The Shadowy Realm Between Good and Evil

I lived my life on the edge, always exploring the dark aspects of the unknown. So, as my senior year of high school came to an end, my two friends, Ilysa, Taylor and I planned a trip to the east coast of Maine. A trip that would take us into the darkest realm of evil that we could ever imagine. A trip filled with love, magic, and the secret society of the Blood Lords. If we could change time, would we do it again? Saturday June 6th 2009 8:45am My father and I stood in the driveway of our upstate New York home, waiting for Ilysa and Taylor. The moment I heard the purr of Ilysa's new black BMW convertible around the corner, I looked away from my father. The top was down, and the twins' identical long curly blond hair blew in the cool morning breeze. My father grabbed my hand and said, “Izzy, please be careful.” Looking up at my father, I could see concern. No, not concern, but fear! Kissing his cheek, I whispered, “Don't worry daddy, I'll be fine.” With a fake grin, he said, “I know, kiddo.” While watching his only child ride away, James Morgan, jumped the moment his wife touched his arm. Smiling at her husband, Amanda said, “She'll be OK.” “I don't know, Amanda, I have a strange feeling.” “You always feel that way when she leaves us.” As Amanda led her husband back to their home, he whispered to himself, “This time is different, my love; I can feel it deep in my bones.”

Most of the six hour drive was a blast. Cher blaring from the XM radio, the cool ocean breeze

blowing in our hair. Until after lunch, when the clear blue sky turned dark and ominous, and the only sound was the wipers' constant beat to the rhythm of the torrential rain. By the time we made it to my grandmother's Victorian estate in Jonesport, Maine, the early evening sky was unusually dark, dark as midnight. From the road, I noticed that the caretaker had the old house lit up, awaiting our arrival. While driving up the winding gravel road, I could hear the angry roar of the ocean waves crashing up over the jagged rocks that lay at the bottom of the twenty-foot cliff. Suddenly, lightning streaked across the sky, followed by a loud clap of thunder. Taylor jumped, and screamed, “What the hell, I never seen a storm like this before.” Ilysa looked over at her twin sister; laughing, she said, “Look at the storm as an adventure.” “Why is it that everything has to be an adventure for you?” “Oh Taylor, you must treat life as a grand adventure. Now, when the next streak of lightning flashes, run to the porch.” As the three women ran to the house, none of them saw the stranger that watched them from the edge of the cliff. Wet and cold, Taylor looked at her sister and said, “Now what, Miss Adventurous, our clothes are out in the car?” “Don t worry, I have a plan. I pop the trunk lid, Izzy can build a fire in the fireplace, and you, my dear twin, can run out and get the suitcases.” Before Taylor had a chance to have a complete meltdown, Izzy said, “How about I go get the suitcases, and you two build the fire.” Snatching the keys from Ilysa's hand, I ran out into the pouring rain. Just before getting to the car, I saw the red glowing eyes staring at me from over by the cliff. They were too high up to be an animal, and not the silver reflection of a deer. Could it be the same red eyes that belonged to the stranger that pulled me to safety from the side of the cliff as a child? Could it be the red eyes that I would see at nights, when I was a teenager, watching the storms roll in from the sea?

My thoughts were interrupted by the blinding flash of lightning, and in that brief moment I saw him. Tall, dark and ominous, yet I felt no fear. Mesmerized by his hypnotic pull, I began to walk towards him. Just before reaching the cliff, the red eyes disappeared in a blinding flash. Behind me, I heard a rush of wind, then a gentle hand grabbing my arm, pulling me to his hard, masculine chest. My breath caught in my lungs as I looked up into his dark brown eyes. Looking down at me, the rain dripped from his thick black eyelashes, and his long dark hair was plastered to the most gorgeous face I had ever seen. When he spoke, his voice was strong and filled with authority beyond his years, yet it was beautiful. He said, “Elizabeth, you must not come out when the sun is completely down. There's many dangers on the side of the bluffs, now go get your luggage, and stay in the house until the storm passes.” Leaning down, he slowly kissed her lips; within the time it took to pull away from her, he was gone, nowhere to be seen. He was like the vapor in the foggy mist that lingered around the bluff.

Chapter Two

Sunday, June 7th 10:45am I awoke to the smell of food and coffee. I knew that it was Taylor in the kitchen, for she loved to cook, unlike her identical twin. The two of them were so not alike, and yet they complemented each other; never would you find them apart. The three of them had their breakfast out on the veranda that overlooked the ocean. Handing me my cup of coffee, Ilysa said, “You never did tell us what took you so long getting our luggage last night.” “Oh, it was nothing, I thought I saw an animal down by the bluff.” Startled, Taylor shouted, “An animal! What kind?” “My God, Taylor, it's not like we're in the Serengeti; we're in Maine for God's sake. The most it could have been would be a possum.” Laughing, Izzy said, “Do the two of you ever stop bickering?” The two of them shouted at the same time, “NO!” The day went as planned, walking the beach, shopping in the small village, and eating lunch at a outside ocean view café, yet my mind wasn't far from the gorgeous stranger. The stranger, without a name, the stranger that seemed to know me, for he used my full name. By the time we made it back to the house, the dark clouds were rolling in. In the far distance, the lightning was flashing across the open ocean. Ilysa sped up the drive, and said, “Hurry up, I want to get our nightly stroll in before the storm gets too close.” “I'd say is already too close; if you can see the lightning or hear the thunder, I think it's too

close.” Ilysa took her sister's hand and said, “Come on, stop being a bump on a log. We'll be back before the storm arrives.” Releasing her normal sigh, Taylor followed Izzy and Ilysa down the steep path that led to the water. With a smile, Taylor took in a deep breath of the warm salty air. She said, “It is nice and peaceful.” The sound of the waves and the song of the seagulls was so refreshing that they walked further than they had planned. The sun had already started to set over the high bluff, and the sky was a deep purple. Izzy knew that with the storm coming in, there would be no stars to light the way, and she wasn't sure if she could find the trail in the dark. Not wanting to scare Taylor, she said, “Let's see how fast we can make it back. I'm starving, and all I can think about is the lobster Taylor's cooking for us.” Ilysa gave Izzy a strange glance, knowing something was up, but decided not to say anything. As they turned to head home, the loose gravel on the side of the bluff gave way, and slid down the side of the cliff. Looking up, they saw nothing, but felt a strange sense of being watched. Taylor grabbed her sister's hand, and said, “Let's get out of here” Their brisk walk seemed to get faster and faster, until they were at a fast jog. The sun was nearly gone, and the purple sky had faded to a smoky gray. Suddenly, they stopped when they heard a strange growl coming from up ahead. It was too far away, and with the sun completely gone, it was too hard to make out what it was. Twenty feet above their heads, the women could hear fighting, and growls,from no animal they had ever heard before. It sounded like the creature in front of them of them was climbing up the side of the cliff. Izzy grabbed both of her friends' hands and ran like never before. They had ran for at least ten minutes before slowing down, fearing they might pass the trail. Ilysa used her hand to skim the side of the bluff, hoping to feel the carved path that Izzy's grandfather had dug out over ten years ago. When Ilysa stumbled over a large stone, she knew she had found the carved path. Tugging on the other two , she whispered, “I found it!”

After running for their lives, the steep walk was a challenge, even for the three track runners. Just as they crested the top of the bluff, Ilysa came to an abrupt stop, causing the other two to stumble into her. Twenty feet ahead, red glowing eyes were watching them, and then a deep, angry masculine voice said, “Get into the house, and don't leave until the sun shines. I told you last night, Elizabeth, that the bluff was not safe.” “I thought-” Interrupting her reply, he shouted, “I could give a damn what you thought; now, get in the house. Lock the doors, and don't come out at night, unless you have a death wish.” Stunned by his anger, Izzy stood speechless until Taylor pulled on her arm and said, “Let's get out of here.” “Yes, listen to your friend. Go now!” The three of them ran to the front of the house. Just as they were going up the stairs, Izzy said, “Go in the house. I'll be right back.” As she ran off the porch, Taylor yelled, “NO!” Pushing her sister through the front door, Ilysa locked it behind them. Looking out the window, it was too dark to see Izzy. Frantically, Taylor began to search for the lights.

