Authors: O. M. Grey
by O. M. Grey
pen. produce. publish.
This is a work of fiction. The characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead is purely coincidental and not intended by the author.
Copyright 2013 by O. M. Grey. All rights reserved.
Cover Design by Catherine Somerlot & Christine Rose
Edited by T. S. Tate -
First Electronic Edition.
For more information, go to
Whose light helped guide me out of the darkness
The following story contains depictions of sexualized and domestic violence.
When talking about this sequel to
, I refer to it as a “sequel, of sorts.” It does, indeed, pick up where
left off; however, the tone and content of this novel is extremely different than that of its predecessor. This is what happens after the "happily ever after" of so many fairy tales once the princess discovers that Prince Charming is a sociopathic narcissist–his charm, just a part of a very convincing mask he shows the world.
is a story of true horror, the kind so many women fall prey to, partially because sociopaths are continuously romanticized in fiction. Still, this story about vampires, succubi, and incubi, is also pure fantasy: unlike reality, the wicked herein receive true justice.
This book stands alone, so you needn't have read
first (although I prefer you to read both). I've included some information from the first book that might prove helpful: Arthur Tudor has been a vampire for about 350 years and was the older brother of King Henry VIII of England. Arthur was born to be king and he married Catherine of Aragon first. After Arthur's early death, Catherine married Henry and became his queen. Arthur is extremely bitter about how Henry treated his beloved Catherine, tossing her aside for younger queen, so Arthur has spent the last few centuries in a debaucherous free-for-all: blood and sex, and then more blood. That's until he meets Avalon, who reminds him of Catherine. He puts Avalon on a pedestal and is determined to possess her. They solve a mystery together and fall in love, but Avalon's best friend, Victor, dies in the process. Avalon herself receives a fatal wound in the last fight, and the only way Arthur can save her is by turning her into a vampire.
I hope you enjoy it.
I have been many women, played many parts. The demure virgin. The ignored wife. The experienced concubine. The lonely crone. So many others in between, and I continued to play these parts at my will.
Always, my will be done.
Forever and ever. Amen.
“Now that you’ve lured me back here, Lord Stanton. Whatever will you do with me?” I displayed my best look of innocent seduction, but I must not be too obvious or eager. It would give the game away too soon. After all, tonight I played Caroline, the demure virgin. This one liked virgins. Young and pure, so he could sully them, then discard them without a second thought.
“Lured? Sweet girl, are you suggesting that I have devious intentions?” He scooted closer to me crowding me on the end of the Queen Anne sofa before he took my white-gloved hand and kissed the inside of my wrist. His blue eyes, intensely locked with mine, had shown such sincerity to so many, including me, seduced and deceived dozens, just in the last year alone.
Yes. I’d been watching.
I blushed and giggled. “Not at all, my lord. You wouldn’t think of it, would you? After courting me for months, you’ve been a perfect gentleman.”
To me, at least. All part of his act.
This was all part of mine. Tit, as it were, for tat.
“I intend to marry you, sweet Caroline, as you well know. Trust me, sweetheart. Never has there been a more beautiful and clever girl. How could I ever hurt such a gem? Never in my days has one touched my heart as you have. Yes, my dear, you are quite special.”
“So there have been others? The rumors are true?” I snatched my hand back and turned away coldly.
Seduction. That word veiled so much violation. Coercion, more like. Some men liked to euphemize their mistreatment with pretty words like seduction. Nick was one of those men. Convincing a woman to do what she did not want to do, through words or force, didn’t matter to men like Nick. To him, it was all “seduction.”
Lord Nicholas Stanton had quite the reputation, as notorious as any I’d known in my long existence. Rich and privileged. They always thought they could do exactly what they wanted without repercussions or remorse or responsibility.
They were right. Under normal circumstances, they could.
I, however, was far from normal.
He was quiet for a long moment, and I began to think he felt I wasn’t worth the effort. Perhaps one too many conquests in the past month had made him weary. Truly, after all these centuries, I should know better than to doubt the treachery and cruelty of man, not to mention the narcissistic entitlement of men like Nick.
I chanced a look back over my shoulder at him, and he still stared, blue eyes fixed on mine, full of tears. As one spilled over the rim and slid down his cheek, the one remaining spark of feminine humanity flickered deep within my heart. Something still inside me wanted to reach out to him, comfort him, trust him.
After all these centuries.
