All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
The Burning: Book one The Immortal Sin Trilogy
It was at a very early age that Evelyn Leachrealized her mother and father were not like any of her friend's parents. They never came out during the daytime, and they never ate dinner together, the way families did on her favorite television shows. As far as Evelyn could recall, she had eaten each and every meal in the company of her nanny, Jessica Vaughan, until Jessica retired. Evelyn's new nanny, Cameron Hurst, had been much younger than Miss Vaughan, and although Evelyn missed her old nanny, Miss Hurst immediately found a place in her affections.
She was homeschooled by Miss Tegan Sheppard until the age of twelve. On her birthday, Evelyn's father informed her that she would be attending public school so that she might associate with other children. She was not happy about that, but her father assured her that it was for her own good. She needed to learn how to get along with people her own age. To that end, Miss Sheppard was dismissed and Dolan McLane was hired. Mr. McLane had thick black hair going gray at the temples and gray eyes that, when he was angry, looked as cold as stone. Built burly like a wrestler and a face like a bulldog. It was his job to drive Miss. Leach to school and pick her up afterward.
Going to public school had been a trail. After spending the first twelve years of her life with adults, she had found it difficult to connect with children her own age. It had also stressed, once again, the differences between her parents and the parents of the other kids. Her mother and father didn't grace their presence at her parent-teacher conferences or school plays or any other functions, unless they were held at night.
Until Evelyn went to school, she had assumed that everybody opened their Christmas presents at night and hunted for Easter eggs after the sun went down. Thanksgiving was a holiday that was never celebrated in her home. Valentine's Day meant a big candy heart from her daddy.
Evelyn's favorite holiday was Halloween. She always dressed up as a witch, and her mother and father always went trick-or-treating with her. Her mom dressed as a witch, also. Her dad did not dress up, though he did wear a long black cloak that made the other kids ask if he was supposed to be a vampire.
When she turned sixteen, Evelyn was allowed to go out with boys, but only if they went out with a group or with another couple. To her chagrin, Mr. McLane was always nearby and Evelyn came to understand that he was no longer just her chauffeur, but also her bodyguard as well, though she had no idea why her body needed to be guarded. Bodyguards were for presidents and rock stars, not for ordinary people.
She put the question to her mom and dad the night after it occurred to her.
Her father considered his reply for several moments before he answered his daughter's question.
There was no surprise in his eyes, only amazement that it had taken her so long to ask.
"I'm a wealthy man," he explained patiently, "and I have many enemies. McLane is there to make sure that no harm comes to you."
"What kind of enemies?" Evelyn asked.
She digested that a moment, then asked, "Why don't I ever see you or mom during the day? Why don't we eat together? Where do the two of you go every day, and why can't I ever go with you?"
Her father looked at her mother, one brow arched in a silent plea for help. As if they both knew this day would have come sooner or later, but how could a man tell his adopted daughter that her father and mother were not anything like the other children's parents that they were vampires and, more than that, that her mother was also a witch?
Evelyn's mother took her daughter's hand in hers and gave it a squeeze. "Years ago, while traveling in Africa, your father and I contracted a rare disease. The sun is like poison to us now, so we sleep during the day."
Evelyn nodded. She knew she was adopted. Her parents had told her that as soon as she was old enough to understand. It explained why she was not affected by the same plague of disease that her mother and father carried.
"Maybe we could eat dinner together?" Evelyn suggested.
"Like other families. You know, like the ones on TV."
Her mother and father exchanged glances.
"Due to our ailment, your father and I are on a rather strict liquid diet," her mother said after a moment, "but we'll be glad to sit at the table with you while you eat, if you would like."
"I'd like that very much," she answered, smiling. "At least once in a while."
"Then that is what we will do," her father said.
"Are we very rich?" Evelyn asked.
"Yes," her father replied soberly. "Very."
"Do you think I could have a car?"
"When you're eighteen," her father said.
Evelyn sighed. "Jasmine got a new car for her sixteenth birthday. So did Beth. Why can I not have a car now?"
Her mother eyed her father, one brow raised as she, too, waited for his answer.
Her daddy glanced from Evelyn to her mother and back again, "We will compromise," he said. "You can have the car of your choice when you turn seventeen."
The car she chose was a baby blue convertible with black interior.
Evelyn was twenty when she finally discovered why her parents were not like everyone else's.
Evelyn Leach sipped her drink, too preoccupied with her own thoughts to pay any attention to the crowd and the noises that surrounded her. She had grown up knowing her mother and father were not like other parents. Once she had started going to school, she discovered a whole new world. Yeah, sounds pretty Aladdin to her ears also. Other kids went on trips with their mothers and father's when school was out for the summer. They went to places only Evelyn wished she could go, places like the zoo and to Disneyland and Sea World.
They had birthdays at restaurants and expensive play places. Where Evelyn grew up as a only child the other kids had brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, and cousins even grandparents. When she had asked why she didn't have siblings her father had shortly explained to her that her mom could not ever have children, and that he and her mother were only children, and that her grandparents had already passed away.
It was a perfectly logical explanation, but it did not make her feel any less lonely. It would have been nice to have an older brother, or a sister she could share confidences with.
