No one ever expects to get kidnapped, especially by the cops.
Especially not by cops sent to bring you to an uncharted island of vampires, where you'll be auctioned off as a slave.
So when it happens to Tori Beaumont, she's more than a little upset. Having lost her home and her family, Tori's world is falling apart, the course of her life drastically altered, and her mental stability is balanced on a knife's edge.
But not everything is moving smoothly in the vampire world either... A mysterious group called The Humanists, long since believed destroyed, are causing ripples across the vampire Colonies once more and may be Tori's only key to salvation. That is if she can find them.
Can Tori find a way to escape and return to the life she has lost? Is she brave enough to even try? And what is she going to do about her growing feelings for the handsome, black-eyed vampire Dante who put her there in the first place?
**Contains occasional graphic scenes, violence, strong language, and scenes of a sexual nature**
The Vampire's Slave
By E. K. Brown
- Prologue -
It was a dark place, hidden from the world above. No one wanted to know about the work that was done below, and as such no one did. A dark place for dark work. A large, sprawling subterranean place, where the only light came from the strip lighting in the ceiling and the blue-white glare of the several hundred computer screens.
Men and women moved around the large central room, carrying files, passing on instructions, conferring in quiet murmurs. Others sat at desks, typing away at keyboards as screens flashed statistics, flight schedules, air traffic maps, live satellite imaging.
It was the busy, organised efficiency of a long-established routine. An ant farm.
Around the walls security camera feeds flickered on monitors, displaying street corners, grocery stores and motorways from across the globe.
On the far wall, dominating everything, a fifty-foot screen displayed a map of the world, which was dotted with collections of red and yellow lights. Photographs of people lined both sides of the map, faces taken from passport photos and drivers' licences.
"Number four-three-two acquired," a woman in a black uniform sitting at a monitor called across the room. Her hand went to the headset she wore and listened to whoever was speaking for a second. "Minimal resistance, sedation required. Transportation cleared for colony airspace entry. ETA zero four-hundred."
In western Australia a single yellow light, which had converged with two red ones, swiftly turned green, just as the picture of a little-known film journalist vanished from the side of the map.
From the viewing gallery, a man watched those who worked below, his black eyes impenetrable and cold, like the sea at night.
This was his domain. His control here was absolute.
Behind him a group of men and women in black uniforms hunched over a large meeting room table, perusing files.
Hundreds of files had passed across this table in the last ten months. Hundreds of files, each for a single person, laid out on the table for inspection.
Most of them now, filed away safely elsewhere or in the hands of assimilation teams, had been tagged with a small yellow triangle, indicating the files' subjects had already been acquired. About two thirds also bore blue stamps. Verifying the subject's status.
Acquired. Received. Categorised. Assimilated.
The three dozen files which lay on the table now bore none of these labels.
These were the last collection, those deemed easiest to assimilate and requiring the least amount of time in quarantine.
Turning away from the scene below the man approached the table, reached down and picked up a file, as if at random.
He flicked it open.
The picture of a girl stared out at him. An attractive picture, by all accounts, taken a year ago for a new college ID. She smiled out, bright blue eyes happy and full of life, dark hair spilling down in loose curls across one shoulder.
The man looked at the picture for a long moment. Then he turned it over and began reading the data and intelligence recorded in the file behind it. Family history, education, medical records. Sheets of statistics and observations detailing daily routines, frequented establishments, known contacts.
He went back to the railing. "What is the status of seven-six-one?" the man asked, speaking to the room below whilst still perusing the file.
"Acquisition in progress, M'lord," a man at the far end of the room replied, typing away at his screen. "Acquisition team thirteen is in place and standing by. Planned contact to be made within the next forty-eight hours."
Dante Castranovo looked back at the picture in the file.
Then he set down Victoria Beaumont's file and left the room without a backwards glance.