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Authors: Fawn Lowery

JARHARIS

 

 

 

 

JARHARIS

 

BOOK TWO

THE WITCH
AND
THE VAMPIRE

 

 

BY

 

 

FAWN LOWERY

 

 

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This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

 

Jarharis
: Book 2 – The Witch and the Vampire

Copyright
ã
2008 Fawn Lowery

ISBN: 978-1-55487-011-0

Cover art by Martine Jardin

 

All rights reserved. Except for use in any review, the reproduction or utilization of this work in whole or in part in any form by any electronic, mechanical or other means, now known or hereafter invented, is forbidden without the written permission of the publisher.

 

Published by eXtasy Books

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To
Tina.
Thank you for your friendship and encouragement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER
ONE

 

 

Jarharis
Sutherland shifted his perched position on the tiled roof and watched the three men and one woman on the sidewalk below. He studied the female. She was tall, with long blonde hair that hung loosely down her back. She was dressed in tight pants and a long sleeved sweater that dipped low on her chest. The tantalizing swell of ripe breasts peeked over the neckline. Her face shown luminous in the yellow glow of the streetlight the group stood under. She had exquisite features—high cheekbones, a small delicate nose that tipped upward slightly and full sensual lips. He was intrigued.

The perfect face.
He drew in a deep breath and tried to clear his mind. He had lost track of how long he had assumed the shape of a bird and perched on the peak of the brownstone, but he thought less than an hour earlier he had been in his time—
ll85
, along with his three brothers—and a rather beguiling witch.
Ronna
Gentry.
She possessed a magical amulet, which she used to travel through time.

God only knew what else that amulet was capable of.
He sighed.
Ronna
was a witch of the present time and she belonged to his brother, Marcus.

The woman on the sidewalk blew a stream of smoke from her mouth. He watched the gray fog encompass her head and dissipate as a summer breeze swept it upward into the darkness. He tuned his keen ears to their conversation, smiling at the rhetoric.

“If you two want to check out the night spots, I’ll take
Merrick
with me and meet up with you later.”

“We should stick together, Selena. There’s safety in numbers.”


Kaleb
, I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself.”

“I know. You have an arsenal in your boot. But, honestly, babe, you take too many chances. Vampires don’t play fair.”

Vampires?
Jarharis
narrowed his eyes.

“You don’t give me any credit for having a brain. For Pete’s sake! I’ve been a hunter longer than you and I’m still alive, aren’t I?”

“Well, that’s questionable.”

“Fuck you,
Kaleb
.”

The men in the group laughed and the blonde woman separated herself from their small cluster, walking into the shadows beyond the streetlamp. Her body was rigid, her shoulders squared.
Jarharis
sensed her irritation. He inched along the crown of the roof, positioning himself directly above her. He looked down and saw the top of her head. He smelled the smoke she blew in to the air, stifled a cough and shook his head. He had never seen a female smoke and, though it seemed odd—in his time, a female would appear too masculine if she took up the habit—there was
a certain
sensuality about the act that spoke to his senses.

He left his perch on the roof and soared silently into the air, flapping his feathered wings. The city was foreign, a modern day marvel of stone and concrete, high rise buildings that stabbed at the darkness with tall spires. Strange odors assaulted his acute senses and a mirage of noises melded one with the other until he realized he couldn’t possibly discern any specific one. He floated lightly to the ground, keeping to the shadow of the building. With a brief thought, he summoned the magic and
shapeshifted
into himself, a tall robust man with shoulder length blond hair and quizzical inspecting eyes. A vampire had many attributes, which he could summon at a given thought. He pulled in a deep breath and adjusted his dark tunic across his broad shoulders. He had to learn the customs of the time period, and dress himself appropriately if he wanted to mingle with the people and not call attention to himself.

His acute power of observation would serve him well as he built a life in the new time he had been transported to. He tried to push the thoughts of his old life from his mind. Being a vampire had served him well in medieval times. He had wealth and fortune, traveled abroad and enjoyed many things. But an evil witch had brought his dark existence to a swift halt with a spell wrought of revenge.

He had much to learn about his new existence, but at the moment, the woman who had captured his attention, intrigued him. He kept to the shadows of the building and inched toward her as she blew smoke into the night air. He could sense something disturbing about her, a weight that seemed to settle about her slim shoulders. His brows furrowed. He stared through the darkness at her, desiring her perhaps more than he should.

She is very beautiful.
His eyes took in her clothing—the tight pants and the clinging sweater. Her legs were long. She wore boots with a tall heel. A metal bracelet that caught the glow of the streetlight circled her left wrist. He watched as she pursed her lips and drew on the cigarette then blew another cloud of smoke into the air. She was agitated. He smiled slightly, recalling the conversation between her and her male companions.

The smoke was irritating his nose. He waved a hand in her direction, mentally commanding she put the cigarette out. Immediately, she dropped the cigarette on the sidewalk and ground it beneath the toe of her boot. He smiled. The power to command obedience was perhaps his greatest asset.

He drew in a long breath. He had always been the commanding type. Even in his youth—he was, by vampire years, well over ten thousand years old. His brows drew together. Vampirism was a curse. Why then, did he enjoy certain elements of the affliction?

Affliction?
He grimaced and turned his thoughts to the woman mere feet from his grasp. He hadn’t fed yet. The urge for warm blood rose inside him as he looked at her. She was perhaps the most beautiful woman he had ever laid eyes on. Did he want to sully her beauty by piercing her throat with his fangs?

He studied her as she gazed out into the darkness. What was she contemplating? Could she sense him? Did she have any powers that she might use against him? Or was she merely a mortal female with no more powers than that womanly trait of female intuition? He smiled and took a step closer to her.

