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Blood Moon (The Drake Chronicles) by Harvey Alyxandra

Blood Moon (The Drake Chronicles) by Harvey Alyxandra

Author:Harvey, Alyxandra [Harvey, Alyxandra]
Language: eng
Format: mobi, epub
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
Published: 2012-06-18T22:00:00+00:00


Chapter 15

NICHOLAS

Monday, early evening

We were patrolling on the very edges of the forest when Karim, the guard walking next to me, fell apart into ashes.

The bolt pierced his heart and thunked into a pine tree. Splinters ricocheted as I reached for a stake and launched into a run at the same time. There was no smell of mushrooms or rot, no clacking of teeth. Not Hel-Blar, but definitely vampires. They moved too fast to be hunters.

I could hear them in the trees, up in the branches, down in the ferns, everywhere. There were a lot of them; that much I could tell. I ran faster, until everything blurred. It wasn’t enough. Another crossbow bolt whistled by my head. A stake landed in the dirt by my left foot.

I was seriously outnumbered.

I hit the alarm on the GPS tag Connor had just recently programmed for everyone in the family. If we activated it, a message was sent immediately with our location. Assuming I was in range of any signal and assuming anyone else had a signal to even receive it.

Assumptions that could get me killed a whole lot faster.

I darted around a hemlock and slid into the yellowing grass of a narrow valley on the edge of the forest. I was far from the encampment, far from the farmhouse, even far from the royal caves. I’d never even seen this part of the mountains. I thought I heard screaming, faintly, but it faded and I was running too hard to be sure. If I’d still been human, my heartbeat would have drowned out every tiny sound; as it was, the rush of my blood through my veins was like needles of rain and wind. The part of me my mother had trained remained calm and removed, as if I were watching a movie. Clods of mud and dead flowers broke up under my boots as I pushed on. If I lost my cool now, I’d be dead for sure.

I had a moment to feel grateful that none of my brothers were with me. Losing Karim was bad enough. He was dead because of me. He could have been back at the encampment with his own family, or at home, wherever that might be. I’d only just met him before setting out. I didn’t even know his last name.

But dying now wouldn’t help him.

I could try to shake them in the labyrinthine caves of the mountains, but I was as likely to trap myself in a dead end as not. I might be able to outrun them, but there were no guarantees. There was also no decent place to make a stand, nothing solid to put at my back besides the mountain. A quick glance showed rock and stunted wind-bent pine trees, and another vampire sliding down toward me from up high. A flash of pale skin on my right, a gleam of fangs behind me.

“Enough play,” someone barked, violent laughter in his voice.

The first grab caught my jacket and yanked me to a stop.



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