Home > Vampire by Birth : A Paranormal Romance Mystery Novel

Vampire by Birth : A Paranormal Romance Mystery Novel
Author: Cyndi Faria


Chapter 1

 

 

Tricia McIntyre, Queen of Faery

 

The last thing I expected to be was mate to a Master Vampire. That, and Queen of Faery, but apparently I’m not only lucky to be engaged to Riley Sweetwater, the most powerful vampire in the world, but in a few weeks, I’ll be giving birth to our little girl. There’s only one hitch: Riley wants to up the wedding, when I’m not sure I’m ready. I’m not sure if I can handle being a mom and the plague of difficulties that I’m up against birthing a half-fae, half-vampire child.

“Tricia, don’t you like your baby shower fruit basket cake?”

Camille’s gone all out by giving me a baby shower along with the Mom’s Club moms. Stacey’s still serving seconds on a cake that seems too sweet when, these days, I hunger for pulsing warmth, as wet and salty as Riley’s blood.

Arianna dropped off a blanket she hand-knitted after just giving birth to her baby last month. Hand-knitted. Is that still a thing?

By the pile of gifts, my daughter will want for nothing, but I’m feeling overwhelmed and inadequate. The buzz of magic radiates off my fae guards. Even they’re on edge. I know everyone is picking up on my discomfort, while I’m sitting in the middle of Diamond Springs Park, one of the most beautiful places in our town.

The trees above shade us from the bright sunny day, the fluttering shadows so different from the near shadowless lands of Faery. It’s like everything around me is a contradiction to the happiness I should be feeling. I love my mate with all my heart. He’ll be the best father any little girl could ask for. He treasures me above all else, and I him. But a touch of depression won’t shake itself from me no matter how much I try. I take a bit of cake, scooping some frosting and a strawberry. “The cake is delicious.” Really it is.

Children dash about the play structure, their screeching laughter making me jolt. But their giggles also remind me of when my mom brought me here when she first adopted me.

“This was your favorite place. I loved spending every moment with you here.” Ella spins circles around me, her ethereal form fluttering my napkin on a windless day.

Ella wouldn’t miss my shower for anything. Even though she’s in spirit form, I miss her arms around me, squeezing me tightly and telling me everything will be okay. I’m no longer that naive girl, but days like today, I wish I was. “Ella, will I ever be as good of a mom as you were?”

“You’ll do the best you can do. No one is perfect. Your child is unique. What may be right for one mom and child won’t be right for another. All you can do is have faith in yourself. In your partner. Your combined parenting with your husband-to-be. Remember, you’re good. Never forget that.”

With my belly resting on my thighs more and more every day, there’s not much I can do but wonder if Ella’s foresight holds water. But I sit up straighter and press a smile onto my face, hopeful.

Camille pulls out a towel, wiping her daughters drool.

I take in the new mom’s routine, knowing this is what awaits me. It’s all “You’re a good little girl. Mommy loves her punkin,” coos, and baby wipes, something I know little about. They didn’t teach me Mom 101 in Faery College, mostly because I didn’t know my destiny included becoming mom to a half-ancient vampire child. Yep. Life. It’s always knocking me off blocks every time I think I’m winning.

Camille scoots closer. “Ben’s working day and night at the PDU. He hardly sees his daughter, and she’s growing up so fast. I can’t imagine planning a wedding and delivering about the same time.”

Oh yes, the wedding and delivering—the two subjects I don’t want to talk about when my emotions are all over the place. I’ve gotten to know Camille even better these past eight months. She’s married to Riley’s best friend, and the two work together at the Preternatural Defense Unit. I brush my finger along Salina’s cheek, changing the subject. “She sure is getting big.”

“She’ll be two months tomorrow. But I can’t complain. Well, a little. I’m there for Ben when he gets home. I want to be the best wife and mother to our daughter. Him working allows me to stay at home, so we all get the best of both worlds, but I’m exhausted to my toenails. I’m nursing Salina and feeding Ben my blood. It’s like I’m some liquid giver of life. I’m drained.” Camille blows a tired breath as she adjusts her daughter to lie on her back, the leaves above briefly catching the baby’s attention.

I’ve known Ben Santos since elementary school. He and Riley toured together as Marines. Riley saved his crew from dying after they were attacked and turned by the ex-master vampire. It’s a long story, but in the end, everything worked out. But I understand Camille’s concerns that will soon become mine. Will I have enough, be enough, to support two lives, one of a growing child and the other a master? “Seems like Salina wears a new outfit once and that’s it.”

“You should see how many clothes she has. More than I do. It’s ridiculous. But it’s just another bonus of Mom’s Club. We can swap clothes and stuff.”

Camille wears a smile when she talks about marriage, family, and sharing. I’m still hesitant about the wedding Riley is planning. My parents’ marriage was a nightmare. The former fae queen, my grandmother Catherine, and her mate, ex-Master Vampire Kane, warred for hundreds of years and plotted world domination behind each other’s backs. Who’s to say Riley and I won’t fall out of love or that our love is solely based on magic and our forced bond a complete sham should it somehow be destroyed?

Shit happens even if there’s not a hint of proof we’ve fallen out of love. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, the world is always switching things up on me.

I begin to push out my telepathic connection to Riley, but then snap it back. He’s working on securing the last of ex Master Kane’s vampire army. I don’t want to bother him with problems that don’t threaten all of humanity. I’m having a baby. It’s as natural as me loving Riley.

I take in Salina. A few months ago, she was a helpless ball of tucked arms and legs, or practically scratching her own eyes out with those baby nails. Now, she’s rolling from side to side, using her raised legs to swing back and forth. Where once Camille was upset about her unborn baby’s health, Salina was born perfect with pretty blonde hair like her mother and smart brown eyes, like Ben’s. Every so often, I spot Salina gazing at the other children.

I check out two boys playing in the leftover tire shreds where the merry-go-round once stood, but then that sad feeling rolls over me.

Unfortunately, my baby won’t have such privileges as playing wildly right in the open public park. She’s condemned before she’s even born because she’s half-vampire, half-fae. She could come into uncontrolled fae powers at any time and hurt someone, like I had. Or her bloodlust could surface, taking teething and toddler biting to a whole new level.

I quake at the thought. But at the same time, I’m wondering if I’ve done the wrong thing by keeping her. What if she’s uncontrolled like I was when I was born? My grandmother blamed me for my mother’s death. Although I learned I wasn’t really the one who killed her, I played some part, I’m certain.

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