Ravage (Royal Fae Academy #1) - Lacey Carter Andersen



I stand on a balcony overlooking the darkened city I’d grown up in. Or, more specifically, the city I’d grown up on the outskirts of. This human town is surrounded by some of the most powerful families of my kind, so naturally, I’ve been drawn to it since I was a young girl. From my view above it all, this place looks like any other, filled with pretty buildings and pretty lights and pretty lies.

But I’ve tasted these people. I’ve fed on these people. And I know the secrets no one else can see.

In my hand is a pale red drink I only pretend to sip as I enjoy the sensation of the wind stirring the scents of the city, breathing to life the metallic tang of the buildings and the cars and the heavy scent of tar from the roads. It’s refreshing and different, a much needed break from the real world. And yet, I’m filled with a longing to return home to my family grounds. I miss the creatures that slink amongst the woods, and the ghosts that float between the headstones and the graveyard. More than that, a ghostly warning still echoes in my mind.

A warning of death to come.

But I have to feed. And if I’d remained at home, I would’ve been hungry, haunted by hot dreams of men who could never be mine, and overwhelmed with a bone-deep sense of unease.

It’s better that I’m here. Worrying and obsessing aren’t common traits of my kind. And far be it for me to be anything other than what I was born to be.

The music in the club seems to vibrate beneath my feet, calling to me, reminding me that I had a purpose in coming out tonight. Food isn’t enough to sustain my kind. It’s pleasant. It’s better than nothing. But my main food source is here, inside.

Sighing, I set down my drink and decide I’ve put it off long enough. I need to find my victim and decide if tonight I just need to feed, or if I want to fuck too.

Turning back toward the inside of the club, I walk past people seated at the quiet tables outside. Every man’s head turns at my approach. And I know that when they look at me, all they see is a young woman in a tight dress. But then, that’s all I want them to see.

A predator’s greatest skill is to seem innocent to its prey.

I move down the steps to the busiest part of the club, to a place where people are crammed together as they linger at the bar or grind against each other on the dance floor. There, I let my senses stretch out, searching for negative emotions, especially jealousy and anger, two of my favorites. I move around the room until I spot the perfect target, a man glaring out at the dance floor. Or more so, glaring at a couple dancing.

With a practiced eye, I watch him. He wanted the woman, but the other man had gotten to her first, and now he raged within. I’d definitely be full after feeding on him, but he was certainly not someone I wanted to fuck after. Yes, he was tall, blond, and in shape, but there was something unattractive about him. About the feeling radiating from him that the woman should belong to him, like an object.

Still, sometimes not liking my victim made it easier.

Sauntering across the room on my heels, I squeeze between the dancers. Several men try to pull me closer, but I wave them off. Within them I sense arousal and excitement. Yes, I can feed off those emotions too, but they usually left me hungry.

This man was my meal tonight.

When I draw up next to him, I order a water from the bartender and sit down. The man is instantly aware of me. I can feel it in the change in his demeanor and the way he shifts slightly closer.

“Want something else?” he asks.

I turn to him and smile. “No, the water is fine.”

His eyes rake over me. “You look good enough to eat.”

“So do you,” I say, enjoying my little joke, even if it’s cheesy. Turning slightly toward him, I place a hand on his thigh. “What’s such a handsome man doing here by himself?” It’s hard to keep the smirk from my face as I ask the question.

His scowl returns, and I sense the jealousy and anger returning. “Hell if I know.”

Through my touch, I start to tug at