Book 1, Chapter 48

My head was reeling.  This couldn’t be happening.  What was happening?  How?!

My back was seared with pain – pain and sunlight.  I was dimly aware that while I’d been next to the front door, I’d been in the shade.  I hadn’t started to hurt until I’d gone to check on Megan.

Mr. Salvatore kept laughing.  Had he… had he killed me?  And then brought me back?  Why would he – when could he have done that?  He’d been fighting Mr. Tophat!  I’d healed from the stab wound because Mr. Salvatore had bitten me and our life-forces had mingled, and I’d gained some of his supernatural powers when he’d gained my life.  I hadn’t died!  I wasn’t undead!  I was alive!

I was frantic.  I should have been having a panic attack, but I wasn’t hyperventilating.

In fact, I wasn’t even breathing.

My heart stopped.  No, my heart hadn’t been beating to begin with, and I hadn’t noticed.  “Oh no,” I moaned.  “God no.”  No no no no no no!  But it was true, and Mr. Salvatore wouldn’t stop laughing.

Yes, he’d bitten me.

But then I’d bitten him back.  I’d tasted blood when he’d torn his hand away.  It had been disgusting – cold, thick; congealing.


Hans had told me that a vampire turned people by sharing blood.  First drinking it to join their life forces; then giving it back with the curse infusing it.  I had a nightmarish flashback to middle school health class.  When it came to diseases that were spread by blood, a drop was all it took.  I’d been cursed.

But Hans had also said that for the curse to take root, the infected victim had to die.  So, Mr. Salvatore had killed me.

I was dead.

No wonder Mr. Tophat had been so surprised to see me.  No wonder I’d woken up and still been able to see in the dark; no wonder the sun felt so fucking hot on my back – hotter than the most scalding shower I’d ever taken.

But I had taken them.  Mr. Salvatore wasn’t the only one who could cope with pain.  If he thought I was going to keel over and die again so he could take Megan just because of a little fifth degree sunburn, he had another thing fucking coming.

Especially since I was the one with the ‘get to live, free’ card.

I glanced at Megan.  That feeling I’d shied away from before?  I knew what it was now.  Hunger.  Thirst.  Need.

I licked my lips and bared my fangs at Mr. Salvatore.  Older vampires were more vulnerable to the sun.  I was a very young vampire.  How much would I need to take in order to withstand the light of day?

Honestly: I didn’t really care.  I was dimly aware that I should be horrified with myself, but I couldn’t begin to fathom why.  I wasn’t horrified or ashamed or anything stupid like that – I was just hungry.

And I had Megan.

“You know what?  I’ll pass,” I told Mr. Salvatore.  “Enjoy hell without me.”

Then I leaned down over Megan and licked the blood from her cheek.  It tasted… incredible.  Like love and excitement and joy and laughter and bliss and all the things that make life worth living.  I moaned.  I couldn’t say if it was better than sex, but it was better than erotica and silicone wrapped around a motor with double A batteries.

I wanted to slit Megan’s throat right there and drink it all.  If I’d had a knife I would have.  I licked the scratches on her cheek again.  I could probably just tear her throat out.  That would work.

Mr. Salvatore went ape-shit.

“No!” He shrieked as he launched himself toward us.

My breath caught as I looked up.  My heart thundered once and I was seized with shame – I’d just licked my best friend’s face!  What the – but shame was torn aside by terror.

Mr. Salvatore staggered like the sun’s rays had physically struck him.  Smoke billowed off of him and his hair ignited as he lurched forward.  He was a monster of flames and fangs and hate.

I screamed and threw myself down over Megan.  To protect her; to gather her up.  Mr. Salvatore screamed as well, venting primal pain and rage.  He surged forward.

Then thunder boomed and glass shattered behind me.  Mr. Salvatore flipped over in midstride and blood sprayed out a ruined hole in his shoulder.  Something punched across the kitchen and through my refrigerator door behind him.

I twisted around.

Hans stood outside my glass patio doors.  He was hunched with pain and his shirt was soaked in blood – and he was aiming a sleek, vicious shotgun that practically screamed ‘military issue’ through the shattered glass door.   When Mr. Salvatore didn’t get back up Hans reversed the gun and used its butt to smash out enough of the broken glass for him to step through.  He stumbled into my burning apartment, gun again at the ready.

I gaped at him, but Hans didn’t even look at me until he’d staggered past my bed and put two more slugs into Mr. Salvatore’s immobile, burning corpse.  Then Hans turned to me.

I stared at him in horrified awe.  Horror, because Hans was obviously seriously hurt.  Awe, because my boyfriend was a fucking badass.  Maybe it was just the heat of the moment and the suddenness of his appearance, but I decided then and there that if I ever got over my irrational fear of sex then the first thing I was going to do was screw his brains out.

