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Copyright 2017 by Revelry Publishing
by Revelry Publishing at Smashwords
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Other Books by Darla Dunbar:
Romeo Alpha BBW Paranormal Shifter Romance Series
(This series precedes the “Romeo
Alpha Blood Lines Romance Series”)
Amanda Walker thinks
that she has a normal and boring life. That is until after her 24th
birthday. Everything changes when she meets the man who says he was
supposed to be her husband. Denying everything the man says, she
fights him every step of the way. But after he kidnaps her, Amanda
discovers that there are some things about her family that her
parents kept a secret all these years. Among the history of the
family she learns secrets she thought only happened in story books.
Can Amanda tell the difference between truth and lies or is she this
mysterious woman that holds the key to a legacy?
Alpha Feud BBW Paranormal Shifter Romance Series
consisted of reporting on boring, crowd-pleasing events, like their
country livestock fair. With the arrival of two handsome brothers,
the lives of Eliza and her best friend, Melissa, are shaken to the
core. For Eliza, the arrival of this new man becomes a test of her
relationship with her current boyfriend, who she’s been happily
living with for over six years. Does Hayden, a complete stranger,
really wield the power to make Eliza reconsider her relationship with
Alpha Packed BBW Paranormal Shifter Romance Series
Darlene has led a quiet
life since suffering through a terrible break-up. She wants nothing
more than to spend her time in front of the TV, away from any sort of
trouble. But all that goes down the drain when handsome, rugged and
rough Idris comes into her life. He is a werewolf on the lookout for
his missing pack leader. Darlene quickly finds herself pulled towards
this mysterious man and at the same time finds herself falling deeper
and deeper into the world of the supernatural.
Daemon Paranormal Romance Chronicles
The daemon infighting
can only be stopped when a strong leader emerges to calm the
different factions. Juno appears to be at the heart of the conflict.
Things become complicated when Phoebe and Supay try to negotiate with
the siren, Juno. The love triangle among Phoebe, Supay and Apollo
become tense when Juno's meddling threatens to destroy any romance
Mind Talker Paranormal Romance Series
Ananda finds herself on
the run and she's not alone. With help from Jared, a stranger that
she just met, the two evade capture by an organization that is intent
on hunting her kind. Ananda and Jared are able to read minds. When an
unfortunate incident happened involving a disturbed individual that
resulted in the death of his schoolmates, the secret organization
decided to take action.
Leather Satchel Paranormal Romance Series
Valtina is stuck in
Middle World, unable to pass on to The Afterlife. In order to redeem
herself from past deeds done, she must help bring romance back into
the world and stop The Dark Side from destroying love in its
entirety. Following orders issued by Ladaya and armed with a leather
satchel filled with the appropriate tools and weapons, Valtina
embraces each mission with enthusiasm.
Get the latest update
on new releases from the author at:
This book is Part Five of the “Romeo
Alpha Blood Lines Romance Series” and follows
twenty-four years after “The
Romeo Alpha BBW Paranormal Shifter Romance Series”
have passed in relative peace for Amanda and Romeo. They’ve raised
five children into adulthood and are thoroughly enjoying their lives
as the Alpha King and Queen of the werewolves. At twenty-four, Sarina
is just stepping into her powers and will be ripe for mating when her
birthday comes in two weeks. What no one knows is the danger that
lurks just outside their tight knit community. Romeo has made peace
with the other clans and has enjoyed that peace, but it will all come
crashing down around him when his oldest daughter comes of age to
take a mate.
Brody is an
attentive and loving mate and Sarina finds herself engulfed by the
love of her family. When things start to change with the twins
though, Sarina finds herself torn in two. She loves Brody in a way
she’s never loved another man, human or wolf. When he shows signs
of the dark void, however, she can’t decide whether to run from him
or to him. She’s frightened for both of her sons and struggles with
her own mortality.
