A young girl dances with a forbidden suitor
|She walked through the graveyard, her skin a pearlescent glow under the silvery moon. The silk of her black evening dress rustled as it skimmed over the uneven ground but she paid in no heed. A light breeze ruffled her flowing black locks but she was oblivious to the chill of its caress across her bare arms. Her heart felt heavy within her chest as she trailed her fingers across the rough surface of the headstones.
Tonight was her birthday, she was officially 100 years old, still young for a vampire but old enough to have seen many changes in the world around her. Her family and many leading members of the vampire community had gathered to pass on their good wishes and celebrate her achieving her century yet all of their good wishes meant nothing without him by her side.
“Isn’t it wrong for the birthday girl to not be at the party held in her honour?”
She paused, her spirit lifting at the sound of his slightly accented voice. Her hand gave a slight tremble as it rested upon a headstone, her slender fingers gripping the worn stone to disguise the effect his presence had upon her.
“I did not feel in the mood for partying this night,” she replied, hoping he would not notice the tremor in her voice. She wanted to sound older and more sophisticated around him but nerves reduced her to the youngling she still was.
“I thought all young ladies loved a party.”
He moved into her line of vision where her violet eyes feasted upon what she considered to be masculine perfection. The leather jacket enhanced his broad shoulders whilst the black jeans hugged muscular legs that seemed to go on forever. His black hair, slightly longer than the style currently favoured by male vampires, brushed against the collar of his jacket. Its rich, shiny thickness making her fingers itch to comb themselves through its length.
Her eyes travelled up his harsh features, lingering on his firm lips where her imagination went into overdrive, before rising up and meeting his pale blue eyes. Heat flared in their depths, echoed by the warmth that burned within her whenever he was around. Like a rabbit caught in a spotlight, she stood frozen whilst her mind played out various scenarios which all ended with her in his arms, his bed, with him. What was it about this man that set her body on fire for him when no other man had had even the slightest of effect on her.
“It may be my party but the guests are all off my father’s list of invitees,” she replied, moving on shaky legs to sit on one of the tombs that were in the cemetery.
“But, surely, you must have some friends who have come to celebrate your birthday?” he asked, his icy stare travelling over her tense features.
“Only the ones he wants me to have. Those he did not approve of were not invited,” she sent him a pointed look, knowing that her father would not have even thought of sending an invite to him.
“I’m sure he has his reasons,” he replied, knowing what the top ones would be. He was not like the other vampires in the community. His differences to them made them wary of him, some even feared him even though none had gotten to know him.
“Perhaps, but I hardly think it fair to have my guest list pre-decided without my consideration.” She sounded like a spoilt child but the feelings had been bubbling away inside her all day and she needed to vent. “Sorry,” she added as he continued to look at her. “It has been a long day.”
He stepped closer to her, his blue eyes roaming over her features, as though burning them to his memory. He held out his hand to her, his skin tanned, the fingers long and lean. “I understand. May I have the honour of this dance, my lady?”
She looked at him as in the distance the faint sounds of music from the ballroom could be heard. Despite her strong feelings for him, she had never kissed him or even touched him. He had always been courteous to her even though it was so at odds with his bad boy nature and the way he was with everyone else.
“It is I who would be honoured,” she replied, slipping her fingers into his hand. Electricity flowed along her arm, sizzling her nerves and heightening her senses as she stepped into his embrace. Heat flared between them and she looked into his eyes, seeing an answering flame flare there before he lowered his lashes. That he felt the same way towards her, emboldened her and she moved closer, sliding her other hand over the soft leather jacket, feeling the hard muscled power of him under hand as it came to rest on his shoulder.
Together, they moved as one across the uneven floor, their bodies instinctively finding the rhythm of the music under the silver moonlight. She felt as though she had gone to a magical place where no one else existed only them, together at last. She looked up at him, her violet eyes lingering on his lips, yearning for him to kiss her, to claim her as his, for eternity. He moved his head closer and she closed her eyes, waiting for his touch, waiting …
“Lilliana!” Her father’s harsh voice was like a blast of cold water over her. Startled back into reality, she stumbled backwards as he was wrenched from her arms.
