by Lillie J. Roberts
In today's world, some vampires sparkle and some are mass murderers. In my world, vampires are governed by a Vampire Hierarchy, turns are seldom, and one particular vampire is a vigilante, protecting humans whenever he can, even if he must have their blood to survive.
My hero is Vlad Tepes, the righter of wrongs and possibly mankind's only hope. Vlad was a child as the Black Death ripped through Europe, bringing disease and death to those it touched, including Vladimir. But, as fate would have it, a vampire with a soft spot for the young and unprotected found Vlad, healed his illness and adopted him as his son. Vanic Tepes instills his values into his young charge, watching Vlad grow into the human Vanic wishes he could be. Then, the unthinkable happens, and Vlad finds himself knocking on death's door. His only hope for life is if his father can save him one last time. Even though Vlad must have blood to live, he's forced to take a long hard look at himself, and to contemplate those weaker than he, his prey.
Vlad tires of senseless death and violence. He attempts to restrain his baser needs, but he knows there's an evil in his soul, tightly controlled, his beast that begs for violence. Vlad becomes what his conscious demands. He saves those he can and avenges those he cannot. When the Hierarchy moves his family to Chicago, he discovers a whole new environment, different and yet the same. Evil lurks everywhere, and it's not always vampiric. Love finds Vlad, if only he can hold onto it. He must save his life mate and lover, Sheree twice, once from death, and once from her mobster father.
Old Chicago, that's what I liked to call this part of the city with its old neighborhoods, the Italians, Irish, Asians, Germans...and the new additions, Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, and Middle Eastern born people. It didn't make any difference to me, a mass of human population boiling over with need, want, and violence, the same as it always was...but it was also a hunting grounds and that was important to me. You see, injustice never set well with me, and this latest gig as an enforcer, well, it was right up my alley.
Two days had been spent tracking the latest problem that worked his way across our domain. Another being, happy with violence and sickness, unable or unwilling to contain himself. If he wasn't stopped, how many more would he torture, maim, or kill to satisfy those sick needs?
The night surrounded me and I drew it in tighter, virtually invisible to the human eye, waiting, watching, prowling... What was taking him so long? I had other things to do besides waiting for him to make his move. My patience was wearing thin, and my shoulders rolled with tightness. The night was becoming longer than it needed to be.
Finally, traces of his foul wonderings greeted my mind as he mused about his next victim, hoping she'd scream and beg, hoping she'd plead for her life. Then after a few promises and sure knowledge her life was forfeit, she'd beg for the lives of her husband and daughter. He got a self-induced high off what he planned to do. It disgusted me, reviled me, and yet, it was I who was the monster. He pondered it all as he came closer, and I promised myself, he'd have a taste of his own fear.
There he was! Jaunting down the sidewalk, keys jiggling nervously in his pocket, anxiousness in his footsteps, and eagerness in his dull-brown eyes. He glanced up at the pretty blonde in front of him, his smile widened, his dull eyes lit up. His sharpened pointy canines peeked below his upper lip, but they were only for show. He wasn't one of my kind but he liked to pretend. It was all about invoking fear and he liked the powerful feeling. So did I.
His footsteps quickened and mine followed his. He was closer now to the object of his desire, almost within touching distance. Almost. He licked his pale thin lips, greasy hair flopped on his forehead, sweat gathered on his brow. Now, his thoughts rang in my ears, his hand lifted, grab her now! With a crumpled up ball of dirty white fabric clutched in his hand, he reached out as he crossed the darkened threshold of the alley. The shadows slipped away from me, and I stepped further back, sliding my sunglasses into place. No need for my eyes to give me away.
There was a muffled scream. I heard her heels scrape along the rough concrete, then his slump against the crumbling brick of the adjoining building. Damn, his thoughts spoke loudly, she's already passed out. Fun and games'll have to wait. He kissed the top of her head almost tenderly before he dragged her further into the alley and ran straight into my chest. My arms swallowed both of them, lifting them from the pavement.
“Hey,” he shouted, “get off of me!” Anger rolled off of him in waves. It filled the air, and I felt my beast roll, just a little, inside of me.
My arms opened and they tumbled to the ground. The woman, now a dead weight, landed on top of him and I offered my icy hand. He looked at it and shivered.
“Get away from me,” he threatened, brandishing a razor sharp blade that was wide at the base and narrow at the tip. But blades no longer frightened me.
My eyes closed, nose twitching with the scent of the night air. Pheromones rolled off his body: fear, lust, and one I preferred not to think of, death, all mixed together with the heady floral fragrance of the young woman. It made me greedy to take what he was offering.
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About the Author:
Lillie J. Roberts is a multi-published author who loves to reviews books as well. Lillie (a.k.a Dottie at Tink's Place), enjoys sharing her thoughts about the books she's read. Stop by sometime, let her know what your think. Her preferred genre is paranormal romance, the darker the better, though if you give her a good thriller/chiller and she's happy too. She loves all types paranormal creatures from vampires, were- creatures, witches, ghosts, and other things that go bump in the night. She loves a good ghost story, so if you have one, share it with her. The scariest book she's ever read is a toss up between Bram Stroker's Dracula or Stephen King's It (both gave her nightmares).
Lillie lives in central Illinois with her husband, three children, and one wild Westie (who is also her reading and critique partner; he listens to all her new story ideas, almost always with a wicked sense of humor). She is an animal lover as are her heroines and heroes (and no, that doesn't include insects or spiders). She loves movies and listens to them while she writes, it doesn't matter if they're old or new, as long as they're engaging. She enjoys all kinds of music, especially if it has a hard driving beat. You'll find some on her favorite artists mentioned in the pages of her books. She writes Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Chillers/Thillers, Suspense from Modern Contemporary to New Adult and YA, from sweetly innocent to naughty romance. She tends to be a genre bender, mixing her genres to provide an unique read.
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