- Bridget boasted to Pearl about her night of passion with Quinn.
- Quinn told Bridget there would be nothing else between them and she vowed revenge.
- Iva and Micah had visions of a mysterious man but they didn’t know it was Christoph Nightshade.
Sunday, October 31st, early afternoon
The Lawrence Farm
Pearl Tyler walked up the basement stairs that led into the kitchen. She had gone to her bedroom to get dressed. Her red hair was up in a bun and she wore a white short-sleeved peasant blouse, which hung loose over a denim skirt with an elastic waist that stretched comfortably over her stomach, and white sneakers. It wouldn’t be too long before she had to purchase some more maternity clothes.
She entered the kitchen and saw Quinn Nightshade was sitting at the table. Pearl closed the door and leaned against it, crossing her arms over her chest. “You sir, should get going. Iva, Gene, Sadie and Micah are going to be home soon and I don’t want another argument breaking out. Lord knows I’ve heard enough this morning with Bridget.”
He frowned at her. “I don’t want to leave you and besides, they have no say in what we do together.”
“Well Quinn, they do because it’s Gene and Iva’s house and they hate you,” Pearl replied matter-of-factly.
“You don’t hate me and that’s all that matters.” Quinn stood up and went to her, placing his arms around her, burying his face in her neck and nuzzling it.
“No, I can’t hate you, even though everybody else in town wants me to. They need to know you’ve changed.” Pearl released herself from Quinn and smiled at him. “Now come on, it’s time you should get home. Your brother is probably worrying about you.” She cocked her head and grinned. “Does he know you had a houseguest last night?”
Quinn groaned. “Oh shit—he’s probably going to rake me over the coals for that bloody mistake, and we’ve been getting along so well lately.”
“Not as long as you tell him I’m okay with it.”
Quinn placed his hands softly on Pearl’s shoulders. “Do you remember me telling you about that house with the waterfall I stayed at a couple of nights ago?” Pearl nodded and he smiled at her. “I want to take you there so we can spend some real time together alone, without interruptions.”
A look of uncertainty crossed her face and he tried to reassure her. “I’m not taking you there to put the make on you if that’s what you’re thinking.”
“The thought did cross my mind,” Pearl dryly told him.
“Well, don’t worry about any unwanted advances sweetheart. Your doctor wants you to rest and relax and this place is just what the doctor ordered.” He caressed her cheek with the back of his hand. “Will you go with me?”
Pearl thought it over for a few seconds. “Okay, you win. When do you want to make this journey?”
“Tomorrow. I’ll pick you up after breakfast.” He leaned in and kissed her. “I’m glad you can trust being alone with me outside of the farm.”
“If I can’t trust you, who can I trust?” Pearl gave his hair a playful tousle. “I’ll talk to you later.”
Quinn kissed her again. “I’ll call you later. I love you.”
“I know.” Pearl watched him leave the kitchen and seconds later she heard the front door shut. Well, so much for getting some space. My plan for him to find someone else sure fell flat. I wonder what Bridget is doing right now, she thought to herself.
Bridget Walsh was inside the diner, sitting at a counter and slowly sipping a glass of water with lemon. She was waiting on her lunch order, a grilled chicken salad—as well of thinking about how she was going get revenge on Pearl for ruining her next budding romance. It was bad enough that Duncan ended their relationship to reunite with her but being pushed aside by Quinn for Pearl was too much. She was pregnant damaged goods and she couldn’t believe he would want a woman with so much baggage.
Her devious thoughts were interrupted by the waitress bringing her the salad. “Here you go miss. Enjoy.”
“Thank you,” Bridget said and picked up her knife and fork. Suddenly, a fire whistle pierced the calm afternoon air.
“That’s the second siren today,” the waitress said, shaking her head. “We’ve had too many fires around here lately. Well, I’ll be back in a bit to check on you.” As she left, Bridget replayed her words—and a sinister plan began to form in her mind…
The Collins home
“Damien, you were silent during lunch. Are you still fretting about Pearl?” Rhiannon asked her son as they sat outside on the back porch.
“I’m always fretting about her Mum. I know she’s been with Quinn and I hate it. I can’t stand the thought of her being alone with him so much. God only knows what he tries to do to her.” He glared out at the woods that surrounded the house.
“Damien, do you really feel that Quinn is such a danger to Pearl now? Obviously he isn’t if she allows him to see her. I think you might be blowing things out of proportion,” Rhiannon pointed out.
