Amaranthine (Willow Shadows Book 1) (7 page)

BOOK: Amaranthine (Willow Shadows Book 1)
4.64Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub


“Don’t be such a drama queen. Instinct was trying to show you what you didn’t already know. You really should listen to it more, Khally,” he smirked.


Just then, she heard Josephine laughing at them and looked over to her.


“The reading-your-mind-thing is really going to start to annoy you,” she said as she rose out of her seat and walked around to the front of her desk, sitting on the edge of it.


“It already is,” Khalida grumbled under her breath.


“Just so you know, Toot, I try not to intrude for the most part, but sometimes it’s hard not to.”


“Okay, you two, let’s not fight,” she said sternly, “let’s talk. Khalida, I’m guessing your mother feels the same way you do. She doesn’t want to hide, but there is a difference between being careful and being safe. You can be careful out in the open while you’re in public, but you’re safe as long as you’re here. We aren’t asking you to stop your life completely or implying that you should be scared all the time. We just need to figure everything out and take precautions, but we can’t keep you safe if you don’t help us. Your mother is safe as long as she is away from her house, so when she isn’t at work, I have made arrangements for her to stay here, also. You remember Miranda? I already have her setting up the guest rooms for the two of you.”


Josephine was gesturing towards the pale, ordinary young girl that was standing timidly in the corner of the room. Khalida hadn’t even noticed the maid until Josephine pointed her out. Miranda stood as quiet as a mouse, looking blankly at the floor.


“I am still going to school,” Khalida declared, meaning it more as a statement but it sounded more like a question.


Josephine wasn’t one to be told what to do or to be given demands. She was an incredibly intelligent woman and gushed with authority. Khalida only knew that she really wanted to go to school, but she also knew if Josephine thought it wasn’t a good idea, then it was out of the question.


“I already knew you would ask, and I can’t see any reason why you can’t go to school, but as a precaution, Luke will be changing his class schedule to suit yours as well. You can consider my son a personal body guard until further notice,”
he said as she stood and walked back around her desk, opening a drawer and digging around.


“What about my mom? Shouldn’t someone be with her, too?” Khalida whimpered.

Josephine looked up from the drawer and a smile crept at the corners of mouth, “Who said your mother needed protection?”


“She does, doesn’t she?” Khalida asked a little confused.


“Khalida, your mother is almost as powerful as I am, and I assure you she needs no protection. God have mercy on those who try to attack her. She has an extraordinary power over one’s mind,” she went back to digging, “although rarely used, she can make anyone see or feel whatever she wishes. It’s something we are hoping you will inherit from your bloodline.”


“I’ll be almost as powerful as you? What can you do?” Khalida asked naively.


“I am not the leader of our coven for my weaknesses, Khalida,” Josephine responded after finding what she was looking for, Josephine walked over to the window to stand by Luke. Khalida always knew Josephine was hardcore. She just had that look about her, and Khalida didn’t push for any further information.


“What about my job?”


year Khalida took a job at the local animal shelter. It was only for a couple of hours after school, a few days a week, so she supposed she could take a leave of absence for awhile until this whole thing blew over. Khalida loved her job working with the stray animals that got brought in. She loved tending to their needs; she groomed them, fed them, and walked them. Taking care of the helpless always seemed to help ease her mind. The only thing that Khalida didn’t like about her job was the manager. It seemed that no matter what Khalida did, he was always trying to find something wrong with the work she did, constantly standing over her shoulder, picking out the obvious.




“Khalida, you’re different than your mother. You’re what we call a newbie; it’s a vampire that hasn’t come into her power, yet. You’re vulnerable. It’s really an unnecessary risk that we can’t afford to take. I don’t care what you tell them. Quit for all I care. It’s just too much of a liability right now. We certainly couldn’t hide Luke in the store, and you can’t go without protection. Even if we put you in training, you are no match for the caliber that Braedon is.” She said everything so matter-of-factly that Khalida couldn’t help but agree.


