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Authors: Jennifer T. Alli

Tags: #vampire, #paranormal romance, #magic, #fire, #vampire romance

Seared by Desire

BOOK: Seared by Desire
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Seared by Desire

 

Jennifer T. Alli

Copyright 2011 by Jennifer T. Alli

Smashwords Edition

Table of Contents

 

Chapter
One

Chapter
Two

Chapter
Three

Chapter
Four

Chapter
Five

Chapter
Six

Chapter
Seven

Chapter
Eight

Chapter
Nine

Chapter
Ten

Chapter
Eleven

Chapter
Twelve

Chapter
Thirteen

Chapter
Fourteen

Chapter
Fifteen

Chapter
Sixteen

Chapter
Seventeen

Chapter
Eighteen

Chapter
Nineteen

Chapter
Twenty

Chapter
Twenty One

Chapter
Twenty Two

Chapter
Twenty Three

Chapter
Twenty Four

Chapter One –
Awakening

 

The autumn sun shone brightly against the azure sky giving a
luminescent glow to all it touched. The sound of birds chirping as
they flew overhead was all that could be heard in the practically
empty meadow, the only other sound that of the gentle breathing of
its sole occupant. There was a cool breeze that flitted aimlessly
through the air, stirring the damp blades of grass beneath Sara's
fingertips and shifting the curled strands of her hair playfully.
She sat alone, her legs tucked neatly beneath the voluminous wealth
of her skirt. Being alone in a vast meadow might have filled others
with a sense of fear and isolation but Sara had spent most of her
life alone, even when surrounded by others. Loneliness was an
emotion she’d lost early on in life. Staring forlornly at the image
reflected back at her by the deep blue waters of the pond she sat
beside, she had to admit it was a beautiful day for a wedding. On a
day that should have been a happy one, filled with joy and
laughter, the emotions were distinctly absent within her. Bright
blue eyes stared back at her from within the depths of the pond,
the only part of her reflection that was even vaguely familiar. The
woman in the water was a stranger.

Flaming red hair curled down to her shoulders, blending in
with the deep red of the bodice she wore. The skirt she wore was
long and intricately woven with fine threads of gold and orange
into beautifully ornate patterns and hidden beneath it were fine
slippers of equally delicate make. The rich colour of the clothes
she wore made her feel even more the imposter, so different were
they to the muted colours she normally wore. The freckles that
normally covered her face were hidden beneath a light coat of
powder, making her tanned skin seem unusually pale, the colour of
those of power and influence among her people. Her tanned skin, the
calluses on her palms, all gave her away for what she was…a poor,
unskilled member of the fire elementals and she, and the few others
like her, were left to fend for themselves.

A soft sigh escaped her lips before she slapped her hand
against the water destroying the reflection as the water rippled
away from her. The woman in the water wasn’t her and she never
would be. The only reason she wasn’t being flogged for her
insolence in dressing above her station was that Abigail had
demanded it and what Abigail, one of the strongest fire elementals
in their small village wanted, she got. Abigail, her only friend
and defender, was getting married and things would never be the
same again. Abigail had always stood by her side despite her
weakness. While others had shunned her for her inability to do more
with fire than even a child, Abigail had stood by her. Amongst the
fire elementals where power and strength were prized above all,
Sara was an anomaly. Fire elementals married and bred for strength.
A woman of her practically non-existent power levels was looked
upon as a plague, an illness to be avoided at all costs. It had
been that way since she was a child.

When other children had been learning to manipulate flames,
making inventive images out of fire, she had barely been able to
create a spark let alone summon a flame. Her power had barely
improved since those horrid times and neither had the way she was
treated. She was avoided as though simply being in her presence
would cause ones own power to decrease and stared at by all with
disgust in their eyes. Despite the many wishes she’d made that she
could simply leave, experience the outside world where she could
have a second chance at life, she knew it was impossible. She was
trapped in her own personal hell. The fire elementals were known
far and wide as the strongest warriors and the most vicious of the
elementals, a reputation they defended above all else. Weaklings,
like herself, were forbidden from ever leaving the confines of
their village. No one else could ever know about her and she knew
nothing about them. The village was all she had ever
known.

It was only Abigail that made living in her forced
confinement bearable. Abigail had never shunned her but Sara
doubted the tradition could continue now that she was to marry.
Abigail’s future husband had made no attempt to his hide his
dislike of her and as soon as they were married would do his utmost
to prevent them from seeing each other. Abigail was strong-minded
but she would soon have more important things to concern herself
with. The thoughts ran round her head, her mind chaotic. She leaned
back on her arms, turning her head up to sky, taking a deep breath
before forcing herself to stand. Abigail had gone against
everyone’s wishes to include her in this wedding, even though she
wasn’t happy about the prospect of losing her friend, she had to
stand by her side.

