Home > Here Be Sexist Vampires (Deep In Your Veins #1)

Here Be Sexist Vampires (Deep In Your Veins #1)
Author: Suzanne Wright

Chapter One


I knew before I even reached the doorstep of the building that someone was in my flat. I knew that they were unfamiliar. I knew that their mood was calm, cool. And I knew that they were a vampire. Like me.

When I reached the top level of the building I found my Sire’s two dull-looking vampire guards stood outside my door as usual, seemingly unaware of the vampire inside. I thought about alerting them, but then curiosity came to call. The strange vampire in there had to be powerful in order to remain off the radar of the guards and yet he/she apparently had no interest in concealing their presence from me. Okay, they had me intrigued.

Just as calm and collected as the intruder, I unlocked the door and headed straight for the tiny, out-dated kitchen. While rooting through my plastic shopping bag for the carton of milk, I called out, “I don’t have all night so I’d appreciate it if you told me what you want.”

At this point I had established by their scent that they were male seen as females tended to have sweeter scents. I was also able to tell, going by the fizzing feeling in the flat, that this particular vampire was extremely powerful. A master vampire for sure.

The footsteps behind me were soft, slow, non-threatening. Whatever this vampire wanted, it wasn’t a brawl. “Evening Miss Parker,” he said politely, “I’ve been waiting for you.” It was rare that I heard such a well-spoken voice around this area of London. My neighbours – most of whom were drug addicts, poverty stricken, or criminals – would be more than tempted to try to mug the bloke. Well they would be in for one hell of a surprise if they did.

Milk carton in hand, I finally turned to look him. “So I see.”

As with all vampires, he had incredible sexual appeal, but this particular bloke’s allure was even more intense because he was a Keja vampire – something I knew just by the slight tint of amber in his irises. That amber would glow whenever he was angry, thirsty or horny. Luckily enough, they weren’t glowing now. All Keja vampires had hypnotic beauty and females were often called Enchantresses. Why couldn’t I have been a Keja? Instead I was a Sventé vampire; a breed that was the dullest of all three breeds.

Three breeds? Well you see, basically, you know how there are varying accounts of vampires? Some humans report us to be terribly aggressive with hulk-like strength, some report us to be entrancingly beautiful and charming, and others believe that we are actually more human-like than the stories say. Well the reason for all the confusion is that there are actually different breeds. Sventés like me don’t have hypnotic beauty like Kejas or have super-super-super strength and speed like Pagori vampires, though we are stronger and faster than any human. But our bloodlust isn’t overpowering which means that we can walk amongst humans without becoming overwhelmed and tempted to cling to someone’s artery.

This particular Keja in front of me had the most penetrating set of eyes, his lips were full, and his peppery black hair perfectly framed the upper part of his face, tickling his high cheekbones. His black shirt and black trousers had to be made to fit; they were snug enough to hint at his athletic build. Armani, I’d bet. He obviously wasn’t some rogue vampire.

So what was a posh, rich, master vamp doing here? I folded my arms across my not-so-flat chest. “Make it quick.”

“My name is Sebastian. I’ve been following you around for the past week.”

I hadn’t expected that. I thought he was here for Victor, my Sire – or as I like to think of him, the spawn of the Devil. Studying this Keja’s expression with my aquamarine eyes, I knew that he wasn’t lying, but how could I not have noticed him? I considered myself a pretty alert, aware person. Either I was losing my touch or this bloke was good. “Who exactly are you?”

He mirrored my posture. “I work directly for the Grand High Master.”

The Grand High Master? Ooh, this couldn’t be good. He was the vampire of all vampires. I’d never met him as it was a matter of invitation only. All I knew was that he lived somewhere in the Caribbean on an off-the-map private island which he very rarely left. “What is it I’m supposed to have done?”

Sebastian smiled. “As a Tracker, it is my job to hunt and seize felons as directed by our Grand High Master. However, my main role for the past two weeks has been to scout in search of any suitable candidates.”

“Suitable for what?”

