In Darkness We Must Abide
Season 2 Excerpt
By: Rhiannon Frater
Vanora forced her eyes to open, abandoning the nightmare for the real world. The dream still clung to her mind and body. Attempting to sit up, she found herself paralyzed. It felt as if the bands of the nightmare world were keeping her strapped to the mattress, reluctant to release her. It struck her that she could still sense the power of the vampire. Fearfully, her gaze searched the gloom filling the room as she became horrifically aware that the vampire was near.
The door to the bedroom stood ajar. She knew for certain she had closed it when she had gone to bed. Now the darkness beyond the cracked door held the promise of growing danger. When he surreptitiously entered her room, Vanora shuddered at the sight of the pale vampire. His tall, pale, masculine form hesitated as he perhaps realized she was awake. Vanora strove to force her limbs into action, but her body refused to obey. The vampire slunk further into her bedroom, his movements quick and sure, like any predator.
“Rhonda invited me in,” the increasingly familiar deep voice murmured. He glided through the shadows of her bedroom, the moonlight straining through her gauzy curtains illuminating his pale skin.
Vanora willed herself awake, yet the world remained unchanged. Pinned to her bed, she was vividly aware of the approaching vampire. The power emanating from the vampire surged around her. It was wicked and enticing all at once. Cold prickles flowed across her flesh, her skin burned by the icy touch of the vampire’s presence. Vanora lay trapped on her bed, unable to call out or move.
The vampire stopped at the edge of the mattress, staring down at her. She could see that he was bare chested, his long legs clad in black leather. White hair fell in waves over his shoulders. Kneeling on the bed with slow, seductive movements, his face drew terrifyingly near, the purple fire of his eyes bright in the darkness. The light of the moon glinted off the silvery strands of his goatee.
“You don’t yet know who I am, and that’s how it should be. I need you to wait for me. Wait for the time when we can be together. Yet, I cannot resist seeing you just this once.”
Vanora strained to speak, but her lips remained frozen. Only her eyes were blessed with movement. The vampire lowered his head, tilting it so that his face disappeared into the gloom. He was so close, she felt as if her heart would stop from fright. Yet, the darkness within her craved to hold him close to her trembling body. That realization terrified her even more than the vampire.
“You look so frightened. There’s no need to be,” he whispered. “I would never hurt you.”
One of his hands caressed her face gently. It was the strong hand of a warrior and it felt soothingly wintry against her fevered face. As his fingertips traced her lips, her terror began to dissolve.
What was happening to her?
The bliss sweeping through her limbs untethered her body. Raising her hand, Vanora caught the vampire by the wrist. Beneath her unsteady grip, she could feel his incredible strength. His long body settled over her like a cloak, trapping her beneath him. His face was so close to hers, his lips brushed lightly over her chin and mouth as he spoke.
“We belong together, Vanora.”
“No,” she protested, finding her voice. It sounded shrill.
He slid a hand through her hair affectionately. “I love your hair. It’s so long and white. Like mine.”
“Please, let me be,” Vanora gasped. She couldn’t abide the sensations his touch created within her. It was a betrayal of all she held to be true.
“Don’t be afraid, Vanora. My little white witch. My love.”
The vampire’s mouth captured hers in an ardent kiss.
A dark essence flowed out of the depth of her soul, filling her with desire. It screamed with triumph, free at last. Vanora felt the great wings of her power reach out to embrace the vampire. Everything within her cried out for him. She was complete in his arms. Whole at last. Not lost, but found.
Vanora lost herself in his kiss. His lips and tongue were so cold against the warmth of her mouth. The sharp tips of his canine teeth raked her tongue, but she didn’t care. He was hers and she was his. Tangling one hand in his hair, she wrapped her legs around him, relishing his weight between her thighs. Dragging her other hand down his back, she felt the muscles beneath his smooth white skin.
“You feel it,” the vampire whispered against her mouth.
“Yes,” Vanora panted.
Trapped within the web of their joined power, she invited the seductive touch of the vampire. His hand gripped her thigh, pulling her hard against the erection straining beneath the leather of his trousers. It was then that she felt something hard against her shoulder blade. It was cool metal. Distracted by the sensation, she tilted her face from the vampire. His mouth descended to her throat, lightly biting her, but not drawing blood. Through the haze of desire, she realized the bit of metal was her cross.
The wicked carnality she had felt at his kiss began to fade as Vanora concentrated on the discomfort of the cross pressing into her skin. It warmed, pulsating beneath her. Mentally shoving away the sinister force enveloping her emotions, she struggled to regain her sense of self. The cross became unbearably hot, slashing through the vampire’s seduction.
Vanora’s mind came sharply into focus as her body numbed to the vampire’s ardor. Their mingled auras no longer felt like salvation, but slavery. Her heart and soul cried out for Armando, and she felt sullied by the touch of the vampire.
“Wait,” she whispered, pressing him away.
The growl that emanated from the vampire was terrifying. His hands tightened possessively on her body.
“Help me,” she said, thinking rapidly. She took hold of the top of her pajamas.
The vampire chuckled, gripped the fabric and yanked the tank top over her head. As it came free, Vanora caught hold of the chain of her necklace, yanked the cross forward, grasped it in one hand, and shoved the silver pendant against his skin.
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