A little taster to wet your appetite. The Letalis War, will be 99p on Friday 27th May.
Samuel’s view of the wedding :- 1731
“The wedding had been a success and finally Darla was mine and nothing but the eternal sleep that always takes my kind one day could part us. Even then I knew we would be together, and that made me feel warm to the core. The unexpected guest list and the arrival of her parents did make things a little bit more uncomfortable, but she was so overwhelmed by it all; that she just let me take control and everything went smoothly.
As we stood there sealing our wedding pact neither of us could imagine that we could be anything but happy for eternity. As our blood mixed and clans were joined, she was all I could see. The rest of the room disappeared and all I could feel, smell and see was her. In those moments I saw the true Darla. I was beneath the hard shell that she had worn since a child, the hard shell that had protected her for all those cruel years of running and under her parents rule. That shell had disappeared as our bloods joined. I now looked upon the face of a vampire I knew I loved but yet didn’t know. For this vampire wasn’t cross or ready for a fight. This vampire was content and peaceful and when she smiled it excited me, and I knew my life was about to get very interesting because she was in it. But I had always known this vampire existed. I had seen her that first night I looked into her eyes and asked her who I was and she couldn’t answer. I had seen her reflected in the mirror so many times while the hard shell vampire slept. But that wasn’t all I saw, I saw so much more.
I also saw her human Alex and the problem child, the female child. That didn’t concern me in that moment that she had hidden that from me, because that it what the shell did, made her lie. Now that was gone I knew there would be no more lies.
I now saw the other vampire, Octavian and I saw that he was running. I saw it through the eyes of her human. I planned to scare him for the rest of his existence to keep him running to protect his heir. Make him constantly run so he and his bastard child would never threaten my contentment again.
She was shaking in my arms as she saw me and saw the power that I possessed. She met my gaze with gratefulness as she now saw how much I had held back. For now she saw that I always possessed the power to crush her into submission, but had chosen to hold back and allow her to submit willingly. As I supported her body as our blood mixed and our clan combined I hid that I saw it all.
Her parents still believed that my pact with them was still valid. The sweetness of it made me chuckle, for the only thing that stopped me from draining them both there and then, was Darla. It meant so much to her to have that power one day and to be the one to take it. So I allow them to leave, but of course I couldn’t resist a little glory.
Once her parents left, she relaxed and became the Darla I had been waiting for. I watched as she mingled with her kids and I didn’t feel jealous now, because her attention was on me. I was content watching her from my vantage point up on the gallery landing cloaked in shadow. None of the guests missed me, all eyes were on her, now questioning how they never knew that Vladimir Letalis, had borne a daughter.
Although she was deep in conversation with them, her eyes kept meeting mine, smiling seductively. She knew where I was seated and was putting on a show for me. Her mind kept calling out to me, tempting me to whisk her off to bed. I extended my powers out to her, caressing her skin. The sound of her giggling with pleasure at my touch delighted me. She tried so hard to concentrate on the conversation, but the touch of my powers kept tugging at the bundle of lust in her groin and her mind would drift back to me.
The air around me suddenly became charged and chilled; I felt it run up my arm and down my spine and it made me shudder with trepidation. I didn’t have to look to my left to know I had been joined by an older and more powerful pure blood, than I. “Well Samuel seems you have been quite shrewd in your choice of bride. “
I didn’t look at him I just stared down at her as she danced with James unaware of what was occurring in the shadows above her. “Feyd was a fool, he was unaware of what he had until it was too late, blinded by his love for his Elizabet. I just saw his weakness and exploited it.”
“Yes I fear his brother took the lion’s share in the brains department there, but brains and power didn’t win the maiden heart did it?” I could feel his gaze demanding me to meet it. “But although Feyd had her heart, he still didn’t win. His brother still got to bare the heir.”
I turned to face him; his aura already told me who he was, so I didn’t need to look at him to know. But I met his gaze because I wanted him to see in my eyes that I meant my words. “I am not Feyd Bai. Darla is mine.” He leant back in his chair and smiled, amused that I understood his analogy.
