Watching The Night

Reads: 364  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

More Details
Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: CeraVi Vampire and Erotica
A vampire’s human ward long’s to join her keeper as his immortal companion.

Submitted: January 21, 2019

A A A | A A A

Submitted: January 21, 2019

A A A

A A A


If you live your life at the discretion of another, are you nothing more than a slave? If any freedom of thought or action is granted to you conditionally, do you really have any freedom at all?  She shivered, her thoughts turned to comparisons. Children to their fathers, citizens to their country, everybody of every station is in some position to submit to an authority that controls how they live, if they live. Vampires have claimed the right at any time to use humans at their discretion. Most interaction vampires have with humans is limited to nourishment, pleasure, or entertainment purposes. Without consequence, a human life may be taken by any vampire, at any time, for any reason. She leaned back and sighed in the dark.

“Oh, to submit!” she thought, poetically. “To be utterly complicate and compliant and obedient. What a life that has been created for me, free from the burden of opinion and choice.” She rolled her eyes to herself, annoyed by her  current predicament.

Vampires may claim one or multiple human companions. Companionship becomes an agreement between a vampire and his wards to exchange protections and rewards for various services. Sometimes a human companion serves as a personal feeding source. They provide a permanent, consistent supply of blood and energy that requires no deception and no hunting on the part of their vampire. It’s common for these relationships to result in death, if the vampire develops a habit of feeding too often or too deeply from their human. Some humans serve the role of a personal prostitute of sorts, playing out the sexual desires and carnal fantasies of their vampire. These companionships last until either the vampire tires of the relationship, or the human can no longer perform the task.

She had no contract, no agreement or arrangement. There was no promise of eternity or protection or status between them for all she had done. But still she served, she obeyed, she stayed. “Where would I go, anyway?” She gritted her teeth against the chill and darkness. “He is my only friend. This is the only home I have ever known.”

Properly marked companions may not be used by other vampires without express permission. A vampire’s mark is usually a brand or tattoo which is prominently displayed on the human’s forearm or shoulder. Many new vampires also bare a mark of their former vampire companions, as transformation is a customary form a payment for services rendered.  A mark on the body of a vampire generally suggests a line of lineage.

The Mason crest had been etched into her skin for years. She brushed her hand gingerly over arm. “I’m a dog with a collar!” she thought bitterly. “If the dog runs away, they find it and bring it home.” In truth, she was not treated poorly. And though at the moment she was miserable, her life on the whole had many perks. Being a pet in the hive had benefits.

Vampires are naturally stronger than humans, and have lifetimes more of acquired knowledge and skills. Humans are weak of both mind and body. Having only one mortal lifetime, humans tend to be near-sighted in terms of their choices and actions. Upon gaining the knowledge of the existence of vampires, not all humans accept their natural place. Some have an ill-guided desire to eradicate their superiors.  They are rarely successful in their attempts. If they are caught, they are dealt with swiftly and harshly. In the world society of vampires, some have taken up the role of seeking out and eliminating groups of humans who pose a threat.

Vampires who work together, also usually choose to reside together in hives. Living together allows for added protection, the pooling of resources, and the added benefit of company. These groups tend to be small, and function in an accepted hierarchy of power. But vampires can be possessive, overly assertive, and tend to challenge authority after too long. She wondered often what would become of her, if her companion’s command over his hive was usurped.

Malcolm Mason was an attractive man, by anyone’s standards. He was nearly two-hundred years old, but the grace of his condition left him perfectly etched in his prime. He had been thirty-two at the time of his transition, but could pass for a bit younger, or older, depending on his choice of clothing and company. He was generally an extremely calm and soft spoken individual, but everybody in his hive was careful to not anger him unnecessarily because he had been known to have a quick and unforgiveable temper. He mostly kept to himself, constantly reading, becoming fluent in countless languages and expertly mastering numerous musical instruments. For Malcolm, knowledge was truly power.

He was the head of a small hive who resided together on the grounds of his old family estate; five acres of land concealed by a large privacy fence and only one gated entrance at the end of a long winding driveway. The small group of other vampires had tasked themselves with finding gangs of humans who meant harm to their kind. Some of the humans they found were computer types, bent on exposing vampires with video evidence, or internet conspiracy theories. Other humans tried to be more militant, attempting to find ways to hunt down or trap vampires. Never with success. Always to a tragic end.

The second in command was a rather sadistic man named David Cole. Everybody simply called him ‘the lieutenant’. He was not very old as a vampire, only sixty or so. He had been a soldier in his human life, and never really desired to be anything else. He liked his battle scars, especially the ones on his face.  While most vampires had flawless skin and features, David’s scars never faded. David found a certain pleasure in torture, in rape, an in unnecessary murder. His lusts for blood and flesh and pain could be unnerving, and Malcolm had to spend a great deal of time keeping David in check. He was an extreme asset to the group in terms of eliminating threats, but sometimes he spent far too much time enjoying the spoils of battle.

Then there were the twins, Tamara and Marissa.  They were never apart; fighting side by side, sleeping in the same room, and usually pursuing the same man. They both had deep set emerald eyes, cat-like and flirtatious. They both had manes of fiery auburn hair, but they kept it at different lengths, which was the only feature that distinguished them from one another. They became vampire on their twenty-fourth birthday, and had spent the last ninety years seducing and bedding college students, sometimes feeding on four or more collected collegians for days at a time. They became bored rather easily.

The hive was having a particularly enjoyable night.  They had successfully captured an unusually large group of humans that had been torturing and starving a freshly made vampire in a nearby abandoned warehouse in a salvage yard. It had been much easier than expected to round them all up. They had anticipated quiet a standoff that night. When they stormed into the warehouse, they came prepared for a major fight. When the hive got inside, however, the humans were all quietly sitting around the floor, calmly waiting for them, ready to be taken away.  Every single one of them willingly left with the vampires. Their lack of resistance was almost a disappointment, especially for the lieutenant who had been looking forward to some violence. If truth be told, the raid had only been so successful because Malcolm had sent his human ahead. She had subdued the entire group into a stupor shortly before the others arrived. She was nothing, if not effective at deescalating a confrontation.

Now that they had the rest of the night free, they had decided to celebrate by passing around a few of the detainees. They gathered around the sitting room outside the cellar door, settling themselves in among the overstuffed leather furniture. Throughout the night, the lieutenant had brought out three of the humans and handed them off. He passed them out like victory cigars. The twins took one larger male and sat him between them on the couch.  They had been teasing him and stroking him, biting him and draining him, for the past few hours. He wasn’t staying conscious, and had almost expired. The girls were growing bored with their new toy.

