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Gabriel frowned as they came upon the only empty cell. He paused and peered inside. A picture of a young woman was taped to the cold handle of the cell.
“What is this about?” he demanded.
The mortals cringed; some threw their hands up protecting their faces in anticipation of a blow. Gabriel sighed and tugged at his short hair. His tone had been sharp, but he would never lash out at them. He knew too well what they had been through.
The girl tugged on his shirt. “That’s the one they talk about.”
“Is she here somewhere?”
The girl wet her cracked, chapped lips and answered, “No.”
“Did they take her?”
“She was never here.”
Gabriel shrugged off the oddity. He needed to lead the group to the emergency stairwell. As he turned away from the cell, rays of white moonlight danced across the photo, drawing his attention once more.
He froze, the air punched out of his chest as ruthless chills attacked his nervous system. He felt as though he had fallen through the ice of a frozen lake. His heart hammered as he slowly lifted his hand, his fingers gently brushing the photo.
Those eyes. He had never seen electric violet eyes like hers. They glowed and… pierced his soul. Gabriel swallowed hard as he studied her delicate features, his gaze lingering a moment on her lush, slightly parted lips. She was looking over her shoulder, brushing aside her long, thick, deep red hair. His gut twisted and his fingers began to tremble against the photo as realization pulled him even further beneath the icy surface.
She was going to be their next victim. This was to be her cage.
Gabriel roared and ripped the photo from the cell. The humans behind him cried out in fear, some glanced back towards their chambers.
“Do you know when they will kidnap her?” he barked, his fangs long, his eyes no longer translucent green, but pure, murderous black.
“No, they never spoke of…they keep records. They document all the…” The girl dropped her head and massaged her temples as if she was trying to force herself to remember. “'Findings'. That’s what they call those they plan on taking. I remember when they brought my mother and me here. They had a folder full of pictures and documents. One man said they had been watching us…for a long time.”
The girl’s sniffle tore at Gabriel’s heart. He hoped to God that Silvie was strong enough to remove all her terrible memories.
He needed to focus on the task at hand. Thrusting his rage aside for later, he spun about and headed for the emergency exit.
“We’ve got to get moving. We haven’t much time. For those of you who are having second thoughts and are considering returning to your cells, it will become your tomb. Explosives are being set as I speak. This warehouse will burn.”
With a swift kick, the bolted door swung open and he led the way down the winding stairs, the skittish humans close on his heels. Once on street level, he busted the sealed emergency door open ushering the people from the building to a line of waiting vans.
The sound of footsteps pricked his ears and he dipped his head back into the stairwell. Gannon was coming down with his group. He clapped the vampire on the back as he passed.
Their mission had been a success. Gabriel wished he had time to stick around to see Ven’s face when he arrived, but they had a few more places to hit.
“All set. The office was swept clean and no casualties.” Gannon gave a short laugh, “On our side, anyway.”
Gannon nodded and glanced down at his watch. “We made it out with time to spare. The last van is leaving, we should―”
“Go if you wish. I want to see this place burn.”
Gannon waved the van on, deciding to stay with his friend. He was not about to leave Gabriel alone; they had been a team for the last almost hundred and fifty years and that was not going to end tonight.
His eyes flickered back to his watch and narrowed as he caught sight of the photo in Gabriel’s hand.
Gabriel handed him the picture. “It was taped to the door of an empty cell.”
“Shit,” he whispered as chills broke out across his skin, “she is stunning.”
Gabriel grunted in agreement before reclaiming the photo and tucking it safely into the inside breast pocket of his black leather jacket. “We need to find her.”
“Find her? What makes you think Ven or Boras don’t already have her?”
“That cell was meant for her.”
“Gabriel, I don’t think―”
“Do you have any idea what they will do to a woman like her? She won’t just be a bleeder, having her blood taken from her against her will. She will be a sex slave, sold to the highest bidder, and you can bet that vamp will be a twisted bastard.”
Gabriel’s hands curled into fists, his nails biting into his palms, his arms shaking. Blood dripped from his fists, giving color to the pure snow. His eyes slowly faded to black, his fangs bursting from their sheaths, and hate radiated from his every pore.
He knew exactly what would happen to her once she was in their custody. It would be the same that happened to him centuries ago.
Images of his past clouded his mind. He had been captured in battle, then forced to watch as his enemies cut down his people, burned their village, and repeatedly raped his wife before finally cutting off her head. He had stood proud on the auction block, though his body was scarred and bleeding. Perhaps the scent of fresh, young blood had drawn the sadistic Lady Sideth to him.
Caressed by the Edge of Darkness
Hardened by centuries of torture, former blood slave, Gabriel Erhard, is driven by an insatiable need to destroy his enemies. Violence darkens his battered soul, leaving no place for mercy in his world. Gabriel’s only desire is vengeance—until he finds her.
Seized by vampires, bound as a slave, and placed on the auction block, Jordan Culver is instantly entranced by the dangerous male who claims her. Jordan’s new captor vows to set her free, but his haunted gaze burns with savage desire and his wicked kiss makes her crave his touch and...complete surrender.
While Gabriel battles his enemies, he will break every sacred law to achieve his ultimate goal—uniting the Outcast Society and creating a new vampire Clan. But the distracting human with mesmerizing violet eyes jeopardizes his plans. With every soft whisper she evokes his tormented memories, testing his sanity and challenging his every boundary. Can Jordan help him overcome the miseries of his past and find a future with her?