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by Eve Langlais
Category: Erotica/Erotic Romance/Romance
Description: Institutionalized at a young age after the breakup of her parents, Ella's always heard voices. Even worse, the voices in her head like to act. She thinks she's crazy and destined to be a patient for life until the night she meets a vampire and for the first time in her life, the voices shut up. Zane just wants to enjoy his usual blood buffet, instead he runs into a wisp of a woman who makes him feel emotions he thought long dead. Rescuing her from the insane asylum, he brings her home, determined to assuage his lust; a plan that is foiled by ghostly voices more determined to keep her pure than a steel welded chastity belt. Together they discover Ella might not be as crazy as everyone thinks, but even as they discover her innate power, someone from her past wants to hurt her. Will crazy and undead prevail against covetous evil? And most important of all, will the voices ever allow them to indulge in the desire that consumes them?
eBook Publisher: Atlantic Bridge/Liquid Silver Books, 2010
eBookwise Release Date: January 2011
33 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [109 KB]
Reading time: 66-93 min.
The voices in her head whispered slyly and dared her to ask. Ella knew she shouldn't. Her parents didn't like to know what her invisible friends told her, but she found herself curious as to the answer. "Daddy, why do you kiss the lady?" she asked innocently as she ate her bowl of Fruit Loops.
Her father looked at her over his newspaper and frowned, a look she was familiar with. "What are you talking about?"
"The lady that works in your office. Why do you kiss her and take off your clothes?"
The clattering of dishes made Ella turn her head. She saw her mother looking at her with a white face.
"Who told you such dirty things?" her mother asked in a tight voice. Ella cringed at her expression, and wished she'd kept quiet.
"The voices in my head told me. They say daddy's cheating, but I don't understand the game."
The crack of her mother's hand across her face didn't surprise her, but it still brought tears to her eyes. The murmuring voices in her head quieted--too late. Her mother said not a word, her eyes spoke for her. She pointed towards the stairs and Ella bolted for her room.
The voices she'd always heard in her mind didn't speak at all for the rest of the day, which sucked because it meant she heard every scream and cry as her parents fought--again. At seven, she didn't understand what divorce and betrayal meant, but she quickly learned. Her parents split up that same night and less than a month later, Ella clutching a ragged teddy, entered her first institution where she learned a whole bunch of new words like multiple personalities and psychosis. She also learned it wasn't just her parents who didn't care if she cried; neither did the bevy of nurses and doctors who tried to fix her.
Ella never saw her parents again, but at least she wasn't completely alone, the voices in her head kept her company.
* * * *
The damned voices woke her out of a sound sleep.
"Run! He's gonna eat you."
"Evil. Evil. Evil."
"Stupid girl. Move before he gets you."
A new voice also joined her regular cacophony with just one simple word it repeated over and over. "Sleep."
Ella rolled her eyes. She had been sleeping. Stupid voices. Couldn't they make up their minds? But now that they had her conscious, they told her to look and see what had frightened them. They drew her attention to a shadow that moved through the ward. She sighed. Great, another product of my warped mind. Treating them like the child that cried wolf, she ignored their warnings to flee, because after all, this wouldn't be the first time her friends in the attic of her mind had made her see things and laughed when she reacted.
Slowly, the ghostly shape flowed from bed to bed, dipping down low and then rising again to move onto the next bed and its sleeping occupant. Ella found herself watching in fascination, ignoring the fevered pitch of the voices screaming at her to hide. This is the most realistic hallucination I've ever had. Maybe I'm still sleeping.
The shadow finally reached her bedside, and startled, Ella realized that she stared at someone quite real, although perhaps not human. For the first time in her twenty five years of life, the loud chatter in her head abruptly stopped.
The command not spoken aloud, echoed in her now empty mind, but Ella had finally learned after many painful years of mistakes to ignore the commands of the voices that constantly tried to guide her.
"Who are you?" she asked instead of closing her eyes. She cocked her head to one side in curiosity. The figure, dressed, she noticed, in a dark cloak that blended with the night, drew back and did not answer.
"Are you real?" Ella reached a hand out and her fingertips briefly touched the silky edge of his cape. The darkness of the ward made his face indistinct, but she drew in a sharp breath when she saw a pair of eyes flare red for a second.
