Deathless Night Bonus Scene by L.E. Wilson
Copyright © 2019 by Everblood Publishing
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, email the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator,” at the address below.
All characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons – living or dead – is purely coincidental.
1 month later
Luukas stared at the lights of Seattle as he concentrated on his breathing. He took a deep inhale, then slowly released the breath, attempting to slow his heart rate as he focused on the sight before him. He had loved this city since the moment he set foot in it. And even in the state he was in, it would be remiss of him not to acknowledge she was even more beautiful after the invention of electricity. At this point in time, however, he couldn’t find any appreciation for the view that had always brought him peace.
With the side of his closed fist, he swiped at the bedroom window, foggy from the rain, though logically he knew it would do no good. He stared for long moments, emotions churning out of control. Closing his eyes, Luukas pressed both palms against the cool glass. Was he dreaming? It was difficult for him to decipher the prison of his mind from reality at times…
Still. After all these months.
Flashes of bloodstains and the stench of burning flesh assaulted his senses. His flesh. Luukas’s head fell forward, the sting of his fangs punching down as his fingertips slid along the smooth glass, trying to find something to anchor him in his new reality.
Slowly, gradually, the horrors faded. He lifted his head, and the city came back into focus.
Luukas took another deep breath. Then another. And another. It did little to calm his racing heart. Rubbing his damp palms on his bare thighs, he glanced over at his witch, asleep on the bed. The sun would be up soon, and she was passed out hard, oblivious to his loss of control. Her long hair was a dark cloud across her pillow, one arm flung out as though searching for him even in her sleep. He listened to her soft breathing as his eyes travelled over the smooth skin of her back and shoulders. Luukas matched his breath with hers, and finally, his racing heart settled into a more normal rhythm.
He felt that truth with every fiber of his being. It energized him and terrorized him both. Keira was his witch. And it shamed him that, at times, when he was in a particularly dark place, his broken spirit demanded retribution for the years of complete and utter hell she had put him through. Luckily, he was a mated vampire, and those instincts would never allow him to harm her.
Because she was also his angel. The one who had saved him from the hell of his own mind. Keira owned his heart, his body, and his soul, but perhaps not his mind. Not yet.
Today, he was grateful she slept. She worried about him, with good fucking reason, and she didn’t get as much rest as she should.
Turning on his heel, he left her naked in his bed and went to the closet to pull on a pair of flannel pants and a T-shirt. There was no need to wake her for this. He was barely holding it together as it was. If she were involved…
Barefoot, he padded silently out of the bedroom, shutting the door quietly behind him.
The warlock was waiting for him, sprawled casually in Luukas’s favorite armchair. Jesse’s appearance was much changed without the hooded robe he liked to hide within. But even in black dress slacks and a dark short-sleeved pullover shirt, his aura oozed power. He, like Luukas just moments before, stared out at the lights of the city, his golden eyes burnished with memories of other places and times. The fact that he was already inside the locked apartment caught Luukas off guard, though it shouldn’t have.
He walked past without acknowledging the warlock’s presence, trying—and failing—to ignore the chills that raced across his skin when the male rose and followed him into his glass-walled office. He hadn’t been this close in proximity to the other male since the night they sent the demons back to hell. And there’d been too much activity that night for anyone except Keira to notice his weakness.
When Jesse joined him inside, Luukas closed the door. He flinched when the latch clicked into place. The mechanism resounded in his eardrums loud as a bomb, and he had to remind himself of where he was. He left the lights off, not wanting to startle Keira if she happened to wake and came looking for him. Taking his seat behind the desk, he struggled to keep his hands from tightening into fists as he waited for the male to speak. Not that it would matter if he saw. The warlock could sense his fear. And it was nothing Luukas could help. But it was a matter of pride.
Jesse pressed the tips of his fingers together under his chin and regarded Luukas calmly. “So, we are doing this in secret?”
“For now.” His voice sounded sure and even, and for that much he was grateful.
A smile teased the corners of the warlock’s mouth. “There’s no need for such subterfuge, vampire.”
