Erica Lucke Dean

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

the blood of the first (week 12)

Weekly Vampire Serial Fiction.

The Daywalker ChroniclesThe Daywalker Chronicles, Season 2. The Blood of the First.

Last time in The Blood of the First…

The faint flavor of blood reaches my nostrils, permeating deeply into my lungs. It smells wrong…not human. It’s not even a large animal, but, despite my discerning palate, I long for a taste with every fiber of my being. My veins, surely filled with dust by now, ache for the warm, viscous, life sustaining substance. My brain sends the signal to my extremities to move, but they won’t. My limbs are shackled to my sides by…what? Not rope or chain.

I’m paralyzed and I have no idea why.

Again, time clicks by unmeasured…unrestrained…nothing but the constant drip to keep me company, as I fade in and out of consciousness.

And then, music. Not just music, Mozart. The hum of delicate strings echoes throughout the space around me, and all that I am relaxes into the complex melody. Concerto number 3, I know this piece so well. This is what played the night he first shared his blood with me. What I wouldn’t give to dance with him now, pressed delicately to his chest as we glide together, my gold satin dress fluttering through the air as he effortlessly swirls me around the ballroom. A perfect vision, all but the bodice, forever marred by dots of vibrant red.

Why that concerto? Why now? Is my cruel mind playing tricks on me, again? Of all the pieces to play, is it too much to believe this was nothing but a chance occurrence?

The music fades away, replaced by hushed voices, and I hear him. He’s here. Sebastian. He has come for me…finally.

Perhaps it’s been too quiet for too long. My ears are overly sensitive. But my mind flinches away from a horrible grating sound. Iron chains? Lead shackles? I hear them fall away, clanging to the dirt below with an eerie thud. And then the lid creaks open slowly, letting a shaft of unnatural brightness in behind it. My eyes blink furiously, desperate to adjust to the introduction of light after too much darkness.

Shapes. Shadows. Nothing I can make out.

An overwhelming need to stand shakes me to my core, but still, my body will not cooperate. A lead block presses down on my chest. Chains, forged in life, swaddle me to my spot.

But he’s here. I heard him. And then I’m free.

I don’t know what’s happened, but I can move…slowly. A flash of heat seers through my veins, like a hot spring awakening within me. And now that I have regained, at least, some of my faculties I smell his sweet scent in the air.  

With unsure hands, I try to pull myself to sitting, blinking yet again against the light. It cannot be day, or I would burn…but what candles burn so bright?

A dark figure leans over me. “Sebastian?”

“No, thank Christ. If I was Sebastian, I’d stake myself.” He reaches a hand out. “The name’s Claude. It’s nice to finally meet you, Anne.”

 

“Allow me.” I waited for her to take my hand and flashed my teeth in a wide grin. “I’ve heard such…interesting things about you.”

Anne’s nostrils flared and her upper lip curled back as her eyes roamed my body, finally settling on my outstretched hand. “Who are you? Where is my Sebastian?”

“Oh, Count Dracula is around here somewhere. I believe he had business with your lovely hostess, upstairs.”

The pale blonde vampire growled at me. She actually growled.

I shrugged, trying not to laugh at her ridiculous disgusted expression. “You do remember your hostess, don’t you? The lovely Catherine?”

The growl deep in her throat grew louder and her lips stretched apart to expose her fangs. “Do not speak to me of that vile witch. Or her miserable family. I will see each one of them destroyed if it is the last thing I do on this earth.”

“So you do remember her.” I barked out a laugh. “I’ll let Sebastian share the intimate details with you. For now, you need to feed. I’m sure you’d enjoy a little…bite?”

Her head tilted to the side and her pale blonde brows furrowed. “Who are you?”

“I’m the guy who let you out of your box, that’s who. You hungry, or not?”

“Of course, I’m hungry,” she hissed. “I shall require at least two young ones to satisfy my hunger. Bring them to me. I am far too weak to hunt.”

“No can do, Princess.” I shook my head. “This inn doesn’t exactly have room service. You’re gonna need to hop out of the box and come with me if you want food.” I turned to walk away but spun around again and pulled a vial of cloudy liquid from my front shirt pocket. “I almost forgot. Drink this.”

Her arms folded across her chest, pushing her breasts up until they nearly spilled out of her yellow dress. “I will not drink…that.”

“Ok, fine.” I tucked the serum back into my pocket and patted my shirt. “It’s up to you. But the sun will be up soon so if you don’t want the daywalker tonic, you’ll want to stay down here for the next…oh…ten or so hours.”

“Daywalker tonic?” Her eyebrows shot up. “It exists?”

My lips tipped up slowly. “Oh…princess. You’ve been asleep for a long time, haven’t you?” I held my hand out to her again. “Come on. There’s a lot you need to know before we head back to Georgia.”

“Georgia? Why would I want to go to Georgia?”

“Well, it would seem you’re not the only one with a bone to pick with Catherine’s father. Victoria had a little incident with a magical amulet, and Sebastian and I need your help finding the blood of the first to save her.”

“Save Victoria?” Her slight frame shook with silent laughter. “Why would I do anything to save Victoria? She stole from me. She took what was mine. From where I stand, it seems she finally got what she deserved.”

I shook my head and headed toward the stairs. “You really shouldn’t have said that.”

Anne followed me, wrapping her small hand around my forearm. “Where are you going?”

“I thought I’d go sit in the sun…you know…get a tan? Maybe grab a bite to eat.” I pulled my arm out of her grasp. “But you enjoy the dark, cold basement. Let me know if you change your mind.”

“Never.”

“Never is a very long time…you ought to know that by now, Princess.”

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