Blood Bonds (The Progeny Series #2)
“Forever. For always. For eternity.”
The ties that bind two hearts are powerful. For Ascher Rousseau and Shauna McCutchin, it’s more than just a blood bond. Their union is that of vampire legend. Their love is a predestined prophecy foretold centuries ago.
It’s a week before Ascher and Shauna's sealing and the couple is making final preparations for their eternity, but Ascher's ex has other plans. Ursula is hell-bent on revenge—revenge fueled by lover's scorn and her father's death—and she begins breeding a fresh army of newborn darklings to do her bidding.
When Ursula finds a new weapon—an ally with the capability to dismantle the Rousseau clan— Ascher and Shauna's bond is tested and they must stand together against Ursula or lose each other for eternity.
Ascher and Shauna sat facing one another, hands clasped, their gazes locked and searching for the undying devotion and love in each other’s eyes. He leaned into her, drawing her into his embrace, inhaling the sweetness of her hair—one of his favorite past times. The new information had to be disconcerting for her. His life had been one prediction after another.
He spent much of his existence minding the covenants and adhering to a prophecy that turned out to be false. Quickening was the only proof he needed to affirm his decision. Anything else was an afterthought and he’d treat it as such. He pulled her closer to gauge her pulse and breathing. “You’re quiet. Are you okay? Do you need someone to check you out?”
Shauna sighed heavily, snuggling closer to him. “Can Zion be trusted? Klaus professed a false prophecy. Who says this isn’t one, as well?”
He knew she was overwhelmed by everything—the prophecy, the sealing, their wedding. “Imagine how I feel. This is the second time someone has placed a sealing prophecy on my shoulders. I don’t know if it’s true and I don’t care, because no one can dictate to me what’s in my heart.”
“That you’re the perfect one for me always, until the end of eternity and I don’t need some ancient prediction to tell me that.”
Their intense glances met and he saw the uncertainty burning back at him from her eyes.
“Something else is wrong. What is it, Shauna?”
She stared down, twisting her fingers together in her lap.
Placing a comforting hand against her face, he lifted her chin up to meet his gaze. “Eyes up,” he whispered. “What is it, really?”
“I had a bad dream last night,” Shauna managed to squeak out.
Ascher knew she still dreamed of the baby that would never be. He often thought of him, too, wondering what Shauna would look like swollen with pregnancy, or what the child would have been like. Once or twice, he’d even dreamed of a precious little angel with jet-black hair, a flushed, tanned complexion and the most beautiful dark eyes. He’d hold on to that image until he held a baby in his arms to complete it.
“If I had not miscarried, I’d be showing by now.” She trailed her hand across her flat stomach as the tears spilled over in her eyes.
Ascher grabbed her, holding her to him as the grief vibrated throughout her body. “It’s okay,” he whispered in her ear. “It’s okay to be sad, love.”
She nudged her face into his gray sweater. “Sometimes I feel so empty and it hurts me so much, Ash. I think about the baby every day, wondering if I could have done anything different. I had to save my sister; I couldn’t let Ursula kill her.”
He set her away from him, shaking his head with disapproval and placing a silencing finger to her lips. “Shhh...Sweetheart. What happened was not your fault. We’ve been over this before.” He stroked her cheek with his thumbs to wipe the tears from her weary face.
Ascher gazed into her sorrowful eyes and saw the raw emotion reflecting from them. He imagined that if he were able to cry he’d have cried a river over their loss. Sometimes, he wished he could cry to release some of the rage that he held pinned inside of him. Losing that baby cut him deep, like a knife slicing his heart into millions of pieces. He didn’t know anything could ever wound him so much, and yet the only thing that could hurt him more would be the loss of Shauna.
Ursula had it coming for her part in their misery. That bitch was on borrowed time and the payback hourglass was almost empty. He shoved down the growl begging to surface from his depths, until it rumbled and burned hot in his belly. Ascher embraced Shauna again, strumming his fingers through her hair and thinking about his revenge. The telltale pulsing deep inside him finally made it to his eyes, tinting the lush green landscape blood red with his ire. He would get satisfaction for the shedding of Rousseau blood.
A wave of sadness crested within him and replaced the anger, sweeping through him like an emotional tidal wave. He held her tighter to comfort her and to hide the rage burning in his eyes, as his right hand joined hers to caress her vacant stomach. They sat seeking the comfort of one another’s embrace, the only sounds their breathing and Shauna’s muffled cries against his chest as the warm wind rustled in the trees surrounding them.
When the crimson left his sight, he brought his hand under her chin lifting her face to meet his heavyhearted gaze. Placing his hand over her stomach again, he whispered, “We will make another life, Shauna, when you’re ready.”