Hi, everyone. First of all, a big thanks to Monique for hosting this tour stop. As a special treat, exclusive to MoniqueMorgan.com followers, I thought I’d share a very rare piece of literature with you. It’s written from David's perspective, going through his thoughts when Ara first arrives at the school in Tears of the Broken (book 1). The scene contains some possibly offensive profanity, which demonstrates the changes David (our well-spoken vampire) went through in those first few weeks of falling in love. Hope you all enjoy.
I breathed hard into the empty space the textbooks left behind, then slammed my locker, turning slowly. I knew what he was about to ask—knew he would bring his hand down forcefully on my shoulder in some mechanical male attempt to connect—a sign of affection among buddies—one I had come to know and despise so deeply with each day passing. But my timing was off. The brute had barely reached the corner, despite his rank cloud of vapour having penetrated my sensitive nostrils at least two minutes ago. I held my breath against the aged cologne, sprayed on at his last shower—four days ago—layered thick with the tar-like fog of cigarette smoke and a mix of either seafood bisque or that recycled cheerleader he fucked in the locker-room this morning.
As he came around the corner, I turned to my locker, pretending to close it, thereby offering him a shoulder to slap rather than his alternative show of brotherhood; a firm jab in the gut—a place I was really quite sensitive.
"Dave, you coming tonight, bro?"
His clammy, flabby palm flared my inner vampire’s burning hatred as it struck my back. I jolted forward like a human, then spun around to cup his grip, drawing my lips into a non-threatening grin. "Still going ahead with that party then?”
"You know it. So, you coming?”
"I always do—" I took another breath to make some smart remark about finishing what I started last month with his new whore, when I saw a flash of yellow.
“Dave, man, what ya frownin’ at?”
“I uh—” I focused harder on the yellow as it transformed into fabric before my eyes, and I knew it well. I knew the way sunlight bounced of the colour, knew the cut, knew every curve under that simple cotton dress; how it sat against her hips and hugged her ribs, leaving her rose-petal skin bare everywhere else. I knew it was her.
Derek waved a hand past my eyes. "Dave?"
“I’ll catch ya later, man,” I said, walking away in a trance, the importance of manners secondary to this sensation in my chest that a long-dead heart suddenly wanted to beat. I’d waited nearly a month to talk to her, to be so near as to look into her eyes—to see what colour they were; to see how she smiled when she thought things she wasn’t supposed to; to see what she thought of me. I’d wanted so many times to let her see me, to just walk up when she sat crying under that oak tree and introduce myself. But the timing never felt right, and I knew from her thoughts that if I ever caught her crying she would avoid me like the plague from then on. I just couldn't risk that. Something in me altered when I first saw her that day, so many weeks ago; something—a physical reaction in my brain, like an elastic band had snapped against the backside of my eye, and, strange as that felt, deny as I might that there was something different about her, I’d not successfully fought the emotions that came with it. So I watched her; sat atop her roof by night, in her garden by day, listening to her thoughts. And each time I did, my heart broke for her—for this human, for this being I had no compassion for yet suddenly cared about. She was sweeter, more pure than anything I had ever encountered. It was like her soul was an open book, a tale of sadness, yet so bright with compassion that she was just waiting to love any creature, be he mad, cruel or kind. Maybe she would even love me.
But she was broken—damaged by a pain she couldn’t move past. Death. Loss. And no one understood this better than a vampire who’d suffered nothing but sadness in his hundred-and-twenty-year existence. I could help her. I could heal her—bring her back to that sweet, pure thing she once was. The pure thing I just knew was still inside.
I stood tall, straight, motionless, like no vampire should, breaking every rule, lured by the thought of seeing her pretty face as she saw me for the first time.
She farewelled her brother by the base of the stairs outside—closer than we’d ever been, yet so far away. It felt so oddly frustrating that the only thing between us now was a thin plate of glass and a few steps. I thought for a moment about smashing it and laughing carelessly, just to get her attention. But she stopped dead, her eyes tracing my shoes, flowing up my body to where the long silver bulk of the doorhandle blocked the last inch of distance between us, preventing our eyes from meeting for the first time.
The bell tolled again, sending the humans around me into sudden movement, exciting the dense summer air with their scents, their thoughts—so familiar, so naïve, but, for some reason, stirring nothing in me of the hatred I normally felt for this species. I wanted to hurt them only enough to make them move—to make them shift from my path while I wrapped this sweet girl in my arms, close enough to send her pain away. She was afraid—her hands tight, sweating, her thoughts frozen.
I stepped forward, forgetting the backpack I’d dropped by my feet, and a sweet name left my lips in a whisper, one I’d never dared speak before; “Ara-Rose.”
She stopped walking, taking a quick gasp.
I closed my mouth. There was no way she could have heard that.
I hope you all enjoyed that little scene. Thanks for joining us, and I look forward to seeing you all at the next tour stop.
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