Page: Vampyres: The Legend Of Graystone Manor

James is the first vampire in my novel, Vampyres: The Legend Of Graystone Manor.  This novel started out much differently and has evolved as James has evolved. This is the first chapter. Vampyres: The Legend Of Graystone Manor is set to be released sometime in 2012. I will try to keep you updated. If you enjoyed this, please like the facebook page: Vampyres: The Legend Of Graystone Manor.
Vampyres: The Legend Of Graystone Manor
by Lisa McCourt Hollar
Chapter One
I Leave My Heart With Thee
It has been a month since my daughter died. The last time I saw her keeps playing in my head, filling my dreams with her smile, her blue eyes shining at me from the dark recesses of my mind. A few times I woke and thought I’d felt her there in my room. Once I was sure I had felt her arms around me and though when I opened my eyes she was gone, there was an impression in my bed, as though someone had been lying there.
I felt I was going insane. It was the same this night. I woke, my body covered in sweat. I had heard Linda singing. It was the song I had sung her as a child whenever she couldn’t sleep, I Leave My Heart With Thee. It was the song I had sung to Caroline while we were courting and had sung to her at our wedding and on each of our anniversaries. I had sung it to her at her funeral as well, my voice choking as they lowered her casket into the ground.
It became mine and Linda’s song after that. I would sing it to her while I rocked her to sleep, pushing away Martha’s offer to put Linda to bed. My neighbor was a kind soul who had taken it upon herself to help me raise my daughter after Caroline had died in childbirth. I appreciated her assistance and would never have made it through the teenage years without her, but I insisted that bedtime be my domain.
As Linda grew I sang to her less and less, reserving the song for the days she wasn’t feeling well. I remember sitting there when she was six and sick with scarlet fever. I was afraid she would die and leave me alone. I’d been singing to her for hours when I realized she was singing with me.
I leave my heart wi thee my love
Tho forc’d from thee to stray
Wi grief I onward move
And lonely take my way.
How tedious will the hours appear
Each day a year to me
For ah! my love, my only dear,
I leave my heart wi thee.
My eyes had filled with tears and I’d pulled her into my arms, such was my relief to see those blue eyes staring back at me. I’d sung it many times to her over the years, just as I had her mother, and then, just as I had with her mother, at her funeral. It seemed to me I was leaving my heart with too many that left me.
Now I heard those words again, her sweet voice, pulling me from my sleep. It faded even as I opened my eyes, but the melody remained in my head, refusing to allow me to sink back into sleep. I could still hear her voice in my mind, the words calling to me.
The fragrant wreaths my eyes invite
Thy beauties smile around,
In Roses red, in Roses white,
Thy blooming sweets are found.
Na o thers charms my mem’ can cheer
Alike all seem ta me.
For ah! my love, my only dear
I leave my heart wi thee.
I tossed about in my bed for a while, but I could swear I heard her still, even though I was awake. Finally I gave up the idea of sleep and went to get a drink of water. I had installed a pump in the kitchen so we wouldn’t need to go out at night. I was cranking the pump up and down, watching the swing that hung from the sturdiest branch of the old oak when I realized I was staring at Linda. Her blond hair shone brightly beneath the moon and though her skin was paler than it had been in life, I knew it was her. Ghost or not, I wanted to go to her and so I did, bursting out the back door as though being chased by a banshee.
“Linda,” I yelled, my feet rushing me to my daughter as quickly as they could. I rounded the corner into the yard and stopped, staring at the emptiness of the lawn. The swing swayed in the breeze, yet Linda was not there beneath the tree as I had seen her from the window. I turned, searching down the road and peering into the neighbor’s yard. Perhaps she had gone to Martha’s. I took a few steps, thinking I would search the entire neighborhood if need be, but my knees gave out from the despair I was feeling. It was as though I had lost Linda again.
I was crying, calling Linda’s name out when Martha Olson came, rousing the doctor who lived down the road to help me back inside and settle me into bed. Dr. Warren gave me a shot and told me to rest. Before I succumbed to the darkness I heard Martha telling him how worried she was for me.
