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I’ve been awake for centuries, but I only came alive when I saw her.
Ready to do some necking with the hottest Over-The-Top vampire in the past three centuries? Roderic Blackburn will stop your heart and have you crying out loud as he shows you a bloody good time.
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“Is it a… normal to be coming out here so late at night?” I ask as we drive into the dark forest.
My eyes flitter over to Dustin’s big hands as he grips the steering wheel.
“I thought studying castles would be easier during the day.”
“Not this castle,” he grunts as he stares out the windshield. The Jeep is flying down the dirt road through the forest and every few seconds, he yanks the bouncing vehicle around a pothole or a fallen branch. I grab onto the handle on the door as my heart picks up.
I don’t like this. All of this feels… off.
It’s October and outside is cold and dark. The biting wind is swirling around us as my new boss barrels into the forest that right now, looks seriously haunted.
From the corner of my eye, I quickly look him over. He doesn’t look like an archeologist.
He’s wearing big black boots with a weird looking knife strapped to his ankle. Cargo pants, a long leather jacket, and a hat that looks stolen from Crocodile Dundee, only instead of being studded with crocodile teeth, it’s studded with a strange kind of fang that I haven’t seen before.
He looks intense and focused. A mean-looking weathered face with lots of scars, but still attractive in its own way. I thought he was hot when he interviewed me for the job last week, but now, he just looks scary.
I studied archeology at University and was thrilled to get a job as a research assistant for an archeologist. Dustin Jones said that he studied old castles and I couldn’t have been more excited. I love castles and I’ve always dreamed of living in one. The big open rooms full of stone, history, and enchantment. It would be like living in a fairy tale.
“What’s your favorite castle?” I ask him, trying to lighten the mood. I’m on edge, but it’s probably just first-day jitters.
He shoots me a look and the annoyance in it is unmistakable. “What?”
“I just… um… asked… what your favorite castle is?”
He squeezes his hands on the wheel and curses under his breath. “Pot-holia Castle,” he says, right after we swerve around a pothole.
“Where’s that?” My voice has a tremble in it. He totally just made that castle up.
“Right. Near Hamburg, isn’t it?”
“Yeah,” he grunts.
My stomach tightens with nerves as I look out the window, wondering if I could escape into the dark scary forest. Would it be better to gamble my life with the wolves or with this obvious bullshitter?
I know every castle in Northern Germany (in fact, I wrote a paper on them) and Pot-holia Castle is not one of them. He clearly made it up.
“I love Neuschwanstein Castle,” I say just to make sure. “Have you ever been to Romania to see it?”
“I have,” he says as he starts driving faster.
I stare out the windshield and gulp. Neuschwanstein Castle is in Bavaria, Germany. This guy is a fraud.
A shakiness hits my limbs as I wonder what else he is. Serial killer?
There’s a weird vibe in the Jeep now and I just keep my trembling mouth shut for the rest of the way.
Finally, we emerge from the forest road into a vast opening. “Wow,” I whisper when I look up and see a stunning old castle lit up by the full moon in the sky.
I’m in awe as I stare up at the stone towers. They’re massive and in such fine condition.
I’ve studied and visited castles all over the world. How could I have not known that a castle like this was in my own home state of New York?
It’s so beautiful with the huge towering keep and high battlements that I almost forget I’m locked in here with this strange man.
At least he brought me to a castle and not a creepy shack. Maybe he is an archeologist after all and I’m just being paranoid.
He gets out of the Jeep without a word and I unfasten my seatbelt and hurry after him.
I keep one eye on him and one eye on the castle as he opens the trunk.
The cool biting wind is whipping my blonde hair up as I run my eyes along the stunning curtain wall that’s constructed with old stone. This must be the largest castle in North America. How come I’ve never heard of it before?
“What is this castle called?” I ask.
“Shhhh,” Dustin whispers with a fierceness in his eyes. “No talking.”
I choke down a gulp as I watch him. He has a crossbow in his hand and a quiver of arrows slung over his shoulder. None of the arrows have metal tips, they’re all just sharpened wood and the points are covered in a sticky purple paste.
Dustin has a sword strapped to his waist and he has a determined look on his face. I’ve never met an academic like this before.