While celebrating her benchmark birthday at the popular new hangout in Jackson County, Texas, The Crimson Club, she meets the handsome and mysterious owner, twenty-three-year-old Bishop Theriot. Carmen feels a mysterious pull toward this man. He reveals that not only is he a vampire, but that she is a hybrid between a vampire and a werewolf, and that she alone holds the cure to undoing the curse that ails him. In addition, Bishop discloses that Carmen's boyfriend, Dys, is a werewolf who has been assigned to keep an eye on her. Her life may be in danger.
Not only must Carmen deal with the great physical changes that will leave her with keen eyesight, incredible strength, and the ability to mind read, but she must decide which man she can trust to keep her safe.
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.26(d)|
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My Immortal Embrace
By Malinda Dickerson
Trafford PublishingCopyright © 2010 Malinda Dickerson
All right reserved.
Chapter OneMy story is one that I never thought would ever happen but it did and it changed my life perpetually. My name is Carmen Elaine Miller, I 'm a petite five foot three with long auburn hair and honey brown eyes. Being my parent's only child my dad tried to get me into sports but I preferred books. We live in a nice, simple two story home in Raven's district. My twenty first birthday was only two days away and my best friend Desiree' was planning a night out for us and some friends. It was all racing through my mind now at the memory, the thoughts almost smoldering. Desiree' had called and told me we were going to the hot new club, The Crimson Room, in downtown Beaumont. It had only been open a week and yet everyone was raving about it. Beaumont needed a new form of entertainment. Rumors were that it was owned by a mysterious guy who was new to the area. How would I have known that we would be linked and his arrival was not just by randomness. This is where I will begin my epic journey.
The next thing I knew there was a loud buzzing in my ear that startled me. I jumped up knocking the alarm clock off the table. Shoot, I adjusted my eyes and groaned, " I hate mornings." I regretted staying up so late. Rubbing my eyes I glanced over and noticed tiny fragments falling outside my window. What in the world? What is that? Curiosity drove me out of bed to see what it was. I scrambled through my messy room and suddenly gasped opening the window, it was snowing? It hadn't snowed here in fifteen years. I had been five at the time and vaguely remembered it. I hadn't heard anything about snow on the weather channel. I stuck my head out the window. This is amazing! I watched in awe as each perfect flake fell against my face. There were some small kids having a snowball fight across the street. How did the weather go from being in the seventies to snow? The sky was strange too , swirled with red and blues in the shape of a funnel. I had never witnessed anything like it. Flashes of light was passing through it in strange directions. I stared into it. Then there was an electric tingling sensation under my skin. Like it was drawing me towards it. I wanted to check it out so I rushed to put on some clothes. I slid down the staircase rail with this new found rush of excitement and fear. Opening the door I gasped as the cold wind hit me. It was so cold - exhilarating. Everything was covered in white, the streets, cars, roof tops, everything. I walked off the porch into the brilliant story book scene, spinning around and taking it all in. Just staring up at the sky. There was the funnel swirling in vibrate colors. But there was a unnaturalness in the way there was blackness and lighting off in the distance. The tingling sensation was radiating under my nails now. I looked down at my hands. There was a bluish tint under my nails. I couldn't see anything coming off them but I felt it, felt it deep under my skin. Just then Desiree' drove up in her ninety -seven Chevy Malibu she hates. "Carmen!!!", she held her head out screaming excitedly, "It snowed I can't believe it!" I forgot about my crazy fears ... well for then anyways, "I know!", I gushed, "I will always remember this day!" "And you will remember your birthday tomorrow forever!", she gave me her famous secret smile. How would I have known how right how true she would be? My life was going to be unforgettable. Desi has been my best friend since we were thirteen. She is blond, delicate features, high cheekbones, perfect lips. I had always admired her. We went back to her car to get her clothes. She was staying over my house so we could go on a shopping spree tomorrow. Desi followed me into the kitchen and sat herself down in the stool she had always chosen - the one that wobbled.