Lilith is on the
loose, plotting and planning with Fenris to take down the Delta pack
and its alpha, Romeo. Sarina and Brody have their work cut out for
them in order to stop the hostile takeover. With their wedding on the
horizon, both feel compelled to spend time with their family even as
danger lurks around every corner. When the twin babies, Jedidiah and
Brody Jr., go missing, all hands are on deck to search for the
leaders of the next generation of the Delta pack. And as Sarina and
Brody dig deeper into Lilith’s past, especially where Romeo is
concerned, they find a mind twisted by deception and an overly
unhealthy obsession with power.
With Lilith's soul
separated from her body, Romeo and Amanda are bent on seeing her body
destroyed so that she never comes back again. What they’ve
forgotten in the meantime is that Lilith wasn’t alone in her desire
over control of the Delta pack and Romeo. Sarina and Brody are
finally enjoying a quiet life, not that they expect it to last long.
Their wedding, a source of great stress, is just weeks away. With all
that’s going on though, Sarina wonders if she’ll ever be able to
legally wed her mate.
Lilith has haunted
the Traverse family since the beginning but her obsession with the
reigning alpha and his immediate family is more than Romeo’s eldest
daughter can stand. In a twisted allegiance with her first mate,
Fenris, Lilith has caused unbearable pain to the Delta pack’s
community and now she has gone as far as to make a deal with the
Devil. She has comfortably inhabited Sarina’s body, playing wife to
Brody and mother to the couple’s twin boys. Digging her way up from
Hell wasn’t easy, but Sarina harnesses powers that rival even those
of her mother.
Romeo Blood Lines Romance Series
Copyright Revelry Publishing 2017
By Darla Dunbar
Table of Contents
- Alpha Packed: A BBW Paranormal Shifter Romance - Book 1
- Alpha Feud: A BBW Paranormal Shifter Romance - Book 1
- Star Bright, Book 1
Books by Darla Dunbar
the Author - Darla Dunbar
with Darla Dunbar
some serious decisions to make,” Amanda said, chuckling when Romeo
rolled his eyes. Deep down, she felt uneasy proceeding with the
wedding while everything was still in turmoil but for now, she had to
play along. “Well, it’s not every day you give away our eldest
daughter you know.”
“Seems to me I did
that a while back when she mated that little whelp,” said Romeo,
“Oh come on, he’s
good for her.”
“Meh,” Romeo said,
with a careless shrug of his shoulders. “He’s alright.”
“You love him and you
know it.” Amanda smiled.
“Yeah well, I can’t
hate him forever. Sarina would never talk to me again.”
Amanda rolled her eyes
and slid her arm through his. She loved him, even if he was twice as
stubborn as any man she’d ever met, human or not. Had it really
been nearly twenty-eight years since he’d all but forced her to
marry him? Okay, he’d been nearly irresistible, but still; he’d
also been an annoyingly arrogant dick. “Would you have picked
He turned those smoky
eyes on her and set her insides fluttering with his crooked grin.
“Honestly? Never. I wasn’t about to tell her that. But Brody fits
her to a T and…,” he paused with a sigh, “you were right.”
“When you said she’d
hate us; that we’d destroy any trust she had in us. You were
Amanda smiled, but not
laughingly. It had certainly been a tense moment in their family.
If only she’d known
then how much more tense things would get from that moment on,
perhaps she’d have been somewhat prepared. The last three years had
been both joyous and torturously painful. She’d welcomed two
healthy, bouncing grandsons into their pack, thanks to Sarina and
Brody. She’d also buried her eldest son, Sarina’s twin, Jason.
She’d fallen apart and somehow put herself back together after his
death. Now, things started to settle down. That is, until last night
when she visited the special room and spoke to the beautiful keeper
of that room. Amanda sought her council after suddenly feeling the
weight of worry that Sarina was not actually her Sarina. The
bond between mother and child is one of the strongest and purest in
nature, and when she went to hug Sarina earlier that evening, she
felt something missing. A feeling of warmth and sincerity that was
Faced with terrifying
knowledge that Lilith had managed to convince the Devil himself to
allow for her to inhabit Sarina’s body, and therefore also aiding
in the eventual destruction of the entire Traverse family, Amanda had
no time to waste. Torn between saving her daughter or ruining a
joyous occasion her family was looking forward to, the latter would
have to wait. Of course it could wait! Her daughter was being held
captive in purgatory! Giving her head a shake, she wrung her hands as
a worried look furrowed her brow. She decided to broach the subject
with Romeo with the most delicate touch, so as not to anger him
beyond control, especially when he found out that Lilith was behind
it all. She couldn’t risk Lilith using her incredible power to keep
Sarina a prisoner forever, or worse, end her daughter’s life
altogether. Lilith could be unpredictable and extremely dangerous if
she knew Amanda and Romeo were on to her, especially before Amanda
was prepared with a plan to save their daughter.