He snapped his head back to face her. “How can you say that Mum? Don’t forget what he almost did to her in the stable at the Lawrence’s. That was only nearly two weeks ago! I don’t buy for one second that he’s changed. He pounced on Megan like some sex-starved pervert and he’s doing the same thing to Pearl. He’s not in love. He’s just trying to get her into bed, and the fact that she’s pregnant makes it even more sickening.”
“And you don’t think your plan to propose marriage to Pearl is any less unusual?” Rhiannon gently countered. “She’s not going to say yes Damien. I think you just need to give up on this quest and just be friends. If Pearl is enjoying Quinn’s company you need to accept it. She’s an adult and can choose who she wants in her life.”
“I’m just trying to protect her Mum!” Damien exclaimed in frustration. Then tears formed in his eyes and he looked at Rhiannon in sorrow. “I’m afraid I’m losing her…losing her to Quinn…and I can’t accept that.” He turned his head and more tears flowed. Rhiannon put a loving and motherly arm around him, furiously wondering how she could both comfort him and yet at the same time, try to instill reality into him.
Moments later, Caleb Collins was on the porch. Seeing the scene between his son and wife, he became worried. “What’s going on?” he asked.
“Damien is still upset over this situation with Pearl and her reluctance to keep Quinn away. He’s afraid he’s going to lose her for good,” Rhiannon solemnly answered. “Oh Caleb, I don’t know what to do.”
Caleb pursed his lips together and put his hands on his hips. “Well, I do,” he announced.
Bigelow, Maine, sundown
A black BMW sports car sat in a nearly empty parking lot near a bus depot. Inside, a tall and distinguished handsome man with dark blond hair sat in the driver’s seat. He was dressed in a short black leather jacket with a black button down shirt underneath it, and black dress slacks. In the passenger seat was a shorter, chunky man with curly dark hair, and weary brown eyes. He was wearing a brown tweed jacket, white button down shirt and rumpled khaki pants. He wore oversized glasses.
“I want to thank you for your detective work,” the blond man said. “If it wasn’t for you, I would have never found out that Josie was in an insane asylum.”
“Considering you were the one that put her there in the first place,” the dark-haired man retorted.
Christoph Nightshade’s blue eyes sparked with anger. “I didn’t pay you good money for your personal opinions Hammond. I hired you to find Josie and that’s it.”
“I can’t help but feel sorry for Ms. Grant. I’m sure it wasn’t easy living with and sleeping with a vampire,” Del Hammond spat back, not intimidated. “You know, I still can’t believe freaks like you actually exist. If I knew I was going to work for a modern day Dracula I would have quit the business and bought a ranch somewhere in Texas.”
Christoph smiled creepily. “I have to hand it to you Hammond. Most people don’t have the nerve—or the stupidity—to speak to me in the manner you are now.”
“You don’t know the types I deal with in my line of work Mr. Nightshade. I’ve dealt with gangbangers, cheating spouses, wannabe Tony Sopranos—a vampire really isn’t that much different. It’s just that your money is cleaner. It’s not every day I get someone that comes from an honest-to-God blueblood family.”
“My family may come from blue blood Hammond, but right now the only blood I want is red.” Without warning, Christoph grabbed the private detective and roughly shoved him against the door. He opened his mouth and bared his sharp fangs. Hammond was no match for the vampire’s supernatural strength, and he screamed as he felt the long pointy teeth puncture the left side of his neck. The intense pain didn’t last long, and soon blackness overtook him as Christoph fed.
Once he was done, Christoph moved Hammond’s body back to the seat. He took a handkerchief out his pocket and wiped the smeared blood from his mouth. He placed it back in his pocket and smiled smugly, satiated.
“Now it’s time to find a suitable grave for you,” he said to the corpse beside him. “I’m sure nobody will miss you. But I have more important things to tend to…such as paying my ex-lover a visit in Harmony Hills…and seeing my sons. You have no idea how long I’ve waited to be reunited with them again. Josie thought she could keep me away from them forever. Well, forever is now.”
He started the car and sped out of the parking lot.
The Nightshade home, a few minutes later
Jude was making dinner when he heard the doorbell ring. He went to answer it and was surprised to see Iva Lawrence standing there, with a young black man he didn’t recognize.
“Hello Iva,” Jude said, with some tightness in his voice.
“Hello Jude,” she replied, not missing his tone. She knew he was not happy with her resurrecting Megan Manning to keep his brother away from Pearl. “I’m here because I have something important to tell you—and Quinn. Is he here?”
“No he isn’t. But if it involves badgering him over Pearl, I’m sure he isn’t interested in hearing it, and neither am I. Quite frankly, I’m tired of your magic meddling.”
“Maybe this isn’t a good time,” Micah Johnson spoke up.