~

For the newest vampire to arrive at the estate, the lieutenant had given two humans all to himself. They had put the fledgling alone in a small bedroom with no windows and an extremely heavy door.  The room was furnished with a simple bed, a nightstand, and a wardrobe stocked with men’s clothing. Overall, it was a pretty dingy little room, but it was quiet. He was rather altered at the moment, and nobody had gotten the chance to speak with him much.

His name was Azil Hamar, a young man with dark golden skin, coal-colored hair and dark brown eyes. They had found him in the warehouse, bound and delirious. The humans had him tied up, had beaten him, starved him. It was still unclear how he’d even got there. He was freshly made, couldn’t have been vampire for more than just a few days. The mark of his maker was vivid on his shoulder.

He hadn’t looked around the room at all. He hadn’t notice the pack of cigarettes they left for him or the phone on the stand with a direct line to the other room. He was ravenous with hunger, and could think of nothing else but blood.  He took no time devouring the two humans given to him. The first one the lieutenant brought to him, Azil shoved immediately against the wall, all but tearing the carotid out of his throat. The man pushed and twisted briefly, trying to free himself from the weight, but Azil just leaned into him, pressed his face into the man’s neck and bit and tore at the flesh. The man sputtered and coughed, grew limp and stopped fighting as they slid down the wall to the floor. When the lieutenant brought him the second human, Azil tossed her to the ground, jumped down ontop of her, and drank until her heart gave out. He pinned her arms across her chest with one hand, and pushed her head to the side with his other, exposing the bare flesh of her neck where he could nestle his face. When he bit threw her thin skin, she screamed. She cried and writhed under him as he held her down. He gulped and swallowed mouthfuls of her blood until she had no more blood to give.

When he finally raised his head and stood up, he was feeling more like himself. He wiped the blood off his face with the sleeve of his tattered shirt and looked around the room for the first time since being put there. He honed in on the cigarette pack. “Oh, thank god!” It wasn’t until he lit it up and took a hard drag that he noticed the two bloody and lifeless bodies on the floor in the room. “Shit!” He exhaled slowly, and shook his head in a scolding way at himself. He took another couple of hits off the cigarette before dropping it to the floor and putting it out with the heel of his shoe. He picked up the phone but there was no dial tone. He heard a click on the line, “Hello?”

There was a woman’s voice on the phone. “So, are you feeling better now? Come on out here and join us.” He heard another click, and he hung up the phone.  He stripped off his current bloody top and looked around the room. He found a new clean white shirt and gray zip-up hoodie in the wardrobe. He quickly pulled them over his head and opened the door, exiting into the hall.

~

The walls around the cellar were damp and cold.  The low ceiling was soft with moist, thick layers of moss from years of neglect and darkness. The air was heavy with the feelings of dread, of sorrow, and anxious anticipation from the warm bodies huddled together against the back wall. At first they had sat there silent, not awake, not asleep, but somewhere in between. They came to their senses almost immediately after being put down in the cellar. This had been the largest round up in years.

Sera sat apart from the rest, nearest the door and closest to the one dim overhead light that barely cast enough glow to create a shadow. In the darkness, she listened to their hopeless, terrified, and exhausted sobs. Some muttered angry oaths of vengeance, while others chocked out pitiful prayers or pleas for escape. Sera rolled her eyes. It never ended well for humans who knew too much, and especially for ones like these people who learned too much about vampires, then conspired to kill them. “They should have known better,” she thought, bitterly. “They should have just gone about their pathetic lives and left it all well enough alone!”

She could not have been more different than those with whom she shared the cellar. In fact, the others were only here because of her cunning betrayal. Sera was a marked domestic companion, a vampire loyalist. She was a ward to this hive of vampires who were charged with hunting down humans who sought to find, expose, or kill their kind. Sera had long found a strong comfort in knowing her life was tied to helping the vampires, that she lived at the will of her master and the hive. She was at ease in the knowledge that at any moment, if she became of no more use, that she too could be disposed of.

It was not likely her master or the hive would tire of her company, however. She was an extremely talented intuitive.  It was her gifts of perception that made her the perfect spy. She was able to hear the thoughts and feel the emotions of those around her as easily as most people could converse, which made it nearly impossible to deceive her.

At her best, she could impose suggestive thoughts into the minds of other people. For this group now huddled here in the dark, she had expended a great deal of energy convincing them all to wait quietly for the vampires to come and take them away.  She had implanted them with the strong belief that they were, in fact, setting a trap for the vampires, and to bait that trap with the fledging vampire they were holding captive. The trap, in the end, was for the humans. They never had a chance. She had never compelled so many people at once before, or had held them in such a trance for so long.

Generally, she was strong enough that most young vampires could not psychically drain her, or read her mind. Her ability to resist suggestion of and to impose thoughts on vampires tended to make her rather unpopular outside the hive. Afterall, nobody likes to be pushed by a telepath, especially a vampire.

However, her keeper was no fledging vampire. Her clairvoyant strength was of no consequence to him. He was one of a very few who could easily touch her mind. Being as she was marked by him, resisting his will in particular proved to be especially painful for her. Though, she had attempted to do so with much difficulty in the past. Over the years, he had found that it was much easier, and quicker, to compel her through the bite, and not suggestive thought. He kept her trust, and she very seldom felt the desire to defy him. She had been his since she was very young, and had no love for other humans.

When she was tired or ill, as she was at that moment, she found it extremely hard to keep clear-headed, and became easily overwhelmed by other peoples’ thoughts and feelings. She couldn’t remember ever feeling so tired, so drained. As an empath, her gifts were unskilled, and often spiraled uncontrollably. She regretted attempting such a massive hold on the groups’ minds, even if it had been so unexpectedly successful.  Being touched was unbearable, and she was avoiding physical contact with desperation.

Three times the cellar door had opened, and three times the lieutenant had entered only to pluck a person or two from the huddled mass ,drag them to their feet, and usher them, protesting, through the door.  Sera waited silently, her bare arms folded calmly around her knees and her head laid back against the damp brick. She had carefully covered the mark on her forearm earlier in the day, but the concealer had long since rubbed away. Her shoeless feet tapped mindlessly as she squinted up into the hanging light.

