Prologue

vam·pire

Pronunciation: \_vam-_pī(-ə)r\

Function: noun

Etymology: French, from German Vampir, from Serbian vampir

Date: 1732

1: the reanimated body of a dead person believed to come from the grave at night and suck the blood of persons asleep

2 a: one who lives by preying on others

b: a woman who exploits and ruins her lover

Whitby Abbey

We stood at the foot of the ruins, staring up at the crumbling arches.

The ancient stones provide little protection from the wind as it whipped in off the ocean.

I pulled my coat closer, an attempt to shelter myself. Against what, I was unsure. The sadness of the ruins? The legend that had been spun from these ancient walls? Maybe it was the man next to me, whose mere presence challenged everything.

"There are no ghosts here, Isabella. No monsters. No answers." His voice was low in my ear. "Chunks of limestone and old stories. Are you happy now? Did you find what you were looking for?"

I didn't know how to answer.

How had my life spun so radically out of control? In just a few short months, I had lost my way.

Or, if I listened to him, I found it.

Either way, I had decisions to make.

I stood at a fork in the road. I had to choose. Indecision was no longer an option. It was unfair to everyone. Especially to me.

"Isabella…Stop questioning, love. Just live."

If only it were that simple.

"I need to go back. Please take me back."