A city of lies, p.1
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       A City of Lies, p.1
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         Part #55 of A Shade of Vampire series by Bella Forrest
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A City of Lies

  A Shade of Vampire 55: A City of Lies

  Bella Forrest


  Also by Bella Forrest

  Problems reading?

  New Generation List

  Family tree

  1. Blaze

  2. Harper

  3. Avril

  4. Scarlett

  5. Fiona

  6. Avril

  7. Harper

  8. Hansa

  9. Harper

  10. Jax

  11. Harper

  12. Scarlett

  13. Avril

  14. Fiona

  15. Hansa

  16. Harper

  17. Harper

  18. Blaze

  19. Harper

  20. Jax

  21. Hansa

  22. Caia

  23. Harper

  24. Caia

  25. Harper

  26. Caia

  27. Avril

  28. Harper

  29. Jax

  30. Harper

  31. Avril

  32. Fiona

  33. Caia

  34. Fiona

  35. Avril

  36. Harper

  37. Harper

  38. Derek

  Read more by Bella Forrest

  Also by Bella Forrest


  (Brand new paranormal romance series!)

  Hotbloods (Book 1)

  Coldbloods (Book 2)

  Renegades (Book 3)


  The Girl Who Dared to Think (Book 1)

  The Girl Who Dared to Stand (Book 2)

  The Girl Who Dared to Descend (Book 3)

  The Girl Who Dared to Rise (Book 4)

  The Girl Who Dared to Lead (Book 5)


  (Completed series)

  The Gender Game (Book 1)

  The Gender Secret (Book 2)

  The Gender Lie (Book 3)

  The Gender War (Book 4)

  The Gender Fall (Book 5)

  The Gender Plan (Book 6)

  The Gender End (Book 7)


  Series 1: Derek & Sofia’s story

  A Shade of Vampire (Book 1)

  A Shade of Blood (Book 2)

  A Castle of Sand (Book 3)

  A Shadow of Light (Book 4)

  A Blaze of Sun (Book 5)

  A Gate of Night (Book 6)

  A Break of Day (Book 7)

  Series 2: Rose & Caleb’s story

  A Shade of Novak (Book 8)

  A Bond of Blood (Book 9)

  A Spell of Time (Book 10)

  A Chase of Prey (Book 11)

  A Shade of Doubt (Book 12)

  A Turn of Tides (Book 13)

  A Dawn of Strength (Book 14)

  A Fall of Secrets (Book 15)

  An End of Night (Book 16)

  Series 3: The Shade continues with a new hero…

  A Wind of Change (Book 17)

  A Trail of Echoes (Book 18)

  A Soldier of Shadows (Book 19)

  A Hero of Realms (Book 20)

  A Vial of Life (Book 21)

  A Fork of Paths (Book 22)

  A Flight of Souls (Book 23)

  A Bridge of Stars (Book 24)

  Series 4: A Clan of Novaks

  A Clan of Novaks (Book 25)

  A World of New (Book 26)

  A Web of Lies (Book 27)

  A Touch of Truth (Book 28)

  An Hour of Need (Book 29)

  A Game of Risk (Book 30)

  A Twist of Fates (Book 31)

  A Day of Glory (Book 32)

  Series 5: A Dawn of Guardians

  A Dawn of Guardians (Book 33)

  A Sword of Chance (Book 34)

  A Race of Trials (Book 35)

  A King of Shadow (Book 36)

  An Empire of Stones (Book 37)

  A Power of Old (Book 38)

  A Rip of Realms (Book 39)

  A Throne of Fire (Book 40)

  A Tide of War (Book 41)

  Series 6: A Gift of Three

  A Gift of Three (Book 42)

  A House of Mysteries (Book 43)

  A Tangle of Hearts (Book 44)

  A Meet of Tribes (Book 45)

  A Ride of Peril (Book 46)

  A Passage of Threats (Book 47)

  A Tip of Balance (Book 48)

  A Shield of Glass (Book 49)

  A Clash of Storms (Book 50)

  Series 7: A Call of Vampires

  A Call of Vampires (Book 51)

  A Valley of Darkness (Book 52)

  A Hunt of Fiends (Book 53)

  A Den of Tricks (Book 54)

  A City of Lies (Book 55)


  A Shade of Dragon 1

  A Shade of Dragon 2

  A Shade of Dragon 3


  A Shade of Kiev 1

  A Shade of Kiev 2

  A Shade of Kiev 3


  (Completed series)

  The Secret of Spellshadow Manor (Book 1)

  The Breaker (Book 2)

  The Chain (Book 3)

  The Keep (Book 4)

  The Test (Book 5)

  The Spell (Book 6)


  Beautiful Monster 1

  Beautiful Monster 2

  DETECTIVE ERIN BOND (Adult thriller/mystery)

  Lights, Camera, GONE

  Write, Edit, KILL

  For an updated list of Bella’s books, please visit her website: www.bellaforrest.net

  Join Bella’s VIP email list and she’ll send you an email reminder as soon as her next book is out. Tap here to sign up: www.forrestbooks.com

  Copyright © 2018 by Bella Forrest

  Cover design inspired by Sarah Hansen, Okay Creations LLC

  All rights reserved.