You see Bai is one of the oldest of our kind and a member of the Concilium. If we had a king or an emperor he would be it, not because he was wise or just, but because his age meant no one was strong enough to kill him. It was well known that Bai was heirless and he slept centuries away, waiting for a female pureblood to come of age and give him his heir. It was clear from his words, he planned to claim Darla. I wasn’t strong enough to take him on and win. Even here on my own lands I feared if I fought this, I would still lose.
“Let us see what Darla thinks shall we.” Before I could respond I saw Darla’s gaze meet mine with a smile and she began to cross to the staircase to join us.
I knew it was his will that was drawing her to us. I hissed under my breath. “Please Bai don’t do this, let us discuss it first...”
He smiled at me evilly. “That what we will do, discuss it with Darla.”
“No not with her, I need to explain things first…” He cut me off.
“Yes with her, I am not letting you or her out of my sight.” He closed his eyes as he read her, absorbed her essences. “She is so sweet, so innocent.” He opened his eyes and stared at me.
“I am not going to let you spoil her, let you scare her with your lies.” I clenched my fist in rage. I had been grooming her for a century. The innocence he saw in her now was due to long years of gaining her trust bringing down the walls so I could see her. I had made her weak and he was now going to exploit that weakness and reap all the rewards.
Before I could protest any more Darla was at my side, she kissed me on the cheek. “Who is your friend Samuel?”
“Can I introduce my Wife Darla?” I was forced to say it out of politeness. Bai extended his hand and Darla took it, and straight away he kissed it. “So you are the allusive Letalis child?”
She looked across at him. “I am afraid you have me at a disadvantage.”
“How rude of me, I am Bai” he beamed at her, I could feel his lust for her charging the air round us. It was like I was no longer there; he just spoke to her now. “I hear you have given poor Samuel here, a bit of the old run around?”
She beamed across at me. “It’s what he adores about me. “She met his gaze again. “He calls it sport.” He chuckled at that.
“You are a sweet thing, aren’t you?” I could feel his power running up her arm caressing her as he spoke.
I was so angry at myself, when I announced her name I actual revealed something that only I and her parents were aware of, her existence. We should have kept her secret, kept her hidden from the other houses. The weakness I had exploited in her was the same weakness they all now hoped to exploit. Every pureblood’s eyes in the room were fixed on us and the outcome of our conversation. I was the only thing standing between them, if I was dead then our pact was broken and she a free commodity again.
I knew like me every other pure blood left in the room, was consulting their own forefathers and working out their moves; all but one, Darla. She had no one in her head warning her of the danger she was in. My pride and my gloating jeopardised everything.
But in her naivety of the situation, she reacted with a clear head. She snapped her hand away from his. “I must confess I am not very up on vampire etiquette, so if I offend, I am sorry. But I get the decent feeling you are flirting with me Bai.” She waved her finger scornfully at him “Tut tut! It’s very rude to flirt with a bride on her wedding day.”
A grin spread across his face and his eyes flashed a lustful orange. “She is so alluring, I adore her Samuel.” Then his eyes want a cool grey. “I want her Samuel.” He now looked at me and his stare was a challenge.
My mind was racing now, no way was I going to give her up, she was mine, but more importantly I loved her, my head was shaking from side to side in defiance. But he was 2000 year’s old, if he wanted to take her he would and he have no qualms about killing me now to do so. His attention was snapped back to her as she sank into my lap, coiling her arms around my neck. “I don’t like your friends Samuel. I am tired of playing the polite hostess. Either you ask them to leave or I am going to start being vulgar.”
I looked down at her, worried that she didn’t understand the situation, but then she appeared in my head. “He wants me, doesn’t he?”
I whispered back in my mind “He does my love.”
“He feels very powerful, what are our options?” I didn’t answer, for I feared we didn’t have any options “I can channel some of my kids’ bending power, maybe it would be enough to overpower him.” she kissed my neck again.