“I see his light on at all hours,” Martha said, “and he sits at the window as though he is waiting for her to come home. It can’t be healthy for him.”
“He’s buried two women he’s loved,” Dr. Warren said, “first his wife, then his daughter. It’s more than a man can take sometimes, especially when he feels he could have done more to prevent it.”
“There was nothing he could have done for Linda,” Martha said. “It was like the devil was in that child. He never saw it, but I did and what happened to her was fated the moment she stepped into that place”
As I drifted off to sleep I wondered what she meant and my dreams were troubled. I saw Linda in the graveyard, surrounded by bleeding corpses. She was dancing with a man whose face remained in the shadows and at first I couldn’t see her face, I only knew it was my Linda. Behind me I heard Caroline’s voice calling me away, telling me to leave and not look back. I heard Martha talking to Dr. Warren, “She’s always been an evil child. The devil had her by the time she was old enough sing.” From the graveyard Linda’s voice reached me and I heard her words,
At my return ah may I find,
Thy strength defy auld time.
I’ll bring thee oelf that rules mankind,
E’er yet I’ve lost my prime.
Thy vows of truth alone can cheer,
Alone give bliss to me;
For ah my love, my only dear,
I leave my heart wi thee.
As she sung the last line she turned and I saw her face, her once blue eyes black as coal, empty of light and soul. From her mouth a river of blood flowed, spilling onto her white dress. She held in her hands a heart, still beating, pulsing with life and blood and I knew it to be mine. I looked down at the hole in my chest and the empty space where my heart should be. In its place was a clock that had stopped ticking, the hands missing so as to not be able to ascertain a correct time.
“You never loved me daddy,” Linda said, blood gushing from her mouth. “It’s your fault I’m dead, your fault I went to him. Daddy, he loved me the way you should have. He made me feel so good, it felt so good to have him fucking me. Daddy…I thought of you every minute that he had his cock inside me, I thought of you and pretended it was you fucking me the way you did mama. The way you should have done me, daddy and it’s your fault I’m dead because if you had ever loved me I wouldn’t have tried to kill myself and then you never would have sent me away to be with him! But then he was able to give me everything I ever wanted and I AM DEAD TO YOU NOW!”
Her voice rose as she screamed at me and then suddenly she was quiet and I saw her this time in a bedroom filled with red linen and blankets and she was straddling someone. They were moaning and she was naked, her hips moving up and down over the man she was riding and I heard her scream out a name and it was mine. Hands wrapped around her throat and were pressing in on her larynx but she never stopped working her hips up and down, gyrating like some of the whores I had paid to get me through some of the loneliest nights.
“That’s it daddy,” she screamed, thrusting against the man harder and harder and my perspective changed so that I was looking up at her and my cock was hard and ramming into her, impaling my daughter. She was gushing blood again, but it wasn’t her blood, it was mine and she bent over me, drinking from my neck while I came inside of her, spilling my seed into my own child.
She fell back then and I turned, looking into the mirror wondering at the monster I must be to take my own daughter in that way, but it wasn’t my reflection I saw in the mirror, but Lucas Graystone, the man that I believed to have killed my daughter.
I woke up then, sunlight streaming through my window and Martha, my dear sweet neighbor, sleeping in the rocking chair across the room. I moved, rolling to sit up and my hand brushed against something. I felt a prick and pulled my finger back, shocked to see I was bleeding. Looking to see what had pierced my finger I found a rose lying next to me on the bed.
Martha claimed she hadn’t seen anyone enter the room, yet she said she wasn’t the one to leave the rose.
“There’s something evil in that rose,” Martha said, wanting to take it from me and burn it. I wouldn’t let her, Linda’s voice singing in my head about roses blooming and hearts that were left. I couldn’t hand her the flower.
