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A Miserable Love Story
Claudia D. Christian
DelSin Publishing, LLC. www.delsin-books.com
Copyright © 2010 by Claudia D. Christian
All rights reserved. No part of this book shall be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written permission from DelSin Publishing, LLC. DelSin Publishing, LLC and the author assume no liability assumed for damages resulting from the use of the information contained herein. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
DelSin Publishing, LLC
www.delsin-books.com Cover image by Marija Ivanisevic Cover design by CGM Web Designs
tearing several silken threads in her haste. “You’ll pay.” the girl whispered. she gazed at the exquisite summit. Although smooth. Stuffing raw fingers into her mouth. She gasped and her gaze darted fearfully. melded into a macabre dream book. “So very pretty. one that had witnessed her conception.” A voice droned in her tiny ears. Careful not to touch the lush hills and valley hiding beneath velvet and down. “It’s not enough. “I’m sorry.” “Mother?” “No. the little girl suckled them much as she wished she could her mother’s breast. nearly to the edge. The ink crimson. She slid off the bed. Wrapping her arms around his thin chest. she buried her head beneath his pointed chin. The woman lying there now burned with coldness. every facet of her perfect countenance promised retribution for daring to touch where unwanted. Nightmares became spikes designed to tear into her paper-thin flesh.” Rapturous euphoria made the child’s mind buzz. birth. Falling into temptation.” The innocent words disturbed the motes swirling about like dispossessed souls. Memories. The pale-faced woman brushed it away listlessly. the text reprehensible. The little pixie-faced girl climbed onto the enormous bed. She immediately snatched her hand away with a whimper. Soft.” Immediately. she reached out to touch a softly rounded breast. 1 . ancient and new. she sought the comfort of her sleeping sibling. “So pretty. I’m not your mother. She scooted back. it told part of a perverse tale.Love Unfortunate Love Unfortunate A single tear snaked down her cheek. chubby fingers clutched at the rotting counterpane. and now life.
” Without another word. Her shrill screams haunted the room as the man pulled out a disgusting mass of veins. Liana. “Who are you?” Silver flame reflected a woman’s perfection. An hour. Maybe less. “My brother! He’s gone!” “Of course he is. You will rip out my heart and devour it slowly. little bird. muscle. They marked a seductive madness running swiftly through her veins.” The little girl touched her face and found it to feel just like her mother’s.” the poor creature moaned. “And I am here.” “Who is looking out at me?” “You. annihilate the weak. weary of fighting the cords threatening to tie her down into misery. “It always comes to me on this day.” the handsome stranger replied in detached amusement.Claudia D. We defile the pure. “Taste my suffering. “But you will.” She rubbed her eyes. Wonder had no time to develop for suddenly her arms lay empty. Soon Liana would talk to her dream and this time she would make the ending different. and flesh. “Your sin.” “I don’t want to.” “Yes. Always. A beautiful man crouched a few feet away.” he offered with a pained smile. he reached into his pale chest. You are me. “Here. I have something for you. We shred them apart—make them do our will.” Dreams and memories meant nothing and everything to Liana. 2 . Christian “I am you. little bird. Maybe more. They spoke to her in strangled whispers. You will.” She looked up from her huddled position. We destroy the sons of God.
Although ebony sheets of the softest linen lay across Liana’s naked limbs. several fresh scrapes overlapped old ones. thighs. splattering onto the sheets. they felt like sand. you can. She brought her knees up and winced as pain burned between her thighs. Their horrible presence depicted a tapestry of depraved pleasure. Memories of the world beyond her cage disintegrated.” More tears seeped into Liana’s dark hairline. “You can and you will bear it for me. Liana whimpered as his lean hips ground against hers. A few slid across her chin.” 3 . Twenty days. How long has it been? How long have I been locked in this room? Her question meant nothing. Rigid lines of wood and iron mocked her. “My lord…” He threw back his head and growled with pleasure. Say it again. “I can’t bear it!” The hoarse cries spilled from her bruised lips as a giddy offering.” Splayed beneath him.Love Unfortunate The broken thoughts forced her gaze to slide to the barred door. A grimace tightened her colorless mouth. Liana shifted. and arms.” he answered with chilling arousal. “I love hearing you say that. Scattered all over her body. “Taste my suffering. Liana already knew the answer because it was always the same. She imagined her tears sounded like dripping blood. “Yes. The noise assaulted her ears. Deep punctures wounded Liana’s breasts.
She eyed the lone window. Please make it right this time.” “My lord…more…ah!” Liana touched a particularly vicious cut on her abdomen and hissed. So was Laurent. “Again.Claudia D. Mist swirled about the edges of her vision. Please. Terrible longing stained her vivid green irises. She braved shifting positions once more. Not waiting until it subsided. Reaching up. No matter what I do. startling Liana out of miserable turmoil. Liana’s moans ceased abruptly and the tears ran dry. it ends like this.” “My lord…” The world grew smaller as he started thrusting harder and harder. Liana gritted her teeth and moved again. Christian “My lord…my lord…please. God’s ears were closed to her. Liana moaned in black anguish. “Again. 4 . Almost healed but it doesn’t matter.” Liana’s legs fell away from his waist. exhausted from the incredible strain of holding him so tightly. How can I change my fate? How can I make tonight different? A murder of crows flew by. Night was coming. A mangled growl seeped from Liana’s throat. Her prayers mutated into venomous curses. she ran her fingers over the scabs encrusting her neck. The agony continued to intensify and it became bitterly clear. I’m happiest when they get ripped open again. albeit gingerly. Their raucous chatter warned of what her raw core already knew.
Springing up from her musty bed. Laurent began on the next. she forced herself to keep his unnatural silver gaze. “That’s not what I asked you!” Displeasure tightened the line of Laurent’s now-flawless jaw. Once given to her in contempt. “What are you doing? Answer me!” Panic laced her veins. little bird.” “Stop it.” 5 . “I’m just ensuring your safety and comfort. and heavy overdresses. banishing all signs of lethargy. They lay empty of clothing or possessions alike. Soon he’ll be here. the trunks now stood as a constant reminder of who and what Liana had become. brightly colored undershirts. Liana ran to him and grabbed the trailing end of an endangered skirt. Horror overtook Liana as she watched the methodical destruction. Her flesh crawled with the exquisite memory of his tainted touch.Love Unfortunate Voracious hunger stirred inside her veins. You need it. Despite Liana’s fear. “Go back to sleep. Newlydeveloped claws shredded through the voluminous skirts. Color returned to Liana’s pale cheeks and the sharp note of hunger altered its melody— becoming something more torturous than before. but by tomorrow will he still? The thoughts crowding her consciousness left Liana naked in spirit.” The black smile he flashed matched his tousled hair perfectly. When finished with one pile.” Laurent’s movements never faltered. nor did his hands show mercy. Liana embraced it with desperate conviction. “Stop it!” Laurent’s emotionless stare flicked to her hand. “You can’t do this!” she shrieked while pulling back. She eyed the chests lining the stone walls. “You can’t take them away.
“Don’t take them away. The cold. “Why are you doing this? Why?!” “You know why. That one was dead and this damnable creature now stood in his place. You’ll let me out eventually. Laurent. You’ll leave.” Laurent’s pleasant response seemed obscene in the midst of his violent hands.” “You think so?” His lazy smile cracked her brave façade. Let me have something to wear. he sliced through the soft fabric. Liana fixed her gaze upon him and wished she hadn’t.” “Of course there is. smooth surface didn’t betray the helplessness running rampant in her heart.” “No. he picked up the scraps and threw them out the narrow window. little bird.” With insulting ease. Laurent. She wished she could destroy him.Claudia D.” Liana’s face mimicked ice. 6 . Tears filled her eyes as a pitiful scrap of violet cloth fluttered from her hand. He wasn’t the kind soul who had found her along the riverbank one month prior. “Control your anger. She hated him. Christian “Why? Who could you possibly see that would require clothing?” Liana scented danger and changed tactics. He wasn’t the man who had sworn to live his life with her one day after. “There’s no point in this. Sharp gasps tormented her lungs.” A dangerous grin tweaked his pallid lips. Her voice became reasonable and placating. The urge to weep picked away at her heart. “You can’t keep me in this tower forever. I don’t!” Liana wanted to wail her misery. “I won’t let that happen. Finally finished shredding her clothes beyond repair. Control it before it causes us both grief. Please!” “No. He wasn’t the same boy who had gifted her with his innocence four days before. She wished she could destroy herself. Liana’s shoulders sagged.
“And the sheets? Blankets? Will you take them too?” Don’t leave me. go to sleep. But most of all. I SHOULD want him to leave. Laurent turned. Please. Liana felt humiliated. She DID hate him. Only a smile. Instead of being disgusted. The faint odor of urine tainted the air. acrid…nauseating. And after the laugher. angered with her detestable weakness. Thick. “No. sweet.” “Why not? I could wrap myself in them and find a way to walk out of here!” she pointed out snidely. Liana wished they could go back to the way things were. He answered with a tiny smile. I’ll be back again tonight. “You could. swallowing every bit of demented passion. I’m weakening. Laurent’s lean body reminded her of what was forever lost.” “Why not?” Coming towards his wife. Liana saw herself greedily gulping it down. She DID wish she could destroy him. I couldn’t control myself. It just came out. Why couldn’t I stop this? “Now.” Laurent barely glanced in her direction as he strode out the room.Love Unfortunate Framed against the night sky. Ruthless cruelty took its place.” “I will!” The gentle façade vanished. Eventually I’m going to break. “You won’t. Then what will happen to him? 7 . He stopped at the door. nightmarish gratification had taken over. It’s too much. Laurent had simply laughed. Laurent gave no answer.
she felt her world shrink. Beneath her fragile façade lay a busy demon—one tirelessly carving a jagged hole in Liana’s conscience and heart. and renovated. Sprawled on her back. tempered. It became a void where sadness. She wondered at what familiar torments Laurent would devise for their mutual pleasure.Claudia D. locked away. It wrecked. It’s all my fault. destroyed. Soon. leaving Liana completely alone. regret. Liana’s limbs trembled with manic anticipation. I should’ve never tried to manipulate Laurent. it had burrowed its way deep inside. The tower meant less than nothing to Liana. It’s my fault. The pain tearing her apart. wasn’t made of stones and iron. Blame possessed an addictive quality for Liana. every dream she tainted. branding her with every breath she took. keeping Liana in black obsession. She knew and didn’t care enough to change her course. Sounds of castle life ceased. Her agony was something else entirely. And now we’re both paying the price. not knowing I do the same to you. Liana did know. Tonight will be different. Restraints? Asphyxiation? Gentle. her prison. You keep me here. I should’ve known this would happen. and misery retreated. So which of us is the monster? Her cage. Known as Blame. Night descended and the air turned cold. It tempted her to accept wretchedness while giving despair beautiful purpose. Blame amalgamated truth and lie. Christian Therein lay Liana’s strength and torment. My fault. legs open with wanton need. All of it. wasn’t the present circumstance of captivity. normal lovemaking? 8 . piece by piece.
