Forever violet, p.1
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       Forever Violet, p.1
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           Jessica Sorensen
Forever Violet


  Forever Violet

  (A Tangled Realms Novel)

  Jessica Sorensen

  Forever Violet

  Jessica Sorensen

  All rights reserved.

  Copyright © 2017 by Jessica Sorensen

  This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of characters to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. The author holds exclusive rights to this work. Unauthorized duplication is prohibited.

  No part of this book can be reproduced in any form or by electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems, without the permission in writing from the author. The only exception is by a reviewer who may quote short excerpts in a review.

  Any trademarks, service marks, product names or names featured are assumed to be the property of their respective owners, and are used only for reference. There is no implied endorsement if we use one of these terms.

  For information: jessicasorensen.com

  Cover Design by MaeIDesign

  Created with Vellum

  Contents

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  Chapter 19

  Chapter 20

  Chapter 21

  Chapter 22

  Chapter 23

  Chapter 24

  Chapter 25

  Chapter 26

  Chapter 27

  Chapter 28

  Chapter 29

  Chapter 30

  Chapter 31

  Chapter 32

  Chapter 33

  Chapter 34

  Chapter 35

  Chapter 36

  Chapter 37

  Chapter 38

  Chapter 39

  Chapter 40

  Chapter 41

  Chapter 42

  Chapter 43

  About the Author

  Also by Jessica Sorensen

  Chapter 1

  The guy standing in front of me in the alleyway might just kill me. Well, considering his immortality and constant bloodlust, the term vampire is more accurate than guy.

  His name is Legend, and his silvery grey eyes are bleeding with irritation. Every muscle in his lean body is wound tight, and his crimson lips are curled, revealing razor-sharp fangs descending from his gums.

  If I were a normal girl, fear would be spiking through my veins by now. But only calm lulls inside me. A laugh even escapes my lips.

  Legend won’t hurt me, even if he does look like he wants to throttle me.

  “You think this is funny?” He stalks toward me, his clunky boots scuffing against the pavement. “There’s a woman lying behind me who has bite marks in her neck.”

  I stifle a laugh threatening to bubble up from my throat. “I know. And I don’t think it’s funny.” A total lie, but I don’t want to amp him up more. He might lose control.

  Well, what little control he has left.

  I peek over his shoulder at the woman lying in the alleyway. Moonlight blankets her, her eyelids fluttering as she battles to remain conscious. She was that way when we stumbled out of the bar and into the alley, shit-faced drunk. Or, well, I’m shit-faced drunk. Legend has a difficult time getting trashed due to his stealthy vampire tolerance for alcohol.

  “Laikyn, this isn’t funny,” Legend hisses, using my full name instead of my nickname. “I have one more day left in this godforsaken realm, and if the police pin this on me, they might call the Eternals, and then I’ll be stuck here for another year.”

  I frown at the reminder that tomorrow night he’ll be leaving me behind to return to his own realm. “You’ll be fine. You didn’t even bite her, so there should be no evidence to point them in your direction.”

  Shaking his head, he glances back at the woman, who is now staring at us, looking delirious from the vampire bite, at least says the two pinpricks on her neck.

  “They might,” he whispers. “What if I get accused of biting her? What if they think I broke my spell? What if I’m stuck here for another year? I can’t handle another year in the Common Realm.” He looks back at me apologetically. “No offense, but this place is beyond boring. If it weren’t for you, I would’ve died … again of boredom. Vampire knows what would’ve happened to me if you and I hadn’t become friends.”

  I feel the same way, but I keep the words to myself to avoid turning this into a drunken sob-fest. On the inside, though, my heart is breaking. Shattering.

  Legend has been my best friend for a year, after he literally dropped into my life and saved me from a horrific situation. Well, he saved me during a horrific situation. Things would’ve been even more worse if he hadn’t …

  I shudder as images of that haunting day pierce my mind. No, I won’t think of that. Won’t think of them ever.

  “Yeah, you’re pretty lucky you met me,” I tease with a strained smile. “I think I might be the only human crazy enough to hang out with a banished vampire.”

  “Yeah, humans aren’t very fond of me, are they? I don’t get why. I haven’t ever done anything to them.” He doesn’t seem upset. Just curious as to why.

  “They fear you because you’re a powerful creature who’s been dropped into a realm full of powerless humans who have been taught to fear you. Most of them probably think you’re here because you did something horrible, like murder a bunch of people or something.”

  It’s not true, though. Legend was banished to the Common Realm, also known as the Human Realm, for a year for sleeping with one of the Vampire Eternal’s—aka, the leaders of the vampires—mistresses. According to Legend, touching anything that belongs to a Vampire Eternal is a huge crime in the Midnight Realm, the realm he was born and raised in, and where every night, creatures, from vampires to werewolves, live. Getting sent to the Common Realm is the worst punishment a paranormal can receive, right up there with getting staked, getting shocked by a silver bullet, or any of their other kryptonite.

