S.B. Alexander Books

The Prodigies (Vampire Navy SEAL: Sam & Layla Book 5) eBook

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Hunters are coming out of the shadows!

There are new enemies on the horizon, and the war is growing larger every day.

For centuries, vampires have lived among humans in secret until one press conference threatens the livelihood of bloodsuckers worldwide, including my inhuman children. I dare my adversaries to come anywhere near them. But I can’t fight alone. I need my powerful vampire husband at my side.

But the Council of Elders is up in arms, ancient vampires, whose only course of action against this threat is to use Sam Mason as a scapegoat. Now Sam’s own kind is hunting him, forcing us to separate into two camps to keep our family safe.

To make matters worse, my deranged sister, Rianne, has thrown down the gauntlet. The only way to deal with her is fight to the death. I have no plans to die, but fate has a twisted sense of humor.

The Prodigies is book five in the continuing saga in this enemies-to-lovers paranormal romance featuring Sam & Layla. Their story is rife with action, suspense, snarky banter, a slow-burn romance that’s sure to singe your e-reader and ends on a cliffhanger. This is an ongoing series that begins in The Hunted. For a better reading experience, the books should be read in order.

Main Tropes

  • Vampire Romance
  • Enemies to Lovers
  • Fated Mates
  • Suspense
  • Military Romance
  • Vampire Hunter
  • Slow burn romance

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “This is not my usual go-to genre but believe me it’s so good and it will have you hooked from early on in the first book. It’s brilliant.” ~Always Lost in a Book

Series Reading Order:

  1. The Hunted
  2. The Predator
  3. The Union
  4. The Dawning
  5. The Prodigies
  6. The Prophecy
  7. The Rebirth

READ A SAMPLE

Chapter 1

Sam

My mind spun as I sat on the floor, head in my hands, rocking back and forth, reciting prayers I’d learned when I’d been human. I’d heard three of the babies cry but not the fourth. Only a minute or two had passed since one nurse had said Layla wasn’t responding. Or maybe a lifetime had gone by, given the way each second was gut-wrenching, as if someone had stuck their fist into my stomach and ripped out my insides.

“Come on, baby doll,” I whispered, yanking on my hair. “You can’t die on me. I need you more than you know.”

My breathing was all over the place as I listened intently for any sound or voice or an intake of breath. But it was either dead silent inside the operating room or I’d lost my hearing again. I opened and closed my fists, trying to rein in my emotions as the building began to rumble.

Growling under my breath, I pushed to my feet. “I need to get out of here. Otherwise, I will kill my wife.”

And not the way Tripp thought. Several minutes ago he’d tackled me to the floor to prevent me from bursting into the OR and ordered me to stand down. “What will you do if you go in there? Think about it. You’ll only prevent them from doing their job. Then Layla will die,” he’d said.

Now, I was having a hard time controlling my elemental powers that would destroy the infirmary and everyone it.

“Good idea,” Tripp said as he guarded the scrub station door.

Wife. Fuck! Would I ever again see her beautiful electric-blue eyes or kiss her full lips or see her brilliant smile when she set her gaze on me? I couldn’t go down that road of thinking the worst. But it was hard not to when my feisty huntress was flatlining.

How did we get to this point? Layla had been doing well since I’d rescued her from the clutches of her grandmother, although her heart had given out while she was a prisoner at Intech. But Layla had been under extreme amounts of stress. She’d been kidnapped and involved in a car accident, then she fled her captors and spent two solid days lost in the West Virginia mountains only to be captured once again by her fucked-up sister Rianne.

For the last three months, life had been grand. Our relationship had grown by leaps and bounds. I’d finally proposed. She’d said yes, and not long afterward, we were tying the knot in a beautiful and emotional handfasting ceremony.

She hadn’t shown any signs of complications, even during her checkups with Doc, who’d been watching her pregnancy closely since our kids were inhuman and Layla would deliver in six months instead of nine.

Layla’s cousin-in-law Carly, a scientist who worked for Intech, had speculated that Layla’s heart wouldn’t be able to support four supernatural fetuses. Dr. Martin, a human ob-gyn and a good friend of Dr. Vieira’s, had said the same thing.

On top of that, Doc had found a medical file in our archives on a human, Emily Crawford, who’d supposedly died during childbirth from carrying inhuman twins—a witch and vampire. But since a page was missing from Emily’s file, her death was a mystery.

I stomped toward the exit, the doors rattling as my fear, anxiety, and heartbreak were about to set off an earthquake.

