Cross My Heart
Blood Series: Book 1.5
Length: 75,000 words
Content: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Elizabeth Morgan
Cross my heart, and hope to die… You should be careful what you wish for.
Danielle Renaud would have never wished for this life of endless hunting and isolation, but it’s the only one she’s ever known. But while her second cousin, Heather Ryan, is off to single-handedly rid the world of Vampires, she is stuck on the side-lines.
Frustrated and concerned when Heather hasn’t checked in for over a fortnight, she decides it’s time to take matters into her own hands. What she doesn’t expect is to learn her childhood friend, Nathan, is also missing, or to discover him half-naked and shackled, lurking around their old hangout. And he needs her help, because to her horror, he is now one of the undead. Although she is trained to kill his kind, something about his creation and the circumstances surrounding it just don’t add up.
Promises should not be broken, but no one ever expects to die if one is.
Nathan Kennedy was warned that Vampires existed, but he always believed his childhood friend just suffered from an overactive imagination. Boy was he wrong. Dragged into a world he once made fun of and “turned” against his will, he will soon discover he has a role to play that even his Slayer Bestie couldn’t have cooked up.
Nothing is a coincidence.
Though the circumstances are extreme, fate has brought them back together, and they need to find Heather, the first born Infected, to make sense of what’s going on. But neither of them could have predicted the path that lies before them, or how much their lives were truly about to change … for the worse…
This title contains explicit language and some scenes with violence.
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2KJq0kc
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2Jqr2B0
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Cross My Heart is also available in print from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
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The dream darkened. The images disintegrated to ash as something deep inside me stirred. That unusual, invisible tug I had quickly learnt was my new alarm clock, my body telling me that I now had to be awake, and therefore, without my consent, it pulled me into the realm of semi-consciousness. The innocent dream got lost in darkness.
No, not a dream. I didn’t have the luxury of dreaming anymore. It was just a memory, and one that kept replaying in my mind every time I closed my eyes—my subconscious telling me that I owed an old friend one big, fat apology; an apology that would surely get me an ‘I told you so’ as a reply, and that was presuming I ever got to see her again.
It was the truth. Everything she’d ever told me ... It’s all real.
The past seemed like a pleasant place to live, but then again, anything was better than my current predicament, which proved nothing short of a nightmare. A cold, dark, twisted nightmare.
“I told you t’be careful what you wish for.”
Her voice rang in a soft and sweet whisper that I could feel dance across my skin, the usual taunting tone accompanying her words.
“Go away, Elle.”
A lock clicked. Hinges whined as heavy, rusted metal scraped against concrete. Light briefly touched my face, only to be overtaken by an unfamiliar presence that filled my door frame. My eyeballs hurt behind my lids, but I didn’t bother opening my eyes and indulging in the mild curiosity that involuntary tickled the back of my mind. Truth be told, I didn’t have the bloody energy to even try to look. Then again, if I had learnt one thing during my time in purgatory, it was that nothing ever good happened when you opened your eyes and that the things you did see weren’t always real.
A crinkle of plastic accompanied the odd squeak and shuffle of clumsy feet. My visitor moved into the room, allowing the overhead lighting from the outer corridor to slither into my cell. Not as good as daylight, nowhere near, and yet being locked in the dark for such long periods of time had made my skin super-sensitive. That horrid illumination was all I had, all I could use to delude myself into pretending that I was really lay on a rock-hard stretcher in my back garden, and not some dank room in a strange facility in God only knows where the hell I could be. The light was cold and pale, not like the warmth from the sun, but regardless, I could feel it on my skin, feel its energy in a way I couldn’t before.
Iron clamped around my jaw, breaking my momentary delusion. Not to mention the impact was so sudden, my lids snapped open, and my eyeballs practically bulged from their sockets. Jesus, talk about a wakeup call.
The left side of my friend’s face remained in the shadows of the room, but the right ... The light barely touched him as if almost afraid to. His jaw was square, and from the patch of skin that was illuminated, he was as pale as every other Vampire I’d had the pleasure of meeting during my time here. His hair seemed dark, and he looked to be wearing black—the meatier fellows all seemed to wear black and have the role of ‘the muscle’ in this joint. Clearly, they were prison guards, and one other thing I had learnt during my stay? These guards didn’t have patience, not that human bouncers or security guards rarely did, but then again, humans couldn’t go around biting or beating the crap out of the people they were responsible for.
