This book is written in such away that it can be read as a stand alone or after the first book of the series- The Guardian. After so much more loss Adela finds herself in the middle of a love triangle and the fight for the head of Covens.
Adela and John both have their fair share of choices to make. Adela must think of her coven, but at the same time she feels a burning desire for her great, great niece’s Guardian John. She is torn because though fate has blessed her great, great niece with a Guardian that is connected to her by Mother Earth to protect her from anything, she keeps rejecting him. John is torn between the woman he is fated to and Adela. He fears that it is Adela’s powers of seduction that is tempting him. He feels a desire to protect Gala, but also feels a yearning for Adela. At the same time Adela must search for the secret journal known as the Guardian journal and protect those she loves from the dangers that lurk in the shadows.
Picking up the wreckage from the battle a couple of days before was not something Adela had believed that she would be doing. Now, a vampire queen, well over a thousand years old, had just killed the firstborn vampire that had stalked and tortured her throughout this long century. Of course, it was thanks to the help of her great-grandniece’s Guardian. This seemed fitting since Baldemar had ripped the beating heart out of Adela’s Guardian’s chest, all so many years before. Gala was Adela’s last living relative, and at the last moments of Gala’s short-lived life, Adela gave her an option for an eternal life of eternal night.
Every living member of her coven and the werewolf pack that guarded them was looking for any signs of Vitally or his notes that most likely caused what could be his death or kidnapping. No one was sure what happened to him the night the coven came under attack. Adela still couldn’t understand if his spying was the cause of the attack, or it was the fact that she had gained ancestral powers, or them realizing that Gala had a Guardian of her own.
The firstborn vampires had always feared Guardians, for their powers quickly outgrew those of the elder vampires. For centuries, the Guardians had been hunted down and killed by older and stronger vampires. One of the parts that made this ritual not make any sense was that a Guardian got his powers from his connection with a vampire mate. Though it is believed that a Guardian was a mortal with a strength that quickly outranked those of vampires, even a thousand years old. However, the Guardian’s biggest weakness was that if his mate was killed, the Guardian would die or what always seemed like a broken heart–the bond was that strong. The mates could even call for each other from afar.
Adela had put in a call for a vampire hunter, who she had befriended over a year ago. His entire clan was whipped out one night while he was out tracking a rogue vampire that was haunting a village. He had teamed up with Adela for hope that she would be able to aid him in hunting down who was responsible for the loss of The Order of Hunters. Since Adela’s coven never took lives for feeding, he had no problem working with them. Truth be told, he admired Adela for taking down a few for hunting humans. One of the reasons The Order of Hunters had always steered clear of her coven and their business.
Now, the hunt for the Guardian’s Journals would have to go on without Vitally, and Adela prayed that he was still safe. He had vanished in the past to retrieve rare books and forbidden knowledge, but would he abandon Adela and her coven in order to keep this knowledge out of the hands of the likes of Baldemar?
Without Baldemar’s fierce grip on the world’s covens, someone was going to have to step up and bring order before the covens all went on a wild hunt for humans or even a war to see which coven would rule.
PICKING UP THE PIECES
In a rubble-riddled room, doors ripped from their hinges, glass busted out of the window, and paintings and glass from the windows scattered throughout the room as long stiletto heels ground down onto the pieces of rubble. Long athletic legs wrapped into leather pants that hug and revealed every fiber that flexed, as though it was painted on, running into a magically perfect shaped rear-end that tempted John as he stood in the doorframe watching Adela bending over, trying to salvage anything she could in what was Victally’s room. The sight of Adela, in what is normally Gala’s type of clothing, was making the temptation more and more unbearable to resist.
Damn! If my bond is with Gala, then why am I so drawn to Adela?
While still doubled over, picking up a book, Adela stated with a sultry voice, “One of these days, I am going to make you deliver on all of those promised ideas, running through your head when you watch me.” She had a playful sound to her voice with her smile, telling that fulfilling his dreams was not out of the question.
“Adela, I am sorry, I was just…”
“John, you and I know what is going through your head.”
Oh God, can she read my mind?
