(Dark 15) Dark Secret by Christine Feehan


(Dark 15) Dark Secret by Christine Feehan

Author:Christine Feehan [Feehan, Christine]
Format: epub
Published: 2011-07-31T08:00:00+00:00



11

"Good evening, Rafael."

The silken evil in the crooning voice made Colby's breath catch in her throat. She jerked her head around to stare in horror at the monster standing at the edge of the clearing. "Paul!" A low cry escaped when she saw Paul held as a shield in front of the creature.

Her brother's eyes were wild with fear, his breath coming in gasps of dread. There were bruises on his face and lacerations on his knuckles. His shirt was torn and she could see marks on his chest. A powerful hand, corded with steely tendons, clutched his throat in an unbreakable grip. One long sharp fingernail pressed against Paul's jugular and, even from the distance, Colby could see the blood trickling down Paul's neck.

Rafael! Oh, God, what is it? She had never seen anything so unmistakably evil in all her life. It resembled a man, or something that had once been a man, but the tight, mottled purple flesh that clung to its skull appeared more dead than alive. Red eyes gleamed like burning coals out of the hideous face and long terrible fangs flashed in the lipless slash of the creature's terrible mouth. Dozens of serpents coiled around the monster's limbs, seemingly growing out of his flesh. Rows of sharp, piranhalike teeth filled the snakes' gaping jaws and they hissed and undulated with open menace.

One of the serpents, fully extended from the monster's arm, was slowly retracting back toward its master. Bright red blood covered the snake's awful head and Colby's dazed mind made the connection. The mutated serpent had attacked Rafael, its razored teeth slashing through the flesh of his back, driving straight toward his heart.

That is a vampire. Rafael's voice was edged with pain. How badly are you hurt?

He ignored her question. Do not draw its attention.

Even as he spoke the warning, the vampire's grip on Paul tightened. Her brother cried out and Colby held up her hand, wanting time to stop, wanting her world back the way it had been just moments before. "Don't." She made the plea softly as she got to her feet. Her gaze shifted to Rafael. She had no idea how he was still standing with a gaping hole in his back and blood running down his body.

I was so centered on you I did not feel his presence, querida. I have not made such a mistake since I was a youth. His voice was weary, but calm. Stay behind me where he cannot get a clear field of vision to you.

"Colby?" Paul sounded young and frightened.

The vampire shook him, digging his fingernail deeper so that the boy cried out in terror and pain. More blood trickled. With a small sob, Colby rushed forward. Rafael caught her as she tried to get past him and pushed her behind him.

Oh, God, Rafael, what about Ginny? They were at the house alone together while I was with you. There was guilt and fear in her mind.

Ginny is safe, fast asleep in her bed with her dog guarding her, Rafael reassured her.



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