Letter to Jonathan Harker from Abraham Van Helsing
(Delivered in accordance to his directions upon his death on December 4, 1899)
March 15, 1897

Friend Jonathan,

If you are reading this, then it would be that I have passed into the sweet hereafter. I apologize for the shock I am sure this must cause you, and to poor Madam Mina. Forgive me, friend Jonathan and dearest Mina, but there is something that I must confess, lest I be denied entry by Saint Peter. I reveal this with great shame, the burden of which I have felt heavy in my heart every day and I must confess it, not to a priest but no less a man of God.
Friend Jonathan, I implore you to forgive the weakness of this old man but that night in Transylvania I faltered. Yes, I hunted down those foul women that appeared to Madam Mina and myself the night before, and to you so terribly months earlier, and threw back the lids to their graves and found them to be sleeping the sleep of death. At once my mind and heart was unexplainably taken with pity for these poor creatures against my better judgment. I held my stake and hammer above the dark one, placing it to her cold bosom, her voluptuousness enthralling, and drove it deep. The scream she imparted was most terrifying and until the day I die I will not be able to banish it from my mind and only after I had severed her foully beautiful head did it cease. I went next to the similar sarcophagus at its left and found again another beauty, both dark and sad. My heart grieved for this poor soul, so long banished from the love of God. I laid another blessed stake against her chest and with gritted teeth, hammered the top as hard as my strength would allow. Her eyes suddenly grew wide but instead of a scream, she let loose only a long sorrowful sigh. Heartache that I am unable to describe was released upon that death as her sigh filled the room and with it the deepest gray despair that I had ever known. I prayed for their souls for a moment before continuing in my butchery, removing the head of this one as well and like the one before she simply faded into dust. The fair one that remained in the revered resting place was the most beautiful creature my eyes had ever laid upon, despite her wanton dress and sensuality. I was entranced so deeply that for a time I could only stand and stare. I was a fool to think that I could attempt such a feat alone, and a greater one still that I could not reveal this to anyone before now. All these years later when I think of the vision I beheld inside that case of death, the flaxen curls, full red lips and fair skin smooth as oriental silk, my heart does yet skip a beat. I remember feeling myself falling into the waking sleep of a hypnotism, her eyes binding me a surely as any chain.
Then, as though the trumpets of resurrection, I was woken from my thrall by the remembrance of the horrible ring of dear Madam Mina’s scream. It cut through the fog of my muddled mind and I did not hesitate further. I placed the lid back on this unholy beauty and placed a portion of Sacred Wafer on the lid as I had already done inside the tomb of their master, marked by his family name. I know not what transpired after this, since I hurried away to Madam Mina before the siren’s call could grasp me once more. The entrapment of the Sacred Wafer held until we made good our escape since we did not encounter her wrath for killing her unholy mate and her wicked sisters.
When we returned to that most accursed place in seven years, I crept back into the lair of these temptresses and was determined, despite my shame, if I discovered she still dwelled there I would call upon the courage of my dear friends and we would end her miserable life, but alas she was gone, so long that the foul smell no longer lingered in the room. In the stead of the devilish beauty in the tomb was an unassuming small book and upon opening it, I discovered it to be a journal. I took it, hid it in my coat pocket and returned home, saying naught a word in my shame. I later returned alone to Transylvania in secret and by following the clues written within this strange account, I discovered another journal by this bride, this first bride, this Valeria, and similar diaries by his two dark ones. I studied these works extensively and used clues found within to track down more diaries and journals across the breadth of Europe. Some were left in abandoned homes, in a dresser drawer or under floorboards. Another I ransomed from the descendant of a slayer that had once pursued them. I compiled these books into a chronological order to better reveal the events of their unnatural lives. So it is on this day, July fifteenth in the Year of our Lord eighteen hundred and ninety-seven, I place the diaries and my translation into a parcel, along with this letter, so it will be received by you now, the date of my death which remains unknown to me.
I do not believe she will trouble you or dear Mina, as she has not done so to date of writing this letter. I trust much fear is within her un-beating heart for those who killed her dark husband and sisters and I do not think this lesser demon wishes to trifle with any of you my brave friends. I hope this gives you some kind of comfort.
I beg you forgive me friend Jonathan and dearest Madam Mina. I was indeed a fool but my failure has haunted my days and nights since that night and I do not wish to carry the burden into death. I pray now that you will forgive me then, when it is time that you should receive this letter. Pray pity upon the soul of a weak old man, as I have prayed for a blessed life for you both and young Quincey every day of my earthly life and will, if it does please our good Lord, look upon you protectively from Heaven until it is that we should be reunited there.

