“Stay with me.”
Life has not been easy for Luke, especially as a vampire. He has experienced tremendous hardship over the last seven hundred years, from loss, to war, to inexplicable heartbreak. But nothing could have prepared him for the day his enemy dragged away his fated mate, right before his very eyes.
Luke will not rest until he finds her, saves her, and claims her as his own, but what if Johanna doesn’t deserve to be saved? What if she’s the villain of this story?
Johanna’s betrayed Luke in more ways than he will ever know. For months, his enemy has held her captive; tortured and forced her to spy on Luke and his family. People have lost their lives because of her, and the choices she’s had to make have left her scarred and broken in more ways than one.
She’s protected Luke from the shadows, but the enemy is on to her, and his punishment knows no mercy. Can Luke find her in time, and even if he does, will he want her once he finds out the truth?
Each trilogy features a new paranormal species.
Each book features a new couple.
The Vampire War (Night Shade, Night Fury, Night Fall)
Add to your Goodreads and Bookbub lists here:
An intense compelling page-turner with drama, suspense, mystery and romance.
- Veronica, Goodreads Reviewer
A hot new supernatural couple has been served by Melissa Cummins admist drama, troubles, fate and family.
- The Dragon Den Book Blog
This a twisted tale of two lost souls trying to find their way back to each other and finally feel complete. We feel the emotions they are going through and the struggles to keep going. This was a great read with some action and adventure and some hot and steamy time. You just can't stop hoping that these two find the emotional happy ending they should.
- Stacey, Goodreads Reviewer
I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough with all the twists and turns keeping me on the edge as to what would happen next.
- Carole, Goodreads Reviewer
Melissa Cummins has done a great job in providing a book filled with characters that are not only well written but will keep your attention from beginning to end.
- Tburbr, Goodreads Reviewer
Content & Trigger Warnings
Content & Trigger Warnings
Content Warnings: Physical, emotional, mental, and sexual abuse, including rape and sexual harassment, suicidal thoughts, extreme violence, murder, death, torture, explicit language, and sexually explicit scenes.
This book also heavily discusses negative self-talk, feelings of unworthiness and inadequacy, criticism, depression, PTSD, manipulation, trauma, amnesia, and therapy.
The following kinks have also been included in this work: agoraphilia, begging, breeding, praise, primal, Dom/Brat behavior, breath play, spanking, and blood drinking.
- Plus size, scarred, witch heroine
- Billionaire, Hispanic, possessive vampire hero
- Fated Mates
- Kidnapped and tortured
- Morally gray hero and heroine
- Touch her and touch him and die
Something called to Luke, playing with the fringes of his mind, teasing him with answers to questions he’d never dared to speak out loud. But he needed those answers desperately. He needed them to help make sense of everything he’d felt over the last few months, and they were worth everything, even Greg’s wrath.
Luke ran away from the group, ignoring Greg’s shout. He followed the call as it pulled him further down the passage. It turned, narrowed, and then opened to a full room. The moment Luke entered, he was forced to duck, missing a punch aimed at his head.
“You weren’t who I was hoping for.” Zachariah smirked, his brown eyes gleaming. “But you’ll do.”
Luke rushed him. He landed a punch to Zachariah’s face and another to his gut before jumping back in time to miss Zachariah’s counterattack. Ducking under a kick, Luke delivered a punch to the underside of Zachariah’s knee, satisfied when the bone splintered.
It wasn’t enough.
Zachariah caught him with an elbow to the chest. He kneed Luke in his ribs before punching the side of his head. When Zachariah’s kick connected, Luke flew back, rolling until he hit the cavern wall.
Luke stood slowly, faking weakness. The healing agent in his blood was already working through his system and renewing his strength, but he needed to be smart about this. Zachariah’s enhanced strength would make him difficult to take down directly, and there was still speculation that Zachariah could copy another immortal’s ability. Without knowing how that ability worked, being impulsive could land Luke in a very dangerous situation.
And then there was Johanna. She stood in the middle of the room, her face blank, emotionless. She was still under Zachariah’s control. Luke had strategically pulled Zachariah away from Johanna during the fight, but he was still too close to her. Luke knew that if pushed, Zachariah would use Johanna as a hostage, and Luke would never risk her life. The best strategy was to tire Zachariah out without using his abilities. If Luke made him believe that he was weaker, Zachariah would grow cocky, ensuring Luke’s victory.
As Luke went to step forward, his body froze. An unseen pressure knocked him to his knees. He struggled against it, but the bone-crushing weight held him down, pushing his stomach flat against the dirt.
“Luke?” a soft voice whispered in his head.
His eyes darted around the room, but no one else had entered. Zachariah stood unmoving, entirely too still, and Luke wondered if he felt the same pressure. Luke’s eyes darted to Johanna. While she hadn’t moved, something seemed different about her—electric.
Confused, he responded mentally, “Johanna?”
“Good.” Her sigh of relief flitted through him. “You can hear me.”
“How are you doing this? What are you—”
“That doesn’t matter now. Please, stay down and lie still. Don’t fight me.”
