The Power of One (The Forever series Book Two)

The Power of One

The Forever Series Book Two

By Eve
Newton
Edited,
Produced, and Published by Writer’s Edge Publishing 2013
All
rights reserved.
©
2013 by Eve Newton.
All
rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system
in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the
publisher.

All characters in this book are fictitious, and any
resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental.

Other Books by Eve Newton

Forever (The
Forever Series Book One)

The Power of One
(The Forever Series Book Two)

Revelation (The
Forever Series Book Three)

Choices (The Forever Series Book Four)

The Ties That Bind (The Forever Series Book Five)

Trials (The Forever Series Book Six)

Table of Contents

Prologue

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Epilogue

About the Author

Prologue

 

London, England, 1012 – Aefre

 

I was in the marketplace picking out food for dinner and
a few items for repairing clothes. My friends, such as they were, Annis and
Rheda were with me running similar errands. I bent over stiffly to examine some
twine and winced. Annis and Rheda shared a look of concern that I sensed rather
than saw. Placing a hand to my ribs, where my husband had given me a swift kick
last night, I rose shakily, avoiding my friend’s eyes. I moved on to the next
stall and they followed. I cannot bear their pity and I straightened my back as
I felt their eyes on me.

“Aefre…” Rheda started. Turning swiftly, I held a hand
up.

“Do not, please. Leave it be.”

They both nodded but I saw they wanted to say more. Annis
hesitated as she noticed my attention was drawn away from her and over her
shoulder. She turned to look at what I was looking at and her breath caught in
her throat as she saw eyes so dark focused completely on me. He was the most
handsome man I had ever seen and he was looking intently at me. He looked
exotic, certainly not from around here. His stance was casual and relaxed yet
his body was also coiled as if ready to strike at any moment.

I felt myself blush as he continued to stare at me in
that way.

“Aefre!” Annis said, drawing my attention back to her. I
blinked slowly at her and she grabbed my arm and hustled me away.

“What of Radulf?” she warned. He would kill me if he saw
another man looking at me like that, especially so if I was looking back.

At sixteen, I had been married for two years and it was
hell. The nightly beatings and rapes were getting unbearable and even worse so
when I actually did something to anger him. By some miracle I had never borne a
child to him and I hoped it stays that way. It angered him but it was better
this way. Lost in my thoughts, I realized Annis has let go of me to check a
stall and I accidentally bumped into someone.

“Oh, I apologize,” I mumbled, head bowed.

“It is I, who should apologize, my lady,” came the reply
in an accent I didn’t recognize. Daring a swift glance up, I found myself
staring into those intense, almost black eyes that were glinting with amusement
at catching me off guard. My heart thudded in my chest at his nearness, as he
was standing almost too close. I wanted to touch him, it was almost as if he
was there for that very reason. I inhaled deeply as I forced myself not to
reach out to him. His perfect mouth curved into a smile so breathtaking I
almost forgot to breathe. He took my hand to his lips and planted a kiss on my
knuckles, a slight frown creased his brow as he saw the bruises there caused by
a booted foot, and he rubbed his thumb gently over the damage and my eyes
focused on the beautiful silver ring he had there. I had never been touched so
gently before and I marvelled that this stranger was showing me a kindness I
knew nothing of.

“I am Constantine,” he said. “It is a pleasure to meet
you.”

“Aefre,” I whispered getting completely lost in his eyes.

Chapter 1

Monte Carlo, Monaco,  2012 – Liv

 

We made for a morbid bunch as we left the hotel room. Led by
Nico in his usual black suit and shirt, Cole had changed into a tight black
t-shirt and black jeans and I was in the tightest pair of black jeans and a
vest top, with black patent Louboutins in place. Devon was in his usual black
t-shirt and jeans and CK in his black suit. Black, black, black… funeral party,
much?

An uncomfortable silence hovers in the air on the ride down
the elevator. Nico leads us to a massive black SUV and opens the door for us to
pile in the back. CK and Nico get in the front and Nico pulls us out of the
parking space. Cole’s grip on my hand gets tighter and I place my other hand
over his to reassure him. CK is so tense I can feel it hitting me like a
hurricane and Devon drums his fingers in a thud, thud, thud, and we are all
keenly aware of the sound.

“Oh for fuck’s sake!” I suddenly blurt out and everyone
looks at me. “I can’t take this maudlin silence any longer. This is supposed to
be a good thing.”

No one responds to my outburst but instead Nico flicks on
the radio. “Don’t Fear the Reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult blares out of the
speakers – how apt I think, and Devon snickers. At least I can count on him and
throw him a small smile. I glare at Cole who is himself, glaring out of the
window.

I sigh, “We can turn around if you want.”

Startled he turns to me, “No, Liv! I want to do this but I
just need…” he throws his hand up to run it through his hair.

“Me to shut the fuck up?” I ask and he chuckles.

“Please.”

I nod and mime zipping my mouth. He goes back to staring out
of the window and I go back to glaring at him behind my Ray-Bans. I try to
think of anything but this prophecy and I hope against hope that it isn’t true
and it isn’t about me.

Ten minutes later we arrive at our destination: a deserted
chapel in the countryside. It is small and run-down. I panic when I see two men
standing outside, but Nico gets out, motioning us to stay put. The tension is
rolling off Cole now, causing us three Vampires to go into hunting mode.

“Crack a window, would you Dev?” I choke out.

