Monthly Archives: May 2020

Ellen – have you been introduced?

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“If you don’t feel I’ll fit in then I’ll go now,” said Ellen, trying hard to hide the emotion in her voice. “I’d prefer though if you gave me a chance. Let’s rehearse. Jam a few numbers. If you don’t like what you hear then I’ll go.”

“Can’t say fairer than that, Luke,” challenged Cal, also keen to defend her.

“Luke,” stated Rocky coldly. “Let me put it to you this way. Ellen here passed the audition. The band unanimously voted to give her a shot. I don’t believe you cast your vote. Right now, I don’t believe you even opened the damn email I sent you. If anyone’s position in After Life is in jeopardy right now, it’s yours. You’re out of line, son. Take this as a final warning.”

“My uncle won’t….” began Luke, looking flustered behind his dark glasses.

“Don’t try to play the Garrett card with me. We all know he doesn’t fund the band. He’s already cast you adrift on your own there. Why he still lets you live in his house I’ll never fathom.”

“Fine. One rehearsal!” snapped Luke, getting to his feet, almost toppling the chair in the process. “Tomorrow. If she’s shit, she goes.”

As he marched out of the kitchen, Luke slammed the door behind him, rattling the display plates on the wall.

“I’m sorry,” whispered Ellen quietly.

 

 

 

Want to know more? Check out Ellen on Amazon today.

 

Amazon.com link     https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FYHKR44

 

Amazon.co.uk link   https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07FYHKR44

May’s Author Newsletter ….I seem to have skipped a few months.. ..oops

Hi folks

I’ve just realised that I haven’t written an Author’s Newsletter since January….oops. Apologies.

Well, who would have thought back in January that the world would grind to a halt a few weeks later thanks to a worldwide pandemic. Stephen King himself couldn’t have written it…. oh, wait a minute, he did! ( Yes, I am currently re-reading The Stand)

I sincerely hope you’ve all been staying safe and staying sane. Week after week of restricted living is beginning to take it’s toll….and then there’s all the political wrangling…. Sigh…

I don’t do politics so there will be no debate nor opinions offered here…ever!

On the creative front, I have been making steady progress with Book Baby 6 and am aiming for a publication date in early 2021. (Sorry, you’re going to have to be patient, folks)I have a title in mind but I’ll keep that under wraps until the first draft is written. Best guess is that I’m currently about 60% of the way there so still on track….so far.

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Shattered Hearts, book baby 5, has been well received and has earned itself thirteen ( lucky for some) 5* reviews on Amazon.co.uk. Huge thanks to everyone who spares the time to leave a review for an author. Those twinkling stars and kind honest words really do mean the world, especially if you are having a day where adding to the word count is proving to be a challenge.

 

Before the world went into hibernation, I heard about a fantastic scheme run by The Gingerbread Tea House in Widnes, Cheshire.

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They offer a book exchange to their customers and also showcase indie authors who wish to donate a book to the scheme. Here have a look at the resulting blog post to learn more about this. I truly wish, once cafes open up again that more would adopt this idea.

https://coralmccallum.wordpress.com/2020/03/16/fancy-a-good-book-with-that-coffee-and-cake/

I’ve also been experimenting with acrostic poetry on occasion. I used to write more poetry and in fact was published as a poet long before I published my first novel. It was writing poetry while sitting in the café of my local theatre waiting for my daughter to finish her dance class that started me on this creative road. Seems a life time ago….

Missed the poems though? Not to worry, here’s an example

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https://coralmccallum.wordpress.com/2020/03/30/daisy-an-acrostic-poem/

 

Inspiration can be found all around you. You just have to keep your eyes and your mind open.

Lockdown has seen me, like everyone else, staying close to home. I’m extremely fortunate in that there is a beautiful small stretch of beach within easy walking distance of the house.

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Combining my love of photography along with the idea of a scavenger hunt resulted in this blog post –

https://coralmccallum.wordpress.com/2020/04/13/socially-distanced-scavenger-hunt/

Sometimes you need to look for alternative ways to inspire yourself. I did this in mid-April. I stumbled across a free online course linked to MoMA in New York called Seeing Through Photography. The title alone intrigued me and so began a six week course tracing what I think can be best described as the social history and importance of photography through the ages. From the first daguerreotype overly-posed family portraits to the photographic records of The Depression, the lunar landings and the Vietnam War, it was an interesting course. One of the photographs from The Depression by a photographer called Dorothea Lange inspired my final written assignment. This photograph:-

Dorothea Lange - Destitute pea pickers in California. Mother of seven children, age thirty-two, Nipomo, California, 1936

(credits to the owner Dorothea Lange- sourced via Google)

There is so much written into the face of this mother.

