She gave me her blood, and my life changed forever.
Anastasia. My sire. The only influential figure in my already-fragile life. She did this to me. She caused all the pain and suffering. There was a time I believed I owed her everything. After all, she gave me immortality and the never-ending thirst for the psychic energy contained in the blood of my victims.
But now vampires hunt me and the humans want to use me as their personal weapon. They believe I'm some apotropaic figurine that can damn all Deamhan and force us back into hell where we belong.
Me? I just want to live. I just want to be Maris. That way, the only one I can damn is myself.
I trusted my sire to show me where I could find the good meals. We continued to walk until we reached an area swarming with humans and taverns. She loved taverns and told me that she spent the majority of her nights seducing and feeding from humans in them. She moved easily from one drunk human to another without being seen. This could only happen if I trained my Deamhan body to get used to blood tainted with alcohol.
“In the past I didn't have to worry about vampires or The Brotherhood,” she said. “But now they've grown bolder and smarter. We have to protect ourselves and each other, Maris, in whatever way we can.”
I stopped walking. “What did the vampires want with me?”
“To eat you, of course.” She placed her arm around my shoulder.
“No, not that.” I wanted to know more. “The Ancient who declared this Decretum on me. Why was it done? Who is this Deamhan?”
“You'll find out soon. But now you need to eat.” Again she avoided the question. “There has to be a type of human you like. We'll find that one for you.”
We took a sharp right and turned down a dimly lit alleyway. The cobblestones felt hard underneath my feet and the archway was low over my head. Anastasia stopped suddenly and she looked over her shoulder. I didn't catch it at first but I could tell by the way her eyes narrowed and her body tensed that someone had followed us.
She pointed for me to stand against the stone wall and remain still and quiet. I didn't want to disobey her, so I quickly followed her command.
The wind increased and I felt a blow on my cheek that stunned me almost into unconscious. I fell to the floor. As a human, I knew I couldn't take a blow like that and come out unscathed. Thanks to the Ramanga blood in my veins, I found myself standing to my feet just in time to witness Anastasia place herself between me and a male wearing a standard red vest and white Victorian shirt underneath a brown frock coat. He didn't resemble anyone who lived in the area. He didn't smell like a human or a Deamhan.
They rushed toward one another and their movements blurred in the dim light, like two butterflies swarming around each other. This male, who stood a little taller than Anastasia, made use of the wall by running on it and launching his body at her. She ducked as he flew right by her. Anastasia stood up and struck him with her foot in his lower back. He tumbled forward and turned around. He pulled out a long wooden stake from the pocket of his frock coat, gripped it tightly, and turned to me. That's when I instantly knew that he had come for me.
Part of me wanted to join in the altercation but I didn't dare go against her order. I also didn't know if I was strong enough to fight him. Again Anastasia placed herself in his way and he jumped with the stake in his right hand. He took a stab at her but she quickly moved to the right. He stabbed again and she moved this time to the left. In his final attempt he aimed for her midsection and she caught him by his wrist. She took her other hand and pushed at his shoulder. I heard a loud crack and he dropped his stake, gripped his shoulder, and staggered back.
Anastasia kicked the stake off to the side and it glided across the stone floor, stopping in front of me. I knelt down to pick it up when my senses heightened and I looked to my right. He came toward me and I tensed up, not knowing what to do. But she pushed him and he flew back, hitting the wall. Anastasia snatched the stake from me and in a blink of an eye she now stood over him. I saw her raise the stake and she struck.
His body lurched forward and he tried to yank the stake from his body. The skin on his right cheek turned dark and it began to spread, moving over his face and down his neck. He opened his mouth and I saw fangs, longer than my own. His eyeballs sunk into the back of his skull and his body melted right before our eyes. The atrocious smell made me cover my nose. Anastasia stood up and straightened her clothing.
I approached her cautiously, still staring at our attacker's remains. “He is a Deamhan, like us?”
“No. When Deamhan die we don't die like that.” She used her right foot and began to poke at the remains. “This one was a vampire.”
The Brotherhood Files Book 2
For Deamhan, revenge is the best dish of all.
In 1840s Paris, vampires aren’t just at the throats of humans. Split into two warring factions, Dorvo vampires wage war against the Deamhan, their paranormal cousins created by dark magic and who feed on the psychic energy of their human victims. In this strange new world, Remy, a bourgeoisie, is sired as a Deamhan by Julian. But the intoxicating rush of becoming a powerful psychic vampire is soon eclipsed by the presence of Ruby, a beautiful yet elusive Dorvo vampire.
