Music of Souls~~Eternity's Opus (A Sample) (Chapter One, page 1 of 3)

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England 1854

Elisabeth Sidwell crouched in the dense wooded area behind a Romanesque style castle. The rudimentary arches and turrets seemed inappropriate for the occupants. She had expected to find something of a more Gothic style, in keeping with the darkness of the predators within. The edifice was small by castle standards, yet, teeming with blood-sucking demons. Whether her intended quarry, Victor, was one of them remained uncertain. Regardless, this many undead at one location warranted investigation. If it were Victor's renegade army, she would share the information with the Exemplars and let his own kind deal with him. If not, her Elders would send a pack to surround the coven at the next full moon.

A carriage was rolling away when she reached her surveillance position. Although she could not see the passengers, the smell of vampire permeated the air. She stood and kicked up some leaves, cursing her luck. Leaving her post to bathe in the nearby stream may have cost her positive identification. Although her waist-length, mahogany-colored hair was still wet, she began braiding it, more as a distraction from self-admonishment than grooming.

She had sent her hunting partner, Josh, back to their encampment to leave word for her brother and his team to join them as soon as possible. Caution required many werewolves with superior strength be present before risking exposure. For now, she would only observe from a safe distance, and if Joshua had only stayed a bit longer, they would know if one of the occupants of that carriage was Victor.

Elisabeth would have given anything to be the one to report back; to see family again, but if anything happened to Joshua in her absence, regret would far outweigh loneliness. Being invulnerable to blood-letting came with great responsibility. She had been torn about bringing her sister and grandparents to the encampment. Since all the strongest members of her pack were here in England, she reasoned they would be safe.

The remaining moisture in her water skin did nothing to satisfy her thirst or improve her mood. Weariness inundated her to the core. She leaned against a massive tree and slid down the bark, oblivious to the rough splinters catching in her clothing. She longed to be sipping tea, listening to her sister's romantic ramblings. Although Elisabeth rarely paid attention to Emily's vacuous tales of chivalrous strangers, tonight her ears yearned for the comfort of optimism. Three months, she had been hunting this abomination; even his own species considered him a disgrace. The alliance formed between ruling vampires and werewolves to stop his plan of taking over the world would impact inter-species relations positively, but at the moment, the stress of the hunt overshadowed any long-term benefit. Every day, this maniac created more soldiers. If he wasn't found soon, he would decimate the werewolf population. She longed to return home, put all this behind her and never think of it again. Her body was built for hunting and fighting, yet her heart held no such desire.

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