Izzy could see his red eyes at the edge of the bluff. As she started to walk to him, the red glow was gone with the blink of an eye. The next thing she knew, he was standing inches from her. Pulling her into his arms, he whispered, “You don't listen very well, do you Elizabeth?” With his lips inches from her mouth, she whispered, “Who are you?” He let out a long sigh, and he said, “Does it matter? You'll be gone by the end of summer.” Strange overwhelming feelings surged through her; with tears in her eyes, she whispered, “Yes, it matters. At least tell me your name.” Just before their lips met, he whispered in the sexiest voice, “Tegan.”

Her lips were as sweet as strawberries, and the scent of her blood was intoxicating; oh, how he craved for just one taste. He knew if he took just a sip, the mating bond would be complete, for he had given her his heart years ago, yet she knew nothing of him. When she would come to visit her grandparents as a child, he would protectively watch over her. Then one year, she came to spend the summer. She had grown into a young adult, and he would watch her read, laugh, and take long walks by the water; that was when he gave her his heart. His father Markus, head of the Reichen clan, was furious; he would say, “You must find a mate who is suitable. She knows nothing of the Bloodlords, and you, my son will one day be head of our clan. Forget about her; find a Blood mate that has been raised in the Dark Haven, a mate who has accepted our secret.” He knew being with her like this was dangerous. If the Quentin clan knew of her, they would use her against him, and if his father knew, he would kill her. With the two fears raging through his mind, he knew the only way to protect her was to be cruel. Pushing her away from his locked lips, Tegan shouted, “Get back in the house, and leave me alone, for I will just use you and then throw you away like I do all the other women that come and go in my life. Now go!!” I felt as if I had been punched in the chest; my lungs gasped for air, but found none. I stumbled backwards, shocked at why I felt this way. I only knew him for a brief moment, yet it felt like a lifetime. Suddenly, all the lights in the house lit up, and then the yard was flooded by the party lights that her grandfather had installed throughout the grounds. Tegan threw his hands up over his eyes, and with a deep growl he said, “Get in the house, and stay there.” He fled the light, with speed so fast that my eyes could not detect him. All I knew was one minute he was there, and the next he wasn't. Then I heard his harsh voice shout, “Damn it Elizabeth, get in the house.” Then he was gone.

Chapter Three

The next two days was uneventful, the three of us walked the beach, shopped, eat at verses outside cafés, but every time a man would walk by I look to see if it was Tegan. When night fall came we were locked up in the house. Taylor made sure the ground were well lite, and all the drapes pulled closed. The poor girl, dreaded night, she would stay busy cooking, baking, and reading her favorite romance author Jonathon Marion. When her eyes were so heavy that she could no longer keep them open, Ilysa, or I would bring her to bed. On the thread day, we stopped at a quaint little book store just north of Jonesport. While browsing I came a crossed an old book, “Legends and Mythes of The Jonesport Bluffs” After buying the book the three of us went to the café that was connected to the book store. When the pretty brunet waitress came to take our order, she looked down at the book, and said, “Thats the scariest book I've ever read.” Looking up at her I asked, “Why is that?” “Its true! Everything written in the book, is true. Stay away from the bluffs at night, the book says that the bloodlords seeks their pray the moment the sun sets. Their vampires you know, the book doesn't say that, but what els could they be.” Just then the book store owner came out, and in a paculur voice he said, “Take there order, thats all your hired to do!” When the waitress came back with their food, and lattes Izzy looked up at her, and said, “Do you know of a man name Tegan?” The moment she heard his name the waitress nearly dropped their lattes, in a low voice she said, “Its best that you done speak of his name.”

