No. No I promise to be good today. Oh, I'll be more than good.
I've been working back and forth in the fourth and sixth books. Wondering which to bring a little for you to read. Well, since the next book Vampire Caprice is closer to the finish line, I think I'll bring you something from this one.
This is from Chapter 8 of Vampire Caprice (4th in the Sabrina Strong series). (Long)
Paris & Celeste
The vampire, the woman, and the short man with no arms, had checked into the motel just moments before he'd arrived. It sounded like the beginning of a bad joke to him, but he wasn't amused. Bill knew they were here because the Mustang Cobra was parked in the back. You couldn't miss the cobra emblem on the side. The same one Tremayne had driven to Randy's house, and later to Sabrina's, with Illinois license plates which read VAMP 1.
Unfortunately, there were no more single rooms on the first floor available at this motel. Even though he'd pulled out a fifty, to try and get one.
The blonde night manager had said, “Sorry, there's none to be had.”
So, he took the second floor. He'd eaten well at a diner. He yawned thinking of the tedious drive as he climbed the stairs back to his room—213. He had followed them, using his GPS tracker on I-88, through western Illinois, hoped on I-80 at the border, drove all the way across Iowa—312 miles—then, through Omaha, Nebraska, and continued to York. A total of 515 miles, with only two breaks for gas and to relieve himself. He hadn't dare to speed the way Tremayne had. But he was here possibly an hour after they had arrived. Traffic had consisted of mostly semis.
I wonder what rooms they're in. He swiped his card into the locking mechanism. It buzzed and let him inside. After closing the door, he twisted the dead bolt and threw the safety over the knob.
My life-time goal has come down to me chasing her across the mid-west. He chuckled to himself.
He'd made initial contact with her—as was the plan—after living with Emma for a few months.
He had told Emma he was looking for the sibyl in a phone conversation when he'd first moved into the area. Emma was a gifted psychic medium. She thought he was her grandson. Thing was he was a few decades too old to be her grandson, but he was willing to allow her to think this.
“She lives across the street from me,” she had told him.
“Really?” He remembered being elated by this news. “I need to meet her. How can I do this?”
Emma had a plan. They spoke on several occasions and she told him that it would be better if he moved in with her so as to let things take their course. It had been weeks before he could get up the nerve to actually talk to her. It was Emma's intervention that had helped bring them together.
After all this, and the years—decades—it had taken him to find her, he wasn't about to let a vampire lord take her away from him.
His father had drilled this into him since he was young that his ultimate life-time goal was to find and mate with the sibyl.
Didn't help when I'd tried to run off with a woman I'd fallen in love with eighty years ago.
He scrubbed his neck with the thought of that particular memory.
Never mind that.
Sabrina Strong was his target, now. He would bide his time. There would be an opening for him to take her, eventually. The vampire couldn't be with her 24-7 and neither could the leprechaun. But the leprechaun is a problem I may have to deal with at some point.
The question was what to do with her once he did snag her. It had him somewhat edgy, yet quite excited about the mere aspect of it. After all he'd waited nearly a century for her, and the moment to make her his was close at hand. A few more days, or hours were nothing.
Dropping his key card onto the bed side table, he rubbed his eyes. The vampire would need to sleep during the day; the humans during the night. Just as he needed to now.
He glanced at the clock on the table next to the bed. It read 4:23 AM. Hell, no wonder. Right now what he needed was sleep and the bed looked very inviting. He thought of taking a shower, but all he wanted to do was crash.
He sat on the bed, pulled off his shoes, looked at the suitcase he'd brought with him. He'd brought apartment pants, but was too tired to open it. He undressed to his briefs. With a groan, he stretched out on top of the bed, reached up and twisted the small knob of the lamp above his head and out went the light. With an exhausted sigh, his body relaxed and he closed his eyes. Thoughts still whirling around.
I wonder where they'll be headed tomorrow night when they continued their journey.
The mattress was firm, just the way he liked it. He actually liked motel beds, as long as the motel was among the top ten. The Best Westerns were better than most, he'd found, while traveling the United States, trying to locate the sibyl for the past five years.
Bill fell asleep. The dream came. Although it was a recurring dream, he hadn't had it in a while. It often repeated itself on consecutive nights when he was stressed and frustrated from his day. Today was one of those days.
“We could elope,” he said, holding her close. Their breath becoming brief white clouds between them in the frosty air as they spoke in French. They stood at the very top of Arc de Triomphe. They had walked up all two hundred and thirty-four steps so that they could be alone. The view breathtaking and well worth it to be alone with Celeste Ganneau.
“When? How?” Celeste asked, her voice strained with desperation. “Your father watches you like a hawk.” She tightened the scarf around her head when the wind threatened to blow it off.
