Betrayed, p.1Part #3 of The Vampire Journals series by Morgan Rice
(Book #3 in the Vampire Journals)
Also by Morgan Rice
TURNED (Book #1 in the Vampire Journals)
LOVED (Book #2 in the Vampire Journals)
Copyright © 2011 by Morgan Rice
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictionally. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
60 miles north of Manhattan, there exists a small, obscure island in the Hudson River on which sits a crumbling Scottish castle. This island is known as Pollepel, and was named after a young girl, Polly, who hundreds of years ago, was stranded on the ice of the Hudson and ended up on its shores.
Legend has it she was romantically rescued by her sweetheart, who married her on the island.
“Threescore and ten I can remember well,
Within the volume of which time I have seen
Hours dreadful and things strange; but this sore night
Hath trifled former knowings.”
--William Shakespeare, Macbeth
Pollepel Island, Hudson River, New York
“Caitlin?” came the soft voice. “Caitlin?”
Caitlin Paine heard the voice, and struggled to open her eyes. They were so heavy, though; no matter how much she tried, she could barely lift them. Finally, she managed to pry them open, just for a brief second, to see where the voice was coming from.
He was kneeling by her side, holding her hand in both of his, concern etched across his face.
“Caitlin?” he asked again.
She tried to get her bearings, to lift the immense cobwebs from her head. Where was she? She could see enough to see that this room was bare, made of stone. It was nighttime, and a large window let in the light of a full moon. Stone floors, stone walls, an arched, stone ceiling. The stone looked smooth and ancient. Was she in a medieval cloister?
Aside from the moonlight, the room was lit only by a small torch, fixed to the far wall, and not giving off much light. It was too dark to see more.
She tried to focus on Caleb’s face, so close, only a foot away, staring at her hopefully. His eyes seemed to light up, as he squeezed her hand tighter. His hands felt warm. Hers were so cold. She couldn’t feel the life in them.
Despite her efforts, Caitlin couldn’t hold her eyes open a second longer. They were just too heavy. She felt… sick was not the word. She felt… heavy. She felt free-floating, as if she were in limbo, stuck between two worlds. She didn’t feel connected to her body, didn’t feel like a part of the earth anymore. But she didn’t feel dead, either. She felt as if she were trying to awaken from a very, very deep sleep.
She struggled to remember. Boston…the King’s Chapel…the sword. And then…getting stabbed. Lying there, dying. And Caleb at her side. And then…his fangs. Approaching her.
Caitlin felt a dull, throbbing pain on the side of her throat. It must have been from where she’d been bit. She had asked for it—had pleaded for it.
But the way she felt now, she was not sure she should have. She didn’t feel right. She felt an icy, cold blood racing through her veins. She felt as if she had died, but had not taken the next step. As if she were stuck.
More than anything, she felt pain. A dull, throbbing pain in her lower right side, and in her stomach. It must be from where she’d been stabbed.
“What you are going through is normal,” Caleb said softly. “Don’t be afraid. We all go through it when we are first turned. It will get better. I promise you. The pain will go away.”
She wanted to smile, to reach up and caress his face. The sound of his voice made everything perfect in the world. It made all of this worth it. She would be with him forever, now, and that gave her hope.
But she was too tired. Her body was not responding to what her brain wanted. She couldn’t get her lips to smile, and she couldn’t summon the strength to lift her hand. She felt herself drifting back into sleep…
Suddenly, her thoughts shifted again, jolting her awake. The Sword…it was lying there, and then…stolen. Who had it now?
And then she remembered her brother, Sam. Unconscious. Then, taken away by that vampire.
What had happened to him? Was he safe?
And Caleb. Why was he here? He should be pursuing the Sword. Stopping them. Was he here only for her sake? Was he sacrificing it all to stay at her side?
Question after question raced through her mind.
She summoned every ounce of strength she had, and opened her lips just the slightest bit.
“The Sword,” she managed to say, her throat so dry it hurt to speak. “You must go…” she added. “You must save…”
“Shhh,” Caleb said. “Just rest.”
She wanted to say more. So much more. She wanted to tell him how much she loved him. How grateful she was. How she hoped that he would never leave her side.
But it would have to wait. A new wave of fuzziness washed over her, and her lips simply would not open again. Despite herself, she found herself sinking, sinking, reeling back into the blackness, back into her state of immortal sleep.
As Kyle flew over northern Manhattan, he had never felt so elated. Behind him flew Sergei, his obedient soldier, and behind him, hundreds of vampires that had joined them along the way. Kyle now held the fabled Sword in his belt, and nothing more need be said. Malevolent vampires all along the East Coast had already heard the news, and as Kyle flew over, many covens were eager to join him. They knew war was coming, and Kyle’s reputation preceded him. These mercenary vampires knew that, wherever he was going, he would be up to no good. And they wanted to be a part of it.
