Read Silk Over Razor Blades Online

Authors: Ileandra Young

Tags: #vampire fiction, #female protagonist, #black author, #vampire adventure, #black british, #vampire attacks, #vampire attraction, #black female character, #black female lead character, #egyptian vampire

Silk Over Razor Blades

BOOK: Silk Over Razor Blades
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SAAR’S LEGACY: BOOK
ONE

 

 

Silk Over Razor
Blades

 

 

by Ileandra Young

 

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My Free Book

 

To my boys

This is what Mummy has
been working on for so long. I hope you’ll agree it was worth the
perpetually grumpy face and occasional skipped trip to the
park.

I love
you.

 

Contents

 

DAY ONE

Chapter
One

Chapter
Two

Chapter
Three

Chapter
Four

Chapter
Five

DAY TWO

Chapter
Six

Chapter
Seven

Chapter
Eight

Chapter
Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

ALEXANDRIA 5 MAY 36 BC

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Three

Chapter Twenty-Four

Chapter Twenty-Five

DAY THREE

Chapter Twenty-Six

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Chapter Twenty-Eight

Epilogue

A Not-Very-Brief Word From The Author

Next in the Saar’s Legacy Trilogy

Walking the Razor’s Edge

About Ileandra Young

 

Silk Over Razor Blades
DAY
ONE
Chapter
One

 

‘That guy is staring at me,’
said Lenina.

Abandoning her half-hearted
perusal of a magazine, she pointed out the shop window to the
figure in grey slouched against a lamp post on the far side of the
road. He seemed to straighten as she looked, pulling a scruffy
woollen hat further down over his shock of frizzy ginger hair.

Beside her, lost in the
clutches of an generously stuffed leather armchair, Ramona looked
up from her copy of
Brides Today
. ‘What?’

‘Outside by that bench. Some
guy with a woolly hat.’

Her friend leaned forward and
squinted through the window. ‘You sure?’ she said, her words heavy
with Glaswegian overtones. ‘He’s just standing there.’

‘For ten whole minutes. Just
staring. It’s creeping me out.’

‘Maybe
he
thinks you
should be wearing white, too.’

Lenina glared. ‘Don’t you
start. Daddy already tried to talk me out of it. Even Nick wasn’t
sure when he heard.’

‘Has he seen it yet?’

‘No. He’s not supposed to.
Tradition.’

‘You’re wearing a wedding dress
the colour of fresh blood. What the hell do you know about
tradition?’ Ramona’s soft expression drained some of the sting from
her words. ‘It’s beautiful, honey.’

‘Really?’

‘Aye, how many times do I have
to say it?’

The door to the fitting suite
opened, admitting a silver-haired stalk of a woman with short,
rounded fingernails painted pale pink. She pressed one hand to her
barely there breasts and gasped through carefully rouged lips.
‘You’re a vision, Miss Miller. Just look at you.’

‘There’s an old man lurking
outside,’ Lenina said. ‘He’s in grey. Shabby. Like a tramp. He’s
been watching me for ages.’

‘Oh, is it Homeless Bob? Does
he have a dog? This street is his favourite spot.’

‘I didn’t see any dog, but I’d
say this guy is homeless.’ Lenina turned to the window, meaning to
point him out. ‘Oh. He’s gone.’

‘Don’t worry about it, Miss
Miller, Bob is harmless. He loiters here because the bakery across
the road gives him pastries at the end of the day. Now . . . let’s
have a look at you.’ The woman tugged and tweaked at the dress.
Twice she dabbed the hem with white pen and inserted a pin beside
the mark. ‘I wish more people would embrace bolder colours,’ she
said. ‘I’m all for tradition, but white and ivory used to mean
something. A woman should wear a dress that reflects her
personality. Her inner fire.’

Lenina frowned. ‘I just liked
the cut.’

A nod. ‘Yes, it does flatter
you. Women with such lovely, strong hips should show them off.’ The
woman touched her own skinny frame. ‘I had to pad my dress when I
got married, just to prove I had a waist under all that fabric. But
fashion was very different then. All shoulder pads and lace.’

Ignoring Ramona’s giggles,
Lenina smoothed the fabric over her ribs. ‘It needs adjusting
around the waist and across the shoulders.’

‘Have you lost some
weight?’

‘Maybe.’

‘You only have two more weeks.’
The woman wagged her finger. ‘No more or else I won’t be able to
help. Have you decided on hairstyles yet?’

‘Loose, I guess.’

‘Are you sure? We shouldn’t
hide those lovely high cheekbones under all those braids. No need
for make-up either; you have beautiful dark skin. Show it off and
have your hair off the neck.’

‘I’ll think about it.’

‘Of course, Miss Miller. These
adjustments will be done by Friday, I’ll book you in for 4
p.m.’

‘No, I’ll be at the museum.
Make it Saturday. I won’t be working then.’

When the measuring, pinning and
tucking was done, and the dress safely wrapped in plastic, Lenina
turned back to her friend. ‘You can stop laughing too. You should
be protecting me. She practically said I’m fat.’

‘What, when?’

‘All that stuff about my
hips.’

‘Oh, Nina, stop it. You’re not
fat. The dress is gorgeous and so are you. She’s just doing her
job.’

