Authors: Khloe Wren
|Gemstone Vampires |
|Rogue Phoenix Press (2014)|
Vampires are real...as is the fact they will only ever take one women. Their Eternal Bride.
When Angelo sees Darcy, he knows she is his Bride. Her sapphire blue eyes match his exactly. But he must wait to claim her. He fears he has lost her forever when she disappears.
Five years pass before he finds her again. Just when things start heating up between them, Darcy is taken by their enemies. Angelo must fight to free his one true love. Will he be in time?
Gemstone Vampires: Book 1
Published by Rogue Phoenix Press
Electronic rights reserved by Rogue Phoenix Press, all other rights reserved by the author. The reproduction or other use of any part of this publication without the prior written consent of the rights holder is an infringement of the copyright law. This is a work of fiction. People and locations, even those with real names, have been fictionalized for the purposes of this story.
To my husband, daughters and parents.
I can’t thank you enough for all your support.
Glossary of Italian Phrases
Acqua dea—water goddess
Bella piccola cosa—lovely little thing
Buona sera il mio amore—good evening my love
Grande—oh that's good
La sua Sposa Eterna—His Eternal Bride
Mia cara ragazza—my dear girl
Si, il mio amore—yes, my love
Sposa Eterna—Eternal Bride
"Who do we have here
Angelo quietly muttered in his native Italian under his breath. He’d been sitting at this
bar called Frost Bites for a couple of hours now, trying to drown his sorrows. He’d spent the last seventy-five years travelling the globe, searching for the one thing missing from his life. A vampire would never be able to settle or find any peace until he found his
, his Eternal Bride. Angelo had begun to think he was destined to not find his, until his travels had led him to South Yarra in Victoria, Australia.
He’d carefully selected a table in a back corner where it was dark enough to watch everyone coming and going in peace. He had a drink in front of him, a fancy icy beverage. As a vampire, the alcohol had little effect on him, but he could appreciate the sweetness of the novelty drink. Behind the bar they had a series of slushy machines—dozens of frozen cocktails ready to go. The bar was busy tonight, it had been a hot day in Melbourne and no doubt, everyone was now searching for a way to cool down before heading home.
He continued to watch the
bella piccola cosa
who had just walked up to the bar. He hadn’t been able to see her eyes yet but her naturally blond straight hair casually hung down to the small of her back. From the side he could see her high cheekbone and her perfectly straight nose. She was smiling, her naturally light pink lips curled up at the side. His body came to life as he watched her but he needed to be sure before he made his move. Once their eyes connected, he’d be sure it was
in addition he also needed to check her age. The fact Australian laws allowed alcohol to be drunk at the age of eighteen didn’t help him in guessing her age. She didn’t look like she was much over twenty. An Eternal Bride could not be claimed until her twenty-third birthday.
She chatted happily with one of the staff behind the bar. He focused on his hearing, tuning out all the other voices until he only heard hers and the female bar tender.
"So which one will it be tonight?"
"Love Potion Number Nine. It’s my twenty-first birthday tomorrow and I want someone to help me celebrate it!"
"Generally speaking, you try to give the other person the love potion, you know?"
The bar tender chuckled as she turned around to get the drink.
. If she was his, he would have to stand back and guard her for the next two years before he could claim her. She couldn’t meet him until after her twenty-third birthday. If she did, his enemies would be alerted to her presence. If the Nobles were to find her, they would try to 'save' her from him. Holding her hostage then using her as bait. There was no way a vampire would leave his Eternal Bride to be held captive, and in his effort to rescue her, he would surely be killed like so many before him had been.
He watched as she spun around to survey the bar while she sipped at her red drink. The flavored liquid wasn’t quite as red as blood but still, the sight of her drinking the red beverage left him sweating with need for her. He forced his gaze from her mouth up to her eyes and froze. He’d finally found her.
. Her clear sapphire blue irises shone brightly under the bar’s lights.
Angelo settled back into his seat and watched his Bride move around the bar, chatting to various people. She obviously came here often as she knew a lot of the patrons. He sat up straighter as a man approached her and wrapped an arm around her waist. She leaned back into him and giggled. Angelo’s nostrils flared as he fought the urge to bear his fangs. Using every ounce of his self-control, he white-knuckled the table in an attempt to contain his rage—it was that or he’d fly across the room and kill the human who dared touch his Bride. He took deep breathes to help calm himself and caught the male’s scent. Filled with lust and greed, he had no real feelings for her. He was not a threat. Angelo relaxed a little and continued to watch.