I was delighted to pass the course, over two weeks before the final deadline date and to earn my certificate.

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There hasn’t been much of an opportunity to escape out to play this year. Most of the gigs I have tickets for have been rescheduled until either the end of this year or early next year. My bank balance is loving this. I am not. I did however manage one outing in February….wonder if it will be the only one of 2020?

NYD 8

https://the525toglasgow.wordpress.com/2020/02/24/new-years-day-the-garage-glasgow-23-february-2020/

 

To keep my music blog alive I’ve been adding “non-gig” reviews to correspond with the original dates of my re-scheduled shows. The next non-gig is on the 28th May 😊

And that’s pretty much been it.

I promise to try not to leave it so long before the next newsletter. Until then, whenever it may bed, book baby 6 will be my primary creative focus. Who knows I may even give a sneak preview of some of it on my blog…..

In the meantime, thank you so much for your continued support and ongoing love. It really is appreciated.

Stay safe, folks

Love n hugs

Coral xx

PS – don’t forget to check out the Silver Lake series and Ellen. If you’ve read them and loved them, tell your friends 🙂

 

Book links:

 

Silver Lake series

 

Amazon.com links –

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C0GS30K

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XSQHG71

Shattered Hearts – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

 

 

Amazon.co.uk links –

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01C0GS30K

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XSQHG71

Shattered Hearts – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

 

Ellen

 

Amazon.com link     https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FYHKR44

 

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Want to meet a rock star for free?…

Actual cover pic

Looking for a hot rock star to brighten up your Monday?

Want to meet him for free?

Impossible Depths, book 2 in the Silver Lake series, is FREE to download to Kindle today.

See links below to get your FREE copy.

Amazon.com links –

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C0GS30K

Amazon.co.uk links –

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01C0GS30K

 

Happy Reading 😊

IMAG3111

 

 

 

Room 19 (an erotic short story)

Room19 image

The only sounds in Room 19 were the steady bleep of the monitors and the slow breathing of the patient in the bed. Until a few days before, he had been in ICU on life support following surgery. Since his transfer into Room 19, the doctors had kept him heavily sedated and under half-hourly observation.

 

The nurse had transferred to the department the same day the day the patient in Room 19 arrived on the ward and been assigned to care for him with strict instruction to report any changes in his condition to the charge nurse immediately.

For four days she had divided her time evenly among the four patients assigned to her. The other three were conscious and healing well so took less of her time as they focussed on recovering sufficiently well to leave as soon as the doctor signed their discharge papers. All three of them were elderly; the patient in Room 19 was young, well considerably younger than them.

For four days she checked on him every thirty minutes of her twelve-hour shift and noted no changes, no signs of improvement. He just lay there pale and still, the leads on his chest bare for all to see, the oxygen tube hooked into the nostrils of his fine straight nose, the IV linked to a canula in his right arm.

Occasionally, she noticed the smallest of flickers at his eyelids but nothing else. She wondered if he was dreaming. She wondered what colour those eyes were under the lids.

 

In his isolated dream state existence, nothing was making any sense. There were gaping black holes in his memory. Instinctively he knew something had happened to him and it hadn’t been something good. There was no pain to help identify what that “something” was. He couldn’t muster the energy to open his eyes. His world wasn’t all dark though. There were hints of colours. There were differences between light and dark. Day and night, he deduced. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t make his limbs move. They felt unnaturally heavy, almost as if they were glued to the bed he lay in. He could hear the sounds of machines in the room, the noises from outside the room. Visitors…. he had no memory of anyone visiting him. Was he somewhere far away from home? Were visitors not allowed into the room? If only he could remember……

There was one voice he was aware of. He presumed it was his nurse. She was there every once in a while. Once in a day? Once in an hour? He had no idea but when she came into the room, she spoke to him as though he were fully awake and conversant. Hearing her voice warmed his heart. Human contact. Sometimes she spoke about the folk in the other rooms; sometimes she spoke about things that had happened out with the hospital. Once she had come in complaining her car had broken down and that she’d got drenched walking the last mile to work. He could almost smell the rain off her…. summer rain. He could just about make out her shadowy silhouette as she went about her duties. She wore an unusual perfume. It reminded him of summer and suntan cream mixed with the scent of clean pure soapy shower gel. She reminded him of sunshine.

