As a child Anna Carlson worshiped the ground he walked on, believing in his existence as a vampire wholeheartedly until the day he left her. Her bitterness grew over the years, leading her to believe he was nothing but a con. Now, to fulfill the dying wish of her father, she’s destined to find his whereabouts and help him discover a cure she knew nothing about. But when she falls in love with him all over again, she’ll find danger she will never forget.
Never to speak his last words, Death would never lay eyes on him.
Never to witness the color of life, he’d remain in darkness forever.
As immortal he will always be alive.
As vampire he shall forever be dead.
And among the night, he will be in an everlasting embrace.
Twenty-eight Years Ago
Night welcomed him.
His dark hair mingled with the salty air of the sea and restlessly embraced his pale face as he looked out into the black, his thoughts deep. An empty world familiar with his past cast angry eyes back, just as it had for so many years, four hundred to be exact. This night, as every other, misery encumbered him.
Like a painting with no color, no images to view but a dark spot on canvas, Tristan Williamson’s life was empty. He’d been a man, blood red as wine and flowing with warmth. Offering his attention to women who loved him, indulging in pleasures desirable by only arrogant chauvinists, he’d been full of life. He’d never believed in real love with one woman, at least not until he met her.
Madeline. If only he’d known the evil lurking within, he would’ve left her alone—he should have. Her beauty astounded him, lured him into this dark world from which he would never escape. This plague of eternal shadow kept him chained to the night like a vicious dog, undisciplined without a hand to settle the monster inside. If only he could embrace a mortal death and embark into the realms of afterlife, he would not be sitting on this dreadful balcony overlooking the ocean waiting for something that would never come, and that was his cure.
He focused on the town to the south. He believed it cold and lonely, extraordinarily ideal to hide from the rest of the world. Meddling people usually infected small places like this, spreading gossip like a disease, but here in Manzanita nobody seemed to care. Nobody seemed to notice he existed. And maybe that’s why he’d decided to stay.
Dense fog smothered the town like an ominous being. It cried out for him to join in on its infiltration, to blind wandering eyes and make them unwary of his presence. How perfectly easy it would be to feed on the lost.
Among the hazy lights of streetlamps and rusty clouds from the few cars rolling down the short stretches of roads shone one perfect bright light. Centered on top of a two-story building, gray paint chipped and darkened from the years beside the sea, it called to him. As its whispers continued through the haunting, deep tone of the foghorn, it reassured him. For there was one hand that soothed the monster, the only one who knew of the thirst raging inside him, the only one who understood his struggle, the only one who ever really cared.
Sensing the angering sky, Tristan leapt from the balcony.
Clouds covered the full moon eerily as the rain came. Lightning streaked, sparking the droplets as they fell to the crashing waves below. He soared, breathing in deep the salt air. How he loved the coast of Oregon and the pungent aroma of its ocean.
The waves pounding the surf echoed through the howling wind against his ears like an opera, telling his sad tale of spite and betrayal. Soprano and thunderous bass ultimately united in unison, as did his human soul with the night. In a way he loved it. Then again, sometimes love and loathing walked hand-in-hand.
Would’ve been a perfect night to ask her if she wanted to meet and pursue some sort of…relationship-type thing if their meeting worked out. Not sure how it’d work since she lived five hundred miles away, but he was ambitious.