Pretty When She Dies

Page 30

The silence of the apartment began to weigh on her so she walked into the kitchen and turned on the radio. Twirling the dial, she found the country station and danced her way back to the table singing along with Patsy Cline. She liked the oldies. They were the goodies.

Funny how it had all come to this. She was engaged to marry a vampire and it seemed okay to her. Never in her life would she have believed it to be true. When she had realized what he truly was, the whole world changed in that moment, and everything became possible.

She set the flowers down on the table and pulled out the clear vase she had bought. It caught the light of the setting sun and she knew she was quickly running out of time. Cian would be up very soon and she wanted the table to look perfect. Going back into the kitchen, she began to run cool water into the vase as she tapped her toe to the music.

Tonight, they would laugh and hang out and it would be perfect. She wouldn't feel this terrible nasty nagging feeling in her stomach anymore. It had bugged her all day. No matter what she had done to make sure everything in her life was as it should be, she had felt that something was amiss. She had even called Memaw to make sure her grandmother was still alive in her nursing home. That call had trapped her into fifteen minutes of explaining to Memaw who she was, that the war was long over, and that the bad man Hitler was dead. But it had been worth it to hear the old woman's voice.

Behind her, the machinery to Cian's secret compartment whirred to life and she heard the wall began to slide up. Abandoning her vase, she ran out of the kitchen and across the apartment to leap onto the bed and snuggle with him as she always did.

She was almost to the bed when a raven-haired woman sat up and swept her thick hair back from her face. Samantha stumbled to a stop, her mouth dropping open, as she took in the woman's tattoos and peculiar looks. She wasn't sure if the girl was pretty or not, but she was damn sexy with her hair falling around her face and her tight tank top hugging her breasts.

“Hi,” the young woman said with an East Texas inflection.

“Hi,” Samantha said, not sure what else to say.

Cian rolled over onto his side and slowly dragged himself upright. “Sam?”

“I'm here, baby,” she said, and walked toward the bed, confusion clouding her thoughts.

“Um” was all he said, and rubbed his face.

“I'm Amaliya,” the stranger in her fiancé's bed said, and rolled to her knees. “You must be Sam. Cian told me all about you.”

“Really?” Samantha hesitated. “Well, good. Maybe he can tell me about you.”

“She's a vampire,” Cian said groggily.


He never looked quite this bad when he woke up and Samantha was worried. He looked a little pale. “I took her in last night. She's new to my world.”

“In other words, completely stupid about what I should be doing,” Amaliya said. Realizing that Samantha was uncomfortable, she crawled out of the bed and stretched. “He's going to teach me to be a good vampire.”

“Something like that,” Cian muttered. He pulled himself out of the bed.

Samantha went to him and he wrapped his arms around her and kissed her softly. She found comfort in his touch, but his skin was colder than usual. “You need to feed, don't you?”

He nodded and she ran her fingers through his hair. It grew out really fast and already it fell over his brow. He looked scruffy and she rather liked it. But at the same time, he seemed distant even though he held her close and snuggled into her.

Amaliya pulled her tank top down over the slight curve of her stomach and looked at Samantha curiously. Samantha knew that look. She was being sized up. Her outfit that had seemed so cute earlier felt girlish and stupid under the gaze of the sultry woman before her. Hugging Cian close to her, she kissed his forehead and enjoyed the feel of his arms around her.

“Why haven't you fed, baby?” she asked softly.

“I fed her,” he answered in a quiet voice, and his body slightly stiffened.

Samantha looked toward the dark-haired girl now rummaging through a bag laying on the floor near the couch that Samantha had totally missed.

“She can't feed herself?” she questioned, her tone sharper than she would have liked.

Cian drew back and rubbed his stubbly chin. “She is new. She doesn't realize how often she has to feed.”

Samantha watched her fiancé's gaze follow the woman as she slipped out onto the wrap around balcony and she felt her stomach tighten with worry.

