#ThursThreads – I’m back!

Hello!

It’s been way too long, but here I am. Found some time today so I’m squeezing in a bit of A Vampire’s Bride for the #ThursThreads prompt.

Prompt: “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

Enjoy!

~~~

“I don’t think that’s a good idea.” Despite his words, Niklaus’ mind is already working behind his silver eyes, figuring out how we can pull this off.

“Why not? Ariella’s right – she can’t be the only one, not as the attacks keep getting worse.” Nadya offers me a look of encouragement.

“Think about it. We can’t just leave everyone else to fend for themselves. And I’ve heard rumors – they’re already in the process of creating a hunting party, they just don’t know they’re hunting vampires.” I close the distance between Niklaus and me, trying to implore him with my eyes.

“Training groups of vampire hunters would spark war as soon as the vampire council catches wind.” Niklaus runs a hand through his hair.

“And not training them would lead to a massacre.”

“And the council is there to protect the humans as much as us. You know that, Nik. And the humans outnumber us – imagine what panicked humans, who see all vampires as a threat, could do to our numbers. At least if we reach out to them, they’ll know it’s not all of the vampires who’ve lost it.” Nadya walks over to her twin, placing a hand on his shoulder. “Cooperation is our best bet, here.”

Niklaus sighs, looking between his sister and me.

“Fine. But we have to go through the council. There’s no way we can keep this from them, unfortunately. We’ll still keep Ariella a secret, but they need to know how we’re handling the situation.”

~~~

Be sure to check out the other responses at the prompt!

As always, think happy thoughts!

Bewitched & Enthralled

Happy Tuesday!

Found some extra time today and a great prompt to keep A Vampire’s Bride going, so hooray for that! The prompt comes courtesy of Our Write Side’s Two Word Tuesday!

Prompt: Bewitch and/or Enthrall

~~~

I’m not sure what I expected would happen upon telling my dad. What I didn’t expect was for him to look at me like I’d grown a third arm. To his credit, he manages not to lose his temper or yell at me.

“Are you okay?” It’s been a solid minute since my confession, so I feel the need to check. By now he’s settled into sitting on my bed, while I’m still on the floor with my attention on my weapons.

“Just…takes a moment to sink in.”

“To be honest I’m surprised you’re not more upset.” I set my weapons down to really look at him.

“I never said I’m not upset. The last thing I wanted to happen – after you being picked as a vampire’s bride – was for you to endanger yourself further by hunting them!” Despite his exasperation, he’s still pretty calm. Pinching the bridge of his nose, he takes a deep breath. “When did this start? Is it because of what Niklaus did?”

“No! Well, sort of, but not the way you might think…” I correct myself in a rush at the look on my dad’s face. Once he relaxes again, I continue. “He and his sister have actually been training me themselves.”

If my father’s jaw could hit the floor, it would. I backtrack, figuring I probably should have started from the beginning. Doing my best to appease my father’s fears, I tell him everything – from the moment I arrived at the castle to Niklaus dropping me off a few hours ago. For his own peace of mind, I avoid telling him Niklaus stayed. The entire time, my father’s eyes never leave mine, completely enthralled in the story of how I ended up as a vampire hunter. He doesn’t even interrupt to ask questions. By the time I’m done, the sun is up.

“Ariella…do you really intend to keep doing this?”

“I have to. Everyone is in danger if I don’t.”

“Can’t Niklaus and the other vampires in charge do something about it?”

“We’re not sure that those other vampires can be trusted. And the council continues to only send Niklaus and Nadya. They need my help. And if things get worse, I’ll need to be able to protect us – protect you and the others.” The thought only just occurs to me now. I can’t exactly continue to be the only human vampire hunter in our village.

My dad must see something in my eyes – either that I’ve lost my mind or that there’s no changing it. He pulls me into a tight embrace. “Just be careful. If you need help – supplies, weapons, anything – don’t hesitate to ask. I can’t control what you do, but I can at least help keep you safe.”

Why didn’t I tell him sooner? Relief floods through me at his words, and I hug him back. “Thank you.”

~~~

So it turns out Ariella’s dad is way more understanding than she thought he’d be. Hmm. At least it helps move the plot along!

As always, think happy thoughts!

Tainted Treasures

It’s been a rough week. I was in a car accident on Tuesday, the most recent and worst one I’ve been in yet. Thankfully no one was hurt, but I’m still a bit shaken over it (as morbid a thought as it is, I feel like I’m running out of lives). The entire ordeal is a huge pain and I don’t very much feel like ever getting behind the wheel of a car again (though I know I don’t have much of a choice). So I guess you could say my car (which I only just bought in October) is a tainted treasure now.

