Lover Unbound; Black Dagger Brotherhood – J. R. Ward

Black Dagger Brotherhood (pr. n). Highly trained vampire warriors who protect their species against the Lessening Society. As a result of selective breeding within the race, Brothers possess immense physical and mental strength as weir as rapid healing capabilities. They are not siblings for the most part, and are inducted into the Brotherhood upon nomination by the Brothers. Aggressive, self-reliant, and secretive by nature, they exist apart from civilians, having little contact with members of the other classes except when they need to feed. They are the subjects of legend and the objects of reverence within the vampire world. They may be killed by only the most serious of wounds, e.g., a gunshot or stab to the heart, etc. blood slave(n.) Male or female vampire who has been subjugated to serve the blood needs of another. The practice of keeping blood slaves has largely been discontinued, though it has not been outlawed. the Chosen(pr.n.

) Female vampires who have been bred to serve the Scribe Virgin. They are considered members of the aristocracy, though they are spiritually rather than temporally focused. They have little or no interaction with males, but can be mated to Brothers at the Scribe Virgin\’s direction to propagate their class. They have the ability to prognosticate. In the past, they were used to meet the blood needs of unmated members of the Brotherhood, but that practice has been abandoned by the Brothers. cohntehst(n.) Conflict between two males competing for the right to be a female\’s mate. Dhunhd(pr. n.) Hell.

doggen(n.) Member of the servant class within the vampire world.Doggen have old, conservative traditions about service to their superiors, following a formal code of dress and behavior. They are able to go out during the day, but they age relatively quickly. Life expectancy is approximately five hundred years. ehros(n.) A Chosen trained in the matter of sexual arts. the Fade(pr. n.) Nontemporal realm where the dead reunite with their loved ones and pass eternity.

First Family(pr. n.) The king and queen of the vampires, and any children they may have. ghardian(n.) Custodian of an individual. There are varying degrees ofghardians , with the most powerful being that of asehcluded female. Page 1 J.R. Ward: Lover Unbound glymera(n.) The social core of the aristocracy, roughly equivalent to Regency England\’s ton.

hellren(n.) Male vampire who has been mated to a female. Males may take more than one female as mate. leahdyre(n.) A person of power and influence. leelan(adj.) A term of endearment loosely translated as \”dearest one.\” Lessening Society(pr. n.) Order of slayers convened by the Omega for the purpose of eradicating the vampire species.

lesser(n.) De-souled human who targets vampires for extermination as a member of the Lessening Society.Lessers must be stabbed through the chest in order to be killed; otherwise they are ageless. They do not eat or drink and are impotent. Over time, their hair, skin, and irises lose pigmentation until they are blond, blushless, and pale-eyed. They smell like baby powder. Inducted into the society by the Omega, they retain a ceramic jar thereafter into which their heart was placed after it was removed. lewlhenn. Gift. lheagen.

A term of respect used by a sexual submissive to refer to his or her dominant. mahmen(n.) Mother. Used both as an identifier and a term of affection. mhis(n.) The masking of a given physical environment; the creation of a field of illusion. nalla(n, f.) ornallum (n.m.) Beloved.

needing period(n.) Female vampire\’s time of fertility, generally lasting for two days and accompanied by intense sexual cravings. Occurs approximately five years after a female\’s transition and then once a decade thereafter. All males respond to some degree if they are around a female in her needing. It can be a dangerous time, with conflicts and fights breaking out between competing males, particularly if the female is not mated. newling(n.) A virgin. the Omega(pr. n.) Malevolent, mystical figure who has targeted the vampires for extinction out of resentment directed toward the Scribe Virgin.

