I write stories like movies. Legally Blonde inspired me to finish law school but I dream of caramel lattes in the morning and travelling to amazing places in the afternoon. The teen fiction on my blog is inspired by the classics Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice. Tweeting @summerdaylight
If the Shoe Fits, Wear it Huck
and Ruby said their goodbyes.
“Thanks for the invite,” Ruby whispered.
“Yeah, this was way freakier than we
Ruby hugged Jewel. “Awesome party, people
will be talking about it for years to come,” Ruby said, “especially since we
have footage,” Ruby waved her smart phone.
“Uploading it soon…” Huck added.
“Don’t go, guys, the fight is so much fun,”
Jewel added as her stepsisters continued to hurl shoes at each other and Marco
waited coolly on the pavement for
Giovanni to arrive in his car.
“We’re going to see if we can get a ride
with them,” Ruby said. “Just think… a real Italian prince.”
“He’s not a prince,” Ruby said. “It says
here his family are rich but untitled.”
“Well, the internet never lies…” The two
friends left discussing how they could ever have believed the rumor that there
was a prince at Venice Beach High.
was packing up his guitar, after playing the required set.
Jewel’s eyes were sparkling as she walked
“Hey, that was amazing,” Jewel said.
“Aren’t you in my English class?”
Riff looked up at her, blue eyes, dark
hair and a smile as handsome as the sun and said, “Yes.”
“So… I never heard anyone play Happy Birthday
like that before.”
“Oh… I’ve had lots of practice.”
At this moment, Jewel’s step family were
shouting at each other again and Jewel wanted out. She was so over playing
Cinderella to those trampettes. Meanwhile, Riff had worked up the courage to
ask Jewel to go out with him.
“Hey, I was wondering if you’d like to go to
this diner with me?” Riff asked. “I always go after I’ve finished playing,
helps me wind down…”
“Yes, sure,” Jewel said, “Like I’d want to
Together they piled into Riff’s car. It
wasn’t particularly flashy but it was comfortable on the inside, and it drove
“I’m saving up to buy a new one,” Riff told
“Oh, I don’t mind,” Jewel replied. “This car
totally rocks.” Just like you, she wanted to add.
Falling in love at first sight can make you
forget things. So, while Marco was being berated by Giovanni for disappearing and
the nasty stepsisters were tearing each other’s hair out in the argument to end
all arguments, Jewel rode happily with Riff along the West Coast towards this
little beach shack diner. Neither of them could speak as they took their places
in their booth. Riff chose a song on the old-fashioned juke box and let Jewel
pick the next two.
liked it here. It reminded him of when he was young. It had been decades since
he’d met anyone as amazing as Jewel.
waitress came with the menu but Riff only ordered a drink.
was starving and ate her sandwich hungrily.
she finished, they both looked at each other.
what if Riff wasn’t some dude whose parent’s owned an island?
So what if Jewel wasn’t of noble birth?
Afterwards, they drove to the beach.
Riff had never expected to meet this
girl. He was supposed to be sampling a few months of ‘normal’ school then his
parents expected him home. He thought his disguise had worked pretty well – low
key, second hand car. But with Jewel, he wanted to tell her everything. He
wanted to tell her the truth.
Jewel had found something that had been
missing from her teenage world up until now. No amount of money, jewels, fast
cars, golden slippers or tiaras would replace instant chemistry.
When Riff parked the car near the ocean
across the road from the diner, Jewel stole a kiss on his perfect lips. For a
first kiss, it sizzled. Riff used all his power to hold back his fangs. Given
that her blood appealed, his restraint was a miracle in itself but he couldn’t
let himself get that close too quickly, again. His parents would freak out. The
Crown Vampire Prince and a ‘normal’? His father would say it could never be.
Riff took Jewel’s hand. He didn’t care
what his parent’s thought.
he said, “I want to show you where I live.”
when Jewel noticed she wasn’t wearing any shoes.
“I must have left them on the dance floor.”
Sure enough, there they were; gold turned
to glass amid the streamers, balloons and remnants of the party to end all
parties. Bella Cinderella amazon kindle:http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AQRYEY0
Teenage Fairy Tales: a collectionby Summer Daycontinue in Snow Bright and The Magic Mermaid...
