This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
Trouble was a tear-streaked guy that appeared in a late-night coffee and bookstore called Midnight Owl, on a relatively quiet night in the outskirts of a big city. At least, that’s what Tyrella Douglas thought when she looked up from her comic book and at the young man who then sank to his knees right next to her. His cool hands clasped her own that shook in a way she had never before witnessed in a vampire and begged-
“Please, help me find CT!”
Tyrella opened her mouth then closed it. She saw that if she replied instantly, it would lead to something she wasn’t ready for. Instead, she closed her comic book and got out one of the napkins to clean up the bloody tears that still ran slowly down Nathaniel’s light brown freckled cheeks. He looked younger like this, even though he only physically stopped aging at eighteen. She ran her dark brown hands along his very curly reddish-brown hair in an attempt to calm him down so she could talk some sense into him.
“What happened, Nate?” She asked when he finally seemed to pull himself together, “I thought CT was out of town on business?”
“So did I.” Nate moved from the floor and sat down heavily in the chair next to her. “He told me he would be back soon- that it wouldn’t take but a day or two. But he’s been gone for almost a week now!” He was getting worked up again, “He’s never gone that long without calling me, Tyre. Never.”
Tyrella frowned for a while before looking back at her co-worker and employee, Taneisha. “Hey, Taneisha? Do me a favor and get the blood packet from the stock room, will you?”
Taneisha nodded, but she did glare at Nate as she left the two alone. Tyrella wasn’t really surprised at that; most wereanimals despised vampires as a whole. Nate would’ve been even more disliked considering he was actually a Duke of the area, one of the sons of the Prince Alexander. Which, she thought to herself when Taneisha came back and mumbled something about getting some food somewhere and left, made no sense as to why he couldn’t find CT on his own. It wasn’t like his father would stop him..?
“Why didn’t you go to your father or have one of your underlings do this?”
Nate made a whole in the blood bag; he looked at her sucking on it unhappily. “You know why.” His voice dropped an octave lower, even though there was no one else there but them. “Lolo will find out.”
Oh. Right. Lolo, Nate’s crazy twin brother with a thing for crossdressing. Lolo also held the same rank as Nate but unlike him, Lolo was more proactive in controlling his shared territory that their father had given them. Lolo was also extremely jealous of anyone that took Nate’s attention away. Remembering that, Tyrella cringed inwardly at the thought and sighed softly as she didn’t know what she could really do to help him. After all, she left a few years ago; there really wasn’t anything she could really do.
“Why didn’t you just, you know, ask Lolo then?” She suggested, playing with the edges of her comic book, “He’s still your brother and would still-”
“Lolo wouldn’t...You know what he’s like.” Nate crushed the empty blood bag, “Besides, he never gives straight answers anyway.” His eyes narrowed in annoyance, “I bet he’s behind this.”
“You don’t know that.” Though, Tyrella wouldn’t put it passed him. “Look, I’m just saying that maybe-”
“Will you come with me?”
She immediately shook her head, “No.” Pushing herself up, she headed to her office, “I’m not going to deal with your psycho-brother!”
“Tyrella, come on.” Nate followed behind her, “I need you to help me. Please? Besides, you’re the only one he’ll even answer besides Father.”
She whirled around, her braids swishing behind her carrying the extra momentum, “Then why don’t you just go and talk to your father? He’ll completely straighten this out.”
“No!” His fist smashed into the wall next to him, creating a small hole in the brick wall. Nate winced and looked at the hole he just made in Tyrella’s wall, “Er.. sorry, but you know Father will never accept that CT and I are together and besides-”
Her eyes narrowed. He was not about to say-
“- you owe me.”
Sucking on her teeth for a second, her back straightens as she leveled her dark brown eyes on him, “Do you know what you’re asking me to do?”
He looked sorry but didn’t seem to be changing his mind at all, “I won’t leave you alone, but I need your help.”
With a deep sigh, Tyrella dragged her feet, heading to her desk, which was cluttered with family photos and print outs of maps, where she kept some emergency things. Most importantly, her thigh sheath for her knife with its worn leather handle. Digging through the papers to the corner of the cubbyhole, she found two silver balls and stuffed them in her pockets. It wasn’t much, she had mused to herself, but being on the InActives had made it so she couldn’t own more weapons or replenish any more than what was deemed as basic defensive measures. Sometimes, she really did hate these laws, but there was nothing more she could do about them. Turning to Nate, she pondered to forgive him or not before deciding she wouldn’t until he bought her something relatively expensive and fix her wall. Then they would be even.
She strode passed him with a simple, “Let’s go.” Before exiting the building to her old Acura.
Some days, it doesn’t pay to be friends with any supernatural creature.
Alex Rushmer: I really love your writing style in this story. Usually the whole narration from a journal sort of thing doesn't work for me, but you really pull it off here. I like the main character's blatant way of putting things. I think that it lends a lot to his character and to the story. You tell it like...
Carolyn Hahn-Re: I really liked this story! The writing was well done, and the plot was suspenseful. I couldn't stop reading chapter after chapter, on the edge of my seat! The characters were well developed, and true to form. Thank you so much for this wonderful read.
Jacquie Walker: This is one of the best books I have had the pleasure to read. Claudio has created a very "real" world brought alive as his words paint a rich tapestry of the lives of his characters and the world they live in as they journey toward their destiny.I recommend this to all who love this genre.... it...
: This story was gripping and very professionally written. With lots of twists and slight of hand tricks, the author deceives the reader until finally showing their cards at the end. With several subplots all intertwining to create the main plot, this really is an interesting and engaging read.
Darren Powell: Very nice read. Lots of surprising treats from: Schrodinger’s cat and dervish dance forms; to sensei masters and brownian motion. I wasn't expecting this, so it was a pleasant discovery.Also liked the 'cross-over' events connecting one character's/or group's journey to another. I like how that wa...
Diane April: Really liked the concept of this story. The beginning had a great explanation about how things worked in the real world that people tend to overlook. It was a nice change from the usual zombie story that just makes things up as they go along and actual facts don't matter.
FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"
Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."