Dark Memory – Dark Carpathians Read Online Christine Feehan

Categories Genre: Dark, Fantasy/Sci-fi, Magic, Paranormal, Vampires Tags Authors:

Total pages in book: 153
Estimated words: 141492 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 707(@200wpm)___ 566(@250wpm)___ 472(@300wpm)

Safia Meziane has trained since birth to protect her tribe, the family she holds so dear. All along she told herself the legends she was raised with were simply that. But now, she must call upon all of her skills to fight what lies ahead. Evil has come to their small town on the cost of Algeria, evil that Safia can feel but cannot see.

She is terrified she will not be able to protect the ones she loves. As her family’s “chosen one,” she has always believed she would face this task alone—until her family reveals she has been promised to a warrior who will join her. An outsider. A Carpathian. . . .

Petru Cioban is one of the oldest Carpathians in existence, and he has spent all that time without the soothing presence of his lifemate. For two thousand years he has waited for this woman to be reborn, only to find her in the sights of a monster he has fought before, a vampire risen again to finish a battle started centuries ago.

Now, Petru must face his greatest enemy and his greatest shame. He has no hope that Safia will forgive his betrayal once the memories of her past life return to her. But he will not make the same mistake again, even if he has to sacrifice everything for the woman who has claimed his immortal soul.

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The breeze blowing in from the Mediterranean Sea brought a hint of the coming storm with it. Safia Meziane stood at the very top of the hillside overlooking the turquoise water, which was now beginning to grow choppy as little fingers of wind touched the glassy surface. The knots in her stomach tightened as she watched the water begin to churn. Ordinarily, she loved storms, but she was uneasy, certain the weather heralded something much more sinister than lightning and thunder.

“I will never tire of this view,” Amastan Meziane said, his gaze on the sea. “As a young man, I would stand in this exact spot with my father and feel fortunate to live in this place.”

“Just as I do,” Safia admitted, looking up at her grandfather.

Safia’s family was Imazighen. Outsiders sometimes referred to them as Berbers. Her family owned a very prosperous farm located up in the hills outside the town of Dellys. They had extraordinary views of the sea and the harbor. The farm kept a variety of animals, mainly sheep and goats, and harvested the wool, spinning and dying it for clothes and rugs they sold at the local market or sent with Safia’s oldest sister’s family across the Sahara to markets. Some of the family members made jewelry and others pottery. All contributed to the success of the household, farm and tribe.

Her grandfather Amastan was the acknowledged head of her tribe. Like her grandfather, Safia had always felt very lucky to have been born into her family. To live where she lived. To be raised on her family farm. She had two older sisters who doted on her and three older brothers who always treated her as if she were a treasure, just as her parents and grandparents did. They all worked hard on the farm. When her oldest sister, Illi, married and left with her husband, Kab, no one resented the extra work. They were happy for her, although Safia missed her terribly and looked forward to the times when she returned from her travels.

Beside her, Amastan sighed. “Our family has had centuries of good years, Safia, and we can’t complain. We’ve always known this time would come.”

He felt it, too. It wasn’t her imagination. Evil rode in the wind of that storm. It had quietly invaded their farm. She had known all along but had done her best to tell herself it was her wild imagination. The number of invasive insects had suddenly increased. Three weeks earlier, she had begun to note the tracks of an unfamiliar predator. One week ago, several predators had eviscerated a goat near the cliffs. Whatever it was seemed to disappear into the ground when she’d tried to follow it. There had been more than one, but she couldn’t determine the number or exactly what it was.

“I love the way Dellys looks, Jeddi, day or night. The blend of beautiful modern structures built so close to the ancient ruins and the way the ruins are on the hillside facing the sea. I love the sunrises and sunsets, and the sea with its colors and ever-changing mood, the markets and the people. Dellys is so modern, and yet our history, our culture, is right there for everyone to see. And on the hillside, evidence of our history remains. We’re like that. Our family. Like Dellys. So modern on the outside. Anyone looking at us would believe we’re so progressive.” She loved her life. Mostly, she loved the huge tribe she called family.

Safia didn’t look at her grandfather; she kept her gaze fixed on the beauty of the sea. The women in her family were well educated, unlike many females in other tribes. They spoke Tamazight and Arabic, but along with that, they had learned French and English. Safia had been required to learn an ancient language that none of the others had to master. Her grandmother and mother were able to speak it, and she had one friend, Aura, who was an expert in the language, so she was fortunate to be able to practice with her. Safia never questioned why she had to learn such an ancient language that no one spoke in modern times. When her grandfather or grandmother decreed anything, it was done, usually without question.

Her grandfather not only believed they should expand their thinking, he insisted his daughters and granddaughters learn how to use weapons and to fight in hand-to-hand combat just as well as the males in the family. The women took care of the house, but they also worked on the farm. They learned to do everything needed and were always treated as valued members of the tribe. Their voices were heard when it came to solving problems. It was all very progressive and different from tradition in many other tribes.

Her grandfather arranged marriages in the traditional way. His word was law. He held the men they married to a very high standard. She couldn’t imagine what would happen should he ever find out his daughters or granddaughters were mistreated. Amastan appeared stern to outsiders, but he was always soft-spoken and fair. No one ever wanted to upset him. It was a rare event, but when it happened, he had the backing of the entire tribe, not that he needed it. He was a force to be reckoned with.