She had extremely mixed feelings about the day. She had successfully ushered in this entire group of humans and helped the vampires retrieve the stranger fledgling. But, in the process, she had accidentally gotten too close to him. In her struggle to free herself from the grasp of crazed vampire the humans had been torturing, she got drug in with the rest of these humans by her own hive. They didn’t know Malcolm had sent her there.

Though the people near her were quieting down, the noise inside her head was getting much louder, and much more desperate. She was far too tired to shut out the flood of thoughts beating against her in panic-stricken waves.  Her head was throbbing and her body ached. She could feel bruises forming under her skin, her left eye was swelling shut , and the blood trickling down her arms was drying in a crust. For the fourth time since she had been brought down into the cellar, the lieutenant came in. This time he was accompanied by another man.

The lieutenant, clad in an unkempt soldier’s uniform and steel toed combat boots, strode casually to the back of the cellar. His shoulders were broad and set. Though his features were hard to catch in the dark, she could see for just a moment, a wicked and cruel smile formed across his scarred face. He snickered to himself as the dwindling group squirmed as close to the corner as possible, each trying to burry themselves under the limbs of the others.

One man positioned himself in front; a useless, brave attempt to shield the rest. The lieutenant kicked him away effortlessly, using way too much force than necessary to move him aside. Sera could hear the breath forced from his lungs and his ribs snap under the impact of the lieutenant’s boot.  He rolled heavily out of the way, laid on the floor gasping for air and clutching his chest. David proceeded to yank up one of the girls from the floor. He grabbed a fist full of her dirty yellow hair and pushed her forward towards the door.

“You know Mr. Mason, we just thought this would go a lot faster if we took them more than just one or two at a time, you know? We were getting bored... and thirsty! Just blowing off some steam, right?” He nervously laughed, “Besides, you know how the twins get when they have nothing to do!” The Lieutenant mused casually to the other man, “and I haven’t had one yet. I was too busy setting up the new guy…” He pulled the girls’ hair back and brought her closer. She whimpered pathetically as he ran his other hand slowly over her throat.

“Do what you like with them, David. I don’t much care. I only came in here for this one.” The man looked down at Sera.  Her barely covered body shivered against the wall. His face furrowed as he examined how disheveled she was at the moment, hair matted, clothes filthy and torn; He could make out various bruises and other marks across her arms.  She did not look at him, keeping her eyes towards the floor. He held down a gloved hand towards her, while still speaking to the lieutenant. “She shouldn’t have ever been brought in here. She should have been brought straight to me!”

The lieutenant shrugged, “Hey boss, sorry but look… we got her mixed up with the rest, she was dressed just like them, and her mark was covered, it’s not our fault, we didn’t even know she was there!” Sera winced as the struggling girl in the lieutenant’s grasp suddenly cried out.  She looked up from the floor towards the two, only able to make out their silhouette. The lieutenant’s face was already buried deep into the crevasse of the girl’s neck. He stood behind her, holding her tightly in front of him, and Sera could hear the unzipping of his pants. He kept his mouth on the girl’s throat as he lifted up her skirt and positioned himself. The girl’s breathe gave way to painful gurgles, as he thrust himself inside her from behind. He sucked at her neck, locking his teeth into her flesh as he pounded into her. He let out a satisfied growl as the girl slowly stopped struggling and went limp.

Mr. Mason stepped in front of Sera, blocking her view, still extending his hand. He bent down towards her slightly, this time catching her gaze. Quietly, but sternly, he said “Sera, you’ve done what I asked, you’ve done your job.  Now, it’s time for us to go.” Reluctantly she stood, swaying slightly as she took his extended hand. She felt completely nauseated and absolutely disgusted. Though his anger was not directed at her, she could feel it surging through him like daggars. He placed his overcoat around her shoulders and walked her towards the door. “Eternity is wasted on that one, Mal.” She whispered through clenched teeth.

~

From the young, ripe age of six, Sera had been a drug runner, carrying backpacks for her mother’s boyfriend from one block to another. If she wasn’t making a drop, she was trying to find creative ways to not go home. But staying out on the streets got her in trouble if its own.

The first time she had met Malcolm Mason, she was eight years old. It was late November and she had run past him on the street, trying to get away from a group of older neighborhood boys. This particular group of miscreants had decided tormenting Sera was an excellent way to spend a chilly fall evening.

Malcolm was a tall man, slender, and looked strangely placed out of time. That particular evening, he had been wearing a long grey overcoat over a nicely tailored, simply colored suit. His hands we covered by a pair of satin white gloves. He held a closed umbrella at his side, though there was no call for rain. She tripped over the umbrella on her hurried way past him. She remembered looking back at him, and he was staring after her.  He looked like he has stepped out of an old-time postcard. It was his eyes she remembered the most; almost glowing, icy blue, inquisitive, kind. His perfectly slicked brown hair hung around his shoulders and sat just over the top of a red woven scarf. But it was his smile that was burned into her memory. An amused look crossed his parted lips, revealing vividly sharp teeth. He looked unworldly, and froze her in her tracks. They stared at each other for a moment, until the boys rushed from around the corner and sprinted up the street, bellowing and cursing. “Catch her! Take her bag! She’s getting away!” Malcolm waved Sera away and she hid around the corner behind a dumpster pile. When she came back out onto the sidewalk a few minutes later, both Malcolm and the boys were gone.

It was only a few weeks later from their first encounter that Malcolm took Sera off the streets and claimed her. He came across her a few blocks away from where they first saw eachother, but this time she wasn’t running.  She wasn’t walking, or standing either. She was crouched down, clutching her gut, and bleeding. The sweet, overwhelming smell of her blood was what drew Malcolm to her. The small child seemed practically doll-like, curled up on the ground, long thin hair dripping from the November rain. But it was her serene calm and her lack of fear that kept him from killing her that evening. That eight year old girl look up at him and smiled despite her obvious pain, beads of rain and sweat rolling down her tiny face. She asked “Hey, where is your umbrella?” Her voice was quiet, but even. Her voice was not shaky, not frightened, just sort of sad, and tired sounding. It was a defeated sound, really.

He inhaled the scent of her blood as he knelt down beside her “well my dear, there was no call for rain!” He smiled kindly, his fangs showing slightly through his parted lips. He asked casually “what happened here, Cricket? You don’t look so good…” She shrugged uncomfortably “I just didn’t run fast enough this time, I guess.” He reached out and removed the child’s hand from her side, releasing a steady flow of red from the wound. He pressed his own fingers against the injury. “What did this here, love? Broken glass, a knife?” She watched him lick off his fingers without questioning his peculiar behavior. “I didn’t see.” She answered meekly.