Women were built for compassion, but in a world full of predators, that compassion was too often our ruin. Of course, I had seen this show before. Many times. A grand performance, no doubt, and Lord Stanton was most certainly a skilled sod, more skilled than most. So convincing, indeed, that even I, in all my wisdom, wanted to believe him.
However, I did know better.
“What have you heard?” he started, tears falling. “It’s Miss Daughety, isn’t it? You’ve heard about Sarah Ann.”
Among many others.
Upon seeing my nod of confirmation, he cried, “Oh God! Will this torment never end?”
Yes. He was the victim. Of course.
As I turned back to him, the sweet smell of his breath mixed with the feigned sadness made me rather faint, and I inwardly fought against my nature to nurture. This instinct helped my concerned aspect and my own performance, however. Young and so very handsome, along with his considerable skills of manipulation, he had the power to mesmerize his prey into submission.
Fortunately, my instinct to punish outweighed my instinct to coddle.
“Hush, Nicholas, it will be all right.” I wiped the tears off of his cheeks, wetting my white gloves, so I took them off and cradled his duplicitous face in my hands as he continued to weep. “I’m here, my love. Please, talk to me. It will be all right. I’m here.”
“We were to be married, Sarah Ann and I. That much is true, but the rest of the horrid rumors are not!” He sniffed loudly, pulling away from my embrace in mock shame. “She claims I ravished her, but I would never do such a thing. Not to any woman, but especially not her. Oh, I loved her. I loved her with all my heart, Caroline. We were intimate before the wedding, scandalous, indeed, but we were to be wed, after all. We did nothing wrong, for in our hearts, we were already one. We were so in love.” He raised his sly eyes to me, seeking understanding and sympathy in my features, which he found.
I, too, was quite skilled at this particular ruse.
“Much like we are now, my love. My sweet Caroline. I didn’t know it then, but I didn’t know I could feel so vulnerable with a woman. I can be vulnerable with you, completely exposed.”
A fresh tear fell between his lashes. The expression of transcendent love drained away into a distortion of confusion and pain as he continued with his story.
“Afterward, she changed. Somehow she went mad, or perhaps she was always mad and I was but blinded by love. I don’t know anymore. All I do know is that Bedlam is her home now, and not a day goes by that I don’t see her face and lament her fate. Lament our lost love. I bear her no ill will, despite what she and her family have said about me, sullying my reputation. For what else does a gentleman have but his reputation? Well,” he continued with fresh sobs and new tears, “I had her and her love, but she is not the girl I loved. She’s sick, poor thing. Poor, poor thing.”
“It’s all right, my dear. It’ll be all right.” I pulled his head to my breast and comforted him against my softness, where he continued to cry, but I felt the muscles in his face creep into a smile.
Yes. He was quite good.
“And since her, I have tried to love again. I have tried to move on, but”—sniff—“I just want her to be all right again. I have to go on or I will go mad myself. Do you understand? I had to love again, or it would’ve all been for naught. That I could not bear, dear Caroline. I’ll never lie to you, sweetheart. There have been others with whom I tried to love, but no one has captured my heart since sweet Sarah Ann, except for you. You, my sweet Caroline. Now, I have you and your love, and it will be all right again, won’t it?”
With those last words, he looked up at me, face once again properly morose, fresh tears gleaming in his bright blue eyes, wide with sincerity and vulnerability.
“You, sweetheart. You, my dear lady, my love.” He brushed his thumb across my cheek, wiping my empathic tear away, and gazed into my eyes with such intensity it was as if he explored my very soul. After licking a drop from his lips, he pressed them against my own. I was about to speak, but he silenced my parted lips with one soft, tender kiss, gliding his bottom lip across mine as if he would pull back and let me go with sadness.
He pinned me against the back of the sofa and thrust his tongue inside my mouth. Probing. Poking. Prodding as I squirmed, trying to push him off, but he wouldn’t relent.
Not so quite skilled after all. How terribly clumsy, and terribly stupid of him. The rumors were true. Not just exploitation, which was bad enough, but violence as well.
“Stop!” I cried, finally able to wrestle my mouth free. It was rather a challenge, feigning weakness with scarcely enough strength and determination to struggle free, when in actuality I could crush this lothario with a snap of my fingers.
“I’m so sorry.” he pulled away and buried his head in his hands, weeping anew.
Back to the performance. This was getting pathetic.
“You’re just so beautiful, and it feels so wonderful to be in love again. It’s just, with the memory of poor Sarah Ann and her horrid fate, I know how important it is to seize the moment. To live for now. You look so lovely tonight, as always, my love, and we are to be married, after all. Perhaps you’re right. We should wait until we are properly wed. I shan’t wish anything unfortunate to happen to you, sweetheart. I couldn’t bear it if you were to suffer like poor Sarah Ann.”