 

Then she was gone for what felt like a long time.

 

The patient in Room 19 had been on her mind while she was off duty for three whole days. Part of her felt relieved to hear that he was still there when she returned to the ward; part of her felt sad that there had been no noticeable improvement in his condition.

She visited his room first, breezing in wishing him “good morning” and muttering about the traffic on the journey into work. Methodically, she completed all her checks, updating his notes as she went. Just as she was about to leave, there was a minor disturbance in the steady bleep from the monitor. She stepped closer to check everything was ok. As she was about to turn to leave, satisfied that everything was alright, she felt a movement to her right. His hand reached out to her.

“Hey, it’s ok,” she said softly, taking his hand in hers. “You’re going to be just fine.”

She felt the gentle squeeze of his fingers against her small hand.

“Can you hear me?”

Another squeeze.

“I’ll be right back.”

 

At the nurse’s station, she reported into the charge nurse that the man in Room 19 had moved and held her hand. Her report was dismissed as “highly unlikely it was cognitive. More likely a reflex reaction. Have you seen the drugs he’s on?” The nurse nodded and returned to her duties, although in her heart she was convinced the charge nurse was wrong.

 

In his hazy world, he smiled. He’d communicated with her! She’d understood his hand movement. He’d held her hand. It was warm and smooth, not much bigger than a child’s. A stray thought meandered through as he wondered if she was any good at massage. Despite the black holes in his memory, he felt pretty sure that he enjoyed a good massage and a little “personal” attention. The dark haze closed in on him, swallowing up that delicious thought.

 

“OK, mister,” he heard her say some time later. “Bath time.”

 

Ordinarily, she didn’t enjoy bathing patients. All that old, wrinkly, smelly flesh but the patient in Room 19 was different. For a start he was far from old! Carefully, she tied the plastic apron round her waist. She had set the basin of hot water on the trolley beside the bottle of shower gel that she had begged from one of the male nurses. Slowly, she peeled back the sheet and blue waffle blanket that covered the patient. Much to her surprise, she discovered he was naked. With a smile, she lifted the warm wet flannel from the basin, added a squirt of shower gel, lathered it up then began to wash him gently. Taking care not to hurt him, she started with his neck and shoulders, smoothing the washcloth over his lightly tanned skin. As she washed his arms, she traced her finger over the outline a Celtic tattoo on his shoulder. As she rinsed out the cloth and added more shower gel, she wondered why he’d chosen that design.

Taking care not to get the leads on his chest wet, she slowly washed his torso. Noting the yellow fading bruises on his ribs, she was extra gentle as she bathed that area. She felt him quiver. Ticklish, she thought with a mischievous giggle.

 

In his hazy dream-like state, he suddenly felt warm and mellow. He was wholly aware of the nurse washing his upper body with a soapy cloth. The scent of the soap was familiar. His mind began to wander……

 

As she washed each of his feet in turn, she gently massaged them. Starting with his toes, she massaged each one firmly then, using both hands, manipulated the balls of his feet before working her thumbs in circles over the arches of his feet and round to his Achilles tendon. The feeling was exquisite, leaving him totally relaxed, putty in her hands. With more soap on the cloth, she washed his legs, running her hand wrapped the cloth up the front of his shins over his knees then over the sensitive skin of his inner thighs. With an awkward smile, she noted his physical reaction to her touch.

“Hmm, perhaps not as out of it as the doctor thinks, mister,” she observed with a giggle.

 

The touch of her hands in his inner thighs sent bolts of electricity sparking through him. Muzzy as his mind was, he was instinctively aware that he was hard. Under any other circumstances he might have felt embarrassed; in the current circumstances he prayed that she wouldn’t stop. As she lavished more attention on him, he wondered, not for the first time, what she looked like. He allowed his imagination to stray as he felt her lay the warm damp flannel over his balls.