She shivered and took a breath, closing her eyes. “I’m really tired, and my stomach hurts.” He had every intention of finishing her then, but then she put her small hand on his, grasping his fingers. Without opening her eyes she asked softly, “Can we go inside now, Malcolm? I’m really cold; I can’t… stay awake…” He stared down at her, slightly taken off-guard, “Do you know me?” he asked. “I… feel you…” She whispered just before she passed out into his arms, blood running onto the ground beside her.

~

Outside the cellar, the lights seemed overwhelmingly bright. Malcolm led Sera to a chair on the far end of the sitting room, and sat her down quietly, pulling his overcoat tightly around her shoulders. Her head was pounding. Her ears were ringing.  She pressed her hands against her temple. The other vampires were staring at her from around the room, The twins were sitting back casually on a couch with a man slumped over between them. The lieutenant had followed them out of the cellar and closed the door behind him. He was dapping off his now crimson- stained lips with a handkerchief. Hovering in the back was another man, just observing. Sera glanced around the room slowly, pausing to look at the man she didn’t know, donned in a drab oversized hoodie.

“I am extremely displeased!” Malcolm hissed, taking Sera’s chin in his hand and turning her head slowly from one side to the other, looking at the marks on her face and her swollen eyes. He turn to face the others. “I do not appreciate my property to be treated so poorly, especially after she has performed her tasks so well for you! I send her ahead to ferret out these human threats, and you bring her back to me half broken!” He turned directly to the lieutenant, “And furthermore, when I find bites along with these bruises, I will be holding you personally responsible for every one! You, Sir, will be dealt with accordingly!”

The newest vampire, who lingered in the back, sort of squirmed uncomfortably. “Sir, um, Mr. Malcolm, is it? I think… I think that might have been me… I might have done that…”  Malcolm glared at him, but then just waved him off dismissively, turning his attention back to Sera.

In her head, the world was screaming. Spoken words and unspoken thoughts bled together, mixed with a raging storm of emotion. Any control she had a moment a go she had lost to the overwhelming flood of what everybody else was thinking and feeling.  She was no longer calm. Panicked and incoherently she rambled “You need to just sit down and wait here, they are coming! If you just sit here, you’ll all be fine! They know you have a vampire in the back, you can use him as leverage, go get him now, and bring him in here... I will help you…  They are here, they are here!” She was hyperventilating. Malcolm bent low to meet her gaze, though her eyes were coming in and out of focus. She squinted under the lights. She could still hear the people’s voices and thoughts from down in the cellar, and the thoughts from the vampires standing around her were getting much louder.  The noise was quickly becoming a hammering drum that she couldn’t shut out. She was exhausted, and the sounds inside her head were overbearing.

Malcolm put his hands firmly on her shoulders as he spoke, “Yes, we came, and we brought you home.  It’s all over. It’s time to come inside and get warm now, Cricket. You’re tired. You’ve had an exhausting day. You are going to let me help you rest now, let me help you forget the noise...” She tried to protest, tried to turn away from him, to push him away, meekly.  She felt like she was drowning in his eyes. “You need some quiet to regain your strength, so I am going to help you now…”

Softly she pleaded, ‘Mal, no…don’t…I don’t need... I don’t want… ” But he was already pulling the coat down over her shoulder and moving her closer, “Hush Love, just relax now… let it all go, just sleep...” He lowered his lips towards her bruised neck and bit down, sharply.  She tensed, but didn’t pull away, leaning into his arms. Her eyes closed heavily and she finally felt like she could breathe. “Just make it warm, Mal. Make it quiet.” she thought desperately to him. He drank from her deeply and took her fully into his embrace. Though she was nearly 20 years old, Sera weighed no more than air in him arms. The noise in her head drifted away, her body relaxed, and she slept.

~

In the earliest few days he had first had her with him, she was barely awake. She fevered and chilled, and was restless in her sleep. He had sealed the wound that had been gashed into her side, but the infection had already set in. He wasn’t terribly attached to the child yet, and didn’t care much either way about her pulling through.  She was a project mostly, a curiosity that had peaked his interest for the moment.

One evening, while he sat in her room, reading, she roused.  He looked up to see her staring back at him, just staring, not speaking.  He closed his book and moved to the side of her bed. He reached down and placed a hand across her forehead, then ran his fingers down her cheek. Without speaking, she reached up to meet his hand. “You’re feeling better, I think?” he asked her, smiling down at her coolly. His hand rested in her hair as she reached up to touch his face.  A puzzled look came over her face…“You’re thirsty,” she said, “you want me to make you feel better? You want to taste my… warm honey?” He met her confused gaze with a peeked curiosity.

“Warm honey…yes…” he had thought for days about how sweet her blood on the wet pavement had smelled, and how the taste of it on his fingers had been.  It was indeed like warm honey, sweet and sticky. He had practically been dreaming about it for the past few days as she lied there in her fever-sleep. She brushed her small hand across his cold smooth cheek, and towards his lips.

“You want me to …bleed…” The closer he looked at her face, the more it looked like she was looking past him, or through him, into him. She pulled herself up, and he helped her to sit.  She leaned her back against him. He listened intently to her steady, young heart beat. He could feel her blood pulsing against her skin. He brushed her hair aside. She took his arm and wrapped it around the front of herself, “its ok, Mal, you aren’t going to hurt me. I’m not like other kids…” He leaned his mouth close to her small neck, and whispered in her ear, “How do you know I won’t hurt you, child?” He tightened his hold around her, “Because, I just know” When he bit down into the nape of her neck, she didn’t pull away.  She didn’t cry. She just closed her eyes and held tight to his arm, which was coiled around her thin frame. “I want to stay here.” Her voice was in his head. “You can stay with me, you can be mine and I’ll keep you.” he thought with a strange affection.

~

The vampires stood around impatiently while Mr. Mason’s attentions were focused on tending to Sera.  He lifted her up as she closed her eyes and after another brief moment, he raised his head and turned to face them again. “I believe you can clean up… this mess” he irritatingly gestured towards the couch, and to the room Azil had been in “without my supervision.” He took Sera up into his arms and left them standing there without another word.

