Kids are officially back in school, and so are the teachers!
It’s been a hot and crazy past few weeks, but I’m happy to have chapters one through three of An Empty Grave, ready to be read.
As of today, Bianca Monroe is back and more defiant than ever. Catch up with her below.
The darkness, it is suffocating. Smothering.
I can feel it, taste it.
It surrounds me.
It is inside me.
It is me, and the only sound is the quick thud, thud, thudding of my heart.
Blindly, I move my arms in search of something, anything.
Then suddenly, the lights are on, and I’m back in that room, with my hands chained high above my head. The Aldinn Vándr stands in front of me, knife in his hand as he slowly moves towards me. Only this time, I can’t break out of my hold. I try to move back, but I just hit the wall behind me.
This isn’t real. This isn’t real! This isn’t how it happened!
The Aldinn Vándr grins at me, as he steps up in front of me. He raises his hand, and then I’m pulled out of the dream.
But not before, I hear him whisper, “Death will come in the end.”
I wake up gasping for breath, my hands clutching at the bed sheets beneath me, and my body is dripping with sweat. My breath comes in ragged breaths, and my heart beats loudly in my ears. The dream thrashes through my mind again. My body is shaking, and goose bumps cover my body, but I’m not sure if it’s from fear or something else.
‘Death will come in the end’ The Aldinn Vándr had said.
Who was he talking about? Me? The others? Is he coming back? After all this time?
It’s been six months since The Aldinn Vándr’s attack, where I died for a few minutes. For some reason, I was naïve and thought he wouldn’t come back.
I am a vampire Huntress, and I’m the only one of my kind. I had special powers that helped me fight the undead – vampires. Super healing, super strength; that kind of thing. There’s also the whole ‘I couldn’t die’ thing, but I’ll get to that later.
For every Huntress, there was a Protector born, and they were to help the Huntress’s. Originally, there were six families who carried the genes of the Huntress and the Protectors’. The Aldinn Vándr, meaning ‘the old evil’ in the old Norse language, is the oldest, and the strongest vampire alive, and over the centuries, he has hunted down all of the original families, killing them off one by one so that he could take over the world without anyone to stop him. He almost succeeded with his mission. He killed off all of the bloodlines, except for one. Four years ago, the Aldinn found my family, and killed my parents. Luckily, I was saved, before I was killed, too. At that time, I had no idea who I was or that any of us were in danger.
In the past nine months, I’ve found out a lot of things. I’ve met a lot of people, people who knew my mother. People who were related to my mother. I also found out, that Huntress’s and Protectors can’t die. But, there is a potion that can take away our powers, and make us mortal. Six months ago, The Aldinn kidnapped my Protector and me, and he gave me the “elixir” – the elixir that will kill me and make sure that I stay dead, meaning no witch can bring me back to life. It only works on a full moon, and on the last night of the full moon, he ran out of time, and wasn’t able to use it on my Protector. At the last moment, The Aldinn stabbed me, and… but I didn’t die. I was on the brink, but someone how I made it. Unfortunately, my powers didn’t. Now, I am just like any other average girl. Actually, I wouldn’t say I’m average. I still hunt, and I work out so much that it’s like it doesn’t even matter if I don’t have my powers anymore.
After that night all those months ago, The Aldinn and his lackeys fled town, and they’ve been gone ever since. There have still been vampires of course, but none that were trying to hunt me. I just hunt them.
This is the first nightmare that I’ve had since that night.
Six months with everything free and clear. Apart from the occasional vampire that I found, no one was trying to kill me. No one was trying to kill those that I love.
Now, after all this time, I’m having nightmares?
This has got to mean something, but nothing good.
No, no it doesn’t, I scold myself, giving a small shake of my head.
It doesn’t mean anything; it was just a dream, and I certainly don’t have to tell Chase or Deklan or anyone else about this. It’s not important.
Deklan is the one who saved me the night The Aldinn killed my parents. I met him that night, and then again nine months ago. He’s a vampire, and he’s done terrible things, but for the past few hundred years, he’s been trying to make up for that. He’s kept me safe since my parents died.
And Chase… is the love of my life. And, I know most people would roll their eyes at that, considering we are only seventeen, but it’s true. I don’t know what I would do without him. When I first found out my destiny, that I was a Huntress, the Aldinn had kidnapped Chase’s sister. He went to get her back, and he… he nearly died that night. We didn’t know that we couldn’t die, that Chase would start healing right away, and in that moment, I was so devastated because I couldn’t image a life without him in it. For me, there was no life for me without him in it. And it has been the two of us ever since. The two of us against the world. Against the evil in the world.
