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Piper LeVine, The Path of Betrayal

Piper LeVine, The Path of Betrayal

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Piper LeVine, The Path of Betrayal

Lunghezza:
275 pagine
4 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Sep 27, 2013
ISBN:
9781301758081
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

Piper made a promise, one that holds Baobhans and Gypsies from finishing the war they’ve begun. She must learn the ways of these Scottish Vampires, but is that all they will require of her?

Nicholas of the Gypsies and werewolves loves her but is he strong enough to protect her? His love for her is boundless. There is no creature he would not fight to save her. Is his love powerful enough to save Piper from herself? They are going to find out whether they want to or not.

Everyone must choose on which path of life they will tread. When Piper LeVine looks back at the stones of her path, will they be of honor or betrayal?
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Editore:
Pubblicato:
Sep 27, 2013
ISBN:
9781301758081
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

Eris Kelli grew up in the pacific northwest as the youngest of eight children. Her writing is fueled by her love of adventure, learning and her drive to explore an idea. She now resides in Midwest America, with her husband, two beautiful children, (who keep her running,) and two happy puppies.Currently she is fast at work on the fifth book in the Piper LeVine Series and several other projects are in the works as well including her Witch Hunter Series!Make sure to connect with Eris on Facebook! And don't forget to review!

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Piper LeVine, The Path of Betrayal - Eris Kelli

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Chapter One

So. Katrine forced a smile as she readjusted her skirt and herself on the couch for the hundredth time. You say you grew up just in the next town? I watched as my mother’s blue eyes went back to his shoes.

Yes, Ma’am, Nicholas answered with an unwavering smile and those dark chocolate eyes that overflowed with self-assurance and a dash of arrogance. I’ve been asking to meet you, but Piper wanted to wait. He took my hand in his, which was warm and strong while mine was cold and clammy.

I could see her eyes fill with alarm at Nicholas’ holding my hand. She did not see in the least what I saw in him. It was too bad I couldn’t tell Katrine he was considered royalty to the gypsies, though that probably wouldn’t impress her anyway.

Nor could I tell her that he was a werewolf. Or that I knew he loved me enough to die for me, he almost had. Katrine would freak out if she knew I’d spent this last summer getting to know my birth mother. She would go into cardiac arrest if she knew that I’d come from gypsy royalty and was now the rope in a tug of war between my birth parents, my mother a gypsy queen and my father a Scottish Vampire known as a Baobhan Sith.

You work as a ranch hand at the sanctuary. That can’t leave you with much spending money. She tapped her red lips with her fingertips. I can’t pretend to see what the two of you have in common.

"Mom."

I think it’s cruel to lead someone on, Piper. She leaned forward. It’s one thing to have a summer romance, but the summer is coming to an end.

Money is not a problem for me, Mrs. LeVine. Nicholas leaned forward with the same smile still on his face. When I marry your daughter it will never be a problem for her either. The blood drained from Katrine's face, and she looked at me wide eyed. I can promise you that I will treat your daughter better than any man ever could.

Cool it, Nicholas. For heaven’s sake, he was only supposed to meet my parents and make a good impression.

Nicholas ignored my directions and continued as Katrine’s mouth continued to drop further open in horror. I’m sure we’ll give you lots of beautiful grandchildren as soon as Piper and I make it official. Now I could tell he was just trying to tick her off.

Well, after that I had to make Nicholas let himself be thrown out. Next I was given an earful, first from Katrine and then from my father Harold who’d missed the introduction but still felt he had the right to tell me how wrong Nicholas was for me.

A week later, and only one week until my senior year began, I was having to endure time with people I generally couldn’t stand to be around. It was just another party for my father, the senator, full of his supporters and wealthy snobs he wished were his supporters. I found myself being led around the dance floor by a young man named Sigmund, who was supposed to be one of the social elites. Katrine was taking every opportunity she could to try to replace Nicholas.

I’ve already dated most of the women in our circle. He was leering down at me, and I wondered how Katrine could think this guy was even comparable to Nicholas. I’ve been waiting to get a shot at you, but you spend so much time at that zoo.

It’s an animal sanctuary.

