But peace and quiet never last very long. Illness strikes one and another’s indecision will cause broken hearts. An old enemy plots to take what is not his; a recent enemy plots murder; and a new enemy, asleep for hundreds of years, awakes and plots to take everything from them.
In the struggle to protect those they love, one will fight alone, one will learn a harsh lesson, and one will make the ultimate sacrifice. They will all realize that anything can be overcome when you have everything to fight for.
… Darius snatched Arianna up, holding her tiny body in his arms tightly. She squirmed, crying, and demanded to be let down. Seth’s heart seemed to stop when Darius lowered his head and sank his fangs into Arianna’s fragile throat. She screamed and Seth leapt forward. “No!” he shouted.
Arianna went still in the vampire’s arms and he lifted his mouth from her flesh and smiled at Seth. “She’s mine, now,” he hissed. “And there’s nothing you, or her daddy, can do about it.”
As soon as he was mentioned, Alexander dropped into the clearing… Seth assessed the situation quickly and faded back into the shadows, cursing Darius silently. He decided retreat was the safest thing when a third vampire, who he recognized as Lucian Davignon, landed in the clearing….
Alexander … locked his gaze on his daughter, seeing the blood on her skin with a jolt. “You bastard!” he hissed and started to close the distance between them.
Darius chuckled and took a fistful of Arianna’s golden locks in his hand, giving her head a brutal wrench. “I’ll break her neck,” he threatened, stopping Alexander. Darius’ eyes lit up with glee. “Much better!” he laughed. “I’ve brought the legendary Alexander Lockwood to heel, and all it took was a tiny little blonde.”
Arianna regained consciousness and looked over at Alexander blearily. The moment she saw him, her eyes lit up with joy. “Daddy!” she cried and tried to leap out of Darius arms.
Darius jerked her back against his body. “Be still!” he ordered. “And be silent.”
Arianna looked up at him, terror in her eyes, then her gaze swung back to Alexander, pleading mutely for him to do something.
Alexander took an instinctive step toward them, paternal instinct overriding any warnings Darius might issue, but he stopped again when Darius wrapped a large hand around Arianna’s small neck and smiled at him.
“What do you want?” Alexander demanded.
Darius’ dark gaze swung from Alexander to Lucian and back again. “For the two of you to die,” he said smoothly. “For your women to surrender themselves to me, and for the city to be spread at my feet.”
An image of Elisabeth at this monster’s mercy flashed in Lucian’s mind and his power spiked dangerously, his eyes blazing, fangs flashing at his lips. Darius’ gaze was drawn to him and he chuckled, knowing exactly what Lucian was thinking.
Alexander had had enough. He looked again at Arianna and a calm stole over him. He caught her gaze and held it. “Do you trust me?” he asked gently.
Tears shone in her eyes and her body trembled, but Arianna offered him a nod. “Yes, Daddy,” she breathed.
Darius realized immediately what Alexander was planning and he turned, launching himself into the sky, Arianna’s cry of “Daddy!” echoing behind him.
Alexander launched himself after his daughter, putting on a burst of speed that even Lucian couldn’t follow…..