Volf: Silver (The Amethyst Trilogy Book 1), page 1
Sarah Elliot was born in Newcastle and raised in Northumberland. She was diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of ten and turned to writing her own stories as a way of keeping up her skills. She has never looked back since.
She graduated from Swansea University in 2009 with a Masters in Creative and Media Writing and has had three plays performed by a theatrical group in Swansea. She currently works as an administrator in a care home in Newcastle and spends her free time socialising with friends, writing, and taking Petal, the Rottweiler, for long walks.
Amethyst Trilogy Book 1
© Copyright 2016
The right of Sarah Elliot to be identified as author of
this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the
Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
All Rights Reserved
No reproduction, copy or transmission of this publication
may be made without written permission.
No paragraph of this publication may be reproduced,
copied or transmitted save with the written permission of the publisher,
or in accordance with the provisions
of the Copyright Act 1956 (as amended).
Any person who commits any unauthorised act in relation to
this publication may be liable to criminal
prosecution and civil claims for damages.
A CIP catalogue record for this title is
available from the British Library.
All characters and events in this publication are fictitious, and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
ISBN 978 17845 108 4 (paperback)
Vanguard Press is an imprint of
Pegasus Elliot MacKenzie Publishers Ltd.
First published in 2016
Sheraton House Castle Park
To my Parents Lynn and Kevin for being supportive and constantly there for me when times have been hard.
To my friends Sam and Kirsty for bugging me to send off my stories and getting proved right.
The woods echoed with an un-natural silence that was only occasionally broken by the heavy sounds of bark ripping away from the trees; Ekata was only so glad that the snow was thick and heavy on the ground, as it made movement more cumbersome but it also made tracking the runaway Volf so much easier. Not that such a thing was of that much importance when running from two of the world’s most deadly vampires, but the dark-haired girl would have given anything at that moment in time to be in the mountains further north. Those vast peaks she knew all too well, with their dark caves and hiding places and it was easy to out-run even the most cunning of eyes in all of those shadows but here in this heavy wood there was no point in wishing for anything.
Except, said a small voice somewhere deep in the back of her mind, that just maybe he would be here.
Letting out a half-strangled squeak of surprise as the ground in front of her gave way, Ekata tumbled down the side of a natural river bed and sloshed into the water. The water froze the air in her lungs and for a moment or two she felt nothing but panic and despair as her nose, eyes and ears were covered by the constantly tumbling water. Suddenly a hand latched onto her forearm and hauled her out, pulling her into the bank and throwing her into a thick clump of bramble. “Stay low and don’t make a sound,” a softly-spoken masculine voice spoke though Ekata could barely see any details as the water was still trickling into her eyes.
Some inner instinct made her listen to the voice and press into the side of the bank, remaining still and not moving. Though she became aware that the person whom owned the voice moved away from her but Ekata only lightly flicked an ear when she heard a branch snap.
“Siren,” another voice whispered, the winds carrying it to her sensitive ears but this one the Volf knew all too well. “Be wary, we are far too close to their land now and if we enter it—”
“The wolves will make an impressive collection for Mother.” The second voice was closer, smaller in power but lined with more than enough venom to suggest someone who belonged beyond the edge of insanity. Ekata knew all too well the deranged girl behind the voice, with her fiery red hair and dazzling hazel eyes but knew better than to betray her presence. Siren Du Winter may have been unhinged from reality most of the time, but was counted as one of the vampires’ greatest assassins. However, the fear of her elder sister was not the reason that she remained completely still and trying desperately not to breathe.
No, the Volf remained exactly where she was because of the man with Siren. Possibly the only man she would ever truly be afraid of in the entire world. The soulless eyes were seeking for the slightest telltale sign of movement from atop the opposite side of the riverbank, pale grey pools that seemed almost too un-natural for the handsome face and long dark flowing hair that was just tinged with blue when the moonlight fell on it. Mephistopheles had been named after the devil’s right-hand man of Faust fame and justified his inherited title perfectly. No one wanted to cross paths with him, not even herself and at one time, she had called him brother but by a different name.
Ekata chanced a flick of her amber eyes up towards the pair on the opposite river bank and thought for a moment that she saw a flicker of something different in the strange eyes of Mephistopheles but brushed it off as being nothing more than a reflection of light off the water. The elder vampire snorted and turned away, cape billowing around him. “Sneaky little half-breed, must’ve given us the slip. Downstream should be her direction.”
There was a hiss and a rock landed in the water not two feet from where the Volf remained pressed against the welcoming mud, clearly Siren wasn’t best pleased at the situation. “When I get my hands on that scrawny little neck…” She paused, almost thoughtfully, before sniffing the air. “How about a meal, dear brother? There is a fresh one just lying there waiting to be taken.”
