Lana Roberts has come to Boston searching for her twin sister, Sarah. The last place Sarah was seen is an underground club called The Mausoleum. Not realizing what she has gotten herself into, Lana enters, only to find herself in the company of a seductively frightening vampire named Christian Sterling—the only creature in the place that wants to help her. But there’s only one problem.
Lana is still human.
If she goes back into The Mausoleum she’ll be killed, but Christian has a plan…if he can only convince her to go along with it. Can a pair of Halloween costumes, the sexy stranger she has found herself falling for, and a little bit of unorthodox behavior save the day? And just how long can Lana keep telling herself she doesn’t want him?
Sarah’s cell phone went out of service a week ago. She hadn’t answered it in much longer, but the fact that the connection no longer existed at all was enough to worry her twin sister no end. Lana Roberts had resorted to checking Facebook, Twitter, and every other social networking site she could think of, hounding friends and long-distance family and even calling the police, but there was still no sign of Sarah. Finding no answers in her research, Lana had jumped the first plane to Boston, all the while wondering what her sister saw in such a cold, damp city.
Lana tucked her jacket more tightly around her body and cast her eyes to the ground as she crossed the darkened street. The air was empty and still; the only sound for miles was that of the water of the harbor slapping into the pillars beneath the docks. Fog began to settle in over the water, creeping up alleys, around buildings, and into the main streets. It hung a few feet above her head, giving the streetlights eerie, green haloes. The world around her didn’t seem real. This disembodied feeling was all too familiar, too frightening. She remembered from the many nights as a child in New England that this feeling meant there would very soon be a blanket of snow on the ground to mute the city and hide all the world’s ills.
It was the very reason she had escaped Massachusetts as soon as she turned eighteen.
The snow had come early this year — it was only October, yet Lana felt as if she were trapped in the dead of winter. A sick feeling of dread settled around her heart, constricting it into a sharp, offbeat dance, and she shuddered once, hard. If she didn’t find her sister soon, she might never find her. Call it a twin’s intuition, but the closer she came to her destination, the more certain Lana became that Sarah was in grave danger. Besides, it was always easier to dispose of bodies with frozen precipitation to hide the evidence.
From the look of the graffiti on the walls and the litter on the ground, good people like herself rarely came to this part of Boston, particularly late at night. Trash lay on the ground piled up next to the dilapidated buildings, and this section of the harbor looked as if it had not seen regular habitation in twenty years or more. It was the perfect place to commit the perfect crime. No wonder the cops didn’t follow the lead she gave them; they were obviously much smarter than her.
She turned the corner, and from a block away, Lana could hear the deep throb of music emanating from the open doors of the club. The Mausoleum seemed to be the only thing showing any sign of life in this part of town.
From where she stood, she could already see the gaping hole in the wall that served as an entrance, and a herd of people of questionable moral character lined up behind black velvet ropes, hoping for the opportunity to see inside. Aside from the crowd, there were no distinguishing marks on the city block taken up by the old warehouse. To drive by it in daylight, she never would have thought it contained anything more than moldy crates and wharf rats.
And maybe the occasional rotting corpse, she thought with a shudder.
Normally, Lana would not have even bothered to venture this far into the city, but after nearly a month without word from Sarah, she had moved far past worry and into action. According to Sarah’s friends, this was the last place any of them knew her to be frequenting, and what worried Lana more than the location was the fact that none of her friends had a clue where Sarah had gone. They had not seen her in well over two weeks and had long since stopped trying to call, thinking they had been replaced by newer, flashier friends. Lana knew better. Sarah wasn’t that kind of person…not without some sort of strong persuasion, anyway. Even after Lana had left home in the middle of the night at eighteen years old, Sarah had still found a way to keep in touch. And with each damning step toward the pounding noise of the club, that feeling of ill fate grew exponentially stronger.
She gave her coat one final tug and stepped away from the concrete sidewalk into the gravel in front of the building. Many of the hopefuls in line turned a curious gaze toward her, but Lana kept her head held high and did her best to ignore them. She was here to investigate, not socialize. She went straight to the young man standing at the head of the line, prepared to explain her situation when he turned a pair of dead-looking, milk-white eyes toward her. He looked like a creature from a horror film, pale and surrounded by the chill of death. He smelled of a moldy closet, and wide, jagged track marks ran up and down his withered arms in horrific patterns. At one time, the junkie might have been an attractive boy, but not now. A dim flicker of recognition registered in his slack features, and he stepped away from the door.
“Welcome back,” he droned, his voice as lifeless as his face. The sound of his empty words sent a shiver down Lana’s spine, but she nodded and muttered a quiet thank you before stepping through the door.