Called by the vampire.., p.1
Called by the Vampire - Part 7, page 1part #7 of Called by the Vampire Series
Called by the Vampire - Part 7
Copyright © 2017 by V. Vaughn
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Editing by Jodi Henley, Red Adept Publishing and Angie Ramey
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Maggie was supposed to be dead. But Sebastian stepped in at the last minute to change her life forever, and now Maggie has to face instincts and handle evils she never wanted. Sebastian thought he was saving her, but the reality may be that he’s thrust her into a world she feels is worse than hell.
Lyndsey publicly steps into her role as a Princess and discovers it’s no fairy tale. She’s faced with a challenge that defies all the rules she used to know. In an instant, her moral compass has to change because her first act as Princess sets the course for centuries as the future Queen of the O’Kelly kingdom.
I’m supposed to be dead. But instead I’m sitting up in my bed, feeling more alive than ever. Every one of my senses is zinging, as the light seems too bright, noises are too loud, and what I see is too detailed. Sebastian is sitting next to me, and my mother is standing behind him. I inhale to soak in more of an odor that envelops me with desire.
I sniff again and let out a moan as I become delirious with a scent coming from Mom. It makes me home in on a vein in her neck. There it is. My body quivers as I watch it throbbing with her agitation. I need it. The rush of liquid moving fills my ears. I have to have it. My gums ache as I scramble to my knees and lunge toward her.
Strong hands grip my arms hard when I get within inches of my target, and I scream in frustration, “Let me go!”
“Margaret,” says Sebastian as he slams me back down on the bed. I scrunch my legs up to try to shove my feet against his chest, but he’s too fast for me, and his knees dig into my thighs as he traps me under his body.
“What the hell is going on?” My mother tugs at Sebastian. “Get off her!”
I want to shut her up because her voice is piercingly loud. And I know just how to do it. I crane my neck to see her as I struggle to get free. “Shut up!” I bark out, and my mother jerks back in horror.
Sebastian’s grip on me is strong, and he’s so close I could kiss him, but that’s the last thing I want to do. He just turned me into a vampire, and I’m in agony, trying to satiate my need for blood. I hiss at him, and my teeth clash when I snap at him as if I’m a wild animal, but he manages to jerk back before I can make contact.
“Oh god,” whispers Mom. “She’s not—”
“Human. I know,” Alexander says in a soft voice, as if he’s trying to calm a child. “I’ll explain everything, but right now we need to get you out of here.” Something flickers in my heart when I look at him, but it’s quickly squashed by my blind need to get to my mother.
“No,” says my mother. I notice her determined expression before I squeeze my eyes shut because her voice is reverberating in my head like a pounding headache. “I’m not leaving her side.”
I open my eyes again, and the moment I see my mother, I growl with my frustration and pain. Every cell of my being is screaming at me to latch onto my mother’s neck and suck the sweet nectar of her life to fill my belly. I just want a— A high-pitched scream I can’t control comes out of me as I try to twist and break free of Sebastian so I can attack. When I realize it won’t work, I resort to a whimper. “Please, Sebastian. Help me.”
He gazes at me with compassion. “I will, Margaret.” His grip loosens a bit, and I take the opportunity to thrash beneath him, but in a flash, he’s got me immobilized again. Sebastian’s in his vampire form now, and he says, “Get her the hell out of here, Alexander. Now!”
Mom reaches toward me and almost manages to touch me. “Maggie…”
My emotions are confusing. I want to hug Mom and have her tell me it’s okay, but at the same time I want to latch onto her neck and drink every drop of blood in her body. “Mom!” Oh god, she’d taste so good. No! I imagine trying to spend an eternity knowing I killed her. “You have to leave! Before I...”
Alexander snatches her away to throw her over his shoulder. She pounds on his back and thrashes as she looks at me with desperation in her eyes. My love for her is so strong it hurts. She has no idea what I’d do to her. All she wants to do is save me. To fix this the way she’s always fixed things for me. But she can’t fix this.
I whimper. “Sebastian.”
“I know,” he says. The overwhelming need to feed on my mother dissipates as she gets farther away, and so does my need to escape Sebastian’s grasp.
As I begin to relax, he says, “You’re okay, Margaret. Everything is going to be okay.”
I’m sure it’s not, but I’m worn out, so I stop moving. I gaze into Sebastian’s face as he morphs back to human. As his fangs retract, I lick my teeth to find mine are gone too. Fangs. Oh god. Crazed laughter erupts from me. The kind of laugh you do when you’re exhausted and can’t control it. Even when your stomach hurts. Sebastian releases me to sit back and wait patiently until I gain control of my emotions. When I stop laughing, I look at him and think about the fact he knew I wanted to die. I thought he’d accepted it. Sure, I ran off with my mom so it could happen in my own bed, but that doesn’t explain why he changed me against my will. I recall when I changed Lyndsey by accident, he said it was a decision nobody should make for another. So why… Reality grips my heart. Elizabeth.
