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ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. The Morgan Diaries Copyright© 2008 Edited by Gretchen Neeley Cover art by Renee Rocco

Electronic book Publication: October 2008

This book may not be reproduced or used in whole or in part by any means existing without written permission from the authors, J. Morgan (jennmorgan69@yahoo.com) and/or Morgan Q. O’Reilly (morgan@morganqoreilly.com)

This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales is purely coincidental. The characters are productions of the authors’ imagination and used fictitiously.

The Morgan Diaries
Recounted from the Personal Memoirs of Jean Baptiste Morgane and Morgan Victoria Beauchamp October 2008

By J. Morgan and Morgan Q. O’Reilly

Special Thanks
To Renee Rocco and Lyrical Press, Inc. for providing the cover. www.lyricalpress.com

Dedication
This book is for our readers. You’re the reason we have so much fun doing what we do!

The Morgan Diaries

J. Morgan and Morgan O’Reilly

Prologue
The Memoirs of Jean Baptiste Morgane
30 November, Year of Our Lord 1761

I remember quite clearly that first morning, just a month ago. It isn’t often people recognize those moments when their old life has ended and a new one has begun. But then again, it isn’t often such touchstones are so clearly defined. That morning the spray of the surf washed over my feet, cleansing the blood from my boots as I stood in the shallows watching the moon slowly die. If only the sins blackening my soul could be cleaned so easily. Already, the curse was strong about me. The deceased scattered the beach behind me, but I took no notice of the stench of death surrounding me. My own death and rebirth weighed too heavily on my mind. My mouth tasted of copper, that sweet fragrance of life filling my nostrils. My revenge upon Diabolique was complete, but forever tainted by the horror she’d forced me to commit to enact it. If only I had understood the depths of depravity she would go to in such a vain attempt to save her miserable life. She had bespelled the villagers into mindless zombies to protect herself from me. What hope did simple fishermen have against a demon straight from her hell? I am ashamed to admit, even here in my most private of thoughts, that I tore through them with little regard for any friendship we once might have shared. My whole focus was on getting to the root of my evil. As the last man fell to my thirst, I walked into her home. When she saw me darken her door the sight of her face offered me little solace, but the beast within me leapt for joy at the fear in her eyes. She knew not the monster she had loosed upon the world. I taught her, and hers was the last scream to break the night. The witch foolishly thought my humanity would halt me from killing those I’d once called friends. No, she’d ripped humanity from me and left only a monster in its place. Now all who might speak of the infamy are no more. Only I remain to tell the tale. So, I begin a new journal, though I pray none will ever read it. The last of my human journals have gone with my first mate. If any care one day to learn of the Pirate Jean Baptiste Morgane, scourge of the sea, they’ll have to dive deep into the ocean to find the records. Though I wrapped the journals well, who knows how long the sea will be held at bay. Perhaps they will bring some meaning to this age of man for those who will certainly wonder what drove men to seek new frontiers and battle their nature to become more than the animals we were born to be. I leave such judgments to those fit to make them. Assuredly, I am not. I record this, my new unlife, more to assuage my conscience, as if writing it down will strip the memories from my mind. I am well aware of the folly of such delusions, but must do what I can to exist with this hellish creature I have become. Forsaking humanity and the love that damned me, I walk boldly into darkness. So begins the life of Jean Baptiste Morgane…pirate… vampyre.
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From the Memoirs of Jean Baptiste Morgane
Friday, 24 October, Year of Our Lord 2008

I saw her again tonight. This can be no simple happenstance. My first encounter with Morgan Beauchamp, PhD, Professor of Archeology and History, had been to settle my own personal curiosity. When I’d seen the announcement of her lecture concerning the Pirates of New Orleans, my first inclination had been to ignore it as I had the countless others seeming to spring up at the drop of a hat. Something impelled me to fight off the sluggishness of my existence and I found myself in the crowded lecture hall in spite of my misgivings. Call it a mild case of boredom gone wrong or whatever you wish. My lethargy abruptly ended the moment she stepped up to the podium. Never before had I seen a woman more entrancing. Not even Diabolique in all her dangerous beauty could compare to this woman. I know I swore to never mention that despicable creature’s name, but the sight of this vision wiped the memory of the witch’s infamy from my brain. Long flowing curls the color of ebony fell against a face that rivaled the perfection of a Botticelli or Michelangelo. My skin grew warm as Morgan’s verdant green eyes swam over me. I know well in that crowded room, her gaze took no more notice of me than if I were a fly upon the wall. Still, I could not fight the delusional wish that she saw me, took some small notice of me as something other than a body held in her thrall. For as she spoke, an age long dead came alive for me. I could once again feel the gentle spray of salt against my flesh, the warmth of the sun beating down on my brow as the flapping canvas sang its siren call above me. All the sensations I had long ago buried came flooding over me. If the ability to weep had been left to me, I am quite sure I would have done so, so strong were the emotions she had invoked. When her lecture came to an end, I quietly made my way from the room. The urge to approach her had been so strong, I knew if I had stayed, the outcome would be abhorrent to me. I have grown so cold, even the simplest of human contact is best denied to me. Only too well do I know attachments of a personal nature never end in anything but tragedy. Instead of tempting fate, I merged with the shadows that have become my life and fled like some wayward urchin into the night. Even so, this newest encounter left me shaken. Since that first night, I have made it a point to avoid all thoughts of Morgan Beauchamp and the feelings she awakened within me, an arduous task that served as a fitting tribulation for my sins. Upon leaving my home, I had no intention of seeking her out. Whatever infatuation she holds for me, I know in my heart no future exists for either of us if I continue to look for her. Only damnation waits down that path. My lonely travels brought me to a bustling night club on the outskirts of the French Quarter. Don’t ask me to record here the exact location, for the haze of seeing her erased all coherent thoughts from my brain. What insanity drove me to enter the abode eludes me. The rhythmic pounding of the music, too loud to be civilized, filled the shadow strewn street like
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a dense fog. Perhaps some outbreak of melancholy afflicted me. For whatever reason, I entered the den of iniquity knowing full well I would regret the experience. The crush of bodies filled me with a certain amount of revulsion. Even in life, I had never been one to relish the press of humanity around me. Perhaps that was the cause of me seeking out the sea so young in life. The impulse to flee overcame me. If not for a chance glimpse of her, I would have disappeared to normal haunts. Yet, once sighted, the vision of her held me rooted. The twinkling of her laughter wafted to me from the bar. She seemed so full of life. I ached to be numbered among those surrounding her, hanging on her every word, twittering to some comment spoken in jest. It became too much. How could I bear being this close and not know even those most human of actions? I turned to go but her eyes lighted upon me. She saw me clearly, no chance look. I could feel her gaze bore into me. Her mouth opened as if she wanted to speak to me across the distance. I hesitated, waiting like some foolish fop for her to acknowledge me with more than a glance. My feet propelled me toward the bar. I imagined the taste of her rich upon my lips. Against my better judgment, I saw the possibility of us together. It frightened and thrilled me at the same time. The unspoken want of her overruled whatever common sense I had left to me. Moving toward her, I broke my way through the writhing bodies littering the dance floor like flies dancing above a corpse. I breached the crowd only to see her in the arms of another man. My heart boiled with more anger than I’d felt since that whore Diabolique cursed me with her dying breath, my hands tight about her throat. The happiness on Morgan’s face sent me flying from the club. I’d be a fool to even consider the folly of allowing the chance of loving her into my brain. Going there had been a mistake. I had long ago purged the excesses of such establishments from my life for a very good reason. The need to interact with my food had perished along with my need to adhere to the pretence of being alive. As one of the glorious dead, I see no reason to play the charade many of my younger brethren revel in. If I continue to cling to the false hope of a humanity I no longer have, Morgan Beauchamp will suffer for my weakness. I am vampyre. Death on two legs, pure and simple.

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The Personal Journals of Morgan Victoria Beauchamp
Friday, October 24, 2008 Dearest Papa, For the first time since you challenged me to keep these journals some twenty years ago, I actually have something exciting to write about. No, not another cataloging of my research – though past journals were most useful in helping me compile my academic paper, The True Pirates of the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico – but rather, a personal account. How few of those have there been over the years? Nothing worthy of the grand romance story you’d always wanted for me. Until tonight. Mid-terms are over and they followed the pattern of all other mid-term periods of my life, first as student, now as professor. After these past ten years, I’m not sure being the professor grading the mid-terms is much better than being the student taking them. Alas, the exams are done and mostly graded. Tomorrow I’ll finish and have the scores uploaded well before Monday. Feeling fairly good about this accomplishment – not to mention the publication of my paper in Archeology Today – I let Ruth and Dagmar persuade me to join them for a night of bar hopping in the French Quarter. Pretending to randomly select a bar, they led me into Rupert’s where a few more colleagues were drinking with some of the grad students. My own assistant, the roguish Mattias, was there. Oh, if I were ten years younger I’d be tempted to let him chase me around my desk a time or two. Well, that was before tonight. In a mood to party once my initial annoyance passed, I forgave my kidnappers for stealing me from my usual plans of a quiet night with a good book and hot bath. The music was loud, the drinks just right, and I let myself be carried away by both. I’m still vibrating from the effects. I feel alive in a way I’ve only felt a few times. I can scarcely catch my breath even now. This isn’t sounding like me is it? Normally my entries are to the point and dry enough to absorb a gallon of water, but not tonight. I’m sure I’ll look back someday and see this night as pivotal. I don’t know what happened, but something is different. And it has to do with him. Him? You may ask. Him, who? That’s just it. I don’t know. With hindsight, I can see now that I knew the instant he entered the bar. No, he didn’t draw attention, not in the way a famous person would. There were no cameras flashing or fans racing toward him. But rather, all at once, it felt as if a breeze had entered the bar, taking down the temperature a degree or two. As hot as it was, the change was refreshing. It was also then that I gave in to Mattias and let him lead me to the dance floor. I know it’s wrong to encourage him in any way, but I wanted to dance and he had his hand out. I ignored the twitters of my colleagues and found myself in his arms. Lord is he strong, and very sexy. The boy can dance, and he has that smile, all golden sunshine with his overlong curls and scruffy three day whiskers. Moving to the beat felt natural, but I wasn’t dancing for Mattias. No, there was brooding presence in the shadows and it pulled my attention from Mattias despite the fact I was practically using him as a dancing pole.
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At one point I turned and for a long moment, several heartbeats I’m sure, my gaze locked with the dark eyes of a dark haired man. All he needed was a pointed beard, long curly hair, a big hat with a bigger feather and a change of costume and he could have been my dream pirate. Yes, I swear, he looked as if he could be a long lost descendant of the very wicked Jean Baptiste Morgane. I’m well aware you’d say my obsession has grown to be a little scary. If he were a live man today, I’d probably be stalking him. Pathetic, I know. But after staring into the eyes of this man from only a few yards away, I swear on a stack of pirate romance novels, my life changed. Exactly how and what will happen from here onward, I don’t know. I just know something changed tonight. Needless to say, dancing with Mattias, or anyone else, lost all appeal after that. By the time I’d freed myself from the spin Mattias had pulled me into, my mystery man was gone and the refreshing chill had left the room. Disappointed and feeling claustrophobic again, I made my excuses and came home. The solitude of home has not brought me peace. I’m feeling edgy and restless, just the way I do at the start of a new research project. I’ll try the bath next, and maybe a glass of wine, but what I really want is to go out and find my pirate. I just hope he isn’t a ghost tormenting me for seeking out his secrets.

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From the Memoirs of Jean Baptiste Morgane
Saturday, 25 October, Year of Our Lord 2008

The need to seek out the object of my infatuation overwhelmed me to the point that visions of Dr. Morgan Beauchamp invaded even into my daily repose. I know not why this one woman should so intoxicate me. It is as if since sighting her at the nightclub, my soul refuses to rest. I fear my very sanity has been lost to the ideal of her. Why else would I have sought her out tonight? I know full well the folly attached to such a venture but heedless of the dangers I could do little to stop myself. As I have documented numerous times, after my first brush with her, I’ve made it a point to keep track of her movements. In truth her lecture had a profound effect upon me. She came close to the truth about my disappearance, closer than anyone before her. My flight from the English fleet to Jamaica had been well documented. Only the incomparable Professor Beauchamp had been able to discern my connection to that sleepy fishing village at the southern tip of the island. Blind luck and my own machinations kept anyone from knowing the full truth of my reasons for being in Santos Regalle. Sometimes I can almost convince myself the isle was nothing more than a dot on a long obsolete map. Then, completely out of the blue, my mind flashes to the last time I looked upon its white beaches. The profound horror of my actions has stayed with me unto this very day. How can I blot the memory of seeing the truth of my villainy staring back at me from the dead eyes of a people I once called friends? What right do I have to forget? None. Nothing can absolve me of my sins. The sullen streets of New Orleans give me no solace from the pain swelling in my heart. I knew seeing her again, even from afar, would do little to calm the madness digging into my brain. Only the taste of her can cure that malady. In truth I’m not sure a taste would be enough. In the dim recesses of my soul some part of me seeks the impossible, her for all of my eternity. What a foolish cabin boy I have become. The soft whisper of her name from my lips sent exquisite agony broiling through me as I spotted her nestled among the patrons of the Café du Monde. She sat oblivious to anything, poring over a stack of papers, idly twisting a pen in the curls of her hair. She had the ebony mane pulled back into a pony tail but the feeble band holding it was ill equipped for the task. How would it feel to run my hands through that silky mass, easing her swan-like neck back to see the pulse of her life flowing through the creamy flesh it hid underneath? The thought damn near drove me to madness. As tantalizing as that sounds, it wasn’t the life giving elixir that held me paralyzed. No, blood was not the prize I quested for. It was her. As I stood in the shadows, the sight of her gently biting her bottom lip, sucking it between her white teeth, brought me fairly to my knees. Something about this divine creature compelled me to break all the rules I’ve long lived my life under. When she lifted the porcelain cup to take a sip of the cream soaked coffee, I could no longer hide myself. Moving with a conviction born of desperation, I walked into the outdoor
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seating area, careful to take a table close enough to her, yet far enough away to keep me from the temptation burning within my breast. I drank in the heady scent of magnolia and chamomile that washed from her on a passing breeze. A waitress stooped over the table, placing a menu before me. I waved her away with a well placed look. The powers inherent to my kind saw to it she left me undisturbed for the remainder of the evening to drink in what I truly desired. Unfettered by distractions, I turned my attention back to Morgan. While I had been dealing with the waitress, she had spread her paperwork across the table. Leaned back against her chair, she massaged the muscles of her neck with one hand while fingering the rim of her cup. Never in my long life had I witnessed something so provocative. I rose from my chair, knowing if I stayed any longer my actions would be beyond my control. Slipping past her unseen, I made my way toward the crowded exit. Then something miraculous caused me to stop in my tracks. She called out to me. The words etched themselves forever in my brain. My hand shakes as I immortalize them here in my most private of thoughts. “Oh, my dear Jean Baptiste, where did you go?” I nearly collapsed right there on the spot. The sound of my name falling from her lips brought a weakness to my knees. Turning slowly, I saw her grasp a tattered leather tome to her chest. Even in the shadows flickering across my vision, I recognized the volume. It was one of mine own journals from the Gilded Lady. The last time I’d touched it, I had wrapped it as securely as waxed canvas could serve. I know for a fact it had gone down with the ship, a tragedy attributed to a brutal hurricane. Alas, little had survived that violent storm. Apparently I’d wrapped it well, but how had it made it ashore, much less into Morgan’s hands? Within those weathered pages lay the road to my damnation. If Morgan could somehow decipher the journal’s code, she could unravel the mysteries I’d worked so hard to conceal. Not for the first time, I wished to have never set my damned eyes upon Diabolique. My unrequited desire has suddenly taken on a more nefarious turn. I must somehow extract my journal from her. Out of all the women in the world, why did it have to fall into Morgan Beauchamp’s hands? Only she stands a chance of finding the clues to what happened to me within its pages. And she is the last person I want to find those secrets.

