Read Laney Online

Authors: Joann I. Martin Sowles

Tags: #Romance, #fantasy, #General, #Fiction

Laney

Laney

The Brookehaven Vampires

Joann I. Martin Sowles

October, 2010

Brookehaven Publishing

Rocklin, California

PUBLISHER’S NOTE:

This is a work of fiction. The characters, names, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination and are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, business establishments, or locales, is entirely coincidental and unintentional. The publisher does not have any control over, and does not assume responsibility for, author or third-party Web sites or their content.

Copyright © 2010 by Joann Sowles

Kindle Edition

Brookehaven Publishing

P.O. Box 352

Rocklin, CA 95677

[email protected]

Sowles, Joann I. Martin.

Laney : the Brookehaven vampires / Joann I. Martin Sowles.

p. cm.

SUMMARY: When college sophomore, Laney Alexander, falls for the beautiful boy, Oliver Knight, a vampire, adventure and romance await them at every turn. Takes place in a small college town in Northern California.

LCCN 2010903164

ISBN-13: 978-0-9844867-0-0

ISBN-10: 0-9844867-0-4

1. Women college students--California--Fiction. 2. Vampires--California--Fiction. 3. Paranormal romance stories. 4. Young adult fiction. I. Title.

PS3619.O95L36 2010 813'.6

QBI10-600110

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced, distributed, stored in a database or retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of the author and publisher.

This book is dedicated to myself—to prove that I could do it.

Also, to my husband, Ethan, for knowing I could. Thank you for believing in me, supporting me, and encouraging me to find myself.

I will always love you.

To my amazing children, Evan & Isabel. Thank you for sharing me with my vampire family. I love you both more than you can possibly imagine.

And for you. Don’t ever believe you can’t accomplish your dreams.

Acknowledgements

To my Fab 5: Tawnee, Ginny, Dorothy, Denise, and Deanna. Thank you all so much for all that you’ve given me. Each one of you has brought so much to my life. I thank you for your never-ending encouragement and support. You are all wonderful, beautiful women and I love you very much.

Thank you to my editor, Jen. You rock!

Also, I must thank our Xbox 360 for keeping my family occupied while I was creating my own world.

Contents

Chapter 1- First Encounter

Chapter 2 - Mortified

Chapter 3 - Surprise Appearance

Chapter 4 - How About This Weather?

Chapter 5 - In Desperate Need of Underpants

Chapter 6 - Disappointed

Chapter 7 - Thursday Night Tortilla Incident

Chapter 8 - Enchiladas

Chapter 9 - Shadows

Chapter 10 - Stop Biting Yourself!

Chapter 11 - Lunatic Stallion

Chapter 12 - Movie Day

Chapter 13 - Library

Chapter 14 - Gothic Princess

Chapter 15 - Aunt Lilly

Chapter 16 - Superman

Chapter 17 - The Longest Day Ever

Chapter 18 - First Date

Chapter 19 - His Place

Chapter 20 - Oz, the Great and Powerful—I Mean, Weasely

Chapter 21 - So Many Questions

Chapter 22 - Kiera Spills the Beans

Chapter 23 - The Cookie-Making Gothic Princess

Chapter 24 - Get Out!

Chapter 25 - Have You Ever?

Chapter 26 - Bitten

Chapter 27 - Locked in the Closet with a Vampire

Chapter 28 - Broken Cars and Mortal Naps

Chapter 29 - Don’t Let Go

Chapter 30 - Gladys

Chapter 31 - Slayers

Chapter 32 - Getting Picked up

A Message from the Coven

This is a warning. Continue reading at your own risk!

Before you begin this story, there are a few things you must understand. First, this book is based on true and actual events, and, no, you will not be able to uncover these events on your own accord. We go to great lengths to cover our “
tracks,”
so to speak.

You are about to enter into a world that you would be better off keeping your eyes blind to. Once you know who and what is out there, they will know that you know about them and they will take drastic measures to make sure you are kept silent.

What you are unwisely about to learn is to be kept strictly confidential. If you inform others, we will know.

I’ve returned to the small town of…well, let’s just leave that confidential as well, for the sake of the unsuspecting innocent—or, you could say, very clueless—inhabitants of this extraordinary town. So, keep in mind, you may recognize the town we speak of, but say nothing, nothing at all. If you do, we will find you. And, take my word for it, you do not want that.