again,” Romeo said as he drew her into their room. “Not that I
don’t find it incredibly sexy.”
Amanda giggled when his
lips found the nape of her neck and his arms came around her waist.
“Your mind is so sexy
when you’re brooding. Wanna do some brooding in the buff?” he
incorrigible. But you did get me to stop brooding, for a minute.”
“If the promise of
sex keeps you from sulking, I can make good on it,” Romeo said
teasing, playfully nipping her shoulder.
Amanda sighed, wishing
that an afternoon romp would cure all her worries. “I just… ever
since we got back from defeating Fenris, I just can’t shake the
feeling that something’s not right. I haven’t said anything
before now, because I wanted desperately to deny it. Now though, that
feeling’s getting stronger almost by the minute.”
“Have you done any
spells to expel it?”
“No,” Amanda said,
not sure she could explain why. She knew she had to try though, for
everyone’s sake. “I know this sounds crazy, I’ve almost
convinced myself that it is, except I know in here it’s
not.” She placed her hand over her heart.
“I think there’s
something wrong with Sarina.”
“But you don’t know
sighed, even though she knew this was not entirely true.
“Maybe we can work
together to narrow down what the difference is. I don’t suppose we
could chalk it up to her excitement about the wedding?”
“No and that’s just
it. She doesn’t seem excited. Two weeks ago she appeared ready to
just get on with it. I figured after nearly three years together,
maybe it was just a formality to her. But then, as everything settled
down she was beaming about it. Now we’re back to ‘I couldn’t
give a shit.’”
Amanda knew pretty much
what he was thinking when she looked at Romeo. She didn’t need
telepathic abilities to know what was on his mind.
“Maybe we’ve all
been a little too relaxed,” he finally said, his dark eyes meeting
something’s wrong as well.” It wasn’t a question, but a
statement of undeniable fact.
“I think you’re not
the only one who’s noticed changes,” he agreed.
“Why didn’t you say
“Because she already
thinks I’m paranoid. I wasn’t sure what I saw was real or if it
was just a figment of my imagination.”
“So what do we do?”
“What else? We
confront her with something she wouldn’t know unless she was our
“What it was like
when she was with Brody that first time,” Romeo said, refusing to
flush at the idea of his daughter being with a man. “Only our
Sarina would know the answers to those sorts of questions.”
“You want to question
whoever is pretending to be our Sarina with intimate questions about
her first time. Any woman can answer those questions.” Amanda
balked at this suggestion.
“Not the way our
daughter can,” Romeo said, grinning when Amanda sighed.
“Have fun with that
one,” Amanda said in retort, now sporting her own wide grin.
“Oh no,” he
started, putting both of his hands out, palms facing her. “I didn’t
say I was going to talk to her, I said we should. You
know damn well I’m talking about you, woman.”
Amanda’s laugh poured
out so naturally that Sarina felt tears sting her eyes. She might not
have had the body she once did, but her emotions were still her own
and they were heightened, especially given the circumstances. How do
you convince your mother that you were real and not a figment of her
imagination when she can’t hear you? Brody had believed her, but
he’d been able to hear her, even to see her somewhat. Telepathy,
through mates, was a natural part of being a werewolf. She just hoped
her mother could hear her as well. There was hope, knowing that her
mother was a Radiant. It wasn’t the first time she’d been able to
hear someone she loved, despite great obstacles.
Sarina remembered her
mother telling her that when she’d been pregnant with Sarina and
Jason, Amanda had been tucked safely inside the in-between realm in
Ireland. Even then, she’d been able to step outside that space to
hear Romeo. It had held her together over the months of their
separation when he’d been held prisoner by her Aunt Aurora’s
obsessive ex, Remus.