~

The room he had brought her to was one of only three suites on the estate that did not have frosted windows.  The sun could stream straight in during the day, if he didn’t pull the blackout curtains. He knew that she enjoyed sitting at the window when the others slept. It was a time she had to herself, without having to listen to the thoughts of others, when she could rest her mind. The room connected to another that he would sleep in, away from the daylight.  He straightened up the rooms and moved around some furniture. He settled into an armchair beside her bed. He dimmed the lamp and watched her sleep.

As she slept, Malcolm combed through her thoughts as if he were watching an out of focus picture show. She put up no guards, no filters in her sleep. But she wasn’t dreaming about the last few hours.  She wasn’t thinking about the people who had trapped and starved a fledging vampire. She wasn’t thinking about how she manipulated them, gained their trust, led them into the hive, and was ultimately responsible for their capture.  She wasn’t thinking about how she got too close to Azil, or how he had forcefully fed from her in his starving, delusional state. She wasn’t thinking about getting caught in the roundup and being held in the cellar before Malcolm was able to sort it out. She was thinking about her childhood, about Malcolm. He watched the memories play out like series of home-movies.

~

She was thirteen. The sun was just setting over the estate and the last rays of the day were falling through the window and across the floor. Malcolm was already awake. She sat across from him, her slender fingers wrapped around a hot tea mug. She watched him, examined his features intently; noticed how flawless his pale skin shown under the last traces of daylight that snuck in through the window, like porcelain and marble. She focused on his chocolate colored hair as it fell slightly into his eyes as he read, how his manicured fingers lingered over the passages as he scanned the page. He was an angel.  He was an ageless magical creature, with flawlessly perfect features, and endless knowledge. No fears, no weaknesses, no regrets. This was the first time she had looked at him this way. He was simply beautiful.

She knew in that moment she didn’t want to be human. She knew she didn’t want to grow old and frail, or die.  She sipped from her mug as she stared at him, drinking him in with her eyes. He represented so much in her life, her father… her teacher… her friend…She knew she loved him then. She wanted to be just like him, to be with him. She never had admitted that.

She was sixteen. She had been spending the recent nights walking the same streets she had roamed all her childhood.  Only now, instead of running away from people who enjoyed roughing her up, she sought them out. She dressed just provocative enough to be noticed; a low-cut sleeveless top and open denim jacket, a simple black skirt that hugged her hips and ended just above the knee. Her hair hung loosely down her back as she walked, waiting for the cat calls. “Ohh yeah… hey baby, walk it this way… oooh...” She made her way up the street, slowing down slightly as she passed a rather drunk and thuggish group. They reeked of booze and testosterone.

She walked just slow enough to be followed. Of course, one stumbling fool took her bait.  He walked behind her, tossing his bottle aside, shattering it on the curb. She led that nameless man into a quiet alley behind some nondescript building. She paused against the wall, away from the streetlamps, and casually lit a cigarette. She carried a small blade that she had tucked into the palm of her hand.  When he got close enough, he tried to press her against the wall and slip a hand up her skirt. She let out a slow stream of smoke as he leaned in towards her face, the overwhelming stench of liquor on his breathe. She pushed the blade quietly into his neck, into just the perfect place that cut off his airway. He didn’t scream. He didn’t fight. He just sort of stumbled back, shocked that his conquest didn’t go how he’d expected.

She left him there dying.  She walked out from the alley just as Malcolm followed them into the shadows. They might have exchanged a glance, or he might have brushed her shoulder as he walked past. They didn’t share words. She turned the corner of the building just as she could hear a brief final struggle, but she didn’t stay. They had never really spoken about that night.

Sera had wanted to feel like she had some control over dying. She harbored a childish desire to make sure that only those who deserved it would meet a tragic end. Malcolm didn’t mind helping her carry out this fantasy. He didn’t find the prospect of letting her bait men for him to feed from at all problematic.

She was eighteen. On this night, the air was filled with a burning electric rage that made the whole study smell strongly of ozone. Inside, Sera was fuming, overturning furniture and launching everything from books to vases across the room. “Stay out, stay away from me!” Malcolm could hear her yelling from the other side of the door.

The twins, looking a bit distraught, had locked her in and were waiting for Malcolm to somehow diffuse the situation. He approached the room briskly, shaking his head in annoyance.  “What is this about?! We have three humans here, waiting to be dealt with!”

Marissa responded, “Apparently that’s the problem, Mr. Mason! Your pet has lost her mind! She’s been ranting about the humans… being too loud... something about she can’t listen to them scream anymore...” Tamara interjected, “There has been no screaming, Mr. Mason! The humans have been mostly unconscious for hours.  Your pet has gone insane!” He opened the door and waved the others away. They huffed, exasperated and walked off. He stood in the doorway, and casually watched Sera tear apart the room.

It was the first time she had been this upset. He did not understand then the full extent how deeply she could experience the emotions projected by others. He did not know how strongly she could make a link between their minds, or that she hadn’t yet honed the ability to sever that link.  The hive had just recently recruited her into their efforts of threat eradication. Her talent for mental manipulation and her ability to get into another’s head made her quiet the unexpected asset. This was the very first time Malcolm had witnessed the effects of her over stimulated senses.

She tossed objects across the study, hurling them at Malcolm, screaming “Shut them up! Shut up! Just make them stop! Do your damn jobs and stop dragging out this madness! You’re all completely useless! Immortality is wasted on the lot of you!” She grabbed at her head trying desperately to block out the noise. He was more amused than he should have been, as she looked quiet delusional. “You’re throwing a tantrum, Cricket, it does not become you.”

Every step he took towards her, she tossed another possession. “You don’t give a shit about me, Mal!  You don’t care that I can hear them all dying, that I can feel them all dying! I’m done! I’m never helping you bring them here again!”

“Is that so?” He purred. He leaned back against the doorframe calmly with his hands in his pockets. “Then why on earth would I keep you? I could hand you over to David, because I’m sure he could find a better use for you than I.” He teased her sarcastically.

“Oh My God, Malcolm! I have done everything you wanted me to do!  I don’t ask questions! I’ve betrayed the trust of more than a dozen humans for you, in the name of protecting this hive! I’ve been obedient, loyal, and I’ve never asked you for anything! But I’m done!” She stepped towards him, her face seething, “I’m not helping you find them just so you can torture me, Mal! If you won’t protect me, than I will protect myself!”

“I think… you need to calm down…” he wasn’t even looking up at her as he removed the gloves from his hands and laid them on the mantle. “You forget yourself, Child!” He pushed into her mind, attempting to pull out the anger and give her calm. It would be so much easier if he could cool her down without further escalation.

