Stephanie Jackson Books

Subtitle

The Undead Heart (#1 in the Blood Thirst Series)

Rebecca Stockdale had enough issues in her life; parents that  hated her for the strange abilities that she had been born with, she was about  to move away from her sister and only friend, Bev, and she had had a really bad  date that would change her forever.
  Just when she was about to escape the  drama that she had always lived in, Richard, a vampyre, walked into
her life and  shattered her reality with one request; travel back in time to 1888 to stop a  psychopathic vampyre bent on revenge and save the family she never knew she had.
  She would be joined on her journey by a band of vampyre hunters. Hunters  who, centuries ago, had vowed to slay all vampyres. A vow they set aside to  protect the family that they had come to love, knowing that the outcome of that  decision would be an eventual battle. A battle of decapitation and blood; a  battle they may not survive.
  She was leaving a life she would kill to get  away from for a family she would gladly die to protect, but could she do it?  Could she make it back alive? Did she possess the strength and courage it would  take to change the past and save their future?
  She was about to find out. 

 

Book Trailer  http://youtu.be/Reo_FJrNNEU

Excerpt

 

The night was a flop. No ghosts, not so much as a single whisper on the recorders. She’d dropped Potter and Jenny off about 20 minutes ago, and was just pulling into her driveway when her skin started to crawl. It was a charged night, a lot of lightning, but no wind, rain, or thunder. Her grandmother used to tell them that lightning with no storm was a bad omen.
  She’d never noticed until now how dark their yard was at night. She turned off the car and just sat there for a minute. Her skin was crawling in waves. It was already 2:00 in the morning. She couldn’t sit in her car all night. Then it hit her; what if the danger was in the house? ‘Bev!’ her brain screamed. She jumped out of the car and ran towards the house.
  She didn’t even make it halfway across the yard when a man landed silently in front of her. He was dark-haired and her height, but that was all she saw before he grabbed her by the neck with one hand and threw her backwards toward the car. She twisted in mid-air and landed hard on her stomach, her face smashing into the ground. She didn’t even have time to rollover before she felt him above her.
  She heard a deep growl from the other side of her car, felt something sail over her, and heard the impact of meat and bone crashing together. She couldn’t see much. The porch light wasn’t on to illuminate the yard, but she saw enough in the frequent lightning to know there was one hell of a fight going on.
  They moved quickly around the yard, almost too fast for her eyes to track, but the sound was horrible. It sounded like a bobcat fighting a dog; hissing, snarling, growling and snapping noises tore through the still night air. The sound of the impacts were violent and terrifying. Then the front door of the house opened and the yard was suddenly lit from the porch flood light.
  “What’s going on out here?” Bev called from the porch.
  At that moment of distraction, the strange vampyre was thrown onto his back. Leso took this opportunity to jump on the stranger’s chest and kick his head off like a soccer ball…and Bev had a front row seat.
  “What the fuck?!” Bev screamed.
  Leso turned towards Bev in a blur of movement. Bev fainted, but Leso caught her before she hit the ground. Beck got up off the ground and limped over to the body in the yard, never happier about the privacy fence.
  “That’s just nasty,” she said to Leso.
  “Yes, but still, it was necessary,” he replied.
  “I’m not complaining, and thank you very much for charging in like that, but it’s still nasty,” she said, wrinkling her noise.
  Leso carried Bev into the house. She followed him, snapped off the porch light, and closed the door on the horror scene in the yard. She didn’t bother to lock it. What would be the point, really? If any other vampyres wanted to come after them she really didn’t think a deadbolt would give them much pause.
  She turned to Leso. “Are there anymore?”
  “Not that I can feel,” he said softly as he sat on the couch, cradling Bev in his arms.
  She could tell he was having a hard time taking his eyes off Bev’s face. He finally slid Bev gently off of his lap and settled her carefully onto the couch. He came over and squatted down in front of the chair Beck was sitting in.
  “Are you alright, Beck? You’ve got blood all over your face.”
  “I’m fine, but we have to get that body out of the yard.”
  “Yeah, I’m on it,” he said as he took out a cell phone, dialed a number and said, “You need to be at Beck’s, now.”
  “Where’s Richard?” she asked when he snapped the cell phone shut.
  Although she had never asked Jenny and Potter where he was, right now, she really needed to know.