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The Personal Journals of Morgan Victoria Beauchamp
Saturday, October 25 Dearest Papa, I should probably write this next entry to Mama. I’m not sure how much of my romantic musings you want to be party to, even though both of you have moved beyond this earthly existence. It gives me no small pleasure to think you can actually read or hear my thoughts. I can only hope you aren’t too shocked or dismayed. No, in fact I think you might be applauding. The tedious task of the midterms is done. Until finals, I’m through with those details. Always a relief. I’m treating myself tonight with a visit to Café du Monde. You know how I adore their beignets. About as much as they adore clinging to my thighs. The air off the river is fresh tonight and with the approach of Halloween, I can’t help but fall back to my romantic musings of my favorite pirate. No, no resting on my laurels while waiting for my critics to rip my work apart, as I’m sure you’d approve. The sighting of my mysterious stranger last night has made it hard to concentrate on my chores today, but as I accomplished them all, I’m indulging in a little day dreaming tonight and my stranger is in the starring role of Jean Baptiste Morgane. Feeling a need to connect with my pirate, I read the journal from The Gilded Lady again this evening, and I have in my bag the journal I found in my office. Mattias claims no responsibility, but there it was, tucked between some dry old tomes. Why can’t historians put more personality into their works? Why must history be so dull? Just the facts, ma’am. Pfft. People lived, loved, fought and experienced every emotion we do in the current day. Why can’t those emotions be part of the histories? I’m getting side tracked again. The journal I found is notated as the Personal Memoirs of JBM. Jean Baptiste Morgane. The year even fits, 1761. It works for me. However, the writing is very difficult to read. Old French, which I can read when clearly printed, is the base, but there are touches of other languages included. Code or island dialect? A bastardized mix of English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese? And with tight script and the ravages of time, I can’t tell. I’ve struggled with the journal ever since finding it last year. Still, I’m reluctant to take it to our language department. It feels clandestine and as if I’ve been entrusted with the secrets tucked inside. Am I delusional? And yet, I’m certain it is the key to understanding what happened to my favorite pirate. As to my aforementioned romantic musings, after seeing the modern day mystery pirate at the bar, last night I had fevered dreams. I could clearly feel the rise and fall of the sea as I stood on the deck of a ship. Illuminated by lanterns, he swaggered toward me and I noticed my hands were bound. I was his prisoner? But where and how did he capture me? I remember the feel of his regard, as palpable as a touch, his dark eyes flickering with some deep amusement, the black velvet of the night pressing against my skin as if he himself enfolded me in his embrace. For the longest time, we stared at each other, his gaze direct and possessive, mine as defiant as I could make it. Difficult under the circumstances, as I’m
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positive I wanted him to ravish me most thoroughly. I woke in a sweat, my heart pounding and lips hungry for the kiss I’d been denied, the sheets tangled about me. A cool shower didn’t help. This probably accounted for my need to touch base with the logs and journals again. All day I’ve felt him nearby, and as the shadows of night deepen, the feeling grows. I swear, I’m convinced that if I were to turn in my chair I’d see him. Yes, I surely must be delusional. No man has ever followed me. I’m pushing forty, am I so desperate for a man now that I’m dreaming up my own personal stalker? And a pirate from the eighteenth century no less. LOL. At least my delusions are entertaining. Maybe I should stop drinking coffee so late at night. So, to refocus on my next project. I will dig into this journal and I will unravel the mystery of my pirate. I know this journal is crucial. I just wish I knew for certain its origin. At some point I’ll authenticate it, but I think on Monday I’ll go in early and scan it. That should help with puzzling out the language. Good thing I’m skilled with codes, but this time I’m too impatient. I want to read it as plainly as my students read their text books. Who was this man? What were his greatest concerns? History already tells us of his Jamaican mistress and there are stories told of her anger when he took another to his bed. Did she kill him, as his first mate believes? Was he the cause of her strange death? A homicide/suicide? Or did he return to his ship to ride out the hurricane that dispatched his ship and crew? Diving expeditions on the site of the wreck have turned up few bones. Most likely the largest part of the crew was scattered or their remains were buried deep over the centuries. Certainly no treasure was found. Strangely enough, the ship’s logs were fairly well preserved, wrapped as they were in waxed cloth, and locked in an airtight casket. Another twenty years, or a good hurricane in the right spot, and the sea water would have finished disintegrating the casket and the logs would have been lost to the ages. I’ve been fortunate to study them thoroughly these past fifteen years. The one portrait believed to be of him shows a man of dark hair, and dark eyes with a completely wicked twinkle deep inside. The more I think about it, the more the man from last night reminds me of that portrait. I so wish I’d seen more than just a few seconds of him. I want to study him to my heart’s content and make a side by side comparison. But in a city of half a million people, with numbers increased by tourism and business conventions, how am I supposed to find a man when I know nothing about him? I doubt I’d find him in the throngs of the crowds swelling the French Quarter in search of a Halloween party this coming week. Should he decide to dress in costume, the search would be futile. So, tonight I’ll let myself dream of salty breezes and a man’s long fingers playing in my hair. My overactive imagination cannot be contained. I ache to feel the soft touch of his warm breath against my temple, his body warm and hard against my back, trapping me against the railing. In my dream, the ship would sail itself, no crew needed. We could make love under tropical skies both day and night and live off fresh fish and fruit. What was the Caribbean like three hundred years ago? Deserted islands as far as the eye could see where lovers could run off and play at being Adam and Eve. Sounds like heaven to me. Oh Lord, maybe I should just jump Mattias and get it over with. No sex for too long does
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funny things to the mind. I certainly wouldn’t be the first to have an affair with my assistant and I know he’d approve. As close as his hand had been to sneaking under my skirt last night, I have no doubt he’d happily apply himself to that project. No one else has offered lately. The hour grows late and I should go home, all the better to dream of my dark pirate. Besides, Ruth, Dagmar, Mattias and others scold me about the dangers of being out here by myself in the middle of the night. I just need to order my beignets to go for breakfast in the morning. Since I came to Tulane I’ve never been accosted. Probably has something to do with the size of my thighs or my gypsy eyes as you used to call them. Too bad there’s no Gypsy in our blood. Good night, dear journal. I’m off to dream of sailing the Spanish Main and plundering treasure ships. Maybe this time my pirate will plunder me. A girl can hope.

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From the Memoirs of Jean Baptiste Morgane
Sunday, 26 October, Year of Our Lord 2008

I am loath to put pen to paper concerning the events that have unfolded tonight. I know my fevered mind is simply afraid by some mischance it would dissolve into a dream as soon as ink touches the page. Before I jump ahead of myself, let me start at the beginning. I don’t wish to lose anything in the recording of this. I woke to the falling dusk, the hunger inside me greater than I can ever remember before in this misbegotten existence I endure. The haste of that thirst drove me to quickly dress. Upon leaving my humble abode, I made my way through the Quarter feeding sparingly from tourists too drunk to take notice as they made their revelries in the shadows. Once sated, the call of Mother Sea brought me toward one of my frequent haunts since returning to the city that once gave me such solace from the rigors of life upon the briny blue. I can remember a time when there was no Riverwalk to make this fragile shore a beacon of welcome, just a crush of men and ships crowding the stagnant banks. I passed like a shadow over the boardwalk. The harsh lights overhead were muted by an evening fog rolling off the water, allowing me some margin of anonymity. The wake of an evening shower had driven most of the lovers toward the drier climes of the bars and eateries, which New Orleans has in abundance. Thankfully, for once, I found myself alone to nurse my current bout of melancholy. The events of the past weeks had left me mortally tired. Every single year of my age pressed in around me like some loathsome beast. Would that this curse of Diabolique’s had not fallen upon me. It was my own fault. I should never have returned to her. My life as a buccaneer had come to an end. There had been no sensible reason for me to go to her. I could blame my stupidity on some errant sense of chivalry which sent me to explain why our tryst had to end. Perhaps the truth was I needed one last taste of damnation before ascending to the heaven Constance promised. In retrospect, falling in love with Constance Newbury had come as a surprise to me. After meeting her at a party held by one of the many sycophants bent on availing themselves of my fame as a noted privateer, I knew my career as a rake and rogue had come to an end. She had accompanied her uncle, some lawyer of note among the growing civilized gentry calling New Orleans home. After spending most of the evening in her company, I petitioned her uncle to allow me to call upon them the following evening. He was hesitant at first, but complied due more to Constance’s badgering than from any sincerity on my part. Over the next few weeks, a closeness of both heart and soul grew between us. Even though our worlds were vastly different, I knew we were destined for each other. Her uncle, her guardian since her parent’s death, granted his permission for us to be wed on the condition I forsake the life of privateer. Being with her had already convinced me to abandon the sea. Her uncle’s condition was but a mere formality. I had enough wealth to see me toward a comfortable life as a gentleman farmer. I knew I would not be the first scalawag to do so.
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However, before I started any kind of a new life, I had put the old one to rest. Which drove me from Constance’s arms, to once again traverse the Caribbean, to see Diabolique one last time, as well as let my men know of my decision and appoint a new captain to oversee their welfare. At the time it all seemed so innocent, mundane even. Looking back, I saw the mistake for what it was—my damnation. Diabolique would have never let me go. Her claws were too firmly entrenched in my soul to let such a thing happen. Standing on the edge of the walk, my attempt to push those memories away fell painfully short. The nearby call of ships exiting into the Gulf wouldn’t let the old thoughts stop swirling in my head. At least they offered a reprieve from my thoughts of Morgan. I could almost forget she existed, if I let the pain wash over me. The lie consoled me until I caught the scent of her on an errant breeze. The unbelievable closeness of her drove me over the edge. The tips of my canines pressed into my lips, filling my mouth with the coppery taste of blood. I closed my eyes, letting the sensation consume the aching void where my thirst resided. The gentle shift in temperature told me she stood not far from me. My cold flesh warmed as it basked in the glow of her while my brain told me to seek the shadows. For once my body was in full agreement. I reluctantly shifted away from the water, and sauntered toward the concrete seats of the Spanish Plaza that circle the fountain. There, in the shifting shadows of spray and fog, its splashes created a background symphony to cloak the sounds of even the most ardent lovers. I had made it as far as the pass-through when she called to me. The thrill of her voice paralyzed my traitorous legs in place. Against my volition, I turned. Her unexpected frown flew across the air like a musket ball into my brain. She spoke, low and urgent words that I couldn’t register as she paced. I was too bespelled, as even in her apparent distress, the lilting music of her voice came to me as laughing syllables. At last she seemed to lose steam and her eyes turned toward the fountain. I found a seat in the darkest shadows, far from the lovers cuddling on the cold, hard benches. But was that enough to hide from her? Oh no, for as if aiming directly for me, she strode close enough to trip over my feet. I wish that I could bring myself to relate exactly what turn of events happened next. In truth the heady excitement of being in her company turned the evening into a blur. One minute I was sitting, watching her, the next she was in my arms as I reached out to keep her from falling. Lord forbid I should not rescue a beautiful woman headed for a hard fall. The second our flesh touched I became spellbound. Time lost all meaning. Well into the twilight hours, we strolled along dark streets and got to know each other with intimate conversation between passionate kisses in secluded alcoves. Never once did she recognize in me the inherent evil of my nature. We discussed all those things so human and mundane, yet exciting all the same for their newness to my cloistered existence. I don’t know when, exactly, I truly forgot my promise to myself, but when she mentioned her birthday would fall on the morrow, I hastily agreed to meet her the following evening. As the pink fog of dawn exploded over the horizon, I knew our time had come to an end, the call of sleep too dire to ignore. I bid her good day, streaks of orange joining the azure
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hints rising behind the ebony sky. Before I could scamper back to my prison, she jumped into my arms. Her flesh melted into mine in a kiss so scandalous, I was sure the heavens themselves would open up in retribution. It was with regret I untangled myself from her embrace. With all due speed, I assured her that I would see her come night and blended into the morning crowds on their ways home from whatever debauchery had occupied their night. I looked over my shoulder to see her offer a wistful wave just before she turned to go her own way. I could already feel the smoke rising from my skin as ribbons of sunlight hit the back of my neck as I closed and locked the door against the day. My body grows too still to continue. Even though my windows are shuttered, I know the sun has come. For the first time in centuries, I go to an uneasy rest. The anticipation of seeing her again prohibits me from finding succor in the arms of oblivion. Yet my nature cannot be denied. I am what I am and not even the promise of love can change the fact.

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The Morgan Diaries

J. Morgan and Morgan O’Reilly

The Personal Journals of Morgan Victoria Beauchamp
Sunday, October 26 Dearest Mama, Definitely, this time I write to you. I’m sure Papa would understand that there are times when a woman to woman talk is needed. Erotic dreams of my pirate entertained me all night, and I woke gasping and shaking from what I’m sure was one of the most intense orgasms of my life. I’ve never experienced such a dream before! All thoughts of easing my agony with the thoroughly willing Mattias have died completely. I ran into him at the library where he was working on his dissertation, and I felt not one ounce of attraction for him. Instead, my eyes kept searching for my dark stranger. As if I’d find him among the stacks of the library. I had the misfortune to run into a colleague as I was leaving the library. Charles Stratham at once made his opinions of not only my paper but my latest lecture very clear. My work, he said, while clever and entertaining, lacked a professional quality. Maybe I should pursue a career as either a historical romance writer or a play-write, he suggested. I could write a one woman play and deliver my romantic theories to Broadway and leave the serious research to the professionals. Not only that, he said my public lectures might fill the hall to overflowing once a semester, but they were an embarrassment to the department. The university wanted to be known for serious work and not theatrics unless of course, I wanted to change to the theater department. After all, I made a charming actress, but no one with any historical learning took me seriously. There went my dreamy disposition. After several hours bending over ancient journals, I was in no mood for his condescending smirks. One day soon, I hope, he’ll wake up and realize most of his students consider him in his dotage and get some of their best sleep in his lectures. They say the ponderous text book for the class makes an excellent pillow. However, trained and genteel southern gentlewoman that I am, I smiled, thanked him for his opinion, and suggested he might need to get not only his glasses checked, but a hearing aid might do him some good as well. At least I left him frowning in confusion and managed to glide, yes glide, across the lobby and out the door. I even managed to save my temper tantrum until I drove away from campus. As dusk was upon us by then, I headed for the river with the vague idea of dropping in at Café du Monde in hopes a plate (or two) of beignets would calm me. I never made it there. Instead, I parked near the mall and headed for the Riverwalk. Walking being better than pigging out, right? I’m sure I scared a few people with the intense scowl on my face, but I stomped my way up and down the walk until I felt a little winded. I certainly wasn’t cold. I was, however, glad that the cool evening kept the crowds to a minimum. Most were in the French Quarter seeking libations and dancing to keep warm. That suited me just fine. When I at last tired myself out, I stumbled to the Spanish Plaza hoping to find a spot to sit and watch the nighttime show of the fountain. Fewer than half of the seats were occupied, but there was one section that seemed a little darker and emptier. Indeed, I thought I’d find
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The Morgan Diaries

