Saturday, May 2, 2009

Surrender to the Night by Jae Knight

In the dark realm of Tenebrae…



Evonn awaited her guests in the unoccupied throne room. Giving her orders in Davriel’s throne room would shed some credibility on the lie she would tell the small army she was about to send into Tellus, the human world. If Davriel knew what she was up to…but then he was so focused on persuading the Guardians not to seek the help of the Changeling vampires. He’d most likely never even notice a few of his warriors were missing.

Evonn paced the dais, her fingers running over the two thrones that sat proudly upon it. One day she would grace one of those prestigious seats as Queen. Soon…

The seven demons she had ordered to see walked gracefully into the room. Their stance was defiant, and she resented them for it. Evonn calmed her rising temper with the soothing thought that they would be punished for their insolence when she became Davriel’s queen. She smiled widely at them and watched them form rank around her before the dais.

“Mistress Evonn has asked for us?” the leader of the small group asked. He was called Beast. He had once been one of the few demons Davriel had trusted by his side to lead his armies. But Beast had become nigh uncontrollable. His blood-thirst was great and unquenchable. He ravaged hordes of humans. This was not his crime. His carelessness was what had made Davriel so angry that Beast was stripped of his rank and was now the leader of this small band of brigands.

And so the two brothers barely got along.

But Beast did have one weakness…lust. Evonn could twist a male’s lust for her own benefits. Mikhail, even, was not strong enough to resist her.

“Yes, Beast. I have asked specifically for the seven of you. You are all strong…brutal, actually…and I need your services. There is a vampire I need you to find. She is the key to finding a certain Halfling I must bring back here. You will find her and question her of the whereabouts of the vampire who changed her,” she explained. Evonn stepped down from the dais and walked around the warriors. She stopped to stand behind Beast, her fingers trailing up his back and into his long black hair. She smiled with satisfaction when she felt his muscles tense.

She continued. “The Changeling you seek is named Korinna MacDougal. She is a second generation vampire of Scottish origin and currently hunting our kind in New York. The vampire she is following will be moving on to New Orleans. Search for her there. The vampire who made her goes by the name Siobhan O’Conghaile, a first generation vampire of Irish descent. Her whereabouts are unknown. Siobhan was made by the Halfling I seek. She is the one most likely to help me find him. You must find Korinna and make her tell you where Siobhan is. If she is…difficult…find a way to bring her to me and we will question her together.”

Walking sedately back up to the dais, Evonn glanced at the group over her shoulder and grazed Beast with a smoldering stare. His eyes narrowed briefly but then traveled down her body and came to rest on her bare feet where the shadows swirled around her slender ankles.

“And the Halfling?” Beast prompted, his eyes coming back to rest on her face.

“Oh…we’ll worry about the Halfling when we know where we can find him. Just find the Changelings and question them. That is all you must do. If you succeed, maybe I can put in a few complimentary words to Davriel for the lot of you. Oh, and you can do what you will with the Changelings,” she added as an afterthought.

“Does Davriel know of this plan of yours, Mistress? I fail to see why a Halfling should concern you,” one of the demons asked. His name was Kevarr and had once been an elite warrior before he dared to question Davriel. He had lost an eye for his defiance. And he was questioning her now…

“Dear, dear Kevarr…how foolhardy you are! Questions will not do you any good. Care to lose the other pretty blue? I didn’t think so. Anyone else care to question Davriel’s Head Mistress? No? Good. Obey me and you will be rewarded,” Evonn promised them and saw the eager gleam in their eyes…or eye, in Kevarr’s case.

“And exactly how will we be rewarded, Mistress Evonn?” Beast asked, and she was not surprised by the question. She knew what he wanted.

“A higher position in Davriel’s army, for one. And for you, Beast, oh, I have something more in mind for you if you can lead your demons successfully in this task of mine,” she answered. He did not misunderstand her, and his eyes devoured her again.

Satisfied that she had delivered her orders clearly, Evonn waved them out with a few parting words. “You may go now. Do not draw attention to yourselves, I beg you. You will be sorry if you do.”

Beast bowed sarcastically to her, a lusty smirk etched on his beautiful face, which was marred only by the two rough stumps of horn where Davriel had snapped them off when Beast had been stripped of his ranking as a Prince of Tenebrae and followed the others out of the throne room. Evonn was left alone with the shadows of the deceased undulating around her. The fire blazed cold and black in the braziers around the throne room. Yet she smiled.

Oren would give her such sway with Davriel, she was sure. The Halfling son of her King was the surest way to get herself on the throne. Davriel kept his family close and his Halfling son would be no different. She would be the one responsible for giving him his son and for uniting the demons with their Halfling children. Think of the alliance, the power it would bring to join forces and double their numbers! Evonn would be praised. Davriel would soon be her mate, and she would give him strong children to fight beside him.

She needed to work fast. Her mating cycle was fast approaching, and Davriel was too careful not to sire any children with a mistress. He had made only one mistake with a human female, whose cycles were nothing like a demon female’s cycle. Evonn was the only one to hold that secret close.

She would find a way to dispose of Mikhail for he would always be standing in her way. He was the son of the King and the only Queen that Tenebrae had ever known. But the Queen had died long ago with a little help from Evonn and no one knew her terrible secret.

Evonn had thought Mikhail would be easy to control. She had been so wrong. He was the only one who had seen through her. So he must go. Oren, the first child of Davriel, would be there to take Mikhail’s place. Oren would be completely loyal to her. After all, she would be the one to give Oren his father when he had never known what it was to have a family.

Nothing and no one would stop her from becoming the new Queen.

After all these years of waiting for the perfect opportunity, Evonn finally had a plan. And it would work. No one could withstand Beast. Soon, she would have all the answers she needed to find Davriel’s estranged son.

Wouldn’t Davriel be surprised to find he had another child?



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