Authors: Phaedra Weldon
Tags: #romance, #urban fantasy, #paranormal romance, #ghost, #wraith, #phantasm, #dark urban fantasy, #phaedra weldon, #dominion, #oob
Copyright © 2012 by Phaedra
Published by Smashwords
Cover Design Copyright © 2012 Design by
Cover Image Copyright
This book is licensed for
your personal enjoyment only. All rights reserved. This is a work
of fiction. All characters and events portrayed in this book are
fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is
purely fictional. This book, or parts thereof, may not be
reproduced in any form without permission.
Dominion, given the slightest edge in the Physical Plane, will
always excel in finding the means to put itself in a position of
~ Abraham Domas,
The Dioscuri Files
The first Power dropped down out of
the trees and landed on my shoulders, causing me to face-plant into
a snowbank. I hoped I hadn't hit yellow snow. Daniel dispatched
that one with a quick twist of the asshole's head, snapping his
Powers, although extensions
of the Ethereal Plane, servants to the Ethereal Virtues, were
with their strength enhanced, they were technically dead bodies
reanimated to do the Virtues' bidding. The Ethereal Planes'
"undead." They could manifest weapons at will, which in a close
fight had proven to be a bit touchy. But they had a multitude of
The second one came at Daniel from a
crop of snow-covered bushes and tackled him. The two landed in a
heap on the other side of the path. I shifted into Wraith and slid
my long talons into its side. Female, bad breath, spitting French
at me at the top of her lungs. I grabbed her belt and lifted her
with me into the sky, taking her as high as I could, and then
tossed her. She made a nasty crunch when she landed. I was pretty
confident she wasn't getting back up again.
The crack of a gunshot stopped me in
I looked down at my chest. I didn't
see blood or bone sticking out. I didn't feel pain. So that meant I
hadn't been hit with a bullet, right? I put my hand to my front
just to be sure.
Daniel yelled ahead of me, and after
that came the clang of metal.
I speed forward as fast as my wings
could carry me. It was after midnight, and the full moon overhead
sparkled like diamonds off the snow-covered mounds of bushes and
benches. I zipped down close along the tree-shrouded lane on the
south end of Lafontaine Park when I saw the flash of the park's
lights against steel.
Blood dotted the snow around Daniel
and his attacker. This guy was larger than the first, and his
telltale tattoo covered most of the left side of his
When a Power is made by a Virtue, the
magic of that Virtue leaves a mark on the Power's face. At first
glance, these marks resemble tribal tattoos, but if you got close
enough, you'd see they were actually made of even smaller symbols,
all crowded together to make a larger one. And each Virtue had
their own symbol, making it easy to figure out who they belonged
When I landed, I realized they weren't
fighting with swords, but pipes. I had no idea where those had come
from, but luckily Daniel had one. The guy came at Daniel swinging,
but Daniel jumped back and then ducked down in time to avoid being
hit, just as he spun and nailed the guy with a pipe strike to the
The First Born inside of Daniel,
Inanna, spoke to me in my head. It was their bond that made Daniel
First Borns are the
children of the first Phantasm, the ruler of the Abysmal Plane. A
lot of people assumed the Abysmal was Hell, and the Ethereal was
Heaven. Me? They were simply places. And I'd started to not care
who was right and who was wrong, 'cause they
"What is it?" I called out. I moved to
the right as the guy fell back. I'd heard his ankle crack. They
might be reanimated corpses, but the Symbionts inside of them still
I'd also noticed a bit of distress in
Inanna's voice. Daniel's welfare was her job. Without him, she had
nowhere on this Plane to exist. If he died, and she had no new host
You have to stop this.
He's losing blood.
That much I could see. Either this guy
had landed a hit on Daniel, or the girl with the knife had. Or
could have been the shot I heard—but who'd fired a gun? And where
I bolted as the Power tried
to stand on his cracked ankles. I grabbed his belt from the side
and lifted him into the air as well. This time—as he struggled and
cursed at me, again in French like his companion—I dropped
on a line of fencing
with pointy spoke accents.
Daniel lay on the ground behind a
bench, breathing irregularly. His leather all-weather coat was
open, and I could see the wound. It'd been the girl. She'd managed
to get her weapon into his gut and then twist. Inanna was
right—Daniel was losing too much blood, too fast.
His beautiful blue eyes looked up at
me as I knelt beside him and shifted back to just me. Plain old
Zoë. No longer a Wraith, Harbinger of Death, taker of souls—all
I put my hands on the sides of his
face. Daniel Frasier was my first big crush at the age of
twenty-something. Love at first sight. He was a detective with the
Atlanta Police Department, and I'd met him after a First Born
touched my arm and changed me into this.
It's such a long story, and for the
first time since I began this journey, I had no time to retell
"Daniel," I said, and tried to push my
thoughts into his. "Look at me. Just look at me, okay? You've got
to stop moving."