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seclusion there until I tripped over a foot which was not retracted fast enough. Only the incredible strength and speed of my tripper cum savior kept me from falling flat on my face. Strong arms reached out and, as if I weighed no more than a toddler, they lifted me and set me down. In a blink, I determined that I sat on the lap, and was held in the arms, of my mystery man of two nights ago. Those dark brooding eyes gave him away. I couldn’t resist a coquettish smile as his eyes widened in surprise. I was most happy to link my hands behind his neck and settle myself a little more comfortably on his lap. I was also a little breathless from my furious walking, which I’m sure added to my Marilyn-like voice at the moment as I thanked him for saving me. Is there nothing more delightful than a man confused by a woman? He looked torn between wanting to thrust me away from him and pulling me closer. Much like I dreamed my pirate might have looked. And when he spoke, oh that voice, accented like you only hear from the best New Orleans families. Centuries of Creole breeding with a touch of Cajun, spoken softly in a deep voice that rumbled to my toes. In the shadows, he definitely looked like a pirate from another age. I swear, for Halloween I’m making him dress as Jean Baptiste Morgane. In fact, when we introduced ourselves, he told me his name is Jean Baptiste! Named after one of the city’s founding fathers, and not the pirate, no less. How much more Old World New Orleans can one get? However, he asked me to call him John Morgan, saying it was easier on the tongue. Oh, and why do I get to dress him for Halloween? I guess I jumped ahead of myself. The searing attraction that had jolted between us night before last was even stronger in closer proximity. Yes, as I sat there, everywhere our bodies touched, fires burned. My blood already hot from my fury over Stratham’s stupid comments and the sting of hurt feelings, I was daring and bold. I swooped down on my rescuer and rewarded him with a kiss. It was meant to be thorough, but I didn’t count on incinerating! I give the man credit for a hesitation of only half a heartbeat, but once he reacted, oh Mama… Can you hear my sigh of feminine satisfaction? I don’t know how long we kissed and I don’t care. We were practically making love there on the tiled seats before we noticed the chuckles, catcalls and whistles around us. My pirate could only hold his scowl at the interruption for a moment, but we both laughed and acknowledged our audience with short bows before he took my hand and led me off to deeper shadows. That was when we finally introduced ourselves. A handshake seemed silly at that point, so we kissed again and I found myself pressed up against the side of a building in a very dark corner. Had I been wearing a skirt and not jeans, I’m sure we would have had sex right there, but somewhere, somehow, he pulled together enough self restraint to lower the heat to a slow simmer instead of a raging cauldron. Even now as dawn breaks, I’m still bubbling from his touch and doubt I’ll need sleep to see me through the day. We talked. For hours. From dusk until just a few minutes ago, when he saw me to my car. He told me he’d been to my last public lecture and, seeking a bit of praise to erase the criticism I’d received earlier, I told him all and purged the humiliation I’d suffered. He assured me, as a student of that age himself, that I’d nailed more facts, provided more
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authentic feeling, than any other professor on the subject than he’d ever witnessed. As he could quote lectures from some of my professors and scholars before them, I believed him. Maybe also because I wanted to believe him. But the way he told me I brought dusty history to life thrilled him to the marrow, melted me completely. I know empty praise when I hear it, and Jean Baptiste did not offer vague platitudes. I just had to kiss him again for that. Ah yes, I feel most sluttish, but this man merely has to look at me and I feel as if I’m on the edge of an orgasm. Imagine what a touch or kiss from him would do. Tomorrow (today?) I have only two classes, both lectures, which I may let Mattias give for me. It’s my birthday and I’m meeting Jean Baptiste for dinner. I intend to make it a night never to be forgotten. Starting with a trip to Riverside Spa for the full treatment. I’m two years away from forty, I intend to treat myself right for a change. Jean Baptiste, I sure hope you’re ready for me – LOL.

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From the Memoirs of Jean Baptiste Morgane
Monday, 27 October, Year of Our Lord 2008

If only God had taken mercy upon me by letting death claim me when Diabolique cursed me. I found perfection only to taint it with this beast I have become. Hell would be a just reward for the sins that weigh heavy upon my troubled brow. Morgan deserves better than the thoughts whirling inside my brain, but my own selfishness prevents me from doing the honorable thing and ending this existence before my satanic urges propel me any further down the path before me. When I woke to the growing dusk, I perceived this evening proceeding differently. For the first time in centuries I felt human again. I knew my time with Morgan to be the cause. Still, I should have known better than to trust my frail happiness to hold my nature in check. My delusional acceptance of my newfound humanity drove me to attempt the impossible. Leaving Morgan this morning, I had already decided to bequeath her a gift worthy of her beauty on this most special of days for her. After rummaging through the dust and mire of my past, I found just what I was looking for. The rosewood box had been covered in layer upon layer of dust but the treasure inside remained as pristine as the day I’d placed it inside the velvet lined tomb. The necklace glistened in the pale light. How easy it was to remember the way it had rested around Constance’s swan-like neck oh those many years ago. Vainly I tried to erase the image from my mind’s eye. It would have been easier to ignore the tell tale scent of blood that still clung to the patina of the gold or the barest blush of pink staining the diamonds nestled between the blood red rubies. The faint tint to the diamonds might be blamed on the rubies, but I know better. No manner of cleaning had been able to wash the horror of my actions from the jewelry. I shoved those thoughts from my brain. Today was too glorious a celebration to let old haunts mar with old recriminations. It was my intention to erase the infamy of my past by giving this to Morgan. No amount of penance could change that which had been done all those years ago, but perhaps I could gain a second chance at happiness. Now, hours later, I see the futility in that assumption. The damned are offered nothing but damnation. Second chances are for those who still cloister a redeemable soul within their beating breasts. Oblivious to the future, I left home alive with the promise of that fleeting dream. Several times I stopped myself to feel for the unfamiliar weight of Constance’s box in my coat pocket. Foolishness, I know, but against character I was as giddy as a schoolboy. I am sure some semblance of a stupid grin had been plastered upon my visage as I made my way to the Bombay Club. It was not one of my frequent haunts but the establishment has a certain reputation among the populace and it seemed to be the proper choice for this evening. Assuredly, Morgan’s face had lit up when I proposed we dine there. That alone convinced me I had chosen wisely. What I wouldn’t give to be able to place that emotion on her face for all time. My joy intensified when I caught sight of her waiting for me sitting at the edge of club’s
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The Morgan Diaries

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bar, the seat closest to the foyer. I stood spellbound by her beauty. Her ebony locks cascaded down her neck, landing like a starless night upon the red flowing landscape of her dress. Never in my life had I seen someone more beautiful. My dead heart fluttered to life in my chest as I gazed upon the vision of her sitting there. I dare say not even fabled Aphrodite could rival her as she looked before me tonight. I broke the paralysis that held me and walked to where she sat. I bent and took her hand, surprising her. I grazed my lips over the warm flesh of her wrist, feeling the pulse of her life flowing beneath the tender flesh. The prick of my fangs brushed against my lips and I pulled back before my black soul betrayed me. Her eyes danced over me. The happiness shone from them at seeing me. I hoped mine showed even half of the joy I saw reflected there. I was about to suggest we sojourn to our table when the bartender came over, his eyes drinking in her body. He made some sly retort under the guise of offering a refill of her drink. I recognized his words for their true meaning. It was impossible to mistake the want rolling off him, but Morgan was mine, not his. I felt the thirst demand his life. Only the press of the crowd and Morgan’s presence saved him. I glared hate toward him so dark it should have killed him where he stood, promising myself that later the death he so richly deserved would find him. For now the look was sufficient to send the blaggard toward the other end of the bar, where the prey was of a mind to accept his advances. The maitre d’ found us shortly after to announce that our table was ready. I was glad I had arranged a secluded alcove for our dinner. After the bartender’s display, I found myself loath to share her company with anyone. The need to have her solely to myself overwhelmed me. In fact, the intoxication of being with her sped time around us. If pressed, I dare say I could not recount any but the barest of details of our meal. Finally, I knew the time had drawn near. From the folds of my coat, I pulled forth the rosewood box. Morgan’s eye flared to life at the sight of it. I pushed it toward her with the assurances it was but a humble token. When she made no move to open the case, I reached over and took the necklace from its resting place and held it out for her. There are no words to describe the joy I saw grace her face when she beheld the necklace. It was like looking for one brief second into the face of an angel. Not waiting for her to tell me no, I stood and moved behind her. With fingers shaking from the knowledge they would soon touch her flesh, I placed the necklace around her neck. Fumbling with the clasp, I secured it in place and bent my head to offer a tender kiss to her lips. I knew better than to give in to the passion being this close to her invoked. My hold on my self-control was tenuous at best. I very nearly lost it when she returned my kiss and said in her smoky voice, “Take me home, I want to model this necklace properly.” I was only too happy to oblige her wishes. The trip to her home was a blur as easily lost as my self-control. Being this close to her drove all my hard won composure into nothingness. My fingers caressed the smooth flesh of her neck while my lips hungered across the warmness of her. No inch of her exposed body was safe from me. I wanted each and every bit of her, not simply what I saw but all of it. I could feel the beat of her heart through the touch.
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All too soon, the cab pulled in front of her home. We extricated ourselves from the vehicle and, too eager by far, I swept her into my arms and raced up the stairs. A clichéd move to be sure, but most effective. Once inside, our feeble attempt at decorum fell away. My hands quested along the gentle curves of her body. She let out a muffled moan as I nuzzled the back of her neck. Morgan fell back into me, the press of her firm ass against me igniting more than my interest. My body stirred like it hadn’t in years. Reaching around, I cupped her firm breasts, their weight electricity in my hands. She wiggled herself over my swollen manhood and I felt the burning as my eyes went red with hunger. Only it wasn’t the hunger for her flesh. I tried to back away, knowing if I didn’t leave I wouldn’t be responsible for what happened next. If only Morgan would have cooperated. Even in the haze of my blood thirst, I sensed her lust. Her desire would not be denied. Holding her to me, I knew mine wouldn’t as well. The rich scent of her washed over me. Beneath the fragrance of roses mixed with the barest hint of vanilla, the smoldering sensation of her want came wafting through. My control broke. The pain of my fangs extending tore through me. My gaze dropped to the gentle slope of her shoulders. I saw the throb of her jugular calling me. Heaven help me, I was too far gone to stop myself. Morgan twisted like an erotic ballerina before falling onto the bed, her long white neck, encircled by the burning jewels, stretched back on her pillow. I could feel her wanting me with an intensity that mirrored my own. Making my way toward her, I let my fingers trace the outline of her body through the sheet she had pulled just above the gentle rise of her breasts. I flipped it away with a twist of my wrist, opening the magnificence of her body to me. Her lips curled into a tempting smile and my body awoke to the need for her. Hell take me. The last thing I remember before stumbling through my own door was the rich copper taste of her flooding my mouth before damnation washed over me…

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The Morgan Diaries

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The Personal Journals of Morgan Victoria Beauchamp
Monday, October 27 Dearest Mama, Could a woman have a more perfect birthday? Already the night wanes and the dawn fills my bedroom with soft pink light, but I cannot lay my head down for one minute without recording the most perfect day, and night, of my life. As I mentioned before, I let Mattias take my classes for the day. No great hardship for him as there are one or two coeds he likes to show off for. However, judging by his dismay, I ruined plans for a surprise party at work. After the dressing down from my moldy colleague yesterday, I refused to face a group of reluctant well-wishers. I’m sure I saved us all a moment or two of awkwardness. Instead, I slept until noon then rushed off the Riverside Spa. They were more than happy to wax, polish, and massage my body then finish it all off with blood red polish on my toes and fingers. I don’t normally go for the dark colors, but somehow it felt right. Red seems like a color Jean Baptiste might like on a woman. Smoothed, brushed out and made up, I was ready for anything. And that meant a trip to the boutique so Carlo could stuff me into a dress which was essentially a large rubber band that squeezed me from cleavage to mid-thigh. No room for anything but the barest thong underneath. The compression alone did more for me than a Wonderbra ever could. Red, would you ever believe it? But accented with a narrow line of black crystals from top to bottom, which Carlo made sure ran over one nipple. Slut factor? 110%. Did I look good in it? Surprisingly, in an hourglass goddess way, yes, and I felt even better. Because of the wax job, I demurred on stockings but instead chose a pair of shoes guaranteed to get me arrested for solicitation. The first pair of red shoes I’ve ever owned, they’re strappy, sparkly, and slutty, and I adore them. I could have recouped all my expenses today by selling them at the bar. I had at least half a dozen invitations to swap, sell, or toddle my little shoes with the bow across the toes, and hot ass, up the stairs with numbers in the four digits thrown at me. But I’m ahead of myself. Though I was sure we’d end up back at his home or mine, we had agreed to meet at the Bombay Club for dinner and drinks at seven. I’d never been there, but he assured me he considered their steaks and the atmosphere to be most acceptable. I’ve heard the martinis are wonderful, but with the salaries I and my colleagues earn, we haven’t tried it out. I was nervous, so took a cab and arrived early. I was invited to wait in the foyer or sit at the bar. I chose the bar and spent a pleasant few minutes learning about martinis from a most attentive bartender. When asked for his opinion, he poured me one he called Breathless, and left me in no doubt he wanted me to believe I left him breathless. As I tasted my first sip, I felt Jean Baptiste enter the restaurant, and as the smooth mixture of vodka and chocolate liqueur slid down my throat, burning a trail that left me breathless, I spun in my chair. As my eyes focused on him and his gaze met mine, the slight frown on his face faded. My heart leaped in my chest and, I swear I could almost hear the beating of his heart in time with mine. As if he, too, could hear both, he walked toward me, magnificent in black Armani,
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the only spots of color a deep burgundy rose in his button hole and a red silk handkerchief folded just right in his breast pocket. For a moment, as my black velvet wrap slid from my shoulders to elbows, it seemed as if his eyes burned red. Like a physical caress, as he slowly sauntered toward me, his eyes took in my appearance from head to toe, stopping to look at my feet. What is it about an ankle strap that turns men on? And he was turned on. I could tell by the intensity of the heat in his eyes when he raised his gaze back to mine. The world around us disappeared in that moment and when he lifted my hand to his lips, my heart skipped a beat then resumed at double time. From that moment I was entranced. I know we ate, I know we drank, I’m pretty sure the restaurant sang Happy Birthday to me. I don’t remember any of it with any more clarity that I’d remember a dream. How long we spent at the restaurant, I don’t know, I was just giddy being with him. Before leaving, over coffee and dessert, Jean Baptiste pulled a box from his inside breast pocket. Before I had a chance to even wonder over the contents, he laid the open box before me. Inside lay a necklace so exquisite I once more had trouble breathing. Rubies. Diamonds. Antique gold. Simple. And I’m sure, extravagantly expensive. A choker of perfectly matched rubies and diamonds, one set between the other from clasp to clasp. When Jean Baptiste lifted it from the case, my eyes met his. Hardly breathing, I locked my gaze with his as he put the necklace on me and set the clasp at the back. My God. The weight of it felt solid, like old and extremely valuable heirlooms. I’m no judge of jewelry, but I can guarantee I’ve never worn something so luxurious in my life. “You make this bit of jewelry beautiful,” he said and lightly kissed me on the lips. And just like that, I tripped off the edge of the earth. I fell in love. And just as any woman in love would do, I leaned forward and kissed him back. “Take me home, I want to model this necklace properly,” I said. The next thing I knew, we were in a cab and I gave the driver the address to my little coach house apartment in the Garden District. In the backseat, I sat on his lap while his long fingers toyed with the necklace and the edge of my dress. His lips teased my neck, and I’m sure he could feel the blood pulsing through my veins. He nuzzled my neck, his tongue stroking my skin and I clung to him, one hand combing through the thick hair at his nape. His scent, something crisp and manly with a hint of leather made me dizzy. Once at the outdoor steps leading to my over the garage home, he carried me. Me! No man has ever carried me since I hit puberty. And without a gasp or grunt. I’m no dainty flower, and yet, he only smiled at my protests and carried me through the door and into the bedroom. I was more winded than he was! Ah, Mama, I know now for certain, until this night, until Jean Baptiste touched me, I’ve never experienced the art of making love. No man has ever made me feel beautiful. No man has ever touched my heart. If there was any way to fall deeper in love, his love making took me there. I can’t count the climaxes, the releases, the number of ways we came together, but it was magic. From the moment he laid me on the bed until he slipped from it just before dawn, we didn’t sleep. We barely spoke. We touched, we watched, kissed, explored, learned and played. Quite simply, we loved. I’m exhilarated and yet, exhausted. I have a late afternoon six hundred level seminar this
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afternoon, and I should hit the library for research, but I simply cannot see climbing out of bed for several hours. His scent is there, on my sheets. I want to sleep wrapped in his arms, but instead the sheets and pillow perfumed with our combined essences will have to do. I don’t yet know where we’ll meet tonight. He said he’d find me. The little voice in my heart says now that we’ve found each other, we’ll always be able to find one another again. It’s a good thing that yesterday I told Mattias to call and wake me if he didn’t see or hear from me by three. I suspect it will be his call that wakes me. So, for now, dressed only in the necklace, I sleep and I will dream.