Four flights of stairs later, I was gulping in the balmy July air as I bent over between two military vehicles—a Hummer and a Jeep.

Tripp cleared his throat behind me. “She’ll make it.” His tone was ladened with sadness and not convincing at all. Plus, the worry dripping off him was hitting me like several fastballs at a batting cage.

Growling, I straightened, grabbing both sides of my head as I looked up at the moonless sky. “If she doesn’t, I—”

Tripp leaned against the Jeep. “Don’t finish that sentence. Dr. Vieira and Dr. Martin will not let her die. Do you hear me?” Beneath the cloak of confidence of his steady voice was a friend who was as torn up about Layla as I was.

I knew the medical team would do its best, but we didn’t have any magic to bring someone back from the dead. Or did we?

Alia Costner had the ability to craft potions and magic spells. She’d taught my sister Jo and me some basic concepts. For example, my ability to compel differed from the standard way vampires had been taught. I wove a series of numbers together that caused my victims to drop into a coma-like states. Which I’d done to Rianne that night at the club when I’d first met Layla, Jordyn, and Rianne Aberdeen. Of course, Layla was officially a Mason now.

I swallowed the dryness in my throat, anchoring my nerve-trembling body against the Hummer opposite Tripp. “Have you ever heard of anyone bringing someone back from the dead?”

“No,” he returned. “And again, stop thinking the worst.”
I knocked on my chest at the pain stabbing me like a thousand pinpricks. “Fuck, man. It’s hard not to when Layla is dying.”

The cars in the parking lot wobbled on their tires.
Tripp reached over and slapped my arm. “Ease up on your powers.”

I grimaced, whisking my hand through my hair. “I should be at Layla’s side. If she hears my voice, maybe it will help.” I started for the door.

Tripp blocked me. “No way, man. We’re not going round two.” His bronze eyes flashed vampire, his inhuman gaze piercing a hole through me. “I meant what I said earlier. I’ll throw you in the brig next to Jordyn.” On a blink, his expression softened. “The best place for you is outside. You said yourself that if you stayed in there, you would kill your family.”

I swallowed a growl as I paced up and down between the Hummer and the Jeep. The word kill was a punch to the gut, although he was right, and I knew it. But I had to do something. I had to keep my mind from wandering. I needed to hear anything that would give me hope. “I don’t remember hearing the fourth baby cry. Did you?” Then again, the last few minutes had become one big fucking blur, as had the last two hours since I rushed Layla into the infirmary.

An earthy odor permeated the air, indicating rain was about to pour down from above. I could use a good soaking rain to wash away not only the sweat from my body but to wake me from the hell that was suffocating me.

“I was too busy keeping you from doing something stupid,” he said. “So, what names did you and Layla decide on for the kids?”

I looked at him like he had ten heads despite knowing he was trying to distract me. I couldn’t think about names. I was having a difficult time keeping air in my lungs.

Biting a thumbnail, I paced like a madman. “We’ve gone back and forth on a few.” What was I saying? We had a list as long as my arm full of names and meanings. I liked Liam for a boy, and Layla adored Luna if we had a girl. “But we decided only last week that we would wait until we saw their faces before picking names.”

You will see all four of your children, a small voice whispered in the back of my mind. Fuck, I wanted to believe that. I had to believe that. I also had to believe that this wasn’t the end for Layla. We’d just gotten married. I wanted to fulfill her dream of living by the ocean and give her everything she’d ever desired.

My pulse sped up as I waited for another voice in my head to tell me I would see my beautiful huntress again. But none came.

Tripp lingered next to the entrance into the infirmary as if he knew exactly what I was thinking.

I stabbed a thumb at the door. “I need to know if Layla is alive.” My voice cracked in several places. I wasn’t a medical expert, but I knew that the doctors only had a small window of time to revive a human without any complications, like the patient becoming brain-dead.

I hated to even think that, and in that moment, I would give my soul to the devil to turn Layla into a vampire. Of course, that was impossible unless I wanted her to become a monster like her cousin Noah. He’d been injected with his cousin-in-law Carly Aberdeen’s serum that had turned him into a god-awful creature—a cross between a vampire and shifter.

I came to an abrupt halt directly in front of Tripp when a screwed-up idea flashed before me.

“What’s your brilliant mind thinking?” Tripp asked.

I guffawed, zeroing in on my best bud and superior officer. “There’s nothing brilliant about changing Layla into one of us.”

