You faced the changes with JJ as she was forced to grow up in the hunt for the healer. You trekked through the mountains and faced her demons with her in the covens circle. You cried for her pain, and are facing her enemies with her in the wolfs den. What's in store for Halo next? What ant hill is she creating? Will Garius join her or go against her? So many questions....Enjoy this sneak peek of the fourth book in the Halo series
It has been over a month since Ketra, Frederick, and I left the Castle de Talon in search of The 5, an elite group of vampires. Each clan made up of nine vampires. According to Ketra and Frederick, The 5 was created in the late 1200s. Up until tonight, we ran into your ordinary garden variety of vamps, but we couldn’t get one solid lead on the whereabouts of the Baobhan Sith, translation, Blood Sucking Fairies. The Baobhan Sith are a particular clan of vampires out of Scotland. Their leader is called Fikkus, an eternal twenty-four-year-old punk rock bandleader with an insatiable appetite for redheads.
Tonight, however, we received word from one of Ketra’s connections that Fikkus’s band would be playing at an infamous after-hours club in Aberdeen. One can only get in by invitation, and Ketra’s friend was gracious enough to forfeit hers to us.
After an hour of arguing with Ketra, I conceded to a shopping spree for new clothes. For the last couple of days, I had an overwhelming sensation of euphoria and wicked thoughts. Perhaps, wicked is not the correct adjective. I have had fantasies in a naughty kind of way. It was in one of these moments that I chose my outfit for the evening. Not a wise choice, but I have no time to return the clothes.
The three of us had just got done feeding, our bellies full, and our mood bordered on jubilant. I have been instilling in Ketra and Frederick not to kill the innocent but to search out those who deserve death. They showed no great interest in my way of eating until I made it into a game. A vampire likes nothing more than the thrill of the hunt. Together we have banded as a small clan. I found out that Ketra wasn’t as bad of a person as I had thought. Her lot in life was not by her choosing, and Cornelius had trained her to be ruthless, a mercenary of sorts, to fight his wars. I battle my own demons daily between good and evil.
On one particular evening, while walking to Portee, I learned why I walk a tight rope every day between doing what's right and wrong. We had come across the Sligachan Bridge. I walked to the center and sat down, taking in the majestic view. If there is a heaven, I was looking at a part of it. The silhouette of the mountains pressed up against a sky of pale pink with puffed-up clouds in shades of bluish-grey and white. A bright orange-tint outlined the edges of the mountains and clouds as the sun sank.
Beneath the bridge ran Loch Alsh, known for its legend of being enchanted fairy water, and if you dipped your face into it, you would be graced with eternal beauty and knowledge. The gentle slapping of the water against the rocks it surrounded had a calming effect. Ketra came and sat down beside me.
“Beautiful, isn’t it?” she asked me.
“Very.” I continued to stare out into the horizon.
“Are you okay, Halo?”
“Yeah, why do you ask?”
“You seem—different lately.”
“I feel different,” I answered her honestly. “Restless, yearning.”
“Are you having second thoughts on your decision to find the five?”
“No.” I glanced over at Ketra’s profile as she stared at the same picturesque scene I was seeing. “Can I ask you a question?”
“Why do I feel as though you and I have a connection. I hated you for what you did to my mom, but I have no desire to kill you anymore.” I stated. Ketra turned her head and looked at me. She cocked her head and gave me a small smile before she turned back to look at the sunset.
“A part of me has become a part of you. Do you remember the night when you had your first date?”
“There was a moment, right before you descended downstairs to meet your prince charming when you felt a sting on your neck.” I nodded but said nothing. “I stuck you with my venom. Not enough to turn you, but I knew that one day there was a chance that you would become a vampire. I wanted my tainted black blood to course through your veins. I wanted to wipe your innocence away. At the time, it wasn’t you that father was after, it was your mom. I wanted to give him an insurance policy of sorts. The girl you were back then, was all good, pure. I hated you for that. I was once you, the girl you were.” She let her sentence drift into silence as she went back to staring at a now darkened sky. Frederick’s footsteps breaking the silence.
“And what might the two of you ladies be discussing?” Frederick asked as he plopped down to join us. “Perhaps you were both fighting over one dashingly good-looking vampire?” he arched his eyebrow in a questioningly way.
“In your dreams.” I quipped and sprang up.
“Do I haunt your dreams, Halo?” Frederick lost all humor and took a step towards me.
“Back up, Romeo, you’re in my hula hoop.” I admonished.
“I find you very alluring.”
“Yo, Freddy, this is the third time you have acted inappropriately with me. I don’t know what your problem is, but it’s pissing me off.” I felt my temper start to flare.
“Halo, he can't help it.” Ketra came to Frederick’s defense and placed herself between us.
“That’s a bunch of crap.” I spat.
“Halo, you are still a healer. Your blood beckons him. It calls out to him, drawing him to you, just like it did with Althea.” The mere mention of Althea’s name caused Frederick to wince and take a step back.
“Let’s get one thing straight before we go any further,” I stepped around Ketra and into Frederick’s line of vision, “This is your one and only warning. You overstep the boundaries one more time, and I will rip your soul out of this body and disintegrate it. There will be no more Frederick. Got it?” He nodded and turned away.
“Thank you,” Ketra whispered before she raced to Frederick’s side to console him. I strode back towards the road and headed towards Portee.
I had been given the knowledge of why an internal war played inside of me every day. Although JJ was pure as the snow that fell freshly to the ground in the winter, when I was born in the abyss, Ketra’s venom had laid dormant until I had consumed enough of Garius’s blood and transitioned. The black magic that Cornelius used to create his daughter now was coursing in me.