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J. Morgan and Morgan O’Reilly

From the Memoirs of Jean Baptiste Morgane
Tuesday, 28 October, Year of Our Lord 2008

I am the devil himself. I wallow in the shame of what I have done, ashamed to show my face unto the light, even that of the moon. All day my dead brain pitched fearfully in my slumber. The taste of her lingers still upon my tongue. Even though it pains my soul, I know to venture forth from my dust cloaked cocoon would only bring further tragedy So, as the night grows cold toward day, I wallow in my own self pity, letting my hunger grow. Soon I will be forced to slink into the shadowy streets to sustain myself for another day. I will wait until the sky grows pink, taking what I need, leaving myself little time to go to her. What a pitiful spinster of the damned I have become. If laughter came easily to me, I would gladly roll upon the floor at the irony. Perhaps, the malady would not be so bad if not for her thoughts intruding upon my sorrow. Since waking, her voice has been in my head. It is not a peculiar condition. Many times over the centuries the thoughts of my victims have lingered in my head. Normally I can simply blot them out but this time there is no escaping the thoughts ringing between my ears. With no other explanation available, I can only assume our connection goes deeper than I thought. Could this be more than a simple infatuation on my part? Could I love her? The concept is frightening to me. I do not deserve the emotion. Everyone I have ever loved has paid the price my weakness. I will not let Morgan be the next in the long line. I would sooner go into the darkness and writhe for eternity with the burning need than see her harmed even for one brief second. When I am more in control, I will retrieve my lost journals and disappear from her life. Without them to back up her theories, she has nothing to substantiate her claims. Her career will be ruined but at least she will be alive to rebuild her life. Whatever joy this existence holds for me I will exploit this connection and live vicariously through it. If I can not be with her physically, this shallow intrusion will suffice. The guilt involved is not even enough to stop me from invading her privacy. I am already a monster, what is one more piece of blackness upon my dead soul? Easing past the boundaries, I sense her at her favorite haunt, a cup of smooth creamy coffee in one hand and my journal clasped in the other. Closing my eyes, I allow her thoughts to become mine. The muted twinkle of her voice reading along to the words blurred through the flickering images I saw through her mind. I found myself content to be in her presence. Until she flipped the fragile pages of the journal to linger on Constance’s name. The flowing script from my own hand cursed me from two hundred years ago. Seeing my lost paramour’s name written with such care and love stabbed me. Those fleeting moments of love we shared disappeared in the horror of what had come to pass. Immortality has done little to erase that night from my head, as much as I prayed that it would. Fresh from Diabolique’s curse, I returned to New Orleans. At the time some small part of me denied what I had become. The man I had been still burned bright inside me. I can remember thinking the beast inside me could be contained by the rational mind of man
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The Morgan Diaries

J. Morgan and Morgan O’Reilly

residing within the soul I no longer owned. The monster knew better. I lurked in the shadows, not daring to approach her openly. Already the story of what had happened on that small island had reached the bustling streets of New Orleans. No one knew for sure what had taken place, but then as now, rumor was a more potent historian than the truth. Tales of my demise circulated partly in thanks to my crew who had seen the island aflame with the inferno I started to hide my infamy. For weeks I hid in the bayou by day. By night I stalked the streets, my hunger too great to ignore. A few times the hunger abated enough to delude me into venturing to Constance’s home only in the dead of night when I was sure she’d be ensconced in slumber’s hold. Finally I grew bold in my comfort. The clear night befuddled me into thinking I could safely enter the balcony adjacent to her rooms and catch some fleeting glimpse of her through the French doors that opened onto it. Through the gossamer curtains I saw her, not sleeping but crying in the gloom. I dared not move closer, fearful she would sense my presence. The sight tore through the resolve I held onto by a thread. I collapsed upon the balcony, blood-drenched tears marking their way down my face. Her sobs grew louder with every moment. I would have left but found myself paralyzed. Then her voice found words to accentuate her pain and they are forever engraved upon my suffering. “Jean Baptiste, my love. Even if you be dead, I would gladly join you if it meant an end to this agony I bear from being parted from you.” I would like to say the monster took over, but the lie would sour upon my lips. Her admission and pain drove not the demon I am, but the man I was. Shrugging off my stupor, I threw open the doors and went to her. Upon seeing me, she stumbled from the bed and threw herself into my arms. I wrapped her into me. There were words of love, but they fell short of the truth. I came into her life then, not as a love, but death. Her statement I took to heart. Her tear reddened eyes pleaded for some explanation, but the thirst had already marked her. In those days it was not the steady need it is now. It was a blanket lust that overrode all else. In those fevered seconds I did not see a lover, I saw a meal. Before my strength reasserted itself, the crimson haze cleared from my eyes, and I found misery waiting for them. My dear, sweet, beautiful Constance lay, a broken husk, in my arms. Screaming, I let her fall to the floor. Already to the gallerie doors, I heard footsteps racing toward us. As I leapt through the doors I glanced back to see Constance’s blank eyes glaring after me. It was the last memory I took of her after claiming her life, and it will forever condemn me. Wrenching myself from the memories, I felt tears carving trails down my hollow cheeks. Composing myself, I mentally sought out Morgan. She had moved on, abandoning the journal to dark thoughts of her own. My lack of appearance tonight had placed a blight upon what we’d shared. I saw the inner turmoil she experienced because of it. Having caused her pain was inexcusable, for even though I planned to disappear from her life at the soonest possible moment, I would not have her assume the role of mistress in her mind. She was better than some simple courtesan, or Storyville whore, to be tossed away when finished with.
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The Morgan Diaries

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I swear now, when my mind reaches a semblance of calm, I will make the break clean with as little pain involved for her as possible. She deserves closure. I made ready to desert the link between us, when a stray thought stopped me. Tomorrow this associate of hers would take the journals for authentication. I could retrieve the documents without harming her, thus saving me from a situation I dreaded. Closing the connection, I allowed a small smile to grace my face. By Hallows’ Eve I could depart her with due haste. My sorrow would continue, but at least my love would live on.

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The Morgan Diaries

J. Morgan and Morgan O’Reilly

The Personal Journals of Morgan Victoria Beauchamp
Tuesday, October 28 Dearest Papa, The day after my birthday finds me groggy, restless, itchy, and de-energized… and alone again, it seems. Apparently I had more to drink than I thought. When Mattias woke me by pounding on my door, I was in no mood be awakened. With a pounding head, a body that ached, and not wanting to move, I barely managed to pull on an oversized T-shirt before answering the door. At Mattias’ stare, I put my hand to my throat and discovered the necklace still in place. With no time to explain on my part, or gawk on his, he shooed me into a fast shower and then threw jeans, a turtleneck and a sweater through the bathroom door. In short order, we were in his Toyota and somehow he managed to avoid a speeding ticket getting back to campus. Later, he explained, my pale appearance worried him which was why, after shoving me into the lecture hall, he came back with a quart of hot coffee and sat off to the side. Normally he doesn’t attend the seminars, but it was sweet he watched over me. Unnecessary, but sweet, nonetheless. Also thanks to Mattias’ foresight, I was able to get the discussion started based on my class notes. A good grad student assistant is certainly worth his weight in gold. I have to find a way to give him a bonus for Christmas. Or the way I feel tonight, possibly my job once he’s completed his doctorate. I’m not entirely sure where this listlessness is coming from. I didn’t drink that much alcohol last night. And the lovemaking was invigorating, not draining. As I sit here at Café du Monde, hoping Jean Baptiste will find me tonight – can you believe we haven’t exchanged phone numbers or email addys? It seems so surreal to be in a modern relationship without a hot text or two to get me through the day – I feel my energy returning, but I’m also slightly depressed. I’m still wearing the necklace, and in touching it, I can feel the touch of my lover, but I wish for him to be here touching me now. Of course, my sweater is hiding it. It wouldn’t do to advertise such an obscene amount of money around my neck. I love this city, but I’m not fool enough to believe I’m immune to muggers who would attack me for my cell phone let alone a laptop or a valuable piece of jewelry. And just where is my lover tonight? It’s almost as if I can sense him watching from a distance. Is he hiding behind the bushes? Is he in the shadows? Or is it merely my imagination? Most likely. He stumbled out of my bed so fast as dawn approached, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was half way to New York by now. Is my self-pity clear enough for you, Papa? So, in order to redirect my thoughts, I’ve turned to the journal of Jean Baptiste the pirate. At least he is still with me, even if his present day counterpart has chosen to do the conquerand-run routine. Oddly enough, the journal seems easier to read tonight. There’s a bit here I hadn’t discovered before. It seems he had a lady he loved enough to give up the sea for.
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The Morgan Diaries

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Constance. Such a romantic my pirate was. I’m able to eke out details of their meeting, at a ball he hosted. The closely cloistered lady managed to escape the watchful eye of her uncle, and she and Jean Baptiste met in a most decadent clandestine manner. Most suitable for the pirate he was. So, what went wrong? I’ve spent most of the night deciphering just the first few pages. My head is pounding and the noise of the café seems so loud tonight. The streets are absolutely teeming with early Halloween celebrants. And my other senses seem over bright. I was actually scrambling for sunglasses this afternoon. Fortunately Mattias was willing to loan me his pair and when I hit the Quarter, I found a shop where I bought huge, super dark, Jackie O sunglasses. The fragrance of the coffee and beignets is keeping the more unglamorous odors of the streets at bay for now. Surely these are the remaining dregs of my hangover. I’m distracted again. So, Jean Baptiste of 1761 fell in love. If I’m reading it right, he spent several weeks courting her and working up to the idea of marriage. Which probably led to the idea of breaking it off with the Jamaican mistress. A wise plan. Had he begun courting me, I’d have expected the strumpet on the side to be history in a very fast way. Like, immediately. As fascinating as this is, and truly, this find is historic and momentous, I hate that I’m distracted by my body’s longing for my lover. I’m also cold, so sitting inside and drinking coffee is helping somewhat, but I want to be outside where I’m more visible should he be looking for me. I can’t believe I didn’t get a phone number, a business card, an email, a website, a MySpace… some way to contact him! Was that his plan all along? Stalk me until I fell into bed with him and then leave me? Is the necklace payment for the night? Am I only a whore to him? Granted, he did me the honor of making me feel very high class about it - I must get this necklace appraised - but still. I’m not a whore and damn him for making me feel like one! Just the thought makes me want to rip off this collar and toss it into the river. Let some dredger pull it up years from now and wonder at the mystery of where it came from. The thought almost makes me giggle. As a historian, anthropologist, and part time archeologist, I can just imagine what sort of tizzy such a find would stir up. Jewelry is not my forte, but I will get it appraised tomorrow and then find a way to return it to him. At least if he’s going to pay me, I’d like some sort of idea of how much he values me and my services. A disgusting thought, is it not, for an academic like me? Oh how my mind wanders… There, I’ve just put another two hours into interpreting this gobbledygook of French, English, Spanish and dialects of several other languages in between. Constance was most important to our buccaneer swain. So much so, that he’s heading out on his ship, the Gilded Lady, tomorrow to make one last run to his mistress. It seems he plans to tell Diabolique – Good Lord is that her real name or did she make it up? - things are over between them. And then his crew is next. He’ll proctor an election for a new captain then return to New Orleans to begin life as a gentleman farmer with the proceeds he’s gained from his years of privateering. I wonder, did he tell Constance that he was leaving her for a time and why? I really must get this journal authenticated. I’ll assign Mattias that chore tomorrow. More
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The Morgan Diaries

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than anyone else he can be trusted, and there are some grad students in that department who would love to do him a favor. Why doesn’t he see how the younger ladies lie in wait for him? I’m old enough to have been his babysitter for crying out loud. Is he one of those men who fantasized about a hot affair with their nubile teen sitters? I suppose I never told you, Papa, how Mr. Milowiki tried to cop a feel each time he drove me home after sitting with those demon twins he and his wife cooed over. You probably would have killed him, I imagine. And now I circle right back to where I started my evening, wondering where Jean Baptiste is. Does he, too, have a mistress to set free? Or am I the mistress? The endless spirals of speculation are driving me batty. I have research to do and I’ve allowed myself to be distracted by a man who loved me last night and left me alone this night. Was I so terrifying? Does he have a wife who caught him sneaking in the door? Ah, Papa, I wish you were here to advise me. What goes through a man’s mind at a time like this?

