Pretty When She Dies

Page 29

Calmly turning down an alley way, he made his way into the more dimly lit areas of downtown. There were many homeless in Austin and it was always easy for him to find servants. He needed at least a few of the dead to strengthen him and be his guardians during the day. With Cian entering the stage, he would need to adjust his plans.

“That's a good girl,” he said to the young woman pressed up against the side of the building and hidden in the darkness.

She moved toward him, with little jerky movements. Out of the entire family he had slaughtered earlier tonight in their mansion overlooking the lake, she was the only one he had spared a brutal death. He had slacked his thirst and need to destroy before he got to her and realizing he needed her as intact as possible, he had feasted off her inner thigh and left her neck unmarred.

So far she had been a good girl, helping him move the pieces of her family down into the laundry room where they would remain until he was done and burned the place to the ground. He had been amused to see her struggling to carry the heads of her family in one hand and drag her father's torso with the other. She had cried the whole time as she slowly bled to death, only kept alive by his power. Now she hovered between life and death, more dead than alive. By morning she would be truly dead and he would lose her valuable voice.

“She hasn't come out of the loft,” the girl whispered. She was dressed in jeans and a pink top. Her hair was done up in a ponytail and she looked quite pretty. She shouldn't be moving or talking in her condition, but the steady pulse of his power kept her from collapsing.

He had posted the girl outside of the loft as a precaution. It had been a wild chance that Amaliya would find Cian, but as her luck seemed to be obscenely good, he had to be sure.


“Jeanne,” she said softly.

“Yes, Jeanne. You look like a Jeanne,” he said with amusement. “Anyway, good girl. You did well.”

“Will you let me die now?” she whispered.

“No. Not yet. When dawn comes,” he assured her.

Her pretty pink lips trembled and he drew her close and kissed her forehead. “Come now, darling. It's not so bad. You're serving a higher purpose.”

“My family-”

“Are dead. And soon you will join them and all will be well, correct?”

The young woman nodded, her expression stricken, yet muted. “Yes.”

“You did very well calling me and letting me know she has arrived. Very good. I am proud of you.” He smiled at her warmly and enjoyed the little shiver that ran down her body. “Now, I want you to go home and sit down in the laundry room and wait for dawn. Sit with your family and keep them company until you can join them.”

Tears filled her eyes as she looked at him desperately. She would not be able to resist his power and the terror in her eyes said it all. Swallowing hard, she turned and trudged into the night, a pale little thing in pink, doomed and pathetic.

He laughed softly and smiled with delight.

Turning, he gazed up at the windows high above the street. It took only a few moments for Cian and Amaliya to come into view and he shook his head with wry amusement.

She was a lucky little thing.


I have the worst luck in the world, she thought for the hundredth time.

Amaliya lay next to Cian in his sleeping chamber, trying hard not to feel his presence or go near him. After her long bath, she had come downstairs in black leggings and a tank top to find him working hard at his computers.

He had obviously been engrossed in whatever he was doing, so she had let him be and had gone into the library to look through the tomes. She had found a whole assortment of vampire novels, which she found amusing. But among them was an encyclopedia of vampire myths and legends and since she really didn't know much beyond what was commonly known about vampires, she had snagged it to read. Settling down in a chair, she had stayed there reading the rest of the night.

Rolling onto her back, she tried not to panic at the absolute darkness inside the chamber. His bed filled the entire compartment and the four walls retracted back into the ceiling when he hit a secret switch. She thought it was rather opulent with its fine silk sheets and rich velvet comforter.

It was cold and she rather liked that fact. She pulled more of the covers over her and smelled his cologne on them. He was very still beside her, but she knew he was still awake. Beyond the metal walls, the sun would soon pour through all the windows in the loft. Just knowing that was terrifying.

“It can't reach us,” he said softly out of the blackness, as if he read her mind.

The compartment was drenched in darkness and she was safe, but it was hard to accept that truth.

