Robert:Book one in The Valentines Series(6)

By: Sam Crescent



She turned away, not liking the effect his gaze had on her body.

The priest at the head of the dais spoke. “We are here to join Sophie Ford with Robert Valentine Junior.” He began to chant in a different language.

Sophie had no idea what he was saying but Robert moved closer to her. The ceremony was about to begin. She flinched when he took hold of her arms and pulled her to the centre of the circle. She couldn’t help but cast one last, lingering look at the door. An escape.

But Katie appeared before her eyes, again, stilling any steps she might have made. She would never abandon her friend.

Sophie tuned in to listen.

“Who allows this union   to take place?” The priest posed the question to the whole group.

“I do.”

“I do.”

His father and her father came forward. The priest nodded and began his chanting again.

“Is that it?” Sophie whispered. If all that needed to happen was some words, she would be able to get through this. His hands on her already offered her comfort. He hadn’t grabbed her in a vicious way, but gently. So far, the vampires she’d been in the presence of had been most accommodating.

“Not yet.”

Sophie turned her eyes back to the man—no, the vampire—in front of her. He closed in, trapping her against the hardness of his body.

He was so strong.

She couldn’t move from the pressure of his arms.

One arm cupped her waist while the other lifted and moved her hair, exposing her neck to the crowd. Sophie stared into his eyes, mesmerised by the blackness within. She couldn’t look away. She was completely in his power.

“Close your eyes,” he whispered in her head.

His lips didn’t move but she knew it was him talking to her. Rather than question the sanity of her situation, she did as he instructed and closed her eyes.

It seemed silly to argue with one of the most powerful vampires in the world.

Sophie could hear the chanting of the priest, the noise of the other occupants of the room, but the feeling of being close to him dominated her senses. He had no breath, no heartbeat, but she could feel him—could feel the mass of energy he produced. It was like every little warning bell inside her head going off, to caution her about what was going to happen…

Her head was tilted to the side. She swallowed down the lump of nervousness. She didn’t know what to do. Her heart was pounding, the blood pumping faster through her veins.

She couldn’t see, but she anticipated…

Was she nervous?

Anxious?

Excited?

Millions of tiny thoughts processed inside her mind all at the same time.

He struck.

He bit down into the side of her neck, each long tooth striking the vein. Sophie felt her blood leaving her body, leaking out. She felt him pulling hard.

She screamed. The pain was excruciating. Her life passed before her eyes—images of her life as a baby, as a toddler, as a teenager. Images of her two brothers passed. Her mother and father arguing. Christmases and summers. Her best friend, Katie. Her secret stayed buried. But Sophie had a feeling that this man—this vampire who was feeding from her—could see everything.

Her body started to go numb, the pain lessening as she lost feeling. She became light-headed and all thought left her, until she collapsed in his arms. Sophie had no strength to hold herself up. She was light and airless. Her heartbeat had slowed and she could feel her self beginning to leave her body. She started to spasm and knew she was close to death’s door.

Suddenly—the movement jerking her body—her head was pushed into the curve of a male neck. The smell of masculine spice permeated her senses, making her mouth water. Underneath the intoxicating scent she could detect the metallic taste of blood.

She gagged, trying but failing to move. Her body wanted to live—the human instinct to survive was screaming within her. She swallowed down his blood and surrendered to the warmth, the crushing weight as he held her close.

He held her against his body, supporting her. She took what she could, feeling the power of his blood surging inside her—consuming her.

Sophie saw images of him as a boy. The whole five hundred years he had spent alive…and killing. A haze of images swam before her eyes until Sophie could take no more. She broke the contact, trying to force him away from her.

He spoke in her mind again. Look at me.

Sophie opened her eyes and looked at him as he took her down to the floor with him. They were both smeared with blood.

“I bind you to me, Sophie, for eternity. I am bound to protect everyone you hold dear.”

Katie flashed through her mind seconds before the consuming darkness came upon her.

She passed out.





Chapter One





Three years later



“Sir? Sophie Ford is here.”

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