Exists in a nontemporal realm and has extensive powers, though not the power of creation. pherarsom(adj.) Term referring to the potency of a male\’s sexual organs. Literal translation something close to \”worthy of entering a female.\” princeps(n.) Highest level of the vampire aristocracy, second only to members of the First Family or the Scribe Virgin\’s Chosen. Must be born to the title; it may not be conferred. pyrocant(n.) Refers to a critical weakness in an individual. The weakness can be internal, such as an addiction, or external, such as a lover.

rahlman(n.) Savior. rythe(n.) Ritual manner of assuaging honor granted by one who has offended another. If accepted, the Page 2 J.R. Ward: Lover Unbound offended chooses a weapon and strikes the offender, who presents him- or herself without defenses. the Scribe Virgin(pr. n.) Mystical force who is counselor to the king as well as the keeper of vampire archives and the dispenser of privileges.

Exists in a nontemporal realm and has extensive powers. Capable of a single act of creation, which she expended to bring the vampires into existence. sehclusion(n.) Status conferred by the king upon a female of the aristocracy as a result of a petition by the female\’s family. Places the female under the sole direction of herghardian , typically the eldest male in her household. Herghardian then has the legal right to determine all manner of her life, restricting at will any and all interactions she has with the world. shellan(n.) Female vampire who has been mated to a male. Females generally do not take more than one mate due to the highly territorial nature of bonded males. symphath(n.

) Species within the vampire race characterized by the ability and desire to manipulate emotions in others (for the purposes of an energy exchange), among other traits. Historically, they have been discriminated against and during certain eras hunted by vampires. They are near extinction. tahlly(n.) A term of endearment loosely translated as \”darling.\” the Tomb(pr. n.) Sacred vault of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Used as a ceremonial site as well as a storage facility for the jars oflessers . Ceremonies performed there include inductions, funerals, and disciplinary actions against Brothers.

No one may enter except for members of the Brotherhood, the Scribe Virgin, or candidates for induction. trahyner(n.) Word of mutual respect and affection used between males. Translated loosely as \”beloved friend.\” transition(n.) Critical moment in a vampire\’s life when he or she transforms into an adult. Thereafter, they must drink the blood of the opposite sex to survive and are unable to withstand sunlight. Occurs generally in the mid-twenties. Some vampires do not survive their transitions, males in particular. Prior to their transitions, vampires are physically weak, sexually unaware and unresponsive, and unable to dematerialize.

vampire(n.) Member of a species separate from that of Homo sapiens. Vampires must drink the blood of the opposite sex to survive. Human blood will keep them alive, though the strength does not last long. Following their transitions, which occur in their mid-twenties, they are unable to go out into sunlight and must feed from the vein regularly. Vampires cannot \”convert\” humans through a bite or transfer of blood, though they are in rare cases able to breed with the other species. Vampires can dematerialize at will, though they must be able to calm themselves and concentrate to do so and may not carry anything heavy with them. They are able to strip the memories of humans, provided such memories are short-term. Some vampires are able to read minds. Life expectancy is upward of a thousand years, or in some cases even longer.

wahlker(n.) An individual who has died and returned to the living from the Fade. (S)he is accorded great respect and is revered for his/her travails. whard(n.) Equivalent of a godfather or godmother to an individual. Prologue Page 3 J.R. Ward: Lover Unbound Greenwich Country Day School Greenwich, Connecticut Twenty years ago \”Just take it, Jane.\” Jane Whitcomb grabbed the backpack. \”You\’re still coming, right?\” \”Itold you this morning.

Yes .\” \”Okay.\” Jane watched her friend head down the sidewalk until a horn beeped. Straightening her jacket, she squared her shoulders and turned toward a Mercedes-Benz. Her mother was staring out of the driver\’s-side window, her eyebrows clenched. Jane hustled across the street, the rogue backpack with the contraband making too much noise, as far as she was concerned. She hopped in the backseat and stashed the thing at her feet. The car started rolling before she got the door shut. \”Your father is coming home this evening.\” \”What?\” Jane pushed her glasses up on her nose.

\”When?\” \”Tonight. So I\’m afraid the-\” \”No! You promised!\” Her mother looked over her shoulder. \”I beg your pardon, young lady.\” Jane teared up. \”You promised me for my thirteenth birthday. Katie and Lucy are supposed to-\” \”I\’ve already called their mothers.\” Jane fell back against the seat. Her mother\’s eyes lifted to the rearview mirror. \”Take that expression off your face, thank you. Do you think you\’re more important than your father? Do you?\” \”Of course not.