"I—oh, Zoë—" he blinked and focused on
me. He took several deep breaths before he said, "You've got to
run. Now. Please. I can't control—"
"I'm not leaving you here—"
He's only thinking of your
"I'll be fine." I bit my lower lip. "I
know what he needs."
There was a deafening
silence in my mind, and then Inanna's voice.
"There's no other choice. He's got to
heal and that'll happen if he drinks. There aren't any other
candidates around and he can't drink from the Powers."
I won't allow it. We don't
know what it will do.
"What does that mean, you don't know
what it'll do? It'll heal him!" I sighed as Daniel's eyelids
fluttered and then closed. I tapped his face. "Daniel—"
No, Zoë—no Revenant has
tasted your blood since your latest transformation. We…we don't
know how that blood will infuse our host. Or us.
"My latest what?" I really wasn't sure
what she was talking about. "You mean me spending time physically
in the Abysmal?"
Aw fuckity-fuck-fuck. Why is it shit's
always mucking with my body? "Inanna, he needs blood and I'm right
Find a deer or
"No time, and if they're smart,
they're all tucked away in bed." I moved down his body, just
visible under the moonlight. I dug my freezing fingers into his
jeans pocket, and fished his army knife out, and pulled the blade
No! Zoë, you're a Wraith!
We do not know what your blood will do!
"Inanna," I said as I scooted up close
to his shoulders, "I can't let him die here, and I can't get him to
a hospital. And besides, I'm more Abysmal now, so isn't that good?
I mean, ya'll are Abysmal."
Call someone. Just fly him
No! You are a
"I'm a human, too." I held my breath
as I pressed the sharp tip of the knife into my wrist, then pushed,
and pulled the blade down along the forearm. It hurt at first, and
my body felt a little numb, like it wasn't sure what to do with
this sensation. As I watched the blood well up black and then
bright red, the burning feeling started.
I moved my wrist to Daniel's lips and
held it there, feeling like some heroine in one of those new
vampire movies. All sacrificey and stuff.
It looked all nice on the
screen and shit—but they don't tell you that it
hurts like freakin' hell
. I heard a
whoosh past my ears as I shifted my position, and had to lower my
arm when I moved.
Daniel sprang to life. Faster than
anything I'd ever seen. He latched his teeth onto my arm and
started to drink.
I'd only seen Daniel like this once. A
few months ago, I'd had to wound him to kill an attacker, and
Daniel had lost a great deal of blood because of me. That blood
loss had caused him to frenzy and he'd attacked an innocent human.
He was close to frenzying now and I
was keenly aware of it.
I also didn't know what I thought this
would feel like. I'd given blood once and passed out. So I knew I
was anemic. Was that gonna be a problem for him? Did that make me
like decaffeinated coffee?
Speaking of light, so was my head, and
a buzzing started in my ears. I tried to pull away…but he grabbed
onto me. In fact….I realized I was leaning away and he was sitting
up. He finally released me and looked at my face. There was very
little blood on his lips, and he was no longer pale, but warm
looking. His cheeks flushed pink.
And then he was on top of me, his face
buried into my neck. I tried to push him off but couldn't get good
leverage. He was strong. Stronger than I remembered.
I cried out when I felt his fangs snap
through flesh. His hand came over my mouth and pressed my lips
against my teeth.
Oh no, Daniel…
No! I told you! I can't
I fought him. I tried to shift, but
couldn't—not completely. My wings moved against my back against the
snow under us as I reached up and grabbed hunks of his hair. I
yanked and pulled and tried desperately to get him off of
Warmth wove its way into my muscles,
and I lost strength in my arms. I relaxed back as if I'd submerged
myself into comforting hot tub. He took his hand from my mouth and
I felt the cold night air on my lips. I wasn't on the ground
anymore, but in his arms, his face pressed into my neck.
My own arms lay out to my sides. I
couldn't move them. I couldn't move anything. This was different
than simple blood loss. The rushing past my ears wasn't normal, and
I could sense Azrael was close.
"Daniel…" I heard a soft
voice say on the wind. "Please…you're killing me…"
And if you don't run…
going to kill
I. Hate. The Beeping.
But it seems I'm to be cursed with its
damning sound for the rest of my unnatural life. At least I can say
that when I hear it, I know I'm alive on the Physical Plane—cause
ain't nobody got them beeping machines on the Astral or
But before I open my eyes, I think
it's only fair that I tell you who I am.
Zoë Martinique. Former retail
salesgirl. Now a big bad Wraith.
What is that?
No idea. But whatever it is—it's made
my life a living hell. Well, not all the time, but enough of it
that I sometimes doubt my own purpose in life. And apparently it's
not to find love and happiness.
I was born an Irin, which
translates roughly into a child of an Ethereal and a human. But a
year ago I was touched by an Abysmal being—if you want to
fine. But I just don't use those titles 'cause it dredges up all
kinds of ick. That touch apparently tainted me. Mixed up my
Ethereal parts with some Abysmal ones—shaken, not stirred—and
voila! I'm a Wraith.