Midnight Untamed

By: 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

with bravery.

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

cannot explain.

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

you now.

Chapter 1

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.

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