I headed straight for the kitchen and opened the fridge door. I pulled out every single jug of blood that was stored there except for one. I drank it all, and as I finished the last gulp, even that didn’t satisfy me. Having a human so close to me had reignited the darkness that lingered beneath the surface.
I would like to have a word with your wife, I said.Uh, okay. Come with me then. He placed an arm on my shoulder and vanished us both to the Sanctuary. My breathing quickened as I followed Ibrahim in through the door, and I realized that my hands were shaking slightly.
Corrine! Ibrahim called along the corridor.Ibrahim? Corrine’s voice emanated from a room nearby. She raced out from a door and ran along the corridor, hurling herself at Ibrahim. Their lips locked in a passionate embrace. I looked down at the floor, taking a few steps back as they finished greeting each other.You must tell me everything, she said.
And you must tell me, Ibrahim replied. But Caleb here wants to speak to you about something first.I raised my eyes to the witch. I’m sorry to disturb you.
That’s quite all right, Corrine said, curiosity in her eyes.
Ibrahim continued along the corridor while Corrine gestured to a room to my right. A living room. I took a seat in an armchair while Corrine sat opposite me. But as soon as my backside touched the cushion, I realized that it was foolish thinking that I could remain seated for this conversation. I stood up and walked over to the mantelpiece, running a finger along the wood. I turned around slowly and fixed my eyes on Corrine.I climbed onto the vampire’s lean frame and he began racing off into the darkness of the woods. He was so fast it was hard for me to see where we were going, but when he stopped, it was at the foot of a towering redwood tree. But I was confused. This part of the woods seemed just as bereft of vampires as the one that I had left.
Where—?I gasped. Oh, my.
Benjamin had described something of The Shade to me, but he hadn’t described these. Stunning penthouses built atop the giant redwood trees.Eli took me to the thick trunk of the tree, and led me toward an elevator shaft that had been hidden round the back. He stepped inside with me, and we ascended the towering tree. It took my breath away to look down and I began to feel dizzy as we arrived at the top. Stepping out of the elevator, we emerged on a gorgeous veranda lined with pretty plant and flower plots. And the view from this height… it was unearthly. A sea of treetops spread out for miles. In the distance was the sparkling ocean and to my right was a sprawling mountain range.