All you have to do is read the excerpt below (not adult rated) and tell me who died. Just post your answer in a comment along with your email address for your chance to win. The winner will be randomly selected and sent a private email informing them they have won. Good luck!
The dream always started off the same, the darkness so thick it wrapped around him like a blanket. Aleksei knew it was a dream because his eyes couldn’t penetrate the darkness like they should have. Always in the dream he could never move or speak—like an unseen being held him in place. A light penetrated the darkness, and the scene change into one so familiar to him. He walked into a cave and looked down at a large pool of blood.
They split up to hunt down the horde of Bloodless that wreaked havoc on the neighboring villages. He didn’t know it then, but it had all been a trap to separate the warriors and weaken the strength they had together. He fell to his knees in front of the pool of blood, the liquid so thick and red. He knew the blood was Dorian’s, knew that his brother’s life had been taken. Even in the dream, his throat grew raw at the image of his dear brother’s life being taken. He dipped his palm into the blood and threw his head back, the next scene playing through his mind in slow motion.
He could see it as if he had actually been there, witnessing his brother’s death. It had been a trap. Unable to stand anymore, he ripped his hand out of the blood and roared out so loud stones fell from the ceiling. The room became dark once more, the scene changing yet again. Another cave came into view with a dirt floor— no blood, and rough, uneven stone walls.
He tried to move forward, but it was as if an unseen force kept him rooted. Dorian stood in the center of the cave, his body tense and ready for any threat. Rogue males gathered around him in a tight circle, their weapons held high. They didn’t attack all at once—no, they fought Dorian one by one, giving him minor cuts and making him slowly weaken from the blood loss. The injuries were small but numerous—his body having a hard time healing itself. Dozens of Bloodless stood back, waiting for their chance to join in. Aleksei tried to go to him, tried to yell, but he could do no more than watch in horror.
Dorian was a strong and cunning fighter, but the fact that he was alone while dozens of the deprived males circled him proved to be too much. Aleksei saw movement from the corner of his eye from a darkened corner. A Bloodless walked out, power clinging around him and showing he was the horde leader. He held a sword in his hand as he stepped behind Dorian. He raised the sword high, the metal flashing against the light of the candles, and swung it down. Just as the blade would have made contact with Dorian’s neck, he ducked and swiftly came up, bringing his own blade across the horde leader’s face. The wound went from his forehead to his chin, blood making a fast trail down his face. The horde leader hissed and raised his hand, halting his minions from attacking. His features were distorted as he smiled at Dorian, his teeth sharpened and stained. Dorian and the horde leader clashed together, swords clanking against each other and new wounds being created. All at once, his minions swarmed in and took down his brother. Dorian struggled fearlessly, but there were too many of them, and soon they had him belly down on the dirt.
“Look at me!”
Dorian refused to look up at the horde leader and spit on his boots. He squatted on his haunches and gripped Dorian’s hair, making them face-to-face.
“It’s a shame you are not the king. No matter, though. Your death will cause your brother great pain and us a small measure of delight. Mark my words, Aleksei will soon be falling before my feet to lick my shoes clean. And when I have him on the ground like you are now, I’ll slice his throat like I am going to do to yours.”
Dorian smiled a purely evil smile and spit in his face. “Try all you want, but my brother is far stronger and fiercer than you. It is you that will be licking his boots clean before he throws you out into the sun.”
In a flash of movement, the leader took a dagger from within his boot and sliced Dorian’s neck open.
* * * *
Aleksei sat up in bed, breathing heavily and sweat rolling off him in rivulets. One of the reasons he didn’t sleep was because the dreams had become a more frequent visitor in the last months. It was nearing the anniversary of Dorian’s death. Every year for centuries, Aleksei relieved the horror of letting his brother down. Some tried to reason with him that it wasn’t his fault—that he hadn’t even been there, but when it came down to it, Aleksei felt responsible for Dorian’s death.
He threw the sheets off and sat on the edge of the bed. He let his head hang between his shoulders and ran his hand over his sweat dampened hair. He couldn’t remember how he had gotten to his room or gotten out of his clothes. Maybe if he found the Bloodless who killed Dorian, he could find some solace with his life. He searched the ends of the world for the killer, but to no avail. He could never stop until he found the one who killed Dorian. It didn’t help matters that all he had was the horde leader’s lingering scent that was left in the cave. That one scent was all he needed to find his brother’s killer.
He pushed himself off the bed and walked over to the bathroom. He turned the spray on and adjusted the temperature so it was near scalding—just the way he liked it. He let his head fall under the spray and let the hot water wash away the remnants of his memories.