Serial - The Beginning (Serial Vampire Saga Book 1)

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A round of applause please for narrator Jack Wallen , author of zombie novels extraordinaire. Expect the new audiobook to appear on virtual shelves by the end of August. Production on the Starlight audiobook continues apace. Work continues apace on the Starlight audiobook, due out later this year. Two ebook boxed sets are also available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble , collecting the 5 books in their current format. The Integrated Serial and Omnibus editions are to be phased out by February Target release date is May Enter to win at the Giveaway Page , or at Thrillingreads.

Offer ends 2 Mar Other distributors to follow. WIP continues. Now up to 21, words. After a long hiatus, WIP continues. Now up to 26, words. Target length extended to , words. Working title restored to Azimuth. March 25, first draft completed. It held my attention from start to finish. Three volume trade paperback and hardcover editions available from Amazon. Free Book! Download Now! Kind of quiet. Eric shrugged. I never thought he was the settling down type. Emma gave up on her dress and looked back up.

Nice work there. My dress is ruined. They landed ungracefully, sending more water up over the edge and onto the patterned tile. Emma laughed in triumph and threw her arms around him. He started to complain but soon discovered it was hard to with Emma pressed up against him. Uncaring of the others around, she kissed him, and Eric found the feel of her body, with its tightly clinging dress, was better than alcohol for forgetting his worries. He jerked her closer, running his hand over her hip.

Eric hesitated, thinking that might be a very good idea. Then, out of the corner of his eye, he caught the longed-for glimpse of shining gold hair. Rhea Daniels was here after all. On her face, he saw…what? Reluctantly pulling away from Emma, he got his first good look at just how much her wet dress revealed.

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He began climbing out of the pool. Be right back. Once she was on her way to the bar, Eric hurried inside the house, hoping he could find Rhea in its labyrinthine setup. Others wandered through, either chatting or seeking privacy, but there was no sign of Rhea. He passed the kitchen, filled with bustling staff who were still working hard to keep up with the demand for appetizers and liquor.

Eric offered his thanks and ran toward the wing of the house she directed him to. Visiting feeders at a party like this was strange. Most people—including Eric—had fed beforehand. Hearing his footfall, she paused in the doorway. Those golden-green eyes widened in surprise. Seeing her in full light now, he was astonished at just how beautiful she was. And that hair, oh that hair. Rhea stared. It was only the totally stupid nature of his question that allowed her to quickly gather herself. Rhea put one hand on her hip. Another awkward pause hung between them. Finally Rhea turned toward the room.

Why show interest now? There was a Moroi attendant on duty who seemed as surprised as Eric that she was there. The guy marked her off on the list that tracked how often Moroi fed and looked astonished when she asked how he was doing tonight. Rhea had a feeling that most of the royals around here tended to treat the servants like furniture.

Rhea smiled and thanked him before walking down the rows of cubicles that sequestered the feeders. At a busier feeding time, all the spaces would have been full, but with the party going on, only a few of the cubicles were occupied. Some of the humans read while waiting for Moroi to come by; others simply stared off into space, blissfully gone on the high of a vampire bite. It was the rush all these humans lived for. The Moroi also took care of them, giving the humans plenty of food and comfortable accommodations.

He smelled like chlorine and was dripping puddles with each step. Nonetheless, she still found him oddly attractive, which frustrated her. He always asks for me to come back to him. The look Eric gave her told her that he thought it was all ridiculous.

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Dennis was one of the humans simply content to stare off and do nothing until his next fix. But as soon as he saw her, he straightened to attention, nearly leaping out of his chair. Rhea sat down in the chair beside him. She felt the smile creeping back to her lips. He was only a little older than her, but there was something cute and childlike about him. She always wanted to pat his messy brown hair back into place.

Dennis frowned, apparently trying to decide if that was true or not. It was easy for feeders to lose track of time. Dennis turned back to her, and seeing her face, his expression softened. He sighed happily. Like you. She shook her head ruefully. She was used to his dreamy behavior, but Eric seemed offended by it. Like so many, he regarded feeders as objects. Dennis eagerly tilted his neck, giving her full access.

