Forbidden Magic

     In the immortal world a legend exists that one day a Shadow Moon shall appear. At this time demons will have greater strength. They will rise to the surface and defeat the witches and vampires. Those who don’t give their allegiance will be destroyed.

​     A myth? A fairy tale?

     ​No one really knows, but when a witch has a vision that foresees the future, he knows there is one who can save them.

     ​Born from the soul of a witch and the heart of a vampire, an immortal created from magic who will be given the ability to control
the elements. One who will have enough power to vanquish evil.

     ​If she so chooses...

​     There was something about New Orleans that was irresistible. It had a pull that no other town could match. It wasn’t the same,
​​though. Dominique Chevel frowned as her gaze swept down the street. Where was the romance of merging cultures? The
history? She wound her way through the crowd on Bourbon Street, searching for something familiar. There used to be a little bar
on the corner where she would go and listen to the sweet sounds of the piano, but now it was a souvenir shop with T-shirts
​​hanging on the wall that read, Fuck Off Or I’ll Voodoo Your Ass.

     ​​A woman with sagging jaws and frizzy red hair sat on a stool behind the counter watching a ten inch television. Dominique
paused ​​when the clerk turned up the volume.

​​     “So, what do you think about the upcoming eclipse that’s less that two weeks away, Rick?” the blonde news anchor asked.

     ​The dark haired man smiled. “It will be unusual, for sure. It’s rare that an eclipse would occur on the exact day of the summer
​​solstice, but what makes this one even more unusual is that all the planets will be in alignment. A rare occurrence indeed. ”

​     A customer stopped at the counter. The woman clicked off the television and turned her attention on him. Not that it mattered.
​​Dominique already knew about the eclipse.

​     Revenge would be sweet.

     ​If she could pull off the lie.

​     A shiver of apprehension rippled over her. She hugged her middle and quickly dismissed the feeling of impending doom. Her plan ​​would work. It had to. But could she do it in less than two weeks?

     ​She didn’t have a choice.

​     She hurried down the street, past sharp-edged techno music spilling from the bars. Past strippers wearing only fringed thong
​​bikinis and needle marks as they gyrated in front of dirty, plate glass windows.

​     This wasn’t the French Quarter she remembered. Why couldn’t she turn back the clock and return to a time before everything unraveled? She drew in a shaky breath. Nothing would ever be like it once was. Regret was a bitter pill to swallow.

     ​The heavy scents of alcohol and cigarette smoke hung in the air, invading her space as the crowd closed in around her. She
​​pushed long strands of dark hair behind her ear when it blew across her face and continued her fast pace, wanting to escape the
​​suffocating crush of people. Bourbon Street shouldn’t have been her first choice. But then, her life was littered with bad choices.

​Why should today be any different?

     ​A man on the brink of anorexia swaggered in front of her. Her feet ground to a halt.

     ​“Hey, baby, half priced drinks for the ladies.” His sleazy gaze slid down her body. “But for you, the first one is free, sweet momma.”

     ​She immediately stiffened as anger swept over her.

     ​He’s not the problem she told herself, trying to bring her emotions under control. The man was only a hawker. The bar owners paid them to entice customers into their establishments. He wasn’t worth her time. Her anger fizzled to a slow irritating burn.

     ​“Back off.” Her voice was soft, the words barely above a whisper.

     ​His lips curved upward as though he was unfazed by her words.

     ​What? Did he think she was joking? Their eyes locked.

     ​His smile began to slip.

     ​He dropped his gaze. “Hey, I was only askin’. Ain’t be no thang.” He shuffled his feet and looked away.

     ​Dominique continued down the street and around the corner. The crowd thinned, and she could breathe again without inhaling
​​a cloud of secondhand smoke. She turned down another street and began to relax as she glanced up. The quieter side of the
​​French Quarter. This was what she was searching for tonight. A bit of the past. She wanted to grab it and hold it close.