That time seemed like
forever ago and Sarina felt her heart drop again when she thought
about her now deceased brother. The mere fact that she hadn’t seen
him in the underworld was cause for celebration, but her heart wasn’t
in it yet. She needed to get her life back and her mother was her
only hope of doing so.
Amanda stepped out of
her room and instantly shivered as a cold, nearly frigid, burst of
air touched her skin. Her senses were pricked and she stopped,
listening carefully for any sound that seemed out of place.
The cold moved from the
center of her body and seemed to focus on her cheek, as if someone
was touching it.
The single word was
less than a whisper, so faint that Amanda wasn’t sure she hadn’t
made it up.
“Sarina? Are you
okay? What happened to you? Where are you?”
The next words she
heard were, help and body.
Looking up at the
ceiling, Amanda knew then that her Sarina was in danger. Whoever or
whatever was in her body, it wasn’t her daughter. Immediately she
got Romeo involved.
“You’re saying that
Sarina, our Sarina, isn’t the young woman who should be sleeping
next to her mate upstairs?” asked Romeo.
“I’m saying that
our Sarina touched my face with a hand, made of the iciest breeze
I’ve ever felt. She said she needed help and there’s something to
do with her body. I’m guessing that she’s been pulled or kicked
out of hers by whoever took up residence in her.”
“So how do we get it
out and Sarina back in?”
Amanda sighed. She
loved Romeo. Never once had he questioned her, or made her feel
insecure. He’d loved her well and supported her in every decision,
even when he’d disagreed with her method. He’d been the first to
trust her abilities and she knew now he trusted her instincts.
“We need to exorcise
whatever’s holding her body captive,” Amanda explained. “It’s
not going to be easy, because whenever a demon or entity takes over a
body, their actual survival depends on locking that person out or
away. If someone has managed to kick Sarina’s spirit from her body,
getting her back in will take everything I have in me.”
“Tell me how to
help,” Romeo replied, his light eyes simmering. Another alpha
trait, Amanda now admired. At first, she’d seen only the arrogance
and ignorance. He was so full of himself back then that it overflowed
until everyone, including her, wanted to punch him in the face.
Now that arrogance paid
off in the cocky way he always backed her up. Never, since the day
they’d mated had she ever doubted whether or not he would support
her. Be it a decision about their children, her powers, or their
pack; Amanda knew that she would always have an ally in Romeo. It was
just one of the things she cherished in their marriage.
Brody sat up and looked
down at the woman sleeping in his bed. On the outside, she was
Sarina, his stunning, gorgeous mate. Her long, flowing hair lay over
her shoulder and spilled across her pillow. Her lithe body still
turned him on, even after carrying and delivering twins. Sighing, he
knew it was the woman inside that beauty though, who had truly
captivated him and whoever was there now wasn’t his mate. He’d
have known sooner if he hadn’t been so enamored with the idea of
finally having peace and quiet.
His whole relationship
with Sarina had been so full of drama, battles and stemming all-out
war that Brody had wanted desperately to have this time. To nurture
what he’d wanted from the beginning, a chance.
She stirred and
stretched, a smile forming on her lips. “Good morning handsome,”
Brody nearly fell for
it, until Sarina’s face filled his memory. Her words echoed in the
back of his mind. He felt like jumping out of the bed as if it was on
fire but he didn’t want to arouse her suspicions. Instead he
stretched and made an excuse about getting a shower.
“I smell,” he
“Want some company?”
Inwardly he groaned. He
wanted Sarina so bad his body ached for her. “Nah, I won’t be
long enough for that. Some of the pack members need repairs on their
homes so I’m gonna grab a quick bite to eat and then I’ll be
“Alright,” she said
smiling and gave him a wink. It was so much like what Sarina would do
that turning away from her was the hardest thing he’d ever done. He
shut the bathroom door and sighed. He had to convince Amanda and
Romeo that their daughter needed help. True to his word, he made his
shower ten minutes and was downstairs in fifteen. He grabbed an apple
and a muffin and started toward the parlor when he spotted Amanda and
Romeo heading his way.
