Sunday Snippet: Highlander Reborn by Laura Hunsaker

I recently read the prequel to this story and was immediately sucked into the story of Nevin and Amalia. Of all the vampire books I’ve read this is one that intrigued me and I couldn’t wait to read more. So I’m excited to share this snippet from the book. 

Scotland, 1304

The blood dripped down his forehead and caught in his eyebrows. Nevin didn’t have the energy to wipe it off. He leaned heavily on his sword, trying desperately to catch his breath. The moon gave off plenty of light, but his vision was turning dark. He tried to glance up at the stars one last time, but he couldn’t move his head. His body numb from blood loss, he’d gone beyond pain. His body was much too weak to register it. Before his knees buckled and he fell to the ground, the last sound Nevin heard was a woman’s soothing voice telling him to lie still. He couldn’t see her, though. All he could see was darkness. Everywhere he looked, there was only a thick, endless field of nothing.

A light formed and pulled him closer, closer. It was warm, and he was so terribly cold. But he couldn’t move. The darkness held him back. He instinctively knew that once the thick, inky black had him in its grip, he would never be free. So he fought. Nevin struggled and strained, trying with everything he had to reach the light, but he only exhausted his depleted strength even more.

The welcoming warmth of the light drifted farther and farther away. If he could have reached for it, he would have. But he couldn’t move. The Dark would not relinquish him. Not now, not ever.

***

Amalia brushed her fingers across her warrior’s sticky forehead. The blood didn’t bother her, his death, however, would. When she’d seen him struck down in that bloody, gods-awful battle, she’d shrieked in denial and rushed to his side. She was beyond furious. He wasn’t supposed to die. Not yet. She hadn’t had enough time with him. She found an unmarked patch of skin on his neck, leaned down and laved his skin with her tongue. His blood tasted bitter with the taint of death. Pressing her lips against his ear, she whispered, “Lie still,” and she bit his neck.

She didn’t have to drink much from him since he’d lost most of his blood on the battlefield. She immediately bit her wrist and held it to his mouth, praying he would drink, praying this would work. A shadow slipped over them, obscuring the silvery moonlight. Amalia didn’t glance up, she knew who it was.

Her voice snapped like a whip, “I expressly commanded you not to kill him.”

Sebastian flicked a non-existent piece of lint from his shoulder. “We were more concerned with defeating the heathens, than watching out for your pet Highlander.”

Amalia looked at him then, fury in her eyes. “He was not to be harmed.” A ripple of her power was carried on the wind, causing Sebastian to shudder. Amalia returned to stroking her warrior’s face, waiting for him to turn.

“And what happens when he wakes?” Sebastian’s silky smooth voice interrupted Amalia.

She glanced sharply at him. “What do you mean?”

“He’s spent his life fighting our kind, you cannot possibly think he’ll be grateful to you for turning him.” The ennui Sebastian usually projected was missing, in its place was true curiosity.

In truth, Amalia had worried about that, but when faced with letting him die, or knowing she could save him, she was willing to chance his ire. This magnificent warrior deserved a much longer existence than the minuscule six and twenty years he’d lived.

Amalia had been watching him for months now. He didn’t know it, but she knew him. Nevin   Maclachlan was a skilled blacksmith who lived in a cottage in the village. He had lost his wife to one of her kind, and ever since her death, he had fought in every battle against the Nightkind he could find. Instead of sleeping like most humans, he hunted her kind at night. The man was impressive. He slept very little, yet he spent a full day in his smithy forging weapons.

One evening, a night where the moon hung low in the sky, Amalia had been hunting when she’d realized that someone was following her. An amused smile tipped her lips at the thought someone would dare hunt her. No one hunted Amalia. She was royalty. And she was very, very powerful. Stepping out into a patch of moonlight, she turned. He stepped out from the cover of shadow and his hands fisted. She noticed the glint of metal in one of his hands. So he thought to kill her, did he? This arrogant human could no more kill Amalia, than he could sprout wings and fly. Gliding towards him, Amalia noticed his body tense in preparation for an attack. But he did not attack her. How curious.

“Demon,” he spat.

Amalia cocked her head at the venom he injected into that one word. Interesting.

She regally bowed her head a fraction. “Human,” she greeted him.

Quietly they stared at each other. Amalia was the one to break the silence, her curiosity getting the better of her. “Why do you follow me?”

“To kill you,” he said without hesitation.

“Yet you have not.”

His eyes tightened. “Aye, you have no’ made your move.”

Ah, he had honor, this one. He would wait for her to attack first.

“Shall I move my hand?” Amalia lightly touched her fingers to his lips. They stiffened beneath her touch.

“Keep your hands to yourself, vampire,” he growled. His growl would frighten most. She was not most.

“Will you kill me now?”

“Fight me and see.”

His deep voice intrigued her. Every word seemed a throaty growl, torn from him. He didn’t wish to speak; he wanted a brawl.

“What if I do not wish to fight?” Amalia slid her hand from his lips to his neck and around to twist in his hair. “What if fighting is the furthest thing from my mind?”

He wrenched himself away, cursing her. Her soft chuckle enraged him even more, yet he still made no effort to hurt her.

“Damn you, vampire. Fight me!” he roared.

Amalia sauntered back up to him, placed both her hands on his broad shoulders, stretched onto her tiptoes, and placed her mouth to his neck. “Is this what you want?”

He instantly had a blade at her heart. “Do it,” he ordered.

Amalia pressed her lips to his neck in the whisper of a kiss and murmured, “Nay.” She slid away from this very brave, very foolish human and disappeared into the night.

However, she did not forget him; quite the opposite, in fact. She began to follow him at night, every night. When this battle had begun, she spread the word that he was not to be harmed. Yet here she sat, his dead body in her lap, waiting for him to wake to eternity.

highlander rebornHighlander Reborn begins in Scotland, many centuries ago, where a blacksmith fights for his life and his people. His life is forever changed when Amalia, one of the Nightkind, makes the choice to save his life. But first, he has to die…

1304…

After Nevin MacLachlan’s wife was killed by a vampire, he made it his mission to hunt them all down. But one late Highland night, in a battle he couldn’t win, one of the Nightkind ripped open his throat. With his blood draining onto the grass, the last thing Nevin sees isn’t a white light; it’s the dark of night closing in on him.

Amalia has been enamored with the blacksmith ever since he first held a stake to her heart. Watching him die was unacceptable. Will he ever forgive her for turning him into what he hates most?

Nevin has lived his life alone for a reason. When Amalia walks back into his life seven centuries later asking for help, he wants nothing more but to turn his back to her. But something about her still calls to him.

Some of the Nightkind in Amalia’s seethe have been killed. It’s up to her to find Nevin and ask for his help. But how can she show Nevin that she isn’t the monster he thinks she is?

Share

1 Comment

  1. Pat L.

    Interesting sounding storyline. Not my genre, but sounds interesting.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: