A Short Romance (about a long romance)

A Short Romance (about a long romance)

Lady Sarah put down her cup of tea and pondered the meaning of her life. According to her father she shouldn’t be doing this. First of all she shouldn’t be using her brain (according to her father) and second (according to her father) her life had no meaning until she became a wife. That would be a wife to a man of her father’s choosing.

The first time she was engaged it was to George. They’d grown up together. The prospect of being George’s wife was exciting. They’d been friends forever. But he grew distant and then one day went away and came back a week later with a beautiful wife and a tiny newborn baby. The baby had been named Sarah.

The second man she had been engaged to was Percy. He was quite wealthy, good looking and said “Sarah, dear Sarah, I am enchanted by you.” They spent long hours walking and talking about all sorts of things that made Sarah use her brain. And when he kissed her (her father did not know) she wanted to use the rest of her body too. Unfortunately a month before the wedding Percy fell from a horse and was immediately killed.

Sarah thought she would die that day. She went into mourning and thought she’d never see the sunshine again.

Six months later Sarah’s father, against her wishes, her father arranged for her to be married to Jonathan, a young wealthy titled widow. His beautiful, rich and pregnant wife had thrown herself from a bridge one cold winter morning and sank down under the ice. It was horrible. But Sarah came to realize that it was a fate better than living with the abusive Jonathan. He already hinted at how Sarah had to change and conform to meet his standards. He told others how he would mould her and whip her into shape. The first time he slapped her and called her weak she said nothing. The second time she called off the engagement, telling her father that she’d rather jump off a bridge than marry a monster.

Now, two years later, she was engaged again. She remembered the night that awkward Sebastian was introduced to her. He was nice enough to look at – more than nice. But he was quiet, not the usual loud boisterous kind of man her father would bring around.

One day she’d seen Sebastian in the stable after a rain storm removing his wet clothing. Now at night she closed her eyes and imagined him in her bedroom, without the wet clothing and without the awkwardness.

One day Sarah was having afternoon tea with Sebastian – it was one of those rare times when they were alone. She looked at the young, rich, handsome, quiet man that she was going to marry and realized she hardly knew him.

“Have you always been so quiet?” She knew it was rude and improper but she had to ask.

“I’m, uh, not always so quiet dear Sarah. It seems as if this engagement was thrust upon us, this union, this contract… I have become so very fond of you. I will love you. I promise you that I will. I will adore you. You are everything I dreamed of. The fact that you ask me about my quiet nature shows you have an active mind. I like that. I’m not always so quiet. I promise you.”

I will love you. It was an odd thing to say. It was true, maybe. But he didn’t love her yet. He hardly knew her. She hardly knew him.

Sarah finished her tea, put on her coat and went out for a walk. She wished she was in the city right now. It would have been nice to see people.

In the morning fog she was a figure on the path. It was Sebastian. She ran to him and then took his face in her hands and kissed him.

He put his arms around her and kissed her again and again and again.

“We need to make it work. We’ll be happy. We won’t be strangers who live together for years. We will be friends and partners. You will be my equal. Our love will be true and strong,” he said to Sarah.

She looked into his eyes and wondered, “Who is this man?”

Sebastian put his forehead against Sarah’s and said, “I want to marry you Sarah. I see your independence, I see your spirit and your passion. Our parents think this is a good match. They see our union as good business. They also have given up on our prospects of marriage. I see this as a union of souls and of like minds. Sarah, marry me. Let me grow to love you with a passion that will last for a thousand years.”

They kissed again, and then he said, “But, I have a secret that even my family doesn’t know. Hear me out and if you don’t want to marry me feel free to leave and I will be gone from your life forever.”

Sarah listened and pondered the weirdness and then the reality of the secret. It could have been worse. So she decided at age 26 that her prospects were zero. She didn’t want to be a pathetic old maid to be pitied by others. She didn’t want to be married to a pompous ass or a man who didn’t understand her mind. It would mean a life of adventure and passion and risks. She was willing to do that. What did she have to lose?

Moth

Thinking back on those days Sarah had to smile. She was planning a special anniversary dinner. She and Sebastian would be celebrating their 200th wedding anniversary. What a special time November 1814 was for them! For you see, Sebastian was a Vampire. But I’m sure you’d already guessed that.

And yes, they did live happily ever after.

 

~ End

butterfly-clipart

First published in 2014.

I’m on the road right now but will be back soon with exciting new REAL LIFE adventures about life, traveling with adult children, art, beauty, parenting, history, love, vampires, and whatever else I happen to experience or observe. xoxo

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

Short Story: The Hunter

The Hunter

A short story from Juliette Kings

“We pumped quite a bit of blood out of your stomach. We’re not sure where it came from.”

She heard the words but was the noise in her head was still loud…

“Your heart had stopped beating. You weren’t breathing. You were cold.”

A hospital bed. She was in a bed hooked up to equipment. Her throat hurt.