Day is the author of Pride &
Princesses, Wuthering Nights, Anne Eyre and Truly - teen novels inspired by classics. Snow
Bright and The Magic Mermaid are
parts two and three of Teenage Fairy Tales: a collection – Bella Cinderella, Snow Bright and The Magic Mermaid are inter-connected novellas inspired by classic
fairy tales. All Summer's novels are currently available on Amazon. (Many chapters are on this blog!)
Hi Guys, if you scroll a little through my blog you'll notice Bella Cinderella! I hope readers enjoy my novella take on Cinderella (set in Venice Beach with some teen vamps added to the action). I think you might guess which hottie is the really the handsome young prince, though...
It seems like I've finally got my follower widget working... Just let me say I'm beyond thrilled when a reader joins:) It's like, when you have a huge box of jelly beans and they spill out of that pinata you weren't allowed to touch until your birthday party:) WOO HOO I'm so busy reviewing the edits on POPULAR and THE HOTNESS. While not specifically sequels to Pride & Princesses they are set in and around familiar places and both contain familiar 'characters' - I can't wait for readers to read... but I'm making sure the manuscripts are just as right as possible before putting them out there. So, if I'm not social networking as much as I like to, I hope to be webbing again soon. Meanwhile, think of me writing away with my music on in the background or the dvd playing shows I've already seen on the flat screen in the foreground (like Suburgatory and The Gilmore Girls on repeat) as the background story to my typing... ps. I have to play shows I've already seen and liked or I'm distracted enough to stop writing. If you haven't already gathered, I like soft noise, but noise all the same, while I work... music is good too but it's nice to feel you are among television friends while you're actually the only person in the room along with endless amounts of tea... the kettle is my friend. VIRTUAL HUGS to ALL:)
I recently read STATE OF EMERGENCY by Summer Lane @SummerEllenLane on Twitter. This is a fast moving & fabulous YA read. Summer's gorgeous blog is here http://writingbelle.blogspot.com/ as are details about her novel. I have browsed through this blog and I think it's FABULOUS! I just uploaded my twitter friend @AirickPhoenix 's new novel GAMES OF FIRE onto my kindle & cannot wait to read:) Airicka blogs, is active on FB and Twitter and is a fantastic writer. Another blog I love is: http://abellestales.blogspot.com/ so check 'em out lovelies & have a great Monday. Also, Truly is Free on Amazon on Monday 11th March... I think the follower button is finally working here at my blog! Thanks to my (heading towards) nineteen thousand views:) All because of fabulous readers (ie. you) Please check into my follower 'widget' if you'd like to join & let me know if it's finally working!! Hugs Summer:)
Heath disappeared most evenings at school.
Kate knew he went hunting. He’d be back for band rehearsals, he had promised
her. He’d been counselled by his doctor. Kate was sure he practised being
‘safe’, which meant only drinking wild animals and never more than he needed to
survive. Magenta, drunk in the interim, ensured he was not tempted by humans;
nor would he be, unless his vampiricism developed fully. This was a roll of the
dice, according to his specialist. They wouldn’t know if he was a full bloodsucker
until he reached eighteen. In the meantime, his diet subsisted only of protein,
citrus, Magenta and plasma delivered via special order from London once a week.
Blood oranges were still his favourites.
Tomorrow night, the inter-school Battle of
the Bands competition was to be held as part of the Sixth Form dance. Kate and a few others, including Annabelle
Hunt, were factored into the front row as audience members or “fake fans”, as
Kate joked. Annabelle had made such an effort to be friends with Kate that the
girls were now talking and Annabelle had hesitantly been accepted into Kate’s circle
of popular girls.
Those girls were sitting in the front row.
The band hoped they wouldn’t be sitting there long. Tonight, they wanted
everyone in the room up dancing. Heath
would be lying if he said he didn’t like the fact that a lot of girls paid him
attention. He was tall with dark hair and had a “mysterious” look about him.