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The Morgan Diaries

J. Morgan and Morgan O’Reilly

From the Memoirs of Jean Baptiste Morgane
Wednesday, 29 October, Year of Our Lord 2008

I have recovered the lost journal though it pains me to know the depths to which I sank to retrieve it. My heart tries to convince me I have not betrayed Morgan by doing so, but my mind knows the truth and horror of what I have done. If only it was the sole infamy I’d perpetrated this dark night. My betrayal goes much deeper. After hearing the turmoil in Morgan’s mind the night before, I knew I had to go to her and offer some explanation for my actions. Donning a trench coat and hat, I left my shadowy cave before the sun dipped below the Spanish moss strangled cypress trees. My flesh tingled with the heat of the burning orb, but my precautions prevented the harmful rays from directly touching me. My sluggishness impeded my journey, but I had to see Morgan with all due haste. Even though dusk had fallen by the time I reached the campus, students milled freely around the quad as I made my way toward Morgan’s last class of the day. Fearing the connection we shared might prove untrustworthy, I timed my visit so I could come near her before she left for the night. Approaching the classroom, I paused as a rush of students blocked my way. It seemed my plan had worked. As the crowd cleared I saw Morgan’s door standing open. I hesitated at the door, seeing her conversing with someone near the podium. When they tilted their heads close together, a wave of anger filled me. The sight of another man so close to my woman drove me nearly insane. The slight pressure of my fangs tearing the flesh of my bottom lip shocked me back to my senses. In spite of what my heart thought, Morgan was not my woman. She belonged to no man. She was uniquely her own. That was the very quality that endeared her to me. Fighting to hold onto my sanity, I moved into the lecture hall. My feet moved feebly toward them. I paused at the top of the stairs leading down to her. Morgan’s sparkling eyes caught sight of me and captured me briefly with their promise of love. My resolve faltered. The thought of losing her too great to bear, I would take this moment, no matter how delusional it might be, and take pleasure in her company. Let tomorrow come and damn me for a fool, but tonight I would be human. First I had to deal with this interloper. Morgan greeted me with unrestrained longing. Her mad-cap dash brought her into my arms, where I enfolded her with every bit of the passion consuming me. Breaking a kiss I had been sure would kick start my heart back to pumping, I caught a look from Morgan’s companion. The hate I saw in his eyes offered me little worry. I flashed him a knowing smile before releasing my hold on Morgan. My conscience bristled at the concoction of lies that fell from my lips to explain my disappearance but it was for her own good. It helped matters little that she accepted them. The assistant she introduced as Mattias, on the other hand, did not. I am not one to bandy words with a fool, yet found myself doing just that. Only Morgan’s intervention stopped the situation from escalating any further.
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The Morgan Diaries

J. Morgan and Morgan O’Reilly

Once free of the damnable man’s presence, I did my utmost to calm her fears. She offered the necklace back to me, but I refused. Explaining the present was not some trinket to purchase her affections, I told her the necklace was a gift of the heart and belonged where my heart already resided—with her. That seemed to assuage her fears concerning my intentions. I bade my goodbyes under the pretense of finishing up the business I’d told her had monopolized my time for the past day, promising to see her later that night if it reached a satisfactory conclusion. A gentle kiss ended our time together, though we both yearned for more. In truth Mattias drew my attention. While Morgan and I said our farewells, the man slipped from the room. My journal sat tucked beneath his arm along with a collection of other manuscripts that held no interest for me. Hugging to the shadows, I followed him through the streets. He, oblivious to my presence, led me directly to his home. The entire time his mouth worked feverously spouting diatribes against my person. They were laughable, amusing me with their content. At least he had to good taste to love Morgan. Not that I’d allow him to live, or so I’d thought. My luck held as we reached his merger abode. The small avenue sat cloaked in shadow, deserted for all intents and purposes. It took little effort to overtake him within the confines of the slender portico over his door. I admit no small enjoyment at the look upon his face, as I shoved him inside. Fear oozed from the man like rancid dimestore perfume. The scent of his death lurked beneath it. I tasted it. Wanted it. I truthfully cannot state why I did not take his life there and then. Perhaps some small bit of humanity still resides within my cold body. If I looked deeper, I would honestly say Morgan stayed my hand. Through our connection, I felt her love for this man; not the burning passion she felt for me, but a kinship I was loath to take away from her. Nevertheless, I could not leave him free to tell of my monstrosity. The act was distasteful to me, yet I did it all the same. I pulled him to me and drank deep, not enough to send him to whatever hells awaited him but just the amount to bind him to me. His brain fought to dissolve the control I exerted over him. I marveled at the strength he displayed. In the end, no mind can combat the mental dominance of a vampire. In the darkness, his eyes flew back to white and he was mine to do with what I would. With the merest suggestion, he placed the journal in my hand, along with some notes he’d worked up that day. I took them greedily, securing them in my overcoat. Mattias stared blankly into my face, awaiting my next command. I planted the idea of sleep into his mind, telling him that should Morgan inquire about his studies concerning the journal, the work was slow in coming. I was not sure she would believe his tale, but prayed their friendship would calm any fears she might have. I left him yawning as he made his way to bed. Closing the door behind me, I knew I must see Morgan after returning the journal and Mattias’ papers to my home, where they still sit beside this journal. I find myself hesitant to open the tattered binding to replay my humanity. The pain is too great for me now. Instead I will secret them along with the other remnants of my past I would as soon forget. That done, the urgency to see Morgan overruled whatever reason I had left to me. Like a sparrow straight from the bowels of hell, I flew through the streets. Each second of the
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The Morgan Diaries

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journey burned an eternity through my dark soul. Reaching her doorway, I knew this night would only end with our bodies entwined. I ached for her beneath me, boring not her life into me but her love. Blood no longer sustains me. Only Morgan Beauchamp does. Tonight I took all I could and knew it would never be enough to sate the thirst I feel for her.

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The Morgan Diaries

J. Morgan and Morgan O’Reilly

The Personal Journals of Morgan Victoria Beauchamp
Wednesday, October 29 Dearest Papa, Well, it seems I have to eat my words from yesterday. I spent a second day struggling with my resentment, shame and sorrow, my body positively aching from lack of sleep and a need for satisfaction. After my last class, an early evening lecture for grad students, faithful Mattias at my side, my whole world turned on its axis once more. I looked up from my briefcase trying to rub the itch from my neck and there, at the very back, easily overlooked because of the shadows, stood my own modern day pirate. The rascal. He even had the nerve to wear a long black trench coat and hat. He raised his head and our gazes met. And just like that, my body came alive, my doubts fled, and depression vaporized. He was back and all he had to do was hold out his hand and, forgiveness in my heart, I ran to him. Mattias tried to hold me back, but I shook him off and found myself in the arms of my own Jean Baptiste, his whispered murmurs of apology music in my ears. He’d had business, unexpected and unavoidable. He doesn’t carry a cell phone and wasn’t near a phone which wouldn’t have done him any good because he didn’t have my number. I promised to tattoo it on his palm if that would help, and he laughed as he kissed me. A very tiny voice in the back of my mind still whispered wanting to know what kind of business. After all, we’d mostly discussed my work, my research, my life. I couldn’t for the life of me remember if he’d ever mentioned a vocation, a career or business. Who is he, really? my little voice asked. My libido ignored all such sinister whispers. For all I knew, the man could be a burglar or a con man, the necklace his latest hot ticket in my keeping so as to be out of the visibility of authorities. The very valuable necklace. Yes, I did have it appraised. It seems my lover thinks quite highly of me. The jeweler offered me forty thousand dollars cash on the spot. Imagine his resale on that. Sixty thousand or, more likely, eighty. I had him check the clasp and he assured me the necklace would never fall off by mistake or chance. It took a knowing hand to work the mechanism. He also assured me the settings were solid and he dated the piece back at least two hundred years. A check of the police hot sheets didn’t turn up even a hint of it. He felt confident in assuring me my benefactor was most generous. So. My very passionate lover is back. I’m still wearing his gift, and he has assured me it was a gift with no strings attached. Not a payment for services, past, present or future. A gift from his heart. I’ve done it again. I’ve skipped over events and have trotted off far ahead of myself. While wrapped in Jean Baptiste’s arms at the back of the lecture hall, we were interrupted by Mattias standing at my shoulder and clearing his throat. The two men sized each other up. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it live like that before, but I could very nearly smell the testosterone in the room. Two men ready to lock horns over me. Talk about feminine satisfaction. It was almost
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The Morgan Diaries

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laughable, but I had the sense they were very serious about ripping into each other. I stepped between them and made the introductions, using the name John Morgan as Jean Baptiste had asked me the other day. He found the explanations of the similarity of his name to the pirate to be awkward. Still, Mattias gave me a dubious glance. Like a stand-in brother, uncle or father, Mattias dug into Jean Baptiste with questions. What did he do for a living? Jean Baptiste answered that he dealt in antiquities. Might that explain where the necklace came from? Oh my. The very thought made my little heart beat out a rapid tattoo. His family? None. Associations? Impressive names of old families were spit out like a ticker tape. Jean Baptiste did an admirable job of holding back his temper. Indeed, at one point I thought I caught the hint of a chuckle, or was it a growl of frustration? Hard to tell. Jean Baptiste has one hell of a poker face. At last I called an end to the grilling. I was starving and anxious to be alone with Jean Baptiste. His fingers had found the necklace under my clothing and stroked it, stroked me, stoked the banked coals of my want. I asked Mattias to take my briefcase back to my office and lock up. He had the journals already and had agreed to take them to his contacts in the morning. I was disappointed when Jean Baptiste begged off, saying he had just a little more business this evening. Apparently I was a stop between appointments. I put on my brave face and shrugged. I had my own errands, I assured him. Groceries were high on my list as I craved red meat and the contents of my fridge held no appeal. Caught up in day dreams, I barely remember shopping and driving, and therefore consider it a miracle I managed to pull my car into the garage an hour later. Jean Baptiste came to greet me in the garage. Too anxious to wait, he met me at the hood of my car, and with the warmth of the metal beneath my back, he stripped my jeans from my legs and came into me right there. I must admit making love on the hood of an economy car isn’t the stuff of MTV videos, but it didn’t matter one bit to us. As he thrust into me, I licked the hint of salt from his neck and left behind what I was sure would be a very visible love bite. I must not have chewed on him as hard as I thought for there was no visible mark when we finally made it upstairs to my bed. Ah, what magic a man can work with the simple tools he is born with. Hands, lips, tongue, and other… parts I blush to mention to my own father. Yes, as natural as you and Mama tried to be about such things, I still don’t feel comfortable discussing it with you in intimate detail. Even with you in spirit form on the screen of my computer. I imagine, that if Jean Baptiste keeps a journal, I’m sure he does it the old fashioned way. Leather bound books of unlined pages, filled with neat script using fine ink. He has just that air of old world elegance about him. Even unclothed. But all body parts aside, it is the heart of a man a woman feels when those parts come together. Without heart, the motions would be meaningless, just sweaty groping to diffuse a physical urge. And I felt his heart. My soul was touched and we made love. You can’t tell me men don’t feel the deeper difference. It isn’t just sex. Not with the right mate. There was a moment when I looked into his eyes and I saw everything inside him. Each emotion was bare
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The Morgan Diaries

J. Morgan and Morgan O’Reilly

and raw, laid out for me to see. I cupped his cheeks between my hands and let my heart show in my eyes. In just this way, we were connected far more deeply than his part A in my slot B. Soul to soul, I felt as if we each stared across all eternity and all we could see was each other. From the intensity of our union, our contact on all levels, I know it touched him deeply as well, for his entire body trembled. Mine trembled as well, and together we reached an altitude so high we both touched the very heavens. A small eternity passed before we were able to rouse ourselves after that. Jean Baptiste collapsed on top of me, his lips soft and loving as he drowsily kissed whatever part of my head and neck he could reach in our languor. I held him, loving the weight of his body on mine. At length, afraid he was crushing me, he rolled to his back without breaking our connection, for it was still strong between us, and I rested upon him, his body my bed. I licked the spot where I could have sworn I’d bitten him and a shudder of pure delight rippled through his body and into mine. Only hunger, for real red meat, roused me from my comfortable spot. Jean Baptiste swore he’d never need another morsel of food, though he did help empty the bags we’d carried up from the car. All he needed was to make love to me. A wonderful sentiment, but poor mortal that I am, I needed steak. Or at the very least, some of the rare roast beef slices I’d purchased. Another night has passed and my lover has once again slipped from my bed, thinking me asleep. I was until I heard the snick of the door shutting. Where does my lover run off to before the sun rises? If I had any strength at all, I’d try to follow him. As daylight grows in my room, I realize I still don’t have a phone number, nor do I know where he lives. Am I a fool? Is my lover what he seems? Do I really care? As long as he isn’t married, a thief wanted for crimes I can only imagine, or a modern day rake seeking only to spend time in debauchery, I don’t much care what he does. I just want our time to continue without end. Perhaps I am a romantic who would do better to pen fiction rather than continue my crusade to make history come alive for my students. Lord knows I might have more impact on a wider audience. A debate for another day. I have only a few hours to rest before I must return to campus. Have to pay the bills somehow…

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The Morgan Diaries

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The Personal Journals of Morgan Victoria Beauchamp
Friday, October 31 - Part 1 Dearest Mama, I’m keeping a hand journal today as the laptop is too heavy to carry with me, and in quiet moments, I want to record each thought, each step, each action. The day is heavy with anticipation and the wild abandon only New Orleans can provide on such a holiday is steadily building. Halloween. Not knowing what will come tonight, I just finished putting my house in order, so to speak. The apartment is clean, my notes organized, lesson plans are set for the rest of the semester, and even my bank accounts are balanced. Heavens to Betsy, I didn’t realize how much money I have. I’ve ignored the stock accounts for years and what you all left me has now grown to a respectable amount. I can retire and continue my research in my own way. In any case, have the planets aligned and no one told me? I can’t remember the last time I had such a nesting instinct clobber me over the head. Lord, I even have dinner ready for when Jean Baptiste is scheduled to show at six. Carlo came to my rescue yet again this week. In the back of his storeroom he has a truly exquisite wardrobe of period dresses. Remade with the same materials and painstaking detail from dresses he’d once found in an old trunk at his grandmother’s house. The treasure trove he’d found there still keeps him busy many nights, he told me as he dug through the racks squeezed into his back room littered with bolts of fabric, patterns, measuring tapes and all sorts of design paraphernalia. How he had time to create and run his boutique I have no idea. “So, who is he? You’ve never come to me for a slut dress or a costume in the same week.” Carlo dug deep into the clothes carefully bagged against dust and insect damage. “Come to think of it, you’ve never come to me for either.” Was that censure I’d heard in his tone? “I doubt you know him, but he is one hot pirate,” I told him, thinking of what my modern Jean Baptiste would look like if dressed like the real pirate. “Try me.” Carlo’s voice came back to me muffled by the yards and yards of fabric. “I know everyone in this town, honey.” “Jean Baptiste Morgane. Just like the pirate I’ve been researching all my life.” The rustling in the corner stopped and I looked toward Carlo who seemed frozen. Had the clothes finally come to life and possessed him, I thought with a giggle. “Jean Baptiste Morgane who sometimes goes by the name John Morgan?” Carlo began to move again, this time backing into the room wrestling with a particularly bulky bundle. Surprise made me stop and stare. “Yes. You know him?” “I told you, honey,” Carlo looked back at me with half lowered lids, “I know everybody worth knowing in this town. Possibly even this state.” He hung up the heavy looking garment bag and began to carefully open it. “For example, this dress was coveted by the governor’s wife last Mardi Gras, but I wouldn’t let her wear it. However, for you,” he glanced over his shoulder, his eyes taking in my form as a tailor would, “this dress is begging
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The Morgan Diaries