“To keep it brief, His Grandness wishes to replace an exterminated squad in his private army, his legion. I spotted you when I attended your Sire’s gathering last week. He had you duel with a vampire of another bloodline and I have to say you are, indeed, a tremendous fighter. Very strong for a Sventé, but also very controlled. And your gift is very substantial. I was most entertained. I believe you would make an excellent addition to the legion.”

“Hang on a minute…You want me to fight for the Grand High Master?” He had to be blowing smoke up my arse. In terms of hierarchy, my Sire was low, low, low, low down which was why he persistently duelled for more territory and had used me for the past three years to help with his pursuit of it. Add to that the fact that Sventés were considered lower class by the other vampire breeds because we were considered ‘too tame’ and this whole thing felt surreal. My being noticed by Sebastian was the equivalent of a homeless person being singled out by the Royal Family. “You want to recruit me?”

He nodded. “I will take you to the location where our Grand High Master resides and you will partake in a test along with the other potential candidates that have been selected by other scouts. If you are chosen, you will then join the legion.”

A short laugh of incredulity popped out. “Thanks for the offer but I must respectfully decline. You can let yourself out, seen as you let yourself in.” I filled my kettle with water and switched it on to boil.

“You wish to decline?” he said disbelievingly, slowly walking toward the kitchenette.

“If the guards overhear this conversation -”

“They will not hear a thing just as they cannot sense me. I placed a mental shield over the flat.”

Oh. Handy gift. That explained why I hadn’t sensed him following me around. “Well my Sire could walk in any second -”

“And we would sense him well in advance.” Sebastian clasped his hands together. “Now, tell me why you are rejecting my offer.”

“I don’t have the luxury of a choice,” I said sulkily as I prepared my cup of coffee. “Victor would never let me go.” The prick.

“Yes, I find Victor particularly territorial, even for a vampire. When did he Turn you?”

“Three years ago. He found me when I was dying and told me that he could heal me, but that I would have to agree to serve him until he freed me from his hold. I didn’t know what the bloody hell any of that meant, I just didn’t want to die so I said ‘yes’. If I’d known what he’d meant by it then I wouldn’t be standing here now.”

Sebastian narrowed his eyes as he spoke, “Miss Parker -”

“Sam,” I offered.

“Sam, do you realise that by joining the Grand High Master’s legion your freedom of Victor would instantly come into effect?”

That made my head snap up.

“I’ve got your attention now, haven’t I,” he said, smirking. “He would not be able to override the decision of the Grand High Master.”

I leant against the counter as I sipped my coffee. “Yeah, well, I don’t see the point. I loathe Victor but from what I’ve heard once you sign up to run around after the Big Man, it’s a life-long position. If I took you up on your offer and was chosen to join the legion I’d still be serving someone. What’s the difference?”

Sebastian seized my gaze; his tone was all seriousness and assurance. “That is true, any immediate employees of his are required to serve him for the entirety of their immortal lives. But I can assure you now that being in the service of his Grandness would be very different from your current circumstances. He is very fair, very principled and will value your service and reward you rather than exploit you and your gift the way your Sire does.”

“My gift,” I echoed. “That’s what got your attention, isn’t it?” It got everyone’s attention. Typically Sventé gifts were only ever defensive rather than offensive. Or ‘boring’, as most complained. My individual gift, however, was far from it. Sebastian wasn’t the first vampire to try to coax me to leave Victor, but he was the first vampire to ever offer me a position that seemed worth risking Victor’s wrath for.

“As it happens, you had my attention well before you used it in the duel. But, yes, I do believe that your gift would make you an excellent addition to the legion. Wouldn’t you consider serving your Grand High Master as an honour?”

“Yeah but -”

“By joining the legion, you can be part of something momentous. Your name would go down in vampire history. You will be respected, admired and prized by all of vampirekind. You cannot tell me that this is not something that appeals to you.”

