I was trying to learn to fly, not because I want to be more like other vampires, but because it’s a darned useful skill. It had been left to the poor werepanther to coach me. He was not a good substitute because ... hello! He’s landlocked. However, none of the local vampire clutch wanted anything to do with me. Especially their leader, Tristan Keith.
I shied away from thinking about Tristan. Pain too easily turned to depression which shifted too easily to anger. Anger leads to bloodlust. I was determined to get through one night without jumping Gerald ... because taking blood from another person wasn’t the worst thing that happened when I lost control and fed.
Needing to distract myself from bad thoughts, I focused on what needed to be done. I threw back my shoulders and lifted my chin. Steeled my spine. Gathered my courage. Pretended things would work out some sweet day.
I called to Gerald, “Okay. I’m going to try this again.”
He stopped his stalking to grace me with a smile, flashing white teeth and impressive fangs. Unlike me, Gerald can’t glamour his appearance. “Good. Now stop trying to power your way through this. The others told me they just think about it and it happens. They don’t force it, sort of like how you walk from place to place without really trying. Get it?”
It was good advice. Too bad it never seemed to work. I twitched a wry smile. “Our first steps took effort too, Gerald. We just don’t remember that. All right. Here I go.”
I closed my eyes. I tried to think about leaving the ground calmly. Serenely floating. Every vampire – that is, every vampire body – could do it. Patricia did it as easily as the rest when the body that now cloaked me was hers. I had all of Patricia’s other abilities: glamour, healing, quickness, amazing strength. I had this ability too. There was no reason I couldn’t.
I felt the pressure of the ground fade from beneath my feet. This was good. Simple levitation was easy. I had this. No problem.
I opened my eyes to discover I’d gone a few feet up. I was out of Gerald’s reach even if he’d stretched that big body up to grab me. Yep, no stress, no mess. Now it was time to move.
“Just a little,” I coaxed the temperamental powers that I wanted to wield. I began to coast forward, slowly at first. I willed myself to ignore the pull of gravity that made my movements jerky.
“Float, float, float,” I chanted. I was so busy trying to stay aloft, watching the ground below me, that I didn’t notice I was trucking right for the magnolia at the edge of the field until Gerald’s shout warned me.
My slow pace had quickened too. The tree loomed a few feet away and was coming at me in a rush. I yelled and panicked, jerking to one side and gaining speed as I did so.
I tried to slow as the tree spun from my view, but I was still turning. All was confusion in an instant. The earth and sky traded places several times as I cartwheeled through the air, a squalling, out-of-control Brandilynn.
I went down hard, but because I was already rolling, much of the impact was lessened. I didn’t even break anything. It didn’t matter. I’d fallen once again, doing barely better than the first time I’d tried to fly. When my body finally stopped spinning like a tumbleweed, I yelled and pounded the hard earth with my fists.
Red hazed my vision. Fury dripped acid in my brain, melting any sanity that lived there. Hatred seemed to explode from my non-beating heart until every fiber of my body quaked with it. I tore clods of soil from the ground, wanting to claw the world apart.
I saw movement at the corner of my eye. I sensed warmth, smelled life. Without thought, I launched myself at it, mouth gaping wide open.
Shifters are fast. Vampires are faster.
No release date set.