Athena’s Oracle: An Heiloom Vampyres Novella
By J.D. Brown
Athena’s Oracle is a prequel to the novels Dark Heirloom and Dark Liaison, also by J.D. Brown. Set in 4th century B.C.E., Athena’s Oracle chronicles the romance between Leena and Jalmari during the very early trials of their immortal lives.
Excerpt from Athena’s Oracle by J.D. Brown:
I pulled my lips between my teeth and scanned her from pretty face to tiny polished toe. The folds of her loose garment drove me insane. I wanted to shred them. To see if the skin underneath glowed with sunshine the way her arms and face did. Leena was as close to the sun as I’d ever get.
And just as dangerous.
The thought sent a shiver down my spine. Humans were never a danger to vampyres. We’d have to let them hurt us, and what sane vampyre would want to do that?
I did. With Leena. I wanted to let her wreck me.
I stood, staring like an oaf, consumed with my own foolish fantasy. She stared back, with a very different idea in mind, no doubt. She practically dissected me with her eyes, and not in the sultry way Shea sometimes did. No, my little oracle’s fascination stemmed purely from the innate need to study that which hunted her. It was a survival mechanism, nothing more. After all, while a vampyre may love a fruit fly, the fruit fly would surely never be capable of such a concept. I let my essence go, preparing to phase.
“Wait.” She reached out, and her hand went through my phantom chest. I was still visible to her, but only thinly, and the sensation, like a tsunami of heat, punched my heart and rippled outward, scorching the rest of my loosely gathered body.
It was a heavenly feeling, not unlike when I had phased us both and carried her home the night before, when my essence had enveloped hers. I closed my eyes and rejoiced in the waves of her heat as her hand lingered.
“Does-does it hurt?” she asked.
“No.” Gods, no.
“How-how are you able to do that?”
“It’s a power unique to my clan.”
“It’s beautiful,” she said. “And extremely convenient.”
I opened my eyes, a smile tugging my lips. “Would you care for a ride home?”
She pulled her hand back, slowly. Not frightened, just uncertain. Her bright brown eyes searched mine, and she tilted her head slightly. “Yes.”
I lifted a wispy half-phased hand toward her. She sucked in a breath, held it, and then reached out and laced her fingers with mine.
I phased her slowly this time, letting her experience the full sensation. Her hand shimmered and then broke apart, bit by tiny bit, like bees emerging from a hive. She watched in awe as my power climbed her arm, to her elbow, bicep, shoulder, collar bone, and then down her chest and across her torso. She gasped as the sensation reached her insides, rendering her organs useless. Soon she would have no need for breath as her lungs became one with the atmosphere.
“Do not panic,” I said. “It will feel like drowning, but you are not. You won’t need to breathe. Your blood will not need to circulate. It will be uncomfortable, but remember that it is swift and over in seconds. I won’t let any harm come to you during that time.”
Her gaze locked on my mine and a final breath trembled from her lips. “I know. I trust you.”