The skin there might have been smooth once, but now it was covered with the faint bruises of constant biting. Still, Rhea had no trouble sinking her fangs into his flesh and drinking the warm, sweet blood that was as essential to her survival as the solid food she ate. Dennis managed a small, happy sigh, and both of them shared a minute or so of total joy.

When she finished and pulled away, Dennis turned to her with bright, ecstatic eyes. He always made that offer, but Moroi were trained from an early age about the strict limits to how much they could take. It was what allowed these humans to survive the constant feedings. Rhea wiped her mouth and rose. Dennis started to stand as well and then sank back down, addled by the dizziness that usually followed a feeding.

Dennis looked unhappy about this, like usual, but reluctantly nodded in acceptance as she left. Eric followed in her wake, thoughtful and quiet, but suddenly burst out at her the second they stepped back into the hall. Startled, she stopped so quickly that he bumped into her. They both froze at that contact, and then he hastily stepped back.

The way he looked at you. And you made your feelings about me clear earlier. A sudden panicked look crossed his face. A moment later, he smoothed his features back to pseudocalmness. You saw him out there in thepool. And I was out having fun too, you know. I had a drink. I danced. She really had been out there in the thick of the party, trying to share in his wild side just as he sometimes attempted her more decorous behavior. Stephen certainly excelled at making a spectacle of himself, but he did have a quieter side.

He raked a hand through his platinum hair. Forget it.

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Just be careful with Dennis. Go use a different feeder next time. He sighed and seemed to be working hard to control his temper.

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His eyes suddenly lifted to something beyond her. Like Eric, she was dripping water everywhere. Rhea arched an eyebrow and toyed with the idea of contradicting him. It was nothing Rhea wanted to get involved in, so she allowed him his lie. Eric put on a big smile, catching Rhea by surprise. In their brief acquaintance, his few smiles had always been small or melancholy. But this…this smile went a long way to win Emma over, and even Rhea felt her breath catch a little. He walked past her and put an arm around Emma, leaning his face close to hers.

She cuddled up against Eric and made some vague good-bye to Rhea. Rhea watched the two of them stroll off, whispering and laughing, and was surprised to feel a pang of sadness inside her chest. Why should she care what this Eric guy said or did? Resolved, she started to head upstairs toward her room. A moment later, she reconsidered and decided to tell Stephen good night. Unsurprisingly, he was still outside, in the center of the party.

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Vampires liked Chile in the winter because of the shorter sunlight, but the night was growing increasingly chilly. Liquor could only warm you up so much. The story involved vodka and ferrets. Rhea smiled in spite of herself and waved at him as she emerged from the house. Catching sight of her, he gave her a big grin and put his story on hold.

He reached out for a dripping hug. This time, his sad expression was real. You could help. His face softened slightly. As far as she could tell, she was the only one he ever showed that side to. He seemed to take comfort from her, like he needed to express his softer side in order to balance that other rowdy part of him. They were both used to having the other around.

He squeezed her hand—his was wet, naturally—and then gave her another quick kiss before returning to his audience. She seemed much more interested in helping take his clothes off than discussing what had happened with Rhea, particularly since neither of them ended up putting on dry clothes or returning to the party. The sounds of the party outside wound down. It was getting pretty late for the Moroi and he knew the dark-tinted windows would eventually be lightening, sending most of his friends to bed.

He stared at the ceiling, growing more and more sober, thinking about Rhea Daniels. And really, it made no sense. Aside from those first few moments when they met, the two of them had yet to have a friendly conversation. Who cared if she was touchy about everything? If she wanted to keep picking a fight, that was her problem. Who needed the sun if you were around her? No, more than that.

Someone who actually cared. Rhea paid attention to people, to individuals. He finally fell asleep, only to wake to a pounding headache. Emma, as always, displayed no symptoms of a hangover. She gave him a long, lingering kiss and tugged back on her still damp dress, promising to meet up with him in an hour to get blood before the next set of activities. When Eric joined Emma, she had changed and was as fresh and beautiful as ever, with no sign of her earlier disarrayed state.