Vampire. Luukas repressed a shudder as shards of ice slid up and down his spine. Flashes of terror, too sharp and too horrifying to be called memories, crashed through his mind. His teeth began to hurt and he felt a sting as his fangs left punctures inside his lower lip. With great effort, he relieved the tension in his jaw. This was the first time he’d been truly alone with the male since Leeha’s dungeon.
Luukas wondered if he would always react this way when they were in the same room.
Jesse cocked his head to the side, narrowing his eyes, peering straight into Luukas’s deepest secrets. Or so it felt. Then he sighed with impatience. “There’s no need to fear me, Luukas.”
There was no sense in trying to deny it. “Is there not?”
“No.” Jesse’s tone was final. “Shea would never forgive me if I ever did anything to harm you or the others. And for her, I would do absolutely anything. Even give up my only chance at besting my father.” He paused. “However, know that if any of you hurt her—physically or emotionally—I won’t hesitate to protect her.”
The warlock’s condescending tone struck a cord, and Luukas found himself leaning forward in his chair, upper lip lifted to bare his fangs. Anger, rather than fear, drove his movements this time. “Shea was part of this family long before she met you, warlock. And she will be a part of this family long after you’re gone. Don’t think to sit here and threaten me or my vampires in my own home.”
Jesse smiled. “And there’s the male I met all those years ago. Before Leeha broke you.”
“Leeha did not break me.” Luukas stared him right in the eye. “But you nearly did.” The words stuck in his throat, and he wondered why he would admit anything to this male, especially a weakness. But perhaps admitting it was the first step to recovery?
One side of the warlock’s mouth lifted in something resembling a smile as he rubbed his forehead, but there was no humor in his eyes. “This isn’t getting us anywhere,” he muttered. Taking another deep breath, he met Luukas’s steady gaze. “The past is what it is, vampire. I did what I believed I needed to do at the time. And I won’t apologize for it. I’m sure there are similar things you’ve done in your past?” He paused, waiting expectantly. When no answer was forthcoming, he rolled his eyes and continued, “Can we not try to move forward? I am on Shea’s side, which means I am on your side. And, as you well know, I can be quite the ally to have.”
“Yes. As long as you remain my ally.”
“You have my word.”
“As long as Shea is alive.”
The smile was back. “That is correct.”
Luukas sheathed his fangs. The male was right. Having him on their side would only be a boon to the vampires. However, Luukas would never trust him as he did the others. Still…
“I guess that will have to be good enough.”
Jesse leaned back in his chair. “Now that we’ve talked about our feelings, can we get down to the business of killing my father?”
Aiden sat propped against the headboard and watched Grace flutter around their bedroom. Her gorgeous hair was piled on top of her head in some sort of messy do he decided just then he completely adored, and she was wearing a blue printed T-shirt and jeans that flared out at the bottom.
That was a serious issue with him.
Not that the jeans flared out, but that she was wearing them at all.
“Come to bed, poppet.” To emphasize his point, Aiden patted the mattress beside him.
She smiled at him just before she disappeared into the closet.
Aiden looked down at Mojo, already put away in his cage for the night. If one could call the miniature town he lived in a cage.
At least, he lived there when he wasn’t riding around in Aiden’s hood.
The hedgehog glanced over at him, then went back to eating his dinner, watching Grace flit around the room as he chewed.
“You’re no help at all, Prickles,” Aiden told him. With a dramatic sigh, he tried again. “Grace, love, what are you doing?”
“I promised Emma I’d help her get some stuff together for her donation box.”
“And must you do that right this moment?”
“Yes. She’s running over there tonight before they close.”
Crossing his arms over his bare chest, Aiden distractedly rubbed the scar running across his abdomen with the tip of one finger as he tried to think of something that would convince her to set aside her humanitarian task and come to bed. Eyes on her rounded arse as she bent over a box, all thought fled his mind except ridding her of those ridiculous pants. So, in lieu of arguing with her, he waited for her to pass by on her way back to the closet, and then he made his move.
Leaping from the bed with the speed of a striking snake, he snagged her around the waist and pulled her backward, landing back on the bed with her on top of him.
