Yesterday I celebrated the cover reveal of BloodVault, the third book in my Dantonville Legacy series. Now to whet your appetite further, here's a little tasty teaser (unedited). Enjoy!
We skirted the edge of the subterranean lake when the ruby glow from the cubes the men carried began to glow more brightly. And from the pattern of stalactites hanging from the cavern roof, I knew we neared the vault. My hunch was confirmed when the eyes of the Serpent Ring on my hand flared.
Luc held up his arm and we halted before a wall of polished stone.
‘Let me take Judith’s key. You need both hands,’ I said. Three keys inserted simultaneously were needed to unlock the vault, and Luc, Marcus, Judith and I each possessed one—three and a spare. Until my transformation, Luc had kept the spare key in the library safe, hidden discretely behind Marcus’s decaying armour. It was later entrusted to me … until Rasputin stole it.
I would get it back, if it was the last thing I did.
Luc nodded, pressed Judith’s key into my palm and slid aside a camouflaged panel hiding three locks.
Marcus joined us. ‘How many centuries since I’ve done this?’
‘Too long,’ Luc answered.
We inserted our keys into the locks as Luc thrust his own green-eyed serpent ring into the stone. Silently the door swung open and the intoxicating scent of Ingenii blood hit us in a powerful wave. We inhaled; nostrils flared and the tips of our fangs protruded beneath our upper lips. I swallowed and sheathed mine, aware of my growing hunger and that I’d be living off those vials for the next nine months.
‘Unload.’ Luc stepped aside to allow the men to pass. We followed, and the door automatically sealed itself behind us.
Marcus whistled. ‘Deus! I’d forgotten the scale of this place.’
Thousands of thumb-size, ruby vials lay line-upon-line within recessed stone bays, illuminating the cavernous space in a haze of red. Like a wine cellar, Luc had grouped the vials according to name and numerical order of Ingenii. Those closest to the entrance were the oldest. Engraved bronze plaques above each group identified the subject, from Paulus in the early 4th century till now. Judith’s bay was the last. Beyond her the stone wall was blank, for Laura was the last of the Ingenii—the curse ends with her.
‘Line them up against that wall.’ Luc pointed to the furthest end of the cavern, where the once-smooth rock face was pockmarked with a series of small indentations, ready to receive the new stock of vials. He pressed a button on his mobile, and silently each cube unfolded and resumed its previous cabinet size. (Copyright 2015 Tima Maria Lacoba)