“You’ve been crying. It’ll pass. Crouching down in front of Liana.” The air grew heavy. 9 . too anxious to do more than murmur. “Later. “Yes. She rubbed her cheek against his chest. “Not now. Laurent. Liana felt his hands rake across her back and trembled like prey.” he accused while setting her on her feet. “Later. First came the scrape of metal.” “Good.Love Unfortunate Liana didn’t have to wonder for long. “I’m not crying. “Don’t mind my childishness. Laurent. his tone brooked no room for disobedience.” “I know. she felt her own come to life. Liana grimaced in a travesty of excitement as the cloying smell of scented water hit her overwrought senses. Heat seared her naked breasts and stickiness dampened her plump thighs.” Cool hands lifted Liana from the bed. Laurent’s tongue snaked out in a delicate caress.” Despite the softness.” A gentle kiss brushed across her damp temple. Laurent’s whisper fell like decaying petals before the wind. Inanimate groans spiced the air before footsteps whispered across cold stone.” Nestled against his cold body.” Although not stated unkindly. he extended his arm and murmured. “Here.” “I don’t want it.” Belligerence gave way to embarrassing grief. “Have you missed me too?” She linked her arms around his neck. “Yes.” “Why are you crying?” She hastily wiped her eyes. Yes?” Laurent’s voice tickled her ear and the dulcet tones became a carnal torture in itself. he took the hem of his tunic and polished the ruby skin. stretching Liana’s nerves unmercifully.” Laurent reached above her head and plucked an apple. “There’ll be time for tears later. her rebuff remained all too obvious. “I’ve missed you. Once finished.
sinking into an abyss of shameless lust. Something lurched inside Liana. Nothing mattered except the crimson beast panting in her veins.” Liana opened her mouth to refuse when she chanced looking into his eyes. She reached for the apple.” “Why?” “Because I know what it’s like to cry. “Because I could never bear to cause sorrow or harm to another. Old wounds and burning aches meant nothing. “Tears…” Passion possessed Liana.” Her tears subsided and Liana once more found herself moved by the living enigma before her. for me…” 10 . she moaned with abandonment as Laurent’s tongue filled her. “For you. “Please take it.” Liana bit her lip in a vain effort to keep her heartache from pouring out. Liana never expected fear to be one of them.Claudia D.” He stated his feelings without shame or hesitation. You’ll never find another so sweet. drowning. Christian Instead of being deterred. I promise you’ll feel better. Benevolence and empathy burned within.” Liana pressed her parched mouth against his. “Thank you. Laurent offered his gift again. “Why are you so kind to me?” Laurent’s glance thought his knee fascinating. She was dying. Thirsty beyond redemption. “Here. Although she knew running away from her life would carry consequences. How can I survive on my own? But how can I go back? “Take it.
Laurent knew her depravity.” Laurent seemed to fold in on himself. What she always came to be. deepening them and calling forth more blood. Fresh pain became an exquisite prelude to enthralling pleasure.Love Unfortunate Liana sank her teeth deep into his bottom lip. even if he didn’t understand its origins. Hot rivulets slid down her chin.” His name traveled on her breath and craving blossomed in her mouth. courting her sympathy and forgiveness. Liana. I don’t know why I sentenced you here.” He moaned her name in charming distress.” 11 . Her instincts disconnected her from everything except anticipation. “I don’t like it. “I want more from you.” Passion evaporated. Laurent hissed before responding in kind. Liana. And I’m too afraid to tell you. “I miss you so much. “Tears…they’ll be there for me as well. He swallowed once and admitted. painting her throat with obscene beauty. little bird?” “Yes. His words grew raspier. Kiss me harder. His tongue probed the jagged tears. Laurent. “I hear only you. “Do you hear me. I DO know why. she rejoiced in what she was. “I hate leaving you. “They’ll be there…” His words poured into Liana’s avaricious mouth. Liana laughed deliriously.” she sighed between hungry kisses. leaving her adrift. I can’t stand it. that’s not true. Harder. I hate locking you up in this…this…prison!” Agony drenched each syllable. Liana’s blunt nails dug into her lover’s pale flesh and for exceptional moments. “No. I know…but you DON’T.” Laurent’s arms squeezed her tightly before pulling away.
“Tell me what’s wrong with me. The truth threatened to tumble out from her tightly pressed lips. “Don’t think that way.” Fatalism held Liana down by the throat.” 12 . he insisted. If it continues to control you rather than you control it. Standing above her sprawled figure. Christian “Laurent…I…” Audible words deteriorated into silent prose. Liana tipped her head back and met Laurent’s stare. You know. Liana. “Don’t say that. “Please.Claudia D. I need your help.” “Laurent. You’re stronger than this. “You’re lying! Tell me!” The menacing shout dissolved into a pitiful whine. I hate when I should love…I love when I should hate.” Laurent leaned into her touch. Please help me. ignoring her bitter answer. “I’m going insane. Liana. “The power running through your veins is too much for one not of pure blood. “Yes. you’ll go completely mad.” Laurent dropped to his knees besides her. She felt like an insignificant insect beneath its booted foot.” “Why?” Liana couldn’t bear seeing the horror twisting his ethereal face. “I can’t answer—” Laurent pushed her away in a fit of temper.” “How can I—how can I stop this?” “I can’t help you.” “I can’t—” Liana’s throat closed and her hands stilled.” Desolation carved lines of despair into his smooth skin. You can’t. leaving her heart to shout. aren’t I?” Liana’s small hands worked to banish the unhappiness from his brow. I know you do. I wish I could…but…I’ll just end up making it worse. Why won’t you forget?! “I’m breaking apart out there. Liana. little bird.
but not like this. 13 . Yes. Their exquisite depths mirrored her love for him. “Don’t fight me anymore. sanity clawed its way past helplessness. Nothing except this.” Although ensnared by the eerie brilliance of her husband’s gaze. Don’t resent me for becoming like this. “Anything for you. “Just say yes. wrenching forth anemic joy out of Liana’s battered conscience. “I’m dirty. The vulnerable human fled. Laurent sensed her softening. The word hovered on the tip of her tongue like a tempting drop of poison. I don’t want you to stay with me out of habit. Stay with me. betrayed old humanity. her life—her sin. Say it. I want to walk out of here with you. Yes. Liana. I also know that until that day comes. light words banished any hint of frailty. It’s what I’ve wanted for so long.” I know.” Liana stared at her love. little bird. unfailing courtesy lay in marked contrast to his demands. “Liana. Laurent lifted Liana to her feet. But I don’t know what else to do. Always. Laurent.” Laurent’s mocking. I don’t want this tower to be the end. her husband. you won’t!” Controlled sincerity replaced raw frustration. His immortal eyes. And with no small regret. it wasn’t my will. ephemeral as a pretty dream. if you won’t help then let me stay here with you. Liana whispered. It’s what I’ve wanted for so long. After all. Liana. there’s nothing I can do for you. I’m sorry that I just hurt you. Please bathe me…my lord. Death flickered with silver brilliance and pale lips flashed a mouthful of wickedness.” He blinked once and then grinned. His gentle. Liana welcomed his change. no longer rapacious. Swallowing down her impotence.Love Unfortunate “No.
Laurent scraped warning claws against her skin.” Ruby droplets followed in their wake as Laurent carried Liana to the small tub. Mouths agape.” “What are you talking about?” Sadness fluttered across his smooth brow with a dying bird’s regret. Her wounds tempted his primal hunger.” Liana waited until he lifted her before admitting.” 14 . “Later. Moods change. The pain only courted her perverted hungers. little bird. cutting off his ignorance. The way you cry out for me—the way you taste—it’s all I crave. Laurent. he set her within the shallow depths and murmured. “Yes. little bird. Liana gasped her assent and arched against his cruel hold. “Yes. Her lithe tongue moistened the flakes crusted in the corners.” Soft laughter peppered the air. Yes?” His obvious anger shattered the pleasant illusion of servile adoration. “I’m sorry I can’t make you happy. Laurent broke their communion. Laurent’s actions were no punishment. unaware of her sorrow.” “It pleases me to know it. “Are you ready?” She let out a tired sigh. “Soak. “Do I make you happy. teeth scraping. my lord.Claudia D. You aren’t responsible—” Liana kissed his mouth hard. but Laurent refused a seat at his wife’s bloody banquet. Christian Completely aware of his wife’s ennui. misery tomorrow. I’ll be done soon. hold onto me. “I’m so happy when you strive to please me. Now. “Happiness today. their tongues coiled together in primitive adulation. Instead. Smug triumph dirtied his face as she gasped in abandonment.” Laurent smiled. teeth glinting in the dismal darkness. little bird?” “Always. At least in this.
she walked into the night air. Even as devoted as she was. Her tired eyes scanned the small hut. Ever! Worry knotted her stomach. Liana’s feet froze. Nightmares stalked her tattered mind. hand stretched halfway to the wooden latch. I know it. Without opening them.” Speaking the words out loud magnified Liana’s fear ten-fold. Suddenly. and then opened again.Love Unfortunate Pendants of fire flickered to life behind her closed lids. Instead. 15 . Laurent had left shortly before sunset. She wrapped bare arms around her legs and rested a troubled brow. hoping and praying to see his beloved form. highlighting Liana’s fears with a crimson brush. locked. Now Liana could smell dawn coming. closed. Eerie silence asphyxiated the forest with a wicked claw.” Laurent! Liana scrambled up from the pallet. Liana brought her knees up. She ran to the hut’s door before her instincts snarled a warning. A humorless smile tugged Liana’s lips when the door opened. something ominous interrupted her uneasy slumber. “Laurent!” The hushed scream betrayed Liana’s panic and desperation. “Something’s wrong. cold emptiness mocked her prayers. Where are you? You’ve never left me alone for the night. laughingly telling her to await a marvelous surprise for their nuptial night. Heart pounding with sickening force. Liana saw Laurent light several tapers throughout the small room. “Little bird. Something malevolent awaited her. Laurent didn’t trust that his wife wouldn’t bolt for freedom. keeping nausea close to the surface.
” Liana’s mind grew clouded. little bird.” Laurent’s cold hand clamped around her wrist. “Just as you are. Something wonderful. “I thought many things too.” Laurent brought her wrist up.” “But the blood…how did…is it yours?” Liana knew the answer as soon as she fumbled through her pitiful question. “Alive. “Whose blood is it. Blinded by worry. anxiously seeking sign of her husband’s presence. But now…now I know better. What a telling choice of word. Liana had missed the obvious. Where were you. The stench clinging to his body was of terror. fear and denial fighting for dominance. He kissed the soft skin tenderly before releasing it. Laurent?” Liana’s ears twitched. “Lost? How?” She whipped her head to the left. “I was worried when you didn’t come home. little bird. “It didn’t come from my body. you better not…” Liana’s chiding tone died only to be replaced by horror.” Liana stepped forward and peered into the black shadows. “Laurent? Where are you?” “I’m right here. what happened?” “Something terrible. I’m just happy you’re back and unharmed.” The small clearing lay empty of life as did the trees beyond. Although. she stupidly dismissed his cryptic statements as the ramblings of a nervous bridegroom. A shimmer of movement snared her attention. Turning to him with a relieved smile. but it is mine. Laurent?” 16 . “You know these woods better than any alive. Christian “Little bird. and death. How could you get lost?” Flat laughter made Liana’s skin crawl. “I got lost. “Laurent.” Laurent’s familiar voice echoed with unfamiliar resonance.” Liana swallowed her cry of fear. “It doesn’t matter. suffering.Claudia D.