“Come on!” Hans shouted over the growing roar of the fire.  Those shotgun blasts had reduced Mr. Salvatore to a bloody mess, and everywhere that blood had splattered it was acting like self-combusting gasoline.

I pulled myself together and scrambled off of Megan.  Hans shouldered the shotgun and together we hauled Megan out through the destroyed patio door.  Hans dropped her in the flower bed.  I shouldered Megan’s weight and crouched down, lowering her gently while Hans turned and staggered back into the smoking conflagration that had replaced my home.

I let him go.  The sun beat down on me viciously – it felt hotter than the flames consuming my apartment.  I didn’t care.

I cradled Megan.  Her chest moved slowly – she was still alive.  I sat in the flowerbox and clutched her to myself.  I wanted to cry, but I couldn’t.

I was dead.

But Megan was alive.

I buried my face against her.  I kissed her cheek.  I… I licked it again.  I didn’t mean to!  I couldn’t help it.

The taste was…

The sun’s malice receded.  The cuts on Megan’s cheek closed.  She coughed.  I started to cry.

Megan’s eyes fluttered open.  “Abby?” she whispered.

“I’m here,” I said.  “I’m here.”

Megan smiled at me.  I could feel her love.  Pure.  Unreserved.  She breathed out and her eyes fluttered shut again.  Sleeping.  Or unconscious.  Or some jumble of the two.  I choked back a laugh.  Sleep seemed like a wonderful idea.

I laid Megan down gently, letting her get what rest she could.  I stood as Hans came staggering out of my apartment again.  This time he was burdened by a large bundle – something wrapped up in the charred, smoking ruin of my mom’s quilt.  Mr. Salvatore’s remains?  I swallowed.

“Do you need help?” I asked.

Hans shook his head.  He hauled the quilt-shrouded corpse to his car, then dropped it unceremoniously on the ground.  He popped open the back and chucked in his shotgun.  Then, cursing under his breath in that language I still didn’t know, he started wrestling Mr. Salvatore’s corpse in on top.

I swallowed again.  Then I stooped down, lifted Megan by her underarms, and dragged her out into the parking lot, further away from the bonfire.  Smoke was billowing out of my apartment and in the distance I could hear approaching sirens – but it didn’t matter how quickly the fire trucks arrived.  I knew my apartment was a lost cause already.

Megan frowned and groaned, but didn’t wake up.  She was surprisingly light – or maybe I was surprisingly strong.

I didn’t want to think about that.

Once we were a safe distance – beside Hans’ Hummer – I put Megan down again.  I turned toward Hans.  He was sitting on the ground with his eyes closed, leaning back against his car and breathing heavily.

I knelt in front of him.  “Are you okay?” I asked quietly.

Hans popped an eye open to look at me.  He forced himself to smile.  It looked genuine despite the effort it required.  “It was a silver knife,” he said, “but I’ll survive.  I’m just grateful you’re safe.  And Megan?”

I nodded.  Megan would be fine.  Symbiotic vampire healing for the win.

“Good,” Hans said.  He leaned back against his car.  “I’m glad.  After I got away from the goblins I called the insurance company and told them my nephew had gone joyriding; got them to turn on the GPS and tell me where Salvatore had taken you.  But I couldn’t get a cab while looking like this.”  He chuckled weakly.  “Not one that wouldn’t go straight to the hospital or the cops, anyway.  I had to leg it.”

Hans looked at me, and his normally cheerful eyes were darkly serious.  “I was afraid I wouldn’t make it in time,” he said.

I swallowed.  Again.  Hans was alive.  Megan was alive.  Mr. Salvatore was a charcoal briquette.  Why was I acting so damn nervous?  And why was the sun so….

Oh.  I wasn’t nervous.  I was parched.

I licked my lips unconsciously, and inadvertently nicked my tongue on my fangs.  I barely felt it, though.

“You didn’t,” I said.

Hans looked at me in confusion and I sighed.  He smelled so damn good.

“Make it,” I clarified.  “You didn’t.  And neither did I.”

Hans’ eyes widened in surprise – or maybe horror.  Had he seen my fangs?  I didn’t really care.  I’d held myself back for as long as I could.

I lunged.  My fangs sank into Hans’ shoulder, effortlessly piercing his shirt and skin and flesh.

I whimpered in delight.  Hans tasted as good as he smelled.  His arms wrapped around me, but he didn’t try to pry me off of himself.  I closed my eyes and blissfully drank.  Maybe this would mend those silver knife wounds, like it had Megan’s scratches and possible concussion.  Wouldn’t that be nice?  I smiled to myself and sucked harder at Hans’ shoulder.

Hans was alive.  Megan was alive.  Mr. Salvatore was a charcoal briquette, and I was undead.