Grace let out a screech, then began to laugh as she tried to get up again. With each wriggle of her bottom against his ever-hardening manhood, Aiden grew hungrier for his female.
He grazed his fangs along the back of her throat. Her warm skin smelled like coconut. It made him long for moonlit walks on the beach. “The more you squirm, the more determined I am to keep you in this bed, love.”
The wiggling stopped, and Grace relaxed against him with a soft exclamation. “When did you put mirrors on the ceiling?”
Meeting her eyes in their reflection, he flashed his fangs and gave her a wink. “Weeks ago. It’s been quite enjoyable.”
She laughed. “This is why your always sticking me on top.”
“Yes. And now let me show you how perfectly lovely you are.” One arm across her ribs just under her gorgeous breasts, he slid his other hand down her stomach to unfasten her jeans. With her pants half unzipped, he stopped.
Grace twisted her head around, trying to see his face. “What’s wrong?”
Kissing her soundly on the cheek, he easily lifted her up and off, setting her gently beside him on the bed. Less than a second later, he was listening in front of the closed bedroom door. Aiden heard Grace fasten her pants and sit up behind him, and released a hiss of frustration directed at the idiot on the other side of the door who’d dared to interrupt what had been the beginning of a very interesting day. Flinging open the door, he grabbed the intruder around the throat and slammed him up against the wall. Baring his fangs, he growled, “Why. Are. You. Hovering.”
Despite the fact his face was rapidly turning purple from lack of oxygen, Nikulas grinned. “Just checking on you,” he gasped.
Rolling his eyes, Aiden dropped him and took a step back. Hands low on his hips, he watched the color return to his best friend’s face. “Nik, it’s been weeks. The bloody demon is gone.”
Nikulas straightened and rubbed his neck. “But how do you know for sure?”
“Because I don’t feel like I just swallowed the contents of a dustcart full of rubbish that’s been sitting in the sun for a month. And when I talk to myself, only myself answers. So, please, Nik, for the love of the gods, stop with the sneaking about and bugger off. Doesn’t Emma need you for something?”
“Em’s getting stuff together to take to the women’s shelter tonight.”
Grace came walking out of the bedroom with a box in her arms. “And I have all of this I want to contribute.”
Nikulas smiled at her. “That’s awesome, Gracie! I hope you included that awful shirt with the dragon on it.”
Aiden grabbed the box and placed it on the floor, then began to sort through it. “Hey! I bought that shirt in China! It’s an amazing shirt! And reminds me of the first time Grace admitted her feelings for me.”
Grace picked up the box and dropped the box near the kitchen counter and turned around with a frown. “You didn’t buy that shirt, you stole it. And I’d barely just met you. I did not admit feelings for you.”
“You did, love. You got all hot and bothered. I believe it was the red knickers that did it,” he told Nik in an aside.
Grace rolled her eyes. “Admiring your—” She waved a hand around as she ran her eyes over him. “—physique is not admitting feelings for you.”
“You admitted you wanted to shag me.” He suddenly straightened. “Did you just roll your eyes at me?”
“Dude, stop.” She laughed.
He cocked his head and frowned. He hated it when she called him that. She deserved to be punished. “And now you’re calling me ‘dude’?”
Nikulas smacked him on the arm. “I think you’re right, man. I should go help Emma.”
Aiden grunted a response, every cell in his body focused on Grace’s smile. He took a step toward her without realizing it, drawn to her by something he couldn’t explain…
A roar shook the ceiling above, making the hair stand up on the back of his neck as every muscle refocused on this new threat. “Stay with Emma,” he told Grace as he ran for the door.
Nikulas was already out of the apartment and at the stairwell. He glanced back over his shoulder and Aiden saw white fangs and the flash of fear on his friend’s face. “That was Luuk.” Then he disappeared up the stairwell.
Pushing aside the picture of Grace’s nude arse across his lap, he quickly followed.
