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       Reign, p.28

           Chanda Hahn
 
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  “I see that you had no problem getting Mina back here tonight.” He turned and started walking along the creek bed listening carefully.

  “Yeah, it was easy to sneak into her apartment and set all the timers to go off at eight o’clock,” Ever said as she flew next to him, her feet never touching the ground. “I mean, we are talking microwave, alarm clocks, wristwatch, the works. I also hid all of her pajamas and normal clothes in the attic so all she was left with were the black clothes you described to me that she wore the other night. She was all ready to come barreling over here, so it didn’t take much prodding.”

  “And she didn’t see you?”

  Ever scoffed and rolled her shoulders. “Duh, I told you. The gimp didn’t see me.”

  Jared heard the sound he was searching for. It was ten yards down the creek and away from Kathleen’s house. He slowed his step and leaned down carefully. There in the weeds, he heard it again. A pitiful and lonely croaking. All the other bullfrogs were gone, and his call was the only one left in the night.

  Quickly, he snatched the bullfrog up out of the reeds and held him in his cupped hands. Ever flew over to look at the frog and her face scrunched up. “What do you have?”

  “Uh, I think your new roommate,” Jared chuckled sadly.

  “Nope, not gonna happen. I don’t keep pets.” Ever backed away and crossed her arms over her chest, raising her chin in defiance.

  “Ev—er!” Jared pleaded.

  The pixie threw her hands up in the air. “Fine. Give him to me.” She pulled the frog out of Jared’s hands and spoke to him directly. “I hope you like Cheetos and hotdogs because I’m not about to start catching flies and digging up earthworms.”

  The bullfrog just croaked happily at Ever. It seemed to perk up in her pretty little hands.

  “And another thing, you are sleeping on the couch. Got that! Not my bed, not my drawers, not the couch.” She started to stroke the frog on the top of its head and the frog closed its eyes happily. It didn’t take long for her to change her mind about the bullfrog.

  Jared grabbed Ever’s arm as she was about to leave. “One last thing.”

  She turned and tapped her foot impatiently. “What, I need to get Froggy here home. I can already feel him drying out.”

  He felt a small smile creep up at her intense need to protect the frog. “Uh, Ever, his name is Tom…and thank you.”

  “Don’t mention it Jared, and I mean it. Don’t mention it…to anyone ever.”

  He observed Ever as she tucked Tom safely into her crossover bag, the whole while giving him the lowdown on her magical motel room. How it was way bigger on the inside, and no one could find it if they hadn’t been shown the place by her. How she always had the Cartoon Network on and would agree to let him watch the sports channels if he watched The Grimm Adventures of Billy and Mandy with her. The bullfrog wiggled happily in her pack, his head peeking out of the zipper. Ever shrugged her shoulders and her wings began to flap. Off they went into the night.

  Jared watched them fly away for a few moments and then walked down the driveway and stopped. He didn’t have long to wait before Mina came storming back down the sidewalk toward him.

  “Not one word out of you, Mister!” she hissed angrily. It was pretty apparent that Mina was flustered from traveling ten minutes in the wrong direction. “You are in trouble.”

  “Yes Ma’am,” Jared chuckled and turned to walk with Mina. “You know it would be faster if you let me drive you home.”

  Mina stopped and turned. “Well if that’s your way of saying you’re sorry for slacking off and dating the frog lady, then apology accepted.”

  Jared laughed and walked over to his car. He opened the passenger door, “Grimm’s first.”

  The End.

  A sample chapter from

  Vampire Lies

  Season 2 Book 1

  By RaShelle Workman

  Once upon a time there lived a vampire with wings and the genie who loved her…

  Born of the seven magics, Jasmine is different in every way, including the obnoxious wings on her back courtesy of the original vampires. She wants to be normal, to be a regular teenaged girl.

  When a gorgeous dark-haired boy named Laeddin shows up and promises to sneak her away from all her problems and hide her in the human world, she agrees.

  But an evil lurks in her nightmares, a man with red eyes. It doesn’t take long for Jasmine to realize that no matter how far she tries to run from who she is, he’s only a dream away. He wants her. He needs her. He acts as though he loves her.

  It’s becoming harder and harder to tell the difference between the path that’ll lead to her happily ever after, and the path that’ll lead to her destruction as well as all magic.

  Chapter 1

  Hours before my life changed forever, my day began like any other. I woke, climbed out of bed and stretched my wings, showered, dressed, and then flew out my window to explore Sharra with my best friend.

  We’d already helped a fairy lift a particularity heavy caterpillar onto the branch it intended to use as a home for its chrysalis. We also assisted an ogre in its desperate quest to reach some juicy berries at the top of a rather large tree. Now we were seated on the stone ledge at the top of my tower waiting for the sun to rise.

  “Jasmine. Come inside. We have a lot to do today.” My mom stuck her head and shoulders out my window. Her head turned from side to side as she searched the sky. She wouldn’t find me though, because I sat directly above her.

  I sighed heavily. “Fine.”

  My mom gasped and craned her neck. “You scared the light right out of me.” She clutched a hand to her neck.