Taylor grabbed Ilysa's hand, and said, “I thing we should go home.” “Don't be ridicules, we haven't seen, nor heard nothing sense that night on the bluff. I'm not going to let a fricking waitress ruin our trip.” When I saw Taylor looking at me for support, I couldn't help, but say, “Sorry, Taylor I'm going to have to agree with Ilysa. Lets have fun, the waves are calm to day, lets go for a swim when we get back.” With a slit smiling, Taylor gave in, she said, “OK! But if we see or hear anything, I'm going home.” We decided to taking the back roads that wound around the bluffs home. That was when I saw an old Tudor home sitting back off the road, drawn to it I shouted, “Stop the car. Theres a house back there I want to see.” Pulling up to the old mansion, Izzy lied and said, “Wait for me in the car, I would like to see if my grandparents friends still leave here.” The man that answered the door, stood at lest six four, his long blond hair was pulled back in a ponytail. His voice was harsh, and cold when he asked, “How my I help you?” “I have an appointment to meet with a man name Tegan.” The look the man gave me, told me that he knew I was lying. Nearly, growling the man said, “Master Tegan is out of the house at this time, if you leave your name I will make sure he get back to you as soon as he arrives back home.” Trying to hide my fear of the man that glared down at me, I cleared my throat, and said, “Tell Tegan to call my office, to reschedule our appointment.” As I started to walk away, the man called out, “I need a name.” I turned back towards him, and said, “Izzy” Climbing into the back seat, Ilysa ask, “Who the hell was the crazy looking bear that answered the door?”

“I don't knew, my grandparents friends don't leave hear any more.” The man stood in the doorway watching the car disappear around the bend.

Chapter Four

The sun had just set when Tegan walked down to his father's library. The moment he entered the room, his father shouted, “Who the fricking hell is Izzy?” “How the hell would I know.” “Well, maybe because she came here looking for you. The woman down the coast, the one you've been obsessed with, her name is Elizabeth, isn't it ? It could it be her; you know how the humans like stupid nicknames, maybe she calls herself Izzy. I'll send Royce to take care of her and her friends.” “NO! I'll make sure she doesn't come back.” Pounding his fist onto the top of the desk, Markus jumped up, sending his chair slamming into the wall. He shouted, “Damn it boy, we're in the middle of a coup with the Quentins, and once that is complete, you my son will be head of my clan. Tegan, I'm eleven thousand years old, it's time for you to take over, and find a bloodmate.” “I'm not interested in the women of the darkhaven, nor do I plan on taking over Mr Quentin's clan. Why can't we just live in peace with one another?” With a loud growl, Markus jumped over his desk, landing inches from Tegan. He grabbed his son by the throat and snarled, “For your information, Dante isn't interested in a truce, nor am I. Now go and get rid of that woman, or I will” As Tegan stormed out of his father's library, his father shouted, “Tegan, I have a bloodmate coming down form the darkhaven. She'll be here within the hour.” Tegan turned, looked at his father, and said, “Thanks for the warning. I'll make sure that I'm not here.”

“Damn it, Tegan, be here or don't come home at all.” Tegan ran along the bluffs faster than a human eye could detect. He had done this many times over two hundred years, zig-zagging around the Quentin territory. Though the land belonged to neither the Quentins, or the Reichens. it was considered separate territories that neither clan would cross. Stepping onto the Morgan property was a violation, for that side of the bluff belonged to the Quentin clan. Tegan and his squire Royce have been protecting the Morgans from the time the first Mr. Morgan had started building the home over a hundred years ago. Dante's father had declared war on the Morgans for building their home on sacred territory, so protecting the Morgans became a full time job for Tegan and Royce. When Dante took over his father's clan, the war ceased until James and Cassandra Morgan disappeared, never to be seen again. Dante swore to Tegan that his clan had nothing to do with the disappearance. Tegan searched for months, never finding a clue as to what happened. He knew that if it were a human, he would have found clues to their whereabouts, but nothing showed up, leading him to believe that it was a clan member. Just on the edge of the forest, Tegan crouched low to the ground, listening to sounds of the night. With his keen senses, he could neither smell nor hear any of the Quentin clan. They knew they had frightened Izzy and her friends enough so that the women wouldn't be out on a moon lit stroll interrupting the Quentin feeding.

