Genres: Historical, Horror, Paranormal
Collections: Monstrous Desire, Touched by Death, Undying Passions
Editor(s): Kel Draves
Cover Designer(s): Siol na Tine
Cover Art Credits: Adapted from photo © Les3photo8 at Dreamstime.com.
Production Editor(s): Erika L. Firanc
Proofreader(s): Todd Michaels
Length: Short Story (2,500 Words)
Publication Date: January 11, 2015
Serialization Date: January 13, 2018
Archive(d) on January 20, 2018
Tags: m/f, Short Story, vampire, Victorian
Content Labels (What they are and why we use them)
Troubled, Amelia turned her back on the others. Something flooded her body, made it tingle and prickle, and she was afraid they would notice. She was more awake than she had ever been when the sound of hooves and wheels could be heard coming down the gravel path. They heard the muffled sounds of Evelyn, the Housekeeper, cooing over the visitor before urging the maid to carry his suitcase to his old room.
Her brother, Clem, had grown taller, broader, and his chin now bristled with short black hair. His brown eyes, however, were fearful and his lips tight as he ran to the bed to embrace his sister. Beneath the attic scent of libraries, Amelia detected something deeper, something primal. She gritted her teeth while he held her hand, willing him not to notice how her pulse raced.
“What happened, Melly?” Amelia picked over her memory and sought the details she told her father before. She had gone for a late stroll in the gardens, heard a noise, and then some beast was upon her. The next moment she had awoken with two strange marks on her neck and felt feverish and weak. Her face burned with the omitted details; the stranger by the azaleas, the heat of flesh on flesh, the sensation of silk and lace and forbidden rubbings. The entire event was as misty in her mind as the sky in autumn, but its physical effects still made themselves known between her legs. Clem was looking at her curiously. “How can I help?”
She turned her head and scrutinized the hedges beyond the window. A soft voice called to her, making every hair on her body point upright. “Amelia,” it called again and she closed her eyes, sighing deeply. She felt the presence withdraw and, panicked, she reached after it. The others ran to her and Clem held her other hand in an attempt to soothe her. She buried her face in the crook of his neck, listening to the tide of his blood.
“Whatever creature has poisoned her must be outside,” said her father grimly. “Come. No, Clem, you stay with your sister. Tend to her needs.” Amelia’s father, her uncle, and the doctor hurried out the door. Clem looked momentarily aggrieved but his attention soon turned back to his sister. The stillness of the room was a salve to her wounds.
“It’s good to see you, Clem,” she pulled him towards her for another embrace. He removed his jacket and clambered awkwardly over her, causing them both to giggle, until he lay beside her. Outside, shouts and the soft glow of gas lanterns were a distant reminder of their troubles.
“Shall we have a game of ‘I’m thinking of something’? I’ll let you go first.”
“Very well. Hmm…” Amelia searched her mind while she pressed herself into Clem’s comforting body, burying her head between his neck and the pillow. “Thought of something.”
“Right! Are you a man?” Amelia shook her head, wrapping her arm around his waist. “Are you a woman?” Clem’s eyes rolled up to the ceiling while he thought. “Erm, are you a beast?” Amelia began to kiss along his neck, reaching slowly for the pulse at the side of his throat. “Melly!” Clem pulled away sharply, regarding her with large eyes, “What are you doing?”
Amelia couldn’t answer; she didn’t know. She was aware of a sense of shame and horror, but they meant little to her at this point. Her heart danced with exhilaration as she reached for his hand and gently pulled it towards her. Clem looked into her eyes and something unspoken seemed to soothe him; something in her scent perhaps, a new pheromone emanating from her. He allowed his palm to be placed over her breast and Amelia felt the nipple harden beneath his warmth. His tentative touch became a squeeze and then a gentle tickle. His breathing had changed, grown deeper. Amelia lifted his finger to her mouth.
“Ouch,” his brow furrowed at the nip but he didn’t pull away. Strength seeped into her limbs as she sucked the blood from him.
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