He’d heard Annabelle giggling and whispering about him to his friends once. He
still disliked the Hunts but he enjoyed female attention in all its forms and
it didn’t pay to display open warfare towards Annabelle’s older brother,
Edmund. He’d tried that in his first
year at boarding school and all his privileges had been withdrawn. He hadn’t
seen Kate in over a week.
There was only one girl whose opinion
truly mattered to him and she sat front row centre as the band played her
favourite cover. Afterwards, everyone rushed off to supper but Heath and Kate
As Heath packed away his guitar, the
drummer, who fancied Kate, smiled at her.
‘Did you like your song, Kate? We played
it especially for you…’
Heath rolled his eyes, jealously.
‘I more than enjoyed it,’ Kate replied
but she was looking straight at Heath when she spoke.
Heath had a good singing voice. He and his
band were the coolest – some said most dangerous boys at school – by far.
Although Kate was proud of Heath’s ability to assimilate, it had begun to annoy
her to see other girls paying Heath so much attention and the last thing she
wanted to do was let him know how great he was. That would create too much of
an ego problem.
‘I mean, it was better than okay,’ she
‘That was your song,’ Heath said.
Kate couldn’t help but smile. Heath knew
what she liked so well.
Heath pretended not to care and smiled
at Annabelle Hunt as she gathered her things, much to Kate’s annoyance. Heath made sure Kate noticed how much
Annabelle Hunt flirted with him. When he became bored with Annabelle’s
conversation mid-sentence, Heath turned from her and walked over to demand
Kate’s undivided attention. Kate paused
and glanced into Heath’s eyes. It was obvious to strangers they had a
connection that went beyond words.
When they were alone, Kate tugged at
Heath’s shirt and gave him the lamb sandwich she’d made in the kitchen
especially for him. They were having a roast today at the girl’s school and
Kate knew it was Heath’s favourite. He thanked her, pulled off the lamb, wolfed
it down then left the bread. Heath was always starving these days. It was as if
none of the food he ate satisfied him.
‘C’mon, I also bought us tea…’ Kate had
her flask and some more lamb and chicken wrapped in a satchel. Heath grimaced,
but realised weak tea kept him hydrated. Kate was always trying to look after
him, even though they’d be seeing each other less now that they were both
studying for half-term finals.
‘You really did rock, Heath,’ she
whispered, looking up at him when she said it.
He tried not to beam so hard. He
grew happy and less prideful under her gaze but he held back from saying what
he wanted to say. Heath wanted to tell Kate Spencer how much he loved her but
he couldn’t. If he told her, he felt sure that she would torture him, use it
against him and tease him more than she usually did. It was in her nature to be
both a chameleon and contrite. He wouldn’t say the words until he was sure she
felt the same.
They agreed to meet at the cottage to study
for their exams. They enjoyed meeting up, just to read and talk like they used
to when they lived in London.
The cottage was a secret meeting place that
had been used for decades by the students from both schools. Built into a stone
wall that marked the outside gate of the shared sporting grounds, it could only
be reached by running (or walking very quickly) far out of sight across the
never ending playing fields and through a kind of dugout that led to an even
more lush pasture.
The dwelling had been uninhabited for at
least a decade. The hut had been built in the curve. High on the hill, it lay
abandoned when no one had bothered to demolish it. Most of the students knew of
its existence and it was the “go to” place for midnight feasts… and lover’s
By the time Kate arrived, windswept and
dishevelled, Heath had caught her up.
The interior of the cottage had recently
been renovated by teenagers. There was evidence of junk food and discarded
games, posters tagged on walls, various blankets and duvets rolled into a
cupboard, and a well-used fireplace. It was the perfect spot for a winter picnic.
‘Reminds me a little bit of Hampstead,’ Kate
said, looking out the window.
‘Scotland reminds me of nothing in the South.
It’s…lonelier…wilder,’ he said, rubbing his mouth when Kate couldn’t see. He
suddenly needed his incisors filed but he wasn’t going to admit it. Only Heath
could feel the sharp tips of the teeth inside his mouth, reminding him of his
true nature. Kate placed the food on
the red checked table cloth over the low coffee table as Heath lit the fire.