“Very well,” Martha said, looking none too happy, “but please be careful.” She was cooking breakfast for me, something she had been doing ever since Caroline passed. She and my wife had been best friends, ever since childhood. When Caroline and I first married we had discussed children and had decided that Martha and her husband Robert were to be godparents to any offspring we produced. Then Robert had passed away from influenza a few months before we found out Caroline was pregnant. Caroline’s pregnancy renewed Martha’s spirits and she rallied to help Caroline and me prepare. There was an unspoken agreement between Caroline and Martha that she would step into Caroline’s place as a mother should anything happen to her. Although we did know that there was a possibility of complications, none of us had really expected anything to happen. Dr. Warren had done everything he could but the Lord chose to take Caroline home that day and leave me to raise Linda. It wasn’t my place to judge His wisdom, though I will admit there were nights I wondered if He were playing a cruel joke on me.
After breakfast I walked to the parish church where I was a Deacon. We were a small congregation and the pay wasn’t well, however it did provide me enough to live on and still give Martha a small stipend for cooking and cleaning. The church secretary gave me a nod when I entered and told me that Miss. Timmons was waiting in my office.
I nodded and headed there straightaway. Miss Timmons was the mayor’s secretary, a beautiful young woman who could have any man in town she wanted. Instead, for some unknown reason she chose to lock herself in city hall all day, taking notes for the mayor and scheduling his appointments.
She’d only been in Fairview a year now, maybe two years since time did sometimes seem shorter than it was and had immediately taken over the Timmons estate, which had sat abandoned for nearly thirty years, ever since Margery Timmons had closed it up to join her daughter and new son-in-law overseas. When she first turned up in town, moving in furniture, hiring gardeners and ordering window coverings, people wondered who this newcomer was. The first rumors had it that Old Margery Timmons was returning from overseas and this was a designer she’d sent ahead to prepare the place for her. It turned out she was the granddaughter of Margery Timmons. She’d been traveling overseas with her grandmother when she’d passed away, leaving her entire estate to her only living relative, her granddaughter.
Shortly after the Timmons Estate was settled, Miss Timmons opened an Apothecary. She had received training overseas and had knowledge of many remedies that weren’t yet available in our country. She didn’t get a lot of business from the town, people were suspicious of what they didn’t know, but she did derive a bit of business from the asylum.
“How can I help you Miss Timmons,” I asked, sitting behind my desk and smiling at the woman.
“I just wanted to check on you and see how you were doing since Linda’s tragic accident.”
I frowned. Accident, hardly, however I did feel a small bit of gratitude at her choice of words. She could have said, “I just wanted to see how you were doing since Linda killed herself jumping from the top floor of Graystone Manor,” but she didn’t. The Timmon’s had always been thoughtful, choosing their words carefully, at least from what I could remember.
“It’s been difficult,” I said, looking uncomfortable.
“I’m sorry,” she said, “I didn’t mean to stir up bad memories.
“Normally I’m the one that offers comfort to the community, not the other way around.”
“Well,” she said, smiling at me, “sometimes even those that offer comfort need to be comforted. I imagine you don’t get a shoulder to cry on too often.”
I was quiet for a moment, then I began to talk to her, telling her about Linda when she was a child. I found myself relaying to her the time Linda had seen a doll in the window and begged me for it. “It was her 5th birthday,” I said, “and the doll was expensive, a quarter, and nothing more than rags. She wanted it so badly. I bought it for her, despite the fact that I could scarce afford it.”
“We do what we can for our children,” she said. I assumed the statement to be metaphorical since she didn’t have children and nodded.
“I would have given her the world if I could,” I said. I tried but there was something in her that needed more than I could provide. Something that was broke and I wanted to fix it, but I couldn’t. I had hoped sending her to Graystone Manor would help but…” My voice cracked then and I couldn’t go on. Finally after a few moments of silence I said, “I buried her with that doll. I didn’t want her to feel alone.”
“I’m sure she appreciated the gesture,” Veronica said.
“I know they say she fell,” I said, “and I know some believe she jumped. I think she may have jumped, but I don’t believe she knew what she was doing. I wonder though…if she is with her mother now, or somewhere else.”
