Authors: Donna Flynn
Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Romance, #Paranormal, #Fantasy, #Vampires, #Teen & Young Adult
Copyright 2014 © by Donna Flynn
Cover art by Paul Flynn
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the written permission of the author, except where permitted by law
All characters in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to any person living or deceased is a coincidence.
I sat huddled in a large, damp cave lit by ancient oil lanterns that filled the air with thick black smoke, making it hard to breathe. Blazing flames from the long-neglected wicks in the lanterns created eerie shadows on the stone walls, as a crazed vampire paced frantically before me, muttering incoherently.
ith folds of sallow skin that hung from his gaunt face and gnarled teeth that protruded from his slack, misshapen mouth, the vampire was truly the thing of nightmares. Terrified, I shuffled backwards, trying to get away, sending a spray of rock from under my sneaker that pelted the ground, making loud, pinging noises that, much to my horror gained my captor’s attention. He turned to look at me with eerie, coal-black eyes; I noticed blood from his last victim was mixing with the saliva that ran down his chin. I whimpered and kept moving backwards, but with a loud roar he closed the space between us and leaned in close to my face. His rancid breath invaded my nostrils, causing me to gag on the vomit that rose up my throat, and with a choking sound I scrambled backwards in a useless attempt to flee, ignoring the pain the jagged rocks on the ground caused as they gouged my palms.
“There is no escape
, you foolish girl. Your fate was sealed long ago,” the vampire told me.
adly, I knew he was right. He was the ultimate hunter and I was his prey : scared, cornered, defenseless, and doomed to be slaughtered by the monster before me.
His eyes captured mine. T
he malevolence of his twisted mind filtered into mine, making me sick inside. I saw every twisted kill he had made, the many ways he tortured his victims before draining them of their blood. His thoughts were disturbing and made me cringe, but it was his rotting, emaciated figure hovering over me, so close that I could smell his decomposing flesh, that filled me with true terror.
his grotesque lip up in a sneer and spoke again in a low, grizzled voice that was much like nails on a chalkboard. “I knew they could not possibly have kept you safe forever.” He let out an odd, barky laugh that made me shiver. “I only had to wait patiently for those who watched over you to make a mistake, and then I had you.”
“Why are you doing this?” I screamed
, crying out in frustration as my back hit the wall of the cave, ending my futile efforts to escape.
in closer, his decayed, blackened fangs inches from my face, their sharp points so close I feared he would give in to his cravings for my blood and tear into my throat. “Because, you, my dear, sweet Katie, are the Prince’s one weakness,” he sneered. “You are the key to his downfall.” He tried to smile, but the slack muscles of his mouth refused to cooperate, making his appearance even more awkward and grotesque than it had been before. “Aidan is so high and mighty, ruling as the prince of our kind, but when I am done with you, that will all change. Your death will drive him to the brink of insanity, make him the thing he tries so valiantly to hide from the world. He will be unable to continue his reign, and I will step in to take his place. Then we will live the way our species was always meant to. No more of this living in harmony with you inferior humans, paying for the blood we need, and drinking it from cold bags instead of warm bodies. Humans will become subservient to those of us who are the dominant species. They will be our slaves, to live or die at our will, and we, the Vampire race, will rule the world.”
“Never,” I cried,
unable to imagine the world he described.
Despite the vampire’s
ravaged state and deteriorating form, he still managed to move with lightening speed. I had no time to react before he grabbed my head, crushing it between his hands as he leaned into the hollow of my neck, drool from his open mouth dripping onto my flesh and running down my shoulder, causing me to quiver with dread. His cold, dead lips brushed the skin of my neck, sending chills down my spine and I cried out. He groaned, contemplating the warm fresh blood that moved through my veins and I tensed, waiting for him to bite, waiting for the end to come, but he wasn’t ready to end his game yet. He pulled away with an ear-piercing screech, placing his gnarled hands on either side of his head as if trying to stop the madness within him.
ggravated by his loss of control, he began to mutter to himself again, his body shaking with the need for my blood. He paced furiously, slamming his fist into the cave wall, screaming in a foreign language I didn’t understand. I watched warily, knowing that if he lost the thin thread of control left within him, I was dead. He looked my way, as if hearing my thoughts. He displayed his long, bedraggled fangs, closing the space between us, and I screamed, begging him to end my suffering.
no…not yet, my dear,” he murmured running his finger down my cheek almost lovingly. “I plan to take my time with your torture. The more you suffer, the worse it will be for Aidan. I want him to feel your pain, to hear you beg me for death to ease the agony I have inflicted upon you. Then, and only then, will I take pleasure in draining your body of the sweet nectar that draws him to you. Only then will I rejoice in killing the one thing our prince cannot live without, the one thing he cares for more than anything in this world.”
“You are wrong
, Aidan does not care whether I live or die,” I cried out, desperate to make him believe me and clinging to the last chance I had to gain my freedom.
