THE SECRET LIFE OF ZURRIE DRESDEN

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Chapter Seven: Azurah- Satisfaction & Longing

Fleeing as fast as I can from the stables, my primary focus right now should be on feeding, but it’s not. I can’t seem to shake the image or scent of the young Draven male. Flashes of his chiseled jawline and lips the color of delicate rosebuds continue to haunt me no matter how far a distance I place between us.

I abruptly stop just before the thick brush of trees thins out. I fight to clear my head from the need to see him once more. “Pull yourself together, Azurah,” escapes my lips. My words fall upon the lifeless, towering, snow-covered trees. Placing my face in the palms of my hands, for no other reason than to force myself to think rationally and put things into perspective, only increases my longing. His masculine scent’s embedded into my skin. Inhaling deeply, I imagine what he will smell like when he’s mine. Once turned, his human scent will transform. It will be forever connected to me. Not only will it be a constant reminder of our bond, but it will tell the others that I was his sire and that he belongs to me and only me. The thought of touching him overrides every ounce of intellectual reasoning my mind tosses at me.

All reasoning and caution flee instantly, as the lingering aroma intensifies when the lightly falling snowflakes settle on the tips of my fingers. My mind and body fight against one another. My mind says to keep going, whereas my body is drawn to him.

My inner conflict doesn’t last long, and I head back in his direction. I’m instantly standing in the doorway. The white beast must have sensed my presence the moment I approached. She stands at the gate of her cage, just as she did before. She’s letting me know of her presence. I walk slowly in her direction and gaze directly into her eyes. She quickly falls victim to my hypnosis. I must give her credit; she certainly is a strong one. Although under my spell, she won’t step away and leave her master this time. She stands down and backs away a few inches. She’s still close enough to monitor the situation. If I didn’t think she could be of use to me at some point, I’d dispose of her right now. Feeling confident she’s under control, I turn my attention to what I came here for.

The young Draven’s body is still in hibernation and in the process of physiological and biological changes. When he awakens, he’ll possess the traits of every other Draven male in the last several centuries. His body and mind will be that of a hunter. He will immediately start training for his place amongst the chosen. This process takes time, hard work, and perseverance. Luckily for me, time is a luxury. For now, I’ll allow him to live.

Before I depart from him for a second time today, I give in to the urge to taste his lips. Straddling his legs, I lean into this body frame. I can’t resist placing both hands on the exterior of his shirt. Heat radiates from his firm, well-defined chest. Although the air is frigid for a human, the transformation his body’s going through keeps his internal thermostat regulated.

My fingers walk their way up to the curve of his neck. His heart beats steadily against my palm. I feel the stir of my inner beast becoming restless, causing me to lose a bit of my self-control. Against my will, fangs slide down from beneath the thin layer of gum tissue that keeps them lock in place. I slide my lips lightly against his. Pulling back slightly, I relish the warmth of his breath as it caresses my cheek. To gather a better taste of him, I force my canines back up and into their holding place. Leaning in until my breasts are flush against his hard chest, I place my lips against his once more. The warmth of his skin against mine is intoxicating. As our lips part, I run my tongue along the bottom half of his: soft and irresistible.

Centuries of vampire blood coursing through my veins pull the inner animal to the surface. This time, I’m not able to regain my composure. Each second that passes weakens my ability to remain in control of myself. I can feel my sanguine fluid pooling to my vital organs. My eyes burn as they turn to liquid blood.

I shouldn’t have come back here. My weakness for this human has placed me in a compromised position. With not a moment to waste, I leap up from my position on his lap and bolt through the door.

Moving three times faster than an arrow shot from a bow, I fly through alleys of the small town of Zeneil. Driven now by nothing other than the centuries-old blood that whispers within my soul, I must feed to get my mind off him.

I scan the area frantically, in pursuit of a kill. Just as I suspected, the only traffic out is the undesirables. The alcoholics, drug addicts, and prostitutes looking to score litter the alleyways. The addicts look for their “next high” and the “women of the night,” their next “John”.

I slow my pace and scan the pathetic, dirty bunch of street idlers. Taking in the scents of each one, I narrow my choice down to the young brunette dressed in a pale pink dress. I stroll closer to gather a better sense of what kind of drugs may be in her system before I feed.

She’s preoccupied with something she’s holding in her hands and doesn’t even have a chance to move a muscle or attempt to flee my grasp. Directly in front of her now, I grab ahold of her throat. With one quick motion, her neck’s exposed, along with the thick, pulsing artery that contains her delicious nectar. My mouth waters as my fangs lower and lock into position. Unable to control myself, I plunge both fangs into the free-flowing fountain at her nape. Her blood is pure; not a single trace of brain-numbing chemicals that pollute not only the mind but alter the consistency and taste of the blood, making it thin and bitter.

Her arms and legs flail at her sides and her fight ends abruptly as my savage hunger depletes her quickly. Her body goes limp just before the last pint of her blood’s pulled from her heart. The crashing of glass on the ground draws my attention downward, but not before I retract my fangs from her lifeless form.

So as not to draw any more attention to myself, I lower her body slowly and gently. Her limp frame folds into the shallow dip that’s between the blacktop and brick wall. The nearby streetlamp cast beams of light off glistening shards of glass and metal that’s dispersed a few feet from her fingertips. Curiosity gets the better of me and I zoom in on the debris. Amongst the broken glass and metal framework lies a photo image of the young woman and the young Draven male.

No wonder her nectar was so sweet and pure. She was an innocent; a virgin. That would also explain the fine dress, maintained nails, and perfumed skin. With both knees bent, I lower myself down until I’m almost on the ground next to her. Lifting her limp, left hand brings the glistening diamond into view.

A twinge of emotions overcomes me. I’d like to say I’m overcome by regret for the loss of the life to the young woman that lies just at my feet, and I’d like to say I feel sadness for taking the life of the woman whom the young Draven male gave this glistening diamond too. But the cold hard truth is, she would have been, shall we say, a liability in the future. So, the twinges of emotions I’m feeling? Satisfaction and longing. Satisfaction over the choice of the life I stole; longing for the day he’ll belong to me and only me.


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