Darlings of Darkness: A Vampire Anthology is a web novel produced by Chrissy Peebles.
This lightnovel is right now completed.
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She stepped closer to me and touched my cheek as I held my breath. “We take nourishment wherever we can get it. Some are willing to give us our nourishment, some don’t have much say in the matter.”
I backed up. “So, you are willing to kill people if you have to?”
She smiled darkly. “Survival of the fittest.”
“Is Caleb turning my mother into one of you?”
“I believe that he has chosen your mother to be his mate.”
“Is Caleb your real father?” I asked, continuing with my questions. If she was willing to answer, I wasn’t going to stop.
“Yes,” she said. “My father became a… vampire first. He then turned me into one to save my life.”
My eyebrows shot up. “What do you mean?”
“I had Typhoid.”
“Wow, when was that?”
“Eighteen ninety-one,” she said.
I stared at her in shock. “That would make you…”
“Much older than you,” she answered.
Caleb stormed into the bedroom and waved at me. “Let’s go. We have to get you out of here before your brother and Duncan show up. I guess they know about this place from Susan.”
“Are you taking me home?” I asked, backing away from him.
His eyes narrowed. “You weren’t hurt, and when I walked in on you and Ethan, you looked to be enjoying yourself. You aren’t planning on pressing any charges against Ethan, are you?”
I looked past Caleb to where Ethan was standing with his arms crossed, looking furious. “No,” I said.
“You aren’t going to make any trouble for us, are you? Not that anyone would believe you anyway,” said Caleb.
“If you leave my mother alone,” I said. “I’ll keep my mouth shut.”
Caleb’s face turned dark. “I can’t do that.”
“Yes you can! Do you think I want my mom turning into a vampire? I’ve seen her neck!” I yelled, surprising myself.
He sighed. “There are things you don’t understand. Your mother… I have feelings for her and I’d do anything for her.”
“So you’d turn her into one of you?”
He ran a hand through his hair. “How do I say this?” he stepped closer. “Your mother has cancer and I’m giving her a second chance.”
I snorted. “You seriously expect me to believe that?”
“She has breast cancer,” he said, his face grim. “h.e.l.l, she doesn’t even know about it yet.”
I felt sick to my stomach. “What, you can sense that?”
He nodded. “Yes and if she becomes one of us, she’ll survive. If she doesn’t, she may die.”
“But you didn’t even consider giving her a chance?”
“I was afraid she’d say no,” he said. “You’re right, though, I didn’t give her a choice. She may hate me when she finds out, but at least she’ll be alive.”
“Do you consider yourself alive?”
Ethan stepped past Caleb and put his hands on my shoulders. “Do I look dead to you? What you felt earlier, was that really so bad?”
I stepped back. “Ethan, you’re trying to control me again. I don’t know how I feel about you because it isn’t real. You use your powers to make me feel things that I’m not even sure about.”
“I only did it the first night we met,” he said. “And I’m…. sorry. But I haven’t manipulated you at all since that night. Every feeling, every emotion you’ve had since then, has been real.”
There was a sharp knock at the door and someone stepped into the room. “We have to do something, now!” hollered one of the guys I’d seen Ethan with in the diner the other night. “Someone’s here. I think it’s her d.a.m.n brother.”
“f.u.c.k,” groaned Caleb.
“Wait,” said Celeste. “Let me take care of him.”
“Don’t you dare hurt my brother,” I snapped.
She smiled. “Believe me, when I’m done with him, he’ll be begging me to hurt him. But in a good way.”
I wasn’t sure what she meant, but Caleb nodded and said, “Celeste won’t hurt him or she’ll answer to me.”
She gave him a pouty face as she stepped out of the room.
Caleb nodded towards the door. “You’re free to leave,” he said to me.
I looked at Ethan, who was obviously upset. “I…”
“I told you before that you were free to go,” he said. “I’d never do anything to hurt you.”
I’m sure he still thought I was Miranda and wanted me to become a vampire like he was. But the very idea of doing that was frightening beyond belief. I still wasn’t exactly sure how I felt about him, but I knew without a doubt that I didn’t belong to that world.
I looked down and stepped past him to the door.
I turned to him. “What, Ethan?”
“You haven’t seen the last of me.”
I wish I could have pretended that those words didn’t affect me, but they did. He must have noticed my reaction, because he licked his lips and gave me a slow s.e.xy smile.
“Goodbye, Ethan,” I said, walking away.
They lived in a large old colonial that was very well furnished. I’m not sure why I was so surprised; if they were vampires and could live for centuries, they had time to save for such luxuries.
