Called by the vampire.., p.1
Called by the Vampire - Part 5, page 1part #5 of Called by the Vampire Series
Called by the Vampire - Part 5
Copyright © 2017 by V. Vaughn
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Editing by Jodi Henley, Red Adept Publishing and Angie Ramey
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About the Book
Maggie manages to survive her encounter with the evil vampire, Robert Kearns, but she faces more imminent danger when her donor heart begins to fail. While Maggie struggles to keep her declining health a secret from Sebastian, she begins to see why Elizabeth loved the older Hart brother, and the bond between Maggie and Sebastian deepens.
Lyndsey learns more about her family as her relationship with Alexander develops. While she’s curious about her vampire roots, she’ll have to determine if she can adapt her tomboy ways, embrace becoming a princess, and accept her fate as vampire royalty.
Robert’s evil laughter reverberates through my body as I glance around the parking lot of the convenience store again with the hope that Adly and the limo have magically appeared. My heart is pounding quickly because Elizabeth is telling me to run, but we know it's no use. Robert would catch me in a millisecond with his vampire speed.
Adly and I left the hotel in Boston under the guise of clubbing, but it was really so I could spend time with Alexander back in Port Porpoise. We stopped on the way back to Boston for me to go to the bathroom. Adly swore he'd keep me safe, and I know he'd never desert me.
I turn my attention back to Robert and swallow down my fear. "Wh-Where’s Adly?"
My imagination is threatening to take me places I don't want to go. "What do you want with me?"
Richard smiles and reaches forward to lift a strand of my hair. I flinch as he twirls one of my curls around his finger. The deep-red color on his pale skin looks like blood. "The Hart brothers are quite taken with you, Maggie Evans. I want to know why."
I'm not sure what he wants to know, but I'm willing to bet this man is not their friend. Pressure builds in my head, but it’s not like any headache I’ve ever experienced. Through the fog, I whisper, "I don't know what you mean."
Robert strokes my cheek with an icy finger, and I fight to stop myself from stepping into his embrace as he says, "Sebastian wouldn't bring a human into his life without an excellent reason." I’m trapped in his gaze as he steps close enough that only our clothing keeps us apart.
Elizabeth fills me with panic, and my chest tightens as I take shallow breaths. I wonder if she's afraid I'll tell him about my heart. The pressure in my head is building, and it feels as if my brain is being squeezed in a vise. While I'm sure it wouldn't be good if it came out that Kitty Kane is the Hart brothers' pen name and not mine, I think it's a better bet than revealing my heart donor was Sebastian's true mate. I take a deep breath and blow it out as if I'm about to share a big secret while I widen my eyes. "Okay. Fine. I don't write the Kitty Kane books. They do. They hired me to pretend to be her, and I guess the fact I can walk around in daylight was a big reason."
He yanks on my hair to pull me closer, and I inhale sharply as he leans down so that his mouth is on mine. I clench my lips together, but he doesn’t kiss me. He licks along the seam of my mouth as if he’s tasting me instead. "My dear," he says in a voice that chills me to the bone, "let's not play games. Who are you to them?"
"I-I don't know what you mean. I swear. I was hired to be a personal assistant, and once I got there, I found out they wanted me to be Kitty instead."
Robert shoves me, and I let out a gasp as I stumble back. "I really didn't want to have to do this," he says. "But you leave me no choice."
His eyes flash with his vampire, and now my heart stops, because I don't think Robert has any intention of leaving me alive. I'm about to spill my guts to save myself when I notice he doesn't move toward my throat. Instead, he envelops me in his gaze, and a warm sensation like sinking into a hot bath fills me. I let out a sigh of pleasure as my eyelids get heavy. He picks me up like a rag doll, and when I close my eyes, I feel as if I'm floating away.
"Maggie!" Fingers dig into my arm, and I try to shake them off so I can continue the most beautiful dream. "Maggie!" I open my eyes to Adly's concerned face as he jostles me.
My bottom is cold, and I notice I'm sitting on concrete and leaning against a gas pump. I blink in confusion. "What is—" I shake my head, and Adly tugs me to my feet. I gaze at him as I recall coming out of the store to discover the limo was gone. "Where did you go?"
He frowns. "I've been here the whole time. When you didn't come out, I started to come find you and saw you over here." He lifts my chin and gazes into my eyes. "Was it your heart? Did you pass out?" He glances down at my chest. "And where is the vial?"
I hold up my hand as I try to clear the cobwebs from my brain. "Stop. My heart is fine." Adly scoops me up in his arms, and I say, "I can walk."
"Maybe so, but I'm not taking any chances." The car door handle clicks as he opens up the back of the limo, and then he sets me inside. He gets in with me and opens up the cooler to grab a bottle of water. The plastic seal cracks as he opens it, and he hands it to me. "Drink this. Do you know what happened to your necklace?"
I point over at a cup holder as I swallow down cool liquid. "It's right there."