“Johnny Boy, am I reading your mind or the situation?” She laughed as she straightened up with an old journal in hand, and all the sudden becoming solemn as she brushed off the dust, revealing the cover’s title. She walked towards the fireplace in the corner that even had the mantel snapped off from the battle that had taken place. The whole castle still remained in shambles, and the casualties and losses were still being determined. The problem with the headcount was who ran for the hills and who was vaporized. The werewolves were easier to take a census on, for they just returned to their original human form. Luckily, Bernandas was not one of the fallen, but unfortunately, his recovery was going to be a very rough one. He was fighting numbers that a normal werewolf would not have survived, but his monstrous size and spirit would not allow him to fall a victim, while his loved ones needed protection. Most of the pack had been laid a waste by the large number of attackers. This assault was well-planned out; without the wolves help, how could the vampires survive. No one had any idea of the extent of Adela’s strength, and that is what turned the tide against the assailants.
Shaking her head, “No, not here yet, but I am hoping that one of his journals will open up some of the secrets that he was chasing down.”
Walking up to her and laying a comforting hand on her shoulder, “Are you sure he is still alive?”
Reaching back, she rested her head upon his shoulder, his size had increased since the battle they had, and she felt more and more of a draw for him, but the resistance that she insisted on ripped at her heart, but she knew that his bond was with Gala, and that it was her newfound ancestral gift that was confusing him.
The problem with the Guardian, the one that they are bonded to, is their weakness; if his bonded partner was killed, he would die for sure, and no one was sure about if they were rejected. This made things even more complicated, because of Gala’s strange and frightening reaction to her Guardian. Adela was doubly torn, because of her relationship with Gala. A little known secret was that Gala was actually one of the few decedents of Adela’s family left. This weighed heavily upon Adela, for she was kin and how could she betray kin for the lust of mortal skin.
Gala was turned as a last effort to keep their bloodline upon this Earth, as she had seen Gala’s life fading away in that hospital bed. No one really knew what illness she was suffering, but Adela could not lose one of the last links she had to her family. Besides that, John was Gala’s Guardian and he needed her more than she needed him. Sad thing about Guardians, after their vampire mate dies, they are not too far behind in sharing that fate.
All of these thoughts and feelings were racing through her mind as the man that made her heart leap held her in his arms. List of the things that bothered her: why did it feel like their power was connected during the last battle? And if that was true, how was he able to lend Gala his strength to give her time to run?
“Part of me would rather he be dust than not.” Shaking her head, she continued with, “If he is alive and they have him, the torture he would endure would be unbearable for any living being.” She took a deep breath and took a second to exhale, “John, you have no idea of what these people are capable of.”
Embracing her in his arms and doing his best to comfort her, though she was maybe the strongest vampire in the world, she had just seen the people closest to her slaughtered or maimed, “Adela, what are we facing?”
“To my knowledge, there are those not spoken of, we do not know how many, how powerful, or exactly what they are capable of. Even the most powerful vampires of my time, always said that those we may not speak of.”
“So you are telling me, that monster we killed was just the face man?”
She inhaled deeply and replied, “I have a feeling that they are much older than he was.”
“How much older?”
“I fear my gut is telling me that these men have been around for longer than we can imagine.”
She lifted her head and began to step back, “John, could you do me a favor?”
“Check on Bernandas.”
“Yeah, tell him that I will be up after the sun sets. It would be easier if he would just stay here for the moment.”
Adela went back to digging through the piles of books on the floor as John headed to check on Bernandas. She shook her head, as most of the books had been thrown to the ground, and she was wondering what were they looking for and was it found or not? She knew that Vitally also collected forbidden information and most likely, it was one of his keepsakes that they were looking for, but there were no clues to what that was.
Hours had passed and the night was upon the castle’s walls. The sound of the night was feeling the air, and the fog was creeping into the yard. The kind of sight that sent shivers up one’s spine and caused the hairs to stand on end. Most mortals find these nights disturbing and a bit frightening, but many embrace it and feel secure in its obscure shade of privacy that one may stock through unnoticed. This feeling was not just shared by the supernatural, but also at time, rejoiced by mortal beings that are more in touch with their spiritual, or in some their darker, side.
Adela was still trying to make heads or tails of what was in front of her; what was it that she was missing?
She heard Gala sneaking through the hallway, and as soon as she reached the doorframe, Adela spoke up, “Gala, have the covens confirmed a meeting or not?”