“We need to talk,”
They closed the doors
and locked them. Amanda put a spell on the doors to bar their voices
from traveling outside the room. “It’s about Sarina,” everyone
said in unison.
“You know?” they
asked of each other.
“Sarina came to me
this morning as an ice cold wind. She said ‘Mama’, ‘help’ and
‘body’. I’m guessing, but I think she needs help with her
“Sarina is trapped in
the underworld,” Brody informed them, “by Lilith and whatever
devil she’s aligned herself with. Whoever he is, he must be pretty
damn powerful to pull off a stunt like this. We may need more help
than we have at the moment. Apparently, from what Sarina says, Lilith
agreed to help him get all of us if he gave her one last chance to
prove that she could take down the Traverse line.”
“I can deal with
Lilith, especially trapped inside Sarina’s body. Do you know what
she’s planning?” asked Amanda.
“I’m not sure,”
Brody said with a sigh. He paced across the room and turned back
toward them. “Whatever it is, it’s not good. Not that I’d
expect it to be.”
“Why can’t that
bitch just leave well enough alone? How many damn times do we have to
kill her for it to stick?” said Amanda.
“I’m not sure,”
Romeo finally said, “But I’m going to make sure of it this time.”
Before Brody could stop him, Romeo was through the double doors and
up the stairs, nearly knocking Sarina’s bedroom door from the
hinges when he barreled through it. Already regretting it, Romeo was
too late to keep himself from seeing his oldest daughter’s naked
backside before he closed his eyes. Still, his indignation came
through in the command his voice held.
“Hey Dad,” Sarina
said in a way that made it hard for him to see her as anything but
the little girl who’d come so quickly into his life. Focusing his
mental clarity, he pressed on.
“Don’t you dare
call me that,” he growled, nearly changing into his wolf as he did
so. “I am fairly certain that you aren’t my daughter, no matter
how much you look like her.”
laughed. “Dad, I get that you and Mom have been under some uber
stress lately with Fenris and all, but really? I’m just about to
walk down the aisle to marry my best friend. Haven’t we all been
Romeo ignored her state
of undress and pinned her against the wall, his massive hand clamping
easily around her throat. “You won’t be walking anywhere, you
harlot,” he growled in a low, menacing voice. It happened so fast
that if he’d been questioned sometime later about his certainty of
the event, he wouldn’t have been positive at all, except he’d
caught it in that instant. Her eyes had changed and he’d seen
Lilith under the mask of his daughter’s face. The fierce growl that
rent the air was as vicious as Romeo had ever let go, as anger and
fear mixed a wicked concoction in his stomach.
Amanda stood back and
watched her husband with an admiration that didn’t need words to be
expressed. Still, she needed to save her daughter’s body from being
permanently disfigured by her father’s anger and there was only one
way to ensure that Lilith never, ever had the chance to scratch and
claw her way out of the pits of Hell again.
“We need to take her
down to the room,” she said, absorbing the steely look Romeo threw
her way. Years ago she would have cowered under that dangerous stare.
Now she stood her ground and waited. Amanda held out a blanket and
Romeo unceremoniously pushed the witch into it to conserve what
modesty Sarina would have left when everything was done.
“Lead the way,”
Romeo said, his voice still harsh. Amanda could tell though that the
anger was edging itself away. Deep down, Romeo knew that when
everything was said and done, his daughter would need her body.
Amanda turned without
another word and headed down to the room she’d created just for
occasions like this. She’d never expected to need it this way, but
then again, she’d never much expected any of this, truth be told.
“From here on, it’s just the three of us,” Amanda said,
stopping both Romeo and Brody at the door. I won’t come out until
Lilith is back in Hell where she belongs and we have our daughter
“Make sure of it,”
Romeo said as he embraced Amanda, pressing a warm kiss against her
startled lips. Pulling back, his blue eyes held all he felt for her.
Amanda stepped through
the door and didn’t have to click the lock to seal the door. It
wasn’t the first time she’d used the room, nor was it the first
time Sarina had stepped foot into this magical place.