I am a Brookehaven Vampire, and, after several years, I have returned to this town to reclaim what is mine.

This is just the beginning…

Chapter 1 - First Encounter

“Laney, wake up.”

My eyes snapped open with a start. There, leaning over me, was Kiera, my cute, little roommate with her perky “Good Morning” smile on her pale, pixie face, her sparkling, gold-flecked blue eyes, and her shoulder length, baby soft, straight, blonde hair.

“I hate mornings,” I groaned, my heart still thumping frantically from being startled awake.

“I know, but it’s time to get up,” she said cheerfully, as she just about skipped out of my room.

I rolled out of bed to get ready for the day.

It was mid September and the first day of our second year of college at the local university in a small, college town in Northern California. For some reason unknown to us, school had started later than usual this year. Kiera loved school, which explained why she was so happy that morning. For me, it was just something to pass the time. Don’t get me wrong; I loved to learn, but there were so many things I would rather have been doing than sitting in class listening to a grouchy, old professor ramble on and on about who knows what. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my future. So, I was killing time until I knew. Getting my General Ed. out of the way gave me something to do until I figured it out, or until something better came along, even though it was seriously boring doing so.

While I was grabbing myself a bowl for my Lucky Charms, Kiera informed me: “It’s eight. You have twenty minutes before we need to leave. Go get ready.” She shooed me out of the kitchen toward the bathroom. “We have English in thirty minutes and parking is going to be a nightmare.”

“Ugh,” I groaned, leaving my bowl on the counter.
No time for breakfast this morning
. “English?” I whined playfully. “Why can’t we start our day with something a bit more interesting? I already know how to speak English.” I gave her a teasing smile as I closed the bathroom door. She rolled her eyes at me over her healthy morning bowl of oatmeal.

I honestly didn’t know how she could eat that stuff.

Twenty minutes later, I met Kiera leaning on my car, sunning herself in the apartment parking lot. It was still warm in the mornings; summer was lingering.

As we pulled out onto the street, Kiera said, “Here.” She tossed a sandwich-sized plastic bag full of Lucky Charms into my lap.

“Sweet! You just made my day.” I smiled, shoving a handful of cereal into my mouth.

“Whatever,” she said, with a hint of a smile as she turned to stare out the window.

Kiera was my closest friend, next to my aunt, Lilly. I met Kiera six years ago in a dance class and we had been inseparable ever since. The dance class, on the other hand, didn’t make it longer than two months.

“Laney,” she said quietly, still staring out the window, “How do you do it?”

“Do what?” I asked, clumsily shoving another handful of cereal into my mouth with my free hand.

She turned to me. “How do you get out of bed twenty minutes before we have to leave and look so put together and beautiful?” She tugged on my ponytail.

“Ow! Stop that!” I smacked her hand away and she laughed. “Thank you for the compliment. Now stop it. You’re just nervous about starting school and seeing Carter again. You look fantastic as always. There’s nothing to worry about.” I gave her an encouraging smile. She smiled back, but I could see in her eyes that she was still nervous.

Every year since high school, it had been the same thing with Kiera. She loved school, but she was a “What if-er.” She was always worrying: “What if I forget the answer when I’m called on? What if I panic on a test and fail? What if I get so nervous in front of the class I pass out?” and so on. By the way, she had never done any of those things in all the time I had known her and, I’m pretty sure, not even before that.

Then there were the Carter worries. Carter was one of our close friends. Kiera had known him since Kindergarten and had been in love with him since then, too. He lived in the same apartment complex as we did, so we saw him often. He was away most of the summer, so we hadn’t seen much of him lately. My guess was that he liked her, too, but I think they were both too shy to ask the other one out. It was a shame, really. Think of all that time they had wasted because they were both too nervous to ask the other one out, when they could have been enjoying one another. Fear of rejection, or the unknown, I guessed.

Kiera got nervous and started playing the “How can you be so calm and put together?” card on the first day of school every year, so I was used to it and knew how to deal with it.

Really, it wasn’t like I hadn’t put in any effort. I brushed my hair and my teeth and my flip-flops matched. I giggled to myself, shoving another handful of Lucky Charms into my mouth. Kiera shot me a “What’s so funny?” look.

