Read Destined Online

Authors: Sophia Sharp

Destined

Destined

(Book 2 of the Dream Realms

Trilogy)

By Sophia Sharp

Copyright © 2011 by Sophia Sharp

Cover and art copyright © 2011 by

Dream Publishing

Amazon Kindle Edition

This entire book is a work of fiction.

Names,

places,

characters,

and

incidents are al either products of the author’s

imagination

or

used

fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual

events, locales, persons – living, dead,

undead, or vampire – are entirely

coincidental. Al right reserved.

August 2011

~~

Chapter One

~A New Beginning~

Laura ran through the open grass field. She was fast, impossibly fast. And the run was an entirely new sensation.

The feeling of the wind rushing past her body, streaming her hair, and making her dress whip behind her was simply ecstatic. It was exciting.

She felt strong, and powerful. Fast. She had so much speed, she felt if she spread her arms she could leap in the air and fly.

She was agile, too. She could see much further than before, and objects come into focus much more quickly than she ever remembered. She laughed delightedly. Her reflexes were sharp, so she could zip through a maze of trees in the forest without ever slowing.

She felt alive, and ful of good emotion. Trying out every bit of her new body was exciting; she was a child at Christmas discovering wonders she never knew existed.

She felt like she could keep going forever, keep running through the pristine, never-ending field until the end of time. She had energy that would last her a lifetime. Ten lifetimes.

She picked up speed, going even faster. The landscape blurred at her sides, she blinked for a second, and… she stumbled.

Just as she caught her feet, she heard a rich, ful laugh. Logan’s laugh. She looked over at him, running beside her through the field.

“Not so easy getting used to it, is it?” he asked playful y.

Laura grinned devilishly in reply. And she leapt up, high in the air, her speed taking her over great distance. She landed and kept going, running as fast as she could, outpacing Logan.

Or so she thought. In a second he was beside her, laughing. She started laughing too. He reached out to take her hand, and they ran, together as one. Laura snuck a peak at Logan, and found him looking right at her. Their eyes met, and he rose his eyebrows suggestively. She gave back just the hint of a smile and nodded.

At once, they leapt high into the air, soaring to the treetops together, their speed elevating them ever higher. Laura gripped Logan’s hand through the flight, and for a blissful second she felt absolutely weightless. She had no worries or cares in the world except the man beside her.

They landed softly and kept running. The field gave way to meadows, and then smooth, rol ing hil s. They ran together. Laura could almost keep up to Logan at ful speed – rather, that’s what
h e
said, but she knew he was slowing down for her. Eventual y they reached the start of a sparsely wooded forest, pushing itself towards the hil s from whence they came. They ran together, through bush and bark, over streams and past upturned roots. They ran, holding each other’s hands.

Laura felt at peace here, doing this. She was happy. Everything around her was perfect, and she wouldn’t change it for the world.

Suddenly her grip on Logan’s hand started to wane. Confused, she looked over – and startled herself when she realized she could see right through him. He was fading away, becoming a mist of what he once was. His shape was stil there, running alongside her, but it was becoming less and less distinctive. Suddenly, abruptly, he was gone. Laura stopped, looking around. She marked the place where she was in her mind, and closed her eyes. Then she fel back.

She fel , but never hit the ground. Instead, she fel through great churning rivers of molten fire and massive waterfal s of ice. Past darkness eternal and through the burning nucleus of newborn stars. She fel , feeling heat and cold; life and death. Down she fel , away from the light she once knew, into an abyss sheltered at the edge of time. Through memories remembered and lifetimes long forgotten she fel , and felt her skin being burned away by the furnace of an ceaseless inferno, felt her bones crumble to ash and freeze in the cold remains of another world. A thousand burning needles pierced her skin, leaving no point untouched, and the weight of a great avalanche slammed into her. She fel … and was ripped unceremoniously back to reality.

Her eyes came open slowly. Lately, the transition into the real world seemed to take longer. And that brief transitory moment felt more real, the memory of it more lasting.

She looked around. Dark woods surrounded her, untouched by the presence of humanity for hundreds of years. A tiny sliver of moon hung in the sky and provided precious little light. But Laura didn’t need light to see, anymore. That had been the most surprising part of her transformation.