If I was being totally honest, I’d admit that being part of something so grand was tempting, especially when you’d not really had or done anything that you could be proud of in your twenty years of human life before then being Turned into a vampire. Even before I was Turned and had to disappear from my family’s radar I’d never had much to boast of. I’d always wanted to be something more and had wanted to attend university so that I could do a degree in Law. Of course the vampirism put a stop to that.

Sebastian sighed as he leant against the refrigerator, then he cast a look at the faded, slightly rusty thing and moved away from it as though it might stain his suit. I stifled a smile. “Since observing you duel last week I have followed you and observed you further,” he informed me. “I have seen that, even in spite of your strong dislike of Victor, you are loyal and trustworthy. I have noticed that you are also headstrong and ambitious. Good qualities, both of which Victor seems to be determined to crush.” He drawled out the last word.

I shrugged. “What can I say? That’s Victor.”

“He already controls your actions. Do you want him to have control over your emotions and strengths as well? Of course you don’t. His Grandness would respect these qualities, respect you, and give you room to be your own person. He certainly wouldn’t force you to be his lover.”

This bloke really knew how to play someone. “Haven’t you heard that being a vampire’s consort is an honour?” I said bitterly.

“That all depends on the vampire.”

“Look, you can’t be sure that His Grandness would be interested in having me in the legion. I’d just be a possible candidate. I can’t just flit off to attend some tryout. Victor would lose the plot. Would you like to know what he does whenever he’s stressed out or I rebel? Drags an innocent human – usually a kid – off the street and kill them slowly and painfully. He gets off on fear and pain.”

Sebastian’s face and voice softened. “Is that not all the more reason to escape his hold? Sam, I know his Grandness extremely well. And I know that he will have the same opinion about you and your potential that I do. I am more than confident that you will impress him as you have impressed me.”

I rubbed my temples, totally undecided. It wasn’t just Victor’s response I was wary of. It was all very well Sebastian saying the Big Man was super, but of course he’d say that. The last thing that I wanted was to be serving an even more powerful arsehole. But then he couldn’t be the Grand High Master if he was all that bad, could he? Then again, neither option was particularly that fantastic to someone who hadn’t wanted all this. It wasn’t exactly a childhood dream to become a vamp and join a vamp-type army for the whole of eternity.

Sebastian clearly picked up on my inner conflict and pounced on it. “You may not particularly like the fact that you are a vampire, but you have the opportunity now to take your situation and make something good of it. To rise above the suppression that it has so far had on you. To illustrate to vampirekind and to Victor that you are much more than his pet, and that he cannot control you any longer. And if you decline you will have the remainder of your immortal life to question that decision, and wonder what would have or could have been. So, which will it be?”

A queasy feeling overcame my stomach as I was teleported by the vampire that Sebastian summoned to bring us to the Grand High bloke’s mansion. It was more like a museum with its ornate columns, rare artefacts, and statues of unnecessarily na**d people. The walls were a brilliant white with massive pieces of art scattered here and there. The floor was a beige marble that was so well polished I could see my reflection in it.

The bright walls and marble flooring continued throughout the house as I followed Sebastian through the corridor that was as wide as a standard room and as long as...well it looked eternally long. Like markers, tall Hungarian vampires were planted all over the place. Guards, obviously. The power humming around them indicated that although they were merely guards, they were actually master vampires.

Behind us was one of the servants, elegantly strolling with my bulging duffel bag. He was extremely tall and had an Egyptian look about him. Occasionally as we walked I’d see a small sitting area branching off the corridor. Everything gleamed and reflected. Even with clean hands I’d be frightened to touch anything in case I dirtied it.

Sebastian finally stopped at another sitting area which had a huge sofa-slash-bench in front of a set of extravagant patio doors. “I’ll be back momentarily,” was all he said. The servant placed my bag near the bench, nodded once and then strode off. Too restless to sit down – being in strange places made me restless – I strolled over to the patio doors. The small balcony overlooked a large swimming pool which was, uniquely, the shape of a bat with its wings outstretched. It was nice to know that the Big Man wasn’t without a sense of humour. Unless your vampiric gift was shape-shifting, morphing into bats didn’t come with vampirism.

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