Black Dagger Brotherhood Series, Book 3
J. R. Ward
Dedicated to: You.
There will never be another like you.
For me… you are the one.
Yeah, I don't have enough words for this…
With immense gratitude to the readers of the Black Dagger Brotherhood and a shout-out to the Cellies.
Thank you so very much:
Karen Solem, Kara Cesare, Claire Zion,
Kara Welsh, Rose Hilliard.
Thank you to the best dental teams in the world:
Robert N. Mann, D.M.D., and Ann Blair
Scott A. Norton, D.M.D., M.S.D., and Kelly Eichler and their incomparable staffs.
As always with thanks to my Executive Committee:
Sue Grafton, Dr. Jessica Andersen, Betsey Vaughan.
With love to my family.
Glossary of Terms and Proper Nouns
ahvenge (v.) Act of mortal retribution, carried out typically by a male loved one.
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 well 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 only by 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 (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.
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.
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 of ghardians, with the most powerful being that of a sehcluded female.
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.
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.