As she prepared to leave at the end of the night, that lustful male made another pass at her. Angelo’s entire being became tense with fury as she agreed to go on a date with him. After she left the bar, he discreetly followed her. He needed to know where she lived so he could find her again and guard her. It would take time to find someone he could trust to handle the duty during the day, but at night, he would make sure she was always safe.
~ * ~
Angelo paced in front of the darkened house.
, she was gone.
For a month he’d been guarding her at night. Watching her, learning all about her. He’d also watched as she’d dated that lust filled human, unable to do anything about it while he felt his heart bleed because another was touching his Bride. But if he even touched her, she would become like a beacon to the Nobles. He wouldn’t risk her like that. But now she’d moved. During the daylight hours that bastard had come, packed her up and taken her away from him. How would he find her now? Where to start? He headed back to Chapel Street, back to where he’d first seen her. Surely, she would still return to her favorite nightspot...
Six years later...
Staring into her drink Darcy caught a glimpse of red and green mirrored in the ice, a reflection of the Christmas decorations. She looked around the bar briefly; her favorite nightspot had changed since she was here last. Gone were the bright colors and the frozen cocktail machines behind the bar. She was now surrounded by stylish dark timber, and deep red walls. Even though it was so different, she'd needed to return to where she’d been happy. She closed her eyes as she felt tears prick the backs of them.
Six years wasted.
Six long years she’d stayed with that pig of a man. Thinking she loved him—that he loved her. Then today, Christmas Eve and their five-year anniversary of living together, she'd come home from work early. Wanting to surprise her lover with a daytime-quickie. She’d apparently rocked up a little late to the party, he was already enjoying one when she arrived.
She threw the drink down her throat in one gulp. The rich vanilla flavor of the Woodford Reserve Bourbon seared the whole way down to her gut. She waited for the burn to incinerate the memories of what had happened next. What it couldn’t do, was burn away the knowledge that here she sat, in her old watering hole—albeit with a new facelift—getting drunk alone, before she would head back to the cheap hotel where she was now residing. Nor did it do anything to ease the ache caused by the fact she would be spending Christmas Day in the same place...
She raised her hand to order another drink and noticed the bar was starting to look a little blurry. Though, still not blurry enough for her liking.
"I think you have consumed enough bourbon for one night, do you not agree?"
A deep sensual and heavily accented voice sent tingles all over her body. The words, spoken by her ear were delivered with a deliciously warm breath.
She shivered as he placed his hands gently on her shoulders, "I have missed you
She quickly put the tremors which were currently racing through her body down to the amount of alcohol in her system. They could not be because of this man.
"How? I don’t know you."
, but I know you. Six years ago, you would come to this place every Friday night. I would watch you, for months I observed you, followed you home to make sure you stayed safe. But that
stole you from me. Stopped you coming here, made you change your home."
Darcy shivered again as the man caressed his cool fingers down her arms and up again.
"I would have followed, but you moved during the daylight. I arrived to check on you, but you were no longer there."
His voice sounded gravelly and heavy with pain. She frowned in confusion as to why her moving would have hurt him, until his actual words registered. Her lips pressed firmly together as irritation tightened her muscles.
He’d been stalking her!
"You—you spied on me? What the hell gave you the right, to… to stalk me? And what on earth has daylight got to do with anything?"
Darcy’s gut tightened as she began to suspect what was going on. Vampires were fairly commonplace in their world, and although she’d never knowingly met one, she’d heard plenty about them. Like the fact a male vampire would only ever take one woman—his Eternal Bride.
. Guarded. I had to wait until you turned twenty-three before I could claim you. I would never risk exposing you to the Nobles before I could take you as my
He ran the tip of his fang up her neck, confirming all her earlier thoughts and setting her body alight with arousal. No way in hell could she put
down to the alcohol.
"You will never be alone again. You are my
; my Eternal Bride. Mine to love, cherish and protect forever and I will never let you go."
Darcy sighed as she leaned back into her vampire, comforted in the fact that at least he would never cheat on her. She was still tipsy enough to not bother worrying about anything else at the moment.