Authors: Mikela Q. Chase
A Total-E-Bound Publication
Colour Me Undead
©Copyright Mikela Q. Chase 2011
Cover Art by Posh Gosh ©Copyright October 2011
Edited by Lisa Cox/Stacey Birkel
This is a work of fiction. All characters, places and events are from the author’s imagination and should not be confused with fact. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, events or places is purely coincidental.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any material form, whether by printing, photocopying, scanning or otherwise without the written permission of the publisher, Total-E-Bound Publishing.
Applications should be addressed in the first instance, in writing, to Total-E-Bound Publishing. Unauthorised or restricted acts in relation to this publication may result in civil proceedings and/or criminal prosecution.
The author and illustrator have asserted their respective rights under the Copyright Designs and Patents Acts 1988 (as amended) to be identified as the author of this book and illustrator of the artwork.
Published in 2011 by Total-E-Bound Publishing, Think Tank, Ruston Way, Lincoln, LN6 7FL, United Kingdom.
This book contains sexually explicit content which is only suitable for mature readers. This story has a
Cloaks and Daggers
COLOUR ME UNDEAD
Mikela Q. Chase
When Cora’s cousin asks her to plan a wedding for the undead she doesn’t expect to fall in love with the vampire king.
Thanks to TEB, who was willing to try a M/F story from a M/M writer.
The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of the following wordmark mentioned in this work of fiction:
Volkswagen Beetle: Volkswagen Group
Cora was going to kill her cousin. It wasn’t a big problem—few people would miss her, and as one of the undead, odds were good she would rise again. Still grumbling to herself, Cora pulled up in front of the spooky castle. Taking a deep breath, she tried to ignore the chills dancing up and down her spine and the goose bumps popping up across her flesh.
She couldn’t believe she let herself be talked into this, organising a wedding for an undead bride and groom. If she thought suicide would get her out of this she would willingly jump off a bridge. Unfortunately, her aunt—the voodoo queen—would then calmly bring her back to life and hand over her wedding planner.
Some days she hated her family. Today looked to be one of those days.
Sitting in her car, she stared at the forbidding castle. Gloomy grey brick—check. Gargoyles grinning down in a macabre manner—check. Lightning storm beginning…
Yep, it was like she was on a movie set. She could hear the director now. “
Take one of ‘Scare the Crap out of Cora’.
Shaking her head at her silliness, Cora snagged her pink laptop case and opened the door of her lemon yellow Volkswagen Beetle. She climbed out and slammed the door behind her. If she didn’t use enough force the door didn’t always close completely. It was an old car and even with a full restoration it still had its quirks. The sound echoed in the unnaturally quiet courtyard, rattling her already shaky nerves.
Cora didn’t know why she was so nervous. No one would harm her. Her cousin was marrying the second-in-line for the vampire throne. If anyone touched Cora, Melinda would rip off their head and show it to them.
Still, that didn’t mean someone wouldn’t try something. She almost wished she’d taken the stake that her assistant, Becka, offered earlier. The perky blonde had popped into Cora’s office minutes before she had to leave and plunked down a suitcase full of anti-vampire paraphernalia. Her friend meant well and right about now Cora was yearning for those night vision goggles, but she didn’t think it showed good faith to come to a meeting equipped to kill your customer…even if they were family. Not that she planned on becoming known as the undead wedding planner, but money was money and the amount of cash her cousin promised her would more than finish paying off her mortgage.
“Are you going to stand here all night or do you plan on coming in?”
She spun around and came face to face with the most gorgeous creature she’d ever seen. Creature indeed, because she could tell he was a vampire from his pale skin and glowing eyes. Still,
might be undead, but her libido worked perfectly fine. Despite the startled hammering of her heart, she had no problem imaging the tall, dark and undead cutie curled up next to her at night or maybe, in his case, the day.
Beneath his glowing gaze, Cora straightened her spine. “Of course I’m coming in. I was trying to figure out the best way to enter.”
“I suspect the steps would be a good choice.” The right corner of his mouth twitched as if he could barely contain his amusement.
Cora resisted the urge to kick him. It was close, but she didn’t think her cousin would appreciate the assault on a member of her clan.
“Good thinking. Melinda wouldn’t approve.”
“Reading a person’s mind is extremely rude.” She glared at the tall vampire. Really, wasn’t anything sacred around here?
“Very little,” the vampire countered. “However, I apologise if I made you uncomfortable.” His gaze took in her car, his mouth twitching again. “Do you have everything you need?”
Cora looked up at the creepy castle and thought about hopping back into her Volkswagen and making a break for it. Surely it wouldn’t be too difficult to hide from her cousin for the rest of her life? Every good instinct she had screamed against going inside the monstrous stone building.
A cheery ring from her phone told Cora she had a message. The text alert sounded irrationally perky in the dim gloom of the night.
Glancing up at the imposing vampire, Cora searched through her coat pockets. Why did she never remember to put her cell phone in the same place twice? “Hah.” The last pocket she searched contained the small device. She laughed as she looked at the phone’s readout. Her cousin had texted her a message.
Get your ass into the castle.
The little smiley face at the end didn’t make it less of a command.
“Her highness calls.” Cora waved her phone at the vamp.
The vampire frowned. “Your cousin isn’t royalty.”
Cora laughed. “That’s what you think. My cousin’s been a little princess since she was born.”
Feeling better knowing her cousin watched her from above, Cora clutched the handle of her laptop case and headed for the steps.
“Here, take my arm. The stones are uneven.”
