By the time Gemma reached the southernmost fields of Viktor’s father’s lands, the sky had become a rich, smoky black-gray. She found him there with a score of men, tying and hefting bunches of cut wheat onto the wagon by torch light. Fine, golden dust clung to his sweat-slickened skin, and tendrils of his long, dark hair escaped the leather cord tied at his nape. Even dirty and sweaty, her heart thumped at the sight of him. She couldn’t leave him, not now, not ever.
No, if she had to flee, he had to come with her.
But what will happen when he discovers why you were forced to flee? What will happen when he learns the truth?
Maybe it wouldn’t come to that. Her mother had said she would take care of the vampire. All she and Viktor had to do was stay out of sight for a little while until it was safe to return. She would have to think of something, of course, to explain the sudden need to flee, but she would deal with that when they came to it.
“Viktor!” she shouted as she ran his way, earning quite a few looks from the men working around him. Viktor stood and turned to face her, as well, surprise etching his features.
He caught her easily as she ran headlong into his arms. “Gemma? What are you doing here? Is everything all right?”
“I must speak with you at once. It is urgent!”
“I bet,” snickered one of the workers, earning a round of laughter.
Viktor scowled. “Carry on with the loading.” Then he allowed Gemma to lead him to a small copse out of immediate eye and earshot.
He ran his hands up and down her upper arms while she tried to catch her breath. “Calm yourself, Gemma. You are shaking like a leaf! Tell me what this all about.”
“I must leave,” she said, the words coming out in a rush. “Now. Tonight. And you must come with me.”
His brows knit together. “Leave? Why?”
Gemma understood his confusion; she was still struggling to make sense of it herself, but there would be time to puzzle it out later. The most important thing now was to get as far away from the village as quickly as possible.
“Only for a little while. There is no time to explain. Just please, Viktor, trust me. Come with me.”
Viktor stepped back, but continued to hold her shoulders. “What has gotten into you? I cannot leave in the middle of harvesting, not without good reason.”
If he only knew how good a reason she had, but she dared not tell him. “You must! We must! Before it is too late!”
The chilling words came an instant after Gemma felt the surge of cold, dark energy. “It is already too late.”
Copyright © 2017-2018 Abbie Zanders.
Written by Abbie Zanders as Avelyn McCrae.
All rights reserved.