Bai leant forward in his chair. “Darla.” Her head snapped around as her name became a command to look at him. “Samuel was just presenting me with a very interesting proposition.” He took her hand and rubbed her palm with his thumb with affection. “Would you like to hear, what we were discussing?”
She looked though his fake smile and shook her head. “Forgive me Bai.” She leaned forward and whispered. “Tonight is my wedding and I have suffered long enough listening to boring politics.” She pulled her hand away from him and coiled her arms back round my neck. “Politics will have to wait till tomorrow, because my propositions will be more appealing to him.” She then whispered in my ear, like she was whispering some saucy idea of what she would do to me upstairs, but what she actually said was. “Run.”
I began to rise from the chair with her now nibbling at my neck. “It would seem Darla doesn’t care for our conversation.” I was just about to break out into a run, but with a rush of wind Bai was blocking our exit.
“I don’t think she understand the situation.”
I had no idea how we would get out of this, and I was honest with her now. “Darla we have to be prepared, I fear even with your kids powers we will be unable to beat him. Even if I turned into Æthelwulf I still fear we won’t get out of this, together. He is over 2000 years old that makes him more powerful than anyone here, even you and I combined. Of course I am not going to just let him take you, I will fight this to the death, but still..” I met her eyes and they were scared but fierce. “You have to be prepared I might not survive this battle”
She leant in and kissed me deep and hard. “I love you Samuel, but you are wrong, we are going to walk out of this together”
She broke away from my kiss sliding from my arms she turned to Bai, “I understand the situation oh so well. You’re the big, all powerful one, so that when you say jump everyone asks, “How high?” I on the other hand appear to be the scared little vampire who has no idea about the world. True I know nothing of your world, but I have walked among the impure ones for over a century and I know my worth.”
He closed his eyes reading her again, probing her mind seeing the truth behind her confident words. He opened his eyes and looked intrigued at her and then me. “I see you really did give him the run around didn’t you my sweet.” Bai looked amused and stroked her cheek with the back of his hand. “I am going to enjoy teaching you your worth my dear.”
He smiled evilly. I was scared but no one was going to talk to her like that. I tried to removed his hand from her and stand between her and him. I hit his arm to break the connection but his arm was like granite it didn’t move, all that happened was I felt the bones in my arm crack, but the remainder of the room gasped at the fact I had challenged him. “Really Samuel, you are willing to die over her?”
“She is my wife, and the only way you are getting her is over my dead body.”
“Stop this.” It was Darla. “I refuse to be treated like this, like a walking womb to bear everyone’s heirs.” She tilted her neck to me. “I rather you drained me here and now Samuel, than allow any other to lay a finger on me again.”
She appeared in my head again. “Darcy is a girl Samuel not a boy. Become a wolf and then find her when she is of age and have your heir through her. Drain me now and save me from whatever will happen…”
“I know Darcy is a girl, I don’t want her, I want you. But maybe he might want her, offer her to him.” She hesitated for a bit, I could feel her fighting for her own survival over that of sentencing her daughter to a life with him. “Do it or I will! Please buy us some time. Darla. We can sort this if we are together.”
Throughout her neck tilted to me, my fangs were pressed against her skin. Bai stared at us. “You’d really rather die Darla than…” Before he finished his sentence she was in his embrace and it was his fangs now pressed against her neck. “…give me my heir?” He sank his fangs into her neck, she gasped at the pain and she stared at me with fear. Then a smile spread across her face and she winked at someone across the room.
“Duck …”she screamed to me, I did as I was told as a large sword flew pass my ear; she caught it and plunged it backwards into Bai. I saw his face distort in pain and he stumbled backwards. I caught sight of James disappear back into the shadows and knew where the blade had come from. Darla grabbed my hand. “Run…” she pulled me as Bai hit the ground, still a bit confused I allowed her to pull me as she jumped on to the balcony rail and then dropped to the ground below.
Our landing was heavy but controlled and straight away we broke into a run. “That blade wouldn’t stop him for long Samuel. Come on think. Where can we go to escape him?” I didn’t look back to see if she had hit his heart, or to confirm the blade was Silver. The fact he had hit the ground confirmed it, but he was powerful it would only have paralysed him for seconds, and in those seconds we needed to run.