      ​She’d missed the lacy iron balconies, the ferns hanging from clay pots. Creole cottages in pastel shades of yellow, blue, and
​​pink. The French Quarter was like an aging dowager wearing a decaying, tattered ball gown. She still commanded respect, she
still held her head high, but the signs of wear and tear were evident. God, she’d missed this town. The euphoria that washed over
​​her every time she returned was like a powerful drug shooting through her veins.

     ​As night settled in, she ambled down the sidewalk, absorbing everything the Quarter had to offer. She was all alone as the
​​sounds of a lone trumpet drifted to her. She drank in the flavor as if it was an expensive wine with a rich mellow taste as she
made a lazy turn toward Jackson Square. Just a few more blocks, then she would return to the plantation.

     ​A heavy hand suddenly clamped down on Dominique’s shoulder, jarring her out of her thoughts.

     ​“Hey, cher, what you be doin’ walkin’ de streets all by yo’ self?” His Cajun accent was thick. He moved to stand in front of her.

     ​Really? Really! Did she have the word victim tattooed on her forehead or what? She glared at the man. Six feet, two inches of
​​ugly towered over her shorter five feet, five inch frame. His beefy arms could easily crush a man, and he wore a greedy look that
​​said she probably wasn’t the first person he’d accosted.

     ​“Don’t you know dat be a good way to be gettin’ robbed?” He waved a gun close to her face. “You be real pretty, dat for sure.
​​Maybe you and me be having us some fun and I won’t take all your money, eh, cher?”

     ​When he leaned in closer a haze of stale beer and raw onion filled her space. Her nose wrinkled. She tried to step back, but
​​his hold tightened.

     ​Anger bubbled inside her.

     ​No, she would stay calm. She drew in a slow, steady breath, determined not to lose her temper. “Why don’t you put away the
​​gun, go home, and sleep it off.”

     ​His forehead wrinkled as if he was seriously thinking over her suggestion. He finally shook his head. Dominique could almost
hear the marbles rolling around inside his empty skull. “Can’t. Ma said I had to be bringin’ home some money.”

​     She raised her eyebrows. “Ever thought about getting a job?”

     ​His frown deepened while he thought about this new question. “Why I be doin’ dat?” He finally asked, wearing a dumbfounded

     ​“Have you ever heard the term paycheck?”

     ​“Everybody knows what dat be.” He gripped her arm a little tighter. “Wait a minute, you be makin’ fun of me?”

     ​Now he was starting to piss her off. “Let go,” she said between gritted teeth.

     ​“What you goin’ do if I don’t? You just be a little thing, cher.” He yanked her closer, showing yellowed teeth. “I bet you gots at
​​least thirty dollars. Or even a hundred.”

     ​She’d tried. She’d really tried. Sometimes a girl had to do what she had to do. She bared her fangs, eyes glowing red as she
​​grabbed him by the throat, squeezing, and slammed him against the brick building. His body hit with a loud thud. He gurgled,
​​clawing at her arm, but his struggles were useless.

     ​That felt a lot better than it should have, and she was just getting started.

     ​“What am I going to do? Cher? Huh? What’s the matter, run out of words?” She loosened her hold a fraction.

     ​He gasped for air, his eyes bugging out. “Oh, please, don’t be killin’, Beudro. I don’t mean nothin’. I wouldn’t have shot you.
​​Oh, God, the demons of hell done be got my poor old soul.”

      ​Dominique stepped closer, looking him right in the eye. “No, Beudro, not the demons of hell, only a vampire.” She sank her
​​teeth into his neck. This was not Beudro’s day.

     ​She really hated having her dinner shoved in her face. It didn’t help that she wasn’t particularly fond of drinking blood. It always
​​left a bad taste in her mouth. A nice southern gentleman with a hint of fine whiskey on his breath—that she could manage, but this
guy was rotgut all the way.

     ​Draining him just wasn’t worth the trouble. Cops went a little crazy when they ran across bodies that were completely drained
of blood. It brought all kinds of unwanted attention. And she was too tired to dispose of his corpse. She pushed his limp body

     ​Her car was only a few blocks over. She marched back to it, shoulders squared, eyes looking neither right nor left. One night.
One fucking night was all she wanted before everything came tumbling down on top of her. Was that too much to ask? She didn’t
slow until she opened her car door and slid in on the driver’s side.

