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Undying Sunset

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royalty/noble
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Blurb

In the thrilling supernatural novel, Undying Sunset, vampire queen Emilia commissions occult artist and graphic novelist Tommy Drix to paint her portrait, as she has not seen her own reflection in over eight hundred years. As her attraction and connection to Tommy grows, her violent, terrifying past, along with her vampire king, follows her from around the world, determined to reclaim what he sees as his… Emilia - and the ancient king is ready to eliminate anything, or anyone, in his way.

Undying Sunset is created by Sylvia Conley, an eGlobal Creative Publishing signed author.

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Chapter 1: Bloodborne
The thumping sounds from inside the club weren't what drew Emilia's attention. She stood outside a bar called Bloodborne, attracted to the name, and made curious by the patrons coming and going. They all had one thing in common; they were dressed as vampires. Rather, they were dressed how modern media portrayed vampires. It wasn't just a few of them, it was all of them. Emilia watched from the shadows, curious as to what all the humans were so excited about and why they were dressing as vampires. She found it amusing to watch since she could walk down the sidewalk every night and no one would even suspect she was a vampire. Curiosity compelling her - Emilia entered the bar. She understood quickly, the art on the walls, the names of the drinks, giving away that it was a vampire-themed bar. A smile curled on her cherry lips as she walked among the dancing, gyrating bodies, taking a seat at the bar. She'd never been to Seattle before. It was the first time she'd ever been in America, trying to get as far away as possible from the life she left behind. The bartender caught sight of her, raising an eyebrow. She was dressed in a sparkling, sapphire blue dress that didn't adhere to the common dress code throughout the bar. She imagined she looked very out of place sitting there. “What can I get for you?" the bartender asked. Emilia glanced over the drinks. As she read the different drink options, her fangs ached with thirst. None of the beverages on the menu would satisfy, but she needed a reason to stay. “I'll have a blood martini," she ordered. The bartender nodded. He was a large man, bald-headed, covered in tattoos with bulging muscles and several piercings in his ears and on his face. The bartender put her drink on the bar in front of her. Emilia sniffed. There was no actual blood in her martini. She hadn't expected there to be, but it made her throat burn, knowing she couldn't actually drink the beverage before her. Despite its thickness and the crimson color, it would do her no good. Still, Emilia sat on at the bar and pinched the stem of the martini glass. “You seem out of place here," a man said, sliding onto the barstool beside her. Emilia smiled coyly, slowly closing her eyes. “How can you tell?" she asked. She turned towards the man beside her. He was generically handsome, wearing a black cape, thick eyeliner, and plastic fangs. “You're not dressed to play the part," he told her. He chuckled and tapped the bar. The bartender slipped him a beer. “You're so sure?" she asked. Emilia widened her smile, revealing her canine fangs. The man beside her smirked. “Those are amazing," he said, sliding his own plastic fangs out of his mouth. “Are they real dental implants?" Emilia didn't know what that meant, but she nodded, hoping that it was the right answer. Her suitor took a sip of his beer. Emilia looked around at the art on the walls. From the color pallet and the brush strokes, she was able to determine the works were done by the same artist. “You're too pretty to be in a place like this," the man beside Emilia said. Slowly, she turned her attention back to him. “What do you see when you look at me?" she asked. Her suitor sputtered a little. “Umm…I see a gorgeous woman," he said. Emilia nodded. “Is that all you see?" she asked curiously. The man beside her creased his brow. “I don't know what you want me to say," he said with a nervous laugh. “Tell me what you see, what I look like to you," she said. Again, the man gave a nervous laugh. “Other than beautiful, what more do you need to know?" he asked. He gave her a flirtatious look. Emilia lost interest in the man quickly. She turned her attention back to the paintings on the wall. They were dark representations of the human form, twisted, covered in blood with demonic undertones. As the bartender passed by again, Emilia reached out and grabbed his arm. “Who made these paintings?" she asked. “That would be graphic novelist Tommy Drix," the bartender told her. “He lives in the loft