“No!” she cried, seeing two of her father’s bodyguards grabbing him and securing his hands behind his back. “Leave him alone. Father, what are you doing? What’s going on?”
Her father entered the clearing, the glow of the moonlight making his features seem even harsher than normal. “I am saving you from making a terrible mistake, Lilliana. Go back to the house whilst I deal with this.”
“No, Father. I demand you tell me what is going on. Why are you so against Lucas?” Her tortured gaze flashed between her father and the quiet Lucas, whose eyes glowed with an icy fire.
“Lucas is not one of us. He is not part of this community and is not good enough for you. I will not sanction a union between you and … him.” The look on her father’s face was one of contempt as he stared at Lucas. “Did you think I would not find out?” he asked as he approached him. “You think that by seducing my daughter it would make everything right in your world?”
“I have not seduced your daughter. She is untouched. I, unlike you, do not use innocents to get what I want.”
“No, your being here with her indicates otherwise. I am only glad that I arrived here in time to stop it before it was too late.”
“Unlike before. Then there was no one who could stop you.”
Lucas’s anger towards her father was frightening to see, it was a side of this man she had never seen before and she wondered what was the cause of it. What had her father done that had caused such animosity in Lucas? What secrets were they keeping from her?
“What is going on here? What are you talking about?” She stepped towards her father, pain flooding her body where once love had flowed.
“This does not concern you, Lilliana. Go back to the house.” When she did not move, her father turned towards her, his face carved from stone whilst his eyes burned with a rage she had never seen before. “Go!”
“What about Lucas? What are you going to do to him?” she cried, struggling as another of her father’s guards took hold of her arm. She saw Lucas struggling against his captors but she ignored him as she focused her attentions on her father. “He has done nothing wrong. Why can you not accept that I love him?” She snapped her mouth shut at what she had revealed, for it was a secret she had told no one, not even Lucas. She saw his head jerk up her words, his eyes flaring before his head lowered in defeat. Her father looked both saddened and angered by her words and also disappointed as though her choice of partner had changed something between them.
“Go to the house, Lily,” he repeated, nodding to his guard.
“I hate you, Father!” she cried as she was led away. “I shall hate you forever for what you have done here tonight.” Her cries echoed along the path as she was led away, breaking the hearts of the two men who loved her.
“You succeeded, then,” he said turning back to Lucas. “My daughter now hates me, just as you promised.”
“The words spoken that day were the words of a hurt boy, lashing out at those he believed responsible for what had happened,” Lucas replied. “I know differently, now.”
“Be that as it may, I cannot let you remain here, close to Lily. You are different to us, Lucas, and the community is too fragile at this time to accept that difference. You need to leave here. Leave Lily. Allow her to forget you and move on in her life.”
“You ask the impossible, Caleb.”
“I know, but you are the stronger one. You can go away and leave her. We will be there for her after you’ve gone. It is the only way.” Caleb’s voice was firm, accepting no dissent from the younger man. “Maybe someday, the community will become more open, but until that day, I cannot and will not put Lily at risk. Understand?”
Lucas looked at him and though he wanted to lash out and say that he did not understand he nodded his head. Caleb was right in some respects, he was different than the community and even though he had come to terms with what had happened all those years ago, the wound was still fresh in his heart and would never have chance to heal if he stayed around.
“I will leave,” he said. “But only for Lily’s safety. I warn you, though, that someday I will return and claim what is mine. That is my right under ancient laws.”
Caleb nodded. “You are correct. I only hope that this bond between you disappears before that time. I love my daughter, Lucas, and I want her happiness more than anything else in the world. I just don’t see it with you.”
“Maybe you let history cloud your judgement, Caleb. Our bond is forever, remember that.” He stared long and hard at the older man before allowing his guards to lead him away from the cemetery, away from Lily.
Caleb watched him walk away, knowing that what Lucas had said was true. Their bond was forever and no amount of time or distance would change that. All he could hope was that one day Lily would understand what he had done and why. Whether or not she would ever forgive him was another matter entirely. With a heavy heart he made his way back to the house and the daughter who now hated him.