     ​​When she turned the key, the engine roared to life. For a moment, she sat there letting her anger ease. When would she learn
​​to control her temper? You would think after a hundred or so years of practice, it would come easily.

     ​It didn’t.

​​     She grabbed a CD out of the case and shoved it in the player, then turned up the volume as she lowered the convertible’s top.

     ​“Anger is an emotion that can quickly overtake a person, making them lose control. Wouldn’t you rather be in control?” The
therapist’s voice coming across on the CD was soothing.

     ​Easier said than done, she thought as she backed out of the parking space.

     ​She didn’t push eject though.

     ​As she drove through the streets that led out of town, her anger drifted away on the night breeze. It certainly didn’t get rid of
​​the awful taste in her mouth, though. What had ever possessed her to bite that piece of scum? There was a small container of
cinnamon breath spray in the compartment between the seats. She dug it out and squirted the bottle until the cinnamon overrode
​​the taste of onion and beer. This wasn’t the way she’d envisioned her first night back.

     ​Did she make the right choice returning so soon before the eclipse? Maybe Della was right, and she’d returned too early.

     ​Her head began to throb. The pain started at her right temple. She massaged her forehead, willing it to go away. After a few
seconds the dull ache began to subside.

     ​The headaches started a few weeks ago. At first, they scared the hell out of her. It was as though something pulled her to
return. Ridiculous, of course. The headaches were nothing. Stress probably. She gave a weak laugh. What did she have to be ​​stressed about? All she had to do was convince the vampires and witches she was their savior. Every immortal knew the legend
​​about the shadow moon and how the demons would rise to power. She would use the legend and the rare eclipse to her

     ​Once and for all, she would end it with Theron. Theron was the leader of the Louisiana vampires, and he wanted her dead, but
she’d always managed to stay one step ahead of the scum he sent after her. He couldn’t stand the fact someone like her had
​​escaped his clutches.

     ​Her grip tightened on the steering wheel. Yeah, someone like her. A half-breed. Part vampire, part witch. An abomination to
​​both races.

     ​She drew in a ragged breath. And the witches? They’d ostracized her. Turned their backs when Theron convinced the vampire
​​council to execute her parents because they’d created her. For them, her parents didn’t exist. Neither did she.

     ​Dominique drew in a slow deep breath and forced herself to think about something else. She’d waited this long, a little longer
wouldn’t matter. Theron wasn’t going anywhere. Now, if she could just control her anger.

    ​The words coming across the CD broke into her thoughts.

     ​“Create a world where you can escape when anger threatens to engulf you. Close your eyes and imagine your sanctuary. Find
your quiet place.”

     ​Fuck the quiet place.

     ​She hit eject and threw the disc out of the car. It sailed through the air like a silver Frisbee, then shattered when it hit a tree.

     ​“Quiet place, my ass,” she grumbled. She turned down another road.

     ​“Home sweet home,” she murmured as she drove down the long drive that led to the white two-story plantation house. Oaks
​​older than her lined each side, their limbs a canopy blocking out the night sky. This was her quiet place, her sanctuary. And she
​​didn’t need a damn CD to tell her that.

     ​She pulled to a stop in front of the house. Wide verandahs wrapped around both floors. She loved this place. No matter how
many properties she owned, this would always be home.

     ​Dominique raised the top, then shut off the engine, and climbed out. It was good to be home again. Her shoes crunched
​​across the gravel drive as she made her way toward the house. A dozen steps led to the wide and welcoming verandah, except
​​there had never been guests or lavish parties. Her parents had kept a low profile, hoping no one noticed they were breaking the
vampire and witch laws by living together. Laws that could get them executed. And eventually did.

