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BORN IN CHAINS
by Caris Roane

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy

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Chained to a cavern wall, Adrien hung forward from his shackles, arms shaking. The short length of the wrought iron loops prevented him from falling to his knees, but after hours of torture, he couldn’t stand up straight and his shoulder joints were loose and screaming. 

The torturers had come and gone. 

Through his pain, he heard his half-brothers calling to him, shouting his name, forcing him to concentrate.

He tried. But something else snagged him. The power that always hovered just at the edge of consciousness, the power of the Ancestrals that he rejected every day of his life, whispered to him, She’s here.

The vision came over him and his heart seized. He could feel the future in his bones as the images pressed in on him, of a beautiful woman with soft highlights in her light brown hair, gold earrings sparkling and dangling past her chin, a warm smile on her lips. She wore a deep burgundy velvet gown, the color of blood, trimmed with what looked like gold crystals over a bodice that revealed a deep line of cleavage. Her shoulders, arms and back were bare. And he felt something for her, something that called to his vampire soul, something that made him strain against his manacles.

He needed to get to her, to be with her, to keep her safe. 

The vision rolled. 

Let’s go, she said. She extended her hand to him. He took it but just as he felt the softness of her palm and fingers, the vision ended, dissipating like dust in the wind.

But not the sensations left behind, the need he felt to be with her, to get to her. He strained harder in his chains, hurting himself all over again.

Suddenly, his stomach cramped and his body seized. He cried out in agony. He heard his brothers shouting at him but he couldn’t respond.

The vision of the woman had ignited his blood-hunger. 

Getting just enough blood while chained up had been another form of torture. He and his imprisoned brothers suffered the agonies of blood hunger, the cramps, the saliva that thickened in his mouth, the dreams during the daylight hours of piercing a vein.

If some act of fortune didn’t break in his direction soon, blood madness would follow.