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Half Blood Rising

Half Blood Rising

Author:Joanna Mazurkiewicz



Academy romance, chance of a lifetime, and former rouge on the run–what could go wrong? Jaymin Clarance is a rogue half vampire—she’s hunting supernatural convicts and trying to stay anonymous, which doesn’t always go according to plan. When a mysterious Fae approaches her in Lviv and offers her a spot at the highly sought-after Moonlight Academy, it’s her only chance to finally turn her miserable life around. However, the Academy isn’t just an ordinary school for supernaturals—it’s also the place where students are prepped for admission to the most exclusive academy in Bucharest—The Elite. Soon enough, Jaymin and her new group are sent out on a mission in Moscow. Their job is to rescue the daughter of a warlock who’s been kidnapped by an ancient clan of vampires, however, an experienced member of the school, a handsome Scottish vampire named Lachlan, doesn’t trust a half breed like Jaymin. One mistake during her probationary period could jeopardize Jaymin’s chance to prove that she’s worthy of being considered for a trial in the Elite Academy, and pretty boy, Lachlan, would love nothing more than to see her expelled

The creature in front of me was disgusting. Everything about him reeked of death, and his darkness brushed against me like black boiling tar in the blazing heat of summer. I hated being here with him, repeating the same thing all over again. The werewolf was in his human form, so I had to be careful. I’d been tracking him every night for the past seven days.

The humidity in this part of Ukraine was unbearable this time of year, as usual, but at least a drizzle of rain had begun to fall. An annoying mosquito was buzzing around my ear, but I couldn’t lose focus now. I couldn’t risk taking my eyes off that bastard.

His breathing was whizzed, and saliva was trickling from his mouth. I inhaled, sensing his dirty energy—his aura. It was repulsive, and he deserved to die for all the terrible things he’d done to others.

“Pretty, you don’t have to do this. I have over five hundred Hryvnia in my side pocket. Take it and let me go,” he said, his voice creepy, the tones vibrating inside my chest. I had to try and keep it together. The pain of his victims—children and little girls—affected me so much tonight; he was rotten from the inside out, and I had to clear my mind, stop thinking about it.

I gripped my knife tighter, cutting the circulation to my fingers. What had started as a drizzle was now becoming heavier—a possible storm was approaching—dark clouds were gathering in the south, but the moon still shone brightly above me.

I’d heard many stories about him, but he had been careful. Almost too careful. He had watched the elementary schools, particularly kindergarteners in the early mornings. He’d been selective when choosing his victims.

A while back he’d managed to escape prison, and the High Council seemed useless. It had taken me some time to figure out his modus operandi and finally track him down. I’d yet to see his darker form, but what I had sensed had been enough. I’d witnessed a lot of disgusting shit in my short life as a half-vampire. I had been doing this for way too long, killing and eliminating creatures that didn’t deserve to walk on this earth.

“This will be quick, although you deserve to die slowly and very, very painfully,” I said through gritted teeth, staring at his dark filthy hair and almost-translucent skin. He was skinny, his bones protruded, and he looked malnourished. He wore a loose grey shirt that was stained in what appeared to be blood.

Another vision. Damn it. Not now… I really had to focus on the task at hand, but these visions were hard to ignore.

I was seeing him leaning over a little girl, and he was panting with excitement. She couldn’t have been more than eleven years old. Tears were slipping down her cheeks. She was petrified, seeing him in his true form. Drool was dripping from his fangs and clinging to his matted dark fur. She parted her lips …

I quickly shook my head, pushing the vile images out of my mind. This had gone on for far too long. I couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t bear seeing the victims… their torture. It was just too much.

Earlier on, he hadn’t expected me to attack. I had lunged forward, crouching low at the same time, and on a quick turn of my foot, I’d caught him off guard, then sliced his leg from Achilles heel to calf—the bastard couldn’t run any longer. My vampire speed, agility, and strength had always given me an advantage, allowing me to strike within a moment’s notice.

My fangs were now descended. I blocked his pitiful strike, kicking him to the ground and ramming my knee into his chest as he struggled against me. I didn’t want to touch him; sweat was dripping down my face. Every time my skin encountered his, I saw more and more despicable images of his previous victims. I could feel their pain—their screams and whimpers echoed in my mind. This was the only downside of being a half-vampire and trying to do the right thing. I wasn’t immune to his darkness: the other side of me, the “unknown” allowed me to soak it all in.

“Please, take my money… they all wanted it,” he howled. Luckily, we weren’t in a built-up area. The alley was deserted. His pupils dilated; he feared death—feared what was coming for him.

“Even children? You’re a sick piece of shit who feeds on innocent souls, a vile being who deserves to burn in hell, if such a thing exists,” I roared, and then plunged my knife into the side of his neck. I could have bitten him, but I didn’t want to be affected by his blood days later. He tried to grab me, but I twisted the blade, feeling sick to my stomach. His dark magic began spreading everywhere, creeping into my skin, my nails, and hair. I stared at him, wondering if there was another way, but he deserved something much worse. I had done him a favour.

Now the pain of his victims flooded my energy, and this was the part I hated the most.

“Money, take my money,” he rasped in desperation and then began to shift into a wolf, but his energy wouldn’t save him now. It was fading, so maybe this was one of the side effects of his dark, twisted magic. I lifted myself up from the ground, feeling light-headed and suddenly exhausted. It was most likely from hunger

I hadn’t eaten all day

, or the fact that I had known some of the victims.

By the time he was dead, I didn’t feel the satisfaction I’d expected from ending his life. Heavy sheets of rain were beginning to form puddles along the asphalt, and that bastard’s eyes were still open. I leaned against the wall and took a deep breath, waiting for the nausea to pass. I knew that these dreadful emotions and images would stay with me for a while.

It was time to call this in. Tristan was my contact in the council, and he needed to take care of the body. Lviv was a cosmopolitan city when it came to supernatural creatures. Being only half-vampire complicated things. I was something else entirely: an outcast, someone who didn’t really belong anywhere. No one in the human world wanted to hire me because I didn’t have official papers. Vampire’s hung around and lived in nests—they had their communities underground and they worked together. Most of them didn’t want half-breeds within their ranks. There weren’t many jobs in Lviv for supernaturals, anyway. Ukraine was poor, and even humans struggled in the job market.

Several years ago, I’d awakened in a dark alley with no recollection of who I was, or why I was there. I had suspected that my humanity was gone forever. A vampire had attacked me, turning me into a monster—the fangs had sort of given it away—completely turning my life upside down. That was only the beginning of my nightmare.

For hours I’d wandered the streets, asking people for help, trying to remember what had happened, but no one was willing to assist me. The police had sent me away, too. Besides, I couldn’t remember how I’d gotten to Lviv in the first place, and I didn’t speak the language. Hungry, cold, and homeless. Yeah, it was a great kick off. I had a whole new life an no idea how to live it.

It took me a while to get used to living on the streets without any memories—being no one. Whoever turned me had left me without money or any means of getting by. There had been a small note inside my pocket with what I assumed was my name—Jaymin Clarence. I couldn’t have been more than nineteen years old when I was turned.