A Goddess of Night Novella: Book One
All rights reserved. No part of the book may be distributed, reproduced, or transmitted in any form whatsoever without the prior written permission of the author.
Copyright 2011 by Ley Mesina
Cover art Copyright 2011 by Hardy Mesina
First Edition: May 2011
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either a product of the writer’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
For information visit http://leymesina.blogspot.com
This book is dedicated to my husband and best friend, Hardy.
Thank you for believing in me.
“I’m busy! Tell whoever it is that I’m busy.” Samuel shouted as he searched frantically through his desk drawers.
“Forgive me sir, but this is someone you will want to meet.” The guard said.
Samuel sighed. “Alright who is it?” He ran his hand through his slightly gray hair, something he did when he was irritated. However, once he saw the man who stood at his doorway his mood quickly changed.
“Leave us.” He said waving his hand to shoo the guard away. Samuel eyed the mysterious man who approached him. A fire formed in the shape of a circle once he reached the center of the room, trapping him inside.
The man didn’t flinch. Instead, his pitch black eyes stared coldly at him.
“Who are you?” Samuel asked.
“My name is Alexander Von Draco.” He responded in a strong English accent.
“I have to say, it’s not every day that I get graced with the presence of a vampire…willingly. How did you get in here anyway?” Samuel leaned back in his chair comfortably, unafraid of his natural rival.
“I compelled your guards to let me in.” Alexander said.
“Compelled?” Samuel laughed. “That’s impossible. They are all trained to resist the persuasion of a vampire.”
Alexander smirked. “I'm not just any ordinary vampire.” He said walking through the flame slowly and effortlessly. “I’m an elder, one of the oldest vampires who ever existed.”
Samuel swallowed hard, his lighthearted disposition shifted drastically and he was overcome with fear.
“I take it you’ve heard of me.” Alexander smiled a tinge of cockiness in his voice.
Samuel wasn't sure what to expect. The hair on his skin stood on ends as Alexander neared him. Fearing for the worst, he struck his enemy with a bolt of energy to knock him down, but it didn’t work. He tried again and again, but Alexander stood there laughing at his feeble attempts to hurt him.
“What do you want from me?” Samuel asked stumbling out of his chair.
Alexander's expression became serious. “A witch led me to you. She said that you would have the power to help me with what I need,” he shook his head, “but from what I’ve seen so far, I think I’ve wasted my time.”
“What makes you think that I would help you?”
“Because you know that unlike you, I can always compel you...or I can just kill you.” Alexander said without hesitation. He enjoyed toying with people especially when they were vulnerable.
Samuel looked at Alexander for a moment. “What is it that you want exactly?” He asked suspiciously.
“I want you to help me with a spell so I can walk in the sun without revealing my true identity. Other vampires aren’t able to walk in the sun merely because they will burn. It's different with me.” Alexander walked over to the large bay window and pulled back part of the drapes. Sunlight beamed through half of his face and Samuel watched in amazement as he realized what Alexander meant. The half exposed to sunlight revealed the vampire within; whereas the other half that hid in the shade remained a mask of his human face.
“I’ll see what I can do.” Samuel said.
Over the next several weeks, Samuel tried every spell he could think of to make this happen, but nothing was working and he knew that Alexander was getting restless.
“You’re useless!” Alexander yelled in anger, grabbing Samuel by the throat and lifting him into the air. “You’re just like the others. What made them believe that you would be so powerful? Because you’re the leader?” Alexander laughs sarcastically. “Some leader you are.” He growled as his lips curled behind his fangs.
“I may have another alternative.” Samuel managed to say. Alexander loosened his grip and released him from his hold, dropping him on the ground.
“I’m listening.” Alexander said.
“Years ago I discovered a handful of vampires that were able to walk in the sun without being burned.” Samuel said straightening his coat and regaining his composure.
“I captured one of them because he is also a witch. I realized that I would be able to use him to my benefit if I kept him alive.” Samuel walked to the door and opened it, making sure that no one can hear them talk. “The council believes I’m using him to eliminate your kind.”
“And you're not?” Alexander asked confused.
“No, I'm building an army to go against them.” He said.
“Why haven’t you mentioned this other witch before?” Alexander asked finally.
“I thought I would be able to do it.” He said disappointed.
“Well what are we waiting for? Where is he?” Alexander asked impatiently.
“He’s training one of my leaders now.”
“Can’t you get him to return?”
