This is a continuation of A New Life.
copyright © 2011 Lisa McCourt Hollar. All rights reserved.
by Lisa McCourt Hollar
“Linda, if I find out you did something to her, so help me God…”
“God? So help you God?” Linda laughed, mockingly, “What’s He going to do?”
“Linda,” James sighed, “I wish you would take your soul seriously.” Shaking his head, he strode over to the heavily curtained window and looked out into the night. No sign of Jayne. He was worried. Linda sensed his concern and frowned, glaring at his back.
“She’ll be back,” Linda said, barely containing her anger. “She’s not a daywalker, she has to come back.”
“That doesn’t mean she is safe,” James said. “I don’t understand why she fled the Manor. Are you sure you didn’t say anything to her to drive her out into the night?”
“Why would I do that? Okay, okay,” Linda said, throwing up her hands when James raised an eyebrow at that question, “but I swear, I didn’t say anything to your bloody bitch.”
“You will watch how you talk to me,” James warned, raising his voice for what seemed like the millionth time at his daughter, but Linda didn’t hear, having turned and left the room before he’d even opened his mouth. Turning back towards the window, James looked as far as his vampire eyes would allow. No Jayne. Closing his eyes he said a quick prayer to a God he hoped hadn’t abandoned him, then grabbed his cloak and headed out to find Jayne.
Linda watched her father leave the Manor in search of his precious Jayne and screamed, her voice echoing off the walls of the room. “She’s ruining everything!” Linda tore the curtains away from the window, ripping the rod out of the wall as she did so. She heard her bedroom door open, but ignored the intruder as she turned her attention to a chair, picking up the Victorian wingback and throwing it against the wall. The antique splintered, but the vampire, in full tantrum didn’t notice as she tipped her bed over and then grabbed a vase and smashed it against the same wall the chair had been sacrificed to. She was just about to throw a mirror when she felt strong arms wrap around her, encasing her in their grip and preventing her from being able to pull back her arm to release the glass with enough power to do any damage. Releasing her grip on the mirror Linda allowed it to drop harmlessly to the ground and sobbing, leaned into her captor.
“Are you okay?” Steve asked, turning her towards him and allowing his lover to cry into his chest. Normally strong, he had never seen Linda this vulnerable before.
“That bitch is ruining everything,” Linda moaned, her tears staining his shirt red. He would have to change before he went out tonight.
“I’m sure it will all work out,” Steve said, running his fingers through her hair. He was trying to be comforting but at the sound of his voice Linda stiffened, then pushed herself away from him, removing his hand from her head.
“It’s all your fault,” Linda snarled. “If you had only done as I had said, none of this would be happening now.”
“I’m sorry,” Steve said, wondering how many times over the past few months he had echoed those words. Linda really was an unforgiving mistress, but he was willing to put up with it because, well, she would kill him if he didn’t. He knew she had the strength to do it. But he also put up with it because he loved her, although he didn’t know it at first. When she had first turned him, he missed Jayne so much, wanting his life back. That’s why he had disobeyed Linda and brought Jayne into their world. He hadn’t expected Linda to be so jealous. He also hadn’t expected Jayne to be so…un-vampire like. He had instantly taken to the life, under the careful instructions of Linda and had expected Jayne to do the same. That first night had been a disaster when he’d led her back to the Manor.
“What have you done?” Linda stood just inside the entrance when he came in practically dragging Jayne along.
“Linda, this is Jayne,” Steve said, the words sounding hollow in the room.
“I know who she is. Why is she here? Better yet, why does she have fangs and not a huge gash in her throat?”
“I know you said to stay away from everyone I had known but I missed her.” Steve’s voice was pleading with Linda to understand, but he could tell that she was angry. Linda’s eyes grew blacker than they already were and she rushed across the room at Jayne. Her intentions were clear, she was going to rip her head right off her shoulders. Jayne, for her part, was remarkable. She stepped out of the way with the ease of a much older, more experienced vampire and Linda stumbled out the open door, onto the veranda. Turning, she locked her eyes on Jayne, conveying her intention to see her dead and sprinted back into the room, daring Jayne to avoid her again. Jayne though did not need to step out of the way, something solid and hard inserting itself in-between the two. James held his daughter in his grip until she stopped snarling and stood still.
“What is going on?” James looked at Linda, then Steve, then Jayne and then back to Linda. “You broke the covenant again?” His words were spoken softly but there was so much grief in them, such sorrow and disappointment that Linda took a step back from him, hurt reflecting in her eyes.
“I am not responsible for her being here,” Linda said, “Steve is. He disobeyed me and made her one of us.”
“And you disobeyed me and made Steve one of us. You are responsible.”
Linda stared at her father, her cheeks flushed with the fresh blood she had drank earlier. The coloring was not lost on James who shook his head. “You have been in town?”
“No,” Linda said, “the woods. Just a few river rats is all.”
“How can I believe you? Linda,” he sighed, “you are my daughter but I don’t know you. The Covenant has been kept for nearly a hundred years and in one month’s time has been broken twice.”
“The Covenant is past due to be broke,” Linda spat. “I didn’t make it. Why should I follow it when other covens are out there able to drink from the human’s. Why must I have to dine on animals?” Linda said animals as though it were a dirty word, her lips pulling back in a snarl, revealing her fangs. Jayne watched, confused about all this talk about a Covenant.
“You follow it,” James said, his voice firm, indicating he would not be challenged, “because you are my daughter and a part of the family. If you don’t like it, you may leave but you lose any protection living here has given you.”
Linda knew she didn’t need the protection of James and she knew he knew that as well. She could go and join any other coven in the area and be welcome…even be given senior status. But she wouldn’t be in line to rule and ruling was power. She wanted that power and would have it when her father decided to step down as head of their coven...family. For that she would stay.
“You must be Jayne,” James said, turning towards the new vampire.
“How did you know,” Jayne asked.
“Not hard to figure out,” James said. “Steve has projecting thoughts of you very loudly ever since my daughter first brought him here. I had a feeling this would happen, but I was hoping I would be wrong.
“I can still fix it,” Linda said. “Let me kill her, since her being here is an abomination to the covenant.”
“And killing her would be just as much of an abomination, maybe even worse of a one since now her soul is on the line.”
“You assume her soul was already in a good state when Steve turned her,” Linda sneered.
“Regardless,” James said, “just as with Steve, the damage is done. We will have to make the best of it.” Reaching out his hand he indicated that Jayne should follow him. “Don’t worry,” he said, “I will see to it you remain safe within these walls.”
“I hate her,” Linda said, turning her back on Steve. “If James brings her back here tonight, I will see to it she dies in the cruelest way possible.
copyright © 2011 Lisa McCourt Hollar. All rights reserved.