Saturday, August 30, 2014

Her Vampire's Promise: A Romance In Central City, Novella One by Jordan K. Rose

Her Vampire's Promise: A Romance In Central City, Novella One by Jordan K. Rose

Raging Fire Kills Co-Founder, Daughter.
Panthera Laboratories in Ruin.
~ Central City Gazette, 1994

Reade Hayes knows better than any vampire that nothing good ever comes out of Central City. So he isn’t surprised the beautiful blonde he meets in a dive bar is crazy. What does surprise him is how fast she moves, how hard she hits, and the fact she’s wearing a ring he last saw two decades ago on the hand of his dead friend.

Is it possible the little girl he swore a blood pact to protect didn’t die in the fire? If the beauty sitting beside him is that pretty little baby, where has she been for twenty years? And why is she so lethal?

On hindsight Lawrie Tyrone realizes drinking vampire blood might not have been the smartest decision. But scientists experiment and if she is going to prove her father was not a traitor, she has to take risks. So far she’s experienced no alarming side effects, well, none other than being able to recognize vampires walking among humans.

From the power he exudes to his gorgeous dark eyes everything about the man to her right screams danger. Every logical thought tells her to kill him. But something in his eyes stops her. Is he using his vampire powers to influence her, or is something else making her heart ache for him?

Can love thrive in the ruins of Central City?


Reade wished he’d thought twice about returning to this dump. The stale stink of cigarettes clinging to the walls and furniture assaulted him the moment he opened the door. He’d known better than to agree to take the assignment with Garrison, but curiosity had him crawling back for more. And here he sat in the same dingy bar where he’d wasted many a night in Central City.
“Make fun of me because I’m not as smart as them. We’ll see who has the last laugh.” The woman sitting on the barstool beside him shook her head. “Jackasses.”
He watched the bartender refill his shot glass. Maybe it wasn’t curiosity. If he were honest with himself, he’d have to admit it was the idea of having one more chance at vengeance. Twenty years was a long time to wait. It was a long time to think about what he’d do if opportunity came knocking.
“When my moment comes, they’ll rue the day they laughed.” She snatched a handful of nuts from the bowl in front of her. “Then the tables will turn. Then they’ll see who’s the dog.”
He’d been warned about coming back here. Nothing good ever came out of Central City anymore. That’s what he’d been told. But the warning didn’t stop him. He had to come. He'd do anything for one more chance to make it right.
“Treat me like I’m stupid. Act like I can’t possibly understand basic chemistry. I know the periodic table.” She smashed her fist onto the bar, cracking open the peanut shell.
In the last several weeks the desire to have his revenge burned hotter than it had in two decades. It festered deep in his gut, burning and screaming for release. He hadn’t felt this much angst since the incident. 
“And I’m not afraid. Wait. Just wait until they learn what I’ve done.” She picked the peanuts out of the shell. “Then they'll be sorry.”
He wished he hadn’t sat beside the pretty blonde. Problem was he’d always been a sucker for long hair and big boobs.
But even his two favorite attributes couldn’t make up for her nonstop bitching.
“Huh, tell me I’m not good enough. They told me I’m not one of them. They said I don’t belong.” She sucked hard on her straw once again, swallowing the last mouthful in her glass. “I’m smart enough. Smarter than they know. I’ve memorized things. Important things. I’ll show them.”
If the bartender would turn around from the ball game on the television, he’d be more than happy to buy her another fruity concoction. Maybe it would keep her quiet for five damn minutes.
Why had Garrison picked this dump? The guy always loved the crummiest places. It wasn’t as if meeting in the coffee shop down the street wouldn’t have worked. He was certain there was only one person left in Central City who’d recognize them, and that person rarely left Panthera.
There had been talk of something happening at Panthera. New buildings being built. Production facilities ramping up. Possibly a state of the art laboratory. The company hadn’t produced anything worthwhile since one of the cofounders was killed in the explosion all those long years ago. If there was action now, Reade knew it was not to his benefit.
Staking out Panthera was the perfect job for him.
“I’m not good enough? I’m just as good as any of them.” She slapped her hand onto the counter top, then crossed her arms over her chest. “I’m not afraid. I’m not the one who hypothesizes but doesn’t act. I’ll show them. When I’m through, they’ll never doubt me again.”
Her foot tapped furiously against the leg of his barstool. The rapid banging was beginning to annoy him more than her babbling.
“Family first? Oh, well, that all depends on how you define family. With a family like this, who needs enemies?”
He pushed his seat over a couple inches.
Her head snapped to the right. “What? I’m not good enough for you either?”
Reade shook his head and didn’t bother to look in her direction. No sense in fueling her ire. “You can’t pick your family.” When he raised his shot glass to his lips the smell of very cheap whiskey assailed his nostrils, and he knew what he was about to taste wasn’t what he’d ordered.
“No, but the smart ones get away.” She stared into her empty mug. The remaining few drops of her red girly drink pooled in the bottom, too small an amount for her to suck up into the straw, though he enjoyed watching her try. “They escape. The rest of us die slow deaths.” 

1 comment:

  1. This looks right up my alley. Thanks for the great review. I love that it has a science angle.


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