Pool of Crimson (The Blushing Death #1) by Suzanne M. Sabol
Killing vampires is easy. Trusting one will be the hardest thing Dahlia Sabin has ever done. Dahlia has lived a lonely existence as a killer of the undead. Known as The Blushing Death to those that fear her, Dahlia uncovers a plot by Columbus's Master Vampire, Ethan. He intends to raise a demon from the depths of hell to destroy the city, cement his power, and take control. In her pursuit to stop a demon from manifesting, Dahlia sinks deeper into the city's supernatural underworld and discovers that vampires are not only deadly; one in particular could be dangerous to her very soul and her heart. Patrick, the Master vampire's second-in-command with dark penetrating eyes and a cool, deadly sophistication, can't stay away and Dahlia can't tell him no.
There's something that neither of them knows, Ethan wants Dahlia's unleashed power for himself and is willing to do anything to get it. Dahlia is in a race against time to send the demon back to hell, at war with her better judgment, trusting a dark and intriguing vampire with his own agenda, while struggling to save her own neck. As the portal to hell opens, Dahlia has only herself to rely on in order to survive, if she can ... Also be sure to check out more action in the second book of the series with Dahlia Sabin, MIDNIGHT ASH.
“Well, Ma’am, it’s not the battery. I can tow it back to the garage on Third Avenue for you but that’s about all I can do here,” the tow truck driver said, after fifteen minutes of tinkering under my hood.
“I guess if it’s not going to start, I’ll have to take that,” I replied, my shoulders slumping in frustration.
“Do you need a ride, Ma’am?” he asked after watching me for a silent moment.
“No, Sir,” Jade said with a broad and bright smile that turned the corners of her mouth up in a sexy grin. The tow truck driver noticed, too, and couldn’t seem to take his eyes from her smile. “I’ll take her home,” she finished with a cocky hand on her hip.
The guy hoisted my car up onto the back of his flatbed and I waved goodbye to my ten year old, piece of shit, Pontiac. Damn it.
I slid into the warm leather seats of Jade’s fairly new BMW 3 Series Sedan. Everything was jet black, smooth, and sleek. It looked as if it was built for stealth. When she said that her dad had money, she wasn’t kidding. This thing was top of the line.
“So, where to?” she asked with a smile as she started the car in a roar of a beautifully tuned engine, something I hadn’t heard in a very long time.
“Grandview,” I said as I fastened my seatbelt. “I hope this isn’t taking you out of your way?” I suddenly felt ashamed. We’d gone to a sushi restaurant on the North end of town, but I had no idea where she lived.
“Don’t worry about it. I was just going to go home and start working on this Atiman thingy,” she said with a smile.“Ahriman.”
“Right, so this Ahriman could be a lot of things but if we combine it with the amulet you found, I’d say demon.”
“Demon, huh?” I asked as I shifted in my seat to face her. I’d grown up Catholic so I knew theoretically about demons but being told as a child about the fall of Lucifer and knowing that vampires were actually protecting themselves against demons were two different things.
“Yeah,” she said as she glanced at me from the corner of her eye then pulled onto I-71 South.
I caught a flash of headlights as I glanced out the rearview window.
“Especially with the caraway. That ingredient would guard against any demon since it’s powerful enough to guard against Lilith, the mother of all demons. The obsidian gives it a special twist I can’t quite figure out yet.”
A brand new white Dodge Charger pulled up alongside us at high speed in the lane to the left of Jade’s car. They slowed and maintained our speed, then dropped to just behind Jade’s rear bumper. The driver, a small woman with thick, curly, dark hair who could barely see over the dashboard, gawked at us. The passenger, however, kept his head turned toward the driver and away from us.
The look in the driver’s eyes as they met mine was predatory and hungry and set my teeth on edge.
The passenger finally looked at me with a sneer. SMARMY! The glint of recognition in his eyes made my pulse race. Their presence was no coincidence.
“Now, I’ve never seen—”
“Jade,” I interrupted with a sharp tone. Her bright green eyes turned to me in surprise. “Can you slow down for me, please?” I said in a calmer tone, belying the pounding of my heart. An exit was coming up. We needed to make that without the Dodge Charger getting off, too.
Jade looked confused, but she dropped a good five miles per hour off her speed, taking her foot from the gas and not applying the brake. The white Dodge Charger did the same.
“Are we in trouble?” Jade glanced in her side mirror at the car slowing in the lane beside her.
“Not yet, just keep it at this speed and then take the I-270 West exit at the very last minute, then gun it,” I said, keeping an eye on the smirk cresting Smarmy’s lips.
I really wish I was driving. I’d show him a few tricks.
Jade did exactly what I said and when we hit the onramp, she laid her foot down on the gas, hard. The turbo engine revved and I whipped around in my seat to see where the white Charger was. It was hard to find in the darkness, and then I spotted it.
The driver was coming for us, across three damned lanes of traffic. Horns blared from the highway in long angry cries. She made the turn through the grass and headed up the hill, off-road, and toward us.
“Shit.” Smarmy and the crazy lady were gaining on us. “Go, go, go,” I yelled as the Charger closed in. I felt Jade’s car change gears and knew we had already hit 75 miles per hour.
“Get around this car, now!”
Jade swerved the car hard, and I drifted up, straining again the seatbelt before slamming my back into the door. I pulled myself back into the seat, my fingers clutched around the headrest as she straightened the car out. The white Charger bore down on us like a rampaging beast, all growling grill and glaring headlights. It was going to hit us. No, it was going to ram us.
Jade drove like a woman who wanted to avoid an accident or a ticket and the Charger drove like it wanted to send us into oblivion. That was the only thing keeping the Charger in proximity to Jade’s BMW.
God, I wish I was driving.
“Change lanes,” I screamed at her.
Jade slid the car easily into the next lane. A BMW should have been able to outrun the Charger any day of the week but not with Jade driving. “Drive this fucking car like you mean it!” I shouted in frustration.
The Charger got within a few feet of the bumper of Jade’s car and everything seemed to move in slow motion. I couldn’t do a damned thing but watch it happen. The Charger bumped Jade’s back end almost gently but the jolt rippled through the car like it was on a chain-pulled roller coaster. The force of the impact slammed me back in my seat and against the door. “Get over,” I screamed again over the pounding in my ears.
Jade jerked the car into the next lane then fought to straighten it out and keep control. Just as we were almost out of reach and I could see another exit, the metallic sound of metal on metal ripped through the air as the Charger clipped the back end of Jade’s car. I was flung back against my seat from the pull of the spin and pinned to the passenger side door as the car spun out of control. The entire world went silent as the tires squealed.
Tail lights. Trees. Head lights.
Taillights, trees, headlights.
Tail lights. Trees. Head lights.
Taillights, trees, headlights.
Suzanne M Sabol is the author of Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. Welcome to my site! Stop in for exciting extras from the Blushing Death Series, tidbits of what’s to come, and exciting news.
Suzanne M Sabol is a member of Romance Writers of America; Central Ohio Fiction Writers; North East Ohio Romance Writers Chapter; Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal Chapter of RWA.