The boy hungrily demolished the roast chicken from Kate’s satchel as the girl
looked on in amusement. She spread out the board game on the floor. The pair of
them began playing Scrabble in their usual competitive way until Kate, bored
with the game, messed up her side with the pieces tumbling across the floor
amidst a cloud of laughter.
‘This is such a boring game,’ she said.
‘I’ve never understood why I can’t make up words… ’
She leaned over towards him. Heath felt
unexpectedly nervous, but tried to act cool.
‘What sort of words?’
‘Oh, you know. Words they don’t teach us at
school…’ Kate smiled wickedly then changed the subject.
‘I am so bored with classes but I can’t
wait to see your band perform tomorrow night. I miss Hampstead. I miss the
glass house where we used to go… to hunt for food…and flowers…’
Kate loved flowers. She’d even given Heath
some edible ones once, when he was little, which he’d duly tried to eat. Kate
rolled onto her back and stared up at the low beamed roof. Heath looked
bashful. The fire flickered, creating artistic shadows of the pair on the
inside of the cottage.
‘I think we should play a different
game…’ Kate said.
Heath looked at Kate incredulously, as he
turned the page of his History text. He hadn’t expected this.
Kate reached over and stroked his hair. He
could still feel the touch of her fingers, moments later. Overwhelmed, he took
her hand in his and used all of his willpower to stop himself pulling her to
him and fanging her. He didn’t want to mess things up with Kate before they
were ready. Heath ached for her loveliness; she was part of him more than
anything or anyone ever could be or would be. When he thought of his biological
family, he was dismissive of them. He didn’t remember their faces. Besides,
they had abandoned him when they discovered he was a bloodsucking freak; just
as his friends would probably turn on him, if they knew the truth.
He dropped his pen and changed the subject.
‘What…what are your plans for next year?’
Kate laughed… ‘Okay, we’ll play your way.
Let’s see, if I wasn’t going to be a famous painter, do you know what I’d be?’
‘I don’t,’ Heath replied as she plaited her
hair into a braid.
‘Well, I love my horse so…I’d be a vet…and
save the animals…’
‘You’d have to study hard for that,’ Heath
said sarcastically, glancing back at the words on his page.
‘What, don’t you think I’m capable?’
Heath knew Kate could do anything she set
her mind to, starting with gaining access to the school kitchen when he
couldn’t, but it wouldn’t pay to compliment her right now. She was far more
confident than he was.
‘It’s not that,’ he hedged. ‘I’m just not
sure if you have the dedication,’ he replied, turning his head so she couldn’t
see his smile.
He reached over and caught her hand.
Kate looked up at Heath with a devotion she quickly hid with words.
‘Let me get closer to the fire. It’s freezing
in here…’ Kate said.
Heath moved closer to her, closer to the
flames which were weak, but turned and crackled forming a strong light.
Heath made the first move. He put his hand
on Kate’s hair and she held his gaze.
‘Run away with me Kate.’
‘When? Where to?’
‘When we’ve finished school, after we turn
eighteen. We could go to Prague or Paris or Spain.’
‘We’ll get jobs…’
‘I can’t just abandon everything…my family…’
‘Apart from your father…they’ve abandoned
Kate considered this for a moment.
‘I know. Harrison is…not to be trusted and
mother lets him sign everything. He controls all her assets after she and
father separated. She even signed half of the house into his name. Mother never
did like responsibility.’ Kate reached out to Heath and he leant over and
kissed her wrist, softly, again.
Kate opened her eyes wide, suddenly seeing
‘Yes, let’s do it. Let’s go to Spain. I’ll
study art and design, though I once thought Paris might be the place for that.
Never mind, I’m sure they have good design schools in Spain and you can…start a
band… only we’ve no money, not a cent. It’s just a fantasy, Heath. Ten minutes
in another country without a roof over our heads and we’d be fighting all the
‘What?’ He wanted her to say it but she
‘…and liking each other less…’
‘I could never like you less, Kate. There
is no such possibility.’
‘Because I love you.’
