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Excerpt for Darkness Falls - Danika: 1. Fugitive by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

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Darkness Falls - Danika – 1. Fugitive copyright © 2018 by Savannah Belle & Lyra Leigh



This is a work of fiction. Really. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination, or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entire coincidental.



All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other non-commercial uses permitted by copyright law.

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Cover Art © Daenerya Delacroix

Book Design by Savannah Belle & Lyra Leigh

Published by VixenWolf Novels

Act I



Running. It was a way of life for her, an obsession.

Staying in one place for too long was dangerous. Then again, so was making friends. She had done the first but the latter… Every waking hour was one spent looking over her shoulders, searching the shadows for fragments of her past. A past that was never far enough behind no matter how far or fast she ran. After all how could she? Her past consumed her mind. It determined everything she did. Everything she allowed herself to feel. She could not stop running, could not allow herself to slow down. Could not allow herself peace.



That was her life. Her truth until she met these people. Until she met her.



Eternally trapped in the body of a woman of eighteen she was unassuming and sweet with that long burgundy hair. Innocence behind those flawless turquoise eyes of what she truthfully was and though sometimes it vexed her, it provided sanctuary.

The Morgenstern family took her in without a second's thought. They had no idea that taking her in meant inviting death into their circle. It had been more than a century, but she knew what still followed her...she still followed her.



Danika fell with eyes wide open into the deception set by human emotions despite knowing the consequences. She had seen it coming and she had failed to do anything about it. After decades of feeling hollow and unwanted, it had been a happy reprieve to feel wanted again.

To feel accepted.

To have someone love her despite all the horrible things she had done. Those things were in a past life she had told herself. A lie since the murmurs of them still haunted her. She carried the guilt around her neck like a noose.



The illusion of freedom would be the death of her. The death of all of them. If she knew that with such certainty, then why was she still here? Why could she not leave?

She craved, she ached, and she wanted more than she rightfully should have.

She craved regularity.

Desired for a family.

Needed for the hope that she could get past it all.



Danika knew she was the herald of demise for each face the glowing lights of the fire touched. These smiling faces and laughing hearts were marked by something worse than death...Eve.

The Alpha and the Omega of all the sorrow Danika had to swallow.

The darkness from which she had barely escaped.

The darkness that had made her.



As the three women danced around the fire lifting their layers of brightly coloured skirts, the men, fingers nimble, played their flutes, guitar, and a harmonica. It was a song of freedom and happiness. A song that reflected the joy in their hearts. A song that echoed as they threw their heads back in laughter. Danika watched from the shadows in silent envy. She was with them but she was not one of them.



Every night she watched never joining in. To join was to taint something that was pure. Her presence alone was a taint she could not seem to remove. Danika had the strength to kill a thousand men but she did not have the strength to walk away.

To do what she knew to be the right thing.



Inside a tent not far from the merriment, the children slept. Their little hearts an allegretto of beating, their breathing light and even. Danika looked away as a ball of angst tightened in her throat. Her eyes seared with tears they could never see her shed. She pushed back the memories that threatened to break her facade. Taking a few calming breaths, she wrapped them in the silken dark velvet of her subconscious tucking them away.



A loud cheer had her looking back towards the fire. She wanted to belong.

Knew she never would.

There was no place for her anymore in this world. This world of mortal flesh and beating hearts.

A world that would hate her.

A world that would sooner dance in her death than accept her.

Would she have accepted herself?

Eve had shown her the answer many times over.

Danika sighed.



She had to leave them.

Once they were safely at their destination, she would vanish and they would never see or hear from her again. They would be safe.



Danika had known all along that Isabelle had been watching her. She knew the intensity that would be showing within Isabelle and was grateful for the non-existent beat that her heart could not stutter and that her cheeks could not flush with warmth when their eyes met over the fire. Isabelle's feet were tapping to the music, the only indication that she was aware of the sounds emitting around her. It unnerved the Vampyr over how she could focus so intently on Isabelle that the world seemed to fall away. This was what kept her from walking away. Moments like this when she felt the love that was so badly needed and craved but did not think she deserved.

With the world seized into the background, there was only them.

Only Isabelle.

She was the only one who knew what Danika was. The others may have suspected she was different but it was not something that ever came up for discussion. No one treated her any differently than they did each other. They added to her illusion. Gave her an acceptance she knew she did not deserve. Not from them, not from her.

For five years, she had been travelling with them across Europe. Laughing with them. She knew their whispered secrets. She protected them from the shadows. Provided for them. They had become her family. Isabelle had not only given her love but a family. More than she would have dared to ask for. More than she deserved to have. More than she was willing to lose... More than she was willing to risk.



It was time for her to leave.



Act II



Being a Romani family, they were constantly on the move. Like their ancestors before them, wherever they went the people shunned them. Persecuted them for their heritage. As she would be persecuted if the truth about her was known. Maybe that was the reason they had opened their home to her. They knew what it felt like. It made it easier for them to accept differences.



Them being nomads was convenient as she was constantly on the move herself and could not afford to be in one place for too long. Being hunted, she made sure never to leave any evidence behind.



Danika watched as Isabelle moved from the opposite side of the fire to take her place on the ground beside her. Where she sat, the glow of the fire barely touched her casting shadows over her face. She felt her place was in the shadows. Lazily Isabelle stretched out on her side propped up on her elbow as she watched her family. Watched the woman she had grown to love more than her own life.

Her face held such sadness it made Isabelle’s heart ache.



Knowing Danika would still hear her, Isabelle spoke soft. "You still sit aside as if you're a stranger."

It hurt her to see the loneliness in her mate’s eyes when she was right there. There was something missing that she felt powerless to provide. An unspoken part of her she would never put into her care. She was Danika's but she often wondered Danika would be her’s. It created a gap between them that frustrated them both.



Danika shrugged. As much as she tried not to, she still felt set apart from all of them. Even Isabelle. Fear kept her distant.

"If they knew what I was would they still show me such courtesy? Such kindness? Would they still want me around their children?" The questions were more for herself than it was for Isabelle. When she looked down Isabelle’s face was in the shadows but her face had grown rigid. A sign she was angry.



"They know who you are." I know who you are, let me in. She left her plea unspoken.



"Who I am and what I am are two wholly different things," Danika looked away, "one does not justify the other." Who she was did not make her less of a monster. Did not make her less capable of killing innocents at the snap of a finger. It did not erase all the bad things she had already done. Her list of sins was long. The weight of it unbearable. Redemption was far out of her reach. For the deaths, the lives she had torn apart... there was no salvation.


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