Shattered Restraint (Moon Virus Book 4)(2)

By: Cassandra Lawson

Recovering with surprising speed for someone his age, Danny’s dad plunged the hunting knife into the chest of one of the vampires. The injured vampire let out a hoarse, guttural scream and collapsed with the knife still in its chest. When his dad tried to pull the knife out, it wouldn’t budge. The second vampire hit his dad hard in the chest, knocking him down. His dad tried to grab one of the arrows to fight the vampire off, but he was too slow.

Danny wasn’t sure how he managed to hold back his own screams as the vampire’s fangs neared his dad’s neck. Rather than just sinking into the flesh like Danny had expected, the vampire tore at his dad’s throat. The only sound his dad made was a short gurgling sound as the vampire lapped at the blood. His dad’s legs twitched for just a moment before becoming utterly still.

Danny heard the shouts in the distance, which meant help was coming . . . just moments too late.

“This way!” Danny recognized Raven’s voice a moment before she burst through the trees and plunged one of the sharp sticks she fought with through the vampire’s heart from behind. The vampire sat up, looking almost confused, before it collapsed forward. Raven caught the vampire’s shoulder and pushed it to the side so it wouldn’t fall on Danny’s dad. Then she turned her attention to the other vampire lying on the ground with the knife in its heart. That one was still moving, and it almost managed to get the knife out. Before the vampire had time to react, Raven plunged her other stick into its heart. The vampire only moved for a second before becoming completely still.

Others from Danny’s settlement arrived, out of breath from trying to keep up with Raven, who, as a wood nymph, moved much faster than humans.

“Danny!” Raven shouted desperately as she looked around.

Lying there under the leaves, he wanted to call out to her and tell her he was okay, but he couldn’t. Shock held him mute.

“Where could he be?” asked one of the men Danny didn’t recognize.

“Maybe there were more vampires, and they carried him off,” another suggested.

It was the fear Danny saw in Raven’s eyes that allowed him to finally react. He still couldn’t speak, but he managed to drag himself from the leaves and stumble toward her. His eyes strayed to his dad’s body, and he trembled as sobs wracked his body.

Raven scooped him up in her arms and held him close. “It’ll be okay,” she told him.

“I should have helped him,” Danny croaked.

“There was nothing you could have done against two vampires,” Raven assured him in a comforting voice.

“I hate vampires. Someday, I’m going to kill them all,” he said, his voice full of as much power as a four year old boy could manage.

Chapter one

Twenty-four years later

Roger stared out the window at the pitiful remnants of the empire he’d been meant to inherit. Conjuring the memory from the back of his mind, he pictured the well-manicured lawns and fountains. Quaint cobblestone pathways once wound their way through this section with its luxuriously decorated cottages. In the middle of it all was what remained of the large stone building that stood as the center of their empire.

His father ruled over the blood whores like a king—no, like a god! Their very lives had been at the mercy of his father, and Roger shared in that power with his father for a short time. That was until his father’s empire had been stolen from him.

Fate was a bitch.

Somehow, the blood whores ran this country now. Although, it wasn’t technically a country anymore. What had once been a world power wasn’t recognized as anything more than a very large piece of vampire-infested land.

Opening his eyes again, he shook his head. The stone building had survived the rebellion because most of it hadn’t burned. That was the building Roger stood in now. It was nothing like it had once been. The interior no longer held priceless works of art or lush carpets. The hard stone floors were cold in the winter, even with the generator heating the building. Outside was even worse. The beautiful cottages were no more. They’d built new cottages, which were scarcely more than shacks to house his less important followers. They’d also reinforced the walls surrounding the compound, giving the place a cold feel.