Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 428 KB
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Silver Publishing (March 17, 2011)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
Amazon Summary:Delila has roamed the Earth for over one thousand years with her maker, Alaric. She has everything a vampire could want: beauty, brains, a booming business, and an ability to read human emotions.
When a werewolf makes an imprint in her life, Delila feels she may have finally found the soul mate she has been seeking. But when everything goes terribly wrong Delila finds herself burdened with a young half breed child to protect from the evil forces of her world.
Book Excerpt:'What if... the world was infested with zombie vampires?' asked my worst-case daily calendar, followed by a detailed account of the infestation and how to survive it. Apparently, shotguns loaded with garlic laced bullets and aimed at the head is the only way out. The more I thought of this, the more absurd it seemed.
I mean, a zombie vampire? Kind of redundant, isn't it? A vampire is already dead; how does one become doubly dead? The thought made me laugh out loud. Silly calendar, thinking we can be stopped with garlic laced bullets.
Everybody knows the only way to kill someone like me is with a silver bullet.
Oh, did I mention yet I am a vampire? My name is Epycidilla (pronounced ep-eh-ci-di-lla), which is ancient Roman, but I've adapted it through the years. Currently, I'm widely known as Delila. I was twenty-eight years old when I was changed in the year 410 AD. Mind blowing, eh? I was married and had three children; the land was in upheaval when a neighboring horde invaded our small village and I was stolen. The men craved my pearly skin and were shocked by my blond hair and blue eyes. They dragged me off to the farthest-reaching fields, raped me repeatedly, beat me, and left me for dead.
But I didn't die. In my last breath, a young man appeared before me, his beautiful face framed by the sky. When he dipped low to my neck, I didn't object. His soft lips lay gently on me and I wondered if he would be the last to torture me, but instead his teeth pierced my skin and he led me into a whole new world of shadows and violence and revenge. I sought out my attackers and ripped their throats out. For quite a few years, I hovered near my family in the shadows, always protecting my children. When they died, I attended the funeral with their families and children as a nameless stranger who disappeared in the dusty winds.
Soon after the collapse of the Roman Empire, I followed Alaric, my maker, to Europe. We traveled through populated areas, catching whomever we pleased and making them our meals for the evening. Those were derelict times; our whimsical killing sprees reflected the sad state society as a whole had fallen into.
Changing times have meant changing customs. My maker may have been created almost six hundred years before me, but he passed as a teenager. As we entered the modern age and education became part of everyday life, he had no choice but to begin attending high school perpetually. I paraded as his mother to avoid unnecessary attention.
So had been my existence for hundreds of years. We made our way across the world, eventually landing in a city in the center of America. We traveled in the midst of the Civil War, and the destruction was intoxicating. I've learned over time to control my cravings so I no longer have to kill (not that I practice that control regularly), but back then my skills were not quite as refined. We would scour the battlefields for mortally wounded soldiers and help escort them to their imminent death. I made it pleasant for them, Alaric didn't care.
In life, he had been a prince in an ancient Germanic tribe. He'd become gravely ill with a plague and to save his life the villagers brought in a magic man named Aedan to heal him. Aedan gave Alaric his blood, the only surefire cure for the plague, but he was too close to death. When the reaper draped his soul with the black emptiness, Alaric took his last breath. The people mourned and buried him.
Three days later, they found the door to his tomb smashed and his remains "stolen". Alaric sought Aedan out, and the ancient man taught his new child how to survive. When Aedan met his final death at the hands of a bereaved mother, Alaric mourned him and created me to fill the void of companionship left by his maker.
If I'm being honest here, Alaric was, and still is, kind of needy and relied on me to be his only true friend. Other vampires were no help to him, he claimed. He needed me, the only one who shared his blood, to be close by. I always just sighed and dropped it. He seemed to enjoy life in Tennessee, where he went by the name Eric, so whatever made him happy was fine with me.
I still think about my lost family sometimes. My children grew into beautiful people and had such lovely grandchildren. I've followed the line all through time, to three boys and one girl who lived in a small town in Maine. Once, in a mood of regret, I asked Alaric why he chose me, and he replied, "In you lives a fire which is not ready to be extinguished. You haven't yet realized your purpose."
His cryptic words left me at a loss.
Anyway, while our never-changing looks always gave us away after awhile, for now we were living in a small town outside of Memphis. Alaric attended the local high school and we lived on a vast ranch spanning four hundred acres surrounded by breathtaking scenery, if I'd had any breath to steal. Over the centuries I'd learned to fake it.
I was busy on a conference call with my overseas furniture manufacturing company (What? I'm business savvy) one afternoon when I got a text on my cell phone.
