The Vampire Peasant: A Sinister Heart Novel

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Chapter 1

1

I was getting ready for school. Yeah, I was one of the types who loved school for the education. You could probably say that I was a sort of nerd. Hey, I actually wanted an education because if I could get into a college, that meant I could hopefully get a good paying job and one day I wouldn’t have to starve myself anymore. It was the only thing I was looking forward to in life since I still hadn’t met my mate, and with my status as a vampire, I doubt she would even like me. Like the rest of them, she would probably reject me. I was lucky enough to have a couple of friends. Of course, they were peasants. No one other than peasants would want to be friends with a peasant. That was because they viewed us as dirt. They called us scum who shouldn’t be here because we were not real vampires. We were turned into vampires. That was why we were scum, as they called us.

Anyways, I was getting ready for school. It was six forty-five in the morning. I usually had to leave early because I lived in the outskirts of the town because my parents weren’t able to get a house closer when they were alive. They were killed in the mid-1800s. So yeah, I had been around for a while, but it was about time they allowed the peasants to go to school for free. When I had heard that news, I was overjoyed. I finally had some hope and maybe a dream and a life worth living.

Anyways, it usually took me about an hour to get to school by foot. I didn’t like to run to school because I would get all sweaty and it wouldn’t help my appearance at school. I already didn’t look appealing because of my status and my lack of time to wash my clothes, working as much as I could and studying.

I left my house and locked my front door and set off for school. It was six fifty in the morning, which meant I would get to the school around seven fifty to eight in the morning. The school I went to started at eight oh five. I went to Corsica High School in Corsica, France. I was in la première year, which was grade eleven, and so far, I had had straight As since I started school. I hoped to keep it that way because if I did, I might be able to get into a college with a full scholarship.

That was if people wouldn’t discriminate me for what I was and if they were being fair. I highly doubted it though, but at least I would get accepted. That was if they wanted to be nice and fair.

Getting into a college for a degree in business had been on my mind while I was walking, and I almost hadn’t recognized the high school in view because I was so lost in my thoughts.

Finally, I made it, but that means the bullies will be there. Damn. Why me? Why couldn’t I have been born into a vampire family? Even a regular family would do,

I thought as I almost let a tear out, but I quickly wiped it away with my large black pullover sweatshirt. My shirts and sweatshirts had to be large because of my height and decent-sized muscles. Being a vampire did have its perks for me. I did get the vampire features, like godlike looks, a handsome face, and a six-pack body, but that didn’t help you any when you were a peasant.

“Hey, Vanni, how’s your weekend been?” one of my best friends said as I walked through the school doors.

“Hey, Leo. It’s the same as always. Barely scraping by.

How about you? How’s work been?” I answered with a dull tone. I was depressed. I usually was when I got into school because I was the one who got picked on most. I didn’t know why though.

“Eh, hard as usual. Yo, I’m sorry about last week, man.

I can’t believe that Filamina did that to you. That was kinda fucked up. That was worse than what Delfina does to you,”

Leo answered with pity.

He got picked on as well but not as much as me. I didn’t know why. Maybe it had something to do with him having his mate. I knew that having your mate near you meant you got three times stronger than you really were. I still hadn’t found mine. I was starting to think she didn’t exist, and it was depressing me even more.

“Yeah, it’s the usual though, man. Can’t really do anything about it. So how’s your mate doing?” I asked, trying to change the subject off me.

I hated what Filamina had done to me. Delfina was the one who always beat me, but this time, it was Filamina. I mean, she was a human and royalty too. She technically wasn’t supposed to act out of turn and beat someone.

Every royal and higher-up was supposed to act proper and ignore the peasants like myself, but no. One day she had to catch me by myself by the school lockers, and she hit me as hard as she could on the back of my head. I was on the ground because of my book locker, and she took the opportunity and swung. I didn’t even know she had that kind of strength. She left me bruised, and I was the vampire, and she was the human. I was still wondering how she had done it. I was going to have to find out more about her.

“Yeah, she’s fine, but hey, did you find yours yet?”

Leo’s answer snapped me out of my daze. I shook away my thoughts and glanced up at him and then back at the ground. I was getting more depressed every time I heard someone mention that word.

I just shook my head and didn’t answer. That was a sensitive topic for me because I had been alive for a long time and still hadn’t found her. I had lost all hope in finding her, so I tried to avoid the subject as much as possible.

