Shadow blood, p.1
The right of Jayde Scott to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
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This is a work of fiction and any resemblance between the characters and persons living or dead is purely coincidental.
Books of the Ancient Legends series:
A Job From Hell
Dead And Beyond/Bewitched
Forever And Beyond
Other titles by Jayde Scott
The Divorce Club
Black Wood (A Witch Rising Trilogy)
Born to Spy
Titles coming in 2013
The Prophecy of Morganefaire Trilogy
For my spouse and little ones…I love you with all my heart.
Thank you to my editor and critique partners—you know who you are.
A huge thank you to each and every one of my readers and fans. Without your support, this series wouldn’t exist.
Ways to get in touch with Jayde:
Don’t part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.
- Mark Twain - US novelist (1835 - 1910)
Table of Contents
Ancient Legends books
Part One Prologue
Part Two Prologue
The Swiss Alps – around witching hour
When Death comes knocking on your door you don’t run or hide, you don’t grab your rosary and crawl into your safest corner to pray because no one will come to your aid. I should know for I have seen the future times and times again. My name’s Patricia and I’m a fallen angel. Together with a select group of supernatural beings—a coven of vampires, Lucifer’s daughter, a shape shifter, a voodoo priestess, a ghost, and a necromancer—I’m destined to save humanity in its darkest hour. But before you can be saved, blood will stain the streets and no amount of rain will be able to wash it away and no thunder will be able to stifle your screams of pain when facing the evil that is about to be unleashed upon the world.
And so the Prophecy of Morganefaire begins.
We had arrived in Morganefaire barely three days ago and already I was fighting to save my life.
And it wasn’t even my fault. A murderer was on the loose, killing witches without leaving a trace behind. When you belong to a vampire coven and bodies begin to pile up, everyone’s bound to watch you with suspicion and fingers begin to start pointing. So you have no other choice than to commence an investigation before your reputation’s being dragged through the gutter. Which is what I was trying to do.
How could I have known that following Maya to find out what she was up to would lead me to a strange dime store where someone knocked me over the head and tossed me on top of Morganefaire’s wall? If you’re familiar with Morganefaire’s wall, then you’ll know it’s not the place you want to hang out after darkness falls. Not if you want to live to see another day.
But I’m getting carried away here. So let’s start from the beginning.
Maya Mallory was a witch in a witches’ town. To call her strange was a big understatement. The woman was as talkative as a cupboard, and probably even less social. When she greeted Aidan, Kieran and me at the gates the day we arrived, I didn’t pay her much thought because I didn’t expect us to become chums anyway, so it wasn’t a big deal. But when she grew even more hostile toward me, and her eyes shifted color, suspicion began to crawl up on me. Like everyone else in Morganefaire, she barricaded the house at night and stayed indoors until dawn. Or that’s what I thought. Until I arrived home from my Night Guard duty to find her leaving the safety of her home to venture into the night. So, naturally, I followed to see what was going on. My pursuit led me to a dime store called Bells, Books And Candles belonging to another witch, Elyssa. Looking to investigate the strange sounds coming from the basement, I hurried down the steps when the lights went out and someone knocked me over the head and teleported me out into the black night. And now I was standing on top of Morganefaire’s wall, enveloped by a deadly wind that made it its prerogative to kill me, or persuade me to kill myself, whichever came first.
In spite of the cold, my skin was bathed in beads of sweat. My frantic gaze swept over the darkness around me and settled on nothing in particular. And that’s when the first face of the cursed popped up. The skin was so thin and frail, the skull shimmered through. And then another face materialized, and another, until the street was lined with ghostly apparitions with gaping mouths and hollow eye sockets, their wails echoing in my ears.
I didn’t want to die. Not yet. But the need to end this once and for all was so strong, I heaved an exasperated sigh and let the cloak of sorrow envelop me. My life was miserable, or so the voices in my head said. I needed to let go of it. Leave this horrible, hostile world behind once and for all. I drew my breath sharply. Tears pricked the corners of my eyes. I didn’t want to jump and yet the voice urged me to, over and over again.
Closing my eyes, I stepped forward into…nothingness.
Strong fingers wrapped around my arms and kept me back. “What the heck are you doing?” someone hissed in my ear.