“Yes, it is best,” I said, standing with indignation. “I love you, too, dear Nicholas, and it distresses me to see you so, but I must protect my honor.”
“But of course, you are a lady, through and through. How beastly of me to treat you thus. What you must think of me now. I must be contemptible in your eyes. What a dreadful thing to have done. Can you ever forgive me? No. Of course not. I’m not worthy to be your husband, after all.”
“Nonsense, Nicholas. You’re just distraught. I understand, but please, I should like to leave now, for propriety’s sake. You understand, don’t you? Please, Nicholas, don’t feel rejected. I love you, and we shall still be married.”
“I’ll call my driver to take you home.” Although he stood to pull the cord that would alert his driver, he kept his head bowed in shame, not looking at me. Yet, as he passed me, he brushed his arm against my breast, and I laid a sympathetic hand on his shoulder, which stopped him. He faced me again—those captivating eyes stunned me with a predatory stare.
“Just one kiss, sweet Caroline. Please, just one sweet kiss before you go. I couldn’t bear if you left angry with me, for I meant no harm in it. Your beauty, sweetheart, I just got carried away, but I am once again in control of my urges. The past is the past, and you are my future, my love. My Caroline. I want everything with you to be perfect, for you are so perfect.” He cradled my cheek with one hand, and I softened beneath his touch as a woman in love would do.
“I do love you, Nicholas.”
“And I love you, Caroline. We will be married, and then we will be together and happy, sweetheart. I so feared I would never love again, but you have shown me what love is. It’s madness! I’ve known you for such a short time, really, but you have captured my soul, sweet lady. It has never been this powerful for me, and look at me. Even with my unseemly blubbering tonight, you still love me. I am a lucky man, indeed! I feel as if I can be myself with you, truly myself. No pretense, just vulnerable and real. Thank you for that, my love. We shall be so happy together, won’t we? May I kiss you, Caroline?”
While caressing my cheek, he touched his lips to mine with such tenderness, and I tasted the salt from his tears. As he pulled away, he caught his breath. A sharp intake, then a shudder throughout his body. “Oh, my love. The effect you have on me. The power of your kiss, just your simple, sweet kiss, sends a tingling through my entire being. Power, sweetheart, like that of a lightning bolt on a stormy night. You bring light and thrill into my broken soul. Only you, sweet Caroline.” He breathed all those words into my mouth, for he hadn’t moved but an inch away, his thumb swept a stray hair behind my ear while he spoke. “Thank you,” he whispered, and then kissed me again. “Now, let’s get you home.”
He took me by the hand and started walking toward the door of his parlour, and I could see the golden cord to call his staff hanging next to it. “Although,” he said, stopping, “it is rather scandalous for you to be in my home at such an hour, alone. I wouldn’t want your reputation to be tarnished, my love. And I best not be alone tonight myself, not after reliving the heartbreak and disappointment of Miss Daughety. Yes, best not be alone.”
“But,” I started to protest. He hushed me with a single finger pushed against my lips.
So, here it was.
“My driver is quite the gossip, indeed. I’ve been meaning to replace him, and it is far too late for you to walk home alone. I fear for your safely. You can slip out at first light, and no one will be the wiser.”
“You could accompany me.”
“Not at this hour. What would people say? No, best stay out of sight. Besides, I just don’t want to, and, well, I always get what I want.” He stood between me and the door now with his hands on his hips, and he looked at me so coldly. Blank. Empty. Without affect or affection.
Those big blue eyes, full of such love and pain just moments ago, were now void, showing what truly crouched inside this beast. He sniffed, unlike that of his weeping performance, but rather a snuffle of derision. Of contempt. Of challenge. Daring me to try to argue or move past him.
“But…” I said again, knowing what was to follow. When the tears didn’t work, he turned to violence. Knowing how terrified a virgin would be, even a lady of some experience would be at such a show of disregard for mercy. Knowing they couldn’t do a thing to stop it. Knowing that fighting back would only make it worse. Knowing how many before he had treated thus. Yes, Miss Daughety, and so many others.
Lord Stanton was indeed a busy man.
“Shhhhh. You love me, don’t you, Caroline? You wouldn’t leave me alone tonight, would you? In such a state? We are to be married after all, sweetheart, and I do want you so. You can’t just tease me and leave.”