Vampires of maze part on.., p.1
Vampires of Maze (Part One) (Beautiful Immortals Series Two Book 1), page 1
Vampires of Maze
(Beautiful Immortals Series Two)
First Edition Published by Ravenwoodgreys
Copyright 2015 by Tim O’Rourke
This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the writer’s imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locales or organisations is entirely coincidental.
This eBook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This eBook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
Book cover designed by:
Carolyn M. Pinard
More books by Tim O’Rourke
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Vampire Shift (Kiera Hudson Series 1) Book 1
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Wolf House (Kiera Hudson Series 1) Book 5
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Dead Night (Kiera Hudson Series 2) Book 2
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Written by Tim O’Rourke & C.J. Pinard
You can contact Tim O’Rourke at
www.kierahudson.com or by email at [email protected]
Vampires of Maze
This story is set in a where and when not too dissimilar to our own…
The boat came ashore in the dead of night. The sky was black and cloudless and the light from the moon sparkled on the waves that crept up the shore. As I climbed from the boat and stepped into the icy water, I knew that this new land would become my home, but I would never truly be able to call it such. My home, and the one for those I travelled with, was someplace far off on the other side of the vast sea we had sailed. Switzerland was the name of the land we had once called home, but it was now nothing more than a barren and featureless landscape forged between inhospitable mountains littered with bodies of the humans that had also once called it home. Winter had been coming to our land and since the war, the winters had been harsh and merciless. The temperatures, the wind, and the snow that came were unforgiving and without adequate shelter, heat, and food, we knew that we would surely die. So a small group of us had left our homes and gone in search of a better place – somewhere that would offer us food and shelter – a place that perhaps all of us could one day call home. If we ever found such a place, we would return for the rest of our people.
“Be careful,” Calix said as I climbed from the boat. He reached for me, but I brushed his hand away.
He looked at me through the darkness, his lean form outlined silver by the moon above. “I was just trying to help, that was all.”
Calix glanced down at my coat. I followed his stare. The book was jutting precariously from my pocket. The one word that was written across the front of it in gold glimmered in the darkness. Spell, the word read in my native language of Valais. I pushed the book back into my pocket and out of sight. I looked back at Calix, who was standing knee-deep in the water that lapped about the boat we’d just climbed from.
“I just didn’t want you to lose that book,” he said with a shrug, as if it matter not to him whether I wanted his help or not. “That book could save our lives…”
“Shhh,” someone hissed.
I glanced to my right to see the end of a cigar glowing fiercely in the dark.
“We need to get this boat up onto the shore and out of sight,” Rea said, wading away through the water, dragging the small wooden boat with her. The sail flapped in the breeze that gusted all around us. It sounded like an irregular heartbeat thrumming far off in the night. My other two travelling companions, Rush and Trent, stood either side of the boat and began helping Rea pull the boat out of the water and up onto the beach. It stretched away in either direction like a grey carpet that was strewn with lengths of black, knotted seaweed and driftwood.
Turning my back on Calix, I waded out of the sea and onto the beach. In the dark, we worked together to drag the boat out of the water. Once we had, Trent and Rush worked quickly and quietly as they lowered the sail. As they worked, Trent caught my eye and smiled. I looked away. Although I had travelled with these people, they were not my people. I was nothing like them. The one and only thing we had in common was survival. But that didn’t mean I didn’t want to help these people – I had to – I didn’t have a choice in that. My purpose was to try and find a peace between the Beautiful Immortals. That’s what I had been sent to do. And however many times Trent Baron shot me one of his heart-melting smiles, I couldn’t risk becoming too close to any of them. I couldn’t become too close to either werewolf or vampire.
“Over there,” Trent said, pointing along the shore in the direction of a toothed row of cliffs in the distance.
“Over where?” Rush said, glancing up as he fastened the last of the ropes about the sail and fixed it into place.
