Authors: H.N. Sieverding
Nightwalkers Book 2
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A Secret Cravings Publishing Book
Copyright © 2014
First E-book Publication: January
Cover design by H.N.
Edited by Tabitha Bower
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2014 by Secret Cravings Publishing
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Nightwalkers Book 2
Copyright © 2014
The sky was filled with black clouds that blocked the perky
sun from casting its warm rays. Such a beautiful day was fitting for a funeral.
It was as if the sky was crying along with Ashleigh. Her grandfather, who had
raised her, was now dead. She felt empty, lost, and full of regret.
She was dressed in black and chose to hide her tears behind
a trendy pair of sunglasses. She stood near the open grave site, staring at the
coffin that lay inside the deep hole. Many people were gathered around, but she
didn't look at them. All she could do was stare blankly at the fine wooden box
that held her grandfather.
A tall, blond man stood at her side like a sentinel. His
suit repelled the rain that fell beyond the protective barrier of the umbrella
in his hand. He wasn't her lover. He was her protector.
Then, an arm slipped around her shoulders, the familiar
embrace startling her. She quickly turned to Caleb's unsmiling face. His dark
hair was covered by the hood of a sweater he wore under his suit jacket.
He was here. The thought calmed her as her hidden eyes
scanned his handsome features. They hadn't spoken for a month, but in this
moment, all that anger disappeared. All she could feel were his warm arms, that
familiar comfort she needed. So instead of pushing him away, she laid her head
on his chest. She held him tight, but there was a shaky weakness masked by her
They stood silent for a few seconds before Caleb spoke, his
voice soft like a tickle of wind against her ear. "In death, God is
supposed to resurrect you and take you to his castle of light."
"Can…" She paused as she stared at the coffin. She
didn't look toward the priest speaking, his giant, black umbrella shielding him
from the sky's tears. "We go to heaven? After everything we've done?"
"I don't know." A tired sigh escaped his lips as
he pulled her closer. His chin rubbed against her hair. His suit coat was wet,
the dampness making Ashleigh shiver. "I don't believe in God."
"Thanks for coming." She sniffled as she peered up
at him. From her angle, she could see the straight frown that filled out his
lips, his ice blue stare falling on hers. "I needed you today."
"I vowed to be here for you forever," He glanced
over at the priest. There was a curious anger in his gaze.
"It's something I can never forget."
Closing her eyes, she took in a deep, quivering breath. The
weight of her sin felt like a heavy chain around her neck, imbedded in her skin
and tying her to Caleb.
She loved him more than anything, and she wanted to be with
him again. She wanted to feel the close bond they shared. But her love for him
scared her. It was too deep, too obsessive. She wasn't ready for this again.
And she hadn't forgotten her vow to Caleb. She was reminded
of it every time she felt the hunger. Every time she had to take a life to
live. This is what loving Caleb had given her. A dark, overwhelming guilt, and
an intense hunger for blood.
A great rift had formed between them. Caleb was trying to
patch it, but Ashleigh wouldn't allow him to. He had committed a crime she
couldn't forgive him for yet, one that he didn't regret.
The priest spoke, and the crowd grew silent except for a few
sniffles. Most of the sounds of sadness were covered up by the rain. It
splashed angrily on the umbrella in Ashleigh's hand, each drop making her
shiver. She snuggled deeper into Caleb's chest, her tears soaking the fabric of
As if sensing her need, Caleb began to hum a sweet tune. His
voice was smooth, it's soft tone only meant for her ears. It was a lullaby,
something that sounded strange, yet perfect, coming from his lips.
The magic in his voice was like an invisible liquid pouring
into her ears. It coated her brain, making her feel numb and disconnected. Soon
the priest's words became nothing but background noise, and all she could hear
was the voice of her muse. She knew what he was doing, and for the first time,
she welcomed the sweet, siren song of the vampire.
One of her hands slipped into her pocket. Her fingers
wrapped around a yellowed envelope. It was from her grandfather. On his
deathbed, she had promised to give this letter to her mother.
Her mother. The thought turned Ashleigh's stomach. She
hadn't seen her mom since she was a child. And despite her mother's attempts to
reconcile, Ashleigh was stubborn and wouldn't speak to her. All the pain of her
mother's abandonment and her father's sudden death had turned to anger. A deep,
seething resentment that helped build an impenetrable wall between them.
The minutes passed and under Caleb's spell, Ashleigh waded
through the sad ritual. When it was over, friends and family came up to give
their condolences. But Ashleigh couldn't find the words to say anything back to
them. Every time she tried, her tears stole her words, and all she could muster
was a fragile smile.