“Midnight,” he said, looking down into her dark eyes again. She's the most beautiful woman I've ever seen.
“Midnight? Tonight? It is too soon!”
“No. No. Listen. It has to be tonight. My father will be too busy at his party to notice I'm gone. There will be a lot of dignitaries, I don't know how he would be able to keep track of what I'm up to. I'll be there, show my face, and let him see me. Then, before midnight I'll slip out. I'll have a car waiting for me. I've already bought train tickets for us both. We'll leave for Strasbourg. You'll need to be at Garde deL'Est a few minutes before midnight. Can you be there?”
“Alright. Yes. Yes! I must go and pack my bags!” Her words were barely out of her mouth and they kissed passionately, then twice more quickly, as he could hardly tear himself away from her.
“You leave first.” He looked around. Only a few people with them, none of them looked at them. It was Paris, and lovers were commonly seen in such places kissing and hugging.
Celeste stepped away, heals of her shoes clicking along the walkway. She stopped at the edge of the stairs, looked back and waved to him. She turned and made her way down the stairs. He remained, watching from above, as she crossed the street. She then disappeared in a crowd and beneath naked-limbed trees along the sidewalk.
Heart beating heavily, but excited at the prospect of finally having a plan in place to leave Paris with Celeste, and be out from under his parent's watchful eyes. He made his way back down, making sure once again he had not been followed or seen by anyone. Ducking through the alley, he followed it, climbed up a back stairs and then onto an iron fire escape where he pulled himself up onto the roof. He jumped from one roof top to another, as the span between buildings were no more than three feet in most cases. Before long he was sliding through the window of his own room in his parent's villa. He wasn't allowed to use his wings. Not ever. If anyone saw, it would bring too much attention to them. The Nephilim had been careful for thousands of years to not let their wings emerge while in public. Not even among a private party. Only when in the privacy of their own rooms were they allowed to bring their wings out, and then only to preen and let them breath.
He quietly returned to his suite of rooms, through the bedroom window, briefly catching his shoe on the sheers. His exhilaration at the thought that he had managed to sneak out without anyone knowing vanished suddenly.
The red-haired man standing there, gloating both startled him, and infuriated him.
Bill awoke with a start. Sitting up in bed he gulped in air. He ran long fingers through strands of wavy brown hair that had fallen over his eyes . He brushed it all back. The sheets were soaked, and he was down to his underwear. When had I undressed?
More disturbing, his wings were unsheathed. An escape reflex. It had happened often when he was a child after a nightmare. But never as an adult. Why now?
Shaking himself from the dream—and an inexplicable fear—it took a moment for Bill to recognize the motel room, and a few more moments to remember where, exactly he was. The lights from outside slanted in like a beam where the curtain didn't quite meet in the center and along the edges.
It took a full minute to remember what town he was in while the dream would not diminish in intensity.
Yes, of course. The dream. It had come unbidden again.
“Celeste,” he murmured, still running his fingers through his damp hair as though doing so would clear his mind of the dream that wanted to re-run again and again through his mind.
Why am I dreaming of her? Of that night...
He knew why.
He shook his head wanting to rid himself of that particular memory like a dog with a flea. He had not thought of Celeste Ganneau in years.
Something softly touched him on the arm. He jumped with a start. It was a secondary feather from his right wing.
He swore under his breath. Then chuckled lightly. Get hold of yourself, Bill. Reaching back, his fingers gently stroked his primaries and secondaries. He found them slick with perspiration and realized he would have to dry them. There might be a few that needed tending to, as he might have bent them during a fitful sleep.
He briefly scrubbed his face with his hands, feeling the stubble of beard, and let out a frustrated hiss. Throwing off the sheets, he reached over and turned on the lamp near his bed. He swung his legs over the side of the bed and his feet sought his slippers. They weren't there. Of course. He hadn't even opened his suitcase.
Dismissing the need for slippers, he padded his way into the bathroom. He had the distinct feeling someone watched him as soon as his bare feet hit the cold tile floor. His skin crawled, and there came that knowing sense that all his kind were gifted with. Something was there with him. Something unseen. Something supernatural. Something powerful. He flipped on the light switch and looked into the mirror, not at himself but around the edges of the mirror. He flipped the light off . Then back on. Hadn't there been the slightest shadow of something there in the mirror? There were beings that could not be seen in this world, but hovered just beyond a thin membrane that could sometimes be breached. A mirror was their favorite conductive route into this world, as they could harness it's two-way powers, if they were of a mind.
He switched the light off, exited the room, and shut the door. Hairs on his arms still stood on end. He would not be able to retract his wings the way he was feeling right now.
He hoped the unseen being would move on.
Why it was here was the one question that made his nerves on edge.
Is it looking for her?
© 2013 Lorelei Bell