Flight by Michelle Marquis by Michelle Marquis - Read Online

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Summary

Jade Starbrite is a popular college student with a good future and an independent spirit. Everything is going well for her until one of her good friends, Bill Todd, ends up missing after visiting a local bar late one night. Determined to find out what happened to him, Jade ventures out, only to fall into the same deadly vampire hands that Bill did. Biker, War Stanton, is a shape-shifting vulture and High King of his Wake. Many years ago he made a pledge to keep Jade safe from the vampire hoards and he's been faithful to that oath ever since. But when he unexpectedly rescues her from a colony of vampires in a seedy bar, he knows it's not only time to tell her who she is, it's also time for him to lay claim to her, as both his mate and his High Queen.
Published: Torrid Books on
ISBN: 9781611607871
List price: $2.99
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Flight - Michelle Marquis

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Prologue

She was down there somewhere. He knew she must be nearby—he could feel her like a fever in his blood. He wanted her with every inch of his being, needed her like food in his belly. Does she remember who she is? Would she know me if she saw me? It had been so long that he dared not think she would.

High above the soaring slash pines of Best Southern College, he glided, searching. He looked for her as he did every day around this time, with a heavy heart and a wounded soul. Stretching his wings out, he caught an updraft and rode it for several minutes while focusing his mind on scent. If he could only smell a strand of her hair, a drop of her blood, he knew he’d find her.

Then she emerged from one of the buildings. Her long, thin limbs moving gracefully as she rushed out to her car and away from the afternoon heat.

>Ah, there you are, my beauty. You grow lovelier every time I lay eyes on you. What I wouldn’t give to have your sweet body under mine as I take you as you were meant to be taken.

Oblivious to him, she walked across the campus below, her backpack slung carelessly over one shoulder and her brown hair loose in the wind. He let himself linger high above her head for a little while longer. He could relax now. Everything was fine. She was safe.

In the back of his mind, he felt the others summoning him to return to the wake. They had found a new colony, and it would need to be cleansed. He was their leader, and they needed him. He had to go. Burying his disappointment, he flapped his wings and headed back—back to a life of unending loneliness, back to a life without her.

Don’t worry, Jade, my love. Someday soon, you will be mine forever.

Chapter 1

Jade Starbrite emerged from the Natural Science building into the harsh sunlight of late afternoon. Florida was usually mild in the spring, but not today. Today, the temperature was at least eighty, and the air was thick with humidity. On top of being miserably hot, she was also starving. Her zoology class had been almost two hours long, and she was desperate for some lunch.

Penny Young, one of her best friends, raced up to her from across campus holding a flyer in her hand. "Did you see this?" Penny said, waving the flyer around.

Penny’s lovely impish face was glowing with a light sheen of sweat, and Jade wondered how long she’d been running around in the sweltering heat looking for her. Jade grabbed Penny’s hand, took the flyer from her, and read it. It was a ‘missing’ poster for Bill Todd, another good friend of theirs. Where did you find this?

They’re all over campus! Penny said, breathing hard. According to his roommates he’s been missing since yesterday morning. They said he went to some club called The Siren and apparently never came home. This is so weird. It’s just not like him to run off without telling anyone.

Did his roommates call the cops?

"Yeah, but you know the cops. They need a body to really do anything. They think he’ll turn up."

Now this was odd. Bill only frequented gay bars he knew and felt safe in, and from what Jade knew of The Siren, it was neither safe nor gay. I don’t get it, Jade said thoughtfully. Why would he go to a hetero meat market like that?

Penny pulled a scrunchie from her pocket and gathered her brown hair into a tight ponytail. One of his roommates said there was some bouncer he was seeing there named Robert. They didn’t know anything else about the guy.

Jade adjusted her heavy backpack and squinted off at the parking lot, thinking. If Bill was missing, something happened to him. Penny was right. He just wasn’t the kind of guy to take off and not tell anyone. Bill was an A student who planned to be a doctor. People like that didn’t just disappear without a word. I think I’ll go by The Siren tonight and see if I can find out anything.

Penny bit her lower lip. Do you want me to come with you?

No, Jade said. It’s easier to check stuff out if I’m alone. If you’re with me, we’ll attract too much attention.

I’m worried, Penny said.

Don’t be, Jade replied, squeezing Penny’s shoulder. I won’t be there long. But maybe I can find out what happened to Bill, or who this Robert guy is. Before Penny could protest further, Jade loped off to her car. Call me later on my cell, she called out over her shoulder.

Chapter 2

Welcome night was coming.

War Stanton could smell it in the cooling wind that circled the gang’s lair. It caressed his hair and tickled his beard, fueled his ravenous hunger. Like the others, his was a savage, feral appetite, a desperate need that had to be sated every few months or so. It had been a while since they’d hunted as a group, and everyone was on edge and starving. Lifting the American flag that functioned as a door, War came into the lair from the backyard deck to find the gang watching him and ready to hunt.

He approached Bullet, his best friend and lieutenant, and placed his hand on the man’s broad shoulder. Bullet was standing before a large map of the city pinned to the wall by two small daggers. Did you find the club?

Bullet smiled and pointed to a ritzy part of town. I’ve had scouts going by there for days. It’s the place, all right. Dumb fucks will never know what hit them.

War stalked up to a picnic bench that served as their dining room table. He jumped up on it and surveyed his gang.