  The Common Realm is basically a prison for paranormal creatures who commit crimes in their own realms. The law was put into place over a century ago after a treaty was signed between the Common Realm ruler and each of the rulers for the six realms. The treaty states that all the paranormal realms could use the Common Realm as a place to banish their criminals. In exchange, they’d stop letting their wars enter our portals.

  Every imprisoned paranormal has a spell cast on them while they’re here that hinders them from attacking humans. Although, I think they may be able to attack each other, and a few paranormals have occasionally broken the spell. I know this firsthand.

  Another part of the treaty is that the realms position guards at the entrances of each portal in the Common Realm to prevent paranormals from getting inside our realm and to keep us from wandering into theirs. They do allow humans to occasionally visit certain realms, via the portals, but you have to be pretty wealthy and important to attain a traveling pass.

  I’ve never been out of the Common Realm. Well, at least not that I know of. But I also can’t remember anything before the age of eight, either. I have no clue who my parents are, where I came from; only that the police found me, wandering on the side of the road near the edges of the Midnight Realm.

  I shudder at the memory of how terrified I felt that night, and then at the memories of the sheer loneliness that followed. And the day Legend saved me from them.

  “You never acted afraid of me,”
Legend points out, tearing me out of my thoughts. His fangs ascend back into his gums, an indicator that he’s starting to relax. “Why is that?”

  “Because I am awesome. Besides, I was lonely before I met you, and lonely people are desperate for friends, even if it means being friends with a big, old, scary vampire,” I tease with a grin.

  Some of my words do carry truth. Up until I met Legend, I spent most of my time going to school, doing homework, and struggling to survive as I was passed along through foster homes. My time in foster care ended about eight months ago—thank God—when I turned eighteen and graduated from high school.

  I was actually okay when I was released into the wild to fend for myself. I already had a job waitressing at a restaurant and had saved up enough money to get an apartment. My place isn’t on the good side of town, but I have my very own vampire guard since Legend practically lives with me.

  I don’t have any other friends. Legend is the first person I’ve ever felt a connection to, and he’s not even a person. What that says about me, I’m not sure, other than maybe all the kids who called me a freak during high school were on to something. It also has me worried about what’s going to happen to me when he leaves tomorrow night.

  Legend snarls, veins bulging. “I’m not old.”

  I giggle. Vampires hate being called old, and a pissed off vampire is never a good thing. But Legend would never hurt me.

  “You were born centuries ago. You’re not just old. You’re ancient.”

  “Whatever. I may be old, but I sure as hell don’t look it.” A smug smile breaks across his face.

  I can’t help smiling, too. With his chin-length blond hair, silver eyes, and countless piercings and tattoos, Legend catches the attention of every woman who has a bad boy fetish. Of course, that lasts a whole hour until they discover he’s a vampire. Then they take off like a … well, like a woman afraid of being bitten by a vampire.

  I thrum my finger against my lips. “How long has it been since you’ve gotten laid?”

  His lips curl, fangs bared. “You’re such a brat when you’re drunk.”

  My grin is sugary sweet. “Well then, I guess you shouldn’t have talked me into blowing off work all day and going bar hopping with you. I’m pretty sure my boss knew I was lying when I called in and said I was sick.” I’m not really upset about missing work. I just hate lying to people, mostly because I suck at it. And I like messing with Legend. It’s fun. I haven’t had a lot of that in my life.

  “No, he didn’t. You just worry too much. Besides, I only wanted to go out today so we could have one last day of fun before we …” He doesn’t finish, but I already know what he was going to say.

  Before we never see each other again.

  That is, unless I somehow strike gold, become a millionaire, and purchase a traveling pass. But, since I make minimum wage and can’t afford to go to college, the possibility of that happening is about as high as Legend suddenly deciding not to leave me, which a) would be highly illegal since paranormal creatures aren’t allowed to permanently live here, and b) would never happen because he loathes the Common Realm.

  My eyes water as I envision the lonely life waiting for me after tomorrow night. Shit, I hate it when I cry. I usually try not to, but I’ve turned into an emotional drunk.

  Sighing, he steps toward me. “Please don’t cry, Lake. You know I don’t do well with the whole weeping thing.”

  “I’m not weeping,” I babble through my tears.

  Sighing, he wraps his arms around my waist and hugs me against his solid chest. “Princess, it’s going to be okay. You’ll see. In a few days, you’ll realize how awful it’s been having me in your life.”

  I rest my head on his shoulder. “That’s not true at all. You’re the only friend I’ve ever had—will have.” I grip the hem of his shirt. “Before you, no one ever even tried to be my friend.”

  He rubs his hand up and down my back. “That’s because humans are stupid.”