     ​She was halfway up the steps before she sensed that something wasn’t quite right. The hairs on the back of her neck tickled.
She glanced over her shoulder, eyes narrowing. A slight breeze whispered through the trees, stirring the leaves. Heavy
​​thunderclouds sludged past, blocking the moonlight. She absently rubbed her arms.

     ​It was nothing. The trip had been exhausting, that was all. Dominique continued up the steps until she stood on the verandah.
​​A small noise, a scent in the air that hadn’t been there a moment ago, something different that made her stop and scan the
darkness again. “Who’s there?” she warily called out.

     ​A shadow stepped from behind a tree. “Hello, Dominique.” Blaine’s deep voice wrapped around her, caressing her.

     ​The air grew heavy, making it difficult for her to draw in a breath. Blaine was the one person she wasn’t ready to see. She
​​wasn’t sure she would ever be ready. He’d been her friend, then her lover…then her betrayer. He was vampire.

     ​She refused to let old memories taunt her and squared her shoulders, bracing for the storm that was sure to come. “Blaine,
​​what are you doing here? I usually have a few weeks before the vampire council discovers my presence.” Then they would start
​​prowling around, and she and Della would leave. Always hiding, always running. She could never resist coming home though,
​​even if it was only for a few days.

     ​He sauntered closer, stopping at her car, running his hand over the glossy black finish. “Nice. You always did like speed; the
​​fastest horse, the swiftest buggy. Nothing was ever fast enough, though. Are you still trying to outrun your demons?”

     ​Tremors started at her toes and worked their way up her body. Fear? Pleasure? Maybe a little of both. “Only the ones who
​​want to see me dead. Is that why you’re here? Did they send you to kill me?” She held her breath, waiting to hear what he would

     ​One second he was beside her car and in the next, he stood on the wide verandah in front of her. So close she could see the
golden flecks in his deep green eyes. Her heart banged against her ribs as her gaze drank in his finely chiseled face, the lips that
​​had once kissed her until she’d begged him to put an end to the sweet torture and make love to her.

     ​Her gaze skimmed past broad shoulders as she tried not to remember how he’d pulled her against his muscled chest, or how
she’d pressed closer to his naked body, always wanting more of him and never seeming to get enough.

     ​Ah hell, she was supposed to be stronger than this. Della was right, she wasn’t ready. “Go away, Blaine.” She hated how her
​​voice quivered and lacked conviction.

     ​“Is that what you really want? For me to leave?” he asked.

     ​His cold breath stroked her face. No, dammit, she didn’t want him to leave.

     ​He raised his hand. Anticipation wound its way through her. This wasn’t happening. She couldn’t let him take control. Not

     ​His knuckles paused near her cheek. She steeled herself against his touch and glared at him, but the betraying need inside
​​her only grew stronger. He smiled. A slow, sensuous smile as if he knew exactly what she felt.

     ​“Such delicate beauty.” Very lightly, he brushed his fingers down the side of her face. “I always loved the way you felt. Not like
​the rest of us. Your skin is warm to the touch. You can walk in the sun, let it bathe your naked skin, while we’re forced to remain in
the dark.” His words were spoken almost as if he were speaking to himself. “I’ve never seen eyes the color of yours. Pale blue
​​with dancing lights, but when your emotions run high, they change to a stormy blue, mixing and blending different shades. Like
​​right now.”

     ​Did he guess she was remembering the past, and how it felt to lie in his arms?

     ​She steeled herself against his emotional warfare. “But you already know that I’m not like you.” She wouldn’t fall for his
seduction. Not again. She grabbed his wrist, pushing his hand away, but inside the trembles of awareness grew stronger.

     ​His gaze lowered to her mouth, she could almost feel his lips brushing across hers. Even cold as his were, the thought of him
​​kissing her stirred the fires of desire inside her. He raised his eyes once more and she saw the mockery in them. Yes, he knew
​​exactly what kind of effect he had on her.

     ​She arched an eyebrow. “Did you come to talk about old times? Then run back to the council to tell them I’m home? That I’m
​​not hiding? Or did you come to end it all?” she goaded. No one really knew if the legend was true or false. Maybe the vampires
didn’t buy into legends. She raised her chin, daring him to do his worst.

