THE SECRET LIFE OF ZURRIE DRESDEN

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Chapter Two: Zurrie- A Bit of Family History

We left The Order when I was six. My mother, Selene, thought it best to enroll both my brother Euriel and me into the public school system. She had a firm belief that we needed socialization with children our age.

When we were younger, our differences from the other children didn’t stand out as much. It was when we hit puberty that things became more noticeable, more detectable; at least for me.

Maybe puberty isn’t the right word, once again, at least not for me. Euriel, being half-human and half-angel, had a normal human development. I, on the other hand, am and have always been, quite different. There are very few things about me that are of the human race. The major one is the fact that I’m made of flesh and bone. Just about everything else, well, let’s say, not of this world.

I don’t have an internal thermostat that regulates my body temperature, nor do I have lungs that exchange oxygen for carbon dioxide. I do have the ability to breathe, although it’s unnecessary for my survival. Contrary to belief and folklore, I do have blood that runs through my veins, but it’s not of this world. Vampire blood is more like liquid history. It holds a unique DNA mapping sequence that’s linked to the one that sired them. This sequence goes all the way back to the beginning of our creation. Although life-sustaining, we can survive on a limited amount and when more is needed. We’re able to regenerate it at an accelerated rate.

Life over the last several years has been pretty challenging. The other kids in school know I’m different. Let’s call it the way it is. I am. With a height of just under six-foot, platinum blonde hair, and brightly colored emerald, green eyes, I stand out.

Most of the time, I feel like an outcast. Teenage girls can not only be petty, but they can be downright mean. I’ll admit, I am a part of the problem. I have a really hard time knowing when to keep my mouth shut and a tendency to be assertive with my words. To make matters worse, when my temper flares, I lose control. It’s like a fire starts to burn deep within my veins. Once it’s ignited, a part of me is no longer in control. It’s just something that goes along with being a vampire.

Look, I’m not saying I couldn’t have worked harder at getting the rage and emotional outburst under control, but I was a kid. Ok, if I’m going to be fully honest with you, I still struggle with it. I think I’ve gotten better over the years, though.

I owe every ounce of restraint I have to Cameron, my BFF, and mentor. For this, I am forever grateful. You see, if it weren’t for her, I most likely would have lost my shit a really long time ago. Through her teachings, I learned to use restraint and harness a portion of the darkness that lives within me. I say a portion of, as the depths of such, can never fully be reined in.

You see, my mother was turned by the queen of the highest-ranking vampire coven in the world, The Nemurire Council. Oh yeah, important fact, it’s also the oldest and established Order still in existence. Why is this fact important? Because the older the line of vampire linage, the stronger and more powerful each generation becomes, and along with that, new traits emerge.

Not only was my mom turned by Queen Azurah, but she also killed her. Yep, you didn’t misunderstand me; you got it right. My very own mother killed one of the highest-ranking members of the oldest vampire covenant in the world. I can’t really go into detail, as it’s a really long story, but here’s what I’ve come to learn. An abridged version, that is.

So, my mom, Selene Coldbane, fell in love with the Headmaster, Xavier Draven, when she was only 21. He was her first; the first of many things. First kiss, the one who took her virginity away, and her first true love.

Your initial thought might be that The Council turned her because she was human, right? You’re going down the wrong path if that’s what you actually think. I mean, don’t get me wrong, they weren’t happy about his choice for a lover, but they assumed he planned to turn her and bring her into the fold. When after more than a year passed, it was clear he had no intention of doing what they expected of him. Even so, it’s not the reason.

The fact is, Azurah had a bit of, shall we say, jealously, over the fact that he found happiness, contentment, and love outside of her arms. Yep, you got it. She was in love with Xavier herself. For the sake of time, I’ll keep this short; she was his sire. You know, the one who turned him centuries before.

From what I’ve heard, it was love at first sight for her. The story may have gotten misconstrued over the last few centuries, but this is the current version. He was the son of a prominent banker. One evening at dusk, he went for a horse ride through the countryside. He had just had an argument with his father. Over what I’m not sure, as I’ve never been told. Anyway, it doesn’t really matter, does it?

Azurah was scouting the landside for her nightly feeding when she saw him on horseback. Although the site of the horse stirred the animal inside of her, the desire to quench her thirst for blood didn’t hold a match to the burning desire to take what didn’t belong to her; him.

She became obsessed with him. Hiding in the shadows day after day for months, she could no longer control her hunger for him…. her thirst for him. It wasn’t the taste for his blood that she wanted. It was so much more. She wanted to take him as hers in every possible way. She wanted to possess him, break him, and then tame him. Once she did, he’d long for her, crave her touch, crave her blood, and crave the comfort of sharing her bed night after night. He’d become hers, body and soul.

Let me clarify the word soul for you, just in case you mistakenly confuse vampire language and human terminology. The soul of a vampire is more complex on many levels than that of a human. What we refer to as a soul is carried in our blood, or shall I say, is a part of our bloodline. This means that our blood is the catalyst that circulates throughout our bodies. The soul is where our history is stored, both human and vampire. It’s how we gain the power and strength of those we’ve killed, an internal genealogical map of sorts. Like I said earlier, liquid history.

Ok, back to where we were... Unbeknownst to Xavier, the world as he knew it was about to change forever. As you and I both know, forever’s a really long time.


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