“No. It’s not that simple. Their on a very sensitive mission and I can’t pull him out without having to explain it to my council.” Samuel smiled uncomfortably, “And I don’t think they’ll appreciate that I’m working with you.”
Alexander sighed. “Alright, when do you expect him to return?”
“It could take about a month or so…” Samuel responded nervously.
Alexander didn’t seem pleased by the time frame, but he agreed. “And you’re sure that he can help me?”
“Yes, Nathaniel comes from a long line of powerful witches, old witch’s blood as we call it. As I said, he’s able to survive the sun without burning, so I’m confident that he will be able to help you hide your identity.”
Alexander looked up at Samuel, stunned by the name. “What did you say his name was?”
“Nathaniel. Why?” Samuel asked curiously.
“And you said that Nathaniel was with other vampires?” He continued avoiding the question.
“Yes, three males. Is there something wrong?”
Alexander cleared his throat. “Since it will be awhile before his return, this gives me a chance to see if Nathaniel can deliver what I need. I want you to find me one of the vampires he was with. I want to see this vampire go into the sunlight myself.”
“That’s impossible. I don’t even know who they are and even if I did, I would need something that belonged to him in order to locate him.”
Alexander pulled off a ring from his index finger and put it on Samuel’s desk. “Will this do?”
October 5, 1692
It’s been almost two months since I was bitten, but it's starting to get easier to control. My attempts to kill were difficult. Every time I tried, I pictured their families in mourning and it would be because of me. How could I live with myself? I asked this question every time temptation rose, but the weaker I became the harder it was to rationalize and resist. The blood of animals helped, but it wasn't enough. I craved blood—human blood.
I remember that evening when I finally came out of hiding. I crawled out of the cave I had been living in since I was turned; the place I had called home after mine was burned to the ground from Alexander Von Draco’s guard.
I wondered about on the streets and I heard a man scream. Not long after, the smell of blood lingered in the air and I couldn’t resist following its scent. There, I found a man lying to his death. He suffered severe knife wounds and was gasping for breath. I stood over him as he looked at me with helpless eyes until he longer struggled for air…
Since the man was already dead, I didn’t see the harm. I fed from him, drinking every drop of blood. This is how I survived these past months. Sometimes a murder would ensue or someone had gotten sick, or even those who died of old age. I convinced myself that this was the only way to survive.
Lily Westbrook stood on the rooftop of her Aunt Trudy’s apartment building gazing at the blanket of stars hovering over her. She closed her father’s journal and sighed. It’s a page that she’s read over and over again, but it surprised her every time.
She inhaled the night air and closed her eyes to gather her thoughts. A slight smile formed across her face as a faint breeze brushed against it. Even with the blazing sound of police sirens twenty stories below, she was lost in her concentration. She was excited to try her new spells, waiting for the night sky before unleashing the chants memorized in her head.
Her eyes opened hastily exposing nothing but darkness, something that always happens when she performed her witchcraft. Her hands moved graciously as she swayed them back and forth. The wind grew stronger and the sound of the rustling trees echoed louder than the city noises below. She could feel herself getting weak, but pushed further remaining focused. Her hands, now moving rapidly, conjured the wind to increase. She heard the faint sounds of car alarms and trashcans tumbling down the hill. Her pulse raced and her heart accelerated. Feeling as though her whole body was about to explode; she dropped to her knees unable to continue.
The wind stopped.
With her eyes tightly shut, she gasped for air and waited for her shivering body to calm down. Slowly, her eyes opened revealing her natural blue color.
Frustration overwhelmed her, but her eighteenth birthday was minutes away and she knew that she would gain full control of her powers. She got up and walked toward the edge of the rooftop. She wrapped her arms around her feeling the coolness of the air. Even in the summer, the mist from the ocean made the nights cold.
From the distance, she could see the thick fog dancing around the Golden Gate Bridge and was positive that she could hear the water clashing against the rocks.
Her sight and hearing were improving, she thought. She wondered how much powerful she would become once she turned eighteen and how strongly it would affect her abilities as being half vampire.
Eighteen—the age when all witches powers are fully matured. Her Aunt Trudy explained that on her eighteenth birthday, the feeling of her powers maturing was exhilarating; like a missing part of her was finally found.
Trudy said that many witches live a normal life. Others join a coven and stay in command of the Witches Council; whereas a selected few join the council if they show their abilities are worthy.