I turned sharply, surprised to hear Logan’s voice. The miserable fog seemed to lift from my brain but I couldn’t quite shake off the melancholy in my heart.
“Were you going to jump?” He moved back but didn’t loosen his grip around my arm. His dark eyes shimmered in the night. “Actually, I don’t think I want to hear your story, otherwise I’ll have to tell Aidan about it and he won’t be pleased to hear his girlfriend was about to kill herself by jumping from Morganefaire’s wall.”
“It’s not high enough to kill a vampire,” I said, pulling my arm out of his iron grip and peering around me. “Where did the weird wind go?”
He just peered at me, his features betraying his concern. His jaw was set. A thin line creased his prev
“Oh?” I bit my lip hard as I scanned his young face. His gaze was earnest but intense, watching me like a hawk. I figured he was telling the truth. For some reason, I was both relieved and irritated to see one of Aidan’s friend’s in this particular situation. Logan was a nice chap, a warlock like most of Aidan’s brethren. Aidan could trust him without a doubt, but we needed Morganefaire’s support in the upcoming war and I wasn’t exactly making a mentally stable impression. Would they really fight on our side if I continued to make one stupid mistake after another? I highly doubted that.
“It’s pretty scary out here at night.” I jumped down from the high wall, landing on my feet, and waited until he climbed down the ladder hidden in the stone. To my surprise, he didn’t take the ladder. He jumped and landed next to me. Mortals weren’t usually this graceful.
I moistened my lips but didn’t speak out the question burning on them. Seriously, it wasn’t my business. If Logan wanted to share his secret with me, he would. I managed to hold my tongue for all of three seconds, and then I opened my mouth nonetheless because keeping quiet wasn’t my style. Besides, my curiosity was killing me. “You’re not mortal.”
Logan peered away but his startled expression didn’t escape me. “Warlocks live longer than mortals,” he said. Great way to avoid giving an answer to a dangerous statement, but not good enough.
“That’s not what I meant and you know it.” He remained quiet, which only managed to confirm my suspicions. I started to walk through the empty streets with Logan following. A strong breeze ruffled my hair and oversized leather coat that belonged to Aidan. We turned a corner and hastened our pace until we reached the first string of buildings closed up for the night. “I’ve been wondering why a bunch of warlocks would call themselves Aidan’s brethren and stand by him.” He opened his mouth to speak when I held out a finger to stop him. “I know you said you fought alongside him in various wars, but that’s such a flimsy excuse I hope you didn’t really think anyone would believe you.” I stopped so abruptly, he almost bumped into me. His brows were furrowed, emphasizing the worry in his eyes. I smiled softly and then my hand moved up to strike him. He caught my wrist in mid-air, inches from his face. His reflexes were fast like those of an immortal.
My brows shot up. “You should’ve let me hit you. It would’ve made me believe you’re not one of us.”
“I’m not a vampire,” Logan whispered.
I snorted. “Come on, mate. Do you think I’m stupid?” My laughter died in my throat as I caught a glimpse of his serious expression. A glint of danger played in his eyes, and for the first time I realized Logan might not be the lovely chap I made him out to be.
“Blake and I were sent here on a mission,” Logan said.
“Sent from where?”
“From the past. Scotland 1399.”
“Okay.” I drew out the word. “Like a time-warp travel thingy or something?” I fought hard to stifle the sudden onset of giggles at the back of my throat. He had to be kidding.
“It’s not a joke,” Logan said. “We were sent here on a mission centuries ago and now we’re stuck.”
“Yeah, your plane flew back home without you. What a shame.” I resumed my walking, not believing a word he said. “Why couldn’t you just admit you’re a vampire or whatever you are?”
He remained quiet for a whole minute and then he just said, “You’re right. I’m immortal, but not a vampire.”
I nodded. “See, it wasn’t that hard. What are you then?”
“I can’t tell you that.”
“Why not?” I regarded him from the corner of my eyes.
“Because then I’d have to kill you.” It was meant to be a joke, I could tell that much from the way his lips curled slightly. And yet his words sent a shiver down my spine. “We’re here.” He pointed at the dark building in front of us. It took me a moment to realize we were standing in front of the guest quarters where Aidan, Kieran and I were staying during our time in Morganefaire.
“Thanks,” I said.