Right. He had this glazed look in his eyes that guys get when they think they’ve got some chemistry going on with you but in actuality, it’s just a bunch of raging hormones. Let’s go out onto the terrace. I laughed knowing that was the last place we could possibly go as I was sure Nicholas was out there watching and ready to tear Sigmund to shreds.

He was always watching because he was as afraid as I was that the Baobhans weren’t going to keep their distance for long. When the truce had been made between the Gypsies and Baobhans, I had promised to consider being turned into a Baobhan. It was only a matter of time before they came around.

May I cut in?

Senator LeVine, of course. Edmund released me and my father Harold stepped into his place and continued to lead me around the ballroom. Other girls might have been excited or at least happy to dance with their fathers as it was supposed to be a sweet bonding experience. The only reason my father would want to dance with me would be because he needed to tell me how I was somehow failing him.

I was well trained to keep a pleasant look on my face as I waited for the negative words sure to come out of his mouth. You look very beautiful tonight, Piper.

Thank you, I said figuring the other dancers were too close for him to begin verbally tearing me down.

I’ve been so lucky to have you in my life. I’m grateful that I got to be your dad all these years.

I looked into his eyes now and saw a warmth there I’d never seen.

Who is this man? This isn’t my father.

You make me so proud.

Are you being sarcastic? I asked trying to decipher what was going on.

You have an amazing voice and so much charm. I’ve borrowed your talents in all my campaigning, and I’ve never once thanked you. My younger sister, Trina, was dancing near us, and she tripped when she heard our father complimenting me. It just wasn’t him.

His eyes didn’t look dilated, and his speech wasn’t slurred or too fast. He was actually being nice to me. That could only mean one thing. What do you want?

It’s your senior year. Next year, you’ll be out and on your own. You owe it to your mother to spend your last year in school at home.

But you already said I could stay with Grandma Sidney.

I’m not saying you can’t. He looked around with a smile on his face. I’m just saying that you should consider a few things. Like Trina for example, she’ll be grown up and gone soon too, and you’ll have missed this time with her.

I glanced over toward the terrace, and I didn’t see Nicholas through any of the windows. Where was he? My temples throbbed with the headache Sigmund had given me and I shook my head. Mom knows I want to spend my senior year at Grandma’s and Trina could care less where I am since she is rarely home herself.

Okay fine, I need you to stay here this year.

Finally, the truth.

Why? What does my being here have to do with anything? I tried to let go of his hand, but he held mine firmly in his grip. What is it you really want from me?

There is an extremely wealthy contributor who has assured me that he will contribute to my platform very generously if he can be allowed to come here and listen to you sing. He looked over his shoulder toward the large fireplace. He was captivated by your voice at one of our previous engagements and is very impressed by you.

Some old man wants to spend time with your seventeen year-old daughter, and you’re okay with that?

Piper. It’s not like that, and keep your voice down.

May I cut in? The melodic vibration in the voice just behind me was one that I recognized. One that once heard a person could never forget.

The Baobhans are here.

It was Morgan, my birth father.

Mister Castlerock, of course. He bowed out and handed me over to Morgan. This is the man I was telling you about, the senator told me with a warning in his gaze. This was supposed to make me be courteous and kind.

When Morgan seized my hand, I had to fight the huge urge to run for my life. I was supposed to be willing to consider becoming the living dead like him. Don’t be afraid of me, Piper. I’m your father. He said pulling me closer. This is the first time in seventeen years I’ve been allowed to touch you. He hugged me against his chest. To hold you.

You lovingly used me as a bargaining chip to save your own life. I can’t pretend to appreciate that just now, I said this more to remind myself that this man was not the devoted father he was pretending to be. Harold never was the loving, doting father either. I had often wished that I did have a proud dad rooting for me in my corner. I didn’t want to get all stupid now just because Morgan Castlerock was here and acting the part.

You haven’t heard my side of all of this. He tipped my chin up so that I would look him in the eyes. You promised you would hear me out.

I promised I would consider it.

A dangerous smile lit his face, and I could see the sharp points on his vampire like teeth. You’ll have to do more than you promised. You’ve killed a member of your family and the only reason we’ve been able to accept that and continue forward is because we know you didn’t know any better.

What do you mean to do better than I promised? What do you want?

