Dead camp book one Excerpt
With a sickening wet sound, his body finally broke free of the earth. A cry of agony burst from between his perfect lips and his head fell back against my shoulder. I felt his long eyelashes brush against my neck as his eyes flickered in defiance of the blackness trying to consume him.
“Stay with me fella, stay with me, we’ll be home in a jiffy.”
Home, back to my castle, what the fuck was I thinking? I was out of my little fucking mind. I didn’t know the man. I owed him nothing. I had an Angel in my dining room and a German soldier in my dungeon and to top things off, I lived with a ghost. Yet I still wanted to take him home? No, I was intent on taking him home, I had decided that the moment I saw him.
But why, why should I get involved, why should I tread that path again, the path that could only lead to pain. It always did. And yet, as I held him in my arms I felt it, something inescapable, something that I could not understand, a stirring, a feeling, like something found when all hope of ever finding it had been forgotten. Something complicated.
A tingle of warning trickled up and down my spine making my hair stand on end. I lowered the hunk to the ground, slowly, carefully and whispered into his perfectly shaped ear. “Remain quiet.”
In a flash of lightning speed, I leapt into a tree, clinging with one hand to a thick branch while my legs wrapped around its thick girth. Someone was out there and not just Mr Fuck Me He’s Perfect. The smell of human, living heart pumping human was unmistakable, that incomparable odour carried on the wind to entice my nostrils and excite my senses, and I was dutifully excited. But there was something else there too, a feint undercurrent, an elusive aftertaste that went beyond sweat and skid-marks, an elusive scent that pricked at my memory, the smell of Demon.
I saw him then, a German soldier winding his way through the field of corpses. His uniform, a grey green feldbluse replete with bottle green collar and shoulder straps, made him almost invisible amongst the branches and the sludge. I could not see his face beneath his field cap but I could easily make out the eagle and swastika emblem embroidered on the bottle green cloth and I noted with disgust the Sturmgewehr semi-automatic rifle hanging loosely from his shoulder.
The Nazi stood barely six metres away from my injured future husband. Do not move lovely man, I said to myself, do not move and don’t make a sound and if you can, be still your beating heart, because to me it sounded like a jackhammer pounding through the forest. He was frightened and in pain. His eyes darted everywhere looking for me, desperate for me, pleading for me to drag him out of that Hell.
I saw the agony flash across his face before the sound escaped his lips. My entire body tensed. Too late, the soldier heard his pain.
He was running then, running towards my Adonis in the pit. Without hesitation, I soared through the air and landed with feline grace before him. The soldier fell backwards with a bloodcurdling scream. The rifle landed at my feet and I picked it up, rising to my full magnificent height, slowly and with purpose, relishing every moment of fear that blossomed across the soldiers white features. I snapped the weapon as easily as though it were a twig and threw the shattered weapon at his feet, watching with satisfied relish as he scrabbled backwards in the mud, his mouth curling away from his face as his terror burst from his throat.
“Demon! You are not from the camp. What are you?”
My teeth extended and my eyes flashed black. My Vampire was out. In one swift movement, barely visible to the human eye, I leapt at him, pulling him off the floor with effortless ease, lifting his flailing body high above my head. I threw him with all my might at the nearest tree. His spine snapped with an audible bang as his fragile body wrapped itself backwards around the trunk of the trembling pine, his lifeless body sliding to the ground and my stomach rumbled. Dinner was served.
Dead Camp book 2 Excerpt
Three prisoners had died in my block that night, two elderly and one young man not old enough to grow pubes. It sickened me. Never, in all my years, had I witnessed such a callous waste of human life. And then to see my fellow prisoners undressing the dead, striping their cold stiff bodies before my unbelieving eyes horrified me even more, and I clung onto Jakob’s broken body for dear life. All around me the clunk of bodies against wood and concrete. My eyes tried not to see and my ears tried not to hear.
A cold clammy hand gently caressed my arm and I nearly shot off my shelf in shock. I didn’t scream. I refused to scream.
“My friend, I’m sorry, my friend, but you must undress him. The rubbish men will be here soon and you must strip him of all clothing before they take him. Please, you must do this for him—they will be less kind than you. Do you understand?”
“Why? Why must we do this?”
“His clothes are of value, my friend. They will be re-used for the next intake.”
“And what of his body, what will become of Jakob?”
“You don’t want to know, my friend.” His whispered words made every hair on my body stand on end. A sound outside caused him to return to his unsavoury task with renewed urgency. “Quickly, they are here.”
What followed felt like a dream. I had undressed many a man under many circumstances, but that was a first. Already poor Jakob stiffened, and it pained me to hear and feel his bones crack as I gently prised his pale thin body from the clothes. I whispered my apologies into his unhearing ears and I hated my eyes for glancing across his pale dead flesh.
I had to free them, all of them. That place, that death camp, it had to end.
I lifted his dead naked body into my arms. Emotion, so alien to me, invaded the shrivelled blackness that was my soul, and I knew my eyes betrayed my grief. Emotions made you weak. Emotions made you vulnerable, emotions hurt. And I was hurting. The passing of that human, that mortal man I had known for less than a day, had brought back that affliction from which I had been running from for so very long.
I had only opened my heart to the world again but for the briefest of moments. And already I felt pain.
Gideon hurt me. He made me feel unloved, unwanted, he made me feel ugly. How I would crave for his touch, how desperate I was for his love, to feel the thrill of his fingers upon my bare flesh, to feel his attraction to me, to feel wanted. But all he ever did was refuse me. Every time I tried to touch him, he turned me away. He was not in the mood, he told me to come back later.
Come back later.
But later never came.
