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An End of Night(A Shade of Vampire,Book 16)(1) by Bella Forrest

Chapter 1: Sofia

“We need to break Lilith’s heart.”

After Mona had said the words, we all looked around at each other in confusion.

“Break Lilith’s heart?” I asked. “What do you mean? How?”

“I don’t know,” Mona said. “We need to find Magnus and speak to him, learn more about Lilith and figure out what would hurt her the most.”

“Even if we somehow do manage to find him,” Ashley said, “what makes you think he would want to help us? What if he still loves her?”

“He needs to understand what the black witches are doing now,” Mona said. “Their plan, if successful, will mean that no species, no realm, is safe—except perhaps the dragons. And we need to tell him about the bond Lilith formed between them to keep her alive this long. My guess is that he isn’t even aware of it.”

“If Lilith is as horrifying as Mona makes out,” Kiev muttered, “one look at her should be enough to break whatever attachment remains.”

“So we would have to find Magnus and then take him to Lilith,” Xavier said. “Do we even know where Lilith is?”

“I have some ideas,” Mona replied. “You can leave that to me. The first thing we need to do is find Magnus and persuade him to cooperate.”

“Where would we even start?” I asked. “We know for sure that he is still alive since Lilith is, but in theory couldn’t he be anywhere within the human or supernatural realms?”

Mona nodded. “It’s going to be one hell of a task. I’m going to try taking another memory potion to see if I can glean any more information about Magnus, but in case I can’t…” She turned to her husband, placing a hand on his shoulder. “Kiev, what else do you remember about the man? Please, try to think.”

Kiev furrowed his brows, running a hand across his forehead. “I don’t know,” he said after a long pause. “As I mentioned, I barely knew him. I just remember him stopping by briefly at The Blood Keep many, many centuries ago.”

Eli looked up from the laptop in front of him. His expression was grim.

“There have been several more mass kidnappings already,” he said. “Just shy of one thousand humans have been reported missing now.”

I wondered if the government authorities had bothered to listen to us about closing schools and warning everyone. Whatever the case, our efforts obviously hadn’t deterred the black witches.

Mona drew a breath. “Almost one thousand,” she said. “I can’t imagine much more blood will be needed now until they are ready…We are running out of time. Fast.”

Chapter 2: Rose

I kissed Caleb until the corners of my mouth felt sore. He had been crouched over me as we lay on the jetty, his body pressed against me as he claimed my lips over and over. I ran my hands through his hair while he lifted himself off me and lay down beside me. I raised my right hand, examining the exquisite ring he’d given me.

Engaged. That’s what I am now.

I was still in shock. One minute I had been dancing with Caleb, and the next he had gone down on one knee and pulled out a ring. It all felt so surreal.

He turned on his side and pulled me closer to him until my nose was barely an inch away from his.

“Rose Achilles,” he said softly.

His voice and the way he looked at me made my nerves tingle. My body heated up. I pressed myself closer against him, as close as I could get. I felt his chest tense as I kissed his jawline. I nuzzled my head against him.

“And how long do I have to wait until you make me fully yours?” I asked in a whisper.

He placed his hand over my forehead, tilting my head back so he could look me directly in the eye. He smiled, then sat up abruptly, pulling me up with him. My heart raced as he held me in his arms and stood up. Expecting him to start running toward our cabin, I reached for his shirt and began unbuttoning it.

To my disappointment, he headed in the opposite direction, toward the beach.

Once we had exited the Port and arrived just a few feet away from the beginning of the waves, he put me down. He held my hands in his, bending his head down to face me. I looked up at him, my eyes wide with expectation—even though I’d already guessed the words he was about to speak.

“We have waited this long already… I think we should wait for our wedding night.”

My stomach sank. “We could do that,” I said, trying to hide my disappointment, “or we could go back to our room now…”

His smile broadened. “It will be all the more special if we wait,” he said. He leaned toward me, brushing his lips against my neck, before whispering into my ear: “I promise.”

“And how long until our wedding?” I asked.

“Your guess is as good as mine,” he said. “I don’t think anyone on this island is up for another wedding while the threat of Lilith remains hanging over everyone.”

I sighed. “I know.”

Yet another reason for wanting to end that hag as soon as possible.

“Speaking of Lilith,” I said, “I wonder if Mona might have returned by now.”

We began making our way back toward the Residences. We’d almost reached them when Caleb stopped.

“I hear voices coming from the Great Dome,” he said.

“Let’s head there.”

We arrived outside the Great Dome and pushed open the doors. Sitting around the long table were my parents, grandfather, uncle and aunt, and all the members of our council except for Claudia and Yuri.