Shattered Restraint (Moon Virus Book 4)

By: Cassandra Lawson

Acknowledgments


There are many wonderful people who support me with each book, and I honestly could not do it without them. First of all, I want to thank all of the fans who keep me going with their words of encouragement. I love hearing from all of you. I also owe a great deal to my fantastic beta readers Amber, Kari, Levenia and Ria. You ladies rock!

I would also like to thank Kendra Gaither for her invaluable proofreading and editing skills. Thank you, Lydia at HEA Book Tours for expertly handling the details of my blog tour. These two wonderful ladies make it much easier for me to spend my time writing new books. I also want to thank the bloggers who work so hard to get the word out about my books. I know you are all inundated with tons of emails each day, and I truly appreciate your tireless efforts to help authors and readers.





Prologue


Chest puffed out with pride, Danny walked alongside his dad. This was the first time he’d been allowed to hunt. At four years old, Danny knew why his dad had really brought him along. Danny’s mother was in another one of her strange moods. She’d gotten out of bed that morning and wandered off, leaving the door wide open. There was no one else to watch Danny that day, and they needed the meat. For the next five days, his dad was assigned to work the fields, which meant Danny would probably be working the fields too.

Not for the first time, Danny wondered why his mom acted so strange.

“Is Mom sick?” Danny asked.

His dad stopped walking and looked down at him. “She just gets confused sometimes, Dane,” he said before ruffling Danny’s hair.

Danny’s dad was the only one who called him Dane. His name was Daniel, but no one had ever called him that. Everyone called him Danny, except his dad, who said Dane was a strong name—one a man could be proud of. Danny’s mom said it made him sound like a killer.

“It’s scary when she gets confused,” Danny admitted. More times than he could count, he’d been left at home alone because his mom had forgotten he was there. That’s why Raven came by to check on him. It was kind of embarrassing to have her know his own mom didn’t remember him.

“I’m glad you took me with you,” Danny said, grinning up at his dad.

“Me too,” his dad said. “We need to be quiet now, or we’ll scare away the rabbits.”

Danny did his best to be silent. They made some noise because of his dad’s prominent limp. His dad was older with coarse grey hair and wrinkled skin. They hunted for rabbits because his dad liked meat, and they didn’t get much in their rations.

A rustling noise in the distance had Danny’s heart racing with excitement. It sounded too big to be a rabbit, so Danny thought maybe they’d get lucky and catch a deer. If they brought back a deer, they’d have meat to share with their friends.

“We’ve got to hide you,” his dad said in an urgent whisper as he pushed Danny toward the thick brush before covering him with leaves. “Don’t make a sound,” he warned. “No matter what happens, Dane, I need you to stay quiet. Someone has to take care of your mom.”

“What is it?” Danny asked, his voice shaking.

“Vampires,” his dad responded. “We’re not far from one of the guard details, so other humans will be here soon to help us. I’ll fight the vampires off until help gets here, but you have to stay quiet.”

Danny nodded, tears already forming in his eyes. He’d never seen a vampire, but they’d all been warned that if you could hear a vampire, it was close enough to catch you. They were fast, strong, and completely without mercy. Now, his dad was going to fight them alone.

Once Danny was buried in the leaves, his dad pulled out a vial of cow urine and poured it all over the leaves on top of Danny. “It’ll mask your smell,” he explained before drawing his knife and facing the direction of the vampires.

“Use your bow!” Danny said urgently.

“Quiet, Dane!” his dad hissed. “I’ll have a better chance with the knife.”

Then the vampires moved out of the woods.

Danny could barely see what was happening around him, and he was having trouble processing what he did see. There were no words spoken by the vampires; no warnings or threats were made. The two male vampires who emerged from the trees wore clothing that looked like it was ready to fall apart, and their hair hung in dirty clumps around gaunt faces. Both lunged at his dad so quickly his dad stumbled back and nearly fell to the ground.

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