“Your friend”
Van Helsing

* * *

Jonathan Harker’s Journal

4 December- The great man, Abraham Van Helsing is dead. The light of the world is dimmer for its loss and the Harker household will most certainly mourn his death. Mina retired early, tired with grief and sick with emotion. Little Quincey was already asleep, thankfully. It will give me time to think of how to best tell him. His little heart will be broken, its first such injury, for Van Helsing was like family to us all, but to Quincey, he was a like a grandfather or dearest uncle. However broken my heart may be, my grief is somewhat overshadowed with the dread knowledge held in my late mentor’s letter. For the love of all that is holy, does this foul woman still live? I had rested well over the years with the knowledge that the Count and his ilk had been blotted from the face of God’s good earth. I have slept well and rarely would the memories of those horrible days come back to haunt me or Mina. If this damned creature does yet live, she has been quiet in her hunting. My trained senses have not detected any sign of her in print, wire, or by word of mouth. So for now at least, I believe I will bear this burden of knowledge in silence and spare poor Mina the worry and my departed friend further shame. I will hide these journals, just as the great man did himself. Rest thee well dear doctor, to you I owe all that I hold dear.

* * *

Part One: The First Wife
Chapter One

Diary of Countess Valeria Karajan- Dracula

21 May 1460- What a wonderful treasure I did discover in this diary, tucked inside my dress trunk by my dear Mother. I think I shall write the events of the last few days to keep them forever fresh in my mind. To forget them would be a sin. When this beautifully bound book was purchased for me I was the daughter of a lord, but now as I write, I am the wife of Count Dracula of Transylvania. Countess Dracula, the name seems so strange and yet I wear it with such pride. The Count has brought so much change to the country, done so much good for his people. His ways do sometimes terrify me, but I cannot forget he works for the greater good though his ways may be wicked. Father was wise to align our family with him so soon into his reign, to be my husband’s enemy is to be a fool. 
But what a sinful wife I am for writing such gossip of my husband. Though he may meet his enemy with an iron fist, he certainly wears a silk glove where I am concerned. He was ever so patient at our wedding, despite the long road that waited ahead of us to return to his castle the next day. And it was such a beautiful wedding! The chapel was bedecked in all manner of spring flower and Father had spared no expense in my beautiful dress. Vlad said that I looked like a gilded flower. We danced, ate and drank ourselves merry.
I must admit that my nerves were beginning to get the better of me by the evening, knowing that soon we would be alone together for the first time as husband and wife. I am so thankful that this was not an altogether arranged marriage. I had grown quite fond of Vlad by the time we were to be married, and though our courtship was brief, he spoke with me sincerely and put my mind at ease. My husband proved himself to be a gentleman once more when he chose to sleep in the guest quarters instead of in my chambers on our wedding night, in respect to my Father’s house. I was relieved for this gesture, for I was ever so tired from our celebrations and it allowed me one last night to simply be a daughter in my Father’s house, to say goodbye to childish things and to prepare myself to be the Countess of my own house. We left for Castle Dracula early yesterday morning and arrived that evening. The countryside was beautiful, as is to be expected of Transylvania in the spring, and the air was filled with the sounds and scents of a region foreign to me, but that is now my home.
The servants had been hard at the work while the master of the house was away, leaving nothing undone upon our arrival. An enormous feast that rivaled that at our wedding celebration was prepared and kept warm. My dear husband said that he wanted to be certain that I had anything that I could desire for supper on my first night as the Countess of his castle. As we dined, the Count informed me of many things concerning the goings on of the castle and its staff, many of which had served the Dracula family for generations. The nervous quiver in my stomach returned as the maid led me through the winding hallways of the castle to the bedchamber I was to share with my husband, but Vlad stopped us halfway there and instead took me up the staircase that led up to the battlement. The mountain night air was cool and crisp and a light breeze blew through the dense forest that surrounds the castle. The full moon shed her light across the landscape and with the swaying trees; it looked as though our home was a great ship afloat in the middle of a dark ocean. My husband stood by my side and quietly took my hand as we looked across our land. His chest was full with pride, no doubt because his heart is so full of love for this wilderness and its people.  He is their guardian, the protector of their ways against the world beyond these trees. After a few minutes of silence, he turned to me and brushed my cheek with his hand and told me that he hoped I would be happy here, that all I could see was mine and that I was to want for nothing.
It is not for a lady to speak of what happened after this tender moment, though glorious it may have been, but to record my memories here for my own sake would not be considered crass. My husband pulled me close to him and kissed me passionately, much to my relief for I had been waiting for it since we arrived. He looked ever so handsome in the moonlight, his dark hair and eyes reflected the silvery beams beautifully. I was not sure how to behave or how eager I was to allow myself to appear and the nerves began to dance in my stomach once more. He seemed to notice this and somehow put my mind to ease, reminding me that here, within this castle, we are free to do whatever we wish. It is our domain and the rules within its walls are ours alone to make. I fell into his strong arms then with abandon, my anticipation of things to come outweighing my nerves, and held him tightly against me. After several minutes more of passionate embrace, he took my hand and led me back through the castle, smiling and giggling as we went like sneaking children. When we did arrive at our bed chamber, I quickly saw that he had given instructions to the servants and the room had been prepared wonderfully! I paused a moment to take in all the luxurious things that filled the room. Silk adorned the bed and walls, hanging like loose curtains from the ceilings and gathering in the floor like small lakes below thin waterfalls around the bed. Candles and incense burned, filling the air with smoky exotic scents of a land I have only heard of far to the east. He asked me if I approved, if I was pleased, and I could only smile because I could not find the words to express my feelings. Such time had been dedicated so far in advance for my comfort and happiness that I was flushed with emotion and could only rush into his arms and hold him close as we had done outside beneath the moon. Again he kissed me, but now I responded with passion that equaled his instead of nervous timidity. The formal attire of a lady of my stature does not make for quick or simple disrobing and the time it took us both to unfasten the layers of my garments seemed agonizingly long. Only days before, when Vlad had visited me at my Father’s house before our wedding did we share our first kiss, a simple pressing of tightly pursed lips that then seemed almost scandalous. Now, just days later, we were husband and wife, intertwined in a passionate naked embrace. Soon after this, I was relieved that my husband had chosen to sleep apart from me while we were at my Father’s house, for the sounds of our unbridled lovemaking would have been heard throughout. My mind was completely given over to sensuality, and I did moan despite my efforts to be quiet as parts of my body that had never been seen by any eyes other than my own were touched and kissed. Afterwards when we were spent and breathless, I laid my head upon my husband’s chest and listened to his heartbeat as the sounds of the river below us lulled me to sleep. I did not want sleep to come, as I did not want the night to end, but I could hardly resist after our long journey home and all our physical excitement. The last thing I remember was my husband tucking the silken bedcovers around my shoulders and a thin blanket being drawn over the top to shield me against the cool night air. I awoke the next morning to find upon my neck, on each side, the purplish marks that my husband’s kisses had left behind. I styled my hair drawn up that morning and I felt no shame.