“That’s fine. I was actually thinking of getting a
different job


Khalida sat back in the fluffy chair that she saw when she first walked in. Thoughts from the last three days flooded her mind. Her life had been totally turned upside down, and what was worse was she had no control over what was happening or what will happen for that matter. What she did know was that she was a vampire. She also knew Luke, her mother, Josephine and Vega were also a part of this life. Luke and she were now bonded by blood. He could read minds, and she would gain a great power, too, but because of that, someone very dangerous wanted her dead.


Luke and Josephine were talking in low voices, trying to keep whatever it was they were saying away from Khalida’s ears even though she could make out that it was something about what she had found in her drawer. Khalida blocked them out and continued to let everything she had learned flood her mind. It was all such a big deal. Whoever was after her now must be pretty brutal, and whatever powers Khalida was going to have must have been so supreme in nature that it was worth killing her over.


“Luke,” Khalida said quietly.


He turned to look at Khalida as she sat lost in the chair.


“If it comes down to it, and they do get me, I don’t think I would be brave enough, so.... you’ll have to kill me?”


Luke broke eye contact with Khalida, looking away, trying to ignore her last few words.


“Khalida,” Josephine softly spoke, “he will have to,” she said grimly.


chool came and went in a blur, a smudged version of what it used to be. Graduation was approaching fast, and all Khalida wanted was to be able to do as Josephine had suggested and not be scared all time so that she could enjoy the last bit of high school she had left with her friends. She found herself faking her enjoyment an awful lot, lately. Khalida went to and from school with Luke standing in the shadows, watching every step she took, and Khalida was always looking over her shoulder, waiting for the evil she could feel around her to show its ugly face. Now that Khalida and Luke could silently speak to each other through their own thoughts because of the newly formed blood ties, Khalida tried hard to keep her depressing and grim thoughts at bay. She knew that if Luke started to suspect the level at which she was scared, he might recommend that she finish school at home, and no way was that happening.


As Luke and Khalida walked the gloomy halls of their school, Khalida couldn’t help but think of all the kids there, the normal lives they had, zits, homework, boys and girls really being their only problems. The blonde from the last real day of school that she could actually call normal had appeared from time to time, making feeble attempts to hang all over Luke whenever she could, whether Khalida and Vega were present or not. Both girls found this source of entertainment more amusing every day. After all, who would throw herself at someone who obviously returned no affection? Khalida wasn’t surprised to find out that little blonde named Lacey didn’t like her.


The last bell of the day went off like clockwork, releasing students like cattle being let out of a pin. The sudden shrill sound of the bell startled Khalida, causing her to jump out of her seat and stumble to her feet, leaving her to play off her clumsiness as best as she could while the kids behind her giggled at her not-so-successful attemp
t. She quickly
headed for the door,
ious to separate herself from the stares she got from the other students, including Luke. Khalida couldn’t handle it, anymore. She had to put some distance between her and everyone else, especially Luke. She tore out of the room leaving Luke to stare at her with a surprised but confused look. All the speed in the world couldn’t put enough distance between her and Luke as she could feel him close behind her, transforming the concept of being smothered into overkill.


“Where are we headed?” he asked with amusement in his tone, “I don’t remember us making plans.”


“For shits sake, Luke, you’re suffocating me!” she growled almost inaudible.


Luke mockingly kept a steady pace next to Khalida as she stormed down the crowed hallway.


“Why is it so hard for you to understand what’s going on? It’s not that difficult, Khalida. I give you as much space as I can. I’m doing what is best for you with this situation. I know it’s not easy on you, but it isn’t easy for anyone,” he shot back with a tinge of annoyance swaying through his tone. Khalida sighed in defeat. He was right.


I know.
I didn’t mean to take that out on you. I’m just tired


Khalida stopped trying to outrun him and reached up with her hand, gently placing it on the side of his neck. With one look from his hungry blue eyes, desire began to stir in the pit of her stomach, causing a slow and agonizing burn. She wanted him. Khalida was trying to keep the lucid thoughts out her head, but standing there now, feeling the warm surge of blood coursing through his veins under the touch of her fingertips as she glided them over his skin made her burn deep with desire for the boy in front of her, his breathing settling into a slow rhythm, the incredible smell of Dolce and Gabbana that always emanated from him capturing her senses.