“No, I didn’t. I’m starting to think she doesn’t exist.

You know what? I don’t even care anymore. I don’t think she exists. Even if I do find her, she will probably reject me because of my status as a peasant. Even if she’s a peasant. I mean, who would want to be my mate? I get bullied just for being alive. I’m surprised you’re still my friend. You get bullied because of me. Why am I everyone’s target, man?

What did I do? Where did I go wrong? I’m sorry, man. I just . . . I get carried away with these things. I’m sorry for wasting your time. You should probably go find your mate. She might be waiting for you,” I said in a depressed tone. I felt even more depressed now that I thought about never finding my mate. I mean, a vampire could only love once, and that love was saved for their mate and their mate only.

Leo only shook his head at me. I knew how he felt about me and my depression. He was worried for me. He was scared that one day I might never come to school. To me, being dead actually sounded better than being in my situation.

That was why he was worried for me. He always came to check up on me every day at school. He chose to stay my friend. He preferred to get bullied because of me. He was a true friend and one who actually cared about me and my well-being.

“No, dude. My mate can wait. When a brother needs help, I stay by their side. I will pick them up even if they don’t want to be picked up. I will carry them and their burden with them if it means keeping a friend alive. Dude, you’re my best friend, and you will always come first. You were there for me when I needed it. Now it’s my turn. I’m going to be there for you. Don’t worry, brother. Your mate will come. You know what they say, right? That good things come to those who wait? And I believe your mate will be the most beautiful vampire in all the world for how long you’ve been waiting.”

When Leo said that, I felt tears at the brims of my eyes. I tried not to let them fall but failed. Leo only smiled, knowing he had lifted my spirits once again. That was why he was my best friend.

“Thanks, mate, but why do I get bullied the most?

Why? Where did I go wrong? Dude, I’m nothing special, just older than every peasant here,” I said back with no longer a depressed tone but a regular one.

“I don’t know, dude. Maybe it’s because you are older than them and have more experience in being a vampire,” Leo answered me, but right as I was going to reply to him, the bell had rung, signaling it was class time in five minutes.

“Well, I’ll see you in class, man,” I said as I took off for pre-AP chemistry.

I sat in the back of the class. That was only because peasants couldn’t sit anywhere else. They couldn’t care less about us. If it were my choice, I would be up front because unlike some of the people in this class, I actually wanted to be here. I actually wanted to learn and get good grades and pass.

“Okay, class, get out your homework and pass it forward,” my chemistry teacher said. Her name was Ms. Perez. Yes, she was human. All the teachers here were.

I got out my homework and passed it forward as told, but the man in front of me, a human, took it but not without looking me up and down, giving me that disgusted look that everyone gave me. It made me feel ashamed of myself. I had never done anything wrong. I always tried to be good and kind and gentle with everyone, even with the people who bullied me,

so that when I did die, I wouldn’t leave with regrets. I always lived my life without any regrets.

I was leery about my classes, not this one so much because the bullies I had in this class were only level C, commons. Yes, vampires of every rank except peasants bullied me. That was because I was a peasant. Anyways, the bullies in this class were Iacopo Gaspari and his mate, Filipa, Alessandro, and Angela. I only had a few. Not everyone bullied me physically. I think it was because they thought I had diseases and were afraid to touch me, but just about everyone bullied me mentally.

“Okay, class, pass them all to the left, and I will collect them. Get your books out and turn to page 103, chapter 9,”

Ms. Perez said as she turned around to write something on the board.

“Ew. I’d hate to have to sit by him,” Alberto, a regular, whispered to his mate, Anselma. Alberto had black hair, pale skin, and distinguished regular green eyes with their inner red circles. Anselma, on the other hand, was tanned a bit and had long brown curly hair with the distinguished regular vampire eyes.

“You got lucky today, filthy peasant,” Iacopo said before turning around—but not before he glared daggers at me.

If looks could kill, I would have been dead ten times over. He had short black curly hair, but to a guy, you would call it long because it reached his shoulders. He was a common, so he, of course, had the common’s eyes. The eyes of a common were yellow.

