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By Amarinda Jones. One thousand years ago Caitriona of Gaunt cursed a future kinswoman. Eloise is the last Gaunt woman standing. Her fate? To fall in love with a vampire and run a gauntlet to prove her love. But will lust be good enough? No part of this book may be used or reproduced electronically or in print without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in reviews. This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, and places are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
You just sucked in your breath and looked all terrified. Well, as terrified as a suburban gypsy with two screaming children fighting in the next room could. It was not exactly a name that inspired confidence in psychic abilities.
The suburban gypsy in question yelled at her children to shut up and stop fighting. She then adjusted the turban-like scarf around her head. I see darkness. The lighting is crap in here. Eloise was all for atmosphere, but she just knew she was going to bang her knee viciously on something on the way out of this darkened room, and she needed no half- assed fortune teller to tell her that. Candles were only good in blackouts as far as Eloise was concerned.
Eloise sighed deeply. Why do I put myself through this? So tell me. She needed to hear some fantastical story that she could laugh at and walk away from, forty dollars poorer but feeling safe. You just said he was dark. Eloise knew she could act as flippant as she liked but she knew what that darkness was. Dark soul, blond hair, blue eyes. Any other distinguishing features?
And please tell me how and when I can avoid meeting him. Madame Cherylene looked amazed. They really exist? Yeah, unfortunately so. Eloise ran her hand through her messy, shoulder-length, dark brown hair. The clip holding it in place had long since giving up trying to contain all the unruly waves.
Madame Cherylene pulled her turban off and dropped in on the table with a thump. Were you testing me? Eloise watched as the fake diamond fell out and clattered onto the wooden surface.
No, I was testing myself more than you. She was not surprised that the woman was confused. It was hard to explain even the simplest life to another person, let alone one involving a vampire. Eloise snorted at her words. Well, right back at him. She wanted no part of this herself. Okay, time to stop spinning my wheels and to make some sort of plan. For the last two weeks she had been feeling on edge and this just added to it.
The overwhelming need to get in her car and drive as far out of Brisbane as she could gripped Eloise with a new surge of panic. Though how far was far enough? That this vampire did not want her was the least of her concerns. None of this was about love or need. I will not be a slave to fate. Madame Cherylene shook head. You have no choice. This is not a question of choosing a path. There is only one direction for both of you.
The woman was right but that did not mean much to Eloise. She had been going against the odds for years. Unless his path is directly past the supermarket for Tim Tams then we will not meet.
A road trip and panic always required chocolate. Oh bugger off, he is not. Eloise stood up. She had exactly fifty-two dollars in her purse, was low on gas, had a maxed-out credit card and a bunch of courtesy cards for buy-one-get-one-free coffee and muffins.
If she traveled slowly and stopped at all the Muffin Stops she would probably make it just west past Ipswich. Not exactly the back of beyond but it was a start. A woman with a fake turban and feral children was giving her advice.
But then I asked for it. Though I am going to have to change these shoes before I do. They looked fantastic on Eloise but a mad dash to safety required flat soles and non-pointy toes. Eloise knew that. She always had. I just never thought it would get to this stage. Okay so I invest in garlic and crucifixes. That was doable. She loved garlic, and crucifixes were always a fashion statement. The clairvoyant yelled at her children again and then turned to her client.
I think that only happens with movie vampires. Eloise banged her knee on the table. I just knew I would do that. So what stops them? She reached down to massage the pain away. Eloise blew out a sigh and handed the woman the rest of the money.
Yeah, yeah, I know that. What is foretold cannot be stopped. She had been hearing that from her great Uncle McManus Gaunt since she turned eighteen.
Eloise muttered to herself as she left the house. It was true. Uncle McManus was her guardian and the last known Gaunt standing other than herself. It is written lass. Who wrote it? Eloise loved him but he was a crazy old coot with wild dark eyes, thick, woolly gray hair and was rarely seen without a glass of scotch in his hand.
It made her wonder if it was written in fine-grained malt in his mind. Of course she did. Her uncle had been telling her about the Gaunt family as soon as she had been old enough to form sentences.
Yes, in the county of Caithness in the Highlands of Scotland. Like any Highlander born and bred, McManus Gaunt had firm beliefs on who was a true Highlander and he made sure Eloise knew her heritage. Okay, Eloise had murmured, thinking maybe it was time to start marking off the amount in his scotch bottles to indicate consumption and the likelihood of wild storytelling.
Caitriona died for love. His eyes focused hard on hers. She decreed nearly a thousand years ago that a woman of Gaunt a thousand years in the future would be tested for her love of her soul mate.
Soul mates? They believed in pop psychology even back then?
Books by Amarinda Jones
June 5th, Home Log in! New Books This Week. Latest Articles. Summer Kick-Off. Reviewer Application. They give a whole new meaning to attorney-client privilege. Sometimes you have to break a family to fix it.
Run the Gauntlet
By Amarinda Jones. One thousand years ago Caitriona of Gaunt cursed a future kinswoman. Eloise is the last Gaunt woman standing. Her fate?