A frown rippled across the brow of the male and Ekata’s white ears flicked curiously to the side. Footsteps moved to the edge of the riverbank, clearly the elder vampire was looking to see what the slightly mad one had spotted before spitting in disgust. “A mangy heap like that? It’s nothing but skin and bones. If you want to feast on werewolf, my dearest Siren, I suggest you capture that one that was on patrol. Leave your hunger for now; we have bigger fish to catch.”
Whatever arguments the girl had been going to give disappeared into the silence of the wood just as a fresh snow began to fall. Slowly the darkness gave way on its choking hold and let nature come back to life. An owl hooted distantly, the foxes and badgers began emerging from their dens to begin the nightly raid for food and even the small river began to lap lazily over the stones whereas before it had slunk silently around them. Pulling herself away from the bank, the Volf stole a glance up at the night sky and sniffed deeply for a few seconds. Both of her half-siblings were heading downstream and this was the perfect opportunity to escape.
Letting out a breath, which may have been a sigh of relief or trepidation, Ekata turned to head upstream to at least try and put as much distance between herself and those that hunted her. Though she found herself stopping short before she had even taken a step. There on the opposite bank, lay a young man, possibly only a few years older than herself with a dark tan to his skin and chocolate-coloured hair that was messily sprayed about on his head. His shirt was caught on some higher branches, exposing a long thin white scar which ran in a loop from his left shoulder to his rig
A slight spluttering was her reward and a small smile graced her lips. “What are you doing out here all alone?” she asked, unaware that her pale fingers had wandered gently into the thick hair until an inner growl of her stomach made her look down. The small cut was actually much larger than she had originally thought; it was more like a huge graze to the back of his head as if someone had purposefully smashed into him. What was worse was that now her fingers were covered in running rivers of this unknown boy’s blood and the side of her that frequently fought to gain dominance reared fully in force.
Before she really understood what was going on, she had dragged her tongue over her hand to savour the warm taste of the precious life fluid. Almost immediately a dreadful cough was ripped from her throat, followed by a burning sensation which ran in hot riveters up and down her spine. Both of her natural given genes fighting to repel the other even though such a thing was impossible to do.
The vampire craved blood; it needed to feed until the point of collapse. It wanted so badly to break free and tear this offering to pieces, drink its heart’s content and then curl up for a long deep sleep away from the perishable light that the hours would eventually have to bring. Yet the blood stung and tore, ripped and destroyed, laced with natural poisons to make it undrinkable, a passage between two races that should never be crossed no matter what the situation.
The werewolf sought to survive, sought to strike out at the vampire and delve deeper into the wood to find a place to rest and heal. It didn’t need the blood to survive; it wanted food, fresh raw meat with plenty of fat. The thrill of the hunt but it couldn’t deny that since the sky was devoid of the moon, the power wasn’t there.
For the Volf, being caught between the two worlds on a daily basis was one of the hardest things to do. Belonging to one side in an ageless and never-ending war was always a good starting point in life but what was one to do when they were neither one nor the other and yet both at the same time? Ekata Monet was one of a pair of twins that were half-vampire, half-werewolf, the illegitimate children of Cresta Du Winter, Vampire Lady of the North and some half-forgotten werewolf lover who had given her comfort when her husband passed away.
It was a fight to win out against the need to feed upon the boy’s blood, but strangely a stirring from the fallen figure below made her stop and look down questioningly. “Don’t.” A voice, the same voice that had commanded her so easily before though now more ragged and rather hollow-sounding, drifted to her ears which twitched back and forth dislodging the clumps of dark hair which usually tried to cover them. “Please, my lady… my blood is not going to help you… at least not yet.”
Ekata blinked slowly, trying to work out if this voice truly belonged to the boy currently resting on her lap or if it was a mere whisper inside her head. “I am no one’s lady,” she replied gently, leaning down just a little closer. “Why do you call me such things?”
Before an answer could be delivered, the faintest of faint crunches cut through the not-so-present silence and Ekata turned sharply. Her eyes detected nothing immediately wrong with the place that she was looking at, she was still within the forest that was old and grey, smelling of the deep sleep that winter brought upon all of the natural world but also of the presence of a werewolf pack. The bows of the trees were thick and ancient, protecting a few slow-growing saplings and the shrubbery was patchy, clinging to the trees as if they were some form of protection against the things that could live despite the weather.
There were shadows, but they were natural and did not appear that threatening. Gently she sniffed the air, twisting her head to look directly down the flow of the stream and still saw no signs of anything other than the normal woodland creatures. Her two vile elder half-siblings were still close by but were gradually heading further away from her location. However, their progress was slow, clearly they had sensed some change in the forest that was making them cautious. Werewolves were known to kill vampires who strayed onto their lands, regardless of allegiances, but normally there were very clear markers and Ekata did not recall seeing any as she fled from the enraged pair.
