Of Light and Darkness – The Vampire’s Hourglass Teaser Chapter and Book Trailer
When one small human stands before an army of impossible things, she realizes the possibilities of overcoming any obstacle in this coming-of-age modern fairytale. Abandoned as an infant in Prague, Charlotte Ruzikova was raised by Valek, one of the last Vampires left alive. Genocide and war conflicts their secret society nestled deep in the woods of Eastern Europe. But when the dictator in power becomes threatened by evil lurking in Valek’s past, Charlotte must find a way to fight for the only one she’s ever loved and the only thing she has ever truly believed in – and all before the sun comes up.
Chapter Five – Affinity
Nikolai clutched the brass door handle and knocked lightly again at the wood, frowning upon not being answered the first time. Maybe she really did jump this time. But then, real panic started to sink in after a few moments of receiving nothing but silence in return. He and the others had left her completely alone after the stunt she’d pulled the night prior, down in the dungeon. After the way she reacted to his scolding her, he’d figured she only wanted some space. No one had come calling for her in the last twenty-four hours.
“Charlotte,” he called, embarrassed by the nervous stammer in his voice. His face heated. He was such a dork. The only girl who ever bothered to pay any attention to him at all, and he was striking out, again. What was wrong with him? “Charlotte?” he called to her again, though this time, he added some weight to the sound of his voice, trying to muster up the macho-ness he knew would never, truly be there. With still no answer from the other side of the door, his heart leapt into his throat. Holy God, what if she really did do something crazy? He reached for the door handle.
“Nikolai?” Her soft voice, like autumn air, wafted from behind him.
He whirled around to find the little redhead standing there in the dankness of the rotting corridor. She hugged her frail arms around herself with her boots planted on the gritty stone of the floor. He exhaled to release the knot in his stomach. Face smudged with dirt, her green eyes peered up at him from under ruddy locks of curls. Her eyelashes were the most prominent feature on her face, and he was embarrassed to admit he wanted to kiss the end of every last one of them. She blinked at him once and it was enough to knock him over.
Realization punched him in the nose. “Were you down in the catacombs by yourself, just now?”
She threw her hands on her hips and narrowed her eyes at him, pursing her lips. “Were you coming to check on me again?”
“Can you blame me for worrying? Look what happens when I don’t come to check on you.” He gestured to her less-than-perfect appearance, noticing a few tears along the hem of her dress. “I’ll bet you were actually crawling inside a few of those crypts, weren’t you?” He folded his arms over his chest and widened his stance. “You’re crazy enough.”
Charlotte shook her head. “You sound just like your great grandfather.”
Nikolai sighed, forfeiting the argument instantly. “It is so creepy when you say things like that.”
“Oh. I’m sorry. Am I making things uncomfortable?” Her sarcasm was like a stab in the gut.
“Charlotte, please. Just be easy for once.”
“What do you want?” She sneered.
It didn’t take very long for things to turn sour between them. It never seemed to. He should have been used to women speaking to him this way, by now. He rolled his eyes, but then the nerves came back like an angry swarm of butterflies to his stomach when he remembered the real reason for him coming to find her. He thought he had the perfect plan when he came knocking at her door, but after yet another war of words, he wasn’t so sure.
“I-I wanted to….”
She only continued to glare at him, and he sighed, giving up his attempt at keeping himself together.
“Have you ever been out on a date? Like a real date?” He stammered so hard, he wanted to punch himself in the face. Why couldn’t he just be smooth? “Did he ever take you out?” The last part came out a little bitter. Nikolai couldn’t help it.
Charlotte’s mouth fell open. She blinked at him, her arms dropping to her sides. Her lips trembled with words that didn’t come out.
“Well?” Nikolai waited. Did he finally render her speechless? A distant voice in his mind asked him if it was a minor victory or a major defeat. Either way, he was so clueless when it came to this sort of thing. Maybe his plans would work if he pretended like he knew what he was doing. He wondered if there was an academy award for “the nerd with the best pretend swagger.”
“Valek never…we didn’t ever…,” she fought to say. “It was always too dangerous,” she huffed. “Besides, people like us.” Was that meant to exclude him? “We don’t really do those sorts of things.”
“Why not?” Nikolai shrugged. “He might not be human, literally speaking, but didn’t he used to be, at one point? Didn’t he take his wife out on dates, or court her, or whatever? He must know what that feels like. He must know you deserve to have some fun once in a while.”
Charlotte shuddered almost unnoticeably. Almost. Maybe Nikolai shouldn’t have played that dirty card, but he knew it would work. “Fine. You win. I need to get out of this place, anyway. I’m tired of looking at it.” She pushed passed him, and into the bedchamber. Snatching up an oversized, male coat, which had been strewn across the bed, she shrugged it on, pulling her curls out from the collar. She whirled to face him, again. When she locked eyes with him this time, almost instantly she dropped her gaze to the floor. Was there something nervous about what lived behind those lashes? She tugged on a strand of her hair, avoiding any further eye contact. His fingers itched to run through her hair. Her heart-shaped mouth released the smallest exhale, and the muscles in his stomach clenched.
To read more of this teaser chapter go to Of Light and Darkness Novel
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