In honour of World Dracula Day – a special treat from Berni Stevens

Dance until DawnA taster from Berni’s heroine Ellie from Dance until Dawn

Do you believe in vampires? No, me neither. What am I ? Twelve? But I’ve just been told I am one. Have you ever heard anything more ridiculous? Although I have to admit my life did recently take a turn for the bizarre. Last night I woke up in a strange place – alone I hasten to add, so don’t go getting any ideas – it was dark, dank and not at all friendly. I have no clue how I came to be here – and yes, I am still here. To say I felt just the teeniest bit terrified would be an understatement. Then someone came in – I hadn’t even noticed a door in the room until that point. He – because it was a he – looked all tall dark and glowering. Arrogant too. Started telling me what I would have to do, and then what I couldn’t do. He called me ‘Fledgling.’ What the hell does that mean?

Obviously I didn’t believe a word he said. I told him too. He laughed. Actually laughed. So I felt even more convinced all this weirdness is just a dream. Or more precisely – a nightmare.

I watched him striding up and down the room. He is easy on the eye, I give him that. Tall, lean, with sculpted cheekbones, a mane of dark hair, and eyes so green any cat would be proud to own them. But I can’t say he makes a lot of sense. He talked about a condition called the ‘Thirst’ – which apparently I have. It’s why I’m in a lot of pain. (Actually, I thought he’d been poisoning me. I’ve watched a lot of Criminal Minds episodes). He laughed at that too. He’s got a weird sense of humour. Apparently he has no conscience about kidnapping me and locking me up in this … whatever this place is. He said he didn’t kidnap me, but I’m here aren’t I? I don’t want to be here, so therefore he’s broken the law. If I had my mobile phone, I’d have called the police when I first woke up. Not that I could have told them where I am, because I haven’t a clue, but I’m sure they could track my mobile signal. Like I said, I’m addicted to certain TV shows.

I realised he was still talking and I hadn’t heard a word. He does have a nice voice, very deep and quite soothing, even if I hadn’t taken in the actual words. I looked up at him … his eyes are hypnotic.

‘You have not heard a word,’ he said with a slight smile.

I shrugged. ‘I’m not interested enough to listen.’

He sighed. ‘Believe it or not, I am trying to help.’

Of course he is.

Three weeks later
I appear to have been promoted – kind of – and I’m now in a huge bedroom with a four-poster bed – still alone I hasten to add. The bedroom, I discovered, is in a Georgian mansion in Highgate, very close to the famous Gothic Cemetery. It’s a part of North London I don’t go to very often. Well, I don’t mix with millionaires and rock stars much. At least not until now, Will – that’s Mr Spooky’s name – must be a millionaire to afford a place like this, and although he isn’t a rock star, he looks as though he could be. Or a movie star. But I’m still not harbouring any romantic thoughts about him, because I don’t trust him an inch. ‘Handsome is as handsome does’ … where does that saying come from? Someone’s grandmother probably.

‘Wear something beautiful,’ he said as he left the room. He’d waved an elegant hand at one of the huge built in wardrobes. I would have told him to go and do the same, if he hadn’t taken my breath away with the black Armani suit and white T-shirt he had on. Yet I am still not thinking anything verging on the romantic as far as he’s concerned. That’s really not going to happen. He said we were going to ‘his’ club. Does that mean he owns a club or he’s a member of one?

The wardrobe proved to be a revelation. Most of my own clothes were in there, hanging neatly side by side, and I didn’t even want to hazard a guess as to how that happened. But other clothes were there too. They looked new. Some gorgeous dresses, expensive-looking, their simplicity belying the massive price tags I felt sure they had. Lovely, beautifully tailored trousers and tops. Whoever had chosen them had amazing taste. I settled on a pair of black trousers, and an emerald green silk top. I was just pulling on a pair of soft black leather Manolo Blahniks, when Mr Spooky came back in.

He didn’t say anything at first, just looked at me with those startling green eyes of his.

‘What?’ I still don’t feel exactly friendly towards him either.

‘You look breathtaking,’ he said. ‘Absolutely exquisite.’

A strange feeling fluttered deep inside me.

9781781891322 KWant to find out more about Ellie and the mystery man ….  download or purchase this fabulous debut novel from Berni Stevens! AND for World Dracula Day (26th May 2015) the eBook is reduced to £0.99 !  Details here …