Kate liked it when he spoke like this, but
it worried her. ‘I know,’ was all she said.
What she should have said, and what she
later regretted not saying was that she also loved him. It was obvious. Her
journals were testament to this. Each one covering a year in their lives
together, written in schoolgirl writing, with train tickets and photographs
taken on her polaroid when Heath was least expecting it, pasted into the pages.
She kept the most recent one hidden under her bed. Her favourite photograph was one she took of
Heath in his navy blue school blazer standing on the playing fields with a
bemused look on his face, just as he realised she was the culprit – the school
Kate glanced longingly at Heath after he’d
kissed her again. She looked into his perfect eyes and felt the hard cut of his
arm muscles. This boy, soon to be a man, was everything to her. He was her
whole life, the male version of herself. She knew to be wary, though - family
neglect had taught her this; not to let him know her entire being was his to do
with as he pleased. Kate sat up and glanced down at her shoe, resolving to
change the subject.
Heath loved that about her - the two
versions. In this version, Kate had fresh colour rising in her cheeks. He
wanted to be closer to her, to touch the vein in her wrist, her neck, to kiss her
lips, but he didn’t dare move.
‘I think you should take your studies more
seriously, never mind about me. I could never love a man, who didn’t know at
least as much as me,’ she joked as she packed up the chess pieces.
‘Well, then, there are a great many men for
you to love,’ Heath replied with a raised eyebrow.
‘Oh, you…’ Kate threw one of the Scrabble
pieces his way.
Heath laughed in return, loving that he
could get to her so easily.
He had applied to various universities but
he wasn’t sure what he wanted. Beyond Kate’s love, nothing. He’d gone through
the motions, telling no one before now that he’d considered applying to
Oxford. He’d organised teachers he knew
would give him good references and because his marks were flawless, he had a reasonable
chance of being accepted. He just had to pass the interviews. He’d studied
every evening when he wasn’t with Kate, and when he was, he studied late into
the night. He wanted to achieve more than anyone he knew. More than anything,
he wanted Kate to be proud of him.
They read some more and fell asleep beside
the fire. When they woke the next morning, fully clothed, wrapped together
under a pile of blankets, it was morning.
‘C’mon,’ Kate said, dusting off bread crumbs
from her skirt, ‘we don’t want to miss chapel or they will notice and maybe
stop me going to the gig tonight. Someone could report us…’
Heath rolled his eyes. ‘You mean
‘Really, he’s not that bad. I think he
wants to be your friend. Actually I think Annabelle is quite keen on you. You
better be careful, Heath. Those secretive, silent girls are the worst with
their little schoolgirl crushes…’
‘Is that what you have on me?’
‘Silly, I’m not the silent, secretive
type…’ Kate said.
It wasn’t the answer Heath wanted to hear.
‘Well, you never had to be…’
Heath turned with the coat and handed Kate
‘How can you joke like that Kate?’
‘What? I’m just kidding.’
‘How could you think there is anyone for me
apart from you?’
‘I…I think you like me…too much. It will
distract you from getting good marks in your finals.’
‘Am I hearing things? Listen to yourself
Kate. I don’t “like” you too much. There is no “like” here.
Kate looked away, aware of the depth of her
feelings for the handsome boy that stood opposite her. Over the past year, he’d
grown a head taller than her. She had to look up in the morning half-light to
meet his eyes. Again, she looked away.
‘Look at me Kate.’
‘I know most girls think you’re hot…’
‘Oh, so you’re saying you don’t?’
‘Those girls don’t know you, like I know
you…’ Kate said slowly. Before Kate was
forced to answer, the door blew open as one of the younger students arrived,
out of breath. ‘Come quick,’ he said, ‘… they’re taking the register. They know
someone broke into the kitchen last night and stole some chickens and the
headmaster is going ballistic…’
Kate giggled while Heath grabbed their
coats as they prepared to run. It would be wiser to attend roll call, or else
it would be completely obvious they’d been out all night; and then Mr Spencer would
be informed, or worse.