"I wonder if it will still be snowing on your big day?", she asked with a thoughtful expression. I myself had pondered that same question but I was hoping for too much. I felt like I was burning up with fever and I started feeling a little sick just then. It hit me so fast. Maybe it was nerves? I hurried off and went to the bathroom to wash my face. Desi just watched as I left out of the room. I didn't say a word to her. I was hoping the cool water on my face would sooth my stomach. I looked up in the mirror and jumped back. My eyes were slightly darker than normal and there were tiny flecks of red around the pupil. What's going on? Was I coming down with something? Man, not now I thought. My cheeks were flushed and I started to get chills. I splashed some more cold water on my face and the nap of my neck. I took a deep breath and tried to brush off the sick feeling. Now looking back I wished I hadn't that day. "Are you okay?", Desi asked when she saw me return. "Yeah I am fine. Just felt really hot for a second." I was glad she didn't act too concerned. I managed to hide how truly sick I felt from her for the remainder of the day. And yep I was hoping for too much about the weather. When we awoke the next morning there was no snow or any trace there had ever been any. Everything outside looked the same as any other day and the temperature was back up to seventy-six degrees. It had left just as strangely as it had come. Well so much for global warming I thought. I was surprised that I had forgotten all about the sky and how I felt and feared it. Desi and I got dressed and took my parent's van to the local mall in Beaumont for some new clothes. We shopped in a few different stores before making our decision. I bought a pair of hip hugger mudd jeans with a one strap blue tank shirt. It was the perfect outfit for the club. I also found me a bangle bracelet to match and a black belt. My parents had given me a hundred dollars for my birthday and I was happy to spend it. I wish my job paid more because my parent's van gobbles gas endlessly. I can't wait to have enough money to buy my own. It was almost dark when we got back into Nederland. Our feet hurt and our stomachs were beyond hungry. I was glad to be home and rid myself of these heavy bags and uncomfortable shoes. On the table by my bedside I lit my mulberry candles one by one. It was a peaceful ballet. I love to watch the flame dance across the walls. And the scent was heavenly. I breathed it in. But as I watched the tiny flame of one of the candles I began to see something in the flame. At first it was blurry then as I stared deeper I saw a child. A little girl with auburn hair, golden brown eyes, and red rimmed pupils. She was staring back at me pale as a ghost. Her mouth parted and I looked deeper trying to make out the words. But then Desi caught me out of my trance with a sudden noise. She was putting the MP4 player into the speakers and loud music burst through the room. I shook my head to snap out of it. I looked back at the flame and there was nothing there. I must really be tired. I took out my cell phone to check my messages. I had decided to leave it at home so no one would distract me while shopping. There were a few text messages from my boyfriend Anthony, AKA screen name Dys Sacrifice, or as I call him, Dys. I am deeply in love with him. It wasn't just his outlaw good looks. He is crazy and unpredictable and so much fun to be around. He stands a whole head taller than me, lithe and nicely muscled with tousled blondish brown hair. His hazel green eyes that bore a hint of more green are alternately intense and inviting which he wears black eyeliner around them. It didn't matter that I have seen him just about every day for the two years we have been together. He always takes my breath away. Caught off in my daydreaming I looked down at the time. He would already be with Zebulon, Asia's boyfriend, so I couldn't text him back. He would have his phone off. I also had a message from my friend Asia checking our plans for tomorrow night as well. She was going to ride with Zebulon and our other mutual friend Darcan. We all have been buddies since High School. I called her back and she answered on the third ring, "Hey girl me and Desi just got in. We bought the cutest outfits. I can't wait for you to see."
"Sorry I didn't go with you but me and Zeb went to a movie."
"Oh it's cool. Did you two love birds have fun?", I laughed lightly.
"Yeah, we watched a really good movie for once. Well I need to go, Zeb is still here so I want to spend some time with him before he leaves. I will see you tomorrow night."
"Sure, have fun. See you at the club.", I flipped my phone shut. I remembered when me and Dys first started dating. We were connected at the hip too.
"Ah young love.", Desi joked batting her eyelashes.
"You make fun of them now but wait until it's your turn.", I laughed pushing her playfully. I think Desi is the only person I have ever known that has never been in love before. Strange I know. The next night came too fast. I almost didn't know where the day had gone. It was just an hour left until we hit the club, me and Desi are dressing in our newly bought outfits. Holding up two pairs of earrings, "Which earrings do you think?", Desi asked.
I looked over both pairs she held between her fingers, "I love the black dangled stars!", I nodded my head approving.
"I thought so too.", she agreed holding up one to her ear. While we were praising each other's clothes the phone rang. It was Asia calling again to say she was leaving her house right now. I didn't think she would be leaving so soon. We hurried up and dressed so we wouldn't be too late for the others. I hated being rushed though. Desi huffed around the room finding her shoes. She didn't like being rushed either. When we finally did get to the club it was insanely packed, stretching back almost a block. I wouldn't have guessed the interior was so big from out on the street.
"We are never going to get in!", I moaned in despair. My heart sank in my chest.
"I already got that covered", Desi assured me. She took out her cell and texted Asia. After a moment she said cheerfully, "Okay lets go." She snapped her phone shut and started to walk towards the door. I looked at her surprised and a little confused. She came back to me and impatiently grabbed my hand leading me to the front of the line. But there was a very tough looking bouncer who suddenly stopped us, "Back of the line ladies." Before Desi could argue the entrance door busted open almost hitting the guy in the back. It was Asia and a guy I didn't know. The guy was handsome and tall in his early twenties, with a slender muscular build. His hair was brown, sort of long, about shoulder length. He had smooth pale skin, chiseled bone structure and a mouth that was curled up in a crooked grin. His eyes were an intense shade of blue I have never seen before. It was those eyes that held me.
"Let them in", he said with a smooth melodic tone. He moved with easy grace.
"Sure boss, this way ladies", the bouncer motioned to us with his large hand. I glanced at Desi smiling excitedly as she proudly lead the way past Asia and the mysterious guy.