On the balance, I decided while Hans held me close and his life filled my veins, this was shaping up to be a good year.

End of Book 1

Midnight Moonlight, Book 1

11 responses to Book 1, Chapter 48

  1. Um the Muse

    Ooh, such a creepy ending to a creepy story. I hope I don’t absorb some of Abby’s paranoia as I head off to bed. It’s just a story–right?

    Joking. But I did really like Mr. Salvatore’s reaction to Abby’s blood. It just goes to show just how strong Abby has been forced to become.

  2. Majeflyer

    Good freaking job.

    Seriously, I haven’t had a author have me this excited for the character for so damn long…

    • Eren Reverie

      Thank you! I will do my utmost to insure the ongoing story doesn’t let that excitement down, and I hope you enjoy the next books — and watching Abby develop — just as much as you did for this one.

  3. SpongeeJumper

    Man, I clicked your ad on Tales of MU on a whim and just powered through Book 1. So glad I did.

    • Eren Reverie

      That’s awesome! I’m glad it’s generating traffic, and even more glad you’re enjoying the story. You’ve got about a book and a half in the archives before you’re caught up, and I hope you like them just as much. 😉 Thanks for the comment: hearing from readers is one of the highlights of any day I get one.

  4. Ben

    I discovered Midnight moonlight from Tales of MU as well (Which reminds me to check to see of ch 305 is out yet) :D.

    I just wanted to say I purchased Book 1 Smashwords, I really appreciate the pricing set-up you used – it helped me get over my buying things online from “new sites” phobia.

    • Eren Reverie

      Oh? I tried to set it up so that it would be identical on Amazon and Smashwords, but I don’t mind admitting that I agonized over what to charge. I mean, how do you put a price on something you invest so much time in?

      Anyway, thank you for the purchase. I really apreciate the show of support. 🙂 It’s something of a pipe dream right now, but I would love to be able to write full time some day. (Right now I have a 40-50 hour a week day job that I have to write around, or there’d be a lot more chapters in the buffer!)

      I’ve been debating setting up a Patreon account, too, and then making all the ebooks free to donors, or have all donations/book purchases also go toward a tracker for more bonus chapters or extra regular chapters, or something.

      What I don’t want to do is make any kind of pay wall for exclusive content, though. At least not for Midnight Moonlight. I’ve kicked around the idea of publishing some of my other stuff as eBook-only, instead of as serials… but I doubt I’ll end up doing that. I was only able to put a price tag on the Midnight Moonlight books, in the end, because they were free on the site and I knew that if I was charging too much for the eBook versions it wouldn’t stop anyone from enjoying the stories. (Having lived paycheck to paycheck before, I know how big a deal justifying a few dollars for books can be. Especially as a series grows and you’re no longer looking at just a few dollars for one book.)

      Hrm. I think I may have gotten a little off track. Anyway: Thank you again for your support. If you have (or anyone else has) any ideas about possibilities for bonus content or how I’m managing the eBook prices or whatever, feel free to let me know.

  5. Ben

    Do you read translated novels?

    Ren aka RWX created a (horrible) website called Wuxiaworld which focuses on translating Chinese’s novels.

    His system works like this: He’ll translate One Chapter per day (everyday, 7 days a week) for free, he’ll however translate an extra chapter if he hits a quota of 80$ donation with a maximin of three chapters translated per day.

    He added that 3 chapter per day clause after he started making 200$+ per day…

    Anyhow I know that translating something and creating something is completely different, but that might be a nice route to take things – like for example you could set-up a paypal donation system while maintaining your 3 chapter per week, +Bonus Chapters for votes but write extra bonus main story chapter whenever the paypal donations hit a certain mark.

    • Eren Reverie

      I’ve read some translated Japanese and Korean light novels.

      That’s actually pretty close to what I was thinking, only I was also planning on offering a Patreon option for recurring donations, if anyone felt it was worth contributing more frequently. All donations/book purchases would go toward a common pool, and for every X amount I’d write an additional story chapter, up to 5 per week (There’s simply no way I can manage more than that while working my day job. Even that would risk pushing it) with any excess going toward extra weekend bonus chapters, up to 3 per week (including the vote incentive ones) and anything after that rolling over for the next week’s extra chapters.

      I’m a little afraid of setting myself that kind of a system though, for two reasons: Firstly, I’m concerned that it will turn out that I don’t have the time to put out that much content (if nothing else, I’d likely have to finish some regular chapters on the weekend and then ‘back fill’ the updates) and I have no idea what would constitute a fair goal for my readers to contribute toward.

  6. RL

    Hoooly, what a good ending. It’s 4am and I have so much work to do, yet I’ve stayed up binging this. This is so good.

  7. Astrumvicis

    Back again for the nth read through. The last couple of chapters are still some of my favorites. 🙂

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