My alarm starts going off, and I grab at my phone resting on the dresser next to my bed. Six o’clock.
Forcing myself out of bed, and into the bathroom, I take a cold shower to calm my nerves. I’m standing under the cold stream for what feels like hours before I finally get out and get dressed in a pair of faded blue jeans and a black v-neck. Reaching to my dresser, I pull a chain off the top that holds a thin ring, and place it around my neck. My parents’ things are kept in a storage locker on the north side of Chicago, and a couple of months ago, Chase and I visited it. While we were there, I found some of my mother’s jewelry, and I took some of it with me. There was a ring in particular that I really liked. It has a gold band, and a red gem placed in the center, and the gold wraps around it like vines. My parent’s names are carved on the inside. I wear it around my neck as a reminder of them. I tuck the chain under my shirt just as my aunt calls my name.
“I’m up!” I call back.
Slipping my phone into my pocket, I leave my room, and head downstairs. I find my cousin Duke, my aunt Sarah, and surprisingly, my uncle Damen. Damen is Duke’s father, but from what Duke has told me, his mother and father have an odd relationship. They are ‘it’ for each other, there is no one else, and yet, they are still not officially together. Damen is a part of a vampire-hunter biker gang. I know, try saying that five times fast. The gang is based in Tennessee, and it is roughly a nine-hour drive from there to here, Evanston, Illinois. Damen goes back and forth between there and here usually every week. He’s early this time, not that I’m complaining.
My aunt Sarah is around my height with dark brown hair, and a skinny physique. Sometimes it’s hard because she is my mother’s identical twin. When we first met it was hard. I actually thought she was my mother for a quick second. She has high cheekbones, with freckles splashed across them, and golden-brown eyes.
Damen is tall with dark hair and a nice dark tan
Duke tall and tan with dark black hair and emerald eyes.
I give Damen a hug before sitting down at the table across from Duke, and eat a piece of buttered toast, and some eggs.
The urge to tell them all about my dream comes up, but I force it down with my eggs. There is no need to worry.
No need to worry at all.
I rest my head against my locker as a yawn forces it way up and out of my body. The chatter of students surrounds me, and I try to block it out. Maybe if I just close my eyes for a few moments, I’ll feel better. I’m a senior here in high school, and I’m eternally grateful that the year is almost over. It has been rough but there are some things, or should I say people that make it bearable. For instance, Rose, my girlfriend, and our friends, Duke, Remy, and Alec.
Duke, my best friend, is a werewolf, and he happens to be Rose’s cousin. Remington Jones is Duke’s girlfriend, and is also Rose’s best friend. Alec is Duke’s pseudo brother, and although he and I have our differences, he is still a friend. A few months back, Rose lived with her foster parents but that was before she knew about her aunt Sarah, and cousin Duke. They moved into town around fall of last year, and around December, Sarah petitioned the courts to have sole custody of Rose. At first, Rose and her aunt didn’t get along, and so when Sarah got custody, we were all surprised that Rose was okay with it. Now, Rose lives with Duke, and Sarah, and just gets a ride with Duke to school, and they pick up Remi on the way.
I yawn again.
Last night had been a long one. Six months ago, The Aldinn took away Rose’s powers, and she hasn’t gotten them back. But, she wants them back. We could have a witch give Rose her powers back, but I convinced the others not to do that. It’s risky to find a witch that we can trust. If word gets back to The Aldinn that Rose has her powers back, he’ll be back to finish her off. So, because Rose doesn’t have her powers she’s been training with me. Every night. I swear she is like the energizer bunny. She’s trying to get strong, as strong as she physically can so she can fight vampires. We’ve all told her that it is something she doesn’t have to do anymore but she won’t give it up. Over the past few months, she’s lost a lot of weight, and added a lot more muscles. Now, when she lifts up her shirt I can see the outline of her abs. Don’t get me wrong, I would love her no matter her size, but seeing her physically fit? It’s freaking sexy as hell. Plus, it makes me want to work out, too, just to keep up with her. I also like knowing that she can take care of herself if I’m not around. She always could before, there was no doubt about that, but now… I just need to be sure that she will be okay.
Ever since that night… the one of The Aldinn’s attack, things have been different. Every time I see her, I see the image of her dying that night. I see the pain etched on her face, and it fucks me up inside. But, then I remember that she is alive, that I was able to save her.
‘Even if you made sacrifices,’ a voice in my head says.