“He told me you liked pretty things. she fought to stop her vomiting. little bird.” She dropped back on her haunches. He promised that no decree would fall against me. Liana immediately whirled away and retched. “He gave them to me but not before he took something first. 17 . The combined stench of blood and vomit did nothing to distract her mind. “All I had to do was wait until sundown. “When it was over he told me to claim everything that was mine. each time louder than before.” Liana murmured useless pleas of supplication. “He said that he’d give me the clothes you left behind when you ran away.” Her arms began to shake. It just can’t!” “So I went there. He said that my strength surpassed that of my mortal sire and his legitimate heirs. She shook her head with dizzying fervor. she felt the contents of her stomach rush up her throat. Gasping in vain. A man who said he knew you. A lord.” Insanity gripped the corners of Liana’s mind. Long trails of spit hung from her gaping mouth. Doubled over in the dirt.” Low. “He told me I could be a lord. guttural moans replaced her shrill denials.” Liana gasped Laurent’s name over and over again.Love Unfortunate He leveled his gaze on her and smiled.” Tears flooded her eyes and nose. the insignificant bastard! I went there and you know what I did?” She dug her fingers into her thigh. “This can’t be happening. This can’t be real. “NOOOO!!” “I met a man. Me.
As I said before—I met a man. Liana launched herself against his chest. I want to show you your new home. Cristophe? He promised! How could he… Cold disgust lightened Laurent’s silver gaze. she demanded. A mean smile tweaked his thin lips. I’m ruler of all that you see. “I’ve elevated you from woodcutter’s wife to lady of the realm in one night. Walking away from the clearing. little bird. “Come now. he picked his bride up. “This wasn’t supposed to happen.” “How can I ever be happy with what you did. I killed my worthless sire. Soon the small room was clean. “Who did this to you?” Laurent tightened his grip. Betrayal seeped into every pore.” The full implication of the night’s evil settled on Liana’s shoulders. and chamber pot emptied. and two pathetic brothers. Their cruelty provoked her body to life. “Damn you! You didn’t! You would never cause harm to another! Why are you lying?!” Laurent let Liana beat him for several moments before catching her arms easily. Christian “I killed them. A man you know. Instead. “If you think really hard I’m sure it’ll come to you. I know you will. Quick fingers made short work of domestic duty. You’ll like it. He smiled viciously when she winced in pain. Laurent?! How?!” Without giving him an opportunity to answer.” Pitiless venom coated each triumphant word. 18 .” Liana’s face blanched. Now. his bitch wife. Laurent ignored her. I left nothing of their dignified line intact.Claudia D. bed made. I thought you’d be pleased. he sang an innocent tune as he strode towards their irrevocable damnation.” she mumbled in despair. little bird.
” Laurent adjusted his touch. Then my face and hair.” “No…not like that. “Still hurts?” “Mmm. “My body. Always. Do you believe me?” She grabbed the back of the small tub.” “Then how?” Sly torment masked itself in innocence. He smiled at her.” “But I’m washing them. they followed the silken planes of her naked form faithfully. “Little bird.” Laurent’s strong hands obeyed Liana’s request.Love Unfortunate “Now.” 19 . “Just like you ordered. Pain doesn’t matter when he bathes me because his hands feel so good. causing his wife to groan with an emotion other than discomfort.” Sympathy lightened his exquisite eyes. yet thorough. Liana’s head fell forward. Delight danced along her spine. little bird. making Liana remember things she didn’t want to. Delving beneath the water. It was always the same. Use your mouth. look at what we’ve done to your beautiful skin. Laurent. “Where would you like me to wash first?” His question never faltered. “I exist solely for you.” Laurent sank to his knees besides the tub. clucking over the numerous scrapes. Laurent’s passionate declarations burned her soul. “Make them better. Gentle.” Liana whimpered in nameless zeal.” Laurent protested as his fingers drew to a lazy halt. So was her answer. I could hardly move from the pain. I believe you. “Yes.” Wicked victory glowed like a living curse within his ageless gaze. little bird. little bird. two fingers petted and probed Liana’s core. I don’t think it’s ever hurt this much. chasing Laurent’s touch with sycophantic devotion. “I’m so sorry. Laurent took special care with her legs. Please. my service is yours. pausing until Liana returned his simple affection. “Mouth.
pleaded. “Only for you. I would’ve done anything to make her happy. “Tell me about your mother. “My mother was wonderful. She begged.” he hissed while parting her swollen lips with his fingers. and screamed. “Please don’t! Ah! Please…don’t…stop! Please!” Laurent treated both legs with violent adoration. loving…she was my world. “Liana. “Laurent!” She was dying. Lifting her leg. Give me more. When he snaked an arm under her hips. “No matter how much I taste you. “It feels so good. she eagerly presented herself for his consumption. Liana found the edge of sanity and turned away. mindful to keep her touch gentle. falling apart. “I felt that way once too.” 20 . Protective. it’s never enough.Claudia D. only to come to fiery life.” Liana’s gaze grew hard and distant. Laurent!” she babbled. “Don’t ever stop!” “You taste so sweet. Laurent’s cool tongue bathed her battered flesh with quick strokes. She pressed her mound closer to his mouth and sobbed her joy. Her legs fell open on either side of Laurent’s shoulders. Christian Laurent abandoned the washcloth. Crimson flowed into the basin with staccato harmony and Liana’s beautiful voice burst into an exquisite solo.” Liana’s fingers scratched his scalp. Her free limb thrashed until Laurent captured it as well. When his lips brushed hers.” He lowered his mouth. Benediction rained down on Liana with every wet caress. breaking. Jagged bruises dotted Liana’s tender thighs and still she sang for more. Laurent smiled with pleasant affection. he waited until she looked at him.” Frenzied ecstasy courted Liana’s feral nature. The world’s colorless tint deepened in tandem with Laurent’s decadent avarice. kind.” Liana stared at the ceiling while winding her legs around his neck.
Liana’s sharp cries spurred Laurent to slide his fingers into her wet core.” He turned on his back. “Forget what?” Liana shook her head and smiled. “Do it! NOW!” Laurent understood as only a longtime lover would. “It doesn’t matter.” She continued stroking his head. Laurent kissed her thigh once.Love Unfortunate “About your mother?” “Mmm. Even after Liana screamed in fulfillment. Her silent rage dissipated. Desperate to touch Laurent. devouring her without mercy. Laurent pursued her pleasure to the grave. Keeping his fingers deep within her warm body. 21 .” Liana’s heady scent intoxicated Laurent. He became a beast. and beckoning her body to obey.” “You still miss her. he turned his head to the side. Tremors possessed her body.” Laurent swore while pressing his mouth against her sweet folds. Always. Madness blackened her sight. Liana. “Many thanks for making me forget. “When did she die?” “A year ago. and then gave Liana what she craved. His lips pursed Liana’s tender jewel before scraping it with strong teeth. Her legs shook uncontrollably.” The innocence in his face tempted Liana. twisting. finding comfort in the action. turning.” “Very much so. She choked on his name. “I love you. He widened her thighs. she wound her fingers in his silky hair.” Puzzlement darkened his eyes. “I love you. twice. “Many thanks for lending me your lap. Their erotic rhythm demanded release as they plunged in and out. She leaned down and placed a chaste kiss on his forehead. driving into Liana with intoxicating violence.” Liana wept her love for him in return.
Giving over to his clever hands. Giving into temptation. I do love you. You know that. Bloody trails spilled into the water.” Liana tasted herself on his lips. raining sharp kisses along the way.” Messy circles rouged her cheeks. “The water is glorious now. Liana’s declarations meant nothing in face of her misguided sins. little bird. “Stop. Maybe tonight I’ll finally be able to prove it. “You have to know that I do. making it as ruby as her swollen lips. his voice remained soft as he commanded her silence.Claudia D. she became pliant to Laurent’s every wish. Liana collapsed into a boneless heap. One day you’ll believe in my love. even if you can’t believe in me.” 22 . The water lost its languorous heat by the time Laurent was done bathing her. I do. little bird. “I love you. tenderly drying her flushed skin. Liana’s beautiful screams rang throughout the tower and into the night. “I thought we were more like lovers.” Laurent’s eyes darkened. How about I finish cleaning you. Liana wobbled as he crouched at her feet. He smiled down into her insensible face. Liana sank into the tub and whispered. Abandoned by his mouth. “I love you. If not. Laurent. then I’ll wait. “I thought we were better.” “We’re not. An enigmatic smile touched her lips while depression cloaked her heart. “Never forget it. However.” Laurent moved up her body. she tunneled her fingers through his inky strands. Laurent wiped the remaining traces of her passion very carefully.” She inhaled quickly. Christian She shattered. don’t you?” He merely glanced at her once before resuming his task. hmm?” Liana nodded. I don’t want your kindness or your pity.
much like he did so long ago. Liana adored how Laurent courted her with gentleness. “And I thought you were an angel come to take me to heaven.” “An angel? As ugly as I was?” “You weren’t ugly! I never thought you were ugly!” 23 . Laurent’s mood shifted from unforgiving spite to frantic normalcy. Eyes watchful. Weakness her downfall.” That’s what I made you think. “Then what just happened?” His eyes narrowed. He toweled each section patiently. However. senses alert. none of this means anything to me. Better yet. Primordial memories stalked by. You should’ve left me on that riverbank. “It was for you. Until I get it. It’s what you were singing that day. Pure. “Do you remember this song. His graceful hands parted her soaked locks.” His hands stilled in remembrance. all the while humming a melancholy tune.Love Unfortunate Her hand fell by her side. little bird?” “I do. You made me feel like I was an angel.” Emotion flushed her cheeks. Promptly occupying the room’s lone stool. but beneath the meticulous surface she reveled in his attention. Liana knew exactly where this was headed. “The day you found me half-dead by the river. knowing brought a different brand of desolation. ripping adoration apart. Liana mimicked the undead with her stillness.” “I was so scared to touch you. Oh. Not for me. you should’ve pushed me back in. even if still hurt by his rejection.” Anger overtook his aura. She took great pains to appear remote. untouchable…safe. He carried Liana the short distance between tub and bed. Laurent set about finishing her absolutions in stony silence. You know what I want. “You were the most beautiful creature I ever saw. Laurent.
