Ninety years ago, Gabriella di Luca promised to protect the family of her dying lover. She failed to keep that promise. She was too far away to stop the devil that murdered the eldest Van Helsing son. Years later, Gabby learns the devil has resurfaced. She arrives in Hampton, TX, determined to stop the devil before it can lay a bloody hand on the remaining three brothers.
However, madness is spreading through Hampton. She suspects the devil is using this madness to test a drug which has a side effect of demonic possession. Gabby rushes to end the source of the madness only to fall victim to it. For a woman cursed with eternal life, dying is no threat. However, Gabby must stop the devil's plot or risk losing her most precious possession: her mind.
And just to give you a taste, here is a different excerpt:
The sheets clung to my back as I sat up. I sucked down the cool night air for several moments as I took in my surroundings. Murmurs from the program on the television competed with the buzz of the air conditioner. The light played over the bed and table. Right, this was my hotel room.
I shivered as my feet touched the floor and the cool air blew across my bare legs. Water would be best to clear the scratchiness in my throat. The faucet hissed as the water filled the cup. I wiped my cheeks and stared at the wetness on my fingertips. I’d been crying in my sleep again. Strange, after five centuries, the dream could still do this to me.
I stared in the mirror with my aura sight at the figure behind me. It floated inches above the floor with thick black chains with red cracks covering it from head to toe. It writhed and twisted, trying to break free of the chains and, every so often, a flash of white light leaked out from behind its bindings. A length of chain extended from the figure to a collar around my neck. No, the Van Helsings weren’t the only ones touched by a spirit. Mine had to pay the price of my curse.
“I’ll free us both,” I said. “I’ll kill the demon bitch that has us.”
Allegra. My reason for existence. She’d taken my husband, my son, my life and left me with nothing. I remained alive as part of her punishment while she stayed beyond my grasp.
I gulped the water down and crushed the plastic cup in my hand. Little pricks of pain flared behind my eyes, and my heart pounded in my ears. It looked to be another sleepless night. The hellhound had run back to his masters. I could spend the time tracking him down or stay here and brood.
I pulled on my clothes and lifted the hood of my jacket over my head. My hand ran over the hilt of my sword. I unsheathed it, letting the light glint off the two feet of sinuous blade. It was called a sundang and was made of iron, good for cutting the connection between the spiritual and material world. Its creators had not stopped there. Kali, the Hindu goddess, blessed certain families with the power and weapons to slay demons. They had died out, but their weapons remained, like this one. My hand ran over the flat from the wide base to the rounded point. It wouldn’t pierce, but the blade would cut through flesh like butter.
I set out with the sword strapped across my back and a butterfly knife fitted in a sheath on the inside of my pants. Laughter and music coming from the rooms facing the road broke the silence that should have pervaded the motel. A row of motorcycles was parked outside. They must have come in the middle of the night. The occasional headlights of cars from the highway broke the darkness as I walked. The parking lots of the two restaurants and the jewelry shop lay bare. The world slept while I was denied rest.
A star shot across the sky, fallen from its place in the heavens. It had a long journey ahead of it. Everything it knew would be gone. Did stars feel the burden of eternity in the deep black? Did they yearn for warmth besides their own burning intensity?
I rubbed my arms and continued on to the bar. Lights flashed ahead of me. The bar had not drifted off to sleep like the rest. A crowd gathered around one police car and an ambulance. The demon had lost his temper and hurt someone. Merda, the last thing I needed was the police sniffing around. I slipped into the empty lot next to the bar and lay on my stomach, hidden by the high grass. The blades tickled my face as I crawled forward on my elbows and knees. I stopped when I reached twenty feet away and poked my head up, making sure I remained out of the light.
Two officers, a man and a woman, were talking to the large man the hellhound had thrown. He waved his left hand in the air while talking. He would have used both, but his right was bound in a sling.
Damn, there’d be no tracking the hellhound with this crowd. Still, I needed to check for others.
I closed my eyes, and something in my head shifted, like a joint popping into place. The colors surrounding the crowd pulsed with anger and excitement. They hadn’t had this much fun in months. Behind them, a different demon looked on with its arms crossed. Barely anything about this creature resembled a human or animal. Two large, bat-like wings grew out of his back. Its head had an acorn shape with its snout extending to a point several inches past its jaw, and two spikes protruded down from the sides of the head. A hard carapace covered his body, with horns protruding from the joints.
I shivered and closed my eyes, but the image remained burned in my mind. I needed to see what human this thing paraded around in. Six feet of biker leaned against a motorcycle not unlike the ones parked outside of my hotel. Tribal tattoos covered his shaven head, surrounding his right eye, and traveled down his neck to disappear under his leather jacket.
Two in one night. Lucky me, though he was neither Ose nor the fortune-teller, since she preferred women. So where did this one fit in? The muscles in my arm cramped as I lay there, waiting. It didn’t take long for the police to finish their questioning.
“Go home and sleep it off!” The police woman waved off the crowd. “We’ll handle this.”
A few of the men shouted and whistled, but they still made their way to their cars. Tattoo climbed on his bike and drove off with the rest. I remained still. I knew where he would end up.
The patrol car exited last, following the ambulance. Finally. I stood up, stretching my arms out and rotating my shoulders. A short jog had me back at the hotel in minutes, and I paused in between two trucks to catch my breath. Warmth spread to my fingers from where the cracked asphalt had baked in the sun. The night had done nothing to cool the air. Nor did it lessen the stench of oil and hot rubber that surrounded me. The demon’s motorcycle rested among the others, just as I thought.
Ten of them. How many were demons? It looked like I’d spend the night scouting a different group than the one I planned on.
A truck door slammed and a woman marched to the biker’s door with a shotgun in her hand. Her blonde hair bounced against her shoulders with each step. She would have been pretty if not for the scowl she wore. She paused at the first of the bikers’ doors, taking a deep breath, and widened her legs in a taekwondo stance. The door gave way with a crack from the kick she delivered to it. My jaw hung open as the woman stepped inside.
Her Cajun accent traveled clear on the night air. “All right you sons of bitches, I have some questions that need answers.”
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