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Violet Midnight By Lynn Rush

What am I? You mean what sorority am I? Or No. Jake crept forward until only three feet separated them. I mean, what are you? Those three menwhatever they were Emma let out the loudest, hopefully believable, fake laugh she could muster considering the circumstances. Hed seen everything. Mind-wipe time. They were just drunk dudes, knocked me in No they werent. Look. Its okay. IthingsI understand different. Jake eyed the partially closed door across the room. You can trust me. Emma huffed. Trust. Yeah, right. Two years ago, almost to the day, her life went bonkers. Strange things happened to her after the crash that killed her parents. She trusted no one, let alone a total and complete stranger. No matter how drawn to him she felt. He seized her wrist before shed even registered hed moved. Too distracted by his dominating presence in the small room. She tugged at his grip, but he held fast. Waitwas that warmth? He cuffed her wrist with his strong, able fingers. The same fingers that had caressed her spine so gently as she coughed half the pool from her lungs. Damn water. She hadnt noticed any heat then, or when he had held her neck, maybe because of wet clothes and hair. But now, there was no clothing, no water to obstruct the direct skin-to-skin contact. It sent a dizzying heat up her forearm, over her shoulder and straight to her chest. Shed not felt warmthany fluctuation in temperaturein two years. Her lungs

tightened, forcing her to take small gasps for air. God she missed heat. She missed cuddling. Missed human touch. And he wasnt even asking about her cold skin. Probably assumed it was from the water. Didnt matter. She let the tension roll out into his grip and absorbed the sensual feelings penetrating her barriers. Just for a minute. Interesting tattoo. He turned her hand, exposing her wrist. Damn, shed lost her watch in the water! He stood so close his breath whispered against her cheek. How could she smell a heady, earthy scent emanating from him through the chlorine saturating his clothing and hair? Does it mean something? he asked. Emma shook her head, too lost in his touch heating her blood to verbalize a response. Not that shed tell him it identified her as a Hunter, a protector with kick-ass powers. Or that it appeared on her skin overnight, while she lay in a hospital bed after the crash two years ago. With his free hand, he traced the arrow, and Emmas legs morphed into wet noodles. She leaned against the desk, not having realized shed backed up so far. Thankfully she had, because it kept her vertical. What was happening to her? His finger followed the pulsing blue vein to the crook of her elbow, up her arm until his hand cupped her shoulder, all the while, he held her wrist tight with his other hand. His already nearly black eyes darkened as the pupils ate up the dark irises. His gaze shifted, and his tongue moistened his plump, completely lickable bottom lip. The heat thatd ignited in her heart suddenly pooled in her bellyvery low in her belly. He leaned forward, mouth only inches from hers. Even his breath on her lips was warm. Amazing. How could she feel warmth with his touch when she couldnt with any other person? Need more. I saw how strong you were. How you fought them off. He stepped into her. And this tattoo. Ive seen it before.

Oh, God. Its a symbol of power. Apollo and Artemis. His voice went husky. How do you know that? I know a lot, Emma. His hand followed the curve of her shoulder until he caressed the nape of her neck. Whyd you pick this mark to put on your skin? A wave of heat stormed through her. I didnt choose it. Emma licked her lips in anticipation. Woke up with it two years ago. She stretched toward him, and the softest, warmest lips met hers. He tensed, probably at the cool temperature of her skin, but she didnt care. She only craved his warmth. His touch. So long shed been without.

(This book excerpt from Violet Midnight is being used with the expressed
permission from the author, Lynn Rush for promotional purposes through a book blog tour hosted by Bewitching Book Tours. I have not received any monetary gain, nor am I seeking any such.)

****************SECOND EXCERPT OPTION*************** Emma Martin had never killed a human, at least not intentionally, but her best friend, Ava, might be the first. No. I told you. Im not going on a blind date, so drop it already. Considering she battled demons on a regular basis, few things in the world scared Emma. But the one thing she feared most was giving her heart away, then losing that person. Been there, done that. Never again. Fine. Youre so stubborn. At least come to the party. Ava wove her arm through Emmas and dragged her across the campus, toward their dorm. Your arms are freezing, Em, why are you wearing a tank top? I know we live in the desert, but were up north. Its not that cold out. Then again, Emma didnt feel the cold, or heat for that matter, but Ava didnt know that. No one did. No one could ever know. Whatever, Ava said. So, come on, already. Ive got two hours to beautify you. The football game will be over soon, and Im in the mood to have some fun. Ava, no. I said no more blind date Pulsing pain stabbed Emmas wrist. She stopped and doubled over, clutching her wrist to her stomach to hide the glowing mark on her skin. Darn Vamp detector hadnt ignited in over three months. What the hell? Whats wrong? Ava grabbed Emmas shoulder. She hugged her midsection. Now that the initial surprise had passed, she had to keep the pulsing light hidden from Ava. Otherwise, thered have to be another mindwipe. Wonder if too many mind-wipes can harm a brain? Nothing. Just a cramp. Emma stood straight, scanning the area. She never got cramps, but she had to cover when her wrist morphed into a freaky orange lighthouse beam. Ill be fine in a second. Everyone thought Emmas mark was a normal tattoo, but they didnt know how it came to life when the bloodsuckers were near. She slipped her hand over the piercing orange flare, silently chastising herself for not wearing her thick-band watch.