Hinton was surprised that the lights were
still on in the drawing room as he entered the house. The dog had slept by the
fire until everyone else had gone to sleep. Then, he’d done as usual and
wandered upstairs to lie at the foot of his master’s bed.
The boy had removed his coat; he wore the
latest sneakers and low rise jeans. Hinton wandered into the kitchen to see if
there was anything to eat. He hoped Greta had left something since. He was very
hungry after hours of clubbing in Soho. He was often photographed there with
various girlfriends, but lately, his shallow existence had begun to bother him.
Perhaps he was more like his adopted father than he thought. The family
photographs that filled the drawing room told barely half the story of its
Hinton shook his head at the pictures on
the wall as he climbed the stairs. It was funny to him that Heath could give
himself airs and graces but no one knew where he came from either. Heath could
use the title bestowed upon him for “services to the economy” but that didn’t
make him a Lord, not in Hinton’s eyes. He couldn’t have cared less about titles
but he thought it almost funny that he had to practically ask permission to
live in his own house when his sister had more rights to it than Heath (who
only owned the house because of a swindle…) but that was another story.
The boy was aware there were two sides to
the family history. In the first version, Heath had “saved” him as a child from
a vicious beating by his drunkard brother-in-law, Harrison. The other was
contained in an apologetic note from Harrison years later. Truth lay somewhere
in between. One thing Hinton knew for sure; Heath cheated Harrison out of his
own home during a game of high-stakes poker.
There are always more sides to a story but
this was the particular side that Hinton chose to believe. Before the bet,
papers had been signed. Heath, the foundling child, had risen to become the
rightful owner of Hareton Hall. Hinton grimaced in the mirror as he cleaned his
teeth and splashed his face. His image was hazy with condensation. He rubbed
the mirror with a towel and wiped his face dry. Hinton turned off the light and
walked quietly to his room. Heath’s light was on. As usual Hinton didn’t bother
to say goodnight. Instead, he flopped on his own bed fully clothed.
Heath wasn’t so bad. He’d been more of a
father than Harrison and treated him more like a biological son than the father
he’d never met. Besides, unless he won the annual Art Prize at his college, he
had nowhere else to go.
Hinton had flicked on the television news in
his bedroom and was chugging orange juice and eating what was left of some
roasted chicken, when he heard a piercing screech that made him walk into the
Doors flung open and Heath’s dog bounded
out of the main bedroom towards a room with blazing light under the door; a
room that had never been used since his teenage aunt had inhabited it more than
twenty years ago.
A dark-haired girl flung open the door and
stood on the landing, looking pale and frightened in the half light. Hinton
Spencer froze on the spot.
‘Who are you?’
‘I’m… I’m Katarina Hunt. You must be…’
‘Hinton, your…cousin by marriage, for all
intents and purposes. I…I was adopted.
Are you okay?’
‘I don’t know… I think I will be. Someone
tried to get into my room…’
The boy, mesmerized by her white skin and
red lips, stared at her longer than was necessary, then apologized, adding,
‘sorry…it’s just that you are identical to my…adopted Aunt…’ He gestured to
Kate’s picture on the wall.
‘May I?’ Hinton said.
‘Yes…come in, please…’ Kate said with
desperation in her voice. Hinton checked the cupboards and behind the curtains,
even under the bed.
‘There’s nothing in here…’
A slight breeze wafted through the room,
seemingly from nowhere.
met…your Uncle, um Heath and I wanted to come back to see some old
photos and the house my mother grew up in. Then the storm set in so I asked if
I could stay the night and…I don’t think Heath wanted me to stay and… someone
tried to get into my room.”
Hinton looked around.
‘The door was shut when I came up.’
Almost speechless, Katarina whispered, ‘not
through the door, through the window.’
Hinton wandered past the bed and towards
the upstairs bay window. It was unlocked and unopened. He pulled it up. They
were on the upper floor. Below, lay a stone pathway. The flower beds were a metre away from the
walls and the trees even farther. It would not have been possible for anyone to
‘There is no one there now,’ Hinton said.
‘Are you sure you didn’t have too much to drink?’
‘Are you serious? I know what I saw.’