Adly grabs the heart-shaped medallion that contains Sebastian's blood and says, "I think you should drink some."
I shudder as I imagine what vampire blood would taste like. "I'm fine. Really."
"Maggie, I found you passed out by a gas pump yards from the limo. You are not fine."
"I wasn't passed out. I was sleeping." Adly squints at me, and I say, "Okay. I agree. That's odd. But I swear it wasn't my heart." I take the vial from Adly and slide my thumb over the etched leaves on its glass surface while I try to remember what happened. "I came out of the store, and you were no longer here, and then—" I shrug because the rest is a blank. "And then you were waking me up. I have no idea how I got to the gas pump."
Adly frowns and glances at his phone. "We've got to get back." He looks at me. "And I'm afraid we're going to have to tell Sebastian where we went tonight." He stares at me intently. “Something's not right with you, and he needs to know about what happened."
It is very strange that Adly never left the parking lot but I didn't see him, but I recall how after Alexander and I had sex earlier tonight, he made it clear I wasn't to tell Sebastian. "I don't know."
"I get it, Maggie. Sebastian doesn't approve of the vampire-human relationship you have with his brother, but he needs to know about this. In our world—" Adly takes a moment to collect himself. "We can't ignore strange incidents like this. Did you ever tell him about being followed yesterday?"
"No." I think back to meeting a guy in the bar where I picked up dinner. His name escapes me, but I do remember walking back to the hotel with the eerie feeling I was being followed. And I'm also sure it was Sebastian's way of making sure I didn't take off alone again. "That was Sebastian's scare tactics to punish me."
I roll my eyes. "Long story. Let's just say Sebastian's extreme about how he teaches me lessons he thinks I need to learn. I can only imagine what he'll dream up for tonight."
"Huh." Adly's brow furrows, and I'm not sure he believes me when he opens the door for us to get out to move to the front. "Don't worry. I'll take the fall for this one. It was my idea, and I didn't exactly give you a choice."
"Somehow I don't think that's going to matter," I say as I climb in my seat, and my seat belt clicks when I put it on. My loss of time is concerning, as well as not being able to see Adly when I came out of the convenience store. I know we have to tell Sebastian I was with Alexander tonight, but he's not going to be upset with me because of a human-vampire relationship the way Adly thinks. When Alexander went off to LA and left me, I thought Sebastian had been the one to send him away, but Alexander told me tonight that he was the one who decided to leave. And then the man I love got a bad case of guilt, because he told me to leave and acted as if what we did shouldn't have happened.
If I were smart, I'd call things off with Alexander and avoid the whole mess it's become, but I'm sure we're soul mates and destined to be together. I don't think I'd ever get over him. The way Sebastian can't get over Elizabeth. When he finds out I was with Alexander, he'll be hurt, and I wish there were a way to cut the part of Elizabeth that came with my heart out of my body. The groan of an eighteen-wheeler's air brakes mimics my sigh as we pull back onto the highway, and I mentally prepare myself to let Sebastian down again.
"I'm a princess?" I ask Alexander as he stands across from me with a mix of joy and awe on his face. We're in my bedroom, where I just discovered I can stand sunlight on my vampire body, which makes me what's known as a daywalker.
"I suspected you had royal ancestry when you whipped through the change cycles, and you being a daywalker confirms it. But now that I know you're an O'Kelly—" He blows out a mouthful of air. "You look just like him, and I can't believe I didn't see it before."
"Him?" I walk over, and the glass I just drank blood from thuds when I set it down on the small table by the door.
"Your family is a big deal, and to think we—well, Maggie—saved you from dying before you could realize your potential. Wow."
"Hold on," I say as I turn to Alexander. "Do you mean I was destined to become a vampire anyway?"
"You were, and I can't believe you almost missed out. Your father is going to be so ha—"
"Father?" If I had warm blood in my veins, it would have turned to ice. My father left when I was five, and we never heard from him again. My volatile new vampire emotions take over, and I can feel anger steaming out of my ears when I say, "Let me make something perfectly clear. I want nothing to do with my father."
Alexander blinks, and his expression deflates like a balloon. "Why not?"
I flash to the missing-person flyers my mother and I stuck up all over town and the way finding him became an obsession my mom never got over. Ever. Because the last time I saw her, she was glancing around the restaurant we were in with the hope she might spot my dad, more than twenty years later. She swore she knew in her heart he wasn't dead. Because in a way he wasn't. I scoff as I imagine how easy it would have been for him to write her a letter and make up some stupid excuse for why he left. Sebastian sure had no trouble helping me come up with an excuse for walking out of my human life. My father could have given Mom closure, but instead he was busy being vampire royalty, whatever that means. I hold back from hissing when I say, "He wasn't the best role model."
Alexander frowns. "He is known for being strict. I remember—" He closes his eyes as if the memory is something he doesn't want to relive. When he opens them again, Alexander says, "Your father is very well respected, and being his daughter gives you great power."