Three months, no Vampsshed gotten lazy. Time to snap into Hunter mode to keep Ava safe. No way was Emma about to lose her best friend to one of those fanged beasts. Shed already lost too much. Emma scanned the empty courtyard. The dark fence of trees encircling the campus seemed calm. No bobbing red orbsa tell-tale sign of a hungry Vamp. Until they fixed their sights on dinner, their eyes stayed black as coal. Ava whipped out her massive, pink leather purse. Here, Ive got Advil. Never mind. Were almost to the room. Ill grab some there. Emma straightened and rubbed her wrist while scanning the area. A couple of lights lining the sidewalk to their dorm barely made a dent in the darkening sky. Movement to her right caught Emmas attention. Her heart stuttered. Every muscle tensed. She needed to get Ava out of here. Lets go. Emma latched onto her elbow and hurried her along the sidewalk. Emma caught a flare of orange against the leg of her denim jeans. The Vamps must be closing in. Bushes to the left, silent academic buildings behind them and the open courtyard to their right. She glanced over her shoulder at the mazes of deserted sidewalks leading to the various campus buildings. Slate-colored clouds rolled in, chasing away the remaining light of the setting sun. That didnt help, despite her heightened vision. Whats the rush? Jeez. Im not one of your workout buddies, Em. Ava stumbled. If I break a heel on these Jimmy Choos, you and I are going to have words. Oh, sorry. I just want to get back to the room and get ready for the party. You said Todd was going to be there, right? I bet youre anxious to see him again. Its what, your third date? Thats a record for you. Jerk. But youre right. I want to look nice for him. And remember, you said I can get you prettied up a little, too. I did not say you could pretty me up. Thankfully, Ava was easily distracted. Emma continued to hurry her roomie along. Another flare of orange pulsed. Only a hundred feet to the dorms. One more cluster of bushes to pass. A fist that could have passed as a sledgehammer slammed into Emmas face as a gust of wind whipped by her. An explosion of metallic-tasting blood burst into her mouth. Damn Vamps were fast. Emma toppled into Ava. Her friend yelped and tumbled

to the ground. Her purse shuffled to the side along with one of her shoes when she made impact. Emma spun, working to locate the Vamp. Only darkness. Shadows from the cluster of five, three-story dormitories up ahead provided ample amounts of darkness. Not to mention the light flickering out. Or did a rock just hit that light bulb? Shit. What the hell was that? Ava pushed herself up and reached for her purse. Quiet. Stay there. Dont move. Emmas friend shot her a wide-eyed glare. What Emma put her hand up, silencing her, and crouched. She held up her free hand, and whispered, Crossbow. In a flash of white light, the steel weapon appeared in her palm. She stroked the smooth, otherworldly, silver metal, confirming the magazine of bolts was secure and ready to fire. She touched her throbbing cheek. Dumbass was going to pay for that. And more. Okay, where are you? Drawing in a deep breath, Emma willed her pulse to slow, then stood. The gravel crunched beneath her trainers as she stepped off the sidewalk toward the bushes. Ava sat on the ground watching Emma with wide, disbelieving eyes. Her platinum-blond hair glowed beneath the light of the lamppost beside her, giving her an angelic halo. Thisll be a big mind-wipe for sure. The hairs on Emmas neck prickled. Instinct demanded she duck. Air whooshed above her, a fist narrowly missing her face. She jabbed an elbow into the creatures soft mid-section. She lunged forward into a summersault, then turned and crouched. Click. Click. Two bolts shot out and sank into the Vamps chest. White, elongated teeth flashed as the wounded creatures mouth opened. A throaty roar rent the air as he squirmed, writhing in anguish, then vanished in a poof of dust. As ashes settled over the gravel beside a blooming bush, she spotted another creature slithering toward her best friend. Emma trained her weapon on the beast.

Before she could fire, two gigantic hands squeezed her shoulders and yanked her into the bushes. Her crossbow clattered to the rocky ground. The creature snarled. Foul breath wafting over her triggered her gag reflex. Lifting her hand in front of her, she said, Dagger. The weapon landed in Emmas palm. She spun it to aim the blade downward and plunged it into the creatures thigh. His grip loosened. Emma snapped her head back and cracked the Vamps nose, then pivoted out of his grip. Blood gushed from his leg onto the dusty earth, but it wouldnt keep him down for long. The Vamp quirked his head to the side and drew in a breath. He glanced past Emma but didnt move. Strange. He took in another breath. Cant smell you. What are you? She flipped the knife, blade up. The last thing youll be seeing tonight.