Excerpt - Blood Ties


“ Relax,” Dominic purred in my ear as he leaned over my shoulder to plant a light kiss on my cheek.


He did his best to put me at ease and by the third course and my third glass of wine, I was feeling quite comfortable and blabbering like a fool. He took it in stride, bless him, and the conversation flowed easily. At least, I thought so.


As the waiter – where had he hired a waiter? – came to deliver the next course, Dominic suddenly stiffened in his chair. He stopped talking mid-sentence, gripped the arms with white knuckled anger and stared heatedly at the doorway. I turned to see what had caught his attention. My throat dropped into my stomach.


Lilith.


She stood framed in the doorway and I felt my mouth go dry. The blood rushed out of my head and I thought I would pass out right there.


Steady.


Dominic’s voice penetrated the fear in my brain and I forced myself to stay awake. I fought back the blackness that threatened to engulf me.


I won’t let her hurt you. On my life.


“Well, well.” Her voice was smooth as velvet as she glided forward. She wore the same white dress she had worn in my dream the night before. She stopped midway down the table, her eyes on Dominic. “Did you miss me?”


Dominic remained silent.


Lilith pushed out her bottom lip in a pout. “You’re angry.” She turned away, trailing her finger along the backs of the chairs. “I just can’t seem to help myself sometimes, darling.” She threw a smile at him over her shoulder and I shuddered. She had yet to look at me.


“We’ve had this conversation before, Lilith,” Dominic said, his voice tight.


She nodded apologetically, seemingly contrite. Dominic wasn’t fooled. His eyes never left her and indeed, I was riveted to her every move. She glided around the room, touching objects lightly with her bright red nails.


“And you’ve been busy, I see,” she murmured. She flicked a glance quickly in my direction.

She pulled out a chair two down from where I sat frozen. She settled into it gracefully and leaned forward to pluck a grape from a bowl on the table. She made a great show of plopping it into her mouth, chewing, and swallowing.


“Hmmm.” She ran her tongue over her lips. “It just doesn’t compare.”


“Lilith.”


She held up a hand against Dominic’s protest. “I just came to see what all the fuss was about.” Her gaze finally settled on me and lingered.


I shrank back into my chair. My eyes were deadlocked with hers.


“Such a pretty human.” She tilted her head to one side as if studying me.


“My human.” Dominic’s voice was like steel, crisp and sharp.


“She looks,” Lilith paused. “Delicious.”


This is the first time Lia faces off with Lilith. Lia discovers a strength she didn't know she had and another presence from the past who pushes her beyond her limits.




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