"What are you?" she breathed. A part of her knew she should be scared, the voices that had been her companions for so long sure were, yet this change in her monotonous life intrigued her. Finally something new. She found herself strangely drawn to the stranger and she wished she could see his face. Discover if he were young or old. She desperately needed to see if he was the savior she'd dreamed would one day arrive to sweep her out of a world she did not belong in. That prophecy of long ago, not yet fulfilled, was what had kept her sane for all the years of her incarceration. She'd long ago learned, she could not escape on her own.
Finally, the stranger spoke in a low disgruntled voice. "Why is it you don't sleep?"
"Why should I?" she answered back pertly.
"I need to leave." He swirled abruptly, and panic suffused her.
"No, please wait. Don't go." Ella hopped out of bed, the short white gown of the institution barely covering her knees. She almost collided with him when he turned back towards her.
"Foolish girl. Do you seek to die? Count yourself lucky I am feeling merciful this eve."
Ella tilted her head and tried to read his expression, but the gloom in the ward only allowed for brief glimpses of hard planes. "Die? That's a little drastic don't you think? I don't intend to tell anyone about your visit."
She heard a loud sigh. "Do you really think anyone would believe you if you did?"
Ella smiled mischievously. "I guess not. After all I am nuts. For all I know you're not really here."
"Oh, I'm here unfortunately," he grumbled. "Why do you not fear me like a normal human should?"
"I'm not normal," she retorted. "Would I be here if I was?"
The chuckle took her by surprise and spread an unexpected warmth through her. "Why are you here?" he asked.
"I hear voices," she replied honestly. "And sometimes I see things."
"What do the voices say?"
"Actually, they shut up when you arrived. That's never happened before, and I've got to say, it's kind of nice."
"Glad to be of service."
The low timbre of his voice did strange things to her tummy. It made her feel hot and tingly, pleasantly so. "Who are you and why are you here?"
"It's best you don't know."
The sound of a key scraping in the lock of the door for the ward made him curse. "I must leave."
"Will you come back?" Ella heard the pleading tone in her voice and while it annoyed her, she knew she wanted to see him again.
"Probably not." With a swirl of his cape, he melted into the shadows.
The door to the ward swung open and a bobbing flashlight shone in the room. Ella scurried back to her bed and pulled the covers over her head.
A moment later, the night nurse, who acted more like a guard, left. Ella knew the mysterious visitor had gone as well for the voices came back in a wild rush.
"He's gone. Evil creature."
"Oh, hush," she told them. "I found him rather pleasant."
"Bloodsucker. Stealer of souls." The voices went on a rant.
Sighing, Ella settled down and amidst the wails and cries in her head. Used to the noise in her mind, she fell asleep, dreaming of a tall dark stranger with an indistinct face. Dreams that left her hot and strangely aching. Dreams that saw her finally leaving the institution and living a normal life.
Zane stared up at the psychiatric institution in consternation. What just happened in there? Never before had he encountered a human that could resist his beguilement. Never before had he met a mortal who intrigued him. In one night and in one petite, frail woman, he'd found both. He already knew he could never return here, a shame for this place had provided a perfect feeding ground, if a somewhat drugged one. The girl had to be new. He'd been using this blood buffet for years and never encountered her.
As he stalked through the shadows back to his home, he tried to erase her image from his mind. Even in the dark, with his enhanced eyes sight, he'd caught every detail from her ash blonde hair hanging jaggedly below her shoulders to her rosebud mouth pursed in curiosity instead of fear. Her eyes, a blue so clear as to be almost translucent, had stared at him in fascination instead of dilating in fear. The shapeless garment that all the patients wore had clung to her body, revealing pert breasts with high pointed nipples, rounded hips and he'd even smelt arousal. The blood he'd ingested rushed and converged in a one location, painfully so. Lusting for a slip of a girl. Why now after all these years? I know better than to play with my food. Speaking of eating, she smelt like no human he'd ever encountered before. Different, yet enticingly so.
Zane cursed. Why could he not stop thinking of her? She was a human, a mere mortal, and below his notice. She and the others of her kind served one purpose only--dinner. Although he'd bet judging by her sweet aroma, she'd be tastier than most.