Amanda lifted her arms
and power arced out, washing the room in bright white light. Without
her fellow Radiants here, it would take every power she had to do
what she had to, but this room, this sacred place would help. In the
brightness she could see Sarina’s body clearly and also the
mirage-like outline of Sarina’s spirit. The urge to talk to her
firstborn was nearly overwhelming, but Amanda knew one slip, one
falter and Lilith would be beyond her grasp again.
Chanting under her
breath, Amanda felt her powers ebb in waves that turned the room
various shades of pink, purple, orange, blue, green, and red.
“Ancestors of Fenris and Lilith, hear my cry. Come close to receive
this alibi. Shelter Sarina Traverse here, until she remains solid and
clear. Right this wrong once and for all, help me send this demon
back to Hell. Keep her there for the wrongs she’s done and call out
any that can be undone.”
The wind that rushed
through the room swirled and kicked like a tornado as Amanda fought
the war of her life to expel Lilith from Sarina’s body. One by one,
the dead began to show themselves, each one helping Amanda pull
Lilith from Sarina’s flesh. Amanda smiled when she saw Aunt Mabel.
Then Lucia and Brianna’s mothers came as well, each lending their
aid as best they could. Thousands of spirits appeared, some in
groups, to give Lilith her due. It was then that Amanda knew for
certain that Lilith would never bother them again after this. Then
the crackle of lightning split the air, leaving the smell of ozone
lingering as the woman in white, someone Amanda called “friend”,
stood in their midst.
“We here have heard
your cry,” the woman said, comforting Amanda as her words soothed
away the sadness from Jason’s death and her worry over Sarina. “We
will stand witness to the crimes this were-vampire has committed and
our judgement will be swift and final.”
Amanda bowed before the
radiant woman and then stood like a prosecutor and delivered Lilith’s
crimes. Much like a movie reel, they played throughout the room as
Lilith was forced to show her true self. It took some time to deliver
all of Lilith’s crimes to the woman who stood between the here and
now and whatever lay beyond this life. Although time all but stood
still in this magical realm, Amanda knew this time Lilith wouldn’t
escape the judgement that was due her.
“Lilith!” the woman
said. Her lips never moved, but her voice boomed like thunder.
Electricity crackled like tension in the air as Lilith fought to stay
as she was, locked tightly inside Sarina’s body. “Come forth and
free Sarina Traverse from your torment.”
Amanda was in awe.
Whatever powers she possessed seemed dwarfed by this magnificent
woman. Still, she could tell that Lilith had a plan and it wasn’t a
good one. Her laugh, the pure evil in it made Amanda cringe.
“Do you honestly
think you have what it takes to put me down?” asked Lilith. Just
then, she released Sarina’s body and speared up, her newly acquired
wings flowing out like a dragon. “You know nothing of the power
that I claim,” she said, her tongue flicking out like a serpent.
“You and your pesky, insignificant pack will beg for mercy, which I
might decide to bestow.”
“Match her,” the
bright woman said to Amanda. Sarina, who was once again inside her
body could barely stand, her physical state weakened greatly by her
prolonged absence. She watched her mother and Lilith war with each
other, almost desperate to lend her aid. She knew the power that
spread through her like water, as if it was as much a part of her as
her blood and bone. Had she ever thanked her mother for this gift? A
small chant had her body invigorated and she stepped over to her
mother, meeting her beautiful green eyes with a knowing grin.
Sarina knew whatever
powers they had, she and her mother were all the stronger together.
Grasping Amanda’s hand, Sarina felt power zing down her arm like a
bolt of lightning. Rich and heady, she matched her own abilities with
her mother’s and soon white hot light shot out from both women’s
palms. Lilith cursed when that light hit her square in the chest. Her
wings swept out, moving her from one spot to another. Sarina tracked
her well and Amanda followed her lead. Within minutes they had Lilith
on the ground, all but begging for her life.
“I don’t know how
to be anything else,” she wailed. “It was all Fenris!”