Alessandro didn’t say anything, which was odd. They usually said mean comments like “Go kill yourself,” “No one in this world wants you,” and “Your parents killed themselves because they were disgraced by you.” When they bullied me mentally, it hurt worse than the physical bullying. It cut deeper than any blade ever could. I wasn’t shocked at how most of the students had ignored my presence—or any peasant, for that matter—but because I hadn’t gotten any physical bullying on my way here. Even in here, no one was doing anything. Some would throw paper balls at me, spit at me, or even sometimes throw pencils or water bottles at me. Some even took it to a higher level and dumped water from their bottles on me or soda. No one had done that to me today, which was odd. It made me more cautious and more aware of my surroundings.

Something’s up. No one is bullying me today. Well, if you count out the harsh words coming my way, then no one’s doing their usual thing. Something’s wrong. I have to find the guys and talk to them about this.

The class went on as usual, with the teacher never calling on me or any of the other peasants in this class. Even if I was the only one who knew the answer, she acted like I didn’t exist. Yes, even the lowly poor humans hated us and were disgusted by us vampire peasants. They acted like they were bigger and better than we were, even though a vampire could kill you when they wanted to, but no peasant ever did because it would only prove to them what they thought of us peasants. It would give them more of a reason to hate us, spit on us, and bully us. We peasants could do nothing but take the beatings.

That was why we looked the way we did. We didn’t heal as fast as other vampires because we were once human, and they knew that. We looked dirty and bruised, with scars all over our bodies. That was why people looked at us with disgust in their eyes, and when our bodies were finally healed, they did it again. They always made sure we looked tattered and ugly. That way, no one wanted us, and I looked the worst of them all. I looked beaten with dirt all over myself because I had no time to bathe myself. I worked hard every minute I could because I barely got four hundred a month to live off of. I had to buy groceries by the day. I had no extra money for electricity, but I had excellent eyesight because I was a vampire, so it was not a problem for me. I did have to pay my water bill though, and the extra money I had left over, I had to use for essentials like deodorant and toothpaste and the like.

Soon, it was time for second period, English, with Mr. English. Ironic, right? He was human, so no one made fun of him. They just took it out on me and the other peasants, calling us names, making us feel worthless. Some even wanted to commit suicide, but they didn’t because they didn’t want to show that it affected them that much.

Again, no one bullied me. Everyone was just ignoring me as I passed them. No one was trying to trip me or “accidentally” bump into me, slamming me into the walls or lockers. No one was trying to hit me with doors. In fact, they were holding the door for me and the other peasants. It put me on edge. Saying a little was an understatement. I was afraid. Actually, today I was more afraid than usual. Something was definitely wrong, and I had to find out what soon.

“Okay, class, get out your books and turn to page 122,” Mr. English said to us.

I listened carefully as I didn’t know any of this because I hadn’t been allowed to go to school before.

It went by faster than my liking, mainly because I loved learning. I mean, I didn’t know this stuff.

Again, no one did anything to me, but this time, no one even dared to look at me, much less say anything. It was making me more anxious as the minutes went on. I was afraid. It was like they knew something that we peasants did not. Not even my bullies did anything or said a word, and they were nobles. Their names were Mariano Rocca and Rinaldo Santini.

The next class, my third period, was algebra 2 with Mr. B. I hated this class because Delfina Abello was in this class,

one of the purebloods. I also had Antonio Di Stefano and Cristofano Guerriero in the class too, and they too were purebloods.

Delfina was one of the major bullies toward me, but at least I didn’t have to go through it alone. I had my best friend, Leo, and his mate, Eva, in here with me.

“Hey, Vanni, how’s your day going so far?” I heard Eva speak as she sat in her seat, which was in front of mine.

I really wasn’t in the mood to talk to anyone because I was depressed about not finding my mate yet, but I suppressed my feelings. I didn’t want anyone worrying about the likes of me. It would only mean that they would get bullied because, after all, I was the most tortured. I didn’t have any clue as to why though.

So I just took it.

“It’s weird today. No one has bullied me yet.

Well, I had a few harsh comments, but no one pushed me or did anything physical. They’re even holding doors open. It’s making me anxious. How about yours? Anything weird like that happening to you, and have you seen Leo yet?” I asked her, keeping my voice soft, not that it mattered because other vampires could hear with our enhanced hearing.

“Yeah, they’re doing that with me as well. I have noticed none of the other peasants getting bullied either.

Every peasant I met is on edge. Do you know why? And yeah, I have. I love him. I couldn’t survive without my mate. By the way, have you found yours yet?” she asked, curiosity burning in her eyes.

“Eva, babe, that’s not a subject to be discussed. I thought I told you that,” Leo lectured her. He must’ve seen my facial expression drop at the word mate.

