Odji is part of Vampire Elite from the beginning: as one of Tor’s adopted sons, he joined the Royal pride as a child, and has grown up to be one of the King’s bodyguards, often assigned to keep an eye on the princess, Simone. But everything changes for Odji when he sees Zlata, a golden-haired Amiti who is about to be sacrificed to the goddess Sekhmet. Naturally, he pulls off a heroic rescue, and the two become a classic example of the blood-bond pull, totally absorbed by the love and passion that emerge between them. But when they begin to discuss their values and beliefs as Amiti and vampire—as they must, given their situation—they find themselves in a stalemate. How can they resolve the impasse between them, when it’s a reflection of a problem so much bigger than the two of them?
From the Authors
When we’re asked to summarize Vampire Elite, it’s hard not to gravitate toward Arianna and Tor, but we think that the richness of the story as a whole comes from not allowing the focus to land single-mindedly on the vampire King and the Amiti Queen, but instead drawing on the strengths of an ensemble cast, so to speak. In a way, the story of love in the face of the vampire-Amiti conflict is a classic along the lines of Romeo and Juliet—but because it’s on a larger scale, we need to see a variety of couples who find different ways to make their love overcome—or, for that matter, not overcome—the enmity between their peoples. Zlata starts out as the Amiti version of “just a girl in the wrong place at the wrong time,” but her role expands as events unfold and she takes up the challenges that cross her path. Her relationship with Odji adds yet another dimension to her development. Odji starts off in a much more powerful position and is totally blindsided by his sudden need to be with Zlata. Their story is like and unlike those of both Tor/Arianna’s and Anock/Cara’s, as well as those of other couples that populate Vampire Elite, so as we watch their story unfold on its own terms we’re also given insights into those characters and couples who are having parallel experiences.
Let them speak for themselves.
Zlata slowly walked toward him. The blood had reached her feet and she could feel the wet trail she was leaving behind her. Tossing her hair aside, she arched her back to give him a better view of her breasts and the thick stream of blood running down her body. She watched herself through his eyes; his vision had narrowed, leaving him aware only of her bare skin and her blood. All his senses and instincts were urging him to launch himself at her, but he held back. His willpower was like steel.
“What are you waiting for? Are you just going to sit there and let me die?”
She didn’t have to enter his consciousness to see that he was marshaling every ounce of strength left in him. He stood up and locked his eyes onto hers, a predator stalking its prey. Zlata had to fight the impulse to run away screaming. She swallowed her dread.
Odji dropped to his knees in front of her and wrapped his arms around her waist, pulling her closer to him.
“So you think I can’t resist you, that you’ve trapped me. What if I leave you like this, bleeding? You understand that you’ll die from the blood loss, right? I won’t allow humans to interfere until the last drop of your blood leaves your body, and then I’ll lie down next to you and die as well.”