Hunted and anything but normal…even for a vampire.
Amelia Lamont’s return to normal vampire life is threatened with a horrific vision, while new dynamics about her link to The Sight drive her to keep her growing and intrusive power a secret. And then there’s Ty—her sexy werewolf boyfriend—but can he truly accept Amelia’s connection and deepening bond with Kendrick?
Although she’s escaped with her life for now, Amelia knows Caius is watching and waiting, preparing for the right moment to take back possession of his experiment—her. As she searches for the truth behind her creation, the fabric of the past is torn away, leaving her questioning whom she can truly trust…the deeper she digs, the darker her past becomes.
Amelia’s outlawed romance with her race’s mortal enemy will be put to the ultimate test when her increasingly debilitating dreams turn catastrophic. For in the end, the truth always finds a way to come out, and vampire law is as unforgiving as it is fatal.
Will Amelia’s forbidden love for Ty save them…or guarantee their death?
Warning – This book contains some language and sexual situations.
YA/ Vampire/ Paranormal Fiction
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
This a the continuation of What Lies Inside, Book 1 in the Blood Bound Series. Amelia, Ty, and Kendrick’s journeys are a long and still well from over by the end of this book.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
In the beginning I wanted to write a supernatural love story, star-crossed lovers who would battle against all odds. Amelia, the main character was created first, a girl with a secret past and a unknown future filled with lies and half-truths. Ty is her opposite, raised with a purpose and without being sheltered, a guy who knows what he wanted and what his life was destined for…until he encountered Amelia. Many other characters play parts in the story, including villains, sidekicks, and unlikely heroes in small and large roles, but to find out more you’ll have to take the plunge and start reading What Lies Inside, the first book in this suspenseful Paranormal Romance.
My eyelids fluttered as my vision cleared. Through the disappearing haze I could see a row of thrones illuminated by the dancing candlelight of a chandelier. The reigning royals occupied them, cloaks draped over formal attire. Muted whispers rose behind me, the sound coming from countless people. Yet there was no scent of human blood. An audience of vampires…
I shot a glance down and my heart stopped. Elevated on a dais? I was kneeling, dressed in a white bodice and thin billowy skirt that pooled over my legs.
Approaching footsteps across planked wood drew my sight up.
Panic sliced through my chest, liquefying my insides. Caius stood before me. In one hand he held a scarlet-painted sword, the tip biting the wooden floor like a pointed cane.
What he held in his other hand would have made my mouth water in any other circumstance. It was a gold chalice coated with jewels…and filled with the peppery, metallic aroma of a vampire’s Pure Blood.
Caius smiled and held out the chalice. “Take it, Amelia.”
Instinctively I went to bolt, to escape whatever heinous act he was about to pull on me. Only my body refused to move. I wasn’t in control.
As I fought harder my hands rose against my will. A moment later the chalice was in my grasp.
Stop, I screamed internally, unable to force my lips to move. But it was no use. Inch by slow inch the chalice lifted until its cold edge grazed my lower lip.
There was an instantaneous hush around me and I wavered. Had my scream gotten through? Was I resisting Caius’s poison?
The sudden slice of metal cutting air broke the silence. Gasps erupted as Caius’s sword arched towards my heart. His eyes gleamed, incredulous and crazed.
I bolted upright, flinging my blanket across my dark bedroom. My tank top and cotton shorts were plastered to my body with cold sweat.
“It was just a dream.”
My words didn’t relieve the panic still drumming my heart. Because I knew better. My dreams were never just dreams, not anymore. They were part of The Sight; a Pure Blood ability that I’d somehow come to possess after whatever Caius did to make my blood immortal.
I snatched my iPhone with its new Icon For Hire case from the bedside table to dial Marcus, and cringed. The last phone had been obliterated by Caius moments before he’d sunk his fangs into my neck.
“Amelia, hey,” Marcus answered on the third ring.
“Where’s Caius?” My grip tightened on my phone, while my other hand toyed with the amethyst pendant tied at my wrist. It was cool to the touch. There was no immediate threat. Pain twisted my gut as the fear of my dream ebbed. I clutched my stomach, my hunger growing. “Has he left the Armaya?”
“Why? What’s happened?” Worry dyed his words.
“Oh, it’s nothing.” Marcus didn’t know I had The Sight, and I didn’t want to get into that with him now. “I just have a bad feeling.”
