Blessed Curse - Sandra R. Neeley Page 0,1

Adrienne — she confused him. She had power, yet she was timid. More timid than any little witch he’d ever encountered. He had a particular affinity for witches developed over time as a result of the Granddame of the LaCelle coven refusing to even attempt to help him when he’d begged for it during one of his rare moments of clarity. A moment in which there may have still been hope for him. But now? Now it mattered not. That time was long past. He’d embraced his insanity, his complete lack of remorse, and had made every attempt to become so powerful he was nearly unstoppable. And as a special gift to the great Marceline LaCelle, whenever he could, he fed from any witch he was able to entrap, then left them dead all over the world. But Marceline had trained her coven well. They were never caught unawares. He’d yet to take one of her own coven-sisters.

Alastair’s brows creased and he leaned forward, sniffing his pretty, willing - yet unwilling prey. He pressed his nose to the valley between her breasts, inhaling deeply. Her scent was familiar. He sniffed her again, lifting her hair and pressing his nose against her neck up near her ear beneath the heavy curtain of her blue-black hair.

He laughed — slowly, evilly, his rich laughter poured from his chest. “You are of the LaCelle coven, are you not?” Alastair grabbed Adrienne’s hair in his bony fist, yanking her head backward and startling her into opening her eyes. He towered over her, staring down into her eyes.

“Do you know the witch Marceline?”

Adrienne couldn’t help it, her mind began to remember herself as a small child, sitting on her grandmother’s lap as she taught her spells and read to her from the books of their history.

Alastair’s eyes glittered with the realization of what had fallen into his hands. His laughter was boisterous, his head thrown back. “Finally! The fates have smiled down on me!” he shouted, then laughed again as he tore the bra from Adrienne’s body, grabbing her breast and twisting it painfully. “Marceline is your mother, is she not?”

Adrienne didn’t answer, she held her tongue defiantly.

Alastair twisted her flesh harder. “All it takes is a yes or a no. One simple word and the pain stops,” he whispered into Adrienne’s ear. He angled his fingers so that his nails pierced the soft flesh he mangled.

If he’d not placed his other hand at Adrienne’s throat, her screams would have filled the night. But his grip stopped her from breathing, he stopped any chance of her calling out as he squeezed her delicate throat.

Her vision became blurred, her head pounded and blood streamed down her side from the punctures in her breast.

“Just. One. Word,” Alastair repeated on a whisper.

With her lips trembling, tears weeping from her eyes, she responded with the one word he didn’t expect. “No,” she barely managed to get out as he slowly strangled her.

Alastair leaned forward again, pressing his nails deeper into her breast.

“Do not lie to me, Mouse,” he snarled.

“Grandmother,” Adrienne whispered as her tears completely blinded her.

Alastair grinned. Then he leaned over and used his tongue to trace the small trails of blood leaking from her damaged breast, before sucking her nipple into his mouth and drinking hungrily of the blood his fresh punctures brought to his lips. He released her breast, then licked his bloody tongue up the side of her face. “Such a sweet treat you are, granddaughter of Marceline. What shall I do with you?” he asked, using one bony finger to tap against his blood-stained chin. Suddenly his eyes took on a look that would have made Satan nervous. “I know. I know what I shall do. But for now, I need sustenance. I fear you shall have to both feed me and be my messenger to the great Marceline. Can you do that, Mouse?” he asked. He fluttered his hand in the air above his head. “It matters not. You will, whether you wish it or not — you will. You should be happy, Mouse. I’ve decided not to kill you. Oh wait,” he said, feigning surprise. “You wanted death, did you not? I’m sorry, Mouse. I just can’t. It will be so much more fun with you alive.”

He grabbed the hair at the base of her skull in his hand, roughly snatching it back and down, forcing her neck and throat out for his ease of access, and at the same instant plunged his