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A shade of vampire, p.1

A Shade of Vampire, page 1

 part  #1 of  A Shade of Vampire Series

 

A Shade of Vampire
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A Shade of Vampire


  A Shade Of Vampire

  Book One

  By Bella Forrest

  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY AUTHOR

  Published by Bella Forrest

  Copyright © 2012 by Bella Forrest

  This is a work of fiction.

  All characters appearing in this book are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons living or dead, other than those in the public domain, is not intended and purely coincidental.

  Prologue

  I never once imagined that my life would play out the way that it did. To be fair, I guess I could say that life never really unfolds the way we expect it to.

  I know my father’s didn’t, but I doubt there’s a teenager in the world who could expect her life to play out like mine.

  I’d just turned seventeen when my life changed completely and irreversibly. It was only one night before that I was thinking of the future, of my dreams and aspirations. I wanted to become a social worker or even a lawyer in hopes of helping others like me who were abandoned by their families. It was my birthday, and at my age, it felt like I had my whole life ahead of me. Granted, I wasn’t so sure that it would be much of a great life, but at least I was certain that I was going to have a life.

  That following evening, I wasn’t so sure any more. How could I have been when, within the span of twenty four hours, I’d gone from high school senior and certified wallflower to captive of the prince of the largest and most powerful coven of our time?

  When I was nine years old, my mother, Camilla, was sent to a lunatic’s asylum. I’d always known that there was something strange about my mother, but I never expected her to completely lose her mind. What happened to her really left its mark on me.

  After this, my main goal in life was to survive without losing my mind and turning out like my mother.

  Then, after it happened, on the evening of my seventeenth birthday, my only goal was to survive. Period. Never mind my fear of going insane. I was convinced that I’d already gone crazy anyway.

  There was no way to predict what would happen to me after that night.

  During her better days, my mother already warned me about this. She said that I should expect life to dish out my own fair share of surprises.

  But Derek Novak was a surprise that was far from fair…

  Chapter 1: Sofia

  I was taking an evening stroll along the shore, feeling the soft sand under my bare feet with every step. The heavy waves were crashing against the shore, the sound coming as music to my ears. My skin was tingling with every blow of the gentle summer breeze, the distinct scent of ocean salt filling my nostrils. As I dabbed cherry-flavored Chapstick over my dry lips, they formed a bitter smile. The balm only served to add its sweet taste to the numerous sensations coming at me at that particular moment.

  I’ve always found myself completely attuned to all five of my senses, but that night, I was attuned to all but one. My sight was blurred by the tears I was trying to hold back. I couldn’t appreciate the exotic scene around me. All I could think about was the disappointed expression on my best friend’s handsome face.

  Benjamin Hudson was the only person in the world who could make me feel the way I did that night.

  Perhaps the sadness I felt was mostly due to the fact that I still held expectations – expectations I knew would only ever cause me pain.

  I reasoned to myself that I had the right to be hurt. It was my birthday. He was my best friend. He shouldn’t have forgotten.

  But he did. Again.

  I knew the disappointment in his chiseled face was more toward himself than toward me. I knew he could beat himself up endlessly over his careless slip-ups, and do believe me when I say that he has many of those. So, that night, I was wondering to myself whether I had just over-reacted.

  I would find myself deciding that I did, in fact, over-react and that it was time to get the heavy weight off my chest. I’d turn back toward the villa the Hudsons rented for their family vacation, determined to just get back to having fun with the most important person in my life, and then I’d remember…

  I’d remember what it felt like to see him with his arms over Tanya Wilson, the gorgeous blonde he’d had the hots for all summer long.

  The image quickly threw all thoughts of kissing and making up with Ben out the window.

  “Gosh, Sofia… I’m so sorry… I’m an awful best friend…” were the words that came out of his lips when he realized his mistake. I walked out on him and ended up at the beach, wanting to hit myself over the head for being so sensitive.

  I debated against my actions, thinking that I was being unfair. After all, it wasn’t Ben’s fault that I fell for the biggest cliché of all time when I decided to grow non-best-friend-like feelings for my best friend. That was why seeing him with Tanya hurt so much, especially realizing that I could never be like Tanya. I simply wasn’t the type of girl that a guy like Ben would go for. I knew that and yet I still allowed myself to fall for his charms. I hated myself for it, but it was what it was. At that time, I was so sure that he was indeed the love of my life.

  But could anyone really blame me for thinking like that?

  Ben was as dreamy as dreamy gets. He was tall, well-built, smart and had that dashing smile that would put to shame those of the models gracing the covers of any magazine. He was fun, confident and popular. He was also sweet and kind whenever he wanted to be. More than any of that, he saw me. He gave me the time of day when no one else – not even my own parents – would. It was with Ben that I never felt invisible…except when Tanya was around.

  As I took that evening stroll, I knew I was fooling myself. There was no way I could stay mad at Ben for too long. I liked to think of myself as strong and independent, but truth be told, I couldn’t imagine a life without Ben in it. My dependence on him scared me. It was frightening realizing that I needed another person as much as I needed him.

