Hands shoved into the pockets of his jeans, Ethan Parrish
strolled the dark streets of Morgan Creek. It had been two
months since Rylan Saintcrow turned him into a blood-
sucking vampire. Two hellish months, and he was still
trying to wrap his mind around the reality of what heâ€™d
become, and what heâ€™d lost.
He blew out a sigh. It wasnâ€™t just food and drink heâ€™d had
to give up, it was his whole way of life. It was gone. All
of it -- his old life, his family and friends, not to
mention his job. Damn! He had just received a raise and had
been due for a well-earned promotion to Vice President in
charge of sales. Well, he could kiss that goodbye, too,
along with everything else. Hard to keep a day job when you
couldnâ€™t show up until after sundown.
Some people are born to be vampires, Saintcrow had told
Ethan shortly after turning him into a fiend. Youâ€™re not
one of them.
As far as Ethan was concerned, truer words had never been
spoken. And yet, the alternative -- walking out into the
sunlight and being turned into a living torch -- was
Shit! Fate must be having a good laugh at his expense. He
had never liked horror movies, always been afraid vampires
were real, and squeamish at the sight of blood.
And now he was a creature of the night, complete with nice,
sharp fangs and eyes that turned red with the lust for
Like his lovely cousin, Holly.
He still couldnâ€™t believe she had asked to be turned. Why
would anyone in their right mind want to be a vampire?
Holly had given him some overly-dramatic sob story about it
being the only way she could be with her vampire husband,
Micah Ravenwood, forever.
Ethan shook his head. How could anyone willingly give up
their humanity? It was beyond his comprehension.
Sure, Holly had told him it wasnâ€™t so bad, that he would
get used to itâ€¦yada yada yada.
When he reached the bridge that separated the town from the
highway, he turned around and started back toward the house
heâ€™d chosen as his current residence. Morgan Creek had once
been home to a pack of vampires who had kept ordinary
people trapped here against their will. Though the
prisoners had supposedly been well-treated and provided
with food, housing, and entertainment, they had been no
more than a ready food source for the vampires.
Ethan came to a halt, hands clenching, when he saw
Saintcrow sitting on the front porch. â€śWhat the hell are
you doing here?â€ť
â€śNice to see you, too. Kadie and I are leaving. Seems my
wifeâ€™s decided she wants to go to Scotland.â€ť
From what heâ€™d heard, Kadie had also chosen to be a vampire
rather than live without the love of her life. How anyone
could fall in love with a vampire, let alone a master
vampire like Saintcrow, remained a mystery.
Ethan lifted one shoulder and let it fall. â€śGood riddance.â€ť
Saintcrow blew out a sigh of exasperation. â€śIâ€™ve taught you
everything you need to know to survive. The rest is up to
â€śDo you remember what I told you?â€ť
â€śYeah, yeah. Donâ€™t hunt where I live. Donâ€™t kill my prey.
Donâ€™t wait until the pain is excruciating before I feed. If
I kill anybody except to save my own life, youâ€™ll know it
and youâ€™ll destroy me.â€ť
Saintcrow shook his head. â€śI think I should just destroy
you now and save us both a lot of aggravation.â€ť
â€śIâ€™ll be good, Dad,â€ť Ethan said, his voice heavily laced
with sarcasm. â€śYou and Mom have a nice trip.â€ť He flinched
as his sireâ€™s power brought him to his knees. Rylan
Saintcrow was a master vampire and not to be messed with.
He would be wise to remember that, he thought as Saintcrow
vanished from his sight.
Ethan shook his head as he stared at the place where
Saintcrow had been standing only seconds before. â€śSad to be
all alone in the world,â€ť he muttered.
And what the hell was he supposed to do now?
Ethan walked through Morgan Creek under a canopy of stars.
The town was, for all intents and purposes, a ghost town,
now inhabited by one lonely, fledgling vampire. Holly and
her husband had left a couple of days before to continue
their honeymoon. Kadie and Saintcrow had left late last
Strolling down the main street of the old business section,
he passed a grocery store, a library, a restaurant, a
tavern. Farther down the street, he spied a movie theater
and a gas station. If the place was his, he would have
leveled everything except the houses, built a luxury hotel
with a pool and a handful of exclusive shops and turned the
place into a winter resort.
But it wasnâ€™t his, and he didnâ€™t have that kind of money.
Feeling lost and alone, he pulled his cell phone from his
back pocket, then frowned. Who was he gonna call? His
parents? Theyâ€™d want to know where he was and why they
hadnâ€™t heard from him in the last few weeks. What could he
say? Hey, Mom, Dad. Youâ€™re probably wondering why I never
made it to Cousin Hollyâ€™s wedding, or why I havenâ€™t called.
Well, thatâ€™s an interesting storyâ€¦
He pinched the bridge of his nose. How did you tell the
people you loved that youâ€™d been turned into a vampire
against your will?
And what about women? Sure Kadie loved Saintcrow and Holly
seemed smitten with the guy she had married, but Ethan was
pretty sure that women who liked vampires were rareâ€¦or
maybe not. He recalled Holly telling him about some girlâ€¦
what was her name? Sally? Sandy? No, Sofia. His cousin had
told him Sofia loved vampires.
Well, there was one way to find out if that was true. He
sent a quick text to Holly, asking for Sofiaâ€™s number, then
sat on the curb to wait for an answer.