Jesse stood and wandered over to the windows. The sun would be coming up any minute now, but it’s lethal rays posed no danger to the vampire inside. Shea had told him when Luukas acquired the building, he’d made sure it would be safe. The windows were treated to protect them from the rays, and nothing short of Godzilla could break them.
He turned away from the cityscape and faced the master vampire. “Well, vampire? What’s the plan?” As Luukas opened his mouth to speak, other voices whispered adamantly in his ears, and Jesse held up one hand. “Wait, wait. Yes, I forgot. There’s something else you need to know before we start.”
Luukas crossed his arms over his chest and leaned back in his chair. “And what is that?”
Jesse wasn’t fooled by his calm façade. He could hear the vampire’s rushing pulse, his heart beating hard and fast within his chest. It didn’t surprise him that he brought out this reaction in Luukas now that their time in the dungeon was over. The rage that had driven the master vampire when he’d escaped was gone, and the insanity that came with it was swiftly following in its footsteps, though it still had a tenuous hold on him.
And that, more than anything else, was what still gave Jesse the power.
But, for now, he needed the vampire. Because without him, the others would not follow.
The roar of voices only he could hear rose to a deafening crescendo. With little effort, Jesse willed them away. “I need to tell you about Ryan.”
Luukas frowned. “Ryan? Christian’s mate?”
Jesse gave him a nod.
“What about her?” As Luukas waited, he narrowed his eyes on Jesse, mistrust clear in his eyes though his expression remained controlled.
There was no way to break it to him gently, not that Jesse would bother. “She is my sister.” He turned back to the window to allow the vampire process that information.
After a long moment, Luukas said, “I’m sorry. Would you repeat what you just said?”
“She is my sister,” Jesse told him again. He watched as the first rays of the morning sun began to lighten the sky. It was truly beautiful after the night’s rain, the way it reflected off the buildings. “My twin, actually. Fraternal.”
“That means she is—”
“Half djinn. As am I.”
Silence from the male behind the desk.
“She isn’t aware of our relationship,” Jesse said. “We were separated shortly after we were born. She doesn’t know who I am.”
“How do I know you’re telling the truth?”
The question was not what he was expecting. “Why would I lie about something like this?”
Luukas leaned one elbow on the arm of his chair, studying Jesse as he rubbed his temple with his fingertips.
“By the way,” Jesse said. “My last name is Moss.”
Luukas became unnaturally still, the way only a vampire—and perhaps a djinn—could. “What—” His nostrils flared and his head snapped toward the door.
“What did you say?” Keira stood in the open doorway, wrapped in a thin white robe. She took a step inside. “What did you just say?”
Luukas stood up so fast his chair flew back into the wall behind him, and Jesse watched in amusement as her horrified eyes flew to his face, silently begging him to tell her it wasn’t true. The vampire tilted his chin toward the door. “Keira, go back to bed.”
Wrong thing to say.
She straightened her spine, her stature something he remembered well from the time they’d spent torturing the vampire together. Dismissing her mate with a look, she turned her attention back to Jesse. “Did I hear you say your last name is Moss?”
Jesse sat back down in his chair with a sigh. “That’s what I said, yes.”
A look of understanding dawned across her face. “That makes you my cousin.”
“–cousin,” he finished at the same time.
Disgust twisted her features. She shook her head, thick, dark hair falling about her shoulders. “That’s not possible.”
“Ryan is my sister,” he repeated for her. “Separated at birth.”
She continued to shake her head. “You’re full of shit. You’re lying.”
Jesse rolled his eyes. He still didn’t understand why they would insist he was lying. “As I told your vampire, why would I lie about something like this?”
“I don’t know. Why do you do anything you do?”
“I have reasons.”
“Fucked up reasons.”
Jesse was swiftly tiring of this conversation. “Enough.” Engaging the spirits hovering around him, he pushed her back out of the room and shut the door. There was no time for this right now. His friends were a little overeager, however, and she ended up on the floor, robe riding up her thighs.
With a roar of rage, Luukas sprung from his chair, and Jesse’s head slammed against the glass wall behind him, the vampire’s hand around his throat. The glass cracked behind him as Luukas bared his fangs, his gray eyes burning with rage.
