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Bonds of the Vampire King

Bella Klaus


Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Fifteen Years Later

Chapter One

Kresnik’s arms tightened around my chest, holding me to his larger body. Flames filled my vision, lashed at my feathers, burning paths of panic along my raw nerves.

My breath caught. Kresnik was trying to transport me out of the tunnel.

Valentine’s roar of fury echoed through the confined space, and blasts of magic thudded against the ward Kresnik had erected around our bodies. No one could save me—not Valentine, not Hades, not Caiman or any of the mercenaries stuck in the underground passageway. I had to save myself.

I lurched forward, stretched out my wings, tried to fly out of his grip, but the fiery arms encasing my torso turned solid.

“Mera!” Valentine pushed through the flames, and the wards surrounding us splintered into a million shards.

“Out.” Kresnik’s muscular arm shot forward with a palm strike, encasing Valentine in fire, making him back away with a scream that rang through my ears.

My stomach lurched. What if Kresnik and my combined flames were reducing him to ash?

I had to escape. Escape before we caused any more damage. Escape before Kresnik took me somewhere no one could ever follow. Escape before Kresnik put another needle through my heart. Escape. Escape. Escape.

Heat surged through my veins, hotter than any kind of fire I could produce as a phoenix. The flames around us blurred and flickered, and for a moment, I could feel the cold fury, the relentless determination, and the raging hatred of my father.

“Stop,” I whispered.

Kresnik was trying to flicker, the process fire wielders used to transport themselves from one location to another. It would mean melding our magic—something I needed to resist.

As every molecule in my body vibrated in sync with Kresnik’s, I clacked my beak and focused on my love for Valentine, on my desire to stay here and check that he had survived the flames.

I thrashed from side to side, trying to pull my magic back into my chakras, but the arms restricting my chest rose to my neck.

“Stop fighting me.” Kresnik tightened his grip.

“Get off,” I squawked, not knowing if we were still in the tunnel, had flickered to Kresnik’s lair, or were somewhere in between. Our location didn’t matter. Not when he was cutting off my air.

My head swam, and confusion sloshed through my skull. The flames receded from the edges of my vision, darkening into a deep crimson until everything turned black.

A heartbeat later, I awoke with a noisy gasp, and the weight of Kresnik’s larger body pushed me forward until it felt like I was lying horizontally with my wings outstretched. Still blinded, I thrashed from side to side, trying to shake him off, but his muscular thighs tightened around my waist.

Wind rushed in my ears, accompanied by Kresnik’s harried breath. “Calm down, or we’ll both meet the fate of Icarus.”

My heart plummeted. Why did this feel like he was riding on my back?

Rumbling traffic filled my ears, mingled with the sound of horns. I opened and closed my eyes, clearing my vision of the dark flames.

The sun had already set, and headlights illuminated the busy street below, with tall lamp posts lighting up the sidewalks. We were too high up for me to see the shops’ window displays, but from the black cabs and double-decker buses, I was guessing we were still in London. From the wide expanse of parkland on our distant right, it looked like we were flying over Notting Hill Gate.

“I thought it would take a little more coaxing for you to transform,” Kresnik’s snarling voice reverberated through my mind. “However, I didn’t anticipate that you would resist me with such passion.”

Terror squeezed my heart in its icy grip. My wings splayed out, and I tilted to the side, trying to dislodge the monster clinging onto my back.

Kresnik’s grip tightened on my body, and his manic laugh rattled across my skull. “What a spirited little thing!”

“Get off me!” My words came out an anguished screech.

“We can communicate, you know.” He tapped the side of my head. “Mind to mind.”

I righted myself and took another look at our immediate surroundings. A halo of fire surrounded my head, reminding me of the time Racon and Gail sat together in the training room connecting minds with a process Coral explained could only be done by soulmates or close family members.

This was the method Jonathan had used to infiltrate my mind, impersonate Valentine, and lock me into a series of nightmares.

That still didn’t stop me from asking the question in my head, “How are you doing this?”

A dull explosion sounded from the street. Flames spurted out of every manhole on the road, and my chest filled with cold despair. This was Kresnik’s doing. I only hoped that Hades had managed to transport everyone out of the tunnel before Kresnik had detonated another of his traps.

The blare of sirens became louder as police cars and fire engines raced down Kensington Church Street, making the cars mount the sidewalk.

Kresnik leaned back and cackled. “Look at the humans below,” he bellowed out loud. “It’s like pouring water on ants.”

My throat dried. Where was Valentine? Where were Caiman and Hades? Why was Kresnik still hanging around?

The traffic stopped, and people piled out of their vehicles, out of shops and pubs and restaurants, their faces turned to the sky. I sucked in a deep breath through my beak. They were watching us—the phoenix and the ifrit—battle in mid air.

As I struggled against Kresnik’s might, feathers worked their way loose, falling down to the street below like droplets of molten fire. These people needed to run, not gape.

“Thanks to your meddling vampire lover, I no longer have the power to flicker long distances.” Kresnik’s sharp voice sliced through my panic. “No matter. The power I seek

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