Chasing daybreak, p.32
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       Chasing Daybreak, p.32

           Ranae Glass
 
I was in full-blown shock when the paramedics arrived. I wasn’t sure if the room had always been that cold and I hadn’t noticed, but my teeth were clacking like an old-fashioned typewriter. I felt like I’d been dunked in an ice bath. No part of me could get warm, even after they draped me with two heavy wool blankets. My arms and legs were heavy, numb from the chill in my veins. I wasn’t talking yet, though the police had started questioning me. It was like the words were caught in my throat. Only Reggie’s promise to get my statement at the hospital got them to leave me alone.

  Xavier and the other vampires had gone, at my request, long before anyone else had arrived. Less for me to have to explain, and they didn’t want their names associated with this fiasco anyway. So I decided to just deal with it on my own. Plus, I couldn’t stand Melanie’s creepy little eyes staring at me from where she clung to Xavier like a monkey to a tree.

  At first, all I could see was the blood. I mean, it was everywhere, including all over me. It started to dry and itch. Finally, Reggie took pity on me and let me wash my hands and face in the upstairs sink. I felt a little more human after that, at least, until I saw what I’d done to David as they wheeled him out of the house. The vampire blood was still in his system, keeping him semi-alive, but for how long was anyone’s guess. Even vampires would have a hard time surviving that much damage. From the looks of it, I’d almost taken his head completely off. The bile rose up in my stomach again. This time, there was nothing to puke up, so I just gagged.

  Marlowe was dead. Broken neck, no big surprise. He’d gotten off lucky though. I mean, he never had to see his pretty little girl wake up fanged. In trying to save her life, he’d turned her into the thing he despised the most.

  Irony, thou art a heartless bitch.

  Xavier explained before he left that it was forbidden in Conclave law to create a vamp so young, and because she had no sire, he wasn’t at all sure what to do with her. While most vamps woke up starving and mad with bloodlust, she’d just sat up in bed, looking like a tiny doll, and asked if Xavier would be her daddy, polite as could be. Xavier decided to take her back to the Conclave, and since I had no idea what else to do, I let him. I thought he saw something in her tiny face, something he’d been looking for, for a very long time. I thought he saw the opportunity for a family. A creepy, undead family though it might be.

  I wasn’t sure why exactly, but she scared me to the bone. If I were Xavier, I might have had to put her down as soon as I saw her. At the end of the day, I was glad it wasn’t up to me, and I really hoped he knew what he was doing.

  As Shane’s punishment for breaking Conclave law when he attacked Gerard, he was assigned to be the Conclave liaison to the police department and lost his room in the mansion. I asked him if he felt like one of the Playboy Bunnies on her thirtieth birthday, and he smacked me with a throw pillow.

  Yes, Shane was voted off Vampire Island. I didn’t think either of us minded nearly as much as Xavier seemed to when Shane moved back into my attic. It was nice to have him back again, comfortable. But I couldn’t help the nagging feeling that comfort came at the expense of something else.

  Xavier became more persistent after that day in Marlowe’s basement. I didn’t know if it was something about seeing me covered in blood in full-on GI Jane mode that turned him on, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to know, but he kept sending me flowers and asking me out to dinner. Every time something new came, I rolled my eyes and Shane smiled. On the plus side, the office smelled like roses and gardenias all the time now.

  There were worse things.

  Oh, and Phoebe confided in me that her boyfriend was a werewolf. She was much calmer about it than I would have been had our positions been reversed. I asked how she did it, and she told me that when you loved someone, nothing else mattered. Maybe she was right. Maybe I’d been holding on so tightly to my ideas of what I wanted my life to be that I’d forgotten to live it.

  Maybe, I could have a fling with a vampire.

  I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

  This book began its life as a sort of experiment to see if I could write outside my traditional genre. Because I never intended it to be a real book, I drew heavily from my real family for inspiration, taking all the best parts of them and blowing them way out of proportion to create my cast of characters.

  But in real life, my family is an eclectic mix of people who bring me the most joy and laughter a person could hope for in life. When we aren’t wringing each other’s necks, (and sometimes even when we are) we are the most tight-knit group of lunatics you have ever seen. So to them, I want to say thank you. You have each shaped me in different ways, and I wouldn’t be the completely awesome person I am without you! (Though, one of you really should have taught me modesty—just sayin.’)

  And I would be remiss if I didn’t also thank my publishing family over at Clean Teen Publishing. Everyone from the big bosses to the authors to the beta readers and street team peeps make it a joy to not only write books with them, but they also make the entire process feel like an adventure. You guys are my Hobbitises, for realsies. I look forward to many more quests with you!

  I would also like to thank my writers group, the Tuesday Muses, for always letting me bounce crazy ideas around without judgment and for letting me play in their sandbox of wisdom. So, CJ, Rodney, Lisa, Aimee, Ann, and (the ghost of) Jay, you guys inspire me every week and I love you guys!

  And last but never least, thank you, dear reader, for picking up this book and giving it a home. In the end, that’s all that really matters.

  XOXP

  ~S

  A southern girl at heart, Ranae loves feeding people, gardening, and sweet tea. She hails from Oklahoma and lives with her family out west. She is the author of the Dark of Night novels from Crimson Tree Publishing.

  Chasing Daybreak (2015)

  Chasing Midnight (2015)

  Chasing Dawn (2016)

  Chasing Nightfall (2017)

  Ranae Glass is the pen name for a popular YA author. She uses this name for her NA and adult novels.

  https://www.facebook.com/ranaeglass

 
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