J. Morgan and Morgan O’Reilly

to be worn by you.” The garment bag dropped away and all I could do was gasp. Constructed of deep rose damask, yards of ribbon, and spills of lace, the dress was living history. My hand flew to the necklace hidden by the neck of my sweater. The rubies would come to life with that dress. “I styled it after a dress Madame Pompadour wore when she posed for François Boucher. You have the same creamy skin and the perfect curves for this gown. I even have the proper choker to hide that bite mark on your neck.” Carlo clucked his tongue and sadly shook his head. “Some men don’t know how to mark their woman. Is this the result of the red dress?” His soft hand cupped my neck and his thumb rubbed over the barely visible hickey over my jugular. “Yes. That dress got me laid by the most delicious…” “Jean Baptiste Morgane.” Carlo finished my sentence and pulled away while shaking his head. “No time for modesty, girlfriend. Strip down to the skin and we’ll get started. It will take at least forty minutes to get you into this rig. And I don’t have to tell you, if you get blood on this dress, I won’t be happy.” He gave me a long, meaningful stare then twitched aside the curtains and walked into the dressing area. “I’m just going to lock the door so we won’t be interrupted. Get those modern clothes out of the way.” “All of them?” I couldn’t believe the squeak in my voice. “Every stitch! We’re going for full authenticity. Pull on the chemise first.” His voice carried back to me as I hurried, hoping to get the chemise on before he returned. I’m not a prude, but parading around naked for anyone not a lover was a bit disconcerting. My back to the curtained doorway, I’d just pulled the very thin and transparent garment over me when I heard the swish of the curtain. “Yes, your body is perfect for this gown,” Carlo said with approval. “I must have had you in mind when making it.” A long arm reached past me and I felt the heat of him behind me. “Corset next.” He hadn’t been joking about the time to dress me, but in the end, it was worth every moment. Though the weight is unfamiliar, the entire ensemble fit like a well loved glove and I find it reasonably comfortable. I am also glad it is a cool night, for the layers are quite warm despite the lack of panties or even pantalets. Stockings anchored with garters and a touch of modern technology, a special glue, are all that cover my legs beneath the petticoats. It feels wicked and decadent. “Nice necklace, by the way.” Carlo stood back and assessed the final piece of my costume, a finger thoughtfully tapping his lips. I had a feeling he knew something about the necklace, or about Jean Baptiste, but he wasn’t about to tell me. I hate those kinds of secrets. “A touch of makeup will hide your love bite since you don’t need the choker.” “It was a gift. My birthday present.” “From Jean Baptiste?” A finely shaped brow arched. “A very valuable gift.” A strange shiver touched my heart then and my hand flew to the jewels circling my throat. Was it a mistake to wear them? Carlo, whom I’d known for a decade, eyed the stones in a way that made me feel vulnerable. “I hope he’ll meet you here,” Carlo said and turned away to hang up my street clothes.
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“It would be foolish to walk the streets with that on your neck. You wouldn’t make it two blocks before getting mugged.” “Get me a cab,” I said. “He’s coming for dinner at six.” “You have about fifteen minutes to get home then.” Carlo reached for his phone. A quick conversation, half in French, and he hung up with a smile. “They’ll be out front in two minutes.” True to his word, Carlo had me bundled into a cab with my street clothes in a bag. With only a minute to spare, I hitched up my skirts and dashed up the stairs to my apartment. I’m sure it’s only fancy, or the Halloween atmosphere, but I could almost swear someone, or something, watched me from deep shadows. I don’t have time to worry about it. Jean Baptiste is coming and I just put dinner in the oven to warm, the candles are lit and everything is perfect. Tonight, something momentous is going to happen. I’m just not sure what. He’s knocking now. Showtime!

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The Morgan Diaries

J. Morgan and Morgan O’Reilly

From the Memoirs of Jean Baptiste Morgane
Friday, 31 October, Year of Our Lord 2008 – Part 1

If I had still been human, the urge to sleep in would have been overwhelming. It had been ages since I drank so deeply from a single person as I had from Mattias. The sensation had made me lackadaisical, dare I say comatose even. Knowing I would see Morgan upon rising propelled me from my rest. I vaguely remembered something about a fancy dress ball later in the evening, but I needed to speak with Morgan first. The quiet dinner at her home would allow me the chance I needed to, as this generation says, spill my guts, though in my day spilling one’s guts involved a more mortal outcome. In this instance, perhaps the two were more closely related than I first thought. We’d agreed to meet a little before six at her home. If I remembered correctly, the party would not begin until much later. Nine, I believed. Seeing to my toiletry and choosing something in fitting with the fancy dress event we were to attend, a remake of my best pirate captain dress suit brought back by a clever tailor whose mind I have become adapt at controlling, I formulated a plan where I would set her at ease and hopefully create the proper atmosphere for what I had to say. I in no way considered this to be an easy task. Before the night was done, my words would destroy her safe little world. Morgan would know the natural world was not as she had come to think of it. And neither was I. Some trepidation dogged my heels as I made my way to her home. If I loved her, why was I planning to rip apart everything that made her human? Did my own selfish concerns matter more to me than Morgan’s happiness? Did it matter? My decision had been made. Whatever else happened this night, we would either be together for all eternity or our love would forever be doomed to the bounty of death. Disregarding the sobering thought, I turned upon Morgan’s street. The crush of early evening traffic pressed me toward the storefronts and apartment buildings lining her roadway. Ahead I had a flash of recognition. Mattias’ huddled form in the crowd. His gaze was plastered on Morgan’s gatehouse apartment. Weaving in and out of the mass of people populating the sidewalk, I made no move to capture his attention. I wanted to take him unawares to discover the truth. Probing his mind would have revealed all, but I wanted the truth to fall from his lips. By the time I made my presence known, Mattias had no chance to escape. Gripping the back of his shirt, I pulled him into the shadow cloaked alcove directly across from Morgan’s door. The man did not even try to lie. Voice quaking, he admitted stalking Morgan but not to harm her. His unrequited love for her seeped through the fractured barriers of his mind. Only that singular emotion could snap my control over him. I did not wonder at his reasoning for being here. The evidence of truth damned him more than his thoughts ever could. The press of a stake curled back against Mattias’ wrist told the tale. Instead of fury, laughter kindled inside me. A mental push sent him sinking to the ground. I couldn’t bring myself to slay him. His strength of will provided an interesting foil for me, but I would not brook another such action on his part. The next would mean his
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death. For now, unconsciousness held him so that my plans could proceed unimpaired. By the time he woke, it would be too late for him to save anyone, let alone himself. Leaving him to the gutter he so richly deserved, I crossed the street. A flutter of nerves entered my stomach, twisting it into an uncomfortable knot. The closer my feet brought me to her door, the more the urge to flee swamped my brain. Forcing it down unto my subconscious, I stepped onto the tiny landing at her door. Before my hand reached for the ornamental knocker, the door flew open revealing a vision so glorious my eyes burned with the radiance. “Come in, Jean Baptiste, my love.” With those simple words my damnation and salvation were sealed.

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The Morgan Diaries

J. Morgan and Morgan O’Reilly

The Personal Journals of Morgan Victoria Beauchamp
Friday, October 31 – Part 2 As much as my appearance seemed to affect Jean Baptiste, his appearance nearly made me faint. So close was his resemblance to my pirate from the eighteenth century, I felt as if I were staring at an apparition come to life. Was it not said that the veil between this world and death was at its thinnest this night? Was this, in fact, the real Jean Baptiste answering the call of my obsession after all these years? From black boots and breeches, white shirt, lacy cravat, and deep wine red coat, even the dashing wide-brimmed and feathered hat, the only indication of the modern man was the lack of a powdered wig. His black hair was pulled back and tied with a black satin ribbon. Polished and sophisticated, I’d never seen a better costume. My blood warmed and thrummed through my veins so strongly I raised a hand to my throat, feeling the pulse under the thumb that covered the love bite on my neck. I hadn’t had time for the makeup Carlo had suggested. “Come in,” I gasped, and gave my best rendition of a short curtsey. Jean Baptiste swept off his hat with a grand flourish and bowed deeply. He straightened and stepped in, closing the door behind him. Candlelight flickered, adding an air of authenticity to the setting. He stepped close to me and cupped my nape, his gaze roving over me as if trying to memorize or remember something from the past. “Your hair, down like this, is very much more pleasing than the hairstyles of the period.” His fingers sifted through the curls that had defied my attempts to put it up. Instead, I’d tied pieces back with lengths of ribbon and Mardi Gras beads of clear crystals. Definitely a departure from authenticity. But now I was glad of it. If it earned his approval, nothing else mattered. “Dinner is nearly ready,” I managed to say. The look in his eyes told me he didn’t hunger for anything so mundane as the round steak parmesan I had warming. “I would have made reservations, but I wanted to be alone with you. Thank you for cooking for me.” The kiss he placed on my lips guaranteed my willingness to cook for him in the future. I’d cook anything he wanted as long as I knew we’d be together all night. I wondered what he liked for breakfast, but didn’t get the chance to ask. Mesmerized by the look in his eyes, I found myself at the table with plates of food and glasses of wine before us. We held long conversations without saying a word. He fed me, we shared wine and sweet kisses until I felt my blood running hot and heavy. I wanted to tear up the ball tickets. I didn’t care. This night was for us and us alone. The need to mix with crowds was the one thing furthest from my mind. “Dessert?” I asked at long last. The sensual smile he gave me turned my knees to jelly and I doubted I could walk the three steps to the kitchen to exchange dinner plates for dessert of moist Dutch chocolate cake with four layers, all frosted with deep dark chocolate of course. The best aphrodisiac in the world in my opinion. Clichéd I’m sure, but sometimes clichés exist for a reason, usually
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The Morgan Diaries

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because they are the best way to do something. Jean Baptiste followed me and as I reached for the coffee pot, he assembled the cups and saucers, one hand on my hip. “Did you know I find a woman trussed up in stays to be incredibly sexy? Like unwrapping the best gift in the world.” His soft breath teased my bare neck and I felt it flow down my chest to where the corset finally started, just bare centimeters above my nipples. If I’d thought the red dress on Monday night had given me cleavage, this costume outclassed it by miles. “And once she’s unwrapped from the many layers of fine linen and lace, I then like to truss her up another way.” The whisper brushed my bare shoulder and his lips lightly kissed the spot before feathering up my neck. I was powerless in his arms. I wanted what he promised. “But first, we must talk.” He pulled away and picked up the coffee cups. Cool air roused me from the erotic haze, but barely. Just enough for me to carry the plates of cake to the table. “What is there to discuss?” “Morgan,” he took my hand, “there are things you don’t know about me. Things you must understand. I wish I could give you more time, yet I doubt even a week would be long enough to make lifelong choices, but this night is here and a year is too long. It must happen tonight.” His dark eyes seemed as if they were trying to send me a message, but I didn’t understand. “What choices?” And why was Halloween crucial? Jean Baptiste lifted a fork and fed me a bite of the richly decadent cake, watching each movement of my mouth, the way I chewed, swallowed, then licked my lips. His pupils dilated in the way I knew so well. He was captivated and it mattered not to me who seduced whom, as long as seduction was the game. “I want you to be with me so much,” he paused as if considering his next words carefully, “but you must choose freely… by midnight. I’ll give you until then to think about this.” Nodding my head, I tried to show my encouragement. “Okay. Midnight. I promise to think carefully about what you are going to tell me.” I couldn’t help smiling a little. He wanted to be with me. The very thought made my heart trip out an ecstatic tattoo. “This is no laughing matter,” he snapped, his frown ferocious, and I had a glimpse into how Jean Baptiste from the eighteenth century must have dealt with unruly crew members aboard The Gilded Lady. “Okay, I’m serious. I’m listening.” I tightened my grip on his hand. Dark eyes shimmering with deep emotions locked with mine. “I’ve never known another woman like you. You’ve grown to become a part of me. I feel as if my blood is yours and your blood is mine.” His thumb rested over the veins lining my wrist. “Our hearts beat in tandem. Our minds think alike in so many ways. My soul is in your keeping and the only way I’ll get it back is if…” “Yes?” I softly urged when he hesitated. “If you join with me for eternity.” Eternity. Such an odd word to use. Powerful. Final. Frightening in its promise.
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“Eternity. Certainly. I’m drawn to you as well. I feel as if I’ve known you forever, as if we knew each other in a past life and have found each other again in this one,” I said. “You may not be far off, but what I’m talking about does not involve a civil ceremony. Not even a religious one. I’m talking the blending of our souls, our essences, our very blood, to become one in a way no humans can ever experience.” I must admit, his choice of words was beginning to concern me. Mattias’ warnings of vampires came back to me in answer to the word humans. But vampires don’t exist. They’re of myth and legend, like werewolves and faeries. I shook my head in confusion. “I get the whole soul mate thing. Honestly, I feel that way too, but you’re confusing me… I’m sure it’s Halloween, Mattias’ paranoia, New Orleans’ love of the paranormal, but I’m starting to wonder… I mean, I know unexplained things happen, but… according to legends, what you’re talking about sounds like…” Lord, I didn’t want to say the word and have him laugh at me. I gulped in a fortifying breath then spit it out. “Vampires.” Not only did Jean Baptiste not laugh at me, his eyes stayed steady, the expression upon his beautiful face grave. My gaze shifted to his mouth, his beautiful talented mouth that knew how to draw out my deepest passions and, there, I saw a tiny drop of blood, as if he’d bitten his lip. My hands grew icy, my heart began to pound and all I could think about was licking that drop of blood from his lower lip. I wanted to bite that lip and suck in the blood calling to me. A loud sound from the street broke through the haze enfolding me and I jumped to my feet. Jean Baptiste released my fingers from his hand and I backed away as realization sank in. Vampires are not of myth and legend. Vampires are real. Jean Baptiste is a vampire. My hand flew to my neck to cover the site of his love bite. His mark, where he had bitten me. My God! I’d been bitten. What did it mean? Was Mattias right? Did I have this taint now? Had I been turned? My thoughts raced through the last few days, my days sluggish, my nights productive, my pale face and sensitivity to light, sound and scent… My hand grasped my throat, as if I could make myself breathe better. Surely my lack of oxygen wasn’t entirely due to the corset, but rather the tall man now standing beside my table. No. Not a man. “Vampire.”

