Morgan Rice - [Vampire Journals 05] - Desired

Morgan Rice - [Vampire Journals 05] - Desired


Paris, France

(July, 1789)

Caitlin Paine awoke to blackness.

The air was heavy, and she struggled to breathe as she tried to move. She was lying on her back, on a hard surface. It was cool and damp, and a tiny sliver of light came in at her as she looked up.

Her shoulders were squeezed together, but with an effort she just managed to reach up. She stretched out her palms and felt the surface above. Stone. She ran her hands along it, felt the dimensions, and realized she was boxed in. In a coffin.

Caitlin’s heart started to pound. She hated tight spaces, and she started breathing harder. She wondered if she were dreaming, stuck in some sort of horrible limbo, or if she had truly awakened in some other time, and some other place.

She reached up again, with both hands, and with al her might, pushed. It moved a fraction of an inch, just enough for her to slide a finger into the crack. She pushed again, with al her might, and the heavy stone lid moved further, with the sound of stone scraping against stone.

She squeezed more fingers into the widening crack, and with al her might, shoved. This time, the lid came off.

Caitlin sat up, breathing hard, looking al around. Her lungs gasped in the fresh air, and she braced herself at the light, raising her hands to her eyes. How long had she been in such darkness?

she wondered.

As she sat there, Shielding her eyes, she listened, bracing herself for any noise, for any movement. She remembered how rough her graveyard awakening had been in Italy, and this time, she didn’t want to leave anything to chance. She was prepared for anything, ready to defend herself against whatever vil agers, or vampires—or whatever else—might be nearby.

But this time, al was silence. She slowly pried open her eyes, and saw that she was, indeed, alone. As her eyes adjusted, she realized it wasn’t, actual y, that bright in here.

She was in a cavernous, stone room, with low, arched ceilings. It looked like the vault of a church. The room was lit only by the occasional burning candle. It must be night, she realized.

Now that her eyes adjusted, she looked around careful y.

She had been right: she’d been lying in a stone sarcophagus, in the corner of a stone room, in what appeared to be the crypt of a church.

The room was empty, except for a few stone statues, and several other sarcophagi.

Caitlin stepped out the sarcophagus. She stretched, testing al of her muscles. It felt good to stand again. She was grateful that she hadn’t awakened this time to a battle. At least she had a few quiet moments to col ect herself.

But she was stil so disoriented. Her mind felt heavy, like she had awoken from a thousand year sleep. She also, immediately, felt a hunger pang.

Where was she? she wondered again. What year was it?

And more importantly, where was Caleb?

She was crestfal en that he was not at her side.

Caitlin surveyed the room, looking for a sign of him anywhere. But there was nothing. The other sarcophagi were al open and empty, and there was nowhere else he could be hiding.

“Hel o?” she cal ed out. “Caleb?”

She took a few tentative steps into the room, and saw a low, arched doorway, the only way in or out. She went to it and tried the knob. Unlocked, the door swung open easily.

Before she left the room, she turned and surveyed her surroundings, making sure she hadn’t left anything she needed. She reached down and felt her necklace, stil around her neck; she reached into her pockets, and was reassured to feel her journal, and the one, large key. It was al that she had left in the world, and it was al that she needed.

As Caitlin exited, she proceeded down a long, arched stone hal way. She could think only of finding Caleb. Surely, he had gone back with her this time. Hadn’t he?

And if he had, would he remember her this time? She could not possibly imagine having to go through al that again, having to search for him, and then having him not remember. No. She prayed that this time would be different. He was alive, she assured herself, and they had gone back together.

They must have.

But as she hurried down the corridor, and up a smal flight of stone steps, she felt her pace increasing, and felt that familiar sinking