"If it means I have to see him again, I don't want it."
"Lyndsey." Alexander reaches out and touches my arm. "This is a lot to process. I'm sorry. I should have waited a while longer before I told you. You've only been a vampire for less than three days now, and you've got enough to deal with."
He's right about that. I raced through bloodlust, nymphomania, and depression before I skipped over self-destruction and returned to intense cravings for blood. It's as if I'm taking a crash course on vampirism. I will take that perk of royalty, because none of the phases were anything I'd want to be in for more than I was. I ask, "How long does it typically take a new vampire before they can control themselves around people?"
"It can be years. But I've trained some who only needed a few months."
I try to imagine avoiding people for years, and I wonder if those vampires have to live in remote places. "How long do you think I’ll need?"
"Weeks, likely. Adly was impressed with how well you're already doing."
I let out a dry laugh. "Don't be. If Kitty had crossed my path, I wouldn't have had any trouble sucking her dry."
Alexander's brow knits, and I wonder if he's worried about what I'll do to his girlfriend when we finally come face to face. "I would have felt that way about any human.” I frown. “I'm not angry with Kitty for trying to save my life."
"It's not that." Alexander's face lights up with what I think is fake enthusiasm because his posture is still tense. "I thought you might want to start your new job today. Sebastian said you'll be taking over the social media for Kitty Kane. We could use some fresh ideas."
Now it's my turn to frown, because I'm not clear on how Kitty has two men working for her when she just released her first book. I say, "I don't get it. Why do you and your brother work for Kitty?" I scan the room I'm in. "It's clear you guys have money. Is she a distant relative or something?"
"Maggie is the human face for Kitty. Sebastian and I are the real authors."
"Oh." The Hart brothers write romance?
Now I think Alexander's laugh is real. "We've been writing romance for decades. I take it you're not a fan."
I shrug. "It's not something I read." I remember how Becky and Jenna gushed over Kitty and say, "But I have—had--friends who do."
"Hopefully you'll discover you like love stories, because you need to read Kitty's books to do your job well."
I'm a fast reader and enjoy it, so I say, "Of course."
"Excellent. I'll bring you some books to get started." He picks up my empty glass. "I have a full gym with a treadmill, and my guess is you'd like to use it at some point."
Since I can't exactly go for my usual run outside, it'll have to do. "Thanks. I would before I start work if that's okay."
"Let me get changed, and I'll be back for you in a few minutes."
When Alexander leaves, I notice he doesn't lock the door behind him, and I flirt with the idea of leaving to run outside. But the moment I flash back to my reaction to smelling Kitty through a few walls, I realize it would be a stupid move on many levels.
After I change into exercise clothes, I go to the bathroom to braid my hair. I broke the mirror yesterday, but the mess is gone, and I wonder who cleaned it up for me. As I wait for Alexander, I walk over to the window and pull back the curtain to gaze longingly at the daylight. The view from my room is of the driveway, and I notice a large building with multiple garage doors. When Alexander returns, he knocks, and I drop the curtain back in place before he enters.
"Ready?" he asks.
I walk toward him as I sigh. "I'd much rather go surfing."
"Did I mention your father has a private island with a gorgeous beach that has killer waves?" I squint my eyes at Alexander as we move to the hallway, and he holds up his hands. "I'm just saying. You might want to rethink your daddy issues, because being an O'Kelly looks pretty sweet."
"I thought you were going to give me time to process the news."
Alexander glances at his wrist, where I notice a fancy watch that does more than tell time. "I did." He grins as he looks at me. "Is ten minutes not enough?"
Our feet th
Alexander walks over and picks up a remote. "You haven't seen the best part. Where would you like to run today? The beach? Or my five-mile Port Porpoise town loop?"
He points the remote at the large white wall the exercise machines face, and when he clicks, a life-sized view of Porpoise Beach appears before us. The water is on the left, while dunes are on the right as if I'm really on the seashore for a run. I smile. While I've seen this sort of thing on treadmills before, it was a tiny screen that didn't have the same impact. "This is amazing."
"Get on the treadmill. Once you start moving, the scenery will too."
The machine beeps as I set it to start, and I begin to jog easily as I watch the wall before me appear as if I'm moving on the sand. Alexander clicks another button, and the sound of waves crashing fills the room as a damp breeze with the acrid odors of the beach surrounds me. "Wow," I say.
"One more thing," he says. Bright light shines down, and I glance up to see he has a sky view with puffy white clouds and the sun projected on the ceiling. Alexander gets on the elliptical next to me. "It's the closest I get to a sunny day."
"This is really cool. It must be hard to never be in daylight."
His machine begins to whirr as he moves. "I do get out on rainy days, so it's not so bad."
I imagine it would be similar to living in the Seattle area, but that would still be hard for me. I increase the speed on the treadmill and notice it must be custom, because I'm running at fifteen miles an hour, and I suspect it can go much higher considering how fast vampires move.
by V. Vaughn have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes