(A Hybrid Romance Series - Book 1)
Part 1: The Truth Hurts, But Will Set You Free
I sat on the cold dungeon floor. My arms hung from the shackles that were secured around my wrists, stretching my body taut against the stone wall. I felt like the cord of a bow after it gets drawn, tight and extended.
My clothes, the tattered mess that they were, barely covered my shivering body. One of my breasts was bare. My skirt was still intact, thank goodness.
I was exhausted, weak, and completely drained. The putrid smell in the air was hellish.
Why did dungeons have to be so disgusting? Human bones were scattered everywhere. The place reeked of decaying flesh.
I swear, I felt bile rise and slide back down more than once; from my stomach all the way to my esophagus. The acidity of it burned my throat.
If that wasn't unbearable enough, my body was racked with chills. Goosebumps formed up and down my skin. I couldn't tell if it was from the pain, the realization that I was about to die, or the lack of heat. Maybe it was a combination of all three.
I had a deep gash on the left side of my cheek, blood seeping out of it. That will definitely leave a damn scar. I bickered sourly to myself.
There was a continuous throbbing ache on the left side of my neck, as well. And I could still feel my living essence trickling down my chest and back. At least it wasn't flowing like a river anymore.
What happened? I'll tell you what happened. One of his damn lackey's bit me. Stupid bastard plunged his fangs deep into my jugular and almost drained me dry.
He would have, too, if his master wouldn't have stopped him. Saying something about I was his territory, or some shit like that. I can't remember his face, just his hypnotic voice, because it lulled me into a deep sleep.
I had heard the many myths about vampires from movies and such growing up. Now that I recall every single one, I want to laugh, hysterically.
For one thing, they are not repulsed by anything holy. Sunlight does not burn them to a crisp. If you stake them in the heart, well, it only immobilizes them.
Only I, as well as others like me, know the true way to eliminate an undead creature of the night, a vampire.
Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you what I do for a living. Brace yourselves, my friends.
I kill vampires.
That's right! I am a true, bona fide, vampire slayer.
I am known as Bloody Rose. And how I got my name is actually a funny story. "Bloody" and "Rose" were the words I'd always heard when I would finish my nightly slays.
My father, Frank Evans, was a wonderful man. He was my trainer, my coach; taught me all I needed to know about hunting down vampires and destroying them.
I miss him to this very day. Anyway, I would walk in the front door and he would say, "There you go again getting bloody Rose."
In that event, dad and mom gave me the nickname Bloody Rose. Even my own husband joined in on the jest.
It was a different story when my daughter was born. No one said those words in front of her. I was protective over my little one; she was closest to me.
Good times, wonderful times. I wish I could have them all back.
Now that we've gone down memory lane, back to what kills a vampire. Fire. That is the major secret, the key.
Think about it, a fires scorching hot flame incinerates anything and everything in its path. Therefore, a damn immortal, with their god-like appearance and strength is no exception. Nevertheless, here I am, awake and waiting for the master vampire to put me to death.
Speaking of the devil, out of the corner of my eyes a tall, masculine vampire stormed down the steps toward me. He stopped mid-way, running a hand through his medium-length obsidian hair and down his face. I heard him let out a frustrated sigh.
I took that moment to catch a glimpse of what my captor looked like. Yet I was careful not to peek into his eyes.
A white dress shirt, folded halfway, was draped across his broad shoulders. Jet black slacks hung provocatively low on his hips. His feet were bare and he gracefully walked up to me, his muscles rippling. He was a stallion! He was gorgeous!
I couldn't help the questions running rampant through my thoughts. This adonis standing in front of me is one of them? And not just one of them, but the leader? The master vampire I had been hunting down ever since this atrocity had started? No damn way!
I felt his eyes on me. It dawned on me then - some vampires can read minds. It all depended on how powerful they were. How stupid could I be to let my private thoughts be heard.
His gaze was hypnotizing. It wasn't only amusement I sensed in that intense stare, but lustful intentions, as well.
He was a dominant one. Who would have thought?
Thing is, who could blame his "control freak" attitude? He had the upper hand. I was at his mercy. I was the prey who was tracked down and caught by the predator. And, now, I'm the lamb in the wolves den about to be devoured.
He circled me, examining every part of my body, my presence, with a victorious smirk plastered on his sexy face. I wanted to wipe that grin off of his luscious lips.