Two blocks from our apartment, I pulled into the university parking lot and was surprised to find a spot up front. I parked my silver Honda Civic next to a large black car with jet-black, tinted windows and Nevada plates. The windows were so dark I couldn’t even tell if anyone was inside, which really piqued my curiosity. As we got out of the car and grabbed our bags, I tried to look through the windows, but all I could see was my own reflection.

As we began walking away, I shoved the last handful of cereal into my mouth and glanced back for one more look at the mysterious black car. I was startled by what I saw. Standing behind the now open door of the car was a guy and he was looking in our direction. Grabbing Kiera’s arm, I came to a stop. She stumbled a little and spun around on me.

“What are you doing? We are going to be late!” She sounded irritated. “What are you…OH!” she said, following my gaze.

Swallowing the last of my cereal, I whispered, “Tell me you see him, too.” I thought maybe I was imagining him.

“I do,” she breathed.

He was leaning on the open car door, still looking in our direction. He was gorgeous. We just stood there for what seemed like forever, but was probably only seconds, staring at this new boy. He removed his super dark sunglasses and his eyes met mine. I felt myself blush and he smiled the most stunning smile at me. I turned away quickly.

“Let’s go!” I said to Kiera, taking her hand and tugging her behind me.

She reluctantly stumbled along for a moment and then she was by my side. I glanced back once more to see him again and saw that his eyes were following me. There was something about him…in that smile…

“Wow,” Kiera said.

“No kidding,” I mumbled.

We made it to class with only seconds to spare. We slipped into two seats near the rear of the stadium seating classroom. The professor immediately started to speak, but I couldn’t concentrate. All I could think about was that gorgeous boy with his wavy brown hair standing there smiling at me. I wanted to see more; I wanted to get closer. Something in me wanted to know him. I felt a little shallow. Looks weren’t supposed to matter, right?
Oh, but they sure do help,
I encouraged myself. Oh, his face. Who knew someone could be so beautiful and perfect, and why had he been staring at me? He was probably wondering why I looked like I had just woken up.

I vaguely heard my name being called in attendance and I raised my hand, still daydreaming.

“Laney.” Kiera’s whisper brought me back to reality.

“What?” I snapped quietly. I was a bit irritated that she had interrupted my daydream.

“I don’t feel very well. I feel really lightheaded, like I forgot to eat.” She kept her voice low.

“You ate. I saw you with your nasty oatmeal,” I whispered back, raising my lip out of disgust at the thought of the stuff.

“I know. I feel like I might pass out.”

I took a good look at her and she was really pale, paler than usual. “Kiera, take a deep breath. I’ll tell the professor that I need to take you to the nurse.”

“No!” she squeaked. It was just loud enough to draw a little attention to us. “How embarrassing!” she whispered ferociously. This was one of her “What ifs”—passing out in class; it was a nightmare for her.

“It will be more embarrassing if I have to have the professor or one of these jock-boys carry you out of here after you pass out.”

“Good point,” she whispered, cradling her head in her hands.

I surveyed the situation, checking the distance from us to the exit. “Okay. How about this? We’re sitting close enough to the door; we can probably just sneak out and no one will notice.” She smiled, seeming pleased with this idea. She was still resting her head in her hands and looking rather pale, but not as bad. I scanned the room making sure we hadn’t drawn too much attention to ourselves so we could sneak out unnoticed, and that’s when I saw him—that beautiful boy from the black car. He was sitting just two rows down on the right side of the aisle. How had I missed him coming in? He would had to have passed me. Man, I really must have been in my own world.

“Kiera, that guy is in our class,” I frantically whispered, leaning into her.

“Where?” She obviously felt better now. Her head snapped up to search the room.

“Over there.” I nodded toward him.

We were both staring at him when he glanced back at us. He smiled at me. O
kay, it might have been at both of us, but I want to pretend it was just at me
. I felt my cheeks grow warm and I quickly turned away. Then I heard a thud, like the sound of a really heavy book hitting the table. I turned back to see that Kiera had passed out and that “thud” I had heard was her head hitting the desk.
Holy Crap! Kiera just passed out! What do I do?
I looked over in the new boy’s area. He was fully turned toward us, sitting on the edge of his seat and staring at me with a look of concern. I heard the professor—
What was his name? I totally missed it.
—speak my name.