 

As she cleaned his most intimate areas, the nurse noted the small smile forming on the man’s lips.

 

He could picture her clearly in his mind’s eye. Her white uniform low cut, showing off the curve of her breasts. As she bent forward over him, he could see she was wearing a white satin plunge bra. Oh, what he wouldn’t give to nestle his dick between those beauties. He could easily imagine gliding up and down as those full breasts caressed his cock.

 

The washcloth appeared to have been discarded. He felt soapy hands fondling his tight full balls. If this is heaven then I’ve died and gone to the right place, he thought to himself. He could feel his blood pulsing through him. As her small hand clasped his erect manhood, he let out a long low moan of ecstasy. It had been a long time….too long….

She stroked his length slowly sensually, the scented bubbles adding to the smoothness of her ministrations…

He was eager to indulge in his release; he wanted this moment of intimacy to last for eternity.

He felt her playfully add some stray soapy bubbles to his sensitive exposed tip then was blissfully aware of a soft gentle cool breath wafting over him as she blew the bubbles away. Release was imminent. If only she would lean over further, lose the tunic and the bra and allow him to feel her breasts brush against his skin.

 

In his own inner fantasy, the uniform had long since been discarded and his mystery nurse was wearing only her white satin bra and matching skimpy panties. Would it be wrong to ask her to remove those and massage his erection with them? This was his fantasy. He could visualise whatever he desired….

 

Alone in the private room, she paused. It was obvious what her patient wanted/needed. Should she? His eyelids were flickering, and she was sure he was fantasising about the same thing she was thinking. Should she? It could… no would…cost her her job if she got caught or if he filed a complaint…. The door was closed. The blinds were closed. It was tempting….

 

He felt her hand adjust its hold on him then felt her slowly work him. Up and down with a gradually increasing rhythm. The scented soapy lubricant was enhancing the moment. He was close…so close. He couldn’t hold back much longer. Inwardly he groaned as her left hand traced a line across his hip bone from his groin to his waist then slid under his butt cheek. Her right hand had increased its tempo. He could almost feel those breasts touching his skin…. almost…

 

His orgasm came hard and fast, cum spurting over her hand and his own dark pubic hair. Seventh heaven didn’t come close. If only those breasts had been bare and wrapped around him……

 

Her cheeks flushed, the nurse gently wiped down his stomach then tossed the cloth into the basin.

Carefully, she drew the sheet and blanket across him, worried that he would feel cold despite the heat in the small room.

Again, his hand moved to take hers.

The patient held her hand for a few moments.

“I know what you’re thinking, mister. Not a word,” she said as she removed her hand from his grasp. “Not a word.”

 

Tossing the discarded plastic apron into the bin, the nurse prayed that the damp stains on the front of her tunic would dry before her charge nurse commented. Picking up the basin, she turned and left the room.

 

The only sounds in Room 19 were the steady bleep of the monitors and the slow breathing of the patient in the bed, a hint of a smile playing on his lips.

 

(image sourced via Google – credits to the owner)

 

 

 

Looking for something to read?…..

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Sunday…the perfect day to sit back and relax with a good book. Pour that coffee, curl up and meet Jake Power…. I think you’ll like him.

Amazon.com links –

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C0GS30K

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XSQHG71

Shattered Hearts – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

 

 

Amazon.co.uk links –

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01C0GS30K

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XSQHG71

Shattered Hearts – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

Silently Watching On A Mother’s Moon….one week later

dark-angel

Faced with no alternative, he took a seat at the table. His glass was already filled with Stefan’s favourite wine and the runner drank deeply to fortify himself for supper with his mother. Like himself, she hadn’t aged and still looked like the same mother he remembered, occasionally with fondness, from his childhood. It also struck him that he couldn’t see any sign of wings….

“Well, this is the last place I thought I’d be sharing a meal with my son,” she commented brusquely. “All those years trying to protect you, shelter you from this life and you are stupid enough to end up in this mess.”

“As loving and caring as ever, Mother,” he replied, staring her straight in the eye.

“You have no idea, child!”

“Well, how about you explain it to me?” he suggested, his tone acid filled.

