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
Bea Sobreira would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

The Child

By Bea Sobreira

Fantasy / Romance

Chapter 1

She sat with her cards on the warm and soft Persian rug. The parlor was dark except for the roaring glow and heat of the lit fireplace behind her, it's harsh orange glow illuminating the shelves of dusty books around her, but offering her a peaceful feel within the wood-covered room.

She once again stared at and analyzed the cards laid out before her. A result of which she had never expected… Or intended. The only sounds that could be heard were that of the crackling fire and the barely audible snores of the little girl on the sofa, a very worn powder-blue blanket tucked beneath her little cleft chin, dark curls falling over her cheeks, forehead and shoulders.

She looked at the image of the young child and could barely believe her to be already five years old. Time had passed them by mercilessly and a part of her deeply regretted the long years and milestones missed. The other part of her regretted re-entering her short little life, the inevitable pain, trauma and quite possibly shame she could illicit on the child coming to mind. With Lucifer himself threatening to take her, witches and demons on her trail, vampires looming in the dark… She was no suitable person to be raising a child—especially this child—such a clever, pure and beautiful one.

A child who would be stigmatized enough for being the result of a torrid and unlawful love affair, the product of her own moments of sexual hysteria, jealousy and impulsive behavior. She had always been careless of people's judgments of her. She could not be as selfish and reckless to allow herself shadowing the girl's life with her sins. They were so, so many…

Yet, despite all of this, here she was, at the home of her childhood where her father's body in rigor mortis was kept in his bed upstairs, awaiting the wooden casket and the final destiny of every damned creature.

She knew how they looked at her—the servants, her father's lawyers and accountants, the distant relatives neighbors and business partners all coming in to pay their last respects to a man whose life had been uneventful and at the very least dull and unhappy.

The hours passed and she sat there, staring and staring, not moving an inch. Soon she could feel the sunrays invade the room through the tall windows and the warm fire diminish into a pile of gray ash.

Her body hurt but she wouldn't budge. There was nothing he had owed her, quite the opposite. He had taken responsibility for every single one of her dirty acts. He had taken in her child and adopted her as if his legitimate heir; educated and cultivated her, all the best toys, books, foods, nannies and clothing. He had written her at least once a month with news of her development and growing—the child had given him joy in his last days—a joy that she herself never had. Not once did she respond to those letters—so very difficult to read. He had never stopped sending them; relentless and stubborn till the very end.

She could tell the minute the little girl was awake. First she could hear her yawning and stretching her little limbs, rubbing and making sounds against the leather seat. And then she could feel it as she rose from her makeshift bed and slowly walked towards her, a small and warm hand coming to rest on the curve of her shoulder.

"You don't need to take me if you don't want to." She said with her voice resolute in a way that surprised the woman. "There is a boarding school in France… And I have lots of nannies."

"Do you want to go to boarding school?" Was the question that hoarsely escaped her lips, "I mean, for both of us, it would be the proper and wise thing to do—but wise and proper are not always ideal…"

"You are the adult Vanessa, you should decide."

"What if I am afraid of doing so, of making the wrong decision?"

"I don't know—I just rather be with you than alone with a hundred of angry nuns."

"Heloise, do you honestly know who I am?"

"You're my mum, even though you're not much of one."

"I'm sorry about that."

"It's fine."

"Is it really?"

"Well you are here now, aren't you?"

"I may disappoint you… My life is—extremely complicated. I'm not married, I live with my mother's former lover who is currently on his way to Africa; I'm in love with a wonderful man, who sometimes turns into a beast. I have all these bad spirits after me and the devil himself. I'm not fit to be a mother."

"I think that's for me to judge, though."

"Oh is it?"

"Yes. And as long as you don't make me play with dolls and eat soup, I'm happy." Vanessa smiled to herself. "And you're far better looking than Nanny Sheffield and Mrs. Tate."

"Hmm, thank you." The little girl, Heloise, looked into her mother's similar blue eyes and allowed her little armor to fall off. "I have always loved you. Always, all right?" Heloise nodded her head quickly and tears began to escape her eyes and a loud sob burst out of her trembling lips.

Vanessa pulled her tightly and warmly into her embrace and held her for a long time. Heloise's arms snaked around her neck and they clung together for dear life.

Vanessa Ives' life wasn't near as pretty and perfect as the one the devil had taunted her with—the perfect little life with the man of her dreams, legitimate, happy and unscarred children. However, the most important thing was here with her, her baby, her own tiny piece of family and of perfection.

"Please take me with you, mama." The little girl requested in between sobs.

"Always, Heloise. Always."

Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

Stephen Warner: To start off, I am thoroughly impressed. The writing style is somewhat unique, and the plot seemed to move at a nice and steady pace. However, I was not expecting this to be a vampire book! I am usually not one for novels about vampires, but I was pleasantly surprised! You wrote with such grace a...

Sandra Estrada: I loved every minute of it and I thank my lucky stars that brought me to the story, it's been a whirlwind of emotions, plot twist after plot twist but I never got tired of them. Abby and Kade's story is a hard one to understand but once you're submerged in their story and love, you can't help but...

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! :)

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...

Flik: Hi! ^.^ huge fan of yours on ff.net! When I saw the note about this contest on The Way We Smile, I couldn't help but rush over here, create an account, and vote! XD Seriously love this story and would recommend it to anyone! :D best FT fanfiction out there. Amazing story, amazing concept that wa...

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.

Jade Niday: This book has a really great plot. The author really makes you feel connected to the main character. There are twist around every corner you never see coming.. Great read for sure and I can't wait to see what happens next.

Giuliana Cassetta: My face is full of tears, I never cried like now with a book or even a movie. I loved every single chapter. I truly don't know what to say, I'm out of words and my eyes hurt from crying. Such an bittersweet story, it's so wonderful. One of my favorites for sure. Keep it up!

makaylakay: I love love this story! It's written incredibly and well thought-out plot! I love how it's a different twist in fantasy fiction, other then the usual vampire or werewolves. Love the romantics and drawn to the two characters so much already! This book will draw you in within the first chapter and ...

More Recommendations

minallie: One word, brilliant

LeahWrites: I love your use of writer's craft and how you use figurative language to enhance your writing. It great how you didn't have any spelling or grammar issues.

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 ...

Alex Rushmer: This was not what I expected, but I enjoyed it a lot Malfoy was always one of the characters that I liked a lot, so I like that a lot of this happens between him and Colette. I read the first couple chapters, and I enjoyed your writing style and am excited to see where you take this story. My com...

Felisa Yoder Osburn: I really enjoyed the story. Civil War stories are some of my favorites and the intertwining of the past with current times was wonderful. I look forward to reading the next stories.

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...

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.