The Darkest Dawn (The Darkest Trilogy Book 3)

By: Michelle Brewer

I was surrounded by darkness—the kind of suffocating darkness that never seemed to end, caged in by the unknown that surrounded me.

I recognized the dream almost immediately. It was the same as the one I’d had my entire life—except for one single, solitary difference. I was no longer standing on the outskirts of the darkness, watching as it unfolded before me.

I was engulfed in it.

Looking down, I saw that I wore a gown, and I looked up, immediately looking for him. He would be here, wouldn’t he?

The salty scent of the ocean washed over me just as I began to panic. I closed my eyes, breathing it in.

“The witch is in your head, love.”

I gasped in surprise, opening my eyes to take in the figure before me.

Jared reached up, touching his palm to my temple.

“The witch is in your head, love.”

“What are you doing here, Jared?” I didn’t understand.

“You owe me a dance.”

He slipped his arms around my waist and we began to spin—to dance to a song only he and I heard. It was both familiar and foreign all at the same time.

“What’s going on?” I asked him, raising my eyes to his. “Jared, what are you doing here?”

“I’ve been waiting for my dance.” He replied, smiling that perfect smile of his. I couldn’t help but take comfort in his arms, in the warmth of his presence.

I felt him slowing his pace and I opened my eyes, looking up at him.

“The witch is in your head, love.”

“You already said that—”

“She’s watching you.” He warned. “When you can’t find the answer, look to her.”

“Look to who? To Zoe?”

“The witch, love. Isn’t it obvious?” He reached outward again, this time taking my head in his hands. “She’s been inside your head.”

Chapter One

The room was silent, everyone looking in the direction of the tall, dark-haired man—his allure undeniable. His nearly violet eyes were trained in only one direction though; unshifting, unwavering.

He was looking at me.

It was clear that he possessed some sort of authority over the rest of those in the room. Even the beautiful man with longer, darker hair, whose crystal blue eyes would shift between the pale man and myself every few seconds—a man who exuded strength and conviction—was waiting.

Everyone was holding their breath, waiting for him to speak, hoping he would have the answer—but it seemed as if he couldn’t find the words.

So I blinked, swallowing though my mouth was dry, my eyes darting downward for a moment. My hands were still warm with my own blood, my shirt clinging to my skin where, just moments ago, I’d been stabbed by my own mother.

Only now, there was no wound. There was nothing—not even a scar. Through the hole in my shirt, one could see the pale flesh of my chest.

I looked back up at the pale man, the man who was not a man at all.

“What am I, Darren?” I questioned again, waiting for his response. Waiting to see what was next.

Finally, he seemed to find his voice—however faint, however pained.

“I don’t know.” He barely whispered.

A rush of air whipped through me, knocking the breath right out of me. The room swayed, my world crumbling down around me. My eyes watered as I looked away, no longer able to take the pain in Darren’s eyes.

I could feel their eyes burning into me as I stared down at my blood-covered hands. Zoe, my best friend—caught between both relief and devastation that I was alive. Darren, my own self-declared destiny, angry and despondent, knowing this was not the fate he had wanted for me.

And then there was Jared, the one responsible for whatever monstrosity I had become. I could feel the intensity of his silvery blue eyes staring right through me, guilt-ridden but relieved.

A voice sounded in my mind, faint—hardly even noticeable. I couldn’t lose her—I couldn’t let her die—

I looked up, my eyes landing on his face. I would recognize that voice anywhere.

“I can hear you,” I whispered fervently, another wave of despair passing through me. “I heard your thoughts.”

Jared’s expression didn’t change, and I remained frozen in place.

This was a characteristic of the undead—of the vampires who had overrun my life.

But I could still feel my heart, beating steadily within my chest.

What had I become?

“We’re going to take care of this, Lucinda.” It was Darren now, keeping his distance, though the look in his eye told me he wanted to comfort me. I was suddenly aware of various other heartbeats, thudding quietly in the back of my mind.

“How?” I asked, unable to imagine any solution. Who would know what I was? Who would understand what had happened?

Demetrius—the one responsible for all of this, the one who had made me—was gone. And my mother’s sincerest desire for me was that I join him.

Who could explain what I was?

Suddenly, I concentrated on the faintest of all of the heartbeats. It was as if I could sense there was danger—he was weaker than all the rest.

“Brayden,” I said, and for the first time, the others in the room looked away, off to the side of the room. There, a young man with sandy brown hair lay. His breathing was labored, his coloring off. Darren remained quiet for a long moment before glancing back in my direction.

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