Eric had discovered his own shower had erased most of his headache, and linking hands with her, he allowed himself to relax and make an effort to enjoy the day. The feeding area was much busier in the vampiric morning, since that was a preferred time to take blood. Someone came by with a stash of doughnuts pilfered from the breakfast buffet and passed the pastries out to the waiting group as appetizers to the blood.

When they reached the front of the line, Eric saw that a different attendant was on duty today. She marked their names on her list and waited for the next opening. Let someone else in line go. The attendant started to protest—probably not liking someone dictating her job—but after a moment, she just shrugged and waved in the next person.

Emma gave Eric a puzzled look, but another feeder became available before she could question him. When they finished, she immediately jumped on the topic while walking back to the main part of the house. The feeder thing? Why did you stop me? He was nuts. Total stalker obsessive type. I hardly know her—but after talking to that guy last night, I would have warned anyone away from him. Come on, Em.

What Jared had planned was a scavenger hunt. Once the guests those who had been able to get out of bed were gathered outside, their host explained the rules. Everyone would be divided into teams of two and be randomly given a clue. Emma gripped Eric so tightly that her nails dug into his skin, kind of reminding him of last night in bed. Did you see those cliffs on the other side of the island? Molly claims Jared goes rock climbing all the time. No way am I doing that.

Each person on the winning team gets one night in the suite. This was met with a mix of cheers and groans. Emma was one of the groaners until Jared drew her name along with a friend of hers named Fiona. Emma lit up and kissed Eric on the cheek. You and me are gonna be in that Jacuzzi tonight. Even a few guys looked interested in being paired with Eric, in the hopes of currying favor with his family. She was standing with Stephen on the far side of the lagoon, seeming to be in a good mood.

Stephen had done most of the talking, his pleasant face earnest and thoughtful while she simply listened. Now, hearing her name, Rhea became puzzled and scanned the crowd. Stephen nudged her and pointed over at Eric. Her gaze fell on him, and her eyes widened in shock. For a moment, he was confused. If she was going to be shocked, it should have been when she heard their names called—not when she saw him.

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Then he understood. Apparently not. Stephen grinned and motioned for her to go over to Eric. Biting her lip, she reluctantly walked over, looking as though each step was agony. Eric and Rhea said nothing to each other as more names were read off. As the rest of the group eagerly dispersed, Eric looked down at their slip of paper. She marched away from him, and he hurried to keep up.

Wordlessly she led him to the fountain. Delicate and made of marble, it was crowned with swans that poured water from their mouths. He and Rhea studied it for a while, trying to figure out what the next step was. Eric was the one who spotted it. A small piece of smooth, flat wood was embedded into a tiny gap in the sculpture. Words were engraved upon it.

Again, she took off, with Eric quickening his pace to stay with her. How do you know where everything is? At least not with him. Sure enough, they reached the conservatory, which was filled with windows showing breathtaking views of the ocean. Like before, Rhea interpreted it and started to leave, but Eric grabbed her arm. He sighed. What did I do this time?

Instead she answered his question with a question. And I…well, I kind of liked you not knowing. You talked to me like a real person…even if it was to yell at me most of the time. You go through lots of girls. Eric gaped, wondering just what kind of reputation he had. He held up a hand. You think about the servants. About that crazy feeder. Something different. I watched you guys earlier. You notice parts of him that no one else does, and he needs that. No one else cares about him that way.

Who worries about you or asks how you feel? Rhea averted her eyes, which he thought was a damn shame. He could easily lose himself in them. Stephen, silly as he might seem, did care about her. That much was obvious. He was dependent on her to listen to what he was afraid to tell others. Eric doubted Stephen returned the favor. I can see it all over you. He fully expected her to jerk away or maybe even punch or kick him. Instead she pressed closer, kissing him with an intensity that surpassed his own.