His eyes began to brighten to an electric blue shade, mixed with circles of deep grey,
of his fangs peeking out at the edges of his lips. Khalida’s breath slowed as she watched his mouth, the start of a fervent fever rising deep inside of her. She yearned to touch his teeth, wanting to feel the pressure of the sharp points against her skin. He put a hand on the small of her back, pulling Khalida to him, unable to control the passion that boiled under his own skin. The halls were slowly draining of life, but nothing disturbed the two of them standing there, lost in each other. Luke reached up, cupping the side of her jaw as he ran a smooth thumb over Khalida’s bottom lip, making it quiver in anticipation to be kissed by him. Again, she wanted him, needed him. He tilted her head to the side and leaned down to the crease of her neck, his mouth hovering a finger’s touch away from the steady beat of her pulse. She closed her eyes, breathing him in. Having him this close rocked Khalida on her heels. She felt her knees wobble as if they would give out at any second. He tightened his grip around her small, fragile waist, a firm assurance that he wouldn’t let her fall. The feelings he sent straight into Khalida were nothing less than hypnotizing, all the current burdens crumbling, her shield falling away from, her piece by piece. Nothing could ruin this moment Khalida thought as she opened her eyes and instantly regretted it.


I should have known better


Ignore her.


It’s not that easy when I want to rip her head off.


Lacey was sashaying her way over to where the two of them stood, wrapped in each other’s hold. Her face was covered with arrogance. As she came closer, she began to swing her assets, using them to her advantage, no doubt in another attempt to stir Luke in her direction.


Can I trip her?


Have we resorted to petty childish games Khalida? Or would you rather drive her car off a cliff to make sure she gets the message?


Luke chuckled and then cleared his throat, amused by the conversation that was transpiring between the two of them.


Realizing that her jealousy had gotten the better of her, Khalida cleared her throat trying to ignore the embarrassment that was creeping up and making her cheeks blush.


Oh, come off it already! What would you do if some guy was throwing themselves at me all the time?


“That color suits you, Khally,” Luke confidently chuckled.


More laughing ensued. Khalida realized she really had to get these thoughts under control. She hated that he could see her jealously. She hated that her thoughts were not only hers, and she decided she had to discover a way to hide her thoughts better.


He still had one arm wrapped around Khalida’s waist but that didn’t stop Miss Thing from flinging herself at Luke.


“Hey, Luke?” Lacey purred as she jutted her bottom lip out like she was pouting.

“Why haven’t I heard from you? You promised to call,” Lacey whined, pressing her body against his and trying to slide her hand to around his waist.


Khalida resisted the temptation to reach out and choke the girl. Jealousy was turning its ugly head, and she found it hard to not punch Lacey in the face or claw her eyes out. Khalida pictured her hands around Lacey’s neck, her thoughts interrupted by the quivering body that burst into laughter.


Do you need anger management, Toot


A scowl crossed over Khalida’s face as Lacey leaned in too close to Luke, ignoring the fact that Khalida was standing right next to him. Khalida strained in an attempt to be the bigger person, but the temptation proved to be too much.


“Lacey, honey, Luke isn’t one for a cheap trick. Come to think of it, neither am I,” Khalida spoke through gritted teeth, “retract your claws or you’ll be picking yourself up off the ground,” Khalida said seething with anger.


Luke, in an attempt to distract Khalida spoke, “I don’t recall any promise. Are you sure it’s me you’re thinking of?” he replied with amusement and an obvious sense that he was being entertained by the quick thought Khalida had of cutting off Lacey’s air supply. He was enjoying it just a little too much for Khalida to remain calm now.


“Weellll,” Lacey drug out the word, “maybe not a direct promise, but you have to know I was waiting for you,” the bimbo continued, ignoring Khalida’s warning.