Wait a minute! What am I thinking? Sexy face? Luscious lips? Oh boy..
Anyway, he clutched the back of my head with his hand, bunching my long brown locks inside of it. It seemed, he liked its soft texture.
He brought my hair to his nose and breathed in my scent, groaning with gratification. He then placed his index finger under my chin and raised my head up.
Our eyes locked. I gasped.
All this time I was admiring his beauty I hadn't looked once into his eyes. They were an orange-red. The color of molten lava.
One look into them made you feel hot all over. Like he had control over the element of fire, in a way.
And, let me tell you, one glance into those powerful orbs made you steamy. Not painfully, no. But sexually.
It made me wonder what types of vampires were really out there. I had never felt any other way, besides hate, toward a blood-sucking fiend. Nothing like this.
God, my nipples were hard. My sex was wet. I was practically panting like a blasted wanton whore.
"Well, well. Miss Rose. Not so confident, now, are we?"
Again, that was not the first time I had heard him speak. His voice was very baritone and husky. All man. Every word that escaped his lips was precise and clear, pronunctuated perfectly.
To be honest, his voice, the tone of it, sent chills down my spine. And not unpleasant ones either.
Damn him! His eyes and voice brought forth emotions I hadn't felt so strongly before throughout my whole life.
Lust, excitement, seduction. Did I mention lust? It sent my world spiraling in a whirlwind of dark sexual fantasies.
But I did not want him to discover those truths. However, it was too late. Far, far too late. He knew.
So, I did what anyone would do. I acted crude. I became a complete defiant bitch.
"Go to hell!" I exclaimed venomously, my bright blue eyes tearing into his.
I was trying to imagine myself slicing his head off and lighting him on fire with a damn torch. Anything to get these thoughts of him taking me roughly against a wall out of my head.
He laughed in his throat and he pushed the bangs from my eyes. "There is so much boldness in you. Such hunger." He leaned down to my ear, his breath brushing against my lobe. He inhaled deeply. "And I can smell the type of hunger all over you."
My eyes widened. "I don't know what you're talking about. I hate you blood-sucking bastards."
Again he chuckled. I wanted him so badly. It was maddening.
"There's no doubt in my mind that you do, sweetheart. For your eyes show complete hatred when beholding my kind."
My arousal forgotten for a brief second, I instantly retorted. "And I wonder why?"
He grinned. "Oh, I know the reason. And, trust me, they all tasted so delicious."
I pulled on the heavy chains, the shackles already bruising my wrists. I made damn sure to put the most threatening expression on my face. He backed up before I could grab hold of him.
That son-of-a-bitch! How dare he!
He had the audacity to remind me about the death of my family. My husband; my mother; my father. Lastly, my child. My little girl of only five years old.
I made the decision right then that I would make him suffer, just as he made them suffer, before I escaped this hell and destroyed him.
"Did I strike a nerve?" he questioned. "My, my, slayer. If looks could kill."
"I could only be so lucky." I seethed, looking up at him, my gaze sharp.
He rushed at me with blinding speed and gripped the back of my hair, pulling my head up and slightly to the side. His mouth hovered where I was bitten previously. He inhaled my scent again and a deep purr rumbled in his chest. He dragged his tongue against the incisions. After that, it was downhill from there.
In a bloodlust frenzy he ripped my shirt completely from my body. His tongue lapped up the remains of my blood from my breasts, my neck; any and everywhere it had spilled.
My heart raced with a mixture of fear and excitement. This fiend was igniting unknown feelings in me and it was, I believe the word would be, forbidden.
It was so wrong. But it felt so right. So good. Absolute bliss. I yearned for more.
I clenched my thighs together to alleviate the ache in my sex. It was only making it worse.
He watched every rise and fall of my breasts each time I sucked in a trembling breath. It was scary because I thought he would soon dip his fangs into me, as well. End my poor excuse of a life.
Oh, and before you begin to believe it is pleasurable like the movies show, well, let's get something straight first. When his fledgling had done so, it hurt like hell. It felt like my whole body was about to spontaneously combust, causing my blood to spray from every orafice in my body. I sure as hell did not want to go through that anguish again.
He didn't though and also stopped cleaning up my blood. What was with him confusing the hell out of me? Did he get off on it?