He was the one who broke the kiss, suddenly conscious of their situation. What was happening to him? How had this situation spun out of control so quickly with someone he barely knew? People will be coming through. Will you meet me later? Say at…eleven? Back by the fountain? At last, she nodded. Ecstatic, he kissed her one more time, wanting to leave on a high note. Emma stood in the doorway.

A few moments later, a breathless Fiona joined her. Emma, Eric, and Rhea stood frozen and stunned. Fiona, who had missed the incident, looked confused. Then, without a word, Emma turned and ran off. It was Rhea—still always compassionate about others—who spurred him to action. She nudged him. She needs you.

Forget the game. He hesitated, not wanting to leave Rhea, but he knew she was right. Are we partners now? Emma had been fast. She was nowhere in sight, so he went to the most logical place he could think of: her room. He stood outside knocking for five minutes, but no answer came. She could have been ignoring him or simply hiding somewhere else.

Dejected, he returned to his room, unwilling to face anyone else. He spent the rest of the day lying on his bed, counting the minutes until eleven. Over and over, he thought about Emma and Rhea, coming to a final conclusion. Around ten, he made another attempt to find Emma—and failed.

So he headed to the fountain to wait for Rhea, hoping to figure out at least one part of this mess. At eleven exactly, he sat on the ground next to the swans and waited. Almost an hour went by with no sign of her. Sad realization hit him. Really, he should have expected it. She was engaged to someone else, and Eric was an idiot to interfere with that. Dejected and embarrassed, he finally returned to the house, where he found Stephen sitting by the pool and drinking with friends from their school. Instead the other guy offered a friendly smile. Eric swallowed and shook his head.

Rhea had apparently kept earlier events secret. Um, hey, have you seen Rhea? I just wanted to congratulate her on us failing miserably. Rhea was so smart. She could have won that game, and Stephen had no clue. Someone gave him the location, and bracing himself for more rejection, he knocked on the door. No doubt she was sequestered with friends. But Rhea? What about her? He spent the rest of the night anxiously trying to get information about either girl and failing. The partying started up again, and he finally caught a glimpse of Emma in the crowd.

She made eye contact and then pointedly ignored him. She was okay. Mad, but okay. His sense of worry was growing, and he wished he could convince Stephen to share in it. He was stopped when two guardians came charging out of the house. Panic flooded him. He looked fierce like all guardians—but also annoyed. Zeklos would never let us hear the end of it. Then Dennis had burst out of the room, wild eyed, and everything had gone black. It was rocky and cramped, the uncomfortable ground only adding to her discomfort. At first, she could hardly make out anything, and then an opening in the stony walls became clearer.

She could see the twinkling of stars—and a dark shape blocking some of them out. Are you okay? Why are we here? They were all so busy. Rhea tried to get a glimpse of what was outside the cave. More ocean and trees—but a different view than that of the Zeklos beach house. Recalling the cliffs on the other side of the island, she had a good idea of where they were.

People will be worried. He shook his head anxiously. Keeping us apart. Now we can be free. Just you and me. But the crazed look in his eyes told her he was dead serious. Dennis was undaunted. The abrupt change in his facial expression made her cringe. Part of her wondered if she could just charge past him. I…I thought you were happy. What we needed. I know you want more. I want it now. She struggled against him, hating the way she touched him, but he was stronger. Do it now. His hands gripped her tighter, painfully so. Terrified, Rhea consented, biting into his neck almost before she realized what she was doing.

The blood tasted as sweet as ever, but she took no joy from it, not even when his hold on her loosened a little. Frantically, she wondered what she could do. What if she drank more than usual? What if she drank enough to incapacitate him? He might pass out. And yet…all the taboos and warnings came to her about feeding too much. She might accidentally kill him, turning herself into a Strigoi. He took the choice from her. With astonishing self-control, he broke away, his face radiant. He looked completely ecstatic—and dangerous.

