Keepers of the Flame (Trilogy Bundle) - By Melissa F. Hart Page 0,1

with fear and adrenalin, she was grateful to see her grandma pull up in her silver Lexus. She looked around quickly before she pulled the door open and it still baffled her that everyone was going about their business like nothing had happened.

“Hi Katrina,” she mumbled as she slipped into the comfortable leather seats of the car.

“Hi honey, what happened?”

Luanne stared out the window as they left the shopping mall behind. Her grandmother's voice was carefully modulated and sounded pleasant, but she knew Katrina was trying hard to conceal her fear and she didn't want to contribute to that. Still, she couldn't not tell her what had happened. “There was another attack. This time I saw the person, not the face or anything, just the teeth.” She turned to look at her then and said quietly, “It was a vampire.”

Katrina didn't say anything but she noticed her hands had tightened on the steering wheel and her normally porcelain complexion was even more white than usual. Luanne used the opportunity to study her grandma, not for the first time. Looking at her smooth features and lustrous red hair, it was almost impossible to believe that the woman was her dad's mom. She did not look a day over thirty and it had nothing to do with cosmetic surgery and everything to do with her heritage. She cast blue eyes on her granddaughter before returning them to the road.

“You can't continue this way, Lu,” she said softly.

Luanne knew what she was talking about. Her heart was still pounding from the recent attack and it was only one in a long line of several since she'd turned sixteen a year ago. She absently fingered the stone in the pendant, which was hidden beneath her pink tank top. “I don't know what to do.”

“Don't worry about it, baby.” She reached out and patted Luanne on her bare knee. “We'll get through this.”

Just like they'd gotten through other stuff. Katrina didn't say it but she heard it loud and clear. “But why me? Why do they target me this way?” There was a noticeable thread of despair running through her voice.

Katrina was silent for a moment. “How did you get rid of this one?” she finally asked, not answering the question.

“Fire,” she replied shortly.

Her grandmother turned to look at her and there was shock in her eyes. “Did you just say fire?”

Luanne nodded. “I lifted my arm and fire came out of my hand.”

Katrina turned back to the road and focused on her driving. It was clear that there was a lot going on in her mind. She looked troubled. “Do you have any idea how that happened?”

“Er, no.” She shrugged. “I just lifted my hand and fire, like, just shot out.” She shrugged again.

“OK. That's great.” She nodded slowly. “So did you find what you were looking for at the mall?”

Luanne lifted one finely arched eyebrow at the abrupt change of subject, but knowing her grandmother, she'd already shifted gears. “Yeah, I did. But I'm not sure I want to spend all that money on a dress.”

Katrina sighed delicately, “I don't understand you, Lu. It's almost as though you don't have my genes running through you. You have all that money, yet you won't spend it. I've never met a teenager as frugal as you are.”

She carefully hid her thoughts and smiled at her grandmother. “Just because I don't subscribe to retail therapy doesn't mean that I'm frugal.”

Once again her grandma took her eyes off the road to glance distastefully at Luanne's outfit of shorts and a tank top. “Look at you, Lu. You're beautiful—stunning, actually—since you take after me.” Her eyes twinkled at that, then she turned back to the road. “But you don't even make an effort. No makeup, no pretty clothes, nothing. It's almost as though you're in mourning.”

When Luanne remained silent, Katrina flashed her a quick look before swinging the car into the parking spot in front of their eighteenth century townhouse. Switching off the engine, she turned to face her granddaughter with a somber look. “You still miss them, don't you?”

Luanne glanced outside and stared at the manicured lawn of their neighbor's home. She felt the usual pressure in her chest which accompanied that topic and wanted desperately to escape. “I don't want to talk about it, Katrina.”

“You've kept it inside you for the past three years, Lu. Don't you think it's about time you talked about it?”

Feeling the tightness increase in her chest she turned pleading eyes to Copyright 2016 - 2022