It’s good to return home—or is it? A year after Olivia Brown’s abduction by vampiric aliens, she isn’t sure where she belongs anymore. On Earth, she’s told to forget her adventures and go to college. But evidence of wrongdoing by the Pure Bloods prompt fellow Resistance fighter Annara to concoct a plan to spy on Clan Alpha. Are the Alphans dealing with billionaire Roland Grundfest, a man willing to supply “vampire brides” for a price to serve their needs for fresh DNA on BloodDark?
To become a spy, Olivia must do more than dye her hair and change her clothing tastes—she must lie to both her parents and her Quadsang boyfriend, Hernando. A little white lie can’t hurt, can it?
Once again on BloodDark, Olivia realizes she needs friends like Valori, whose psychic powers can incapacitate hired killers. Will Olivia ever return to Earth again?
They’re at it again…
Olivia hated hearing her parents argue. Their raised voices penetrated the solid oak swinging door separating the kitchen from the dining room of their renovated Victorian house. Her mom and dad argued a lot more now than she remembered.
If having your child abducted by aliens and consequently returned several months later doesn’t bring you closer together as a married couple, what would? Her returning from a run-of-the-mill Earth kidnapping?
Bright autumn sunlight streaking from the bay windows drenched the room. Olivia rose from the antique dining table and headed toward the front door.
“Where do you think you’re going?” her mother asked, barreling in from the kitchen and catching her just as she crossed the archway into the living room.
Olivia backed up to the table and began clearing away their empty Sunday dinner plates. She sighed. “I was going out. I thought I’d drop by and say hello to Britt. She texted me. She’s in town from college today, and we thought we’d catch up.”
Her mother, Moira Brown, accepted the dishes with a frown. The crow’s feet around her hazel-green eyes deepened. “Oh, how nice, but I thought you were going to help me wash up and then we were going to sit down and plan out the big family reunion Thanksgiving dinner. You know how much your out-of-state cousins are dying to see you. They haven’t seen you since…since…”
“Since I was snatched by the alien vampires?” Olivia blurted before she thought better of it.
Her mother cringed. The plates chattered, and her hands shook. Olivia rushed to her mother’s side to take the dishes to prevent her from dropping them. She gently placed them onto the table and put a comforting arm around her mother’s shoulders, then helped her to a chair.
“Sorry, Mom. I didn’t mean to upset you.”
Again. Upsetting you is all I ever do nowadays. I’ve become an expert at making you upset, without even trying.
“It’s all right, baby. I apologize—my poor heart took a turn for the worse while you were gone.”
Olivia sat in silence and patted her mother’s back until the shaking subsided.
People act amazed when they discover how I was able to survive on another world, but don’t they ever wonder how the families of the abductees survived? It’s amazing how well they’ve fared, what with all the stress, all the fears and terror of not knowing what happened to their loved ones. They deserve a medal—not me.
Olivia’s phone alerted her to an incoming text. She pulled it out of her jacket pocket and glanced at it. “Yeah, it’s Britt, asking what’s up. I’ll tell her I’ll see her another time.”
“No, you go along and visit your friend. You’ve been very busy these past few months. We can talk about Thanksgiving later.” Her mother straightened up and kissed Olivia’s cheek. “Say hello to Britt for me. I heard from her uncle she’s made the Dean’s List at State. You know you could, too, if you’d enroll in—”
“Classes at the college,” Olivia filled in for the millionth time. “Yes, I know. I’m off to see Britt. See you in a little while, Mom.”
Olivia dashed to the front door and departed before her mother could get another word in edgewise.
She strolled down the street at a clip, deftly sidestepping their absent-minded neighbor’s German Shepherd’s large and fragrant calling card. She took extra caution not to slip on the damp fallen leaves plastered on the uneven sidewalks. When she was several houses away and out of sight from their front window, she took out her phone and returned Hernando’s call.
“I got your text,” she told his voice mail. “You can call me now if you like. I plan on being out of the house for the next few hours. Are you sure you can’t get me a position on the next junket you’re going on? I’m willing to travel anywhere—and I mean anywhere. My folks are driving me crazy.”
She felt guilty for saying it out loud, but it was the truth. As she strode down the street toward her friend’s home, she realized the Olivia Brown most of her acquaintances knew didn’t exist anymore. She had turned eighteen, and for sure she wasn’t her parents’ dear little Ollie girl anymore. She had survived difficult situations while handling dangerous individuals and had returned more or less intact to deal with Earth’s anal-retentive civil authorities for several months of hell. She felt more confident in her abilities and opinions than she had prior to her ordeal.
Olivia would never be content with going to college and studying to be a civil rights lawyer, as she had thought she would before her abduction. Sure, she wanted to help others make the world a more just place, but there wasn’t only the one world anymore. Mankind had to acknowledge intelligent life existed on at least two worlds.
The angry graffiti spray-painted across the brick sidewall of the closed corner store reinforced this concept.