I carried that pale body into the grey wet misery of morning. The sun was trying desperately to penetrate the thick layers of brooding clouds that clung stubbornly over the camp, but the sun was losing. Rain dripped incessantly from the skies, melting the remaining snow into a muddy slush. Grey skies, grey ground, grey people. The camp drained the colour out of everything. Welwelsburg was like me, a vampire, sucking the life out of everything it encountered, sucking away hope and dignity, leaving nothing but pale grey husks clinging to the brink of existence.
Two men stood next to a large flatbed trolley. Dead, naked bodies lay crumpled in a pile on top of the trolley, legs and arms sticking out at all angles like some grotesque starfish. I saw children amongst the corpses.
Pale white flickering figures surrounded the trolley. Insubstantial wisps of lives spent before their time. The rubbish men looked at me expectantly but I could not move for the sight of those spectral beings and I clutched Jakob’s dead body tightly to my chest, unwilling to relinquish my charge. If I put him on that trolley then he would be dead, another lump of cold meat on the pile. He deserved more than that.
The ghostly figures turned to look at me, each one knowing me, seeing me, seeing me see them. And they smiled at me. Cold shivering prickles erupted across my skin as their eyes took me in and they were such kind eyes, such trusting eyes. A figure pushed its way between them, its shadowy form brushing gently against the others as it came to stand before me.
Dead Camp book 3 Excerpt
Running, again. All my life, running. Paderborn forest flashed by in a blur of verdant violence that hurt my retinas it looked so lush, so majestic, all so fucking beautiful. It made my skin crawl. Everything around me looked so bloody…green. That was Eli’s thing, not mine. I preferred the immutable hardness of concrete, the undeniable strength of steel, give me brick and marble as opposed to never-ending trees and grey mountains, anytime.
While Eli cowered from the world surrounded by the thick stone walls of Alte, I hide amidst the pumping hearts of the living, yet we both remained fugitives against our own history. The truth, that thing that I feared for so very long, finally there for all to see, fucking us in the ass. History now hammered at our door, and nothing could keep it at bay.
How much did my blood reveal? How much of the truth did he drink? The look on his face as my blood hit the back of his throat, it burned my flesh away to reveal the liar he always suspected me to be. I saw it in his eyes, it blossomed there like a bad joke, the dawning realization of all that I had kept from him, the sudden knowledge that I made him.
Still, not all the truth filled his mouth. That shit storm would come soon enough, more crap than I could shake a stick at. Everything that happened in Judea, everything that transpired in London, all of it, all of it there for him to see at last. A stranger once told me that the truth would eventually bleed out, no matter how far from Eli I ran, and there I stood, bleeding.
“Don’t let me go back to Eli,” I asked of him.
“You love him that much?”
“Yes.” I did love him that much, enough to spend twenty-six years entombed in a block of ice.
It was my choice, my decision. To remain free meant returning to Eli, for I could not resist his pull any longer, and they would have followed me, as they always followed me, straight into the arms of my beloved Eli. I could not allow that to happen. I had to protect Eli at all costs.
Centuries of love, and still not enough time. A man must know his worth. A man must know his own name. A man must learn the truth of his own heart. I remained but a teacher, and Eli my pupil, and now I would have to set him free.
My God, had it come to that? The end, finally here? The weight of history pounding at the door, I could hear it, I could feel it tearing at my skin, trying to get in, telling me that it was over, that Eli no longer needed me. Time. Fucking time. Endless bloody time. Now, there was none. I was free, running through the forest towards him, towards one of the most important figures that history had ever known. So yes, the time had come, my freedom proved that, but it was the pain in my heart that told me so.
I stopped, my world spinning around me in a dizzying frenzy of utter panic. Bile filled my mouth. The final end. History, about to convulse in agony, and we would be at the centre of it.
They would be coming for me. They would be coming for Eli. They would be coming for the Spear.
I felt the cold fingers of fear grip my chest and squeeze my heart with cruel intent. The pain, so sharp, so terrifying, ripped through my body until I lay on my knees gasping, trembling, blinded by agony and helpless. My hands dug into the nearest tree, fingers digging into the bark, digging into the wood, until the sap ran freely over my knuckles, the tree indelibly wounded, as I myself lay ineradicably wounded. The thing, the splinter, moving inside me, burning its way through me, seeking out my Vampire heart, ate away at my resolve, and offered me visons of a past mortality.
Blood drawn to blood. History drawn to history. Death drawn to death.
I heaved myself to my feet, determined to move, determined to go on. There was still time, time for me to tell my story, time for me to lay it bare before the one I loved. Time for him to forgive me.
For so long I denied Eli my blood, but in that one moment of pity, as he lay on that hill above the ruins of the camp, tired, desperate, I allowed him to feed. My blood is strong, the strongest of us all, and it filled his mind with so much information, all of it so fleeting and momentary, a cacophony of images that would burn anyone less than he. Thank fuck he did not have time to see it all, not there, on that mountainside under the shadow of so much death, it would not seem fitting somehow.
It would not befit the man that he used to be.
I feared what it would do to him, the knowledge of his own identity. If he had looked into my blood long enough, he would have seen the burden of his own dark history staring back at him, and I feared that it would destroy him now as surely as it destroyed him then, all those years ago in a world that did not know any better. It remained a burden that killed a part of me with every passing day. I lost Eli on the day I turned him, and from the moment that he first looked upon me with his Vampire eyes, I knew that he could never truly be mine. Another owned his heart, and the truth of it tortured me for hundreds of years. Eli was but on loan, until the day that another should claim him as their own.
That stranger in Rome, he knew, he knew this day would come -- he knew everything, that funny little man who became my friend.