Betrayed by his own, Ruby feeds his undesirable urge to have his revenge against Julian and the rest of the Deamhan. But he doesn’t know if he can trust Ruby. She may have given him his freedom, but she’s still the enemy who has vowed to vanquish the Deamhan, the very same Deamhan that betrayed him. Now it’s up to Remy to decide who to trust -- and who to destroy.
In Remy, The Brotherhood Files, author Isaiyan Morrison presents a paranormal urban fantasy about fractured relationships, mistrust, and forgiveness. Here in the City of Love, it’s anything but, as Remy’s caught between two warring sides who both want him gone. Will his desire for revenge cloud his judgment? Or will he figure out who he can trust once and for all? In this wild journey from the graveyard and through the dark alleys and cobblestoned streets of Paris, Remy is both hunter…and prey.
Later that night, I felt something swirling in my body I had never felt before.
It was an excruciating pain deep within my stomach. It throbbed and pulsed so badly, I had a tough time concentrating on anything. One moment, I only thought about Doll and Marie and the next, I focused on making the pain go away. It was a punishment I never wanted to experience again.
“This is all mine.” He placed his arm around me and we left the room. “It’s called Maison des Bénédictions!”
A flurry of scents bombarded me. The air was thick with the smell of humans, just too many for my nose to dissect. The wood creaked underneath my weight as we proceeded forward and down a hall. I heard voices coming from behind closed doors to rooms on my left and right. Some of the doors were opened. I saw men lying on cots, smoking what looked like long pipes. I heard moaning coming from another room and I paused in front of it.
“Opium den, eh?” I heard about these kinds of places but never thought I’d experience it for myself.
“Yes,” he replied. “And a successful one at that.”
“And do these humans know about you?”
“Only the important and rich ones.” He nodded. “As long as they have an endless supply of opium, they do not care.” He pulled me along.
“Where are all the Deamhan?”
He laughed gently. “You need clients to make money. I don’t know a lot of Deamhan who smoke opium.”
We stopped just before a large staircase which led to the main floor. I looked over the railing to get a wide view of what was going on below. The building was packed with humans, too many to count. Some cleaned and others straightened up furniture.
“Maison des Bénédictions.” As a Deamhan, I knew this type of environment was something I wanted to slither through. So many of them… everywhere! So many potential meals! And women… so many women!
I heard a door close gently behind me and I looked over my shoulder at a small-stature male teen walking toward me. He reeked, and his stringy, brown hair was wet.
“He’ll do.” My eyes turned dark and the human flinched.
Julian grabbed my arm and we moved back. “Go,” he said to the teen who fled down the stairs seconds later. “I’ve told you, Remy. You can’t feed on the customers.”
Julian had a plethora of humans who also lived in the large building. He called them ‘minions’ and they were only there to serve and obey. They cleaned, took care of the outside, including the lawn, and they made sure nothing happened to us while we slept during the day. I never understood why a human would want to serve creatures like ourselves? It made no sense to me.
“Then who can I eat around here?”
“We will have pens in the basement.” he replied.
“Pens? You mean like places where you keep cattle?”
“Yes, pens, Remy. If it makes you uncomfortable, you can call them whatever you like, but you must not go down there without my permission. Do you understand?”
“Will there be women down there?”
“Do you understand?” he repeated in a strong, authoritative tone.
“Yes,” I grumbled.
We proceeded down the stairs and reached the bottom floor. My hunger returned, my mind was a muddled mess, and my senses went into overdrive.
“You’re hungry. We will go out and feed.”
A half hour later, he watched while I fed from a prostitute he brought back from Paris. As I gorged, he coached me every step of the way. I could get what I needed from them without killing them and he urged me to not be like Pruett, who killed because he wanted to. According to Julian, that was the difference between us and other Deamhan out there. We weren’t savages and we didn’t have to resort to primitive methods to survive. The psychic energy we took from humans revitalized our own and made us stronger.
A veteran of the Armed Forces, Isaiyan Morrison was born and raised in Minneapolis.
Her passions include writing, reading, and researching historical events.
She also spends her time gardening, playing video games, and hanging out with her three cats and beloved pit bull.
She's the author of The Deamhan Chronicles and the novel, Old Farmer's Road.
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