“You don’t want me to forgive you. but you know that’s not true. proof of adolescence.” “Oh. abandoning the damp linen in favor of placing his hands on the bed. There was no flaw in his face or form.” His low laughter elicited shivers. His sleeping face haunted her. Liana always unraveled.” He kissed her scabbed wounds. Gone were the tiny wrinkles bracketing his mouth and eyes. Liana shifted. bringing the coverlet over her naked shoulder. little bird?” Laurent’s seductive purr pricked her skin. If I did.” Their gazes caught. Laurent’s perfection sickened her. Gone were the silvery lines crossing his skin.Claudia D. “So that’s the dirtiest lie you’ve ever uttered.” Liana’s conscience recoiled. “Don’t you like me this way better?” “I liked you the way you were. remnants of a woodcutter’s life. “You’ll never forgive me. Gone were the few pockmarks. will you?” Mirth lightened his eyes to frightening proportions. Her need to justify only equaled his need to torment. I’d have to let you out. Christian “Hmm…but I’m much prettier now. do you?” 24 . She could hardly remember his face anymore. Laurent brushed his lips against her neck. “And you don’t want that. aren’t I. He leaned forward. a false reminder of another. Anger warred with guilt. “You are. No matter her resolve. ensuring Liana’s personal demon Blame would find its insatiable appetite whetted. His real one. You never had to change for me. leaving Liana to tremble in perfect dread. no matter her strength of will.
little bird?” “Oh.” “Again?” Laurent nipped the underside of her chin. “Why do you ask?” He ducked his head in apology.” 25 . Shivers racked them both. “Let’s talk about how your last lie is filthier than the first one you told me. he blew softly in her ear. “I want to talk about lies. “No. Liana wrapped her arms around his neck and whispered. It doesn’t change no matter what I do. Forgive me. Laurent?” He ignored her question with chilling precision. “Very nice. When Liana shuddered in pained delight. “I meant no disrespect.” Laurent allowed his words to trail off as his tongue flicked across the small punctures. my lady. my lord?” Not again. “Does this feel nice?” She turned into his body.” He rested his smooth chin on her shoulder. “You remember the first lie you ever told me. Her melodic voice held the ferocity of a wolf. I don’t want you to ever let me go.” “Why are you running?” Liana glanced at the awkward man-child sharply.” “Very good. “Please do it again.” “Good girl. “But if you want to play.” Her strained voice elicited a throaty chuckle.” “Talk? What about. we need to talk first.Love Unfortunate Liana bit her lip.” Laurent turned his head and smiled into her hair. Every single time it’s the same. “Do you love it. gaze heavy with honest lust. yes.” “What lie.
Looking away from him.” 26 . I never foresaw it would come to this. Instead he surprised her. There’s no need to give me an honorific.” Her submissiveness appeased Laurent’s volatile temper.Claudia D.” “Then may I ask…” His voice trailed off when she met his clouded gaze squarely. Liana expected him to fall beneath his discomfort and cowardice.” “Please don’t say that. “My name is Liana and I mean nothing to no one and that’s why I ran away. don’t answer.” Laurent brushed her hair back with poignant tenderness. He released his grip and began again.” Liana swayed towards him and whispered.” She raised her chin in perfect challenge. Christian She felt something hot slither about the bowels of her suspicion. searching for the scent of drawn blood. It was guilt. Liana murmured stiffly. “I lied because I had to.” “Really? The thought never occurred in that selfish. “Yes. “You’ll just lie to me again. “You remember telling me that lie. He cleared his throat and finished his query.” “My equal?” She heard the hope spring forth from his well of loneliness. “You told me you were a runaway of no real consequence. “May I ask your name?” “Liana. “I’m your equal. don’t you?” Liana’s heart pounded with the sick rhythm of a condemned woman’s plea. “Laurent. careless mind of yours? No.” He yanked her head back. “I will say what I wish!” “Forgive me.” Laurent paused for several moments.
“Yes.” Laurent flashed Liana a delightful smile. “Because I was afraid you’d reject me.” She wet lips gone dry. Damnation loomed on their horizon but she couldn’t turn back. “You’ve already taken my heart and reason. streaking her skin like the blood running down her thighs. I never imagined I’d be here past one night.” “Then once you stayed—why didn’t you say anything then?” Liana felt her feet walk the same rutted path.” “What?” “Ssh!” Laurent pushed her off his lap. “Did you hear that?” 27 . “You wanted to keep your human pet.” “Liar. “Wait. “That wasn’t protection. sanity lurked like a ghost behind Laurent’s inhuman stare.” Tears salted the air. It was a death sentence. Did you?” “I didn’t know I was going to stay with you. I just wanted to protect you. he used his free hand to stroke her taut stomach.” The word slid from his throat with serpentine grace. “You lie like a devil.Love Unfortunate “Hmm.” “You should’ve known it then!” Before he could vent his rage. Do you wish my soul as well?” “I’m not lying. Laurent. I didn’t tell you everything because I didn’t think you needed to know. little bird.” “Protect me? Keeping quiet about that beast hot on your trail was protecting me?” Laurent’s claws pierced her flesh and five drops sprang up. Keeping one arm about her waist.” Laurent hauled her naked body onto his lap.” “So you were being selfish. is that it?” “I didn’t see you as my pet. Laurent. “I know that now.
Liana?” “Harvest is upon us. Nothing has changed. intensity burning a hole through his crumbling awareness. sure her actions would communicate nervousness. Not when I’ve worked so hard! “The fields are heavy with grain and the workers are many. When did this happen?” “It’s approaching winter. haven’t I?” Without waiting for an answer. Liana’s lips were stiff.” Laurent darted towards the tiny window and inhaled deeply. Instead. “I’ve asked this before. but more people.” Laurent looked at her in bewilderment. Why do I hear so many voices?” “Voices?” “Yes! People—thousands of them!” Laurent whirled about. Laurent leapt from the bed. What do you mean?” “I’ve said these words to you before. “I can hear them when they leave the fields. “Why do I hear so many voices. Perhaps you’re tired. that’s not it. The forest…it’s smaller. “I don’t understand.” “You’re mistaken. They say this year’s bounty will surpass all others. Don’t do this.Claudia D. his attention darted from one part of the shadowed room to the other. “Ssh. “The game…their packs aren’t as large. “There’s less food. Ssh! I hear things. The herds have gone to ground.” “No. words pliant with deception.” Concentration knit a deep furrow across his brow. my lord. things that shouldn’t be. my lord. “Did they see you?” “No!” 28 . Christian Liana shook her head but he never saw it. All of them.” Her calm reply belied the sickness ravaging her heart. Come to bed.” Laurent held out his thumb and forefinger in warning.” Suspicion hardened his ethereal beauty.” Liana rubbed her palms across the sheets. “How do you know? You haven’t left this tower in over a fortnight.
“You command and I obey. Her heart broke all over again. “The men know you are forbidden. my faithfulness. This doesn’t make any sense. memorizing every word. When Laurent realized his actions. I won’t feel guilty for using his insecurity against him. 29 . didn’t you?” “No. Please.” Crawling over her. Laurent bent down and pressed his mouth against Liana’s newest wounds. I didn’t hear anything.Love Unfortunate Laurent nodded in arrogant satisfaction. wordlessly demanding his carnal consideration. She threw her head back and pushed her body against Laurent. I WON’T give up. Laurent ran over to Liana and whispered. resentment dripped from his false smile. Just like a dog. “I just heard your voice. But not us. I’ll do whatever I have to in order to break this cycle.” He strode towards the door. “I’m going to see for myself. His tongue lapped at the dried blood roughly.” “Come to me. Mine too. Laurent.” His dark brows formed a fierce scowl. my lord. my lord. leaving a frenetic creature in his place.” She bowed her head and waited for his madness to grow.” Her aristocratic demeanor made him obey instinctively. “You had to have. “You like my loyalty. every nuance of her beloved’s demeanor. I can’t give up. Now. “No. “Let us talk of something else. “You heard it this time. Seeing you would mean instant death—wait!” The haughty lord disappeared. Or maybe…how could you not have heard it?” Liana watched the despair overshadow confusion. don’t you?” Liana nodded in affirmation.” Laurent brushed aside her husky plea.
making him grateful for even tolerating his presence.” “That’s not true!” His hand muffled her raw screams. You bullied him with your beauty.” Laurent sat up and removed the damp tunic. bastard woodsman died when you let him get slaughtered!” “I swear to you—I didn’t know! I would’ve protected you if I knew!” “Protected me? A pitiful little bird like you?” Maniacal grief possessed him. Still keeping it in place. “I just want you to love me like you did before. “I can do. Liana. but it couldn’t mute her anguish. breaking his will while pretending to hold him in esteem. She knew it but fell anyway. You enjoyed dominating that pathetic boy. “Well.” Liana turned her head. little bird. You never really wanted the boy I was.” “Impossible. Tell me what you want from me and I’ll obey.” Hot tears slipped free.” He mocked her with servility. he is! That ignorant. “Then love me as you are now.” “Oh. whatever you wish. “Don’t insult me with your stupidity.Claudia D. His smooth chest gleamed like a perfect pearl. you give up so easily!” Laurent shifted so he could nuzzle her cheek. little bird.” Laurent’s hand neatly pressed her mouth closed. “That’s not true. “Don’t misunderstand me. Christian “I can still be your pet. he drew back and stared Liana down. he’s dead and I’m glad he’s dead.” Liana shook her head and moaned her denials. “That boy is still you! He’s not dead!” Laurent’s devastating temper broke free. “And that’s why I know you for a liar. be.” 30 . little bird. Raw lips met his. “Ask for something else. Liana didn’t know what hurt worse—his calculated accusations or rejection of her embrace. “Yes.” He leaned forward to whisper against her ear.
” Laurent hissed the word as if it was the most abominable curse he could summon. “I would’ve done it.Love Unfortunate She winced at his contempt. Liana?!” “No! Believe what you will. “I didn’t lie about that—” “How long were you planning on staying until you were done using me? A month? A week? That night? How long. wife—tell me.” Finally maddened with grief and persecution. Did it give you pleasure to mock me?” “I wasn’t—” “Did you laugh at the poor. Liana bit into his palm. my ease at letting you into my heart?” The accusations hammered in her aching conscience. little bird. dirty bastard for believing you actually saw past his birthright and position?” “I never laughed at you—” “Did you scorn my honesty. How can I win against this hate? 31 . I love you. I swear. “I wanted to be with you forever!” “Liar. Pink saliva dribbled down her chin a few seconds later. Laurent. He seemed completely unaffected by her attack. relentless and brutal. but not that!” Emerald warred with silver. “I never pitied you!” Laurent released her mouth only to dig his claws into either side of her. “I’m not.” “Did you pity me? Is that what it was? Is that why you agreed to be mine?” Laurent’s voice deepened to a menacing growl. “Don’t be timid. “Tell me something. I can take it.” “Why did you make me think you loved me? Why do you pretend now?” His tortured question shredded her heart into bloody pieces. Laurent.
“WWhat’s wrong with m-me? Why d-do I care? W-Why does seeing your pain h-hurt?” Liana watched her husband’s deterioration in horror. I may have lied to you about many things.” An inarticulate cry of rage exploded deep within Laurent’s throat. “You a l-liar. everything I w-was became yours. Even now. Liana heard his plea for dissent. 32 . Liana. Love you! My will. “Why?” Laurent lurched back. Laurent. unable to bear seeing the putrid poison tainting his visage. EVER did was t-take care of you. Everything.” “Disgusts you?” He saw her pain and dropped to the floor.” She couldn’t stomach the wretched sight of seeing Laurent on his knees for her. “Can’t deny it. but there’s one thing I never lied to you about. Incoherent words spilled alongside her tears. “Something inside my head screams when you say it. she cupped her husband’s cheek with tender fingers. can you?” Behind the rage. “I don’t know why!” Carmine tears spilled onto his ashen cheeks.” Braving the lash of his bile. Ugly sobs filled the dim room. “Laurent. Knowing his torment was her sin made her want to die. she swallowed once and let out a shuddering breath. I’ve always loved you. “LIAR! BITCH! WHORE!” “No!” “YES!” “Why won’t you believe me?” She beat her fists against the bed. “I married you because I loved you. Unwilling to fail him. You lied to m-me and I… all I ever. Christian Liana dropped her gaze. I would give up everything to stay here with you. It disgusts me. “And it still wasn’t enough!” Liana turned away from him.Claudia D. Bloody anguish stained his luminous gaze.
