What good is immortality when every moment is agony?
The vampire Ash has returned from his watery grave, proving that death is merely a minor inconvenience. Picking up where he left off? That might not be as easy. Because someone else is vying for Sami’s attention – the last person he ever would have expected.
Fulfilling her desire for immortality seems the surest route to winning her favor. But for Sami, this gift will come at a terrible price. One simple lie of omission is all it takes to send her spiraling into a terminal state of madness. And as the last remnants of her sanity slip away, Ash can no longer deny that her maniacal behavior is putting them all at risk. His perfect angel has become a perfect liability.
But can he find it in his heart to destroy her?
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Almost simultaneously they blinked, the two heads bobbing about in disoriented confusion as they struggled to assimilate. Straightening, Ash took a step back and spread his arms open with a haughty smile.
“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the freakshow! I am your host and master of ceremonies. Tickets are nonrefundable and the rules here are simple. There are only two, so please give me your undivided attention as I will not, I repeat, will not be going over these instructions twice. Listen up, here we go. Rule number one. Do. Not. Scream. First motherfucker in here that wigs out on me gets their gray matter painted all over the walls. Unless you want this place redecorated with your brains, I suggest you take ol’ Sparky’s advice here and – how’d you put it? Oh, yeah. Keep. It. Down.
“Rule number two. I am in charge here. In case you illiterate hillbilly dumbasses don’t know what that means, I’ll clarify. You will do what I say, when I say it, without asking why. These rules are non-negotiable and subject to change at any time, without any warning, in accordance with my whim. Do we have any questions from the audience?”
Sami watched, enthralled, as the startled couple exchanged panicky looks. Once again almost synchronously, their bulging eyes returned to the gun being waved around in front of their faces. Neither of them seemed to know what to do.
The woman was the first to hazard a question. Bringing a shaking hand to her chest, she coughed twice before saying in a croaky voice, “P-please…I need a Xanax. I think I’m having a panic attack.”
“A panic attack? Really?” Asher’s free hand flew to his mouth in exaggerated dismay. “Oh, my. Now that is unfortunate. Regrettably, management won’t allow us to stop the ride and let you off once it’s started. However, we will have some nice parting gifts for you. May I have your name, please?”
“My…name?” Her cheeks grew even more wan if that was possible. She looked dangerously close to face-planting into the floor.
“Yes. Your name. What people call you. Comes above the street address on your mail. Generally the first line on your birth certificate. Any of that ring a bell?”
“Brandy,” she whispered before coughing again.
“What was that you were asking for, Brandy? A Xanax?”
“Yes…please. They’re in…in my purse. Over there.”
“My dear, you don’t need medication. What you need is a transfusion. Request denied. Next?”
At her side, Kemper seemed to suddenly spring to life. “What’s going on here?” he snapped indignantly. “Who are you people?”
“I apologize, but due to union rules we are only permitted to answer one question at a time. Kindly select just one.”
Not only baffled but clearly getting pissed off, Kemper gritted his teeth so that his lower lip protruded in a way that reminded Sami of Slingblade. “I said…who ARE you people?”
“Oh! That’s right! You don’t even know how to address me yet, do you? Please pardon the oversight. Let me introduce myself. I am known as Alpha to the fortunate, Grim Reaper to the unfortunate, and Total Prick to everyone else. You can simply call me Sir. To my left is my lovely assistant Samara. Take a bow, gorgeous.”
Smiling brightly, she gave a dainty little curtsey. “How do you do?”
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AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Allie fell in love with books from the moment she was issued her very first Sally, Dick and Jane reader. Born and raised in Alabama, she now resides in the sunny panhandle of Florida with her own blue-eyed Prince Charming and two fat, obnoxious cats. When she’s not busy obsessing over the lexicon of her latest project, she can usually be found watching B-movie horror (the cheesier, the better!), reading or playing online computer games while indulging her unhealthy Pepsi addiction.
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