Excerpts from Visions in Blood

Cressa faces Devon about the killing of Sorrento

Anna’s lessons had intrigued me, and after each one, I’d haul the Houses of Vampire book to my room. We’d agreed to review the history of vampires starting from a thousand years ago, which was when the House of Trelane had been created, along with Lorenzo’s House Venizi. This would have happened five hundred years before Devon. The question was whether the two Houses had been friends or enemies from the start. The fact that the House Wars occurred at the same time only stirred my imagination.

Before I’d fallen asleep that evening, I’d only read a few pages. I sat up and pulled the book to me. It was opened to the last page I’d read and was fortunately in good condition despite my tossing in bed. No pages had been torn from its fragile binding. I flipped through a couple of pages, more to calm myself than anything else, but I wouldn’t be able to go to sleep without knowing if my dream had been real.

Unable to stay in my room one minute longer, I slipped on my jeans and a sweater and, with the tome resting on my hip, jogged down to the library. I checked Devon’s office and the dining room, just in case. He might already be home, tucked away in his room, but the fire was still lit in the library. I curled up on the sofa in front of the fire and opened the book. I hadn’t made much progress when Devon found me.

If he’d killed someone tonight, he didn’t look the part. His black shirt and pants were wrinkle-free, his designer loafers polished to a high sheen. Not a hair was out of place. He looked surprised to see me, especially when he noticed the large book in my lap.

“Are you behind on your studies already and find a need to burn the midnight candle?” He sat in a nearby chair. Damn, he looked good.

“No. I just find the topic more interesting than I expected. We spent our first session deciding the proper place to start.”

His lips twitched. “And what did the two of you agree on?”

How easy it was for me to fall into his conversation, somewhat starved for it after his absence. Before the ball, I’d grown accustomed to our frequent talks. Now that I was considered part of his family—or seemed to be if my dream could be believed—I might fade into the background until I was needed. The thought irritated me, but I had to stay focused on why I was down here waiting for him.

“Did you see Sorrento this evening?

His expression closed down for an instant, but his eyes narrowed. “Why would you ask that?”

This would be the moment to tell him about my dreams, but I wasn’t sure where to start. It made sense to start from the beginning, but the first ones were too erotic. Perhaps the one that foretold my fall through the second-story window. Maybe I hadn’t thought this through. My knuckles turned white from gripping the book, and I forced my fingers to relax.

Devon noticed the movement. It was impossible to hide anything from him. I cleared my throat and took a deep breath.

“I had a dream this evening.” I shook my head and waved my hand as if erasing my statement. “No. It was more a nightmare.” When I glanced at him, he hadn’t moved. He was so quiet, he could be a mannequin. The silence continued, and it was obvious he was waiting for me. The man could wait an eternity.

I set the book aside and stood to pace in front of the hearth, already questioning the wisdom of discussing this, but the dreams had taken an ugly turn. Sorrento was dead. I had no illusions of that, not after the dream of my fall coming true. Maybe I wasn’t ready to know how brutal Devon could be, yet I already knew how dangerous he was. I’d seen the way his eyes flashed to that icy blue, and my hand touched my throat where he’d held me against the wall after a rather intense training session.

My breath hitched when I turned to him. He hadn’t moved an inch. How could he be so patient, so emotionless in my turmoil? But when I was brave enough to look him in the eyes, he wasn’t as detached as I thought. They had turned to that cold blue that spoke of danger, but as I watched, they changed to that warmer tone of sapphire. I’d never seen him conflicted before, if that was what I was actually witnessing.

“I saw Sorrento killed.”