She growled at him, throwing the last thing in reach. “Stay. Out. Of. My. Head!” He was genuinely surprised at how hard she pushed back. He sighed calmly, ducking sideways ever so slightly, to avoid being struck. “You’re supposed to protect me, but you’re killing me, Mal!”

“Well, I think you’re being alittle over dramatic!” She growled. “Look, I get it! You are tired, overwhelmed. I apologize that you’re too involved.  But, I think you might be being slightly over reactive! This…” he gestured around the room, “This behavior is unacceptable, Love. You have made the others very nervous; they think you may be becoming uncontrollable.”

“I’m not your puppet, Mal!  I’m not your dog that you can make fetch and stay and roll over!” He snickered, which only further enraged her. She lunged at him and he all but laughed out loud. She clawed at his face as he caught her wrists. “I hate you! I hate you! I’m sure as hell never opening up my mind or my veins for you again!” It didn’t take much effort to spin her around and push her to her knees.  “Don’t touch me! Get off me, Mal!” she seethed.

She was like holding onto a broken fuse. She pulsed with static under his hands “Yes, Very good! Go ahead then, show me how you won’t be controlled. Fight me off! Prove to me how much stronger you are than those other humans. That you aren’t weak, aren’t scared!” She twisted and bucked her head back. “You are not in control here, Sera! You belong to me, and you seem to have forgotten that! You don’t demand things from me, or give me ultimatums! You don’t get to lash out like a spoiled child!” He held so tightly onto her wrist that his fingers bruised her skin.

She pushed fiercely against him, but he hardly noticed. “Now, in all your life, I have never caused you harm. I’ve never struck you, beat you. I’ve never neglected you or abandoned you.  But now, Cricket, now you need a well-earned lesson in manners!” He grabbed her hair, and pulled it back hard, “If I want you blood, you will give it to me freely, If I want your body, its mine. If I want in your mind, I will be. Now, tell me you’re mine.”

“Fuck you, Mal!” He tried again to push into her mind, wanting to calm her, but it was like pushing against a locked door. He shook his head, tsk tsk He knelt down slightly and hovered next to her ear, “Is this really how we are going to do this? You really want to continue with this outburst? To prove what, that you can protect yourself from all that noise in your head without my help? That you don’t need me? I’m giving you one more chance to calm the hell down!” She glared up at him “Ok, you’re in control here, right? …As you wish…” and without anymore words or hesitation, he tore into her throat, keeping a harshly tight grip on her hair and her wrists.

She let out a sudden gasp for air. She clenched her fists so tightly that her nails cut into her own palms. “This, Sera,” he thought to her “this is how it would be if you were not mine, if I thought you were only just another human, if I didn’t care about you, if I meant you harm…”

He was trying to hurt her, to scare her, to make her submit.  But mostly he was trying to break through. He was trying to tear down her mental walls to catch a glimpse of what tortured her so. The hot tears that escaped her eyes were as much from anger as pain. He spoke in her mind, “I will let go, as soon as you stop resisting.  Now, tell me you’re mine… and let me in!” Her thoughts were stubbornly silent in response.

Their standoff lasted much longer than he had anticipated. She was so physically and mentally drained by time he could finally hear the deafening noise in her head. His grip on her loosened as soon as he could finally feel the drowning tidal waves of fear and anguish that did not belong to her. He released her, simply from fear of accidentally killing her. She blacked in and out, curled up on the floor by his feet. He felt a sort of pride at her surprising, stubborn resilience. She was bleeding more than he meant her to from the wound he had torn across her neck, but he didn’t yet move to stop it. He stood over her with his arms crossed, trying not to enjoy the taste of her in his mouth too much. “I don’t enjoy hurting you.” She turned her glazed eyes up to him slowly, ‘Then… don’t…” she whispered hoarsely. “Just…stop…”

He sighed, “I won’t let the others kill inside these rooms. Is that what you want?  I will make sure the detained are removed before we deal with them, to the cellar where you won’t have to listen.” Relief slowly replaced her anger, and the tenseness in the room lifted.  He cut open his hand with a shard of glass from a vase she had thrown. He bent down and cupped his hand across her throat.

He never said it, but he was sorry for not knowing what she had been going though.  He didn’t apologize, but he felt responsible, and deeply guilty for not having understood the depths of her sensitivity, or appreciating her complete willingness to participate in the round-ups despite it all. That was the first in all of their years together that she ever challenged him.  It was the first and last time he had purposely hurt her.

~

Her memory-dreams ended after a few hours. Then she roused for awhile. He stroked her hair as he looked down at her. He didn’t want her to be awake for too long. A few days of sleep was what she really needed. She wouldn’t be of any use to the hive until she was able to focus her mind. The vampires had found that it was much easier to get information from the detainees when Sera simply extracted it. She could compel them to share what they knew by linking minds with them. Even with methods like torture, which was the preferred route for the lieutenant, Sera always gathered more reliable information for the hive.

Malcolm used that bit of time to help her get cleaned up. She was extremely lethargic, acting almost drugged as she went through the motions of removing her tattered clothes and stepping into the warm tub. Her naked body seemed so small. He had never really gotten used to seeing her as a woman, with curves and breasts and a small mound of hair where her legs came together bellow her hips. To him, she was still just a child, though he had watched her grow up for almost twelve years.  

Recently, he would catch himself gazing at her from across the room. He had found himself wanting her in ways that were more than paternal. He had seen and touched her body endless times, but on more occasions as of late, he desired to touch her in ways she had never been touched. Sera had experienced many things in her almost twenty years, but never had lain with a man. She had never had an erotic encounter, and more and more Malcolm found himself wanting to take her in that way.

They did not speak as he washed and combed out her hair.  She curled her knees up under her chin and crossed her arms around her legs. He spoke slowly, softly. “I’m going to put my hands on you now, Cricket… this might be uncomfortable… just relax” He bit into the flesh of his palms and washed his blood slowly over her bruises. He rubbed his hands across her back, her arms, around her neck.  He lifted her face and brushed over her swollen eyes. He slowly made his way down over her breasts, chest, stomach, down her legs, over her knees and up her thighs. He moved his hands carefully over her entire body. Her skin glistened with a thin layer of wet red.