Again! “Don’t turn away from me!” Laurent scrambled onto the bed. 33 . I’ll do willingly.” Liana forced her body to ignore its instincts. Just tell me. “I ended up becoming this MONSTER because I love you so much!” “I’m sorry! Please. He grabbed her naked shoulders and shook her once. Liana! How?” “I don’t want to hurt you! That’s not what I want! I swear to all that is holy. will I finally find peace? Because I need it. little bird? Who is he to you?” Black shock threatened to send her into oblivion.” “Is your heart so dead that you can’t see it?” “I want to understand. “I need one night. Their diseased routine had never encompassed those two questions. Laurent.Love Unfortunate I brought this to him. “Tell me what I can do. where I don’t feel this sickness inside. “Who is he. Ever. little bird. please forgive me!” “How can I forgive you when this is what you do to me? Tell me. She remained docile within his perilous hold.” A corpse smile ruined his beauty. I’m trying to take away your pain! Every night I try and this is what we end up with!” Her impassioned pleas only ignited his manic wrath. Laurent abandoned her bruised arms in favor of wrapping both hands around her neck. Please just tell me. “If I kill you now. His hands loosened. Laurent? What is it you want me to say?” Laurent’s mouth quivered. Liana’s heart faltered and panic dominated her gut. just one.” “You refuse me the truth!” “What truth. Laurent. Whatever it is.
” Liana wanted to sink through the stone floor. there is!” Following his frenzied pacing with a wild gaze. love me. Maybe he’s not your lover now. He tightened his malicious grip on her throat. “I’m done being afraid. Liana insisted.” Liana screwed her eyes shut. Of all the moments in her life she wished could disappear. little bird.” His shoulders hunched in despair. “I saw you together.” “Damn you!” Laurent ripped his hands away.” “Laurent.” He ignored her. but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t before. “How can you say those words to me? He has everything to do with it! You were so important to him that he hunted you down. “Yes. “That’s why I keep you here.Claudia D. I saw you with him. That’s when I came here and…took…power. Accept me. I do want to stay with you. And that’s why each night it’s the same. isn’t it?” Liana shifted her gaze even as she gasped for breath. “It’s because of him. “This is why you won’t believe in me? He has nothing to do with how I feel about you! Nothing!” Laurent froze in mid-step. “For being his lover?” Liana’s head rocked back as if struck. “There is no him. “I’m sorry. stay with me. he punished us both by taking me instead. I heard your whispers of love. When he found you. A wounded cry followed.” A tick took hold of his left cheek.” “What exactly are you sorry for?” Menace radiated from him in suffocating waves.” 34 . “I have never broken faith with you!” “Do NOT take such an offended tone with me. voice humming with strain. the present horror vied for top honor. The night I became this.” Laurent looked up. Every nuance of his posture told a tale of averted murder. Tonight I want to know why. Christian “He told me he knew you and he didn’t lie. “But you never do. You’re the one who won’t let us leave this tower.
Love Unfortunate “Damn you. Happy…but scared. “What if I hurt you because of it?” 35 . Are you?” Liana shook her head. Maybe I should tell him to do it. What will it feel like? I wish he would just touch me so I wouldn’t have to ask. “Virgin or whore—I would have never been able to tell and you know why. His gray orbs darkened with indecision. Laurent?” Laurent understood the question lurking behind those two words. A hot blush spread from Liana’s face to her neck. “I just guessed.” “It proves nothing. Laurent! You’re the only man I’ve been with.” He stared in awe at the contrast between his fingers and her luminescent skin. “Umm. “So is yours.” His hand reached out. The shared rhythm of their racing heartbeats thundered in her ears.” “Your heart…it’s beating so fast. “How do you know?” “I don’t.” Laurent smothered a nervous laugh. Temptation warred with maidenly reserve. Liana noticed how each ragged breath brought a puckered nipple close to his palm. “What are you scared of?” “I don’t know what to do.” The fine tremors in his fingers mimicked the ones dominating hers.” Laurent looked up. “I’m just scared.” His calculating smile gleamed in terrible contrast against his frozen gaze. Our first night proved my honor. “Are you cold?” “No.” Liana answered weakly. It lightly pressed against the valley between her breasts.
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Bravely, she closed her fingers over his. “You won’t.” Liana slid his rough palm over her breast. “I trust you.” Two spots of color appeared high on his elegant cheekbones. His eyes flickered between hers and his hand. “But what if I—” “You won’t.” A long breath rushed up Laurent’s throat. “I might…no. I WILL be clumsy. I’ve never been with a woman and—” His words trailed off as he studied the exquisite sight of their newfound intimacy. Liana took courage and touched his naked thigh. “You’ll be clumsy. So will I.” She swallowed down her nervousness. “Go on. Don’t be afraid. Touch me.” “Are you sure?” In answer, she arched her back and pressed the firm breast into his large hand. Liana mewled with enigmatic pleasure when he obeyed by squeezing her flesh. Laurent whipped his hand away. “I’m sorry! Please forgive me! I meant no harm!” Hair as beautiful as a raven’s wing tumbled across his brow. Mortification claimed his trembling speech. “Maybe w-we should not—” “No!” Liana planted her mouth on his. Although graceless and sloppy, she managed to part his lips with the tip of her tongue. A moment later she felt Laurent return the loving gesture. Divinity showed its face to Liana when she felt his breath become hers. She broke their kiss slowly, creeping back to taste him again. “We’ll learn together. Besides, that’s the way it should be between lovers.” Liana nodded her head in encouragement and waited for him to do the same. “I think I’m not so afraid anymore, little bird.” Boyish joy dissolved into fervent longing. Pressing his hand against her breast again, he swore, “I want to learn how to please you…only you.”
“We were both pure,” Liana insisted. “I’ve only lain with you.”
Laurent clenched his fists. He opened his mouth once then snapped it shut. Dropping his gaze, he whimpered. “You have to believe me, Laurent. Please.” A strangled voice of suffering admitted, “I want to believe you.” “Then do so!” Liana climbed onto her knees. Misspent pride held no sway over her when she clasped her hands and begged, “Laurent, I love you so much. I love you more than anything in the world. No one is above you.” “You love me?” “Yes!” “Do you love him too?” Liana’s face crumpled. Her arms thumped against the bed. “Laurent…I…” “It’s not so difficult, Liana.” Although his tone bordered on sardonic, Laurent’s haggard expression betrayed anguish and dread. “Yes or no. Do you love him too?” “I’m not going to give you an answer. Not like this.” “Why not?” The utter lack of feeling in his tone alarmed Liana. “Because it’s not that simple. I need to explain exactly who he is.” Watching spurned rage steadily overtake him, she insisted, “He’s NOT my lover. So please grant me this boon and let me explain.” Unholy brilliance lit Laurent’s silver orbs. Predatory intent pervaded his threatening stance. “There’s nothing to explain.” “No, no!” The tiny hairs on her arms and neck sprang to fearful life as he advanced closer. “There is and you have to listen to me!” Instead of striking her, Laurent snatched the hapless stool and threw it against the wall. Thousands of wooden slivers exploded into the air. “Don’t tell me what I have to listen to!” Liana threw her arms up in defense. Countless stings erupted all along the back of her forearms. Extreme terror sent Liana’s heart into her throat.
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What am I going to say? I can’t explain one without the other! “You’ve had two months. Two months and not a peep came out of your ridiculous, little throat! That can only mean one thing and we both know what that thing is.” She shook her head. “You’re wrong. His name is Cristophe and he’s—” “I already know his name. He happened to share it with me when he was ripping out my throat. I just want to know one thing. Do you love him?” “He’s my—” “Damn you, Liana! I just want an answer. Yes or no?” Tears scalded her eyes. Hope shriveled and defeat took hold of Liana’s will. She couldn’t change it. Laurent’s reality was the only one that mattered. Maybe this time a lie could save her from disgrace, but what about afterwards? “Do you love him?!” Shadow and light fused into gray. Defeat seeped through the fabric of their miserable tragedy. Liana dropped her head back and uttered one damning word. “Yes.” Dead silence cloaked the room with rank shades of decay. Profanity and purity disappeared, leaving behind the desecration of a wife’s hope and a husband’s trust. Laurent lunged forward. The weight of his heavy body slammed her smaller frame back onto the bed. Gripping her inky crown with one hand, Laurent tore into her throat without mercy or remorse. Minutes slunk forward on drugged legs as animalistic sounds of feeding echoed throughout Liana’s gilded cage. The exquisitely woven sheets, scented bath water, and wasteful candles lost all illusion of worship. Instead, they became what they truly were— ancient gestures of disdain. I lie about everything else. Why couldn’t I lie about Cristophe?
Liana’s entire body plummeted to glacial coldness. Too broken to weep, she stared at the ceiling. Sprawled beneath her husband, Liana imagined every bit of her mortal body turning inside out. She wondered if he’d be able to find satisfaction in her blood. When Laurent yanked her head roughly, Liana remained limp as a bird with a broken neck. “Stupid…I…was so…stupid, Laurent.” He pressed her deeper into their bed, refusing to allow his wounded prey the tiniest prayer of freedom. “Black sheets,” Liana whispered with a hitch. “You like them black so you can’t see the stains. Don’t you ever get tired of spilling my blood?” Laurent responded by deepening his bite. “No matter what I say or don’t say, you find a reason to do this to me. And I always forgive you. Why can’t you do the same for me?” Liana’s vision grew darker, just like the linens beneath her gashed neck. Mortality ebbed. Death beckoned with false fingers. Liana’s memories swam and golden visions visited her with lamenting grace. She was right. I destroy. Your life is gone. Cristophe is gone. I shouldn’t have tried to cheat you. But I did and now you have paid a bitter price indeed. Will I ever be able to make this right? Laurent ripped his fangs from her torn, bloodied flesh. He gripped her chin and stared down into lifeless sage. “You deserve to die. I’ll finally be done with you if I do it.” “It won’t change anything.” The brittle whisper held the power of a thousand screams. “But I welcome you to try, Laurent.” Sorrow replaced fury. “I should…” Liana could barely keep conscious. Her ears felt as if they were stuffed with wads of dense wool. Her pupils left only a thin ring of emerald to denote her eye color. She swallowed with difficulty. 39
Claudia D. Christian
“Do it, Laurent.” “I can. I can kill you.” Liana’s throat felt chalky like her bleached skin. “Then do it. Do it now. Change our fate, Laurent, and do it now!” she cried out in agony before slipping beneath the growing waves of her flailing senses. No, damnit! I have to be stronger! As always, it was too late for Liana. I can’t fight… Indecision melted beneath the fires of determination, leaving Laurent’s inhuman gaze to glitter with bliss. “I should but I won’t.” He brushed his ruby lips against hers. He smiled when her tongue shot out and lapped up the glistening beads. Laurent watched in besotted fascination when Liana mewled, even as her face crumpled in torment. “Do you want more?” he crooned. Beyond herself, she nodded her head with sudden, frantic vigor. Laurent settled his mouth across hers. He smirked as her voracious lips and tongue cleansed him of every bloody drop. Numbness disintegrated while agonizing needles pricked Liana’s skin to life. She turned her head away. Instead of cherishing her apparent stay of execution, Liana suffered more intensely than before. Now there’s only one way out. “I want to make you mine. Only mine. Do you hear me?” “I’m already yours,” she replied. Her broken tone did nothing to take away his satisfaction. “No. I’m going to make you like me. Tonight.” She feigned surprise. “What?”