He\’sgod .\” The Mercedes swerved to the shoulder with a lurch and the brakes squealed. Her mother twisted around, lifted her hand, and held the pose, her arm trembling. Jane shrank back in horror. After a moment of suspended violence, her mother turned away, smoothing her perfectly smooth hair with a palm that was steady as boiling water. \”You… you will not be joining us for dinner this evening. And your cake will be disposed of.\” Page 4 J.R. Ward: Lover Unbound The car started moving again.

Jane wiped her cheeks and looked down at the backpack. She had never had a sleepover before. Had begged for months. Ruined. It was all ruined now. They were silent the whole ride home, and when the Mercedes was in the garage Jane\’s mother got out of the car and walked into the house without looking back. \”You know where to go,\” was all she said. Jane stayed in the car, trying to collect herself. Then she picked up the backpack and her books and dragged herself in through the kitchen. Richard, the cook, was bent over the trash bin pushing a cake with white icing and red and yellow flowers off a plate.

She didn\’t say anything to Richard because her throat was tight as a fist. Richard didn\’t say anything to her because he didn\’t like her. He didn\’t like anyone but Hannah. As Jane went out the butler\’s door into the dining room, she didn\’t want to run into her younger sister and prayed Hannah was in bed. She\’d been sick this morning. Probably because she\’d had a book report due. On the way to the staircase, Jane saw her mother in the living room. The couch cushions. Again. Her mother was still in her pale blue wool coat with her silk scarf in her hand, and no doubt she was going to stay dressed like that until she was satisfied with the way the cushions looked.

Which might be a while. The standard against which the things were measured was the same as the hair standard: total smoothness. Jane headed up to her room. Her only hope at this point was that her father would arrive after dinner. That way, although he would still find out she was grounded, at least he wouldn\’t have to look at her empty seat. Like her mother, he hated anything out of order, and Jane not at the table was big-time out of order. The length of the lecture she\’d get from him would be longer that way, because it would have to include both how she\’d let the family down with her absence at the meal as well as the fact that she\’d been rude to her mother. Upstairs, Jane\’s buttercup yellow bedroom was like everything else in the house: smooth as hair and couch cushions and the way people talked. Nothing out of place. Everything in the kind of frozen perfection you saw in house magazines.

The only thing that didn\’t fit was Hannah. The rogue backpack went into the closet, on top of the rows of penny loafers and Mary Janes; then Jane changed out of her school uniform into a Lanz flannel nightgown. There was no reason to put real clothes on. She was going nowhere. She took her stack of books to her white desk. She had English homework to do. Algebra. French. Page 5 J.R.

Ward: Lover Unbound She glanced over at her bedside table.Arabian Nights waited for her. She couldn\’t think of a better way to spend her punishment, but homework came first. Had to. Otherwise she would feel too guilty. Two hours later she was on her bed withNights in her lap when the door opened and Hannah\’s head poked in. Her curly red hair was another deviation. The rest of them were blonds. \”I brought food.\” Jane sat up, worried for her younger sister.

\”You\’ll get in trouble.\” \”No, I won\’t.\” Hannah slipped in, a little basket with a gingham napkin, a sandwich, an apple, and a cookie in her hand. \”Richard gave this to me so I\’d have a snack tonight.\” \”What about you?\” \”I\’m not hungry. Here.\” \”Thanks, Han.\” Jane took the basket as Hannah sat on the foot of the bed. \”So what didja do?\” Jane shook her head and bit into the roast beef sandwich. \”I got upset with Mom.