“There looks to be some kind of cave set into that cliff face,” Trent said, his straight black hair blowing free of his brow in the wind. “We can hide the boat from view should someone come across it.”
Without saying anything, we worked in silence as we dragged the boat over the sand and shingle toward the cave Trent had seen.
“Where are we anyhow?” Calix grunted in his usual off-hand manner.
“England, I think?” Rush said, bent forward at the waist, one shoulder pressed against the bow of the boat as he heaved it forward.
“You think?” Calix said.
Rush glanced over the bow of the boat at him and shot back, “I followed the map.”
For brothers, they seemed to often be at odds with each other. Or was it more that Calix was the one at odds with his brother? Calix seemed to be pissed off at everyone. They looked about the same age, the same age as me – nineteen, perhaps twenty. But that’s where the similarities stopped. I couldn’t help but wonder if they were true brothers, as although they appeared to be the same age, they weren’t twins. Rush was smooth skinned, with fair sandy hair to his collar. His eyes were bright blue, and a friendly soul shone from deep within them. Calix, on the other hand, had dark scruffy hair, a rough looking coating of stubble covered the lower half of his face, and his eyes were dark and often mean looking. And then there was Trent…
“Careful now,” Rea said, breaking into my thoughts. “The beach is covered with rocks here – we don’t want to damage the boat, or how will we ever get back to the others?”
With his teeth clenched and a grimace pulling down the corners of his mouth, Trent pushed the boat away from the rocks and into the cave. “We daren’t risk pushing it any further. Rea is right, if we damage the boat, we might never be able to escape…”
“Escape?” I asked him.
“We don’t know what might be waiting for us in England,” Trent said, fixing me with his dark eyes.
Rea moved to stand next to Trent. Taking the smouldering cigar from the corner of her full lips, she dropped it onto the floor of the cave where she ground it flat with the heel of her boot. Opening the front of her long, dark coat, I couldn’t help but see the two large pistols she had strapped about her waist. All of my travelling companions had guns which they carried in holsters. I didn’t carry a gun. I didn’t need one.
“Trent is right,” Rea said, her long, black hair framing each side of her pale face. “We know nothing about this land. We do not know if vampires inhabit it. If they do, then it’s not safe for us – it won’t be safe to bring the rest of our people here.”
I looked across the small cave at her. “It will if we can find a truce – some kind of peace…” I started.
“A truce? Peace?” Calix scoffed, his fingers lingering over the guns that were strapped to each of his denim-clad thighs.
“I haven’t come to this land to fight – to go to war,” I said, sliding my hand into my coat pocket where I could feel the soft leather that bound the book I carried with me. “I’ve come to find peace…”
“Yeah, you keep believing that, sweetheart,” Calix said, turning his back on me and heading out of the cave and back onto the beach.
I looked at the others. “I only came with you because I believed you wanted to find peace – find some way of ending the war between you and the vampires. I didn’t come with you so you could use my magic to kill the vampires…”
“We do want the same thing as you,” Trent said, stepping away from Rea and heading around the boat. He stopped in front of me. He was now within touching distance. I took a step back, widening the gap, but not because he scared me. He continued to stand stock still, his dark eyes never leaving mine. My heart began to quicken, and I screwed my fists tight, willing my heart to find its usual easy rhythm. But nothing seemed easy anymore – not since I had stepped from that steam train down onto the platform of that remote railway station set high amongst the Swiss Mountains.
“We do want to find peace,” Rush said, coming forward to stand next to his friend. But was Trent Rush’s friend? He seemed more than that. Trent seemed like he was in charge – the one that the others followed. Both Trent and Rea were at least ten years older than the two brothers and me. But how old any of them truly were I had no idea – the Beautiful Immortals aged differently from me and the humans.
“My friends are right,” Rea said, taking another long, fat cigar from her coat pocket and rolling it between her fingers. “Ignore Calix. He doesn’t mean what he says.”
“Don’t I?” I heard him mutter from the mouth of the cave.
