THE VAMPIRE’S KISS
The evil grows. I can feel its dark touch.
-Entry from the diary of Henry de Montfort,
September 2, 1068
“Mark!” She awoke screaming her twin brother’s name.
She turned on her bedside lamp with hands that shook. Her gaze flew frantically around her bedroom, and her heart seemed to stop.
She didn’t see her furniture. She didn’t see the antique cherry dresser or chest. She didn’t see the stacks of books that lined her shelves, shelves lovingly made by her grandfather’s hands.
She just saw the blood.
And it was everywhere.
And she felt the evil. The overwhelming evil.
She closed her eyes, desperate to stop the vision.
A man’s terror-filled scream echoed in her mind.
“No!” She shoved her covers aside and jumped from the bed.
In a flash, the vision ended.
She could see her room again. Cloaked in shadows, but recognizable nonetheless.
Her heartbeat pounded desperately in her ears. Her body shook with remembered fear.
Had it been a dream? Just a dream?
She shook her head. It couldn’t have been a dream. It’d felt… too real.
She had a sudden desperate urge to call Mark. To hear his voice.
She reached for the phone.
A shrill ring froze her hand.
Her heart stopped.
The phone rang again, its cry eerily like the scream from her dream.
Her fingers shook as she lifted the receiver. “H-hello?”
As she listened to the caller, all of the blood drained from her face. Her body swayed and the phone dropped from her nerveless fingers.
Strange icy prickles shot across her skin. Lights flashed before her eyes.
Her body fell to the floor.
And she stumbled back into the dreams of a dead man.
Like a child, I fear the darkness.
-Entry from the diary of
Henry de Montfort,
September 8, 1068
Savannah Daniels gathered her strength and pulled herself over the high granite wall. She slipped over its edge and fell to the ground, landing with a soft thud. Blood covered her body and her torn clothes.
It was a miracle that she’d made it up the mountain.
Her small rental car had died on her hours ago. Halfway up the treacherous mountain road, it had sputtered once and then stopped. Steam had burst from beneath the Toyota’s hood. No amount of begging, pleading or cursing had been able to start the engine again.
She’d gotten out of the car, and she’d done the only thing that she could. She’d walked. For miles, she’d walked along the graveled road. Walked until her feet ached, until blisters grew on her heels and toes.
She’d kept walking, long after the graveled road had ended. She’d climbed under the barbed wire fence, ripping her clothes and the skin of her arms and back.
The stone wall had been her last hurdle. The last obstacle in her path.
She could see the house now, its imposing stone structure standing stark and strong against the mountain.
Thin streams of light shone from its high, Gothic windows. The light seemed to beckon her, promising her safety from the dark night, if only she would come inside.
For a moment, the howling of the wind quieted, and Savannah stared in silence at what lay before her.
She knew what she would find inside the walls of that house.
For the past six months, she’d researched him carefully. She’d learned every detail that she could about William Dark. Every horrifying detail.
Sometimes, she woke screaming in the night, his name upon her lips.
But the nightmares did not matter.
She needed William Dark. She needed the monster. She needed the man. And she would have him.