"It's true." I held my chin as high as I could and defiantly met the stares of my former teammates. "Luke, my boyfriend, is a vampire."
"How long have you known?" Ava said. Her face was rigid, unreadable.
"Since the moment I met him."
Noah clenched his fists. "What is wrong with you?"
I locked eyes with him. He wasn't going to intimidate me anymore. "Nothing."
"You're a vampire hunter," he yelled. "You're supposed to kill the vampires not play kissy-face with them."
"Why? Because you said so? All my life you've taught me vampires are evil and they have to be wiped out for the good of everyone. But that's not true. Vampires are no more evil than people and they don't deserve to be persecuted because of the myths people tell about them." My voice rose until it matched Noah's.
"You stupid girl. Can't you see he's brainwashed you?" Noah snarled back.
"You mean like you did with all the lies you fed me for the last sixteen years?" I flung my arms wide. "Look around you, Noah. There are two vampires in this room and they haven't tried to kill anyone. Caleb was going to cut me down with a machete just because I was in his way. Who's the real monster here?"
Noah's eyes slid in Caleb's direction and something akin to doubt flickered briefly through his eyes. He might not care for me as his daughter but I was one of the team and Caleb had tried to kill me. That had to count for something.
"If Luke or any of his clan wanted to hurt me they could have done it a thousand times over by now. Not one of them has ever harmed a hair on my head. In the short time I've known them they've treated me like family. It's more than any of you've done."
Ava visibly flinched. I didn't care.
"I love Luke," I continued, "and I'm going to be with him, no matter what."
Noah's lip curled in disgust as he looked Luke over. "This is ridiculous. You're a kid, Kiara. You don't know what love is."
"And you do?" Rage poured out of me like a volcano. Insults I could handle, disownment too. But to tell me what I felt for Luke wasn't real made my whole body shake. I gestured to Ava. "You think you two know what love is just because you're married? You sleep in separate beds. You don't ever kiss or even hold hands. That's not love."
Ava looked stricken. Belatedly I remembered her romance novel and the one time she'd opened up to me about how she wished there was still love in her marriage. Maybe I'd just taken a cheap shot at her but I was too angry to care.
"I've seen real love and experienced real love and you know what? Both times it was from vampires."
I put my hand on Samuel's shoulder. "This man took me into his home. He didn't judge me for who or what I was. He accepted me because Luke loved me. What the hell do any of you know about love?"
"That's irrelevant," Noah snapped.
"Not to me, it's not." I took Luke's hand. "There is something happening in this town and it's bigger than any of us realise. None of you care about that. You just want to kill. But I'm going to get to the bottom of all this and I'm going to do it with the vampires, not the vampire hunters."
"Kiara, no," Ava cried, darting forward a pace. Her face was pale, her eyes shimmering with something raw and unfamiliar. "You can't go."
"Why not? The vampires want me. They care about me."
"But you're my daughter." Ava's voice was as broken as I'd ever heard it. It was the first time she'd said anything like that to me, but it was too little too late.
YOU ARE READING
When Darkness Falls (Darkness Falls Book 1)Vampire
When darkness falls the vampires come out. Sixteen-year-old Kiara Morrow knows that better than anyone. She's been trained her whole life to wipe bloodsuckers off the face of the earth. Then she meets Luke. He's a vampire but he's unlike any va...