  “Sorry.” I tried to sound genuine.

  “Uh-huh. Inside, please.”

  But instead of obeying, I spread my large black wings and shot into the sky, enjoying the rose scented air.

  “Young lady.”

  My mom always called me that when I frustrated her. I turned to see the emotion on her face so I could gauge just how upset she was, but she no longer stood in the window. I smiled to myself.

  Part of the landscape was immersed in shadow. It was right before dawn, my favorite time of day, when life stretched itself awake.

  “Hurry please,” my mom shouted from somewhere in my room.

  I pretended not to hear, flying further away from her and closer to the forest behind the castle. Pixilettes busied themselves. They were in charge of the seasons. Soon it would be autumn and they needed to gather seedlings to store until the following spring.

  “Will you drink unicorn blood today?” Sabrina asked, her little pixilette wings fluttering near my ear. She was dressed from head to toe in different tones of purple. Her dress was the color of lilacs and her tiny shoes were the shade of ripened plums. Lavender wings beat and fluttered at her back.

  If Sabrina weren’t my best friend, I would’ve told her it was none of her business whose blood I drank. But she and I had been close for more than ten years. We did everything together. Without her, I’d go crazy.

  “I don’t know.” I spun in a circle, enjoying the gentle breeze on my face. Unicorn blood was my favorite, but I took what I was given based on offerings from the different magics within Sharra.

  Sabrina shook. It freaked her out that I was a blood drinker.

  “Don’t worry. I’m sure your blood is much too sweet for my tastes.” I winked to let her know I was teasing.

  She giggled nervously, the sound like tinkling bells. “I’m not worried,” she replied. I could tell it was only a little lie. She glanced away, running her tiny fingers through her violet hair that was the same color as my eyes.

  I waved off my irritation. There were plenty of vampires in Sharra. They all drank blood, just like me, but only the blood of animals and the vampires never killed them. It was one of the first laws the new Vampire Queen decreed when she became ruler.

  As the only Original Vampire, I required more than the others. In order to grow and thrive, I requi
red the blood of magical creatures. It powered my magic and kept me healthy.

  Early morning sunlight broke through the clouds, basking the land in orange and pink hues. Warmth tickled my skin and I lifted my face toward the light.

  “Can you hang out today?” Sabrina asked, interrupting my thoughts.

  “I’m sure I can.” I held out my hand. Sabrina flew forward, landing on my palm. “I’ll find you—”

  “Jasmine!”

  I jerked back at the sharpness in my mom’s voice, knocking over Sabrina. She tumbled through the air for the briefest moment until she righted herself.

  “Coming, Snow,” I retorted with sarcasm.

  Sabrina giggled. “You’re going to be in big trouble for that, princess.”

  I gulped, knowing my mom didn’t like it when I called her by her first name. “Nah.” I lifted my chin. “But I’d better go.”

  “Yeah, you should.” She waved and then took off toward the forest.

  I watched her until she’d nearly reached the other pixilettes. Then I flew to my window ledge, folded my wings at my back and jumped inside.

  “Hey, mom.” I rushed past her toward the bathroom.

  Mom was standing near my bed, her hands on her hips, looking ferociously beautiful. Her sleek black hair was the exact color of mine. It was pulled back and in a bun at the nape of her neck. She wore a bright yellow gown trimmed in red and blue. On her head was a crown befitting the Vampire Queen.

  “How many times have I asked you not to call me Snow?” She followed me, her skirt swishing with each step.

  Ciana, the vampire who’d helped raise me, sat in her rocking chair, knitting something. She looked to be in her early twenties, but from stories she told me of when she was human, she was probably three hundred, give or take a decade. Ciana wore her long blonde hair in a bun on the crown of her head. Her dress was long and looked confining. She owned the same dress in three colors, brown, gray, and navy blue. The dress accentuated her tiny waist.

  When I was younger she was so full of life. We always had fun together doing little things like chasing butterflies, planting crops, and digging up worms. Of course I never ate the food, but my dad did and I’d enjoyed doing things for him with Ciana.

  In the past few years, her demeanor had changed. She’d grown despondent. At first I tried to make her happy, but nothing seemed to help, so I stopped. But she was loyal, a rare find in Sharra, and I wouldn’t dismiss her.

  I shrugged. “It’s your name, isn’t it? You’re Snow White, the Vampire Queen.”

  When I was seated at a chair in front of the vanity, she came to stand behind me. “Most importantly, I’m your mother.”

  She leaned down, our heads side by side and she squeezed my shoulders. Her eyes sparkled with love. I studied our reflections, once again astonished by our similarities. We both had black hair, though mine had a streak of teal in it; and the shape of our faces and our high cheekbones were the same. Our lips had the same sort of thickness and we were the same height.

  There were differences too. Her eyes were an unusual color, reflecting the various hues within the spectrum of the seven magics while mine were always violet. My skin was naturally tanner than hers. And then, of course, there was the huge difference between us. I had wings, obnoxiously large wings that protruded from my back like those of a giant black bird.

