- Quinn reunited with his father Christoph ; he told his father about Pearl and his rivalry with Damien.
- Christoph vowed to help Quinn win Pearl and said he wanted to meet her.
- Damien tried to convince Pearl that Quinn is bad news but she didn’t want to hear his argument.
The Lawrence Farm, 8 am
Damien Collins watched as Pearl Tyler began to stir from her sleep. As she opened her eyes, he gently brushed away strands of red hair from her face. She looked over at him.
“You’re still here,” she said sleepily.
“Of course. Did you think I was going to leave you? We haven’t been alone like this for a while and I’m definitely taking advantage of it.” Damien grinned boyishly and Pearl couldn’t help but laugh.
He leaned in and kissed her, continuing to stroke her hair. When he was done, he sighed and leaned back on the bed. “It can always be like this you know Red.”
Pearl sat up and straightened her nightgown, which had gotten twisted. “And all I have to do is marry you, right?” She shot him a knowing glance.
“You know that’s what I want, more than anything,” Damien replied soberly.
Pearl slowly eased herself off the bed and walked over to the window. It was shaping up to be another mild and lovely fall day. She suddenly realized it was the first of November. She gazed down at her swollen stomach. Just three more months until her daughter’s arrival. Three more months she would be stuck in Haven. Could she keep turning down Damien’s offer of marriage for that long?
Then Quinn’s face popped into her mind and she knew the answer. She turned to him. “I can’t marry you Damien. I wish you would stop asking me.”
He joined her at the window. “There is no way in hell I’m going to let Quinn get to you Pearl. Despite what you may believe he is still dangerous.”
Pearl looked at him with flashing green eyes. “Have you ever thought about how Quinn would react if I accepted your proposal? He would be furious and he would try and get revenge. I don’t want him hurting you or your family. I think it’s best if we just remained friends.”
My family and I can handle Quinn. Don’t worry about him. He’ll just have to get over it,” Damien replied defiantly.
“I’m not marrying you Damien. I have to focus on my daughter,” Pearl said, just as defiant.
“I’m focusing on your daughter too, by wanting to marry you. I can protect her and take care of her,” he insisted.
Pearl shook her head adamantly. “I’m sure you’d be wonderful to her, but I’ve only been divorced for five months. The last thing I need right now is to get married again, especially to a man I hardly know—a man that’s a werewolf to boot.” She stared at Damien, trying to gauge his reaction.
He pressed his head to the window and sighed. “And if I wasn’t a werewolf?”
“I would still have the same reaction. It’s way too soon for me to get married again. ” Pearl softly rubbed his back. “Damien, you know I enjoy spending time with you. But it can’t be romantic time. Please try to understand.”
He moved from the window and swept her up into his arms. ” I want to take you away. Maybe if we weren’t in Haven things would be a lot different.”
Pearl shook her head again. “It wouldn’t work Damien, not with you being what you are. You need to be in a place that’s isolated so others won’t find out about you and try to hunt you down. ” She peered into his dark brown eyes. “Besides, your family would miss you something awful.”
“You don’t know how lonely I am Pearl. Living out here in the middle of nowhere can be so maddening and frustrating. Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve had someone? After I met you, I thought finally, things would change and I wouldn’t be alone anymore. But the more things change, the more they stay the same.” He buried his face in her hair.
Pearl said nothing. All she could do was allow him to hold her. She couldn’t even begin to comprehend the lonely existence Damien had to endure.
Suddenly the bedroom door opened. Iva Lawrence stood in the doorway and upon seeing Pearl and Damien in their embrace, her face reddened. She didn’t want to break up their moment together but she had important news and she knew the two would want to know.
“I’m sorry to interrupt, but there’s something urgent I need to tell you,” she announced.
Pearl and Damien quickly broke away from each other and looked at Iva. “What is it?” Pearl asked, becoming worried.
She cast a glance towards Damien.”I’ve just spoken with Rhiannon. Your sister found Bridget Walsh’s body near Haven Pond last night and the police are at your house.”
The Collins home
“Miss Collins, I’m not going to entertain any more of your fantastical delusions,” Detective Jim Morgan admonished Astrid. “Bridget Walsh was not bitten and killed by a vampire. There are no such things as vampires.”
Astrid folded her arms against her chest and glared at the investigator. “Then how do you explain the two puncture wounds on her throat?” she challenged.
“Simple…an animal attack,” Detective Morgan responded matter-of-factly.
“No animal would make two clean holes like that,” Astrid argued. “It was a vampire, plain and simple.”
“Or someone who fancies himself or herself a vampire Miss Collins. Last night was Halloween. Ms. Walsh could have fallen prey to a Dracula wannabe,” Morgan replied calmly but irritably.
Astrid sighed in defeat. “Okay, I can buy that.” Even though I know that’s not the case, she silently rebutted.
“Good,” the detective said, somewhat condescendingly. “But the cause of death will be labeled as an animal attack.”
