The Lockwood Chronicles
Episode Seven: Love Stories

Alexander and Madeline: Their love is strong, but is threatened by a vow made in anguish.

Lucian and Elisabeth: Their love is forbidden, but irresistible.

Caleb and Anora: Their love will create a power unrivaled among their kind.

Charles and Brianna: Their love started out pure and beautiful, but it was tainted by a careless act of violence.

Four couples bound by love and hatred, friendship and animosity, loyalty and betrayal. These are their stories—of passion, need and tragedy; of new beginnings and long-awaited endings.

Excerpt:

Madeline watched Alexander as he got ready for bed, moving through his routine like any other night. Something was different about him tonight, she decided. He was removing his watch, and she stared, fascinated, at the way the muscles in his forearm moved, the way his shoulders shifted as he dropped the watch onto the top of his dresser. He reached up to his neck for his tie, pulling the knot loose, and her mouth went dry at the way his hair moved around his collar, the way the muscles in his neck and shoulders tensed and relaxed.

Alexander pulled the tie off over his head and tossed it onto the dresser. He turned towards her as he reached for the buttons at the throat of his shirt and froze when he saw Madeline watching him, her eyes gleaming red, a look of greedy hunger on her face, like a cat watching a canary. “Madeline?”

Her eyes darted to his and she smiled, slow and sultry, and got to her feet. In the darkness of the room, he could see her clearly, illuminated by the pale light of the moon. She’d already changed into her nightgown and its silk clung to her curves as she approached him, a seductress, temping him with her every movement. He stood, rooted to the spot, amazed at her beauty, the full force of her vampiric magnetism focused directly on him. He opened his arms to her, inviting her closer, offering her everything.

She stopped just within reach and lifted a hand, trailing her fingers from the palm of his hand, up his forearm, and across his bicep, allowing her touch to bring her closer as she traced the path to his shoulder. “I don’t know if it’s me, or you, or the hormones talking,” she said softly, “but you look absolutely delicious.” And she reached her arms around his neck, pulling him down for a demanding, grinding kiss.
——
As soon as Elisabeth stepped out of the Lockwood’s house, whatever it was that had kept her from being overwhelmed by the vampires’ presence broke, and waves of sensation swept over her body. The air slammed out of her lungs and the strength went out of her legs, dropping her to the ground while she gasped for breath. Before she hit the pavement, a pair of strong arms swept around her, lifting her up, and she was cradled against a strong chest. She looked up, blinking to clear her vision, certain she was going to see that her rescuer was Alexander Lockwood. Instead, she was surprised to see the dark vampire from that long ago day in the diner. She knew she should be afraid of him and fight for him to let her go, but something within her held her back. Some instinct in her told her that she could trust him. Besides, in all the times he’d visited her in her dreams and held her in his arms, it had never felt this good. She leaned her head on his shoulder and let him carry her away from the Lockwood’s home. “I’m Elisabeth,” she whispered.

“Lucian,” he answered.
——
Caleb had only gotten two steps away from the café when he felt the wash of power flow over him. It was so strong it almost drove him to his knees and he couldn’t breathe for a minute. He looked around, his dark eyes surveying everyone on the street. It was pervasive, insistent. And feminine. …Finally, his dark chocolate eyes found the source, across the street, standing on the corner. Watching him. His breath caught in his throat at the sight of her, and his body clenched as he restrained himself from going to her.…

As if making a decision, she crossed the street, heading straight for him. His heart stopped at her approach and he discovered that even breathing was too much effort.

She stopped directly in front of him and he stared at her eyes. They were so pale brown they were nearly golden, and had enticing emerald flecks in them that seemed to catch the sunlight and glow. He found himself wanting to touch her. More than that, he wanted to take her in his arms and kiss her, right there on the street, no matter who might be watching.

Then she spoke, and he knew he was lost. Her voice was smoky, bringing to mind promises in the dark, the whisper of satin sheets. “Who are you?” she demanded. “And what are you doing in my city?”

It took him a moment to remember his own name, and even longer to find his voice. “Caleb,” he rasped. “Caleb Talbot. And you?”

“Anora Fiske,” she said. “You are not welcome in London.”

“Anora,” he whispered. Then he smiled at her, one of his cocky, lazy smiles that usually melted women into puddles at his feet, but she didn’t seem impressed. That made him smile wider. “Oh, I’m not going anywhere,” he promised. “I think I’m going to like London after all!”
——
Brianna moved so quickly then that he didn’t see her. She was across the room from him and then suddenly she was pressing close to his body, her fangs at his throat. “I am stronger than you, my husband,” she hissed. “Mind what you say, or I might ask for a divorce.”

Charles stared at her for a moment, the fire burning deep in her eyes scorching him. He feared for her then, knowing the fate that would await her if she was caught. “I’m only trying to protect you,” he said softly, reaching up to touch her flaxen hair.

She pulled away quickly, before his hand reached her. “I don’t need your protection anymore!” she spat. “I’ve been coddled and protected and sheltered all my life, and I’m sick of it! I want to do things I was never able—or allowed–to do when I was alive. And no one is going to stop me.” She placed her hand flat against his chest, and he thought she was finally being affectionate again. Then, a ripple of power flowed down her arm, through her hand, and into his chest, slamming him across the room. He hit the wall and slid to the floor, stunned. Through bleary eyes he looked up at her, his beloved Brianna, as she glared down at him. For a moment, her eyes softened and he hoped she was having second thoughts. But she shook her head and sneered at him. “Good bye, Charles,” she said, and then she glided regally out of the room.

—-
Love Stories is the seventh episode in The Lockwood Chronicles series. It contains adult situations and some violence and is recommended for readers over 18 years of age.


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