“Gladly,” comes his reply and I can see CK’s shoulders relax
slightly as the fresh air breezes in. After a few minutes, Nico heads back to
the car and lets us out, “All clear.” He whispers to CK who nods and turns to
me to see if I overheard. I nod and he leads us into the chapel. I gasp in
surprise as we enter. There are candles everywhere. It has an eerie beauty to
it. The altar, big enough for a man to lie on, is covered with a red velvet
throw which reaches the ground and there is a bottle of red wine and two glasses
sat on top. I am shocked that CK has arranged this for me, for us. I know he is
against this and would rather be anywhere else right now, but he does it to
help me. I turn to thank him and see his eyes on me taking in my reaction, his
expression unreadable. My heart thuds and my mouth goes dry as I realize this
is what he had planned for me before he was forced to turn me in the barn. I
pull my hand out of Cole’s, who is staring around in wonder and walk over to
CK, throwing my arms around him. He knows I know and whispers to me in Italian,
“It’s what you deserve.” I kiss him sweetly in thanks and he steps back and
after a long look at me he whispers, “Be quick. If they turn up before the act
is complete things will get ugly,” and he stalks back outside. I gulp at his
words. I have no idea how far he would go to protect me, or Cole for that
matter, from his colleagues. Ugly indeed.

Cole joins me and whispers, “Wow. He went all out, huh?” I
nod and he pulls me to him in a tight hug.

Devon, ever one to lighten a mood and to also make his place
known, clears his throat. “So is this what I would have gotten had my mother
not mortally wounded me with a pitchfork?”

I grin and say sarcastically, “You wish. I kind of had you
figured for more of a quickie in the graveyard type.” He howls with laughter
and Cole chuckles too. The mood lightened considerably, I let go of Cole and
step back.

“Let me know when you are ready,” I say and walk over to
pour out the two glasses of wine. “You might need this.” I hand him one and he
accepts it, downs it in one gulp and holds it out for more. I oblige and hoist
myself up onto the altar to wait. Devon joins me, instinctively knowing that I
need him there and we share the second glass, watching Cole wander over to the
cracked stained glass window and look closely at The Madonna depicted there. He
gulps down the rest of his glass and returns to us slowly. “One more for the
road?” he asks, holding out his glass and I pour. I tip the remainder into my
glass and hand the empty bottle to Devon, who looks at the label and whistles.
“Château Le Pin Pomerol, 1999. Dude, you’ve just polished off a $908 bottle of
wine in under five minutes!”

Cole’s eyes widen as he holds the glass up to his mouth. He
looks into it as if it should be made of gold and not grapes. “No way?” he
says.

I chuckle and nod, “Yes, way. It’s probably the shortest
time in recorded history that a bottle has ever lasted!” Cole grins and shrugs
and downs the rest of his glass to Devon’s delight.

I finish off the rest of mine and hand the glass to Devon.
He jumps off the altar and takes Cole’s glass and goes to place them on an old
pew. ”I’ll leave you to it then,” he says softly and turns to leave.

“Stay!” Cole says a bit too loudly. “Erm, if you want to,
that is,” he adds, turning to him.

Devon and I are wearing matching shocked faces and Cole
shrugs.

Devon recovers first and says, “Yeah, yeah, of course.” He
moves back towards the front of the chapel.

“Are you sure?” I ask quietly and he nods.

“Family, right?” he shrugs again and Devon slaps him on the
back in typical manly fashion.

“Okay, then. Are you ready?”

He nods and my heart skips a beat. It’s been a long time
since I sired someone. Even longer that I sired under planned circumstances,
such as these.

I pat the altar and he walks slowly over. He stands in front
of me and pulls my head down for a deep kiss. He lets me go and jumps up onto
the altar next to me. I swing my legs up and position myself at the top on my
knees and motion for him to sit in front of me, back facing me. A quick look at
Devon, who to my surprise is looking on with interest. He catches my eye and
smiles encouragingly. I nod. “You ready, baby?” I whisper to Cole and he nods
stiffly. I let my fangs descend and lean down to my left and with only a second’s
hesitation sink my fangs into his neck. He hisses at the sharp pain but then
relaxes as the pleasure takes over. I suckle slowly, at a pace not wanting to
send his body into shock. He groans as the bite goes past the limit. His blood
pouring into my mouth is driving me to a bloodlust, coupled with the stress of
the day and the added weight of the prophecy. I bite harder as I feel his heart
rate slow. He has passed out now, only a few more seconds. Listening closely I
count back from three, two, one, and I release the bite panting with the now
unfamiliar amount of human blood coursing through me. I rip open my wrist and
place it to his mouth making sure he takes it in. I withdraw my wrist and close
his mouth. Holding his head carefully, I place it on the altar as I move away.

I stroke his face and kiss him, much as I did with Devon.
Now we wait. And pray that I don’t get Chosen and we can go back to our normal
lives.

 

XXXXX

 

Minutes pass and I am still staring at Cole. I feel Devon
join me and pull me away. “Sit,” he says.

I shake my head, “I’m okay.”

“Liv, it’s been a long time since you drank that much human
blood. Sit, please. You’re shaking.”

Hearing his words, I realize he’s right. I am shaking. The
need to drink, to shed blood, to kill, is rising up and racing through me.

“Get CK. Quickly,” I manage before I keel over in restraint
of a murderous rampage. With Vamp speed, Devon returns with my sire who is
looking overly concerned, as usual, I note with irritation.

“Liv?” He grabs hold of me. “Aefre,” he enunciates my
original name slowly:
‘Ah-vuh’
. “Listen to me. Hear my voice,” he croons
in my ear and I relax in his embrace. My sire is here and everything will be
all right now.

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