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Rowan: Blood Crave, #2

Rowan: Blood Crave, #2

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Rowan: Blood Crave, #2

Lunghezza:
268 pagine
3 ore
Pubblicato:
Aug 18, 2013
ISBN:
9780991834853
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

Dark. Night. Death.

Things Rowan has been trying to avoid for the many years since she was first turned. Her choice: to sleep away the darkness; it beats having to deal with the craziness of life. Or rather, death. However soon after awakening, she stumbles upon a lone figure whose presence is shrouded with mystery.

She assists him in his search for answers making it even more difficult for Rowan to forget her past. She realizes she can't hide forever as she is literally being sucked back into her chaotic world: a world where both fallen angels and vampires exist, manifested on earth as lapsus and lamia.

Not particularly ... friendly with one another.

Rowan struggles to resist her hunger as a demon vampire while dealing with unwanted desires for a fallen angel from the past: a relationship that could only spell trouble. Not to mention the unresolved feelings she still has for a loved one from long ago.

While all of this is happening, they must all seek the hidden evil that hunts them--for there's an ancient fighting to wake up and destroy everything Rowan holds dear.


Rowan, the continuation of the Blood Crave Series.

Pubblicato:
Aug 18, 2013
ISBN:
9780991834853
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

Christina Channelle is the author of Young Adult and New Adult Fiction, her series including Four Letters and Blood Crave. She’s happily addicted to coffee, the colour green, and Netflix. She’s also partial to writing about angsty girls who may or may not have a potty mouth.

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Rowan - Christina Channelle

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Prologue

IT WAS TIME TO WAKE up.

My eyes immediately flew open with that thought and I was welcomed by silence. Every fiber of my being became aware of one thing as my body betrayed me, tingling in raw fear, nothing but shadows surrounding me:

I was alone.

My chest felt heavy as I gasped for air, momentarily forgetting how to breathe, forgetting that it wasn’t even necessary for me to breathe. My mind screamed out in torment at all the images crashing in—visions of blood and pain and utter darkness. Panicked, I tried catching my breath as hot tears ran down my cheeks, leaving streaks of memories from long ago.

I slowly began to calm, concentrating on the act of simply breathing. That was short-lived, though, an intense feeling of hunger suddenly plaguing me. Twisting in agony, the spasms were unrelenting and I clutched my stomach in pain. I was lightheaded—the walls spinning all around me as I sat up, doubling over.

Mustering up the little strength I had, I remembered the contingency plan I’d made before my slumber. Sticking my hands within my pockets, I fumbled, my limbs feeling foreign, my hands continuing to shake, but I finally grabbed onto a circular object, and held it in my palm. Placing it on the tip of my tongue, I instantly felt satiated as it melted in my mouth. However, the contentment was brief and not enough—it would never be enough.

I needed to feed.

Chapter 1

IT WAS RAINING.

Heavy droplets pelted the ground as if the heavens above were somehow angered by the chaos dwelling in the city streets. Both thunder and lightning joined its comrade and the sky lit up in brilliance, then quickly rejoiced in a crashing rumble.

It was a night like any other.

Through this tumultuous symphony, the sound of sirens still rang clearly through the murky fog. The fog enveloped the city like a heavy blanket, almost suffocating its inhabitants. Engines from buses took a deep sigh as they came to a screeching halt alongside the road, expelling poor souls with not even a smile on their face. They seemed emotionless: as if they somehow sensed the restlessness and chaos of the lapsus hidden during the brightness of day.

But seemed to unleash itself when night took over.

Various women had a look of disregard as they flocked both sides of the road wearing their cheap clothes all a-glitter, a shiny black Lexus or a blue Mercedes rolling to a stop to strike up a conversation. The invitation was all too apparent—rather quite depressing, actually.

But it was home.

Amidst all this, Rowan watched from the sidewalk, leaning against the brick wall, one boot propped against it. Glancing up to the falling rain, it reminded her of another time, one that seemed like centuries ago.

Then too, God had been crying.

Rain dampening her unruly hair, her eyes remained unblinking as she took in the scenery.

It had been years since she’d last stepped foot in Fallon. The calm once found in the city while growing up with the lone vampire (and then trio of fallen angels) was now replaced with a disturbance pouring from the city’s core.