  I’d been walking along the sea shore for about an hour when I suddenly sensed that I wasn’t alone. Someone was approaching me from behind. My heart leapt. I was so sure it was Ben, that when a stranger showed up beside me, I couldn’t hide my disappointment.

  He must have noticed, because a smirk formed on his lips. “Were you expecting someone else, love?”

  I eyed him suspiciously, remembering how many times my father told me not to talk to strangers. I looked him over from head to foot, taking in his appearance. I held my breath. I couldn’t find words to describe how fine a man he was. He was almost beautiful. The first thing I took notice of was how his blue eyes were about three shades brighter than any I’d ever seen before. It was such a stark contrast to his pale – almost white – skin and his dark hair. I next noted how he was easily more than half a foot taller than I was. His height, broad shoulders and lean build reminded me of Ben, but he had a presence that was far more imposing than my best friend’s.

  My gaze settled on his face.

  I realized that he was inspecting me just as closely as I was him. His eyes on me suddenly made me feel uncomfortably vulnerable. I gave my father’s advice a second thought, but quickly canceled out all notions of heeding to his counsel when I reminded myself that he stopped caring a long time ago. I straightened to my full height and mustered all the courage I had to keep myself from running away from this stranger.

  Big mistake.

  The confident smirk didn’t leave his face for even a moment. “Like what you see?”

  I frowned, annoyed by his audacity. “A bit full of yourself, aren’t you?”

  He stepped forward, closer to me, and leaned his head toward mine. “Don’t I have the right to be?”

  He knew he looked good and wasn’t about to act like he didn’t.

  “Whatever,” was my oh-so-brillia
nt comeback.

  My shoulders sagged with defeat as I took a step back, overwhelmed by how close he was. I rolled my eyes and did a one-eighty, not quite in the mood to play whatever game this stranger was proposing.

  I would soon realize that I was about to play his game whether I liked it or not. He grabbed my arm and turned my body to face him. The motion alone made every single internal alarm I had go off in a frenzy.

  This man was danger and I knew it. I tried to wriggle away from his touch, but I was no match for his strength.

  “Tell me your name,” he commanded.

  I was about to refuse, but was horrified to find myself blurting out my name in response. “Sofia Claremont.”

  He traced his thumb over my jaw line. “Hello, Sofia Claremont. You’re one stupid girl for taking a walk alone at this time of night. You never know what kind of evil a pretty little thing like you could happen to come by.”

  I found myself wondering exactly what kind of evil he was. But I was suddenly overcome by the sensations that were surrounding me. My senses took everything in at once. I heard the waves, felt the sand beneath my feet, smelled the ocean salt, tasted the flavor of cherry on my lips and saw the stranger’s manic appearance as he stuck a needle to my neck. The effect was instant. I was barely able to gasp, much less scream. I went from sensing everything to sensing absolutely nothing.

  My last conscious thought was that I may never see Ben again.

  Chapter 2: Sofia

  I blinked several times, hoping that I would see a bit more clearly if I did it enough. No chance. I was enveloped by darkness and it didn’t look like that was about to change any time soon.

  I sensed my claustrophobia about to kick in, afraid that, for all I knew, I could be in some sort of extremely enclosed space, but the cold, airy feel of the room soon assured me that I was not.

  I tried to move about the space and quickly realized that the lack of lighting was the least of my concerns. For one thing, I was being held by metal restraints on my wrists and ankles.

  I could barely even raise my arms without requiring a considerable amount of effort. I tried to pull against my chains. They were fastened to the wall. I felt straw beneath my bare feet. I ran my hands over my body and felt the soft linen fabric of the white cover-up I pulled over my swimsuit before my untimely walk earlier that evening.

  I had intended to go for a swim.

  Yet another one of your brilliant ideas, Sofia. Now you’re locked up in some sort of dungeon wearing your swimsuit and a cover-up that’s nowhere near enough to fend off the biting cold. Genius. Just genius.

  I gritted my teeth, loathing myself for being so careless about my own safety. I caught myself before I could turn myself into my own personal villain. The severity of the situation hit me full force and I was unable to suppress a shudder. What have I gotten myself into?

  I’m in a dungeon. The word alone caused alternating images of stories I read about places like the London Tower and the kinds of torture prisoners endured there. I balled my fists, realizing for the first time how much I loved my fingers, as images flit through my mind of someone sticking sharp objects under my nails.

  If my goal in life was to not go insane, then this sure as hell was not helping me meet my objective.

  I sank to the ground, pulling my legs against my chest with my arms, remembering all those times I felt like something was wrong with me. Familiar fears of turning out like my mother did began to assault me. Growing up, I’d seen psychologist after psychologist trying to figure out “what was wrong with me”. I apparently had ADHD when I was a kid, OCD during my preteen years. Just recently, they were testing me for bipolar disorder. Given this situation, I was sure I’d develop an extra disorder or two.

  Let’s add post-traumatic-stress disorder to the bunch.

  I heard sounds – footsteps – coming from outside the room I was in.

