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The Vampires of Shadow Hills Series: Book 4-6

Willow Rose



  Beauty and Beasts

  Beasts and magic

  Magic and Witchcraft


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  Copyright Willow Rose 2018

  Published by BUOY MEDIA LLC

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  No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission from the author.

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  This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of characters to actual persons, living or dead is purely coincidental. The Author holds exclusive rights to this work. Unauthorized duplication is prohibited.

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  Cover design by Juan Villar Padron,

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  Special thanks to my editor Janell Parque

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  Beauty and Beasts

  The Vampires of Shadow Hills - Book 4

  Seven Months Before the Halloween Block-Party

  Saturday Night

  Chapter One

  The first thing she noticed was the quietness. The eerie silence surrounding her as if she was floating in vast space.

  Where am I?

  The last thing Stacy Morgan remembered was fighting with her mom. Yes, that was it, she now recalled. She had been in a terrible fight with her over that party, the one Melissa was hosting, where she was planning on making out with David. He had asked her if she was going to come and this was her one chance to be with him, finally. The boy she had wanted to kiss for so long it was almost painful to think about.

  But her mom had said no.

  "Your cousin is coming," she had told her like it was no big deal, like, of course, Stacy could just skip this one party. But she didn't understand anything, did she? The fact was that Olivia was into David too. So, if Stacy didn't show up, Olivia would end up being the one to kiss David, and she couldn't let that happen. That was why she had to go, but she could hardly explain that to her mother.

  So, she had run away.

  After arguing over and over with her mother for days, Stacy had decided to pack a bag and leave. She was so angry with her mom for not listening, for never listening to anything she told her or understanding how important it was for her to be at this particular party. How could she not understand that this was a matter of life and death for her? That when Stacy told her it was important, it was very important indeed. It was more important than anything else.

  Stacy had stayed the night at Melissa's house, but Melissa's parents had then told her it was time for Stacy to go home and talk to her parents, that they had been calling and asking about her and they didn't want to come between her and her parents. It was time for her to go home.

  But Stacy was still angry and didn't want to go home. She wanted her mother to suffer for a few days more and, furthermore, she wanted to go to the party before she returned home. She might as well since she had gone this far. If she went home before the party, they would only ground her, and then she would have gained nothing.

  But none of her friends could take her in, they said. That was why she had ended up sleeping in the park on a bench for two nights in a row. It was freezing cold and she was very hungry. She had taken twenty dollars from her mother's purse before leaving, but it was quickly spent on food, and soon she had nothing, and she was cold and hungry. Finally, she had decided to give up. On the night before the party, she had woken up on the bench, a cut up cardboard box barely covering her body, feeling miserable. She had grabbed her backpack and decided to go home, even if it meant not being able to go to the party.

  And then what had happened? That was when things got blurry. She remembered walking through the park toward her neighborhood, thinking about what to say to her mother, how to beg her for forgiveness when she had heard a sound behind her and turned to look.

  A guy had been standing behind her. He looked strange. Handsome but very strange.

  "Who are you?" she remembered asking.

  Then he had laughed and, as he did, he showed off the most ghastly teeth Stacy had ever seen.

  "I…my dear…am your worst nightmare."

  Chapter Two

  Stacy tried to move and felt soreness in her throat. She lifted a hand to the area and suddenly remembered the syringe. The strange young boy had injected something into her, hadn't he? Was it a tranquilizer of some sort? All she knew was that it had knocked her out and she remembered nothing after that.

  "Where am I?" she asked herself once again, even though she knew she wouldn't receive an answer.

  Fear was starting to grow as she felt underneath herself in the darkness and touched the ground she was on, then continued out to the sides, where her hands hit something. She patted it and felt the bars, let her fingers run up and down, then sideways across them to see if she could reach the end. She did. It was no longer than an arm’s length. She tried to stretch out her legs, but she couldn't. The cage was too small.

  That was when panic erupted.

  I’m trapped. Oh, dear God, I’m trapped!


  The sound of her own voice came back as an echo. But the place remained quiet. It was only when she touched the bars—and especially when she kicked them—that she broke the eerie quietness. And, of course, when she screamed for help.

  Stacy cried and yelled. She kicked the cage till she had no more energy left.

  "Someone, please? Help?"

  But there was nothing but that constant terrifying silence. It was soon broken once again by the sound of Stacy sobbing.

  "I’m sorry, Mom. I am so sorry. I should never have run away. I should never have left."

