prologue to the satanic brides of dracula

With the release of my first in the Rise of the Fel Queen series coming soon, I thought I'd continue my tradition of offering the prologue before the book's release.

This is a different book for me, but one which still continues to have the same thrilling violence as my other works. Also, probably some scenes to disturb. My heroines are satanic vampires, after all...

***

Vasilja.
The name sends shivers down spines of men who lived to tell tales of her whispers. Whispers threading glittering holes between midnight and dawn.
Holes which bleed.
He knows her name. Knows it even as his mind searches for a way to deny it.
Her voice is mercury and honey. Equal parts a child’s innocence, a maiden’s charm, and a butcher’s icy cold. Each uttered word steals pieces of his soul.
She glides into the room on silent feet. Angel without wings.
White dress gleaming.
Pale skin shining.
Eyes alive in ways her heart was not.
Then the others came.
Pouring from shadows on seductive exhale. Blazing with hunger. Ruby red lips curled into lustful grins.
Senka, young and exotic. He caught his breath before there was time to draw it.
Hailwic, proud and withdrawn. Holding back. Smile only lightly planted on her pale face, but it was there. Cruel where Vasilja was comforting.
Senka approached first.
Impatient. Hungry.
A lunging wolf. Passion and frenzy sucking snarls from throat.
Glint of white teeth. Sharp.
Clawed fingers. Grab hold and never let go.
Clutch.
Scratch.
Pins him down and beats with fists.
Pants into his ear; “Fight me.”
Her mouth is a scarlet heart. Eyes blue. So pale they echo skies she can no longer recall. If she cares for the loss, it never shows as she ravages her prey.
Chuckle of delight like growl of lion.
He doesn’t fight back, so she hisses. Thrashes and snaps.
Howls for resistance. Howls for it.
He is bruised. Bleeding from dozens of raking cuts.
Bewildered by her savagery.
He tries to recover. Wants to crawl out from underneath her. A worm beneath hooked claws.
But it’s too late.
She tires of his weakness. Looks to Vasilja.
Who slides into the gap. Places cold hand on warm cheek and whispers.
Promises everything will be fine.
Kisses are given.
Ethereal flowers whose pale white thorns barely prick skin. And where Senka’s kiss raged with desperate need, Vasilja brings the gentle touch of a lover. A soothing taste of comfort.
Unwinding fingers.
Glide down swallow of throat.
Rests on neck. Crook of shoulder.
She presses her nose and inhales.
Sucking tang of sweat and swollen stink of fear.
Smiles.
“Don’t be afraid,” she whispers. “There’s nothing to be afraid of.”
His fear leaks away, and he wonders why it was there to begin with.
Hailwic waits.
She stands aside. Blonde hair loose around cheeks.
Watching.
There is light in the back of her eyes. A warmth which never escapes. Body tight with muscle. Dress worn like a suit of armour. She stands with a warrior’s pose. A soldier’s rigid spine.
Absent a sword or axe, she looks unsatisfied.
As Vasilja’s fang enters skin with the softest of bites, it is Hailwic who makes the first sound.
Quiet growl.
Panther roused from rest. Lifts her head. Stalks the edges.
Searching for the perfect place to pounce.
And when she finds it, she is swift.
Lips pull back to show fangs of purest white. A blur etched in moonlight.
Snap of jaws.
His life flees in terror as Hailwic gorges.
Vasilja flinches, raising her arm to avoid spray of blood across her eyes.
“You’re wasting it all, Hailwic,” Senka complains, still straddling waist. “You always waste it. You promised you’d be more careful this time. You promised!”
Aware Hailwic is lost to the frenzy, she darts in to lock mouth around wrist. Hunched and back curved over the body, Senka sucks deep. Eager to take her share. Drawing crimson flood quickly into her mouth. Almost choking on it. Glaring as Hailwic works deeper into his throat.
Vasilja sighs.
Reaches for the other arm. Holds it up, but stops short of biting.
Looks at the blue face, its horror lost to the apathy of death.
Shakes her head. “I’m terribly sorry,” she says, wetting fangs with blood. “I didn’t actually mean to lie.”
Hailwic reels to her feet.
Wipes mouth on her dress. Closed eyes as vitality cruises through undead veins.
Vasilja rises next.
Giggles soft before moving away. She pulls a ribbon from a pouch at her waist and begins to tie her hair.
Annoyed at how quickly their prey has been dispatched, Senka can’t resist a few final savage attacks. She tears flesh.
Exposes gore.
Runs fingers through organs and wipes slender fingers across the walls.
The frenzy is gone, but fascination with the wreckage of life never left.
They’ve done this so many times it is a ritual. An order of destruction as calculatable as the tides.
White dresses soaked red, they stand in circle around the corpse.
Hold hands.
And let the warmth settle inside as hot blood dissolves icy hunger for a time. Moonlight spears the room. Startled dust motes begin to settle.
And silence creeps between frozen breath.
They do not speak.
They don’t have to.
A sound disturbs them. Someone is coming.
Shuffled feet.
They run together, giggles stifled and sharing quick glances laced with cruel humour. Three malignant fairies teased by moonlight, they leap out the window. Soar into the sky, rising toward the stars with stained white dresses trailing past bare feet.
Then halt, shrouded in wind’s crisp embrace.
Look down at the house.
Holding breath. Senka presses fang to her lip. Looks to Vasilja, who smiles wider in return.
A candle is lit within.
Muffled voice calls a name. His name.
Calls again.
The vampires cling to each other.
Tremble with the thrill of anticipation.
Utter excitement flaring within dead hearts as, below, the body is found.
A scream splits the dark. A scream of horror and loss echoed by shrieking laughter as the Brides swirl into the wind’s invisible rivers.
On most nights, this is when they’d feel it.
The tug.
Pulling on ethereal cords which bind them. A bond formed in the darkest pits of Hell. And laughter would cease.
They’d look to one another. Eyes wide. Did they still feel a sliver of fear when they felt it?
Or was it simply the shock of its pull?
Even Vasilja wouldn’t admit to fear.
“He calls,” she’d say. “Why does he always call when we’re having fun?”
“We should make him wait,” Senka says. Bares her fangs. There is humour there. Nasty and vicious. “Why do we always do what he wants?”
But Hailwic makes the decision. “No. We go now.”
And they go.
Though Senka pretends reluctance, she keeps pace with her sisters. She shares a scowl with Vasilja, but there’s no emotion to it.
It’s simply the ritual.
It is always like this.
It is always the same.
But this night was different.
Because the tug did not come. And, as they waited in the winds for the Call, even Senka began to gnaw her fingernails.
She looked this way and that. Slitted eyes searching the dark horizon. Glancing more often to the castle high in the mountains.
“Something is different,” Vasilja said.
“Something is changed,” Hailwic agreed.
“Maybe he’s teasing us,” Senka said. Reared like a snake, twirling angrily. Brow pulled into frown. “We should find him. Bite him. I want to bite him.”
The moon shifted between clouds.
Thunder. Vast and terrible, hurled itself in the distance.
Flash of lightning.
Vasilja repeated herself; “Something is different.”
“Come,” Hailwic said. And even Senka didn’t argue as the blonde vampire turned toward home. “We go.”
Her words, at least, gave the comfort of ritual.
Hailwic moved fast. A comet through clouds. White dress reflecting bright. Strong round shoulders tense and writhing. Fists bunched at her sides. War in her eyes.
Just behind, Vasilja and Senka gripped hands. Mirror expressions.
Worry?
Concern?
Something was different.
Something had changed.
And the Brides felt true fear for the first time since daylight died.


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