New Update on Shattered
In this post you can (re)read the Prologue and first chapter of Shattered. I'm also sharing the new cover for Shattered. I liked the older one, but lately I have revamped my other covers, therefore, I decided to revamp the one for Shattered.
It's gorgeous! At least I think it is. I'm not only showing you the ebook cover, but the full jacket!
I know a lot of you are eager to read this story. Please be patient. I'm working on His Beloved at this moment and I'll dedicate my time to finish Shattered as soon as His Beloved is fully edited and available to be read on Amazon.
NEW COVER REVEAL
ERIC WAS OVERWHELMED with happiness at sensing and smelling his mate. Then he saw her running to him like in a dream. She had long, curly brown hair, honeyed eyes, and a plump mouth with a crossbow upper lip—red as blood, red as love. She was stunning and a pureblood vampire like him.
However, his happiness was short-lived because she stopped, looking terrified. He didn't understand why. He even turned around to see if there was something scary behind him. Then he saw her run in the opposite direction—her heart beating fast from fear.
She used her superspeed to flee, but he followed her. He wouldn't let her escape after waiting centuries for her. Why was she running away? What was going on?
"Uncle? Don't scare the woman!" Anna warned.
He ignored his niece. He had to talk to his mate and understand why she had run instead of jumping into his arms. Why did she look terrified?
The girl was weak because he caught her fast.
"Let me go! Let me go, you monster!"
That request caught him off guard and he let her go. As soon as he did, she ran to the weirdest place: the far end of the compound where the empty holding cells for the prisoners were located.
The vampire woman closed the door behind her, burning herself in the process. Then she leaned against the wall—the farthest she could from him—crouching down and drawing her knees to her chest. Putting her head down, she covered it with her arms and hands.
Eric stood outside the cell, trying to understand why she was reacting like that.
"What the hell is going on?" Anna asked, stopping beside him. "Why are you chasing our guest?"
"Who is she?" he asked, flustered and breathless. He didn't look at Anna. His eyes were caught by the sight of the frightened girl, hiding her face against her knees and sobbing in the corner of the holding cell.
"That's Beth... She was... Wait, why did she run from you?"
He stepped forward with erratic breath. "I have no idea. I'm not trying to hurt her... It's just that..."
"What?" Anna asked with an edge of panic in her voice.
"She's my mate," he whispered, leaning closer to the bars.
"Don't touch it," Anna warned, pulling him back from the silver bars that would hurt him. “Let me talk to her first, Uncle. You need to be patient. She’s been through a lot and needs to understand that we don’t want to hurt her and that you aren’t him.”
The ground seemed to disappear under his feet as he balled his hands into fists. Wobbly, he stepped back as pain grasped at his heart. "He hurt her, didn't he? He hurt...my...mate." Eric’s vision blurred with tears. His voice came out shaky and, at the same time, powered by anger. “I’ll kill him, Anna! I will. I can’t believe he had her. He hurt her!”
Anna placed both hands on his face, wiping away the tears that rolled down his cheeks. “I promise you that he will pay. But you need to let me talk to her. You need to control your anger so you won’t scare her even more.”
Eric nodded, placing his own hands over hers. “How could he do this?”
“I doubt he knew she was your mate. But he’s a sadist. You’ll need to be patient.”
Eric raised his head to stare at his weeping mate. His body trembled as he clenched his hands into fists and took deep breaths to calm his rage.
"Beth," Anna called to the vampire woman.
Eric registered his mate’s sadness and fear. Clenching his jaw, he focused on what was happening, fighting the dizziness.
His niece walked forward and grabbed the silver bars with her hands. Being a hybrid, she was immune to the negative effects. Her voice came out soft. "Beth, this isn't Alaric. Look at him. Please, look at him."
Beth kept mumbling incoherently while rocking her body back and forth.
“I need to go to her,” Eric mumbled as his body responded to his uncontrollable need to be near his mate. As he moved, Anna turned around and held him still, preventing him from entering the holding cell. "She's my mate, Anna. I want to go to her. I..." His heart was pounding fast, and his body was shaking with nerves. After feeling the glorious sensation of happiness at finding his other half, the only thing that prevailed was the feeling of hopeless because of what had happened to her. Plus, she was scared of him. The chances of being happy were crashing down around him because of what his hateful brother had done to his mate.
Anna entered the holding cell and kneeled in front of Beth. "Elizabeth... Beth, look at me."
Eric concentrated his senses on the girl’s reaction as Anna grabbed her hands and tried to make her look at her. Beth’s sobbing made it harder for him to stay away. He longed to comfort her.
Beth’s body shook when she spoke. "You said I would be safe here. What twisted game are you people playing?"
Was he really the cause of all her panic?
"You're safe," Anna promised.
"No, I'm not! How did he do that? How!? How was he able to trick me like that!?"
