Verchiel (tales from the.., p.1
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Verchiel (Tales from the Island)


  Tales from the Island:

  VERCHIEL

  A short story

  By Joleene Naylor

  https://www.joleenenaylor.com

  Joleene@joleenenaylor.com

  Copyright 2014 by Joleene Naylor

  Cover art copyright Joleene Naylor 2014. All rights reserved.

  Ramblings from the Darkness at https://www.joleenenaylor.com

  You never know what you’ll find in the shadows…..

  **********

  Children of Shadows:

  The sixth installment of the Amaranthine series pulsates with the dark blood of vampire lore.

  The Children of Shadows, a vampire cult not seen for hundreds of years, resurfaces to wage war on the vampire guilds. Led by a familiar face, the cult wreaks havoc while Katelina and Jorick are trapped in Munich’s stronghold. Ume, a mysterious vampiress, who claims to know Verchiel, offers the help of her secret organization. But how are she and Verchiel connected, and can they trust her?

  As mysteries are solved, new ones appear. Why have the Children of Shadows returned, and is it really a former ally that leads them, or a look-alike? Jorick and Katelina will have to team up with past companions and new allies if they want to find out the truth.

  Legends rise and secrets are revealed in a world where vampires walk, drenched in blood and shadows.

  **********

  Other books by Joleene Naylor:

  Amaranthine:

  0: Brothers of Darkness

  1: Shades of Gray

  2: Legacy of Ghosts

  3: Ties of Blood

  4: Ashes of Deceit

  5: Heart of the Raven

  6: Children of Shadows

  7. Clash of Legends

  8. Masque of the Vampire

  9: Goddess of Night

  Also:

  Vampire Morsels Collection: 17 Short Stories

  101 Tips for Traveling with a Vampire by Joleene Naylor

  Heart of the Raven Mini Prologue Collection

  Tales from the Island: Six Short Stories

  Thirteen Guests: A Masque of the Vampire companion

  Road to Darkness: A short story companion to Brothers of Darkness

  COMING SOON:

  Tales of the Executioners

  * * * * * * * * * *

  Thanks to Bonnie Mutchler and Chris Harris for their ninja-like proofreading skills.

  * * * * * * * * * *

  This is the sixth of six short stories, Tales from the Island, that fit between the novels Heart of the Raven and Children of Shadows.

  They may or may not make sense if you have not read the accompanying novels.

  After five novels of bloodshed and terror, Katelina finally gets her island vacation, but it’s not all she expected. How can it be when her companions are vampires? Get ready for book 6 of the Amaranthine series, Children of Shadows, with these tasty bites. What happens on a vampire vacation, stays on a vampire vacation.

  * * * * * * * * * *

  Day 6:

  Verchiel leaned back in the hot tub and peered over his sunglasses. The accessories were pointless at night, but he was determined to embrace everything about the island getaway. Just because he was a vampire didn’t mean he should have to miss out.

  A broad shouldered vampire with long, black hair strolled past, a blonde human female on his arm. Verchiel grinned and waved. “Hey, Jorick! Kately! Check it out!”

  Jorick turned and gave Verchiel a cold once over, and Katelina said, “It’s a hot tub. We’ve seen it the last five days we were here.”

  “Yeah, but you haven’t been in it!” He reached for the control panel and turned on the jets. “Look at this!” he shouted over the noise. “I’m almost floating away!”

  “We could only hope,” Jorick said.

  Verchiel switched the jets off. “That’s not very nice. Here I am, inviting you to join me for some relaxing socializing, and I get rude comments. I don’t know.”

  “You’re not inviting us to be nice,” Katelina said with a roll of her eyes. “You’re just doing it to be aggravating.”

  He clutched his chest. “I’m hurt at your harsh words! You wound me! That you would take my good intentions and twist them so…” he trailed off and then grinned. “Ah, come on. It’s not like you’re doing anything else.”