Lily thought about how her Aunt Trudy despised the council, but when Lily would press the conversation, she would just brush it off and say that the council was not the same as it was when she was in a coven.
Trudy separated herself from that world in the 80’s, years before Lily was born. She stated that she didn’t agree with their politics, so they freed her and banned her from the witches' world for good.
Trudy didn’t mind. She found happiness with a man named Brian Westbrook, to whom she was married to for nearly ten years before he was killed in a car accident. Trudy later learned by Nathaniel that her marriage to a mortal kept her hidden from the council and he thought it was wise to use the Westbrook name to shield Lily’s identity as well.
Lily knew her existence was kept in secret. The only thing she knew about her parent's death was that they were killed because of their romance. Vampires and witches are sworn enemies and the joining of the two is forbidden. As far as they knew, the council had no idea that Claire was pregnant. Trudy could see the headlines now. Claire Buchannan, one of the most beloved and respected witches is conceiving a child with Nathaniel Kensington, one of the most powerful witches in history, who turned into a vampire in the 1600s. Oh yes, the council would have a field day over that one. This is why Trudy had feared Lily’s safety, if she was discovered who knows what the council would do to her.
Despite not having her parents, Lily was thankful that she had her Aunt Trudy and Uncle Arthur to help guide her. Though Trudy knew she wasn’t as powerful, she was able to teach Lily several things about witchcraft using her old spell book. Trudy’s abilities were different than her sister Claire’s. She was able to communicate with the dead. Her powers had helped many families and spirits resolve any unfinished business and she made a living using her gift by doing private readings. However, when Claire went into hiding, she decided that it was time to step out of the lime light and not draw attention to herself. After Claire’s death, she tried once more to communicate with her, but was unable to reach her. She thought she was losing her ability and since then hasn’t used it. She’s tried focusing on living a normal life with Lily, as the owner and landlord of the apartment building.
“I’m not nearly as good as your mother was.” Trudy would say about Claire. “And I certainly wasn’t anything like your father.” She said of Nathaniel.
“You’re doing a great job training me.” Lily would assure her.
Her Uncle Arthur, a family friend of her parents, is an elder; one of the oldest vampires alive. Arthur has always been a father figure to Lily, teaching her how to use and control her abilities. “The one benefit of being only half vampire is that you don’t crave blood like other vampires do.” He would joke.
Lily could hear the voices of guests who had started to arrive. Her aunt was throwing her both a birthday and goodbye party. She thought about her aunt and grew sad. Just as Arthur was like a father to her, Trudy was much like a mother.
Her parents left her with her with Trudy the day after she was born and Lily knew it would be hard for her aunt, especially since she was leaving. The decision to go to Kensington University was difficult for Trudy to grasp, but she eventually accepted the decision, knowing that Arthur would follow. Arthur had lived in Cedar Creek on and off and stayed for several years during the 1900s when Nathaniel was constructing the University. He thought it would be a good idea to return once Lily started college.
Lily had received several offers from prestigious universities, but Kensington University was the only choice for her. It was a way for her to somehow hold onto her parents. The town was originally founded by the Kensington’s. This was not only her parent’s and ancestor's home; this was also where Lily was born.
Cedar Creek was located in Massachusetts. This was a small town occupying a little over 2900 long time residents and 800 students at the private University. The only vampires that occupied the town were the Von Draco’s—Arthur’s son, Drew, and nephew, Xander.
Lily wondered aimlessly on the ledge of the rooftop, looking through the windows across the street. In one window, she saw a little girl watching television with her parents. She envied her, wishing that she could have had a memory to hang on to, but she had nothing. Her parents had made her a small stoned Ankh pendant symbolizing eternal life. The material was molded with crystals and stones, each having a different meaning to its power. Trudy had said that the pendant not only offers protection, but significant magic as well. She constantly reminded Lily to never take it off.
On Lily’s thirteenth birthday, Arthur had given her stacks of Nathaniel’s journals, which she was almost finished reading. One journal remained, and a piece of her felt heart-broken knowing that the journal—and her father’s life—were coming to an end. She knew she wasn’t prepared to let him go, which resulted in her reading one page at a time instead of the several pages she use to read when she was younger. Reading through her father’s journals has helped Lily get to know him. Though she hasn’t met her parents, a large part of her missed them. All of the photos Trudy had of Claire were hidden because she feared for their safety. Lily remembered finding a picture of her mother and keeping it without her aunt knowing. She kept the picture inside of her spell book. She didn’t have a picture of her father and didn’t even know what he looked like, but that was to be expected considering that vampires don’t appear on film.