"Do what?" Anna asked, turning her head to look at Eric. "Who are you talking about?"
"Him," Beth said with a trembling voice, pointing a finger at Eric.
"Do you mean Eric?"
"Eric?" Beth frowned at the name, cleaning her tears.
"Do you want him to leave?"
"Eric, could you leave for a bit while I talk to Beth?"
Eric frowned and crossed his arms in front of his chest. "I most definitely will not. She is my mate," he stated. "I don't want her inside that cage. Please bring her outside. I promise that I won't touch her."
"I won't go out with him there," Beth mumbled, hiding her face against her knees. "I'm not... I’d rather die. How did he do it? How was he able to finish the spell? Was it all a lie? Are you working with him to trick me?"
"Beth...you need to breathe deeply, relax, and look at the man outside without panicking. It's not Alaric."
"I'm not. They look alike. At least at first sight they do. But that's just because they’re brothers."
"Brothers?" Beth mumbled before her voice came out with an edge of panic. "My mate is Alaric's brother?"
Anna nodded. "Beth." Anna softened her tone. "Eric is the youngest son and he's my uncle. He isn't Alaric. Look at him closely. He’s similar because they’re brothers, but Eric is kind and he would never hurt you like Alaric did. I can swear to you that Eric isn't anything like Alaric. You don't need to be afraid of him."
Biting her lower lip, Beth combed her hair with her fingers and looked at him.
Eric moved closer to the bars, his eyes lingering on the tearstained face of his mate. He hoped that she could see the differences and understand that he wasn't going to hurt her. As their eyes met and the mate bond pulled at him, the need to be next to her and touch her arose again.
"I'm not like Alaric, Beth," he mumbled. "And I'm really sorry for not finding you sooner. I didn't know. I... don't know how to apologize for what he did to you..."
"Uncle, don't..." Anna whispered.
Eric witnessed new tears falling down his mate’s eyes as Beth sobbed, “I should have died.”
Anna held her and caressed her hair, trying to soothe her pain.
Her words felt like a knife into his heart. Was she rejecting him for being Alaric’s brother?
He didn’t know what to say or do. She kept sobbing as if all pain in the world had taken over her soul. The same pain that threatened to take over his.
Anna looked at him as she rubbed Beth’s back. "She’ll come out when she’s ready. Be patient."
"I promise I will."
Eric sat on the floor and waited until she was ready to come out and talk to him.
Chapter 1 - Elizabeth
I remembered when I was little waking up to the ringing bells of the Notre Dame Cathedral, the sounds of the moving chariots, the horseshoes clicking on the ground, and a wave of walking humans below the bedroom windows of my home.
My parents were beyond rich. We were old aristocrats and pureblood vampires. The world was ours to hold, to conquer, and to enjoy.
Marie always knew when I was awake. She crawled on my bed and stared at me, waiting for me to open my eyes. Sometimes, I just ignored her and didn't open them, making her feel impatient.
"Come on, Beth! It's day already!" she complained in her girly sweet voice as she tickled me until I was fully awake.
I loved my sister. We were almost the same age—which was really rare among purebloods. Normally, vampires don't have babies so close to one another. We felt much closer than most vampire siblings, who had one hundred to two hundred years between them. We were not just sisters, we were best friends. We acted like twins, dressing alike, finishing one another’s sentences. I missed those days of growing up happily, still unaware of all the evil and cruelty in the world. But worse than that, I missed Marie. I felt like my soul had been ripped apart and that I could never be happy again if I lost her forever.
Vampires grow up knowing that they have a soulmate. Someone who is meant to complete you, take care of you, and love you forever—or at least until you get killed. A mate-bond is what many supernaturals long for and treasure. For more than two hundred years, I wished and prayed to the gods for mine. As did my sister. We had hoped they were kind, sensible, funny, and understanding. We pictured them in our minds and made a bet on which of us would find him first.We didn’t have bad intentions with the bet, we both wanted to be happy. Even after finding our soulmates, we wanted to be inseparable. We were sisters and best friends and for what we understood back then, love was also what we felt for each another. Finding our soulmate wouldn't break us apart, it would allow us to raise a family together.
For more than two hundred years, we waited, we cried, we flirted, and we grew up. We witnessed the world change, evolve, become this amazing place to live. Humans developed books, films, computers, the internet, cars, spaceships, democracy, and a longing for peace between all races.
For more than two hundred years, we were mateless.
All that changed three years ago. After so long without finding a mate among our own kind, we thought it was time to look elsewhere. Vampires were more open; mating with other species was no longer a crime punished by death or exile. So we started to go to nightclubs and huge parties in the supernatural community. We were in the US for at least twenty years and we couldn't have felt happier and freer than we did then, away from our conservative family's grasp.
