tales of the daywalkers (week 12)
Weekly Feature…Vampire Fiction Serial (Click to read week 11)
It took all of my strength to stand there, forcing myself to trust in the potion. The horizon was awash in light as a ball of fire reached out of the earth to meet the purple sky. I felt an overwhelming urge to flee to my casket before the burning rays of the sun reached the window. I glanced at Claude, and past him, to Sebastian. They were both relaxed. Slowly, I allowed my hands to stretch across the glass…longing for the warm light to reach me. It had been ages since I had experienced a sunrise…since I had felt the warmth of the sun on my skin. Over two centuries had passed, but I still remembered it as if it was yesterday.
The year was 1783, and it was the last weekend in the hottest June I could remember. After an evening spent sharing dreams of beautiful boys and faraway lands, my younger sister and I had fallen asleep in her bed. I had no idea that while I dreamed of new adventures, our father, who had been away on business, had sent for me in the night.
Our estate was nestled deep in the English countryside, so the thundering of hooves and creaking of iron wheels as a carriage approached in the middle of the night drew the attention of the entire staff. I was awakened by my governess before the dawn, and instructed to prepare for a long journey. I had no idea what my father could possible want of me. But in those days, I didn’t question, I just did as I was told.
So as I was instructed, I prepared for a journey. I gathered my finest garments, and as I dressed, the sun began to rise. Even as a foolish girl, I reveled in the sensation as the warm glow caressed my bare skin….unaware it would be the very last time I would see the sunrise.
I stole a quick glance at Sebastian. He hadn’t changed a bit since that night. He was still every bit as handsome as the first time I met him. But of course, he would be. Vampires don’t age.
Sebastian tilted his head to watch me with a bemused expression on his face. “What are you thinking about, Victoria?”
I forced my lips into a smile. “Nothing.”
“It’s been a long time,” Sebastian placed his hand on the glass beside mine.
He was right, of course. It had been a long time. But although my thoughts were lost in the same time, it wasn’t the dawn I was remembering.
I traveled for almost an entire day to reach the chateau where my father was staying. The grounds of the estate took several hours to cross. As we approached the grand house, I was in awe. It was enormous…even larger than our home, which was considered quite large. I knew the owner must be wealthy beyond any measure I had ever known.
As a woman, I wouldn’t have normally been privy to my father’s business dealings, but in this case, it would seem I was part of the deal he was brokering. And my father was elated to announce he had found a suitable man for me…the man who would be my husband.
Sebastian nodded at the horizon and smiled. “The sun.”
“Mmmm.” I returned his smile.
“I really hate to interrupt this touching moment…” Claude leaned against the glass. “But should you really be standing this close to the window?”
My eyes flashed quickly from Claude to Sebastian. “You said it was safe to be by the window. You told me I could let the filtered light touch my skin.”
Sebastian laughed. “You’re perfectly safe, my dear.”
My eyes followed Sebastian’s to stare at Claude’s poker face. “What are you talking about?”
“Yes…what are you talking about?” Sebastian’s face turned to stone.
Claude smiled. “I switched the vials.”
“What do you mean you switched the vials?” I asked.
Sebastian’s jaw looked as if it would shatter from the tension.
I glanced at the glowing skyline and asked again. “Will someone please answer me? What does it mean that you switched the vials?”
“Your husband tried to give me a vial without the tonic in it…or maybe a hugely diluted version of it…so I switched it.”
“Sebastian what is he talking about?”
Sebastian’s eyes stared straight ahead at the horizon and he began to tremble with fury. I wanted to shake him to make him say something.
“He wouldn’t do that.” The minute I said it, I found myself unsure. “Tell him, Sebastian. You promised me you would make sure we all had the daywalker tonic.”
“Yes, Sebastian. Tell us. If you put the same tonic in every vial, you should be perfectly safe when the sun reaches us…in about one minute, give or take.” Claude raised his eyebrows and waited for Sebastian to speak.
“Sebastian?” I asked again.
Claude smiled. “It’s about to get very hot in here.”
Until the next time…I’ll be waiting for the sun to come up!