We want to show you our ways. You’ve given your mother the same privilege when she was the one who sold you to this heathen man to raise. He glared at Harold, who looked suddenly very ill. He is nothing. I could obliterate him without as much effort as raising my finger, but I won’t just yet.

I looked again for Nicholas, and I still didn’t see him. Surely he would recognize my Baobhan Sith father come to steal me away.

Do you know why I won’t?

Um, because there are too many witnesses? He grinned at me, and I pulled further back to be as far away from his sharp teeth as I could get.

You’ve seen too many movies. He laughed out loud. No, I continue to let him live because despite the horrible job he’s done as a father for you, you still care for him. I don’t want you to be hurt. It matters to me that you are happy. Why do you think we haven’t just come and taken you?

The song was ending at last, and I stepped out of his hands and applauded the musicians. I still didn’t see Nicholas. I’m pretty sure that has something to do with the fact that I’m the only one who can kill you.

You’re looking for Nicholas, yes? He’s not coming. I couldn’t have him ruining my first dance with my only daughter.

What did you do to him?

I saw anger in his eyes as he looked at me now. I merely put the dog to sleep. He’ll wake up when I’m ready for him to wake up. He offered me his hand. Shall we go out onto the terrace?

He made me wish I’d taken that moron Sigmund up on his offer when he asked me earlier. Of course I had to go with him despite the choking panic sensation that was creeping up my throat. I had to check on Nicholas.

Will I come to regret this decision? Probably, but if I say no he will just force me out the door.

Excuse me, Mr. Castlerock I couldn’t help but notice that you appear distressed. I hope my daughter isn’t the cause of this?

I would think, Senator LeVine your concerns should lie with your daughter and not with me. Morgan leaned in close to Harold, and I watched my Dad, the big bad Senator, shrink away as I’d never seen him do for anyone. You are supposed to be her father.

Yes, I’m so sorry.

Apologize to her, not to me.

Harold turned toward me. I’m sorry, Piper. He looked so afraid, and I knew he didn’t deserve my defending him, but I couldn’t stand to see him that way.

Don’t scare him like that, I spoke quietly, but he still heard me.

You are lucky she cares for you. Morgan sighed. I left them both behind me and headed for the terrace. Morgan followed me as I knew he would. It was creepy how fast he moved. He was at my side and opening the door, as though I’d never left him.

If he could put Nicholas to sleep than who was left to protect me? No one at the party stood a chance. He was making it really obvious that I was on my own in this.

They aren’t my family, I said referring to his earlier comment. They aren’t even your family. You left your family to be with them. I straightened my shoulders and tried to check my surroundings for others without being too obvious.

Morgan looked up at the quarter moon and then back at me. You of all people should understand how families don’t always have to be a blood relation. You share none with your beloved Grandma Sidney.

I held my breath and watched him carefully. If he threatened Grandma Sidney, I didn’t know what I’d do. I could kill the Baobhans yes, but I needed a werewolf’s help, and I wasn’t sure that I could take on more than one at a time.

She’s a lovely woman. I can understand why you love her. I let go of my breath slowly. We stayed away to let you heal and absorb all that has been thrust upon you. We did hope that your dog would do the same.

Stop calling him that, I spoke through my teeth, and he smiled down at me.

Forgive me if I don’t share the same affection for the beast that killed my brother.

I met his cool gaze even though my skin felt as if it was icing over. I killed Cayden too.

Had you the truth of our ways and what we do, you would not have done what you did. He shoved his long fingered right hand through his dark hair. I’m sorry I offended you.

I shrugged and looked down at my fisted hands. What was I supposed to do with that? Seraph my birth mother never apologized for the harsh things she did. He was at least acknowledging my feelings even though he’d made it clear how differently he felt about Nicholas.

I’m about to start school. I can’t just go with you to your home like I did with Seraph this summer. I don’t have time right now.

That is why I ask that you stay here. It is an unbiased territory. We are not forbidding the visitation of the do- err… gypsies from seeing you, and we want the same rights.

Grandma Sidney would be very sad if I didn’t spend my last year there with her. I didn’t want to disappoint her and who knew how much longer I’d be able to keep it a secret from her that we weren’t actually blood related?

I don’t want to miss that time with Sydney. She needs me.