“Miss Alexander, do you need something?”
How does he know that?
That’s when I realized I was standing. I must have jumped up when Kiera passed out.
Crap! Kiera!

“Kiera,” I muttered to him hesitantly and I pointed at her.

“Yes, I can see that Miss Blake appears to have had a long night last night,” he said smugly, insinuating something.

“What?” I asked, confused, not understanding what he meant. As a couple of the students giggled, I realized he was suggesting she was partying or something.
Oh, I got it. What a jerk. This dude just totally lost points in my book
.

No!” I defended. “She passed out! She said she wasn’t feeling well and then she fainted.” I said it with more attitude than was necessary.
Stupid Baldy Head!

“Oh, my!” Professor McBaldy Bald said all frantic-like, with his bird face and balding head. “I need someone to take her to the nurse—quickly!” He put his hands on his hips, which only added to his bird stance.
Focus, Laney.

That’s when Gorgeous Boy started heading over to us.
You have got to be kidding me!

“Oh, thank you, Mr. Knight,” Professor McBaldy Bald said, looking flustered and pushing his little, round, thin-rimmed glasses back into place.

I just stared at Beautiful Boy, amazed by his beauty as he effortlessly scooped Kiera up into his arms and headed out of the room. I came back to myself as they quickly disappeared out the door and I hurried after them.

I followed Kiera’s rescuer through the arched stone hallway to the nurse’s area across campus. I tried to, anyway. He walked so quickly that I found myself having to jog from time to time to keep him in sight.

He slowed just before the nurse’s office and waited for me to open the door so he could carry Kiera inside. She was still out. We checked her in and I eyed Gorgeous Boy as he laid her on one of the nurse’s beds. I was having a terrible time keeping my eyes off of him. His broad shoulders and his strong arms gently laid Kiera onto the bed. Oh, how I wanted that to be me. Not the passing out part, just the being in his arms part. He stepped away from her and stood just behind me on my left as I explained to the nurse what had happened. The nurse began attending to Kiera as I watched. Well, I tried to watch. I also tried to turn just enough so it looked like I was watching the nurse, when really I was trying to look at him. Then I suddenly realized that I had left our bags back in class.

“Are you okay?” Gorgeous Boy asked. Even his voice was gorgeous—manly and silky at the same time. Perfect, like him. . .

“Umm…yeah. I’m fine,” I said, almost incomprehensibly, making eye contact with him.
Oh…My…God!
He was even better up close. His features were perfect; his wavy brown hair, which was not too short or too long and just covered the tops of his ears, was a bit out of control, but somehow absolutely perfect. His skin was flawless, his nose was precisely sculpted, his lips were full and looked extremely kissable, and his stunning green eyes were framed by long, dark lashes. I was lost in them—his eyes, not his lashes.

“Hey, are you sure you’re okay?” he asked again. He was smiling faintly.

What was wrong with me? I needed to pull it together. What was I doing?
Oh, yeah! My best friend just passed out and all of our stuff is back in class
. “Actually, no. I left all of our things back in class and I’m really worried about Kiera,” I said, not taking my eyes off of him. His eyes were so green, like emeralds.
Those have to be contacts
.

“Oh, I can go get them for you,” he said, bringing me back from the depths of his emerald eyes. I tore my eyes away from his.

“Umm, actually…”
Okay, I can either have this gorgeous stranger go back for our stuff and risk something embarrassing falling out of one of our bags, or my other option: I leave Kiera here supervised by the nurse. Umm…I’m going with the latter.

“Actually, what?” he said in his silky, smooth voice. I could feel his eyes on me.

“Oh,” I took a deep breath and looked right at him. “I think I’ll just go back and get our bags, but thank you.” I turned to the nurse and let her know I was going back to get our things from class and that I’d be back in a few minutes.

I smiled shyly at Drop Dead Gorgeous Boy and I headed out of the nurse’s office. I heard him telling the nurse “Goodbye,” and then he called after me, “Hey, wait up.” My stomach dropped and my feet stopped just outside the nurse’s office. He strolled over to me and said, with the most amazing smile, “I haven’t had a chance to introduce myself. I’m Oliver Knight.” He reached his hand out to shake mine.

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