about that.

No, about the fact that I don’t have every right to be here. And so does my child. As a matter of fact, my child has as much right to the Bradford legacy as you and Gin do.My eyes wandered as the number dialled and dialled, lingering on Nelson’s Column, towering hundreds of feet in the air. The blazing floodlights that lit up the statue at the very top flickered, like a flame in the breeze. They stilled again, as intense and bright as before.

I shivered, but not from the cold. I prayed someone would answer the phone, but the line crackled and with one last pitiful ring, went dead. I stared at it, wide-eyed, before adrenaline began to rush into my veins and instinct cut in. I slipped off one of my heels as my eyes glued themselves to the column, watching in disbelief as the shadow I had seen just moments before swept across the statue, vanishing from view as quickly as it had come. Fumbling with the last strap, I wrenched the other shoe from my foot and snatched both up in my hands. I started forward. But no sooner had I taken a few steps than I froze, rooted to the spot.A gang of men, clothed in brown coats and carrying long, sharpened canes were descending the steps. Their grim, weather-beaten faces were dark and heavily scarred, every brow set in an unwavering, determined line. Their heavy footfall rang in my ears, pounding out an uneven march on the paving as they moved ever closer.

The Mysterious Madam Morpho (Blud #1)

Stunned, I shrank back into the shadows, silently crouching behind the bench. Hardly daring to breathe, I tried to make myself as small as possible whilst inching towards the edge of the square.The man at the head of the group barked something and the men spread out, creating a line as wide as the square, stretching from one fountain to the other. There were easily thirty of them. As one, they came to a halt just in front of the column, only their coats moving as the wind billowed in the fabric behind them.

Not even the trees made a sound. Every one of the men looked straight ahead with unwavering concentration, watching and waiting. I glanced towards the top of the column, but the statue was bathed in light as usual, the only shadows being those cast by the men and the trees that I sheltered under. A few leaves drifted languidly to the ground, settling on the bench beside me.The square came alive in a frenzy of movement and out of nowhere something sprung from behind the trees, soaring high above my head and landing without so much as a stumble on the hard stone, about ten feet away. I blinked, not believing that my eyes had seen a person, but before I could take a second look, whatever it was had disappeared.

Taken as much by surprise as I was, the line of men staggered back a few paces in panic. Those at the very end of the line edged inwards, order only restored as the man I presumed to be the leader raised a hand. From his coat he pulled a silvery baton, one end sharpened to a lethal point. With a flick of his wrist, it became twice as long. He spun the baton a few times, as though admiring the way it glinted when it caught the light. His lips curled into a satisfied smile and he stilled, waiting once more.The leader was quite young – twenty at the most. Tall and lean, his face was free of scars unlike those around him. His hair, cut short, was bleached so it was almost white, a stark contrast to his leathery coat and tanned skin. His smile widened as his eyes darted towards the figure that had landed so close to me. I drew in a sharp breath, expecting him to spot me, but his attention was whipped away as a man stepped out from around the fountains.

No, not a man, but a boy, not much older than I was. His eyes were sunken, skin ashen pale and almost translucent, pulled taut over hollow cheeks. He too was tall, but beneath his tight shirt I could see the rippling trace of muscles. His arms were just as pale but covered in red blotches, as though he had been badly sunburnt. His lips were stained a bright, bloody red, as was his hair, which was spiked and unkempt.I blinked, and he was gone. I searched the square as others appeared, all with the same pale skin and haggard gaze. They circled the group in the middle, their faces twisted into a mixture of amusement and disgust. They appeared from nowhere, darting from one side to the other at inhuman speed, vanishing and emerging within a second. I rubbed my eyes, convinced that I was just too tired to focus. They couldn’t be moving that fast.

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