“Fenris was banished
and if he’s smart he’ll take the out he was given and live his
life in relative peace. You will never know the freedom you could
have had, had you left well enough alone. You, Lilith Maggie McDera,
are yourself banished from this realm. Never again will you set foot
in the land of the living, human or werewolf. You will never torture
another soul as long as my line lives.”
Sarina, her own body
tiring, watched as Amanda raised her hands, light exploding from her
being. It spread through the room like a wave, blotting out anything
and everything until every square inch of space was covered in the
purest white light. So intense was it, in fact, that Sarina was
forced to close her eyes for a moment. “Lilith Maggie McDera is,
from this day forward, dead, deceased, passed on. Her spirit is and
shall forever remain in Hell where she was first banished. As long as
the Traverse-Duscene line survives, you will never see the light of a
day here, nor will any from your original line with Fenris. Evil is
stopped here today and with the cleansing of this room, every last
vestige of your line will die with you.”
As if the light
couldn’t possibly get brighter, Sarina felt the heat and heard
Lilith’s scream as a burst of flaming white light consumed the
dragon she’d been. In just minutes, Lilith had burned away until
nothing, not even ash, was left behind. Her existence, for all it had
been, had finally finished.
Sarina, so relieved at
that moment, faltered and fell to her knees. Immediately she felt her
mother’s arms encircle her. “Oh my baby,” she cooed. “I’m
so thankful you’re alright.”
“I wouldn’t have
been if you hadn’t listened to your heart.”
“You’re my heart,
you and your siblings, your father. Without all of you I’d have
nothing left to live for.”
“I know how you
feel,” Sarina sighed as she rested against her mother. “Jed and
Brody Jr. are my lifeline, their father as well.”
started. Sarina could hear the caution in her voice as she continued.
“You realize that Brody didn’t know you weren’t yourself. You
can’t blame him for—”
“I know, Mama. We’ve
already talked about it. I didn’t expect him to have stayed chaste
in our bed when he didn’t know the difference. Lilith is… was, a
very persuasive seductress.”
said, her voice lethal. “But the love you two share can undo any
whore’s game. Don’t you forget that, darling. It’s you
Brody wants, not just your body.”
“I know,” she
“I’m going to send
Brody in when I leave. Spend the night here… find what she tried to
take from you.”
said, easily acquiescing. She didn’t have it in her to fight, even
if she’d wanted to. When Amanda stepped out, Sarina turned to face
the woman in white.
changed.” Sarina didn’t have it in her to be nice, to pretend
that this woman who’d banished Lilith to Hell wasn’t the same
woman who’d sent her there.
“My master released
me,” the glowing figure replied. “I no longer take orders from
him. He said I wasn’t useful to his plan, so now I’ll work to
make sure whatever he’s planning isn’t allowed to take place. As
long as I live, none of the Traverse or Duscene line will suffer
because of anything he tries to do, at least not while in this room.”
“Is this a gateway
“Of sorts,” she
said with a smile. “There are others, more powerful than here. But
this certainly opens itself up to that realm. You can’t have magic
in your life without accepting the bad things people and demons alike
can do with it.”
“So you’re on our
“I always was,” she
replied. “Even before I made you choose the reality you most
wanted, I watched over your mother and her aunt before her. I’ve
watched over your grandparents and theirs as well, as far back as the
beginning of your line.” The woman paused to reflect on her
“Before now, I was
always doing so as an informant, for him. Despite keeping my details
to a minimum, I couldn’t do anything he didn’t allow me to. Now,
I’m my own person. I will no longer provide him with anything to
“I’m glad to hear
it,” Sarina said.
Amanda let Romeo take
her hand and lead her to their room. “They get tucked in?”
“I think so,” she
said, a smile gracing her face. “It’ll take a day or two to
really believe that Lilith won’t come back around just for spite.
I’m not sure Sarina realizes yet that this is permanent. I want to
make sure she knows, truly in her heart, that Lilith will never, ever
touch what’s hers again.”
positive, really positive that Lilith can’t come back?”
“She’ll never step
foot or any other appendage, outside the gates of Hell. I’m almost
positive her captors won’t be in such a forgiving mood this time
around. If there really is a pit down there, I’m sure she’s
roasting in it right now.”
