Dark Curse (Darkhaven Saga #5) - Danielle Rose

Chapter One

I thought the vampire was dead. After the witches dabbled with the black arts, I assumed my punishment for all my misdeeds and bad choices was to live a life just barely grasping the power that lies beyond my fingertips.

It turns out I was wrong.

The vampire has always been inside me. She is now, but we are disconnected, and I have only myself to blame.

Now that I know she is simply slumbering, I feel her. I sense her desires. When she has a particularly restless night, I crave the sweet aroma of blood on my lips and I yearn for vengeance against those who cursed me to live as neither witch nor vampire.

Before, when I only had to worry about Mamá’s spell, I was still a witch, but now I am not even sure if I am human. Because of my choices, I am cursed to remain in darkness without the ability to truly appreciate the shadows.

My exile feels permanent, as if I am forever condemned to the void that is nestled within my very soul. I should feel happy here, because I know the vampire is trapped with me. But I do not. Lifeless and still, I remain within the abyss, just waiting for the moment the witches come for me. Because I know they will. The spell I cast was nothing like the black magic they used against me. Hexes can be broken, and therein lies the irony.

I damned myself.

When I cast that spell, the link Mamá formed between us ensured I doomed myself as well. I knew what I was doing. I used the power of both my coven and the moon, harnessing enough energy from the vampire to formally take a stand against the witches. When I used our link to suppress their magic, I suppressed mine as well.

But even though I know I am to blame for the cost I must now bear, my situation never gets easier. I never become less of a burden to those I now consider family.

For one month, I have lived with the vampires as a mortal, but I do not fear for my life the way I do when the witches are near. In fact, the vampires have given me something priceless, something I never experienced under Mamá’s roof. Peace.

It has been thirty days and thirty nights since I hexed my former coven, and not a day passes when I do not think about the ramifications of all that has happened since Jasik sired me. He feels responsible. He refuses to listen when I argue that this is not his fault. Over the weeks, I have grown tired of trying to convince him, so now we live in an uncomfortable silence.

I roll over in bed, repositioning my pillow as quietly as I can, desperately trying not to wake the slumbering vampire beside me. If I were still a hybrid, I could have leaped from this bed and run down the stairs without ever making a sound. Unfortunately, the spell that I cast severed my connection to my magical side also suppressed my fantastical abilities.

So I ask myself, what is left when I am no longer a witch or a vampire?

A clumsy human.

Something I have never been but now must embrace.

I open my eyes, letting my senses adjust to the unlit room. Even though my sense of sight is no longer heightened, if I wait long enough, I can make out Jasik’s features. Tonight, it does not take as long as it normally does for me to see him clearly.

He is lying beside me. I shimmy closer to him, desperate for warmth I know I will not find in the body of a vampire. Deep down, I know the chill nestled in my bones is because I am sleeping beside the undead, but in my heart, I cannot force him away. I feel safe when Jasik is near.

I poke my head up, peering into my dark bedroom. I do not know the hour, but I know it is daytime. Thick burgundy curtains block out the sunlight except for one solid line at the corner of the window. The sun splashes into the room, illuminating what should be a pitch-black space.

Cursing inwardly, I gnaw on my lower lip. Soon, the sun will make way for the moon, and the chance it will harm Jasik is unlikely. Still, I feel compelled to draw the curtains even tighter.

An invisible force pulls me to the window, summoning me to its side, and all I