Midnight UntamedBy: Lara Adrian
A Midnight Breed Novella
One Thousand and One Dark Nights
Once upon a time, in the future…
I was a student fascinated with stories and learning.
I studied philosophy, poetry, history, the occult, and
the art and science of love and magic. I had a vast
library at my father’s home and collected thousands
of volumes of fantastic tales.
I learned all about ancient races and bygone
times. About myths and legends and dreams of all
people through the millennium. And the more I read
the stronger my imagination grew until I discovered
that I was able to travel into the stories... to actually
become part of them.
I wish I could say that I listened to my teacher
and respected my gift, as I ought to have. If I had, I
would not be telling you this tale now.
But I was foolhardy and confused, showing off
One afternoon, curious about the myth of the
Arabian Nights, I traveled back to ancient Persia to
see for myself if it was true that every day Shahryar
(Persian: شهريار, “king”) married a new virgin, and then
sent yesterday's wife to be beheaded. It was written
and I had read, that by the time he met Scheherazade,
the vizier's daughter, he’d killed one thousand
Something went wrong with my efforts. I arrived
in the midst of the story and somehow exchanged
places with Scheherazade – a phenomena that had
never occurred before and that still to this day, I
Now I am trapped in that ancient past. I have
taken on Scheherazade’s life and the only way I can
protect myself and stay alive is to do what she did to
protect herself and stay alive.
Every night the King calls for me and listens as I spin tales.
And when the evening ends and dawn breaks, I stop at a
point that leaves him breathless and yearning for more.
And so the King spares my life for one more day, so that
he might hear the rest of my dark tale.
As soon as I finish a story... I begin a new
one... like the one that you, dear reader, have before
The palatial villa two hours outside Rome glittered like a jewel beneath the starlit night sky. Lights glowed from within the sprawling mansion and along the circular drive out front, where half a dozen sleek sports cars were parked on the cobbled stones.
From his vantage point on a tree-studded hill five hundred yards away, Ettore Selvaggio watched as a beautiful red Ferrari rolled up to the villa and took its place between a silver Bugatti Veyron and a blue Pagani Huayra. Add in the pair of Lamborghinis, the Maserati, and another Ferrari, and there was well over ten million dollars’ of automotive luxury parked outside Vito Massioni’s mansion. Plus a collection of vehicles worth twice that amount stowed inside the massive bays of the reputed drug-dealing Breed male’s private garage.
If nothing else, Massioni and his criminal associates had impeccable taste in cars.
“Apparently, selling your soul to Opus Nostrum pays well,” he muttered into the wireless mic that linked him to the Order’s command center back in Rome. “You getting my visual on this place?”
“Visual acknowledged, Savage.”
The deep gravel voice of his comrade, Trygg, was never easy to read, and tonight was no exception. Not that Savage actually expected the menacing warrior to appreciate the fleet of fine Italian machinery belonging to Massioni and his cohorts.
And not that it mattered, anyway.
In a few minutes, the cars, the mansion, and everyone in it would be nothing but ash and smoking rubble.
Damned shame about the cars.
“Status,” Trygg prompted over the earpiece as Savage hunkered down to watch the coming fireworks.
“Packages have been delivered and the last party guest just arrived. We’re good to go.”
“You collected the receipt?”
“Right here in my pocket,” he said, tapping the flash drive Trygg referenced.
Twenty minutes before Savage arrived at his observation position on the hill, he’d been inside Massioni’s villa on a covert solo mission to download key computer data, then take out the target. According to intel newly obtained by the Order’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., Vito Massioni was the European distributor of a dangerous narcotic that turned otherwise law-abiding Breed vampires into blood-obsessed, murderous Rogues.