I sniff back the tears from laughing, and anger begins to rise in me. The man who just fed me his blood so I wouldn’t die a natural death believes now he can have me. And his precious Elizabeth. The joke’s on him because right now I don’t think I could hate anyone more. I snarl out, “Why didn’t you let me die?”
He gives me a sad smile. “Forgive me, Maggie, but I couldn’t bear to lose you.”
I shake my head. “What makes you think you still have me?” I let my anger bring my vampire to the surface and curl up my lip to hiss at him. “Seems to me I don’t need your protection any longer.”
Sadness washes over Sebastian’s face. “I know you’re angry. I—” His expression is pained as he shakes his head. “It is my hope with time you’ll be glad I changed you.”
I roll my eyes at him the way I’ve wanted to ever since the first day we met. “You are such a pompous ass.” I think about why Sebastian brought me to the Hart mansion as I swing my legs over the edge of the bed and stand up. I notice how strong they are, and the way I don’t experience my usual dizziness from rising quickly. He wanted to be close to his soulmate’s heart. He wanted a second chance with the woman he loved, but I fell in love with Alexander. So Sebastian used his power and my fear to control me. But now I’m no longer a helpless human, and Sebastian doesn’t scare me.
“I never expected you to be so selfish.”
“Yes, I was,” Sebastian says. He stands up to be across from me and reaches out his hand. “What do you feel when you look at me?”
My stomach cramps up, and I let out a groan before I scowl at Sebastian’s
Sebastian says, “Go to the bathroom, Margaret.”
I groan as I rush out of the room and down the hall so fast the world is a blur. It’s hard to stay mad when you’re frantically trying to strip your pants off before you have an accident. I thud down on the toilet just in time. Within moments, I feel as if my entire insides just exploded out of my body, but I sigh with the relief. I remember Alexander telling me that vampires can’t eat food, and now I think I know why.
I expect to be shaky when I step over to the sink, but instead I feel stronger than I ever have in my life. Water rushes when I turn on the tap, and I marvel at the elegance of my fingers. They appear longer and thinner, and I squeeze them into a fist that could probably pack a deadly punch. I look at my face in the mirror and let out a small gasp, because my soft baby face looks older, with chiseled cheekbones and hollowed-out cheeks. Even my jaw is sharper. But my skin lacks wrinkles, making me appear as if I’m made up like a model. I should probably find myself beautiful, but a wave of sadness washes over me.
Tears burn in my eyes as I wipe my hands dry. I’m a vampire. I inhale sharply even though air isn’t necessary. Moments ago, I wanted to devour my mother’s blood, and I have no doubt I’d have drunk until she was dry. Shame fills me with painful heat. The person I love most in the world would have died at my hands in seconds, because at the time, who she was barely registered in my mind. What have I become? The door thuds when I fall back against it to sink to the floor. I lick my teeth and feel smooth enamel, but I know fangs could extend at any moment.
A soft knock at the door is followed by Sebastian’s quiet voice. “Margaret. Are you all right?”
I shake my head in silence as tears roll down my cheeks. I’m so not all right. I’m a monster.
It’s nearly silent when I gaze out into the crowd of vampires who have come to celebrate my arrival. We’re in the ballroom of the castle, and while it has modern features like electricity, there are no windows, chandeliers are made from antique crystal, and the walls are gilded with real gold. The marble beneath my feet is centuries old as well. My father’s voice fills the cavernous space with a deep baritone sound as he introduces me. “Princess Lyndsey Rose O’Kelly!” I step forward on the platform, which has two enormous chairs for my father and me. They’re upholstered in black leather and dark-green velvet with jeweled studs I think are emeralds. I offer a cold smile while I scan the faces of the clapping vampires before me. My stomach is jittery with nerves. First impressions are everything, and I need to come across as someone who is strong enough to invoke fear no matter how young I look.
The faces in the crowd are model beautiful. Every single vampire here is an elegant version of their former selves. No matter how old we are when we’re turned, we become incredibly beautiful creatures. Dressed in our finery, this group would be a high-society photographer’s dream. I hesitate for a second when I recognize Liam’s piercing blue eyes trained on me, but I quickly push down the rage that rushes toward the surface and avoid his gaze. I won’t give him the satisfaction of knowing how I feel.
As promised, Alexander and Sebastian are near the front, and I let a real smile appear when Alexander winks. I hold up my hand to stop the clapping, and I speak as loudly as I can without my voice sounding like a scream. “Thank you. It’s a pleasure to be here and to serve as princess of the O’Kelly clan.” I turn toward my father and hold out my palm. “I’m honored to work at my father’s side for centuries to come.”
My dad steps forward and clasps my fingers tightly before he lifts my hand to kiss the back of it. “I’m the one who is honored.” Victoria emerges from the shadows to press a champagne flute of blood into each of our hands. My father lifts his up and says, “A toast. To Princess Lyndsey!”