Speaking of which, whatever he was doing then was about to make me get off. Oh my..wow!
His baritone chuckle caused my hands to shake as he again smelled my arousal. And to tease me even more, he touched my neck gently, gliding his fingertips down to cup my waiting right breast inside of his palm. His tongue swiveled around my already hardened nipple.
My breath immediately hitched. Who would have thought that a creature so evil could entice me so well?
Everything that he did to me was more erotic than anything I had ever experienced with a man. Even my husband had never made my body respond like that.
Remembering that this vampire was the monster who murdered my love, I struggled to get him off of me. I bucked against him chest first. The collision caused him to back up a bit.
In an instant, I kicked my legs around his waist and flipped him through the air. He landed on his rear and skid a few feet back.
To anyone else, the sight would have been quite comical. To me, it was survival. It was revenge. I wanted him to hurt, just as he'd hurt me.
I was going to make him pay for what he had done to my family. And he would pay, dearly.
His fledglings flew at me with rushing speed. I kicked one in the ribs, knocking him several feet away from my trapped body. Two others, I caught their heads between my thighs and squeezed, breaking each of their necks.
Every single one of them who came at me ended up with some type of injury from myself. Hell, I was fighting twelve of them and with only my legs.
Yet I was beyond tired. My breathing was labored. My heart raced and thudded loudly in my own ears.
Although, I wouldn't give up. I just couldn't.
Still they kept standing to their feet and flying into my swinging legs, fangs bared, trying their damnest to tear into my flesh. It was an unending battle, until he spoke up.
"Get away from her!" The master vampire hollered in fury. "Do not touch her! She is mine."
I knew he would be in my face in no time, so I had to act fast. In a poor attempt to free myself, I jerked my wrists forward.
A scream erupted out of my mouth as I sliced them open. Blood oozed down my arms.
I hadn't had enough strength to break them. I'd wasted all of it fighting his "children" that my own powers had drained.
I had failed and finally started to realize the complete mess I was in. There was no hope for me.
"Just kill me. Get it over with."
He flicked his eyes to mine, holding them. He walked up to me and stroked my cheeks, ridding my sweaty face of my tangled hair.
He pushed each strand behind my ear and he did it almost lovingly. Something a lover would do. He was not, nor would he ever be, my lover.
His eyes continued to pin me. "I am not going to kill you."
"Why not?" I practically whined. "I would be with my loved ones, whom you slaughtered and took away from me."
He waited a minute or two before answering me, almost as if he regretted everything. "I had to."
"You had to?" I hissed. The look in my eyes was mutinous. "That is your damn answer? Your fucking excuse?"
"Yes," he said as a matter of fact.
"Why?" I shouted.
He placed his hands on my cheeks and gazed into my eyes. "You cannot have anyone close to you alive. I was simply preparing you for the many heartaches you would endure in the future. This is the life of a slayer, love."
He leaned into me and the look inside of his lava-colored orbs was full of remorse. "Everyone you loved died because of who and what you are."
"And instead of forming an alliance between us, you go and kill them all, knowing I will hunt you down?" I was beyond angered.
His eyes saddened moreso. "I took that chance, yes. But I am not the master vampire you seek. I did not murder your family."
My brow lifted and I pushed his hands aside. "What? But you just said..."
He silenced me with a finger to my lips. "I know what I said. The truth is;" he had caught my attention completely, "I was going to kidnap them and bring them here. Just to protect them. However, he arrived before me."
His tone became rough and his expression hardened. "He taunted your family. Laughed in their faces when they begged for their lives. He bit them and ended up leaving every last one to change into a vampire. After he vanished I ran to them. They pleaded with me to end their lives before they turned into a creature of darkness. It pained me to listen to their cries. Believe me, when I feed I make sure the person feels no pain and is completely dumbfounded about what happened afterward. I don't leave people writhing in agony because of them transitioning. I take them under my wing. I do not force anyone to become a vampire if they do not wish it."
He lowered his head in shame. "I ended their misery. Forgive me. I-I-It wasn't suppose to happen like this. They weren't suppose to be turned or killed. It was planned for me to befriend you and to train you."
"Train me?" I asked, tears flowing down my cheeks. He saved them from an eternity of darkness. I couldn't believe it.
"Evelyn," he saw the shock in my eyes and smiled. He actually gave me a genuine smile. "Yes, I know who you are. I've known for a long time."
