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Foxworth ButtonI stopped the truck and pulled to the side of the road on a partially built subdivision. The wooden skeletons of the houses rose like sentinels against the cobalt tinted onyx horizon studded with fiery crystal chips glowing an unearthly white edged in cerulean.

“What’s here?” Korbin asked when she reached for the doorknob.

It felt good to see she still trusted me. Even after what had just happened to her. It went leagues toward healing my self-annoyance.

“We will walk the rest of the way, if you don’t mind. You may want to change into your running shoes though.”

“Okay.” She got out, and went to the back, where her bags were and pulled out a pair of well-worn white and blue sneakers. She exchanged her footwear, and turned. Her face was excited to see what I had in store for her as I took her hand, leading her between the houses to the field behind them.

“Oh, Cad, look up at that sky. It’s so gorgeous!”

I followed her gaze to the full moon that set the landscape with enough light to see the outline of the tall spruce and pines that lined the opposite side of the field in front of us. The light also reflected off of the tranquil pond to our left, just behind a ring of trunks. The gentle breeze brought the scent of freshness and wildflowers to us in caresses.

I wrapped my arm around Korbin’s shoulders as we walked, missing this area, where Jana had taken Ceanna and I as children.

I didn’t often relax outside of my territory—but I wanted to take Korbin somewhere special. I remembered when Canya and Gregory had moved us to Surrey, from New Westminster when the other Covens had come to British Columbia, narrowing out territory from an entire province, to the Fraser Valley.

“I love it here,” Korbin said.

NU BCWe crossed under the canopy of pine needles above, to stand on the edge of the small body of water. The moment we did, the green and white Christmas lights strung from tree to tree blinked on, illuminating the area. One by one, hunter green tapered candles burst with tiny flames, their bottoms buried in the sandy dirt along the shore. My sisters’ special addition.

The breeze picked up enough that a cottonwood tree nearby released tiny white particles into the air, to float around us like soft snow. Olive coloured cattails swayed back and forth, in a dance only nature could produce.

White rose petals alongside purple and magenta wildflowers scattered over the grass around a plush dark russet blanket, the colour of rich soil filled with minerals.

I took Korbin’s hand and led her to the blanket so we could sit down. “Thank you, Arcadia. I can’t believe you did all of this.”

“Actually, it was Ceanna and Josealynn,” I replied.

Korbin grinned. “Figures. It has a woman’s touch.”

“They are very good at what they do.”

Korbin sighed. “It must be so nice to have a family who cares for and loves you so much.”

The sad tone made me wince. “They are your family now too, you know. All of us have every intention of keeping you safe and happy.”

“I know,” Korbin said. “Tell me about them, your sisters and parents. I want to know more about them. They have been so good to me, and I can’t even tell you how much that means.”

“My parents have led a hard life, keeping our Coven together in the direst of circumstances. They aren’t my real parents, though. The people who bore me died some time ago in a war with an old Coven member, Antonio, who sought to destroy our people. He killed more than half of our ruling family. He was a truly evil man.”

“What happened to this Antonio?”

“Eventually he had been caught by the Council, and given the most severe punishment any vampire could receive—humanification. Afterward, he was taken to Europe for questioning. We’ve heard nothing else about him, but he left his legacy behind. My real Father and Gregory’s brother, Corbin had been mated to my Mother, Jana. Antonio wanted Jana enough to kidnap her and take her to Greece. While they lived there, they bore two sons, Ambrosios and Doros, my brothers.”

“That must’ve been hard for you. Were they taken to Europe too?”

I shook my head. “They were placed into a Coven who could take care of them, though they took off on their own not too many years after, to travel the world. My brothers visit from time to time, though they won’t stay long. Neither feel comfortable here; they don’t feel like part of the family because of the sins of their parent. But Ambrosios does come more often. He seems rather taken with my sister, Josealynn, who I suppose is my cousin, though Corbin.”

“It is strange that your Father has the same name as me,” Korbin replied.

“I thought much the same thing a few times. It could be coincidence or this destiny we share.”

“Does it bother you?”

“It did at first, but not anymore. If anything, it reminds me of the good times I had with my Father when I was a little boy.”

Korbin frowned. She took a moment before speaking. “I remember being told once, when vampires died, they became ghosts with a choice of leaving this world for the next life, or they stayed here in this realm. Did you get a chance to say goodbye?”

I looked over the water, feeling my chest grow tight. “They never moved on. Corbin and Jana are still here, but Ceanna and I don’t see them much. Corbin once told me that Ceanna and I were grown up, and we didn’t need our parents anymore. We had to stand on our own two feet, and allow them to live their lives.” I said the words slow, quietly as the anguish of missing them set in.

“That is crap!” Korbin burst. “How could they be so selfish?”

I winced. Frequently, throughout my life, people had commented on the same thing. But as usual, I couldn’t sully my memories of my Father enough to call him selfish. Not after all he had lost.

“We have Gregory, Canya and Josealynn. Ceanna and I have no need of people who don’t want anything to do with us.” And that was a frank as I’d ever been.

Korbin threw her arms around me in a tight hug. “I am so sorry, Arcadia, but I can never agree with that. No matter how old you are, or how many replace those who bore you, people still need their mom and dad. If they can’t see how much this still hurts you, they are blind and willingly ignorant. You are a good man, one who fights for what he believes in, and loyal to a fault. They should be proud of you and be at your side, not off gallivanting on their own whims.”

The emotion in her voice made my throat burn. My arms wrapped around her, and we just stayed like that for countless moments. Even with the sensitive topics of discussion, just touching this woman gave me a sense of peace I hadn’t possessed since I turned seven years old. A century was a long time to feel as I had.

Korbin centered me, and even more profoundly, she calmed my Curse. She allowed the darkness to flee long enough, so I could catch glimpses of the light; for that alone, I would be eternally grateful.

“I think it would be so easy to fall in love with you,” I whispered.

 

 

Synopsis: Love conquers all…and evil seeks to destroy it.

Arcadia Foxworth has no idea what destiny has in store for him. He thought his life as an elite Council Hunter of Rogues was his perfect career choice. But little does he know his fate truly lies in one little powder keg, Korbin Callows. She’s beautiful, graceful—and a stripper.

After having woken up, remembering nothing about her old life, Korbin had to pull herself together and make tough decisions to survive a harsh world. And now people she doesn’t even know are out to kill her.

She finds herself relying on Arcadia to maneuver the new dangers presented to her, as she starts to recall who she really is. A powerful being that could make every vampire in British Columbia fall to their knees, including Arcadia.

 

 

Kayden PictureAbout The Author:

Kayden McLeod lives in beautiful British Columbia, and is the author of the M/F Paranormal Romance and erotica series, The Coven Series, which consists of three Covens; The Foxworths, The Cornwalls and The Jerichos. She also dabbles in a multitude of other genres that are in the works, like BDSM, Ménage, M/M and Horror. As well, Kayden is a freelance Graphic and Cover artist, a Cover Artist for XOXO Publishing, and an owner of Otherworlds Publicity and Siren Book Reviews.

 

 

 

 

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Website: http://www.kaydenmcleod.com
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