Lexi and Christan’s love story seemed too big to confine to one book. I tried, but the characters stood in opposition. I gave in. I wrote the story the way they wanted, because what matters is their struggle toward love, in each book and in the books after. I wanted to share an excerpt from book two, The Fire in Vengeance.
The ballroom doors exploded, embedding shards of wood like spears into the walls. Voices fell silent as Three walked into the room, and she was not alone. Two warriors followed, escorting a third who was having difficulty walking. Lexi ripped her gaze from Six but not before she saw the rage in his eyes.
Three stood with the elegant, deadly confidence of a cardinal Calata member who controlled the alchemy of old, a white magic too close to black and on a level not quite buried in the past. Her silk pantsuit shimmered like opals in the overhead light. Ancient power dwarfed that of the immortals around her and she still aroused fear.
“Forgive my late arrival.” Three spoke in English, so there was no need for Luca to translate. “I was interrogating a witness.”
“A traitor, not a witness,” Six sneered as if unimpressed. “Anything he says will be unreliable.”
“Even when he’s confessing to murder on your orders?”
“Confessions under torture are not admissible.”
“There was no torture.” Three stood between her warriors and those siding with Six. “The warrior admitted his crimes without coercion.”
“It matters not,” Six said, spreading his hands. “We are judging your warriors, Three, no one else.”
Murmurs of support rose in the air. Six gave a knowing smile that was not reassuring. Three seemed to expect it. Her eyes swept over the assembled audience.
“Do you deny you ordered the murder of Elene Santori,” she asked, “human mate to the warrior Javier, who is under One’s protection and subject to the Agreement?”
Six’s lip curled. “Yes” he said, “I deny it.”
Three seemed to be in complete control. Something about her expression, Lexi realized, that bordered on satisfaction.
“Do you deny you ordered the attack on my enforcer and his mate in the alley in Florence, unprovoked, and then accused us of starting a war?”
“You have no proof of your claims,” Six replied. “You’re wasting our time.”
Three ignored the protest. “What of the attack on my enforcer’s villa in Florence, where warriors and mercenaries belonging to you killed two human caretakers—do you deny ordering that as well? And before you answer, we have identified mercenaries killed in the attack and linked them back to you and Five.”
“Your Enforcer committed unprovoked murder. He killed three warriors, an act of war. We were within our rights to respond.”
Voices in the room hummed like agitated bees, while the tension in Lexi’s muscles became volatile. Three bowed her head as if in agreement and then looked at Six.
“You compelled my enforcer to Zurich, where you incapacitated him, then violated the pact we have all sworn to uphold by summoning his mate with the intention of killing her in front of him. Do you deny compelling her?”
Three paused while her accusation settled in immortal minds, before adding, “Unless you have another explanation for how a human woman got to Zurich from Florence in the space of seconds.”
There was no mistaking the menace in both her voice and her posture. When Six refused to answer, Three turned and gestured to the assembled crowd.
“Do you expect the Calata, and all immortals gathered here, to believe you don’t possess a dangerous power? For as long as we have lived on this planet, humans have never survived teleportation, and yet you managed to transport Christan’s human mate to Zurich. Do you deny you used unknown power—which should have all immortals alarmed?”
“Perhaps the girl is no longer human,” Six snarled.
Goodreads Review: “That last page… I AM SCREAMING! YESSS”
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