“I was born to this life,” she revealed calmly. “When you were born, I went to great lengths to hide you from this existence. I sacrificed my wings for you among other things. There’s too much of your father in you. You’re too gentle in nature to survive successfully as a vampire. Too easily led.”

“Bit late for that lecture,” he commented. “About thirty years too late, Mother.”

“And don’t I know it,” she said with a sigh. “And I blame myself. Your father wanted a son. I’d have done anything for him then. I risked everything giving birth to you and when you arrived, you were perfect and human. All the pain I put myself through to ensure of that had worked. NO blood for over seven months. Can you imagine how much of a challenge that was?”

“I explained my absences to you as business trips,” she continued, her food growing cold on the plate in front of her. “I tried to be gone no more than a week or two at a time as you grew up. Once you were older and I’d divorced your father, life became easier. You could stay with him while I attended to things. Allowed me to earn back my place at court.”

“Do you expect me to thank you?”

“No!” she snapped. “I expect you to listen. Listen well and understand. You’re set to appear before the Court of Elders in the morning. Do not play games with them. No bargains. No deals. Just do as they ask, and you’ll be able to live out your days in that beach hut of yours if that’s what you desire.”

“But I’ve already made the deal, Mother.”

“Fool! You made your bargain void when you agreed to learn our ways from Stefan. He has played you. Played to your youth and your weaknesses and he’ll do it again tomorrow. No more games.”

“So, what would you have me do, Mother darling?” he spat, his blood rage simmering inside him.

“Just agree to kill the bitch for them then agree to return here when summoned.”

“And if I still want Stefan to keep his end of the bargain?”

“If you expect that to happen then you’re a bigger fool than I thought you were,” she hissed as she got to her feet. “For once in your life, listen to me and do as I ask, son!”

Without a further word, she swept out of the room.

 

Next morning, her words were echoing in his mind as he stood outside the Court of Elders beside Trine waiting to be summoned inside. With a smile, she took his hand and said, “Be sensible in your choice of words in there, Son of Perran.”

Rolling his dark brown eyes, he said with a smile, “You sound like my mother.”

Before either of them could continue the conversation, the large oak door swung open, inviting him to step inside.

As before, the room was lit by flaming sconces and candelabra and was dominated by the large intricately carved table. For the first time, he noticed the pattern on the floor – runes- and took note that the table was in a different position in the large circular room.

“Welcome, Son of Perran,” greeted Stefan warmly. “Step closer, please.”

Instead of four seats, there were now seven seats behind the table. As before, Stefan, Michael and Alessandro were seated but to either side of them were two more seats. Three of those were occupied by women, one of whom was his mother. The last seat was occupied by a child of no more than ten or twelve.

“We’ve called the full court together,” explained Stefan as if reading his mind. “Last time we only afforded you a partial hearing, so all agreements struck on that date are void now that you have voluntarily appeared before a full court. Do you understand me?”

“Perfectly,” replied the runner, realising his mother had been correct and that Stefan had been humouring him.

“We’ve invited you back to discuss our request that you kill the dark angel who broke our code when she created you. Over the years, she has repeatedly broken the golden rules of our code of conduct but so far, we have been unable to catch her. Will you do as we ask, Son of Perran?”

“I will,” replied the runner, hoping he sounded calmer than he felt.

“No conditions this time?” quizzed Stefan raising one eyebrow.

“Only that I be allowed to return home.”

“That we can agree to on one condition,” replied Stefan. “My daughter accompanies you to continue your education. Is that agreeable to you?”

The runner nodded.

“Then we have reached an accord, Son of Perran. You may leave.”

With a last glance across at his mother, the runner turned and left the room.

Happy Mother’s Day – give your mom time to read and relax today…just a hint…

***** Happy Mother’s Day*****

They were so lost in conversation that they had almost reached the bath house before either of them noticed how far they had walked.

“Do you want to sit down for a few minutes?” suggested Jake, fretting that they had come too far for Lori. “Let you catch your breath a bit?”

Lori paused, then let out a sharp gasp as she clutched her stomach.

“Lori?”

“My waters just broke,” she gasped as she stared down at the wet patch of sand around her feet and at the fluid trickling down her legs.

