That vampire was one hot piece of ass and I'd gladly bend over for him, or bend him over. Casper had declared me to be a blood slave, or some shit like that. I wasn't a slave for anything or anyone. Now he refused to drink from me and it was driving me crazy. When he'd returned to his coven and his job for the council I had begged him to take me with him but he refused. I didn't take no for an answer easily which is why I was now standing on the doorstep of his coven's home. I rang the bell and waited for someone to answer the door.
It was late in the evening and the sky had grown dark. Halloween would be here soon, the days were already growing shorter as the nights grew longer. The bitter sting of colder weather could already be felt on the breeze and I anticipated a bad winter ahead.
She was only about five foot three and had a pair of amazingly clear blue eyes. I felt drawn into them and found myself moving closer to her without conscious thought.
Bitten by Love
My eyes were riveted to her mouth and I imagined those lips wrapped around the throbbing cock in my suddenly too tight jeans. Stop playing with our visitor," A male voice said from behind the beautiful woman who now had a name, Maggie. Her eyes widened slightly and she bowed her head while backing away from me. I was distracted by his beauty and the scent of his sweet blood. The man stepped forward and bowed slightly at the waist.
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I am Xavier the master of this house and I do not condone my coven members behaving that badly. However, Maggie was right on both counts, you are exceptionally beautiful and your blood is the sweetest I have smelled in many years. How can I be of service to you, sweet shifter?
He turned it so that my palm was facing upward and then dropped a kiss to the pulse beating erratically in my wrist. I'm a friend of Casper's and I thought I'd visit him for a few days or so if that's acceptable? He peered up at me from where he was still bent over my wrist and I gasped at the contrasting colours of his eyes. One brown, one green. Now that I was looking into those eyes I could clearly see the difference in colour.
People do not normally notice it unless they are up close to me," he told me with a slight upward tilt of his lips. People find them fascinating. Now, please come in. Casper has already left for a meeting at the council but he should be back before one am. Let me show you to a guest room and then I'll give you a tour of the house.
Do you have a bag? It's in my car. I didn't want to be presumptuous so I didn't take it out of the trunk," I admitted. First, why don't I show you around? It was a large den area with four big sofas and a number of arm chairs dotted around. There were seven people in the room, five men and two women one of which was Maggie. Xavier introduced me to everyone as we went from room to room and I tried my best to keep faces and names together in my mind.
The wood crackled, and sparks jumped from the heat onto the ground in front of her. She tipped her chin concentrating on what to say next. This morning was no different. She could not look Galius in the eyes and see the anguish and sorrow within them. The Monroes had come again.
She blinked away the tears hovering against her thick lashes. Tsura was asleep in her wagon, while another was lost to them forever. Black circles settled around her sunken eyes, and Pril felt the stab in her chest once more. Milosh came from behind their wagon, a jar of honey in his hand.
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She heard the regret in his voice, swallowed past the guilt in her own throat and nodded. He blamed her, and it was clear so did Magda. The words were spoken because they needed to be. Gypsies stayed together no matter what. There was no truth to his words, and Pril knew it. I am strong, yes, but they are stronger. Guilt thickened her tongue; the gritty residue clung to her lips and tasted bitter. The talisman had been in their family for generations, blessed by each new Chuvani.
Vadoma had promised her the pendant before she died, but Pril never saw it, and there had been no time to search for the jewel when they fled. We cannot protect our people. They all knew this, but no one had a clue as to where the talisman was. Our clan is frightened. They have lost faith. We cannot fight the Monroes. We have neither the numbers nor the skill. She glanced at him. She did not know what else to do. The Monroes were coming for her child. Alexandra had died because of that. Milosh and Magda hated her. It will…help Milosh and Magda to heal. Running will get you and Tsura killed and that is all.
Galius blew out a long breath that moved his thick beard from his lips. She watched through tear filled eyes as his bottom lip quivered. For that, we do not judge. Their sister had died a vile death. She yearned to know that what she was doing was right. We will rethink and come up with something better—stronger. The plan was simple. But someone had figured out Alexandra was a girl.
Someone had told the Monroes. They came for her, stealing the precious child in the middle of the night. The morning two weeks before, as the clan frantically searched for her, a harrowing scream Pril would never forget echoed across the land. He glanced at her, his eyes showing no emotion. Without it, Tsura is at the mercy of the Monroes and so are we. Galius pumped his large hands into tight fists. Vadoma placed the blood curse. It is only with the blessed oil that I am able to create the spell to keep danger away. The oil is almost gone.
He worked his jaw. She held up her hand to stop him from blaspheming their sister. It brought evil to curse your own, and Pril would have none of it. Left us with a curse we cannot break and wealthy plantation owners hunting our very hides—killing our children! She hung her head unable to look at him. What could she say? Her very niece had died but thirteen days ago.