“Are you afraid of it, too?”

“The sun?”

“Yes,” she whispered, rolling over toward him.

“To the point of absolute paranoia and building this compartment,” he answered. His hand trailed over her cheek to her neck. “You're safe.”

“Is this why the old vampires slept in coffins?”

He laughed softly and said, “Yes. Safer to sleep in utter darkness than risk someone opening a curtain.”

Her eyes were acclimating to the darkness and she could see his features now. He had an intense sort of face with strong cheekbones. Not really her type though. She had a bad crush on Rob Zombie and any long haired metalhead had a good chance with her if he seemed dangerous enough. Cian was almost too clean cut and had a slightly feminine tinge to his lips. But still, he had rocked her world earlier in a way no one ever had.

“It's weird,” she whispered. “You know, being so powerful and yet being so vulnerable.”

“It's the irony of being a vampire. Being immortal and being terrified of death.”

Rolling onto her stomach, she propped herself up on her elbows and her hair fell over her shoulders to pool on the bed. “And the mirror thing is annoying.”

“I know. But when you learn how, you can see yourself through the eyes of others,” he assured her. His hand slowly stroked her hair cascading over one shoulder. “Sleep, Amaliya. Can't you feel the call of sleep as the sun rises higher?”

Laying down on her stomach, she tucked her pillow up under her chin. She could see his face clearly now and wondered why his eyes glinted almost like metal in the darkness.

She was feeling more and more drowsy. Almost as if drugged. She could feel the sun, her enemy, rising over the hills. Her hand found Cian's neck and she curled her fingers over it to reassure herself. He could kill her so easily, but she no longer believed he would.

“Damn,” he whispered, then was on her.

Their kisses were intense and searing, his tongue thrusting into her mouth as he clutched her tight. Blood filled their throats as their fangs sliced open their lips as they kissed fervently. His arms swept her up close to him as he feasted on her bloodied mouth.

The sun was rising higher and they both were growing more and more drowsy.

“Damn,” she whispered, as she fell away from him, licking her lips. Her body felt leaden and his mouth touched hers one last time before he fell over beside her.

“We can't anymore,” he said softly in a very drowsy voice.

“I know,” she answered, her eyes fluttering closed.

But they both knew they would. It was a matter of time.

Chapter Thirteen

Samantha mumbled to herself as she punched in the code to get into Cian's apartment and twirled the keys in the lock. It was nearly sundown and she was anxious to set up the white candles and flowers she had bought. A nice bottle of Chardonnay was tucked into one of her bags and she figured they could have a romantic night together. No talk of the wedding, just the two of them enjoying the night and relaxing. They both needed it desperately.

Work was a real drag on her mental well being of late. Working on solar energy projects was extremely interesting at times and utterly dull at others. Cian wanted to be on the cutting edge of alternative energy resources and she supported him one hundred percent. Though it wasn't as if she had a choice. She was in charge of the tiny company that was trying to carve its niche out of the growing market.

Her comfortable cotton skirt, decorated in bright flowers that would have made the Brady Bunch proud, swung around her knees as her flip flops smacked against the floor. Her hair was up in a ponytail and her tank top had an absurdly cute flower on one strap. She felt adorable.

The apartment was growing dark as the sun slowly sank down behind the city and she strained to hear if Roberto was upstairs. She didn't hear his classical guitar music, so she shrugged and moved to the dining area to set up her fresh flowers and candles.

Her parents were giving her a hard time, per the usual, over Cian and asking why he never came out to their barbecues or game watching parties. Her excuse that he had an allergy to the sun had the whole family cracking vampire jokes. Little did they know they were right.

Setting the bags on the table, she began taking out the stainless steel candle holders she had found on sale. They were really beautiful and she admired her reflection in them before setting them down. Cian wouldn't mind them, though he shunned mirrors, since he said he could see himself through her eyes. She wasn't exactly sure what that meant, but it seemed to comfort him, so it made her happy.

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