Authors: N J Walters
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Eternal Brothers Copyright © 2007 N.J. Walters
Edited by Mary Altman.
Cover art by Les
Electronic book Publication October 2007
This book may not be reproduced or used in whole or in part by any means existing without written
permission from the publisher,
Cave Publishing, Inc
1056 Home Avenue, Akron OH 44310-
This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales
is purely coincidental. The characters are productions of the authors' imagination and used fictitiously.
Thank you to my husband, Gerard, for sharing this incredible journey with me.
Thank you to all the readers who have embraced the
family and this series.
As always, thank you to my amazing editor, Mary, who works above and beyond
to make each book sparkle!
The hair on the back of his neck stood on end. Sam Cassidy flicked back the corner
of the curtain ever so slightly and peered out into the evening gloom descending on the
city of New Orleans. He scanned the street but could see nothing. Nonetheless, he knew
someone was out there watching the house. He'd been a cop for too long to discount his
Cassidy didn't jump or flinch. He was getting used to the other inhabitants of this
house taking him unawares. It didn't bother him anymore. After all, they were all
vampires and therefore had abilities beyond mere mortals. He chuckled to himself as he
let the end of the curtain drop back into place and turned away from the window.
"Something amuses you?" The corner of Lucian's mouth turned upward.
Cassidy shook his head. "I just find it damn strange at times that I'm working for a
bunch of vampires."
"Ah, the capriciousness of fate." Lucian strolled farther into the opulent family
room, stopping by a wine decanter and pouring himself a glass. The ruby red of the
had Cassidy staring hard at it. "It's only wine, my friend.
But an exceptional
He picked up the crystal goblet and swirled the liquid around. "Are you sure
you don't want one?"
"Positive." He glanced out the window again. "Someone is out there watching the
All remnants of humor disappeared and Lucian was standing at the window before
Cassidy could blink. He still couldn't get used to the preternatural speed and other
powers that Lucian and his family possessed. It would take time, he supposed. He'd
been friends with them for several years but had only taken the job as head of their
security two weeks ago.
Lucian focused his attention out the window and Cassidy knew he was using his
exceptional psychic powers to scan the area. "I sense only normal activity."
"Doesn't matter." Cassidy strode to another window and checked the street. It was
early October and, with the night closing in quicker, it was impossible for him to see
much of anything. "Someone is watching."
Lucian stepped away from the window. "If you say that someone is watching us,
then I believe you. But there is always someone watching us. That is one of the
problems of being rich." Dismissing whoever was outside on the street, Lucian picked
up his glass and strode toward the door. "Delight and I are taking her brother out for
supper. He's heading back to New York tomorrow and Delight wants to spend the
evening with him."
Cassidy watched him disappear back up the wide staircase. Delight
well, she was Delight
now--was the reason that he'd met Lucian. She'd been in
the wrong place at the wrong time a little over three years ago and had witnessed her
boss being murdered. Unfortunately, the lowlife scum who'd been doing the killing had
discovered her and they'd chased her with the intent of silencing her. Fortunately,
Lucian had saved her. Cassidy had been one of the detectives assigned to the case.
They'd never found the bodies of the assailants and that had led him to look a little
more closely at the
family. Lucian and his brother Stefan lived alongside each
other in the French Quarter. Rich and powerful, they kept a low profile in the city.
The crime boss who'd ordered the hit had wanted all the loose ends tied up and
that had led to the kidnapping of Delight's then eighteen-year-old brother, Chase. The
night everything had come to a head was one that Cassidy would never forget. He'd
seen things he never would have believed if he hadn't seen them himself, and there
were still some days where he questioned his own mind.
Delight had been shot and was dying when Lucian had grabbed her. Before
Cassidy's very eyes the man had grown fangs and began sucking what was left of
Delight's blood from her body. He had started to interfere but was stopped by both
Chase and Stefan. Lucian had then opened up his own vein and had tried to get Delight
to drink. It had been horrifying and fascinating to witness at the same time.