The meadow was on the very outskirts of the village, near
where she lived with the other outcasts but Sara moved quickly,
determined to provide her friend with moral support. She drew
hateful stares as soon as she entered the village bumanaged to keep
her head held high as she walked onwards, edging closer to the
centre where the more powerful lived. Her feet became heavier, her
steps increasingly hesitant as she spotted the giant fountain of
ever-fire was the centre of town. Each village of fire elementals
had the bright blue flame at its centre. The flame supposedly came
from the spirit of fire itself, a symbol of the strength, power and
the immortality of fire. The truly strong could even draw power
from it, absorbing part of the flame into themselves and
temporarily using its power as their own. As a weak member of her
people, Sara rarely had the opportunity to see it and even now that
she could, her eyes were focused on something all together
different. Standing in front of the fire, dressed in robes of the
deepest red, Abigail stood wringing her hands nervously. Her brown
eyes scanned the large crowd that had gathered around her
expectantly as though she were waiting for something or someone.
Judging from the swift change in her demeanour as soon as her eyes
landed on Sara, it had been her. Her shoulders relaxed and a smile
appeared on her face.


Sara!” Abigail cried, beckoning her over
frantically.

Sara forced a smile to her lips, it was Abigail’s big day she
would not ruin it. “Sorry, I’m late,” she apologised as she moved
closer.

Abigail laughed, visibly relaxed now that everything was
coming together as she’d planned. “Where were you? I was about to
send out a search party to look for you.”


Sorry if I worried you. You look beautiful.” Sara smiled,
this time it was genuine. Dressed in all the finery that befitted
her station and her status as a bride, Abigail looked
resplendent.


Thank you. Trust me, when you get married, you’re going to
put me to shame. You’ll look fantastic. I can just imagine it now…”
she trailed off, willing to let Sara’s mind fill in the gap she’d
left.

Sara’s smile turned melancholy. “One day,” she whispered, the
two simply spoken words imbued with sadness.


Sara,” Abigail sighed, her voice low, softly spoken. “It will
happen.”


Sure it will,” she scoffed in response.


It will.”


Abi, look at me. You’re the only one willing to even
associate with me. Everyone else treats me like some sort of
illness. Not even my own parents want anything to do with me. They
made me leave their home as soon as they could and we’ve barely
spoken a word to each other since that day. There isn’t a man here
who would take me as their wife. I’ve made my peace with that fact.
I think you should as well.”


I can’t Sara, I won’t. If anyone deserves happiness it’s you
and I know you’ll find it one day.”


Maybe, but one day isn’t today. Today is
your
wedding and it’s almost time.
Come on you don’t want to be late to your own wedding. What would
James say?”

Abigail laughed thinking of the lengthy lecture her future
husband would likely give her on the importance of time keeping.
She had grown used to his rants and learned to tune them out to an
extent. It was amazing how he didn’t notice the glazed look in her
eyes as he continued talking but she was marrying him because his
strength as an elemental was on par with her own, she could only
hope that over the years he would mellow. “Right, let’s get me
married then.”

The walk to the alter was short and Sara thanked the powers
above that it was so; she wasn’t sure how much longer she could
maintain this charade. She wanted to be happy for Abigail but her
own feelings were getting in the way. Her eyes prickled with unshed
tears and her throat felt constricted, sobs desperately seeking to
escape. Her face was however the epitome of serenity, a happy smile
plastered painfully onto her lips. Her eyes were on the minister
who would join Abigail and James in matrimony as she stood at her
friend’s side but she saw nothing. Her thoughts were elsewhere as
the vows were spoken, her surroundings becoming increasingly
distant as her thoughts became muddled.

The sharp sound of a scream snapped her out of the reverie
she had fallen into and as the number of screams multiplied, she
came back to her body with a resounding crash. Her heart began to
thud wildly in her chest at the sight of demons marching onwards
towards the congregation. Horrid, deformed creatures from nightmare
they were. No two were the same, some with more legs than arms,
some with skin as black as night others with skin an red as blood
but the look in their eyes was all the same. Hunger. There was no
pattern to their attacks, they came and went as they pleased,
attacking rarely but when they did the outcome was devastating.
Attracted to the natural heat that fire elementals gave off, they
came to feast on their flesh, absorbing the fire into themselves.
For an elemental as weak as she, meeting the demons would mean
certain death.


Sara!” Abigail's command was swift and authoritative
instantly garnering her attention. Her friend stood, her spine
erect, thoughts of her failed wedding pushed to the back of her
mind as she prepared to fight the enemy just like a true fire
elemental. “Run. Hide. I’ll come and find you as soon as we’ve
dealt with this scum.”

Sara nodded dumbly, lifting the long length of her skirt and
fleeing into the distance. As adrenaline rushed through her body,
she felt something shift and move within her mind, stretching as it
woke. A strange voice within her mind startled her, stopping her
abrupt flight.

Demons,
the voice hissed.

The single word grated on her ears. The voice sounded cruel,
heartless and eager for blood, destruction and mayhem.

Burn.

Sara shivered, as heat like she had never felt raced through
her veins. Her skin felt as though it were on fire. Heat thrummed
through her, spreading like a raging inferno, pulsing through her
body until it broke free of the confines of her skin. Her body was
aflame, from the tips of her hair to the ends of her toes she was
covered in fire.

BOOK: Seared by Desire
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ads

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