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Within - Part One - Becoming

Terror grips Damian and his instinct to fight takes over. Heart racing, he pushes at her wildly, but her hands are like iron shackles that cannot be broken.

Never before has he felt such strength in a woman.

Dinah, the beautiful aristocrat with black hair and sparkling blue eyes, has turned into a monster. No amount of silk and brocade can hide that fact now when her teeth rip away the flesh of his throat.

 

“Shhh.” Her whisper carries on the wind like a siren’s but he doesn’t desire her, he never did. He agreed to this only to rid himself of humanity, of the nightmares. “Try to be calm, Damian. Fighting will only make this more difficult.”

 

Calm. The sound of her voice brings him back to the reality of where he is.

 

Italy.

 

The sound of the ocean crashing into the shore drifts through the open window.

 

Damian is at Dinah’s estate, high on a cliff overlooking the sea.

 

In an instant fight bleeds out of him. The sound of the water pulls at his conscious, sea air drifting around him, tasting like salt. The bed under him beckons him to sleep. Rest. Accept the future he has chosen. This new life is his for the claiming.

 

His eyes slide closed and he finds himself standing in the sand.

 

“Damian.”

 

He hears her voice before he sees her. She’s walking toward him through the surf, her white dress swirling around her, dragged by the waves. He remembers the dress well, it is the one she wore on their wedding day.

 

Violetta.

 

His wife, his lover, his life. She had been his world until a hard childbirth took her away. Taken both her and their unborn son. He’d never see her again. Not now.

 

Any hope for salvation disappears. Damian has damned himself.

 

He starts to reach for her, but a jolt of pain brings darkness back over his eyes. The pieces that make Damian whole split apart, wrenching him in two. Fire burns in his veins.

 

His hearing heightens. The waves break into a hundred different sounds – each and every pieces of sand that drags across the bottom of the watery current sings a different pitch. Crickets chirp in the darkness, their harmonies layering sound upon sound. A breeze rushes through the trees, dancing with the leaves, each one separate and individual.

 

Warm liquid runs down the back of his throat. Damian tastes iron, metal, and salt. As soon as he swallows, searing heat burns through him and he cries out.

 

A cool hand presses against his forehead. Light replaces darkness, and with the light comes pain, ripping through him faster than before. His body, torn apart, is now fused back together with the heat of a thousand fires.

 

Vision returns.

 

Candlelight gimmers on a broken mirror, sparkling in a thousand separate reflections around the room. The curtains dance near the window, white silk, the image of sails on a galleon on the Mediterranean Sea destine for some far away port.

 

“The pain will subside with time.” Dinah is holding him and he can’t remember how he ended up in her arms. “Sleep now.”

 

“Is it done?” The words rasp in the back of his throat. His whole body shakes uncontrollably as if from fever or illness.

 

She is lifting him, situating his body on the bed in the center of the room. A blanket covers him and a warm cloth brushes the moisture from his face.

 

“Yes.” She runs her fingers through her hair, oblivious of the sweat that has soaked it. “You are immortal.”

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