Cora gave the vampire a suspicious glance but took his arm anyway. Her high heels weren’t meant for stone steps even if the dainty shoes looked adorable on her feet. For his lean frame, a surprising amount of muscle flexed beneath her hand. New chills went up her arm but these had nothing to do with the cold and creepy atmosphere and everything to do with the sexy man beside her.
“I’m glad you think I’m sexy.”
“Rudeness,” Cora proclaimed with a glare.
“And I thought your cousin was difficult.” The sexy man raised his eyebrows at her.
“You haven’t seen anything yet, honey.”
Cora bit her lip, wishing she could take the endearment back. Despite being a big scary vamp, she felt comfortable after their banter and had become too familiar. Vampires liked their formality. They wallowed in it. “It’s a figure of speech.”
There was a moment of silence as they continued upwards, their footfalls oddly in sync. “I like it,” he said after they’d traversed a few more steps. “You can call me honey whenever you want.”
“Um, thanks.” She made a silent vow to avoid talking to him whenever possible.
“I don’t think you’ll be able to ignore me,” the irritating vampire said.
“Because I’m the groom’s brother.”
With that announcement, they reached the front door where a guard stood at attention on either side.
“Good evening, your highness,” the guard on the right greeted him.
“Shit.” Cora glared at the man beside her. “You are definitely not getting called honey again any time soon.”
* * * *
Luckily the inside of the castle wasn’t as grim as the outside, though colour appeared to be outlawed. With a professional eye Cora scanned the space, quickly calculating possible attendance numbers and ways to make it more welcoming. Melinda mentioned she wanted the wedding and reception at the castle, since churches were taboo. As they walked through the grand entryway, Cora’s mind buzzed with ideas for decorations, colour combinations and designs sure to suit her cousin’s tastes. If this weren’t the best vampire wedding ever, it wouldn’t be due to any lack of preparation on Cora’s part.
“Cora!” Melinda rushed across the room to greet her. Her cousin looked stunning with her black hair, white skin and red lipstick. Her outfit was a classy black and white pants ensemble that made Cora feel like she wore rags in comparison.
She tolerated the air kisses before looking her cousin in the eye. “I don’t care what you’ve set up, cancel it. I don’t want to date any vampires, wizards or werekin. I am only here to help you with your party, not put up with your dating shenanigans.”
Melinda pursed her ruby lips as she regarded her cousin with her gold cat-like eyes. “I can’t believe you would suspect me of such a thing,” she complained.
Cora held up her hand to stop the protests. “Do we need to revisit the gnome incident?”
“He was only half gnome.”
“He tried to bury me in the garden.”
“He was courting you.”
“Fine, fine. I’ll cancel my plans.”
“Thank you.” Pleased she won the first round of arguments, Cora glanced around the room. Every chair in the place had a vampire draped across its surface. Some of the bloodsuckers had human sidekicks who looked like they were rejects from the gothic hall of fame, while the humanless flopped about on the furniture as if they were too cool to have backbones. It was almost as if all their bones dissolved and what was left was a group of droopy vampires.
The vampire beside her burst into laughter.
“Oh, shut up,” Cora muttered. She knew he’d just read her mind.
“I can’t help it, my dear. I haven’t had a good laugh in a while.” He turned an appealing gaze to Melinda. “Are you going to introduce me?”
Cora glared at the sexy vampire.
Melinda straightened her stance as if she were a military soldier caught slacking off. “Of course. Cora, this is King Basil Bloodthorn.”
Melinda frowned at her. Her cousin probably read her mind but she’d never hid her thoughts before and she wasn’t going to start now.
Cora shrugged. It wasn’t her place to stir the waters if the king had a weird name. All vampire names probably had the word ‘blood’ in them. They weren’t known for being an imaginative group. Instead of saying anything further, she turned to the king. “Nice to meet you, your highness.” It wasn’t, of course, and she made sure it was reflected in her thoughts, but she only got an amused look for her trouble.
“Please call me Basil, and my no-good brother should be here soon.” He still wore the same amused expression on his face since she’d arrived. Cora figured he couldn’t be too upset with her.
“I’m right here.”
Cora turned to face a nice-looking vampire with brown eyes and pleasant features who looked at Melinda like she were everything good on the planet, all rolled up into one perfect form. At least one thing was right about this blasted wedding, the bridegroom looked truly enchanted with his bride.
“I’m Alexis. Nice to meet you.”
“Nice to meet you too.” Cora knew better than to offer her hand to the vampire. It was considered bad manners to initiate physical contact. They only touched those they were intimate with or people they desired. She gave him a polite nod and received one in return before Alexis’ attention returned to her cousin.
Melinda gave him a sweet smile, an expression Cora had never seen on her cousin’s face. It freaked her out a little. “I’m going to sit down with my cousin and talk about the wedding. I doubt you want to be part of that discussion.” Most grooms wanted to be as far away from wedding talk as they could get. She figured the undead weren’t any different.
A frown crossed the vampire’s face. “I still don’t understand why you insist on this fiasco. Vampires don’t need a piece of paper to be mates.”
Melinda’s eyes narrowed. “Because my mother is traditional and won’t acknowledge our union unless we’re married.”
Cora nudged Basil, completely breaking vampire protocol but she didn’t care. Her cousin’s happiness was on the line.
“Do something,” she hissed. Cora didn’t need a blow-up between the bride and groom right before planning the wedding. If her cousin was in a bad mood the meeting wasn’t going to go well and, frankly, she had other things she would rather concentrate on.
“What will you give me if I help?”
Cora seriously contemplated kicking the jerk.
“I’d reconsider that.”