Craving (A Willow Creek Vampires Novel)(7)

By: Stephanie Summers

A soft knock came at her bedroom door an hour later, just after she’d gotten into bed for the night.

“Come in,” she said softly.

Her mother entered the room and sat down beside her on the bed. “I understand why you left, but where did you think you were going to go?”

“Anywhere but here.”

“I understand, Sabine. I really do. This is hard on me and Dad, too. Shay is falling apart, though she tries to act like it doesn’t bother her. My greatest wish for you is that you get to live your dreams and your life however you see fit. It tears me apart to know that your life might not go the way you want it to. Try as I might to see the positives, I keep failing.” Vivian stroked Sabine’s dark, wavy hair.

“I know it isn’t your fault, Mom. I shouldn’t have put the blame on you guys earlier. I’m sorry for worrying you.”

“Don’t be sorry, Beanie.” She put her arms around Sabine and squeezed her. “Just know that if there is a way, Dad and I will find it.”

“I know, Mom.”

“Promise you won’t run again?”

She subtly shook her head. “I can’t make a promise I might not be able to keep.”

“Fair enough. Get some rest. It’s been a long day.”

* * *

May 21: Willow Creek

“Remington, my boy,” Bastian said, standing up and raising his hand slightly. “So good to see you. It’s been, what? A hundred years or more? My how time flies. I trust you know why I have summoned you?”

Remy stood straight with his chin tilted slightly. “I presume it has to do with that ridiculous agreement you have with the daft cows who inhabit this,” Remy crinkled his nose as if he’d smelled something putrid, “place.”

“Agreement with the people of this town? Yes. Ridiculous? No.” Bastian shook his head and smirked.

“But it’s beyond ridiculous. It’s easier now than ever to find willing donors. So many wish to live out their fantasies of Damon Salvatore and Edward Cullen, and the like. Though, if I’m being honest, I do quite like that Damon. I often wonder who he was based on. Reminds me a little of myself actually.”

“I know nothing of these characters of whom you speak,” Bastian said, waving Remy off.

“Of course you don’t. You aren’t out in the world like the rest of us. You choose to stay in one place and feed from one human until he or she grows sick and withered. Outside of this town lies a vast world of flavors, some of which are quite willing to play whatever role you wish them to play. We don’t have to hide as much as we once did.”

“Nonsense… Why would I give up not having to hide at all and being in control of Willow Creek and its secrets for a life of seclusion where I must make others forget? I, as well as my fellow vampire companions, am free to come and go as I please, and all I have to do is keep the others out. Quite easy for someone as old as I am.”

Remy turned, and subtly rolled his eyes. He was never one to stifle his thoughts and opinions, but there was still a part of him that feared Bastian and what he could do to him if he angered him too much. His maker had mellowed tremendously throughout the years, but he knew what Bastian was capable of, and it wasn’t a side he ever wanted to see again. “We will have to agree to disagree on this one, my lord.”

“I am afraid not, Remy. There is no room for disagreement. It is your time now to take your place at my side. I have given you close to two centuries to do as you please. Now is the time.”

If he were capable of vomiting, he would’ve just then. His gut twisted into knots at the thought of staying in Willow Creek for the next several decades, at the very least.

“No. I will not stay here like a prisoner. I would rather rot than be monogamous… Unless, of course, you’re willing to grant me a few liberties.”

“Such as?”

“I can feed from whomever I like, I’ll even go out of town if need be, and I want my freedom to travel when I want. As long as I spend most of my time here with you, I don’t see why that’s not a fair trade.”

“No. Your blood mate has already been chosen. When she is procured, she will belong wholly to you. You will be responsible for her well-being, and, in return, she will provide you with the sustenance you require while you are on duty protecting the citizens of this great town. You have a little more time to get used to the idea, but you will stay here with me in the meantime. I need you to familiarize yourself with the rules and what I expect of you.”

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