by Tara Fox Hall
With Theo facing deadly odds in a fight to the death, Sar makes a pact with Lash, agreeing to give Devlin another chance in return for Theo’s life. Reforging her relationship with her handsome vampiric lover mends old wounds, even as Theo moves to regain Sar just for himself. But Devlin’s old enemy Ulysses appears, taking Sar prisoner and burning Devlin badly in a surprise attack. Rescued at the eleventh hour by Lash, Sar nurses Dev back to health, Theo bristling at a distance. Yet Lash’s own day of reckoning is here as his long life ebbs to a finale, leaving Sar to face the decision of offering him salvation, knowing that the price is her own humanity.
1. Promise Me
2. Broken Promise
3. Taken in the Night
4. Taken for his Own
4.5. Promise Me Anthology
5. Immortal Confessions
6. Her Secret,
7. Point of No Return
8. Lost Paradise
9. Dark Solace
Ulysses nodded, satisfied. “Come with me,” he said, gesturing to me to follow.
I got up and followed him down the hall to the bathroom. I looked in each room we passed, but there was no sign of anyone; no screams or even talking. Worse, there was nothing in any of the rooms to help me: no phones, no exits, no keys lying on tables, no tools, not even some gasoline and pack of matches conveniently within reach.
When I was finished, Ulysses led me back in the room and locked the door, then walked away.
I sat down, debating courses of action. I wanted to remove the armor, as it was stifling, and hadn’t been made to sit in for long periods of time. Yet I didn’t, too worried that I’d be unprepared if a chance to escape presented itself. Instead, I walked slowly back and forth for a half hour, and then rested for a half hour lying prone on the floor. I alternated between the two actions all through the rest of the night, waiting and hoping for rescue. But dawn came and went and no one appeared.
Devlin began to shriek around ten a.m. The horrible sounds of pain went on and on, undulating in volume and strength as the minutes ticked by. Unhinged, I sobbed as I listened to him scream. They were burning him, and there was nothing I could do but listen. I cursed my inability to teleport, furious at fate. A month ago we would have been safe back at Hayden the moment I’d known we were in danger. I’d forgotten everything that mattered, and relied too much on my teleportation power. If I’d brought even one clip and my gun, I’d be free now…
Dev’s screams finally died off about eleven. I cried harder at the silence, wondering if he was dead.
The day wore on, the time passing at a crawl. No one came back to check on me, or to even offer me water, much less food. I was hungry, and desperately thirsty. In my frustration and need, I began screaming, hammering at the door with my gloved fists. But no one came.
Around three, Devlin began to shriek again. I cried out with relief that he was still alive, but despair engulfed me, knowing I couldn’t do anything to stop his pain…
My head snapped up, realization dawning. I could hear him…that meant he could hear me. “Please, hold on,” I screamed out tearfully. “I’m okay, Dev. Hold on! I love you!”
Devlin didn’t reply, his screams continuing. I shouted out that I loved him and to hold on a few times more, then burst into frenzied sobbing, collapsing on the floor.
Tara Fox Hall is an OSHA-certified safety and health inspector at a metal fabrication shop in upstate New York. She received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics with a double minor in chemistry and biology from Binghamton University. Her writing credits include over twenty short stories published in the nature magazines Catnip Blossoms, Meanwhile, and On The River. Her short horror stories have appeared in Deadman’s Tome, Flashes in the Dark, Halloween Alliance, and Ghastly Door. She also coauthored the essay “The Allure of the Serial Killer,” published in Serial Killers – Philosophy for Everyone: Being and Killing (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010). She divides her free time unequally between writing novels and short stories, chainsawing firewood, caring for stray animals of all species, sewing cat and dog beds for donation to animal shelters, and target practice.
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