Fallen grace, p.19
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       Fallen Grace, p.19

           Jessica Cartwright
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  I stood in front of Alex attempting to shield him from the group that stood in before us. With my knife in one hand and the other holding his, I could feel him shaking with fear, his breaths were shallow. Straightening up I held my head high ready to face my accusers. I would not allow them to see the fear and panic that raged inside me. I had taught many of these protectors and now they would use those skills to kill me. This battle would be bloody and harsh, I was not sure that any of us would make it out of this clearing alive. The forest had gone still at our arrival. The animals that normally inhabited these parts had fled at the presence of larger more deadly predators. The full moon cast light over the field and made the contrast between the clearing and the trees more prominent. A slight wind was rustling the leaves of the tall oak trees but beyond that the night was silent.

  In the pack stood my closet companions, I had served many missions with them and now we were opponents. They appeared well prepared with an array of weapons including guns, knives and flame throwers. Dressed in black camouflage attire they were difficult to distinguish and had been almost impossible to detect in the woods. In contrast to their intimidating presence, I was armed with only my knife to protect us. Dressed in jeans and a scarlet jumper I would be easy to detect in the forest especially next to Alex who has wearing a white jumper and denims. I silently admonished myself for allowing my defences to slip so far. Part of me was still in disbelief that it had come to this point. The treachery had gone much further in the Council than any of us had expected and now there was no one to help us. I was all that stood between Alex and the fulfilment of the prophecy. Weakened by battle and outnumbered my only hope was to hold them at bay long enough for Alex to escape. My heart skipped at beat at the thought of this being our last moments together.

  “If you surrender now I will ensure your punishment is quick and painless,” Christopher offered. He had clearly been appointed the head protector in my absence and was going to lead the assault.

  “I have no intention of letting you have Alex,” I replied.

  “Grace, be reasonable, you are injured, outnumbered and isolated. There is no one to help you. Remember you were one of us once, you know we cannot let you leave and we will continue to hunt you!” he returned. It was clear from his face and the faces of those around him that this current situation was a source of internal conflict. These protectors had looked up to me and none of them could understand why this had happened. But orders were orders and the heir to the Sempre family needed to be rescued by any means possible.

  “You have your orders and I have mine. I hold no ill will towards you Christopher nor towards any of you. This situation is beyond our control and its resolution will be what it will be,” I stated cryptically.

  “Please Grace,” Cassius pleaded, stepping towards me and in front of Christopher who shot him a dark look. Raising my weapon I looked at Cassius, my face unreadable and my eyes black.

  “Cassius, I suggest you return to your formation. I will not be pleaded with, bargained or begged. Alex is under my protection and all that that entails,” I informed them looking at each one of them as I spoke.

  I could hear a commotion at the back of group but I could not see what was occurring. Slowly the group began to part to allow the new arrivals to walk through. Detecting their scent before they were visible, poison flooded my fangs and hatred spread through my body. Even if I was killed in this battle I would ensure that I took their lives before mine was ended.

  “Well, well what have we here?” Scarlet mused and she brushed lightly past Christopher in a floor length emerald green corseted gown. Her hair was pinned away from her face tumbling down her back and her make up was impeccable. Alex squeezed my hand as he moved towards me, our bodies now touching.

  “You have come at last!” I replied swallowing hard as I tried not to be overwhelmed by the heat coursing through my body lit by Alex’s touch.

  “There was no way that we would miss the main event. Alex dear, I am sorry you have been caught up in all of this unpleasantness but never fear my love, soon we will be together and all of this will just be a bad dream.” Scarlet said to Alex, a smirk on her face.

  “I can assure you Scarlet that you will never have Alex and that all of your efforts will have been in vain. Now if you are finished with the theatrics I intend to kill you,” I spat.

  “Ah Grace, you always were a feisty one. Christopher, I believe you have an assignment to complete,” the traitor called, standing next to Scarlet. And there I was face to face with the vampire who had betrayed Lucas and ordered my execution.

  For more information on books by Jessica Cartwright, visit jessicacartwrightbooks.com and https://facebook.com/fallengracetrilogy.

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