Authors: C. A. Kunz
“The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?”
-Edgar Allan Poe-
For our family and friends.
Your love, encouragement, and faith in us have helped make
our dreams a reality.
Words alone cannot express the thanks we owe you.
This book is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people, or real locales are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination, and any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
© Copyright 2011 by Carol Kunz and Adam Kunz (C.A. Kunz). All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Published 2011. Manufactured in the United States.
ISBN-13: 978-0615435749 (pbk)
ISBN-10: 0615435742 (pbk)
E-Book ISBN: 978-1-61397-069-0
C.A. Kunz, LLC
-------- Acknowledgements ----------
First and foremost, we would like to thank Amanda Lynch and Charlie Steffy for being terrific friends, faithful readers, and much-needed critics. We are truly grateful for all of your assistance and for loving this book from the start.
Very special thanks to Robert Kunz and Stephanie Kunz for providing the wonderful illustrations for this book. You are both very talented and we are proud and honored to display your art within our art. Also, thank you both for your creative advice, support, and un-biased opinions regarding our story.
Thanks should also go to Lisa Surphlis for designing a brilliant cover for our book, you’re simply amazing!
for reading our book. By performing this simple act you are helping us make a lifelong dream come true and you have no idea how much you mean to us (or Cat).
Finally, we cannot forget all of our wonderful friends-you know who you are. All of your support and wonderful words of encouragement have kept us always moving forward, and for this we are eternally grateful.
“Enough!” Lisbeth shrieked, slamming her hands down on the heavy oak table and raising herself from her seat. Twelve sets of startled eyes stared as rage marred her usually pale and beautiful face. “I will not stand by and listen to you discuss this matter, pretending this is even an option! You shall not have my vote on this!” Violently pushing back her chair, she stormed over to the two large wooden doors at the other end of the room, shutting them angrily behind her as she exited.
The arched white marble corridor just outside the main hall echoed with Lisbeth’s footsteps as she hastily made her way to the castle’s observatory, the only place she could find solace. The sheer curtains billowed in the wind as lightning flashed, illuminating the somber portraits lining the corridor in an eerie glow. The eyes of past and present Parliament members seemed to follow her as she passed by. She stopped abruptly, her nails digging into her palms. “You brought this on yourself Lucien. Damn you for turning your back on The Parliament and abandoning me!” Lisbeth yelled, glaring at the portrait of her brother. Through her anger she felt a hint of sadness, but it was quickly dismissed. Noticing the doors to the observatory were opened slightly, she burst through them spying a servant shuffling around the room.
“What are you doing in here?” She demanded.
“Oh sorry mistress, I swear I did not suspect anyone would be coming in for the remainder of the night,” the servant pleaded.
“Please leave before I unleash my temper on you! And if you still wish to be turned, I suggest you listen!” she bellowed, pointing at the door.
“Sorry mistress, very well,” he stuttered rushing passed her out of the room, closing the door gently behind him.
Entering the glass enclosed balcony located at the back of the observatory, Lisbeth sighed as she looked down upon the tiny Romanian village below. Rain trickled down the panes of glass. A vicious bolt of lightning streaked through the dark clouds looming overhead, striking a tree and causing it to burst into flames. She smiled, delighted by the display before her. Her joy was short-lived as the sudden torrential downpour quickly extinguished the fiery scene. Thunder rumbled through the balcony, sounding like a train entering a station, causing her to laugh wickedly. “Yes, Mother Nature is at her best tonight, isn’t she?” she whispered, watching as another bolt of lightning struck close by.
A sharp pain suddenly shot through her head, causing her to clutch it tightly, trying to ease the pressure building up. Tears filled her eyes. She hissed through razor sharp fangs as the pain intensified. An agonized scream erupted from deep within her, shattering the balcony’s panes of glass into thousands of pieces. The shower of glass shards ripped holes through her long black gown, slicing little cuts all over her body as they penetrated.
“Is all that noise really necessary? Why am I always the one sent to retrieve you when you throw your little fits?” A deathly pale yet handsome man asked, flinging open the destroyed glass doors leading to the balcony. “Oh my, Lisbeth, whatever could be the matter?” he inquired dryly with a grin, unconcerned that she was sprawled out on the floor clutching her head.
“Andrei what is going on here? I told you to bring her back to the meeting immediately!” another voice demanded, belonging to an equally pale man, filling the doorway and observing the debris.
“Well Valdir, it would seem as though our Lisbeth is having another one of her tantrums,” he sneered, his right hand sweeping through his thick dirty blonde hair.
“No, I am not!” she growled as her tiny cuts began to heal and disappear. “Help me up you imbecile! Can you not see I am in pain?” she roared, glaring at Andrei through her wiry black hair. He ignored her. Valdir rushed past him, the glass crunching beneath his boots, and he effortlessly pulled her to her feet.
“Why are you in pain dear Lisbeth? Did you have a vision?” He asked, not liking the wild look in her eyes.
“Something is not right,” she replied tersely, trying to keep her balance while focusing on him.
“You think? I feel that something is you. In fact, I believe you have not been right for the past couple of centuries,” Andrei smirked with an evil smile.
“Bite your tongue, or I shall gladly do it for you!” she hissed back, baring her fangs at him.
“Andrei silence! Now Lisbeth, what happened?” Valdir interjected, stepping between them.
“I have not felt this way since the Cleansing. I feel a tremendous amount of energy.”
“The storm maybe?” Andrei quipped sarcastically.