Throat tight and dry, she refused to meet his gaze. I cannot protect her or the others like she can. He placed his hand on her shoulder. Pril watched through hooded lids as Galius moved toward Milosh. The two shook hands and embraced. She wiped at the tear on her cheek. Their love was strong, and she prayed it would get them through their grief.
She brought the cup to her lips and sipped the now cold coffee. Memories of a time when life was simpler brushed her mind.
There were no worries. No threat of the Monroes hanging over them. Now, they never stayed in one town longer than a month. The Peddlers wandered the land, searching for a safe haven where they could raise their children. The rustle from the other wagons brought her head up, and she watched as the rest of the clan rose for the day. Sisters Sabella and Sorina exited their vardo and smiled at her from across the yard. The two girls joined them a few years ago when the Monroes had attacked their family, burning the wagons and killing most of them.
Both unwed and beautiful, they were very good at creating new balms and potions to sell at the markets. Sorina enjoyed living with the clan, and she loved to visit with the others, while Sabella never spoke and preferred to remain alone. She lifted her hand and waved. She liked the sisters and had shared dinner with them many times. She, on the other hand, was finding it difficult not to tell the others. Each time they hid the children, packed in the middle of the night, or took turns guarding the camp she felt the stab of guilt twist in her heart.
Pril turned, mug still in hand, and gazed at her daughter. Black corkscrew curls fell around her plump cheeks and clung to her pink lips. There were days when Pril herself forgot, only ever seeing her child in long pants, cotton shirt and a cap. But in the evenings when the moon was bright, she cherished the mother-and-daughter moments they had in their wagon. Pril told her daughter made up fairytales of Kings and Queens.
She held out her hand, and watched as Tsura ran to her. It was the mixture of good and evil within the girl that she feared. What has you up and out of the vardo already? Dreams were the way her people saw future, or past. Tsura had them often. She smiled at those they passed on the way. Her shoulders straight, she remained the same not to draw anyone near.
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Once inside the wagon, she closed the flap, and waited a few minutes before she sat on the bed beside her daughter. She squeezed the blanket on the bed to stop her hands from shaking. The child shook her head, black curls bounced up and down. Pril pulled her daughter close and kissed the top of her head.
Tsura went very still, and her tiny body grew hot. She sat back and gently placed Tsura away from her. Past lessons had taught her well. Green eyes that showed a red rim around the color stared up at her, and Pril wished she could do more to help her child. She wanted nothing more than to help her daughter learn how to use her gifts, but with Vadoma gone she would have to learn alongside Tsura.
She felt the nod against her chest and squeezed her tighter. Thankful once more that she was safe. Green eyes peered through black lashes. She pushed aside the guilt pressing against her soul. The Monroes always sent a well-dressed aristocrat to do their dirty work. Were they enlisting the help of their plantation workers now?
That would explain why none of the Peddlers spotted the well-dressed killer. The Monroes had sent a slave. He tried, but he could not do it. Pril pulled her close. The Monroes were near once more. She hung her head. How could I have been so foolish? I am the reason my niece lies within the cold ground. There was nothing she could do to stop the desolation as it crawled up her spine and curved her back.
Life was precious—even more so when it was a young one. It was any wonder Milosh blamed her so. The shame covered her and blurred her sight as tears washed her cheeks. She pulled the jars from the shelf. Rosemary, bark, and the remnants of the oil her sister had blessed. The jar was empty, except for the thin layer that clung to the glass walls. Pril did not receive the gifts her sister had.
Vadoma had been the firstborn daughter to Imelda, the enchantress. Their mother had been very strong in her magick, aiding those in need with potions and spells. Pril held no such power. Her only gift the counting of the spells. She could not move things, throw a beam, or have seeing dreams. She blew out a breath and stared at the last of the oil. There was enough to strengthen the charm, but not cast a full protection spell. She leaned into the counter and pressed her fingers to her temple massaging the strained blood vessels.
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She took the jar and stepped outside into the darkness. The clan asleep for the night, she went to Mortimer, her Ox, tied behind the vardo. The ox turned his head toward her and bowed. Quickly, she slid the needle along his neck enough to produce one drop of blood. She dipped her finger into the mixture and ran it along the scratch. Inside the vardo, she stoked the fire in the small cook stove and placed an empty pot on the burner. She pinched the rosemary, a symbol of Vadoma, and dropped it into the jar of oil to swirl with the spice.
She watched as it mixed together with the oil and blood. Next she took the bark from the forest and dropped it into the pot.
She poured the mixture of oil, blood and rosemary into the pot listening as it bubbled and hissed. Keep her spirit hidden to their wants. The liquid evaporated into a cloud of smoke, and she watched as it drifted over the child to settle on top of her sleeping form. Jamestown, Virginia, July Tsura Harris lifted the hem of her green skirt and stepped up onto the wooden plank.
She clutched her reticule in her right hand and reached for the rope with her left. The planked bridge swayed as the boat rocked against the seas. She stared at the water below. She inhaled, forced her chin up, and took another step.
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