Darkness and Light by Kathryn Nichole - HTML preview
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he rock music blared from the iPod as the unseen man, wearing earphones, worked energetically on the last touches of his masterpiece painting. Each stroke of his paintbrush brought to life the image that he’d seen in his mind so vividly of an exotically beautiful woman.“Cristian!” His manager said, tapping him on the shoulder. He took off the earphones. His manager was a man in his forties, tall, lean, with salt and pepper hair. “How long are you going to work on that oil painting?” he asked. Cristian turned the paintingwatch. “Well, it’s late and the gallery closed hours ago,” he said. “You
that he would meet him at the entrance. Cristian turned the painting over and stared at it. He didn’t want to leave it, for some unknown reason. He covered the painting and went to wash his hands, stoppingblonde hair had fallen out of his ponytail onto his face.
Putting on his leather jacket, he met his manager outside while the security guard locked the door. “I swear sometimes I think you live as a vampire,” his manager joked, looking at Cristian’s black attire. “Vampire!” he remarked. “Yeah,” his manager replied. “You only work at night, you always dress in black,” he started to laugh. “But I don’t drink blood,” Cristian joked. “Isn’t that what vampires do?” he asked. “C’mon, let’s go,” his manager said, chuckling. “The night awaits.” “Anything can happen during the witching hour,” Cristian said with a laugh. They hailed a taxi to go over to SoHo. Having achieved early success as an artist afforded Cristian West the luxuries of a celebrity lifestyle. He had his adoring fans that mostly lusted after him because of his youthful good looks, and of course, his being wealthy made him a great catch. However, he felt emptiness in his life. There was something missing, but what was it? The last girlfriend he had—it wasn’t serious; it was more of a fling. Then, there is the image of a woman that he sees in his mind every minute of the day. He sees her in his sleep and in his dreams. “Why can’t I get this woman out of my mind?” he wondered. “Does she exist, or is she just a figment of my imagination?”
Sage sat on her private plane staring out the window. This was the first time that she was coming back to New York in centuries. She had been to California and New Orleans numerous times, but she couldn’t bring herself to return to the city where she had lost Cristian. Nonetheless, something that was beyond her control was pulling her there. It was something greater than she was. The coven sat behind her seat, excited about leaving the Middle East for awhile and ready for a new adventure.
The coven consisted of seven members. Anna, the first member, with jet-black, long hair with a bang and white skin like snow, and an English accent, was already a vampire when she and Sage met after she fled from New York when her parents died. The two women instantly bonded over Sage’s tragic story and became friends. More like sisters. Especially protective of Sage, Anna would not let anything happen to her even if it meant sacrificing her life. Another member brought into the coven was Billy, an eyeliner- and lipstick-wearing glam-rock vampire. He was turned by Anna in the 1980s and has been stuck in the decade ever since. From his hair, clothes, and musical taste, Billy is completely obsessed with all things eighties. Lisa, baby-faced with shoulder-length, light brown curly hair, is another member of the coven. The only thing known about her, besides her being very timid, is that she was a runaway with nowhere to go when Samuel turned her and Sage took her in. Pedro, a Mexican of Egyptian descent, joined the coven after Lisa turned him. Exotically handsome with raven black curly hair, Pedro looked as though he’d stepped from the cover of a romance novel. Daniel, a native from Barbados, with brown skin and a chiseled physique, joined the coven when he came to Cairo. Samuel, pale faced with effeminate features and black hair that cascaded down his back, joined the coven in Egypt when Anna turned him. Cody, the last member of the coven, with boyish features and a Southern twang, was a farmer’s son before Lisa turned him.
Sage only wanted to know the coven on a first name basis, since they had all left their former lives behind and joined her family. She didn’t feel it was necessary to know what their lives were like before they became vampires. She herself didn’t discuss her life before she became a vampire with the others, because it didn’t matter anymore. The man she loved was dead, and there was no use rehashing the past; although there wasn’t a day that went by that she didn’t think of Cristian. She sometimes would try to imagine what their life would have been like had they been able to run away together, but quickly dismissed the thought because she knew it was nothing but a fantasy. “If I were a fly on the wall, I would love to see the look on Pearson’s face,” Anna grinned wickedly, snapping Sage out of her wandering thoughts. She began to smile, thinking of the wild goose chase they led him on. The Pearsons have been centuries-old archenemies of hers since before Sage was born. She has been able to outlive all the successors since then, and this would be no exception. Rafael Pearson, the latest vampire hunter, would not get his life’s wish of killing her, no matter how hard he tried. Not if she could help it.
