Home > Loved (The Vampire Journals #2)(11)

Loved (The Vampire Journals #2)(11)
Author: Morgan Rice

“Long story,” she said mysteriously.

Something struck him.

“So, like, wait a minute, did you, like, say that you bought the house? As in you? Don’t you mean your parents?”

“No, I mean me. As in me,” she answered. “I bought it myself.”

He still couldn’t understand. He didn’t want to sound like an idiot, but he had to figure this out.

“So, like, the house is just for you? Like, your parents—”

“My parents are dead,” she said. “I bought it myself. For me. I’m 18 now. I’m an adult. I can do whatever I want.”

“Wow,” Sam said, genuinely impressed. “That’s so cool. A whole house to yourself. Wow. I mean, I’m sorry about your parents, but I…I just don’t know anyone like that, like, who owns a house at our age.”

She faced him and smiled. “There a lot of surprises you’re going to find out about me.”

She opened the door and watched as he walked right in, entering the house enthusiastically.

He was so easily led.

She licked her lips, feeling the dull hunger arising in her front teeth.

This was going to be much easier than she’d thought.


Caleb and Caitlin stood beside the river, staring into each other’s eyes. She trembled as she worried if he were about to say goodbye.

But then something caught his eye, and his line of vision suddenly shifted. He looked at her neckline, and seemed transfixed.

He reached out, and she felt his fingers brush her throat. She felt metal. Her necklace. She had forgotten she was wearing it.

He lifted it and stared.

“What is this?” he asked softly.

She reached up and put her hand over his. It was her cross, her small, silver cross.

“Just an old cross,” she answered.

But before she’d finished saying the words, she realized: it was old. It had been in her family for generations. She hadn’t remembered who gave it to her, or when, but she knew it was ancient. And that it had belonged to her father’s side. Yes. It was something. Maybe even a clue.

He stared intently, examining it.

“This is no normal cross,” he said. “Its edges are curved. I haven’t seen one like this for a thousand years. It is the cross of Saint Peter,” he stared, mesmerized. “How did you get this?”

“I’ve…always had it,” she said breathlessly, her excitement growing.

“This is the mark of an ancient coven. Of Jerusalem. A secret coven, one of extreme power. It was rumored to not even exist. How do you own this?”

She felt her heart pounding. “I….don’t know. I was told it was my father’s. I…hadn’t even thought of it.”

He turned it over gently, looking at the back. His eyes opened wide.

“There is an inscription.”

She nodded, suddenly remembering. Yes. There was an inscription. What?

“Something in Greek, I think,” she said.

“Latin,” he corrected. “Spina rosam et congregari Salem,” he said, and then looked at her, as if expecting her to understand.

She had no idea. She never had.

“It says: The rose and the thorn meet in Salem.”

He stared at her, and she stared back.

Her mind raced, wondering what that could mean. His eyes had shone with a newfound purpose.

“This was your father’s. It must have been. That inscription is an ancient vampire riddle. He is telling you how to find him. He is telling us where to go next.”

She stared back. “Salem?”

He nodded gravely.

He placed a hand on her shoulder. “I care for you greatly. I don’t want to see you get hurt. This is my war. I don’t want you dragged into it. This will get very dangerous, and you are not a full vampire. You can get hurt. You don’t need to come along, especially now that I know where to go next. You have already helped me more than I can thank you for.”

Caitlin felt her heart sink. Did he not want her around? Or was he trying to protect her? She felt like it was the latter.

“I know I have a choice,” she said. “I choose to be with you.”

He stared at her for a long time, then finally nodded. “OK,” he said.

“Besides,” she added, smiling, “I can hardly let you meet my family alone.”


Kyle walked excitedly down the cobblestone streets of the South Street Seaport, doubling his pace. He had pictured this moment for years.

He turned the corner, and he could already begin to see it. The ship. His ship.

Disguised as a historic sailing ship on display from a European country, it would be docked at the Seaport for a week. How stupid these humans were. They could believe almost anything. Too trusting to think to check the hull of a piece of history. To realize that it could be the means of their death. Their Trojan horse.

Adding stupidity to stupidity, inane tourists flocked around the ship, delighted to see this piece of history under their noses. If only they knew.

Kyle elbowed his way past the crowds, and headed down an alleyway. Four hulking men stood guard, but when they looked up and saw him coming, they all nodded in recognition and quickly stepped aside. All members of his race. All dressed in black, and as tall as he. Kyle could feel the rage coming off of them to, and it relaxed him. It always felt better to be around his kind.

They parted ways respectfully, and as Kyle walked down the middle, they closed up the alley way again.

Kyle approached the rear of the ship, hidden from the public. Several more of his kind stood by it, and when they saw him approaching, they immediately got to work. They lowered a huge ramp in the side of the hull, and began to wheel down an immense carton, boxed up in plywood. Ten men rolled the massive carton slowly down the ramp, down to the cobblestone sidewalk. Kyle came up to it.

“My master,” a short, balding vampire said to Kyle, running up to him and bowing.

This man was sweating profusely, and seemed very nervous. His eyes darted all over the place. He must have been looking out for the police. And it looked as if he had been waiting a long time. Good. Kyle liked to make people wait.

“It is all here,” the man continued, in a rush. “We’ve checked it several times. It’s all safe and sound, my master.”

“I want to see it,” Kyle said.

The man snapped his fingers and four men ran over. They raised crowbars to the carton, and removed one of the wooden planks. They tore away at layer and layers of heavy duty plastic.

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