Lily’s thoughts came to a halt as she was startled by something rubbing against her ankle.
“What the—” She said.
She looked down to see a black cat, but lost her balance. Her foot slipped on the ledge and she started to fall. Her hands reached for the building, trying to grab onto anything she could, but there was no hope. The cold air struck her body like a harsh wave drowning her in water. Her body stiffened for a split second then unexpectedly relaxed. She positioned herself vertically as she came to an abrupt stop and remained floating in the air. She let out a laugh of relief as she looked around her, wiggling her feet at the empty space below. She looked straight ahead, realizing she was in front of her window and could see her Aunt Trudy staring at her, eyes wide and mouth open. Lily knew she was in trouble, especially because she was out where people could have seen her. But at that moment, she didn’t care.
Her arms lifted from her sides and she landed safely onto the sidewalk in front of the apartment building. Lily was astonished at what just happened. She looked at her watch—five minutes into her birthday. Excitement overwhelmed her. Is this what she should expect from gaining all of her powers? She didn’t have the strength to float in the air before and the fact that she was able to do it without any spells or concentration amazed her.
Gertrude Westbrook wiped down the island that took up most of her kitchen before setting up the food for the party. She wanted to keep herself occupied so she wouldn’t think about what she had witnessed earlier. Instead, she focused on Lily leaving for college, making mental notes of things she will need. Tears streamed down her cheeks at the thought of her only family leaving home and she knew it was silly to think that Lily would be living with her forever. She lifted the bottom of her apron and quickly wiped the corners of her eyes hoping that Lily wouldn’t walk in and catch her falling apart already. She knew that her niece was worried about leaving her alone, but she assured her that everything would be okay.
“Good evening, Gertrude.” A sophisticated, middle aged looking man stood at the entryway of her kitchen. Trudy was never able to guess how old Arthur actually was because he hasn’t aged since the first time they met. Though to anyone else, they would probably have guessed he was in his late 30s.
“Arthur, how many times do I have to tell you to please call me Trudy? Gertrude makes me sound like a wicked old woman.” They laughed. “My apologies…Trudy. So where is the birthday girl?” He looked around the room.
“She’ll be out in a few minutes, she’s just getting ready.” Trudy said trying to disguise her concern.
She could sense that he was about to say something else, but he was called over by a few neighbors.
Arthur Von Draco has been a part of Lily’s life since the first day she was born. He was with Claire and Nathaniel the night they dropped Lily off.
“He’s been more than a good friend to me. He’s family.” Nathaniel said patting Arthur on the back. “He is going to help Lily with her abilities.” He said as he looked at Trudy’s reluctant face. “He will protect you both.” He assured.
Trudy remembered how hesitant she had been for the first few months. She let him live in the apartment next door to theirs. Over the next couple years, Trudy became grateful for Arthur’s presence in Lily’s life. Especially once she showed signs that she was indeed a vampire. Trudy knew she would never be able to teach Lily anything about that world and she eventually became fond of Arthur, learning that though he was quite reserved, he was always very thoughtful and caring toward her and Lily. He never missed a birthday and always gave Lily presents on Christmas. Lily looked up to him, calling him Uncle Arthur almost instantly.
More guests arrived, mostly the tenants that stayed in the building. A few friends from high school showed up, but no one that Lily was close to. Trudy wished Lily had more friends, but she knew that she enjoyed her alone time. This gave her a chance to practice her powers. Trudy assumed this characteristic was inherited from Nathaniel because he always kept to himself. Sure, they had a great relationship, but it wasn’t until Trudy finally discovered Nathaniel’s secret that he was able to open up.
Trudy was aware of the powerful gift that Lily possessed, but she hadn’t realized just how powerful she would be until she saw her floating in front of her windowsill, something that was nearly impossible to do. Very few witches in history were able to accomplish that, but she knew she shouldn’t be surprised. After all, Lily came from a long line of witches from both her mother and father’s side. Claire and Trudy’s family had been leaders of covens and Nathaniel’s ancestors were all involved in the high council; many considered them to be the kings and queens of witches. It was said that Nathaniel and the rest of the Kensington family were descendents of Nyx, the Goddess of Night, making their background more powerful. This was only a legend, however, and was never confirmed by any member of the family.
“Are you mad, Aunt Trudy?” Lily said interrupting her thoughts.
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