She'd been dead. He was certain of that. But then she'd latched onto Lucian's wrist
and sucked. Her wounds had begun to heal in front of Cassidy's eyes. That night had
been a nightmare, and for the first time in his law enforcement career, Cassidy hadn't
told the full truth. He'd kept the
family and Delight out of his reports.
After all, who would have believed him?
men were not trusting sorts and Cassidy couldn't blame them. When
you were protecting a secret this big, you couldn't afford to take chances. But Cassidy
had been thrown into their lives again a few months later when Stefan got into a bit of
trouble in North Carolina. Once again, Cassidy had witnessed a
his chosen woman back from the brink of death and convert her into a vampire.
He walked over to the large wingback chair that sat in front of the fireplace and
down into it, stretching his long, jean-clad legs out in front of him. The
hearth was cold, but the nights were still relatively warm. Closing his eyes, he tilted his
head back against the plush cushion. He seen more horror than he'd ever wanted to the
past three years and only a small part of it came from his association with the
family. The bulk of it had come from Hurricane Katrina.
family had evacuated along with everyone else who'd been able to
leave the city, but he had stayed. As a police detective, it was his duty to serve. He
swallowed hard, still able to taste the stench of death after all these long months. He
had vivid memories of the hours following the disaster. Days had melded into weeks of
scouring the city for the dead and survivors as the waters receded. Then there was the
criminal element that always surfaced at times like this, preying on the weaker and
finding a way to turn a buck.
The experience had changed him.
He'd seen too much, been through too much. In spite of how he'd felt, he'd hung on
almost another two years, refusing to quit. The dreams tormented him nightly and he
felt as if he was losing a hopeless battle as the city struggled to rebuild. At thirty-five,
he'd burnt out and had lost the heart to do the job he'd been trained to do. Handing in
his resignation had been the hardest thing he'd ever done. Sam Cassidy was no quitter,
but it was either the job or his sanity, so he'd left the job.
Cassidy opened his eyes and smiled. At twenty-one, Chase
was the only
other non-vampire in the house. Cassidy didn't count the housekeeper who only came
in twice a week. He liked Delight's younger brother, who was much older than his
years. "I'm fine." The response was immediate, but he realized he wasn't fine.
filled him and he knew that as soon as the family left for supper, he would
be out prowling around the neighborhood.
Chase stared hard at him before changing the subject. "How do you like the
Cassidy had moved into Chase's old apartment, a converted carriage house out in
back of the main house. It was large and clean and more than adequate for his needs. It
kept him on site where he was needed and it saved him a lot of money in rent. Not that
he needed to save money now. The
brothers were paying him a ridiculous
amount of money to work for them, but that wasn't why he'd taken the job.
"The carriage house is great. How's New York?" Delight's brother was a budding
artist and, from what little Cassidy had seen, a damn good one. He specialized in
sculpture but also dabbled in paints as well. Lucian had arranged for him to move to
New York to further his art studies.
Chase's demeanor changed immediately as he smiled. "New York is amazing.
There's so much to see and do."
He listened with half an ear as Chase waxed enthusiastic about the joys of the city,
his mind still on the threat he felt from coming from outside.
He heard the others coming before he saw them. Female voices drifted into the
room, announcing their arrival. Lucian and Delight entered the room first. With her
pale blue eyes and short sandy-brown hair, Delight certainly didn't resemble his idea of
a vampire. She looked wholesome and natural, more like your friend's kid sister than a
preternatural being. Stefan and his wife, Laurel Rose, followed them into the room. The
other woman had an ethereal quality about her. With her long black hair and her deep
indigo eyes, Laurel Rose looked like she could easily bewitch a man. She was certainly
the center of Stefan
' world. The large man hovered protectively behind her.
Delight smiled at her brother. "You ready to go?"
"Sure am." Chase headed to the door. "I just
grab my coat."
