Excerpt from my NEW (ish) BOOK!!

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My book has been given new life!  Yay for Mountain Springs House!  So I thought I’d share an excerpt from it, since it’s only $1.00 at Smashwords right now (coupon REW75, this week only).  So little money – you can’t get anything at Starbucks for that price!!

Without further ado, then–here it is:

CHAPTER 21

            Her first terrified thought was Oh, no, not again!

She backed up against the wall, shifting ever so slightly to the right and away from Vlad’s angle of approach. Moving very slowly, her legs were in rabbit mode, ready to leap away at the first opportunity. Her heart hammered in her chest, and she had to fight the urge to panic and bolt. He would be on her before she could get halfway across the room, and she had learned early on that he was more inclined to attack her when she was running away from him.

Lydia watched Vlad warily as he walked slowly around the desk. He came towards her steadily, smoothly, like a leopard stalking its prey. His eyes locked onto hers, and she suddenly felt drawn into his gaze. Her mind whirled; her memories were fading, and she was beginning to doubt that her ordeal had ever happened. Such a handsome face…how could I think he would have ever done any of those things…

Her reverie exploded as the pain in her wrists intensified, and she shook her head. Her mind cleared from whatever power his gaze had had on her, and she inched away as he approached. The throbbing pain was unrelenting; she tried to look at her hands without being obvious, to see if they were bleeding. It didn’t feel as if they were, but she hid them behind her back nonetheless. She didn’t know what Vlad would do if he saw the scars, and she didn’t want to find out.

The door was only a few feet from where she stood. She kept edging toward it, knowing it was probably a futile maneuver but feeling like she had to do something. She wasn’t going to just take his awful treatment of her, like a sheep before the slaughter.

Vlad could see what she was trying to do, and he shook his head as if to say, “You know you won’t get away.”

Then he smiled…

Lydia found all of her nightmarish memories returning at the sight of those fangs. She could feel her body tensing and her face twitching with revulsion. Her body shook as she braced herself for the inevitable.

To her utter surprise, however, he stopped walking towards her. Instead, he became seemingly interested in a chair, gazing down at the upholstery as if it was the most fascinating thing he had ever seen. He ran his hand nonchalantly across the expensive brown leather on its back. Lydia glanced again at the door, then back at Vlad, trying to figure out what he was planning.

Finally, he turned and spoke to Lydia, who was in about Stage Red of takeoff mode. “You know, you are deucedly hard to kill.”

Lydia’s voice cracked, and she said through a dry throat, “Guess I have friends in high places.”

Vlad peered at Lydia’s neck, and she shrank under his stare, trying to protect her throat without using her hands, which still pained her tremendously. “Your surgeons certainly did a good job. Not a scar anywhere.”

She hated this casual assessment of her condition, as if he was commenting on a minor operation. She narrowed her eyes. “No thanks to you!” she spat at him.

Vlad looked as if he was going to start towards her again, and she readied herself for an escape attempt, but instead he began to pace back and forth in front of her. He spoke again, amusement in his voice. “I’m so glad you were able to come in for this little chat. When I saw you down there at the fountain, I must say I was very surprised. Especially since I’d left you for dead.”

A sudden revelation hit her like a thunderbolt: It had been right after the day she’d discovered the fountain that she had started feeling cold. The apprehension, the feeling of being watched…

Her hand suddenly shot to the back of her neck. It hadn’t been mosquitoes!

And Trudy’d felt them too…! No…!

He smiled broadly, and to her horror he ran his tongue over his sharp teeth.

Lydia swallowed her terror and tried to look in control of herself. She crossed her arms, relieved to see that the scars were still invisible.

“So you arranged this…’interview’? Well, sorry,” she said sarcastically, “but I already have a job that I would prefer to keep. Find another chew toy.”

With that, her legs finally released their pent-up energy, and she bolted to the door.

Vlad was faster. He caught her and pinned her up against the wall, pushing her chin up with one hand, tilting her head one way and another. She dug her nails into his arms as she struggled to get away.

It didn’t seem to faze him a bit. He calmly stroked her throat with the index finger of his other hand, especially where her pulse beat fast. His eyes caressed her flesh almost lovingly. She pushed at him, feeling a scream welling up from her deepest self. As it rushed up, she took a deep breath and…

He stopped its onrush by putting his hand over her mouth. His eyes were like stone as he whispered near her ear, “If you scream, I will kill anyone who comes through that door. Have I made myself clear?”

Lydia’s eyes widened in terror. Would he really do that? Yes, of course he would. Her past experience with him proved that out.

She nodded slowly, and he released her mouth. He returned to stroking her neck and collarbone, gazing down at the flesh as she trembled under his scrutiny.

Lydia knew for certain now that this creature was far more than just a vampire. In her soul, she knew he was much more dangerous than that. A mere vampire stole lives.

This demon stole souls.

He bent down, and she could feel the pain as he bit into her throat, felt the pull as he fed on her. She expected to fade and collapse, but he drew back after a short time, licking his lips. He could read the terrified look in her eyes, and he laughed as he let go of her.

“No, Lydia, I am not going to take you into my world again. I have found someone else for that purpose. No, you are far too valuable as you are.”

From somewhere deep within herself, Lydia found the courage to respond. She drew herself up and almost shouted at him, “No! I will not allow this! I am leaving!” So saying, she turned towards the door, heedless of the blood seeping down onto her shirt.

Vlad grabbed her, whirled her around. “Think seriously on this, Lydia. Remember,” he growled menacingly, “I know where your daughter is.”

Her heart felt like it had stopped. She almost shrieked, but swallowed the impulse with some effort. Tears sprang once again to her eyes, and she pleaded with him, “No, please! I’ll…” she sobbed, her heart sinking, “I’ll stay. Just leave my daughter alone!”

Vlad smiled triumphantly. “Much better. I’m sure we’ll get along fine.”

He released her again, and she wobbled shakily toward the door. She could feel her world collapsing around her.

“Oh, and Lydia?”

She turned to face him once again, and jumped. He was right behind her, although she hadn’t heard him move.

She stared at him dully. “What?”

His eyes blazing, he said mockingly, “Welcome to the team.”

That was the breaking point. Lydia gave him a long, hate-filled stare, and spat at him. Then she turned on her heel and stormed out, slamming the door on his derisive laughter.

Got your interest?  I hope so!  What do you think?

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