Gala was taken aback with how Adela was able to hear her. Gala cleared her throat, trying not to sound shocked; sounding shocked would be admitting failing to sneaking up on someone, “Yes, most of the Covens have set up a meeting with me in Europe.”
“That is good, are you preparing for the trip?”
“Why are you sending me and not going yourself? Is this a way to get me away from John?”
Adela began to lift herself from kneeling on the floor, looking through the books. With her demonic voice, she started, “ACTUALLY!” Taking a second to allow the fright to slide through Gala’s spine, she began to use her natural voice, “Your Guardian will be going with you. First off, he is your Guardian, and you need him near you, just in case something goes wrong.”
Adela tossed a couple of books to the side, where she had thrown others that she was sure had no worth to her hunt, “I am depending on you to represent our Coven’s cause and hopefully, we will be able to lead the covens into a new Era.”
“Adela, should they not witness your power?”
“You are taking a Guardian with you. Trust me, you having a Guardian will show that you have more power than any vampire besides me.”
“What about those we may not speak of?”
“Those are not confirmed,” lifting her eyebrow and looking up at Gala, “Have you ever heard of anyone knowing someone, other than the one that we dusted last week?”
“As far as I knew, Baldemar was the head, but at times, it did seem as though he answered to someone else.”
“I also felt that way, but for now, we need to grab control of the other Covens. If anything does pop out of the dark, we will deal with it when it does. For now, try to convince the other Covens that Baldemar was it and no one else. This is the only way to make sure the Covens do not go down a darker path.”
Adela understood that there were others, who wish to unleash terrors into the world; if not stopped, the humans would be forced to bow down to the yokes of slavery and certain damn nation by the hands of vampires. Vampires and werewolves really just being another branch of the human species, they also had evil and good, and leading them by example and purging the bad seeds was the only way to make this so. For too long, the wicked used all the weak of mind as tools to tune up their bandwagon of domination on the world. This fact was a constant encumbrance on Adela’s conscience. Even with this almost unbearable load, resting upon her shoulders, she was needed to second guess everyone under her roof, because how else could they have known about them housing a Guardian there?
“Gala, have you heard back from Priest?” Adela said from her hunkered stance over the books as she sorted through them again, looking for anything that could unlock the secret to what they were looking for in Vitally’s private library that was the second room off his sleeping chambers.
“Priest is on the way. Who is it you are sending him after?”
Gala wondered, because Priest was the name of a vampire hunter that Adela would contract out from time to time if one of hers got in a feeding spree. It was a strange partnership, and it was clear to Gala that Priest and Adela had an unspoken respect for each other. It bothered a few in the vampire ranks; how a vampire slayer and a vampire seemed to see eye to eye in such a way.
“Good!” She said as she cleared her voice, “I am sending him with Hannah to track down something for me.”
“Hannah? Why would you send that thing after anything important?”
Adela took a deep breath in, trying not to overreact to Gala’s complete and utter disrespect towards her choice, but at some point, Adela was going to have to put her in her place. More and more, she pressed and pushed, questioning Adela. Her disrespect towards her Guardian also was becoming bothersome to Adela.
“Gala, I know you do not like Hannah after she put you in your place that one time, but she is one of the people I trust the most.”
With a disrespectful sigh, she replied, “I would not trust that highland hussy with anything.” Rolling her eyes, “Maybe, Priest could do us all a favor and put that dog down.”
Rage blazed within Adela’s eyes, and in less time than lightening takes to snap from the skies to the ground, she had Gala by the throat and pinned to the wall. What was left of the standing books fell onto the shelf or onto the floor. Complete and utter fear ran through Gala’s eyes. She was completely helpless, with not even a ghost’s chance against Adela’s power. This power had grown exponentially since the battle a few days before, and a mere squeeze from her was enough to pop Gala’s head clean off, sending it bonding into the air. Her hand was shaking with anger over Gala’s constant mockery of everyone except herself; the fact that she did this at a time, when they had just lost a lot of their closest friends, made it even worse.
The shrill of her demonic voice was in a full loom, “I WARNED YOU NOT TO PUSH ME ANY FARTHER!” Gala’s feet hung helplessly from the air like a ragdoll, “I GIVE YOU EVERY THING! I EVEN TRY TO TRUST YOU WITH THE HIGHEST ORDER OF BUSINESS, AND YOU SPIT IT IN MY FACE!”
