A Vampire's Obsession a Billionaire, Paranormal Romance - Ava Mason
Ameena fingered the stake tucked in the back of her full skirt, and considered her next step carefully. This was very possibly a life or death moment and for a fleeing second, she wondered if she’d made the right choice.
She faced a large and thick oak door, ornately carved so intricately, that she couldn’t stop her hand from tracing the edges. It was entrancing and she felt the darkness spilling into her consciousness, as real as the wood under her fingertips.
Ameena wasn’t scared. No. She reveled in the darkness. She breathed it in, welcoming the stench of death.
Grinning at the sinister emotion, she pulled the ornate brass skeleton key from her pocket, her decision made. It glided easily into the lock and she twisted it sideways, pushing the door back. It took a moment for her eyes to adjust to the absolute darkness of the room but she stepped forward confidently, trailing her fingers along the wall until she reached the ledge.
There, she found a candle and matchstick. As soon as she struck it, the smell of sulfur drafted through the air. Her black hair curled in the humidity of the room, and the yellowed light from the candle allowed her to see a glimpse of her pale face reflected in the crude mirror placed over the mantle. She smirked at her reflection, noted the deadly set in her eyes, then turned away, taking in a deep breath.
Eerie music played in her mind as she approached the bed and, for a second, fear slammed into her heart so strong that she was tempted to bolt from the room. She gripped the edges of her black skirt, breathing in and out deeply, saying the words that she’d been instructed. As soon as she was done, her fear melted into the night, slipping from her cold, black heart like oil repelling water.
Setting her lips in a determined line, she yanked open the curtains.
The man was as still as death.
The candlelight revealed his stark nakedness and she grinned, showing her blackened teeth. Oh the fun she could have with him. She dithered, trying to make up her mind. If only she wasn’t a woman of her word.
Raising herself on her tiptoes, she climbed into the bed and straddled the man, tucking in the full length of her skirts. Blowing out the candle, she reached into her pocket and pulled out a handful of salt. Mumbling a few words, she spread the salt in a full circle around her and threw a pinch over her shoulder for good measure.
Then her athame was in her hand, it was always within easy reach, and she called to it. It sparked to life, the etched runes of the knife glimmering a crimson red, like glowing ember eyes. It was warm and comforting in her hand, and she stroked the handle with her thumb.
Her confidence growing, she grabbed the bag swaddled in between her breasts and pulled the drawstring open. The clipped feathers moved under her steady fingers as she pulled two of them out. She centered them in her hand and then sliced deep into her palm. The familiar metallic smell hit her nose and she bathed the plumes in the deep maroon liquid, soaking them until there wasn’t a speck of white in them.
Satisfied, she raised them to her forehead and closed her eyes. She marked her forehead with a special rune and then sprinkled the remaining blood across the man’s body. Next, she put the feathers to her mouth and, swallowing them whole, she began to recite.
“Birdy audi accitem meam.”
A slight trickle of blood slid through her lips and dribbled down her chin. She repeated herself, louder. “Birdy audi accitem meam.”
A flutter in her stomach made her groan but she repeated the words, again and again. As her volume grew, so did the ache in her stomach. It traveled up from her stomach to her esophagus, choking off her breath until she spewed the dead bird onto the bed cover. The bird was a raven, coated in blood and as she swept it from the bed, it gathered bits of salt under its wing.
Her voice rang out now, and echoed through the small room. “Cinerēs, exaudi accitem meam, cinerēs, exaudi accitem meam. Advenite mihi ante casurus.”
His eyes sprang open, dark and obsidian.
Before she even saw him move, his hand was on her neck, squeezing it tight. She choked and grasped his hand, trying to push it off as he pulled her to him. His grip was