The room was empting quickly around us. Like water draining down a plug hole they disappeared out into the night. Our guests were realizing the party was now ended and to stay would involve them in something, they really didn’t want to be caught up in. I didn’t see when she had grabbed another blade but she now had one.
“There is no where we can hide from him Darla.”
“We’ve just got to keep running and hope we can out run him.” she whispered. “I have hidden for you for nearly half a century; you will be amazed what you can achieve if your life depends on it.”
Never in my life had I felt so scared, so powerless; yet strangely I never felt this alive either. I felt the adrenalin coursing through my veins; I wanted to tear him apart and the more we ran the more I felt it. Suddenly I was on all fours and Darla, even at full sprint was lagging now behind me. As a wolf, I was even faster and even stronger.
Something flew over our heads and then Bai was blocking our path, but Darla didn’t stop running, she pulled the blade out and in blinding speed she moved that blade around. Every slice, Bai seemed to fend off with ease, but Darla didn’t ease up. I dived at him knocking him to the ground, the momentum carried me past them I turn and turned to see that Bai was back on his feet as Darla carried on twisting her body delivering frightening killing blows, yet still Bai with his power seem to shield them.
I began to run again, as a vampire I was no match for him, but maybe as a werewolf I was. If it was about sheer power and weight I might overpower him, again Bai went crashing to ground under my weight and Darla seized the opportunity and dived in with the blade again, but Bai unleashed a shockwave which shot us both backwards. I hit the wall sending a crack from floor to ceiling, but I was back on my feet in seconds; whereas Darla lay motionless beside me. I ran at him again, but this time he was ready for me, he grabbed my fur at my neck and spun me a few degrees before sending my crashing into the wall again. Before I could recover, I felt something clink round my neck and then an agonizing pain in my side. I looked down to see Darla’s silver blade in my side and now I was being pulled across the floor by Bai who had attached my Mother’s collar and chain around my neck.
He attached the chain around a large marble pillar and then stood out of my strike zone. “Well I never expected that Samuel; a werewolf/ vampire hybrid. You kept that secret.” I tried to turn back to my vampire form, but I was unable, the collar now had me trapped as a wolf. “Can’t be many of you pure wolves left, I think you must be the only vampire/ wolf I have ever come across, interesting.” He looked at Darla. “Does she know what you are?”
I looked over at Darla she still lay motionless against the wall. “It is this side that she imprinted with first.” I growled. He crossed to her lifting her unconscious head with one hand, whilst the other ran up her leg.
“Would it be cruel of me to make you watch, Samuel? Keep you like you are for the rest of eternity while she and I unite?” I pulled on my chains wanting to rip him apart. “Now, now Samuel, you need to calm down.” He kissed her neck, as his hand moved up her inner thigh. “You see Samuel when I was young we had many werewolves protecting our borders, we kept them on a tight leash, because they were very powerful. But sometimes they got a little out of hand and tried to bite the hand that fed them. Do you know how we dealt with them?”
I just glared at him, as I knew it was a rhetorical question. “We kept them on an even tighter leash, but trapped in their human state. As a human they were weak and our punishments were more effective. So you see Samuel I plan to keep you on a leash in your vampire state, as that is weaker than your wolf state.” He smiled. “But we all know that you are still very strong as a vampire.” He drove another Silver blade into my side and my knees crumpled beneath me and I sank to the floor. “I plan to drain you to within an inch of your life Samuel, just leave you enough blood in your veins so you can watch us, but not enough that you can do anything about it.”
I sent a mind pulse out to both our clans to get out of the house and head underground. They knew better then to argue with me. Henry took the lead saying he knew a place, not far where everyone could head and regroup. But Jake spoke, putting Henry in his place. “We are not just vampires Henry, we are like our master.” I felt Jake transform into his Werewolf state. “We will handle this Henry, this is our war to free our master and his bride. We welcome your help, but know I am the one who leads this army into this battle. If we live to fight another day, my army will follow your command to take Scotland.” Henry accepted Jake’s words and fell back offering his aid wherever he could, but Jake and he both agreed our rescue fell to the wolves. Henry’s army needed to hold back and protect their numbers for Scotland.
