Book 2 in the Gwen Sparks series
by Stephanie Nelson
The vampire drug, brew, nearly ruined Gwen Sparks’ life. Just when things started to get back to normal between her and Aiden, she is summoned by the North American Witches Council to their central city of Moon.
A war is imminent between vampires and witches, and Gwen’s experiences with brew are being used to fuel the fire. She is about to discover just how powerful she is with the help of the ruggedly handsome Angel of Death and just how far some people will go to get what they want.
Gwen is going to learn exactly what it means to be Deceived.
I quietly grumbled. I knew he was right, I should learn who I really was. A small part of me was afraid to though. Reading the memories of the dead was creepy enough, but at least I was helping people when I did it. Dorian wanting me to connect with the darkness just to learn it scared me. Kye’s insane sister flashed in my mind and gave me enough reason to want to study to be a spirit walker. I didn’t know why she had gone insane, but I didn’t want to end up like her. “Alright, teach me, old wise one.” My sarcasm tended to show itself when I was scared or pissed, at the moment I was a little bit of both.
“Close your eyes.” Dorian instructed, ignoring my cynicism. My eyes snapped shut, and I waited for him to tell me what to do next. I heard the squeak of vinyl, and his body press along the side of me. Dorian slipped his hand underneath mine and made me to jump. “Keep your eyes closed.” I did as told, but my heart beat faster at our closeness. It seemed too intimate for a lesson.
Once our skin made contact, the air grew thicker around us. I could feel the weight of it pushing against the entirety of my body. I watched as it took on a gray tint, molding against Dorian and me. My fingers clutched his hand tight as my eyes strained to see past the darkening air. Cold replaced the warmth of the day, causing a shiver to tremble through my bones. My teeth rattled against each other, my muscles constricting from the change in temperature. A slight breeze blew against my face, causing my eyes to water. I hung my head and closed my eyes to stop the singing sensation of the wind.
“Open your eyes, Gwen,” Dorian said, but to me it sounded distant and distorted like a dream. I worked on controlling my breathing and calming my heartbeat before I worried about anything else. After a handful of deep breaths and I was satisfied I wouldn’t have a heart attack, I peeked at my surrounding through one eye. The daylight had disappeared and been replaced with gloom. Lifting my head, I opened both eyes and realized I wasn’t in Kansas anymore. Dorian and I were still in the graveyard, but not in our reality—in the realm of the dead. Everything was washed in varying shades of gray and black. Shadows clung to everything and the warmth of the sun was replaced with the icy coldness of death.
He regarded me with a look I’d seen a few other times, an expression I tried to ignore, but at the moment, I couldn’t look away from. I was a woman who noticed attractive men, but I would never act on those feelings. I loved Aiden as sure as the night is long. But Dorian stirred something deep inside of me, and we connected on a level I hadn’t with Aiden. It wasn’t easy to ignore something that profound, especially when it was staring at me like I was the sexiest girl in the world.
Dorian took a step forward. His arms hung limp, but I could tell he was nervous about what was happening between us. The tightness in his jaw and triceps betrayed the cool confidence he was trying to portray. An inch of icy air separated us. I lifted my eyes to his, and we stared at each other. No words were needed; our body language spoke for us. Dorian brought his arm up and with the back of his hand caressed the side of my face with more gentleness than I imagined. My eyes closed against the feel of it. A shuffle of feet enticed my eyes open just in time to see Dorian bending forward and toward my eager lips.