Truvin Stone no longer remembered his victims...Or his enemies. As he fought for survival, the only person Truvin could trust was an outsider to his world, an innocent foolish enough to nurse him back to health....Truvin's past was one story Lucy Morgan couldn't stop chasing, even after she discovered he was a vampire. Drawn in by his dark side, Lucy was one bite away from feeling the true power of his embrace--and his eternal curse. Standing in the midst of a new war, Truvin was the key to tipping the balance between vampire and witch. Yet returning to his old, evil ways would destroy Lucy...and deliver to him a fate worse than death.
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June 30, 2008
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Excerpt from His Forgotten Forever by Michele Hauf
The ache between his ears is what startled him to consciousness. Felt as if his skull had been drilled with something hard. Eyes falling over the wall against which one shoulder leaned, he noted the streak of murky crimson on the tar-stained cinder block.
Posted halfway down the alley, a streetlight touched the edge of the shadows where he crouched. A roaming feel over his scalp located the ache, there at his right temple. His fingers slipped away with blood on them.
He figured his head had been rammed into the wall. By...someone else? But why? Or maybe he had tripped, fallen forward and hadn't had a chance to catch himself before his skull connected to the wall of--where was he?
Close by, cars rolled over the tarmac, kicking up slushy white noise. Horns honked. A velvet-gray sky, illuminated by city lights, loomed overhead. He must be sitting behind a building, perhaps a retail business.
A fishy odor tendriled beneath his nostrils. Listening more acutely, he could pick out the clang of pots, perhaps cooking knives slicing across cutting boards, and the muffled gabble of kitchen staff. Must be a restaurant nearby.
There, at the end of the alley, he heard a man's loafers shuffle over the wet pavement and the muffled click of a woman's heels walking double time beside him. She gave an audible shiver and cursed the winter chill.
Shuffling about to sit, he shook his head, which cleared away the bits of haze that fogged his brain.
But the fog did not completely recede. It seemed he could not get his bearings, could not...grasp on to any mental affirmation of his situation.
"Where am I? Who the hell did this to me?"
Or was it as he'd thought? He'd fallen?
Blood glinted in the light as he turned his fingers before him. A conclusion sprang to the fore of his brain. Mugged.
He did a sensory appraisal over the rest of his body. Nothing else hurt like his head did. Must have been punched or hit with something.
He wore black leather ankle-height boots, which were soaked from the snowy slush pushed up along the building wall. His gray trousers were crisply seamed, but also drawing up the wet. A white dress shirt bore a dribble of crimson down the front. A suit coat to match his trousers had been tugged down to his elbows.
Were these his clothes? They didn't strike him as familiar. Why did he feel so separate from reality? As if he stood off to the side, a stranger observing the man sitting on the ground.
A quick pat over the trousers found nothing in the pockets, or anything in the coat pockets. No ID or wallet. Not a cell phone or even car keys.
"Robbed," he said resolutely. "Dash it."
An odd taste swirled over his tongue. A slide of his finger across his bottom lip discovered blood. Must have been punched on the jaw. A tongue test didn't sense any loose teeth, nor did his jaw ache as did his forehead.
The chill air began to permeate the thin shirt he wore and he realized he sat surrounded by snowy slush. When had it snowed? It was winter?
Of course it was winter. But why didn't that mean anything to him? Was this a dream? Truly, did he stand outside himself, watching the horror? Would he wake to find himself safely tucked in a warm bed?
The ache at his temple pulsed, as if to answer, No, this is happening.
"Right. Wonder how much the bastard got from me."
Pushing up by the wall, he surprised himself that he didn't wobble and felt quite agile. May have been a quick hit-and-dash robbery, no struggle. He couldn't have seen it coming.
Had he blocked out memory of a traumatic event?
Logically, he knew it was possible, that a hit to the head could fuck with a man's memory. But...he knew things. It was winter. He was in a big city. It was night. And he was obviously hungry, for the restaurant smells stirred an aching want for sustenance, though the sensation sat higher than his stomach, and seemed to prod him right beneath the heart.
He stood in the slush-soaked alley looking from one end to the other. A parking lot one way, the bright neon lights of a main street the other way.
Had he been on his way home? This building he stood behind, had he come out of it, or was he on his way inside? What was the place?
He searched the nondescript cinder-block wall. The black metal door was marked with a painted white 4D. Five steps away a dingy green Dumpster displayed the name of a garbage company.
Clasping a hand over his heart, he panicked at the thud of his pulse. He didn't feel attached to this place. Where did he belong?
The horrifying sensation of unknowing put him out of his senses. Briefly, he lost control. His body wavered. Catching his palm against the wall, he stopped himself from keeling forward as the world suddenly took a dive into darkness. Blinking, he fought the wooziness.
And a moment of clarity emerged.
Obviously he needed to contact the police. If his wallet had been stolen, he didn't relish the weeks and months it might take to clear his name of identity theft.