I can give you everything you need. Something hit him in the back. Or, rather, someone. Eric Dragomir had crept into the cave, moving so quietly that neither Rhea nor Dennis had noticed. Glaring furiously, Dennis turned around and lashed out at Eric, slamming the Moroi into the wall. Rhea screamed. She would have expected Dennis to be mellow from the bite, but if anything he seemed supercharged, invincible in his high. Miraculously, Eric remained standing. He charged Dennis again, and the two became locked in a fierce hold that neither seemed to gain ground on.

Each struggled to shove away the other or at least get a punch in. Every so often Eric would manage to push Dennis back, and then Dennis would push Eric forward. Eric sweated, his teeth clenched as he tried to fight back. Neither were trained like guardians, and there was something very brutal and primitive about the fight. If she tried to hit Dennis, Eric might get pushed farther out. Still, there seemed to be no other options, and it would be better if she took action sooner rather than later. Running forward, she kicked Dennis in the leg, hoping to knock him off balance.

She did, but not enough to make him fall. He shouldered her away but lost a few steps to Eric. If she could keep distracting Dennis, Eric might be able to make progress again. Only, everything she tried seemed useless. Eric began moving closer to the edge once more. Then she caught sight of a rock sitting in the corner, a little smaller than a bowling ball. She and Dennis were similar in height, and gathering all her strength, she swung out with the rock and smashed it against his head. Eric reached for the man who had just been trying to kill him, face frantic.

Dennis screamed, trying desperately to hold on to solid ground—but failing. Realizing he might go over if he stayed at the edge, Eric thrust himself back to the cave, taking Rhea inside with him, away from the danger. Dennis disappeared over the edge, still screaming—and then a few seconds later, there was silence. Unbidden, she remembered his question from the conservatory, asking who was ever there to comfort her. He was as shaken as she was but putting on a good show for her.

Rhea had never seen anyone die before. Dennis had terrified her. Surely no one deserved to die like that. Swallowing, she focused on Eric again. No one knew anything. No one thought anything was wrong. I knew he had you. The guardians were still sweeping the house and not finding anything, and I remembered Jared talking about how he went rock climbing here.

I took a chance. Rhea had a good idea who that girl was but decided not to bring it up just yet. They thought he was too drugged to be dangerous. They figured he was just hiding somewhere on the grounds. Plus Stephen said you take walks by yourself all the time, so no one thought you and Dennis were connected. Eric was still running his fingers through her hair, and it felt like the most perfect thing in the world.

He still seemed shaken by what had happened but mustered a small smile. She stared up at him, hardly daring to believe anyone would do that much for her. A strange, wondrous feeling rose in her chest, and this time, she was the one who kissed him. It seemed so strange to be kissing in a place where death had just occurred before their eyes, and yet…it also seemed right.

They were alive. The kiss was alive. She wanted to keep kissing him forever and had a feeling he would have been happy to do the same. There were too many things to worry about, though. Horrible things. They had to get back and report what had happened. They had to…. She studied him, reminding herself that she barely knew him. What did she want? She and Stephen had been friends for a long time—almost like brother and sister.

Now she realized it did matter. Love had to be more than liking the other person. Eric had been right about her always looking out for others. Now, for once, she would do what she wanted. The way back down to the house actually had a well-worn trail, explaining why both Eric and Dennis had managed to reach this height. Halfway down, Eric stopped and stared at her, an awestruck look in his eyes. Even in moonlight…it looks like sunshine.

You know any of them? Vasilisa the Brave? Never heard of any Vasilisa. It wasn't that I had anything against the place. It was a nice enough country, with rainbow-colored architecture and vodka that could double as rocket fuel. I was fine with those things.

My problem was that the last time I'd been here, I'd nearly gotten killed on multiple occasions and had ended up being drugged and kidnapped by vampires. That's enough to turn you off to any place. And yet, as my plane began circling for its landing in Moscow, I knew coming back here was definitely the right thing to do. I leaned over him, just barely catching a glimpse of the famous multicoloured cathedral that looked more like something you'd find in Candy Land, not the Kremlin. To me, it was another tourist attraction, but to him, I knew it meant so much more. This was his homecoming, the return to a land he had believed he'd never see again in the sun, let alone through the eyes of the living.