“Amelia, he hasn’t been anywhere near you. I’ll kill him before letting him harm you again.” The fierceness in Marcus’s voice surprised me, forgotten under the weight of his next words. “Though you should know, he has left the Armaya.”
I began to hyperventilate and Marcus cut in. “You’re not in any danger…”
I jumped up and started to pace, my stomach grumbling with growing hunger. “Yeah, right.”
“Look, I’ve been with him every time he’s left,” Marcus said. “There have been a few incidents in Anchorage.”
Incidents? The word and the way he’d said it had my suspicious mind kicking into overdrive. “What kind of incidents?”
It’s nothing you need to concern yourself with,” Marcus snapped. “Stay where you are and I’ll let you know if anything changes.”
When I began to argue the line went dead. I tried to re-dial, but after two rings it went straight through to voicemail. My stomach began clenching, over and over. The pain of my growing hunger knocked me back on the bed. I clutched at my stomach, hearing a distant rushing noise.
The next second my bedroom door flew open. Hall light streamed in as Kendrick rushed to my side. His hands came up to cup my jaw, still feeling my pain and panic through our bond. “Are you okay?”
His close pounding pulse thrummed in my ears. The smell of his peppery blood flooded the room. “So thirsty.” My fangs broke free, face turning without thought to seal my mouth over his wrist.
Before I could break his flesh, Kendrick flattened me against the mountain of pillows. His arm braced against my shoulders and his hips pressed into mine. I thrashed against him, unable to think past the lure of his blood. Unable to see through the bloodlust.
Something wet and chilled hit my lips. My need to escape dimmed as a steady flow of blood poured into my mouth. I reared up and the source was pushed into my hands, my lips finding the top of a bottle. My fangs clinked against the glass as I sucked down the dead blood.
With my crazed hunger sated, my vision returned to reality.
Kendrick slid off me and held out a tissue. “You got some…” He gestured to my chest.
Face ablaze, I snatched the tissue and wiped erratically at my chest, neck, and face. My eyes darted to the Ducati posters plastered across my wall and stayed there. What I wouldn’t give to escape this awkward mess on one of those bikes. “Kendrick…I uh…shit. I’m so sorry.”
Kendrick pried the bottle away and took my hands. “It’s okay. It wasn’t your fault.”
After everything I’d been through since becoming a functioning vampire, I thought I’d mastered control over my hunger. Well, mostly. Ty, my irresistible boyfriend with his seductive werewolf blood, was still a temptation that was hard to ignore. My desire for his blood aside, I’d still made huge progress.
Angry at failing myself, I tugged my hands free. “I don’t need you to lie to make me feel better.”
“I’m not,” Kendrick said. His next words weren’t spoken, they were thought. Delivered from his mind to mine via our blood bond. It’s a symptom of The Sight. An after-effect following a vision.
I knew why Kendrick was speaking through the bond. The connection had formed after my ‘uncle’ Caius tried to kill me. Kendrick had fed me his lifeblood to resurrect me. Since escaping the Armaya and Caius, he’d warned me to keep my supposed-to-be Pure Blood only ability a secret. Until now I had assumed the reason was to keep me from becoming a vampire experiment. Being a turned vampire, I shouldn’t have an elemental ability. But now that I sensed him sifting through my vision’s details, probing my brain like a pincushion, I knew there was more. Kendrick was worried about what Caius might be up to, but that wasn’t all.
“What aren’t you telling me?”
Kendrick took a slow, deep breath, and then blew it out. “That white dress you wore in the vision…it’s ceremonial. You were on stage at the Portsmouth Vampire Council.”
I felt sick thinking over the details of my dream. There had been an audience behind me, watching and waiting for something…monumental. “Oh my God. A sacrifice? What kind of sick race—”
“No,” Kendrick cut in. “Vampires don’t operate like cults. We don’t take lives for a made-up cause.” His expression became a mask I couldn’t read. “Though we do have rituals. What happened in your vision I’ve only ever read about in vamp history. The Sight is so rare, an Oracle naming ceremony hadn’t occurred for centuries.”
“Oracle?” I clutched a pillow, letting my nails slice through the purple material. This ability to foresee the past, present and future already felt like a curse. “I’m a vampire Oracle?”
Kendrick shook his head. “Not an Oracle. The Oracle. There’s never been more than one at a time.”