“I said I’m going to make you like me.” Laurent drew the words out, speaking to Liana as if she were a precocious child. “You can’t!” False panic laced her shrill tone. “You can’t make me like you, Laurent!” “I can and I will.” “No!” She was nothing more than a doll, empty of truth and the epitome of illusion. “Please don’t!” Laurent heard the subtle notes of Liana’s despair. Empathy softened his posture. “I won’t be cruel when I bring you across, little bird.” He brushed back her damp hair. “Your rebirth won’t be like mine. I promise you.” “Laurent, you cannot make me a vampire. You’re still a fledgling. You don’t know how to do it yet.” Laurent’s expression turned mean and forbidding. “Watch your tongue before I truly lose all mercy with you!” He rolled away from her. “I’m lord here. I can do whatever I want. I don’t care what you think.” Liana accepted his petulance, bitterly understanding there was nothing else she could do. “I’m turning you. Me.” “Fine.” Worthlessness consumed her. Liana turned on her side, away from him. “Cristophe could be your lover, father, friend…I don’t care! I’m going to be more to you than him.” “You already are.” Laurent put his hand on her shoulder. “Why aren’t you fighting me?” “Because it doesn’t matter.” Her spiritless answer spurred Laurent to push Liana onto her back. “Didn’t you hear me? I’m going to make you an abomination.”
No matter how I visit it in my mind. Christian Acid burned her eyes. wanting him to shut his vicious mouth. “In my mind’s eye. she whispered consent.Claudia D. So much so that sometimes I wish you were dead.” She gasped. 42 . “No more…please don’t say anymore. holding your head under.” “You make no sense.” “Sometimes I fantasize about things. I pretend all my troubles are washed away with your carcass. “You’re not an abomination. until you drowned. “But I know it won’t change a thing.” “I know. finding twisted allure in never having met Laurent as well. I think about what life would’ve been like without you. no matter what you did. I know I’ll just end up here with you. “I do love you. You could never be one. “I want to tell you something. You know why?” Liana closed her eyes. “I imagine pushing you into the river.” Visceral agony gutted her.” Liana’s will began to crack.” “Don’t be this way! I can’t stand it!” Torment scarred his expression. I watch as your body floats away.” She shared his gruesome vision. Can I?” Unable to deny him anything. Liana. I can’t take it. little bird. little bird. twisting and straining in a frenzied effort to breathe through a sudden flood of tears. horrible things. Dark. leaving Liana on the precipice of living death. She kept them open and watched as Laurent sloshed about in a liquid hell.
Liana struggled to force down her loathing. what she had already done countless times before.” Agitation pulled at Laurent like tiny threads of discontent. I already told you. Seeing the tears running down her ashen cheeks. broken creature was her creation. Laurent nuzzled her palm.” Oblivious to her morbid confession. She gasped his name in useless benediction.Love Unfortunate “Because no matter how much it hurts me. Her mother’s words dirtied her.” Laurent rested his head next to hers while holding onto her small hand. this is where I want to be. Not until it’s done. Sanguine dreams erupted into ash and serrated truth cut into her heart. Laurent. “Don’t cry. “I love when I should hate and I hate when I should love.” “No. strengthening the bars in her lonely cage. “Even if it means making you a monster like me. No matter how much it ends up hurting you. 43 . This malicious. I was an abomination the moment I came into this world.” Laurent’s words reverberated in Liana’s shredded conscience. little bird. “I can’t. Laurent released her bloodied palm only to brush a kiss across his bite. Laurent. Next time I’ll win. Next time will be better.” Blame crucified Liana. This is all I have left. He kissed Liana’s flesh once before his fangs sank deep. “I want you. “You can’t make me what I already am. Hers and hers alone.” Tragedy nurtured his tender smile. he cooed in concern. His lust and my depravity. making Liana burn with the same coldness.” “We destroy the sons of God.” Liana knew what she needed to do.
Laurent.Claudia D. yes? Then give me one more time. “But I love you more. conscience numb.” Helplessness made a slave of Liana. “I’m not asking. and mind ruthless. muffling any protest.” Her blow pulled Laurent from distraction. “I hate you. He turned her face up. Liana accepted his hatred. “Please.” Her lithe arms snaked about his back. “I know. Always. His fingers traced the small welts while his black pupils became two pinpoints of terrible rage. Please grant me this last request.” “I do hate you.” Laurent finally fell upon her with an inhuman whine. “You dare strike me. Her chest tightened and she breathed his name in sorrow. “You want to make me like you. Christian She slapped him. Liana.” She arched up and caressed his reddened cheek with her lips and tongue. “I want one more time in your arms like this. Do you hear me?” “Yes. Please. You dare to strike your lord.” Suspicion and longing mated within his liquid gaze.” “Because I need you. “Why? It won’t change my decision. “Do you ever think of leaving these woods?” “And go where?” Laurent’s face relaxed with honest amusement. “Laurent.” Body aflame. 44 . why now? Why when it’s too late?” “Because I’ll always love you more. repeating her plea over and over again. He is my sin and I must eat him slowly. letting his claws prick the delicate skin.” Laurent’s mouth slashed over hers. The vivid outline of her hand darkened his lily cheek.” She peppered his neck and jaw with dying kisses. “Please. I hate you but…” Laurent’s expression trembled before collapsing.” Her heart flinched yet resolve ripened like the purest rose on a vine of decay.
” “Everyone here knows who your father is.” “So you choose to wallow in misery?” Anger darkened her verdant gaze. “I heard their insults. I’m sure you could apprentice with any number of masters. However.” “I am free. Liana missed his stricken expression. It only takes an arm and a blade. “Someplace you can be free.” He attempted to smile. Laurent.Love Unfortunate Liana shrugged her shoulders. It was obvious Laurent didn’t believe her last passionate declaration. Anywhere.” A glimmer of humor brightened his solemn expression. “You prefer to let these pissant villeins satisfy their malice at your expense?” Liana slammed her fist on the small table.” Liana dismissed his softly spoken answer with a wave of her hand. “Surely there are other places you could go. Liana.” Busying herself with proof of Laurent’s usual generosity.” Curiosity puckered his brow.” “It’s all I know. They all look down on you because you’re his by-blow. she tapped her fingers in thought. “I am what I am and I cannot change it. Even if I’m an outcast. but still found hunger gnawing at her insides.” She finished off her stew.” 45 . “I don’t understand. You don’t deserve it! I would’ve severed their heads with yon axe if you hadn’t stopped me.” “No. you’re not. “Leaving this place won’t erase my bastardy.” Liana noted his tremendous sadness. aware of her hunger. I’d be shocked if you told me you never thought about leaving this place and starting over. She swallowed several bites before saying.” “No. Pushing away the empty bowl.” “It doesn’t take skill to chop wood. With your strength and skill. I can bear it because this forest is my home. I’m not. “You’re more than that. “I don’t know. He passed his remaining stew towards her. his mood quickly turned somber. “Being the lord’s son has been more a curse than a blessing in your life. Laurent.
“I know what it’s like to have people look down on you for something that’s not your fault.” Fierceness melted away. leaving Laurent obviously surprised at his actions. Several moments passed in tense silence. you are! You prefer to rot here and accept this miserable existence.” She waved her hand in emphasis.” “You don’t have anything to apologize for. 46 . The low rumble of anger building in his throat surprised her. It doesn’t! It just makes you a fool. This time his tone demanded respect.” “Then what is it?” Liana’s finger began tracing patterns on the table. Liana.” Rage swelled within her. “I’m sorry for taking my anger on you. When I see you accept it. “I’ve never spoken to you…or anybody…like that. it just reminds me of what happened to me. “Living in this hovel. Christian “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. When I see it happen to you. chopping wood for people who see you as shit on their feet—it’s disgusting! It’s as if you think suffering brings you closer to nobility. It’s not just this place that makes me so angry. “If yyou don’t like it then l-leave.” “What?” Liana narrowed her gaze in speculation. Laurent looked up and met her gaze.” Laurent hunched his shoulders.” “Is that why you ran away?” She smiled bleakly and shrugged her shoulders.” “I see you do have some pride.” She pushed the half-eaten stew away. it reminds me of how I accepted it once. I’m sorry. “How can you be so gutless?” “I’m not gutless. then you are free to go.” “Yes. It is I who should be asking your forgiveness. “If my home is so beneath you.Claudia D.
“Even me. You’re a little bird who’s free. Laurent’s fangs sliced the tender flesh. will you?” Interest gave way to acceptance.” Liana’s nimble fingers quickly freed him.” Liana’s hands stroked Laurent’s back feverishly. she moaned against his open mouth. he continued his carnal assault. keeping it as dear to her heart as all the others.” “Everyone wants to flee their cage. More than this. waiting to tumble headlong into an addictive dream.” 47 . When she felt his cock in her hand. to take her into his very body. “Remember what I said. “Don’t worry.Love Unfortunate “You won’t tell me. Liana. raking through skin like perfect thorns. You’re the only person I’ve ever met who’s actually done it.” Mindless passion retreated and disturbed adoration sharpened his gaze. huh? Even you?” He let out a long. he opened her mouth wider. “I need to be inside you. Because I love these woods enough to accept any pain. Liana guided him to her slick entrance. Spreading her legs. Everything about her delighted his senses and Laurent knew he couldn’t wait any longer. “Because my good memories outweigh the bad ones. Laurent found himself wanting to consume her. Liana gave herself over to lust. Laurent’s fingers skimmed her jaw as they laid claim to her neck. She trembled in eagerness. Laurent moaned in dizzying pleasure as he ground his hips against hers. but despite Liana’s small cry of pain. slow breath. Everyone wants to flee their cage at least once. How can a place that brings so much humiliation be home?” Laurent thought about his answer for several moments before replying. I’ll always love you more. Keeping hold of Liana’s jaw. “So beautiful…so fucking beautiful. holding onto this memory. Little nails turned into passionate claws.” “That’s what I don’t understand.
maintained his frantic pace. The delicious friction between them made Liana hungry and crazed. “Laurent!” Her fingers entangled themselves in his silken hair. Liana felt her primal side emerge. he reared back before slamming forward. she flung her arms above her head and gripped the sheets. She abandoned the twisted sheet and raked her nails down his chest. When she cried out her pleasure. forcing him to forget about the world outside of their tower. “Scream for me. Laurent pushed her legs up higher. Laurent released her neck in favor of clasping both thighs. Love bites reddened both of Liana’s breasts. I need to hear you. Laurent swooped down to capture a beaded nipple. Needing more. Liana’s hot sheath possessed him. “Ah! It feels so good!” she trilled.” he muttered against her open mouth. Exquisite spasms radiated throughout her body. Needing Laurent’s kiss. “Come for me. “Not yet—” She cut off his protesting growl with her mouth.” With knees against shoulders. Liana pushed his face away from her throat. Laurent. Her cries made a devil out of him. Liana tilted her hips to meet his. greedy for every possible sensation. Keeping pace with his deliberate rhythm. turning it inside out. little bird. However. “You’re so beautiful when you come. “So very good!” Her stomach began to clench in time to his thrusts. Seating himself to the hilt. knowing her body as well as his own. Liana started to mewl his name against his parted lips. Soon beautiful repetition begat broken moans and murmurs of gratification. 48 . Come…” Her lover’s prose seduced Liana into flying apart.Claudia D. nature quickly took over and patience fell to the wayside. Christian Laurent closed his eyes and thrust into Liana’s warmth. he began to brand his wife’s silken flesh. Locking her arms around his straining back. Painting it with his tongue. Unable to resist Liana’s delectable pose.
