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Authors: Madelyn Ford

Charity Received

The Watchers: Charity Received

 

The Watchers:

Charity Received

Madelyn Ford

 

www.loose-id.com

The Watchers: Charity Received
Copyright © April 2011 by Madelyn Ford
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eISBN 978-1-60737-993-5

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Cover Artist: Anne Cain

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1 Enoch 15

 

“And He answered and said to me, and I heard His voice: ‘Fear not, Enoch, thou
righteous man and scribe of righteousness: approach hither and hear my voice. And
go, say to the Watchers of heaven, who have sent thee to intercede for them: ‘You
should intercede’ for men, and not men for you: Wherefore have ye left the high, holy,
and eternal heaven, and lain with women, and defiled yourselves with the daughters
of men and taken to yourselves wives, and done like the children of earth, and
begotten giants (as your) sons? And though ye were holy, spiritual, living the eternal
life, you have defiled yourselves with the blood of women, and have begotten
(children) with the blood of flesh, and, as the children of men, have lusted after flesh
and blood as those also do who die and perish. Therefore have I given them wives
also that they might impregnate them, and beget children by them, that thus nothing
might be wanting to them on earth. But you were formerly spiritual, living the
eternal life, and immortal for all generations of the world. And therefore I have not
appointed wives for you; for as for the spiritual ones of the heaven, in heaven is their
dwelling. And now, the giants, who are produced from the spirits and flesh, shall be
called evil spirits upon the earth, and on the earth shall be their dwelling. Evil spirits
have proceeded from their bodies; because they are born from men and from the holy
Watchers is their beginning and primal origin; they shall be evil spirits on earth, and
evil spirits shall they be called. [As for the spirits of heaven, in heaven shall be their
dwelling, but as for the spirits of the earth which were born upon the earth, on the
earth shall be their dwelling.] And the spirits of the giants afflict, oppress, destroy,
attack, do battle, and work destruction on the earth, and cause trouble: they take no
food, but nevertheless hunger and thirst, and cause offences. And these spirits shall
rise up against the children of men and against the women, because they have
proceeded from them.”

 

1 Enoch 15:1-12

Excerpt from the
Book of the Fallen

 

We are cursed. Since the sinking of Atlantis, we have tried to regain what has been
lost, only to find tragedy befalls us once again. Those who have taken mates have
done so only to endure their loss through a variety of maladies. And those mates who
have not suffered death have remained barren. Our greatest accomplishment is now
our deepest regret. Eventually this war will take the last of us, and we will be no
more…forgotten. Nothing will remain of the Grigori.

With this in mind, I have gathered together some of my best warriors, renowned for
their formidable strength, and have, in secret, garnered their pledges. We shall never
let such dark days transpire again. If the bond cannot be avoided—and I highly
recommend it should be at all costs—these members have my full endorsement to take
any action needed to rectify the situation, including terminating both parties if the
need arises.

As for the curse placed upon us, it is a fate we accept as our due. Should this ever
change, the mated pair must be protected with all the strength allotted the Grigori,
and the child revered as our greatest hope.

 

Samyaza, leader of the Grigori

Charity

 

“And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.”

 

—Colossians 3:14

Prologue

 

Kneeling over the blood-soaked grass, Charity Darinn fought to contain her tortured cry as all the fragile hopes and dreams she hadn’t even been aware she harbored fractured like shards of glass. The stench of death choked her, the area littered with the outlines of those fallen in battle. But only one had caught her attention—her mate.

Hysterical laughter threatened to bubble up from her chest. Ripped from her before they’d been allowed the chance to meet, and not even the fact that he’d been a vampire could stifle the overwhelming urge to howl.

A vampire. She couldn’t even do that right.

Clenching her fists at her sides, Charity hung her head. She shouldn’t have been surprised; she was, after all, a freak of nature. After years of being paraded in front of every male old enough to mate from the time she had been fourteen until two years past the traditional female puberty, listening to her mother’s tirades had become too much to bear. So she’d left. It was easier being alone than dealing with her mother’s censure. But Charity hadn’t realized what it would mean—having no pack—until that moment.

She was truly alone.

Her wolf made a lunge for control, the need to bay over the spot their mate had fallen far too great, and Charity almost gave in. But she was mindful of Faith standing only feet away, anxiously watching her, so she and the wolf came to an understanding. They would push back the grief, do this thing for Faith, and then Charity would allow her the freedom to mourn, when there was no one to witness their disgrace.

Sucking in a strangled breath, she reached toward the spot where he’d fallen with shaky fingers. Something tickled her senses, and she latched on to the scent as if it were a lifeline. It was similar to one she was already familiar with, that of a half-blood demon, only this was far older, and her mate had wounded it before he’d been killed.

