Robert:Book one in The Valentines Series(5)

By: Sam Crescent


Sophie turned back once to look at him.

He noticed the curiosity in her eyes. He had suddenly found a human female worthy of his attention and admiration. Robert smiled at her, watching as she blushed.

Once all the women had gone, the real problems started for the Council, a select group of people who took the care of the vampire world seriously.

“We already have too much at stake, what with all the bloody vampire hunters.”

The Council members nodded their heads in agreement. All of them were prepared to agree to anything Robert Valentine Senior offered. His father was not only the most powerful among them, but, over the centuries, he’d been responsible for keeping relative peace between the vampires and the other species. He had gained respect through listening and taking his time to make a decision. Robert Senior fought battles with his head.

“We need more protection in place.”

“The wolves are responsible.”

“The wolves wouldn’t dare.”

“How can we know for sure?”

The Council meeting went on and on. The fight about the wolves would continue for decades. Robert was more interested in the little blonde whom, in just a few hours, he would be bound to protect for the rest of their lives. He was looking forward to it.



Several hours later, Sophie was shaking inside. Her long, silky blonde hair, brushed into a glowing mass, rested around her like a cape. She wore a white gown so sheer that she thought everyone present at the ceremony would be able to see her naked body underneath. Sophie had tried to argue with the vampire women, who’d prepared her without speaking a word to her. She had wanted to wear at least her underwear, but they had got rid of all of her clothes. Her face was washed and clean of make-up. Neither of the women spoke to her—instead she was treated more as an object than a person.

She’d been told to wait for them to escort her down to the main ceremonial chamber. Her hands wouldn’t stop shaking.

Sophie wondered if she was doing the right thing. She shook her head. She didn’t have a choice. She needed to do this. Her friend would be protected. She loved her brothers, but they could guard themselves. And her parents had shown that they were more than capable of looking out for themselves, whatever the price. She would save them all through this bond, but Katie was the one who deserved it—who needed it. Once she was under the care of a blood bond, no one could get to her. She would be safe, even from the vampires.

Sophie released a sigh of relief. After spending weeks planning for this, it seemed surreal that it was finally happening.

She hoped she would have time to bask in the happiness she was feeling. It was as though a huge weight had been removed from her shoulders.

The door to her room opened and the mother of the vampire she was about to be bonded to came in. Her smile was happy and cheery.

“Are you ready?”

Everything she had heard about vampires—all the rumours—had prepared Sophie for the prospect of dealing with evil creatures of the night. This woman turned her ideas upside down. They might not have spoken a word, but the gentle way the woman prepared her and the kindness Sophie could see reflecting from her eyes told her so much about the older woman. This woman—or vampire—wasn’t evil.

Sophie nodded. The woman extended her hand, but Sophie refused to take it and followed close behind her instead. She couldn’t take in her surroundings. She couldn’t hear anything over her heartbeat. Every step felt like the tick of a great clock, marking away the remaining seconds of her life.

Sophie, aged twenty-one, was about to enter into a lifelong contract.

She wouldn’t break down. She needed to do this. She closed her eyes and pictured Katie. Her best friend. She was doing this for her.

She entered the chamber through a heavy wooden door. Sophie believed she could sense all the other men and women who had faced the end of their lives in this very room. Those who had sold themselves for the protection of others. Her parents were on one side of the room, holding each other, and on the other side his family dominated the cramped space. Neither family acknowledged the other. On a dais in the centre of the room stood her intended bond mate. He wore a black gown, a darkness in contrast to her lightness. His mother helped her onto the dais opposite him. The closer she got to the man who would be her bond mate, the more her heart pounded in her chest.

He was a darkness in more than just his robe. His hair was black, cut short and tight. His features were aged but not old, as though he’d matured into a man, then the aging had just stopped. He had crinkles by his eyes from years of laughter—eyes that caught her and held her attention. Never in all of her life had she seen black eyes. They weren’t scary, but watchful. He was staring at her, heating her body. Taking a breath, she stared back at him as her body awakened to the sensation of arousal. Robert Valentine might be a vampire, but her blood heated for him. She licked her lips, forcing herself to think of Katie one last time. Thoughts of her friend always stopped her thinking about anything but the protection she wanted for her.

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