There’s always a choice.
Haedyn chooses to survive. As the last Unnamed, a species mistakenly created from angels and demons, she is an abomination to both the human and supernatural worlds. If survival means being the favorite servant of the demon Azazel, it’s a choice she can live with. Until she meets Lex.
Former investigative reporter, Lex Carter knows more than the average human - he saw his brother murdered by vampires. Now he’s dedicated his life to learning everything there is to know about monsters, how to kill them, and what happens to their victims. But when he’s kidnapped by a super-human albino who claims she's protecting him, he realizes that not all supernatural creatures are monsters and there may be one that's worth saving.
Together, they just might be able to discover the truth about Haedyn’s past and free her from Azazel’s bonds. But will she still choose to survive when it means risking the souls of those she loves?
The concrete cell reeked with a mixture of rotten trash, burning flesh, and the sweet tanginess of blood. Haedyn twitched her nose. No matter how often she had to deal with it, she'd never get used to that smell. It was horrible.
Dirt crunched and rolled under the soles of her boots as she circled the silver chair in the middle of the room. Its occupant was furious, snapping and snarling at her. Not that she blamed him. Being captured by a demon's minion wouldn't rate high on her list of fun, either.
The prisoner struggled against his restraints. “Bitch. My Alpha’s gonna kill you. Just wait," he growled, pupils wide with the animosity of a trapped animal. "He’ll come here and rip through that white skin of yours like it's a sheet of paper, then hang your head on the wall like a trophy.”
She rolled her eyes and ignored his aggression. Werewolves had the worst tempers, especially when they were wounded or trapped. This one was both. Plus, he’d been drugged and was unable to change to his more powerful wolf form. Yeah, he was beyond pissed.
She sighed and continued circling. He'd wear himself out eventually. The anger and vile comments were all part of the process. Then the next phase would begin, full of tears and begging. That's when she'd break him, make him tell her where to find the human. But for now, she'd play the game until he was ready.
“Where's the human?”
"I ain't telling you shit." He spat on the floor at her feet.
"Tell me where the human is and I'll set you free."
The werewolf narrowed his yellow eyes. "You won't set me free. You think I don't know who you are? You're that demon Azazel's little bitch. You don't set no one free. You kill 'em."
Haedyn clenched her jaw. The werewolf was right; he wasn't going to leave here alive. She needed that information and there was only one way he was going to tell her. Poor sap. He just forced her hand.
She circled the chair again. This was the part of the job she hated. Inflicting pain. Killing. Every time she heard them scream, made them bleed, she swore a piece of her insides turned to dust.
It was the price she paid for serving a demon. But she didn't have a choice. Either she did what was expected of her or she faced punishment from her master.
Demons didn’t give second chances, and Azazel was no different. Disobeying his orders meant death. And even if she was stupid enough to go up against him, she had no one to turn to for help.
She was the last Unnamed. A mistake created by the demons and angels, which is why they killed off the rest of her kind. Humans mistakenly called her “albino” and kept their distance once they saw her deep red eyes. The supernatural world thought she was an abomination. If they weren't scared shitless of her, then they wanted to kill her.
She didn't fit in and she was all alone. Which is why she made the decision fourteen years ago to do whatever she had to in order to survive. Serving Azazel was the only choice she had.
Besides, what else would she do? She was evil, part demon. And like Azazel said the night he found her at the orphanage, she had a gift for death. One which he had honed. Now, she was his best interrogator, his best assassin.
Haedyn looked again at the werewolf. He shifted and squirmed, pulling at his shackles. Drops of blood beaded along his forehead. She smelled the panic and the fear mixed in with his sweat. Then she met his eyes. For a brief moment, a part of her screamed to let him go. She quickly pushed the impulse away.
Discipline. She had to maintain discipline. Compassion was a weakness. How many times had Azazel pounded that into her during their sessions? Fourteen years of intense training and still she had to remind herself.
She closed her eyes, burying the whispers of empathy deep inside. A stillness settled within her. Then she re-emerged as the cold-hearted, unemotional assassin Azazel had molded her into.
This is what she was trained to be. This is what she was trained to do. Save them. Deliver them. It's what kept her alive, and that’s all that mattered.
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About the author:
During her many years of working at a daily newspaper, Jennifer L. Oliver honed her writing skills in secret. As an avid reader, she enjoys books that give her an entertaining and temporary escape from the ruckus of everyday life. Now, she hopes to bring the same enjoyment to others through her own work.
Jennifer is the author of The Haedyn Chronicles, and other dark urban fantasy and paranormal thrillers. She is also a freelance proofreader and always looking for the opportunity to help other authors reach their publishing dreams.
Although she was born and raised in North Carolina, she now lives on Florida's gulf coast with her husband, two cats, and a Royal Bahamian Potcake dog who is more than half her size and thinks the world revolves around treats. When she's not writing, you can find her playing in the flower garden, giggling with her granddaughter, and enjoying time with her family and friends.
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Thank you so much for spotlighting Haedyn's Choice today!
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Chapter 1 was very exciting and left me wanting more! Thanks for sharing!
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