Erica Lucke Dean

"Making the world a better place, one book at a time."

Tales of the Daywalkers Week 1 (reissue)

Weekly Feature…Vampire Fiction Serial (Click to visit the Daywalkers page for more)

The Daywalker Chronicles

My eyes opened to the same inky darkness as the insides of my lids and I blinked twice. I should have been used to waking up in total darkness, it was an occupational hazard, but it always seemed to surprise me just the same. I pushed up against the plush interior just hard enough to raise the lid a few inches. A sliver of moonlight seeped in and reflected off the white satin, bathing the interior of my ultra-deluxe casket, model A666, in a soft glow.

I’d overslept…again.

I shoved harder against the lid until it swung wide, threatening to fall before settling in the open position, and inhaled deeply.  

The tail of a familiar fragrance hung in the air.  A phantom smell…it had to be. There was no fathomable reason for dredging such things from my memories. Not tonight.  It must have been the dream. It hadn’t quite let go of me, yet. I hated dreams like that. The good ones never lingered…they always fizzled out like a match in the rain.

“Claude,” I shrieked, my voice echoing in the empty space.

He should have roused me. Claude, of all people, knew better than to let me sleep. The sun had been down for at least an hour, and I would be lucky to get a full ten hours of moonlight before the sun crested the horizon once again…barely enough time to shower, change and grab a bite to eat. Not if I had to run all the way across town for food. It wasn’t like I was going to cook anything, after all.

No…I would hunt for my dinner, as I always did.

We, vampires, prefer our meals on the rare side…well, raw actually. And I always take my time with mine. Unlike those prone to guzzling, I’ve never been so rushed as to be unladylike.  Besides, I want to taste every nuance as it pours down my throat.

My teeth elongated at the thought.

I climbed out of the A666, careful not to snag my silk gown on the brass latches again. Deluxe model my left fang. It was a cheap pine box with a shiny white topcoat. I flipped the lid shut with a dull thud. The view from the outside was much better. The moon was high in the sky…which means it was actually much later than I thought.

I slipped my icy feet into a pair of gray satin slippers as I made my way across the vacant room. There isn’t much use for furniture when you spend your nights in a coffin.

“Claude,” I bellowed again, this time from the top of the stairs.

“Yes mistress?” He bowed elaborately, a loose russet curl falling lightly over his forehead, then rolled his eyes. “You bitched in my direction?”

My mouth fell open with an audible pop, fully exposing my fangs. “Do you suddenly have a death wish?”

“Hardly.” He averted his eyes, picking at a hang nail with his teeth…his very human teeth…and I caught the hint of a smile on his lips.

“Why didn’t you wake me?” I planted my hands on my hips and waited for a reply.

He continued to chew on his nail, keeping his eyes hidden from mine. “You’re a big girl…been around for hundreds of years…you shouldn’t need a wake-up call anymore.”

I popped an eyebrow up and glared down at him, almost certain this was a joke.

A sick one.

“It’s not like you’re going to make it through the night, anyway.” He mumbled.

I launched myself down the stairs, wrapping my slender fingers around his pulsing carotid, my lips against his ear. “You are a single breath away from being my next meal…I suggest you explain yourself. Quickly.”

His heart quickened like a hunted rabbit, the smell of fear rolling off his skin like a thick fog, and I relaxed, loosening my grip on his throat.

“Listen to me very carefully,” Claude barely breathed the words. “Your husband arrived just before the sun went down.” My sudden intake of breath was unnecessary, and unwelcomed. “Mind your reactions…he’s listening I’m certain.”

“How…?” I exhaled against his ear. “How did he arrive with the sun still up?”

He shook his head. “He wore a wide brimmed hat and a long coat. His face was covered in shadow.” Claude knew as well as I did that covering our skin in heavy clothes would do little to protect from the sun. “I wouldn’t have known it was him if not for the eyes. Those I will never forget.”

I shuddered. I remembered those black eyes all too well, myself. “Where is he?” I hissed.

“Ah, Victoria…so wonderful to see you.”

His voice was like a stake in my heart and I flinched, swallowing a scream. My head spun around so fast I sliced my lip on one of my fangs and a bead of blood bubbled up. “Sebastian.”

His hair matched his eyes…so dark it blended into the pitch-black of the shadows where he stood… but my eyes didn’t need the light to see him.

He closed the distance between us in two long strides. “You look well, my love,” he purred and leaned in to lick the drop of blood as it slid down my chin.

Somehow, I managed an icy glare. “You look as dead as ever.”

“Oh, darling. Don’t be cross with me. I’ve come with an offer you can hardly refuse.”

I laughed. “I can’t think of any offer from you that I would entertain. How did you even find me? It’s been almost thirty years.”

Sebastian shook a finger at me. “It took me a while to track you down.” He circled around me, running a cold hand up my arm. “You changed your hair,” he brushed the fringe of dark hair resting on my shoulder and my traitorous body reacted with a shudder.  “And as for my offer…I think you might change your mind when I tell you what it is.”

“I doubt that.” I smirked. “I remember your idea of an offer I can’t refuse.” My fingers flew up to the two tiny scars on my neck.

“My love, you will entertain my offer.” Sebastian pulled my hand away and kissed the back. “Because not a day goes by that you don’t long for your human life.”

I yanked my hand from his and took a step back. “My longings are no longer any of your business.”

Sebastian bellowed out a laugh that shook the walls in the cavernous hall. “You will always be my business, mon cheri.”

I backed up another step, bumping into Claude. “So what is this offer you think I’ll be so interested in?”

His face broke out in a wide smile exposing his fangs. “How would you like to walk in the sun again?”

Until the next time…If you show me comments, I’ll show you a bonus!

 

Copyright © 2000-2016, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.