***

Fifteen minutes later, in
jogging bottoms and trainers, Lenina left the boutique with Ramona.
As she walked, she tucked her mobile phone into the pocket of her
sports armband.

‘Sure you don’t want a lift?’
Ramona popped the boot of her scruffy 1960s Mini and shoved her own
purple dress into it along with a pair of shoes. ‘It’s no trouble.
Verni isn’t home yet so I don’t have to rush back.’

‘No, no. I want the
exercise.’

Ramona plucked a curl of ginger
hair from her eyes and tucked it beneath her hat. ‘Why? You heard
the woman; don’t lose any more weight.’

‘I won’t. But . . . I need the
run. To clear my head, you know?’

‘You’re something else. Will I
at least see you for lunch tomorrow?’

‘Wouldn’t miss it. You need to
help me finalise the goodie bags.’

‘Only if you promise to eat
something.’

Lenina rolled her eyes. ‘Fine.
But no cake.’

‘Deal.’ Ramona climbed into her
car and drove away, tooting the horn as she left the car park.

The car rumbled past a figure
in grey, with a dirty denim jacket and a torn woollen hat. He
turned to watch the car leave then looked straight at her.

She shivered.

His gaze stroked her body; a
lurid, ethereal caress that made her stomach clench. His features
were hidden by distance, but Lenina knew it was a man. No woman
would look at her in such a way.

‘I don’t have anything, okay?’
she called, wincing as the wind stole her words. ‘Go bother someone
else.’

He smiled, or seemed to, then
walked towards her.

With a squeak, she turned and
ran, forgetting her usual steady pace in favour of a full sprint.
She left the line of shops that housed the boutique and bolted
through the centre of town, fighting back the threat of tears.

Her route struck through the
centre of town, taking her past bars, clubs and a few themed pubs
with clusters of people gathered near the doors to enjoy their
cigarettes.

Outside a pub she stopped long
enough to draw several shuddering breaths. Her knees trembled and a
fine sheen of sweat coated her forehead.

‘You okay?’ The voice came from
her left. It belonged to a man wearing narrow black glasses and a
concerned frown. The woman at his side tugged his arm, trying to
turn him back to their conversation.

‘Someone’s following me,’ cried
Lenina.

‘I can’t see anybody. Do you
need help?’

Lenina looked back over her
shoulder. ‘I— oh.’

‘What did they look like?’

‘I don’t know.’ She winced. ‘I
mean, he’s gone now.’

The man raked a hand back
through his hair, long dreadlocks each as thick as a finger. They
curled over his face like ropes until he tugged them back. ‘Do you
want to stop for a second? I’ll happily call someone. I don’t
mind.’

A chuckle bubbled from her
lips. ‘He’s not there. Probably wasn’t following me at all. I feel
so silly.’

‘It’s okay.’

‘No . . . I’m an idiot. Just
highly strung I suppose. I’m so sorry.’ She patted her braids,
tried to neaten the rough ponytail that held them back. Lifting her
shoulders a little higher, she smiled. ‘I didn’t mean to bother
you.’

‘It’s no bother. It’s my job.
Are you sure you don’t need help?’

‘She’s fine,’ his companion
snapped. ‘Didn’t she just say?’ The woman, all red hair, glossy
lipstick and tight clothing, gave Lenina a glare hot enough to melt
steel. ‘You’re not even on duty tonight.’

Lenina backed off, hands
raised. ‘She’s right. Sorry. I’ll just go.’

She left before either of them
could say more, careful not to look back as she jogged along the
High Street. A safe distance away, she paused to tuck in her
earphones and activate the media player on her phone. Though she
often glanced over her shoulder, nothing followed her but the
occasional scatter of leaves, chased by an empty crisp packet. Soon
the lively voices and bright lights of the pedestrianized High
Street chased away the fear, leaving behind the remnants of
embarrassment.

As she left the outskirts of
the city centre and began the winding path along backstreets she
felt the wind snap more violently at her bare arms. She stepped up
the pace again, regretting her decision to decline the warm
interior of Ramona’s car.

Her mobile rang.

‘Heita, babe. All done at the
boutique?’ Nick’s voice radiated excitement and reined-in
curiosity, all laced with a faint South African twang.

‘Yeah.’ In that moment she
forgot all about Homeless Bob. ‘They think I’m fat.’

‘What?’

‘She says I have big hips.’

‘You do. That doesn’t mean
you’re fat. Where are you?’

‘Nearly home, about to cut
through Grick Park.’

He tsked; a soft, angry sound.
‘Why didn’t Ramona give you a lift?’

‘I wanted a run. And before you
start, I’m fine.’

‘Babe, I’ve warned you about
going through there alone. You heard what happened last week,
didn’t you? Some six-foot semi-pro wrestler got murdered on his way
home.’

‘Yeah, in London. This is
Leicester.’

‘It’s still dangerous.’

She glanced over her shoulder.
‘But there’s no one else here.’

‘Exactly.’ He muttered
something unintelligible in Afrikaans. ‘Damn it . . . I’m coming to
meet you.’

‘You’re not my dad, you know. I
think I can make it home in one piece.’

‘Keep to the path and go
around
the grass. I’ll find you at the near end by the gate.
Hurry up.’ The phone buzzed then fell silent.

BOOK: Silk Over Razor Blades
7.64Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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