Eyes narrowing, Rowan adjusted the black knapsack hanging off her left shoulder, shaking her head in annoyance.

It was supposed to be safe here.

Apparently uprooting herself, leaving people she considered family, didn’t change the evil deciding to cultivate and take over Fallon, the City of the Fallen Angels. The stench of wickedness from the lapsus still permeated through the district. Rowan scrunched her face in anger at the mere thought.

Her presence four years ago had been a problem with the lapsus, despising all lamia due to their age old jealously issues.

But that was another story in itself.

Having once thought vampires were practically extinct, it came as a huge surprise when the naughty angels found one living in their own self-proclaimed city. They didn’t take too kindly at the notion, that red-eyed witch killing one of the people closest to Rowan because of her very existence.

So she left.

Remembering the bitter past, Rowan sighed. Raising a damp hand toward her eyes, she wiped away the beads of water collecting on her lashes. The movement caused her to brush away her uncontrollable shoulder-length dark hair, revealing a slightly raised eyebrow. A passing stranger, if asked, would have had to describe her face as belonging to an angel.

A dark angel would have probably been more appropriate. Although the term, angel was rather insulting to Rowan.

Her smooth tanned face was flawless except for three tiny moles that together formed the shaped of a triangle spotting the outer corner of her left eye. The moles created the shape perfectly, as if meticulously placed there on purpose. Long lashes framed brown eyes so dark the person who stared back would clearly see their own reflection in them. And her mouth? It would often display her current mood.

Right now, they were positioned in a dark smile, a look she was all too used to giving. She stood tall, dressed in black, as if to mesh in with the darkness surrounding her.

Although truth be told, she still feared the dark.

Complete darkness, that is. It was something she truly hated about herself and wished she could drive the feeling out of her. Every day, she cursed the witch that had done this to her. Because every time she closed her eyes she had to remember the night when her whole world changed.

Rowan shook the memories away. There were too many things that needed to stay buried; there was no point in rehashing things that could never be changed. That was a sign of weakness and she no longer showed signs of weakness. She couldn’t—there was no one to protect her anymore. They, those spiteful witches, would use that to overpower her.

Closing her eyes, Rowan sighed and tried relaxing. A noise caused her to look up and she watched the light from the storefront flicker on and off, mimicking the lightning in the sky. Staring at the light, she was reassured by its presence.

Looking back at the streets, she cursed the weather, placing a hand to her damp hair. What I wouldn’t do for a spa day right about now. Her hair was a bitch to deal with, her normally preferred straight style instantly reverting back to its natural curls. But hell: she hadn’t known it was supposed to rain. Plus, it wasn’t as if she’d needed an umbrella where she’d been.

Asleep for the last few years.

Grunting at the thought, Rowan shook her head aggressively to get some of the water out. She looked up to see the sky finally calming, the rain tapering to a light sprinkle.

She really hated the rain.

But regardless of her present mood over trivial things, no matter how annoyed at whatever wicked witch currently lurked in town, there was really only one vital thing on Rowan’s mind.

She needed to feed.

Shoving a hand inside her right jacket pocket, Rowan took out a small red object resembling a piece of candy, like a round jellybean. Popping it into her mouth, she relished in its taste. She hoped it would buy some time while she searched for a food source adequate for her.

To Rowan, these candies were like a lifeline—her temporary source of sanity so she didn’t turn into a psychotic demon vampire, craving only blood. That wasn’t about to happen any time soon if she could help it.

Frowning, Rowan reached into her pocket. She realized only four of the candies remained.

Let the countdown begin.

Her stash had ended and it was time for a refill. She frowned again, thinking of the unavoidable encounter she’d need to have with him. She had wanted to delay their meeting but knew it was inevitable ... she’d have to see him eventually.

As the most immature vampire, blood was an absolute necessity in order to survive, in order to function. Over the years, Rowan might have been able to handle her desire a bit better, but blood still played a major role in her afterlife.

She craved it more than anything else.

Because of that, her decision to sleep these past years had been an easy one. Not only because of the physical and mental strain she had to deal with, not strictly to get away from her horrid past, but to avoid the constant hunger she felt.