  Many times while growing up, Stacy remembered telling her mother she was sorry and receiving her forgiveness, but she knew in her heart that this time it wasn't going to do her any good. She had messed up, and now she was paying the terrible price.

  She must be devastated, Stacy thought. Her mother had to be completely broken over losing her daughter like this. Maybe she was even still hoping that she would come home. Maybe she's sitting by the window, tears in her eyes, looking out at the road, jumping every time someone passes by, thinking, hoping, and praying it’s you.

  "What have I done?" Stacy mumbled, crying. She covered her face. "What on Earth have I done?"

  "Everything you do has consequences," her mother used to tell her over and over again.

  Stacy knew she was right and, still, she hadn't listened. She had never listened when her mother had spoken, never thought it would be important to her, never believed it was relevant to her life. But now, she would give anything to be able to hear her mother's voice again, even to be scolded by her, to be yelled at and told how irresponsible she had been.

nbsp; "I will always listen from now on, God. I will listen to every word she ever tells me and never mess up again. If only you'll help me get out of here. I promise I will. I promise, God, ple-e-e-e-a-a-ase. Just help me get home."

  Chapter Three

  At first, she was certain God had heard her prayer. Just as she had given up all hope, she saw the light. It was bright and hurt her eyes after many hours spent in the darkness. As her eyes slowly got used to it, she realized it was coming from a door, a big door that was being opened in front of her, letting all of that wonderful light inside.

  "God?" she asked as she saw a figure in the light moving towards her. She blinked her eyes to be better able to see as it approached her, moving like it had all the time in the world. Stacy grabbed the bars and shook them.

  "Help. Please, help me."

  As the figure approached and Stacy felt that treacherous sensation of hope rise inside of her, she could see more and more of the face of the person walking toward her.

  Her heart was pounding in her chest as she thought about going home to her mother and how she was going to hug her and kiss her and tell her she loved her and that she would always—always—listen to what she said and never disobey her again.

  Stacy chuckled in excitement and held the bars as the figure approached her, holding a set of keys she could only assume had to be for her cage.

  "Please, help me," she said, but the words got stuck in her throat when she realized she knew the face that was coming closer. She knew those eyes and that grinning mouth. And most of all, she knew those…awful teeth.

  "Y-y-ou?" she asked, hope draining quickly from her heart.

  The strange boy smirked. "Yes, me. Missed me?"

  "W-what do you want from me? Why are you keeping me in here?" she asked.

  He didn't answer. He stared at her, observing her like she was an animal at the zoo.

  "Let me out," she said and hit the bars. "I want to go home."

  The young boy fiddled with the lock and put the key inside it. Stacy watched him while holding her breath.

  Was he really going to let her out? Had he changed his mind? Was he going to let her go?

  Don't be an idiot. Of course, he's not letting you go. You’ve seen his face. You could go to the police and he would be arrested. There is no way he will ever let you go. Don't be a fool.

  Stacy whimpered as the lock was taken off and the door opened. She pulled back, not understanding what he wanted from her. The young boy was holding the door open like they were on a date and he was being a gentleman.

  "Come," he said. "Come on out."

  She stared at the open door and the opening leading to the outside. Why was he doing this? Once she was out of the cage, she would just run for the door. He had no gun in his hand. He had no knife or any other weapon for that matter. He was holding the door like he wanted her to run away. Like he was letting her go.

  But she wasn't falling for it. There had to be a trick to it.

  "Come on," he said again. "I’m letting you out."

  She stared at him, scrutinizing him. He didn't seem threatening at all. What was this about?

  Screw this. I’m getting out.

  Stacy crawled to the opening and jumped out. She stood in front of him, staring at him, remembering standing like this in front of him when he had approached her in the park. She then glanced at the open door leading outside, wondering if she would be able to make it if she made a run for it. Would he grab her and pull her back into the cage?

  Her legs were hurting from behind kept in a bent position for many hours, and she probably couldn't run very fast. Outside, there was light. It was almost calling for her, luring her toward it, toward freedom.

  "S-so, what now?" she asked, terrified of the answer.

  He chuckled, then leaned over her, showing off his fangs as he spoke. "Now…my dear…you run. You run as fast as you can."

  Chapter Four

  Stacy sprang for the door. She ran as fast as she could toward the light, toward the open door and the outside where the cold fresh air hit her like a wall. It was night outside and she realized the bright light came from the full moon that suddenly seemed much bigger than usual and much brighter, almost scarily bright.