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The Morgan Diaries

J. Morgan and Morgan O’Reilly

From the Memoirs of Jean Baptiste Morgane
Friday, 31 October – Part 2

My heart sank, as Morgan dashed toward the door. Her face wrapped in fear, she wrestled with the doorknob. I could easily have rushed to her but her reaction kept me rooted in place. I had been a fool to hope she would blindly accept this. A part of me died in that instant. Seeing her flee, after feeling the love she held for me grow over the past few days, withered the parts of my heart that had begun to grow like spring crocuses pushing through last year’s moldy leaves. Even as she slipped through to the street beyond, I could not move. Pain held me in place, the pain of knowing I was too monstrous to hold love in my hands. I have never been one given to emotional outbursts yet the sight of her leaving drove me to the brink of one. Standing there, I knew I could not let things stay as they were. The need to go to her was too strong. If for no other reason than to calm her down and explain that, in spite of what she might think, I would never harm her. I would rather die under the fires of the sun than go on knowing she didn’t love me. Come morning that was exactly what I would do. Willing my legs to move, I flew from the house. The revelry of Halloween had moved toward the French Quarter, and the trick-or-treating children were being put to bed, leaving the street empty but for the drunks who always seemed to find the darkness of solitude a well honed lover. My eyes tore through the haze and saw Morgan as she rounded the far corner. Forgoing stealth, I raced after her. My stride cut the distance and I rounded the corner to find it likewise deserted. So many opportunities for her to disappear presented themselves. Any side street could hide her retreat. Taking one wrong turn could easily lead me further away from her. Stopping in the middle of the avenue, I let my mind wander. Fragments of thoughts filtered through the heavy air but nothing that bespoke Morgan’s presence. The crying of a woman reached me but it was not her. Apparently, melancholy had many lovers this night. I dropped my chin to my chest in frustration. The overwhelming stench of celebrating humanity clogged the air. I’d lost her. I turned back the way I’d come, when the barest trace of her perfume floated to me. My head pivoted toward a street leading off to the left just ahead of me. Girding myself for failure, I took off. The street was more alley than road. The faint shuffle of hurried footsteps, along with the unmistakable sound of skirts swooshing in time to them, echoed from the opening at the other end of darkness. I’d found her. Sure enough as I plowed through the shifting refuse calling the alley home, I saw her exiting into a crowd milling in the street beyond. Throwing caution to the wind, I allowed my speed to go past that of mortals. I exited soon after her but she had already delved into yet another patch of shadow. Refusing to give in to failure I bounded after the tell-tale billow of her dress as it slipped into the void. “Morgan!” I called out as I broke through the throng unknowingly protecting her escape.
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Her silence as she dashed away answered my plea. I thought I saw her head twist back for one fleeting second but that could have just been a case of hope blinding me to the reality she didn’t want me anymore. In spite of my self doubt, I followed. The confused rush left me little in the way of direction to my mad dash. My brain and body operated solely on instinct. If asked where I had been headed the answer would have stymied me. I was completely lost until the salty scent of the Gulf of Mexico reached me on a stray breeze. The halo of lights from the docks blazed noon before me as I broke through the darkness of the city proper. In its center Morgan ran toward the only faithful lover I’d ever had until her. My steps quickened and the space between us shortened with each pump of my legs. She was nearly in my grasp when the air solidified before me. I staggered back, as the air took shape. My worst nightmare appeared, shimmering like hellfire in the sweltering night. After too many lifetimes to mention, the demon who gave birth to the horror I had become rose to mock me in the shadows of my despair. The witch Diabolique had returned. Her smoky voice made my dead flesh shiver. “Lover, did you really think I’d allow you to love another?” I quieted the fear screaming through my brain. “Diabolique, what Hell saw fit to release you from its hold?” “None but the one I rule, my love.” Her spirit moved through the air, settling in front of me. “You have no hold over me, anymore. That ended the day I killed you,” I snarled. Her laughter sang through the night. “Yet here I am to stop your heart from finding that for which it yearns.” “Damn your black soul. You can’t harm me anymore. Go back to the abyss, where you belong!” I screamed. “Oh, harming you is not my intention. I simply wished to see your agony when you kill the only person capable of saving your doomed soul. I wonder how her blood will taste as you drain the life from her.” “You are wrong.” My hands itched to close around her throat once more. “I would never take her life. I will die first.” A smile spread across her face. “Then that is opportune for me. When death takes you, it will be me waiting on the other side and what pleasures will we share with eternity as our playground.” The horror of her words stunned me. In truth, I had not considered the reward waiting for me. Yet even an eternity in Diabolique’s clutches would not make me take Morgan’s life. The bitch could do her worst. This world belonged to the sun and its name was Morgan Beauchamp. I existed as a shadow, a passing nightmare to be forgotten and that was exactly what I planned. I pushed through the spectral form, stopping once past her. “Go back to Hell, Diabolique. I’ll see you when I’m done.” Without a second glance, I walked toward Morgan. A sudden chill let me know Diabolique was gone. My attention turned to Morgan. She sat huddled against the rails of a pier that swam out
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The Morgan Diaries

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into the river. I sensed the shock rolling off her. If I could alleviate the feeling from her bones, I would have done so gladly. Let her think me a monster, if it made this nightmare cleave from her soul. My steps were slow and measured but they quickly ate up the distance between us. I stopped a few feet from her. The pain marking her ripped me to shreds. The best way to do this was to make a clean break. I would not have her hurt a moment longer because of me. “Morgan, I never meant to frighten you, but the time has come for you to know…” Words failed me. Emotions long dormant swelled within me. All the things I wished suddenly seemed inadequate. The things I wished to speak could not be said with mere words. I clenched my hands and locked my knees. I only wanted to fall at her feet and let her end my torment. “What did you want me to know? That you lied to me? That you’re a monster? Tell me, Jean or John, whoever the hell you really are. What was so important that you needed to tear out my heart? Tell me you bastard!” She broke into sobs that slurred her words. “Just tell me.” I said the only words that I could. “Morgan, I love you.” And may the fates curse me for a fool, because I did, and not even death could stop me from loving her.

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The Morgan Diaries

J. Morgan and Morgan O’Reilly

The Personal Journals of Morgan Victoria Beauchamp
Friday, October 31 – Part 3 “Morgan, I love you.” Jean Baptiste’s voice and words reverberated inside my head. Aside from my parents, no one had ever said those words to me in such earnest fervor. I’d found love, and beneath the handsome exterior lay a monster ripped from the pages of fiction. Unable to speak, not knowing what I felt, I slumped against the railing of the pier. Behind me ships sounded their horns. Music from the many, many parties drifted and mixed with the soulful sound. Jazz, rock, trumpet, piano, clarinet… the sounds swirled around me, but none of them could drown out the sound of two heartbeats perfectly matched in rhythm. Yes, Mama, you and Papa both counseled me many times to find a moment of quiet and think things through when the world seemed at its most chaotic. So I stopped to think. Jean Baptiste stood stiffly before me, making no move to come closer, but I could see a level of nervousness breaking his cool exterior. Despite that, I knew loving him would be more than just words. Vampire lore began to surface. Tales of horror, mind control, sexual frenzy, blood-thirsty rampages… each one rose with a picture in my head. Each one more horrid than the previous and I shuddered against the terror. Stop. Think. I cleared my mind and more modern interpretations came to me. Less violent. More humane. Sensual. The new, kinder, gentler vampire of popular fiction. The Jean Baptiste I’d grown to know this past week. To my horror, I felt my body yearning for him. I craved the comfort of his arms. I needed to talk about this but there was no one, no one but him. I hadn’t seen Mattias all day, though it would be interesting to get his view point about now. “Talk to me,” I said at last and his body relaxed only a tiny bit. “Have you bitten me?” “Yes.” Like a man with nothing left to lose, he faced me squarely, without flinching. My hand covered the side of my neck. “Does that mean I’m… like you?” “Not unless you choose to be.” I didn’t dare allow relief to set in. Since Vampire myth has many variations, I wasn’t sure, exactly, what he meant. “Explain.” “You have the choice, Morgan. You can drink of my blood and spend eternity with me, or you can walk away and never see me again. You’ll live out your days as normally as anyone has a right to expect. You won’t remember any of this.” “Never see you again?” What was the constriction that wrapped around my heart at the words that sounded so final? Live out my days without him? And yet, if I denied his words that was exactly what would happen. “If you choose to walk away,” he turned aside, letting his words drift away from me, “I shall stand here and await the sunrise.” The bleak expression on his face touched something deep inside, something beyond the fear. “And that will…?” “I will depart this plane, this dark existence.” How he said those words without flinching
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is something I may never know. Like a man facing the gallows, he spoke plainly with little emotion. “And go where?” I’d seen Jean Baptiste stop and seemingly talk to an apparition and heard the word Hell, but little else. As a Christian I believe in the afterlife. But for vampires, is there one? “Where I go will be of no concern to you. Believe me, my love, it will be a fate I richly deserve. My existence in this world will cease and I will bother you no more.” Wait, I may be repulsed by the idea of vampires, but I didn’t want to let him go. There was so much I wanted to know. So many questions I had and, remembering what he’d said earlier, I only had until midnight? Since it didn’t seem like he wanted to rip my throat out, some of the terror left me to be replaced by curiosity. “So you’re saying you’d commit the vampire equivalent of suicide if I reject your offer of life eternal?” Something deep flickered in his eyes, an emotion that couldn’t hide in the shadows. “It will be a life clothed in eternal darkness. You are my sunlight, Morgan. If you turn me away, there is no doubt in my mind I will never find the peace that only you bring me.” “Isn’t that just a little melodramatic?” I’m ashamed to say I scoffed. I flinched when Jean Baptiste closed his eyes. “No. After two hundred and forty seven years, I’m tired of living this way. Had I not met you, I could have continued on in my apathetic way, but you’ve shown me what joy can exist. But that joy is to be had only with you. I’ve waited long enough… lived with the horror and this blackness on my soul for way too long… I want it all or I want nothing. I want you,” he said, the depth of his emotion making his body tense, but he didn’t move toward me, “but I want you willing.” “So you haven’t tried any mind control tricks on me? How do I know this for certain?” His dark eyes flew open and his gaze locked with mine. “No, I’ve not bent your will to match mine. I think it should be obvious by the way I let you run, by the way I told you it was your choice. Had I used mind control on you, we’d be writhing in your bed, taking and giving life to each other. Had I used my powers to compel you, at this moment I’d be buried in your body, our fangs in each others’ necks.” My hand flew to my neck and I shivered, the memory of our lovemaking exquisitely fresh in my mind. My body ached for him. I wanted him in me, I wanted my body wrapped around his, our hearts beating against each other. Loving and laughing, like I’d only experienced with him. My entire being reached out to him and only with great control did I keep my hands from grabbing his lapels and pulling him to me. “Wait. Did you say two hundred and forty seven years?” Did this mean…? “Yes. I am the pirate you’ve been seeking all these years.” His mouth twisted into a mockery of a smile that held a bitterness that tore at my heart. “And you want me to let you die?” This was history, my thesis, living, breathing, standing in front of me! My heart pounded with a new excitement. At last! A true accounting of history, a chance to know, for real, just what life was really like, to get the answers to so many mysteries… Jean Baptiste chuckled softly. “No, Morgan. If you join with me, you cannot write your
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The Morgan Diaries

J. Morgan and Morgan O’Reilly

paper and reveal to the world what happened to me, nor reveal where my pirate treasure is hidden.” So he’d read my mind. Or I’m just that transparent. The scholar in me pouted. My pout must have showed on my face for he stepped close and cupped my cheek, his thumb gentle as it brushed the corner of my mouth. “The records have been destroyed for a reason. No vampire will allow the truth to be published. We like hiding in the shadows of legend. Right now we’re fashionable because of some clever writers, but in reality, if our existence were ever proven as fact, we’d be hunted like animals.” To my almost chagrin, I felt feminine wiles rising and I tipped my head coquettishly. “So, I couldn’t use any of it?” “Nothing of what I tell you, if I tell you, can be verified, therefore it is useless to you.” Jean Baptiste tipped his forehead to meet mine. “Besides, I’m not about to become your lab rat, history project or something to be studied. You’ve studied me enough and come damn closer to the truth than anyone else. I want you as my lover, not my keeper.” Of their own volition, my hands touched the lapels of his coat. I’m still not sure if I meant to pull him close or push him away. The man was seriously in my space and I felt my libido stealing all the control I so desperately needed. I only had two more hours to decide my, our, future. Suddenly I felt the weight of the world upon my shoulders and it nearly knocked me to my knees. Except Carlo would have my head for ruining the dress by falling down on this filthy pier. And because of the corset, I’d need the help of a crane to get me upright again. “So, if I choose to bite you and join you, what will become of me and my career?” The thought of leaving my position, giving up my life’s work was painful. I loved my job. I loved teaching. I loved the feedback from my students, I loved breathing life into dull and dusty history. To lose all that would be agony. To finally know all of Jean Baptiste’s secrets – what had he been doing for the last quarter of millennia, what was life really like in New Orleans each past decade, who were the movers and shakers and what shady deals had they made in dark rooms, how had he survived the wars, what sides had he backed and why – would it be worth it? Could I keep it all to myself? I lived to share with the world the secrets of the past I uncovered. I had a devoted following of people who waited for each paper I researched and wrote. All that would disappear if I chose Jean Baptiste and eternity with him. Or would it? “Morgan, you’re killing me here,” he groaned. “My future—our future—rests in your hands. Choose to love me, or damn me with your denial. One way or the other, end the agony of the suspense.” He was in agony? He’d sprung this on me, terrified and confused me, and he wanted me to make a snap decision? “Hey, you gave me until midnight.” As if I could sort out my turmoil that fast. I pushed him away just far enough to give him a good glare. “I’m thinking here.”

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The Morgan Diaries

J. Morgan and Morgan O’Reilly

The Personal Journals of Morgan Victoria Beauchamp
Friday, October 31 – Part 4 I don’t think Jean Baptiste expected that. His eyes widened in disbelief. “What?” “You gave me until midnight to make a decision. You’re going to answer my questions and when I’m darn good and ready I’ll let you know, but until midnight, I get thinking and talking time.” I released him, fisted my hands on my hips, and he stared at me. I must admit, part of me trembled in fear. Had he wanted to push the issue, he could have grabbed me and made me drink his blood. He could have turned me against my will. Granted, I would have then spent eternity chewing his ass for being a pompous alpha. I let him think I shivered with cold. Despite the heavy costume, my chest was uncovered and a breeze from the river was wafting up under my skirts where I had no panties to keep me warm in certain locations. So I was a bit chilled after all. “All right,” he conceded. “Let’s stroll until we find a sheltered spot to sit and talk.” He shrugged out of his coat and draped it over my shoulders. “Won’t you get cold?” I pulled the warm material tight around my shoulders. His scent wrapped around me and I felt the stirrings of lust. “I don’t feel cold, nor heat. Those sensations ended when I died. It wasn’t until we touched for the first time, the numbness fled. For the first time in centuries untold, I once again felt human. Like a man.” Jean Baptiste clasped his hands behind his back and tilted his head to indicate the direction of our walk. Down river toward Faubourg Marigny. As we walked, we passed other lone couples and the occasional person of disreputable appearance. What vibes my companion sent out was sufficient to keep them all well away from us. With the necklace sparkling around my neck, keeping thieves at a distance made Jean Baptiste, for the moment, a desirable partner. And yet… I shuddered again. Vampire. What atrocities had he committed over the years? I was realistic enough to set aside the romance of the age of pirates and I recalled his escapades prior to the reports of his death. He hadn’t been a kinder and gentler pirate in his day. He’d been known for his cold-blooded ruthlessness, I eased away from this man who knew death on many levels. Suddenly I was anxious to be away from the shadows. I wanted the milling crowds of Bourbon Street. Safety in numbers. As we strolled, he answered many, though by no means all, of my questions. He had a house in the Faubourg Marigny neighborhood. One he’d had for nearly two hundred years. I wanted to see it but he wouldn’t tell me exactly where it was. I supposed I’d have to become a vampire to see it. I asked him what would happen to it if… He told me he had a servant who would burn it and the entire contents to the ground if he disintegrated at sunrise. I glanced to see if he were trying to play on my sympathies, but his face showed as little emotion as his voice. Pure fact.
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The Morgan Diaries

J. Morgan and Morgan O’Reilly

Questions about his pirate days were answered with facts I already knew. But no hint of where his treasure was. If he left this world, the secret of it would go with him. What did he do for money? As he’d told me before, he occasionally traded antiques. After all, he was an expert in them. How many vampires lived in New Orleans and how often did he mix with them? A shrug answered me. Again, I supposed I’d have to be one to learn more about them. By the time we neared his neighborhood, I was ready to stake him for his lack of cooperation in the questions that haunted me most. I wanted details and he was keeping his secrets! Frustrated though I was, I could understand his reluctance and refusal to impart certain details. I mean, I am a researcher who tends to write about my research. And he’d kept his secrets for a very, very long time. He was good at it. Just as history was good at holding on to certain secrets. No amount of badgering would move him. Instead, he told me of his childhood in France and his escape to the sea. It wasn’t a pretty tale as we of modern times love to embellish the past with romance. It was about as far from romance as you could get. Betrayal, battles, harsh captains, harsher conditions and poverty had marked him deep and young, so very young. My heart ached for the child he’d been and the lessons he’d learned at the hands of men with no soft feelings. As the crowds thickened around us, Jean Baptiste moved closer to me until his arm was about my waist, his hand on my hip, which was so well padded by numerous layers of cloth. Speaking softly, I asked him about the day-to-day existence of the modern vampire. How often did he need to feed? Did he really like it? What was it like being a fledgling in the eighteenth century, especially since he’d killed his dam? The pain of old memories clouded his eyes, but he answered and I felt his anguish. Something of my dismay must have shown on my face for he hastened to reassure me that I wouldn’t suffer in ignorance. He promised I’d never be alone without guidance…or love. He loved me. I felt it. I knew it. So why would he want me to suffer as he did? But if I loved him, would eternity with him truly be suffering? My brain screamed at me to flee, but my heart whispered, stay. That lone word pushed away the doubt and pain. I did love him and could picture eternity in his arms. Standing there, I just wasn’t certain I could pay the price. “Morgan, it is nearly time.” He turned me around until I looked into his agonized eyes. “What will it be? Life eternal with the only man who will love you for all time, or shall I delve into your mind, wiping any trace of me from it? It will be as if I’d never walked into your life, never held you in my arms, or loved you will a passion you have never felt before. The decision is yours to make.” He stepped away until the shadows nearly overtook him. Staring at him, I wished I had an answer, but all I had was a blank spot in my heart I knew would never heal if I lost him. Would forgetting him erase the ache burning in my heart? The shouts of revelers counting down the seconds to midnight was but a soft roar, like the sound of the ocean as heard from a shell. Oh, Mama, what should I do?

