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Marrying Dracula: A Fated Mates Vampire Romance (Dating Monsters Book 3)

Marrying Dracula: A Fated Mates Vampire Romance (Dating Monsters Book 3)

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MAIN TROPES

  • Fated Mates
  • Vampire Romance
  • Dracula!
  • Protective Hero
  • Human Turned Vampire
  • Found Family

The Legend. The Immortal. My… Husband?

In a matter of months, I’ve gone from vlogger to vampire to prisoner. Yup, that’s right. My life has taken yet another unexpected turn, and this time, it’s taken me to a dungeon cell in jolly old England. So much for that vacation I’ve been dreaming about.

Separated from Dracula in these damp, dreary cells, I’m itching for a bit more action—the kind that involves outsmarting the vampire queen who seems hell-bent on destroying my life. I do have a wedding to plan, after all.

Escaping and taking on the queen might seem like a tall order, but hey, they say love conquers all. It’s do-or-die time—quite literally. I’m not about to lose Vlad, not when our forever is at stake. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that when cornered, I don’t just fight—I bite. Hard. And the queen? She’s about to learn how far I’ll go to protect my happily ever after.

It might be time to put her back in her grave—permanently.

Chapter One

I hum-a-lum-lummed a silly song. For the unlife of me, I couldn’t remember the words, only the melody. I knew it was a song from Disney’s Snow White, something about wishing for the one I love to come find me, but that was all I remembered. Oh well, the lyrics didn’t really matter. I preferred to make them up anyway, if only to piss off my captive audience.

“I’m wishing… I’m wishing…,” I sang, horrendously off-key. My mother had always said my voice could peel the skin off an onion—whatever the hell that meant. “For these guards of mine…” My fingers tapped to my imaginary beat. “To fuck off… to fuck off… today… today.” 

A long, drawn-out sigh came from outside my prison cell.

“I’m hoping… I’m hoping…,” I continued, raising my voice an octave. “And I’m dreaming of… the ways that… the ways that… they’ll die… they’ll die.”

I continued humming, all while purposely dropping some idle threats and chipper F-bombs along the way. When I grew bored with that annoying song, I quickly dug through my mental library for something I knew would piss off Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum out there.

“This is the song that never ends,” I belted out, tapping my toes against the cement wall. “Yes, it goes on and on, my friends!” I shouted the last two words so loud, my voice went hoarse, and the sound echoed through the prison. “Some people started singing it, not knowing what it was—”

“Shut the bloody ’ell up!” one of my guards barked. He whirled to face me and slapped his sword against the metal bars. “Fucking nutter. Can we kill ’er yet?”

A small smile pulled on my lips.

“Just ignore her,” the other guard commented, his tone practically limp with boredom.

Considering I’d been abusing them with nonsense like this for six months, I had to give the guy credit. He was steadfast and calm. In all our time together, I couldn’t remember a single time he’d raised his voice or cursed at me. That didn’t make him a friend, though. I’d overheard his private conversations detailing how he’d love to drain me, just to shut me up. Between the two of them, he concerned me the most. He didn’t lose himself to anger like the other one. That made him far more frightening and unpredictable.

“What’ll it be next, boys?” I asked, running my hands through my slick, greasy hair. Gross, right? Well, not my fault. The queen was the one who refused to let me leave my cell. Considering vampires didn’t require potty breaks, she seemed to feel showers were equally unnecessary. “Beyoncé? Or maybe a little Britney Spears? How about I serenade you with a little ‘Toxic’? Or maybe ‘Criminal’? I feel like I could pull that one off.”

“If you open yer trap one more time—”

“Oh, come on!” I retorted. Tweedle Dee’s threats didn’t frighten me. I’d learned early on that neither of the Tweedles had permission to enter my cell. And I’d been listening to them for nearly two hundred days now—yes, I kept count. “Who doesn’t like music? Or do you prefer the Disney songs?” I twirled a lock of grimy hair around my finger. “I mean, I am a Disney princess, after all. Locked away in a tower, singing songs, guarded by two brutes. Did you know Rapunzel lived in a tower? I’m blonde, so I guess I could be her. What do you think? Of course, we could just dye my hair black, and then I’d be Snow White. She talked to animals, you know. Hmm, maybe I have more in common with her, what with the whole evil queen thing—”

“For the love of everything unholy, shut yer fuckin’ trap!” Tweedle Dee shouted. “I swear, if you utter another word, I’m gonna—”

I sat up and spun to face him with what I called my “innocent eyes.” Mostly, it just involved me batting my eyelashes. “You’re gonna what? Talk me to death? You and I both know the queen forbade you from touching me.”