 

(excerpt from Bonded Souls)

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Want to read more? Then check out the Silver Lake series today on Amazon

 

 

Amazon.com links –

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C0GS30K

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XSQHG71

Shattered Hearts – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

 

 

Amazon.co.uk links –

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01C0GS30K

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XSQHG71

Shattered Hearts – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

 

#SilverLakeseries #StrongerWithin #ImpossibleDepths #BondedSouls #ShatteredHearts #bookpromo #kindle #ebook   #romanceread #weekendread #bookworms #bookblogger   #beachread #Rehoboth #rockstar #rockmusic #beach #love #romance   #book #lovestory #JakePower #SilverLake #amreading #ebooks #lovetoread #indieauthor #fiction #contemporaryfiction #lovetoread #bookworms   #Amazon   #Kindlefiction #bookpromoishardwork #ShatteredHearts #tellyourfriends

 

 

Silently Watching on a Mother’s Moon

dark-angel

 

Shaded from the May sunshine, the dark angel sat on the church roof under the shelter of a towering horse chestnut tree. It was mid-afternoon and the local schoolchildren were slowly and noisily making their way up the steep hill. The tantalising smell of their youthful blood was teasing her senses. She hadn’t fed for a week and forbidden young blood was a tempting thought. Watching the kids closely, she spotted that two had peeled off from the group and were disappearing up the single-track road passed the graveyard. Should she? The thought lingered……

 

Restlessly, he paced the large room that he had been escorted to following the meeting with the Court of Elders. There had been no sign of Trine in the hallway as he had been led down the long corridor and up a tight, twisting, stone staircase to the room he was now in.

The room was round with several long narrow windows affording him a spectacular view over an unknown mountain range. Most of the peaks were snow covered. There were no obvious signs of any towns or villages. Not knowing where he was in the world unnerved him. He felt trapped. Imprisoned.

A tray of food lay untouched on the table beside the large fireplace. He didn’t feel hungry. He paused his pacing to stare into the flames of the log fire that was burning in the hearth, listening to the hiss and spit of the sap as it oozed from the largest log. Several small flames danced along the length of the burning piece of wood.

Behind him, the door opened with a squeal of rusty hinges and a creak of old oak.

He smiled in spite of his sour mood when he saw Trine step into the room.

“You haven’t eaten,” she noted as she stepped towards him.

“Not hungry.”

“You need to eat.”

“I’m not hungry,” he repeated.

“Then at least have a glass of wine with me,” encouraged Trine, pouring them both a generous glass of dark red wine. “It’ll quench your blood thirst.”

Without waiting for his reply, she passed him the glass, their fingertips grazing each other as he accepted the glass.

Trine smiled.

“How long does your father intend to keep me here? I feel like a prisoner,” quizzed the runner, unable to mask his exasperation.

“I don’t know. The Court of Elders is still in session. I’ve not been able to speak with him yet,” apologised Trine quietly. “I’ll wait with you though. You’re his guest not his prisoner.”

“A guest who isn’t allowed to leave his room.”

“Patience, Son of Perran,” chided Trine with a smile. “I might not be privy to them but I’m sure my father has good reasons for asking you to stay.”

“I wasn’t asked,” he muttered.

In an effort to change the subject, Trine said, “I grew up here. Spent my childhood roaming every inch of this place.”

“Where are we?” asked the runner, hoping she would reveal their location.

“A long way from your beach hut,” she replied evasively. “I can’t tell you our location. It’s forbidden.”

“Why am I not surprised!”

“What happened when you went before the Court?”

Walking back across the chamber to the window, he replied, “Your father asked me if I would kill her.”

“And will you?”

“For a price.”

“You bargained with the Elders?” exclaimed Trine, eyes wide with shock. “That’s unheard of! Well, unheard of and for you to still be alive to tell the tale.”

“Your father agreed to the deal in the end.”

“Wow! You must have really impressed him.”

“He did,” came a familiar voice from the doorway. “Trine, a little privacy if you don’t mind.”

“Of course, Papa.”

 

Without moving from his stance by the window, the runner watched Trine glide gracefully from the room, closing the door behind her.

“Our deal should remain a secret between yourself and the Elders for now,” cautioned Stefan, as he poured himself a glass of wine.

The runner nodded before taking a sip from his own glass. He could feel the blood infused wine coursing through his veins.

“Can I leave?” he asked simply. “I’d like to go home.”