We thought we were away from cruelty and death, but we were wrong. Terrorists crashed one of the hybrids' parties and, using a powerful chemical weapon, killed everyone in attendance. My sister and I were the sole survivors, just because we were pureblood vampires. We were just lucky because the weapon wasn't invented to kill our kind.
What could be seen as a fluke of chance was, in fact, the beginning of the worst nightmare I've ever lived. When the terrorists found us and understood what we were, they didn't kill us because their leader—the tall, evil, green-eyed pureblood vampire—was Marie's mate.
It could have been a beautiful and happy dream for Marie. I felt how happy she became, despite the carnage we had just witnessed courtesy of the blond vampire. Marie had always been a hopeless romantic, a sucker for the belief that the mate bond was the strongest and happiest thing she would have in her immortal existence. If I had been a god, I would have spared her the horrible truth. I would have chosen her another mate, a truly good one, a romantic one, and not a monster.
I was fooled by his smile, even if I could sense the darkness that surrounded him. Then I noticed it wasn't a happy smile, but a sarcastic smirk.
In my heart I knew Marie. She was beautiful, inside and out. She's my sister, so we look a bit alike, but I always envied her emerald eyes and perfect and delicate nose. I always knew she was more beautiful than me. I knew it, but I didn't care. Our mates wouldn't compare us. They would love and treasure only us. So I got really pissed off when he scorned her.
"So, it's you... I thought you would look prettier and more… I don't know, fearless. Instead, they mated me with a pathetic, scared, and dull hybrid lover."
My eyes changed color and my fangs came out because he didn't seem pleased to find her.
Marie's heart must have stopped as mine did. I could see her eyes shining with unshed tears. She babbled something while he stepped closer to her. His fingers grasped her delicate face as his eyes became scarily red. Blood raced through my veins as I balled my hands into fists. “Bloodlust,” “madness,” “corrupted soul” were the words that came to my mind. If he had ever been kind, he no longer was.
"You don't deserve the air you breathe," he muttered, making her shriek in pain when he gripped her harder. Tears welled up in her eyes, stirring my heart with pain and rage.
"Marie," I whispered. I knew he could hear me, but I couldn’t just stay quiet and let him hurt her. "Run!" I jumped on him. He had no right to insult my sister.
Of course, I wasn't able to hurt him. He was stronger and faster. He hit me and threw me in the air against the wall, which cracked at my impact. I didn't faint, but the pain was excruciating. I could hear Marie screaming my name and sobbing. She didn't run like I had told her to.
Maybe she couldn't have run fast enough. Maybe one of his men would have caught her, but I wanted to give her an opportunity to save herself. I knew deep inside that we were both doomed. But, I guess, she was as confused by her mate's behavior as I was.
"Kill them both," he ordered, waving his hand in a dismissive manner and turning his back on us as if we were no longer important.
I felt helpless when one of his vampires approached my sister and thrust a sharp sword through my sister’s stomach that came out the other side of her back. Marie screamed in pain, stirring rage inside of me. I found the strength to get up and face the dark-eyed vampires in front of me. I needed to help her.
"Not so fast, honey. We still want to play with you before we drink you dry," one of them said with a wicked smile.
The threat of being raped by them was not scary enough compared to the fear of my sister's death. I was not much of a fighter, but I was a pureblood and those idiots were just plain, changed humans with the virus of vampirism.
I jumped on them and killed them coldly, effortlessly, my only thought saving Marie. I killed them so fast that when I got to Marie, the vampire was still removing the sword from her body after his first blow and was swinging it to take her head off.
"Stop!" The blond vampire ordered before the henchman could kill her.
We all obeyed as if he had put some powerful spell over us. It was then that I saw the blood stain on his back. He turned to face us, hands folded on the wound of his stomach. He had a wound exactly like Marie’s.
"Master!" the vampire who’d hurt Marie yelled. He dropped the sword and sped to his master's side. "Who hurt you?"
The creature's red eyes searched for Marie's figure, blinking in what I assumed to be confusion. I was also confused, but I was able to move and grab my sister before she fell on the ground. She had bloody hands and smeared makeup on her face.
"He wants to kill me," she mumbled, her terrified eyes catching mine.
"You should have run." I pressed my hands over her wound, glimpsing to see what was going on with Marie's mate.
"Fucking witch!" he growled with blood on his lips and scary red eyes as if he had understood something about this weird occurrence.
"Why are you bleeding, master?"
"That witch cursed me! She had the nerve to curse me!"
His minion frowned. "I don't understand."
"I'm bonded to the girl. Can't you see, Vincent? If you hurt her, you hurt me."
"What will we do then?"
"Just bring them!" he ordered as he stared at us.
Marie's mate had no kindness in him and I knew then like I know now that he would hurt her terribly and turn our existence into a living hell.
END OF SAMPLE. TO BE CONTINUED