Bond Deeper Than Blood by K Webster



They took everything from me as a child.

Two crazed vampire twins stole my family from me and nearly my life.

Worse, they turned my favorite person into one of them.



I’m now a ruthless vampire slayer with one purpose.

Find the evil twins and seek my revenge.

And a mercy kill for…him.

He’d want nothing less.



My mission is clear.

I just have to find them first.



All goes well until I see him again.

For so long, I’ve ached to end his miserable existence he was forced into.



But he doesn’t want that at all…

He only wants me.





Castilla

Five Years Old



Dah-dum-dum-dum.

Dah-dum-dum-dum.

Dah-dum-dum-dum.

“Hear it?” Laurent asks, his eyebrow lifted up like a cartoon character as he grins.

I’m trying. Laurent says there’s music in everything. In our hearts. In our apartment. Even outside in nature. Like now. In the rain. He says it sounds like drums beating if you listen hard enough.

All I hear are raindrops and sometimes a grumble of thunder.

“No.” I cross my arms over my chest and stick my bottom lip out.

Laurent laughs—and maybe I do hear music in his laugh—before he picks up his guitar from the coffee table. “Come on, kiddo,” he instructs. “We’ll go on the patio where we can hear better.”

Mommy doesn’t like for me to go out in the rain, but she’s trying to get my baby brother Jesse to sleep in my room—well, our room now—so she won’t know. Ever since she brought him home from the hospital a few weeks ago, she’s been too busy to play with me.

Laurent always finds time.

Mommy once told me I could call Laurent Daddy if I wanted to. He wasn’t there when she said it, though. What if he doesn’t want me to be his daughter? The thought of his smiling face twisting into a frown to tell me he doesn’t want to be my daddy has my heart hurting inside my chest.

Laurent is just fine.

He never ever frowns when I call him Laurent.

“Put your sweater on,” Laurent instructs, handing me my fuzzy pink sweater. “If you catch your death, your momma will chap my ass.”

I giggle because Mommy doesn’t like when Laurent curses.

Or smokes.

Or drinks.

Or plays his guitar too loudly.

Or stays out too late at the club.

Once I have my sweater on, I follow Laurent through the sliding glass door onto the patio. Where we live, we don’t have a pretty view of the park. Our view faces another building. Boring. Laurent never seems to mind that it’s boring, so I don’t let it bother me either.

“Sit,” he says, nodding at a patio chair as he pulls out his smokes from his shirt pocket. “Now close your eyes and have a listen.”

I plop down on Momma’s chair and scrunch my eyes closed.

Rain. All I hear is rain.

“I think I hear it,” I lie.

He chuckles as the scent of cigarette smoke billows around me. It makes me cough sometimes, but I never tell Laurent that. I don’t want to hurt his feelings. I want to keep him.

“Keep listening,” he says. “Listen to how the rain hits the metal railing.”

I lean forward, craning my neck so I can hear it better. Still sounds like rain. I pretend anyway, nodding.

Plunk. Plunk. Plunk.

My eyes pop open and I dart them over to Laurent. He’s stretched out in the patio chair beside me, his bare feet resting on the metal railing with his guitar in his lap. His eyes are closed as he plucks at the guitar strings. The rain splatters on his toes.

Sometimes, when he sleeps, I watch him. He’s the only one of Mommy’s boyfriends who stuck around. The rest were kind of mean or would stare at me weird. Laurent’s different. I want him to stay with us forever.

Once, I thought he was going to leave us, but then Mommy told him she was going to have his baby. Later that night, he came home stinking like beer, but he gave Mommy a ring. I wanted a ring too, but rings are for mommies only. That week, they were married by a judge, which didn’t make sense to me. I thought you were supposed to get married in a church to make it real. I don’t tell anyone in case that might make Laurent leave.

I never want him to leave.

Dah-dum-dum-dum.

Dah-dum-dum-dum.

Dah-dum-dum-dum.

Laurent’s fingers move at the same time the raindrops do, strumming his guitar. Like they’re making music together. I can hear it!