“Nikki!” hollered my brother from the front door. “Are you okay?”
I was walking down a long spiral staircase that faced the front door where Nathan and Duncan stood. They were being held back by two other guys from the diner, who I a.s.sumed were also vampires. Celeste was also with them.
“I’m fine,” I said.
Duncan looked p.i.s.sed and was glaring at the vampires. “Get out of our way so we can make sure she’s not hurt!”
“Now, now,” said Celeste. “She’s doing fine. She came here on her own free will, and isn’t hurt in the least.”
“Who are you?” asked Duncan.
She smiled. “I’m a friend of Nikki’s and Anne’s. I’m Caleb’s daughter, Celeste.”
“She’s fine,” confirmed Caleb, trying to ease the tension in the room. “And she’s not pressing charges because she came on her own free will.”
I walked to the front door and Duncan put his arms around me. “Are you okay?” he asked, searching my face.
“Yeah, I’m fine.”
Duncan frowned and looked at Caleb. “I should press charges against that a.s.shole, Ethan, wherever he is.”
“I’m right here,” said Ethan, coming down from the top of the stairs.
“Okay, do you want to press charges?” asked Caleb.
Duncan glared at Ethan, who was smiling malevolently. “I just want him to leave Nikki alone,” he said.
“Nikki and I are friends,” replied Ethan, his eyes undressing me again. Even now I wanted to be underneath him, his mouth and hands everywhere. Especially when he looked at me that way like I was his possession and he knew it.
“Right,” snapped Duncan.
“I remember you now,” said Celeste to Nathan. “You’re the cute guy from the grocery store the other night.”
Nathan’s eyes appeared to dilate as he stared at the beautiful vampire. A lopsided grin spread across his face. “I was wondering what happened to you. It’s nice to see you again.”
“And it’s very nice to see you,” she replied, twirling a red curl around her finger.
Duncan frowned. “Nathan, she’s with them. Don’t fall for this s.h.i.t.”
Nathan ignored him, staring at her as if she was a buffet of food and he was dying of starvation. “So, Celeste, what are you doing with these jacka.s.ses?”
“I rode over here with my dad,” she answered. “I’m friends with Ethan and wanted to find out what was happening.” She looked at Duncan and smiled. “You must be Duncan?”
Duncan sighed. “Yeah.”
“I’ve heard all about you,” she said, putting her hands on her hips. “Nikki’s quite fond of you.”
He looked at me and I smiled.
Celeste yawned. “Guys, I’m getting really tired and I think everyone should go home now, it’s very late. Isn’t that right, Duncan?”
Duncan’s eyes dilated as their eyes met. “Yes, it’s getting late. We should all go home.”
“Good thinking,” she said with an amused expression. She turned to Caleb who looked satisfied at the change of events. “Daddy, I’m starving. Can we stop somewhere for a late snack on the way home?”
From the look in her eyes, I knew her snack wasn’t the type I’d enjoy. I quickly grabbed Duncan’s and Nathan’s hands. “We have to leave. Now.”
“Goodbye, Nikki,” called Ethan. “I’m sure I’ll be seeing you very soon.”
Duncan somehow snapped out of his trance. He stared at Ethan with hate. “Stay the f.u.c.k away from her!”
“Only if she wants me to,” he replied, his eyes still focused on me.
That had nothing to do with what I wanted from him. In fact, I knew that if we didn’t get out of the house soon, I’d never be able to leave. “Let’s go,” I said, pulling them through the door.
When we got into Nathan’s Mustang, his mind seemed to clear from whatever spell Celeste had put him under. “What in the h.e.l.l just happened?”
“I don’t know,” said Duncan, who was sitting in the backseat, tapping his fingers nervously on the door. “What I do know is that I should have had Ethan arrested for trying to kill me earlier.”
“Are you sure you’re okay, Nikki?” asked my brother. “You weren’t bitten or anything, were you?”
I shook my head.
“So, is Ethan a vampire or what?” asked Duncan. “He certainly has some kind of super strength. He almost killed me on the beach. Then he took off with my girl. I feel like such a lame excuse for a boyfriend. “
I turned around to look at him. “There’s no way you could have done anything more. And look, I’m here, now, and I’m totally fine.”
He sighed. “It’s my fault, you know. You warned me about walking on the beach. I’m just glad you’re okay. I was so worried that he might have killed you or something.”
“No, he wouldn’t kill me.”
“How can you be so sure? You can’t trust that maniac. Look what happened to Abigail.”
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