  Although they weren’t my parents in the traditional sense that I didn’t come from my mother’s womb, I still considered them my mom and dad.

  I was born of a gem created by their blood and the combination of the seven magics. My parents told me that their love for each other and their love for me brought me from the gem.

  Sometimes, especially when I assisted my mom with the birth of an animal, it made me to sad to realize I wasn’t born the same way, that I was different from every other known creature. My mom and dad always tried their best to make me feel wanted and loved, and most of the time I did. But sometimes I got lonely.

  “There are several meetings you must attend today so hurry, please. I want to make sure you’ve fed before we start.”

  “Okay.” I dabbed some perfume Heathcliff brought for me from the human world. The smell was warm and sweet and I loved it. Almost as much as I loved getting the magazines and music that Uncle Sebastian gave me. It was always my favorite day when one of my uncles or Professor Pops visited.

  “Jasmine,” my mom snapped.

  I put the lid back on the perfume and glanced at my mom. I wanted to ask her why she didn’t trust me. Why she thought I would pounce on the first warm-blooded creature I encountered. Sure, it’d been a problem when I was little. My hunger would take over and more than once I sank my fangs into something or someone I shouldn’t. But that’d been years ago. Couldn’t she see I was no longer a child but a grown woman. In a few weeks I would turn sixteen. Could I use some blood? Yes. Was I at the point where I’d pounce for it? Not even close. I squeezed some lotion on my hands and rubbed it into my arms. My mom seemed to be getting more and more impatient.

  Zenny appeared in the mirror and clapped his hands together. “My two most favorite vampires.”

  “Zenny. Good morning.” My mom nodded a hello.

  “Hey Zen. Way to rock plaid and polka-dots.”

  He crossed his arms and popped a hip. “You know it.”

  I covered the smile trying to wriggle its way from my lips with my hand.

  Zenny always wore crazy outfits that somehow totally worked on him. Today he had on navy blue and orange plaid pants. They were tight and stopped just above his ankles. His shoes were orange as was his button down shirt, which was covered in small navy polka dots. The collar was up and he wore a white t-shirt underneath. His hair was cropped short and just as bright orange as his shoes.

  “Zenny, we don’t need your assistance today. I’ve already picked out her dress and her makeup—”

  I glared, unhappy my mom thought it was okay to choose what I wore. “I want him here. Why don’t you go? I’ll meet you in the dining hall in a few minutes.”

  Her face fell. “Of course.”

  Guilt tore through my insides. I knew my mom meant well. And while it wasn’t her intention to be annoying and bossy, she kind of was. All the time.

  She walked to the bathroom doorway and paused. “Please wear the dress I’ve chosen. I’ve pulled it out and it’s waiting for you in your closet.”

  I bit back a retort. “I guess,” I said.

  My mom looked at me, her eyes sad and filled with frustration. My heart lurched. I knew I was letting her down somehow. She came back and gently touched my wings. “Why don’t you have Zenny help you fluff and clean these?” She ran her fingers through the dark feathers, her touch soothing.

  “Okay,” I said, catching her gaze in the mirror. For the past few months we’d been at such odds. It seemed no matter how I tried we didn’t click like we used to. Lately she focused more on what I was required to do as the princess of Sharra and less on what I needed as a teenage girl.

  If it weren’t for my uncles bringing me the latest news in the form of entertainment magazines from the human world, I’d be miserable. It just felt like my mom didn’t understand. I had needs, desires, goals… I wanted a life outside the castle. Outside of Sharra. And my damn wings? Ugh. Why did I have to be the only vampire in the entire world to have them? My life was difficult and my mom just didn’t get it.

  Meetings were boring. Listening to the magical creatures of Sharra complain about how so-and-so stole a piece of fruit off their land and asking my mom what she was going to do about it was beyond tedious. I wanted to see a movie. I wanted to go to high school. I wanted to go on dates, attend football games, and maybe kiss a boy or two. I wanted the wings on my back to disappear. I wanted normal.

  That didn’t seem like too much to ask. But I was almost sixteen and my life was passing me by.

  It wasn’t fair.

  Both my parents had attended regular high school. They lived an ordinary life fo
r years before coming to Sharra. Why couldn’t I be given the same consideration?

  My dad walked in. “Dad,” I hollered, crossing my arms over my chest, even though I was still fully dressed.

  “Hey, sweetie. How’s my girl?” He came over and kissed me on the cheek.

  I forced myself not to blush. “I’m too old for that,” I said with pretend haughtiness.

  He tapped the end of my nose with his finger. “Never.” Then he turned to my mom and things got really awkward. He pulled her to him and kissed her lightly on the mouth. She gave him a secret smile.

  “Gross,” I shouted. “Get out! Both of you.”

  Thank you so much for reading the first chapter of Vampire Lies. Finish the story by clicking on Vampire Lies. Vampire Secrets, book #2 is also available.

  And stay tuned, Vampire Nights, the third book in the Blood and Snow series will be out in 2015.

  Connect with RaShelle Workman:

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  Chanda Hahn, Reign

 


 

 
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