Veronica was silent and I could tell my question had made her uncomfortable. I was a deacon of the church. I knew that suicide was the ultimate sin. And yet I was hoping that God had chosen to look the other way when my daughter went flying off the roof. “I’m sure wherever she is,” Veronica said, “she has found some kind of happiness.” Then she looked at the time and said she needed to rush. “I have an appointment with the mayor’s wife. She is a bit on the impatient side and since she’s in a position to help me…”
She didn’t need to say anymore. I understood how difficult it had been for her. It was fine for a woman to work as a nurse, but to mix and dispense medicine was another matter altogether.
It had felt good to talk to someone about my fears. I went home that night feeling a little lighter in my heart. Surely my recent restlessness was over my concern for my daughter’s soul. I would sleep better tonight.
Martha had dinner waiting for me when I arrived home. Normally I would eat alone and she would go home for the night, taking half the dinner with her. Tonight I asked her to stay and eat with me. We talked about Robert and Caroline, avoiding bringing Linda into the conversation. Then she left and I prepared for bed.
“Daddy…daddy. Daddy, don’t you want to play?”
I opened my eyes. Linda was standing at the foot of my bed, her hair in pigtails and her new ragdoll in her arms. “Go back to bed,” I whispered, pulling my pillow over my head.
“I can’t sleep,” Linda said. “Janie Sue wants to play.” She held her doll out so that I could see how urgent this was.
“Well Janie Sue needs to sleep too,” I said. “If she doesn’t she will be too tired for her lessons in the morning.”
“Why do I have to have lessons,” Linda asked.
“So that you can take care of yourself when you grow up,” I answered. “You don’t want your head to be empty so that you believe anything anyone tells you.”
“Janie Sue says I don’t need to know all the stuff Mrs. Olson teaches me. I’ll grow up and get married and as long as I let my husband stick his dick wherever he wants and cook for him I’ll be fine.”
“What did you just say,” I asked looking at my daughter.
“Is it true that men like it when you stick their penis in your mouth?”
“Linda, you shouldn’t say such things,” I stammered, wondering where she had heard such words. She was only five!
“But Janie Sue says that’s what Mrs. Olson does for you. She says Mrs. Olson sucks your cock and lets you fuck her every night.”
“Linda, I won’t be allowing you to say such things in this house,” I yelled, my voice rising.
“You could fuck me if you wanted.” Suddenly she was taking her clothes off and my little girl had breasts that sprouted out of nowhere. Her pigtails were gone and she was fourteen, her wrists slashed open, blood pouring onto the ground.
“Why don’t you love me,” she cried.
“I do,” I said, pulling her into my arms and tried to stop the bleeding. “I’ve always loved you!”
“Prove it to me she said,” and then she was on top of me, kissing me and pulling my clothes off.
“Linda stop this,” I pleaded pushing her off me. “This is wrong.”
Then we were in the graveyard and Linda was lying on top of her casket, a heart in her hand and she was singing again, I Leave My Heart With Thee. She looked at me, her eyes piercing me and coldly told me, “You lied. You told me your heart was mine, but you won’t give it to me.”
Then we were back in the room with the red furniture and she was on the bed and Martha and Caroline were both taking turns climbing on top of Lucas Graystone. Lucas looked at me and smiled, showing some very sharp looking teeth. “What’s the matter,” he asked, “can’t you keep your women happy.”
Then I woke up. I could hear singing outside and I looked out the window at the tree in the front yard. Linda was there and she was looking up at me.
It went on like this for a week. Dr. Warren subscribed a tonic for me to drink at bedtime and I would sleep but my dreams were filled with the vilest images of my daughter. I wondered how much longer I could go on like this, for even in my waking hours I found myself fantasizing about Linda. I would go to her grave during the day, crying and begging her forgiveness, for by now I was convinced I must have had these feelings all along. One day something possessed my mind and I decided I had to dig her up. I had to hold her and tell her I was sorry. I brought a shovel with me and began digging furiously. I heard footsteps behind me and Veronica’s voice.
