Thursday, December 27, 2012
A Sneak Peek at NIGHT HAWK
Selling your soul has never been so charming and Mark throws in a little something to sweeten the pot, his girlfriend Naomi.
Sentenced to death at the hands of a demon, Naomi Hawk has a firsthand lesson in despair and betrayal in Mark’s deal for fame with all the trimmings. Deep in the clutches of the underground brotherhood, Naomi's light is coveted for the Master's gain.
Imprisoned in bottomless darkness, Naomi thirsts for justice…and revenge.
Chapter One - Naomi
I still remember the first night.
The full moon illuminated the landscape and I could see for miles from my perch. The eighty-floor drop left me dizzy and I stepped farther back into the wall. My heart thundered in my chest and the adrenaline warmed my skin against the frigid air.
“What are you waiting for?”
His growl yanked my gaze from the busy city street below to his dark and crazed eyes.
My tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth, dry as desert sand and I shook my head. I didn’t want to jump, no matter how horrifying death at his hands promised to be. The fear of dying by terminal velocity was just too great, cementing my feet to that small ledge.
“I can wait.” His evil laugh hung on the air, chilling whatever heat I had left right out of my bones and I clamped my jaw tight against the tears that threatened, leaving my vision warbled.
I slid farther away from the open window and the glistening blade in his hand. He ran it slowly along the brick, creating a screaming sound that made my teeth ache.
Either way, I was screwed. A flare of anger shot through the fear, adding to the tremor in my skin. Damn you Mark, why did you turn me over to these vultures?
Demon boy looked up at me and chuckled like he heard my silent question. His shaded gaze flashed red before it sank back to the sharp blade. “It was the only way my boss would honor his deal,” he muttered and glanced back at her. “His soul and your life and your boyfriend would have all the fame and fortune he could ever envision.”
“But why me?”
“Your life force is quite a delicacy.” The knife scraped against the brick again. “My boss has waited for centuries to taste the beating heart of a child of the light.”
“I don’t believe you. Mark would never sell me out.” I said, my voice shook with disbelief and I took another step away, but a gale caught me off guard and I teetered on the edge trying to grasp at the brick wall, but my hands were too cold to gain the purchase necessary to catch my balance. All it took was another wind gust and I fell, the scream barreling out of my mouth at the sudden weightless freefall.
I had a moment of satisfaction when the demon’s expression fell into fear tinted shock at losing what his master coveted.
Gravity pulled and my hair whipped across my face, blinding me to anything but streaks of light. I thought my heart would catapult out of my chest it beat so hard and I drew in a breath, waiting for the impact that would turn out the lights for good.
Pain bit around my waist and I was yanked from the descent by a strong grasp. A sharp cry ripped from my throat, and the sound of beating wings filled my world. Before I could focus on what had saved me from certain death, I was tumbling through space again, this time, the hard asphalt of a nearby roof bit into my skin and I rolled away.
When I got my bearings, I brushed the hair from my face in time to see a human form at the edge of the roof. A man in a dark overcoat stepped from the shadows, his intense glare fell on me and he licked his lips, revealing a sharp set of canines.
“Who are you?” I whispered and climbed to my feet. My legs shook under my weight, barely able to hold me up.
He smiled and stepped into the light.
“I’ve been watching you for a while.”
The mere thought of a fiend like him studying me from afar gave me the creeps. The movies always made it quite romantic to be the object of a vampire’s affection, but in reality all they wanted was an entertaining meal.
“Why?” I asked fumbling for the knife clasped to my belt. When my hand came up empty, he laughed, dangling the weapon from his fingers.
“You really think your little daggers will stop me?” He tossed the knife to the edge of the rooftop and stepped toward me.
Being a demon’s meal was bad, but being this bastard’s chew toy was worse, I would rather have been splattered on the pavement. I took another shaking step backwards, too aware of my near frozen condition.
“You didn’t answer my question,” I said, trying to stall him until I could maneuver close enough to dive for my weapons.
He stared me down with hard black eyes. Eyes no more distinct than the shadow he stepped out of.
“Why?” he replied. “Because I swore I’d destroy anything that demon bastard wants and you are at the top of that list. I’m sure he’s gutting his little lackey right now for losing you and he’ll be even more pissed when he finds out I’m the one that stole your life.”