He raised his left hand, and the red, opaque silhouette of my feeding tube caught the corner of my eye, a droplet ready to fall from the slit. The scent of blood touched my nostrils ... Jesus ... how I hated that I even knew that smell.
“I’m not thirsty.”
The words didn’t quite make it past my lips. Instead, they remained locked between my throat and teeth, but my new friend seemed to understand—this was made obvious by the tick in the visible side of his neck. Not that he gave a shite, which he proved by digging his ice-cold fingertips into my cheeks, pushing my flesh into my teeth so violently that I was sure they would have shattered, but being a compromising soul, I obliged and opened my mouth. Although I doubted anyone would class my mouth as being opened since my lips were vertical and the top lip was stuck in the opposite direction of the bottom. I no doubt looked like a fish mid-breath.
“More like a fish with a botched lip job, mid-breath.”
I said go away, Elle. I slanted my gaze to the right corner of the room, watching as the shadows solidified.
“And I said, make me.”
The tube was pushed between my teeth, the tip grazing along my tongue and pushed farther, until it was stuck halfway down my gullet. Blood, cold and thick, coated my throat, slithering into my system. My throat flexed, more from the slight discomfort than the need to drink or even to retch. Retching would be the right thing to do when someone force-fed you blood, but since I’d woken up, it was all I could eat—well, drink. Even though my mind was still plagued with disgust and the madness of the situation, a part of me had accepted the inevitable and ridiculous truth ... I was a Vampire.
Then again, my captors had drilled this life-changing fact into me repeatedly since the moment I had first woken up and had refused to believe, refused to drink, which they had loved. Tormenting was apparently no fun if your victim was accepting of their situation. It had been somewhat hard, not to mention physically painful, to digest, especially since I couldn’t recall a flash of fangs or being filled with terror as one of the undead pounced from the shadows in order to feed from me. Nor could I remember being fed blood or the agony of death or waking up reborn—all of which was supposed to take place according to Elle.
“So maybe I lied. Maybe I was wrong.”
My focus stayed fixed on that corner of the room, to her form which became more solid with each second. You would never admit you were wrong.
“Maybe not when we were kids, but maybe now, I would admit such a thing, especially since a Vampire didn’t feed off you and baptize you with its blood. That certainly didn’t happen t’you, did it?”
No, all I could remember was rain ... A dark street, Freddie singing the Spice Girls, ‘If you wanna be my lover’ severely off-key beside me as we stumbled back to the hostel in London. Being knocked to the ground; blood trickling into my eyes ... Freddie on the floor next to me, someone in black pining him down. Darkness followed by flashes of light and faces; being naked and so freaking cold. The glint of needle tips and ... fuck ... the pain; slices into my ball sack, and then my heart, hammering so quickly and so damn hard, as if it were about to explode out of my chest or just give up on me altogether ... and then a whole lot of nothing before I woke up in this dark, dank room.
The Hollywood take on being turned into a creature of the night hadn’t happened, and sure, I had always though Elle had been crazy, obsessed with Vampires, but in a cute, supernatural fanatic kind of way since she went into fascinating details which were so elaborate, it was always like being told a scary story. I had always believed her overactive imagination to be just that—while we played in the fields and forests near our hometown, she wished we were roaming through a more dangerous and thrilling world. A world she had been invested in since we were eight, a world I humoured her with because she was my best friend and had enough crazy stuff going on at home, but ...
“Vampires exist, Than. It doesn’t matter if you don’t believe in them. Lack of belief doesn’t make them any less real.” She snorted. “I’ve told you this a million times.”
Vampires existed. I had seen far too many fangs, too much blood, and a bunch of other freaky shite over my stay to not believe that this brand of fiction was cold, hard, un-bleeding-believable fact, but I was one. Evident by the pinch in my gums or the stab of my canines against my tongue every time I smelled blood; evident by the fact that I no longer had a beating heart, no urge to breathe or eat, or even to go to the toilet. And as sexy as Hollywood made Vampires out to be ... the reality was a total turn-off.