     ​He only brushed his fingers across her neck. Did he feel the rapid beat of her pulse?

     ​“You don’t seem bothered by the fact you could die in the next few minutes. Are you so ready to sleep forever?”

     ​“Who says I’d let you kill me?” A slow smile curved her lips. “I’m not as delicate as you might think.”

     ​“You’re not afraid?”

     ​She squared her shoulders. “Of what? A vampire?”

     ​He straightened, then abruptly walked away to stand at the edge of the verandah. She refused to let this end. She strode
forward. Intent.

     ​“You don’t know me, Blaine. You only remember the young girl who was stupid enough to fall in love with you. But you
​​destroyed that love. I don’t have the same feelings as that girl. She’s dead.”

     ​“Is she?”

     ​With the question, he was there in front of her, pulling her roughly into his arms. His lips grazed hers. His kiss became more
forceful. A betraying shudder of longing swept through her. How many nights had she laid in bed dreaming of his touch? Yearning
to feel him pull her body against his? Only to be consumed by guilt. The vampires had destroyed her parents.

     ​Changing the past wasn’t an option, but for this moment, she would lose herself in the taste of him. She wrapped her arms ​​around his neck and brought his head nearer. He stroked her back, cupped her butt, and then drew her closer so she could feel
​​his need.

     ​Images swirled inside her head. The two of them in the barn lying on the soft hay, making love. Passion building, bodies
yearning for more—needing more.

     ​When the kiss ended, they were both breathing hard. Her head swam so that she clung to him a few seconds before finding
​​her composure. She couldn’t let this happen, not again. Too much was at stake this time.

     ​She drew in a deep breath, then chuckled, hoping it didn’t sound forced. “Not bad. I see you haven’t lost your touch.”

     ​He shoved away from her. She reached out, regaining her balance when her hand landed against a column. “Still the same
​​​​temper, I see.” A trait they both shared. She slowly let her gaze roam over him. “I want Theron.”

     ​“I know.”

     ​“Do you believe in the legend?” And so the lie would begin. She glanced toward the sky. A cloud drifted across the moon
​​sending cold chills down her spine. A foreboding? She shook off the premonition that nothing good would come of her return.

     ​“Are you saying it’s true?”

     ​“My father had a vision. That’s why I was created. To save the world from a demon uprising.” She met his gaze. “But the
​​vampires already knew this and still they executed him.”

     ​“It’s against the law for witches and vampires to mate. They knew it could mean their death.”

     ​Pain ripped through her. Yes, she knew about the stupid law. Why did it have to hurt so much when he spoke the words? “You
​​condone what they did to my parents?”

     ​“Of course not,” he spat, raking his fingers through his hair. “But that’s the way it is.”

     ​“Then tell them the price for my help against the demons is Theron. I want him brought to me.” Her eyes narrowed. “And that’s
​​the way it is,” she flung his words back.

     ​“He’s their leader. They won’t sacrifice him.”

     ​“Not even to save their race?”

     ​“Not everyone believes in the legend.”

     ​Her eyes narrowed. “They better start believing. My father’s vision was true. I am the savior.”

     ​She began to chant as she raised her hands, palms up. Flames suddenly danced from one hand to the other. The fire didn’t
​​burn. It was more of a soothing warmth.

     ​Once, she’d stayed with a magician. For a short time he eased the ache inside her. An ache that never really went away. He’d
also taught her a few tricks. Smoke and mirrors. Along with the combination of her witch and vampire powers, it should be enough
​​to add fuel to the legend and enough to draw Theron to the surface if they refused to hand him over.

     ​Blaine’s lips clamped together as though he was trying to keep his emotions under tight rein.

     ​She lowered her arms. “If they want my help, they’ll make the sacrifice. Mark my words, I’ll have revenge against Theron.” She
turned on her heel, and stormed inside the house.

     ​Before she slammed the door she heard him mutter. “You’re playing with fire.”

