Kaya is the only one of her kind: a hybrid vampire and magician. A demon from days past is trying to free its banished brethren from the dark realms by an ancient sun god. Kaya is the key to freeing them.
Valik, her vampire protector, must help her contain the demon. Stavros, the mortal king, will kill any vampire he comes across because they caused the death of his wife and son. Begrudgingly, he takes Kaya as his fiancé. To stop a war, Stavros must join forces with the very thing he hates and keep the demon at bay.
Old ghosts are stirred up. Magic is growing wild. Mysteries from ages past resurface revealing more questions about Kaya’s heritage and how she’s entwined with the demon. Can she reconcile the past?
Or will the demon claim everything she holds dear, including her soul?
“I thought you’d be a little crispier by now.” Her captor entered, carrying a mug.
Kaya licked her cracked lips as her body ached for any kind of liquid. He held a leather bundle underneath his arm. She locked her gaze on the cup.
His brows furrowed. “You want this?”
He set the bag down, brought the rim of the cup to her mouth, and tipped it back. Water passed her lips. She gulped down the few swallows he allowed before he took it away.
“You are a mystery.”
“I’m not what you think I am,” she forced out.
Stavros smirked. Her death was already written in his eyes. “You’re a Vyrkola. I kill all of those who cross my path. Before I take your heart, you’re going to tell me what I want to know. My chancellor says you’re rare. I don’t care if you’re a Vyrk with magic or not.”
He studied the parcel he had brought with him and pulled out a small silver dagger. He dragged the blade across her skin but didn’t cut her. “This has been in my family for centuries.”
“Use what you want on me, but I can’t bring back whoever you lost.”
Anger flashed in his gaze. He slashed her cheek.
Kaya bit her lip from the sharp pain.
“One more thing out of your mouth that isn’t an answer to my questions, I’ll take your eye. Do you understand? I don’t need you in my head.”
Unlike her clansmen, she didn’t possess the ability to hypnotize others. The sun beat on her back.
Stavros grabbed another implement from the leather bag. He placed the contraption on her chest and positioned the corners over her breasts. Once he found the right spot, he punched the corners into her flesh. With each pound, she winced, until a small cry left her lips. He selected another piece and attached it to the device over her heart.
“You’re going to answer questions to my satisfaction or I’m going to use this tool to remove your heart. The blades separate the skin and muscles until I get down to bone. Then I have another piece that cracks your rib cage. After that, I slowly break your ribs until your heart is exposed. If I don’t like your answers, I’m going to widen your chest a little bit more each time. Do you understand?”
“Yes.” She would die regardless if he took her heart. The only difference he would notice between her and others of her kind was that her heartbeat.
“Good. Why did you warn me about the Thrall raiding party?”
Kaya closed her eyes and drew in a breath. “I saw you and your men kill the Thrall soldiers and sneak into their camp. I was curious. I followed to see what you had learned in the Thrall tents. They’re also raiding our villages and killing the people under our protection. The Vyrkola have no love for the Thralls either. I hoped we might share information.”
“Liar.” He turned a crank on his device.
Searing pain speared her entire body. Kaya screamed.
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