Betrayed by her lover, Brijit is now at the mercy of Eochaid and his rabid quest to discover the limits of being a vampire. Starved to the point of madness, escape seems impossible until an unlikely pairing and a shared love brings hope to a futile situation.
The pain of the chains plagued her constantly during her waking hours and followed her into her dreams. Restful sleep was impossible—between the constant waking by Eochaid and James, the pain in her limbs, and the intolerable thirst, Brijit could only manage a few moments of nightmare-filled sleep each day. She didn’t know what to fear more, the nightly experiments that Eochaid performed on her to test her endurance, or the way her mind felt like it was slipping away. She tried to think clearly, but the thirst within her was ruling her mind.
How long has it been?
She tried to tally the nights in her mind, but they had all blurred together. All she knew were the endless cycles of pain and torment. The only change in the routine came when Eochaid had shifted her from the centre of the cold, dank underground laboratory to one of the alcoves that were recessed into one of the walls. Brijit found herself chained against the stone, the cold biting into her back while the ever-constant seep of water through the lines of mortar dampened her skin.
Brijit hung there, limp, with her eyes closed, the tight binding chains cutting into her skin. She tried to take advantage of every rare moment that one of the two men left her alone, resting as best as she could to marshal what little strength was left in her, though a feeling of absolute defeat left her slumped in the chains.
“Wake her,” Eochaid’s cold voice said. A bucket of ice-cold water followed that voice, then a hard slap to the face when she failed to open her eyes.
Brijit’s head snapped up, showing her fangs at Eochaid standing in front of her, his cold eyes revealing no emotion as they looked upon her. James stood to the side and Brijit thought she saw a glimmer of pity in his eyes, but he looked away the moment her eyes locked with his.
“Can’t look me in the eye now, betrayer?” she taunted James. He stepped to Eochaid’s side and adopted the same stony look as her words echoed through the stone room.
“Silence, my dear,” Eochaid barked at her. One of his hands shot out and grabbed her by the throat just under the jaw, forcing her face upwards and their eyes to meet. “You will not address James in that manner, is that understood?” His hand squeezed until Brijit felt like her throat would implode under the pressure. She didn’t speak a word, but only stared defiantly at Eochaid until he released her with a huff of frustration. He turned to James and barked at him instead. “Bring me the whore from the streets.”
James’ eyes flicked to Brijit a moment, then back to Eochaid as he gave a small bow of his head. “Yes, my master,” he intoned as he turned and exited through the door at the far end of the room.
“At least someone knows their place around here,” Eochaid mumbled. He turned back to Brijit and started launching into one of his monologues. “So, my dear, while he tends to today’s experiment, let me fill you in. This is the start of your third week here…”
A feeling of horror ran through Brijit as the realization stung her more than a slap to the face. Only two weeks? It feels like it’s been years!