” he growled. “Then why has he spent your entire life protecting you a weak, insignificant human, from the rest of us?” He reached out and grabbed my arm, jerking it behind me roughly, laughing with glee as I yelled out in pain. With a snigger, he gave it another jerk, snapping the bone and bringing a mind-numbing pain that made me shriek so loudly it bounced off the cave walls and echoed around us. “Do not lie to me again. I can make the pain more severe than you could ever imagine,” he promised, shoving me to the ground.
My body slammed
to the hard dirt floor. I cried out, struggling to sit up, cradling my arm against my ribs, the agonizing pain that radiated up the limb making me dizzy and nauseous.
pierced me with his sharp gaze, seeming to enjoy my discomfort, grinning with satisfaction at the tears that rolled down my cheeks and the sobs that tore from deep within my throat. He was not done with his torture, though. His hand closed over my throat, his talon like nails ripping into my tender flesh as he lifted me from the ground, dangling me before him.
He snickered and
tossed me across the cave with a simple flick of his wrist. My body flew at an alarming speed. I had no time to brace myself before my head slammed into the stone wall with a loud, sickening thud. My body crumpled on impact, and I landed on the ground with an inhuman cry tearing from my lips, as another round of searing pain tore through my body. The last thread of hope I entertained of being saved from my tormentor snapped. I would not last much longer, and honestly I was ready to die just to end the pain. I closed my eyes, ready to give up, when a familiar voice rang inside my head, urging me to fight.
,” Aidan called, the sound a welcome beacon in the midst of the agony I was suffering. “Do not give up!”
lood from my head wound trailed down the side of my face, sticky and wet against my skin. My vision was distorted, my body racked by unbearable pain, and I felt myself sliding toward a place where I would never feel anything again. Although I wanted to be brave and hold on as he pleaded, I just didn’t have the strength.
!” the vampire screamed as my eyes closed, grabbing my ankle and pulling me across the floor of the cave, his newest attack bringing another round of pain. “I am not done with you yet,” he snarled.
y hip popped and heat radiated down my leg, causing me to cry out once again. The pain was excruciating. I begged and pleaded for him to stop, but my anguish only spurred him on further. With a growl, he twisted the limb he held until my knee gave a sickening snap. “Scream some more!” he shouted, drool running in a steady steam from one side of his twisted mouth.
e leaned in close, his teeth bared for me to see, and I whimpered, terrified of what was to come.
“That’s it! Scream, cry,
let him feel your suffering,” he urged, staring at my neck with morbid fascination. He swiped his finger over one of my many wounds then stuck it to his mouth, groaning loudly as licked the blood from his finger, his expression one of pure ecstasy.
“Don’t,” I screeched
, as he moved to repeat the action, sickened by his touch.
“You dare tell me what to do?” he barked
angrily. Suddenly he was on me, his tongue lapping at the blood that ran from my many wounds, groaning with satisfaction.
“Good…so…good,” he moaned
, just before I felt his teeth tear violently into my flesh.
The pain was overwhelming.
I had suffered so much and couldn’t fight any longer. I just didn’t have the strength. I closed my eyes and prayed death would come quickly and mercifully to end my torment.
loud noise drew the vampire’s attention. He jerked away from my neck with an angry snarl, carelessly ripping away my flesh with his careless action. Through half-slit eyes I saw Aidan standing at the entrance of the cave, his body tense and ready for battle, his jet-black hair whipping in the wind as he surveyed the scene before him with visible horror. His usually piercing blue eyes morphed to black, and his body shook with rage as he transformed from the handsome human form that I knew so well to that of his vampire. In mere seconds he was ready for battle: ready to annihilate the vampire who hovered before me. I felt his fury and knew the vampire who had kidnapped me was no match for him in such a state. I had no doubt Aidan would be victorious, but I feared I would not live long enough to see it. With each drop of blood that slid from my many wounds to pool on the floor beneath me, I felt my life draining away.
“She is so sweet,” the vampire
taunted, hovering before me. “Her blood is the best I have ever tasted.” He smacked his lips together and grinned.
The taunt did not fail to garner a reaction. Aidan lung
ed, his vampire speed bringing him across the room in a blink. Their growls and grunts filled the cave as they fought, but their actions were fast paced and hard for me to follow. Unable to remain upright, I slumped to the side, struggling to keep my eyes open yet hearing Aidan’s voice in my head urging me to fight.
“I can’t,” I whispered
, my voice barely audible.
e let out a guttural cry. “You can,” he bellowed, slamming his fist deep within the vampire’s chest cavity, earning a cry of disbelief from his foe. With a cry of triumph he pulled the vampire’s withered and blackened heart from his body, slamming it to the ground and setting it ablaze with one of the oiled torches from the wall. As the heart burned at his feet the vampire’s body began to disintegrate, and within moments there was nothing left but a pile of ash where he had fallen.
A small smile
of satisfaction formed on my lips as I watched the ash lift in the wind and blow out of the cave entrance.
breathe,” Aidan commanded, appearing at my side, gripping my hand tightly in his own. “Don’t leave me,” he pleaded.
“Love you,” I murmured
, as my eyes closed and I took one last, shuddering breath.