The bitterness in his voice nearly quelled the fight in me, but when he stepped closer, my survival instinct flared and I ducked under his reach, swinging my fist, hoping to get a shot in, but my knuckles only grazed his hard cheek.
His vice-like grip clamped on my throat, pulling me close. The burn of his bite seized my muscles, his poison saturating my entire form with exquisite pain. Each beat of my heart hurt, and I screamed. He pulled away from my neck and stared into my eyes.
“My god, you are delicious,” he whispered, his voice laced with rough desire and before I could pull another breath in, his teeth ripped at my throat again.
My fading gaze landed on the arch of his neck and my scream morphed into a growl. I sank my dull human teeth through his skin and was rewarded with a gasp and the gush of black blood filling my mouth. He pressed me closer, still drinking from my throat and pressing my mouth to his. I tried to wiggle out of his grasp but he clamped down hard enough so I had no choice but to ingest his blood.
A wave of dizziness hit and he loosened his grip, stepping away from me. I crumpled to the ground, heaving the blood from my stomach, but I knew it was too late. I had already swallowed too much of the vile poison and no matter how much I threw up, I couldn’t stop the infection.
“I bet you never saw that coming,” I whispered and sent a glare in his direction.
He no longer held that smug look, instead his handsome face transformed into a mask of horror and his hand clamped his neck, the blood flowing freely over his fingertips.
As the infection spread, it crystallized my cells into a hard shell and transformed my senses into acute hunting weapons. The pain that had gripped me moments ago faded and I stood with a ravenous need. I ran my tongue over my teeth and winced at the cutting edges that would puncture steel if I so desired.
The human soul inside me cried at the injustice. I should be dead, but instead, I was now one of the undead all because the bastard before me decided to pluck the demon’s meal out of the sky.
I stepped toward him with a growl and his eyes widened, reflecting a blue as crisp as the fall sky and I stopped.
“You bit me,” he whispered, his voice unsteady and shaking.
“Did you think I’d just let you drain me dry without a fight?”
His hand dropped from his throat and he stared at the wet blood covering it before raising his gaze to me. “No one has ever bit me before,” he said.
I crossed my arms and studied him. “Sucks, doesn’t it,” I said. I couldn’t help it, the disbelief in his face made me want to laugh but I kept a check on my chuckle.
He blinked and then the smile that spread over his lips sent a shiver through me. Laughter followed, rich and full and as hypnotizing as his smile.
“Yes. It does,” he finally said and wiped at his neck again. The flow of blood had finally stopped and he glanced at me.
“You aren’t such a badass after all,” I said.
The menacing shadow was gone, replaced by a man barely out of his teens. I studied him, taking note of the uncomfortable shift along with his worried scan of the night around us. It took a minute to understand the hesitation in his gaze.
He glanced back at me, and I knew. This kid was scared shitless, but I wasn’t sure if it was me or something else.
“Why do I get the feeling you’re in trouble,” I said.
He laughed and caught my gaze, moving faster than I could blink and I found myself pressed to the wall by his incredibly hard body. His intense stare left me breathless, but this time, it wasn’t food he hungered for and he leaned in to kiss me.
I swept his feet out from under him and he landed on his back with a thud, surprise plastered across his face.
“Not going to happen.” I pointed at him. “You may have turned me into a monster, but that doesn’t give you the right to screw me any time you please.” I didn’t want to rely on any man, never mind a blood crazed vamp, no matter how good looking he was.
I swallowed, suddenly thirsty and my gaze dropped to the dried blood on his collar. I knew soon enough the thirst would overwhelm me but in that moment I swore I’d never become a shadow dwelling killer.
He climbed to his feet, brushing the roof grit from his jacket. “You’re mine now,” he said, trying to exude authority.
I laughed and crossed to the knives, picking them up and hesitating. The silver glinted in the moonlight and I sighed, running a fingertip down the length. The metal created a warm glow on my skin unlike anything I had seen before, but it didn’t penetrate and draw blood like it should have.
I understood his mocking of my weapons now and glanced over my shoulder at him. “No one owns me.” I sheathed both blades and turned toward him, ready for battle.