Gala was quickly flung across the room, and bounced off the wall and onto the floor. Adela was holding back her power, so not to kill her, but still enough to send a clear message. As Gala crawled across the floor, she tried to stand and look as though it was nothing, but the fear was painted clearly upon her face.
With her back facing Gala, Adela asked, “How can I trust you to assist in gaining the Covens’ trust for me, when even within our own home, you sneer at everyone?”
Adela took a long breath and searched for the words to say. Maybe, it was the blood connection between the two, which allowed Gala to allot such disrespect or maybe, it was the first days of the turning, when she was unsure if Gala was going to survive or not. However, these times were even more difficult for her, trying to figure out if Vitally was still alive, and exactly who sold them out. Even though Gala had her moments of disrespect, she would never put the coven in that kind of danger.
“Gala, what is wrong with you? No matter what I give you, you seem bitter and a snub-nosed to everyone. What is it with you?” Silence fell and not a peep came from Gala, feeling rather sheepish after having her ego smashed about. “I owe you no explanations for my choices, and Hannah is one of the most spirited vampires in the world. She is also one of the best trackers. Priest is the best vampire and treasure hunter for as long as I have known him, and they are one of the few hopes we have of finding Vitally.”
Adela flashed across the room and nudged a corner of the trim running around the midsection of the room. It slid open, revealing a scroll that Vitally was hiding away. Seems as though when Gala bounced off the wall, it knocked it ajar. As Adela began to read, Gala flashed around the room, checking all the similar places on the wall to see if there were any other secret compartments in the area. Adela took a second to glance up and Gala gave a look, as though to say no such luck. Gala stepped over to see a language that she had never seen before and was shocked, because she was well versed, even in languages far before her time. Resting her hand on Adela’s shoulder, as Adela seemed to be not only reading what was on the page, but also realizing that her assumptions were well warranted. The well-aged scroll looked like something from well before The Roman times and was a complete mystery to Gala.
“Adela, what is it?”
“It is as I always believed, Vitally was looking into forbidden knowledge, and it seems to be why they might have come here that night.”
“Do you mean that they did not know about John?”
“Maybe, but I think it was the combination of the two,” she lightly tapped the scroll on her hand as she pondered for a moment.
“What would bring you to that conclusion?” One thing was sure to all those close to Adela, she only spoke on solid and well-thought out conclusions.
“Gala, my dear, they came prepared for a Guardian. The last time I saw them come so prepared was for my Guardian; if I hadn’t gone through the changes and became an ancestor, John would not have survived that attack on his own. Actually, none of us would have.” Adela re-opened the scrolled and took a look around the room, “The way they tore this room apart, tells us that they were looking for something.”
“So what now?” Gala still bothered with not being able to read the scroll, “What language is that?”
“A dead language that has been dead since before Christ’s time on earth.”
“How do you know then?”
“Vitally was a great teacher. He also believed that a lot of our history was covered up and was hiding who really controlled the Covens, and maybe the world.”
“You mean those that may not be spoken of?”
Adela turned her head and eyed Gala, nodding her head as she began to read the scroll again, “Gala, be ready for any objection and remember, your voice is my voice. Do not allow anyone to try and discredit your authority.”
About the Author:
J.L McFadden is the Author of the Guardian Series: Guardian, released,Adela,release in September, Chooses, release in May 2014, Adela’s Lost Guardian, March, more to be named at a later date. McFadden spins tragedy and romance into all of his stories with picturesque descriptions that vividly paints and melts the scenes into your pleasure cortex that is a valid and important part of every readers mind. 😉 Jamie Lee was born in a mixed Celtic and Slavic family in the river valleys of Pennsylvania, in his earlier years he played in bands in New York and ended up working his way into H.Q of the largest musical retailer in the world Guitar Center; while working at the store level he managed multiple departments at once and handled all the stores merchandising logistics. He has explored the world and became the first American to be excepted into the Interregional Federation of Aikido Aikikai of Crimea & Sevastopol, where he enjoys learning from great masters from around the world, where he has developed his himself. He explains that the people rich and colorfully different people he has met, spawned a lot of his characters.