Read Opulent (The Opalescent Collection Book 1) Online
Authors: Isabelle Gallo
O P A L E S C E N T
Copyright © 2008 by Isabelle Gallo
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the publisher.
Summary: Struggling to remember her past, the life she had no choice but to abandon and forget, Chenille East must also discover who she is and who she was.
Printed in the United States of America
Part 1 Platinum Moons
Chapter 3 - The Bat and the Bird
Chapter 4 -The Bridge of Secrecy
Part 2 - Through the Moonlight
Chapter 12 - Unwelcome Company
Chapter 16 – Taunting Nightmare
Part 3 - Return from Ashes
Chapter 29 – Ally Conformation
The universe now only consisted of two worlds: Earth, home to the mortals, and the immortal world, Catastrophe. Residing on Catastrophe were the vampires, werewolves, and strange creatures. Immortals could only get to Earth by a bridge known as the Bridge of Secrecy, a bridge suspended between the two worlds. One could only cross the Bridge when the moons of both worlds came together in an eclipse causing total darkness for one month. It would be only then when they could cross and feed on the lives of the mortals and return home. If an immortal made the mistake to stay longer than one month, they would remain on Earth until the next eclipse and most likely be
by the mortals only to come back reincarnated in another life. This had been an agreement made between the two worlds.
The planet Catastrophe, nearly twice Earth’s size, was not different from Earth but appeared darkened slightly more from Earth’s small shadow. The creatures that resided on Catastrophe were not friendly toward the mortals who feared the immortal beings.
The vampires and werewolves, enemies since the day of their existence, were constantly at each other’s throats. The wolves were submissive to vampires, the dominant species of Catastrophe. The vampires had proved themselves long ago as being smarter and faster. They were the merciless predators to the innocent people of Earth, after all. However, that did not mean that the wolves willingly bowed their heads to them. In fact, the wolves resented them. The wolves’ vengeance and distaste was almost inevitable, reinforced by the fact that, as claimed by the mortals on Earth, vampires were liars and should not be trusted; being associated with one will only get you killed, but that is redundant.
So what happens when you become one of
and you have no choice but to coexist with the monsters that turned you into something you are not? Who do you turn to – or turn against?
y eyes fluttered shut after a long while as cold air filled my lungs. Once opened, I looked out my bedroom window to see nothing but tremendous clouds drifting eerily across the darkening sky. The sky was bleak, the clouds like thick curtains hiding the setting sun. I sat at the edge of my seat, hoping the storm would pass by, even though I knew it would not.
“Chenille, come down here,” my brother screamed from the kitchen.
“Coming,” I mumbled as I trotted down the stairs hastily.
Immediately, my friend caught me in his arms. As soon as my vision evened out, I stared blankly at the person who had spun me nearly halfway across the room.
“Calvin!” I cried throwing my arms awkwardly around the vampire’s neck. He had gone across the Bridge of Secrecy to Earth nearly three weeks ago and I had not seen him since. “You’re finally back.” I rested my chin on his shoulder, uttering a sigh.
“How have you been?”
I took a step back and cleared my throat. “I’ve been fine.” My voice quivered nervously, causing my eyes to flash away with embarrassment.
“You haven’t changed a bit, have you?” Calvin teased.
My face burned from his comment. Of course I had not changed. I was still getting used to my own awkwardness that had not yet diminished since becoming a vampire.
“Come on, the clan is waiting, let’s not stand and chat all night.”
My eyes flew impatiently to Zaire.
The clan can wait,
Zaire has a tendency to get under my skin too often, with his immatureness and interruptions of perfect moments. As an older brother, he has every right to protect me, but not kill me by being as insensitive as he is. I mean, about a year ago I came to him in panic, unable to remember anything. Aside from knowing my name and family relations, I lost my memory when I was turned into a vampire. Generously, he welcomed me warmly to this new world and allowed me to live with him in this dump of a place. That’s right, no water, no electric, just a two-bedroom place with antique furniture and an old kitchen that we never use. Nevertheless, what more could one expect from a poor nineteen year old vampire or, rather, a subordinate older brother?
“I suppose…we should go.” Calvin sighed as he made his way over to the door.
“Wait for me!” I called, trailing after him.
Once outside, I was pleased to see my fellow clan members gathered on our small patch of grass that we called our lawn in front of the house. They spoke amongst themselves, the hum of their voices occasionally breaking the silence. From where I stood, I could just make out the colors of the capes they wore in the growing darkness. Their capes were the only things that helped me distinguish one from another. I did not know their names. I only knew Amelia.
I could spot Amelia from over a mile away, with her long red hair and dark green cape, a smirk on her face. I could only imagine of what that manipulative mind of hers was plotting. Grabbing Calvin’s hand in excitement, I quickly led him to where she was standing. As we approached her, she took no notice of our presence. It seemed as if an eternity had passed before she finally turned her head to acknowledge our existence.
“Hi, I didn’t see you there,” she remarked with a sly grin.
Impatiently I crossed my arms and glowered at her once her comment flew off her tongue.
“We’ve been here for the past five minutes,” I said as Calvin peered over my shoulder to glare at her.
Amelia and Calvin were bitter rivals from the minute I had introduced them and rarely put their differences aside to appease me.
Zaire’s harsh voice broke the silence between us. “You are all aware that the eclipse of the two moons will be ending soon. All but stupid mortals will stay on their planet, meaning we may find a mortal or two on our land.”
“What if none of the mortals show? What will we do then?” I yelled over the raging winds.
“If that comes to be the case…we will have to wait for the next eclipse.”
“That could take months!” Amelia protested.
Calvin jabbed her sharply with his elbow. “It’s too late to cross the Bridge now. We don’t have much of a choice.”