Yeah, I made sacrifices to keep her alive, because a world without her in it just doesn’t make sense to me. I made a choice that night, and I know that I made the right one, no matter the consequences, because I would rather be able to see her smile everyday rather than just remembering what it looks like. Plus, I’m her Protector. It is my duty to protect her and that is exactly what I did.
There is a tingling at the base of my skill, the kind that I get wheneversheis near. I turn my head, and there she is walking down the stairs with Remi on one side and her adoptive brother on the other. Before she lived with Sarah, she lived with a foster family. There was one other kid there. Vince. They grew really close over the four years that she lived with him, and Rose had come to think of him as a somewhat brother figure. They are not as close as they once were but they still talk from time to time, and every once in a while she goes over to her old house for dinner to visit and catch up.
It starts with the hair. That’s how I recognize her; her long, wavy, golden blonde hair that falls down almost past her stomach that sticks out in a sea of brunettes and gingers. Then it’s the eyes; her bright baby blue eyes that hold no comparison to anyone else’s. Then it turns to everything else.
Today, she has a pair of skinny jeans tucked into a pair of black boots, and my navy blue sweater pulled over a shirt. I smile at her wearing my clothes.
Her eyes lift and they meet mine as a smile spreads over her face.
“Hi,” she says, once she’s reached me.
I wrap my arms around her waist and pull her against me as I give her a soft kiss on the lips.
“Hi,” I reply.
We turn and stop at Rose’s locker before heading to class. We have first period together, along with Duke, Remi, and Alec.
“You look tired,” Rose says, looking guilty as we sit down in our seats. She sits next to me, Remi sits directly behind me, and the guys sit together, farther in the back.
“Yeah, a little. Someone kept me up,” I say, giving her a knowing look.
“Sorry,” she mutters.
“Oh? And what were you two doing last night?” Remi asks, wiggling her eyebrows.
Rose shushes her. “Not what you are thinking. We were exercising.”
Remi lets out a laugh. “Yeah, that is not going to help convince me.”
The bell rings and the girls drop the conversation as the teacher walks into the room. She starts the lesson, and I can’t help but thinking that since it is almost the end of the year, and we are seniors after all we should just watch movie for the rest of the year. I mean, come on, it is not like any of us are actually going to pay attention.
Close to the end of class, I notice that Rose’s attention has drifted away from the teacher. That is not really unusual considering this class is boring but the odd part is the look on Rose’s face. She stares out the window, and she looks… spooked.
I ball up a piece of paper and when the teacher turns to the board, I throw it at Rose. It hits her in the arm but she jerks back as if I really hit her and she turns to look at me, her eyebrows drawn together in confusion.
“You okay?” I mouth to her.
Instantly, a smile is on her face, and she sticks a thumb up at me.
“I’m fine,” she mouths back, before shifting her attention back to the teacher.
Is it just me, or does it seem like every time a girl says she’s fine, she is probably lying? Cause it sure feels like I just got lied to.
Obviously I’m not going to start a fight with her right in the middle of class, so I refocus on the teacher. If there is something troubling her, she will tell me sooner or later. Hopefully.
A few minutes later, there is a knock on the door, and, thankfully, Mrs. Jones’ speech is interrupted. The door opens, and Mr. Peterson, the schools principle steps in the doorway.
“Excuse me, Mrs. Jones, but we have a new student who will be taking your class for the rest of the year.”
The rest of the year? There’s only a month left in school.
“This is Hayden Markson,” Mr. Peterson says and steps out of the way.
A girl walks past him into the room, and everything changes as she does.
So, here I am sitting in class, trying to pay attention, when there is a knock on the classroom door. I turn my head and take a look at the new girl walking into class, and holy fudge. That is all I can say. Holy fricking fudge.
Hayden Markson is probably the hottest girl I have ever seen and that is saying something considering I live in a world where people like Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton exist. Hayden walks in with her back straight and a stance that says she is damn proud to be who she is, and that is not something that is found often. She’s tall, blonde, and physically fit. She is wearing skinny jeans that are tucked into little ankle boots with a two-inch heel. She has a baggy white V-neck on and then a cropped grey leather jacket on top. Her hair is cut into a short pixie cut, and every feature of her face is defined and yet she only wears a little bit of eye makeup.
She also happens to be a vampire, although I’m not sure how that is possible.