Swallowing the spike of bloody acid that came up my throat, I shuddered at the thought of Caius killing me in plain sight. “He needs me alive for his ritual. He wouldn’t kill me like that.”
“You’re right.” Kendrick stood and began to pace alongside my bed, raking his fingers through his golden-brown hair. “He calls you a traitor, which must mean he’s challenging your ability. As a traitor you’d be imprisoned.”
“In a place Caius rules,” I whispered. My hand went to the bedside drawer. I pulled out a block of chocolate and shoved it into my mouth. “A place where he’d have easy access to me,” I spoke around the melting mint chocolate. “A place no one can keep me from conveniently disappearing.”
Kendrick stopped pacing and knelt by my bed, capturing my face with his hands. His eyes pleaded, a silver spark shooting through his blue irises. “That’s why no one can know about your visions. Please, Amelia, promise me. Apart from Dorian and Ty, you can’t tell anyone.” His fingers pressed harder into the hollows under my cheekbones. “Promise me.”
I bit my lip and nodded. If Caius got his way I’d lose everything: Ty, Kendrick, my family…and my life. Keeping this secret wouldn’t stop him, but I wouldn’t be handing myself over on a silver platter. “I promise.”
I entered the St. Volaras High School front gates with Kendrick, heading for the student parking lot. Fog surrounded us, thick and hazy. Just like my mind. Dorian had left early for swim practice, so with one car between us, we’d been reduced to walking. Not that I’d minded at first. The chilled air and open space gave me room to think. Too much room. After a few minutes the knowledge of being the secret Oracle was weighing on me. On top of that was the fact that I had just escaped Mom’s dreaded talk on Ty. Plus today—the second to last day of school—would be the first time Kendrick and Ty had seen each other in person since our return. This was not going to be easy.
I glimpsed Ty through the swirling fog. He leaned against his bright blue Subaru WRX, his hands pressed into his jeans pockets. His wet hair was proof that he had been at swim practice with Dorian, and it was clear he was waiting for me. I tried not to sigh. Or let my heart flutter at seeing him in a white muscle shirt and black leather jacket. But that sexy smile under his black Oakley sunglasses made my heart skip. I smiled and waved. Instantly Kendrick’s mood dropped, spreading through me like poison through our bond. A surge of anger, guilt and hopelessness poured through me. And lucky me, the fun had just begun.
With great effort I capped a lid on my emotions and tried not to resent Kendrick as I made my way to Ty. Inside I wanted to sprint through the students and parked cars until I could leap into Ty’s arms. But I couldn’t. Kendrick’s emotions were pulling me down, and despite my irritation I didn’t want to hurt him.
Ty’s focus shifted to Kendrick as I neared, then became cocky as he pushed off his car. His arms wrapped around me, rough hands squeezing my sides as he lifted me up and spun me around. His actions gained a parking lot full of gawkers as he breathed into my neck. “God, it’s good to see you.”
Ignoring the ogling students, I hugged him back before he lowered me to the asphalt. I wanted to say how much I’d missed him, even though I had seen him the other day. I wanted to tell him I loved him. Even more than that, I wanted to drink him in with my eyes, touch his chest, and lean up on my toes and take his lips between my teeth. Instead I smiled and took his hand. “I missed you, too.”
I sensed Kendrick approaching from behind as Ty directed a stunning yet cocky smile his way. Feeling like I’d done something wrong, I went to step back.
Ty caught me by the waist and planted a hungry kiss against my lips. The world around us disappeared and my toes curled at the taste of his mouth and the scent of his irresistible aroma. My hands shot around his neck, pulling him closer and holding tight. Ty’s arm became a crowbar against my back, forcing our chests and racing hearts to meld together.
Sudden anger spiked through the bond from Kendrick. Jackass, he mumbled without speaking.
The world returned with a crash, like a shattering mirror breaking a beautiful view’s reflection. I cursed and broke free from Ty, failing to control my breathing as I frowned at Kendrick. Be nice, pleeeease.
He’s the one pushing it, Kendrick shot back.
Knowing Ty’s kiss had been his way of laying claim on me, I shook my head. You can’t blame him. He knows everything.
That doesn’t mean that I have to be happy about this. Kendrick folded his arms over his chest. If you want to be with him, fine. I can’t stop you. But you know when it comes to you, I can’t control the way I feel.