“James, what are you doing?”
“I need to see my daughter,” I said, my voice feverish.
“James stop,” Veronica said, pulling on my arm, trying to stop me. I was surprised at her strength as she pulled me away from my daughter’s grave. I pulled loose and continued digging. Veronica continued to protest but I ignored her. My shovel hit something solid and I knew it was Linda’s casket. Working quickly I finished the job, clearing the dirt off the top of her coffin, and from around the side as much as I could. The sun was shining down on me and I was hot and dehydrated, yet I couldn’t stop this madness, I had to see Linda. I pried the lid up and threw it back. The coffin was empty. I felt a sharp pain in my chest and then it shot down my arm. The sun seemed to be dimming and I felt as though my head were spinning. Then I knew nothing but blackness and the pounding of my own heart.
When I woke I was in my bed and Veronica and Martha were there. Martha ran from the room calling to Dr. Warren and returned a few moments later with my old friend.
“You’ve got quite a bump on your head,” Dr. Warren said, looking in my eyes.
“Linda,” I said, grabbing his arm, “she’s gone!”
“Relax,” he said, giving me a shot in the arm, “you need to sleep. You’ll feel better once you’ve had a good rest.”
“They’ve taken her,” I protested, trying to fight the effects of the drug. “Why would they take her?”
“No one’s taken Linda,” Dr. Warren said. Martha stood over me, her kerchief pressed to her mouth and her eyes wide with fear. Veronica had her arm around her for support.
“Ask Veronica,” I pleaded, my eyes growing heavy. “She was there, she knows.” Then my eyes shut. I heard Veronica speak, her voice fading as I succumbed to the drug.
“He was raving mad when I got there. Kept yelling that Linda wasn’t there and trying to dig up her grave. Thank God he passed out before he’d done too much damage to himself. The thing is, it wasn’t her grave he was digging up, it was Caroline’s”
This time my sleep was dreamless. I slept for two days under the ministrations of the doctor and Martha. I woke to a bright sun streaming in my window and Martha sleeping in the old rocking chair again. How she must despise me by now, I can imagine her back is not to grateful for the stiff accommodations.
“You frightened me,” she said, her eyes opening and staring into mine.
“Linda,” I asked, afraid to ask if she were in her grave. Martha’s eyes teared up and she looked away. Then she spoke.
“You were delirious. You were digging up Caroline’s grave and screaming that Linda wasn’t there. If Veronica hadn’t found you who knows what would have happened. She says you were talking to yourself, carrying on a conversation with demons only you could see.”
I was silent for a time while Martha cried quietly. Finally I said, “I’m sorry Martha. I didn’t mean to scare you. I think…I think I might be losing my mind.”
“Don’t say that,” she said, rushing to my side. “You’ve had a lot of stress lately. No one should lose their child…it does things to your mind, to your heart.”
My mind began to drift, recalling the song. I mumbled the words, “I leave my heart with thee.” Martha touched my hand and I looked at her. I’d always felt drawn to her but I had never responded to my feelings. She’d been Caroline’s best friend, I’d been friends with Robert; it didn’t seem right to pursue her romantically. It didn’t seem fair to Caroline’s memory. Now looking at her I realized how beautiful she was, even with her hair greying. I moved my hand to her face and caressed her cheek, Her eyes were wide as she stared at me. She didn’t move, kneeling next to my bed, stiff like a deer that hears a twig snap. I was afraid she would bolt any second, just as the deer would. I pulled her face down and kissed her, softly at first, then more urgently, needing to feel the comfort of a woman; needing to be with her and wash away the memory of my daughter.
I made love to her throughout the morning. Martha didn’t do anything to stop me and in fact moved my hand to all the places she wanted me to explore. Her breasts were no longer taut like the whores down by the tavern, but they were beautiful and I took my time with them as I did with the rest of her body. When at last I was spent, she lay next to me, running her fingers through the hair on my chest, her breath warm against my neck. I slept some more, this time dreaming about Caroline. She was giving me her blessing. When I woke Martha was gone, her kerchief lay on the pillow next to me, a promise to return.