upstairs, owns the bar, and writes supernatural graphic novels." “Where can I find more of his art?" she asked. “There is a bookstore on the corner that carries his novels," the bartender told her. Emilia nodded. She slipped off her barstool, ignoring the protests of the man beside her, and headed out of the bar. Down the block, she walked. She checked the horizon in the east. There were still several hours until sunrise, several hours for her to get safely inside. In the bookstore, Emilia asked for the artist by name and she was pointed in the direction of the graphic novels. As she walked between the bookshelves, she ran her hand along the spines of the books. Literature had changed so much in the ages she had been around. Emilia found a section titled 'graphic novels.' There was an entire shelf dedicated to Tommy Drix's work, showing her how popular he was. Intrigued, she pulled the first volume of one of his best-selling series off the shelf. She flipped through the pages, looking at his intricate artwork. She stopped near one of the center pages, finding an image of a pale, exposed throat with pearly white fangs sinking into the artery. Swallowing, Emilia felt burning hunger sear down her throat and pit in her stomach. She let the pad of her pointer finger run over the lines of the fangs and the pricks of crimson blood that formed at the vampire's teeth. What else could Tommy Drix be writing about, other than vampires? Emilia bit her lower lip, flipping to later images in the book where it showed more vampiric activity. The artist's depictions of vampires weren't entirely accurate, so she knew he wasn't a vampire himself, but the way he drew and crafted the images, it moved her. There were layers to his work, to what he saw, and how he brought it to life with lines and colors. Emilia snapped the book closed and put it back on the shelf. “Tommy Drix, huh?" a male employee at the bookstore asked, coming up to Emilia. “I like his art," Emilia said, glancing at the man from under her eyelashes. His jaw slackened slightly. “H-he does some canvas paintings too. Every now and then he has a gallery showing. It has been a while since a new book came out or since he had a gallery show," the man said. “You're a fan?" she asked. He nodded. Emilia looked him over quickly. He was tall and lanky, had a prominent nose, greasy skin, and his shaggy, black hair hadn't been washed recently. “That's why I work here, so I can get the latest updates on graphic novel releases," he said. “I've never seen you here before." “I've never been here before," Emilia said. A bead of sweat formed on the man's forehead. She could hear his heart pounding heavily in his chest, the blood in his veins thumping in time with his heart, a pounding that made her fingers twitch and her stomach throb. “Uh…did you want to get one of his novels?" he asked awkwardly. Emilia shook her head. “No, I want to see him," she stated. The employee creased his brow and laughed nervously. “Good luck, he is a bit of a recluse," he said. “He even missed the last three scheduled book signings." Emilia raised an eyebrow, not fully understanding what the man was talking about. Her exposure to the modern human world was limited. “Thank you," she said. “I will try my luck." She licked her lips, causing the man's hands to shake as he shelved a few books. He turned quickly and ran from her. Emilia returned to the bar. The bartender had told her that Tommy Drix owned the vampire-themed establishment and lived above it. She wanted to get a look at him. Instead of going back through the bar, Emilia ducked down an ally. She dug her sharp nails into the brick siding. The rusty-red material crumbled easily under her strength. She climbed. Up the side of the building and to the nearest fire escape. Emilia landed lithely and silently on the fire escape. She could easily see into Tommy Drix's loft without making a sound or alerting him to her presence. The artist was standing in front of a blank canvas, a paintbrush in hand. She couldn't see his face, but Emilia took a moment to enjoy the paint-stained t-shirt and jeans that he wore. His dirty blond hair was pulled back in a ponytail. He had athletically broad shoulders and a sturdy build, even though he wasn't popping with muscle. The tanned color of his skin and the subtly of his muscles made him look warm and soft. From the fire escape, she could smell his blood. It sent a shudder down her spine. He never moved, just stared at the canvas. Easily, Emilia slipped into his mind and skimmed his thoughts. He was unaware of her presence, as most humans were, but his thoughts gave nothing away as to why he just stared at the canvas. Emilia was resigned to learning more about this man who depicted the darkest, most interesting aspects of vampirism.

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