When Valeria’s hand was given in marriage to the handsome and powerful Count Vlad Dracula, she dreamed of happiness but instead her life was filled with longing for her absent husband, their country ravaged by war. When Vlad at last returned from the battlefield he was a changed man, an alluring and dangerous creature with a thirst for her blood…and for more wives.

For over one hundred years, tales of Count Dracula have haunted and seduced the imagination of readers worldwide. Now experience the story of Dracula from a new perspective, as told by the three women who knew him best. Discover their stories, their secrets, and find out what it would be to love and be loved by history’s most powerful vampire in Being Mrs. Dracula.

In a marriage that spans centuries, one man shared between three women, love may be eternal but happiness is not guaranteed.

Author Info:    

In the fifth grade, Faith Marlow discovered a fondness and talent for writing and has considered herself a storyteller ever since. The notion of transporting a reader into another place or time, to allow the reader to experience life from the perspective of the character is as intriguing as it is challenging and is at the heart of any project she undertakes
   Faith lives in Tennessee with her high school sweetheart/ husband, their son and Moses, the loyal family turtle. As often as their schedules and weather will allow, the Marlow’s take a break from the stress of everyday life and all its technology and escape into the natural beauty of the Appalachian countryside to hike, camp, and take countless photographs.
   Faith sincerely hopes you will enjoy her first novel, “Being Mrs. Dracula”, which chronicles the lives of Count Dracula’s three beautiful, yet very different wives. She is currently working on its sequel “Being Dracula’s Widow”.

Be sure to check out this author's amazing book! scroll down for a chance to win a copy for yourself!

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