  She stormed across some big lawn that almost looked like a park, toward the tall trees behind it, toward what looked like a forest.

  Did this really happen? Did he just let me go?

  Stacy couldn't believe her own luck. She looked back once to see if he was following her, but he was nowhere to be seen by the big wooden door to what looked like stables where she guessed he had kept her.

  If he's not going to follow you, then what was the point of it all? Why kidnap you in the first place?

  Stacey wondered for a few seconds but decided it didn't matter. This was her chance to get away, maybe even her last chance, and she wasn't going to ruin it. She was determined to make it, no matter what.

  She had no idea where she was going or what direction to run in, but she did as he had told her to. She ran as fast as she possibly could and, the more she did, the more she realized she had regained a lot of strength. It might have been the fear that fueled her, it didn't matter, not as long as she could run for her life, not as long as she saw the forest come closer and closer in the distance. Not as long as she could smell the freedom.

  If only I can make it in between those trees, then my chances are better for getting away. In there, I can hide. In there, it'll be harder to find me. In there, my chances are better.

  Stacy didn't really know where all this strength came from, but somehow, it emerged inside of her and made her endure more than she ever had. Stacy had never been much of a runner and would always finish last when they ran track in PE. It simply wasn't one of her strengths. But as the adrenaline kicked in, she realized she could actually run. She could be fast, apparently, when her life depended on it, even though her legs were hurting from running so fast and her knees were trembling in fear, constantly threatening to give in under the weight of her body.

  Just a few more yards. Just a few more.

  Stacy felt a rush of fear rise in her again as she wondered about the guy and whether he had started to follow her. She turned her head to take another look, but still, no one was after her. The ray of hope made her speed up further, and soon the trees covered her.

  I made it. I made it into the forest!

  But Stacy didn't rest. She was smarter than that. She knew she wasn't safe yet, so even though she did slow down a little to catch her breath, she continued to run, zigzagging between the trees, panting heavily from the effort.

  It wasn't until she heard the sound of footsteps very close to her that she finally stopped. Seconds later, she spotted a girl, a few years younger than her; she was running straight toward her and bumped into her, causing both of them to tumble onto the leaf-covered soil.

  Chapter Five

  "Ah, there is nothing like a good hunt. The weather is perfect."

  Duncan's dad, Kieran, sipped his brandy. Next to him stood my parents and my brother, whereas Duncan had left to get me something to drink. The hall at their estate was packed with party-dressed people, chatting and sipping drinks. It was the night of the big game-hunt that the Pritchards had invited us to attend. I felt highly uncomfortable among all these fancy and extremely wealthy people. Luckily, Duncan was very good at attending to my every need and taking care of me so that I wouldn't be bored—at least not too much.

  We had finished an awful—but according to my mother, very healthy—dinner and now we were standing in a big hall—one of many in this place where I feared getting lost if I tried to look for a restroom, so I stayed close to Duncan. The place was like a castle, and it wasn't even where they lived. This was just one of their many residences, Duncan had told me. They owned numerous places like this all over the world. This was one they used mostly for having hunting parties since it came with a lot of land.

  "So, what are you hunting for out here?" I asked
. "Foxes? Deer?"

  Duncan's dad sent me a smile that I found a tad condescending. It was one of those you're cute but very young smiles.

  "Whatever comes our way," he said.

  His answer made my mother laugh. I gave her a look, not understanding the fun in it. I knew she was just sucking up to the Pritchards, and nothing embarrassed me more.

  Duncan returned with a soda for me and I smiled. My mother never let me drink soda, but when Duncan served it to me, she wouldn't say anything. I sipped the sweet sugary drink and enjoyed the taste immensely.

  "Thanks," I said.

  Duncan winked. "My pleasure."

  "Will you be hunting too?" I asked him.

  He nodded. "Sure. It's a lot of fun."

  I bit my lip. I didn't like it. The thought of them going out there, killing animals, made me uncomfortable. I loved animals and hated the thought of my family and all the others chasing them down and killing them in the darkness. The poor creatures.

  "You can really do that?" I asked and sipped my Coke. "You could kill a big deer with its big brown eyes staring at you?"

  He shrugged. "I guess."

  I looked out the big windows toward the forest. "Why nighttime?"

  "What do you mean?"

  "Why are you hunting at nighttime? I thought hunting was something you did at the crack of dawn."