“Kayden McLeodspins a tale inCarnal Magnetismthat sucks you in at the beginning and doesn’t let you go. You won’t be able to put down this entrancing story of a vampire family formed from need, but able to stay together because of love.” –Review by, Stacey Krug
Trust only works when it’s both ways
The RedLine is the perfect haven for a man of Ryder’s extensive desires and tastes. He uses the women of the club, much like they do him, with little care to know anything more than names, sometimes even less than that. His reputation for open-minded, tantalizing sex is renowned, and willing victims for this particular vampire are never at a shortage. At least until Catalym crashes into his life, taking over from the moment they’d met. And it isn’t long before her past life’s tribulations follow her, including a dangerous ex-boyfriend who hides far more than Ryder or his friends ever guess.
Excerpt Three (RATED PG):
Manuel Martinez stepped into the light, none to happy to find himself in the middle of a war for one woman and her brother, who had every right to be here.
The Californian Cornwalls however, did not have the same welcome as we did in this fight.
Judo snarled viciously, spittle flying from his mouth. He reeled around and stalked towards me. He knew his time was now severely numbered.
“I want my woman back.” He screamed down at me.
He picked me up by the skin of my neck. His brutal fingers of the other hand closed around my throat, and choked me in his grip that nearly crushed my larynx with very little effort.
I summoned power and sent it out like a paper-thin sheet of energy to curl just under his grasp and push back at him. It wasn’t much, but it at the very least stopped him from completely crushing my throat.
For all my skill, I would never compare with the likes of Judo and Manuel. I would never match their ages of two millennia. Well, not least for another fifteen hundred years or so, but then they would be almost four thousand.
If they chose to live that long.
I couldn’t do anything about him lifting me from the ground. Even if I deadened my weight, he had enough strength to throw me around like a rag doll. My fingers crushed his.
Only his one hand held me up. I brought my legs up to shove at his chest with my feet and he merely stumbled back, but his fingers couldn’t grip me properly from the impact of my lower body. His arms just were not long enough.
I hit the ground again, and rolled my feet over my head to come to a semi-standing position. I crouched, ready to spring at the slightest provocation.
Milindya stood stock-still with her back to the wall while she watched us. Her eyes skittered from us to the newcomers. Even though this time I held some of her favour, her selfish mind wasn’t on the fight at hand, but leaving with the winner.
Within my peripheral vision, I saw Manuel simply walk through the protection circle, the magic flowing around him like water that could never keep him out. A psychic backlash from the mixing of opposing energies blew over me as Judo struck.
He slammed into a shimmering cage that manifested around him. The opaque and almost pearl toned spell was something I had never before encountered, but with Manuel that didn’t surprise me.
With a lot of barrier spells, there was a trigger which would disintegrate them, but I wouldn’t have the slightest clue how to figure out the lock to either enclosure.
I almost expected Judo to fly through the other side of the cage, but he didn’t. I watched Judo’s mouth move, but I couldn’t hear anything.
“He is effectively soundproofed, just as the cage we’re in. It is just another layer deeper,” Manuel assured me.
He didn’t hide what he was and the difference was compelling, much like it was with all of our firsts. He was but a promise to us, what we will become if we could survive humanity and the Council who ruled us.
“You are not happy.”
“When my brethren act against our people, I tend to get a little pissed off,” Manuel said in answer to the unspoken question. “I do not know what has happened to him in all of this time. He has left our fold and rarely contacts any of us.”
Black and not the atypical red fire leapt in his eyes while he watched Judo. Deadly power emanated from him. He was a time bomb ready to blow, but only he would know exactly when that would be.
I found Marcus’s cold eyes through the first barrier. Their jaded depths bored into mine. He demanded I do something, to implore immediate action. I didn’t need to hear the words he thought, our friendship had taken us past that. He would not accept less, and frankly neither could I.
“This man who has harmed my woman, and fully intends to again is your brother?” I asked incredulously.
“Not in the sense you’re thinking. We were made at the same time, for just the same purpose. We were cursed together, and survived it the same way. But, that is where any familial relationship ends.”
“Judo knows our reason for existence better than any of you do, yet he is going against everything we used to be. He tried to a force a hand that was never his to begin with, one he knew he couldn’t have. There are so many infringements made by him and his Coven that I am tempted to execute the lot of them right now,” Manuel thundered in a remarkably controlled manner. It was only his eyes that even hinted to what he was really feeling.
His bottomless eyes met mine and they spoke volumes of knowledge and power that he had acquired over the last two thousand years. Even at my age, I had to be in wonder of him.
“And what of Catalym?” I demanded.
I needed to know the Council wouldn’t find fault with her or her brother. They didn’t deserve the order for punishment or the demand to go Rogue the Californians being here threatened. If that happened, she would be hunted and killed like an animal, by the best hunters our kind had to offer this part of the world. And it was our territory she was in.
We could be sanctioned to make the kill. It could be demanded of me. Both my team and I had developed enemies in the Council here over time, as we never came completely to heel. To give them a way to get vengeance, they would most definitely take it.
Now that was a disturbing thought.
“I would never allow that to happen.”
I nodded stiffly.
“Catalym is as of a pure heart as they come and a very special woman. I am relieved that after such brutal treatment, she has come out so strong and brave. She is exactly as Corrine and I had expected her to be when she arrived. She loves you Ryder, and whether you have figured that out yet or not, you love her. You value her above any other being because of these traits. You think it is too soon, but you remain thinking in human terms. That is the mistake you seem to be making repeatedly.” Manuel smiled, and it warmed his face slightly, to take away from the predator ready to exact revenge. “I know it’s very hard to separate who we really are and who we have to pretend to be.”
“It goes against everything I’ve come to believe,” I replied softly.
“But, what if what you believe isn’t true in everybody?” He retorted.
“I already know it’s not.”
“Then what’s the problem?”
My eyes flicked to Judo, and Manuel nodded.
“Balance will come in time. It will not always be this way Ryder, you must adapt. Something Judo failed to do.”
Confliction filled me, and Marcus’s eyes haunted me. I shook my head, not willing to pursue this any further right now. I was confused enough, and I didn’t need this man’s help to make it worse. I could manage that all on my own.