  “We have found it easier to watch you if we take it in shifts. With his attraction to you, and my draw to your sister, we needed a break to stop us from coming to the two of you. Richard said you knew about me and your sister.” He paused for a moment before quietly asking, “You don’t mind, do you?”
  “No, I don’t mind at all. I’ve known for years. You have my full blessing, and on the upside of things, when she wakes up, you get to explain all this,” Beck told him teasingly.
  He looked startled. “I don’t know if that’s a good idea.”
  “It’s a great idea. Relax, Bev is gonna love you. I’m  glad the two of you will finally be…” she was saying as the door flew open and Richard, Jenny, and Potter stormed in.
  It had taken them all of seven minutes to run the distance it had taken her twenty minutes to drive. Richard was across the room in a flash, his hands flying over her body, checking her for wounds.
  “Oh, Beck! I’m so God damned sorry,” he said before turning on Leso. “What the hell happened? Where were you!?”
  “I was right here. He was just faster than I thought he would be.”’
  It was at that moment that Bev woke up. She sat up slowly and looked at everyone in the room, but it was Leso her eyes lingered on.
  “Bev, are you okay?” Beck asked, concerned.
  “That depends. Did I just see him kick a man’s head off?” she asked, pointing at Leso.
  “Yes, you did,” Beck answered.
  “Oh well, then I’m fine, I guess” she said before asking,
  “Vampyres?”
  “Yes,” Beck replied.
  Potter jumped up like a scalded dog, “Hey! I’m not a vampyre.”
  “Really? I read your book. I thought you were the vampyre,”Bev said calmly.
  “Nope, that would be Jenny,” he said.
  “But you’re not quite normal, are you?” Bev asked.
  “No… not quite,” he agreed. “How did you know that they’re vampyres?”
  “You told me,” Bev answered. Beck shook her head. “No I didn’t.”
  “Well, not directly, no, but when we talked about them you said you believe in them.”
  “I used to believe in Santa Clause, too,” Beck teased.
   Now Bev shook her head. “No you didn’t. Since we were little, you only believed in what you could see and what you could feel, and you’re rarely wrong. So, if you believe in something, then I believe in it, too.”
  Beck was touched almost beyond words.
 “Well, none of these vampyres will hurt you,” she said.
  Her focus was on Bev, glad that she wasn’t flipping out, but she was intensely aware of Richard staring at her.
  “Yeah, I kind of gleaned that for myself. Is that your blood all over you?”
  “Yeah, I took a bit of a tumble, but I’m fine.”
  “You are not fine.” Richard growled. “You’re hurt and bleeding.”
  “I’m fine, Richard, really I am.”
  He stepped up to her slowly and put his hand on her neck, turning her head up to meet his gaze.
  “I’m so sorry,” he said in a tortured voice.
  “OOOOOH!” Bev shouted, causing everyone in the room to jump.“You’re the reason she doesn’t date!”
  She was pointing her finger at Richard, catching on to what everyone else in the room already knew.
  “Yes, that would be my fault. I’ve encouraged Beck not to make me kill the men she meets, but it’s not been easy for me,” he said to Bev, but his gaze was burning on Beck’s face.
  Beck broke his gaze and tried to control the heat in her face.
  She focused back on Bev and said, “You know Potter and Jenny. This is Richard, and the man eating you with his eyes is Leso.”
Leso had the grace to look a little embarrassed, but only a little, not enough to look away though. “I’m not sure what’s going on now, but I’m sure Leso would be happy to answer your questions.” Taking her cue, Leso pulled Bev to her feet like he thought he was going to break her. “Let’s get you something to drink. A coke, perhaps?” he said, shooting Beck a quick grin and led Bev towards the kitchen. When Bev glanced back, Beck gave her two thumbs up, knowing that Bev would catch her meaning. Bev looked back at Leso, her eyes wide with understanding, then they were out of sight.
  Richard looked to Jenny and Potter. “Would you two get rid of Leso’s mess, please?”
  “No problem,” Potter said, and he and Jenny went out the door leaving Beck and Richard alone.
  “Let’s get you cleaned up,” he said, leading her upstairs to the bathroom.
  Beck had assumed he meant to get a wash cloth, but she was wrong. He closed the door, stepped around her, and turned on the shower. He turned back to her and started undressing her as if they had just seen each other yesterday. She stood stock still until he was done, just smelling him. Then, he grabbed her and set her on her feet in the steaming hot spray of water. Before she could do more than register that she was in the shower, he was naked
and in the water with her.
  He washed her face and hair. He checked her whole head carefully, looking for any wounds he may have missed. There were none. Then, he washed the rest of her body. She knew he was checking her over for any unseen damage. She had a couple of scrapes on her breast and a small cut on her knee, but other than that, she was fine. In fact, she was better than she had been in years. Which was bazaar considering that she’d just seen a man get his head kicked off.