     ​Once inside, she closed her eyes and leaned against the door, expecting Blaine to swoop in any second. But he didn’t. She ​​cursed the niggle of disappointment that shot through her.

     ​Yes, she played with fire. In more ways than one.

     ​And she’d discovered something very useful tonight. Blaine still wanted her. Maybe he’d controlled his feelings tonight, but she
​​had her own powers of seduction. How long would it take to have him doing whatever she asked?

     ​A sigh of regret escaped past her lips. She didn’t want to use him. To use him would be to destroy him. She wasn’t up to that.
Tomorrow? Maybe.

     ​But, damn, she’d missed him.

     ​She opened her eyes and pushed away from the door. Her movements were stiff and jerky as she walked toward the dark, ​​winding staircase.

     ​Della stepped from the shadows. Her protector stood tall, regal. Her warm chocolate skin was flawless, her dark eyes

     ​And she might as well have jumped out and yelled boo.

     ​Dominique grabbed the newel post and willed her rapidly pounding heart to slow to a more normal rhythm. “What is it with
people stepping out of shadows tonight? First a mugger, then Blaine, and now you.”

     ​Della’s eyebrows drew together. “Did the mugger hurt you?”

     ​She shook her head. “No. Unless you want to count the blood I took from him. Definitely not high-grade.”

     ​“And Blaine?”

     ​Dominique refused to meet Della’s eyes. “He can’t hurt me. Not anymore.” When Della didn’t speak, she looked up and saw
​​the knowledge in the other woman’s eyes. Dominique squared her shoulders. “It doesn’t matter. I won’t let him hurt me again.”

     ​“Others will follow.”

     ​“I’m counting on it. I’ll destroy Theron as he destroyed my parents. As he’s tried to destroy me over the years.”

     ​Della paused for a moment, measuring her words. “Sometimes I think you’re too confident. Just remember, there’s always ​​someone out there who’s going to be better, stronger. You won’t come into your full powers until the shadow moon.”

     ​“I’m tired.” Dominique ignored Della’s words and started up the stairs.

     ​“You have to start believing in your father’s vision. He was a powerful witch.”

     ​“He was so powerful he couldn’t even foresee his own death?” she flung back. “No, I don’t believe the legend or my father’s
​​vision. I don’t believe in anything anymore. But I’ll use the coming eclipse to make everyone else believe I can save them from a
​​demon uprising.” Fools! She only wanted Theron.

     ​When she was even with her protector, Della put a hand on Dominique’s arm and patted gently.

     ​“You be careful, child. I couldn’t take losing you, too.”

     ​​Dominique’s anger dissolved. She would’ve chosen to live in obscurity, but Theron wouldn’t let her. She had no choice except
​​return and fight back.

     ​S​he reached up and squeezed Della’s hand. “I know, and I will.” It was strange. They looked near the same age, but
​​Dominique always thought of Della as her mother. Both of them were frozen in time.

     ​Della sniffed. “Off to bed with you then.”

     ​Trudging up the last few steps, and down the hall, took every ounce of her remaining strength. Still, she stopped in front of the
door to the master bedroom. The room had been kept locked since her parents’ death. When they were killed, so was any hope of ​​discovering the truth about why she was created. So many memories filled her, and there were so many unanswered questions.

     ​She rested her palm on the wood, and let the past sweep over her. “Was I created out of love? Or necessity? Is the only ​​reason I’m on earth because of some stupid vision?” she whispered.

     ​She curled her hand into a fist. Damn them! Damn them all to hell because she didn’t know, and the pain ripped through her
​​like a sharp-edged sword. She hurried to the comfort of her room. Only then did she relax.

     ​Not knowing didn’t matter, Dominique told herself. She was home, and she wouldn’t let anyone else hurt her. She drew in a
​​deep breath and caught the scent of honey and beeswax. Calm stole over her.

     ​She stripped out of her clothes and pulled on a thin cotton gown that came to just above her knees. Barefoot, she padded to
​​the French doors, and swung them open. A breeze immediately ruffled her hair. She ran her hands through the strands,
​​massaging her scalp before dropping her arms back to her sides as she walked closer to the railing.