“Well isn’t that a
pretty picture?” Romeo said, feeling satisfaction in his heart.
Amanda accepted his kiss and drew him closer. On a sigh of regret,
she pressed her forehead to his, “I have to check on the boys. I
promised Sarina I would.”
“We’ll both go.
Then I’ll talk you out of that pretty outfit.”
chuckled. “Please. I’ve had this thing for years.”
beautiful, because a) it still fits you and b) nothing looks bad on
“Well when you put it
that way.” She gave a knowing smile.
They tiptoed up to the
room that had been guarded by sentries around the clock since Jason’s
death. Walking quietly into the room, they looked down at two
beautiful sleeping little boys who were the perfect mixture of their
handsome parents. Brody Jr., who was nearly the spitting image of his
father, slept on his side like Sarina, while his twin brother,
Jedidiah -his mother’s carbon copy - slept on his back like his
father, Brody. Together they kept one another company and comfortable
“We’ll wake them if
we stay longer,” said Amanda.
“Well in that case,
let’s vamoose, baby,” Romeo said with a grin. He all but chased
her from the room and had her giggling by the time they reached the
quiet, soundless refuge of their room. “How did we ever manage to
make five beautiful children?”
“I did it in three
pregnancies,” Amanda chuckled. “That’s how. Or don’t you
teasingly growled. “I certainly remember all the fun we had
allowing him to pull her close and remind her just how much fun it
had been. By the time morning came, the Traverse home was blessedly
quiet and everyone greeted the day with a renewed sense of calm.
“Now this is living,”
Gina said without a care in the world, her chair positioned close to
Turk. He’d agreed to submit to the rule of the Traverse clan and
had shown himself to be trustworthy, something that had amazed nearly
everyone. Only Gina had seen the goodness in him. Tall, dark and
muscular, Turk had proved to be one hell of a helper. He was adept at
carpentry and would be able to assist Brody in fixing up any homes
that had damage or any new ones that needed to be built.
“I couldn’t agree
more,” Romeo said as he forked scrambled eggs into his mouth.
“Sarina and Brody up yet?”
Sarina said, kissing her dad on the cheek as she and Brody took their
seats. She winked at Gina who blushed. “So cousin, tell me your
stumbled. Turk came to her rescue, something Sarina greatly approved
“I’m going to ask
permission to marry her as soon as her parents return. If they take
too long, I’ll send word and ask you, Mr. Traverse, if that doesn’t
“Gina’s my niece,
young man,” Romeo responded with authority. “Truth be told, I
couldn’t have picked anyone better for her. You should ask her
parents first, but failing that, you absolutely have my permission.”
Sarina beamed at Gina’s
happiness. She knew what it was like to long for love, compassion,
sex even. The fact that Gina had found it, and with a werewolf to
boot, spoke volumes about the similarities between humans and their
werewolf counterparts. Perhaps there could be some intermixing
without jeopardizing either species. After all, without humans,
werewolves wouldn’t have taken so well.
“Thank you, Uncle
Romeo,” Gina said, tears brimming her eyes.
“You’re welcome, my
Two days flew by and
Saturday dawned gorgeously sunny and warm as Sarina sat in a chair,
her hair up in huge rollers. Her Aunt Aurora was smudging a smoky
eyeshadow over her lids to bring out her light green irises. Her lips
had already been stained a red rose hue and the last thing to go on
was the necklace her mother would put on just moments before she
walked down the aisle.
breathtaking,” Amanda said with a sigh, her tears quickly patted
away with the tissue in her hand. “And here I told myself I was
“Me too,” Sarina
said, giving in to the happy tears that started to well up in her
eyes. Her makeup was redone and half an hour later she stood in front
of a huge mirror looking at herself in her mother’s dress. New
pearls had been sewn on so that it looked as if the dress had been
dipped in a pool of them. Her hair hung in soft curling waves halfway
down her back. Her mother’s necklace, one that had been handed down
from her grandmother, hung around her neck. It sparkled and twinkled
in the sunlight that streamed in through the huge windows in her old