There was another sound, quite distinctly a paw being placed softly on some dried out leaves that had somehow managed to not be covered in snow and a shiver ran through her. The wolves were here, intent to see what had disturbed their lands and take care of it in the only way that they knew how. Without realising it, the will-o-wisp thin girl gently picked up the boy from the edge of the river and placed him so that he lay in a safer position. Her amber-coloured eyes never left the surrounding area however, constantly scanning for the first signs of danger, which could potentially spell her doom. “I have to go now, I am sure they will take pity on you,” she spoke to the boy and turned to leave him where he was.
Suddenly there was a grip on her wrist, firm and gentle but strong. Turning back to the boy, Ekata paled slightly as he twisted his head directly towards her and began to open his eyes. “Stay… stay here. They will protect you…heal you…guide you.” His voice sounded still highly rough but there was genuine concern in there, which scared the Volf more than the thought of some stranger tracking her down and potentially killing her. “I need you here, my lady… don’t go, or else they’ll catch you.”
His eyes seemed to almost blaze with a dazzling silver light and they frightened her for reasons that she could not even begin to comprehend but there was also a certain draw in them as well. Without any call, despite the water which was now numbing her shoeless feet and the terrible beating of her heart, Ekata stepped closer to the boy who simply tilted his head back in response. He was still not one hundred per cent there, that she was sure of because no one would ever be able to look upon her and call her a lady in this digesting and disheveled state, but something buried deep within her knew exactly what to do. Her fingers gently cupped the sides of his face and her lips brushed deeply against his.
The air suddenly felt warmer and lighter somehow and unknown to the pair a circle had formed, roughly three foot in diameter and reminiscent of the early spring dawns. The snow temporarily disappeared from view, the water sloshing by glistening a faint blue and the old felled winter wood sprouting forth glorious green foliage that wrapped around the roots and then sprang forth with a white flower that looked very much like that of a dove whilst its five petals fanned out in perfect balance.
The wolf who had initially gone out to chase down his wayward cousin Fiero, stared in shock at the unfolding scene without any real understanding and for a second or two he forgot that he was supposed to keep himself low and quiet. But Jared felt an inexplicable pull towards the scene and stepped forward boldly and with clear noise indicating his presence.
Ekata heard the approach of the wolf and pulled herself up. “I have to go,” she whispered, turning quickly and running following the course of the stream. The Volf was quick to move, sloshing through the water and trying to find a way back up the side of the bank but Jared was far quicker and knew the lands all too well.
Leaping down, Jared paused for only a fraction of a second to check that his younger cousin was still alive and breathing for now before taking off swiftly after the strange girl in his wolf form. His white fur shimmered in the rays of sunlight from the small path of spring which surrounded Fiero still. He had no time to admire it as he knew he could not allow this girl to ge away.
The ground was raw and hard against her bare feet but despite the pain, the girl kept on running. Spotting a low-hanging branch, she made a grab and hoisted herself up, back onto the relatively dry land where the going would be slightly easier. However, unbeknownst to the Volf, she had just entered the marshes, with their long, spidery vines crisscrossing the ground and
Ekata didn’t even make it fifteen paces into the dangerous marsh before her already bruised and cut feet snagged on one of the lines and sent her tumbling straight into the thick, boggy water. It rushed straight up her nose and mouth, causing desperate thrashing from the girl as the shock of the ice-cold water sent stabs of utter panic and muscle spasms throughout her body. Something strong was pulling her down into the dark water, though whether more of the vines or something far more ancient that lurked under the surface she could not tell and a desperate need to get out of this watery grave engulfed her. Kicking out, the Volf finally found something solid, possibly a rock or just some sunken tree and made a dash for the surface.
Ice had somehow formed over the top, thick and heavy, able to withstand her desperate hands smashing against it, even with the odd silver glow that came from the tips of her fingers. She didn’t want to die like this, couldn’t die like this, there was still so much for her to do in the world, so much that she had to mend and fix. The palm of her hand found itself suddenly stuck to the thickening ice just as her senses began to fade, the water gleefully about to claim its next victim. The next second however there was a sudden harsh intake of air into her lungs and the water was gone.
“Cough it up,” a voice was saying, different from the one before, and strong arms were hauling her half-frozen body away from the surface. “Get it out of you! Old Man river, release her! You don’t get to claim this one!”
Hardly able to think straight, Ekata did what only came naturally to her at this point and coughed up as much of the vile-tasting water as she could do. She was barely aware of the words the werewolf was saying to her, only just about able to digest the fact that he had saved her despite being the one who had been chasing her before. Twisting around to look up at him, whilst still desperately trying to take a breath that didn’t slash her throat into a million pieces, she stared up at the wolf who in human form appeared to be somewhere in his late twenties with a white and grey turn to his hair and green eyes. He did not resemble the boy she had talked to on the bank at all. Breathing heavily, she coughed harshly a few times before eventually managing to stumble out, “Why?”