\” \” \’Cuz you couldn\’t have your party?\” \”Uh-huh.\” \”Well… I gots something to cheer you up.\” Hannah slid a folded piece of construction paper onto the duvet. \”Happy birthday!\” Jane looked at the card and blinked fast a couple of times. \”Thanks… Han.\” \”Don\’t be sad, I\’m here. Look at your card! I made it for you.\” On the front, drawn in her sister\’s messy hand, were two stick figures. One had straight blond hair and the wordJane written under it. The other had curly red hair and the nameHannah at its feet.

They were holding hands and had big smiles on their circle faces. Just as Jane went to open the card, a pair of headlights swept the front of the house and started coming up the driveway. \”Papa\’s home,\” Jane hissed. \”You better get out of here.\” Hannah didn\’t seem as concerned as she\’d usually be, probably because she didn\’t feel good. Or maybe she was distracted by… well, whatever Hannah got distracted by. She was mostly in her daydreams, which was probably why she was happy all the time. \”Go, Han, seriously.\” \”Okay. But I\’m really sorry that your party got quitted.

\” Hannah shuffled over to the door. Page 6 J.R. Ward: Lover Unbound \”Hey, Han? I like my card.\” \”You didn\’t look inside.\” \”Don\’t have to. I like it because you made it for me.\” Hannah\’s face split into one of her daisy smiles, the kind that reminded Jane of sunny days. \”It\’s about you and me.\” As the door shut, Jane heard her parents\’ voices drift up from the foyer.

In a rush she ate Hannah\’s snack, shoved the basket into the folds of the drapes next to the bed, and went to the stack of her schoolbooks. She took Dickens\’sThe Pickwick Papers back with her to the bed. She figured if she was working on school stuff when her father came in, it would buy her some brownie points. Her parents came upstairs an hour later and she tensed, expecting her father to knock. He didn\’t. Which was weird. He was, in his controlling way, as reliable as a clock, and there was a strange comfort in his predictability, even though she didn\’t like dealing with him. She putPickwick aside, turned the light out, and tucked her legs under her frilly duvet. Beneath the canopy of her bed she couldn\’t sleep, and eventually she heard the grandfather clock at the head of the stairs chime twelve times. Midnight.

Slipping from bed, she went to the closet, got out the rogue knapsack, and unzipped it. The Ouija board fell out, flipping open and landing faceup on the floor. She grabbed it with a wince, as if it might have broken or something, then got the pointer thingy. She and her friends had been looking forward to playing the game because they all wanted to know who they were going to marry. Jane liked a boy named Victor Browne, who was in her math class. The two of them had been talking a little lately, and she really thought they could be a couple. Trouble was, she wasn\’t sure what he felt for her. Maybe he just liked her because she gave him answers. Jane laid out the board on her bed, rested her hands on the pointer, and took a deep breath. \”What is the name of the boy I\’m going to marry?\” She didn\’t expect the thing to move.

And it didn\’t. A couple more tries and she leaned back in frustration. After a minute she rapped on the wall behind her headboard. Her sister knocked back, and a little later Hannah sneaked in through the door. When she saw the game, she got excited and jumped on the bed, bouncing the pointer into the air. \”How do you play!\” \”Shh!\” God, if they got caught like this, they were totally grounded. Forever. \”Sorry.\” Hannah tucked her legs up and held on to them to keep from spazzing. \”How do-\” \”You ask it questions and it tells you the answers.

\” Page 7 J.R. Ward: Lover Unbound \”What can we ask?\” \”Who we\’re going to marry.\” Okay, now Jane was nervous. What if the answer wasn\’t Victor? \”Let\’s start with you. Put your fingertips on the pointer, but don\’t push down or anything. Just-like that, yup. Okay… Who is Hannah going to marry?\” The pointer didn\’t move. Even after Jane repeated the question. \”It\’s broken,\” Hannah said, pulling away.

\”Let me try another question. Put your hands back up.\” Jane took a deep breath. \”Who am I going to marry?\” A squeaky little noise rose up from the board as the pointer began to move. When it came to rest on the letterV , Jane trembled. Heart in her throat, she watched it move to the letterI . \”It\’s Victor!\” Hannah said. \”It\’s Victor! You\’re going to marry Victor!\” Jane didn\’t bother shushing her sister. This was too good to be-The pointer landed on the letterS. S ? \”This is wrong,\” Jane said.