"You've been watching me?"
"Protecting you, silently." he whispered.
"I don't need protection, vampire." I scolded him. "You need protected from the likes of me."
"You cannot even take me down." he retorted and stepped gingerly toward me, almost as if he was half afraid. His palm cupped my cheek. "And you cannot deny the pleasure my touch makes you feel."
I caught myself nestle my face into his hand. I quickly regained my senses and turned my head away from his touch.
"I don't know what you are talking about. Why do you keep insisting that I do? I don't even find you remotely attractive."
I then said heatedly. "Let's get something straight, unlike every human who lays their eyes on you and wants to worship the damn ground you walk on, I'm different. I cannot be charmed."
He leaned down to my ear. "You have no idea. Do you?"
His close proximity made me swoon and my voice came out as a murmur. "Idea about what?"
"I didn't try to charm you, Evie. Those feelings were honest."
My eyes widened. "You didn't? Not even slightly?"
He answered, "Not even slightly." He moved away from me. "Let me ask you something. Have you not realized that the one who bit you isn't here right now?"
"Now that you mention it. What happened to him?"
"Me!" he exclaimed. "He put his mark on you. Something he was not, as well as any other fledgling of mine, allowed to do. I simply killed him."
He turned to his fellow vampires. "Let that be a warning to you all. She is not to be harmed or touched without my say so."
"I did hear him arguing with himself if he should taste me or not." I told him. "Why aren't they "allowed" to touch me?"
"I am protective and possessive over you. When I smell any others scent on you, I become animalistic. When I seen his mark marring your flesh, Evie, I wanted to rip him apart. And I did. Piece..by..piece."
He moved back over to me and caressed my neck tenderly. "You tell me what that means. What it implies when a vampire feels such emotions towards a mortal."
I was at loss for words. There was no way. My husband was my soulmate. Not him. Not an enemy of my kind.
Slayers do not fall in love with vampires. It is forbidden. They are enemies for a reason. I pulled my face out of his reach, recoiling from his touch.
"Never!" I replied aggressively. "We are enemies, leech. Not lovers. And we are definitely not soul-mates."
He smiled sadly. "I felt the same way once I figured it out."
"Then you know how ridiculous it sounds." I spoke to him through gritted teeth.
"It does, I agree. Nevertheless, no one can run from their fate." He cupped my face in his hands again, demanding my full attention. "The sooner you accept it, the better your conscience will be towards you. No more confusion, love. And you'll feel true peace within yourself."
I heard him murmur very softly, barely catching his words, "I know I do."
"How do I know that this is not a trick?" I questioned. "Vampires are known for their deception."
I hated to admit it, but when he called me "love" it was so endearing that my heart skipped a beat. I felt like butterflies were fluttering in my stomach. I was almost drunk with passion.
This hypothesis had to be correct for me to recognize such feelings for this man. This vampire.
"I love you."
"Pssh, whatever." I retaliated, secretly melting inside. I might not have loved him at that very moment, but there was some kind of an emotion building.
He then said something that caused tears to cloud my vision. "I, Malderon Lee, master vampire to the Blood Guardian Coven, swear on my coven that I love you, Evelyn Rose Williams."
Let me explain, and this is very important. Yes, vampires are liars and deceivers. But when they swear upon their coven, you'd better believe that what they are saying is the complete honest truth.
Only if it is a master vampire telling you such. The reason is, if they swear on their coven and lie about it, their coven magically disappears.
And how is this, you ask? Every member of the master vampire's coven explodes into ashes. Leaving them vulnerable and weakened. Therefore, they become an easy target and a quick kill.
Hearing and finally accepting his words, accepting him in general, was too much to handle all at once. My vision got very hazy, but it could have very well been the blood loss.
I felt him unlock the shackles and lift me into his arms. He embraced me, like a groom does his bride. He transferred me out of the dungeon and to a beautiful and spacious bedroom, from what I could make out.
"Malderon," I whispered, enjoying the sound of his name coming from my own lips. It felt right.
I saw him smile down on me tenderly. He stripped my torn clothing from me and draped the sheet over my naked form.
My eyes drifted shut and he kissed each of my lids. The last thing I heard was his sweet promise to me.
"I will protect you, Evelyn, until my death. Rest, my love."