Brat Sweet Nothings

Random musings of a romance reader
Excerpt from SINS OF THE NIGHT by Devyn Quinn
Sins of the Night: Kith & Kynn Book 2

Once, Adrien Roth was a Shadow Stalker--a hunter of vampires called the Kynn. Captured, he was forced to pay a devastating price, to become the very thing he despised. Over a century has passed since that time and Adrien's revenge against the creatures who tainted him is almost complete.

Little does he know that his thirst for justice will turn on him.

Foiling an attempted rape, Adrien is stunned by his attraction to the would-be victim. Cassie Wilson is a vibrant woman, obsessed with living for every moment. Though he knows better, Adrien begins to fall in love with her. But Cassie hides a terrible secret: her cancer is incurable.

When he and Cassie are captured by his enemies, Adrien is given a choice. Should he choose death for himself, or life for Cassie by making her one of the clan he's shunned for too long?

Friday night. Mystique was jammed wall to wall.

Multi-color strobe lights whooshed to the thudding beat of a Marilyn Manson remix. Faux fog crept across the dance floor, rising to mingle with the thick haze of cigarette smoke. The theme was an eclectic mix of occult and medieval, pandering to people who believed in magick, people wishing to escape the drudgery of everyday life by immersing themselves in vampire-themed fantasies. Scantily clad waitresses wove through the sea of bodies, intent on delivering food and drinks.

Devon Carnavorn stood in front of his two-way wall of mirrors, gazing down onto the dance floor. The Goth crowd was out in full force. Anyone not having a selection of tattoos, piercings and spiky jewelry was ridiculed as a freak. In any other place but Mystique, the patrons would be considered ready for the state mental hospital. Faces pale, eyes lined with kohl, lips a slash of crimson, they mutilated themselves in ways that bordered on emotionally ill. These people drank and drugged, viewing the world through dilated pupils as large and empty as black holes and wishing they weren't a part of it.

As he watched sweating bodies thrash, a slight smile played around the corners of his mouth. He understood his patrons, those lost souls who fit like square pegs in round holes. They were searching for something beyond themselves--something that would give meaning to their tiny lives. He understood because he'd once been a young man searching for a greater meaning beyond life, beyond death. But where he'd found the answers to his many questions, these deluded souls never would. Many were called to join the true ranks of predators on the night. Few were chosen as worthy enough to cross over from human to immortal.

Devon felt he was blessed to be chosen, and for that he would always be most grateful. A hundred and nine years had passed since his initiation into the clan.

Memories of Ariel Van Sandt were tucked away in a box in the back of his mind, a box rarely opened nowadays. He was distressed that her image had begun to fade of late; her death had occurred over a century ago. In that time he had found and sired the woman who was his own destined she-shaey, his blood mate. Was it because of his happiness with Rachel and the pending delivery of their twins that he was beginning to forget Ariel?

Tension knotted his shoulders. Maybe it is better to let her memory go…

Devon shook his head, frowning at the unwelcome thought. There was still a piece of his past unresolved. Following the hatbox, a slew of packet of letters had arrived from Adrien. Obviously the letters had been written through years, then bundled together and sent. They contained more threats, terrible threats. The kind that would make a man's blood run cold, whether he be mortal or immortal.

And Devon's blood had chilled. Enough that he knew he had to take care of this situation fast. Yesterday wouldn't have been soon enough.

He checked his watch. Ten after twelve. The night was just gearing up and so were the patrons.

His restless gaze flitted back over the crowd, toward the entrance. As if on cue, the doors came open and a lone figure entered.

A brief smile crossed Devon's lips followed by an absent nod. Holy shit. He actually came.”

Nothing was extreme or unusually out of place about the stranger's appearance. He was outfitted entirely in black; jeans, shirt, boots, all covered by a calf-length denim duster. He wore sunglasses, black, impenetrable and totally audacious. And unreservedly eye-catching. The stranger looked like he might belong, but that was far from the truth. He had the hardcore look that appealed and intimidated. But he didn't run with the Goth crowd. People felt it, too. All heads immediately swiveled like pivots, taking him in. The acted as though a god had walked into their presence.

“Morgan Saint-Evanston.” Devon mentally and physically held his breath. He'd taken a chance in getting in touch with his old acquaintance, a meeting he both anticipated and dreaded. There was no turning back. He'd placed the call and an answer had arrived. Thank God the Watcher's Council still knew how to contact Morgan. He was still, apparently, active in cultic circles.

Devon watched as Saint-Evanston paid the cover charge, fifteen dollars. When paying with cash, he never handed over anything less than crisp hundred-dollar-bills. He never took the change--a quirk most enjoyed. Two bouncers trained to look for trouble immediately intercepted him. No weapons were allowed in the bar. It was clear to their trained eyes that more than the average patron had arrived.

Devon winced. This could get nasty. Morgan was never unarmed. Ever. To his relief, no violence ensued. Morgan's hand rose up like a cobra coming to attention, a single finger extended as a warning. He said something, tersely, quickly and the bouncers moved aside, all grace and smiles. Devon had no doubts about the tone and content of Morgan's words. He'd heard a few of Morgan's threats in earlier times; the assassin demanded and received respect.

