Dance in the Moonlight

By: A.L. Kessler
(Dark War Chronicles Book 2)


Thanks to everyone who made this book possible. To Beth, where the hell would I be without you, girl? You kept me going and helped me spit polish this book. To Minion for planting the characters of Renee and Coran in my head. Jennifer, thank you for the final edits. Thank you Mia my partner in crime for all the encouragement. Thank you to my beta readers, Teresa and Char for putting so much effort into this book. And thank you to my husband who dealt with my late nights, my coffee addictions and my stress. To anyone I might have missed, thank you for believing in me and helping me making DWC a reality.

Chapter One

"Seven months, Markus, since you sent the stone away. You've failed to bring it to us and time is ticking." A voice snarled, echoing through the cavern. The long black robes shroudedthe vampires who gathered around him. The classic way for the Circle to meet, a tradition carried on from ancient times.

"It won't be long until Lucius knows that you messed with his human." One of the females stated. "If he hasn't already caught on." When she shifted, Markus caught a glimpse of the purple velvet lining her robe.

"I've erased her memories of me touching her mind. Unless Lucius has a psychic on his payroll, he won't know it was me." Besides, he knew Tegan feared him too much to tell Lucius. "I'm going to his territory to retrieve the stone myself. I have informants there who discovered where the stone was sent." He crossed his arms and glanced around the Circle. The Father's most trusted vampires, most of them second generation, untied in one simple goal. In order to raise the Father, there were certain things that needed to be obtained, the stone being one of them. "You make sure that the tomb stays secure and I will have your stone."

"And what are we going to do about the bloodlust? There is only one creature who will be able to sate it."

He knew who the creature was. If only he could prove it. "We will worry about that after the stone is in our custody."

"And your plan for that? You said your informants have located it?"

"Yes, I'm working with some rogue wolves in the area. We know that the woman who has it is considered an innocent, but after doing research on her, she's another piece of the puzzle. The goal is to get her and the stone, bring them both here, and then we will worry about the food source."

One of the males chuckled. "You are hiding something, Markus, you're always hiding something."

"I'm the Father's right hand, it is my privilege to hide things." He spun around to leave. "We must raise him before the Originals wake. They will want to stop us."

A mumble of collective agreement sounded behind him as he exited the room. The wind whipped his cloak around him while he stalked through the empty streets. The human would be his, the stone would be his, and his revenge on Lucius would soon be complete. All he needed to do was get to the United States and into the territory without Lucius noticing.

Wind whipped through her hair as she sprinted down the sidewalk. One more block and she would be back to safety. The people behind her seemed to be gaining quickly, faster than humans should be able to move. She shoved her way through a group of people who shouted about her being rude. She risked a glance behind her at the assailants. Shadows danced behind them, faint hints of animals, wolves and tigers. She couldn't believe her mind would play tricks on her at a time like this. A curse escaped her lips when she stumbled over a crack in the sidewalk. Someone's hand grabbed her purse, pulling on it until she slipped out of the strap, leaving the bag behind. Regaining her footing, she propelled herself forward. Risking another glance behind her, one of the men dumped her purse contents on the sidewalk while the other two continued their pursuit.

Her heart thudded against her chest and her lungs burned for air, but fear forced her to continue. She hit the main drag, breathing through the panic. The sidewalk was covered with club hoppers and college students, but witnesses didn’t seem to slow down her attackers. She darted inside the first door she came to. It closed behind her and she took a moment to breathe. Loud dance music pulsed against her, dampened by the walls. Turning to the main door, she found it blocked by a man in black. Giving her a bored look, he crossed his arms over his chest. Her hands shook when she handed him the ID that she thankfully always kept in her pocket.

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