Ironic Sacrifice

By: Brooklyn Ann


Jayden’s heart thudded in her skull. How had he known about the cop who’d stopped her yesterday? And about the terrible things he’d done?

As inhuman as it may be, she couldn’t help but be relieved that the vampire had stopped him from harming anyone ever again.

“Thanks,” she murmured.

Razvan grinned and pulled two gowns from one of the shopping bags. “What do you think? The black or the green?”

***

Jayden kept her eyes downcast as she nibbled on her dinner. Not only was it hard to eat in front of someone who wasn’t doing so, but with all that had happened between them, especially the things he’d done to her body, she was terrified to look at him. Razvan didn’t make things any easier. She’d hoped for immediate explanations but he refused to speak to her until she ate.

“You are much too thin,” he’d stated with a baleful glare.

The food was sumptuous, but she could barely choke it down. Her stomach felt like a cement mixer. Finally, with a curious stare at Razvan, the waitress took the plate away.

“I have never been on the boardwalk, have you?” the vampire asked.

She shook her head, eyes fixed to the lapels of his coat.

“Well, let’s go.”

He took her hand and led her outside. She shivered in the night air and buttoned her new fur coat…or faux fur anyway. She didn’t know whether he was being cheap or cared about animal rights. The man—vampire—whatever was the most puzzling being she’d ever met. Her heart pounded in anticipation of what he was going to do with her.

“My youngling and good friend is Lord of this city,” Razvan commented. “Beautiful isn’t it?”

She looked up and around. Everything was bathed in moonlight, from the smooth planks of the boardwalk, to the gentle lapping waters of the lake.

“Yes.” Her voice sounded harsh and alien in the still night.

He lapsed back into silence as he led her further down the path. She wondered if he’d brought her here, to a thin strip of wood surrounded by inky water, to further discourage her from escaping. A couple embraced on a bench nearby. A whisper of a vision struck her when she passed them. Quickly, she averted her eyes and willed her focus on the rippling water.

“You saw something,” he stated, nodding towards the couple.

It unnerved her that he could read her mind.

“The man is married to another woman,” she replied.

His brows rose. “You did not touch him to see that.”

She rolled her eyes. “He’s reveling in his affair so much that I’m surprised the whole world doesn’t know.”

He laughed. She trembled.

“The point is, Jayden, you can see people’s secrets without touching them. That makes you very powerful…and interesting.”

They climbed a set of stairs and came upon a narrow arching bridge. Razvan leaned over the railing to peer down at the water. A slight breeze ruffled dark locks against his cheek. He was so beautiful.

“Why aren’t you going to kill me, Razvan?” she whispered.

He smiled and scratched his beard. “Sometimes my kind will keep a human companion. Some of us call them ‘pet mortals.’ I think you shall make a nice one.”

“You want me for a pet?” She didn’t know whether she was more shocked or outraged.

Uncomfortable with that subject, she moved on to another. “What made you change your mind about killing me?”

Razvan smiled wickedly. “I never said I was going to kill you. I just accepted the offer you made: your life for that woman’s. And I intend to keep you…and your life.”

Waves of heat rushed through her body at his serious tone even as her skin prickled as if chilled. He meant every word he said. Her stomach knotted at his trickery as her heart thudded at the possible implications of the situation. What would it mean for her? Would she become a mindless zombie like in the Dracula movies? Or would he keep her as a regular food supply, locked up in a cold basement where no one could hear her screams?

Cautiously she asked, “Were you going to do that with the other woman, Charise?”

He shook his head, still smiling in that unnerving manner. “No. She did not amuse me.”

Jayden trembled with fear and confusion at his cavalier attitude at the prospect of making her his plaything. “Why do I amuse you?”

Razvan chuckled. “Come now, Jayden. You are a clairvoyant so powerful that you are half mad with it. What’s not amusing about that?”

She choked back a gasp. “You are evil.”

He laughed low and sinister. “Only when I’m bored. Any more questions?”

“Plenty, but you kinda unnerve me, so I don’t know what to ask.” She sighed and turned away from him, leaning on the railing to stare out at the dark water. Maybe jumping in wouldn’t be a bad idea. Wasn’t there a myth about vampires and water?

The vampire leaned beside her on the railing, still laughing softly. “I am sure you will come up with something. Women never stop with their questions.”

Jayden ignored the jibe and watched a boat pass under the bridge. Finally, she had a question. “Why don’t I have visions when I touch you?”