What was not logical was the fact that in twenty years, her parents had not changed at all. She told herself she was being foolish, that she was just overreacting , imagining things, but there was no arguing with the proof in front of her own eyes. They both looked exactly the same as they did when she was only a little girl. Her mother never gained or lost an ounce. Her face was as smooth and clear as it had always been. The same was true of her father. Her father looked like a man in his mid-thirties, and he had looked that way for as long as Evelyn could remember. He had taken her to the movies one night last week and they had run into a couple of Evelyn's acquaintances.
Before she could introduce her father, her friend, Candy, had taken her aside and asked how long she had been dating that, "hot piece of ass older man."
Evelyn stared into her drink, wishing she had the nerve to ask her parents why her bodyguard aged yet they did not and why their lifestyle was so different from everyone else's. She knew about their aversion to the sun and their liquid diet, but why did they keep them from other normal activities? Why did they encourage her to make friends but discourage her from bringing them home? Why did they keep the door to their bedroom locked during the day? What were they doing in there?
She looked up as a man sat down beside her. He smiled, then pointed with his chin at her drink. "Can I buy you another?"
"No, thank you."
He lifted a hand, "Hey, no problem. You just looked a little down. I thought you might like some company."
He had a nice voice, dark shaggy hair, and hazel eyes. What harm could it do to share a drink with him?
"Are you sure you won't changer your mind?" he coaxed, ask if sensing her indecision.
"Well, I would like another."
"What are you drinking?" he asked, signaling for the bartender.
"A virgin strawberry daiquiri."
He ordered her drink and a scotch with a side of water for himself, then held out his hand, "I'm Kevin."
"Evelyn." She hesitated a moment before taking his hand into hers, giving him a firm shake. Thought she had been on her fair share of dates, she tended to be quite shy in the presence of strangers. Evelyn was not sure why, maybe because she had never forgot her father's warnings that he had many enemies. Still she told herself that there was nothing to worry about. McLane was here.
Kevin grip was firm, his skin warm, "Do you come her often?"
"No, this is my first time. I was just passing by and I heard the music and…" She shrugged, "I thought it might cheer me up."
"If you tell me what has got you feeling so down, I might be able to help."
"I don't think so, but thanks for offering."
She glanced out at the dance floor as the lights dimmed. The music, which had been upbeat, changed into slow and sensual rhythms below her feet. It called to something earthly deep within her.
"Would you like to dance?"
Again, she hesitated a moment before agreeing.
Kevin took her by the hand and led her out onto the dance floor. "So," he murmured, taking her into his arms. "Tell me about yourself,"
"What do you want to know?"
"Let's see. What do you like to do for fun? Do you work, or are you an heiress? Who is your favorite singer? And, most important of all, are you a chocolate craze like every other women I've ever met?"
Evelyn laughed. "I'm actually not fond of chocolate," she said, and then frowned as she realized she had never seen her mother eat or drink anything chocolate. Even the most rigid dieters cheated every now and then.
"Did I say something wrong?" He asked.
"No. I work at a book store, and I prefer Corinne Bailey Rae over many other singers," She did not tell him that she was, in fact, an heiress. After all, he was a stranger and she was not a fool.
Not that she had anything to worry about, not with her bodyguard sitting at the far end of the bar watching her intently.
When the music ended, he escorted her back to their seats. Their drinks were waiting for them. She sipped hers, thinking how glad she was that she had stopped in here tonight. Dolan McLane had tried to dissuade her, but she had insisted. Once inside, she almost had not stayed, it was such a strange place. For one thing, she was only person that was not wearing black. Voodoo masks and ancient Indian burial masks decorated the walls. Tall black candles flickered in wrought- iron wall sconces, casting eerie shadows over the faces of the patrons; and it also unsettled her that a good number of these people had name tags somewhere remotely on there bodies that matched tags on certain doors surrounding the place.
"What do you think of The Underworld ?"
"I'm not sure. Why is everyone wearing black?"
"This is a Goth hangout."
"Oh! Silly me, I should have guessed."
He grinned at her, "I take it you aren't into the whole Goth scene?"
"Not in the slightest," she replied, then grimaced thinking that her father would be right at home in a place like this. He had a affinity for black clothing, and he had a rather long black cloak that he favored. It was far more then that though, she sensed a darkness to her father that she could not explain nor understand.
She finished her drink then glanced at her phone, shocked to find it so late at night. "I should be going," she told him grudged. "My parent's will be worried."
"You still live with your mom and dad!"
She shrugged off his shocked shout, "I like it there." And she did, although sometimes, especially when the days were long and the night were short, it was like living alone.
"One more dance?" He coaxed.
"I don't think so. I really need to go," Evelyn said, then wondered why she had to go home before midnight. She wasn't a child anymore. Why did she still have a curfew? Lately she had so many questions about the way she lived. Why did she still live at home? Why did she still need a bodyguard? She was already twenty and no one had tried to kidnap or molest her or so much as give her a dirty look. Of course, Dolan was probably responsible for that. A man would have to be crazy to thy anything with her version of the Hulk shadowing her. Still, maybe it was about time to sit her parent's down and ask them the questions that have been swarming around her head for the past few months.
"Thank you for the drink and dance." She said, rising.
"Any chance you'll be here tomorrow around the same time?" he asked.
She canted her head to the side, thinking it over, then smiling. "I say that the odds are in your favor."
"Great. I'll see you then."
Leaving the bar she felt Kevin's gaze on her until she made it outside, as she got into her vehicle and started it up she knew what she would be doing when she was home. She would be getting answers.