Fury blazed in his dark eyes, and a promise lurked in those depths. One that involved my death. I admit, it amused me. I enjoyed pushing Tweedle Dee’s buttons. Wonder if there was a trophy for pissing someone off so badly that they actually wanted to kill you?

“Accidents are known to happen, ya get me?”

“Ooo.” I mock-shivered. “You’ve got me shaking in my boots.”

He bared his teeth. “Keep this up, and…”

Laughter slipped past my lips. I rose to my socked feet and skipped playfully across my cell, all the while singing aloud.

Tweedle Dee’s face mottled, and his knuckles bleached when his grip tightened around his sword’s hilt. I pretended not to notice and instead began a one-woman-performance of the Phantom of the Opera musical. I’d never seen the actual Broadway show, but I’d watched the movie starring Gerard Butler—because who hadn’t?—so I had something to work with. It wasn’t until I reached the second chorus of “Think of Me” when I heard a familiar squeak. I continued singing, slowly moving into “Angel of Music,” but my gaze swung to the side of the room where a small, albeit familiar, beast crouched in the shadows.  

“Ignore her already,” Tweedle Dum commented, his words hanging on the edge of a heavy sigh. “She’ll lose interest if you stop reacting.”

I quirked an ear and listened to their conversation, all while belting out the Phantom’s part in a bass register I sorely lacked.

Tweedle Dee mumbled some crass curse and turned his back to me. He sheathed his sword, then fisted and unfisted his hands at his sides. I’d definitely pricked someone’s nerves and wasn’t ashamed to admit it. In fact, I felt a small swell of pride. My antics were childish, but hey, they kept me sane. Not that my guards understood that. They thought me well and truly mad, which was exactly what I wanted.

I slowly crept back toward my bed, now belting out the main theme song, and sat on the steel edge. I lowered my hand and rubbed my fingers together, silently summoning the small animal.

Weasley scurried over to me, careful to keep hidden in the shadows, and bumped her soft head against my palm. The Tweedles seemed determined to ignore me, so they didn’t notice the arrival of my little friend. Weasley was a common weasel. Nothing fancy about her other than her cutie patootie face that I desperately wanted to smoosh between my palms. I couldn’t, though. It was crucial that her presence remain a secret, considering she was my spy.

Six months ago, before the inquisitors had stuffed me and Vlad into a plane and shipped us across the Atlantic, I’d discovered I could communicate with animals. Luckily for me, I’d also learned I didn’t need to speak out loud for them to hear me. It wasn’t a particularly powerful gift, like shifting or telekinesis, but it was the only thing I had working for me right now.   

Rats infested the tower dungeon, so I’d spent my first month here practicing communicating with animals. Those disgusting critters were not my favorite. Too twitchy and demanding and, well, gross. Just thinking about them gave me the shivers.

But Weasley? She’d sought me out during my second month of incarceration. How the heck she’d found her way into the dungeon, I had absolutely no idea. But I’d welcomed her comforting, furry face. I had absolutely nothing to offer her, but she didn’t seem to mind. A gentle soul, this one. She genuinely enjoyed helping me, and I appreciated that quality like no other.

I drew my hand back to perform an air piano solo, one that had Tweedle Dee cringing.

“Are you okay?” I asked Weasley.

“Weasley good!” she chirped in my head. “Weasley happy to see Anna!”  

“And Anna is happy to see Weasley. Alright, fill me in on everything, Snicker Doodle.”

The sound of her humorous snuffling filled my mind and I grinned, even as I continued serenading my guards. She loved the nickname I’d given her during a low point in my incarceration. Something to cheer me up. 

