Love Me to Death ONLY
an Underveil novel by Marissa Clarke
Medical research scientist Elena Arcos has always lived her life under the radar. When she is shot in a convenience store robbery, she finds herself rocketed into supernatural insanity courtesy of a sexy immortal law enforcer. He’s convinced she’s some kind of freaky half vampire thing and that her deceased dad was the real deal: a blood sucking monster. Yeah, right.
As a Slayer, an elite law enforcer descended from Azrael himself, Nikolai Itzov’s orders from the Underveil General are clear: Kill Elena Arcos or die. The only thing holding him back from that directive is the overwhelming urge to protect her. Too bad she’s also the offspring of his father’s murderer. Kissing Elena, let along being with her body and soul, can never happen.
Nikolai and Elena find themselves in a life and death battle to stop a plot designed to lift the Underveil and enslave humans. With her analytical mind and his centuries of training, they might be able to foil the plot with their lives, and maybe even with their hearts intact. But in order to succeed, he must help her become the very thing he hates the most: an Undead.
Title: Love Me To Death
Series: Underveil, #1
Author: Marissa Clarke
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Length: 359 pages
Release Date: October 2014
Print ISBN: 978-1-62266-391-0
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-62266-392-7
Price listed is for the U.S. digital format. Please confirm pricing and availability with the retailer before downloading.
|EBOOK & PRINT|
Praise for Love Me to Death:
“A fascinating new world! Enter with caution. You’ll never want to leave!”
– Kerrelyn Sparks, New York Times bestselling author
An Excerpt from:
Love Me To Death
by Marissa Clarke
Copyright © 2014 by Marissa Clarke. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce, distribute, or transmit in any form or by any means. For information regarding subsidiary rights, please contact the Publisher.
The Prophecy of the Uniter:
From the ashes of death, the Uniter shall rise.
Awakened by warrior’s blood to restore balance.
With the power to dethrone tyrants and anoint kings.
Guardian of the bridge between species
above and below the Veil
This couldn’t be happening; things like this happened to other people.
The skinny guy in the black baseball cap leveled the gun at the clerk behind the counter and without a word, pulled the trigger. Elena dropped to the floor between the candy shelves and car care products, ears ringing.
She studied the man’s reflection in the circular convex mirror above the beer cooler as he rummaged through the cash register, stuffing his pockets with bills. His reflection was distorted, but she could still make out enough to give a description to the police. It was impossible to tell how tall he was, but he had black tangled hair and unnaturally pale skin. His blue flannel shirt was filthy and torn. More animal than human, he cocked his head to the side in a swift, jerky motion, then stared into the mirror. His eyes were…red?
The slam of the cash register drawer made Elena flinch. In horror, she watched through the mirror as the killer stalked to the far side of the store, passing the milk cooler one aisle over from her. Without a sound, she slid out of the center of the aisle, flattening up next to the metal shelves of candy, hoping he wouldn’t spot her in the mirror. He paused, met her eyes in the reflection, and laughed. It was a hideous, feral laugh that made her body tense in a terrified rigor. She’d never heard anything like it. Almost metallic, it sounded like more than one person laughing. In the mirror, she watched him round the corner of her aisle.
Run, her body screamed. Elena leapt to her feet and flew for the door. Run! As she skidded around the corner at the end of the aisle, a gunshot rang out, followed by a searing pain as if her shoulder blade had exploded. Her knees gave way, and her head hit the floor with a sickening crack.
Footsteps. A pause.
“Get up!” the man growled in his unnatural, metallic voice, shoving her with his foot.
Play dead. She remained on her belly, eyes closed, breathing shallowly. Please, let him think I’m dead. Blood from her shoulder oozed under her cheek. He kicked her ribs, and she groaned.
“It’s a shame I’ve already had dinner,” he said.
Oh God. He had shot her again, and pain raged through her body like fire radiating from her shoulder blade. His leisurely footsteps were followed by the tinkle of the bell on the door.
She was going to die.
For twenty-six years, Elena Arcos hadn’t even really lived, and now it was over. Always waiting for something to change, something to give her purpose, someone to take her away. But that had never happened. She had lived her life under the radar, trying to not make waves. Trying to conform. Waiting. Waiting…for what?
She was going to die, dammit. Right here, on the filthy floor of the Corner Quick Mart. Just another news headline with no backstory whatsoever.
“Roll over and look at me.” The male voice was deep, calm, and tinged with an exotic accent she’d never heard before. The timbre and confidence of the voice commanded compliance, but Elena found herself unable to move.
The bell on the door hadn’t jingled again. This was someone who was already in the store—but she had been the only customer.
“I said, roll over.”
“C-can’t.” Just the mere attempt to speak caused such intense pain she was certain she would faint.
“Bullshit. Your act worked on that worthless, thieving bastard, but it won’t work on me.”
Act? Undoubtedly, this was a death-experience hallucination. The power of his voice combined with his thick accent made her want to obey his order and roll over so she could put a face with the voice. She placed her palm on the floor in order to push up, but it slipped out from under her in the slick pool of her blood spreading across the grungy vinyl tiles. She whimpered as her chest slammed painfully back to the floor.
His voice rumbled near her ear. “Weak, pathetic creature.”
She cried out as she was yanked roughly onto her back.
“Open your eyes!” the deep voice commanded. “Do it. Stop wasting my time.”
Dressed in black, a magnificent tower of a man with ebony hair stood astride her, hands on his hips. He was scowling—eyes narrowed. He leaned closer and stared. Surely, this beautiful male creature was the angel of death, come to release her from the pain.
She looked into his gold eyes, glad this would be her last memory. She would leave life with the image of this perfect face in her mind and his forceful voice in her brain. Even through the mirage-like haze of pain, she noticed the well-developed muscles in his arms as he reached behind his head and drew out a long, brilliant sword from a sheath behind his back. He held it over his head like a knight from Arthurian Legend, the glimmering tip of the blade pointing down at her chest.
The pain felt like it was far away as she focused on his beautiful, fearsome form. Elena found herself calm rather than frightened as she stared up at the amazing creature preparing to plunge a sword into her heart.
She had never envisioned death like this. She had always assumed it was a horrible, shattering experience. This was…almost pleasant.
“I’m ready,” she whispered.
A puzzled expression crossed his face. “I can’t understand you. If you have last words, spit the blood out of your mouth so you can speak.”
She closed her eyes, beginning to slip away under the surface of unconsciousness. Strong fingers on her jaw jerked her head to the side.
“Spit!” he ordered.
She smiled at the memory of the beautiful face of her angel of death as she succumbed to the darkness.