Anyway, in an attempt to keep my mind off the awful that is dealing with the aftermath, I’m going to try to write a little bit. I haven’t revisited A Vampire’s Bride since January, so here’s my attempt at moving that story forward a bit. The prompt, as usual, comes from Our Write Side’s Master Class Monday series and serves as general inspiration.

Prompt: Tainted treasures

~~~

When Niklaus leaves, I almost don’t notice. He’s careful not to wake me, but a soft kiss on my brow triggers my awareness and I open my eyes in time to see him close the door. Though I want to reach out, ask him to stay longer, I know that’s impossible. And asking would make it worse. Outside, sunrise is only a couple of hours away – he stayed until he absolutely had to leave.

Though I’m still tired, I’m aware enough that I need to change before my father wakes. I still haven’t told him what I’ve been doing with my nights, and this isn’t really the best way for him to find out. So I remove Niklaus’ shirt, taking it and his cloak and hiding them under the bed. My neck wound is still wrapped, too, and it’s only then I realize I’m going to have a hard time continuing to hide this from my father. My hair can only do so much – it’s only a matter of time before he notices the scar it’ll leave behind, even if I manage to avoid him noticing the bandages.

I gather some water in a bowl, light a candle by the small mirror in my room, and go about checking my wound. Like I told Niklaus, the blood made it look worse than it really is. It’s a nasty-looking scratch, but nothing life threatening. With some clean cloth I re-wrap the scratch, coming up with a less terrifying explanation to give my father.

Once I’m satisfied with my bandaging job, I change into a new shirt and move on to pulling my weapons back out from under the bed. They’re in desperate need of cleaning, too. Holding them close, I settle onto the floor and go about the task as carefully as possible. The hatchet doesn’t require as much care as the crossbow, though. I’m careful to clean every crevice, and I double check the weapon for any damage. Dropping it was a stupid move, and now it’s scuffed at the handle.

“Dammit.” In all the years my mother used this crossbow to hunt, she never let it fall or get damaged. The thought hits me harder than I expect, and the stress of everything just comes crashing down. My head hurts, and I can’t stop the tears that well up. Unfortunately, that’s how my dad finds me.

“Ariella?” I nearly drop the weapon again at the sound of his voice. Startled, I turn around to look at him. “What happened? Are you alright?” He rushes over, crouching beside me as his eyes scan my neck before returning to the crossbow.

“I’m…it’s fine. Just that the crossbow is a bit damaged.”

“And what’s this?” He brushes my hair away, catching on to my attempt to hide my neck.

“I…I was hunting. It’s just a scratch. It’s fine.” I hope he doesn’t pry but I know that’s asking for too much.

“And how did it happen?”

“I said, I was hunting.”

“Ariella.” His tone is all reprimand, and I realize it’s been years since he’s spoken to me like that. Since he’s had to. The word is like a whip, and I’m transported back to my childhood. “Tell me.”

Though I don’t want to, I look him in the eye. “I was hunting vampires.”

~~~

And the truth comes out! How will her dad react? I have no idea yet – hence why I ended it where I did.

Anyway, if you’re stuck in your writing endeavors, be sure to check out the rest of Our Write Side’s prompts! There’s something for everyone!

As always, think happy thoughts.

Grand weakness

Happy Friday!

Eventually, I’ll get back to posting multiple times a week. We’re twenty-seven days into the new year and I’ve yet to adjust properly. Maybe in February. We’ll see. Until then, weekly Friday posts will have to do.

This week’s post comes courtesy of Our Write Side’s Master Class Monday prompt, which I’ll be using as general inspiration for the next scene. We’re going to pick up where we left off with A Vampire’s BrideSecondhand Soul is still in a bit of a limbo, since I’m still not sure how to wrap it up.