"You sure you don't want to come with us, Cassidy?" Delight's offer warmed his
"No, I've got things to do here. You all go ahead." He didn't have to worry about
security at night. No one would get past Stefan or Lucian
brothers certainly fulfilled his expectations of what a vampire should
look like and then some. Big and muscular, there was an aura of barely restrained
power that emanated from them. With their long black hair and piercing green eyes,
they were definitely intimidating. The women were unquestionably safe with these men
who would not hesitate to kill to protect them. Cassidy took over security during the
day when they were all in a deathlike sleep and vulnerable to attack.
Lucian's eyes narrowed as he watched Cassidy. But Cassidy kept his features
impassive and the group finally left. The silence of the house wrapped around him and
he stood and prowled back toward the window.
Tonight's dinner was for family and, as he had been his entire life, Cassidy was on
the outside looking in. He was the hired help, not a member of the family.
That was one of the things that he admired about the
everything to them. They had an older brother,
, who lived in Transylvania
with his wife, Johanna, but, in spite of the distance, they were all very close. But as
much as they were alike, all three brothers had distinct personalities and Sam liked
All three of the women were always kind to him, trying to include him in one thing
or another, but he wasn't sure that Stefan and
really trusted him in spite of all
they'd been through together.
That was okay by him. Didn't matter what anyone else thought--he considered the
men and their wives to be his family. He was closer to them than he'd been to
anyone else in his entire life. As someone who'd never had one of his own, he knew the
value of family and the
family was his.
There was nothing he wouldn't do to protect them.
Moving away from the window, he strode through the house and out the back
door, setting the state-of-the-art security alarm as he went. It was time for him to do a
little snooping around. The darkness swallowed him up as he let himself out through a
side gate in the wrought iron fence that encircled the gardens.
Zane York let the shadows engulf him as he watched the
family pile into
several luxury vehicles and drive away. He'd thought he'd be able to forget about them
when he'd left New Orleans almost three years ago and headed back to his beloved
New York City.
God knows he'd tried to forget about them. Although he was a big man, he had no
problem melding with the darkness. He was at home here in the night. It was a trait that
had served him well when he'd worked the night shift as a New Orleans police
detective. But he'd given up that job and had been back working in New York when
Katrina had hit the city. For a fleeting moment he'd considered returning to his briefly
adopted home but, in the end, he'd forced himself to stay away. It was better for
everyone, especially him.
But he hadn't been able to settle back into any kind of a life in New York. Questions
brothers plagued him constantly. Were they what he thought they
were? He watched the headlights of the vehicles disappear into the distance. Were they
He shook his head. They were the reason he'd moved to New Orleans in the first
place. With his reputation on the New York police force, it had been no problem for him
to get a job here. He'd quickly gotten into the routine of his new life and watched the
family from a distance.
From the outside, they seemed to be exactly what they proclaimed to be--a rich,
powerful family. But Zane had heard rumors and he'd followed up on them.
The first whisper of real trouble had come when a woman had been assaulted in an
alleyway after witnessing a murder. Delight
had escaped, but the men who'd
attacked her had never been found, even though there was quite a bit of blood in the
alley and none of it belonged to the woman.
Detectives Sam Cassidy and his partner, Jean Gagnon, had been assigned to the
case. Zane had talked to both of them but had been unable to get much of anything
from Cassidy. Detective Gagnon was the weak link in that partnership and Zane had
had a much easier time getting information from him. All it had taken was a few drinks
at a local cop bar one evening and Gagnon had spilled everything he'd known.
admittedly, hadn't been much at all.
There was no doubt in Zane's mind that Cassidy was the brains in that partnership,
which only proved that looks
were deceiving. Gagnon was smooth, polished and well-
spoken, wearing his three-piece designer suits while Cassidy, with his blue jeans and
' boy attitude, was frequently overlooked.
Gagnon had told him that Lucian
had been with Delight