The Vampire's Reluctant Bride
Chapter 1

The dark covered every surface, swallowing her in its obsidian coldness. Even her red cape seemed darker, like dried blood against her soft, pale curves. She hurried down the deserted streets, still able to feel the pounding beat of the music on her skin. The evening out hadn't been her idea but it had worked wonders on her slowly shattering nerves. She'd needed friends, and some normalcy to keep her from taking the step that would only lead to madness.

Her eyes searched the shadows as she walked, searching for the cause of the gooseflesh that ran up and down her spine. She spun, certain that he'd be there, reaching for her. When there was no one but a dumpster full of garbage, she forced her nerves down and let out a small chuckle at her idiocy.

But he was still in her mind, still sending off warning signals from her brain to the rest of her body. It kept saying... Run! Go now!

He'd come to her only one night before, an evil creature that seemed to step from the pages of some dark, dank novella or bad b-movie. Even evil he was handsome and charismatic, his voice soothing and rich. His eyes glowed in the dark of her bedroom, the blue looking like ice against his pale skin.

He wore a flowing white shirt, only the last four buttons fastened. She could see the creamy beauty of his skin, the hardness of his muscles. She'd scooted back on her bed, scared of his touch. When it came, it was icy and she cringed away, pushing his hand away from her.

"This will not do." The words were spoken softly, just a hint of an accent making her curious to where he was from. "You will come to need my touch. It will be as important to you as breathing, sweet Deidra."

"How do you know my name?" She gasped and felt his icy touch against the skin of her throat. "What are you?"

He laughed and cocked his head to the side, looking down at her. "My name, Deidra, will come when you crave the touch of my hand, and you already know what I am. Say the word."

Deidra pushed a hand through her golden tresses and heaved a sigh. "You speak in puzzles. I don't understand."

"You will." His smile was wide, showing off white teeth. "Say the word, Deidra. Tell me you know of my kind."

"V-vampire?" The word sent a shiver of fear through her and she knew now why the blue of his eyes seemed to glow. He was one of them, of the undead who thirsted for a taste of blood. The scent of it would drive a vampire crazy. She shied back once more, ducking her head so that she was looking down and not at his handsome face.

His fingers touched her chin, raising it so that she looked directly at him. "Don't hide, little one. I find your beauty beyond par and your spirit exquisite."

"What do you want of me, Vampire? M-my b-blood?"

"If that is all I wanted, I would have taken it and gone. I crave something more than your blood. I find myself wanting you, Deidra. But only when you want the same."

"Never," she had cried and then heard that same patronizing laughter. She turned away from him, walking toward the window.

But now, she walked into her home and flew into a frenzy trying to protect herself. But it didn't matter.

"Deidra." His voice was right at her ear and she twirled, startled. A shiver of terrified lust shook her and she crossed her arms, hugging herself. She'd barricaded her room, pushing a bookshelf in front of the window and locking and barricading the door with a chair. Looking around, she was shocked to see that she wasn't in her room but in a strange room. It looked almost gothic with the heavy stones in the walls and the cold cement floor that froze her feet. Heavy iron sconces were in the walls, thick white candles slowly dripping wax down to the floor.

"Go away." She closed her eyes, praying that when she opened them once more, she would be back in her home and not in this strange room.

A whisper of icy air caused her nipples to harden and goose flesh to rise upon her arms. "You don't mean that, Deidra. I can smell your arousal. I know you want me almost as much as I want you."

"I don't." Her voice was hesitant and she knew if someone had spoken to her that way, she would know the lie. "Really. I don't."

He chuckled softly, his blue eyes dancing. They were as icy as his touch and she wanted to back away from him, to escape the promise she could see deep in his eyes. "Why are you doing this?"

"I want you," he said with a casual shrug of his shoulders.

"So, just because you wish it, I'm to fall in line, be the good and dutiful pet that you want?"

"Is that so wrong for me to want?"

Deidra closed her eyes again and forced the scream that wanted out back down into her chest. She felt his touch once more, his icy fingers strumming over the thin white night gown she couldn't remember putting on.

His touch was cold but she still felt that thrill of desire, of wanting the forbidden taste of him no matter the consequences. It didn't seem to matter to her body that this creature was a killer, that he drained blood to survive. It knew the dangers and yet, she couldn't pull away from him, not when he held her so tenderly, his hands around her waist. "Don't hurt me."

"I'd rather cut off my hands, Deidra, then to hurt one single hair on your body." He lifted her chin with two fingers, his eyes studying hers before he dipped his head, his lips tenderly brushing across her own.

That tiny taste of his lips had set her heart to racing. His lips had been cold, but she couldn't deny the fire he'd started inside of her and she wanted more. She may be damned to hell for consorting with the king of the undead but she couldn't find it in her to care. "More," she whispered, rising up on her tiptoes to offer her lips to him.

"You are sure of this? If I take you now, you will never leave my side, Deidra. You will be mine for eternity."