  “Hey, I take that as an insult.” I’m partly joking. I’ve been around Legend enough that I no longer take his jabs at humans personally.

  “You shouldn’t. You’re not a normal human, and if you were in my realm, all sorts of creatures would line up to be friends with you.”

  “That’s not true at all, but thank you for trying.”

  “I’m not trying. I’m telling the truth. You don’t realize how unique you are compared to other humans. You’re not judgmental, you’re open minded, and you gave me a chance. Plus, you never tried to hit on me. You’re the only human I’ve ever met who’s ever done that.”

  A smile pulls at my lips. “Hey, it’s not their fault you’re so charming and irresistible.”

  He chuckles, moving back to look me in the eye. “And there’s my joking best friend again.”

  I dry the tears from my cheeks with the back of my hand. “Yeah, sorry about the emotional breakdown. I think I did too many vodka shots or something.”

  “You don’t need to apologize for being sad.” He uses his fingertips to wipe away the last of my tears. “And Lake?”

  “Yeah?”

  “I’m going to miss you, too.”

  A sad smile begins to appear, but then falters as the woman abruptly staggers to her feet.

  Shit, I almost forgot she was there. So did Legend, apparently, because he whirls around, startled. I think it might be the first time I’ve ever seen him spooked.

  She stumbles into the neon light cascading across the alleyway from the bar, blinking at her surroundings like a lost baby deer. She looks around my age and, like me, she is tall with wavy, long brown hair. She’s also missing a shoe, has fresh scratches on her neck, and her pink dress is slashed down the front.

  An icy chill trickles down my spine.

  When Legend and I first saw her lying in the alleyway with bite marks on her neck, we assumed she’d been bitten by a vampire. Neither of us noticed the slashes in her dress or the scratches on her neck. No, not scratches and slashes. Claw marks.

  Werewolf claw marks.

  I’ve only crossed paths with two werewolves who managed to break the spell and attack a human. The two werewolves who attacked me.

  Images of the day Legend and I first met pound against my skull as I scan the alleyway. Could it be the same werewolves who attacked me? Are they still nearby?

  I want to run, flee.

  No, not yet. I need to first make sure the woman isn’t confused and doesn’t think Legend hurt her. If she accuses him, then he’ll be in some serious trouble.

  It takes all my willpower to keep my feet planted on the ground.

  “Who are you two …? What happened …?” The woman peers around at the graffiti-covered brick buildings surrounding us before her gaze lands on the neon sign of the bar Legend and I were just in. “Why am I here?”

  “You tell us.” I step beside Legend, and he clutches my hand. “When we found you, you were already passed out on the ground with those”—I give a pressing look at her neck—“on you.”

  Her fingers drift to her neck. “I was bitten?”

  Her confusion has me concerned she’s going to pin this on Legend.

  “Did something bite you?” I cross my fingers she’ll remember, that she’ll make this easy. But as her glossy eyes travel down to her torn dress and a pucker forms at her brows, my hope fizzles.

  “I don’t know …” She blinks up at me, and then her eyes land on Legend.

  Shit, she’s going to blame him.

  I wonder what Legend will do if she accuses him. Will he run? Try to kill her? I doubt the latter, but still, this isn’t going to end well.

  “You.” The girl points an accusing finger at me. “You look just how they described.”

  Huh? That so wasn’t what I expected.

  “Like who described?”

  “The wolves who hurt me.” Tears bubble from her eyes. “The werewolves said they were looking for a girl who was tall, had long, wavy brown hair, and freckles.”

/>   Legend arches a brow. “You do realize you just described yourself, right?”

  She narrows her eyes at him. “They also said she has a star-shaped birthmark on her temple and teal eyes, you fucking asshole.”

  My heart thrashes.

  They’re coming after me, just like they promised they would.

  “We’re going to find you and rip you apart. Your vampire can’t protect you forever. He’ll be sent home eventually!” one of them swore as Legend carried me away from them. He’d bitten them both and had knocked them into a state of pain. But eventually, the pain would fade. “You’re our penance! We will destroy you.”

  I yank away from the memory as goose bumps sprout across my flesh.

  Legend’s brows rise. “Fucking asshole? Do you have any idea what I—”

  I pinch his side, warning him to shush. “If she doesn’t know what you are, don’t tell her,” I hiss under my breath. “Plus, if those wolves are looking for me, we need to get more information out of her, so don’t piss her off.”

  “Yeah, I guess you’re right.” He blows out a breath, his gaze roaming back to the woman. “The wolves that attacked you, they were looking for a woman with a star-shaped birthmark on her temple?”

  She nods, throwing a glare at me as if this is somehow all my fault. “Just like the one your little friend over there has.”

  “Why did they attack you, then?” Legend asks, crossing his arms.

  “Because they thought I was her.” She steps back, clutching her wounded neck. “And they were going to kill me until they realized I didn’t have the mark.”