It was not that she was unprepared for it, or had been unaware that it existed. But seeing in the dark was just… a new kind of sensation. A new kind of
seeing
. To her eyes, everything was dark, as it had been when she was just a human, but… she could tel where things were. Not only that, but she knew their textures, and knew their dimensions down to the hundredth of an inch. It was a different kind of vision, and one that Laura had been both amazed and humbled by.

Logan was sitting across from her, reclining against an old fal en tree with his shirt off. Wel , that wasn’t quite right, actual y – the truth was he hadn’t found a new shirt since leaving the tunnels. Laura looked down at her dress. It had grown dirty and worn in the past few days. A pity, that, but she had more important things to attend to.

Getting up, she walked quietly over to Logan and crouched down beside him. He looked to her and rose his arm, and she settled comfortably against his body. His arm draped over her shoulder, and he looked at her in silence. She smiled shyly, and he reached over to trace the outline of her jaw with his thumb graciously.

“What do you think happened to Rafael?” Laura asked softly.

Logan looked at her silently. He looked for a long time, staring deep into her eyes. She could see his beautiful eyes, shining against the pale skin of his face. And she could see the perfect skin he possessed;

could
really
see it now. She

remembered being impressed at just how flawless it had been before, but now, with her augmented senses, its beauty was magnified so much more. There real y wasn’t a single imperfection. Absently, she wondered if she was going to look like that eventual y. With a start, she realized that of course she would. She wondered how long it would take.

“I don’t know,” Logan said final y.

They had emerged from those tunnels unscathed, thanks completely to Rafael’s help. Thanks to his sacrifice. Laura did not know where they’d be without him, now. Likely serving as sacrificial lambs to the elders and other
Vassiz
.

“I think he got away,” she said quietly. Logan grunted in reply. Taking his hand in hers, she settled closer to him. His skin was cool to the touch, and so was hers, now. But when they touched… she felt a sensation unlike any she’d experienced before. The most gentle of electric shocks, just a smal jolt of static, ran through her entire body whenever their skin made contact. She had asked him about it, the first time she felt it, but he just smiled knowingly at her without saying anything.

They sat together in silence for a while. Laura listened to the sounds around her. The gentle night breeze through the trees, the rustle of nocturnal animals walking through the woods. She could hear things now that she would have never noticed before, and it made her so much more aware of the world. Suddenly Logan coughed, and she looked up, furrowing her brow. “What was that?” she asked.

“What was what?”

“You just coughed. I’ve never seen you do that before.”

He smiled at her. “Just because you haven’t seen me do things before doesn’t mean I’m incapable of doing them.”

“Wel … you’re not sick, are you?
Can
you even get sick?”

He shrugged and smiled in reply. “I’m fine,” he said.

“… there’s nothing wrong with you?”

“No, not at al ,” he reassured her.

“Wel … ok then.” She leaned even closer to him, and put her ear against his chest. He cradled her head gently, and looked up, away at the stars above them. She looked down, however. Down at the three scars that ran across his torso.

Cautiously, she traced her finger over them. They were perfectly aligned with one another.

“How did these happen?” she prodded gently.

“Hmm?” Logan looked down at her, and saw her fingers lying against his body for the first time. “Oh.”

He paused. “I’l tel you,” he said, kissing her forehead, “another time.”

She sighed. Every time she tried to bring it up he changed the subject. She didn’t like not knowing things about him. But then again, an unfortunate reality of her situation was that she was bound to not know some things about someone who’d lived for more than four hundred years.

She shifted her weight slightly to get more comfortable. They had been out of the caves for three days. Three delightful, beautiful days. Coming so close to death before, feeling completely cornered with no hope in sight, and then
surviving
al that… it gave Laura a new appreciation of life.

There was also the little matter of the transformation. She had come into the caves a human girl, and emerged a vampire. A
Vassiz
, as they were known. Except for the fact that nearly every living
Vassiz
was hunting them. Stil , that was what the race was cal ed, and Laura felt proud to have joined it.

