When Shadows Call

A Shaede Assassin Novella

Amanda Bonilla


Published by New American Library, a division of

Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA

First E-Book Printing, June 2012

Copyright © Amanda Bonilla, 2012

All rights reserved.

Also by Amanda Bonilla

Shaedes of Gray

Praise for Shaedes of Gray,

the first full-length novel in the Shaede Assassin series.

Available in print and e-book from Signet Eclipse.

“It is always a pleasure to discover an excellent new author and series, and Bonilla qualifies on both counts. The debut of her Shaede Assassin series features a tough yet compelling heroine. Full of fascinating characters, high-stakes intrigue, and fast-paced action, it’s a truly exhilarating adventure! Do not miss out!”

Romantic Times (top pick, 4? stars)

“Readers should be prepared for a one-of-a-kind, exciting adventure that kicks off from the first page with a heroine who truly knows how to take the lead and kick butt while she’s at it. Urban fantasy readers will want to buy this book.”

—Night Owl Reviews (top pick, 4? stars)

“Truly transcendental as well as gritty . . . an abundance of awesome action, as well as raw romance, all wrapped up in a fast-paced story that is fresh and unparalleled. Shaedes of Gray is going down as one of my favorite new series, and Darian as one of my new favorite heroines of 2011.”

—Heroes and Heartbreakers

“Let me tell you, within two pages (and, no, I am not exaggerating) . . . I just KNEW I had started reading a great book by a really talented author. . . .You will no doubt find it on my Favorites of 2011 list. Yes, people, it was that good.”

—Yummy Men and Kick Ass Chicks

“An action-packed debut for Amanda Bonilla that will have the reader begging for more.”

—Fresh Fiction

“I loved this novel; it was full of great characters and a seriously entertaining plot that I wished never ended. Amanda Bonilla wrote an unforgettable new series and I can’t wait for the sequel. I highly recommend this novel.”

—Seeing Night Book Reviews

“The main character is stoic and somewhat grouchy and I loved everything about her. Amanda Bonilla has created a brand-new series that absolutely wowed me!”

—The Romance Readers Connection (4? stars)

Shaedes of Gray was my kind of urban fantasy. I was hooked from page one, and I can’t wait for book two.”

—Urban Fantasy Investigations

“The first Shaede Assassin [novel] is an excellent urban fantasy starring a strong survivor.”

—Genre Go Round Reviews

“You never know what to expect when trying out a new author. Turns out I had nothing to fear. . . . Urban fantasy fans will love this one, and I’ll be anxiously awaiting the next book in the series!”

—My Bookish Ways

“An excellent foundation for a one-of-a-kind series and definitely makes me wants to stick around for the ride! . . . You want this book!”

—Wicked Little Pixie

“I was right to be excited about this book. . . . I have a feeling there is a lot more to come for Darian. . . . a great urban fantasy.”

—Urban Fantasy Reviews

Read on to discover Darian’s thrilling beginnings. . . .

Chapter 1

I’d have given anything to live a different life.

My jaw stung when I dabbed at my bleeding mouth with a handkerchief, and I sucked my breath in sharply through my teeth. Already my lip was swollen to twice its normal size and if I had no broken bones, it would be a miracle. Surely I’d suffered irreversible damage this time.

The steaming copper bathtub tempted me with the promise of soothing warmth, though it wasn’t the comfort of a much needed soaking that I wanted. No, my intentions went beyond that of mere physical comfort. I was looking for something more spiritual in nature. And though I couldn’t possibly know what awaited me in the dark abyss, I’d made up my mind. Come heaven or hell, I was going to put an end to my misery once and for all. I dipped one toe and eased first my foot and then one leg into the almost too-hot water. The rest of my body followed inch by inch, and as I lowered myself into the tub, water sloshed over the high edge to splash on the tiled floor. I didn’t care about the mess. Honestly, I didn’t care about anything anymore. I wanted the water to cover every inch of me, to hide the evidence of yet another beating I was too weak to prevent.

What I wouldn’t give to be strong.

I took a deep breath and held it before submerging my head. I sank to the bottom of the tub, looking up through the haze of rippling water as I watched the bubbles escape from my nose and float to the surface and burst. Would it hurt to die by drowning? It couldn’t be any worse than the feeling of Henry’s fist slamming into my stomach. My lungs burned but I refused to budge. My body fought against my will, seizing involuntarily as it struggled for the oxygen I so desperately needed. But I refused to bow this time. As I faced the end, I would not be afraid. I forced my body to still as the last of the air left in my lungs floated in tiny, irregular bubbles to the ceiling of water.

Soon, I would float away as well. And I would finally be free.

The burning in my lungs subsided and was replaced with a soft glow of warmth. My hands that gripped the

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