  No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

  Problems reading?

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  New Generation List

  Avril (vampire): adopted daughter of Lucas and biological daughter of Marion.

  Blaze (fire dragon): son of fire dragons Heath and Athena.

  Caia (part fae/human): daughter of Grace and Lawrence.

  Fiona (vampire): daughter of Benedict (son of Rose and Caleb) and Yelena.

  Harper (sentry/vampire): daughter of Hazel and Tejus.

  Scarlett (vampire): daughter of Jeramiah (son of Lucas Novak) and Pippa (daughter of Cameron Hendry).

  Family tree

  If you’d like to check out the Novaks’ family tree, visit: www.forrestbooks.com/tree


  King Shaytan left us in the meranium box with a small barrel of water and the promise that we would be looked after. As if that made any difference.

  Caia and I were prisoners, trapped, at the mercy of the king of daemons. My blood boiled as I paced the small box, while Caia leaned her back against one of the walls. Our reflections were blurry on the shiny metal surface, and my steps echoed in the small tunnel through which Shaytan had pushed our water. The box was approximately three by three meters, its walls at least ten meters thick, completely sealed and with nothing but that little tunnel connecting us to the outside world—even Caia couldn’t fit through it.

  We di
dn’t even know if Harper, Caspian, Hansa, and Jax had made it out alive.

  “What do we do?” Caia murmured, her gaze fixed on the floor.

  It wasn’t the first time she had asked that question. She seemed lost, and it tore me apart on the inside to see her so distraught and vulnerable.

  “For now, all we can do is get a little bit of rest,” I replied. “Just to clear our heads and get ready for what comes next.”

  “What exactly is coming next?” Caia asked. “I mean, we are stuck here. We cannot use our fire to get out. Whatever this meranium metal does, it includes stifling our only weapon against these daemons. On top of that, we have no idea where the others are, if they even made it out, if they’re okay… and let’s not forget that if you try to go full dragon, I’m going to get crushed in the process. So what comes next?”

  She was frustrated, and I couldn’t exactly blame her—I felt the same. But I wasn’t going to let her fall prey to whatever the daemons had in store for us, and I certainly wasn’t going to let her succumb to any kind of panic or, worse, hopelessness.

  I stopped, then turned to face her, and I felt my heart swell painfully with the need to hold her. She looked up at me, her teal eyes wide and glazed with tears.

  “Let’s take it one step at a time, Caia,” I said. “We won’t be in here forever. If the others are out there, they will come for us.”

  “But do they know where we are?”

  “I’m sure they will find out, one way or another,” I replied, feeling the confidence return to my voice. “Besides, we are most likely inside the palace. They will figure it out. Harper’s relentless, you know that. She will stop at nothing to get you back.”

  “To get us back.” She gave me a weak smile.

  “Sure.” I shrugged, feigning disinterest. “To get us back. But we both know I’m not the one she’s besties with.”

  At least she still had the strength to smile, and even chuckle. It meant that there was still hope, not just for her, but for the both of us, because she was my anchor and I was hers.

  “And what if…” Her expression changed from a mild half-smile to a deep, shadowy frown as she choked up. “What if they didn’t make it? What if… What if we are stuck here? At Shaytan’s mercy… What are we going to do then?”

  I let a long and heavy sigh roll out of my chest, my shoulders dropping. I struggled to find a positive outcome in all of this. There was no way I was going to rot in here, and there certainly wasn’t any way that I would let Caia spend the rest of her life in a meranium box.

  “Still, they won’t keep us in here forever,” I replied. “They will have to let us out at some point, whether it’ll be to put me in chains, or to transfer us to some other larger, equally charmed box. We both know by now that they probably possess enough swamp witch magic to restrain my dragon abilities in the long term. I can’t be sure, at this point, but given what we’ve seen so far, I can speculate.”

  “So, what? We just wait for a good opening?” she asked, and I didn’t miss that tinge of sarcasm in her tone.

  However, we were suddenly interrupted. The latch at the end of the small tunnel opened with a loud clang. Both Caia and I immediately moved to the opening to see who was out there.

  “Oh, hello, pets.” The daemon sneered, narrowing his red eyes at us. He wasn’t a regular grunt, judging by his heavy leather tunic and the gold thread woven around his horns, which stretched down and backward. His long black hair was smooth and tightly braided on the sides, each lock ending in a cluster of beads. He was royalty, and he looked familiar.

  “Who are you?” I asked, my tone rough, my anger audible.

  He chuckled, carefully analyzing Caia and me, as if we were zoo exhibits.

  “I suppose it’s only fair that you know the name of your… caretaker,” the daemon replied. “I am Mammon, son of Shaytan.”

  “Our caretaker?” Caia shot back, raising an eyebrow, unable to hide her contempt.