"Thanks", I said as I passed him. He nodded back to me while holding the door open. His eyes seemed to trace my entire body. He was studying me briefly as I walked by him. Strange I thought. His eyes flashed with excitement like a kid on Christmas. When we entered the club the smell of smoke was in the cool air. It was dimly lit and strobes were everywhere. The dance floor hung in the middle of the large spacious room that was carpeted around the dance area. Mini bar tables spread out through the edges and there was two bars on opposite sides of the club. Asia showed us where all our friends were. Zebulon and Darcan were sitting at one of the tables goofing off as usual. My eyes scanned the club until I spotted Dys who was with Jada , another close friend of ours. They were up on the stage that was connected to the dance floor. I waved to Dys as he turned his head and caught sight of me. He jumped down running over to me. He grabbed me up by my waist holding me tightly to him and kissing me playfully, "Happy birthday my beautiful muse!" I returned his kiss with a big smile, "Thank you my love!"
"So how does it feel?", he asked with a cocky smile.
I quirked an eyebrow and shrugged, "It feels the same sadly enough. I was hoping for more of a change." The new guy who let us in was still talking to Asia and he seemed to have heard me and Dys talking. Because he approached very casually, "Drinks are on me guys.", he gestured towards the bartender who nodded. " How do you like my club Carmen?", he asked still in that smooth voice like water over rocks.
I was surprised he knew my name. I didn't recall say it, "Oh! You own this place? It is way cool. Very fancy from the other clubs around here." He seemed to smirk at that statement but the lighting was a little too dark to tell. He must of come into some money to own this place. He suddenly laughed out loud and I didn't know why. No one told a joke. It was like he heard me again.
"Oh how rude of me", he spoke aloud to get everyone's attention, "I am Bishop Theriot'." My friends were really thrilled to meet him, except Dys, I think. He looked suspicious of the guy and kept his distance. Everyone else showered Bishop with complements on his new place and he just smiled politely. His smile was piercing. I found myself staring again. Oh god he was looking too. As we looked at each other, a odd thing happened. Neither one of us turned away. The static between us was electric.
"How old are you if I may pry?", I asked taking my stupid gaze off him.
"You may, I am twenty-three.", he laughed musically as if amused by some private joke. He nodded with his head for me to accompany him to the bar. I gladly followed staring up at all the colorful lights, strobes, and human statues. The statues were frozen and yet seem very alive ... as if waiting. They made me shudder. When we approached the counter I noticed his eyes were still studying me - looking me over affectionately. Like he was looking for something. I had to admit I liked the attention but it also made me feel sort of guilty. Oh what am I thinking - this is all harmless. He isn't interested in me and why would he? I was the one flirting. Ugh flirting. What am I doing? Just sit down and have a drink Carmen I told myself. I kept my eyes on him as I sat on the round leather stool. I could smell the leather ... a very rich smell. Which I knew was strange to smell it over the cigarette smoke around me. I never could before - hum. My sense of smell had been very aroused lately. I seemed to notice everything around me. He laughed lightly again and nodded to the bartender who was a big burly type. He mixed me a drink, a margarita martini with extra olives. But as I went to pay Bishop stopped my hand, "My treat, your money is no good here." His fingers, even though they barely touched me, were ice cold. I looked at him startled. The hairs on my arms stood up in response to its shock.
"I think I will join you for a drink.", he said calmly. The bartender then pulled a very old looking case from under the bar and opened it. Bishop took out a glass from the bar. He lifted an old bottle with no label and began to pour a red substance into it. He sipped it, "Mmm". My curiosity was starting to get the better of me with this strange new guy tonight. I was enjoying all the mystery.
"So where are you from?", I asked trying to make my voice sound causal. He turned towards me in his stool eyeing me for a minute before responding. His gaze sharpened with new interest, "Many places - none I call home", his voice trailed off as if remembering something, "I was born in France. LaHeve, France to be precise." His bright eyes seemed conflicted, "I am glad I met you Carmen." Looking directly into that alien and absolutely gorgeous face of his I couldn't help but smile in return. I looked for Dys from the corner of my eye to see if he was watching us. He was too busy doing a strip tease on a table half drunk. I giggled at the crazy nut. Then he was looking this way at us. He waved me over to him. As I got up to go back to Dys Bishop's eyes changed. They looked so deep - a blue only the ocean had. They were eyes that have said goodbye a thousand times. Part of me wanted to stay there with him as if he needed comfort. Even though I just met him I felt connected somehow. A connection that felt a thousand years old. I made myself leave anyways and exhaled as I walked away from the table leaving him. I fought my way through all the entranced faces on the dance floor. I could still feel Bishop's eyes on the back of me - they bore into me. Dys dumped his jacket on a chair as he leaped down to take me back into his arms. We danced slowly even though the music didn't call for it.
Excerpted from My Immortal Embrace by Malinda Dickerson Copyright © 2010 by Malinda Dickerson. Excerpted by permission.
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