It took Deidra very little time to make her decision. She was an orphan, her parents dying in a car crash when she was sixteen. From there she went into the foster care system and finally ran away from it when she was almost eighteen. She'd lived on the streets for a while before landing a job at a fast food place. From there, she'd gotten a better job, working at a store at the mall. It paid the bills but that was about it. There was little left from her check to do much of anything. But she'd been stashing that little away.

Now, he was asking her to give that all up, to move in with him, to take care of her. After the last five years of her life, that sounded pretty damn good. Not to mention, he was pretty tasty looking in the white shirt and black leather. "What does being yours mean?"

"Just like it sounds, Deidra. You will sleep at my side and live here, in my home. I won't let you go, so once you say yes, your word will be your bond. If you try to leave me," a hoarse growl sounded in his throat and it startled her enough to have her raising her head to look at him.

There was a red glow to his eyes and his face looked like stone. His hands grew rough and bruising and she cringed, trying to pull his fingers off her waist. She understood the look on his face, it was rage. "Okay, okay, ease up, please!"

He shook himself, pushing away the rage. "I am sorry, little one. It's the thought of you leaving me that makes me so insane. I've been searching for you for centuries."

"Centuries? How old are you?"

"I am one of the first of my kind, Deidra. I walked this earth before your Christ child was born. Truthfully, it has been so long, I have forgotten the year of my birth. I've seen many wonders and been privy to some of the worst of man as well as some of the best. Now that I've found you, you will join me in my travels. You shall be treated as a queen for that is what you will be among our people."

Deidra felt a sudden pang in her gut and she pulled away from his caressing fingers. "But ... I'm not one of you. I'm human, alive. I breathe."

He smiled gently, reaching out and pulling her back so that she was cradled by his chest and the ring of his immense arms. "When the time comes, I will make you one of us, my love. But that time is for later, for when you learn to trust me and to love me the way that I do you." He buried his face in her soft hair and pressed a gentle kiss to her head.

"H-how will you do it? B-by b-b-biting me?"

"You'll feel no pain. I've been told that my bite is very pleasing." He turned her in his arms. "I hate that I must push you for a decision, Deidra. I've lingered here longer than is safe. I must have your decision tonight."

Deidra opened her mouth to speak but was stopped by the feel of his two fingers against her lips. "Shush, not yet. I want you to feel a taste of what our life together will be like." He lifted her easily, taking her over to the huge canopied bed. It was hung with two different types of drapes, a sheer that barely hid a body, showing it off as mere shadows. Another, thick satin curtain would keep the bed darkened.

Her captor laid her down upon the bed, following after her. He sat up, pulling off his boots before tugging off the loose fitting white shirt. Deidra's eyes grew big just to see the complete size of him. He was muscled and hard, his skin pale. His hair hung down his back, ending just a few inches short of his waist.

When he turned back, he smiled at the look in her eyes. "You approve?" he asked, holding his hands out to his side.

"Y-yes." She stuttered the word, still bemused by what was happening to her. She only knew she wanted to touch him, to taste his skin, to know his pleasure. He held his hand out to her and, without a second thought; she reached out to take it.

"Am I making a mistake?" she whispered, mostly to herself. She could feel him tense and knew that he'd heard her.

"Is that what you think? Do you really think I'd hurt you, Deidra?" He took her hand and held it against his chest. He felt so hard under her fingers, hard and cold.

"I ... I don't know."

He dropped his head and his shoulders moved as if he were sighing. "I don't know how I can convince you, Deidra. If I could only let you see what's in my heart..."

Her hand moved up to his shoulder and then down his arm, unconsciously stroking over the firm muscles of his biceps. She reached up again going even further, his icy flesh seeming to mesmerize her. Her hand cupped his neck and when she heard his words, she moved even closer to him. He was hypnotizing her with his touch, with the icy feel of his flesh, with the soft tones of his voice.

He lifted his hand to cup her face. "I love you, Deidra. I have since the first moment I saw you. I know you were to be my queen, to own my heart for the rest of eternity. Say the word, tell me you believe me, tell me you'll be mine..."

"How can I say those things? I don't know your name."

The crashing sound of glass breaking had her pushing away from him, sitting up in her own bed. The book case fell over and a man burst through. The vampire behind her hissed, moving more quickly then she thought possible. He held her throat in his hand, his fingers digging in enough to hurt.

"Ow, stop." She dug her hands against his but they were immovable. "Why are you doing this?!"

"Let her go, demon."

Deidra dug her nails into the flesh of the hand that was strangling her. But her nails broke off against the marble hardness of his skin. "Stop!"

Her eyes fastened on the man who'd burst into the room. His hair was long, hanging over the side of his face. His eyes were green and his face held a sculpted beauty she'd thought only the angels in heaven could have. He held a silver spike in one hand and a large crucifix in the other. His eyes only flicked to her once then he concentrated upon the vampire.

"You know I can't let you do this, Damuel. You know the prophecy as well as I do."

The vampire, Damuel, laughed. It was an eerie sound. "How's your face, Caleb?" He pointed his fingers at the man and a wild wind seemed to flash across the room, pushing his black hair back from his cheek. A long scar twisted from his forehead, over his right eye and down to his chin. It was harsh and bright red and it made her gasp. Before anything else could happen, she was being pushed off her feet, flying through the air toward the man. Damuel seemed to just disappear even as Caleb caught her. He stood her back on her feet and ran to the window.