Prompt: Grand weakness

~~~

The silence of the ride is all-consuming. Resting my head against Niklaus’ back, I let my thoughts take me, playing back the events of the hunt, everything that went wrong, where I could have reacted better. Why did the fledgling have to look so much like Niklaus?

“I’m glad you’re okay.” His voice startles me from my thoughts. “I don’t know what I would have done if-”

“Don’t think about it.” I tighten my hold on him as one of his hands moves to rest over mine.

We don’t say anything else the rest of the ride. There’s a tension in the air when we get to the cottage. Nothing seems to have happened in the village while we were gone – the atmosphere is sleepy and quite. And yet the tension follows us off the horse and to my room. I thought he would just leave me at the door and go, but when I invite him in he follows. Niklaus hovers at the door to my bedroom, though, face shrouded in thought.

I’m about to say something when he beats me to it.

“That fledgling – you said his appearance caught you off-guard. Why?” Is that what he thought about the entire ride back?

“Isn’t it obvious?” By now I’ve discarded my weapons, hidden them under my bed. “He looked like you…” I avert my gaze when I say it, unsure of how he’ll react. “I…”

“Ariella…” At some point, he entered the room, because now he’s standing right behind me. When I turn around, he’s right there. “If I ever…ever lose control, you have to be prepared to put a bolt in my heart, understand?”

I can’t look away from his eyes, trapped in the gravity of his words and the intensity of his gaze. “I can’t.”

“You don’t have a choice.” He places a hand on my cheek, the touch light as a feather. “It’ll be your life or mine.”

“It won’t happen. You won’t lose control.”

“Nadya won’t always be there to keep me in line.”

“But-” I try to pull away, but he takes both my hands and holds me in place.

“Promise me.” Again, his eyes trap mine. There’s that loathing, that disdain for what he is radiating off him in waves. “Please. You have to promise me you’ll do it…”

“And if I don’t?” My words are hardly a whisper, and all I can do is look at our hands. He doesn’t have to say it out loud. If I can’t promise that I’ll kill him if I have to, Niklaus will leave. Just like he sent me away from the castle for my own protection; he’ll do it again. When he doesn’t say anything, I pull away and sit on the edge of my bed. Reluctant, he follows and sits beside me.

“Please.” He takes my hand, the gentle caress at odds with what he’s asking of me.

“Okay. I promise.” But I don’t look at him when I say it. If he can tell I’m lying, he doesn’t show it. When I look at him again there’s relief in his eyes now, a sad smile turning the corners of his mouth.

“Thank you.”

I don’t want to hear his thanks for agreeing to kill him, so I press my lips to his. His arms slide around me as he shifts closer in response, lips gentle but firm against mine. My fingers slide into his hair and he deepens the kiss, biting softly on my bottom lip. It’s not long before the kiss turns passionate, and I’m all but sitting in his lap. Niklaus pulls back first, his breathing heavy as he rests his forehead against mine. I don’t want him to leave – not yet.

“St-Stay with me?” The words escape me before I can stop them, and I’m afraid I’ve crossed some line. There’s no taking them back now, though. “For a little while?”

Niklaus looks like he wants to say no, but he doesn’t. Instead, he shifts farther back onto my bed, pulling me with him so I’m lying down. “You need to rest, but I’ll stay as long as I can.”

It isn’t until I’m settled into his arms, tucked against him and on the precipice of sleep that I realize how much I missed this.

~~~

Hopefully next week we’ll take a turn into Secondhand Soul. As much as I love vampire fluff and angst, I really want to get back to Videl and Marcus.

As always, think happy thoughts!

Two Word Tuesday – Wintry

Happy Friday!

Looks like I’ll only be posting on Friday for a while to come. Still, some writing is better than no writing. I’ll be trying to switch up the prompts, too. This week brings us a prompt from Our Write Side I haven’t tried yet – Two Word Tuesday!

Another contribution into A Vampire’s Bride.