  Richard had not spoken a word to her since they entered the bathroom. He’d turned her towards the spray and was rubbing her shoulders and neck with cool hands. he dropped her head down and saw blood running through the water between her feet. She wasn’t bleeding anymore. She turned quickly and saw blood pouring from his eyes, down his face, and splashing into the tub below.
  “Richard?” she asked, fear making her blood run cold.
  He put his shaking hands over his face, trying to wipe away the tears.
  “You could have died, and I wasn’t even here,” he said in a shaky voice.
  “I didn’t die. I’m right here,” she said, trying to pull his hands away from his face.
  He stepped around her and put his face in the cooling spray of water. When he turned back to her, the tears were gone. He cradled her face in his hands and just looked at her. She stared back at him, absorbing every detail of his face. He hadn’t changed a bit since the first day she saw him. It seemed unfair for one person to be so perfect.
  “You’re cold,” he said.
  She hadn’t noticed when the hot water ran out. He scooped her up and stepped out of the shower. He kicked their clothes out of the way and got two big towels out of the closet. He wiped down her body with one towel and tried his best to dry her hair with the other. While he did this, she couldn’t stop herself from touching him. She touched his face, his shoulders, his chest, his stomach, trying to reassure herself that he really was here. Her eyes raked up and down his body.
  Dressed, he was perfect. Naked, he was a god. He was flawless. There was not one thing about his body that wasn’t exquisitely perfect. It was hard to believe that he was hers. That if she did everything right, this was to be her prize.
  “Stop touching me,” he said quietly.
  “No.”
  He groaned. “You are driving me crazy.”
  “Good,” she smiled.
  He gave her a small hiss, threw her over his shoulder, and left the bathroom.
  “I’m naked!” she yelled at him. “Me, too. Don’t worry.
   Nobody’s coming up here,” he stated as if it were an undeniable fact.
  He opened her bedroom door, walked in, and flipped her onto the bed. He was on top of her without pause. The feeling of him on her was incredible. She had waited so long to see him again. She playfully licked and bit his shoulder and something in him broke. All traces of gentleness were gone. He wrapped his arms under her shoulders and pulled her up to him as he thrust into her. His thrusts were so violent that the bed frame gave way beneath them, crashing with them to the floor, but he seemed not to notice. Nordid she.
  He was not hurting her, quite the opposite. For the first time in years, she felt complete. When their lovemaking was over, he collapsed on top of her. She lay there for the longest time feeling his heart pound against her chest until it slowed and finally stopped altogether. She waited for him to say something, to shift his weight off of her, but he didn’t move. She shook his shoulders but got no response. She wiggled out from underneath him, grabbed him and shook him harder.
 “Richard?” she said, but still got no response from him.
  In a panic, she rolled off of the mattress onto the floor and screamed, “Leso!”
  He was through the door before she could draw a breath to scream again.
  “What?” he asked, flipping on the light, his eyes quickly scanning the room.
  Bev came into the room at a more normal speed but with an edge of panic in her voice, she asked, “What’s wrong?”
  She looked at Beck and snatched a robe off of the back of the door and wrapped it around her sister. Beck had completely forgotten she was naked.
  “Something’s wrong with him,” Beck said in a strained voice. Leso walked over to Richard and flipped him onto his back. He looked him over and put his ear to Richard’s chest.
  “Well Beck, you’ve killed him,” he said laughing.
  “That’s not funny!”
  “Calm down, he’s just sleeping. What did you do to him?” he asked still smiling as he looked at the trashed bed. He just couldn’t seem help himself. He continued laughing as he looked at Beck’s expression and said, “Is that a bite mark on his shoulder?”
  “Oh, shut up,” Beck growled suddenly embarrassed now that she knew nothing was wrong with Richard.
  “In a couple of hours, he’ll be good as new, and I’m  going to enjoy teasing him about this in the morning,” he said in a gleeful voice.
  “Oh, you’re not really gonna tell him, are you?” Beck asked him, really embarrassed now.
  “Oh, you can bet on it. Goodnight Beck,” he said, darting across the room, grabbing Bev, and running out of the bedroom.
  “Leso!” she yelled. She heard his deep laugh from downstairs, but he didn’t return.
  She took a deep, steadying breath, flipped off the lights, and went to lay next to Richard on the mattress. She traced her fingers across his ribcage, still a bit warm from the heat of her body. ‘Just sleeping’ was her last thought as she fell asleep beside him.


  
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