He shook his head with an expression of pity and his hard featured face. You really don’t have a choice.

What’s that supposed to mean? Are you threatening Sidney? As my emotions started to rage energy tingled in the air beneath my hand, and as I pushed the rage away a yew tree sprung up in the garden just next to us. Morgan flinched slightly. He looked at it, pressed his lips together and then blew out a frustrated sigh through his nose. My new gypsy taught earth luring ability was getting better and quicker.

I was the only Gypsy in over a hundred years who could grow a tree using earth luring. The yew tree, being the Baobhans weakness, it was the only one I grew.

He didn’t seem terribly impressed but a little surprised. This earth luring ability of yours is nothing compared to what you can really do with my help. He said, "I am not threatening Sidney. I don’t have to threaten anyone you care about if you understand what a Baobhan Sith is capable of doing.

That sounds like a threat to me.

I do have a blood bond with you and so do the others. We all share a blood tie. He tilted his head to the left and was quiet for a moment. I realized he was listening, and I quickly looked around for Nicholas. The others want to see a show of faith. You will stay here and allow us the chance you’ve promised us.

Or?

I don’t want to go into that. However, I think you can understand the werewolves are not capable of keeping us from what we want. It terrified me he had so easily gotten Nicholas out of his way. He made sure I knew I was not safe no matter where I went and that was the whole reason for his visit.

I made a promise and I’ll keep it. I will stay here. We both knew he’d bullied me into this decision, and I hoped the helplessness I felt wasn’t evident on my face.

An easy smile played at his slightly pink lips. He didn’t look all that much older than me, and yet he was my father. His skin was not super-white and dead looking like vampires appear in movies, instead it held a healthy tan. There was no fat on his body, and every line of his face was lean and angular.

There was an unmistakable feeling of power just pouring off of him, but his face held no malice and now that he’d achieved what he had come for his teeth were no longer sharp. His eyes were much less intense. I noticed they were green like mine.

I was not much older than you are now when I fell ill. He sat on the balustrade and gestured for me to sit next to him. I was young and much less intelligent than you are. Morgan grinned playfully ignoring the fact that I did not sit by him. I had to remind myself that he was dangerous. I was selfish. I was self-important, and I was desperate.

All playfulness fell away from his face, and now he appeared truly sorrowful. I was so wrong to bargain with my unborn child. He stood up and then got down on his knees in front of me. You have every reason to hate me. I deserve that hate. I do. Especially because at that time, I believed the Baobhans to be devils as you do now.

I took a step back uncomfortable with this display and what it was making me feel. I want to make it up to you. I want you to have everything you’ve ever wanted and more. I want you to never feel pain and to never have to grow old. You won't have to taste death.

Chapter Two

Morgan left promising to return soon. He said that he wanted to know me and if nothing else he wanted to make sure I was happy. His words were nice enough, but I’d learned the hard way words were easy to say, but actions are another story.

He would be back and expected that I would be waiting to greet him. I should have been scared, but I wasn’t. I should have been angry or at least worried, but I wasn’t. This was so unlike me.

The yew tree I’d grown when Morgan had mentioned my Grandma Sidney blocked my view of Katrine’s prize garden, and I smiled at it. I’d grown it without even touching the earth. Not only that, but I’d done it in front of a Baobhan Sith. He made sure to let me know he was powerful, but I’d at least shown him I was not going to be an easy kill if it came to that.

I looked back through the windows. I couldn’t see anyone looking my way so I climbed over the balustrade. The ground was wet and soggy from several days of rain. I could feel my white heels sink into the mud, and my right foot sank all the way to my shin before I could get my other foot down. I tried not to think about how I was going to explain my absent shoe as I continued forward.

Nicholas? I whispered loudly.

Where did Morgan put him?

I couldn’t search the entire property for him. Luckily I wouldn’t have to. I called for him on the wind. It’s one of the few perks I’ve had in all the mess of discovering I’m of a clandestine gypsy lineage. After my blood was purified in the gypsy ceremony, different abilities I would consider to be supernatural like talking on the wind began to surface.

I can honestly say that in the beginning, my thoughts running willy nilly on the wind was not so much a perk. I’d worked and developed them so I could select what the wind carried to the ears of my choosing.

I also learned earth luring, which

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