The click-clacking of heels echoed in the corridor, announcing that the red-headed she-devil was about to pay me another visit. Her last visit with a spiked blood cocktail had almost killed me, but sadly, fate had decided to spare me and just gift me with the mother of all hangovers. A Vampire with a hangover—who’d have thought such a thing would be possible, but Christ almighty, it was nasty blood. Well, not nasty. Different, energetic, intoxicating, and freaking painful. It sure as hell burnt my insides. It was like being on fire and yet having a sledgehammer hitting your head at the same time. The messed-up part was that I liked it, because it was the closest I had felt to being human in ... days, weeks; I had no idea.
My focus shifted to the open doorway as the click-clacking ceased. Instead of the redhead, an entirely different demon stood in the doorway.
“Smells like trouble.”
“So, this is what the alternative solution to our evolution looks like.” She wandered into the room with a predatory grace, circling me and my new nursemaid. “I must admit I expected ... well, something a little more impressive.”
I cocked my eyebrow at the Spanish she-devil as she came back into my line of view.
“If you really want t’be impressed, then fetch me the harmonica from my backpack, I’m known for having a very talented mouth,” I gurgled through the still-flowing course of blood and as best as I could through the death grip of my new friend who didn’t look like he was going to release my cheeks until I had finished the drink he had brought me.
“You are Irish.”
Her laughter rang throaty, with a delightful edge. She gave off an air of carnal delight, and the way the light curved around her shape as she paused by my right ... curves in all the right places. The longer I stared at her, the sharper my sight became, adjusting to the light and shadows surrounding me. This Vampire was beautiful, every bit the image of the temptress from the Christopher Lee versions of Dracula. She had a fantastic rack, dark, long hair, big, almond-shaped eyes, and full lips ... my dick twitched.
Just the blood, Nathan. Just side effects of this stupid blood.
Elle had never mentioned that drinking blood could make you as horny as a bleedin’ schoolboy, but then again, maybe she didn’t know everything.
“Or maybe the sickos lace the stuff with Viagra for cheap thrills? Either way, it might be an idea to stop devouring her with your eyes before your jeans become a tent and you start drooling.”
My gaze shot to the corner, to the petite, slender, auburn-haired thirteen-year-old leaning against the metal wall. One strap of her denim dungarees hung loose, a three-quarter-length top beneath, moss green to match the Converse she sported. She was too vibrant and solid, like a sticker stuck to a black sheet of paper; she was too obvious, too out of place to be real. You’re too young t’know what Viagra is.
“How many times do we have t’go through this? I’m not actually this age anymore. I’m just a figment of your sad little imagination, you nut job.”
She—the real Elle—had once told me that victims could go a little crazy after being turned, become recluses, or blood-thirsty murderers. I just hadn’t realized imaginary friends were one of the benefits of being fucked up in the head.
“Oh, they’re not. You’re just special, Than.”
“How delightful.” The female Vampire slid up alongside my nursemaid. Her hand landed on his arm, and with that simple gesture, he released my face and exited the room.
I opened my mouth wide, stretching my aching jaw, only to regurgitate as the tube slid farther down my throat. “Why am I here?”
“Surely, you have figured that out by now?”
“Apart from being told I’m a Vamp, which I kinda guessed since I have no heartbeat but now have fangs, Red and Skinny have done nothing but feed me blood and prod me with needles.” I gulped, swallowing more blood from the tube, wishing I could spit it out, but it was too far down my throat to even try. “If I’m one of you, then why aren’t I frolicking around this place with you all? Why am I being kept locked up? I’m hardly dangerous.”
“That is obvious.” She moved closer. “But the reason you are in here is because you are not technically one of us.”
“So, I’m not a Vampire?”
“Jesus, Than, you’re dead and yet you’re talking. Of course, you’re a bleedin’ Vampire.”
I could be a zombie.
“Please don’t tell me you’re crazy enough to believe zombies actually exist?”
