Stephan's Monster 

Vampires of Vadin book 2

      Jayden knows he’s a monster. The people he killed were horrible, but it didn’t change what he was. And being taken in by Stephan Everwood at fifteen hadn’t changed his homicidal tendencies. Yet ten years later he finds himself struggling to be someone he's not. Then, despite thinking he lost most of his emotions years ago, Jayden discovers that not only is he not as empty inside as he thought, but that his monster is more present than ever before.

 

      Stephan freely admits he has some issues. His self-doubts could be unrelenting and Stephan’s need to fix things tended to go too far. It blinded him to Jayden’s struggles. In the end his refusal to listen to what Jayden was trying to tell him has unfortunate results. When Stephan finally accepts who Jayden is, he must also face all that he had locked away inside.

 

      Their difficulties brought them together. Their love healed them. And when the past tries to tear them apart, their darkness saved them.

Excerpt

      Clutching tightly, the man pulled him back around. “Let me help!” His voice was rushed, higher than before, and slightly panicked. “We can turn him over to the authorities, the Zaytari. Evidence! We can find evidence and turn it in. You’ve been in his head, haven’t you?”
      Jayden scowled at the hand on his arm—he wasn’t a fan of being grabbed, and Stephan seemed to be doing it a lot. “I have.”
      “Then we’ll know where to find proof,” he insisted, completely ignoring Jayden’s irritation.
      “Stephan, if you haven’t noticed, poor Richard here is a little banged up. A bit hard to play it off as nothing, don’t you think?” Jayden nodded toward the bloody man.
      Nose wrinkling, Stephan hesitantly said, “I can fix that…the only issue would be his memories. We would need someone to get rid of them.” He nibbled on his bottom lip. “I may be able to hire someone. I just need time.”
      “I can do it.”
      “You can?” Stephan sounded surprised.
      Running his fingers through his hair, Jayden grimaced. Apparently, he couldn’t keep his mouth shut tonight.
What was wrong with him? Jayden had no intention of letting Richard leave here alive. Ugh, his whole night of murderous fun had been shot to hell.
      Who was Stephan anyway? Not to mention, why the hell was he believing everything Jayden said? Was the man really that naïve? It didn’t make sense. He shouldn’t be, not with what he had experienced. Was this a trap?
It would have been nice if Jayden had a way to find out. Unfortunately, the man’s mental walls were solidly back in place.
      Eyeing him suspiciously, he asked, “Who are you?”
      “What?”
      Jayden stalked closer and invaded the man’s personal space, brushing up against him. “Who are you, Stephan? What are you doing here?”
      Stephan released his arm and staggered a few steps back. “I own this building. A construction crew is coming to tear it down in a few days. I wanted to make sure no one was living here. As for who I am? I’m not sure how to answer that.”
      Stephan’s words were a mixture of truths and deceptions. “I don’t like being lied to, Stephan. I would suggest…” Jayden trailed off when something clicked into place.
      He hissed, jerking as the walls and floors of the warehouse were suddenly drenched in blood with bodies scattered on the floor all around him.
      It wasn’t real, just a phantom hiding what was actually there. A vision brought on by a memory—one that faded away moments later.
      Jayden hated having these visions. They left him defenseless and unaware of his surroundings. While this one had been short, others had lasted hours. When he was locked into a memory, someone could stab him, and he wouldn’t even notice—until he pulled free, that is. And he knew that for a fact, as it had happened.
      God, why couldn’t Jayden have been born just a little bit more normal? He was almost positive that the average vampire didn’t have to deal with shit like that. At least he didn’t think they did—Jayden didn’t really have any friends.
      “This is where it happened, where they hurt you, where you killed them…”
      “Yes…”
      “How could you afford to buy it?”
      The man laughed bitterly. “My parents were rich.”
      “I see.” He struggled to find something else to say.
      Stephan’s shoulders slumped and his bottom lip began to tremble. The man seemed so sad, and for some reason that angered him.
      Jayden glared down at the ground. Why was he angry? He shouldn’t be feeling anything. Was it the man’s past? Jayden rubbed his chest at the uncomfortable feelings running through him. He had the strongest urge to run away.
      Maybe if he humored the man, he would leave—no harm in that, right?
      Jayden gave Stephan a tight smile. “Let’s try it your way…however, if it doesn’t work, I will kill him. Though with how much blood Richard has lost, it’s probably too late anyway.”
      “I can do it.”
      Jayden stepped back and gave a mocking bow. “If you say so.”
      Arms hanging loose, Stephan closed his eyes. He tilted his head back and took a deep breath. When he opened his eyes again, his pupils had been replaced by solid pools of lilac.
      Jayden gasped, a cold shiver running through him as power swirled around the room. There was so much of it, and all of it was coming from Stephan. The very air was shifting—he had never felt anything like it. Hair standing on end, Jayden felt he should run away—to not trust the force around him.
      Suddenly the air settled. The power hadn’t vanished, though. It was still thickening the air. His lungs stuttered as he struggled to draw in a full breath under its weight. Whoever Stephan was, he was dangerous.

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