Chapter Five

Stepping out of the forest, Tegan walked to the bluff, where he had a prefect view of Izzy's bedroom window. The smell of her perfume-scented blood that surged through her veins set Tegan's teeth on edge. The moment he saw her silhouette through the sheer curtains, all that was vampire in him responded; the lust thinned his pupils and stretching his fangs. Turning off the lights, Tegan could hear the crisp sheets as Izzy climbed into bed. Walking toward her window, every cell in his body was lit with heat, with hunger for her. Tegan feared he couldn't be gentle, not when everything in him was fully awake, fully aroused. Everything vampire in him couldn't resist the pull that led him up the trellis to her open bedroom window. With his thoughts, he told her he was coming, coming for her. He could hear Izzy tossing and turning, muttering his name. Climbing through the window, Tegan whispered “Open your eyes for me, Izzy”. Though the room was dark, he could see her lavender eyes staring at him; he could feel her need welling deep within, calling for his touch, yearning for his mouth to touch hers. Tegan knew he could seduce the most beautiful women with just a thought, but Izzy was different. He had never called out to her, and never has she heard his voice echoing in her mind until now. It had always been her calling out to him. As a child hanging from the cliff, a curious teenager watching the storms roll in, he could hear her say, “Who are you? I sense your loneliness, your need to be touched. Come to me and I will comfort you,” and with those last words, she would fall asleep. Tegan knew she was his soul mate, for she was the one who called out to the lonely vampire. He knew she would love him for eternity. Not a Darkhaven mate, never!! Holding out her hand, Izzy said, “Come to me, Tegan.”

Sitting on the bed, he brushed her black hair back behind her ear, whispering, “Why don't you fear me?” “How can I fear the man who saved me.” He felt her hands come up around his neck, fingers linking together at his nape and holding him close. Pressing his lips to hers, she kissed him back, sighing into his mouth as he pushed her lips apart and plunged his tongue between them. Tegan needed to taste her, feel her; he needed her blood to seal the mating process, but not without her knowing what it meant. His yielding kiss became forceful, deliberate, as a male animal putting his mark on what was meant to be his, and his alone. He could feel his vampire tendencies surge. His teeth began to ache; he could hear her blood and smell it; if he didn't pull himself together, he would soon taste the sweet essence of her life force. Withdrawing from the lush sweetness of her mouth, she sighed, “No Tegan, don't stop.” Slightly laughing, Tegan, said, “In time my love, in time I will bring you more pleasure than you have ever known.” With her lips brushing against his, Izzy whispered, “I've never known pleasure before, nor have I been with a man.” “My sweet Izzy, you will never be with anyone but me.” His arrogance seemed to please me, unlike other arrogant men I've been around. Stroking the side of his face, I said, “Please me now, Tegan, I can't wait. It feels as if I've waited a lifetime for you. I need you now.” Kissing her warm lush mouth, he caressed her body with his hands, giving her the pleasure she craved. Panting his name, he put her to sleep with his mesmerizing thoughts.

Chapter Six
I could hear my father's ranting all the way up to my third floor loft. Tegan must not have come home after his night with that Elizabeth girl. Dreading the encounter, I left my loft and slowly headed down to my father's study. The moment I entered his private domain, he looked up at me and snarled, “Cassie, where the hell is your brother?” “How the hell am I supposed to know, Daddy? You're the one that told him not to come back.” “Damn it, Cassie, you know I didn't mean it.” Walking over to the large leather forest green chair and sitting down, Cassie said, “I know, Daddy, but you're too hard on him. You need to let him make his own mistakes, even if it means seeing that Elizabeth girl.” Markus got up and walked over to the large window that overlooked the ocean. He didn't look any more older than his son Tegan, and as a matter of fact, the two of them looked just alike. Well over six-foot, masculine body, chocolate eyes, and looks that made the most beautiful women turn and stare. The only difference was that Tegan kept his hair long, and Markus chopped his off. Running his fingers through his short, black crew cut hair, he just stared out the window. Walking over to her father, she placed her hand on his arm and said, “Go to him, Daddy; tell Tegan what you just told me.” Wrapping his arms around his daughter, Markus said, “What happened to my little girl, and when did you grow up and become such a wise woman, Cassie?” Kissing her father's cheek, she said, “Oh Daddy, I'll ways be your little girl.”

