{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.
Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copies left
You can choose from our best books below
NotMarge would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

The Long Game

By NotMarge

Horror / Romance

Quiet in the Darkness

He lay quiet in the darkness, holding her.

He felt peaceful for the first time in over four hundred years. His wife had returned to him. She slept here now beside him.

He held her gently, an arm comfortably wrapped around one delicate, exposed shoulder. Her head rested against him as his fingers gently stroked her thick, wavy, dark hair. Their breath rose and fell in rhythm together.

He had draped a sheet over them, mostly her, to ward off the chill. Their unadorned bodies lay comfortably intertwined beneath it. They smelled of smoke and blood and destruction. Passion and love and consummated desire. All these smells together emitted a heady aroma to his sharpened senses.

Past lives, she had said. Yes, he supposed that might suffice for him. He vividly remembered living as Vlad Teppis. He remembered his beloved Ilona, his beautiful, gentle wife. He had loved her every day that she was alive. And he had grieved her every day since he had been forced to watch her burn, listen to her burn, smell her burn.

He barely repressed a shudder at the memory and the peacefully sleeping woman nestled closer to him, making a small sound in her throat. He brushed his lips lightly against her forehead and she quieted. Her fingers on his chest quivered for a moment, tickling him. A ghost of smile drifted over his countenance.

Mina. She was Ilona come back to him; that was true. But she was so much more as well. She was kind and intelligent, as Ilona had been, but this new day and age offered her opportunities to use that intelligence further than she would ever have been allowed to before. She was her own person altogether and he would not withhold that right from her.

If Morpheus, the Greek god of dreams, were real and gifting him with visions of all he desired, he could not have achieved more success. But then again, the Greek gods had been known to be finicky bastards who were not be trusted. He dare not admit his wary sense of hope.

He wished to speak to her in his true voice. The voice of Vlad Teppis. Would her soul recognize that voice echoing from across the centuries? And should he really use that voice? If he were to embrace this new life, his American voice would speak to Mina Murray, not Ilona from long ago.

Past lives, she had said. Might it be possible that this Alexander Grayson persona could be his new life? Only the parasite vampire Dracula inside held him back. That which could not be contained. He had refrained from consuming blood when he had been newly intoxicated with walking in the sunlight. He had attempted to fool himself into believing that he was a new man, no longer subject to his terrible curse. The results had been dismal to say the least.

He was not the demon, the monster. The demon, the monster, the vampire, the Dracula resided within him. It was not him. He remembered being simply Vlad Teppis. His original soul before they had torn it asunder and burned it to ashes.

She had given herself willingly to him last night with complete abandon in the light of his revelations. But what would become of them now?

He would move the heavens and earth on her whim. But how can a vampire move the sun?

Could he tell her in such a way that she would believe him, understand him, forgive him?

Oh, Mina my dear, you should be aware: I am a four hundred year old vampire who shuns the sunlight. On frequent occasion, I must also drink blood and often kill when I do so. Care for a cup of tea?

No. Mina, this exquisite creature, would not accept that. She had disbanded herself from that insipid Harker because the fool had betrayed her trust with Lucy.

No. Mina would hold no quarter with his actions. What more would she do if he revealed the atrocities he had committed since being cursed by the Order?

After he had been cursed, in his rage and pain, he had made the entire countryside pay. As far he could reach his demonic fingers, he had made them pay. Impaling his enemies, striking fear into the hearts of any those dared to whisper his name aloud or shudder in fear at the thought of him. Creating more monsters like him. Making them all pay.

Until he had been caught and lay low to thirst in the earth below, trapped, unable to move. Left to languish alone in the dark and starve for blood, for life, for her.

And all the sins he had committed in the last fifteen years, righteously vengeful though some of them may be, would be unforgiveable to her. It would destroy her to know she had bonded herself to one so dark as he.

Yes, he must withhold the truth from her for her own protection. But did he really want to? Did he wish to keep secrets, to push her away? No. He desired to tell her everything. Lay bare all the ugly parts of his soul. Surely she, this fascinating mixture of Ilona and Mina, could find some way to wipe it all clean and absolve him.