That building, the cities here They represented more than that. They represented his second chance at life. Smiling, I settled back in my seat. I had the middle one, but there was no way it could be more uncomfortable than his. Putting a six-foot-seven-inch man by the window in coach was just cruel. He hadn't complained this entire time, though. He never did.

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Moscow was just a layover for us. You know, tundra. Polar bears. Dimitri turned from the window, and I expected to be chastised for furthering stereotypes. Instead, I could tell from his expression that he hadn't heard anything after "Siberia. None of it could compare to the radiance within him.

Do you think I squeezed his hand and felt a small pang in my chest. It was so unusual to see Dimitri uncertain about anything. I could count on my hand the number of times I'd ever witnessed him truly vulnerable. From the moment we'd met, he'd always stood out as one of the most decisive, confident people I'd known. He was always in motion, never afraid to take on any threat, even if it meant risking his own life.

Even now, if some bloodthirsty monster sprang out of the cockpit, Dimitri would calmly jump up and battle it while armed only with the safety card in his seat pocket. Impossible, dire fights were of no concern to him. But seeing his family after he'd spent time as an evil, undead vampire? Yeah, that scared him. I'd started off as his student, in need of his reassurance.

I'd graduated to become his lover and equal. Hell, you should've seen the party they threw when they thought you were dead, comrade. Imagine what they'll do when they find out you're actually alive. He gave me one of those small, rare smiles of his, the kind that made me feel warm all over. The only sights we saw in Moscow were inside its airport while we waited to catch our next flight. That one took us to Omsk, a middle-sized city in Siberia.

From there, we rented a car and made the rest of our journey on land-no planes went where we were going. It was a beautiful drive, the land full of life and greenery that proved all my tundra jokes wrong. Dimitri's mood fluctuated between nostalgia and anxiety as we travelled, and I found myself restless to reach our destination. The sooner we got there, the sooner he'd see he had nothing to worry about. Baia was a little less than a day's drive from Omsk and looked pretty much the same as it had on my last visit.

It was out of the way enough that people rarely stumbled across it by accident. If you found yourself in Baia, there was a reason. And more often than not, that reason had to do with the large number of dhampirs living there. Like Dimitri and me, these dhampirs were half-human, half-vampire.

Unlike Dimitri and me, most of these dhampirs had chosen to live apart from the Moroi-living, magic-wielding vampires-and instead mingled with human society. Dimitri and I were both guardians, pledged to guard the Moroi from Strigoi: the evil, undead vampires who killed to sustain their immortal existence.

Days were longer during this part of summer, and darkness had only just begun to fall when we reached Dimitri's family's house. Strigoi rarely ventured into Baia itself, but they liked to stalk the roads leading into town. The fleeting rays of sunlight ensured our safety and gave Dimitri a good view of the house.

Even once he'd turned off the car, he sat for a long time, gazing out at the old, two-story structure. Red and gold light bathed it, giving it the appearance of something otherworldly. I leaned over and kissed his cheek. He sat for a few moments in silence, then gave a resolute nod and put on the kind of expression I'd seen him wear into battle.

We left the car and had barely made it halfway through the yard when the front door burst open. Bright light spilled into the dusky shadows, and a young female silhouette appeared. If a Strigoi had sprung out and attacked, Dimitri would have had to respond instantly. But seeing his youngest sister stunned his lightning-fast reflexes, and he could only stand there as Viktoria flung her arms around him and began uttering a torrent of Russian words too fast for me to follow. It took Dimitri a few more shocked moments to come to life, but then he returned her fierce embrace, answering her back in Russian.

I stood there awkwardly until Viktoria noticed me. With a cry of joy, she hurried over and gave me a hug as tight as the one she'd bestowed upon her brother. I admit, I was almost as shocked as him. When we'd last parted, Viktoria and I hadn't been on good terms.

