Well, I had an excerpt of my novel IMMORTAL EMBRACE posted here in the past, and got many messages asking for more. I had to remove the post while I was in the stages of getting published, but am excited to announce that IMMORTAL EMBRACE will be released on e-book this spring followed by a print book early this summer. Thank you to all of you that have supported me. I would like to post a revised first chapter for you, and hope you all enjoy it. IMMORTAL EMBRACE can be purchased through Vamptasy Publishing in the up coming months.
In Greek Mythology it is believed that humans originally had four arms and legs and two faces on one head. The God Zeus was scared of the power these humans had and split them in half, resulting in two humans. He condemned humans to walk the earth searching for their other half to complete them. This is referred to as soul mates, through reincarnation some soul mates may spend many life times either searching for one another or together.
Chapter 1 – Changes
Her scream rips through the entire house, and as the family runs to the horrific source, the wailing cuts right through to my very core. The memories flood me of the day I used to bellow the same cry so many years earlier. But I can’t think about my own terror anymore, I have a new life now. I can’t allow her to go through what I did. What has he done? I know her terror, her fear, the panic that is starting to set in for a girl who has become like a sister to me.
“She’s in Caspian’s room!” I shout.
My entire family reaches the door within moments of the painful cry. Elijah grabs for the brass doorknob but finds it locked. He pounds at the solid oak door, his demands for it to open becoming more and more desperate as her cries fall silent. I take notice as Elijah and Florence share a glance and then, with his unnatural strength, he throws his shoulder into the door with all his might. The door splinters into pieces as what is left of it crashes to the ground.
Inside the room, Caspian is frantically fighting to save the woman he loves. “I… I didn’t… I didn’t mean to! I didn’t… Please help her! Please!” The tears stream down his face; blood no longer pours from the wound he inflicted on Daniella.
I look at the two of them and wonder, How did this ever happen? She is limp in his arms, and he is desperately trying to give her life again. The bed beneath them is stained crimson with her blood. I notice the small puncture mark on his wrist. It is seeping slowly, almost completely closed over. Surely that is from his attempt to save her. Surely…
“Daniella, NO! Please wake up. I can’t lose you, my love. I am so sorry,” Caspian cries in utter anguish.
Isaac and Constance jump to their aid. If anyone can save her, it will be one of them.
“She is too far gone,” Isaac observes. “There is nothing any of us can do to save her now.”
“Can I help? There has got to be something one of us can do.”
“No, Sophia. I’m sorry, but she has lost too much blood, and her heart has stopped. He drank too much too quickly. I’d try to give her blood if I thought it would help, but it won’t do any good. I am sorry,” Isaac says, “but Daniella is dead. We cannot help her now.” Isaac’s grim confirmation ends all hope.
Every instinct within me tells me to run and cradle her, to use every power within me to breathe life back into her limp body. “I can feel it now. She is gone forever.” I didn’t need Isaac to tell me; I had felt it the second he released her hand.
“I have much more experience than you, Sophia. In time, you, too, will have the ability to detect separate entities and feel when the life force leaves,” Isaac adds before he rises from his knees and pulls Caspian from her body. “We have all made mistakes, and I’m so sorry. We all loved her.”
Elijah wraps Caspian in a bathrobe and leads him out of the room away from the rest of us. We all stand there in for a moment, shocked into silence by the tragic loss. Caspian has lost the woman he loved, but we are all losing a woman we considered part of our family. It is not very often we let someone in, but our Daniella is just… well, she is special or at least was.
“What are we going to do now?” I ask. Glancing around the usually immaculate room, I see it is in total disarray. The royal blue satin sheets appear black from the blood they are now soaked in. Blood splatter covers every wall, as well as the two lovers’ clothing that is haphazardly strewn about the floor.
Isaac calmly observes our surroundings and tries to piece together the details. “Elijah will handle this. He is a very wise man, and he will assist Caspian in dealing with his loss and the details of the accident.”
Constance agrees. “We will know more after Caspian clarifies what happened.”
Constance’s and Florence’s footsteps pound in my head as they walk down the staircase toward the kitchen. The sound of splashing water echoes through the corridor as they prepare a bucket to do the cleaning. We have to remove any and all evidence of this tragedy.
I realize my senses are increasing from the blood exposure, and quickly turn my focus back to Caspian. “Why wasn’t anyone aware of Caspian and Daniella’s situation? Could no one sense what was happening? This could have been prevented.” My face burns with anger, and my throat is as dry as charred forest. As I become more aware of my surroundings, the drying blood brings the repulsive metallic scent of death. “I better open a window,” I say, needing relief. “It is starting to smell in here.” It is time to air it out a little, even if nothing will remove the smell of Daniella’s spilled blood. I head to the large window at the front of the room. I pull the shades and open the window before taking a seat on the window bench.
Alex opens a second window on the side of the room. “Agreed. I hate the smell once the blood stops moving and what is left begins to settle.”
I cannot help but wonder how the blood can be so appealing until it starts to congeal in the body and reek. The wind rushes in through the open glass, and the scent of her young blood swirls around room. I can feel the urge hastening through my body. I am ready to come apart.
