Blood Harvest (Blood Curse #12) - Tessa Dawn
The Cheshire cat: A fictional cat made popular by Lewis Carroll in Alice in Wonderland’s various adventures, circa 1865.
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde: The main character in the 1886 novella, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson.
Excalibur: The legendary sword of King Arthur which may originate in the work Culhwch and Olwen from the Mabinogion, a collection of Welsh legends, circa 1100 CE.
For every time, there is a season: The Holy Bible: Ecclesiastes 3.
Nothing comes from nothing: An ancient Greek philosophical dictum first argued by Parmenides.
Punct: Also referred to as a point or a prick, a quarter of an hour in Medieval Europe.
Rock of Ages: A hymn written by the Reverend Augustus Toplady in 1763.
The Blood Curse
In 800 BC, Prince Jadon and Prince Jaegar Demir were banished from their Romanian homeland after being cursed by a ghostly apparition: the reincarnated Blood of their numerous female victims. The princes belonged to an ancient society that sacrificed its females to the point of extinction, and the punishment was severe.
They were forced to roam the earth in darkness as creatures of the night. They were condemned to feed on the blood of the innocent and stripped of their ability to produce female offspring. They were damned to father twin sons by human hosts who would die wretchedly upon giving birth; and the firstborn of the first set would forever be required as a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of their forefathers.
Staggered by the enormity of the Curse, Prince Jadon, whose own hands had never shed blood, begged his accuser for leniency and received four small mercies—four exceptions to the Curse that would apply to his house and his descendants, alone.
ᴪ Though still creatures of the night, they would be allowed to walk in the sun.
ᴪ Though still required to live on blood, they would not be forced to take the lives of the innocent.
ᴪ While still incapable of producing female offspring, they would be given one opportunity and thirty days to obtain a mate—a human destiny chosen by the gods—following a sign that appeared in the heavens.
ᴪ While they were still required to sacrifice a firstborn son, their twins would be born as one child of darkness and one child of light, allowing them to sacrifice the former while keeping the latter to carry on their race.
And so…forever banished from their homeland in the Transylvanian mountains of Eastern Europe, the descendants of Jaegar and the descendants of Jadon became the Vampyr of legend: roaming the earth, ruling the elements, living on the blood of others…forever bound by an ancient curse. They were brothers of the same species, separated only by degrees of light and shadow.
September 15th ~ Eve of the Millenia Harvest Moon
Braden Bratianu paced restlessly, back and forth, in front of the floor-to-ceiling windows in Kristina’s lavish penthouse apartment on the top floor of the Dark Moon Casino, feeling more like a restless tiger than a seventeen-year-old vampire male. He swept his hand through his shoulder-length, chestnut brown hair and shook his head in disbelief.
He couldn’t believe it was actually happening.
The Millenia Harvest Moon would rise tomorrow, and only the gods knew what the omen would bring.
And as for what Kristina Riley-Silivasi had just offered to give him…
Braden knew she didn’t mean it.
They had been back and forth, covering the same territory, again and again: What would happen tomorrow when the celestial gods poured their power down upon the earth, when the dormant blood of a prince roused inside Braden’s young body: quickened, stirred…awakened?
Would Braden still know Kristina?
Would Kristina still know him?
Would Napolean continue to enforce his decree—insist upon seeing the unusual couple mated, two vampires who were both exempt from the Blood Curse? Or would the soul, the spirit—the what the actual fuck?—of Prince Jadon be so strong that it ultimately took over? And if so, would Braden actually have a Blood Moon one day, a blood destiny, a female chosen by the gods, whom he had to claim, cherish, and mate?
What would happen to Kristina then?
Could Braden still potentially sire female offspring after tomorrow night, or would the Curse placed upon all the sons of King Sakarias—Prince Jadon’s progeny and Prince Jaegar’s alike—usurp the rare, singular circumstance of Braden’s siring?
Braden was made, not born, to vampirism.
And thus, he was immune to the punishment—and the required sacrifice—demanded of all biological sons…and their sons…and their sons, for all perpetuity, of the original celestial progeny.
If Kristina and Braden made love tonight—if the young, fledgling vampire commanded