It was lighter in the room now. The sun was beginning to rise. The burning sun, the wretched sun, the tantalizing sun, the punishing sun.

All this time, Alexander Grayson, Vlad Teppis, had been playing the long game. Every single move strategically thought out and put into play. And now with Mina Murray, Ilona reborn, beside him, he was at a loss as to his next action.

Her breathing changed and she stretched languidly as she began rousing from her slumber, pressing her body fully to his. He felt himself stir from her movements.

A smile played about his lips, entranced by her. She exuded life. She radiated life. She was life.

Raising her head, she smiled at him.

"Alexander," she murmured.

"Mina."

Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

Laraine Smith: Your story is both sweet and beautiful! You are a true artist! Keep up the great work! I also love the picture that you chose for your book! :)

Atractivo Sumit: The story is an amazing blend of what we call natural, plain romance along with subtle emotions and interesting twists. The plot is so beautifully interwoven.

SPepper: I had a hard time putting this book down even to go to sleep. The story is compelling and beautifully character driven. I hope author will make this a series.

Lauren Sanby: This is an excellent story. Very gripping and keeps your attention throughout. Hoping the author is writing a sequel because I'd love to read more about Rhi and Andreas and find out what else Rhi is able to do with her powers.

Marimar Amieva: I just can't believe the story! I absolutely loved it, all of it. The characters and their chemistry between them, and the fact that they are relatable. The story also has some sick plot twists, which I never saw coming. I loved the fact that it is an adorable love story but has its mystery touc...

Sabrina Ettey: The story plot is great. I loved it. Just the grammar punctuation and writing style was kind of distracting. But with the smooth polishing, it may shine like a pearl. :)

rihannabkj2: Great story,I can hardly stop reading this novel. it shows that compassion and love can still exist after so many years between two persons. I most say well done to the Author who wrote this book. Others should read this book inorder to know that there can still be LOVE among two persons no matt...

izzymerchant: This book is truly special. The plot, the characters and the way the story flows is so engrossing and magical that I found it virtually impossible to put down. The character relationships were particularly fascinating and Melenthia's character was fascinating. Cannot wait to see what happens next!

263Adder: Okay so I adore this story. I only knocked one star off plot for historical inaccuracies because I'm a bit of a stickler for that. The ending broke my heart though, considering you already changed history couldn't you (SPOILER) change it a bit more and have them together!!!! I want an alternative...

More Recommendations

brettylee: The narrative is slick yet punchy. Life, Family and Friends I believe is the core message so it’s easy to relate to. It’s surprisingly action packed. The author does a good job at keeping you guessing. Just when you think all is right, whack, the unexpected happens. The dialogue is energetic and ...

Alex Rushmer: Chapter One: Not much is happening in this chapter, but I was absolutely fascinated by the depth of your character development. I love how you just sat there with the reader and explored Eddward. Usually, that sort of thing gets boring very fast, but this was actually really cool! He's so unique ...

Dessie Williams: loved the book. the plot the characters all just great.I think it's a must read. once you start this book it's hard to put down. hope it gets published....I think this book is a must read.great job!!!!

ynez2005: I LOVE THIS BOOK SOOOOO MUCH!!!!Though you really need to make another book,more Princesses!!! Whoooo!!!Girl Power!!!Mabey it could even be Devona's BFF???That would make it even better!!!Plus can you pleeease make Akki come back,together with Thea and Authur amd the whole family is back!Other th...

Shweta Somwanshi: I just chose to read this out of nowhere and now I can't stop. Hats off to the author who made the reader swoon away with words so beautifully! I loved how I was able to imagine everything so explicitly because the writing was simple and easily comprehensive with a touch of complexity somewhere b...

annie08c: I really like this story, I can relate to it a lot and with how she feels, the boyfriend and the events that happened but I'm a little bit younger. It was really good plot, really liked how you stuck to the topic and you had a new title for every chapter making me guess what's going to happen. Ma...

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.