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Monday, May 05, 2014

Free Story - Eternal Part 1 - Vampire Romance

Here we go, a new story I am in the process of writing. It will probably be in three parts, and here is part 1. I hope you enjoy it.

Eternal by Abigail Armani © 2014

Life at Drayton Manor was one relentless toil. There was no respite from the misery of the cruel regime orchestrated by the sadistic Lord Drayton and his equally malicious wife. Like the other servants, I laboured from dawn until dusk, my hands chafed and sore from the harshness of the lye soap we were made to use for cleaning. An atmosphere of fear prevailed in the Manor, for we all knew that if our work did not meet the impossibly high standards set by her Ladyship, we would be punished for our tardiness. We accepted that, but we were also punished unjustly on the whim of our callous employers, and lived in dread of the malacca canes that hung on pegs in the large kitchen.

My one respite from the continual drudgery was the hour after supper, during which we were left to our own devices. My fellow servants tended to slump in exhaustion at the kitchen table, but I preferred to wander outside, regardless of the weather. Rain, sun or snow, I went out, returning feeling somehow cleansed and energised. The twilight called to me. I loved this time of day, the hour between light and darkness where the world is coloured muted gold and the early shadows begin to creep softly.

My life changed forever the night I met Him – Felix Marchant. I had taken my usual route on the path behind the house and turned right at the fork, passing the pasture land until I reached the little path that meandered through the woods. For some unknown reason, I went further than usual, telling myself I must run all the way back, for if I was late returning … I shivered at the thought of the dreaded cane. Yet still I went on, driven by a simmering need I couldn't begin to articulate. I came out of the wood and followed a narrow path, skirting the base of undulating hills rolling by stone-walled meadows redolent with the fragrance of wild flowers. Birds called from the lush valleys as I approached an old curving road winding past nestling hamlets and farmsteads.

As the twilight deepened I crossed the river, walking over a rustic bridge of ancient stone. Looking down, the water streamed muted silver, bubbling over moss strewn rocks. I knew I should return to Drayton Manor while there was still light to see the way, but something drew me, urging me ever onwards. I had no idea where I was. The landscape was breathtakingly beautiful and I could see the lines of purple heather-clad mountains on the distant horizon, and before them, a vast expanse of green-capped forest. It was there that I headed, climbing steadily, and with each step I became increasingly excited with the instinctive knowledge that I was on the verge of something wonderful.

On I went, never faltering. There was magic in the air. I felt my skin tingle. Turning, I looked back from my elevated position to see the countryside below glimmer golden fire beneath the slanting rays of a sinking sun. As night fell, the land was tinted a deep liquid blue and the air was still.

I resumed my journey and paused for breath as I approached the edge of the beckoning forest, greeted by swathes of Oak and Ash, Holly and Birch. The shadows deepened and I blinked, for there was a fleeting shadow darker than the others, a shadow that moved purposefully towards me. My eyes did not lie. A figure advanced from the shelter of the trees. A man. He moved swiftly and steadily with the speed and grace of a predatory animal, his dark cloak swirling around his form. As he drew closer I could see the glossy black tendrils of shoulder-length hair, and a pair of darkly vibrant eyes. They glittered as they fixed on me, and his lips curved into a smile.

He came to a halt but three feet in front of me. He was tall and broad shouldered, his skin pale in the dim light. His face had an unearthly sort of beauty. I found myself staring in wonder, but I was not afraid. His smile deepened. It was a confident smile of satisfaction and assurance. For interminably long seconds he gazed at me, his dark eyes brimming with untold secrets and promises of hidden delights. And then he spoke. One word.

“You know my name?” I whispered.

He inclined his head. “I have watched and waited for you to come to me for a long time, Elizabeth.”

I shivered, but not with cold. A wild delight filled me. “Who are you?”

“Your saviour.” He reached out and took hold of my hands.

How can one possibly describe the sensation of touch? His grip was firm. His skin felt cool against my burning palms, for I had walked a long way and I was hot from my exertions. The feel of his hands holding mine felt so overwhelmingly right. I stared at him, and I smiled, for he was like no other. He was special. I was drawn to him.

“What … what do you want of me?” I ventured, knowing I would willingly give all I had to please him. Aside from a few stolen kisses from the gardener's boy, I had never been intimate with a man. New and delicious feelings coursed through me, and I experienced lust for the first time. I wanted him. Badly. A fire burned deep in my belly. And yet that was only part of it. He entranced me, filling me with delight and wonder.

“What do I want of you? I want all you are prepared to give – and more besides.” He stooped and kissed my lips. Once. Twice. Thrice. Sweet gentle kisses that promised so much more.

Wantonly, I responded, throwing my arms around him, returning his kiss, feeling a reckless, rising passion. He drew me close, his hands roaming my body, pulling me closer into his embrace. The next kiss rocked my world. It was hard and fierce and deep. He devoured my mouth with his own, and when he was done he gently stroked the side of my face with his fingertips. His dark eyes sparked, making me tremble with anticipation and excitement.

“Come,” he said softly. And putting his arm around my shoulders he drew me into the confines of his cloak and led me into the forest.


I wonder if the vampire in my story might look something like this ...

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