Ever. Choked sighs ruptured in his throat. Laurent didn’t protest when she took hold of his arm. Unable to stave off the maddening pleasure. Flushed skin. “It feels so good! Don’t stop!” Masochistic gratification kept Liana’s stare focused on his desire. Too intent on reaching his own orgasm. Liana quickly had her husband hissing in carnal torment.” “We destroy the sons of God. Her rhythm violent. Laying her body next to his. she forced Laurent’s cock back inside. she listened to the rustle of his normalcy. His hand skimmed Liana’s hip and gave it a squeeze. panting his need for her. “Ah…ah…Liana…ah!” Laurent’s features crumpled in ecstasy. He kissed her neck and shoulders. Any moment now. Laurent arched his hips off the bed and groaned his release. His abandoned cries made Liana’s stomach twist with ravenous will. my lord?” Laurent nodded his head languorously. still sunk deep within his carnal senses. Liana tongued his wrist before letting it drop. Laurent’s strokes grew fiercer. he nuzzled her shoulder before kissing it. I don’t want us to leave this tower. little bird?” 49 . Without further warning. exposing surprising strength. demanding she lean against them. and harsh breathing were all a cruel throwback to his humanity. Turning his head. glistening eyes. Laurent reached for her. she sank blunt teeth into his wrist. Straddling his waist. concentration intent. “Did I please you. His hands gripped her churning hips while he brought his thighs up. “I don’t want to ever leave you. She pushed him on his back.” Liana slipped out from beneath Laurent.Love Unfortunate Charred by his wife’s orgasm. “Did I please you as well. We shred them apart—make them do our will. Laurent’s fangs glinted in the waning candlelight.
Claudia D. Christian
“You always do.” “Good.” Several minutes passed in stilted silence when Laurent declared abruptly, “It’s time.” Liana bit her lip and called forth a seemingly inexhaustible well of strength. “I know.” He raised himself up on one elbow. Laurent pulled Liana’s locks away from her neck. Several strands stuck to the damp skin. His fingers plucked them off before slipping an awkward hand beneath her head. “Are you ready?” Liana presented her neck with perfect docility. “Please get it over with.” If he was less than pleased with her response, Laurent’s mannerisms didn’t betray that fact. He kissed her mouth once. “I don’t want to hurt you more than I need to, but you’re right. I don’t really know how to do this.” “But you’re still determined anyway.” He flinched from the quiet condemnation in Liana’s voice. “I need your help. When I’ve taken enough, tap my side. I promise I’ll stop.” Without waiting for an answer, Laurent settled his fangs over her pulse. Spite controlled her. What a childish way to plan a conversion. Liana felt him pierce her flesh. Blood rushed out before settling down to a sluggish trickle. It became harder to breathe and the cold burned. Dimly, she wondered if her mother had foreseen this miserable fate with glee. It’s time. Liana tapped his side once. True to his word, he released her immediately. However, when Laurent made move to slash his wrist, she stopped him. “How else will you receive my blood?”
Liana sat up, swaying from the effort. When he reflected her position, she snatched his arm. “What are you doing?” Laurent demanded while attempting to pull his wrist away. It didn’t move. Once Laurent had asked Liana if she was an angel. “You’re biting me.” His voice cracked as omnipotence gave way to victimization. She had told him, “I’m just like you.” “Let go!” Liana had lied. “I said let go of me!” Laurent wanted to make Liana a vampire but he couldn’t. “Stop now!” She already was one. Liana saw the terror in his face and looked away. “I’m sorry but I can’t. This time it’s too late for us, Laurent.” Before he could scream again, she sank her elongated fangs deep. “Oh, my god!” Laurent pitiful moaned recalled their first meeting. Shame flickered before falling into dirty bliss. His fair flesh parted like a bloody flower. Liana’s tongue ran along the red petals, deepening the gash. “The pain makes me remember everything. How could I have forgotten? How? WHY?!” Because I make you. “How many years, Liana? How fucking long…” She kept draining him, not receiving any spiritual comfort from the end of her starvation. Laurent’s dead whisper reached her easily.
Claudia D. Christian
“If this is all there is—end it. I don’t want to suffer like this anymore. ” Liana flung her head back. Eyes green as the most beguiling poison hardened with implacable will. “I will never give you up.” “Why? So you can continue to rape my mind?” Liana swallowed once, shaking off his justifiable venom. “I’m willing to spend the rest of my life begging for your forgiveness.” “Forgiveness? There is no forgiveness for what you’ve done, Liana. Not for now. Not for then. You put your hand in my chest and sent me into oblivion for…” “A hundred years.” His features froze in scattered chaos before shattering with her denouement. “The first time.” His jaw clenched in sick rage. “The first time? How many times since?” Her silence birthed his scream. “HOW MANY?!” “Nine-hundred and seventy-two.” Laurent’s face paled to the color of bone. “And years?” “Eight-hundred.” “It can’t be.” His entire expression collapsed into dust. “I’ve been stuck here for so long…falling deeper in madness…” “I didn’t mean to do it, Laurent. You were obsessed with turning me. I couldn’t make you stop! You just kept coming and so I panicked. I…I…didn’t know you were going to get sealed! I swear it!” “Sealed. That’s what this is?” He turned accusing eyes in Liana’s direction. “Evil and perverse. Even after Cristophe turned me, you kept quiet. You let me think you were just a human. But in reality, you’re a bigger monster than I could ever be.” “Please don’t say that.” Silver flame flashed in disgust when Liana reached out in supplication. “Don’t you put your hands on me!”
But even locked away in slumber. You’re right.” “So why didn’t you?” Liana flinched. Even if you can’t forgive. Hel needed me to break her seals. But she didn’t love me back. I almost did…because I loved her so much.” “Yes. It’s the least you can do. they never came any easier.” He took perverse pleasure in Liana’s broken posture. please just try to understand. seeing all the times I could’ve taken courage and told you. Before she could use it…the Elders…my guardians…found a way to seal her.” “Not just you. How could you’ve understood. Laurent knew that and wanted to wound her. much less believed?” “Tell me who you really are.” Liana stared at her hands. I was just a tool to her. No matter how many times she said the words. “What they don’t say is how she had the power to help bring this world to an end. but not before accomplishing her first goal—giving birth.” She nodded. many. Demons—that’s what she was. He succeeded beautifully.” 53 .Love Unfortunate Liana drew back and pleaded in a voice hoarse with pain. I want to hear it again. Unholy to God.” “Pagan beliefs. my love. feeling the helplessness of her origins.” “I’ve told you before. clinging to the pitiful hopes attached to a scornful endearment. “You were just a human. I should’ve told you why I ran. “She quickly drove him mad. “Please try to understand. I replay it in my mind. wasn’t she? I don’t have to wonder what that makes you. “Have you ever heard of Hel? Legend records her as being the half-dead daughter of Loki and ruler of the Underworld. over and over again. don’t you think?” Laurent’s unforgiving stare unnerved her. many times. Hel still had the strength to summon a man to her forsaken tower. “Finish your tale.
” “I am not! Hel loved nothing but death. “So know this—I couldn’t hate you more than I do now. I influence wars and bring about unspeakable death. I don’t love it. Liana. “I’ll kill you. Who I was didn’t matter.” Liana’s fine features twisted in a tortured grimace. I love nothing but you. I became more than just a divine hammer. Don’t forget Cristophe. I’ll keep doing it over and over until you’ve paid for what you’ve done to me. Don’t forget how much you love that monster too.” Liana choked back her tears. but I’m not like the rest. “I’m a vampire. He smiled with bitter glee. “But I changed when I met you. will you try with me?” Laurent trembled with loathing.” “It does matter because you haven’t changed. I can’t be controlled. I can’t be stopped and it takes very little for me to follow my nature. I’ll rend your limbs apart.” “I know.Claudia D. but what happened each time afterwards.” “Why?!” 54 . When you looked at me. not just me.” Unabashed love shined brightly amidst tears.” “Me? Hmph. “If I let you stay awake. I’ll think it’s our first night in the tower. and wait until your ashes regenerate. burn you alive. The blood of gods and kings runs through my veins. knowing she deserved his venom. but this is who I am. Laurent. you saw what I could be.” Laurent studied the effect of his cruelty. For what was going to happen tonight. Laurent. Christian The bitter words held a wealth of meaning for Liana. Not for what happened the first time. It doesn’t have to now. “When I wake again.” She met his gaze squarely. You are your mother’s daughter.” “I have!” “No. “No. Then I’ll do it again.
Liana stumbled from the bed and rushed towards the door.Love Unfortunate “I don’t know. “I do love you. even yourself. She feared to make things worse. She laid her small hand over his heart. “THIS isn’t any different than any of the other times—and you never had a conscience to bother you before. Her fingers slid the bolt into place. she slammed it shut. You manipulate it so I’ll never suspect the truth. “And maybe one day you’ll let us both fly from this cage.” Her wounded sigh enraged him. Yanking it open.” Bitter sobs rent the silence as she gave into her anguish. Laurent. Power pooled from her fingertips into his chest.” “I’ll never get to go to Heaven because of what I am. the people. but it meant nothing. seizing his heart. little bird. Maybe one day you’ll see. Because you don’t want me to know. 55 .” Obsessive attachment dictated her next move.” Harsh laughter dirtied the air. “Why wouldn’t you? You’ve kept everything the same.” “There is no other.” Helpless once more. locking her lover in perpetual slumber.” “Not yet. Liana claimed Laurent’s mouth in a wretched kiss. I won’t apologize because I’d do it all over again if it meant keeping you. will I?” Liana picked her words with precision.” Lifelessness overcame him. Liana may have made this ending different. “And maybe one day you’ll let us both fly from this cage. “No. broken. “Let me sleep. The fortress.” Laurent lifted a trembling hand and pulled her head down. little bird. When Liana pulled back. and bleeding on this side of the door—without Laurent.” “Everything I’ve ever done has been to protect you! I’ve whored my will to keep you! I’ve done profane things for this dream. Agonizing pressure threatened to send her crashing. Laurent’s eyes stayed closed. Now do it. Not like this. Not your Christian one. Once more she stood naked.