\”This has to be wrong-\” \”Don\’t stop. Let\’s find out who it is.\” But if it wasn\’t Victor, she didn\’t know. And what kind of boy had a name like Vis-Jane fought to redirect the pointer, but it insisted on going to the letterH . ThenO, U , and once more toS . VISHOUS. Dread coated the inside of Jane\’s rib cage. \”I told you it was broken,\” Hannah muttered. \”Who\’s called Vishous?\” Jane looked away from the board, then let herself fall back onto her pillows. This was the worst birthday she\’d ever had.

\”Maybe we should try again,\” Hannah said. When Jane hesitated, she frowned. \”Come on, I want an answer, too. It\’s only fair.\” They put their fingers back on the pointer. \”What will I get for Christmas?\” Hannah asked. The pointer didn\’t move. \”Try ayes orno to get it started,\” Jane said, still freaked out over the word she\’d been given. Maybe the board couldn\’t spell? Page 8 J.R.

Ward: Lover Unbound \”Will I get anything for Christmas?\” Hannah said. The pointer started to squeak. \”I hope it\’s a horse,\” Hannah murmured as the pointer circled. \”I should have asked that.\” The pointed stopped onno . They both stared at the thing. Hannah\’s arms went around herself. \”I want some presents, too.\” \”It\’s just a game,\” Jane said, closing the board up. \”Besides, the thing really is broken.

I dropped it.\” \”I want presents.\” Jane reached out and hugged her sister. \”Don\’t worry about the stupid board, Han. I\’ll always get you something for Christmas.\” When Hannah left a little later, Jane got back between the sheets. Stupid board. Stupid birthday. Stupid everything. As she closed her eyes, she realized she\’d never looked at her sister\’s card.

She turned the light back on and picked it up off the bedside table. Inside it said,We will always hold hands! I love you! Hannah! That answer they\’d been given about Christmas was so wrong. Everyone loved Hannah and got her presents. Jeez, she could even sway their father on occasion, and no one else could do that. So of course she would get things. Stupid board… After a while Jane fell asleep. She must have, because Hannah woke her. \”You okay?\” Jane said, sitting up. Her sister was standing by the bed in her flannel nightie, an odd expression on her face. \”I gotta go.

\” Hannah\’s voice was sad. \”To the bathroom? You gonna be sick?\” Jane pushed the covers away. \”I\’ll go with y-\” \”You can\’t.\” Hannah sighed. \”I gotta go.\” \”Well, when you\’re finished doing whatever, you can come back here and sleep if you wanna.\” Hannah looked to the door. \”I\’m scared.\” \”Being sick is scary. But I\’ll always be here for you.

\” \”I gotta go.\” When Hannah glanced back, she looked… all grown-up somehow. Nothing like the tenyear-old she was. \”I\’ll try and come back. I\’ll do my best.\” Page 9 J.R. Ward: Lover Unbound \”Um… okay.\” Maybe her sister had a fever or something? \”You want to go wake up Mother?\” Hannah shook her head. \”I only want to see you.

Go back to sleep.\” As Hannah left, Jane sank back against her pillows. She thought about going and checking on her sister in the bathroom, but sleep claimed her before she could follow through on the impulse. The following morning Jane woke up to the sound of heavy footfalls running outside in the hall. At first she assumed someone had dropped something that was leaving a stain on a carpet or a chair or a bedspread. But then the ambulance sirens came up the driveway. Jane got out of bed, checked the front windows, then poked her head into the hall. Her father was speaking to someone downstairs, and the door to Hannah\’s room was open. On tiptoe, Jane went down the Oriental runner, thinking that her sister wasn\’t usually up this early on a Saturday. She must really be sick.

She stopped in the doorway. Hannah was lying still on her bed, her eyes open at the ceiling, her skin white as the pristine snowy sheets she was on. She wasn\’t blinking.


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