What’s crazy about it? Vampires are a myth just like zombies, but guess what, there’s a freaking Vampire standing right in front of me. So, who knows what else might be out there? And wasn’t that a terrifying thought? Vampires might not be the only piece of folklore that walked the Earth.
A throaty laugh escaped the female. “You are proof that our kind can be created ... differently.”
“Well, I already gathered I was an experiment.”
“And a fairly cute one, at that.” She plucked the tube from my lips and slid it from my throat. “And sadly, the only one left living in this place.”
I gulped, forcing the remaining blood in my mouth to vanish. “That depends on your definition of ‘living’.”
“Well, mobile then.” She brought the tube to her own lips. A disgusted grunt sounded at the back of her throat. “No wonder you are reluctant to drink. Stored blood is dreadful.”
“Yeah, I’m not against drinking it because it’s stored blood. The whole drinking any blood in general is freakin’ disgusting.”
“You only feel that way because you are a new-born who has yet to conquer your conscious, or at least that is what the good doctor’s notes say.” She slipped the tube between my lips, and despite my so-called conscious, my teeth closed lightly over the plastic, holding the tube in place. “But you will lose that once you get to drink from the source.”
“I’m not sure I want to lose it.”
“Not when you’ve already lost your sanity.”
I glared in Elle’s direction. Have you got nothing better to do?
“You want me t’go? I will go. I’m only here because you want me here and you know that.”
The female stepped closer, her slender hand resting on my bare chest.
“But you do want to feed from a human, si?” Her fingers wandered up, dancing across my collarbone. “Sink your fangs into the soft flesh of a woman’s neck, pierce her delicate vein and feel that first, hot gush of blood fill your mouth?” She dragged her nails down my torso, slicing through my skin, which healed as quickly as it split. “To taste the essence of human life, the spark—” she slid her hand over my jean-clad crotch, cupping my semi, “—nothing can compare.”
“Oh, gross.” Elle retched.
“So I’ve heard,” I bit out around the tube. “Sadly, no human women come t’visit me here. So—”
“It can be arranged, if you are a very good boy and tell me what I need to know.”
“Question. Why are you even talking to her?”
Because despite being undead, she’s here in this room with me, and talking to someone who is physically here occasionally, despite them being Vampires, is the only reason I haven’t completely lost my bloody mind. Does that answer your question, ghost of friendships past?
“Just ask her what it is she needs to know before this turns into an X-rated movie and I spew ectoplasm everywhere.”
“And what is it you need t’know?” I sucked a little harder on the tube, trying hard to concentrate on the rush of blood entering my body and not the fact that every drop was heading down south.
“What happened here?”
I felt my brow furrow. “What d’ya mean?”
“Do not play coy.” Her hand slipped under the waistline of my jeans, her fingers wrapped greedily around my junk, which leapt eagerly into her curious palm.
“You still seriously blaming this on the blood?”
Yes, blood causes reactions.
“Having your dick touched by a female after months of neglect would also be a reason why you’re almost as hard as rock.” Elle gagged. “But she’s a dead female, Than. She’s one step away from being a corpse. I mean, that’s just nasty. That’s practically necrophilia.”
I know. Jesus Christ, Elle. I’ve been fucking kidnapped, turned into a Vampire against my will. I’m strapped up, being force-fed blood and getting sexually assaulted here, and you’re making out like I’m bloody well enjoying this!
She held her hands up. “Hey, don’t yell at me. Try telling your dick all that. He’s the one who’s letting you down.”
“What did they want? What did you overhear?”
“Lady, I have no freakin’ idea what you’re on about.”
“The Wolves.” The words left her mouth on a hiss.
She squeezed harder. “They were here only days ago. They killed almost all of the Vampires who Nested here.”
“Fuck.” I grit my teeth. “What?”
“You expect me to believe you heard nothing? No grunting.” Her strokes became quicker, firmer. “No growling, or screaming?”
“I heard nothing. Last thing I remember was the redhead hooking up blood to my drip and then rolling me into a white room—”
“And then you went bat shit crazy for hours, as if someone had given you a mixture of chocolate and cocaine.”
“And then what?”
