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The Lash Series: Book Three

War by Tara Fax Hall
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Weresnake Lash journeys to Europe on the eve of war, desperately searching for not only his nephew, but also his former lover Nancy. Leveraged into service to Germany by the malicious German werecougar Theodor von Kessel, Lash befriends fellow soldier and weresnake Dieter, even as he secures safety for Nancy. When Theodor divulges The German Final Solution and the part they are destined to play in it, Dieter and Nancy attempt escape to England while Lash orchestrates distraction. Horrified to learn upon his escape that Nancy and Dieter were captured, Lash returns to Europe in a second rescue, banding with another weresnake called Nails and his motley crew of various weremen to free Dieter and Nancy from the camps where they are imprisoned. Caught by demons in an ambush, Lash is imprisoned in a death camp, but breaks free with Dieter in time to join the American Forces near D-day. Resolute, Dieter and Lash fight onwards with Allied forces to Germany itself, their goals to find Nancy, kill Theodor, and survive the final bloody days of World War II.
Double Dragon Publishing; August 2013
264 pages; ISBN 9781771151238
Read online, or download in secure EPUB or secure PDF format
Title: War
Author: Tara Fax Hall

I headed down the long hallway, up the stairs, and into the room I now shared with Sol. I'd initially balked at the idea of sharing a room with him. I mean, we were adults, not related, and both men. Yet pure logistics won out in the end. It was a hell of a lot easier for us to find each other when it was time to trade off guarding Devlin and Hayden. With Valerian still off somewhere plotting revenge, I was taking no chances.

I lay down on my cot and tried to sleep. After fifteen minutes of thinking of all the terrible things that could be happening to Nancy, I gave up and took out Abraham's box. I'd long since looked at most of the pictures, but I was still working my way through the letters. I'd paid Leri to enchant them, so that they'd last as long as Dev told me I was going to on the longevity potion he acquired monthly for me from Titus.

I read for an hour, thinking about how much more I knew now of Abraham than I had when he'd been alive. But he'd never spoken of his past to me, other than to say he'd been married and had a child. There was so much more to the story.

Abraham had been turned pre-Civil War and taken part in the reconstruction, though for the actual war he was not in the states during that time, but had instead gone west with a few other vampires, as many vampires and other non-humans were killed during the war. When the war was over he'd settled in New Orleans. Somehow, he'd ascended the throne there, though there were no letters here that spoke to that. This little I knew of his life as a vampire before I'd met him came from a slim diary in his hand at the bottom of the box.

The many letters were all of his love for his wife, Vera, and his son, Xavier. They didn't tell of graphic battles, denial, or betrayal. They were of mundane things, like seeing parents for holidays and speaking of plays. But mostly they were of planning dates when he would be in town to meet her, and telling her he longed to see her again, that he couldn't wait for the day they would marry. The last ones spoke of how much joy Abraham took in his son and how much he hated to be apart from him because of his business travels.

I always got emotional reading these. The first reminded me of the letters I'd written to Mara, my fiancee years ago, even if I'd been nowhere near as eloquent or even as good as a speller as Abraham was. But the latter I couldn't even grasp. What would it be like to have a child to teach things to? What would it be like to have a mate, a woman to come home to? Abraham wrote of how happy it made him, his "one reason for happiness." Maybe one of the reasons I was never that happy was because I hadn't experienced either of those things.

The letters abruptly stopped in August of 1857. I guessed that was when he'd been turned, as the diary began again in late 1868. Better than ten years were missing, with no explanation. What had Abraham been doing out west during the Civil War? Who had turned him? He'd told me a vampire had done it so Abraham would use the skills he'd learned in mortal life to manage a city. But that city hadn't been New Orleans, as I'd always assumed.

Dev had alluded once that he had turned Abraham. He likely had the answers, at least some of them. The trouble was I wasn't comfortable bringing up the subject to Dev. Abraham hadn't left his family willingly. Just thinking that Devlin had made my good friend lose everything he cared about upset and angered me. Hearing him relate the tale would make me furious...

"Lash, you're on," Sol said tiredly as he came through the door. He headed into the shower, stripping off his clothes as he walked.

I got up, and reluctantly put on the chest armor plate Titus had custom made for me. Wallowing in loneliness would have to wait until twelve hours from now.

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