  “Well, yes,” Mammon replied, then pushed a small wooden tray through the tunnel. It didn’t go all the way to the end, where we stood, so I had to reach out and pull it toward us. It held two warm steel dishes. They had actually made an effort to provide us with food. “As you can see, I am taking care of you. Therefore, I am your caretaker. Although, to be fair, I would much rather eat your souls than feed you, but Father says you are not to be touched yet.”

  He didn’t seem happy with that decision, but I couldn’t say I was bothered. On the contrary, it meant that Shaytan needed us alive and in one piece, for whatever reason.

  “So what are we doing here?” I asked.

  Mammon rolled his eyes, as if he couldn’t be bothered to answer such basic questions.

  “You two have no idea what you’ve gotten yourselves into,” he scoffed. “You don’t even know half of what is really going on, but you sure are keen to ask the most unnecessary questions. Do you really think it matters why you are here? Because, frankly, you should both know that this is where you end. So is it even worth it to ask why?”

  “Okay, smartass,” Caia retorted, “how about we try another question? Such as, what is really going on here?”

  Mammon chuckled, slowly shaking his head. My only wish was that my arms were long enough for me to reach out and snap his neck like a chicken’s. Fire raged through me, fueled by my inability to get myself and Caia out of this mess.

  “Now that is a question that I would love to answer, but I can’t,” he said.

  “Then why did you mention it?” She scowled at him.

  “Purely for the joy of messing with you, of course.”

  I snapped. My throat burned, and I released a thick river of fire through the tunnel. I still had my blazing breath, though it had no physical impact on the meranium box itself. Mammon went pale for a split second, then swiftly shut the latch tight before my flames could reach him.

  A couple of seconds went by. Both Caia and I stared at the darkness of the sealed tunnel.

  “Okay, so, maybe if you try that again, but faster, so they don’t expect it, we might have a shot?” Caia looked at me, raising her eyebrows and pursing her lips.

  “I’m not sure that will work again.” I frowned. “Mammon will probably be more careful the next time he pops by.”

  A few minutes passed, and the latch opened again. We stilled. It wasn’t Mammon this time. Based on the gold thread woven around his horns, this was another prince, but none of the ones I’d seen at the earlier gathering. I couldn’t help but wonder if I could try that fire breath trick again. Perhaps I could wait another minute, and just gauge his reflexes. I couldn’t risk exhibiting a habit for which they could be prepared, going forward.

  “And who are you?” I said.

  “I was wondering who my brother was talking to earlier. It looked kind of weird from the outside,” the daemon prince replied. “As if he were talking to a hole in a wall. For a second, I thought he’d lost his mind.”

  “Who the hell are you? What do you want?” Caia had run out of patience.

  “Ah, you’re that fire fae,” the daemon shot back. “You can definitely hold your own in a fight. I watched you the day before, when you were looking for your friend in the gorges. It’s a shame you ended up in here.”

  “You were in the gorge yesterday?” She frowned. “You still haven’t answered my question. Who are you?”

  “I’m the one who gave your friend back to you,” he replied.

  It dawned on me then who we were talking to. This was the daemon that had abducted Fiona.

  “You’re Zane,” I breathed. That was even more confusing, looking back. What was a prince doing around Azure Heights? Most importantly, what was he doing kidnapping our friend? “You’re a prince.”

  “That, unfortunately, I am. And you’re a dragon, stuck in a box.” He snorted.

  “Yeah, the irony does not escape me either,” I muttered.

  “Hold on,” Caia replied, “so, if you’re a prince, why did you release Fiona? And wh
y don’t you release us, while you’re here?”

  “Whoa, whoa, whoa.” Zane lifted his hands in a dismissive gesture. “First of all, whatever I do with Fiona is my business, and mine alone. Second, I am not getting involved in whatever… this is. I do my best to stay out of the king’s business.”

  “But you’re a prince. You sit on the Council. You are part of the king’s business,” Caia said.

  “Well, aren’t you perceptive,” Zane scoffed. “It’s true, I do sit on the Council, and I’m impressed that you know that, but I do not try to interfere much. I just cast my vote whenever my brothers push for some new law. So, yes, technically speaking, I am part of the king’s business, as you so bluntly put it, but not as much as you might think.”

  “But you chose to release Fiona.” Caia didn’t give up. “That makes me think that you’re not half as bad as the rest of your… family. Help us get out of here. Otherwise, Fiona will come looking for us, along with the others.”

  “Listen, if I were you, I would be more worried about your situation.” Zane adopted a nonchalant demeanor. “I’m not getting involved. I’ll think about it, at best.”

  He then closed the latch, depriving us of the opportunity to further try to convince him to help us. Caia then looked at me, concern drawing shadows between her eyebrows. As dire as our situation was at this point, I still couldn’t ignore the magnetism charging the air around us.

  “Clearly,” I said, trying to focus on what had just happened, “Zane is pretty much entitled to watch out for himself before anyone else. It is difficult for me to see him just dropping everything to help us. I’m guessing the wrath of Shaytan could be as deadly to him as to anyone else.”

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