Home > Until the Sun Falls from the Sky (The Three #1)(4)

Until the Sun Falls from the Sky (The Three #1)(4)
Author: Kristen Ashley

I also had a lot of good traits which meant my mother, sister and aunties put up with me. It also meant I had a lot of friends.

However I wasn’t going to show my good traits. Not tonight.

“Everything,” Stephanie responded to my question and then her head moved around sharply right before her eyes narrowed and the scary, hard look came back to her face. “Fuck,” she hissed.

I looked in the direction she was glaring. A man was approaching us. Tall, beautiful, dark hair, swarthy skin and, strangely with his coloring, intense light gray eyes.

He was smiling. At me. Wolfishly.

I felt another trill race up my spine. This one was total fear. Complete and total fear. I’d never felt anything like it and it scared the hell out of me.

Yes, this was true. The level of my fear scared the hell out of me. Therefore I was doubly terrified.

Stephanie moved slightly, putting herself closer to me and partially in front of me like a shield.

All of a sudden I decided I liked Stephanie.

The new vampire arrived at our group never taking his gaze from my face until he stopped, then it moved to my throat and I watched in horror as it turned hungry.

Oh my God.

The trill up my spine chased back down. This time it was a chill.

“Nestor,” Stephanie growled, her alto voice held a distinct unfriendly rumble.

Nestor looked to Stephanie. “A guard? At A Selection? Lucien’s being a very bad boy.”

“Leah and I are talking,” Stephanie replied.

His lip curled as he spoke. “You’re implying you’re considering declaring your intentions, right?”

“That’s right. Back off,” Stephanie warned.

“I’m supposed to believe that?” Nestor clipped.

“You’re supposed to adhere to tradition,” Stephanie returned.

“I am? Did you release Reed and I hadn’t heard?” Nestor asked.

“Back… off,” Stephanie snapped, then she tensed and I heard a feral snarl come from her throat and I looked beyond Nestor.

Two more male vampires were heading our way, both big, both dark, both with dangerous intentions written clearly on their faces.

Something was not right. I had no idea what was going on, I just knew, whatever it was, it didn’t bode well for me.

Or Stephanie.

She came closer, crowding me, stepping back, forcing me nearly to the wall.

Terror raced through me and my eyes flew around the room searching for my mother. I wasn’t a wimp but these were vampires. They had superhuman strength. They had teeth that could tear your flesh. They drank blood for God’s sake. Human blood! That was what this whole circus was all about!

This Selection, I knew instinctively, had turned from what it was supposed to be – a cultured, controlled ceremony where the Uninitiated were to display themselves in hopes of getting selected to service their Master or Mistress, as the case may be.

Upon entry it felt safe, regardless of what the process would eventually mean to the selectee.

Now it was anything but safe.

My eyes found my mother and she was staring at me, an hors d’ouevre in her hand frozen halfway to her mouth.

I knew from her pallor that my instincts were right.

Confirming this, I noticed Cosmo had left her. He was moving through the crowd swiftly but surely, his face set and angry, his direction taking him toward Stephanie and me. While he moved, the two new vampires closed in.

Not knowing why, my body prepared to run.

“Lucien!” Avery bellowed from the door and everyone, not just Stephanie, Cosmo, Nestor and the two vampires that had approached but everyone in the room stopped, went silent and turned to the door.

I did as well.

At the top of the steps stood a man.

No, not a man, a vampire.

Man or vampire, he had no equal.

Upon looking at him I felt as if someone had put a hand to my throat at the same time they shoved another in my chest, both at throat and chest I felt a painful squeeze.

Tall, taller than anyone there, at least six foot four, maybe six foot five, he was huge. He didn’t have lean, compacted muscle. His muscle was not lean, not compacted. It was massive, powerful, even brutal. His hair was black, so black it shone and it was thick, even had a little wave. It was too long, not in a way where it looked unkempt, in a way that said he didn’t have time to bother with such unimportant things as routine haircuts.

It looked great on him.

Everything looked great on him.

His dark suit, his dark shirt, the fact that he was the only man not wearing a dress shirt and bow tie but that the top buttons of his shirt were open, exposing an attractive column of corded throat.

He wasn’t beautiful, he wasn’t even handsome or not your normal, everyday type of handsome.

His look was too rough, too rugged, somehow both savage and compelling.

It was crazy to think it but he had the most perfect nose I’d ever seen, straight and long. Ditto with his jaw, square and strong. Ditto with his sharp cheekbones, his full lips, even his chin.

And, f**king hell, his eyes. Black, intense and staring at me.

“Oh my God,” I breathed.

Then I watched from across the room in rapt fascination as his eyelids lowered, just partially, hooding those spectacular eyes and his magnificent lips twitched as if he was fighting back a smile.

He’d heard me.

Fuck! I thought.

So much for appearing cold, disgusted and uninterested with this whole mess, I’d practically drooled.

He moved down the stairs not gracefully but powerfully, his movements somehow seeming to devour the distance.

His eyes left me and he headed toward Cosmo.

“Not so brave now, hmm, Nestor?” Stephanie taunted and I tore my gaze from Lucien to look at Nestor and Stephanie continued. “Leah wouldn’t have blooded your contract anyway.”

“I didn’t expect her to.” Nestor was calm, the other two vampires that had started to close in now moved away. “I expected to state my intentions and get her to a contract room. She’d refuse and be forced to leave The Selection. No second chances, alas. Not until another Selection. By that time, Lucien would need to feed, he’ll have to select tonight. But Leah wouldn’t be a choice.”

“Not very bright to expose your plan,” Stephanie commented with derision.

Nestor flashed a satisfied smile. “It wasn’t mine. It was Katrina’s.” Stephanie hissed angrily at this news but Nestor ignored her and turned his eyes to me. “Though, seeing you, I would have been tempted, even tempted to coax you to blooding my contract.” He leaned in around Stephanie, ignoring her body tensing again, the growl emitting from her throat, he got close to me and muttered, “I reckon I’d help you beat your mother’s record. Seven years wouldn’t be enough of you.” He pulled away and said to Stephanie, “Katrina has reason to be angry, just f**king look at her.” His head jerked toward me.

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