Astrid snorted. “I hate to be rude, but no one is going to buy that theory Detective.”
“They’re going to have to buy it. I’m not jeopardizing fourteen years on the job to say Ms. Walsh fell prey to a creature from the legends of some very imaginative writers. I’m more concerned with real-life monsters.”
Obviously you haven’t spent enough time in Haven, Astrid retorted to herself. But she just smiled at him. “Of course Detective. You do what you have to do. I’m just glad she’s not going to be causing any more terror for my friend. Anyone who would try to kill a pregnant woman in the manner she did has a very sick mind.”
Detective Morgan nodded. “On that Miss Collins, I agree.” He gave a curt nod. “Well, I must go back to the lake. Hopefully we should be wrapping things up there soon. I will be paying a visit to Pearl Tyler and your brother this afternoon to get statements, as well as the man who rescued Mrs. Tyler. What was his name again? ”
“Nightshade. Quinn Nightshade,” Astrid said.
“Yes. How could I forget a name like that? It’s the same last name as a character in one of my favorite books—Something Wicked This Way Comes,” Detective Morgan mused.
“Very appropriate for what’s been going on around here,” Astrid couldn’t help but remark.
The detective nodded. “Very appropriate indeed.” He held out his hand. “Thank you for your help Miss Collins. I’m sorry you were the one to find Ms. Walsh’s body.”
Astrid shook his hand. “It’s okay. And I’m sorry for acting so silly moments ago.”
“It’s quite all right. Chalk it up to the spirit of Halloween,” Detective Morgan said. “Goodbye Miss Collins.”
“Goodbye Detective.” Astrid watched him leave through the front door. Once he was gone, she placed her hands on her hips and stomped the floor with her left foot. “Coppers can be so daft I swear!” she exclaimed. Bridget was killed by a vampire, I don’t care what he says. But who was it?”
The Lawrence Farm
“Oh my God,” Pearl murmured in surprise after hearing about Astrid finding Bridget’s body. “And she’s sure that there were two puncture holes on her neck?”
Iva nodded grimly. “Astrid saw them as plain as day. The police I’m sure won’t believe that Bridget was killed by a vampire. They’ll rule it as either an animal bite or some vampire wannabe, bet on it.”
“But who could have done it?” Pearl wondered aloud. “It couldn’t have been Quinn, he was at the hospital visiting me during that time. And what you’ve said about his brother Jude, he probably didn’t do it either.” Her face blanched. “That means there’s another vampire loose around here.” She sat in the rocking chair next to her bed. “We’ve all got to be on our guard.”
Damien, who was sitting on the bed, reached out and took her hand in a gesture of comfort. “Don’t worry Red. I’ll protect you.”
Iva frowned, her forehead wrinkling in thought. Then it came to her, and she began to feel dread possess her body. “Oh God, I think I know who this other vampire is!”
“Who is it?” Damien asked, becoming fearful.
“Christoph Nightshade,” she answered flatly.
“Quinn and Jude’s father?” Damien was in disbelief. “But he’s been gone away for years!”
“Quinn has mentioned him to me and from what he’s said, he’s not someone you’d want to cross,” Pearl added, rubbing her stomach.
“Both Micah and I have had visions of him. We were sure he was coming back to Haven…and now that may be the case,” Iva explained.
“How would he have known who Bridget was?” Damien inquired. “Could he have met up with Quinn and he told him?”
“No, I don’t think Quinn’s seen him. He would have told me last night,” Pearl said. “Maybe he met her while coming into town and it was just a random attack.”
“No matter how they met, what matters is that Christoph is here and you need to keep away from him Pearl. I sense his thirst for blood is even more stronger than Quinn’s,” Iva chillingly predicted.
“Do you really think he would hurt me? Once he and Quinn get together, Quinn is sure to tell him about me. I don’t think he would come after someone his son has feelings for,” Pearl pointed out.
“That didn’t stop him from coming after Quinn’s mother Josephine…whom he claimed to love,” Damien countered. “I don’t think Christoph cares who you are as long as he gets what he wants.” He looked at Pearl knowingly. “Like father like son.”
“Damien is right Pearl. Jude has told all of us the horror he witnessed when Christoph tried to take he and Quinn away from Josie when they fled England to escape him. He’s not a force you in your condition should try to reckon with,” Iva told her, her voice very serious.
Pearl looked past Iva out the bedroom window. The sun was shining brightly and the sky was a brilliant shade of blue, with occasional clouds floating past. It was hard to believe that somewhere on this beautiful day, a predator even deadlier than the Collins family of werewolves and the half-human, half-vampire Nightshade brothers was watching and waiting to strike as soon as the sun went down…
Coming up next :
- Despite Gene and Iva’s protests, Pearl goes with Quinn to his home to meet Jude—and their father, who takes an instant liking to her.
- Christoph admits to Pearl he killed Bridget.
- Christoph tells Pearl he wants her to be Quinn’s mate.
- Jude takes a walk and ends up at the Collins home.