I lift my drink as cheers erupt and goblets clink. I tap my glass against my dad’s and then Victoria’s, and when I take a sip, I savor the rich flavor as I gaze out into the crowd. I look for Liam again because earlier, Dad told me he’d be standing with Robert Kearns, the vampire who would like to overthrow the throne. When I notice the man next to Liam has a smirk on his face, I know I’ve found him. I let him catch my eye, and I stare with as much venom in my gaze as I can muster. My vampire threatens to come out, and I’m sure he sees my eyes flash with a warning. I won’t have Robert Kearns think I’m the least bit weak.
“Lyndsey,” my father whispers in my ear. “Control, my dear. Control.”
I turn to my father to break eye contact with Robert and inhale slowly to tamp down my vampire. “Yes. Of course.”
“It’s time for the receiving line,” Victoria says. Her skirts rustle as she lifts them and leads us off the stage. I follow her to where I’ll stand between my father and Victoria so that every guest can meet me face-to-face. When the marathon of small talk begins, I don’t bother to learn the names of anyone other than those Victoria signals to me as being important.
A chill runs down my spine when Liam approaches, and I notice Robert is right behind him. Victoria smiles sweetly at Liam as he says hello, and when he gets to me he licks his lips before leaning in to kiss my cheek. He whispers in my ear as if he’s my lover. “I really should have kept you as mine.”
After the fury of my power revealed itself to me earlier in my father’s study, I don’t believe I have anything to be afraid of, and I’m tempted to toy with him. When he steps back, I lick my lips as if I want him sexually and reply, “Where would the fun be in that?”
Liam chuckles. “Oh, Lyndsey. Let the games begin.” When he gets to my father, Dad grabs Liam’s hand in a death grip. But I don’t have time to watch their exchange of testosterone, because I’m greeted by Robert. For an evil man, he’s quite handsome. His eyes sparkle like onyx, and his thick black hair is gray at the temples. “Lyndsey.” He grabs my hands to lean in and kiss my cheek, and his lips linger a little longer on my skin than I’d like, making me shudder inside with repulsion. His breath is like icy fingers on my neck when he speaks in my ear. “I brought you a present. Would you like it now or later?”
When he pulls away, I don’t see anything in his hands. I lift my eyebrows at him and say, “Now.”
He chuckles. In a flash, Robert has Liam in between us in a choke hold, and I notice both have morphed into vampire form the way I instinctually have. Just as quickly, what I guess is the O’Kellys’ version of the Secret Service push Victoria aside to flank my father and me.
The crowd has become silent, and they move back to give us all a wide berth as Robert addresses my father in a booming voice. “King Daniel, as much as I regret losing a good man, Liam Holden is the vampire who took Lyndsey’s human life.” He glances at me as he jerks his arm back, nearly crushing Liam’s throat. Liam lets out a grunt as he grits his teeth against the pain. “Do you understand what this means?”
Wow. Robert is a class-A asshole. I recall my father’s explanation for his lackeys Rick and Rufus. One of his first tasks as king was to punish them for killing humans, but he couldn’t bring himself to kill them as the law dictated. It’s clear Robert is testing me, and I have no intention of making the same mistake. Considering that vampires live for centuries, this underworld is male-dominated, and Robert probably thinks of women as the weaker sex, I bet he believes I might fall apart or refuse to have Liam killed. That, coupled with his bold offering, makes me want to dig my heels in harder. I stare into the evil vampire’s eyes. “He must be extinguished.”
I see fear in Liam’s eyes when I look at him, but my humanity is tucked away deep inside me, and I smile in victory. I didn’t expect to get my revenge so soon. I have to give Liam credit, though, because he keeps my gaze and doesn’t struggle against Robert. I wonder what’s going through his mind. Liam is considered one of Robert’s top men, and
I dart my gaze to my father, and his voice is as solid as steel when he asks, “Is this the man who took your human life?”
My father knows Liam is, but this is a formality, and I answer with an equally strong voice. “Yes.”
My father scans the crowd. “Is there anyone who would like to speak on Liam’s behalf?”
There’s a low murmur, but nobody steps forward. My father says, “Very well. Liam Holden is sentenced to immediate extinction.” More men seem to appear out of thin air to take Liam from Robert. My father turns to me, and his gaze is intense as he stares at me in what I think is a silent question. I’m not going to disappoint him, because I know I need to show the kingdom I’m worthy of their devotion. I give him the smallest of nods, and his lips turn up the slightest before he asks, “Would you like the honor?”
I recall there are three ways to kill a vampire. I can choose to burn Liam in sunlight, shoot through his heart with a silver bullet, or behead him. I say, “Yes, please.”
Three men step forward from the shadows behind us and place themselves between my father and me and the crowd as Liam is moved to the side where he can watch. One of the three men holds a pair of handcuffs I expect are for chaining a vampire to something outside, another has a revolver, and the third is holding a sword that is no less than three feet long. Light flashes off the steel blade as if it’s a signal, and I think if I’m going to display my power, I should opt to go with drama. I hope the time I spent as a child pretending to be the star of a TV show about a warrior princess trained me for what I’m about to do.
by V. Vaughn have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes