USA Today Bestselling Author
Teenage vampires Tessa and Cody and human Jared believed they’d stopped the war Old World vampires had waged on humans, intent on setting up underground blood farms to provide them with a never-ending feeding source.
Tessa and Cody looked forward to seeing their love come to fruition and sharing a long, uneventful life together. But, as the hard work the peaceful vampire clans and their allies had undertaken unravels all over again, another startling secret to top all previous secrets comes to light.
How can the three of them know who to trust when literally everyone seems to have something to hide?
At the end of the last book we saw the epic battle Tessa has with Deanna in her mind. Tessa is not going to tolerate Deanna taking her over, not at all. Now Tessa thinks she has everything figured out, but does she?
Rhia has found Seth, but he’s unconscious. With Ian and Wendy at her side and Jared keeping an eye on Seth the battles begin. They have one more thing to accomplish, find the new batch of humans, specifically Clarissa. Jared won’t leave until he finds her and knows she’s going to be safe. In another part of this unholy place, Goran has entered with the human army. In their hurry to be heroes, they rushed into a trap and they are all out cold. Well all but Goran, he’s fighting the attackers and Serus is on his way to help.
Cody and Tessa find they need to get the current Council members up and functioning in order to vote out the retired members who had been woken. Those elders coming back into power is not an option, they need to be stopped. That’s when the discover an anomaly. Terry claims to be a deceased Councilman’s son, but Tessa senses something wrong with him. Something too innocent for his age, too unaware, very likely a clone. Leaving Terry with Jameson they step outside for some air only to discover the attack they were waiting for was coming.
This is a favorite scene.
Tessa stood in the open doorway, watching as the wave of vamps approached. They were minutes out. She knew everyone was scurrying to safety below. It was like a bad movie. She should be slamming the doors shut, but all she could think about was that there had to be a better way.
Sure, David had gone to get the gas and that was a great idea – if the gas gave a shit who got caught up in its spray.
No, there were rumblings in the back of her head that were not clear enough to understand. She thought it might be both Deanna and Hortran screaming at her to run. If she died – they died. And that wasn’t what they wanted either.
Back inside, she shut down the double doors and raced up to the apartment at the top. Beast stayed with her. She’d lost Cody, who was helping to search the upstairs and make sure everyone was down safe below.
Everyone but her.
And why is that, Cody asked in her head. Why is it that everyone is going below and you’re going up.
I can’t help but think that if everyone is below and they blow up the building up, everyone dies.
What? He cried out in alarm. We’re deliberately sending them below to safety.
Then someone, Sian maybe, needs to lead everyone through to the tunnels. In case the building does go down.
She could hear his thoughts spin.
Okay, I’ll send everyone forward. If this is going in that direction, it is better to be safe. We do have a lot of injured here though that can’t be moved.
I know she said softly. And that’s maybe what they are counting on.
Motre is searching the various floors and sending everyone below. David has the gas hooked up, but he needs me here so you can tell me when they get into the building.
I can do that.
Are they close?
One hundred meters, less.
Give me the countdown as I’m now standing right beside him.
She watched, knowing the timing was everything. The ground was black as they ran toward the Hall.
Ten. Nine. Eight. Seven. Six. Five.
Several men started to scramble up the stairs, a feral look of hate on their faces. She lifted her gaze to the horizon.
Dozens of flyers.
What? Cody roared. Damn it, Tessa, get out of there. It’s not safe.
I’m as safe as anyone at this moment, she said.
No, you’re not. His voice roared through her head.
Three. Men started to pour into the Hall.
Two. She could see the back end of the black wave. They were almost all inside.
As the last tumbled through the double doors, she dropped down to the front entrance and shut the doors then screamed, One!
And she jumped to the windowsill on the first floor and climbed her way up to where Beast waited for her. Did it work? She watched from the apartment deck, knowing the flyers were approaching. She had already chosen a hiding spot out on the deck, up between the rafters. She moved into position. She didn’t know how fast the gas would take effect or if it was even the killing kind.
She hoped so.
Having to skewer all those men would be horrific and emotionally deadly.
But there were dozens of flyers landing around her now. So far, no one had seen her. Beast was inside the apartment and the doors were wide open.
They should see him as one of them.
He was, after all, their creation.
But not all creations were thankful for the master’s handiwork. Beast wanted to rip their heads off – he was just waiting for the chance.
She’d happily give it to him, but on her terms. Not a wild bite fest.
The vamp closest to him snorted. “They made some really ugly specimens, didn’t they?”
As if understanding, the tempo of Beast’s snarl deepened. The vamp snorted and walked past. “Good thing they are on our side.”
“Still, don’t trust them,” another flyer said. “They creep me out.”
“Not to worry. The specimens die after a few days. They’re a weapon with a short life term.”
Tessa sucked back her breath. Beast was going to die? On his own? No, her mind screamed. That wasn’t fair.
She’d come to love that dog…wolf…whatever it was. He had heart. And he was different. She could relate to both of those. And she’d do her damnedest to save him. If possible.
But it would have to wait until they got through this mess. If they got through.
She took a deep breath and locked her arms, making them stronger to keep her in position above the men.