“Sophia, relax. You can handle this. Nothing is going to happen. We will all be fine.”
Alexander understands me only the way a twin can. He is so protective of me, and the connection between us is strong, almost unbreakable. Why, though, brother, weren’t you watching over Caspian instead? I thought but dare not say.
With his large hands on my tiny shoulders, looking directly in to my eyes, into my very core in the way only he can, Alexander interrupts my worries once again. “Because he asked me to butt out tonight, Sophia. They had a special evening planned, and he did not want my intrusion.”
“I am not blaming you. I am only wondering if there was anything we could have done.” I run both hands through my hair, loosening the layers to fall around my face piece by piece. I let out a huge sigh, not wanting to lay blame on anyone. This is just one of the risks we take with our lifestyle, nothing more than a terribly unfortunate mishap.
“What about now? Do you know what happened, what is happening?” I ask, still looking up at my brother, who towers nearly a foot over my diminutive five-four frame.
He lowers his head, and the sandy blond hair covers his face.
I try to gauge his emotions. I can tell he knows something, but getting him to share it with me is an unattainable feat, at least for tonight.
“Okay, everyone grab a cloth and start cleaning. Caspian doesn’t need walk back in on this mess,” Florence urges in her motherly tone as she enters the room with a cache of washcloths and cleaning supplies.
Everyone works together to try to remove the hideous evidence from Caspian’s room. This is going to destroy him. He loves her more than anything else, and he will need our help to cope.
“He’s gone! I had no chance of stopping him. He was exasperated over the accident, and he returned his day ring to me and said he is no longer fit to be a member of our family. And then, just like that, he took off. I… I don’t think he is coming back—not ever.” Elijah gently places his arm around Florence’s shoulders. “Not only has our family lost Daniella tonight, but we’re losing Caspian too. We can mourn our losses tomorrow, but tonight we must take care of business.”
We all agree and get to work. We never question Elijah; he is the head of this family and demands respect. What reason would we have to doubt him? He never steers us wrong and always guides us in the right direction.
Elijah and Isaac wrap Daniella’s body, already growing cold, in a sheet,
“We will dispose of the body,” Elijah says, lowering his head at the thought. “The rest of you should continue cleaning the room.”
Once again, we find ourselves drowning in silence as the older men in the family remove the body of our friend.
Constance sets the scene in Caspian’s room to create the appearance of him running away with Daniella. She even initiates a goodbye letter on his computer.
I can hear Florence on the phone with Daniella’s family: “Have you seen or heard from Caspian? We found his room in disarray tonight and a letter on his computer. He said he could not handle the pressure of college and was leaving.”
The plan is being set into motion, a story being written. We will file a missing person report after the required forty-eight hours. As for tonight, we will pretend to go search for the two lovers that we know are forever lost to us and to each other.
With every passing day, I wonder about Caspian’s safety and his emotional state. We have not heard a word from him since Daniella died, and my only hope is that he will return to us soon. If or when he decides to, he will know how to locate us. I still cannot believe everyone in town believes our tale that Caspian and Daniella ran away together, but our secrets have been well kept. I only wish they were still with us.
I don’t want to leave, but it is time to move on, as we are needed elsewhere. I grab my suitcase, pack my belongings, and prepare for our relocation. All the while, I cannot help being slightly frustrated that my twin Alexander still won’t share what he knows. Maybe one day I will get it out of him, but for now, only unanswered questions linger in my mind.
It has been almost thirty years and eight moves since I last spoke to my oldest brother on the night when his girlfriend was accidentally taken. Still, I am convinced I have seen him lurking in the shadows from time to time, possibly to check up on us. I hope he decides to confront us someday soon. I think about him and the accident every day, and that night changed me forever. The ache in my heart returns often, and I miss my brother. He was always willing to tell me what others refused to. Things were much more exciting with him around; humdrumness has taken over since he left… well, at least until recently, when she came.
Our family is not the same without him; we have since taken in a new girl. She is young, with a birth age of only fifteen. I remember when Constance found her outside the hospital one evening last summer. We knew by the nature of her injuries that she would soon be one of us. We took her in and helped her through the embrace, training her and inviting her into our family.
“It is time to move on again and introduce Danika back into society. Where better to start than the same place we all began our lives again so many years ago?” Elijah declares, and he begins arranging for our relocation.
“This scares me,” I confess. “She is still so young. How do you know she won’t rebel?”
“Sophia, my dear, you made it through, and she will too. You need to have some confidence in her ability to socialize—not to mention that Alexander, Matilda, and you will be with her all the way,” Florence assures me with far more confidence in the decision to proceed than I have.
I watch with dismay as Elijah takes Caspian’s family ring, hanging on a thin gold chain, and places it around Danika’s scrawny little neck.
My emotions get the better of me, and I shout, “How can you just give her Caspian’s ring?” Danika is only a teenager, after all.
With a firm hand and stern voice, Elijah replies, “He has not shown himself in three decades, Sophia. She may use it until we can have one made for her. It will not take long once we return to Wenham.”
And we never question Elijah.