Learning to mind-speak with animals while talking—or in this case, singing—aloud had taken so much effort. To this day, I still couldn’t believe what I’d accomplished in my time here.

“Queenie has summoned you! Her men come now. I bite one?”

I had to choke back a laugh, one I disguised as a cough. “No, no biting. They can’t find out about you.”

“Boo. Queenie mean. Don’t like.”

“You and me both, girlfriend. What does the queen want?”

“Don’t know. Only heard her men coming, so came to see you.”

I scritched her little head and listened to the sound of her contended purr. “Guess we’ll just wait and see what she wants then. How’s Vlad?”

“Sir Battikins?”

Another laugh rose in my throat. I almost regretted telling her about Lucy and Vlad and the nickname Lucy had given him. Keyword, almost. There was something entirely too adorable—and comical—about listening to my weasel friend call Vlad Sir Battikins.

“He not okay.”

Her words sparked fear in my chest. I rubbed the aching spot and stopped singing.

Tweedle Dum shot me a quick glance over his shoulder, but he clearly saw nothing out of the ordinary because he faced forward again immediately after.

My throat thanked me for finally shutting the hell up. Sometimes these games of mine exhausted me, but they were important. I had to do whatever it took to keep the guards focused on anything other than me and my animal friends. If they even so much as suspected us, I’d lose everything, including my one way of checking on Vlad.

“Tell me,” I whispered in my head.

“He miss you. Every time I visit, he darker. Angrier. A black aura around him.”

Well, that certainly didn’t sound good. I wished I had a way of communicating with him, but since he couldn’t speak with animals, there wasn’t much I could do. This was the extent of my one and only power. I could hold conversations with them, but Vlad couldn’t. And my animal friends couldn’t make a spectacle of themselves, otherwise Vlad’s guards would immediately notice.

“Any news regarding him?”

Weasley trilled in my head, and her whiskers tickled my palm. “Queenie only interested in you. Battikins safe for now.”

I considered our situation. There had to be something I could do to show him I was fine and hopefully perk him up. These past six months had been harrowing to say the least, and lonely as all fuck, but we were in this together. I just needed him to hold on.

The inquisitors had taken everything but the clothes on our backs when they loaded us into the van. I stared down at my filthy shirt and inspected the cuffs that’d once had buttons back before imprisonment. Now, all that remained was one tiny brown button hanging on by a loose thread. Grinning, I plucked it off and held it in my hand. It was only a button, yet the thought of communicating with Vlad in some fashion bolstered my mood.

I missed Vlad. The agony of being separated from him was unlike anything I’d ever experienced before—including death. Right now, I would do anything to see or speak to him, both of which I knew were impossible. For now, this would suffice.

“Okay, Weasley. Can you take this to Vlad? Don’t let the guards see you. Stick to the shadows. Just sneak up to him and give him this button.”

Weasley’s nose touched my fingers, and her little grabby paws snatched the prize from my hands. “For Anna, I do anything.”

Her loyalty brought tears to my eyes, but I quickly blinked them back. Sadly, we vampires cried blood tears, and if the guards so much as caught a whiff of that, they’d know something was up. Thankfully, they remained completely unaware of Weasley’s scent, but considering the stench of my cell, that didn’t surprise me. Blood was different though. Much like sharks, vampires were excited by the scent—no need to incite the Tweedles more than I already had.

“What about queenie?” Weasley asked. “Her men come soon. They take you.”

Fear tightened my throat, but I tried not to show it. “I’ll be fine. You wouldn’t be able to come with me anyway. Stay with Vlad if you can. But remember—”

“Stay hidden, yes. Weasley know.”

I smiled and stroked her side, reveling in the feel of her clean fur. Strange, the state I’d been reduced to. Filthier than an animal. I tried not to think about it. Tried not to think about the condition of my hair and clothes. At least the filth clinging to me was nothing more than dirt and grime, and I no longer had any biological urges. I couldn’t imagine the condition I’d be in if I still had to obey a bladder.

“Weasley?”

She stilled against my hand, her head cocked to the side.

“If you can find some way to touch him, even if all you can do is brush your nose against him, please do it. I think he’ll understand it’s coming from me.”

