Breaking the Covenants

Breaking the Covenants

Celina Summers Rob Graham

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The German vampire Gunther von Wittersheim has a problem: he’s fallen in love with a mortal, Lady Marguerite Giffard. His greatest immortal enemy, Comte Alphonse de Brunel, knows, captures Marguerite and turns her into a vampire. Gunther must put aside his desire for revenge and help his beloved through the painful transition to immortality.

Vampires are bound by the Covenants, a code of law enforced by the mysterious Conclave of Elders. If Gunther kills his enemy, the Conclave will destroy him. The couple is ordered to bring de Brunel alive to the Conclave to answer for his crimes. Gunther and Marguerite pursue their foe to St. Petersburg, where they are caught up in a revolution that pits vampire against vampire. Can they find a way to capture Alphonse de Brunel before the violence in Russia erupts? Or will they and their love fall prey to the breaking of the Covenants?

 

 
PUBLISHED BY: Aspen Mountain Press
ISBN: 978-1-60168-207-9
PUBLICATION DATE: 2009
WORD COUNT: 134000
SEXUAL CONTENT RATING: 2 2
EBOOK READER RATING:
CATEGORIES: Vampires / Werewolves, Action/Adventure, Erotica, Fantasy, Historical, Paranormal, Romantic Fiction
KEYWORDS: vampire, Russia, London, England, Europe, covenants, revolution, rogues,
 

EBOOKS BY Aspen Mountain Press

EBOOKS BY Rob Graham

 
EXCERPT
COPYRIGHT Rob Graham/2009

“Gunther von Wittershiem.”

The voice that interrupted our departure from Covent Garden came from just behind us. Beneath my hand, Gunther’s arm tensed into steel. Confused, I darted a glance up at him. His face was so taut his skin seemed as if it were stretched over bare bones.

The reason for his swift anger was evident only a few feet away. The Comte de Condé sur Víre, Alphonse de Brunel, watched us both from beneath heavy-lidded eyes.

“Mademoiselle, forgive me. I did not wish to intrude. I only wished to renew an old acquaintance.” His voice turned to acid-shredded silk on the final words.

Gunther turned at my side, his face shuttered. “What are you doing here?”

I felt a thrill of disquiet. It was apparent to me these men detested each other. It became even more so when Gunther pulled me a little to one side, placing his body between the Frenchman and me.

“I met you at your cousin’s house, did I not?” the Frenchman continued, ignoring Gunther for the moment. “Yes, mademoiselle, that is it. What a coincidence that you should know my old friend Gunther! I have known Monsieur von Wittershiem for many years.”

I was so stunned by this breach of eitquette for a moment I could not respond. After a shocked moment, I just nodded my head. The Comte smiled coolly at me and I tightened my fingers on Gunther’s arm.

“A charming companion,” the Comte murmured to the silent man at my side. “Your taste has improved, von Wittershiem.”

“As you can see, I am occupied, de Brunel,” Gunther said curtly. A low buzz of menace wrapped around us. I fidgeted, uncertain of what to do next. Both men wore dress swords at their sides and I’d seen enough men reach for their weapons to recognize the temptation swirling around them both.

I glanced up at Gunther’s tight face. His eyes were flat and glittering with rage. A few feet away, Louisa Hethersett lifted her fan before her face in order to whisper to her sister. Within a few moments, the entire ton would be gawking at what was quite obviously a brewing confrontation. The elegant Comte and the stoic German continued their unspoken battle while I grew more conspicuous by the moment.

“Gentlemen, if you please,” I said in a low voice. “You are making a spectacle of yourselves.”

“I have just arrived in London on business,” the Comte went on as if I didn’t exist. “I must confess I am surprised to find you here, von Wittershiem.”

“My affairs are my own business. I travel where they take me.”

“Ah, I see! And now they bring you here.” The Comte eyed me and I felt hot color rushing to my cheeks. “Quite understandable.”

Every prying meddler in London quieted as the French Comte appraised my body, his eyes lingering on my half-exposed breasts before moving on to assess my gown. His interest was obvious; no man could stare at a lady this lasciviously in public and still be called a gentleman. Any words of protest I might have had died in my throat as Gunther moved closer to the Comte, staring down at him from his greater height with icy threat emanating from his huge body in waves.

“Is it your intention to offer insult to this lady?”

I prayed for a bolt of lightning to strike me dead right there on the street before Covent Garden. No, not another duel! After Charles’ idiocy, this could be my undoing.

“I would never insult a lady,” the Comte returned, his voice hardening.

“See that you keep it so.”

Gunther turned his back on the Frenchman with a snap. Everyone who witnessed it knew it instantly for the cut direct. Gunther couldn’t have proclaimed his disdain for the Comte any stronger if he’d knocked him to the ground. Startled, I turned after him. Gunther’s hand closed over mine. I had no other option but to follow his lead.

“Beware, von Wittershiem!” The Comte’s voice was amused, almost a laugh, and it brought everyone’s head whipping around to stare at us. “You give too much away as usual!”

“Don’t,” I murmured as Gunther’s jaw tightened.

He ignored me. Releasing my hand from his arm, he turned back to the slight Frenchman. “I have warned you in the past not to cross me, de Brunel.”

“I have always chosen to ignore your warnings. It gives me great pleasure to cross you, my old friend.”

“I will protect what is mine.” The flat statement echoed across the sidewalk, slapping against the brick sides of the buildings near us like a gunshot. Someone moved at my side and I looked up to see Phillip Hamilton and two of his cronies hovering just beside me with their hands on their sword hilts. Gunther paid them no attention at all, leaving me to their protection while he stared down the arrogant Comte.

“If you can keep it,” the Comte said pleasantly. He bowed his head to Gunther, then a bit more formally to me, before turning to blend back into the excited, gossip-churned crowd.
 

 
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