Destined for an Early Grave - A Night Huntress Novel By Jeaniene Frost

A Part From the book

I ran as fast as I could, darting around trees, tangled roots, and rocks in the forest. The
monster snarled as it chased me, the sound closer than before. I wasn’t able to outrun it.
The monster was picking up speed while I was getting tired.
The forest thinned ahead of me to reveal a blond vampire on a hill in the distance. I
recognized him at once. Hope surged through me. If I could reach him, I’d be okay. He
loved me. He’d protect me from the monster. Yet I was still so far away.
Fog crept up the hill to surround the vampire, making him appear almost ghostly. I
screamed his name as the monster’s footsteps got even closer. Panicked, I lunged
forward, narrowly avoiding the grasp of bony hands that would pull me down to the
grave. With renewed effort, I sprinted toward the vampire. He urged me on, snarling
warnings at the monster, which wouldn’t stop chasing me.
“Leave me alone,” I screamed, as I was seized from behind in a merciless grip. “No!”
The shout didn’t come from the vampire ahead of me; it came from the monster wrestling
me to the ground. I jerked my head toward the vampire in the distance, but his features
blurred into nothingness, and the fog covered him. Right before he disappeared, I heard
his voice.
“He is not your husband, Catherine.”
A hard shake evaporated the last of the dream, and I woke to find Bones, my vampire
lover, hovering over me.
“What is it? Are you hurt?”
An odd question, you would think, since it had only been a nightmare. But with the right
power and magic, sometimes nightmares could be turned into weapons. A while back, I’d
almost been killed by one. This was different, however. No matter how vivid it felt, it had
just been a dream.
“I’ll be fine if you quit shaking me.”
Bones dropped his hands and let out a noise of relief. “You didn’t wake up, and you were
thrashing on the bed. Brought back rotten memories.”
“I’m okay. It was a…weird dream.”
There was something about the vampire in it that nagged me. Like I should know who he
was. That made no sense, however, since he was just a figment of my imagination.
“Odd that I couldn’t catch any of your dream,” Bones went on. “Normally your dreams
are like background music to me.”
Bones was a Master vampire, more powerful than most vampires I’d ever met. One of his
gifts was the ability to read human minds. Even though I was half-human, half-vampire,
there was enough humanity in me that Bones could hear my thoughts unless I worked to
block him. Still, this was news to me.
“You can hear my dreams? God, you must never get any quiet. I’d be shooting myself in
the head if I were you.”
Which wouldn’t do much to him, actually. Only silver through the heart or decapitation
was lethal to a vampire. Getting shot in the head might take care of my ills the permanent
way, but it would just give Bones a nasty headache.
He settled himself back onto the pillows. “Don’t fret, luv. I said it’s like background
music, so it’s rather soothing. As for quiet, out here on this water, it’s as quiet as I’ve
experienced without being half-shriveled in the process.”
I lay back down, a shiver going through me at the mention of his near miss with death.
Bones’ hair had turned white from how close he’d come to dying, but now it was back to
its usual, rich brown color.
“Is that why we’re drifting on a boat out in the Atlantic? So you could have some peace
and quiet?”
“I wanted some time alone with you, Kitten. We’ve had so little of that lately.”
An understatement. Even though I’d quit my job leading the secret branch of Homeland
Security that hunted rogue vampires and ghouls, life hadn’t been dull. First we’d had to
deal with our losses from the war with another Master vampire last year. Several of
Bones’ friends—and my best friend Denise’s husband, Randy—had been murdered. Then
there had been months of hunting down the remaining perpetrators of that war, so they
couldn’t live to plot against us another day. Then training my replacement so that my
uncle Don had someone else to play bait when his operatives went after the misbehaving
members of undead society. Most vampires and ghouls didn’t kill when they fed, but
there were those who killed for fun. Or stupidity. My uncle made sure those vampires and
ghouls were taken care of—and that ordinary citizens weren’t aware they existed.

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