The drama continued. Saint-Evanston briefly surveyed the layout of the bar, then dipped back his head. You could almost hear the gears in his head ticking as he deigned to remove his sunglasses. Morgan knew exactly who was standing behind that second-story wall of mirrors. He wasn't the kind of man who'd take a chance on getting trapped in a place he didn't want to be. Always on the lookout for the enemy, he trusted no one. If things did not fall into place his way, he'd vanish--never to be seen again.

When Morgan decided to walk through the bar, the crowd rippled aside until not a single person impeded his path. The minutes seemed to tick by in slow motion. A buzz filled the smoky atmosphere, not of music or of voices in conversation. It was silence. Dead. Awed. Silence. His ominously clad figure vanished from view a minute later.

Devon did not find it odd or unusual that people should part like the Red Sea to admit the stranger into the belly of the beast--even mortals knew when death walked among them. He did find it absolutely fascinating. Morgan clearly exuded an aura of power, a silent signal that said, 'look, but don't touch'. Saint-Evanston could intimidate with just the arch of an eyebrow, and heaven forbid that he turn his laser-beam stare your way.

That was true power. An enviable power.

It was not a power Devon would ever seek for himself, though. That kind of power came with enemies. It was dangerous to seek out such a being; the entity he had summoned was of a different kind within the fabric of the occult.

When you are dealing with the devil, show no fear.

Devon was prepared when the door to his office swung open.

Without a by-your-leave, Saint-Evanston swept in as though he owned the place. Rosalie Dayton, Devon's manager, followed in his wake. She was moving as fast as a lady her age could. In her case, it was pretty damn speedy.

“I'm sorry,” he heard Rosalie saying, “But I don't believe you have an appointment to see Mr. Carnavorn.” Tenacious as a bulldog on crack, Rosalie was hard to get past. His visitor had apparently slipped on through the lower floor offices with the ease of a chameleon.

“You can't go in there,” she insisted.

“Then stop me,” Saint-Evanston growled over his shoulder.

Passing under the threshold, a flick of his fingers shut the door firmly in the face of his pursuer--even though he'd not touched it.

Nice trick, but unimpressive. Devon could do it, too.

Without lingering, Saint-Evanston made a complete transit of the office, visually examining everything, missing nothing. Satisfied with what he found, he paused before the wall of mirrors, briefly glancing down over the people partying away their night.

“I see you have made quite a success for yourself in this world, Carnavorn.” No beating around the bush. The greeting was short and to the point.

Hands in his trouser pockets, Devon also looked down on the establishment that had made his name a household word. Instead of hiding in quiet obscurity, as many nocturnal beings did, he'd brilliantly exploited the gothic subculture, bringing it into the public eye through a successful chain of nightclubs. Mystique had made him a fortune.

“Nice view, by the way. Very controlling.” Tinged with just a hint of a brogue, Morgan's voice was akin to a whisky sotto; deep and touched with a hint of gravel.

“Then you know I couldn't fail to miss your entrance.” Devon nodded to indicate the people below. “Still showing off, I see.”

Pleased that his show among the masses hadn't gone unnoticed, Saint-Evanston smirked. “I love the way they all back off.”

Drawing a deep breath, Devon had to forcibly stop himself from rolling his eyes. “You just love scaring the hell out of them.”

A shrug. “If you have the power, use it.”

“Not your usual philosophy,” he countered dryly. “I wasn't sure I believed it when I heard you gone back to the occult.”

Another shrug. “Exile bored me.”

Devon shot him a look that said he didn't quite agree. “I think you missed the power,” he prodded.

Morgan cocked his head, flashing a devious smile. His pale complexion, mane of unruly black hair and piercing dark eyes added up to an exotic, almost stunning look. “That--and the benefits of being a demi-god were too damn hard to resist.” He spread his arms. “I am multi-dimensional again.”

Devon snorted, not sure the words were entirely in jest. An entity of indeterminate age, Morgan was rumored to be well over a thousand years old, though a true number was impossible to pin down. “It's frightening to think you were born into such power.”

Morgan's grin manifested a cast that wasn't entirely reassuring. “More frightening is the thought that I lost my mind centuries ago and there is nothing anyone can do about it.” An mischievous brow lifted. “Imagine that. Power coupled with absolute insanity. Quite a brilliant combination, don't you think?”

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  • At 12:14 PM, Blogger Cathy said…

    What a great excerpt. This story is up next on my wish list, and I can't wait to read it.

  • At 1:26 PM, Blogger Karrie said…

    Sins of the Night sounds so good :)

  • At 4:19 PM, Blogger ddurance said…

    I feel the same way about my mind. LOL


  • At 5:46 PM, Blogger lrwirum said…

    great excerpt. It draws you in and very descriptive. :-)


  • At 6:18 PM, Blogger Laura K said…

    Have to agree with Larena, this is very descriptive. Yummmm!

  • At 7:15 PM, Blogger Sue A. said…

    The excerpt drew me right into Mystique like I was there myself. Well done!

  • At 9:38 PM, Blogger Cheryl M. said…

    I've read (and loved)SINS OF THE FLESH and am looking forward to reading this one!

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