I didn’t dream of Linda for a week and I began to believe I was moving on and getting past the guilt I had felt at her death. Martha maintained her appearance as my housekeeper during the day, leaving after dinner and then slipping in through the back door and into my room. We made love every night and more often than not, again in the early morning light. On our fifth day as lovers I had a spring in my step that Father Steven’s noticed as I stepped into the parish.
“My, but you are in a good mood today. Could it be from the love of a woman?” He winked at me when I said that and for a moment I thought he knew about Martha and me, but then I saw past him to a figure waiting just inside my office. The door was open and Veronica saw me and waved.
“Ah, no, she’s just an acquaintance,” I said. “She has been helping me deal with Linda’s death with Dr. Warren’s permission I have been taking a tonic from the apothecary.”
“I see,” Father Steven’s said, seeming a bit disappointed. She is fairly attractive though, wouldn’t you say? Then he winked at me and headed out the door.
“I see you are feeling better,” Veronica said when I stepped into my office.
“Much, thank you,” I said, sitting behind my desk “How can I help you?”
“I just wanted to look in on you, make sure you were doing well. I stopped by your house last night, but you were…occupied.”
“Oh,” I said, trying to discern what it was she meant by occupied. Then she took my hand and surprised me by pleading with me to be cautious.
“There are things in Fairview you know nothing about,” she said, “and I fear for your safety. I have done what I can to protect you but she won’t be appeased and he will deny her nothing.”
“What are you talking about,” I asked, alarmed by her passion.
“I’ve told her she must stay away and she has, but she was our last night…searching. It’s hard in the beginning, to cut yourself off from those you love, even when your love is misguided and twisted.”
“You mean Linda,” I asked, confused. What was Veronica talking about.
“She knows about you and Martha and I fear for you. You must leave town. Today, now, while she sleeps! Take Martha and don’t tell anyone where you are going or she will find out…not even me. I am the last one you should tell.”
Then she thrust a large sum of money at me, I don’t know how much, but it was a quite a large amount. I pushed it back, refusing it.
“It has been a trying week for all of us,” I said. “I’m not leaving. I need to stay and deal with Linda’s death and suffer the consequences whatever they may be.”
It hadn’t dawned on me that Veronica was speaking of a specific threat, I thought she was being metaphorical talking about Linda. The woman, an obvious romantic, was worried that the memories of my wife and daughter would drive a wedge between Martha and me.” I attempted to assure her that my mind was healing and I was much better. She started to say something, to tell me of a danger she perceived me to be in, but then stopped and collecting her purse left my office. She turned and looked at me, a tear in her eye and said she was sorry. I had no idea for what, but I knew she meant it and for a moment I felt a sickening feeling building inside.
I relayed Veronica’s warning to Martha at dinner that night. She shook her head trying to puzzle out what she could have meant.
“She’s always been a bit odd,” Veronica said. “With her work in the apothecary she spends a lot of time at the asylum. I think she was there the night Linda had her accident. Perhaps she is dealing with her own demons. I know I would be a fright if I spent much time up there.” Martha stopped speaking, putting a hand over her mouth realizing what she’d just said. “I’m sorry,” she said, her words rushing out. “Of course you had no choice but to send Linda there. I didn’t mean anything,”
“It’s alright,” I said, pulling her into my arms. “I’m making peace with my decision. Linda’s mind was fragile. What happened would probably have happened no matter where she was.”
We made love again that night, but this time when she fell asleep, her head resting against my chest I couldn’t rest. I lay there in the dark, my eyes wide, searching the dark, waiting for something. I didn’t know what, until I heard it, singing, soft at first but then louder, outside my bedroom window. It was Linda’s voice and she was singing our song.
