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Bound by Blood and Desire.

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Lyra knows there is something wrong with Hugh and Axel. Not only did Hugh act unhinged under a full moon but Axel seemed to possess superpowers and saved her. The strange duo—Axel & Hugh—seem to hate each other but none of them are willing to tell Lyra what really happened that night. Despite this, she has fallen heads over heels in love with the quiet, mysterious Axel while turning down advances from the school's heartthrob—Hugh. There's only one problem, Axel is sending mixed signals; although he loves Lyra, he is trying to stop her from finding out what he really is. Will he let himself open up to her or will Lyra tire of his indecision and run into Hugh's open arms? ● Axel is trying to stop Hugh from mating with Lyra without her consent and turning her into his Luna, the only problem is the more he trying to get Lyra away from Hugh, he more he falls in love with her. But vampires cannot be with humans. Or can they?

Chapter 1

Lyra

It wasn’t because of the vast green fields, marble fountains, and luxury hotels that I chose St. Elizabeth’s Private University as my university of choice. I chose St. Elizabeth’s because it is the furthest away from home. My mum agreed with my decision to come here because they offer the top Medicine and Surgery program in the country.

I can see Mum is as impressed as I am as she parked in front of my allotted hostel. Perhaps even more. The hostel has the appearance of a palace with a marble fountain in front. As they make their way to the dorm, a swarm of students follows them, calling out to each other and meeting up after the vacations. A few are saying their goodbyes by hugging and kissing their parents.

‘You should get going, Lyra,’ Mum replies with an embarrassed sniffle. I’m sure you’ll enjoy decorating your room and getting to know your roommate.’ She juggles the beads around her neck and gives me a strained smile.

She can’t wait to be back in her football coach boyfriend’s arms. Gerald is the coach of an international Spanish football club; he is attractive and wealthy. I’m not sure what makes Mum adore him so much. Perhaps it’s a combo of the two. I wasn’t shocked when Mum started dating him; he’s exactly her type, and he looks like Dad.

‘Yeah,’ I answer as I take my luggage from the car. I packed lightly, with only a few outfits, accessories, and emotional items. I intend to start over at St. Elizabeth’s. ‘I’m nervous,’ I admit.

Mum furrows her brows, leans forward, and strokes my cheek with her French manicure. ‘You have nothing to worry about, Lyra. I am confident that you will excel in your academics.’

I nod. I’m not concerned about my studies; rather, I’m concerned about leaving home for the first time and living on my own. I’m worried about making decisions and, more importantly, forming friends. But I don’t tell my mother about it. ‘Thank you, Mum,’ I say, blinking back tears.

She gives me an awkward side hug before sashaying into the shiny new automobile that Gerald gave me as a birthday present. And then she abandons me outside the beautiful hostel-mansion, my bags by my side.

The interior of the hostel is much more beautiful than the photographs I’ve seen. The reception area features polished flooring, gleaming chandeliers, and photos of the patrons on the walls. I make my way up the spiral staircase to Room 9, my hostel room.

The room is actually a suite, with a tiny sitting room with beige chairs and a glass center table, a large kitchen, a massive bathroom with elegant faucets and an enclosed shower, and two bedrooms. Because the bedrooms are nearly the same size, making a pick is made easier. I choose the one with the best view of the seaport and the distant mountains. A wooden bed frame is pushed up against the wall, there is a white wooden desk in front of the window, and a white ceiling to floor mirror is poked up against the wall opposite my desk.

I laid my bag on the floor and got to work, hanging the few things I brought on hangers in the closet, putting my accessories and underwear in drawers, and neatly arranging my shoes by style and height.

‘There!’ I proclaim to my beautifully renovated bedroom as I place the finishing touch to my spotless white wall—a landscape painting of a river. I take a step back and look around my room, taking in all of my hard work. On my white desk, I have my diffuser, glass vases, jar of pebbles and marbles, cup of glitter pens, and ornamental table lights perfectly organized. My teddies are all arranged on my bed. If I do say so myself, I think I did a fantastic job.

I proceed to the kitchen with my favorite mug and the only food condiments I took from home (a tin of instant coffee powder, sachets of powder milk, and cubes of sugar). I start boiling water for my coffee after discovering an electric kettle amid other kitchen gadgets in the cabinets. When the water begins to boil, I pour it into the powder concoction in my mug and stir, which is when I hear voices from the sitting room.

I take the hot mug in my hands, allowing the heat to blister my palms, and prepare to greet my new roommate. A high-pitched laugh bounces off the walls, followed by a deeper one and a short chuckle. She has family or friends who care about her enough to assist her with her move. My mother would be at Gerald’s right now, sipping red wine from flute glasses on his terrace, congratulating himself on getting rid of me. Jerry and Harry, my obnoxious twin brothers, must be in school right now. Our house would be deserted, and my bedroom would be shut. I’m not missing home at all.

I tiptoe out of the kitchen with my mug of bad coffee clutched in my hands and into the narrow hallway, coming face to face with a voluptuous girl with a small, weeny afro.

‘Take a peek!’ She calls out to her companions, a tall girl and a male (who resembles the shouting girl). ‘This is my roommate!’ She then takes my mug of coffee and sips from it. The young lady has silky caramel complexion and large pouty lips. Her hair is a vivid, electric pink, and she is wearing chandelier-style dangling earrings.

‘She’s one of the rich ones,’ the tall girl replies, glancing at me with a sneer on her face. Her hair is wavy on the sides of her face, and she has a lip ring on her scarlet painted lips. She stands approximately six feet tall and has the body of a runway model. In contrast to my roommate, who is dressed in an enormous sweater, jeans, and sneakers, the tall girl is dressed in a short dress that fits her like a second skin and ankle boots.

