Music of Souls (Chapter 1, page 1 of 2)

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Chapter 1

Autumn had begun to creep over New England, promising to transform the landscape into the backdrop that Jackson Parrish so loved. He sauntered down Main Street, the hint of a self-satisfied smirk playing across full, pink lips. He reveled in the effect he had on people. Everyone who passed looked on with awe. At six feet, two inches tall, with a slim, athletic build, he moved with the grace of a dancer. Jet-black hair teased the collar of the Jon Green bespoke suit he wore like a runway model. His eyes, behind the Chopard Aviators, were a deep yellow gold. Often, when first meeting a woman, he would leave the sunglasses on until she regained her composure, then remove them to watch her unhinge again. He could only be described as a living Adonis-except he wasn't exactly alive. Jackson Parrish was 158 years old… and a vampire.

Jackson rounded the corner onto Elm Street toward the Renaissance inspired estate he currently called home. Before entering, he looked up at the cerulean fall sky once more to feel the sun. Whenever possible, he stretched his lithe body out like a panther to soak up the warmth his own blood could not provide. He found it laughable that the living invented so many myths to create a false sense of security regarding the dark predators. With a chuckle and a deep breath of crisp, clear air, he mused, Today would be perfect, were it not for the human locked in the basement.

The vampire was returning home after spending the night with a beautiful woman he had picked up in the bar at a local hotel. Finding women there meant the risk of seeing them again would be minimal, since they were most likely traveling on business. He possessed the capability to make victims forget, yet when they were willing participants, as most were, he enjoyed knowing they remembered their time with him.

Jackson did not feed recklessly like many of his kind. He prided himself on the fact that he had never killed a human by sucking them dry. Victims were carefully chosen, as if they were dance partners. Although he could influence them to willingly let him feed by merely making eye contact, he preferred to seduce his conquests to want him as desperately as he craved their blood. Jackson considered feeding a sport; one he excelled at. He often regretted leading women to believe there might be a future as he had this morning with, What was her name?? Carla? Carrie? Karen? Yes that's it, Karen. He made a mental note to send a piece of jewelry to her hotel room to assuage guilt over the promised phone call that would never happen. In truth, Jackson had never met a female, human or vampire, who could hold his interest for more than a day or two. In his mind, women fell into one of two groups: Smart or Fun. The smart ones were much too serious and the fun ones, well, they were just too stupid.

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