  Eight seconds later, the door unlocked and swung open. The incandescent lighting flickered on. It took a couple of seconds for my eyes to adjust to the sudden flow of light. My first instinct was to take in every detail of the room I was in. With the light, it looked less archaic than it was in my imagination. The walls were actually made of concrete and not of mortar and brick like the castles of old.

  I stared at the floor and frowned in confusion at the straw beneath my feet.

  “The hay adds a nice touch I think. Makes our captives feel like they somehow time traveled to the Dark Ages.”

  My eyes were quickly drawn to the source of the voice. All I could do was glare at him.

  It was the stranger from the beach.

  There were so many questions I wanted him to answer, so many curses I wanted to blurt out, but I held my tongue. Considering my predicament and my very limited mobility, irking my captor didn’t seem like the wisest thing to do.

  He eyed me from head to foot the same way I did to him when we were back at the beach. This time, however, I could sense his hunger. He was predator. I was prey. I shuddered to think of exactly what kind of predator had just caught me in his trap.

  His eyes were spanning the length of my legs as he approached me. He seemed to find amusement in my anxiety.

  He stopped about a foot away from me and grinned as he studied me closely. The fact that he seemed pleased by what he saw made the situation even scarier than it already was.

  “Who are you?! What do you want from me?!” I asked the questions not so I could hear the answers. I just needed to break the silence, in hopes of hiding my erratic heartbeats.

  He raised his hand and brushed a stray strand of my auburn hair away from my face. I couldn’t help but flinch from even the slightest hint of his touch. Everything about him told me that I wasn’t safe around him.

  His next actions solidified my suspicions that his intentions toward me were less than noble.

  He pushed me to the wall and pinned me to it by leaning his full weight against me. It felt like he was trying to crush my ribs and every other internal organ I had.

  “Welcome to the Blood Shade, Sofia.” He leaned closer, his breath cool against my ear. “You really are quite a beauty, aren’t you?”

  From his lips, it sounded more like an insult than a compliment.

  My fears were being replaced with anger. I gathered all the strength I could to lift my hands in an attempt to push him away. As I struggled, I became fully aware of the coarseness of the concrete wall behind me, scratching through the sheerness of my cover-up and grating at my bare back.

  He chuckled when I failed to budge him even slightly. “You’ll only hurt yourself.”

  “I demand that you let go of me. Now.” I said the words with more confidence than I felt.

  If there was even the slightest trace of true confidence in me, he managed to make it disappear when he grabbed a clump of my hair with one hand and my jaw with the other. He leaned his face close to mine, the tips of our noses almost touching.

  “It will do you well to learn that here, you are not in a place to make impetuous demands.” The words came out of his lips in a hiss.

  It was appropriate for him; he was revealing to me exactly what he was. A snake. His hands eased out of my hair and away from my jaw before he began to freely grope my body in places no other person apart from myself had ever touched before. His eyes never left mine even as I tried to wither away from his touch.

  “There’s no escape, Sofia. If you want to survive, you must realize that in this kingdom, you exist to obey. Do as you’re told and we just might allow you to live.”

  I spat on his face. It was the only act of defiance I could manage, considering how I was positioned to take whatever abuse he saw fit to throw my way.

  I had a feeling of victory that lasted for about a second, before he wiped his face clean with the back of his hand. His other hand found its way back to my jaw.

  “You asked me what I wanted from you. There really is only one thing you could give me, Sofia.”

  I glared at him, determi
ned to die with dignity and self-respect. “Oh? And what’s that?”

  His answers sent chills down my spine. “You.”

  Before I could even let that fully register, fangs protruded from his mouth. He pushed my head to the side, giving him easy access to my neck. It felt like I was in a dream but, as much as I tried to pinch myself awake, there was no escaping it.

  I was convinced that my greatest fear had come to pass. I’d already gone insane, because at that moment, I was a hundred percent sure that I was about to be eaten alive by a vampire.

  Chapter 3: Sofia

  “Lucas!”

  I could already feel the sharp edge of his fangs on my skin when a shrill female voice brought me an unexpected reprieve.

  He growled with frustration and roughly pushed me away, causing my head to jerk back and bump against the concrete wall.

  I glared every sort of sharp blade imaginable at my captor. So your name is Lucas.

  He seemed to be reading my mind, because an ugly frown marred his handsome features.

  “Yes. The name’s Lucas, my sweet innocent. Not that knowing that will do you any good.”

  “What do you think you’re doing?!” the female voice once again demanded of him.

  I strained my neck to see who my savior was, but Lucas was blocking my view.

  “What do you think I’m doing, Vivienne?” His chest heaved and sighed as he said the words. He looked just about ready to rip the head off of this Vivienne woman. “So sorry about this, Sofia dear.”

  Of course. How dare she interrupt your dinner. Happy birthday, Sofia. You just happen to be the birthday feast.

  He looked at me as though I was his ally. “It seems my sister couldn’t just let things be and let me enjoy my feast.”

  My heart sank at that piece of information. How could I expect this creature’s sister to help me get out of the nightmare he’d brought me into? Her next words cemented my fears and made it clear that there was no escaping my doom. At least not with her help.

 
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