‘So much jewelry,’ my roommate remarks, not sneering, but with a tiny smile, as if amazed. With an appreciative grin, she feels the layers of necklaces on my neck.

Between the time of Dad’s death and the beginning of Mum’s relationship with Gerald, I developed an addiction to retail therapy and a fascination with jewelry. All of the money I earn is used to fund my retail therapy and jewelry purchases. I’m always decked out with necklaces, a septum clip, earrings, a ring for each finger, a ring for each toe, anklets, and waist chains. Maybe I think the jewelry helps me appear lovely, or maybe I want to stick out. Perhaps it’s because the girls in secondary school referred to me as plain, and the jewelry proclaims, ‘I. Am. Not. Plain.’ Mum didn’t say anything about the jewelry or the frequency with which I purchased new outfits, flower pots, stationary, purses, and shoes.

‘My name is Tana,’ she adds merrily, handing me my coffee back. I admire her perkiness. She extends a snake hand devoid of jewelry, offering me a handshake. I put my encrusted hand in hers, and she shakes it vigorously. Her fingers are chilly and gentle, and her nails are clean and long.

‘My name is Lyra,’ I introduce myself. Her towering buddy snorts, and the male impersonator simply smiles at us like the Cheshire cat.

Tana introduces Yazmine and Faud. ‘My twin is Faud, and my best pal is Yazmine.’ I try to grin at Faud while avoiding Yazmine’s stare.

‘Are you also here on scholarship?’ As he pushes his round glasses up his nose, Faud croaks. He sports an afro like his twin sister.

I shake my head and enter my bedroom, closing the door behind me. I sip my coffee while I stare out the window at the hazy mountains on the horizon and listen to the faint groaning of ships at the harbour. Classes start in a week, so Mum made me come to campus early. Today is Monday, and they are having breakfast for supper at home. Gerald suggested it because he has dinner with us on Mondays. Since I’m here, I’ll have whatever I want instead. The thought of it makes me happy.

I must have drifted off for a while (despite the coffee), for the sky is black outside when I wake up to the sound of continuous knocking. I sit up from my laying posture on the bed, bleary-eyed, just as Tana storms into my room. I can detect the aroma of coffee in the midst of her vanilla cologne.

“Wake up, wake up, sleepy head!” Her voice rings out like a church bell. ‘I apologize for taking part of your coffee. I desperately needed it.’ Why don’t you just buy some? I thought irritably, but she doesn’t hear me and keeps chatting. ‘Yazmine, Faud, and I were wondering if you wanted to come to a party.’

‘No,’ I answer emphatically. ‘But thank you for inviting me.’ I recline and close my eyes, hoping for her to notice.

Tana, on the other hand, does not. She sits beside me on the bed and nudges me. ‘Come on, you don’t want to miss out on this party!’ Hugh is hosting, so it’s bound to be fantastic!’

As a first-year student, I have no idea who Hugh is and have no desire to find out. Sighing, I bury my face in my pillow.

‘I can’t leave you here on your alone!’ Tana states.

‘Of course you can,’ she says. Yazmine’s voice is heard. My gaze is drawn to her stare. ‘Can we already go to the party? The alcohol will not drink itself.’

I leap from my bed. ‘I’m leaving!’ Tana’s lips pull upwards, while Yazmine’s lips draw downwards. I smirk, pleased that I am annoying her.

‘Awesome!’ Tana lets out a childish screech. ‘Would you like me to lend you anything to wear? I have the loveliest little white outfit that will look fantastic on you.’

‘I’d like it,’ I say, ‘thanks Tana.’

The dress is really short, which I like, but if I bend down, my butt cheeks will greet the world. It’s white, with thin chain straps and a small sl*t on the left thigh. I accessorized with strappy sandals and a little silver purse. I’m wearing a lace, non-padded bra and a g-string underneath my outfit. I’m feeling s*xy.

‘You look fantastic,’ comments Faud. I see his gaze lingering on me for much too long. Yazmine doesn’t appear thrilled with his comment, and Tana is completely unaware of what is going on.

‘Thank you, my good man!’ I take his arm in mine and lead the way out of our suite.

I had no idea the party was off campus, but it makes logical that it would be held at a frat house rather than a suite hostel room. My toes quiver just thinking about dancing and sipping sharp liquid.

Tana grips my free hand as if she can read my mind. ‘I can’t wait to do the tipsy dance!’ She finishes with a laugh. She sits next me in the crammed taxi, sandwiching me between herself and Faud, leaving scowling Yazmine at the back seat. ‘Please don’t take drinks from anyone other than us, okay? And don’t stray too far!’ Her remarks, rather than making me feel parented, make me feel safe, like if I’ve discovered my new best friend.

Chapter 2

Lyra

The mystery Hugh’s home turns out to be a mansion. A large, white home surrounded by flower plants, quickly parked vehicles worth more than my entire life, and cheerful, gorgeous people milling about. I feel immediately out of place; I wish I had listened to Yazmine and stayed at the hostel.

Tana grabs my hand as she walks me to the mansion’s entrance, welcoming the guests who are buzzing about her. People occasionally hug her and kiss her on the cheeks. Her twin brother also receives some compliments, but Yazmine is soon ignored, and I believe her scowl has something to do with it.

A few interested eyes look at me, taking in my appearance and scrutinizing me. Some people grin warmly at me, while others look away, rejecting me as a dull topic.

There are even more individuals inside. The air is as thick as jelly, smelling of horny, grinding bodies and cigarettes. The music is so loud that it hurts my ears and vibrates through my body that I can barely

Heroes

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