“So, you're going to teach her? Or just keep feeding her yourself?” Trying not to show how upset she was, she began to make the bed for him. If she let him, he'd just leave it a mess and lower the walls.

“Teach her,” Cian answered in a peeved tone.

He walked away to the small guest bath where he kept his toothpaste and an electric toothbrush. He was always conscious of his gross breath. Samantha was pretty sure it was from drinking blood.

Wrinkling her nose, she fluffed up a pillow and watched his cute ass as he disappeared into the bathroom and shut the door. He was more uncommunicative than usual and it was not making her happy. Sorting through the covers and getting them layered correctly, she kept glancing toward Amaliya out on the balcony. She was out there smoking and talking on a cellphone.

“Cian, she's smoking,” Samantha complained loudly.

“What?” He reappeared looking grumpy, but he came over and helped her tuck the covers in.

“She's smoking!” Samantha pointed and frowned at him. “You know how much I hate that. You remember how I worked hard to help get smoking banned in the clubs.”

Cian looked over at Amaliya in a way that made her vastly uncomfortable. It was almost as if he was embarrassed to look at the other vampire. “Who could she be talking to?” With a frown, he headed over to the door that lead onto the balcony.

Flinging up her hands, Samantha felt more agitated than before.

Cian slipped outside and shut the door firmly behind him.

Roberto came into view dressed in khaki pants and a red button down shirt. With a slight smirk, he stopped to watch the two vampires out on the balcony.

Samantha did not want to deal with him and made herself busy smoothing out the comforter. When her hand came away with one long black hair, her brow furrowed even more. Holding her hand up she saw the raven hair had a golden tip and she looked sharply toward the balcony.

“She's blond,” she hissed.

“So are you,” Roberto reminded her.

“She dyes her hair. She's fake!” Samantha knew she sounded like a shrew.

Roberto smiled even wider. “Feeling threatened?”

“You shut up.”

She shook her hand until the hair fell off her fingers and she wiped her hand on her too cutesy skirt and stomped over to the secret panel and popped it. Typing in the code, she heard the gears shift and the huge walls descended with a soft boom.

Crossing her fingers over her breasts, she stared out onto the balcony where Cian was kneeling before Amaliya. The female vampire was seated on one of the wrought iron chairs with her feet slung up on the railing.

“I picked out those chairs for me and Cian. Not for her to sit out there and smoke!”

“This,” Roberto said with glee “is going to be fun.”



Cian quietly stepped onto the balcony and found Amaliya puffing on a cigarette and talking on the phone.

“Yeah, Grandmama, he's like the king of the city or something like that. He's going to show me the ropes, teach me and stuff,” Amaliya said in response to an older woman's voice that sounded small and muffled through the cellphone.

Realizing she wasn't alone, she looked up at him and exhaled a long plume of smoke. The action seemed incredibly sexy and he shifted on his feet feeling uncomfortable. By the widening of her eyes, he could see that she realized she had revealed that her grandmother knew more than she had let on the night before.

Cian slowly sank down to a crouch in front of her. He folded his arms over his chest and stared at her thoughtfully. She had hidden valuable information from him. She wasn't that stupid and he felt a surge of respect for her. He could hear the old woman's voice clearly on the other end and he tilted his head, obviously listening.

“Is he handsome? Does he look like Dracula?” her grandmother's voice queried.

“He looks nothing like Dracula. Kinda like a normal cute Austin guy. Kinda scruffy.” Amaliya shrugged at him. She obviously did not realize how many vampire codes she was breaking, but knew she was in trouble.

“Can he fix you, nieta?”

“No, Grandmama, there is no cure.” Tilting her head, she mouthed to Cian “Right,” then puffed on her cigarette.

He slowly nodded. “Right.”

He should rip the phone from her and crush it and kill her for violating his security, but he couldn't bring himself to even move. She was very different from him. She had living family nearby that still cared for her. He had realized last night how unorthodox she was. This shouldn't even be surprising him, but it did. A vampire with a living family was rare. Usually, in the madness, a fledgling vampire killed their family.

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