And at least while dreaming she could pretend she wasn’t who she was.

Therefore her ‘special candies’ came into play so she didn’t literally suck the blood out of every human she fed from. The candies were her lifeline, comparable to a nicotine patch to a recovering chain smoker. It may not be as good as the real deal, but was necessary if you wanted to cut back from the usual two packs per day.

Enter, he who shall remain nameless.

He was really the only one who could provide her with her candy, having created them himself. And just as their reunion was inevitable, his presence in her mind was inevitable. Because every time she consumed a red droplet she thought of him. His face would conjure up in her mind like one of his Magic spells, damn him. Personally, she thought her mind would be on someone else.

Apparently her heart had other ideas.

Trying to remove all thoughts of him, Rowan focused on the task at hand. She sucked hard on the last remnant of candy, then stepped out of the shadows and onto the main street. She knew she’d catch the eye of some pathetic twenty-something year old. As of now, she didn’t give a hoot who it was. She just wanted—no, needed—one thing.

Blood.

She caught sight of a somewhat nice-looking blond walking across the street. He looked strong and healthy, definitely able to do the job, not dying on her and all. Humans who were frail had a tendency to not recover from the stress their body went under while being fed on, no matter how little blood she would take at times.

Rowan also learned sexuality was just as powerful as the ability to manipulate people’s thoughts. She’d use either, depending on her mood. It was why she’d dubbed herself the Charmer. Vampires had scary reputations and she didn’t really think she was scary. She’d changed from the old Rowan, having been on her own for so long, but she wasn’t creepy.

Or was she?

Ignoring the thought, Rowan tilted her head, calmly waiting for her meal to cross the street. She tracked his steps with her eyes as he made his way over, walking toward her. As he passed by, she grabbed onto his essence, tapping into his thoughts. She instantly felt a sense of urgency coming from him.

He was late in arriving to a friend’s condo, a new one, and couldn’t find the address. He felt slightly agitated at being lost, especially in a new city where things were so unfamiliar. Being a guy and all, he didn’t dare ask anyone for directions.

Typical.

Eyes raised, Rowan unconsciously popped another candy in her mouth.

Three.

She silently fumed, yet another reminder of him. No time to be distracted, Rowan, she thought to herself. But her candies were rather addicting, especially when caught up in the chase.

Eyes narrowed on her target, Rowan focused once more. She waited two beats before following Blond Boy from behind. A few more strides and she quickly caught up to him, falling into step thanks to her long legs. She managed to ‘accidentally’ step on the heel of his right sneaker, forcing him to stop as he spun around. Annoyance clearly flashed across his expression but it quickly disappeared as his gaze rested on Rowan. His eyes roamed up and down her body unashamedly, a smile growing on his face.

Boys were too easy—a pretty face and they were hooked. Internally, she rolled her eyes at his response. She could tell he no longer thought of being lost.

Frankly, it was quite pathetic.

Putting on an apologetic face, she frowned, stepping forward. Oh, I’m so sorry. I didn’t hurt you, did I? She brushed a hand against his upper arm for added affect and knew he worked out from the bulge felt beneath his clothes. She felt the shiver vibrate through his body from her contact.

Hook, line and sinker.

She rather enjoyed this game of cat and mouse. It gave her something to do and, to be honest, it was rather refreshing. Mind control wasn’t as entertaining and she didn’t do it unless needed.

No. Um, no, you didn’t. I’m fine. His voice pierced through Rowan’s thoughts, sounding slightly off centered, almost like a pubescent boy. It didn’t match his physique at all. She watched him swallow deeply, clearing his throat. Rowan bit her lip, trying to hide the smirk forming on her face.

She instantly let go of his arm, eyes widening. Well, then. Now that I know you’re fine.... She took a step back, smiling as she slowly walked away. She accentuated her stride, allowing her hips to sway gently back and forth when—

Wait! She paused in mid-stride, her smirk quickly forming again. Smothering her smile, she changed her expression to one of apologetic sincerity. Hands clasped together, she turned to face him, watching as he jogged over. He stopped, only mere inches away from her.

What’s your name? he murmured.