"Fuck," he growled. Then he turned and stared at her. He waved her to him with an impatient hand. "Come here, girl."

Deidra shook her head, backing away until the back of her knees caught the edge of her mattress. "I don't know you. Hell, I don't know him either. What's going on?" She sank down on her bed, rubbing the marks on her throat from the vampire's hand. "What does he want from me?"

Caleb growled but he moved toward her. Taking her chin in his hand, he moved her head, looking at her neck. "Tell me the truth, girl. Did he bite you?"

"Bite me? No, why would he..."

"He wants to make you his bride, Deidra. Trust me, that is the last thing you want to be. Pack a bag, you're coming with me."

"I don't know you so I'm not going anywhere with you. Get out of here or I'm calling the cops!" Her voice rose with every word she said until she was shouting. Caleb shook his head sadly.

"I wanted to do this the easy way, but you leave me no choice." His thumbs pressed down on the side of her neck.

"No! Sto ... p." She felt a moment of dizziness and then she collapsed back on the bed, unconscious.

"I don't know why you girls always have to give me such shit." Caleb reached into her closet and found a roll bag. His eyes moved over her clothing, almost shocked by what he saw. Plain colors, sturdy materials, nothing frilly or "pretty" on any of the hangers or in the drawers in the dresser next to her bed. The most girly thing he found was a black cotton skirt that would reach just past her knees.

But it was a mystery to figure out later. He needed to get her packed and out of here before dawn. They had quite the drive to make and he wasn't anxious to make it when there would be witnesses. He tossed the straps of the roll bag over his shoulder and then picked her up easily. Slipping her up on the other shoulder, he easily climbed over the window ledge and onto the tree branch outside the room. He scaled down the rough bark and then ran across the yard to the alley in the back. Hitting a button on his keyfob popped the trunk and he dropped her roll bag in there.

He moved around to the passenger side of his car and opened the door, slipping her in and locking the door before slamming it shut. Then he was on his side and he slid behind the steering wheel. He glanced toward the east and a low growl came from his mouth. He started his car, the rough, growling purr of the engine making him smile. He dropped it into first and then ran through the gears quickly as he drove outside of the college and into the countryside. He'd found a place in an abandoned church. It would be a good place to hide her. And it would allow him a chance to rest. Damuel was a hard one to fight. He should know, he'd been doing it for as long as he could remember. There'd been only one other girl that Damuel had fixated on like he was with this one.

Clarice had been his sister. After their mother died, she'd been the one to raise him and to take the back of their father's hand, allowing him to beat her and leave Caleb alone. When Caleb had asked her why she didn't run, why she stayed and let the old man abuse her the way he did, she'd told him it was all for him.

Then she'd met Damuel. That monster had pulled her away from Caleb. He'd taken his beautiful and selfless sister and turned her into a monster. She'd been the first that Caleb had killed. But she hadn't been the last. He'd been working at killing off vampires since then.

He rubbed his fingers over the scar on his face. It had been a close call, one that was Damuel's doing and had reminded him of the monsters that walked in the night, the ones that caused the creak in the floor boards or the scraping at the windows. He couldn't let his guard down. He would never let one of them get as close to him as Damuel had.

He pulled into the parking lot at the church and drove to the back where the old rectory had been. It had burned, causing some of the beams in the attached church to be blacked. The stained glassed windows had been ruined by the smoke as well as the banners. There'd been enough damage that the church had been abandoned.

Now he pushed open the back door, closing it securely behind him. He held the girl easily over one shoulder, pulling on a black leather glove on one hand. He lifted one of the crosses he'd found there and braced it against the door, not letting the wood touch his skin. The front doors were already barricaded in that way. He took the stairs easily, Deidra's weight barely noticeable. Her red satin cloak hid her from his eyes. It had to be the most girly thing she owned.

At the foot of the steps there was a hallway. A large room was off to one side and then smaller, offices down the other. He went to the last of the doors and opened it. A mattress was on the floor. The room was dark for there were no windows and it would make a perfect place to keep the girl. He laid her on the mattress, going back to the door to close it. On the dresser there was a length of rope and the tied it to his left hand, going to lay down next to Deidra.

The other end of the rope was tied around her wrist. He made sure the knots were tight, knowing she'd never be able to loosen them enough to escape. Then he pulled blankets up around both of them and closed his eyes. He would have a hysterical woman to deal with when she woke and he would need his rest. A smile touched his lips, crooked due to the scar on his face. Deidra was one of the more attractive women he'd had to deal with since his sister had come back to him.

It was a perk, but not one that he could afford to let sway him. He rolled to his side, staring at her pretty face in the gloom of the room. He held out one hand, letting it touch the top of her lip, feeling the heat of her breath against his hand. He could only hope that she would be able to withstand Damuel's charm. He shook his head. He had to be tired. He closed his eyes once more and let sleep take him.

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Story tagged with:
Romance / Drama / Horror / Supernatural / Vampires / Undead /