Home > Mr. Nice Guy

Mr. Nice Guy
Author: Loni Ree


CHAPTER 1

 

 

Silas

 

 

Two hundred and ninety-three years of immortal existence. That long-ago day still burns bright in my memory. When I attempted to resolve a fight between two servants on my family’s tobacco plantation, one of them had decided to end the argument using a knife. Unfortunately, I’d suffered a fatal stab wound when I stepped between the two idiots. One moment I was a thirty-year-old unmarried man with my entire life ahead of me, the next I was lying in the field waiting for death to overtake me.

My mother and father sat vigil throughout the night praying for my recovery, but it was hopeless. As my life slowly drained from me, a distant neighbor, Jacques Lambert, visited and asked for a moment alone with me. He offered me eternal life in exchange for a small payment. Without considering the consequences, I used my last ounce of strength to accept his proposal.

My sudden recovery shocked my parents. There was no way to hide my need to sleep during the day while living most of my life after the sun had set. I explained what had caused my miraculous recovery to my family, and they were shocked. At first, they feared me, but I managed to convince them that I was still their son, with the same emotions, only now I was immortal. Over time, we all adjusted to my new situation. We told my most trusted servant, Jasper, the truth, and he helped maintain my façade until his death many years later. After my parents eventually passed away from old age, Jasper’s son, Mason, stepped in to help me navigate my new existence. He swore unending service to me for my life, which carried over to his descendants for following generations, and I promised him eternal protection. Soon after, he met and married a wonderful woman who stepped in to serve me as well. Our first major hurdle was my first “death.” My youthful appearance forced me to take action when members of the community grew suspicious of me.

Per my agreement with the powerful vampire who gave me this gift, I left my plantation to his “son” and moved up north to begin a new life. Every now and then, I cross paths with Jacques, but not often. Most vampires are solitary creatures, living long, lonely existences. We tend to maintain residences hundreds of miles from each other. To keep our secret, we must fake our deaths before anyone realizes we haven’t aged one bit. To protect ourselves, we hide our true nature from all humans except our trusted, yet paid and provided for, servants. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all bad. My fortune has grown substantially as technology advanced. Years ago, I established a dummy corporation to protect my wealth from my eventual “fake” death. When I’m reborn as a younger relative of myself, I inherit my past life’s estate. It’s a continuous cycle that’s gotten boring over the centuries.

Humans love to spin tales of gruesome, horrifying creatures preying on human blood to survive. In these fantasies, garlic repels us while sunlight kills my kind. This is far from accurate. But because the whole theory that vampires don’t have reflections in mirrors is true, it’s been ages since I’ve seen myself. I barely remember what I look like, but I do know I’m an attractive man because women seem drawn to me on the rare nights I go into town. The garlic fantasy is totally false. I’m not a big fan of garlic, but it doesn’t injure me. On the other hand, sunlight is harmful but not deadly. It causes my metabolism to increase to the point of needing continuous feeding to offset the draining effects. Overall, the last several centuries have been enlightening, and I’ve learned to embrace my immortal existence. Sometimes, I close my eyes, and images of my short human life flash through my mind. Sadly, those memories are slowly fading.

To clear up another misconception, I’m not the blood-thirsty monster portrayed in modern literature. Sure, I need blood to survive, but I don’t kill for my nourishment. No, I buy my sustenance from an ethically run blood bank. Crimson Labs is vampire-owned and run. After signing an airtight non-disclosure agreement, carefully screened human donors are paid handsomely for their blood. With modern technology, obtaining it has become frighteningly easy. Edward, my manservant, places my monthly order online, and Crimson Labs discreetly delivers it regularly. Gone are the days of hunting for the perfect “donor,” drinking my fill, then wiping their minds of the memories. Now, humans are paid a donation fee, and the blood is stored, processed, and shipped to hungry vampires.

“Good evening.” Edward steps into the library and shakes his head. “Why are you moping around in the dark?” He walks over to the fireplace and grabs the remote laying on the mantle. After he presses a few buttons, the room fills with light from the crystal chandelier hanging from the ceiling. The fake logs in the fireplace roar to life, sending warmth rushing over my pale, chilly skin.

“I live my life in darkness,” I grumble dramatically, and my long-time friend rolls his eyes. The males in Edward Milligan’s family have served as my manservants and bodyguards since my birth. Before I became a vampire, his sixth-great-grandfather, Jasper, was my most trusted valet.

“Stop being morose.” He sighs. “You’re rich, handsome, and immortal. What more could you want?”

“I’m lonely,” I admit the truth. I’ve been avoiding the annoying little emotion for months, but I’m no longer able to push it to the back of my mind.

“You’re lonely from your own making.” He raises an eyebrow. “You’re one of the most eligible bachelors on the East Coast. Get dressed up and go to town. Meet people.” If only it were that easy.

All of a sudden, the isolation is stifling me and there’s no obvious explanation for my feelings. For so many years, seclusion was my friend. Now, the hunger for a different companion is eating at my soul.

Standing, I take a deep breath and stretch. “I’m going for a long walk to clear my head.”

“Try to return in a better frame of mind,” Edward calls after me, and I wave over my shoulder.

 

 

CHAPTER 2

 

 

Silas

 

 

The full moon lights the way as I stroll down the groomed path that leads to the lake at the back of my estate. Rounding the bend, I halt when an unexpected sound grabs my attention. I wait and listen. The vampire blood roaring through my veins heightens all my senses. As Edward so eloquently puts it, I can hear a gnat fart twenty feet away. Sure enough, there’s the noise again. Splashing water in the small pond that separates my property from the Briggs’ Estate. It has sat vacant since Old Lady Briggs’ death several months ago.

Fuck. If some imbecile is squatting in the empty farmhouse, I’ll break my centuries-long fresh blood dry spell. After slipping behind a tall oak tree, I scan the water for the trespasser. My laser-sharp eyesight allows me to see clearly at great distances, even in the dark. Everything around me stills when I see her. Blinking, I squint to get a better look, wondering if I’m losing my mind. She’s stunning, almost glowing. The desire to claim this stranger roars through my blood, shocking me. Her silky, wet hair flows behind her sleek body as she cuts through the dark water. Each turn of her head gives me a tiny glimpse of her delicate, heart-shaped face. Her closed eyelids disguise the color of her eyes, but I have no doubt they are spectacular. All my concentration centers on her. This perfect stranger. It’s impossible to tell how old she is from this distance, but that’s irrelevant. In my soul, I feel the change taking place. This magnificent creature is mine.

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