Author: Zoe Winters
ISBN: 978-1-938639-15-9more from this user
… To see him again is forbidden.
Angeline knows Father Hadrian will never forgive her for their ugly history. When the king of the vampires seeks vengeance for Hadrian's recent betrayal, she'll risk everything to protect the vampire she still loves.
But when she agrees to give Hadrian her blood, all of Heaven will break loose.
3 out of 5 flames.
Forbidden, Copyright 2014, Zoe Winters
Angeline felt his eyes on her. She should leave. It had taken everything in her not to flee when he’d called her little angel. It was what Linus had called her. The endearment had always been followed by something terrible when it had come from the mouth of her sire.
She’d had to mentally remind herself that she’d watched Hadrian for years. She knew him. He wasn’t Linus. A pet name wouldn’t change that. And further, she’d seen plenty of reasons over the years to trust Hadrian. Most evil acts for him occurred in a gray area in service to a greater good.
She wandered the basement. The decor was mostly modern. Sharp lines and hard planes. Cold marble statues watching her and documenting all her sins. Only a little comfort or warmth here or there… a comfy leather chair, a rug, a large, ornate bed with sheer black curtains around it. Lots of white candles and Gothic candle stands.
Everything was black and gray and white with a few flourishes of gold here and there. The only thing that didn’t fit the bland color scheme was a wardrobe and trunk in the corner made from rich dark oak. The other corner had racks and racks of wine.
A familiar piece of fabric peeked from behind the trunk. It was the bag she’d left behind years ago. She tensed, afraid the rosary would burn when her fingers brushed over the cross, but of course it didn’t. Instead, when she held it, she felt herself glow.
“You kept this?”
She jumped when his arms closed around her waist. He’d moved across the room so quickly and quietly she hadn’t noticed him behind her.
“I never bothered throwing it out. It’s not as if I live here all the time.”
She put the rosary and drawing back into the bag and placed it on the trunk. It felt wrong to keep it. It only reminded her of things she wanted to forget.
“Do you want absolution, Angeline?”
“I know that you’ll never…”
“You know I do.”
“Even if the penance is difficult?”
Angeline nodded. He released her and went back to the chair, and she could finally breathe. When she turned around, he was studying her again. She couldn’t decide what his new mood was about. He’d hated her from the moment she’d turned him. It was disconcerting to see this sudden change. She didn’t trust it.
Something about him still frightened her. She knew he couldn’t hurt her. As an angel there was nothing that could hurt her, except a higher-level angel. And yet, it was so easy to forget all of that while captured in his dark gaze, his punishing grip, the hard lines of his face that said he would never waver in his judgment.
“If I’m to avoid Anthony, I’ll need to stay indoors for a while. You will give me your blood until I decide I’ve had enough. Even if the threat to me has passed. In time, I may choose to forgive you.”
Of course, that would be what he wanted. He had no idea the risk he asked her to take on. For an angel to lower herself to feed a vampire… It wasn’t done. Her hand rose to her throat where he’d bitten her.
“Too much for you little angel?”
“N-no. It’s not too much.” She didn’t think there was anything he could ask for that she wouldn’t give him. He was her loose end, the one sin that couldn’t lay buried in the past. She wasn’t sure she’d ever forgive herself for doing exactly as Linus had done to her. Even if Hadrian never forgave her, she’d feed him as long as he wanted her.
His eyes lit with malice she hadn’t seen since her sire, and she took a step back. The night she’d met Father Hadrian, she’d sensed the darkness in him, the darkness that would echo hers. He’d been her perfect match. But now she searched, hoping for bits of goodness instead.
She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. He’s not Linus. Even if he were, no one can hurt you now. She felt the tingle of her wings inside her back, reminding her of the power she had now. She was safe. Everything would be okay.
When she opened her eyes, he still watched her.
“Undress and lie down in the bed. I want you to sleep here tonight. I don’t sleep until the sun rises.”
“I…” He was messing with her mind, pushing to see how vulnerable she’d allow herself to be around him. Linus had played those games, too. Only he’d hurt her every time she’d shown the least hint of weakness, whenever she’d offered the smallest amount of open trust.
Hadrian turned away. “I won’t watch you. I won’t touch you.”
It wasn’t as if he could hurt her, at least not while she was conscious.
“I can’t miss prayers. I’ll be in trouble if I’m not back in time.”
“They keep you on a tight leash up there, don’t they?”
“Mine would be tighter. I’ll wake you in a couple of hours.”
The start of Hadrian and Angeline’s story is in a novella called Dark Mercy. Because it is so integral to the events of Forbidden, Dark Mercy has been included here first. You can use the TOC to choose which order to read them or to skip ahead to Forbidden if you’ve already read Dark Mercy.
The events of Dark Mercy occur in 1955 Las Vegas. The events of Forbidden occur in the present time, not long after the events of Life Cycle (Preternaturals, Book 4).
Forbidden can be read out of order from the rest of the series, but as always, the various interconnections between the background characters make more sense read in order.
Dark Mercy Description:
… Forgive me Father, for I’m about to sin.
Angeline has been on the run from her vampire sire for centuries. She’s tired and lonely. High from mescaline-infused blood, she receives a sign—a glowing church in the distance. And she knows. Her future mate is in that building.
The only trouble? Hadrian is a devout priest. It will take strong persuasion for him to see the world her way.
Books In the Preternaturals Series:
Book 1: Blood Lust
Book 2: Save My Soul
Book 3: The Catalyst
Book 4: Life Cycle
Book 5: Forbidden