Prompt: Niveous and/or Wintry

~~~

Another wintry breeze shoots through me as we head back to Nadya. Niklaus pulls me closer despite his discomfort. Though it seems he’s relaxed, I know he’s still struggling – it’s in the set of his jaw, the careful way he moves his eyes around my wound, as if he can only barely avoid it.

“One of them got away.” Nadya greets us with the grim news. She’s crouched by the body of one of our attackers, searching her pockets.”Did you get the fledgling?”

“Yes.”

When she turns, her brow furrows at the sight of Niklaus. “Why are you shirtless?”

“I got hurt – my shirt is all bloody.” That’s when she finally looks at me and her eyes widen.

“Are you okay?” She rushes over, and I don’t miss the way she removes me from Niklaus’ grasp and places herself between us. “Did he bite you?”

For a moment I’m not sure if she means her brother or the fledgling.

“No – just a scratch. It looks worse than it is…” Still, she insists on examining it, so I let her. Careful not to touch my skin, she unwraps my poor bandaging job. I can’t help but look at Niklaus the whole time. With Nadya between us, he’s more relaxed, safe in the knowledge that his sister will intervene if he attacks me. “Told you, it’s fine. I think it stopped bleeding already.”

“It did…” Despite her words, she re-wraps it. “We need to head back – report to the council that there was more than just a fledgling…”

“Are you sure that’s wise?” Once Nadya finishes re-wrapping my wound, I walk over to the dead vampire. “These vampires knew we were coming – the only other ones that know that are in the council.”

“What are you saying?” Niklaus finally speaks again, some of his ease coming back.

“The fledgling was bait. This was a trap, though why they thought two vampires and a fledgling would be enough to take the two of you is beyond me.” The dead vampire doesn’t look familiar, but there’s still something about her that I feel I recognize. “I don’t know much about your politics, but is there a chance someone is vying for your positions?”

“You think the council set us up?”

“Could be a possibility. You’re first in line, and I’m infertile. Your bride is ‘dead’ and you won’t take a new one.” Nadya leans back against a tree. “I don’t doubt their desire for monarchs that will keep our bloodlines going.”

“Who’s next in line?”

“The council would choose another family.” Niklaus crosses his arms. “Not that I care – if it were up to me I’d abdicate in a heartbeat.”

“Why can’t you?” If abdication is an option, why hasn’t he already taken it?

“Abdication is death.”

“What? Why?”

“They don’t want a purebred not in their control running around making new vampires and threatening their hold on the population.”

Do any humans know the way vampire politics work? This is the first I’ve heard of these details. “And your parents can’t do anything about it?”

Nadya laughs. “Their rebellion days have been over for a long time – they’re firmly under the council’s thumb.”

Niklaus’ eyes meet mine and a whole new set of fears seeps in. My life – and those of my fellow humans – isn’t the only one in danger anymore. If the council – or someone else – is trying to dispose of Nadya and Niklaus, could that mean that these attacks are meant to draw them out? Or are they separate issues?

“We should report back to the council, either way.” Nadya pushes herself off the tree and moves to examine the body one more time. “Can’t let them know we’re suspicious. For now, we should keep doing what we’re doing.”

Niklaus agrees, and I follow suit. After all, they’d know how to handle the situation better than I would. Nadya decides to take care of the bodies while Niklaus takes me back home. We’re down to two horses now, so I have to climb on behind Niklaus.

The ride back is silent, and I wonder how many hours we have before sunrise. It feels like our hunt took most of the night, but the sky shows no sign of the morning.

~~~

And there we go – the plot thickens! At least, what little plot has slowly trickled its way into Ariella and Niklaus’ lives.

As always, think happy thoughts!

#100WordChallenge – Cold

Hello!

Let’s keep the momentum going by returning to yet another one of my usual inspirations, Tara’s #100WordChallenge over at Thin Spiral Notebook.

Prompt: Cold

This fits in nicely with where I left off A Vampire’s Bride yesterday, so another entry for that story!

~~~

Soon enough my smile turns into my teeth clattering. This seems to break Niklaus’ apprehension to approach me and he closes the distance, shrugging off his cloak and shirt, handing them to me.

“Change into these.”

“I’m fine.”

“Please.”

Niklaus turns around and I comply – there’s no arguing with him. Once the clothes are on, I move toward him and wrap my arms around his torso.

“Thank you.”

He turns, flickers of hesitation still in his eyes, but he returns my embrace with a soft kiss. I’m not cold anymore, but that doesn’t stop the shiver that runs through me.

~~~

And we inch ever closer to the end of this story. Here’s hoping I can go back to Videl soon. I’m counting on tomorrow’s #ThursThreads. Fingers  crossed!

As always, think happy thoughts!

Wilted Resolutions

And she’s back! I think, I hope. We’ll see.

So I’ve started the year off right, and with any luck I can keep this going. There’s tons on my plate so it’s all about balance. And now I have a puppy, Ada (aka evil incarnate but still the cutest dog ever – picture to come eventually), so things will only be harder to balance until she’s fully house-broken.

Anyway, we’re not here to talk about my dog, but to continue A Vampire’s Bride! The other two are still in creative limbo until a prompt comes along that inspires me in their direction. For now, enjoy some vampire goodness to kick off my creative writing for 2017. As always, today’s post comes inspired by Our Write Side’s Master Class Monday prompt!

Prompt: Wilted Resolutions

As usual, a very loose interpretation. Enjoy!

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