Listening to the roars reverberating through the auditorium of Mina's Cove High School , Lucian feared his fellow night creatures had all reached that point where the beast inside reigns supreme–or as the younger vamps would say, gone over the edge.
Those old enough to recall Van Helsing's reign of terror and those years away from cutting their adult fangs cowered in the shadows in fear. The females, usually so adept at keeping their mates from releasing their inner beasts, shrieked and tore at their hair. The males bared their fangs, snarled, and roared as they clutched their children in their arms. Some even spoke of leaving Mina's Cove.
Up until now, they'd all felt safe living along the secluded, northern inlets of Lake George . Thanks to the combined powers of their elders, humans approaching by air, on land, or from the lake failed to see the vampires' village or majestic homes, failed to see the metal shutters descending over every window moments before dawn. The vampires' peaceful co-existence with the humans sharing this little slice of heaven might have gone on for centuries.
If not for Frank Nostrum. Now, for the first time since Dracula and Mina brought them to this haven, the vampires of Lake George, creatures capable of snapping a man's spine in two with no more effort than it took to pop open a beer, hid within the confines of Mina's Cove, too terrified to leave the protection of their elders. Lucian couldn't blame them. This morning his brother, Marek, Frank Nostrum's latest victim, had merged with all their minds during his agonizing demise beneath the dawn's searing rays. His screams had ripped them all from their slumber.
“Silence,” Tobias, Lucian's grandfather, commanded in a steel-laden voice. Dust floated down from the timbers rattling overhead. “For over a hundred years, we've lived here with only the occasional hunter to deal with, and you dare risk exposing us with this despicable display? I have watched over you, as I promised Mina and Dracula when they left on their quest, but I can not protect you from your own carelessness.”
A hush fell over the crowd. Only the sound of a summer breeze whistling through the blinds broke the silence. Tobias' wrath could incinerate them all if let loose. His eyes filled with crimson tears as he met each terrified gaze. Lucian had never seen his grandfather so angry, so grief-stricken.
“I too heard Marek's screams at dawn. I too lay trapped in my home while he burned beneath the sun in Nostrum's pen. My daughter, Olympia ,” Tobias glanced down at Lucian's mother, “is right. It is time that Frank Nostrum pay for hunting and killing our kind. He has condemned so many of us to an eternity without our loved ones, an eternity of grief. It is only right that his punishment fit his crimes. That he face a future without his greatest love. His daughter, Diana.”
“But the angels,” a female yelled from the back. “What of the angels?”
“Their wrath could turn us all into Slashers,” one of the females closer to the front shrieked.
The need for revenge churned in Lucian's stomach, but he was a Champion d'Angelique, a protector of all innocents. Those sent to watch the hunter had yet to prove Diana more >>