'Need you to meet with Mrs Smith after school'.
I sighed deeply and sent a simple 'OK' in return. Alaric was always in some sort of trouble. He was decent enough to most, though his contempt for humans had grown exponentially over the years. Though I mostly dislike adults, there is nothing better to my ears than the sound of a toddler laughing. Though I have my fair share of a vicious streak, I am ultimately a nurturer.
Ironic, right? I've just never been able to truly embrace my condition, as I like to call it. That day, I settled on a vintage look; in fact I went vintage almost every day. I'd been a pin-up model during the roaring twenties, and the look wears well on me. The dress I chose was square necked and tapered to the knee to accent my voluptuous curves. I put my blond hair in ringlet curls half pinned up. Red lipstick and some blush to make me look human topped it off.
The school still bustled with activity when I arrived and, as expected, heads turned to follow me. I flashed coy smiles here and there until I found Alaric reclining against a beam at the far end of the foyer, looking bored. "What did you do today, Eric?" I asked quietly.
"Nothing important, I swear. This way." We walked in companionable silence. Neither Alaric nor I were ones to fill in beautiful silences with meaningless words. I appreciate silence when I can get it.
Mrs Smith, a robust woman with fiery red curls and gold-rimmed glasses, stood and offered a hand to me when I entered the classroom with Alaric.
"Mrs Smith," I said evenly with a brilliant smile. The woman faltered for a moment.
"Hello, Ms McAllister," she replied slowly. The confusion raging in her eyes told me she had never seen someone like me; how was I old enough to have a son in high school? We sat in the uncomfortable chairs allotted to high school students; these particular ones were the kind that flowed as a single unit to make especially round people feel bad.
"Is there some problem with Eric?" I kept my voice light and airy, and polite. That was important. The people in this region appreciated courtesy. I still carry a faint Roman accent that often sounds more British than anything else.
Mrs Smith recovered from her confusion quickly. When she spoke again, it was with authority. "Yes, there is. Eric has made some threats against a student in my class. I don't tolerate that in my classroom."
"Oh, I see," I said softly. "Is it that Michael boy?" She nodded. "I thought so. Eric and Michael have been in a disagreement for quite some time now."
She nodded again. "I'm aware of that but I do not tolerate threats in my classroom. We need to resolve this issue."
"Of course we do." I projected innocence through my voice and batted my eyelashes. It was very hard to gain access to Mrs Smith's thoughts, but they were coming through with some fuzz. She was still wondering how I was old enough for this boy to be my child, why there was no Mr McAllister, and where my accent originated. She was also thinking, in the very far reaches of her mind, about the situation between Alaric and Michael. "I understand Michael approached Eric without provocation one day and it has escalated since?"
"Yes, that's what we believe it to have happened as well."
"Well, my sincerest apologies, but when I adopted Eric, he was a rather shy and fearful boy. I've raised him to defend himself." An a-ha moment erupted from the forefront of the woman's mind. "I trust Michael and his parents have been spoken with as well." The phrase was not a question; I already knew the answer.
"Oh, we have a meeting in the works, of course." She was flabbergasted and thinking how she needed to arrange that meeting, but it worried her that Michael's parents were so influential in the school.
"That's good. I'd hate to see a child discriminated against just because he's new." A pointed look had poor old Mrs Smith sweating. She sensed the danger so I withdrew some and smiled at her charmingly.
"Of course not," she said quickly. "We pride ourselves on being an accepting and accommodating campus." She turned to Alaric. "I trust you've had a discussion with the principal?" He nodded sagely.
"I'll have words with Eric about this matter. Thank you for bringing it to my attention." I stood, a decisive movement indicating my desire to leave. Mrs Smith shook my hand once more and when I turned to Alaric, my smile faded. We walked to my sporty convertible in silence. (What? I have money. Might as well make my life comfortable.)
"Thank you," he said softly.
I snorted. "God, I hate dealing with those types of people. So uppity."
Alaric laughed. "I can tell. You can't hide your contempt from me."
"Well, you know me too well." I winked at him. "Shall we feast tonight?" He inclined his head, and when we got home he left me to get ready. As always before entering the mortal world, I cleared my head with a series of deep breaths and was ready to go within the hour.
You see, I can read emotions and thoughts from almost anything with a heartbeat. Before my change, I was the village oracle. People came to me with questions of fertility, war, finance, and marriage. I steered them based on my keen instincts. When my transition occurred, I found I could hear people talking as if they were yelling in my ears; I saw waves of colors surrounding them. Auras, they would later be called.