Life of Death (Blood of my World Novella Three): A Paranormal Romance [MultiFormat]
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eBook by A.P. Fuchs
eBook Category: Romance/Horror
eBook Description: Now disconnected from their families, Zach and Rose try and make it on their own away from the war between vampire and slayer. But word has been spread to the undead that Zach needs to return to his family otherwise his mother will only make matters worse for him.
Trying to survive together isn't all it is hoped to be and Zach and Rose must decide if a vampire and human truly can remain together, or if it's a lost cause and they should accept their fate.
Is love enough?
Before the two can find out, the vampire's family comes for Zach and Rose, and the two are swept into a nightmare where there will be only one survivor.
Life of Death is an approximately 23,000-word novella that will take you deep into a world where all is risked for the one you love, and danger--both outside and within--lurks at every turn.
eBook Publisher: Coscom Entertainment, Published: 2011, 2011
Fictionwise Release Date: May 2011
"A refreshing teen fantasy full of bite, blood and romance." -- K. H. Koehler, author of Raiju
Rose stopped at the foot of the cave, mouth open. Zach faced away from her, his head dipped low, crouched over something large and hairy in his arms. The wet slurps and sucking as he devoured the creature in front of him turned Rose's stomach, but at the same time drew her in, as if watching this somehow brought her closer to him.
Zach looked over his shoulder, his face coated in blood, his cheek and forehead bones highly pronounced. With a hiss, he bore his fangs, then got back to work sucking the life out of what Rose now made out as a bear.
It just wandered in here, Zach said in her mind. I was thirsty. I had to try. Leave me alone.
She simply nodded even though he couldn't see her, and left the cave and went for a walk not far into the surrounding forest.
It had been two days since they first arrived here, since she first woke up in the cave that, for now, had become their home.
Upon waking up here, Zach brought her into his arms and held her close as he gently told her that while he flew them to safety, he heard his mother bite into Marcus.
"He's dead, Rose," he had said. "I'm sorry."
The sharp searing pain of grief exploded in her heart and the tears burst forth immediately, as images of her father lying there helpless while Mira drank his blood danced before her mind's eye.
She had spent most of that day crying, Zach by her side, letting her work through the pain.
"I'm sorry," he said every few minutes. She knew he meant well, but it quickly got annoying. He'd said he was apologizing so often because it was his mother that drank her father's blood. It was his kind that murdered the only family she had left.
She wanted to run, scream, hide, and get away from Zach and let him rot in the cave. And she did--run--into the forest, keeping herself purposely in the bands of light streaming through the leafy canopy overhead. Zach didn't follow, but remained in the cave, calling for her to come back.
She had ran until she was out of breath, and collapsed near the foot of a large oak tree and cried for what seemed like hours. After, spent, hungry, broken, she tried to remember the way back to the cave.
It wasn't Zach's fault her father died. If she really wanted to blame him, she'd say his engaging her father was what led to her dad's death.
I was only trying to do what was best for us, his voice had said inside her mind. It'll be dark soon and I'll come and get you. Just stay where you are and I'll be there shortly.
Rose didn't listen, but instead walked with arms crossed back to where she thought the cave was. An hour later, she was still in the forest, weaving around trees and bushes, her heartbeat quickly gaining speed the darker and darker it got. There was barely enough light to see the forest turning gray in the fading daylight. She stood still . . . and waited for Zach. When he came, he gave her fair warning in her mind so he wouldn't startle her. He came up behind her and wrapped her in his arms, took her into the air and flew her back to the cave.
They spent that night in each other's arms, Rose occasionally falling into fits of tears, her dreams peppered with images of her dad's throat being torn out, and waited until morning.
Now, out here in the woods, after watching Zach drink the bear's blood, Rose kept close enough to the cave so she wouldn't get lost again. Her stomach growled from hunger, and she was desperately thirsty. There had to be a stream or a river or something around here that she could get a drink from. Even a small town. She had her bank card so money wasn't a huge issue for the time being. Eventually she'd run out, but probably had enough for a few days' worth of food.
A chill swept through her and the air changed. The scent of rain filled her nostrils.
Great. I'm lost and now I'm going to be wet, she thought and folded her arms. "Hope Zach can find me." Of course he can. His eyesight's so keen he can practically see through solid objects. Even his hearing . . . "Can you hear me, Zach?" she said. Louder: "Zach?"
She imagined him still hunched over the bear's carcass, mouth covered in blood and bits of flesh as he drank every last ounce of red fluid from the beast's body. She winced at the image. Even though her dad had shown her all sorts of gory pictures and film to help desensitize her, it was one thing to see blood and guts on a screen, another to see it in real life.
"Hope you hurry up."
She came to an area with a little light. Another sweep of cold air rushed by her, producing goosebumps on her arms. High above, the light tip-tap-tapping as millions of raindrops hit the canopy grew in volume until the rain broke through the leaves and made its way to the forest floor. Each chilly drop hitting her and soaking through her clothes sent a shiver up and down her skin.
"Nice," she said flatly, and started walking back in the direction she'd came. Maybe she'd recognize a knot in a tree or an arrangement of bush and get herself back on track to the cave.
And, Zach, if you can hear me, I could use a lift. You know I never liked the rain, she thought.
"I know," he said.
She looked up with a start. Zach had his arms and legs wrapped around a tree like a cat waiting to pounce.
"You shouldn't run off," he said. His face was back to normal, and was clean except for a light tinge of red still on his pale skin. The bear's blood had soaked through his shirt, though, and bits of its flesh still clung to the fabric.
"I didn't. I got lost."
"I'm sorry if I turned you off back there."
She merely pressed her lips together and carefully tried not to think that, yes, his slaughtering the bear did give her stomach a flip. But she couldn't help it and she knew Zach read her mind because he jumped down from the tree and didn't meet her eyes right away.
"Can we go?" she asked, feeling bad he had come for her early due to the rain.
His eyes met hers and he held out his hand. "Sure."
She took it; already his skin was hot even from the muted daylight. She stepped up to him, setting her feet on top of his. He slowly rose off the ground, moved in between the overhanging tree branches, but kept below the canopy itself. He flew with his back to the canopy, her body braced beneath his, his back stopping most of the rain from hitting her.
Up here, away from the forest floor, Rose wished she could stay suspended between heaven and earth forever, protected in Zach's embrace, the world of chaos and the slaughtering of animals far below no longer part of their lives.
But with Zach, that could never be the case.
Gazing up at him as he kept his eyes forward while he flew, she noticed the skin on his face beginning to blister and burn as the UV light still making its way through the forest's canopy struck him. Every so often he would wince as the pain, it seemed, became too much.
"I'm sorry," she said.
"For hurting you. The sun."
"It's okay. Like I told you a long time ago, it's cloud cover so it's bearable. I'll be fine."
"I know. It's just . . . I'm hurting you now. Hurt you by leaving. I'm sorry."
He simply smiled, gave her a peck on the nose, then set his gaze forward again. "Almost there."
She held onto him tight, though she knew she didn't have to. The way his arms were cradled under her, she could almost completely relax and not have to worry about falling.
She could stay up here in his arms, never to return to the ground again.