Kyle felt the thrill of the growing army behind him, and felt another surge of confidence as he flew over the city. Sergei had done well in grabbing the Sword and stabbing that girl, Caitlin. In fact, Kyle had been surprised. He’d never imagined Sergei had it in him. He had underestimated him, and as a reward, he’d decided to keep him alive, realizing that he’d make a good sidekick. He was especially impressed that Sergei had dutifully handed him the Sword immediately after leaving the King’s Chapel. Yes, Sergei knew his place. If he kept this up, Kyle might even promote him, might even give him a small legion of his own. Kyle hated most things about most people, but the one thing he appreciated was loyalty.
Especially after what his people, the Blacktide Coven, had done to him. After thousands of years of loyalty, Rexius, their supreme leader, had cast Kyle out as if he were nothing, as if his thousands of years of service had meant nothing. All for one little mistake. It was unthinkable.
Kyle’s plan had worked perfectly. Now he wielded the Sword, and nothing—absolutely nothing—would get in his way. War with the human race, and with the other vampire races, would soon be his to wage.
As Kyle continued downtown, now over Harlem, he dipped closer to the ground, using his vampire vision to zoom in on the d
His spreading of the Bubonic Plague has really worked. Pandemonium and chaos ruled. Those pathetic little humans were scrambling every which way, racing their cars the wrong way down one-way streets, arguing with each other, looting stores. He could see that most humans were covered in the horrible sores indicative of the plague. He could also see the corpses, already piled high on nearly every street corner. It was Armageddon down there. And nothing made him happier.
It would only be a matter of days until every human in the city fell. At that point, Kyle and his men could easily wipe out the rest of them. They would feed as they had never fed before. And then would enslave the rest of the human race.
The only small obstacle that remained in his way was the White Coven, those pathetic vampires who fed only on animals, who thought they were better than everyone else. Yes, they would try. But they would be no match for the Sword. When he finished with the humans, he would wipe them out next.
First, and most importantly, he would take back his place in his own coven. And he would do it brutally. Rexius had made a grave mistake in punishing him, Kyle thought, as he reached up and felt the hardening scars all along the side of his face, his horrible fate, his punishment for letting Caitlin slip away. Rexius would pay for each and every one of Kyle’s scars. Rexius was powerful, but now, with the Sword, Kyle’s power was even greater. Kyle would not rest until Rexius lay dead, at his own hand, and until he himself was declared the new supreme leader.
Kyle smiled wide at the thought. Supreme leader. After all these thousands of years. It was what he deserved. It was his destiny.
Kyle and his men flew and flew, over Central Park, over Midtown, over Union Square, over Greenwich Village…and finally, they reached City Hall Park.
Kyle descended gracefully, landing on his feet, and the flock of now hundreds of vampires landed behind him. Kyle’s army had grown beyond belief. What a way to return, he thought.
Kyle was about to head to the gates of City Hall, to crash down its door and begin his war, when he noticed something out of the corner of his eye. Something that bothered him.
Kyle used his vision to zoom in over several blocks, and to look closely at the pandemonium in front of the Brooklyn Bridge. Hundreds of cars were stuck in traffic, jammed up against each other, backlogged in front of the bridge. All wanting to get out.
But the bridge was cordoned off. Blocking the way were several military tanks and trucks, on top of which sat dozens of soldiers, machine guns aimed at the crowd. Clearly, no humans were being allowed off the island of Manhattan. The military must not have wanted the plague to spread. They had probably locked down all the bridges and tunnels.
On the one hand, that was exactly what Kyle had wanted: it made life easier, since all the humans would be trapped in Manhattan, and he could kill them all more easily.
But on the other hand, now that he actually saw it with his own eyes, it made his stomach turn.
He hated authority—of any kind. And that included the military. He almost sympathized with the masses of humans, clamoring to get off the island. They were being stopped by authority figures.
Kyle’s veins burned at the thought.
At the same time, a new idea came to him. Why not let some humans off the island? In fact, that would only serve his purpose. They would spread the plague further. To Brooklyn, to start. Yes, that could be very convenient indeed.
Kyle suddenly lifted back into the air, flying towards the base of the Brooklyn Bridge.
Immediately, the hundreds of vampires followed him, on his heels.
Good, he thought. They were loyal and obedient, and they didn’t ask questions. This would be a very convenient army indeed.
Kyle landed at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge, setting down on the hood of a car, and the hundreds of vampires landed on cars behind him, the sound of their boots click-clacking as they touched down.
Car horns suddenly flared up. It seemed the humans didn’t like people walking on their cars.
A new rage washed over Kyle, as he thought of the ingratitude of these pathetic humans, blaring their horns as he had come to help them.
Standing on the hood of a Saab SUV, blaring its horn at him, he stopped. He had been about to jump down, to deal with the military, but instead, he slowly turned and looked down through the windshield, at the family glaring up at him.
It was a typical preppy family. In the front seat sat the husband and wife, 40s, and behind them, their two kids. The husband rolled down his window, and reached out and shook his fist at Kyle.
“Get the fuck off of my hood!” the man screamed.