I'd made it clear I didn't approve of her relationship with a certain Moroi guy. She'd made it equally clear she didn't appreciate my input. It seemed now that was all forgotten, and although I couldn't translate the words she spoke, I got the impression she was thanking me for restoring Dimitri to her. Viktoria's exuberant arrival was followed by the rest of the Belikov family. Dimitri's other two sisters, Karolina and Sonya, joined Viktoria in embracing both him and me.

Their mother was right behind them. Russian flew fast and furious. Normally, a haphazard doorstep reunion like this would've made me roll my eyes, but I found myself tearing up instead. Dimitri had been through too much. We'd all been through too much, and honestly, I don't think any of us had ever expected to be sharing this moment. At last, Dimitri's mother, Olena, recovered herself and laughed while wiping tears from her eyes.

Through more tears and laughter, we made our way into the house and cozy living room. It too was the same as my last visit, surrounded in warm wood panelling and shelves of leather-bound books with Cyrillic titles. There, we found more of the family. Karolina's son, Paul, regarded his uncle with fascination.

Paul had barely known Dimitri before he struck out into the world, and most of what the boy knew came from fantastic-sounding stories. Sitting on a blanket nearby was Paul's baby sister, and another, much tinier baby lay sleeping in a bassinet. Sonya's baby, I realized. She'd been pregnant when I'd visited earlier that summer. I was used to always being near Dimitri's side, but this was a moment when I knew I had to yield him.

He sat on the sofa, and Karolina and Sonya immediately flanked him, wearing expressions that said they were afraid to let him out of their sight. Viktoria, irked at having lost a prime seat, settled down on the floor and leaned her head against his knee. She was seventeen, only a year younger than me, but as she gazed up at him adoringly, she looked much younger. All of the siblings had brown hair and eyes, making a pretty portrait as they sat together. Olena scurried about, certain we must be famished, and finally settled down when we assured her we were fine.

She sat in a chair opposite Dimitri, her hands clasped in her lap as she leaned forward eagerly. When I received the message, I thought it was a mistake. Or a lie. The same. You weren't truly The word hung in the air for a moment, casting a chill over the warm summer evening. For the space of a heartbeat, I couldn't breathe. I was suddenly far away from here, trapped in a different house with a very different Dimitri. He'd been one of the undead, with chalk-white skin and red-ringed pupils. His strength and speed had far surpassed what he had now, and he'd used those skills to hunt for victims and drink their blood.

He'd been terrifying-and had nearly killed me. A few seconds later, I began to breathe again. That Dimitri was gone. This one-warm, loving, and alive-was here now. Yet, before he answered, Dimitri's dark eyes met mine, and I knew he was thinking of the same things I was. That past was a horrible, difficult thing to shake. I was one of them. I did The radiant faces of his family turned sober. Beyond hope. Rose believed in me. Rose never gave up.

A new voice rang through the living room, and we all looked up at the woman who had suddenly appeared in the doorway. She was considerably shorter than me but carried the kind of personality that could fill up a room. She was Yeva, Dimitri's grandmother. Small and frail with wispy white hair, she was believed by many around here to be a kind of wise woman or witch.

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Serial - The Beginning (Serial Vampire Saga Book 1). by De La Torre, JC | Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc. Kindle Edition · $$ Includes Tax, if. From Book 1: “My legal name where I currently reside in the city of Liege, Belgium, in the year A.D., is Gaspar Valessi, but that is not my real name.

A different word usually came to my mind when I thought of Yeva, though it did sound a lot like "witch. He carefully wrapped her in his arms and murmured what I think was Russian for "grandmother. I knew I should just drop this subject, but something about Yeva always rubbed me the wrong away. I felt my jaw start to drop. Across the room, Dimitri caught my eye. Don't do it, Rose, his look seemed to say. Let it go. There was a glint of amusement on his face, as well as something that reminded me of our old teacher-student days.

He knew me too well. He knew if given half a chance, I would totally battle this out with his ancient grandmother. Likely I would lose. With a quick nod, I clamped my mouth shut. Okay, witch, I thought. You win this one.