“No worries.” He inched closer and bent forward until his forehead almost brushed mine. “And, Amber, no more jumping from walls, okay? Aidan wouldn’t be too happy about it.” His eyes sparkled and for a moment I thought I saw something in them: Snowflakes and wide valleys covered in white. Men in tartans sharpening their swords against an evil gathering in the distance.
I moistened my lips, lost for words. And then the spell was broken and the pictures in his eyes disappeared. Smiling, Logan curtsied and headed away. The guy was weird, no doubt about that, but there was no time to obsess over yet another mystery. As I stared after Logan until he turned a corner, I made a mental note to ask Aidan about him and moved on to more pressing issues. I could go back inside the house and wait there until morning before deciding on my next step. Or I could return to the one place that someone didn’t want me to investigate.
It wasn’t a particularly tough decision to make.
I scanned the empty street to my left and right and then, wrapping my coat tighter around me, I headed for Elyssa’s dime store.
The moon cast a silver-bluish hue on the dark streets of Morganefaire, leaving no doubt that the Blue Moon was approaching fast. According to the Prophecy of Morganefaire, in just two days something bad would happen: Flavius, the strongest vampire walking Earth, would awaken, starting the war between the three paranormal races: the vampires, the Shadows and the Lore Court. While Kieran, Aidan and I were vampires, we didn’t belong to Flavius’s court. In fact, we didn’t belong to any court and we had no intention to take sides any time soon. Our prerogative was to seek Morganefaire’s support to find a way to stop the prophecy. And if that failed, then we’d make it our prerogative to protect the many mortal and immortal innocents that would come to harm in the war. So far our plans hadn’t been particularly successful. The Morganefaire Council didn’t seem keen on supporting Aidan’s quest, and then there was also the problem of someone killing witches at a fast speed. I figured if I could only solve that puzzle the Council might just decide to side with us.
Pushing the dark thoughts to the back of my mind, I hastened my pace through the empty streets until I reached the inconspicuous building with the sign ‘BELLS, BOOKS & CANDLES’ for the second time that night. Whatever it was I wasn’t supposed to see, it had to be in the basement, or why else would someone knock me over the head the moment I set foot on the staircase leading downstairs? I was hell bent on finding out what Elyssa was hiding. Only this time I vowed not to make the mistake of entering unprepared.
I pushed the door to the shop. It didn’t budge. No surprise there. The shop was protected by magic, making it impossible for immortals to break in or teleport inside, unless a witch uttered an invitation. I had learned that during my first visit to Bells, Books & Candles.
“Julie,” I whispered. No answer. “Hey, are you in there?” I said a teensy bit louder. My foot tapped impatiently on the asphalt as I counted the seconds, wondering where my irritating ghost companion could be. It took about ten seconds before a pale figure materialized next to me, her long, brown hair swaying around her like a halo, her glossy lips puckered as though she couldn’t quite fathom why she was being summoned.
“What are you doing out here? I thought you were investigating the basement,” Julie said. “You’re supposed to find out why I was killed.”
“I know that,” I muttered.
“Why are you wasting time then?”
I groaned inwardly. “Long story. It’s not like I had a choice. Someone knocked me over the head and before I knew it I was out there on top of the wall, fighting for my life. Now, can you invite me in, please?”
Her eyes widened. She was about to start drilling me for details. I couldn’t deal with Julie’s questions, particularly not since, once she opened her mouth, it’d be a long time before she shut up again.
I raised my hand to stop her. Sh
As usual her bluntness was spot on, which is why it annoyed me so much. I was a vampire, for crying out loud. It shouldn’t have been so easy—unless the attacker was a supernatural being, maybe a vampire with the ability to teleport to places. I added that question to my mental list of mysteries to solve in Morganefaire.
“Priorities, remember?” I said to both Julie and myself.
I glared at her. “We’ll talk later.”
Julie didn’t appear too happy about it but she disappeared through the door. A moment later she called out, “You may come in.”
Thankful that she didn’t argue for a change, I pushed the door open and entered, then closed it behind me and leaned against the doorframe to scan the shop floor. It looked just like it did that same evening.
“Did you see or hear anyone entering or leaving?” I asked Julie.
She shook her head. I opened my mouth to ask the next question when she cut me off. “Wait, there was some thumping but I thought it was you tripping over your own shadow again.” She officially sounded like my boyfriend.