Outside, the wind started to pelt down
onto the trees. In the distance, an icy storm began to howl again.
‘Tell you what,’ Hinton said, smiling, ‘why
don’t you come into my room… I’ll take the floor, of course, and you’ll be safe
until morning when I drive you home.’
Katarina looked at him hesitantly. This
wasn’t the cousin she was supposed to meet, though she’d heard about him often
enough at Art College. Hinton was known as a real ladies’ man, a guy who failed
his A-levels and only got into college because of the brilliance of his
drawings and a scholarship. Everyone knew his family were loaded. Hinton was a
year ahead of her, so they’d seen each other in the halls but never spoken.
He’d dated more than his share of girls at the college, and dumped them just as
Katarina reluctantly dragged her checked
blanket off the bed and pulled on her jeans over her underwear as Hinton
pretended to look away.
‘C’mon, then,’ Katarina said, as the storm
Hinton couldn’t believe his luck. He
started walking towards his room when he realised the girl had taken a wrong
‘I’m going to sleep in the drawing room,’
Katarina said. ‘Perhaps, you could come with me?’ She was still pretty scared
after the earlier incident, though she’d never admit it and Hinton had all but
convinced her she was dreaming.
“Mmm… give up my bed for a hard couch?” For
a minute she thought he was going to refuse.
‘Why not?’ he said with his most affable
smile. ‘We can pretend we’re on a camping holiday.’ Although her likeness to her mother threw him
momentarily, Hinton was beginning to like this new cousin.
Heath was able to sleep through practically
anything but lately he’d been woken up at all hours. He’d drunk three glasses
of brandy before bed and fallen into an almost trancelike state reading the
stock reports and going through some important files in relation to an upcoming
merger. He’d been out hunting squirrels and rabbits again. He’d swiftly scaled
the outside wall so no one would notice him coming back or leaving. Disgusted,
he wiped the blood from his mouth, rinsed and brushed his teeth before
Though he dimly heard the sound of a woman’s
scream it faded just as quickly and the only change in his vast, kingly bedroom
was the blurry sight of his dog’s ears standing up. He crawled under his duvet.
Heath slept a few hours every night. After his maturity, at twenty-one, he
hadn’t slept at all. But recently, he’d started falling into a deep slumber in
the early hours of the morning. He reached over for his newly prescribed
elixir. There were many underground markets now and different products for both
vampires and hybrids that hadn’t been available to Heath in his youth. After he
chugged some Magenta (a new elixir), he fell back into a deep sleep. The dog
whimpered and snuggled at his feet like she always did when he woke.
In the dark he heard a woman’s voice,
clear as glass.
“Heath… Heath…” the girl whispered to him.
Then, her hand reached over and shook him awake.
Dark hair fanned across his ear,
irritating him and interrupting his dream, which was more than a dream. Heath
opened his eyes and saw the perfect brown eyes of another and heard Kate’s
pleading voice as he reached out to touch her cheek.
‘Heath,’ the girl said. ‘Forgive me for
what I did. I’ve been away for eighteen years. Please come back to me, I have
missed you. It’s so cold out here…come back to me…come back…Let me in. I’ve
been in the in-between for so long…’
‘It’s late… ’ Heath said, changing the
subject as Katarina took another sip of tea.
It was past midnight and the storm hadn’t
‘Do you mind if I stay the night?’
Heath was mildly surprised but glad he
hadn’t had to make the suggestion.
‘Of course not, I don’t know when or even
if the boys will be home, but there are six guest rooms and Greta should be in
at eight in the morning. Take your pick. I’m just going to stay here by the
fire, go through a few papers. I have a business meeting in the City tomorrow.
Even though it’s Saturday, some of the foreign markets don’t sleep…’
‘Mmm…’ Katarina said. Normally she would
have felt odd staying in a stranger’s house. Before it was her uncle’s it had,
after all, been her mother’s. Kat was surprised Heath had become so
traditional. He’d once dreamed of being a rock star according to a letter her
mother had written (the only one that she had been allowed to read and
Katarina gazed at her mother’s portrait in
the hallway. How was it possible to look so similar to a person you didn’t
‘Thank you. I just texted my father and he
thinks I’m staying with my friend - the girl you met in the pub.’