Proud, but… somewhat undecided. It hadn’t real y sunk in yet, that she could never look at another human the same way again. But al the gifts that came with becoming a
Vassiz
were slowly coming to fruition within her.

Increased agility, for one. Greater eyesight, and hearing, and night vision. Better balance and a more deft step. Faster movement.

Those were the abilities that she started to express. Some, like the faster movement, she hadn’t been able to take ful advantage of, yet. She was stil learning her body and its new limitations. And her bones hadn’t hardened
or
lightened yet, Logan said. He told her that process would take years.

Other things would come slowly, too. Like the individual power that each
Vassiz
possessed. Al of them were different, and al were kept private. Except that she knew Logan’s. He had shown her when she was stil a regular high school girl. The power to transfer the thoughts of everybody around him into someone else. She had experienced that one first hand.

She didn’t know what her power would be, but Logan said that it would become apparent at a great

“moment of discovery.” Those were his words, and he wouldn’t elaborate much after that. Al he said was that every
Vassiz
knew it when it first came, and that she would be sure to recognize hers.

She sighed again. The three days out of the caves had been absolutely magnificent. Because she no longer had the taint of human blood within her, she and Logan could enter the world of dreams unafraid of being discovered by the elders. Wel , not
exactly
–there were stil precautions that they needed to take. For if they inadvertently stumbled across one of the elders there, they would never be able to get out. But they could
enter
the world of dreams without fear of their entrance being noticed by the dream walkers. And they had done it every night since leaving the caves. In the dream world, Laura didn’t have to wait for her abilities to ful y emerge. There, she had ful access to al of them. Which is why Logan had taken to teaching her how to best make use of her body in the dream realm – in preparation for when al those abilities would become accessible in real life. Laura looked around her at the thick forest canopy. Where they were, she didn’t know. They were getting further away, much further from the vampires they had left behind in the caverns. But, their travel in the real world was stil limited by Laura’s inability to yet move as fast as Logan. In the dream world, her body took ful form, and she could do nearly everything Logan could, but in the
real
world… wel , she was only slightly faster than she had been. Agility and speed turned out to be the slower gifts to come fol owing the transformation.

But they weren’t being tracked anymore. At least, not in the same way as before. She had lost her human smel as soon as the transformation had finished, and now the vampires chasing them had no clear lead. For al she knew, they could stil be lost in the underground maze.

What she did know, however, was that they were miles away from civilization. Miles away from any people.

At the thought of people, something stirred deep inside of her. A desire unlike any other. A madness that came from the pit of her stomach and threatened to overtake her whole body.
People
. Where there were people, there was blood. She tensed, and her eyes widened. Where there was blood, she could feed. She started breathing more quickly, and could feel her heartbeat jump to double its previous pace. Her breaths became short, ragged, and her entire body became stiff.

“Woah, woah there.” Logan had her by the shoulders. She ignored him. She needed blood, needed to feed. He held her tighter. She needed to feed, she needed to have blood. She fought his grip, struggled to get out. It seemed… easy to throw him off. If she just twisted this way…

“Laura, it’s me,” he said urgently. “It’s me, you’re with me. Here. Look at me.”

Laura suddenly became aware of Logan. He was sitting on top of her, holding her down by the shoulders. They were a good hundred paces away from the fal en tree. And strain was showing on his face as he fought to hold her down.

Her eyes shot from him back to the spot where they had been. Slowly, she felt her body relax. Logan nodded, and got up off her. He offered his hand to help her up.

“It happened again,” she said abashedly.

Logan nodded. “It’s getting more frequent. I know you need to feed, Laura,
really
feed, but you have to hold on for just a little longer. You need to control your thoughts.”

“I’l try,” she said, and he nodded again. But she knew that control ing her thoughts was… difficult. She looked around her, and realized her initial estimate had been off. They were nearly
three
hundred paces from where they had previously been. Laura knew what happened. At that unbidden thought of human blood, her new feeding instinct took over. And she blindly raced away, searching impulsively for the presence of any humans. It didn’t matter that she knew they were likely hundreds of miles away from civilization – her feeding instinct made no distinction. Had Logan not stopped her, she would have kept going, stopping at nothing until her thirst for blood had been satiated.

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