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Authors: Lisa Logue

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BOOK: Fire & Ice
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Lost in my thoughts, I hadn't realized she
passed me
. Grunting, I caught up and gave her a sour look. She just smiled sweetly and took off through the trees. I couldn't help but
to laugh and
admit that I liked her defiance. I’d chase her to the end of the earth
if I had to
.

A few miles later, we stopped by a stream for a drink. She barely looked winded and not even the darkest cloud could wipe the smile from her face. I enjoyed seeing her that way. Her smile was something of angelic proportions. Added to the
flow of constant emotion
, it was difficult to see her as a threat to anyone.

"This place is so beautiful. It's a shame we can't run like this more often. I really like it here
.
"
S
he looked around the wooded bank, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear.
I was captivated
.

"What?
" her hesitation returned.

"Uh,
nothing. So, do you want to keep going or are you ready to turn back?" I rinsed my hands and face in the creek,
trying to avoid her questioning look
.
Being a vampire,
I
didn’t sweat.

"Can we just stay a while? It's just so pretty here and I haven't spent much time outside
just
for the hell of it. I'm always training or running. Please?"
S
he clasped her hands tightly under her chin and pushed her bottom lip into a pout.
I
t was adorable.

"I suppose. Will Austin get mad?" I chuckled.

"He knows I'm with you. It won't be the end of the world,"
she said as
she smiled and perched against a large fallen tree. She stared into the canopy, looking at ease.

"Is it easier for you out here?" I asked.

"Yes. I don't have to think about where the energy flowing when there's open space
," s
he glanced at me, but didn't turn her head. "Is it easier for you?"

"Not really," I laughed nervously. It didn't matter the proximity, it was always difficult to be both with and without her.

"Oh," she whispered. "Can I ask you something?"

"I suppose."

"Why don't you want to live like all the other vampires? Not saying I'm not glad that you don't, I'm just curious
,
"
h
er already flushed cheeks darkened, sparking my thirst. G
ulping some elixir, I debated
whether to tell her.

"Are you sure you want to know? I've worked very hard not to show you that side of myself
,
" I looke
d away
.
It wasn’t easy to admit some of the things I was capable of.

She approached me slowly, testing the atmosphere. As she placed her hand on my cheek, our eyes met
,
"Whatever happened, you aren't the same person. It wouldn't matter to me, just as it doesn't matter to me now that you're a vampire. You know about my past, it's only fair that I know about yours."

"It's different
,
"
I said as
I placed a hand over hers.

"Is it? Or is it only different bec
ause we're talking about you this time
?" she challenged.

I sighed, "Fine, I'll tell you. Where should I start?"

"The beginning, I guess. I know about how you were turned and what happened when you woke up, but you skipped over the rest," she shrugged.

"You might as well get comfortable
.
"
I nodded towards the tree. Expecting her to sit, I waited. Instead she pulled me down
with her
,
forcing
herself into my arms
, and we
leaned against the tree. I
nuzzled
her hair, savoring
the
scent. Being close meant a number of things could go wrong, but I couldn't hold back the relief
of
her in my arms.
She angled herself slightly to see my face and a faint blush painted her cheeks.

"Go on, I'm comfo
rtable,
" she giggled and bit her bottom lip. I wanted to kiss her.

I cleared my throat, "
Well a
t first, I couldn't remember what had happened. I remembered the woman and bits and pieces of what she
’d
said, but everything else was blank
…except for the pain
.
So
I stumbled around in the woods for a while, feeding off anything warm blooded
in absolute horror
. Some
tasted
wonderful, others weren't so good. The thirst was insatiable.

"
I had nowhere to go. A
s far away as I was, I could smell the humans lurking around. It was disorienting. The sun
light
bright,
too bright
even. It
hurt my eyes and burned my skin. The shade didn't help. I felt like I was being branded. I ended up
digging
a hole
and burying myself
underground until I felt the soil cool
as
the sunset.

"Once night fell, I was on the move again. My throat burned from thirst
,
no matter how many animals I drained. T
he pain was unlike anything I'd
ever felt. I knew what my body wanted, but I was
too
terrified. I couldn't im
agine killing someone like that,
"
I stopped for a moment, remembering my panic. A light shudder rippled through me.

Chapter 2

Colorado, 1915

Scents, sights and sounds overwhelmed me. Each step I took was foreign. Was the night supposed to look so bright? I couldn’t remember what it looked like before Kali took me. How did she even manage to do that? What had she done to me?

I found myself wandering through the vast forest towards different
trails of scent
. It was odd that I began to tell the difference pretty quickly. Every now and then I’d stop and listen; deer to the east, squirrels above me in the trees, bears to the north and then I’d hear rapidly pounding hearts. Just a few beats and I drifted like an asp to a flute. No! I couldn’t!

Eventually, I’d tear myself away and slaughter several animals to abate the fire in my throat. It didn’t really work, of course, and I’d run wildly in the opposite direction. It seemed I’d get no more than a few miles before repeating the process. Each time I grew increasingly agitated. What the hell was I doing?!

Taking to the trees, I all but glued myself to a high branch. I was restless and exhausted at the same time. My mind processed everything at such a heightened speed, it left me dizzy. The lack of boundaries frightened me. Not only could I hear things happening miles away, but all the other senses picked up at the same distance. It was incredible, terrifying, but still incredible.