Darla’s eyes opened and she stared up in horror at Bai “Hello Darla, you and I are going to have some fun.” He kissed behind her ear, stroking her hair, as he planned his punishment for me. “If only you had done the right thing Samuel; and just come to me when you found her, or even stepped aside back there in the hall. Well I might have been able to show you some leniency.” He shook his head. “But you didn’t Samuel.” His smile was menacing.” And so my punishment will be cruel. I will lock you away weaker than a human, where no one will ever find you to rot for eternity.” His smiled widened as he looked down at Darla. “What do you think my dear?” She spat blood into his face and tried to break away from his grasp. “Sorry my dear, you might be conscious but you are still rather injured, and under my will.”
I looked at her body, it was covered in burn marks and because of the way it lay in his arms I knew she had a lot of broken bones. He pushed at a rib that was sticking out of her side. “Once you are all mended you and I are going to spend long nights trying to make babies.” He looked at me, his cold stare boring into me. He looked down at Darla again moving the hair gently away from her face. “But I fear we have a long wait till we can begin Samuels’s punishment of watching us.” He smiled as he lifted her up and sat her in a chair; I could see the movement was painful for her. “ Samuel is still all healthy, meaning we are able to carry out your punishment Darla.” He lifted up another one of her silver blades and drove it into my chest and into my heart. He kept eye contact with Darla as he did it. She screamed out in horror as he did it. “It wasn’t nice to stab me like that Darla, when we were just getting to know each other.”
He walked back over to her and stroked her cheek. “Now depending on how well behaved you are from now on, will depend how much Samuel has to eat silver.” He kissed her hard on the lips, I saw her fighting it, but he just enjoyed the kiss more.
He held her chin looking deep into her eyes. “Where did this whole attitude come from?” He turned to me asking me the question. “Back there she was so sweet and agreeable, where did this evil bitch come from that thinks it’s ok to stick blades into her master?”
He turned back to her as she spat the answer to him. “This is me; I was just playing nice for my wedding day. I enjoy sticking blades in people it brings me immense pleasure.” He slapped her across the face as he threw her over his shoulder and grabbed my chain, pulling me behind him while he walked back to the now empty grand hall. “Let me show you dear child, what gives me pleasure, for I am a master of such things as inflicting pain on those who disobey me.”
He then pulled a key from around his neck and placed it in a lock at my collar, “Morph into your vampire form Samuel, so we can continue your punishment.” I shook my head, in defiance but, as he twisted the blade in my side, my body began to morph to make the pain stop. As I morphed I felt the collar begin to shrink around my throat. The sound of metal upon metal grating as cogs inside it began to turn. “Such an amazing object, forged with dark magic. How I loved that age when your kind was kept in their place.”
He began to pull me from the stone floors onto the wooden floors, Darla over his shoulder. As we reached the grand hall again he threw Darla into my oversized chair. She winced and released a gasp of pain. He then drove the blade in my side and through my heart, out of my back and deep into the wooden floor, impaling me there. He then drove in another few blades just to make sure I was not going to escape. The silver burned my insides and coolness pooled beneath my back as my blood escaped around the wounds; the silver preventing me from healing.
Darla appeared in my head. “I am sorry, Samuel. It was a dreadful idea to run. Now look at us. Shit this really hurts can’t imagine the pain you’re in…”
I cut her off. “It was a good plan and we are not beaten yet, so stop your snivelling. Now concentrate on healing and plan to how we can get out of this.”
She went quiet and then said. “I love you Samuel.” I didn’t answer her, I was thinking.
He looked down at me deep in thought. “Where is your clan Samuel?”
“Somewhere close enough that I can call them, but far enough that you will never find them.” I said keeping my voice steady through the pain, although every second those blades burnt and stung.