 

Her scratches and marks seemed to wash away under his hands, but the sensation of her healing skin felt like scrapes of sandpaper and needles. She waited for him to finish before she stood. He rinsed away his blood from her skin then wrapped her in a soft towel. He helped her into a fresh nightdress, and back into bed.

“Did they find the young one, Mal? He couldn’t have been days old… Did they bring him home?” she asked, her eyes growing heavy.

“Yes. He is here now, and safe.  You did well.” He brushed a lock of hair from her face, and gently tucked the blanket over her arms.

“No, I messed up out there…I shouldn’t have gotten so close to him…he didn’t know what he was doing, I should have known better!” Malcolm was about to tell her that everything was fine, but she fell asleep again.

~

The atmosphere in the sitting room had change dramatically since Malcolm left. The lieutenant busied himself with this or that, and didn’t talk to the others. The twins were bantering back and forth while trying to move the man on the couch. Azil hesitantly interrupted, “Um, hey… I seem to have collected two others of, um, these guys, in the other room… what do you want me to do with them?”

Tamara looked at him and giggled. “Drop them down the laundry chute to the grinder so we can make meat pies!”

Marissa laughed, “No! She’s kidding! We dismember them and feed the bits to the dogs!”

“Oh.My.God. What? I can’t… that’s not...I mean…” The lieutenant shook his head at the twins, who were now laughing. He put a heavy hand on Azil’s back “Come on, man, they’re just fucking with ya! If you help me put the bodies in the truck, I’ll drive them out and dump them around the city. Bodies always just pass for drunken accidents, or gang turf stuff. We will drain out the others and take them too, no need to keep them around. We only need to talk to like, one or two, just to see if holding you like they did was a onetime thing, or if they had other plans, or know people…”

He turned to follow the lieutenant back to his room, but stopped to ask the twins another question first, “Um, is that girl ok? I mean, Mr. Mason seemed really upset and stuff, and I think it’s kind of my fault… What’s her deal anyway, who is she?”

The twins both answered together in a strange, siren-like, sing-song way, “Oh, Sera? Yeah, that’s Mr Mason’s pet witch!”… “She’s really super powerful, with like, alchemy and stuff!”… “And Mr. Mason is super possessive, and like wicked protective”… “He’d probably just kill anybody he found out laid a hand on her”… “But, I mean, it’s not like you fed on her or anything, right?”… ”Oh wait, you did! Oh that’s not good!” They cackled at themselves and turned away from Azil, both tossing their hair back as they moved.

“Ladies, that’s enough!” the lieutenant bellowed, “give the poor guy a break, huh?  He just got here and you just can’t wait to bust his balls! Go find some other shit to do, yeah?”

He looked at Azil, who now had a rather sick hue about him. “Man, calm down! They’re just being cunts, trying to see how far than can bend your dick and what not!” Azil looked at him, raising his eyebrows. “The truth is, man, Mr. Mason has had that girl trailing his coat tails since she was just a little brat. He sort of picked her up off the streets like a stray cat. I always thought he would get tired of her, have his way with her maybe, but I never thought he’d keep her this long. She’s not actually a witch, but she does have this uncanny way about her, sort of really does put people under a spell, I guess.  She knows things too, sees things, and hears things or whatever. Personally, I don’t think humans are good for much else other than fucking or feeding from, but hey…” He patted Azil on the shoulder again. “I don’t think Mr. Mason would hold you responsible for roughing up his girl in a blood-frenzy! It’s not like you really knew what was up!”

~

After two days of mostly sleeping, Sera woke up feeling much more like herself, though still just not quite right. Malcolm was asleep in the other room and the house was still. She stood in front of the mirror for a long while, staring at her own body. There were no marks, no lingering bruises or wounds. Her skin was pristine. That state of beauty Malcolm strived to keep her in did not reflect the ugliness forming inside her.  She didn’t know at that moment that she was ill. But she had the first twinge of pain low in her side, that hinted things were not as they should be. She ignored it.

She quietly put on clothes. Given the choice, she liked to dress well and modestly. She usually wore black or brown slacks that hugged her hips and a simple sweater top or button down shirt that fit her well, showing off her simple curves, but mostly covering her skin. She usually wore her hair down, but sometimes twisted it up with a small decorative dagger that Mal had given her for her last birthday, elegantly exposing her neck and collarbone. Today she donned a pair of charcoal grey dress pants with matching jacket, stylish black shoes with a slight heel, and a fashionable printed scarf in place of a necklace. She slipped on her glasses and twisted her hair up, securing the blade. After peeking into the other room to glance in on Malcolm, she quietly slipped out the door.

As the sun set slowly over the estate, a slight, chilly wind filled the evening air. The breeze carried the light scent of lavender and the smell of an impending rain. Sera walked by herself through the garden which was in desperate need of weeding. She plucked some chamomile and catnip from the herb bed to make a tea later. Clouds were rolling in over the sky as she made her way back inside and headed towards the kitchen.

Azil woke to the setting sun as rain dropped softly outside his window. He sat on the edge of his bed and lit another cigarette. He had spent most of the previous night helping David, Marissa, and Tamara exsanguinate the rest of the humans from the cellar. He took a long slow drag and exhaled heavily. He thought about how they had hung their mortal, almost lifeless, bodies upside down from abrasive ropes attached to the ceiling. He thought about how the vampires sliced into their throats and wrists with razors and watched their blood pour out into buckets which they later siphoned into glass bottles. He remembered how they cut down those lifeless, drained bodies, rolled them up in tarps, and shoved them like luggage into the back end of a truck. He thought about how they drove around the city for hours and, one by one, emptied the contents of the back end of the truck like so many bags of garbage. He pinched out the end of the cigarette and tossed the filter across the floor.

The kettle hissed on the stove. Sera prepared her herbs and tea leaves into the steeper before pouring the steaming water into the large mug. In a small fridge towards the corner she had stocked her own groceries, as she was the only one in the house who ate. She made herself a simple sandwich before settling alone at the table in the quiet kitchen. With her hands wrapped around the warm ceramic, she savored the last moments of quiet as the rest in the house began to stir.

Azil made his way down to the kitchen, lingering in the doorway when he saw Sera sitting there. She looked so different now, so clean and kempt, mature and serene, sitting alone in the quiet. Her back was to him as he gazed at her. He tried to come up with a simple greeting that wouldn’t come off as completely absurd and awkward. Before he was able to muster a ‘hello’, she broke the silence without ever turning around “You don’t need to hover behind me like a creeper. So unless you think you’re too good to sit beside me, you can join me. Everyone else will be down shortly.” He shifted uncomfortably and walked into the kitchen, pulled out a chair, and sat. She looked him over. “You look better” She said casually, sipping from her steaming tea.