A low growl slipped from her lips. Yes, she would give her wolf time to deal with their loss, and then they would go hunting, because Charity had just found her one and only reason for remaining behind. There was still a demon she had to kill. And if she died in the process, so be it. Once the demon was dead, she had no other reason to live.

Chapter One

 

Charity Darinn was much more reserved than her roommate. She was reminded of this fact once again as she hopped out of the shower to the sound of Hope’s eager voice.


You’ve happened upon the organized chaos that is the life and times of Hope and
Charity. Since we didn’t answer, I’m off somewhere doing something cool, and
Charity just doesn’t want to talk to you. Leave a message. Maybe we’ll get back to you.

If we don’t, we had more important things. Ciao
.”

A beep followed, so high-pitched it made Charity’s wolf want to howl in protest.

Instead Charity furrowed her brow and cringed involuntarily. After wrapping a towel around her rather unimpressive frame, she stepped out of the bathroom, curious to hear if a message would be left.

A deep male chuckle followed the beep, forcing goose bumps to break out across her skin. Her wolf immediately took notice. Then her heart tripped at his words.

“Doll, it’s your mate. I was going to start that new piece of armor tonight and thought you might want to help. Call me. And Charity, hello. Even if you don’t want to talk to me.”

Laughter was the last thing she heard before he hung up. Unable to stop herself, she pressed the button to listen to the message again. The texture of his voice, like melted chocolate, drew shivers down her spine, and the way he spoke her name filled her with such longing, tears clouded her vision. Her wolf wanted to listen to the message again and again, panting at the cadence of his voice—and since she was a shifter, that could be literal—but Charity’s heart couldn’t bear the pain. He wasn’t hers; she would never have what Hope had found, because her mate was dead. Lost before she had ever known he existed.

Charity backed away from the answering machine. Grief was messing with her wolf’s instincts, her interest in Hope’s mate a testament to that fact. It was unnatural…but then, so was a shifter with no pack.

She fled to her room, the only place on earth she felt even a semblance of safety, and after she slammed the door behind her, tremors took over her muscles as the agony of all she’d lost washed over her. Desolation overwhelmed her, and Charity leaned back against the door, wrapping her arms about her torso as she tried to fight the despair crashing down on her.

It wasn’t until sometime later that she realized she’d slid to the floor and curled in around herself. Lord only knew how long she’d sat there in a state of shock.

After she’d learned of his death, her wolf had mourned for two days. She’d not eaten or slept, but only ran until she had been too exhausted to move another foot forward.

Then she had curled up into a ball, longing for a death she would not be granted. If they had mated—if she had bitten him and made him hers—she would have expired with him. But she’d been given no such reprieve. Instead she’d found herself naked in the woods, miles from home. Blessed be for Prue and Tempy. They’d been scouring the woods, worried about her and knowing once she gained control of her wolf, she’d be too exhausted to make it home on her own.

But she hadn’t had an episode in months, certainly not in the four months since she’d moved in with Hope. Maybe because she’d avoided all things except work and hunting, and more importantly, any talk about Kash. Even a simple conversation was far too painful to stomach, so she’d evaded all of Hope’s attempts, and her roommate had finally quit mentioning him. And as for meeting him? Completely out of the question.

Oh, she’d heard all about him, anyway. Gossip traveled fast in the paranormal community, especially when it involved one of the head honcho vampire’s daughters.

But knowing about Hope’s mate and actually having to endure seeing the perfectly happy couple together were two totally different things. Not that she begrudged Hope her good fortune; she wanted her friend to be happy. Charity just didn’t want to have to bear witness to the lovefest.

The sound of the phone ringing again sent her into a flurry of motion. She was so damn late now for work, it wasn’t funny. And there were only so many times she could call in sick before her boss canned her ass. How could she explain it to Faith, anyway?
Sorry, but my wolf is in mourning because our mate is dead
. Faith couldn’t understand the magnitude of Charity’s loss, the aching hole left vacant inside her.

None of her friends really grasped the depth to which a wolf bonded to a mate. Even Charity had not realized. Until now.

After throwing on the Goth clothing she reserved for her waitressing job at Club Dominus, Charity grabbed her purse and headed for the front door.

“Chari, pick up the damn phone.”

Charity paused, hand on the doorknob, and rolled her eyes at Prue’s demand. Oh yeah, like she was going to do that.

“Girlfriend, you are late, and I’m dying to show you my new tat. Faith, the old married fart she is, doesn’t get it. I’m relying on you to show some good sense here.”

Charity smiled as she heard Faith say something about being offended, knowing her boss was anything but. Faith quite enjoyed being a married old fart. And Charity could hardly blame her. Faith’s mate, Bale, was six feet eight inches of supreme yummy goodness. Seriously hot. And completely, utterly devoted to Faith. Who wouldn’t love that?

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