Her candy having dissolved, Rowan chose to suck on her tongue instead for the lingering taste, then gave her upper lip a quick swipe. She watched his blue eyes flicker to her mouth as he followed her movements. She slowly exhaled, her breath filling his nostrils before finally answering.

Rowan.

He continued to watch her mouth, not saying a word. He sure was slow. Although aroused, which was easily seen by his dilated eyes, his quick, shallow breaths, the way he looked at her, he didn’t make a move. Rowan was sure if he had his way, they’d be staring at each other all night long.

That was so not happening.

Impatient, she pursed her lips, deciding to take things into her own hands. He was definitely not the pursuer. Taking a closer step to him, she brushed herself firmly against him, feeling his body stiffen. Slowly moving her mouth toward the shell of his right ear, she whispered something any guy would love to hear. Her devious smile locked in place, eyes glinting wickedly.

"Would you like to have some fun?

Chapter 2

THAT WAS HOW THEY FOUND themselves, mere minutes later, in an alleyway of all places. With him sprawled against a brick wall, Rowan comfortably situated between his legs.

She smiled devilishly, her lips brushing the skin on his chest as his arms encircled her waist. She continued to press firm kisses against his warmth, gripping his open shirt tightly. Slowly moving her mouth north, she lightly grazed his neck, then jaw, and finally mouth, sucking softly on his bottom lip. Her damp hair from the rain left a wet trail behind on his skin as he gasped for air, groaning loudly. She heard him muttering something against her mouth, causing Rowan to pause between kisses.

What? she asked, exasperated.

You’re so cold.

Rowan pulled back slightly. Hands resting on his chest, she looked him squarely in the eye. Irritation grew on her face, an eyebrow raising up at him.

Really? Of all the things to be focusing on right now: temperature?

Staring at him, she noticed dilated blue eyes, a slightly crooked nose, and a chipped bottom tooth.

So apparently Blond Boy wasn’t that nice-looking.

Don’t stop, he protested. Really, we don’t have to stop. It’s just—your lips. He moved a finger to give her lips a light stroke.

They’re like ice.

Rowan didn’t say anything. She just continued to raise both eyebrows now at the finger pressed gently against her mouth. She knew her body temperature was a few degrees lower than normal and it wasn’t because it had been raining.

She wasn’t normal, obviously.

Remembering why she was here in the first place—she’d actually been enjoying herself there for a while—she ignored his comment, removing his hand from her mouth. Taking his face in her hands, she gave him another kiss. Little by little, her mouth moved down to the side of his neck, all the while still cupping his cheek softly. Finding her lips over the pulse of his carotid artery, she took a deep breath against his throat. The anticipation of the bite caused her own body to beat in unison to his pulsating blood vessel, right down to her very core. The feeling was more enticing than any make-out session with a human. Rowan smirked, slowly opening her mouth, and she finally bared her teeth. A pair of long pointy canines appeared, glistening in the moonlight.

She took a bite.

At the penetration, she felt the sudden shock his body went through as he realized what was happening. He grabbed a hold of her, squeezing tight, as if to catch himself from plummeting to the ground. Mentally linking with his thoughts, Rowan felt his fear, but also his excitement of what he was experiencing. Her mind fed off those feelings as she continued avidly drawing in the blood from the artery in his neck. The feeling of finally having fresh human blood rush throughout her body was so intense. She imagined the blood entering each of her tiny cells, replenishing her body.

How can I love and hate something so equally?

A slight feeling of guilt rose up in Rowan’s chest. He was, after all, an innocent who didn’t have a clue of what dangers lurked in the night. Who was she to take something unbeknownst to him?

Miles away, she heard a groan but Rowan ignored him, continuing to feed. The pure taste of blood, as always, made her lose all rationale. She knew she had to stop soon, sensing his fatigue; if she continued, she’d probably kill him.

Giving one last final lick alongside his neck, she quickly released him, grabbing onto his shoulder as he staggered forward. He clutched her shirt tightly, refusing to let go, despite his weakness. Rowan firmly propped him against the wall and disengaged herself from him, planting herself a few feet away.

That’s enough. She looked deeply into his eyes and saw his pupils fixed and dilated. She noticed two tiny holes left from her bite mark but was pleased, as it was barely noticeable.

She still hadn’t lost her touch.

Moving toward him once more, Rowan

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