“Soon,” replied Stefan calmly. “We still have much to talk about. Plus, I’d like to personally educate you a little on our history and our code of conduct. It might prove helpful to you for the task that lies ahead of you.”

Deciding to remain silent about the fact that he already knew how to kill the dark angel, he nodded reluctantly, “And I suppose my mother wants to meet with me too.”

“She does but I’ve sent her on an errand for me,” Stefan revealed. “You’ll see her before you eventually leave here, I’m sure.”

“And where is here?”

“You know I’m not about to reveal that, son,” said the mature vampire with a smile. “This castle has remained hidden for almost a thousand years. We’d like to keep it that way.” He paused, noting the setting sun outside, “Tomorrow I’ll ask Trine to give you a tour. She knows this castle like the back of her hand. She grew up here without playmates. I regret that. Her mother would never have approved this life for her.”

“Is her mother not here?”

“She’s dead,” replied Stefan simply. “Giving birth to Trine killed her. Too much blood loss. Vampire births are dangerous.”

Stefan shook his head, “She has a brother. He’s in the North on a mission. My son prefers the company of wolves to vampires.”

Together, they stood watching the sunset, drinking the wine in silence. As the sun dipped below the horizon, Stefan drained his glass and said, “I’ll have Trine show you round after breakfast. I’ll meet you in the afternoon to begin your formal education. For now, though, Son of Perran, I’ll bid you goodnight.”

 

Next morning Trine returned to the chamber carrying a tray of breakfast for him.

“You must be starving,” she observed lightly. “Did you sleep well?”

“Actually, I did,” replied the runner as he got out of bed. “What am I meant to do for clean clothes?”

“Look in the wardrobe, silly,” giggled the ice maiden. “There’s plenty to choose from.”

Crossing the room to open the large mahogany wardrobe, he wasn’t surprised to find it filled with clothes in his exact size. Lifting down a shirt and dark jeans, he said, “Give me a few minutes. I need to shower.”

 

Despite his initial reservations, the runner enjoyed his tour of the castle. As they walked through the various hallways, Trine told him stories from vampire history, pointing out features that were of historical importance. She also interspersed their history lesson with anecdotal tales of her childhood escapades. Their tour ended on the castle ramparts.

An icy wind was blowing as they walked along the narrow path that led them round the walls of the castle.

“You room is in that tower over there,” said Trine, pointing out one of eight towers of varying heights. “My father’s rooms are in the tallest tower and the Court is below them.”

“Where is your room?” he asked, admiring the splendour of the architecture.

“Above yours,” replied Trine. “Non- Elders are lodged in that tower as it is the one furthest away from the head Elder’s chambers.”

“So, when you were a child you had to sleep away over here while your dad was in his big fancy tower?”

Trine nodded, “Occasionally I would sneak into his room. If he found me asleep in his bed, he usually let me stay. When I got older though he would always make me return to my own room.”

“Where does my mother live around here?” quizzed the runner, his curiosity getting the better of him.

“In that small tower to the right of where my father sleeps. There are three female members of the Court. They all have rooms in that tower.”

“The view is stunning,” he conceded, gazing across the mountains. “Why does no one just up and fly away?”

“There’s an enchantment over the castle. It prevents anyone from leaving without my father’s permission.”

“Even you?”

“Everyone,” repeated Trine. “Let’s go in. He’ll be waiting for you by now.”

 

Instead of leading him back to his own room, Trine led them round the ramparts towards the tallest tower. Eventually, she paused beside what to the runner just looked like a stone wall. With a wink, Trine pressed on a combination of smaller bricks and a hidden stone doorway opened.

“Did I mention secret passages?” she said with a girlish giggle. “Come on. Follow me. Watch your head. The ceiling is low inside.”

Taking him by the hand, Trine led him down a narrow staircase, along several twisting corridors before finally emerging in a sumptuous sitting room via another doorway hidden behind thick velvet drapes.

“When will you learn to use the door, daughter?” chided her father, who was sitting in an armchair beside the fireplace.

“Never, father,” she laughed.

“Ignore my childish daughter,” said Stefan getting to his feet. “Welcome, Son of Perran, I trust Trine is taking good care of you.”

“Yes,” replied the runner. “She’s been giving me a tour of the castle. Don’t think I’ll ever find my way round here.”