I don’t think he heard the beginning of our conversation. I’ll have to bring that up at lunch.

“Oh, sorry, Vanni,” Eva apologized before shutting up and turning around, not even bothering to finish our previous conversation.

“Sorry, man, she has a mind of her own,” Leo apologized. He didn’t like to see me depressed, and he knew the word mate always dropped my mood. I was beginning to lose hope and think that she didn’t exist. Not only that, but also, I was on edge with the no-bullying thing.

“Hey, man, don’t worry. She’ll come around. I promise.” That was the last thing Leo said before turning around to pay attention as class had started. He sat on the right of Eva, who sat directly in front of me.

I just nodded in hope.

Again, no one said anything, and I thought Leo had caught that because he looked back at me with a worried look. It was written all over his face. He knew something was up, and he was worried and more anxious than me. He was probably worried for me and that maybe something bad would happen soon. Soon enough, the bell rang, signaling fourth period.

“Hey, was it just me, or did you find it weird that no one said or threw anything at you? I mean, not even Delfina did anything. She didn’t even look at you, for Christ’s sake. What the hell is up with that?” Leo said, worried as we packed up and left for our next class. His fourth period was in the same building, just downstairs.

“I was telling Eva this before class started, and she said that she has noticed it too. I mean, they’re even holding the door open, and no one has touched me today, not even spat at me,” I said anxiously as I looked from him to Eva and back again.

Leo looked at Eva to confirm this, and she nodded.

“Yeah, Vanni told me that he only had a couple of mean comments, and that’s it. Weird, right?” she added.

I forgot about that too, and now that she had mentioned it, one comment stuck out to me. It was Iacopo’s comment from this morning.

You got lucky today.

“Hey, I forgot to mention this earlier, but one comment stuck out from this morning. Iacopo said, ‘You got lucky today, filthy peasant.’ What on earth could he mean? It’s worrying me to no end,” I said as I looked around anxiously for anything out of the ordinary. I came up with nothing other than the way people were acting.

“We’ll have to ask Dino. See what he knows,” Leo suggested right before he kissed his mate goodbye for her next class.

“Yeah, see if he’s found out anything. Well, I guess I’ll see you at lunch. Try and see if you can gather any information about why people are acting so weird!” I called after him as he departed down the stairs. He just nodded in response.

I had fourth period, history, with Ms. Fuentes.

I hated this class as well because I had Filamina and her cousin Vivienne. They might not have been vampires, but they still had power over us. That was only because they were royals. I also had nobles, Lorenzo Voltolini and Rinado Santini, in here too.

I tried my best not to draw attention to myself. That was because I knew the royals loved to torment the vampire peasants. They were human, and it made them feel powerful that they could beat up a vampire, one of the strongest supernatural beings there were.

Once inside the class, I sat in my usual seat in the far back corner of the room on the left side, far away from anyone and everyone who could torment me. This class did have an upside to it. I had Bianca Calligans. She wasn’t necessarily my friend. She was more of a study buddy. I wouldn’t want to call her a friend because she would get bullied like Leo did. I didn’t want that happening to anyone because of me.

I was leery as I watched the room fill up, with not even one person making eye contact with me. I was snapped out of my thoughts as I heard a voice speak up next to me. I knew it to be Bianca’s.

“Hey, Vanni,” Bianca said, sitting next to me.

The class late bell had rung. She had barely made it on time.

“Hi, Bianca,” I politely said to her.

She just smiled kindly at me. She made me smile too. She always did.

She just had this positive aura that could turn anyone’s mood around. Yeah, even though she was a peasant and got looked at like dirt like the rest of us, she still managed a positive aura.

She would always say that one day this would all be worth it.

The class went by, as weird as the other classes, with nothing happening to me, no comments or physical bullying. Filamina was throwing me looks full of hatred and disgust. That was about it, but she usually did that. So that was normal, but that was the most normal that I could get today, only a couple of comments from this morning and glares from Filamina. No one else did anything. They didn’t even look at me. I let out a breath of relief that at least some people were still doing their daily bullying. Filamina was human and a royal, so the most she could do was glare.

The bell signaled fifth period: lunch. I was kind of excited because it meant I could finally get some free food and save on money. I always took as much food as I could get away with. For my lunch, I had a carton of AB blood warmed up. I took two apples, a banana, and a hamburger.