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The Morgan Diaries

J. Morgan and Morgan O’Reilly

The Personal Journals of Morgan Victoria Beauchamp
Saturday, November 1, 2008 “Morgan?” The soft male voice in my ear roused me only slightly from my dreams. I didn’t want to open my eyes, not yet. In those dreams, Jean Baptiste, the man and pirate of my fantasies, held me tightly as we danced close to one another. Male comfort enveloped me, but the scent, while familiar, wasn’t quite what I’d expected. Refusing to give up my dreams I snuggled closer into the arms holding me. Even if they were dream arms, I wanted them more than the reality which was surely waiting. “Morgan, you must wake.” The voice was male, but whispered like that, I couldn’t identify exactly to whom it belonged. It was familiar and comfortable, that much was certain. Jean Baptiste? Or Mattias? My lips were dry, my throat parched. I tried to moisten my lips with a swipe of my tongue and caught the remnants of a flavor, a mere smear… sweet and rich, like the finest old vine zinfandel. Had I drunk too much? I clung to the dream of waltzing in the arms of a handsome man. From a distance I heard music, not the stringed strains of an eighteenth century waltz, but rather the cacophony that is New Orleans in full party mode. A hand gripped my waist and, moaning, I felt my body move toward the figure that belonged to the hand, and consciousness crept into my brain. “My lady, we must move from here.” The voice was a little louder and I tried to move away from it. I didn’t want to leave my dreams. “As much as I hate to agree with the gnat, he’s right.” Jean Baptiste’s voice, this time I was sure. “You need rest and dawn isn’t far off.” Dawn. Jean Baptiste and dawn. That did it. My eyes flew open and I found myself supported between two bodies. Jean Baptiste at my front, Mattias lending support to keep me from falling over backward into the gutter. “My lady, whatever possessed you?” Mattias’ scolding voice sounded overly loud in my ear. A soft breeze rose off the river bringing with it all the scents in an overwhelming rush. It was as if my nose could smell a hundred times better than before. The sensation swamped me and my stomach roiled. Not all the aromas were pleasant. “She needs to be inside,” Jean Baptiste said, and I was lifted into a pair of strong arms. “Waking outside like this, it’s too much.” I moaned in agreement. I felt hung over, I felt light as air, I felt… immense, powerful, and sick all at the same time, and I hadn’t even opened my eyes yet. “Go ahead and get the house open. I’m right behind you, thrall.” I heard the voices. I recognized the owners. Jean Baptiste held me, but he ordered Mattias around like a servant? “What…?” I spoke my first word around a waking throat. I licked my lips again and in a rush, it all came back. Not a dream. One moment I’d been standing on the street watching Jean Baptiste fade into the
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The Morgan Diaries

J. Morgan and Morgan O’Reilly

shadows and then I’d reached for him. Grabbing the lapels of his coat, I’d thought to shake some sense into him, or at the very least, kiss him into submission. For God’s sake, why had he been demanding an answer tonight? If he were a vampire, I was still a reasonably young woman, we could have taken years to choose. Why force the issue tonight? I’d opened my mouth to argue with him when Mattias had come running out of the night. “Don’t let him do it, Morgan! Don’t let him! Fight!” A weight fell against my back and I was thrown against Jean Baptiste. My open mouth had landed on his mouth, and by instinct, my teeth closed around his lower lip. The taste of blood touched my tongue and the dream state fell upon me. With the memory returning, I felt my teeth extending, a thirst for more consuming me. I’d tasted blood and I wanted more. More of Jean Baptiste’s rich sweet blood. At just the thought, two sharp points poked my lip and I tasted my own blood. So there it was, the elusive thought. I am now a vampire. And for some reason, I’m not furious over it, neither then, nor now. Mattias seems to be but, then, I could smell his love for me. How weird is that? His devotion to me. And yet, it’s the love and devotion I can smell coming from Jean Baptiste that moves me most of all. My eyes fluttered open and I looked up to see him staring down at me as we paused beneath an arched arbor heavily draped with overgrown vines of honeysuckle and wisteria now dormant with the approach of winter. “Awake now, my love?” His rich voiced filled me as much as his rich blood had only minutes ago. “Aye, my pirate, I’m truly awake.” I tugged his head down to me and kissed him, running my tongue over his lips, seeking another taste of his sweet blood. “Soon, love, soon. Our servant just needs to lose his case of fumble fingers and get the door open.” “Servant?” “Your assistant, the creature named Mattias.” Jean Baptiste mounted a step and swung me into a dark foyer. “Welcome home.” “Your house?” I looked around and while it was dark, it was as if I’d been given a pair of night vision goggles. I didn’t have time to see much beyond stairs leading up, a living room off to the side, and stairs leading down, but what I did see looked elegant, though stuffed with antique furniture. “Now our house. Our house with a servant.” The last was said with a growl of disgust. “Hey, I didn’t choose to be your servant, Count Dracula. You conscripted me.” Mattias’ insolent mutter sounded comforting in its own way. My trusted assistant. “Only because I knew she’d be upset if I killed you.” Jean Baptiste still carried me and we went down some steps. Not up. A coffin in the basement, was that my destination? “And I’m only here because I want to be there when she chews your ass out for the layers of dust in this crypt. Morgan likes a clean house and this is nothing like one.” “Boys,” I moaned. My head, while clearer than I could ever recall, was also pounding
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The Morgan Diaries

J. Morgan and Morgan O’Reilly

fiercely. Yes, the house was dusty and looked like an abandoned museum, but it wasn’t high on my priority list at the moment. Later. After a serious amount of sleep…and other things. I had a quick glimpse of a large room we’d descended into before a door was opened and Jean Baptiste carried me into a smaller room. Like upstairs, it was crowded, but the items looked more modern. Was this man, this vampire, a pack rat? “At least this room is clean,” Mattias muttered and a small flare of light appeared. Others followed and soon the scent of candles filled the air. Soft vanilla. A warm glow filled the room and Jean Baptiste gently laid me on a huge bed. Four tree trunk sized, hand carved posters held up heavy black velvet drapes and the sheer decadence and richness surrounded me as I settled onto the soft comforter. “Then since it bothers you so much, we’ll expect the house to be in spotless order by the time we wake at sunset.” I stared at Jean Baptiste sitting on the edge of the bed. He was ordering Mattias to clean the house? Before I could say a word I sneezed. And sneezed again. Dust. I hate dust. “Morgan-” Mattias was cut off by a snarl from Jean Baptiste. “My lady,” Mattias started again and I turned my head to stare at him. “Why did you do it? Why didn’t you listen to me?” he whined, a looked of deep sadness filling his eyes. “I love him, Mattias. But it was you who pushed me into his arms.” I turned my gaze back to Jean Baptiste and knew. A feeling of warmth filled my heart and I knew he was mine for all eternity. His dark eyes stared back at me and slowly a smile lifted the corners of his mouth. I saw a hint of his fangs and felt mine grow in response. His grin widened and he reached out to stroke one. “I never imagined fangs could be so… cute.” “Cute?” I certainly didn’t ever expect to hear that word from him. He stroked my fang and I felt lust rise up and rush through me. The dress and corset were too tight, too binding. I reached for the ribbons tying the bodice but Jean Baptiste beat me to it. In the blink of an eye, the ribbons were undone and the dress lay open. “Your fledgling fangs,” Jean Baptiste said. “They’re… cute. I don’t think I’ve ever seen any so cute before.” I ran my tongue over my fangs and could only think of sinking them into his neck, his thigh, his wrist… anywhere I could. Wanting him, I sat up. “Help me out of these clothes.” “Leave us,” Jean Baptiste said to Mattias without ever turning away from me. “Remember, dust free and spotless by sunset.” “I’ll have to call in professionals to get it all done,” Mattias said with haughty indignity. “Whatever. Just don’t let them in the basement. You’ll clean that on your own. It is our private domain and none save the three of us will ever pass into it. It will be rare even for you to venture down here.” “Don’t scream if I move some items into a storage unit.” Mattias sniffed and turned away, closing the door behind him. “What made you choose Mattias,” I asked as clothes, both his and mine, began to fly off our bodies. I wanted him and I wanted him right then. “He’s devoted to you. I’m not big on servants, but I thought you might appreciate him, at
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The Morgan Diaries

J. Morgan and Morgan O’Reilly

least through the honeymoon period while you’re adjusting.” Jean Baptiste shoved off the last of his clothes before advancing on me with a predatory gleam in his eye. I was still trying to peel the stockings off when he pushed me back into the bedding. “Leave the stockings. I like them.” The roguish glint in his eye thrilled me and I stretched out, arms over my head. “So why did we have to do this tonight?” “Because,” he murmured as his glazed eyes took in my body stretched out before him. An entirely new face of hunger and desire was shown to me a moment before he lay down over me, his lips settling on mine. “I wanted you here or to not live at all. We could have waited a year or more, but after finding you, I didn’t want to wait.” “Ah.” His lips molded to mine and his tongue stole into my mouth. I answered him, delirious with wanting him, wanting his taste. He teased me mercilessly, drawing out the foreplay as he demonstrated his superior strength over my fledgling powers. He didn’t need to bind me with chains or leather. He bound me with love and at the moment we joined, our mouths at each others’ necks, we drank and melded and whatever conception of loving I’d had before went up in flames. I rose on blazing wings as he took me to heights I’d never imagined before. This was why I’d chosen him. Or I’m sure I would have chosen to bite him. Good thing I did, because I never would have known this. This ability to fly. Actually, he’s promised to teach me to fly for real. Complete with my own little bat wings, when they grow strong enough, that is. But for now, I like this kind of flying, this kind of melding. For he is my mate. The missing half to my soul. And there you have it, Papa and Mama. I’m sad that I won’t ever meet you in… that place you’ve both gone to. That is denied me now, but as long as I have Jean Baptiste, I don’t much care. Though Mattias is right, there is much about this house that needs setting straight. I’ll continue to teach, for now, night classes. I’ll get Mattias through his doctorate and then I’ll retire, possibly to teach only one class a year. A night class of course. Otherwise, Jean Baptiste tells me we’ll travel. All of a sudden he has a longing to retrace his life. We’ll write the book together, but it will be for us alone, mainly because, as both the men say, I’ll pester Jean Baptiste into oblivion otherwise. I must have my answers. For example, just where is that pirate fortune and will I get to document it? However, those questions will have to wait. Jean Baptiste is pulling me back into bed and I feel sleep stealing over me, a sure sign the sun is rising, or so he tells me. Judging by the gleam in his eyes, he wants to make love again. Not that I’m complaining. All right, already, Jean Baptiste, I’m com…

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The Morgan Diaries

J. Morgan and Morgan O’Reilly

About the Authors
J. Morgan Surviving a long bout of sanity, J. Morgan found a muse willing to work cheap and began work on his first book. Since then, his imagination has been seen running wild on several occasions. Luckily, the straight jackets have been limited to his time away from the computer. When not writing, Jmo can be found in front of the TV pretending to write while really watching endless hours of drivel and laughing at the voices in his head who are constantly feeding him plotlines. While the voices may not be in total control just yet, one day they hope to have a book deal of their own. Until then, J. Morgan, will continue to get to spend the royalty checks.
Website: http://www.freewebs.com/jmorganslair/ Blog: http://themorgandiaries.blogspot.com MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/jmorganslair

Morgan Q. O’Reilly Born in New Orleans, raised in California, Morgan moved with her family to Alaska in 1977. With a few years of escape back to California for college and more recently a few years in Colorado, Alaska is where she’s remained ever since. Married to a born and raised Alaskan, it is unlikely she’ll ever get to move “Outside” again. This could account for some of the oddities and attitudes in her writing. Or maybe that was the two years she worked with laser physicists. Or growing up around engineers. Or maybe it’s just her never ending imagination and the really strange dreams she has each night. These days, Morgan is fortunate to spend her days engaged in writing, when she’s not tormenting her teen aged son, or knitting and critting with her local RWA group. Romance For All Your Moods. Come Play with Morgan and Get Some Tonight.
Webpage: http://morganqoreilly.com Blogs: http://themorgandiaries.blogspot.com http://lyricalpress.blogspot.com http://www.cobblestone-mainstreet.com/blog/ http://midnightseductionauthors.blogspot.com MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/morganqoreilly http://www.myspace.com/themorgandiaries Bebo: http://www.bebo.com/MorganQO6 Forums: http://www.lyricalpress.yuku.com http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/board

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The Morgan Diaries

J. Morgan and Morgan O’Reilly

Alternate Ending
She is gone. Even as I put pen to paper, my heart knows she made the right choice. I am a monster. My actions have proved this point only too well. Diabolique had been right. I am fated to misery. The witch’s laughter echoes in my mind, but it is more than that. Her spirit lingers near me like a pestilence, haunting my every thought. I ignore it as best I can for the time being. As I sit on the edge of madness, I can not stop thinking about Morgan. If I had the strength, I would not walk into the light. I would hover in the shadows, making sure her life brought her happiness. I know bearing her happiness without being a part of it, would drive me further into the despair gripping me. Better for us both, that I go to the reward I deserve. My heart is unburdened, for I have known love and relished its light and warmth. Though the sun has been denied me, I have come to know that there is something in this world besides darkness. Morgan let me feel human again and washed the misery from my soul, even if the time was brief and fleeting. A blush, of pink, shimmers along the far horizon. Soon, my last lover will rise and I must hurry to finish these thoughts and scribble them down for whatever prosperity they may garner. I in no way delude myself that anyone will believe the musings I have recorded. In all likelihood they will be dismissed or worse some fool will misinterpret this as a work of fiction. I have an envelope with Morgan’s name and address ready. Inside she’ll also find directions to my treasures and my journals. My final gift to her. If she doesn’t claim them all within a week, Mattias has one last instruction to burn my house to the ground and destroy all evidence of my life. When I put the last stanza down, the journal will go inside and hopefully it will find its way to her hand. I hope someday she will understand I never meant her harm. I simply wished to love her and for that crime, I was willing to risk both my heart and life. As serendipity turns out, I have lost both, but it was worth it. Orange joins pink and I see the first hint of the sun, a bloated egg, peeking through the strangled cypresses guarding the river proper. My time has come. Before I slip into the arms of the unknown, Morgan, when you read this, know my love will never cease. Though the fires of hell burn around me, I will be content. For you were a part of my life, and will be forever a part of my heart. Goodbye, my love. Jean Baptiste Morgane

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The Morgan Diaries

J. Morgan and Morgan O’Reilly

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