Revision. Juliet’s Novella

So after critiques, tweaks and polishing, here is the revised version of  the intro and first chapter of Juliet’s Novella. Fair warning, this story is not for the faint of heart. Input is extremely appreciated. Thank you in advance!

Introduction:

An intense and fierce pain ripped through Juliet’s body, through the confusion of pain her brain managed to comprehend that one of the fireballs exploding through the floor had caught her on fire. She knew she had to put the fire out; she had to save her and Alejandro’s unborn baby. She reached for her abdomen, an instinctual reaction to her thoughts. Her hands found only air and she looked down to see a gaping hole where her mid-section had once been, not even blood flowed as the heat had instantaneously cauterized the wound. The darkness closed in before the panic could consume her;  she was floating, memories of her life flowing before her eyes. She wasn’t just seeing them, but feeling them and it was peaceful, she felt peace.

Chapter One: Birth

Nancy Englington smiled down at her beautiful daughter, “Her name will be Juliet Anne Englington.” She said looking up at her husband, Rodney Englington. He was just as handsome as he had been the day she met him, with his light brown hair, dark brown eyes and dark lashes. It was hard for Nancy to believe that it had been ten years ago, Rodney’s six foot two muscular physique hadn’t changed, but Nancy had grown into a women.

The door flew open and Nancy’s  mouth went dry as her father-n-law Conrad Englington came into the room.“Let me see the child.” He demanded bounding across the room in three easy steps and snatching the newborn out of Nancy’s arms. “A female? You lied to me, you told me it was going to be a male!” Conrad said dropping the now crying infant back into her mothers’ arms.

Rodney gasped as his father dropped his baby,  he watched his wife catch the baby and cradle her before he turned his attention back to his father. Of course he had lied because he had witnessed the horrid man forcing his sister-n-laws into ending pregnancies that had been females. His father insisted that the first born in any of his descendants were male and the monster would go to any length to ensure that happened, even murder. “Get out!” Rodney said shocking himself. His voice was shaking, this was the first time he had ever stood up to his father, even though he was nearly sixty in human years.

“What did you just say to me?” Conrad asked, his pupils flexing as his anger rose.

“I said get out, get out of this room and out of my life, I am done!” Rodney yelled back at him. A rare feeling overcame him at that very moment, determination. He had started this, he might as well finish it even it meant his death. At the least he would die happy that he had finally stood up to the monstrosity that stood before him.

“How dare you, who in the hell do you think you are talking to?” Conrad said stepping towards his son with every intention of knocking him on his ass.

“I know exactly who I am talking to and it will be the last time you will ever see me or your grandchild again!” Rodney said laying his hand on the knife that hung from his belt.

Conrad looked his son up and down; he didn’t know why he even cared. This son had been nothing but a disappointment to him. Regardless, he couldn’t have anyone, especially not his son, disrespecting him. His boy reaching for the small knife didn’t evoke any type of emotion and he raised his hand, allowing his anger to be apparent through the force of the swing he took. Conrad felt a quick sharp pain in his chest and then felt a warm liquid running down the front of him.

Rodney was knocked back into the wall by his fathers’ back hand. It wasn’t the first time but it still hurt like hell. He had always thought that his father would stop hitting him as he got older, but his father had only learned to hit harder the older and larger Rodney had got. However this time was different, just because his father’s hand had made contact with his cheek didn’t mean that Rodney hadn’t managed to pull his knife out of its sheath. He watched as his father stepped back, the knife protruding out of his chest. His father looked down, there was no shock or regret showing on his face, just anger. Rodney didn’t know why he expected anything different, he couldn’t think of one moment in his life when his father hadn’t been angry. Rodney also knew that particular look on his fathers’ face and it occurred to him that he would be lucky to have a breath left in him by the time his father was finished beating him for this one. His fathers’ pupils had flexed to slits and his fangs had dropped, those fangs that had been used as punishment Rodney’s entire life.

Conrad felt his fangs drop, the fear on his sons face showed him that Rodney had no idea he had just killed him. The fangs dropping had been involuntary, a physiological reaction his body was having to the blood loss that the knife in his heart was causing. He hated this son, and it infuriated him that it would be this son who would be his undoing. He was one hundred and fifty years old, he had sired thirty men during those years and the idea that this weak man who stood in front of him was the one to kill him was outrageous. Suddenly he felt a smile creep across his face; it wasn’t a happy smile but one of revenge. If he was going to die he was going to take that wretched female child with him.

Rodney’s blood felt as if it had suddenly turned to ice as his father smiled at him and he couldn’t move. For a moment he thought it was out of fear but then he realized he wasn’t afraid, he was pissed. He also realized in that moment he couldn’t move because his father had hexed him. His thoughts were suddenly beyond his control and he watched in horror at the plan that his father was showing him. In the vision his father turned towards his wife and beautiful new daughter. He watched as his father grabbed his daughter and threw her through the window. Then he began to strangle his wife.