I sat down at my usual table in the back of the cafeteria and waited for Leo, Eva, and Dino. Dino Riva was another friend of mine, but he wasn’t considered my best friend because I never showed him or anyone besides Leo my depression. I only trusted Leo with my true feelings.

“Hey, Vanni. How’s life been for you so far?” Dino asked as he sat down next me across from Eva.

I looked at Leo for help because he didn’t know about my miserable life and I didn’t want to tell him, but I also didn’t want to lie. So that was why I had Leo. He always changed the subject for me.

“Hey, Dino, how are your classes going?” Leo asked him, changing the subject again, relieving me.

It was a good thing that Dino hadn’t picked up on the hints. He just shrugged it off, as he always did.

“Eh, they’re going okay for now. I didn’t get bullied in any of them. Weird, right? Why now would they choose not to bully us?” Dino pointed out.

“Yeah, Vanni and I were talking about it in third period. He told me no one had even touched him today,” Leo said.

Eva just looked around for the bullies to see if they were waiting to bully us at lunch, but no. They kept to themselves.

“This is getting weird. I wonder how long this is going to be going on,” Dino spoke up after Eva was done looking around.

“I don’t know, but I’m going to enjoy not getting beaten while it lasts,” Eva said while drinking her blood carton.

“Yeah, but what if it gets ten times worse?” I finally spoke up. I had finished my food. Now all I had left was my blood carton.

“Yeah, Vanni’s got a point, you guys,” Leo said, agreeing with me. He was finishing up his sandwich, as did Dino.

“Hmmm . . . I don’t know. Something good might happen.

You’ve got to think of the positive sides too,” Eva said with a smile.

“Hmmm . . . I agree with Vanni. I have a feeling it might get worse. Yes, there may be the slightest bit of possibility that something good will come out of it, but I think it’s going to get worse because of that comment from Iacopo from this morning in Vanni’s class. He told him that he got lucky today,” Leo said to me.

Right after he had made that statement, the bell for sixth period came.

“We’ll have to get back to this later,” Leo said before standing up with his mate.

The rest of us agreed to finish this after school.

I had sixth period, French, with Ms. Delgado.

Dino had the class with me. So we both waved bye to Leo and Eva and headed to class.

“I’m glad none of the nobles or purebloods are in here with us—well, I mean, at least none who bully us.” Dino spoke positively, trying to cheer me up and change topics. He had picked up on my sour mood.

“Yeah, I guess so,” I replied with not as much enthusiasm as him.

He nudged my shoulder with his to get me to look up at him, and I did. Then I saw him frown, knowing he knew I was in a depressed mood. He only wanted to help me, I know, but sometimes I just felt like being alone.

“What’s up, man? What has you down besides the weirdness today?” Dino asked gently, knowing not to push me.

I clammed up when I got pressured or interrogated. I didn’t like when people bugged me.

“Well, I still haven’t found my mate yet. Have you?” I asked, opening up to him.

He looked away from me. I took that as a sign he was still single too. He just shook his head, confirming my thoughts.

“I don’t think I’m ever going to find her, dude,” Dino replied softly.

His tone lost its enthusiasm the minute the word mate was brought up. I knew exactly how he felt.

“Do you think they even exist?” I asked quietly as we made our way into the classroom.

He just shrugged.

“I don’t know. We’ve been waiting forever for them. I’m losing hope. Vanni, what do I do?” Dino asked as we sat in the far right back corner of the room.

“I can’t even answer that one myself,” I said, looking down at the desk, fidgeting with my fingers.

Just a couple of minutes later, the sixth period bell rang, signaling the time for class to start. We completely disregarded the fact that people were ignoring us. We were too engrossed about our mates to care.

“Okay, class, take out your book and go to chapter 8 and read the summary of ‘The Story of Catherine de’ Medici’ with your partner. Go,” Ms. Delgado said loudly as she graded papers.

I was currently waiting on a test paper that we had taken a week ago.

Dino and I quickly went over our assignment of reading our summary of “The Story of Catherine de’ Medici.” When we were finished, we decided to continue our conversation from before.

“Vanni, we can’t go on forever without our mates.

How are we supposed to cope without them?”

Dino sounded desperate. He sounded like he was having it worse than I was with this whole mate thing. I felt bad for him, and it was then that I had realized that this was how Leo saw me. Now I felt bad that Leo had been putting up with me and my depression.

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