“It is a bit of a maze,” conceded Stefan warmly. “Please, sit. Trine, make yourself useful and pour us a drink then make yourself scarce for an hour or two. I wish to speak to our friend here in private.”

 

Once alone, Stefan raised his glass towards the runner and said, “Skal.”

“Yeghes da.”

“You must be wondering about why we choose to live here,” began the Head of the Court of Elders.

The runner nodded, “However, I would like to go home if that’s ok with you.”

“And as I said before, I’d like you stay for a short while,” stated Stefan in tone that left little room for negotiation.

“Why?”

“I would like to begin to fill in some of the gaps in your education. From what I’ve heard you’ve been taught very little about our traditions, our rules and our way of living. Once that education has been completed, I plan to bring you before the court again to discuss your creator. If at that hearing you still wish to make the same bargain, then I will keep my word and we will arrange for you to be extinguished.”

“I’m not going to change my mind.”

“Time will tell, son,” he said. “Plus, I promised your mother.”

“She has no right to interfere!”

“She has every right, Son of Perran,” countered Stefan sharply. “You will remain here until the second full moon. Ironically, it’s the Mother’s Moon.”

“Guess, I have no choice.”

 

The weeks passed swiftly as he settled into the way of life in the castle. Mornings were spent studying in the castle library with Michael; afternoons were spent with Alessandro. Every day he had dinner with Trine, their meals prepared in the kitchens to ensure that the lust for blood was quenched. Once a week they were allowed out to hunt. An enchanted chain spell kept him tethered to Trine, the furthest he could stray from her was twenty metres away. Together, they hunted on wildlife, choosing mountain goats and the occasional sheep.

In the evenings, Stefan would invite him to join him in his chambers. On the odd occasion, Trine was allowed to stay. Despite himself, he began to look forward to the evenings by Stefan’s fireplace. They chatted amiably over a few glasses of wine discussing the world in general or more often than not the runner had questions about the things he was learning.

As May’s full moon approached, he began to look forward to the thought of returning home. He was craving the comfort of his own things. He was eagerly anticipating sitting on the beach in front of his hut watching the sunset and listening to the waves lapping in against the shingle beach.

His heart however was troubled. Over the weeks, he had grown closer to Trine, grown fond of her. His lessons had shown him just how twisted and dangerous the dark angel was, but he still had reservations about killing her in cold blood. He was, as Stefan had anticipated, having second thoughts about ending his own eternal life.

A date for his second appearance at the Court of Elders had been set. He was due to appear one week after the full moon.

 

Standing alone on the castle ramparts, the runner watched the sun sink below the horizon. The moon was slowly emerging – the full Mother’s Moon. He stood gazing out across the mountain range watching the sky darken and the moon brighten.

“There you are!” exclaimed Trine from behind him. “You’re late!”

“Late for what?” he asked without moving.

“Supper with my father. He’s waiting for you,” explained Trine. “And you now how he hates to be kept waiting.”

“And if I don’t want to have supper with him?” challenged the runner defiantly. “I’m quite happy out here.”

“Son of Perran,” she snapped, her blue eyes staring icily into his soul. “Don’t play games with me! You can come back and howl at the moon later, but you are coming with me now!”

Before he could protest, she wrapped her wings around him and the world went black.

 

When he opened them, he knew instantly by the smell and the pattern of the rug that Trine had transported them to Stefan’s study.

“Thank you, Trine,” he heard a familiar voice say. “Son?”

Lifting his gaze from the floor, he found himself face to face with his mother.

“Mother,” he greeted with quiet sarcasm. “What a pleasant surprise.”

“Sarcasm never did suit you,” she rebuked sharply. “Come. Sit. Supper is getting cold.”

When he glanced round, Trine had vanished. Stefan was also conveniently absent. He was alone in the chamber with his mother.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday… any day… the perfect day to curl up with a book.

coffee time

Sunday…the perfect day to sit back and relax with a good book. Pour that coffee, curl up and meet Jake Power…. I think you’ll like him.

Amazon.com links –

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C0GS30K

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XSQHG71

Shattered Hearts – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

 

 

Amazon.co.uk links –

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01C0GS30K

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XSQHG71

Shattered Hearts – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

 

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