“We still can’t get your body temperature up to normal and your heart beat is extremely slow.”

She’d been found in a room of an abandoned house wearing nothing but a black silk cocktail dress and black high heeled sandals. The nails on her hands and feet were painted silver. Aside from that there was no jewelry, no purse, no identification. The man she’d been with had received minor injuries and would be in soon to see her. He said he was her boyfriend. Panic started to set in but she didn’t show it.

“Do you remember anything?”

“Not a lot.” She lied. She had remembered almost everything, despite the headache. The man called Austin had wanted to show her a house he was remodeling. He specialized in renovating Victorians and older historic homes. It was charming. It was haunted. “Is Austin alright?”

“He had a few stitches in his forehead, but yes, he is doing fine.”

“We left the club where we met. I mean, it wasn’t a hook up, we’d been seeing each other for a while. We’re friends. He told me about his work restoring old homes. I own some property I was thinking of having restored…He took me to a house he owns. It’s old, nobody lives there. A Queen Ann style Victorian. Beautiful. He showed me around and we ended up in an upstairs room.” She didn’t tell him of the phantoms and the screams that nearly burst her ear drums. She paused, and glanced at the needle in her arm. “Alright, we did fool around some. But we both started to feel really sick. He passed out first. I tried to wake him. I think we were drugged at the bar. Is he ok?”

“I’m fine sweetheart.” In the door stood a man with a bandage on his forehead. His brown eyes met her blue with almost a spark of both passion and hate. He smiled at the doctor.

“She’s a vampire and I’m a vampire hunter. I had no idea the house was haunted when I took her there. Sorry, it’s along running joke between us. Isn’t it Elizabeth?”

Her eyes met his again. A hunter hunting the huntress. “Is that all I am to you?”

He sat next on the edge of the bed and took her cold hand. “You need to warm up dear or they’ll never let you out of here. I know, it takes a lot of effort to keep your heart beating for those machines. You don’t want them thinking you’re dead.”

To think she was starting to fall in love with this man.

“I thought you were going to kill me last night but you saved my life. Why’d you do that Elizabeth?

Doctor Davis spoke up. “What is going on here?”

Austin smiled and spoke in a quiet calming voice. “I’m sorry for the confusion. We have our own language. We had a fight. She wasn’t going to kill me. Just an expression. She was angry. You know, I’m a typical guy. I did typical stupid guy stuff. We went to the house and like she said, we were both feeling sick. Then someone came in and mugged us. She saved me. I don’t know how, but she defended me. It was too dark to tell what was going on. We had a tumultuous relationship but we’re not violent, just a little dramatic.”

“He’d never touch me.” Elizabeth looked back at Austin. “The ones who attacked us… I had no idea. I’ve never experienced anything like that.”

“I thought you’d know.”

“I don’t.”

“Huh. Interesting.”

They both talked to the police about what had happened. Their story was the same. They’d gone to a house he owned, it was unoccupied, they were attacked. They both had traces of an airborne toxin in their systems.

Elizabeth was released into Austin’s care. She’d told him she’d call a taxi but he insisted on bringing her home.

On the way he talked. She sat still, feeling sick, trying to regain her energy. The morning sun burned her eyes even through the fog.

“So my building, the house we were in last night is haunted. Those were ghosts.”

Elizabeth glanced over at him, then looked away. “Yes, they were ghosts. I know someone who can get rid of them for you. He’s good and his prices are reasonable.”

“You know Elizabeth, I’ve found at least a dozen of your kind, vampires, in the basements of abandoned old buildings I’ve purchased for restoration. They weren’t like you. They were like rats.”

“I’m not like them. I don’t live in the shadows or in a crypt. I don’t sleep in a coffin. Most of us aren’t like your rats. We live normal lives.”

“When were you born?”

“1834. I’ve been a vampire since 1853. How did you know?”

He gave her a mean smile. “Call it a 6th sense. My grandfather hunted vampires. It’s in my blood, no pun intended.”

They arrived at her house. He was impressed. A beautiful craftsman style, maybe 2,500 square feet, nice old neighborhood. Inside the woodwork was beautiful. Her decorating was a combination of period and modern. Nice.

“You can go,” she told him.

“Show me around. This place is great.”

“I’m the original owner. 1905.”

As she showed him around Austin noticed a diploma in her office. “You didn’t tell me you were an attorney. Go figure.”

“I told you I consulted for the Justice Department. There is no shame in what I do.”

The house was impressive as was the vampire who lived in it. “Was that my blood they pumped out of your stomach?”

“Most of it. Don’t worry, you won’t turn into a Vampire. I just took maybe a pint.”

Austin noticed a mirror on the wall. He took Elizabeth by the shoulders and turned her around to face it. He could see his own reflection but hers was just a dim shadow.

“Look at my eyes, in the mirror. Look at my eyes,” she told him.

Their eyes locked in the glass. Her image became clear. He laughed. It wasn’t the sarcastic bitter laugh she’d heard all morning. This was joy.