From the moment I set eyes on her, I could feel everything change. All of my senses went into overdrive. See, whenever I am around a vampire, I can sense it. Just like I can sense when Chase is around, it’s just a different feeling. Even though I lost my powers six months ago, this is something that I still have. I’m not entirely sure. Part of me thinks that is has nothing to do with my powers; maybe my body just got used to being able to tell the difference and now it can no matter what. Either way, this vampire thing comes in handy a lot because say I’m walking down a dark alley, and there’s a crowd of people around me, I can easily tell who’s a vampire and who’s not. And this girl definitely is one.
Fine, she is a vampire. That’s fine. I know something that can remedy that. But, what is weird is that she can walk in the sun. Let’s face it, this isn’t one of those movies where all the vampires need is a magic ring and they can walk in the sun. This is not how that works. There is only one creature that I know of that can walk in the sun. The Aldinn, and she is most definitely not him.
Without me even thinking about it, my hand reaches down for the knife that I have hidden at the bottom of my book bag.
A hand is placed on my arm, making me still, and I already know it is Chase without having to turn and look.
“No,” he mouths to me, before sitting up straight.
My hand drops from my knife, and I realize what I was going to do. I can’t just kill her in the middle of class. How in the heck would I even explain that?
Releasing my bag, I lean back in my seat, my arms crossed over my chest as I face the girl again. When I see what, or who she is staring at, I feel the urge to reach for the knife again. She happens to be staring at Chase. Smiling sweetly, might I add.
Finally, the bell rings, and I stand up in class, pulling the bag over my shoulder, and I follow the girl out of class without a word to anyone. I look around to make sure that no one is looking, and then I pull the knife from my bag and stick in the waistband of my jeans underneath Chase’s sweater.
My plan is to grab her, pull her into an empty classroom or closet and then do some damage, but before I can get close to her, I’m pulled into a janitor’s closet.
I whirl around as the light comes on, revealing Chase.
“What are you doing?” I ask him, incredulously.
“I could ask you the same thing. What were you going to stab her in the middle of the hallway while everyone watched?”
“No,” I scoff. “I had a plan.”
He gives me a doubtful look and I roll my eyes.
“She’s a vampire.”
“No, she’s not,” he says, calmly.
“Yeah, she is. You know she is. I know you got the same feeling that I did when she walked into the room.”
“Yes, I did. But, I also know that something isn’t right about this. She is here in the middle of the day with the sun shining right outside. There is no way she could have gotten into the building without burning by the sun. And there is only one vampire that can walk in the sun.”
“No. We’ll talk to Deklan tonight, and we will try to figure out what is going there. If there is a chance that she is human… we can’t do anything until we know for sure.”
I sigh, knowing that he’s right.
Wrapping his arm around me, he pulls me to him.
“Wanna ditch next period, and go make out?”
I debate for a second, and then shrug. “Sure.”
Hey, it’s the end of the year. It’s not like I’m learning anything anyways.
When I walk out of school at the end of the day with Remi, Duke, and Chase we find someone waiting by Duke’s black Cadillac Escalade, which he shares with Alec.
It’s Hayden, the new girl. We all come to a stop a few feet in front of her. She looks directly at me.
“I know who you are,” she says, matter-of-factly.
“Oh, yeah? And who is that?”
She smirks. “You are the Huntress. Well, you were the Huntress.”
I cross my arms, and glare at her.
“He is your Protector. He is your werewolf cousin, and she is your human best friend,” she says motioning to the others.
“I think you have us confused with some other people,” Chase says stoically from next to me.
Hayden’s eyes train on Chase, and her smile widens. “Don’t be so naive. There is no thing across this country that does not know who any of you are or where you are. But, don’t worry. I am not here to help him. There is a man, a vampire that all of you are close too. Deklan. I need to meet with him.”
“Did you really think that we are just going to trust you, just because you say that you are not working for him?” I ask.
Her eyes flick back to me. “Honestly, no. You don’t peg me as someone who would be that stupid, but either way, I still need to see him. We can meet somewhere in the open. How about the cemetery on the other side of town? Say, right after nightfall? No, you do not have to come alone, not that I thought any of you would.”
I just keep looking at her because she cannot be serious.
“Please,” she says. Her tough demeanor cracks for a second and she seems helpless. Without saying anything else she turns and walks away.
I share a look with Chase, who shrugs.
“We’ve got to talk with Deklan.”
Duke and Remi nod in agreement and then we all pile into Duke’s escalade.
I have a funny feeling about this whole thing. I can’t tell whether she is good or bad news. Maybe she’s a little bit of both.
This is the end. For now.
Be sure to check back in two weeks for the next chapter!