The teenage girl shivered on the hard oak floor.

Her aunt, a plump woman of forty, tossed a black cloak over her, tying it nervously at her neck then grasping the hood and pulling it up with shaking hands. She kept mumbling about how much she would miss her niece, how fast this was all happening, how nervous it made her. She demanded that the girl contact her if she reached her destination.

“Of course, I don’t mean if,” she rambled on. “You will get there. You must, otherwise- well, you know the consequences . . .”

The girl paid little attention to her aunt. She stared out into space, her head swarming with the implications of what she was about to do. Part of her wanted to call the thing off, to just do as she was told like any other respectable person . . . but she knew that would be wrong.

The rest of her family stood around them: her two uncles of thirty and forty, and her younger cousin. But most important was her brother, who watched the scene solemnly from the far wall. She made eye contact with him, hoping that he would offer her an encouraging smile and raise her spirits; but he just continued to give her a morose gaze, as if fighting back a set of brimming tears. The sight sent painful pangs to her heart and brought on an even deeper flood of uncertainty.

Her Aunt began shaking her by the shoulders.

“Hey! Are you even listening to me? Listen, now!”

Her urgent cry was silenced by a loud pounding on the oak door, which rattled furiously against the creaking hinges.

“No, hey, look at me,” her Aunt whispered fiercely as she pulled away her niece’s fearful gaze. “Listen, okay? I need you to promise me two things. Promise me that you will contact us as soon as you can . . . but also that you will never, ever return to this place.”

The pounding got louder.

“I need your word.”

The door handle began to wiggle violently.

“Promise me!”

The teenager finally composed herself. She nodded quickly and replied in a weak, unsteady voice: “I . . . I promise.”

Her Aunt immediately shoved her through the kitchen and out the back door. The girl stretched her head back to take one last look at her family before stumbling onto the street that glistened like diamonds in the night. And then she ran. She ran harder than she ever had in her life, her heart pounding with the things she was leaving behind, and her head filled with anticipations of what was to come.

The Lamia

Book 1 of the Victoria Benson Saga

Victoria Benson is popular, makes decent grades, and has a gorgeous boyfriend. In short, life is perfect- until she learns she descends from a long line of vampire hunters, and it's time to join the family business.

As Victoria comes to grips with her destiny, a powerful vampire named Darius has taken a keen interest in the young slayer.  After being kidnapped by the sadistic vampire, Victoria is thrust into a battle of life and death as Darius threatens to take away everything she loves. But even with the help of her family, Darius seems to possess a power that makes him unstoppable . . .

The Victoria Benson Saga is dedicated to helping homeless animals in the state of Oklahoma. Purchase it here.

       Website of K.J. Bryen          

                     (Also Kelsey Warren-Bryant)