“Elizabeth, will you be alright if I leave you?”

“You aren’t going to kill me?”

“Not today.”

“Then when? When will you be back to cut out my heart and cut off my head.”

“Do you want to go out sometime on a real date?”

“You’re scaring me Austin.”

“I know. I’ll pick you up tomorrow around 8:00. It should be dark by then. Wear something nice.”

She watched through the window as he drove away. Her heart had stopped beating. She wasn’t breathing. In the refrigerator was a bottle of blood. She was starving. Her head was light but that was because of him.

Austin drove away with a smile on his face. What a rush. He wasn’t sure what tomorrow would bring. Either he’d kill her or he’d marry her. That is, if she didn’t kill him first.

 

~ END

 

Tangled Tales

First published in 2014. This is the first story in the Austin and Elizabeth series.

Click here for the entire series (so far.)

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Short Story Sunday: I’ll Take Care of You

The headache was real. He opened his eyes and squinted at the sun coming through the window and tried to remember what had happened the night before.

“Oh you’re up. Look at the sunlight. Tell me how you feel.”

“Like I’ve been hit by a truck.”

“Do you feel alive?”

He looked at her sitting in a navy blue wingback chair wearing nothing but a smile and black silk stockings held up by red garters. He thought of her as a girl, not from her age but by the way she acted. She had been cute for a while but the cuteness became annoying and practiced.

He got out of bed and looked for his robe. She watched him with a smile on her face that was part wonder and part greed. Memories started to come back. Against his better judgement he’d taken her home and to his bed. Then she’d poured something she said was wine, but it obviously wasn’t.

“What did we drink last night?”

“What did you drink Andrew darling. I gave you an elixir to life. I gave you a tonic of love. I gave you light and love?”

He didn’t even respond. The sooner he got her out of his house and made coffee the better. Finding his robe he headed to the kitchen.

“Do you feel different?” She got up and followed him down the stairs.

“Other than feeling like shit?”

“Today is your new birthday. You’re mortal again.”

It suddenly occurred that she’d given him some sort of potion. “Jen, I can’t be cured. There was nothing wrong with me.”

“You were a Vampire.”

“I’m still a Vampire.”

“You’re walking in the sunlight. See it comes through the windows and you aren’t burning.”

“I’ve always been able to walk in the sunlight. Whatever you gave me didn’t work. It never works anymore than me giving you something that would turn you into a dog.”

“Give me a chance and I’ll take care of you Andrew,” she said clutching at his arms.

He pried off her hands and whispered under his breath, “Yes, and I’ll make sure to take care of you.”

Escorting her to the door, the Vampire told her to not come back – but he knew she’d try. Jen never took no for an answer. He compared her to a bad rash, that is if he’d ever had a bad rash.

Nobody would believe her tall tales of dating a Vampire. She was a groupie, a fan, a follower who didn’t know how to be an adult or find real love. It wasn’t like he always knew how to find real love, but at least he wasn’t going to let anyone change him for it.

Picking up the phone he made a call. “You know, I really don’t have the stomach for killing her right now. Any suggestions?”

His friend paused on the other end of the line then said, “Don’t worry about it. I’ll take care of her.”

After getting off the phone Andrew made a blood and strawberry smoothie hoping it would clear out some of the toxic effects of whatever the Hell Jen had given him.

Jen told everyone her family had always been around Vampires, kind of sort of, but she’d just discovered her ability to pick them out about 10 years ago. She’d clamped onto Andrew about a year back after seeing him sing with one of her favorite bands at a local club. She’d spotted him and found out all of the details about his life through mutual friends. Her immaturity was charming at first and kind of cute but now it just grated on Andrew. He ran his hands through his hair and wondered why he’d brought her home last night. Oh right, blood and sex. That always does it.

Then again, Jen thought life should be a cross between a Doris Day/Rock Hudson movie and Twilight. Holy crap. The woman was delusional.

Jen sat alone in her San Francisco apartment and thought about her beautiful Vampire lover. Giggling at the thought of his cool skin and hot kisses and wonderful techniques as a lover. He knew all the tricks. She imagined living with him in his beautiful St. Francis Woods home.

Last night she’d offered him not just her body but her blood as well. Last of all she offered her heart. As far as she was concerned that was a sealed deal. She was part of him now. He’d never get rid of her.

A year passed and Andrew had all but forgotten about that night with Jen. Occasionally one of his friends would bring up the story of the toxic brew and laugh about it.

“Don’t laugh, it could have ruined my voice,” Andrew would tell them half serious and half joking.

“What ever happened to her?” They would always ask. Andrew would just shrug.

A hundred miles away, locked in a room with no sharp objects Jen sat rocking on the bed speaking of her Vampire lover and how he’d return for her. Andrew said something under his breath about taking care of her. So she waited not knowing that he already taken care of her, quite nicely.

 

~ End

 

Juliette aka Vampire Maman