Dante gave Sabrina a black stone with a little quartz running through it. She would wear it in the third novel Vampire Nocturne, as a way to remember him by. But during a moment while killing the Dreadfuls on Beyond the Black Viel, Sabrina realizes that the stone is doing something very strange whenever she kills a Dreadful.
Here is an excerpt from one of those odd moments.
Joha and Drachen stood on the either side of the doorway, I faced it dead-on.
“I'm going in alone. The both of you stay out here with Ali,” I warned them. I didn't need them to get in the way. They knew I was pretty handy with my dagger from what I'd done before dinner. I had the straps off my dagger in case we came across a Dreadful. The tally on my kills stood at three. I had a feeling it was about to go up by at least one notch.
I reached for the beaver-tail style door latch, feeling my heart rate accelerate. I'd confirmed that Dreadfuls had never touched or attacked anyone. No one knew how many there were, since they all looked alike. So far, Aljehambra was the only one who had seen one in her room out of the three.
Without stepping inside, I pushed the door open. The Dagger of Delphi didn't hesitate. It flew out of its sheath. Aljehambra and Joha made noisy intakes of air. The room, and what it contained, was backlit by the fireplace deep within the room. The dark, and very familiar shape, stood near the bed. The arms of the cloak flew up like the shredded wings of a huge bat when the dagger thunked into it. Then, the Dreadful collapsed and withered to the rug, looking like an overly large prune.
Behind me, Aljehambra made a sudden shriek and Joha comforted her. From the muffling of her voice, I knew she had probably ducked into the folds of his arms, hiding her face from the whole scene.
Drachen had moved to the other side of the doorway, next to me. He stood motionless while I checked over my shoulder. His long hair swayed slightly in some errant breeze. His aura felt like a warm inviting cloak; his scent exotic, like some funky incense and it was all I could do not to put my nose into his hair and indulge in it.
And then I would eat him whole.
His large, expressive eyes gazed into the room. Sudden desire skittered through me and I had to wonder if he was attempting to put a thrall on me. Or was it me being horny? I voted for the latter, since Drachen wasn't a fully developed vampire,yet. And I was unable to change into my alter ego—Weregirl—and so felt frustrated.
Silvery light beamed back to me, and caught me off guard. The essence from the creature was absorbed by Dante's Stone, like before. This time it hit me more forcefully, and I jerked with a little surprised gasp. Drachen noticed, but said nothing. The stone felt heavier suddenly; more dense. It was like carrying a gold nugget around my neck. The dagger returned and I snatched it out of the air, twirled it, and secured it. This earned an impressed look from Drachen.
“It's gone,” I said. I wasn't able to say the word kill in regard to these things, because I knew they weren't flesh and blood, but they had an essence. One the stone could absorb, and this gave me no small measure of dread. Why was the stone—the one Dante's ectoplasmic double had disappeared into—sucking in these creatures' essence? I hadn't really had a chance to think on this very deeply. But now, after it happened every time, I had the feeling that the stone was taking on energy for some later manifestation. Call me psychic. But I wondered what would the end result be. That was the scary question.
© 2012 Lorelei Bell