“No, he has to hear this and I don’t care how mad he is at me.” Iva started at Jude with a sober expression. “It concerns your father.”
Jude was startled to say the least. “My God—have you seen him?”
“Only in visions.” Iva motioned to Micah. “This is Micah Johnson. He’s been staying with us. He’s psychic as well and has had visions of your father. We believe he’s on his way to Haven to find you and Quinn.”
“Please come in.” Jude shut the door behind Iva and Micah. “Have a seat.”
“Thank you.” Iva and Micah sat on the sofa while Jude sat down in an easy chair. “So,” Jude began, “you both have had visions of my father?”
Iva nodded. “It happened this morning as we were heading into church. I didn’t recognize who he was at first, only that he seemed so familiar. But when the visions came again this afternoon, I saw flashes of you and Quinn and I realized who he was.”
“I saw an older woman in my vision this afternoon…she’s your mother,” Micah said.
“My mother is in a mental hospital in Harmony thanks to my father. He destroyed her. She psychologically blocked both Quinn and I out of our minds. A couple of days ago however, her memories of us resurfaced and she is convinced that Christoph is returning, fulfilling some promise to find Quinn and I and take us away for good.”
Jude looked past Iva and Micah out into space. “Now you two come here and basically confirm it. What am I going to do? I don’t want to see my father ever again. He ruined this family. He turned Quinn against our mother—he wants nothing to do with her. I swear, if he does come back, I’ll kill him.”
“I think we better go Micah. We’ve said enough. This doesn’t concern us anymore.” Iva stood up and looked at Jude. “Please take care of yourself. Despite what I may think of your brother, I’ve always liked you Jude. You’re a good person.”
Jude just nodded. “Goodbye Iva.” He looked at Micah. “It was nice to meet you.”
“Thank you,” Micah replied. He followed Iva to the front door and the two let themselves out. Once they were out of the home Iva glanced at Micah. “There’s a lot you don’t know about Jude and Quinn and it would take weeks to explain it to you.”
Micah smiled weakly at her. “Their father is a vampire and Jude refuses to bring that side out of him.”
Iva’s eyes widened. “You’re really good at this psychic stuff.”
He chuckled. “It doesn’t faze me Iva. My grandmother is a voodoo priestess. I’ve heard tales that my great-grandparents amassed an army of zombies to protect them from racists. Vampires aren’t that shocking.”
Harmony Hills Mental Hospital, later that evening
Josephine Grant lay still in her bed, clutching a crucifix. She could hear footsteps coming down the hall. They were slow, methodical and deliberate and it scared her. It wasn’t a doctor or a nurse coming to check on her. She knew who was about to pay her a visit.
The door opened and she sat up, holding the crucifix even tighter. A tall figure entered the room. She recognized him immediately. It was Christoph Nightshade.
“I knew you’d come back,” she said, trying to control the shaking in her voice. She held up the crucifix. “Stay away.”
Christoph only smiled as he grabbed the crucifix out of her hand and threw it down on the floor. “You’ve lost your faith Josie,” he told her, smirking. “You know what happens when you lose your faith. You have no power over me.”
“But I did Christoph. I’ve had power over you for years, until recently. I kept Jude and Quinn away from you. I kept them safe. They want nothing to do with you. How does it feel to know your children hate you?” She looked at him with pure disgust.
Christoph inched even closer. “Look at you Josie. You’re old and weak and sick. I offered you eternal life and youth and you refused me. Instead, you tried to destroy me and took my flesh and blood away from me. Now you’re locked up in this nuthouse with no hope of getting out, while I’m free to reclaim my sons. I will turn them into full vampires and the three of us will rule the night.”
Josephine reached for the call button but Christoph laughed. “That won’t do you any good. I hypnotized the staff. They won’t come to your aid.”
Petrified with fear, Josephine could only watch her former flame kneel in front of her and taunt her. He took her hand and squeezed it painfully. She was unable to cry out.
“I could end your miserable life right now Josie, but being stuck here is worse than death.” He opened his mouth to reveal his fangs. Josie closed her eyes, hoping and praying Christoph would go away and this was all a nightmare.
“I’m leaving now my dear. I wish you pleasant dreams,” he said. He then laughed evilly and pressed his lips to hers. Josephine could feel the bile rising in her throat. What did I ever see in this monster? she thought to herself.
Christoph left her room and after a few minutes, she let out a scream that would have woken up all the dead in Maine.
- The Collins family pays Pearl a visit and makes a very surprising request of her.
- Christoph reminisces about his sons while inching ever closer to Haven.
- Duncan awakes from his a coma again.