I rose and went to the window. She was down there, staring up at me. I looked towards the bed. Martha was sleeping. Quietly I went down the stairs and opened my front door. Linda stood there on the other side of the threshold. . I pulled her into my arms and hugged her, but she felt cold and I couldn’t feel her heart beating. Suddenly I was frightened. She was dead; I knew that, I had buried her in the plot next to her mother. When my time came I would be buried next to her and she would be nestled between her mother and me. But now she stood before me, lifeless, nothing more than a corpse. A beautiful corpse though and still my daughter.
“Daddy,” she cried, holding her arms out towards me when I pulled away from her, “help me.”
“What happened to you,” I asked. I longed to pull her into my arms and hold her and tell her everything would be alright, but I knew this wasn’t true and I needed an explanation.
“Lucas Graystone,” she said confirming my worst fears that he had been behind her death.
“Can I come in?” This was such a simple question, but one that chilled me to the bone. Something inside me screamed to leave her outside but before I could answer, she stepped past me and into the little alcove that was the entrance to our home. “I really don’t need permission,” she said, smiling at me, her teeth alarmingly white…and sharp. My heart leaped into my throat at the sight of them. “It just seemed polite to ask.” Then she leaned into me, crying big red tears and sobbing about how much she missed me.
I couldn’t help myself. I am a father and my daughter needed me, I put my arms around her and pulled her head towards my chest. I felt her teeth sink into my neck. In retrospect I should have resisted, but a sort of lethargy settled over me and I felt very peaceful. That peace stayed with me as I died and remained until I awoke again in my grave. Above me was a digging sound and I could hear Linda’s voice speaking inside my head, telling me we would be together soon.
The first thing I saw when my coffin opened was Linda’s. She was so beautiful, so much like her mother. Her hair was the same shade of blond and hung in waves around her shoulder, as Caroline’s did when she let her hair down. For a moment I was confused and I thought perhaps I had woken in Heaven.
Everything was different with my new eyes. The night was brighter and Linda seemed to glow, her beauty blazing beneath the moon. If my heart had been beating, it would have skipped a beat at the splendor that was my daughter’s. My dreams of the past month, dreams of me ravaging my daughter in every way possible came back and I felt desires rise in me that I knew to be wrong, but I didn’t care. I wanted her.
Linda started laughing and I had the distinct impression she knew what I was thinking. Her smile was no longer that of my little girl, but a temptress, playing with her prey. Her lips turned up, revealing her fangs and she fingered the top of her bodice, calling attention to her breasts, milky white and swelled. I am ashamed to say I almost took her then and there, forgetting everything I had shared with Martha this past week. Even more painful to say is I don’t think she would have denied me. I reached for her, hungry for her lips and wanting to feel her breasts in my mouth when I saw movement from the corner of my eye. Turning to see who it was, I began to growl, a low rumble that began deep in my throat and I felt my lips pulling away from my teeth.
I’d had some time to think while I waited in my grave and I knew what I had become. Veronica’s warning became clear as I died and then as I woke, I remembered Linda’s words, right before she’d bit me and they echoed in my head now, Lucas Graystone. I’d already decided the first thing I would do was find him and rip his heart out for taking my little girl from me. Now I wanted to tear him to shreds, for I realized that he had done far worse to her than kill her. He had made her a demon and now me as well.
Lucas leered at me from the shadow, watching my reaction to my daughter’s transformation. Smirking, he held his hand out and pulled me from my grave. “Welcome to the family,” he said as I regained my balance. I swung at him, aiming for his smug mouth only to find he was no longer there.
“You’ll have to be faster than that if you hope to take me.”
I turned and he stood there with his arms around Linda, one of his hands mashing a breast beneath his palm. He was reaching into her dress and squeezing it while she held her hand over his and pressed against him. She smiled at me, my own daughter, and licked her lips, inviting me to reach for the other. The world swam in front of me, my vision blurred and I remember thinking I was hungry. The last think I heard before my head hit the ground was laughter and a woman’s voice instructing someone to catch me.
Note: I Leave My Heart With Thee was written between 1804 and 1806 by Mr. Hook. It falls under public domain. Vampyres: The Legend Of Graystone is copyrigh© Lisa McCourt Hollar. All rights reserved.

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