It was the hard, honest truth. He couldn’t control his love for me or the emotions that spiked when he saw Ty and me together. I reached out to grasp Kendrick’s hand. Sorry. I’m not trying to hurt you.
“Huh hm.” Ty cleared his throat, his hand on my waist falling away. “Am I interrupting something?”
I jumped at Ty’s sudden voice. It was so easy to get lost in Kendrick’s mind where everything around me could disappear. I forced my gaze up to Ty. “Sorry…” Thinking back to the plane trip home, I’d predicted I would be saying that word a lot. I hadn’t been wrong. Sadly, this was just the beginning.
Kendrick coughed purposely, cutting me off by extending an arm toward Ty. “Truce?”
Hushed whispers erupted around me. Almost every remaining student’s lips flapped at the surprising scene. But I didn’t take any notice. I stared at Kendrick as if he’d suddenly grown a second head. What was he up to? Searching his mind I found nothing but a genuine gesture. An unselfish need to make the development of our bond and friendship as far from a burden as possible.
Ty lifted a single eyebrow, head tilted at Kendrick’s hand as if it could turn into a striking snake at any moment. His golden irises lifted, peering over the black frame of his Oakley sunglasses. “Sure,” he said with a shrug. “What could it hurt?”
“Not Amelia,” Kendrick said. “And that’s the point.”
Ty shook Kendrick’s hand with a tight grip I could feel through the bond. “Then we have a truce.”
The bell rang and Kendrick gave me one last strained look before walking away. I watched after him as he bled into the cluster of students heading for the main building. Somehow I felt relieved and terrible all at the same time.
Ty’s hot calloused hand clasped mine, tugging me forward. I resisted and yanked him to a standstill. Emotions fired through my heart, responding to more than Kendrick’s selfless gesture. I knew my reaction to Ty’s enthusiastic kiss had hurt Kendrick, but I also knew Ty’s display hadn’t been for my benefit alone. Holding onto anger that sat like a hot poker in my gut I said, “That wasn’t very nice.”
Ty shot me an innocent I don’t know what you’re talking about look. “What?”
“You know what.”
“Hey.” Ty shrugged. “Just showing him where I stand.”
I began to walk, all the while expecting Ty to chase after me. “And where might that be?”
Ty took an exasperated breath as he caught up. “With you and by your side. Always.”
My anger fizzled and my stalking steps stalled. This was harder on Ty than his cocky attitude let on. He knew I had almost died, that Kendrick was the one who’d saved me. Doing so had bound our souls, making us soul mates in a non-romantic but everlasting way. And Ty still wanted me, only me. All of this was hurting him too. “I’m sorry. This is new to us all.” I took his hand and squeezed. “It’s going to take some getting used to. But we’ll get through it, right?”
Ty curled a hand around my neck and dropped his forehead against mine. “Together we can get through anything.”
I left the warmth of the main building, meeting the freezing cold of a winter’s day. I scanned left to right, back through the glass doors, then over at the gazebo. Ty wasn’t here yet. Without any real time together, we’d agreed to have lunch alone.
I sighed, tearing open my chocolate bar and taking a bite.
Light rain fell from a deep gray canopy of growing clouds. In my wannabe biker jacket I could hear each drop patter as it landed on my shoulders. I sidestepped a puddle, one that in the past would have surprised me by soaking my Vans and jeans. Evidently my vamp senses and awareness were developing.
As I reached the gazebo centering the grassed space between the main building and art center, I looked around again.
Then I froze.
A blade of cold slid down my back and my vamp senses shot into overdrive. The amethyst pendant around my wrist blazed like a hot coal, a warning of approaching threat. Someone was watching me.
Fear hammered through my body as the hairs rose across the back of my neck. It can’t be him. Not Caius. Not already.
That two-faced creep hadn’t accomplished his goal to steal my immortality, but Marcus had insisted Caius was lying low for now, far away in Alaska.
So if it wasn’t him, who was it?
The color drained from my face. The thought that Caius had sent someone to finish what he’d begun was paralyzing. Still, I wouldn’t give in easily.
Heart pounding, I spun on my heels to meet the threat. If someone were here to take me, I’d fight like my life depended on it.
Behind me there was no one, not a soul, just the art center and a lush thicket of trees beyond that.
I squinted, trying to make out anything through the thick greenery as the sky darkened to purple-black. Sharpening every one of my senses I spun around. There, a dark figure edged the corner of my vision.
