Caine Valorian and his Otherworld Crime Unit crack all the unusual cases before any humans take notice. When a young woman is found ritualistically murdered it's his team of professionals with paranormal gifts who must stop the nameless evil stalking the streets. But the toughest case of Caine's 200-year career gets even harder when a new member, Eve Grant, is assigned to their unit. Not only is she green and eager to impress, she's human.
As they sink deeper into the workings of the case, Caine's attraction to the alluring Eve is causing his blood to boil. And with war brewing between species, the all-consuming passion between a human and a vampire won't be the only thing to spill on the city's mean streets....
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February 28, 2007
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Excerpt from Blood Secrets by Vivi Anna
Where was all the blood?
That was the first thought that raced through Caine Valorian's mind as he entered room 210 of the Black Heart Hotel in downtown Necropolis.
The young woman on the bed had her throat slit from ear to ear. Besides the blood splatter on the graying wall behind the bed, there wasn't another drop on the green shag rug or the mustard-colored comforter. Not on first inspection anyway. Maybe with the ALS, alternate light source, he would find traces of it here and there. But for some reason that bored into his mind like a thumbtack, he doubted it.
Immediately, Caine could tell that this case was going to be different. After attending hundreds of cases over the past ten years, he knew when some-thing was amiss, something odd and out of place. For a murder in the undead city of Necropolis, that was definitely saying something.
Popping a breath mint into his mouth, he ap-proached the bed and nodded to Dr. Givon Silvanus, the medical examiner for the Otherworld Crime Unit, OCU, as he wrote notes in his logbook.
"Lividity is fixed, rigor in her jaw, neck and shoul-ders. I'd say she's been dead from six to eight hours," Givon stated in his matter-of-fact way without look-ing up from his notebook. "She's all yours."
Caine glanced back at his team, who were anx-iously pacing behind him, waiting for the go-ahead Jericho had already taken multiple pictures of the hotel room from every angle, and now he was eager possible bite marks, his specialty. Someone didn't live their entire life with lycanthropy and not know about the damage a set of teeth could do.
Lyra Magice had just finished inspecting the magical symbols etched on the door frame to the room. Her first inspection ascertained that there were no harmful magical blocks on the door to prevent them from entering, so the team had been allowed in. She also found bloodstains about knee-high on the doorframe and swabbed it for later analysis.
They were told there were more symbols written in a red substance, most likely blood, on the young woman's chest. Having a full-blooded witch on staff had its advantages, especially in cases like these. Caine was eager to see what his youngest team member could do.
Having been together for the last six years, a brief nod from Caine was the only indication Jace and evidence collection.
"Lyra, make sure you look for trace evidence first before you inspect the symbols. I'd hate for us to miss something important."
She nodded and took out a magnifying glass from her stainless-steel crime collecting kit.
Mahina Garner of the N.P.D., one of Necropolis's finest, strode into the room with the swagger of someone very comfortable in her five-foot-ten, 160-pound muscular frame, made even more powerful by her lycan shape-shifting abilities.
"The hotel attendant is an idiot," she remarked as she sidled up next to Caine. "He's a dumb blood-sucker that doesn't know the difference between his ass and a hole in the ground." She smiled at him then, straight white teeth gleaming. "No offense."
Caine smiled back, accustomed to Mahina's gruff manner and her prejudice against vampires. "No offense taken. I know my ass from a hole in the ground."
She laughed and patted him roughly on the back. "I know. That's why you're the only one of them that I like."
"Any witnesses?" "Nope. No one heard anything. No one saw anything."
"Not surprising in this neighborhood. The Digs is not the most pleasant of places to be living and working."
She nodded. "True, but for once it would be nice to be able to start with something."
"No." She opened her notebook. "The attendant phoned 911 after he realized he had no more rooms to rent for the hour, and noticed the do not disturb sign on 210. So he used his master key and opened the door to find, quote, "the bitch lying on the bed dead,'unquote."