“No father, please.” Rodney begged his voice the only thing his father hadn’t hexed. Conrad took a step towards Nancy and Juliet and then as if by divine intervention Rodney watched him stumble. The man tried to catch himself on the bed. The blood from his chest had run down his arm and onto the hand that had reached out to save him and it was too slick to do so. Rodney could do nothing but watch as his father fell, driving the protruding knife deeper. There was one last shiver that swept through his fathers’ body as if he were still trying to fight to stay alive and then stillness. Rodney heard a sob and his limbs suddenly seemed light, lighter then they had ever felt in his life. He was not only free from the hold his father’s hex physically but he was free from his father in every way. He rushed to his wife’s side and held her, tears of relief flowing down his own face, knowing he was finally free.

Rodney wiped his tear and handed his wife a tissue, “Is she okay?” He asked fearful that Conrad had hurt the baby.

“I think…”  The door to the hospital room swung open and Rodney looked up, fear engulfing him. His father had been powerful but he had nothing on the man who had just walked through the door, Brady Shay. At well over six and a half feet and two hundred pounds of pure muscle Brady was a forced to be reckoned with, he was also the head of the region, and hierarchy of The Sect. Brady was known for being merciful but Rodney wasn’t sure how he merciful he would be with this, his father had been Brady’s confidant for at least fifty years.

As Brady walked into the room, he was doing everything he could to not smile. He could smell Conrad’s blood seeping from his heart and he couldn’t be happier. He had been trying to figure out a way to end the man himself without losing his democratic reputation, but now he didn’t have to. “He… he was.” Rodney Englington was stuttering, the man’s face was red from the hot tears that had been flowing only moments earlier.

Brady held his hand up silencing the stuttering man, “I know you were protecting your family. I would do the same.” He studied the man who stood before him, he was so timid and lost, the outcome of having an abusive overbearing father controlling him for sixty years. Brady rolled Conrad’s body over and pulled the knife out wiping the blood off on the part of Conrad’s shirt that wasn’t already soaked, he then handed the knife back to Rodney. “Don’t worry I will take care of this, what can I do for you?”

“I’m sorry?” Rodney asked his confusion obvious.

“You have done me a favor and now I owe you one.” Brady studied the man for a moment, reading his thoughts he then understood the hesitation in the man. “Oh, you thought I would be angry with this?” Brady asked kicking the dead carcass at his feet. “I just hadn’t quiet formulated a plan to end him diplomatically yet. Now Rodney, what can I do for you?”

“I just want my freedom, our freedom.” Rodney stammered.

“Freedom? The only freedom from what we are is death.” Brady said cruelly, he just couldn’t help but toy with quivering man. “Is that what you want?”

“N…no.” Rodney stuttered. Rodney glanced at his wife and new daughter, and then glanced down at his dead father, he had stood up to his father he might as well keep it going. “I want to be free of the hierarchy; I want to raise my daughter as a human.” He said his voice a little less unsure.

“Yeah, good luck with that.” Brady said chuckling, and walking out of the room as if Rodney’s request were puerile, leaving bloody footprints in his wake. A moment later he returned with two orderlies wheeling a gurney in. They had been mirrored by Brady and were now under his control. Rodney watched as they picked his fathers’ body up, placing it on the gurney they wheeled it out without a word or thought about it.  “I will ensure that you have financial security and the credentials you need for your free life.” Brady said walking back to Nancy’s side and peering down at Juliet, “However, I do need you to stay in Gatlinburg, raise this child here, as a human if you so choose.” Brady chuckled again at the words he spoke. It was impossible to bring up a demi-god as a human, he had seen it tempted more times in his life then he cared to recollect and it never worked. “Once she is an adult you can go where you please.”

“I… that’s not freedom.” Rodney said feeling brave. Rodney swallowed hard as Brady looked at him, the man was scary as hell and rumors had it that he was well over three hundred years old and more powerful than most of them, rumor also had it that he was more than happy to feed off of his own kind.

“Rodney don’t mistake me for your father, he was weak. I will allow you your freedom here; it isn’t a request.” Brady said turning back to the beautiful child before him. He would have a daughter or two of his own someday, his mothers’ seer had reassured him of that before he had died. Brady ran his finger down Juliet’s soft cheek and then looked up at Rodney, flexing his pupils as he did so, “I don’t need a diplomatic reason to end you, you have given me the only reason I need. Do we have an understanding?”

“Yes, yes sir.” Rodney said his new found courage fleeing from him at Brady’s words.

Brady’s demeanor changed almost instantly and he once again smiled down at the now quiet infant. “Good, take good care of her, she is going to be very dear to someone one day.” He ran his finger down her cheek one last time before turning and leaving the room.

Rodney was silent for a moment, he walked to the door ensuring Brady was gone before he closed the door and returned to his wife’s side.  “What did he mean? Does he have plans for our daughter?” Nancy asked tears streaming down her cheeks once more.

“I don’t know, but I will ensure that our daughter wants nothing to do with him or anyone like him.” Rodney said leaning down and kissing his daughters cheek. Etching in his heart the words he spoke, he would raise his daughter to hate and despise all those like Conrad Englington.

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