     ​The scent of magnolias hung heavy in the air. She breathed in their heady fragrance. “I’m home and they won’t win this time.
​​I’ll see Theron permanently in his grave.” Never before had she felt this strong or this able to finally defeat him.

     ​A streak of lightning cut the night sky in a jagged arc, followed closely by a rumble of thunder that made the ground tremble.
​​The first drop of rain landed on her nose with a little splash. She laughed, her tension easing, and wiped it away. A few seconds
​​later the sky opened and rain poured down on her. She raised her arms high, welcoming the shower.

     ​A storm brewed the night she was born. Dominique had a feeling this would be the first of many storms. Rather than hide
​​away, she relished feeling alive. She hadn’t felt this much energy running through her in a long time. She was more than ready for
whatever would come.

     ​Just as quickly, her strength ebbed and she was left feeling empty, drained. The storm would pass. What would be left then?

​* * *

     ​Blaine started to leave when Dominique stepped to the balcony. He stayed in the shadow of the tree and watched as she ran
​​her hands through her hair. She was beautiful at seventeen, she was breathtaking now. Dominique had finally come into her own.

     ​He’d discovered Dominique could walk in the sun. She could eat and drink like a mortal. If he’d known she was of mixed race,
​​he might have been able to prevent what happened. His lust blinded him, intoxicated him, until he couldn’t think at all. She was a
​​temptress with pale blue eyes and a body that made promises. He still lusted for her.

     ​And he always knew when she came back to the plantation. He would watch her from a distance, careful she didn’t see him,
and careful Theron didn’t know Blaine kept an eye on her.

     ​When the others discovered she was back, he would make sure she knew it was time to leave. Small warning signs that would
​​alert her to the fact a vampire was in the area. So she would go, and he would wait until she returned again.

     ​But now, he didn’t have to warn her away. If the legend was true, the vampires needed her for their survival. Blaine believed it
​​was. He only had to convince Dominique it would be in her best interest to help everyone while still protecting her. She hated
​​them, especially Theron. It wouldn’t be easy.

     ​A drop of rain landed on him. He looked at the sky. A jagged streak of lightning ripped across the night. He stepped farther into
​​the shadows. Thunder rumbled. His attention turned back to Dominique. She raised her arms to welcome the storm. Rain pelted
her, but she didn’t seem to care.

     ​Blaine sucked in a breath. The wet gown outlined her breasts, the taut nipples.

     ​Her shoulders suddenly slumped and she sank to the balcony floor. Her head rested against the railing, her arms folded
​​beneath. He could see her shoulders shaking, and knew she cried.

     ​His hands curled into fists as rain pelted him. He was the reason for her tears. Blaine once told her he would keep her from ​​harm, but he didn’t. He was a young vampire and so damned full of himself. He was the reason her parents were put to death.
Dominique would never forgive him for that. His gut churned with regret. How could she when he couldn’t forgive himself?

The thirst for revenge has no time limit and Dominique has waited over one hundred years for hers.

Dominique was created from the love of her vampire mother and her witch father and a vision that foretold a demon uprising. She doesn't believe in legends but she'll use the Shadow Moon to exact her revenge on Theron, the vampire leader who destroyed her parents and forced her into hiding. But when she returns to New Orleans and the sultry French Quarter, she's forced to face the seductive lure of a past love that could ruin her well-laid plans.

Blaine vows to protect Dominique from his vengeful brother. He failed her once, never again, but memories of the love they once shared threaten to cloud his judgment. He wonders if he's put her in even more danger.

With the dawning of the Shadow Moon, Dominique's powers grow stronger. Secrets long buried are unearthed, and the dark forces surrounding Dominique and Blaine threaten to destroy them both.

Forbidden Magic is the first book in USA Today Bestselling author Karen Kelley's Forbidden series. Pick up your copy today and enter the world of this page-turning paranormal romance with witches and vampires, dark secrets, a kick-ass heroine and an irresistible hero.

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