She slipped into her mind and powered up all that energy that she’d accessed before. She could sense Hortran’s approval and Deanna’s frustration.
They were both waiting for her to do something, but she knew she had to be in the right space mentally to make this natural and…easy.
She’d been running hot when she’d walked through the hallway and wiped out all the enemy. Then it had happened naturally. But right now she hadn’t been fighting, wasn’t on alert, and…was more tired than she remembered being in a long time.
Therein lay the problem.
Digging deep, she spread her energy outward, thin yet vibrant. She stretched far and wide, connecting to the ceiling, the walls. Where she connected physically, she blended on an energetic level. Then spread out more. Inside the wood, inside the metals, through the air to each of the men below. As she reached for them, she released a deep sigh and released her breath, then flicked each of the flyers in the heart.
One by one, they fell.
“Whoa, Jake?” One man on the rooftop raced inside. “What’s wrong?”
Tessa continued to stretch, to float through the air, intent on sprawling to the skies, feeling a weightlessness in her inner being. She was connected, to nature, to the inanimate objects, the animate objects. Beast lay down on the floor below her. She was careful to connect in a loving way. When he rolled over onto his back, she caressed his belly. His tongue lolled to the side. She pulled down and gave him a warm hug then carried on to the other side where a half dozen flyers were staring down over the rooftop, oblivious to the silent attack behind them. She swept out a long strand of energy and sent bolts into their hearts. One by one, silent and lethal, they dropped to the rooftop. Dead.
From her hiding position, she searched for signs of life. And found her rooftop empty. She started to lower herself down when something stopped her. She froze, her senses tingling.
Cody was approaching.
Where are you? he asked.
Can you see me?
I can…I see something. It’s me.
I’m here, there, and everywhere.
I see a rooftop littered with bodies. Are you hurt? he asked in a sharp voice.
No, she said softly. I’m fine.
He landed. She could feel his arrival like a ripple into her energy field as he was absorbed into them, one of her. Part of her. One with her. As always.
She slowly unhooked herself from the roof and stretched, feeling herself, soul, heart moving outward.
Calm. Controlled. Endless.
“Hey,” Cody stood in front of her. “You sure you’re okay?”
She gave him a sweet smile. “I feel great. Do you know how everyone is down below?”
“I doubt anyone is left alive,” he admitted. “I just hope our people are safe.”
“They feel like they are. I can sense life way below us,” she said in a low tone as she walked to the edge of the roof. She felt odd. Spacey. Not bad, but light. Connected to the universe around her. And it was so damn special.
“We need to go to the source of where they came from. Are you up for that?”
She closed her eyes and turned in the direction the wave of vampires had come from. The energy was thick and dark but very easy to track.
“Let’s go,” And she dropped over the roof to the ground several stories below.
“Wait,” Cody roared. “You can’t fly.”
Cody flew over the edge to the vast space below, his heart hammering in shock. She’d just jumped over. For a glider, that was a crazy ass distance. For anyone else, it was suicide.
Her laughter floated toward him. He shook his head. His own knees were crying out at the landing she had coming up.
He flew lower, faster, intent on swooping down and grabbing her before she hit hard, only to find she was floating down gently. She landed softly then called up to Beast, “Jump.”
And in shock, Cody watched as Beast jumped off the rooftop apartment with a complete lack of fear. Cody flew up, snagged him mid-fall, and lowered the massive animal to the ground.
“You didn’t expect him to land softly, did you?” Cody asked, turning to study Tessa. She had a distant look in her eye. “Or did you learn to fly in a way that not even I can? And then have the dog fly with you.”
“I don’t know what I expected. I just know that it was all going to be fine. And it was.” She smiled. “He might have landed okay, I might have saved him, but neither instance had a chance to happen as you stepped in and changed it.”
Mayer, Dale. Vampire in Charge (Family Blood Ties Series Book 10) (Kindle Locations 1218-1289). Valley Publishing Ltd.. Kindle Edition.
That wasn’t the end though, Tessa and Cody follow the energy from the army they just destroyed to the source.
Meeting up again with her family, Ian, Wendy, Goran and Jared, they reiterate the need for them to return to Council Hall before the elders take back control. Goran and Jared find Clarissa, attached to machines and unconscious like all the other humans they found there. Jared won’t leave her side, not this time.
It’s at Council Hall that things get even more tense and intriguing as this book begins to wrap everything up. Deanna and Hortran leave a very interesting legacy for the council to discover as well.
Another action-paced, suspenseful read with a touch of romance. The perfect ending to this series.
5 Contented Purrs for Dale!
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Dale Mayer is a USA Today bestselling author best known for her Psychic Visions and Family Blood Ties series. Her contemporary romances are raw and full of passion and emotion (Second Chances, SKIN), her thrillers will keep you guessing (By Death series), and her romantic comedies will keep you giggling (It’s a Dog’s Life and Charmin Marvin Romantic Comedy series).
She honors the stories that come to her – and some of them are crazy and break all the rules and cross multiple genres!
To go with her fiction, she also writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system. She has recently published her Career Essentials Series. All her books are available in print and ebook format.