Something akin to panic squeezed at his chest. Was it hers or was it his? “Johanna, whatever this is, stop it. Let me go.”
“No!” The force of her shout was so strong it made his ears ring. “You don’t understand. You can’t kill him!”
“Yes, I can!” Luke tried to will his body to move but it wasn’t responding to him.
“No, you can’t!” Johanna’s voice softened. “Please, stop. Zachariah isn’t the leader you’ve believed him to be. It’s someone else, and she is far more powerful than you or I. If you kill him, she will come after you, and she won’t stop until she breaks you. I don’t … I don’t want to see you hurt. I don’t want anyone to ever experience that again. Now please, stop—”
“We don’t have any more time! You’ll be able to move when I’m gone. As soon as you can, take the passage to the left. It’ll lead you outside.”
Zachariah suddenly twitched and shook his head, as if coming out of a daze. He stared down at Luke and then tsked. “I thought he would have lasted longer. Oh well.” He turned toward Johanna. “Since he left me so unsatisfied, you’ll have to make up for it. Now, let’s go.” Zachariah grabbed her by the arm and dragged her behind him.
Johanna followed him meekly, but Luke heard her quiet sob in his mind, and recognition pierced his heart. He fought against the pressure holding him down like a wild man.
Move! Move damn it! Move! he urged himself.
“I’m sorry,” she hiccuped. “At least you’ll be safe. Goodbye, Luke.”
“Johanna!” he screamed, fighting against her power until she disappeared around a corridor.
And just like that, she was gone.
* * *
Luke was still screaming when he woke up.
Every night for the last two months Luke had awoken drenched in sweat, his mouth open, screaming at the horrible memory. It never changed, never stopped, never got better, never distorted. It was always the same. It was the day he finally got the answer to one of his questions, the moment he realized Johanna was his mate.
The four walls of his bedroom felt like they were closing in, and the air was too hot, too humid to breathe. He kicked off the covers and goosebumps raced over his skin as a brush of cool air flitted over him. He was the problem—not this room, not this house, not anything else. He was the one who was broken, the one who had failed.
He’d failed Johanna. Occasionally, Luke would relive his nightmare as a specter. His corporal form would float just above the unfolding scene, and in those moments he’d revisit everything. If he had taken more risks instead of being concerned about Zachariah stealing his power, if he had moved closer to Johanna instead of away, would she have felt safe enough to reach out to him then? Would she be in his arms right now?
Those weren’t the only times he should have fought harder for her. Luke would give anything to go back to the times he’d tried to speak to Johanna at work and she’d run away from him. If he had followed her, pressed her to explain why she kept avoiding him, would she be here right now? If nothing else, he would have finally known why she was able to combat the connection between them, the mate bond that had finally snapped into place in that cavern.
Luke would even have been at peace if she had outright rejected him. It would have devastated and destroyed him, but this? Not knowing if she was even … He couldn’t go there, not again, because if she wasn’t alive, he’d lose it. He’d lose every single piece of himself and spend the last remaining minutes of his life killing Zachariah and anyone else he could get his hands on before they took him down.
The only thing that gave him hope was that after being on the receiving end of Johanna’s powers, he knew Zachariah would never give her up easily. She was extraordinarily powerful. A feeling of pride for his mate flashed through his heart before it was crushed under the heavy weight of despair. If it weren’t for those powers, would she even be in that position?
No, she’d be dead.
That thought had him reaching out before his arm froze in mid-air, shaking so badly with the need to hurt, to break, to destroy with his rage. Luke took a deep breath, then another, and another, trying to settle his mind.
The simple fact was that if Johanna wasn’t powerful and Zachariah discovered she was Luke’s mate, he would have killed her, much like he had tried to kill Daniella. At least this way Johanna was alive, and Luke was sure she would stay that way.
But that still didn’t answer how Johanna had hidden their mate bond, and Luke was sure she had. Even if she were able to hide it from everyone else, he should have been able to feel it immediately. And why was it that he finally felt their mate bond in that cavern when she had seemed so … different? So real? When her voice seemed softer yet stronger than he had ever heard it, and she had become so determined, so protective over him? Why then and not before?
Luke rested his head back against the headboard and ran a shaky hand through his brown hair, swiping the stuck strands from his forehead. No matter how hard he tried to figure it out, he couldn’t. Every time one mystery resolved itself, another one unfurled. It was endless, and it would stay that way until he found her—and he would find her. But rage still barred its fangs and tore at him, peeling back more and more layers until it reached his soul and covered it in something dark and sadistic.
Luke sighed. He couldn't keep doing this. He couldn’t keep being this way. It wouldn’t be good for the battle tonight, yet another attempt at finding her.
You’ll find her. You’ll find her, he chanted in his head, hoping that thinking the words would somehow make them come true.
Luke needed to move, to do something to keep his mind busy. Checking his phone, he saw he’d only slept for two hours and had another two before he’d have to drive to Greg and Daniella’s home for the strategy meeting. He cracked his knuckles and left his room, heading toward his gym where he beat and kicked the punching bag, unleashing a fraction of his wrath until the bag itself exploded. But even then he didn’t stop, not until he’d ripped it to shreds.