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An Excerpt From Witch's Magic by Tabitha Shay

Ages 18+ ONLY

Dragos paused in front of him. Shasta glared at both of them. "I don't know what is going on here, but--"

"Shut up," both Dragos and Valerian snapped.

"Your chance to prevent this from happening has come and gone," Val said, his voice cracking. He turned to Dragos. "I know Vampyre law. I understand...when left with no choice...do what must be done."

"Val...I..."

"Do it or she will die."

"I can't. You love--"

"Listen to me, Dragos. The only thing I will not forgive you for is her death. I will not watch her die in the morning sun."

"That isn't true. You will detest me having intimate--"

"Do what must be done."

"But--"

"Do it!"

Dragos nodded. "I'm sorry this happened. I will not fail you."

"I know."

Valerian watched his friend guide Shasta out of the Great Dining Hall and up the winding staircase. He watched with a heavy heart when Dragos turned right at the top and headed down the hall toward the master suite with her.

Dracula stepped up. "Valerian..."

Val held up his hand. Red tears blurred his vision and slid down his cheeks. He should feel shame, but all he felt was a pain so deep, it felt as his heart had been sliced in half. "Don't say anything to me. You have just sent my mate away with another male with a royal command for him to breed her. You destroyed with one command, everything it took me months to win. I have nothing to say to you. As far as I'm concerned, you can go back to your coffin to never rise again."

Pain spread across the Ancient's face. "She would never bend to your will. Like Dragos tried to say, you love her. Therefore, you cannot use your strength of will against her."

"And do you not think Dragos loves her? Do you not think I know how he feels about her? His eyes glow with love for her when he thinks no one sees."

"I know," Dracula said. "I thought you'd prefer someone who will take gentle care with her feelings and not abuse her. Yes, Dragos loves her, but he loves you, too. He'll not damage her soul. She has to be bred. The clan needs this child. You need an heir. Dragos is of your bloodline. My bloodline. There can be no question the child is from your lineage. His son will be the same as yours."

Valerian shook his head. "No. It isn't the same. You have no idea what you've done to Shasta. To me. To Dragos. This will be a disaster. I have to stop Dragos. I–I can't–I can't...let him..." Valerian turned and started toward the wide spiral staircase.

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