Paint For Blood
Emily Ryan - DavisThere’s only one substance on earth that can create a new vampire--the blood of a Chalice, a rare individual with magic in her veins. Atlanta’s human-vampire Civility Laws demand that if a Chalice is found, she must be destroyed. Vampire Teijon Reyes allowed the mortal girl Dessa Collier to live despite the threat she posed to society. If he ever finds her again, he will kill her, personal desires be damned.Heiress to a family tradition of ward-working, house painter Dessa Collier has spent the past twelve years pretending vampires don't exist. When a friend-enemy walks back into Dessa’s life after a decade-long absence, everything Dessa has been hiding from comes crashing down on top of her.Thrown together on a mission to protect a city under seige, Dessa and Teijon can no longer hide from the powerful attraction that binds them...or the monsters out to destroy them
The book within the book
By Emily Ryan - Davis
I wrote a book about vampires--vampires who fear, vampires who love, vampires who want nothing more than the right to exist another day…and vampires who read.
That book is called PAINT FOR BLOOD (Emily Ryan-Davis, copyright 2012), and this is an excerpt from it:
Teijon smothered his urge to possess and destroy and concentrated on locating Nikolnikov.
Location wasn’t difficult. Scent led him through the worst of the twisted way. Light guided him the remainder of the journey. He found Nikolnikov in a deep underground pocket of stone and earth. The old vampire put his e-reader aside when Teijon ducked beneath the low, arched entrance.
“Few find their way this deep into the mountain.” Nikolnikov gestured toward a low seat fashioned of water-worn rock. “Most call.”
“I don’t have time for you to crawl top-side and check your messages. Marcus is slipping his leash. How is that possible?”
Nikolnikov frowned at his hands. “First-life humans possess a drive to live that we don’t understand anymore. Their drive is different than ours. You and I, we want to survive. Humans… they want to thrive. Experience. Feel. I told Melisse she wouldn’t be able to hold him forever. I told her and I told that human council.”
Teijon’s spine went cold. “They didn’t believe you.”
“No. They believed me. They didn’t care. Melisse decided she would hold Marcus and hold Atlanta as long as she could through him. She intended to find another way to hold on before Marcus’s human drives threw off her shackles.”
“He’s thrown them off now. She doesn’t have a plan, does she?”
Nikolnikov rolled his shoulders back. “She might but even if she does, it will be a temporary stopgap. We weren’t meant to be part of a hive mind. We may be pack animals, but we’re pack animals with independent minds. In retrospect, I fear the Civility Laws were a mistake on our part. We agreed to bury our souls for peace but we’re not peace-thriving creatures. We’re not human anymore.”
Across from him, Nikolnikov appeared gaunt in the dim light. Death could have been responsible but probably not. The other creature was tired of living.
Puzzled, Teijon said, “You’re finished with this world. Why did you hunt her for life?”
“My survival instincts remain strong. You know it as well as anybody after your years in the unbound territories. You came back and surrendered your fangs for the sake of survival. Now you know you need to reclaim them for the same purpose. Atlanta will not continue as it has gone.”
“The city cannot fall,” Teijon said.
“Why? How does this alliance with humans better their lives or ours? Our protected existence creates for them a slow, never-realized death as we feed under regulated terms. It creates for us a slow, never-realized life as our instincts are suppressed and our appetites stolen. You see monstrosity in violence and struggle. I see monstrosity in this unnatural prison. Take your freedom, Teijon Reyes, or you will become a monster without even a name.” Nikolnikov retrieved his e-reader and woke it from sleep mode.
Teijon stared at him for long moments, his blood turned to ice by Nikolnikov’s cold prediction. The inevitability of Atlanta’s fall froze his spine, cycled through his skull.
“The Chalice,” he said, refusing to be dismissed. “If she is destroyed, will Atlanta stand?”
“Which reply do you want from me? The one that will give you strength to destroy her or the one that will justify your need to protect her?” Now Nikolnikov raised his eyes, met and held Teijon’s stare. “Would you rather a safe existence without her or an uncertain existence with her? Can you spill her blood with something besides your fangs?”
Teijon’s jaw flexed as a sense of inevitability burned through the ice that chilled him. He could no longer dodge the choice he had to make.
Nikolnikov never did tell me what he was reading. What do you think he has loaded on his device? Something fluffy? Something grim?
And what do you currently have queued up on yours?
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