Weekly Feature…Vampire Fiction Serial (Click to read week 16)
I was a virgin in every way imaginable.
Pure of blood…my body, as of yet untouched by a man…even my thoughts were chaste. I had never been one of those frivolous girls, running headily into a room filled with handsome men, begging with my eyes to be noticed. Patience had always been my vice. I never once questioned the certainty of my father providing for me when the time was right…never once questioned his honor.
My father had failed me in the most treacherous of ways.
I tried desperately to tell myself this night would be like any other. I did not want to think of it as my wedding night. I wanted no part of the blood drinker. I couldn’t bring myself to think his name and yet I couldn’t escape the reality of it all.
He wanted far more of me than any woman would be willing to give.
“You look lovely, my dear.” The blood drinker placed a hand upon my shoulder. A shudder cut through me as the cold seeped into the wispy fabric of my night clothes…as if his icy fingers had touched my bare skin. Instinctively, I flinched away and turned toward the fire. I held my hands out to the flame letting the warmth soak into my bones.
“Where…” When barely a sound came out, I cleared my throat and tried again. “Where is my father?”
My new husband tilted my chin until my eyes met his. “You’re frowning…don’t frown. All is well.”
Nothing would ever be well again. I wanted to turn back the clock. I had a future waiting for me…a future I would never see.
* * *
It took a few blinks to clear the wretched memories away, and a few more before I realized what I stared at now was not a memory.
I held the fragile corner of paper between my fingers and tried to envision some logical reason why it would be in Claude’s possession. Or what reason he had to burn it.
“Do not walk away from me.” I struggled to keep up with Claude’s fast pace as we left the alley and headed back to the car.
Claude turned on his heels to face me and I ran headfirst into his chest. “We have an amulet to retrieve, do we not?”
I took a step back. His abrupt tone startled me. “Well, yes…of course…but you never answered my question. Where did you get that page?”
“You know where I got it.” Claude grimaced as he turned away, striding quickly back to the car again.
“Pretend I don’t know.” I grasped his arm once we reached the car. “Tell me.”
“You don’t want me to tell you.” Claude cupped my cheek and leaned down as if he might kiss me. “Trust me, Victoria…its better this way.
Only one letter I knew of would bear that date written in Sebastian’s hand. That particular letter would likely be long gone by now…certainly not in Claude’s custody.
* * *
“I wrote this for you.” The blood drinker…my husband…held out a neatly folded letter, urging me with his eyes to take it.
“I don’t…” His cold finger pressed gently into my lips.
“Ah, but…I insist.”
With a faint nod, I took the letter from him and carefully unfolded it, smoothing out the creases as I did. As I read the first words, large tears filled my eyes and I could no longer see to read. “I can’t…” I sobbed.
Gently, he took the letter from my hands and waited for me to nod my approval before he began to read aloud.
“My Dearest Victoria…I think of you, and I am certain I have been bewitched.” As he recited his declaration of love to me, his eyes held mine. “In these final moments before the dawn, as the bitter streaks of morning stain the sky like a trail of blood, I think of you. I have nothing but your faded portrait, and your tender words written in a letter not meant for me. But I hold these things as dear as if they were my own heart, beating in my hands. It is here, in the endless abyss fashioned solely by your absence that I wait. My only solace comes from conjuring the image of your lovely face in the dark recesses of my mind…”
“How can you feel such emotion when you have no heart?” I didn’t mean to be cruel, I truly didn’t understand.
His lips grazed my ear as he whispered softly. “My heart may be silent, but if it could beat, it would surely beat loudly for you, my love.”