Home > Vampire's Kiss (Legion Of Angels #1)

Vampire's Kiss (Legion Of Angels #1)
Author: Ella Summers


Prologue

No one knew why the monsters came, and no one saw them coming. Within days, they had all but overrun the Earth.

Some people said it was humanity’s punishment for its sins. Others said it was the demons who’d unleashed the beasts on us. But one thing we know for sure: powerful beings stepped in. They called themselves gods, and they stood against the monsters.

They built walls between Earth’s remaining cities and the plains of beasts. They gave us food and weapons—but most of all, they gave us magic.

From the survivors of humanity, they built their army, soldiers with the magic of vampires, witches, shifters, fairies, and all kinds of other supernatural beings. And the best of the best, the top of their Legion, they made into angels. With this new army, the gods won the war against the demons, pushing them back into hell.

The monster problem, however, was not so easily fixed. The beasts remained. Two hundred years later, the battle still rages on Earth, but piece by piece, we are going to take back our world.

 

 

1

 

 

Purgatory

 

 

You knew your life had hit a new low when your sixty-year-old inebriated next-door neighbor offered you a ‘quickie’ behind the bar of the Witch’s Watering Hole. I was still thinking up a diplomatic response when he plunked down a glass jar of cloudy alcohol to sweeten the deal.

“What do you say, Leda?” he slurred, smacking his lips. His breath smelled like acetone.

That you’re three times my age. I reminded myself that he was drunk—and that it wasn’t nice to throw your drink in your neighbor’s face.

He wasn’t the only one. The Witch’s Watering Hole was packed tonight, an inevitable consequence of payday and Friday night colliding. Everyone in the bar was drunk—everyone, that was, except for me. I had work to do and no time for moonshine.

“Dale,” I said, smiling. Yes, he was drunk, but that was no reason to forget my manners. “I’m flattered. Really I am, but I think Cindy would be very disappointed if I took you up on your offer.” I gave the busty redhead across the room a little wave.

Dale followed my gaze to Cindy. As soon as his eyes fell upon her, her full lips spread into a sultry smile and she shifted in her seat, crossing one very long leg over the other with leisurely ease. Her miniskirt slid a few inches up her thigh, which sealed the deal for Dale. He stumbled off his barstool and staggered toward her, puffing out his chest like a peacock.

I slid the jar of abandoned moonshine to a safe distance, then took a sip of my pineapple juice to cleanse my senses. Despite his questionable taste in alcohol—which, to be fair, half the town was also drinking—Dale wasn’t actually a bad guy. He was usually very quiet and friendly. He’d probably regret his lewd words in the morning. Assuming he even remembered them.

The shiny red jukebox in the corner blared to life, singing out a humorous song about a witch who’d fallen for a vampire. The jukebox was a recent import from New York City, and Brooke, the owner of the Witch’s Watering Hole, was quite proud of it. As well she should be. This bar was the only one in town that had a jukebox.

Out here on the Frontier, at the dividing line between civilization and the monster-infested Wasteland, we didn’t have a lot of amenities. It was no wonder that the survivors of the Scourge had renamed this town Purgatory.

Besides the jukebox, the rest of the Witch’s Watering Hole looked like the quintessential old western saloon, which was probably the era the furnishings had come out of. Handmade wood tables and chairs, rundown but clean, sat at the edges of the room, leaving a small dancing area beside the jukebox.

Overhead, an old fan turned slowly, stirring the thick summer air. Most things here were powered by good old water or mundane steam, and the fan was no exception. The jukebox, however, was of a whole other class. Its power source was enchanted steam—or Magitech—an energy the gods had gifted humanity two centuries ago. Well, at least if you happened to be lucky enough to live in one of the world’s high-tech cities. For everyone else, the enchanted energy was difficult—if not impossible—to get. And it was always egregiously expensive.

“You look nice tonight, Leda.”

I turned around to face my next admirer. That was the sixth guy so far tonight. Maybe the crop top and hot pants hadn’t been the best wardrobe idea after all. But I had to attract my mark’s attention somehow. If only he’d gotten here an hour ago like Calli’s intelligence had said he would, then I’d be long gone by now.

Admirer #6 turned out to be Jak, the shy nerdy kid who’d had a crush on me since third grade—and yet had never spoken more than three words to me. Until tonight. Tonight, the words were gushing out.

“So, do you want…um, what I mean is…only if you’d like to…”

His hand held to the jar of moonshine for dear life. So that’s where his sudden burst of courage had come from. He’d swiped Dale’s glass from the counter. Finder’s Keepers was the motto out here, and most people just accepted it. Besides, Dale was too busy making out with his new friend to notice his missing moonshine.

“…I was thinking it might be nice to…you know, seeing how long we’ve known each other…”

“Spit it out, Jak,” I said, checking the impatience in my voice. It wasn’t his fault that my mark was late or that five other men had hit on me before he’d wandered over.

“Dance with me?” he blurted out. He was squeezing the jar’s handle so hard that all color had drained from his hand.

“Take a hike, junior,” someone said behind Jak, causing him to jump.

Jak took one look at the cold gleam in the man’s dark eyes, then ran off. The new arrival gave the moonshine a disgusted look, then ordered a whiskey.

“I’m Mark,” the man said, extending his hand. He smelled strongly of cologne and peppermint.

He was as out of place in this bar as the shiny red jukebox in the corner. The bar’s other patrons wore faded cotton and denim. They had smudged faces and dirt under their fingernails. Mark looked like he’d stepped off a fashion runway. He wore a black silk shirt, half of the buttons undone to expose his muscular chest. Boots with a slight heel over form-fitting black leather pants completed his ensemble. His hair was combed back and styled with gel. Platinum blond, it was nearly as pale as my own. Except his hair was dyed, clearly an expensive color job from a high-end city salon.

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