Rafael and his assistant, John Fisher, stormed into the suite of the Scottish bed and breakfast armed with his crossbow, crucifix, and water gun filled with blessed holy water only to find it empty without one vampire sighting. “Damn it!” Rafael yelled, kicking the chair over. Rafael stood tall, with a strong build and long ash-blonde hair that he kept in a ponytail. He stared out the window. “I thought vampires couldn’t move around in sunlight?” John asked. Rafael stared at his young assistant who was short with thick glasses and spiked hair, and wearing a striped shirt and trousers. He was a geek in every sense of the word. “Vampires can move around in daylight,” he said. “It’s just that they’re more powerful at night, which is why they’re night creatures.” He chuckled to himself. “You win this round, vampire queen,” he said. “But I will catch up with you, and I will kill you. That’s a promise,” he smirked.
Cristian arrived at the club and ordered a Bloody Mary as a joke for his manager, teasing him about him living as a vampire. He left his manager at the bar while he walked toward the back of the club and got comfortable in the lounge chair. The whole place pulsated with the beats of the music. He noticed, from the corner of his eye, a scantily clad woman watching him as he took another sip of his drink. She began to approach him. “You’re Cristian West, aren’t you?” she asked. “I’m whoever you want me to be,” he answered sarcastically. “Can I sit next to you?” she asked. “Sure, why not,” he said. She sat down and began to giggle and squeal, which Cristian found to be annoying. “What’s your name?” he asked. “Kelly,” she said. He extended his hand. “Nice to meet you, Kelly” he said. She shyly took his hand and shook it, not realizing that she hadn’t let his hand go. “My hand,” he said. “Sorry,” she said, blushing. He grinned at her awkwardness.
Sage and her coven arrived at the JFK airport, got their luggage, and hailed a taxi. Having a penchant for planning ahead of time, she had had her agent look for a home before her arrival so she wouldn’t have to go through the hassle of having to stay at a hotel for months on end. Her agent was able to find a loft for her in Tribeca that suited her needs for privacy; so she purchased and furnished the tall, brick building that also contained multiple hidden passageways. This was so that she and her coven would be able to come and go as they pleased without the murmurings that usually accompanied them when they were together. Upon seeing their new digs, the coven gave Sage their seal of approval. “I’m ready to go out and party,” Billy said, adjusting his black, puffy pirate shirt and applying eyeliner, lipstick, and hairspray to his platinum-blonde, bob hairstyle while listening and dancing to new wave music on the CD player. “I like New York already,” Anna said. “It’s a great city,” Sage said, her booming, commanding voice resonating off the walls with an echo. “The weather is perfect,” Anna said. “This is what is known as Indian summer,” Samuel said. Sage felt sadness within her. Being back in the city reminded her of Cristian and made her wonder if Thomas Furniture was still in existence after the tragic day he died. “Let’s go explore the city,” Cody said. “C’mon, Queen V!” “What do you say?” “Alright,” Sage said. “Let’s go.” “Cool!” Billy exclaimed as they went out into the night to see what the city that never sleeps had to offer.
Cristian and the woman he picked up at the club were kissing wildly like animals in heat. Both were intoxicated after drinking several rounds of Jack Daniels. “Let’s go somewhere else,” she said breathlessly. “Your place or mine?” she said. Sage sat in the dark corner of the nightclub watching as the coven tracked their prey. Being a woman with physical needs, she would occasionally take a lover. She reasoned that there was no use saving herself, since the man she wanted to give herself to was dead. The first night she took a lover was in Egypt with a man more beautiful than she ever could’ve imagined. A bald man with a strong build approached her, interrupting her thoughts. She could tell from his scent that he was a fellow vampire.
“You must be the infamous vampire queen that I’ve heard so much about,” he said, checking out her physique. “They didn’t lie. “You are beautiful.” “How did you hear about the vampire queen?” she asked eyeing him. “It’s common knowledge amongst the vampires about the legendary, reclusive vampire queen,” he said. Bored, with nothing better to do, she stood up and grabbed his arm. “I’m not one for small talk,” she said. “Let’s go.”
Cristian and the woman got a room at the grand hotel. Falling into the door, they continued kissing as they both fumbled with each other’s clothes, trying rapidly to undress. “Wait!” she said, trying to catch her breath. “Do you have any protection?” she asked. He whipped out some condoms from his pocket. She grinned. “I never leave home without them,” he said. They went back to kissing and undressing, falling onto the bed. Sage and the vampire she picked up at the club slammed into the wall of one of the many rooms in her loft. The impact cracked the wall up to the ceiling. Their vampire senses heightened from arousal, they bit and clawed each other as they fell to the floor with a crashing boom.
After a night of animalistic vampire mating, Sage stepped into the shower and let the water rain on her, while at the same time, Cristian stumbled into the shower at the hotel room after his sexual encounter with the woman he had met at the club. Placing her hands against the wall, Sage closed her eyes as the water poured on her. Her thoughts were once again of Cristian. Looking at the shower door, she could see what appeared to be his manifestation in the steam, while just at the moment he stepped out of the shower, Cristian saw the likeness of the mysterious, beautiful woman reflected in the steam on the mirror.