  “Jorick isn’t dressed for it,” Katelina said, pointing to the vampire’s dark slacks and long sleeved black pullover. Verchiel thought he detected a hint of aggravation. Though the human wore a floppy shirt, underneath was a swimsuit. At least she was ready for the beach.

  “He can sit on the sidelines,” Verchiel suggested innocently. “Three of us in here would be crowded anyway. I know! Even better! He could jog back to the house and wallow in his gloom and emo outfits, and you and I could have some much needed alone time.”

  Jorick gave a long, low growl and started forward, but Katelina pulled him back. “We’re supposed to be on vacation. That means vacation from trying to kill idiots.”

  Jorick snorted and then led her away, casting a threatening look back. Verchiel waved in reply, and then settled down into the warm water. At least he’d tried.

  He adjusted his sunglasses and tried to slide down until he could kick his feet up on the edge. He was too short, and ended up with his head under the water. His sunglasses floated away and he lay there for a moment, looking through the liquid veil at the night sky. He could see the edge of one of the island mansions, hulking and crowned in dry palm leaves, like a transformed island hut.

  Minutes ticked by and he finally got bored and popped to the surface, his bright red hair streaming. He wiped water from his eyes and peered at the expanse of swaying palms to his right. He could sense someone, though he couldn’t smell them. He leaned over the edge of the tub and inhaled deeply. The scent of grass and leaves, damp earth, fungus, sand, and sea mixed together in an overwhelming cacophony. Underneath it, he found the thread of a fragrance. Immortal and tinted with fresh blood and expensive perfume. It was Torina.

  Verchiel snatched his sunglasses and propped them on his head, then plastered a casual smile across his face as she stepped out of the vegetation. Her long red hair fell around her shoulders, and an emerald green bikini clung to her curvy body. Her naked skin gleamed creamy and porcelain in the yard lights.

  She paused and flicked her green eyes over him. Verchiel nodded, and pressed on the edges of her mind. He could see the bald crest of the hill and a human male. He didn’t need to go any further to figure the rest out.

  “Well hello there,” he said cheerfully. “And where have you been?”

  She crossed her arms over her ample breasts. “Walking. I can guess where you’ve been.”

  “Right here,” he answered. “Best seat on the island.”

  She cocked an eyebrow. “It looks lonely.”

  “Why don’t you join me and change that?” He flashed her a fanged grin.

  She rolled her eyes. “Sorry, I got trapped by Loren and Micah earlier. I’ve had my quota of moron for the day.”

  “Then isn’t it lucky I’m not a moron?”

  She gave him a condescending look. “If you say so.” She started towards the beach and then turned back. “I don’t suppose you know where my brother is?”

  “He’s on the patio, I think.” Verchiel jerked his thumb towards the backside of the second island house. “He’s spending some quality time with his human.”

  Torina drew herself up. “She is not his human! She’s just a mortal leech who’s attached herself to him. He’ll scrape her off soon.”

  “I wouldn’t count on that. They both seem pretty comfortable with the arrangement.”

  “No he isn’
t.”

  Verchiel made a point to yawn. “Then why hasn’t he sent her packing yet? I don’t know about Oren, but I wouldn’t voluntarily spend my first vacation in three centuries being harassed by a human I couldn’t stand. I think he likes her company.”

  “No, he doesn’t,” Torina said icily.

  “Why? What’s not to like? She doesn’t chatter, doesn’t ask questions, and doesn’t make demands. She sits quietly, and when he wants anything she runs and fetches it. She’s like an admiring personal servant.”

  “She’s annoying,” Torina snapped. “At least Jorick’s stupid human doesn’t worship the ground he walks on. If he ever gets around to making her a vampire she might not be too bad. That Japanese woman that hangs on Oren…” she trailed off and shook her head. “She’s worse than a dishcloth.”

  “Then maybe you should befriend her and teach her to be independent?”

  Torina scoffed. “I don’t need any friends.”

  “Everyone needs friends. Why don’t you start with me? I’m feeling
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