I whirled, eyes wide. But the space between the trees was empty. Nothing but moving shadows created by dancing treetops in the escalating bluster of wind.
A footstep from behind had me turning around, only to find Ty heading over from the main building. Paranoid much?
I forced a smile and waved, about to walk over to him, when a bright flash of light boomed like an explosion behind me.
My supernatural reflexes kicked into action. In a millisecond I spun.
Lightning had struck the solid oak a few yards from where I stood. A large branch split from its trunk and hurtled my way.
There was no time to move. I braced for the punishing impact. Something rock solid slammed into my side. The hot and powerful mass wrapped around me as we crashed to the ground. We connected with the pavement as the branch flew over us, grazing my cheek as it passed.
I tried to move but was locked in an iron grip. “Are you hurt?” The grip around my body loosened. Rough hands scoured my flesh, inspecting me.
Ty’s face was panicked, the look easing as the stinging gash on my cheek healed. I moved to sit up. “I think I’m good.”
Puddle-splashing footsteps raced up behind us. Kendrick knelt in the mud, clutching my wrist. “Amelia, are you okay?”
The concern in his expression, voice, and mind overwhelmed me. I nodded and glanced at my hero. “I’m fine. Thanks to Ty.” I frowned at Kendrick. “What are you doing here?”
“I was walking across the oval and felt your fear.” Kendrick cast his eyes down. “I-I got here as soon as I could.”
“Not to break this bond moment,” Ty said getting to his feet. He held out his hand and pulled me up, putting his arm around me. “But what the hell just happened? I’ve never seen lightning like that in my life. And we get some pretty wicked electrical shows when training in the forest.”
“The lightning isn’t the issue.” Kendrick got up, ignoring his muddied jeans while dislike for Ty struck through the bond at how close Ty held me.
“Are you delusional?” Ty’s irises flashed gold and he released me, stepping closer to Kendrick. “That lightning almost decapitated Amelia.”
I darted between them. “No, Kendrick’s right. I mean that lightning was freaky, but there was something else. Someone was watching me…I think.”
“Caius?” Ty’s body became instantly taut with power, ready to fight. His eyes darted.
“No,” I said, resting a slow-moving hand on Ty’s forearm and feeling cords of muscle bunch underneath. “He’s still in Alaska.”
“That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have eyes watching.” Keeping his gaze locked on Ty, Kendrick swiped at the mud on his jeans.
“I don’t want you to be alone,” Ty said suddenly, voice sharp and demanding. His eyes became lasers on mine. “You should always have someone with you.”
“What?” It took a second for his alpha-like command to register. My expression became incredulous. “You want me to be chaperoned?”
As much as I’d rather not agree with his Neanderthal demands, Kendrick began through the bond before continuing out loud. “He has a point. This is for your own safety.”
“It’s to keep you alive.” Ty clutched my shoulders. “I can’t lose you. Not again.” His eyelids squeezed shut for a brief moment then opened. “I’m not trying to control you. I just couldn’t live with myself if I let someone get to you. If I let someone…kill you.”
My heart ached at the true fear in Ty’s eyes and the matching feelings from Kendrick through the bond. For my safety and happiness they were willing to set aside their differences and endure each other.
I took Ty and Kendrick’s hands and sighed. “Then we’re in this together.”
Jessica L Myers was born to Dutch parents in Melbourne, Australia, and as a toddler travelled with her parents to many parts of Europe.
As a child Jessica’s vivid imagination and quiet demeanor led her to the imaginary worlds of books. Even at a young age her love for the supernatural was prevalent, with her first loved books being R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series. Following that she took an interest in other non-fantasy fiction, including Virginia C. Andrews series Flowers in the Attic.
In her teen years Jessica spent many private school hours writing poetry and dark short stories, and took up sketching some of the terrifying things that came from the graphic nightmares she’d grown up with.
As an adult and after meeting the love of her life, Jessica moved to Brisbane, Australia, got married and started a small construction business with her husband. With the birth of her son, Jessica suffered PPD and found escape in her books and their fantasy landscapes. It was in this time that her need to write flourished. In 2009 the decision was made and the first words to her YA novel What Lies Inside were written.
When she’s not writing, Jessica balances being a stay-at-home mum with her families business needs while making time to get to the gym and take family vacations.
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