“How fascinating, you still believe you can win this.” He wriggled the blade which was through my heart. A bolt of pain shot through my entire body, so intensely that I couldn’t help the pain escaping me in an agonised cry. Darla heard it and she pleaded with him.
“Please stop it, haven’t you hurt him enough?” But he just smiled.
“No Darla, we have only just started. I am not going anywhere. Sun is up now, so we are stuck here until sunset.” He crossed over to her and sat next to her, and started playing with her broken arm; her face became distorted with pain. “I think you will like my home Darla..”
“The minute I can use my arm again…” But before she could finish her threat he snapped it again like a twig. She screamed out in pain as her healing bones shattered again.
“Well I will keep breaking it then until you can be nice Darla.” He then bit down on her broken arm and began to feed. “You are very angry aren’t you Darla?” She didn’t answer.
I appeared in Darla’s head. “Stop giving him reasons to hurt you. Your job is to heal enough that you can pull these blades out. I am powerless while they are in me, but once out we have a chance.” She looked over to me, her eyes revealing the pain she was in.
She answered. “I know you are right, but it very hard watching him hurt you so.” A tear trickled down her cheek, some of it due to the pain, some from her fear for me.
“As it is for me to watch him hurt you, so stop being difficult and start playing nice.”
My gaze was stern, hiding how it pained me to tell her to do that.
“You are joking, you want me to play up to his desires?” Her eyes were nearly popping out of her head, and her nose was wrinkled in disgust.
I kept my stare stern, backing it up with narrowed eyes. “I don’t joke Darla, you know that, I am deadly serious.”
She scowled at me and then turned to Bai “If I am nice will you promise to leave him alone?”
“I won’t promise anything Darla, because I don’t trust you. But I am willing to give you a chance.” He lifted her hand; she clenched her teeth as the pain from the broken bone shot up her arm, as he kissed it. Then he dragged her across to me. He freed one of my arms and pressed it to her mouth. “Drink Darla, until the world goes black.” I saw what he was doing; he was using my blood as a sedative.
She began to shake her head, “No I will not aid you to drain him.” She tried to break away from him
“You will do as I tell you, or…” He stabbed the blade into my neck. “I will make Samuel suffer more. “ I could see the tears welling in her eyes, as she shook her head. I cupped her face in the hand that was pursed at her lips and stared into her eyes. “It will be fine, just drink and the pain will go away.”
I appeared in her mind. “My survival depends on you being that Darla in the shell. Be cunning be manipulating, be charming and seductive, for he will be powerless against her, if you unleash her upon him. Do what is needed to win his trust Darla, and when he is at his weakest, then you find me and together we will crush him.”
She fought back the tears and put on a brave smile. In my head she said. “I only do this because I love you Samuel. Remember that when you see me lie with him. I will always be dreaming of you.” She then bit my wrist and she sucked deep and fast. The whole time she stared into my eyes and whispered how she loved me and how she would make him pay.
She took as much of my blood as she could take before the world went black. Even when she reached unconsciousness I kept pumping my blood into her. I did this for two reasons, one to keep her knocked out as long as I could, where he would be unable to hurt her; and two, because I was passing on some of my strength within my blood.
Bai allowed her to slump to the floor and within seconds I felt his fangs at my neck.
“Any final words Samuel.” He spat into my ear. I looked over at her as she slept beside me. I stretched out and took her hand in mine. She looked so peaceful and beautiful. As I looked at her, tears began to well in my eyes I feared I would never see her again I had to make that image of her last, to give me a focus. I blinked as my vision was blurring as he drained me and also from the crimson of my tears.
“You are a pig Bai, why couldn’t you just let us be?”
He broke away from my neck to speak. “If you had been more agreeable and handed her over, then I might have been lenient and sent her back to you after a year. But you need to be punished for your selfish ways Samuel, surely you can see that.” I didn’t get to reply as with his next bite the world went very black and Baltic cold, but I was still of this world, and I didn’t allow any of my powers to pass his lips. “