His silver-blond hair shimmered with unnatural brilliance. Only he could understand her sins—for they were also his.Claudia D. You’re here! Liana needed him desperately.” Cristophe stood at the darkened entrance.” Cristophe came forward and enveloped Liana within his arms. But in the end. I’m here for you. “When will you stop this madness?” The only answer the desolate vampire received came from the tower in the form of echoes. it didn’t matter because Liana and Cristophe couldn’t fight who they really were. unmindful of nudity or dignity. “I hoped that by now…” The words left unsaid cut to the core of her disgraceful existence. “Ssh. 56 . You’re not alone. they became monsters. Christian Footsteps scraped against worn stone. And so. Mournful echoes of his sister’s grief and their victim’s unnatural slumber. Once free. Cristophe bowed his head and wept.” Wounded cries spilled from her cracked lips as she clutched him tightly. interrupting her mourning instantly.” Liana sank to her knees. “How long are you going to keep doing this. they never left that tower—only collected broken companions. Liana?” he whispered hoarsely. “Why can’t I undo this?!” Two children were spawned in a forsaken tower. “He…hates…me. Nursed by hate and manipulation. “Laurent HATES me. knowing there was nothing he could do to mend the tragedy he had helped create. they thought to challenge their destiny. “I lost Laurent again.
Liana. “Everything at this manor is just how it was then. I haven’t seen you since Vietnam.” Slender fingers ran through her hair with long. knowing exactly what her brother was going to say—what he always said. “That’s why you’re here. What you're doing to him is cruel and wrong. I’ll never stop until I get him back. isn't it? After all.” While a beautiful smile teased the corners of Cristophe’s full mouth. "Everything's perfect except for me. “I care not. soothing strokes. “And if it doesn’t happen?” “It will! Laurent is mine. how long will you fight this losing battle? Eight centuries have already passed! How many times will I find you like this?” “As long as I exist. “War is coming. She rubbed her cheek against Cristophe’s damp coat. chilled by what she had been racing against frantically. It’s all perfect…so why do I keep failing?” “Because HE doesn't want this. don't you see?” "Everything's perfect. Liana. I will cure his madness. his eyes reflected terrible sadness. watery sigh.Love Unfortunate Love Unfortunate – Epilogue Hours passed before Liana let out a final. Why else now?” “Because our nature calls." she murmured as if she never heard him speak. “Liana. That's why. Cristophe. Iraq has just invaded Kuwait." “I know. This is why—” “But it won’t stop me from trying again. The Shapeshifters I hire ensure that even the people look exactly the same. He hates us both. Pity and helplessness scarred his ethereal beauty.” she interrupted violently.” She held his gaze for several moments before shrugging. “Laurent hates me.” 57 .” “Even the End of Days?” Liana pulled away.” Cristophe tightened his arms. I’ll cure it and no one will take him away before then.
I love him. Can't you see?” “No. This is madness.” “I don’t do it for sport. Nothing will change it. he loves me. Liana!” Cristophe kept close to her heels. “What happened at the beginning cannot be taken back. You’re right. Liana. “He's getting better. “I’m needed here.” “No!” Liana whirled around and pushed against his chest.” Liana waited for him to say his peace before exiting. It was a trial of patience but she owed him this much.” 58 .” Liana stood up. I shouldn’t have said that. I’m just trying to fix it. Tonight was different. “You spend exactly twenty days in this tower. Liana. Cristophe.” “I know you believe it. “I’m sorry. Don't ever suggest it again!” Cristophe grasped her violent hands with gentle pressure. Liana. “He loved you. Neither you nor your ridiculously overpaid scientists can erase the past.” She stated the words with the calmness of someone too maddened to see anything else. Liana. Cristophe's tired whisper pleaded in favor of the inevitable. I’m just not used to real conversation.” “By replaying the same tape over and over again?” They reached the last step. Laurent belongs to me.” “You say it so matter-of-factly. “I will never free him. but what you're doing is eroding every bit of that away.” “I’m very aware of that fact. “So don’t you dare insinuate that I enjoy this anymore than you do. I will fix this.Claudia D.” Liana began her trip down the tower stairs. You’ve never made it to twenty-one. Christian “So you won’t come.” “I’m not trying to erase it.” “No. Any one of a hundred gods can take my place and provide you with an opponent. steps weary but sure. “It won't change.” Cristophe’s fiery tone belied his negligent posture. This madness won't stop until you free him.” “I know! Don't you think I know that! Those who can change time won't come here no matter how much I offer them so this is the only way left to me!” “They won't come because this is something that can't be erased.
You wouldn’t understand. but don’t you see? You can’t fix what we broke because it is not meant to be fixed. You’ve refused to change one thing of your appearance. She turned away and pushed the door open.” She whirled about.Love Unfortunate “Why can't you?” “I tried. designed to pierce through Liana’s apathy. Cristophe.” Liana yanked her hands away from his. Cristophe. And I see what loving Laurent is doing to you. scientists. uncaring of her nudity or the swarm of bodies who could see it. Cristophe viewed the milling crowd with mild disgust.” “I never kept you from leaving. is still there. “You’ve killed to keep all away. It infuriated him.” “Then what are you saying?” “I’m saying I left because I couldn’t stand to see you continue to barter your life away to chase this dream. “You’re going back to the lab. So stop trying to convince me otherwise!” 59 . I left because this is never going to change. and Shapeshifters gave his sister's madness legitimacy.” Exasperation laced his voice. I was more than willing to help you and did for over three-hundred years to make this right. rage contorting her fine features. You’ve defied the Elders and threatened to send this world to Hell to keep this land. aren’t you? Back to your data and reports?” “What do you think?” “I think that you’re going to end up destroying whatever is left of his mind! If it’s not destroyed already.” Cristophe’s next words shot out. “I’m not saying you did. my Laurent.” “I understand love because I love you.” “You didn’t love him. “It’s not destroyed! Laurent. The array of guards. You’ve never lost anyone like this.
We have a little over twenty years left.” Her hand tightened on the door handle. they're right. “I have to leave. 60 . but I will see you soon. I'll send word of the next engagement. It's how we choose to live that determines the quality of our existence. Don't mock them. “Do you want to come up for a bit?” “No.” He didn't wait for an apology that didn't exist.” Cristophe saw her nod her head in acceptance while reaching for the door.” “Legacy? Curse is more apt. Liana?” “Yes. There is no rest for the wretched Children of Hel. he clasped her in his arms. Liana. A silver door appeared in place of battered stone. “Things are getting worse—even without me leaving this compound. I truly do. Liana. “I hope you are right. she slipped it on and motioned for Cristophe to follow. “What do you feel. Cristophe nodded his head and murmured. He repeated his question of before. I won’t let you shoulder our legacy alone. “The Elders believe the seals will break before this generation grows old. Brother. I don't believe you've prayed enough today. “I’m running out of time. Christian Identical gazes glared in stalemate. But we are as we are. There wasn’t anything left to say.Claudia D.” “My prayers are spent on you. What do you feel?” She watched her lead scientist approach with robe in tow. Liana.” Cristophe remained silent. not that he minds. Aries must be becoming fat.” She swallowed once and replied.” “He's been very busy. “Go back to Rome. The final visual enchantments about the castle fell with a brush of her hand.” Cristophe kissed her brow and released her. thank you.” She returned his embrace. Accepting the garment with thanks. I really have to go. The cold metal reminded Liana of the fear spiking in her heart.” Liana's patience with her brother's lectures had long since come to an end. Finally. Instead. “I’ll come to the next one after Iraq.
I should’ve…” His words died and humorless laughter disturbed the night air. “Hmm. Hel is not and you are not her. but I am. but we're not there. Cristophe. is it? La Belle au Bois dormant is remembered fondly. I know she tried to force her will on you while I dreamt. Don’t you see why the guilt has been killing me? I didn’t want to be alone. e Talia is the closest to remembering us and it's still wrong.” “I'm beyond scarred. why can't I?” Cristophe didn’t pretend ignorance. I knew what would happen and I didn’t care. Hel didn't exist for me. I believed Laurent was safe and he wasn’t. I wanted Laurent. 61 . I never imagined that our mother’s blood would drive him mad.” “Oh.” Liana opened the door and stared blankly at the stark white stairwell.” “Sometimes. I carry the guilt as strongly as you do. before the Elders took us away.” “Why?” “It was just us. I should’ve never listened to the Elders. “I know that's not what it was for you. That's not how history remembers it though. So it is my burden and I will change history. I know she spoke to you. Liana. I know she scarred you in ways she couldn't do to me. but you did and I let it happen. I should’ve never done it. Sole.” “It's not just your burden. so determined to be able to seduce France’s Dauphin. “Even sealed away. “We may have been forgotten but we're here. No matter what I will change it and I will be forgotten but my way. I'm her. Liana. all the while driving an innocent man insane. “You know.” he repeated.Love Unfortunate “Do you ever miss how we were?” she asked suddenly. conceive and give birth to us. Hel was so powerful. I didn’t protect him then and then I betrayed him twenty days later. Luna.” Futile regret brushed across his words.” “It’s not just your burden. so I left that for you. Only you. And because of my blindness. So if history has the power to change the truth. I also knew I’d never be able to turn him. I believed you that night.
“He’d still be there if I had listened to anyone else. and made him sleep for a hundred years!” She trembled with disgust. I wait and hope to make it to twenty-one days. I panicked. I can’t let him awake alone. Liana and Cristophe had always known. We destroy the sons of God. You are me. What was she going to do? She knew. I would’ve never known he was alive. We defile the pure.” Liana sighed brokenly. So I have to be here.” “And how much time will that give you to go back to the tower?” “A few hours.” He remembered finding her with Laurent so many centuries before. put my hand in his chest.” “Then what will you do?” Cristophe’s question peeled away the layers of resentment. He tried to turn me.” Familiar resignation beat him down. Cristophe. We shred them apart—make them do our will. annihilate the weak. It has to be like the first night he brought me here. pity. Cristophe. One before this all falls apart. So did he. Liana. “If I hadn’t been crazed myself with grief…if I had buried him—” “But you didn’t.” “I don’t want to. You kept him here in the tower. Cristophe shuddered from the memories. and futility. There never was.” 62 .Claudia D. We can only study his consciousness.” “But you will. Christian “You’re wrong. Then I wait. I sealed him away. “When do you think Laurent will awaken next?” “The Lab thinks it could be as early as another month. There was no reasoning with his sister. You will. We haven’t been able to understand what triggers the Awakening. Please try to understand. “I am you. But then again it could take another year. "I want at least one lifetime with him.
Someone who wasn't a monster. Liana had tried to walk Laurent’s human path. Laurent’s my sin and I must eat him slowly. he had chosen kindness. She had found a soul who understood pain and shame.Love Unfortunate Liana had stumbled across her heart’s desire in Laurent. She wanted to be someone else at least one lifetime. She had thought her submissiveness. However. but whereas she had engorged herself with rage. and suffering led the way to benevolence. “I know what I'll have to do. self-pity.” 63 . the more she tried the more she saw exactly what kind of monster she really was. But until then.
Christian 64 .claudiadchristian. It’s a place for me to publicly experiment with storylines.Claudia D. I don't appeal to the masses but I do appeal to angst junkies. short stories. to post work-in-progress novels. I craft tales of moral ambiguity and am drawn to stories with a low fluff content and a high emotional pain meter. If you enjoyed this short story. Christian AUTHOR CHAT I'm an unrepentant dark romance writer of angst who loves vicious villains and impure heroines. and share info on other dark romance writers whose work I just adore.com. I’d love to see you there! ---Claudia D. please feel free to visit my website www.
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