She jerked her head around suddenly, spinning abruptly on one heel. She walked back to the three males beneath the streetlight.
Jarharis
halted his feet, tuning his ears to the renewed conversation.

“Garrett killed one last night.”

“Where was he hunting?”

“In the
North Park
—along the bluffs.”

“It’s almost
midnight
. We should hurry.”


Kaleb
, you and Merrick patrol the downtown avenues and Reece and I will check out the cemetery on the West side.”

“Who died and made you boss?”

Selena sighed and propped her hands atop her hips. “Then go any fucking place you want to,
Kaleb
. I swear. You keep pissing me off and I’ll request that you be transferred from the city.”

The group fell silent and Selena stooped to check her boot.
Jarharis
followed her bending movement with his inspecting gaze. She had a very nice butt with rounded hips that thrust toward him in a tantalizing jut. He could have stared at it all night, had she not pulled up her pants leg and revealed a silver handled dagger peeking from its scabbard. He cocked an eyebrow. Up until then he had taken great delight in looking at her—now he knew she might be a threat to him. He stayed in the shadows, biding his time.

The four split up without further argument. The woman and one man headed down the sidewalk while the other two males cut across the street and disappeared into the darkness.
Jarharis
shapeshifted
into a bird and took to the air in pursuit of the woman and her male companion. A gnawing thought plagued his mind.

I should feed and not concern myself with the woman.
Delay in feeding served only to weaken him, physically and mentally. He swooped through the nighttime sky and landed silently on the peak of an above ground tomb. A cemetery sprawled out before him, eerily dark and soundless. Tall trees lined one edge of the graveyard. The woman and her companion walked ahead, quietly making their way through the stone markers. He watched her back as she took each step with a measure of caution.

Is she expecting vampires to jump out of the ground and attack her?
He chuckled silently.
Perhaps I shouldn’t disappoint her.

His hunger gnawed at him. Perhaps he was wasting too much time following the woman. A wave of regret washed through his insides. He had no future with a mortal woman. What mortal woman could ever fall in love with a vampire? The best he could hope for was a quick fuck in her bed and a nip on the neck before he placed her in a trance and took leave. He launched himself into the air suddenly, disgusted with his own lack of priority in his life.

He
shapeshifted
into human form once he reached the shadow of a large tree and paused behind its massive trunk.
He should bite her and get on with investigating his new surroundings. A moment’s study on the subject, and he reached a decision. He would bite her companion—take his blood to revive his body while he placed the woman in a trance. She could watch. He smiled as though the thought brought him humor.

He pinned his gaze on the pair. The man had separated himself slightly from the woman, aiming his steps toward the edge of the graveyard. He would be easy prey. He sensed he was on alert, keenly aware of his surroundings, yet he didn’t stand a chance against
Jarharis’s
powers.

He stepped from his hiding place and stole silently across the grassy slopes toward the pair, gliding effortlessly on silent feet,
then
veered his steps in the direction of the male. A slight wave of his hand and the man turned to face him.
Jarharis
halted his feet and commanded he come, raising one arm in his direction. The man walked toward him, his arms hanging limply at his sides.

Jarharis
spied the dagger he carried in one hand. It was of little consequence. He commanded his feet to the shadow of the tree where he stood. His prey came as ordered and paused before him, his face expressionless.

Jarharis
reached one hand to the man’s nape and curled his fingers just below his jaw. He drew his body against his chest. The thought of nourishment spurred him on. He felt the throbbing pulse in the warm neck, tipped his head to the side slightly with one thumb and bent his own head, preparing to sink his fangs into his willing prey.

“What do you think you’re doing?”

The sudden intrusion caused him to jerk his head around. The blonde woman stood just to his side, her hands propped atop her hips, her head tipped back to stare into his face. A quick laugh leapt from his mouth.

“Turn him loose this instant!”

Jarharis
snarled and tightened his hold on the man’s neck, determined to feed.

“Toby Bauer!
You turn Reece loose this instant!”

Her words briefly lodged in his mind seconds before he felt her foot land against his ass. He jumped and flung his prey backward. Lunging around, he grasped the woman by both shoulders and raised her feet off the ground, anger fueling his actions.

She screamed and kicked her feet, catching him just beneath the chin with one boot. “Put me down, you jack off! Put me
down
!”

Jarharis
halted his hands. His ass stung where her boot had landed and his chin smarted from her second blow. He should toss her on the ground and be done with her, yet he found himself instantly amused by her thrashing body. Her sweater had ridden up on her chest, exposing her breasts. Round and bulbous, they jiggled quite invitingly. He held her while she tried to get loose and admired her body. Even in the faint moonlight, she was lovely. Her blonde hair flew about her head
and shoulders, landing across
Jarharis’s
grasping hands and wrists. She seemed more fantasy than a real live woman gyrating in his vice-like grip. He found himself fascinated at watching her.

She kicked at his legs, though he held her at arms length and she didn’t stand a chance of making contact with her angry thrusts. He grew aroused with her actions and fought the urge to draw her against his chest and kiss her.

Kiss her?
He questioned his own thoughts as he lowered her feet to the ground. His fingers dug into her upper arms, holding her steady as he prepared to release her. His own thoughts gelled in his mind. He was far too attracted to the woman. He needed to separate himself from her before anything else occurred.

“Did
Kaleb
put you up to this?”

“No.” He cautioned himself about answering any of her questions. He pushed her away, pulling his hands free of her upper arms.

She stood still and looked at him for a moment then raised her hands and adjusted her sweater. “You’re not Toby.”

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