Kyle, standing on the hood, got down on one knee, reached back, and thrust his fist through the windshield. He grabbed the man by his Polo collar, and in one motion, yanked him towards him, right through the windshield. Glass shattered everywhere, as the screams of the man’s wife and children lit up the night.
Kyle stood on the hood, grinning, lifting the man, holding him up high over his head.
The man was whimpering and crying, head covered in blood from the shattered glass.
Kyle reached back, and with a wide grin, tossed the man through the air like a paper airplane.
The man went flying, hundreds of feet, and landed somewhere back there in the traffic, on the hood of some other car. Dead, Kyle hoped.
Kyle got back to business. He jumped off the car, and trotted towards the huge tanks blocking the bridge. Behind him, he could feel his hundreds of soldiers following suit.
As Kyle approached, all of the soldiers tensed up. Several of them raised their machine guns and pointed them at him.
There was a perimeter of no cars or people a good hundred feet away from the tanks, one which no one seemed willing to cross.
But Kyle happily crossed the line, walking right into the open space, right towards the tank.
“Freeze!” a soldier yelled through a megaphone. “Do NOT come any further! We WILL shoot on sight!”
Kyle smiled wider as he kept marching, right towards the tank.
“I said FREEZE!” the soldier screamed again. “This is your LAST warning! There is a curfew in effect. We have orders to fire on anyone at night!”
Kyle grinned even wider.
“I own the night,” he answered.
Kyle continued towards them, and suddenly, they opened fire. Dozens and dozens of soldiers fired their machine guns right at Kyle and his men.
Kyle felt the pain of all the bullets ricocheting off him. One after the other, they all bounced off his chest and arms and head and legs. They felt like raindrops, but stronger. He smiled at the thought of these pathetic human weapons.
Kyle saw the horrified expressions on the soldiers’ faces, as they began to realize that he was unfazed. They clearly couldn’t fathom how he was still walking. Or how any of his followers were, too.
But they didn’t have time to react. Kyle walked right up to the closest tank, got under it, placed both hands under the treads, and with superhuman strength, lifted it way above his head. He walked several feet, carrying the tank above his head, and came to the railing of the bridge. Several soldiers, off balance, fell off the tank as he walked. But dozens of others clung to it, grabbing hold of the metal, trying to hold on at any cost.
Kyle took three running steps, hoisted the tank back, and threw it for all he was worth.
The tank went flying through the air, dozens of feet, clearing the railing’s edge.
It was airborne over the Brooklyn Bridge, plummeting down hundreds of feet towards the river.
The tank turned and turned, and soldiers screamed as they fell off of it, plummeting. It finally hit the water with a massive splash.
Suddenly, the traffic jam came to life. Without any hesitation, the anxious New Yorkers stepped on the gas, and their cars sped through the now-open lane onto the bridge. Within seconds, hundreds of cars were racing out of Manhattan. Kyle looked at their faces as they w
Kyle grinned wide. This was going to be a beautiful night.
Samantha watched the massive double doors open up before her, creaking as they went, and felt a pit in her stomach. She walked into her leader’s chambers, accompanied by several vampire guards.
They were not restraining her—they would never dare—but they did accompany her closely, and the message was clear. She was still one of them, but she was under house arrest, at least until she’d had this meeting with Rexius. He summoned her as a soldier, but he was also summoning her as a prisoner.
The doors closed with a crash behind her, and she saw that the huge chamber was filled. She had not seen a turnout like this in years. There were hundreds of her fellow vampires in the room.
Clearly, they all wanted to watch, to know the news, what had happened with the Sword. How she had let it slip away.
Most of all, they likely wanted to see her punished. They knew that Rexius was an unforgiving leader, and that even the smallest mistake demanded punishment. A transgression of this magnitude would demand an extravagant punishment.
Samantha knew that. She was not trying to escape her fate. She had accepted a mission, and she had failed. She had found the Sword, yes, but she had also lost it. She had allowed Kyle and Sergei to steal it out from under her.
It all would have been perfect. She clearly remembered the Sword, sitting there, on the floor of the King’s Chapel, in the aisle, just feet from her grasp. She was only seconds away from having it, from fulfilling her mission, from being the hero of their coven.
And then Kyle, and that awful sidekick of his, Sergei, had to come marching in, knocking her out, stealing it from her grasp. It was unfair. How could she have expected that?
And now, what was she? The villain. The one who let the Sword go. The one who failed the mission. Oh yes, there would be hell to pay. She was sure of that.
All she wanted now was for Sam to be safe. He had been knocked out, unconscious, and she had carried him away, had taken him all the way back here. She’d wanted him close. She wasn’t ready to let him go, and she didn’t know where else to bring him. She had snuck in, and had stored him safely, way underground, in an empty chamber in their coven. No one had seen her, at least as far as she knew. He would be safe in there, away from the prying eyes of these vampires. She would report to Rexius, suffer her punishment, and afterwards, she would wait until daybreak, when everyone was asleep, and she would escape with Sam.
Betrayed by Morgan Rice / Mystery & Detective / Young Adult / Fantasy have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes