The Vampire's True Love Trials: A Nocturne Falls Short by Kristen Painter

The Vampire's True Love Trials: A Nocturne Falls Short by Kristen Painter

Author:Kristen Painter [Painter, Kristen]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Romance, Paranormal, Romantic Comedy, Vampires, 90 Minutes (44-64 Pages), Witches & Wizards
Amazon: B01MY511OR
Publisher: The Raven Books
Published: 2016-10-31T04:00:00+00:00

Sebastian and Tessa sat in the living room of Den and Magna’s suite. It was a beautiful room, but the thing that held Sebastian’s interest was the ceramic bowl on the coffee table between them.

And the seven slips of paper that filled it.

They’d had dinner, dessert and coffee. There was nothing left to postpone the inevitable. Sebastian addressed Den. “Is there any ceremony to this, or should I just choose one?”

The man shrugged. “Since you’d normally be tackling them all, no. Go ahead and choose.”

Sebastian reached for the bowl, but Tessa’s hand on his arm stopped him. Her eyes were filled with concern. “It’s going to be all right,” he said softly.

She managed a weak smile, then nodded and took her hand back. “I know.”

But the words lacked confidence.

Sebastian dropped his hand, realizing that there was one question he’d yet to ask. “I think I know the answer to this already, but if I fail one of these tasks, what happens?”

Den shifted on the silk-upholstered sofa. It looked like dollhouse furniture in comparison to his bulk. “Then Tessa will marry Gunther.”

A chill swept Sebastian. “You can’t be serious. You would expect her to marry a man she’s never met and doesn’t love?”

Magna nodded. “It’s always been our way. If a berserker is willing to sacrifice for a woman, he is rewarded with her hand in marriage.”

“She has no choice in the matter?” Sebastian shook his head. “That’s barbaric.”

“There is some recourse,” Tessa said. “I can challenge him to a fight. And if I win, I’m no longer obligated to marry him.” Her next breath came out in a ragged sigh. “But you know how I feel about fighting.”

Sebastian nodded. “I do. Den, Magna, you must see that I love your daughter. Do you really mean to keep us apart for such outdated reasons?”

“Outdated?” Den snarled. “These feats have been accomplished by every berserker who ever married a valkyrie. I completed all seven before Magna’s parents blessed our union. They aren’t outdated, they’re tradition.”

Sebastian knew he’d riled the man, but it couldn’t be helped. “I understand that. But for us to be pulled apart because of something so arbitrary…” He tried to quell the anger building in his gut. “You’re saying that our happiness, our lives, rest in that bowl. And you believe that’s reasonable. That tradition trumps love.”

Den took a breath. “I believe it’s how we’ve always done things.”

“And if I fail, and Tessa and I marry anyway, without your blessing, what happens?”

Magna paled and lifted her chin slightly. “Then Tessa will never be considered valkyrie again. She will be shunned. Not even her sister will be allowed to acknowledge her as family.”

Sebastian glanced at his beloved. There was a time she might have been at peace with no longer being considered valkyrie, but she had proudly reclaimed her heritage. And she would never be at peace with losing her family. Nor did he want to be the one who caused that kind of punishment. “You could choose not to shun her.


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