He reared back, almost hitting his head on the metal door. “Are you seriously thinking of a serum like your uncle’s or Carly’s? That’s suicide.”

I fisted my hands, ready to punch a car, the building—fuck, anything—which was my way of dealing with my emotions. I was angry, helpless, and gutted.

“I know.” I pushed out an exasperated breath. “But like Matthew Costner, she has vampire blood running in her family. Look at him. His transformation from human to vampire was seamless.”

Tripp tucked his hands into the pockets of his cargo pants. “Sam, Layla would cut off your gonads and stuff them in your mouth if she woke up like Noah. And her vampire bloodline is probably several generations removed, whereas Matthew’s isn’t. His grandfather Victor is a vampire. Therefore, you can’t compare apples to oranges.”

I hated that he was right. Layla would cut off my nuts if she woke up as a monster. Besides, I would never take that chance or make a life-changing decision for her.
I’d lost my humanity and not by choice. I’d been on my deathbed, thanks to my uncle Patrick. When I woke up, I was a crazed vampire. I’d been furious with my sister and father for turning me. But if they hadn’t, I wouldn’t be alive. But none of that mattered because we didn’t have a way to turn Layla.

I clenched my teeth. “I will die without her.” I was 100 percent certain my heart would stop if she didn’t make it through this.

Tripp’s phone rang as sirens blared and began wailing every two seconds, signifying we had a threat.

Motherfucker.

Tripp yanked his phone out of the side pocket of his cargo pants. “What?” he snapped as he answered.

I jogged to the end of the building and scanned the area. The road to my left led to military housing. The road directly ahead wound around for about a half mile to the main gate. But all was quiet.

I ran to the front entrance, where Petty Officer Dawson was standing guard outside the lobby doors. I glanced up toward the roof. Two more sentries, one at each corner of the building, searched the compound.

Less than two minutes since I’d left Tripp’s side, a military Jeep careened around the corner and skidded to a halt.

“Sam, get in,” Tripp ordered through the open passenger window.

I hopped in. “What’s going on?”

He slammed the gas pedal, and the Jeep jerked forward. “Someone drove through the south gate. Petty Officer Allan said the driver seems drunk and disoriented and looks like a woman, but he couldn’t tell for sure. He thinks someone was chasing her. We’re checking the security cameras.”

The south gate was locked and chained and only used by military personnel and for deliveries. When Layla and I left and returned from Maine, I had to use the south gate to bypass the media crowd at the main entrance. Since the hospital incident months ago when Roman and his men had kidnapped Layla, I’d had my fangs on display for a parking lot packed with humans. Not intentionally, but I couldn’t react fast enough to tuck them away. Videos and pictures were taken. Not only of me but of my SEAL brother Hawk and a few of Roman’s men. Yet somehow I’d become the celebrity vampire. Nevertheless, someone had leaked my whereabouts. Now news stations, paranormal junkies, and curious humans camped out along the road leading into our main entrance.

Cocking my head, I leaned into the passenger-side window as Tripp sped around a curve. “As in, barreled down the electric gate?”

Actually, sections of our perimeter had electrified fencing, and those areas that didn’t were barricaded by fifteen-foot stone walls, except for the shoreline. But we had that protected with underwater nets and traps to prevent any enemy from reaching the shore.

“Seems so.” Tripp sped through the dark tree-lined road that wound around behind military housing.

The handheld radio crackled before a gruff voice came through. “Command center, this is Charlie four. Come in.”
“Go, Charlie four,” Petty Officer Hawk responded.

“Need reinforcements,” Petty Officer Allan returned.

“There’s a team heading your way,” Hawk said.

I braced my hand on the dashboard. “You said it was a woman. I wonder if it’s Rianne.” The crazy Aberdeen sister had the female balls to storm a military installation. “If it is, I will kill her. Well, I will if she’s alive.”

During the showdown at Intech, I’d driven a dagger into Rianne’s stomach, not once but twice. Then I’d flung her across Intech’s property. She’d landed against the building hard. Sadly, the bitch had still been breathing when Layla and I had managed to flee—unless Rianne had bled out later. I could only hope.

Tripp’s jaw was rock solid. “If she’s the perp, you might have to fight me to see who kills her.” His hatred for Rianne was coming through loud and clear.

Rianne was seriously fucked in the head. She was salivating to give up her humanity for the sole purpose of besting me. She believed the only way to kill me was to be like me. Well, that wasn’t fucking happening. Engineering an exact replica of Sam Mason would never come to fruition. Not in my lifetime. Or at least I hoped not.

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