“I woke up in here like ... fuck.” I bit the inside of my cheek as her nails dug into the underside of my junk. “I don’t know how long I’ve been in here. I blacked out. The blood she gave me tasted weird—”
“So, you heard nothing?” Her hand disappeared. “That is a shame for you. I only reward good boys.” She moved closer, so her breasts were squashed against my chest. Her hair felt like silk as it brushed against my shoulders. “Then again, I suppose it was not your fault. Your notes do indicate that the Were’s blood was not kind to your system.” She popped the button on my jeans. “You have apparently been in and out of consciousness for days.”
“What blood? I don’t …” My words died as she sank down to her knees.
“Okay, I’m going into the hall. I can’t watch this shite. She could bite your dick off or anything.”
Bite my dick off? My gaze snapped to Elle’s back as she left the room, before dropping down to the wicked, black gaze of the temptress.
“You really did not hear anything?” She pulled my zipper down. “Even in your futile state, nothing sank through?”
What the fuck? Elle? The Vampire’s fingers curled around the seam of my jeans. Will it grow back if she does bite it off? Elle!
Every muscle in my body was already tense, but I was rigid. Unable to do anything but helplessly look down toward my prize jewels. Would this be it? Would I die from having my dick torn off? Or would I be a dickless Vampire for all eternity?
“You’re already one, if you ask me. What kind of Vampire puts up with being strapped up for so long?”
Fuck you, Elle! You have no idea what I’m going through right now!
“Woman, I haven’t a damn clue what you’re fucking on about, but if I did—”
“Constance?” a male called.
A sigh escaped her.
“To be continued.” She straightened, zipped up my jeans, and gave my crotch a pat. “Drink up, N. That is the last batch you will get before we leave.”
“Leave?” I gritted. forcing myself to focus on what I was saying and not the raging boner I was now sporting—or the relief that was building up so rapidly, I was scared I was going to black out again. “You can’t leave me like this. What’s going t’happen t’me if everyone here is dead-dead?”
“Oh, do not worry, we still have use for you yet.” Twisting on her heel, she exited my cell, closing the door and leaving me in the dark once more. Not to mention leaving me even more fucked up than when she had walked in here.
“What the fuck?”
A slurping noise met my ears, and that’s when I realized I had sucked the blood bag dry. I spat the tube out and settled for whacking my head against my platform. A pulse of pain swam round my skull, but the pain was short-lived compared to the throbbing agony currently taking place in my jeans.
“What the fuck’s wrong with you?” Elle passed through the metal of the door, pausing in front of me, arms folded and her right eyebrow cocked. “Bad enough you’re a Vampire, but you don’t have t’be attracted to them either.”
“Who says I’m attracted? I’m still a guy, and surprisingly, my parts still work. More to the point, it’s been a while since I had sex, so—”
She held her hands up. “TMI.”
What was wrong with these creatures? They were insane, violent, greedy or horny. Most of the time, they were all fucking four.
Christ. “I gotta get out of here, Elle.”
“That’s what I keep telling you.”
“Well, tell me how? How do I get out of here, Little Miss Smarty Pants? What do I do?”
“She said, “Drink up. That is the last batch you will get before we leave.”
She rolled her eyes. “They are taking you out of here.”
“Shit, you’re right. Where the hell do you think they are planning on taking me?”
She walked over to the sleep platform fixed to the wall on my left and took a seat. “No idea, but if I were you, I would make my move when we’re all out in the open. That’s if, you know, they don’t sedate you again.”
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About the Author:
Elizabeth Morgan is a multi-published author of urban fantasy, paranormal, erotic horror, f/f, and contemporary; all with a degree of romance, a dose of action and a hit of sarcasm, sizzle or blood, but you can be sure that no matter what the genre, Elizabeth always manages to give a unique and often humorous spin to her stories.
Like her tagline says; A pick ‘n’ mix genre author. “I’m not greedy. I just like variety.”
And that she does, so look out for more information on her upcoming releases at her website: www.e-morgan.com
Away from the computer, Elizabeth can be found in the garden trying hard not to kill her plants, dancing around her little cottage with the radio on while she cleans, watching movies or good television programmes or curled up with her three cats reading a book.
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