I must have dozed off because the next sensation was anything but pleasant. My leg had drifted while I slept, cracking violently as it fully extended. The howl of pain escaped my lips as I awoke and struggled to pull up the dead weight. I was stiff. Not the normal, ‘I just woke up and need to stretch’ stiff, but the stiffening that happens when a body dies.

I had to make a decision. Would I let my body rot away while my mind writhed in agony? Or would I give in to the insatiable thirst that craved the human blood? For the first time in a very long time, I cried. Bloody tears dripped onto my clothes and burned my eyes, but I couldn’t stop. How was I to kill a person? I knew the answer; craved for it.

Swinging my other leg over, I hurled myself at the ground. Falling in slow motion shouldn’t have hurt in theory, but it was excruciating. My leg hit the earth with a thud and another snap, which called for another howl of pain. Swearing to anything holy, I popped the protruding bone back into place. Amazingly, I was still able to take down some of the larger animals with little effort. Some normal feeling returned to my leg as the animal blood made its way through my system.

I continued on as my energy and leg was restored. Dawn was coming; I could smell the dew. I had less than an hour to do the one thing I chose to avoid. As a hunter, I knew how to track before, but having a nose better than that of a dog’s definitely came in handy. Within less than a half hour, I reached a small camp. For several minutes, I debated. If I didn’t get human blood, my body would die.
The
choice was
made
the minute I jumped from the tree.

Three tents were set around a smoldering fire. Surprisingly, my sight was good enough to allow me to see into them. A man and a woman were in inside each one, wrapped in sleeping bags with low glowing lanterns. The tents were shoddy at best; made by wool blankets draped over branches. My human self would have been compelled to help them stay warm, but my vampire self was salivating at the sound of their beating hearts. I couldn’t wait any longer.

To say the scene was messy was an understatement. The make-shift camp turned into mayhem. Still disoriented, I was sloppy as I worked my way through the humans. Each one awoke just as I drained the one before. In my mind, it took forever. In reality, it was barely a minute. No one screamed; not because they didn’t have the time, rather I didn’t let them. The energy that surged through me was incredible. Human blood was invigorating and savory and I wanted more.

I took my time with my last victim. She was young, probably 18, and smelled delicious. She stared at me wide-eyed, watching me tear the throat of her lover. A bloody, wicked smile spread over my face and she opened her mouth to scream. In an instant, I was in front of her with my hand over her mouth.

“It will be worse for you if you scream. I could kill you slowly; you don’t want that do you?” I whispered in her ear.

She viciously shook her head no and tears fell down her cheeks. Still smiling, I bent and licked the salty tears from her face. She trembled and wound her hand in my bloodied shirt. I could sense her fear, but there was something else there.

“If I take my hand from your mouth, will you scream?” I whispered again.

She shook her head ‘no’ once, not breaking eye contact. I slid my hand from her mouth slowly and rested it upon her collar bone. Her heart beat so fast, I could barely stand to wait. There was something different about her and I was curious to find out.

“Are you going to kill me?” she squeaked.

“I wish I could say no, but you smell fantastic. Does death frighten you?” I played with her hair.

“No. The manner in which I die does. Could you tell me your name?”

“I do not think that is wise, miss,” I said as I snickered at her.

“Why? If you’re just going to kill me anyway, what would it matter if I knew
your name? Who could I tell?” S
he took a step backward and I yanked her forward by her hair. She yelped and I clapped my hand over her mouth again.

“Tsk, tsk, tsk. That wasn’t very smart.”  My fangs descended and I plunged them into the soft skin of her neck. Her blood was sweet, like candy, as it rolled over my tongue.  She tried moving out of my grasp, but I was too strong.

As her body slumped against mine, I withdrew my fangs. Pushing the hair from her face, I sighed. Such a beautiful girl met her death at my hands.  Her shallow breath caught and one last tear rolled from the corner of her eye as she slipped into nothingness.  I dropped
her lifeless body into the fire with the others and left
. I didn’t know what exactly I had become, but I was struggling with th
e pleasure of what I had done.

Chapter 3

Colorado,
Present Day

"I'm sorry. I didn't realize it was so difficult for you
,
"
she grasped my hand, kissing
my palm before resting it on her cheek
. The simplest kindness
warmed
m
y frozen heart.

"Normally, it wouldn't have been. When new vampires are made, the one who turned them is supposed to stay and help
them
.
Apparently, I was supposed to die and didn't. Do you want me to continue?"

"If it's too painful, you don't have to," she smiled shyly. I smiled back and
nodded
.

"Before sunrise I happened upon a camp. There were several humans there,
sleeping in tents beside a
fi
re
. This was the first time I tasted the venom. It dripped viciously from my newly descended fangs, effectively sealing the fate of the campers. Not one of them had time to run or scream. In mere minutes, I'd drained all of them completely.

"I
left
the bodies
in the fire
to rid
the
evidence and took their gear. For the next
few
months, I lived much of the same. Hike, feed, hide and sleep. I ended up somewhere in Northern Canada bef
ore finding other vampires,"
I shook my head.
Lia gave me a sympathetic look and nestled closer to my chest.
She was happy, although I wasn't quite sure why.

BOOK: Fire & Ice
9.25Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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