Rush winked at me. “Don’t listen to my brother, he likes to be a pain in the arse at the best of times. Like the rest of us, you’ll come to like him one day.”
“That’s if he doesn’t get us all killed first,” I said.
Trent cocked an eyebrow at me. “Killed? How do you figure that out?”
I glanced down at the guns he had strapped to each of his thighs, then back at him. “If the vampires get one look at them, they’re not going to think you’ve come in search of peace.”
“We have to be able to defend ourselves,” Rea said, biting off one end of the cigar and spitting it away. For someone so beautiful and almost feline at times, Rea had a hardness about her, too.
“If you have to carry those things, can’t you at least make them a little less obvious?” I said.
“We need to be able to reach them quickly,” Rush said, snatching one of his guns from the holster at a speed so fast that if I’d blinked, I would have missed it.
“Look, so do you want my help or not?” I said, glaring down at the barrel of the gun that Rush was now pointing at me.
Reaching out with one hand, Trent placed it over the gun that Rush now had in his fist. “Julia is right. Put your gun away, Rush.”
“I wasn’t going to shoot…” Rush said, looking somewhat embarrassed now as he slid the gun back into its holster. “I was just trying to show how…”
Trent cut over Rush and said, “And let’s fasten up the fronts of our coats so that our guns are hidden.” As he spoke, he didn’t take his eyes from mine – not once. I broke his stare, glancing over his shoulder at Rush and Rea, who were now fastening their coats and hiding the guns they carried from view. Looking to my right, I saw Calix standing in the dark at the mouth of the cave. The tails of the long black coat he wore flapped open and closed. He made no attempt to fasten it shut. I could see his pale and sculpted chest and stomach, so I looked away.
Without turning to look at Calix, Trent said, “Fasten the front of your coat, Calix, so as to hide your guns.”
Sighing like a petulant child, Calix began to close the front of his coat. He mumbled something under his breath, but I failed to hear what he’d said over the sound of the waves breaking against the shoreline.
“Happy?” Trent smiled at me.
“It’s a start,” I said, brushing past him and out of the cave, my hand never leaving the book I carried with me in my pocket.
Standing away from Calix, I looked out over the waves that raced up to meet the shoreline. The wind was cold and strong. I clawed a loose strand of my long black hair from my eyes, tucking it behind my ear. I wanted to trust the people I had travelled across the sea with. I knew that I mustn’t become too close with any of them – they were not to become my friends. My role was to help them – help negotiate a peace between them and their enemy, the vampires. That’s what I had been sent to do. That was my mission. If I could do this then I had a chance at starting a new beginning for myself. But how would I ever quell these Beautiful Immortals’ hunger for the flesh – the flesh of humans and that of each other? How did I ever stand a
“We should get off the beach,” I heard Rea say.
I looked back into the cave to see her grab a rucksack from the boat. She threw it at Rush, who snatched it from out of the air. I watched him place it over his shoulder and fix it into place. Rea took the rest of the rucksacks from the boat and handed them to us, a thin trail of smoke wafting from the tip of the cigar that jutted from the corner of her mouth. It was still very dark, the only light coming from the slice of moon above our heads.
“This way,” Trent said, setting off along the beach. “And remember to walk in single file to hide our numbers.”
Silently, we formed up in a line behind Trent. Rea stood directly behind him, and I behind her. Rush walked behind me, and Calix skulked along at the back. Our boots made crunching sounds over the shingle as we left the cave and our boat behind us.
“If the boat is found by vampires, won’t they be able to follow our tracks regardless if we walk single file or not?” Calix moaned.
“Yes,” I heard Rush answer him.
“Then what’s the fucking point? Can’t the witch magic them away or something?”
“My name is, Julia Miller, not witch,” I snapped without looking back.
“I don’t know why we have to sneak around,” Calix continued to grumble. “If I spot one of those bloodsucking fuckers, I won’t think twice about putting a bullet straight into his face.”
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