Monday, January 5, 2015

REDEMPTION: Angel Rising Book One by LaVerne Thompson

REDEMPTION: Angel Rising Book One by LaVerne Thompson

To walk the earth she must feed her hollow soul.

Some of the most beautiful people in the world are not human. They have no soul, feel no emotion and are pure evil. You can tell by the color of their dark, dead eyes. Samuel Glaus knows this. He is after all the son of a human mother and soulless father. He is, half human and a hunter of the soulless. He is also in love with one who cannot love him back.

Thalya is a soulless creature, but unlike others of her kind, she does not kill to feed her hollow soul. She hungers only for emotion and above all she hungers for Samuel’s love. Her enemy. Her redemption. And she’s willing to kill for it.



Thalya stood alone on her balcony, hands braced on the wide stone railing overlooking Central Park. The wind picked up, blowing her chest length curls away from her face and cutting through the material of her thigh high sleeveless silk dress. Bitter cold accompanied the end of January or so she understood. She would love this time of year, if she could, even the cold. Too bad, she couldn’t feel any of it. No matter the external temperature, her body heat never changed.

Winter boasted her most fulfilling time of the modern year. The onset of depression. The time mortals realize they’ve spent way too much of the money they did not have over the holidays and now owed more than they could afford. Then, maybe they have gained twenty pounds during those holidays on top of the twenty already making them overweight. Or how about the woman, who at thirty, not only didn’t get an engagement ring for Christmas, but also by New Year’s, she no longer has a boyfriend?

To walk the earth she must feed her hollow soul. Yes, this time of year kept the void inside her full of emotion. The kind she craved. Mortals were so ripe for plucking. Hunger had her licking her full cranberry-colored lips in anticipation…the void within would soon be filled.

Opening up her senses, she sniffed out the most depressed in the city block around her. While she had no human sense of smell, the scents of emotions to her were as potent, as humans would say a bouquet of freshly cut roses. She could have gone out and canvassed a wider area but her favorite show, Being Human, would start in a half hour. She never liked recording the program if she could help it, so she tried not to miss an episode.

Thalya preferred to live in the moment, because she’d had enough of the past. Besides, she didn’t have to go far, plenty of depression existed right around her. Why, right across the street a man entered the park. The scent of his depression floated right to her on the wind. Hot, potent and yummy, she would feed on it for a few days. There were no others of her kind in the area, so she wouldn’t have to warn anyone off. Although, quite a few soulless resided in New York, the size of the area ensured she didn’t run into others if she didn’t want to, which she usually didn’t.

Going back inside her penthouse condo, she walked across thick sand-colored carpet. Her artist friend, Franklin, would have both loved and hated the great room. Loved it for the cool colors—reds, beiges, and golds. Those had been his favorites, but then she’d stuck a long, extra-wide black leather sofa smack in the center of it. He hated leather and black.

Franklin, long gone…just another from her past.

She changed her mind about recording her show and headed for her entertainment control pad sitting on the low side table. The pad came with the flat TV. Picking up the control, she programmed it. Just in case. A long, dark chocolate colored leather coat lay over the arm of the sofa. She grabbed the coat, put it on and headed for her private elevator. She didn’t need it but she wanted to blend in. No jumping from her balcony or moving too fast for any mortal eyes to see. Tonight she would act normal. Normal, at least for a human. As an additional benefit, when she walked through her lobby to get to the street, she would open her senses to her immediate surroundings, sampling a taste of surface emotions as she passed by. A nice appetizer before her main course.

Not all of her kind could suck out emotion without touch but as an olden, one from a time long past and more powerful than most, she could. But other things also set her apart from those like her. She did not need to kill her providers or have them kill others to satisfy her needs. Draining humans of their depression, her emotion of choice, more than satisfied her. Why, she didn’t even have to cause it. Humans carried it in abundance. She merely put her providers to sleep and afterwards, they usually woke up feeling less depressed. Hers represented a more symbiotic relationship. She actually helped people, much like a psychiatrist would. Only, instead of talking them out of their depression, she drained it right out of them.

The elevator door opened and she got on.

The hotel where she lived also housed private residences, but a few guests milled around the lobby for the evening. Just enough people around with some serious issues to make her grin and tremble within her ankle-length leather coat.

“Delicious,” she purred, savoring her version of oysters on a half shell. Red knee high stiletto boots clicked as she crossed the polished marble floor. She ignored the appreciative looks of the men and women as she glided among them, intentionally projecting a do not approach compulsion. Look but don’t touch, unless she was the one doing the touching.

The doorman opened the door for her and smiled. “Good evening. Cold one tonight.” Bundled in layers and with a wool cap on his head, he stood directly beneath a heating vent to stay warm.

He always spoke. She rarely did and tonight, she didn’t. She flashed him some teeth in the semblance of a smile. At least she hoped it looked like a smile and not a grimace. Happiness. It rolled off him in waves. She’d never tried draining that emotion from her providers, although over the centuries she’d met a few of her kind who preferred it. Anything to fill the void in the soulless place. But stealing someone else’s happiness always seemed unnecessary to her. Depression worked just fine.

Out on the sidewalk, the scent hit her again. Like a shining point of light in dark woods, the depressed man she’d sensed beckoned her to follow him. After crossing the street, Thalya entered the park. It didn’t take long to find him.

He sat on a bench at the other end of the park, leaning over with his head in his hands.

She wouldn’t be able to read his thoughts until she actually touched him. No matter, she sensed his depression.

He’d picked a bench away from the lighted path, but they didn’t have complete privacy. A few people walked through the park at the other end and they weren’t far from the street. Still, she could not resist. No more than the moth could fight being drawn to a roaring flame. They were secluded enough for her purpose. Besides, anyone could look in their direction any time, but no one would see anything alarming. Just a beautiful woman sitting with a man. Even if they did notice, it wouldn’t prevent her from doing what she must. Her survival demanded it.

She sat on the bench next to him; he didn’t even bother to look up. Thalya placed her hand on his shoulder and her inner feminine muscles contracted to the point, she almost had an orgasm.

Depression, and so potent.

“Mmm, good,” she murmured.

At her touch, he raised red-rimmed eyes in her direction.

Finally, she had his attention.

He pulled back slightly, some form of self-preservation kicking in. “Who—are you?”

“Shhh. It will be all right. I promise,” she whispered.

The man sat up and she wrapped her arms around him.

Unable to help himself, he let her.

Hmm, handsome. She always seemed to gravitate toward the young, good-looking ones, although she’d never sleep with any of them. Well, hardly ever. She nuzzled the side of his neck. Under the alcohol he’d indulged in, he exuded a nice clear human scent. Given his emotional state, she’d expected the scent of alcohol to be stronger. Surprisingly she only caught a slight whiff. No more than a beer. Maybe he just started on his drinking for the evening. Didn’t matter. Whatever he’d ingested, she didn’t care about.


She didn’t give him a chance to say more. Instead, she made her way to his mouth, which opened as soon as she pressed her lips against his. Unleashing her powers, she inhaled his depression into the starving emptiness that should have housed her soul, and at the same time, began to read his memories.

Poor thing. Karl, yes…Karl Hammer. He’d recently lost his job and his wife, pregnant with their first child, didn’t know about it. He’d swallowed his pride and asked his blood uncle of sorts for help. Except Karl hadn’t spoken to his uncle in years. Mmm, interesting. She probed for the reason why.Samuel and the others like him lived a dangerous life. Samuel, a master hunter of the soulless and Karl, merely—bait.

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