The knock on the door startled us. I looked over at Ilysa and Taylor and said, “Who could that be?” The three of us walked over to the door. The moment I saw him standing on the porch, a sigh of relief came over me. I turned back and looked at Taylor and Ilysa, and said, “Its OK, he's a friend.” Opening the glass door, I threw my arms around him. In a low growl, Tegan said, “I didn't expect a welcome like that, considering we just met.” Stepping back, I looked into his eyes; all I saw was a cold stare. Before I could ask what was wrong, Ilysa grabbed my arm, pulling me back. Then I heard her say, “Who the hell do you think you are, coming in here and talking to her like that?” When I heard a grueling growl come from deep in his throat, I stepped between him and my two friends; looking into his lost eyes, I said, “I think you need to go.” As he turned to walk away, I grabbed his arm and whispered, “What's wrong with you? One minute, you're soft and gentle, the next, cold and harsh.” Jerking his arm away, Tegan growled, “It was you that called on me; it was your voice that I could hear. Never once did I call out for you, so if I offend you, too bad.” To my surprise, it was Taylor's voice I heard. Breaking through the anguish that was building in my heart, it was she that screamed, “Get out, you bastard.” The next thing I knew, I was being embraced by my two friends, and through my tearful eyes I could see Tegan storming out of the house. I stood, staring at the closed door, wondering what had just happened. The night flew by with both Ilysa and Taylor asking questions that I didn't have the answers to. After everyone settled in for the night, I slipped out of the house and went and sat on the edge of the bluff like I had for years. I could hear the waves crashing on the rocks below, and in the distance I could see the storm rolling in. When the rain came, it was warm and gentle, caressing my skin, unlike Tegan's harsh words that scorned my heart. The moment I heard the soft voice behind me, I jumped up

and spun around; there, standing in front of me, was Tegan. I could see his red eyes glowing in the dark. I ran to him, stopping just before our bodies touched. With intensional slowness, he brought his lips to mine, consuming me with his touch, his taste, his smell. Through a breathy sigh, I heard him say, “We can't do this! My life is too dangerous for you. Tonight will be our last night, my love.” Just as I was about to ask why, he pushed me behind him. In a fighting stance, I heard a strange growl emerge from his throat. Then, within an instant, there was a man standing face to face with Tegan. They stood eye to eye; the stranger had the same eerie red glow to his eyes, and the same olive colored skin. The only difference was the length of their hair, otherwise they were identical. Markus placed his hand on his son's shoulder and said, “Stand down, Tegan; there's no need to be defensive.” “That depends on why you're here, father.” “What?! Father, he looks like your brother, your twin brother at that.” Both Tegan and his father looked at me. At that moment, I felt like prey staring into the eyes of my predators. Predators that were about to pounce at any moment. I began slowly walking backwards, then turned and ran as fast as I could, running right into Tegan. Looking up into his strange eyes, he said to me, “Where do you think you're going, Elizabeth? I told you, it's dangerous out there. Damn girl, you don't listen, do you.” “I don't know, Tegan, what's more dangerous; what lies out there, or you and your father?” “Always, what lies out there; you need to never fear me, nor my father.” Tegan looked back at his father and said, “Isn't that right, father?” “Tell her, Tegan. Tell her what we are. Then let her decide if we're dangerous or not.” “Tell me what,Tegan? What is he saying?” “Damn it Tegan, tell her, or I will .” Glaring at his father, Tegan said, “We're vampires.”

Chapter Seven coming soon!!!

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