Book II: The First
The lives of a deranged serial killer, a seven centuries old First vampire and a City of Winnipeg detective collide in this second novel of Dawné Dominique’s The First series.
Daniella Rolfe, a seven-century old First vampire is unwittingly drawn together with a City of Winnipeg detective, who happens to be investigating a string of some rather bizarre serial murders. It doesn’t take long for her to discover that this mere mortal man holds more power over her than any she's ever known.
And Aiden…he's only dreamed about women like Daniella.
Blood battles and broken vows are just the beginning of Daniella Rolfe’s woes.
Aiden forced himself to chill and reason this out, though it was as difficult as hell. He couldn’t forget the images of her gleaming teeth or the slithering veils of midnight-black floating about her skull like Medusa’s snakes.
As she explained, Daniella’s voice adopted a soft, melodic timbre, and coupled with her unique accent, it drifted in his ears like medieval Celtic music.
“I am the last of The First, a blood drinker from the moment I emerged from my mother’s womb. For centuries, I’ve lived alongside y—”
A half-hearted laugh snuck out before he could stop it. Strangling the rest of the chortle, he managed a hoarse, “You’ve got to be joking!”
“Please allow me the courtesy of finishing, Aiden. I’ll take your questions…” she paused, “and ridicule, after.”
He snapped his mouth shut so fast, his teeth chattered. The calm rebuke had felt like a spanking.
“I am a chameleon; I change my identity from century to century, so no one is the wiser. I continue to be the great granddaughter of a Rolfe, which is a family name I rather like, though it is fictitious. The Talbots aid me in ensuring proper documentation is changed and my continuous birth is legal and binding. Vampires, my kin, walk amongst you, though they know enough about me to leave any city I reside in alone.
He went to ask what cities, but she didn’t give him a chance.
“Your written myths are correct in that vampires are made by the transference of their blood with a human, but…” A dark shadow crossed over her face. “…vampires are not prone to sharing their blood, as it brings competition over fodder and territory. They are self-righteous loners by nature, preferring their own company for centuries on end until loneliness makes them destroy themselves or…” She fell silent.
“Or they find a companion deemed worthy in their eyes to spend eternity with.” She turned away. “Vampires have been around since before I was born. How and why they came into existence is unknown to me. I-I suspect that there must be parents of sorts, and there are rumors, but I’ve paid little attention to the veils of that world.”
“When a vampire is turned, we call it the veiling.”
He had to ask. “Why?”
“There are veils of magic that separate our worlds. Think of the dark gifts as a commodity, but worth more than any amount of money in the world. Power is an ugly thing, Aiden. It breeds all sorts of fiends. Bloodsuckers exist, and good and evil are forever battling. In your race or in others, the concept is still the same. Now where was I? Oh, yes. Vamps are found any place where food is plentiful. It’s not uncommon to have two, maybe three residing in one city, depending on its population and size, but their hunting boundaries are strictly enforced. How they’re agreed upon, I don’t know. There are those who attempt to seek me out. I can sense them well before they have even caught a whiff of my nocturnal scent. Those who dare come here to usurp me, I destroy. And those that leave unexplained corpses, whether it is in my city or not, I find and kill them. We’re similar in that vampires are protective of their domiciles and food. When age becomes a concern—”
“Wait. Vampires don’t age… I mean…” Just what the hell did he mean?
“I’ll get to that later,” she said, her features softening. “Most vampires feed without the necessity of killing, taking only what’s needed before setting their victims free, unscathed. Well, perhaps a tad anemic, but they remember nothing of the experience,” she added with a strained smile. “Our gifts, in other words our magic, facilitates this.”
“Well, that’s reassuring,” he scorned. “I can well imagine that remembering someone gnawing on your neck and sucking you dry would have some fucked up effects. Intensive therapy comes to mind.” The scathing scowl she gave snapped his mouth shut again.
“Like your rungs of society, Aiden, vampires have their share of what one would deem a criminal. These degenerates kill when they feed without taciturn methods of secrecy, thinking they are all powerful, beyond reproach. Thankfully there are some out there who think like I do.”
He couldn't help but wonder what category she fit in.
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