“Do not touch the witch.”
Jesse allowed him his anger. As a mated vampire, it was to be expected. But even he had to admit he was surprised at the speed and intensity of the vampire’s reaction. “Because only you are allowed to torture her?” He shouldn’t have said it, he really shouldn’t have. But the evil side of himself couldn’t resist twisting that dagger just a little bit more.
The vampire began to tremble with rage, appearing to grow in size before Jesse’s eyes. The bones in his face became more prominent, his eyes darkened to obsidian.
Jesse waited for him to strike.
“Jesse! What are you doing?”
The whiskey sin of Shea’s voice sent shivers down Jesse’s spine. Moving only his eyes, he found her near the door with her arm around Keira, now back on her feet. Both females were staring at the two males with similar horrified expressions, but for completely different reasons.
With a wave of his hand, Jesse removed Luukas’s hand from his throat and sent him staggering backward. “Control him, witch,” he directed to Keira, as Luukas struggled against the power holding him back.
She ran to Luukas without pause, wrapping her arms around his waist and whispering in his ear as she used the physical touch of her body to calm him.
The apartment door crashed open, broken from the hinges by the sounds of it, and Nikulas appeared behind Shea, Aiden on his heels. “What the fuck is going on?”
The gang was nearly all there. Good. It would save him from having to repeat himself. “Shall we go ahead and call the others?” Jesse asked Luukas.
The vampire’s attention, focused on the female in his arms, flew back to Jesse. His only response to the question was to hiss at Jesse in warning, but he didn’t act on it. Instead, he stayed with his mate, keeping his large body wrapped protectively around her much smaller form.
“Is that a yes?” He looked to Shea for clarification.
She walked over to him, a vision in one of his long-sleeved cotton shirts, and little else if her bare legs and feet were any indication. “Jesse, what’s going on? What are you doing?”
He rubbed her cheek with the back of his knuckles. “I only came to speak with Luukas. But things are a little touchy between us, as you can well imagine.”
“Talk to him about what?”
“My sister.” He had already told Shea one night while they were lying in bed after she had drank her fill from him, and his emotions were feeling particularly raw.
Shea’s green eyes bore into his. “You don’t think you should’ve told her about it first?”
“I didn’t want the vampire to think I was plotting behind his back.”
“Are you not?” She gave him a steady stare.
Jesse lost himself in the depths of her eyes, until he felt his soul touch hers. “No. Not deliberately.”
“What are you both talking about?” Aiden asked.
Shea took Jesse’s hand.
At her sign of trust, emotion filled his chest. A feeling he still found disconcerting, but one he would never want to live without again. “Yes?”
She nodded. “Yes. They all need to know.” Squeezing his hand, she turned to Luukas. “We should call Dante and Christian. And the rest of the girls. Especially Ryan. She needs to know where she came from. Jesse can help her harness her power.”
“Because he does such a wonderful job of it himself?” Nikulas said.
“Nik, please,” Shea told him.
Nikulas looked to his brother, who gave him a nod. “Okay, then,” Nik announced to the room in general. “Aid, will you go get Grace and Emma? I’ll round up everyone else.”
“Thank you,” Jesse told him.
Giving him an uneasy look, Nikulas left the apartment, calling back, “I’ll fix this door later, Luuk!” Aiden followed him out much the way he’d come in.
“And here we go.” Shea gave him an uneasy smile.
“It will be all right, Shea. But my father must be stopped. And to do that, I’m going to need Ryan’s help.”
“I know.” Her eyes searched his face. “I just wish we could have a little more time.”
Leaning down, he touched his forehead to hers. No words could tell her how much he also wished that were true.
They settled in to wait for the others.
Note from the Author
I hope you all enjoyed this bonus scene! I know I LOVED being back in the world of my vampires. Honestly, I wasn’t sure if I was going to continue this series or not, because I have so many other things I want to write, but I’m so excited to continue this story. And I've introduced some new characters!
We start our meeting Killian Rice and Lizzy Moss in New Orleans, LA...
Click HERE to read Night of the Vampire