Verado, Book Two: The Vampire Katya by Jennifer Lawerence
Set against a modern Venetian backdrop, a beautiful vampire recounts details of her turbulent past to a mortal by the name of Alessandro.
Alessandro Knight is a Véradó–a mortal willing to part with his blood to sustain a coven of vampires. With his dreams haunted by her beauty, he has crossed the continent in search of the Hungarian vampire known simply as Katya.
With her rich history unfolding through a series of dreams and discussions, Alessandro finds himself impulsively drawn to her and longs to be the one to sustain her. But Katya is a hunter, cold and impassive, and Alessandro soon realises that to win her heart it will take more than just blood.
Standing within the epic courtyard of a deserted castle, at the mercy of the elements, the vampire walked toward him with all the fluidity of an apparition. Although his breath was visible in the bitter-cold darkness, no such warmth emanated from Katya. No mist formed before her to indicate her essential life-force.
She was cloaked from head to foot in black velvet. Although her eyes were lost in the shadow of her hood, brilliant red lips shone from beneath it.
She gestured for Alessandro to follow, and with no form of restraint, he found himself shadowing her as she disappeared into the darkness. Glancing back at him with a smile, she descended a steep, spiral-staircase. To Alessandro the stairs seemed to go on forever, and he was surprised that the darkness in no way disabled him on his near vertical descent.
Finally they came to the lowermost level of the castle where the staircase bled into a dank, narrow passageway, flanked on both sides by high stone walls.
Claustrophobia clawed at his insides and the air seemed thin as he pulled it into his lungs.
The mismatched couple made their way slowly along the passages passing the remains of several ancient oak doors decaying in their frames. Katya didn’t stop, and she didn’t look back, she simply continued on through the tunnels until the world above was a distant memory.
Abruptly the vampire halted. As Alessandro caught up, he strained to see a pile of stone blocks obstructing their path. To the right of them was a large hole in the stone wall where the darkness appeared endless. Katya turned to Alessandro expectantly. As he stared back at her, fear buzzed in his stomach like a nest of angry wasps. Katya smiled, and as her red lips parted, razor sharp teeth glinted from between them, betraying her darkest secret. With an open hand, she gestured toward the cavity in the wall. Alessandro knew exactly what lurked in the dark chasm and knew he wasn’t ready to face it. Cold beads of sweat formed on his skin and with wide eyes, he shook his head. “I can’t, Katya, I’m sorry.”