“Seriously, bitch, please. There isn’t enough penicillin in the town to cure all that you have,” Khalida snapped as she lunged forward, trying desperately to wrap her hands around Lacey’s neck.


always the savior, stepped in front of the startled blonde, saving her from her fate. Khalida grabbed wildly over Luke’s shoulders as he firmly laced his hands behind his back and around her waist, stepping backwards and away from Lacey to help keep Khalida’s hands from hurting the girl.


“Well, I do apologize for your misunderstanding, Stacey, I mean Lacey, whatever your name is, but I have been overwhelmingly occupied,” Luke said with a feigned smile. “As you can tell, I prefer my girls jealous and feisty.”


Lacey looked up at him from under her overdone lashes and batted them in hopes of becoming irresistible but it wasn’t hard when her lashes looked more like a tarantula’s legs than lashes.
“Maybe you should call me,” she said, a little too confident now, “I’d be more than happy to show why you’re making a mistake. How can she really satisfy you? Class is code for prude and boring. There is nothing prude or boring about me.”


Khalida, red with anger screamed as loud as she could, “Why don’t you go find a set of train tracks to play on, Lacey? Maybe that would be rigorous enough for you?”


Her cold brown eyes shot over to her, seething pure hatred.


“Give me a call, Luke, if you want to have a good time. I know you will eventually get bored with Miss Goody here, and trust me, YOU won’t be disappointed,” she hissed, still glaring at Khalida but directing her comment at Luke,” You have my number,” she said, making her exit.


So, does every other male attending this school.


“I’ll pass. Like I said, I’m overwhelmingly occupied with Khalida. No matter how boring you say she is, turns out she likes to keep me on my toes. Besides all that, I don’t have to worry about finding my girl in the back seat of some guy’s car parked down some alley, but thank you for the offer,” he spoke calmly, but Khalida could tell he was trying to keep the laughter out of his voice.


Khalida was sure his answer fell on deaf ears as Lacey wiggled away, Khalida turning to look at him.


“Why didn’t you just tell her you were taken?” Khalida asked more as a demand than a question.


Luke looked down at her, “That’s because technically my dear, I’m not. I’ll be taken when I have a girlfriend,” he gleamed with victory dancing in his eyes.


Khalida turned away stubbornly, avoiding any more of the subject. Luke laughed
as he put an arm around her neck, pulling her close as they walked down the dreary
toward the glass doors that lead
to the park
ing lot.


“Careful there, Jerkface. I wouldn’t want anyone to think you had a girlfriend,” Khalida snapped as she pulled away from his hold.


Vega and Razi were already waiting for them when they got to Luke’s car. Vega lit up like a roman candle when she saw them together and then frowned when she noticed they weren’t touching. Her baby blues and her full set of lips curved in a smile, barely revealing her beautiful smile.


“Luke?” Razi mockingly bowed in Luke’s direction as the two of them approached their friends.


“Josephine sent me to deliver a message. There is a meeting. We are required to attend, your highness.” Aside from his sarcasm, Razi spoke with a voice that was mesmerizing, as if it were laced to induce a trace, so much so that Khalida almost forgot they were still standing in the parking lot of the school.


Luke laughed, “I’ll give you two seconds to stop with the formalities, Raz, but for now, that car door isn’t going to open itself.”


“But of course, Sire,” Razi went along opening the car door. He smiled, revealing his row of pearly whites, “ now get your ass in the car. We have a meeting to go to, and on the way, we can drop the girls off at your crib.”


“Wait, I’m not going with you?” Khalida looked at Luke for the answer.


“These meetings are for vampires only and you.... aren’t quite there yet. However, my dear little, Toot, I knew how much it would pain you to be away from me for such a long time, my dear, so I’m enlisting Vega as my stand-in,” he said, throwing his hand over his heart.


“Hey, I’m no stand-in! I planned on kidnapping you, today, anyway, babe,” Vega spoke loudly as the two girls climbed into the back seat.

BOOK: Amaranthine (Willow Shadows Book 1)
4.64Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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