‘Blonde one, long hair?’
‘Yes, that one,’ Kate regularly excused
Stacey’s flirtatious behaviour.
Heath nodded, making himself seem more
amiable than he was. He tried to imagine he hadn’t dreamed of sinking his teeth
into the blonde girl’s neck and draining her until she shuddered.
‘I was wondering if I could sleep in my
mother’s old room?’
Heath hesitated, but he knew refusal would
put her off guard.
‘Well…um, I don’t think Greta has the bed
‘Which one is it?’
‘First right, top of the stairs, but…’ He
could feel his muscles tightening; he needed his medication and perhaps some
protein from the larder…
‘That’s okay; I’ll just take this…’
Katarina gestured to the checked mohair blanket that had been wrapped around
her. Before Heath could utter another word, she said good night and was
bounding half way up the creaking staircase, two steps at a time, revealing her
It would be a long night, Heath thought, as
he finished his pint of Magenta and took some extra capsules. The storm water
pelted down on the sill in the drawing room as the lights suddenly flashed. The
dog jumped up and howled. His ears were alert to the unfamiliar sound of music
playing from Kate’s old bedroom.
‘Settle,’ Heath warned.
The dog nuzzled his head under his paws
and softly growled instead.He sensed a
Outside, Hinton, Heath’s adopted son,
walked alone towards the house. He was grown now, hunched over his
plastic-wrapped package. It was his latest completed canvas, carefully covered.
Hinton had lived at Hareton Hall since his sister, Frances, had arrived with
him in tow eighteen years ago. Now he had no family but Heath and Linus. The
boy wore a blue scarf, brown coat and ski hat pulled down over his ears. He’d
been in central London finishing his Art History class and then he’d stayed on
to assist the tutor during a photography lesson. Hinton was one of the best
students at Art College and made extra cash tutoring. The class had been
developing film (in a dark room during their lesson in pre-digital camera work)
and some students had then decided to go into the West End for drinks. Before
he knew, it was almost daybreak.
The boy hated going home. His uncle was
legally his adopted father but Hinton always called him Heath. Before Hinton
went off to class, Heath had been in a surlier mood than usual and was always
on at him about “making something of his life” and going to work in the City at
the family firm. Hinton couldn’t believe he expected so much of him when he
expected absolutely nothing of his own son. Linus, who was blonde like his mother,
did little else except socialize and run dance parties in abandoned fields.
Heath and Hinton had countless arguments
about Hinton’s “lack of direction.” Hinton knew Heath liked to keep his family
close by and didn’t want either of his sons to leave home before they had
finished studying. He was a difficult and unsociable parent but he was the only
parent Hinton had since his own had died shortly after his birth. Franny had
raised him until her desire to flee The Hall after Harrison’s death overcame
her. Hinton was in school then and The Hall became his holiday home. Greta, who
had children of her own to care for, only came in three days a week now.
Heath rarely trusted new people enough to
actually employ them so when staff left, they were not replaced. Over the years
only Greta remained. Hinton couldn’t really believe how he’d been trapped into
his adopted father’s lair, especially since Heath had never actually been
demonstrative towards him during his childhood. But then, he’d never shown much
love to his own son, either. Slowly, Hareton Hall had become his home. And it
was all because of her, Hinton
thought. As he neared the house, the first picture to greet him in the hallway
would be Kate Spencer’s.
Hinton was sceptical about love partly
because of the rumours that connected her to his adopted father. Besides,
Hinton was nineteen and had a reputation to uphold. He enjoyed “playing the
field” as Heath used to say in the old days. Since Art College had more female
students than males, the odds were definitely in his favour. Even so, Hinton
couldn’t wait to get out of Hampstead for good. As he walked up the drive,
along the old stone road, shivering in the early hours of the morning, he
considered the merits of leaving London. The borough was freezing and the cab
from the station would only take him so far along the icy road now that the
storm was subsiding. He often took the bus. There was nowhere to park in
central London anyway and he hated asking Heath for money.