Weasley chittered in my head, then she touched her nose to my palm and backed away.

I rolled my head and stared out the cell bars. The Tweedles stood with their backs to me, their ears primed, but their eyes were facing forward.

“Go,” I told her.

“I come when you’re back. We see each other again.”

A faint smile curved my lips. I had to admire Weasley’s optimism. If the queen was finally sending for me, I knew it wasn’t for anything good. She hadn’t once summoned me or stepped foot inside the dungeon since our arrest. Not that I expected her to sully herself here. But I had expected an audience. As the weeks passed without, I began to wonder if she intended to leave us here forever. The day that realization dawned, I began working on my new ability. Who knew when I’d require animal assistance? I needed to be ready. At the very least, there were fifty or so rats housed within the dungeon that I could unleash on the Tweedles. I’d been tempted a few times in moments when they particularly pissed me off. But doing so would reveal my one power, and I needed to keep the queen in the dark for as long as possible.

Weasley vanished without a sound. I listened to her thoughts until I couldn’t hear them anymore. Clearly, Vlad’s cell was far removed from mine—purposely done, if I had to guess.

I started humming to myself again, this time for my own pleasure. Silence had never bothered me before, but now, it made me itchy. I truly didn’t enjoy isolation. And seeing as how the Tweedles were my only form of entertainment and communication, I took great pleasure in pissing them off.

Tweedle Dee sighed and shifted his weight, obviously unamused by my decision to start humming again.

It didn’t last long. A few seconds into the new song, I picked up on the sound of approaching footsteps. If Weasley was right—and she was never wrong—these newcomers belonged to the queen.

The Tweedles snapped to attention when three new guards appeared.

I didn’t rise from my bed and instead, watched them from the corner of my eye. All five were dressed identically, right down to the silver swords strapped to their belts. Silver didn’t harm vampires, but it did poison other paranormal creatures, such as werewolves. That didn’t make the blade any less lethal, though, considering it could still lop off my head.

“Queen Genevieve has requested the prisoner.”

Tweedle Dee mumbled something like “About damn time,” then turned with a malicious grin. Whoever this man had been in his human life, he’d had a thing for pain. Or maybe I just inspired such sadistic tendencies.

He rooted around in his pocket and produced a long, shining key, one that had been polished recently. He unlocked my cell and yanked open the door.

I rose to my feet. For a moment, I debated fleeing. But where would I go? And how far would I get before my five guards caught me? I was unarmed, outnumbered, and greatly undernourished. A bag of blood a day was all I received. Hardly enough for a growing girl.

“Don’t even think about attempting to escape,” one of the new guards uttered. “We have permission to cut you down if you resist.”

My eyes widened. After six months of forbidding anyone to touch me, now the queen gave them permission to harm me? Why?

Two of the guards drew their swords and held them at their sides as though convinced I needed to witness their show of strength. I had no intentions of running now, for reasons previously stated. But also, Vlad. Even if I could escape, I wouldn’t leave without him. No way in hell.

Nodding, I stepped toward the cell door. My eyes flashed to the Tweedles, and I threw them my own little grin. I might not be armed, but I did have a few weapons of my own. My gaze bounced between them, and with a ruthless smirk, I said, “My god, you two stink to high heaven.”

The two shrank away from me, their lips drawn back to reveal long, whetted fangs. My lack of faith meant the G-word had little to no effect on me. That wasn’t the case for other vampires. So far, every single one I’d met had issues with God. And I loved to take advantage of that weakness. It didn’t do much other than make them uncomfortable. But right now, it was the only weapon I had.

Laughing, I pranced out of my cell, knowing it would aggravate them to no end.

The other three vampires surrounded me, clearly confused by the current dynamics. I shrugged, then started toward the next door, one that would lead into a corridor. It swung open to reveal yet another guard out in the hall. Snickering, I glanced back, then pushed my luck a little further. Wiggling my ass in front of all of them, I danced my way out into the corridor, all the while singing, “Oh my god, look at her butt.” I made sure to repeat the god sentiment every chance I got.

Because I was just pure evil like that.

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