The First Christian & Brina Novella
A Lunch Hour Read
To Ann Wintrode,
my fearless grammar guru
A sliver of moon hung in an ink-black sky. Christian raised his torch high to prowl the narrow streets of the village east of his fortress. At his approach, an owl flapped away on silent wings. An omen? He’d watched the signs, studied the planets, and danger was near. Almost upon them. Its source, he didn’t know.
His eyes scanned the eight-foot, stone wall that he’d had built to circle the villages. Was the wall high enough, strong enough? His foot tripped over something on the cobblestone street. An arm. A young woman’s body sprawled in the gutter—a peasant, judging by her ragged tunic. He lowered his torch to get a better look at her. Fang marks near the base of her slender neck. Deathly white complexion. She’d been drained nearly to the last drop.