The vampires raged on protesting to cross the Bridge, while others, like me, stood quietly in the shadows, listening intently. I mumbled beneath my breath, shoving my hands deep in my pockets from the harsh coldness of the storm that was approaching. Calvin stood by my side and dropped his cape over my shoulders as I began to tremble from the cold drizzle.
“Are you cold?” he asked softly from behind me.
I wrapped the cape tightly around me and nodded in response. Hushed voices transpired to excitement that suddenly stirred around me. A group of people approached us.
“Probably a group of teenagers,” someone nearby said quietly.
I could only wonder if they thought the same of us. The group headed toward us hastily and I braced myself hoping,
for there to be at least one mortal among them. A figure stepped from the darkness, into the illumination of the rising moon’s faint glow and a series of gasps and frustrated sighs stirred the silence. The person leading the group took the hood of his cape off and looked straight at me, green eyes bright with intensity. All at once, my breath left me and I plunged down to meet the wet ground.
“They’re vampires!” I yelled.
“I know,” Zaire mumbled under his breath with a hint of annoyance and walked up to the person with the green eyes.
They talked in hushed whispers to each other and exchanged inquiring glances at me now and again. It was clear they were not oblivious to my small stumble. I stood up quickly to get a better view of them and looked over at Amelia who murmured a few words to herself, her eyes gleaming with exhilaration. She glanced at the other clan and quickly turned to me.
“Look at all of those vampires, and cute ones at that,” she exclaimed.
“You are so predictable.”
“Chenille,” Zaire called, gesturing for me to come over.
As usual, I was very tentative, but approached with caution, my throat instantly tight with anxiety. My brother’s gaze was hot, menacing almost, as I felt it burn into my skin. I wondered if I was in trouble.
“Hello, I’m Fitzray,” the green-eyed leader said with a smile that nearly made me trip over myself again.
I took a deep breath before returning his greeting.
“I’m Chenille,” I replied as I started to comb my fingers through my tangled brown hair, suddenly aware of my unkempt appearance.
“Why don’t you come with us? We could use a bit of company on our little excursion through the woods,” Fitzray said.
I looked at Zaire with a hint of skepticism. As usual I was looking for my big brother to offer some protection, but for the first time I saw him avoid my gaze carelessly.
“Go ahead, we’re going home. I’ve been told that there will be no crossing the Bridge tonight.”
I opened my mouth to contradict, but found that Zaire was already giving orders to go home. I looked over my shoulder to see Amelia rushing up to him. Without objection, Fitzray took my arm and led me to the edge of the woods.
Amelia was screaming her words over the raging wind, though I could barely hear them. “I’m going with them,” she demanded.
you’re not. You’re going home like the rest of us,” Zaire snapped.
She let out a growl through her teeth. “If
happens to Chenille, I swear I’ll-,”
is going to happen to her.”
“Where is that vampire taking her?” Calvin screamed, pushing Amelia aside.
“How should I know?”
As we went deeper and deeper into the woods, apprehension crawled up my spine making me feel colder than usual. It took me only a few minutes to realize that Fitzray’s clan was gone. Only Fitzray remained. Feeling as uneasy as I was, I quickened my pace. Icy hands gripped my shoulders, making me come to an abrupt halt.
“Are you all right?”
“Where is the rest of the clan?” Trying to conceal my fear had failed thanks to my quivering voice.
“They went home. It’s been a long couple of weeks crossing the Bridge and all.”
A loud rustling in the bushes caused a chill to slice through me. There was a red haired woman standing in front of a clan. It was almost as if she had appeared out of nowhere. I almost mistook her for Amelia, but thought otherwise when I heard her voice: elegant, sharp, and threatening.
“You,” she said, pointing a sharp fingernail at me, “come with us, you belong to our clan now.”
I looked up at Fitzray and then to the woman confused. Fitzray was unmoved beside me, which only challenged the possibility that I was imagining her.
“What-,” I began.
“Quiet, you belong to our clan now,” the woman said again.
“Not if I have anything to say about it,” Fitzray growled.
“Fitzray don’t, please-,”
He looked at me, his harsh grip moving to my wrist. “I’ll take care of this,” he said quietly.
I wanted to stop him, but it was not my place to stand up to him and hold him back, especially since he was a vampire.
Once he left, two clan members grabbed hold of my shoulders and walked back, edging me toward the deeper, darker territories of the werewolves.
“Help, Fitzray!” I screamed as a black wolf stepped from the bushes and growled lowly, his teeth, gleaming white daggers, within striking distance of my hand.
Fitzray only looked back at me for a split second and turned to the woman. Something shiny in one of his hands caught the milky glow of the rising moon.
“No!” I screamed, but it was too late.
He dug his nails into her shoulder and pierced the knife he held deep into the woman’s chest, killing her. The vampires that held me captive ran off in disbelief. The black wolf turned and rushed back into the woods.
Fitzray slowly walked up to me, his green marble eyes now inauspicious. He still gripped the knife in his right hand; blood stained it to the hilt. His other hand formed a fist and blood dripped off his knuckles onto the velvet soft moss below. The knife dropped to the ground, hitting a rock. Its sharp sound rang in my ears. I watched, paralyzed in fear as his hands slowly unraveled themselves from fists. They were trembling.
He stared at me blankly and took a step closer, his bloody hand gently touching mine. I felt the cold sticky liquid on my palm and the sickly launch my stomach gave me.
My eyes closed and I fell into a dead faint. I fell with a crash, gripping his hand. My head smashed hard against a large rock. A faint voice whispered in my ear, but a loud buzzing in my head drowned out parts of his words and words I was unaware of saying.
“You are going to be fine. I am here. No, I am not going anywhere. I won’t leave you,” was all I heard.