“Well. Um, yea” he cleared his throat nervously, “So do you! I mean, look nice… I mean better, less…”

“Homeless?” she smirked. “Or just less beat up?”

“Yes, I mean… I’m sorry about…”

“Don’t!” she cut him off and changed the subject. “Let’s see,” She looked him over “I know you’re freshly made, and I know you’re marked. So how does a marked, fledging vampire find himself alone, in a city he isn’t from, without the company of his hive?”

“Well,” he was taken off gaurd back by her forwardness “I made a deal. For seven years I would work for my maker, and at the end of the seven years, he would turn me.”

“I think you’re leaving out a lot of details.” She raised her eyebrows and looked up at him from behind her glasses.

“Ok, he was a complete prick and we weren’t friends! He liked to feed from drug addicts because then he could get buzzed from their blood. And nobody questions finding a body of a dead drug addict. It’s always just assumed they over dosed, so he never bothered to not kill anybody. So, for seven years, I spend my time getting people high, getting people addicted to this and that, and then giving them to him. I set up my clients in houses all together, kept them plastered and well supplied. And he would pick them off right from their own living rooms.  Nobody notices people disappearing and dying around them when they are drugged-out all the time.

“Sounds like a real nice and stand-up guy!” Sera smirked.

“When my contract was up, he kept his end of our arrangement. Then he promptly put me on a bus and sent me away. He told me to stay away from his town and not to come back. That he didn’t want competition in his territory. So, I ended up here. I knew how to feed from the homeless and the addicts because that’s what I helped him do.  I thought I was following those people into a meth den or something like that. It was a trap, and I felt like an idiot. So dear, that’s where you found me, and that’s my story.”

“Hmmm...” She responded half heartedly and distracted. “Yea, that’s part of your story…”

“So what’s yours?” He asked, trying to turn the conversion off of himself.

“What?” she looked back at him, refocusing her attention.

“Your story?” He repeated. She smiled at him coyly, and took another slow sip.

“I’ve been here with Malcolm for most of my life.”

“Doing what?” He pressed.

“Azil, I grew up in a hive of vampires! I do lots of things.”

“Come on! Does he fuck you? Feed from you? Both! Or do they just pass you around, taking turns? No vampire keeps a human around for conversation.”

She grew offended, and became short in her responses. “Malcolm Mason is a complete gentleman!”

“So, you just whore out your veins then, not the rest of your body.  No, I get it. I’ve been there!”

She scoffed. “No, obviously you don’t ‘get it’! You make me sound so awful and cheap! And I’m no whore! Mal was the only one who ever touched me, until you, that is!” Azil averted his eyes.

“Oh poor thing, so embarrassed to have lost control over me!” she mocked “And yet, you had secretly wished that they actually did take turns on me, so you could have another taste, or something more! Well, I’m sorry to disappoint, but you’re in the wrong house, and I’m the wrong girl!” He began to protest her monologue, but she cut him off.

“Azil, do you really want to know what I do here?” he looked at her.”I find the whole hive people to kill! I manipulate and lore them all here. I’m like a Siren to humans!” She leaned forward closer to him, her voice a taunting whisper. “Didn’t they tell you what I can do, that I can read minds? Nobody can’t lie to me, even if they lie to themselves! Didn’t they tell you that I can make people do and think things? All sorts of horrible things! I could make a person slit his own throat all the while believing he was playing the violin. He wouldn’t even blink! These are very coveted skills I have, to the vampires! So no, I’m no whore. I’m no slave. I’m so much more than that!”

“I don’t really believe all that.” He crossed his arms defiantly. “You don’t look like much a the threat!, You look like a librarian!” She raised her eyebrows and smirked as he went on. “You don’t exactly come off as dangerous killer, or terribly strong, for that matter!” He incorrectly observed.

“Yea, well I find my unassuming appearance and calm demeanor helps when getting close to my target!” He couldn’t tell if she was being sarcastic or serious. “Would you like a demonstration?” She reached for his hands. He put his hands on top of hers as they stared each other down.

“You gonna read my palms? Tell my future?”

“No, I’m just going to show you how weak minded you are. You’re going to light a cigarette and hold it onto the back of your hand. You’re going to hold it there until it burns itself down to the filter and you’re not even going to notice!”

“Yea, well ok, no! I don’t think I’m going to do that!” He left out a forced, nervous laugh.

“Oh, you will! You won’t care until it’s over. You won’t even notice its happening, that’s how good I am!” She insisted.

“You know, she does make a good librarian, but she makes quiet a striking hooker too,” David Cole called out from the doorway, startling them both. “It’s so hot when Mr. Mason dresses her up! Oh yeah, I definitely  prefer to look at her in a partially open zip-up jacket with a black-laced bra that allows her cleavage to just spill over the top, When Mr. Mason parades her out in that red skirt that rides just above her pair of black fishnet thigh highs… mmmm! ” The lieutenant walked around behind her unnecessarily close, running a hand across her shoulders uncomfortably. “If we can’t enjoy feeding from her, we should atleast be able to enjoy looking at her!”

She shifted nervously, trying to shake off his hand.  “And as you know, she also makes a rather convincing vagabond, wearing tattered clothes that hang off of her in quiet that humiliating way.” David sat down at the table between them, leaned back in his chair and folded his arms casually. “She is quiet a chameleon, able to slip into whatever persona Mr. Mason needs her to be! She can pretend to be academic; she can pretend to be sweet. She can also become methodical, violent, and conniving. But if we are all truthful, she’s just a tool. She definitely thinks she is more important than she is, but really she is just a pretty toy that Malcolm hasn’t gotten tired of playing with, yet.”

The Lieutenant stared at Azil. “You might want to stop that now,” he nodded down towards the table. “Huh?” Azil looked down to notice that he was pressing a cigarette into the back of his hand. It was about halfway burned down. “Hey! What the hell?!” he flipped it away quickly and shook off his burned hand.

David laughed loudly “See! Don’t let her mousy act fool you! She’s wasn’t lying! She’s really good at being a covert little tart!” She crossed her legs and shrugged her shoulders. Azil just looked at her, dumbfounded. David moved to one of the cupboards and removed a glass bottle, opened it, and poured two tall glasses of the red liquid. He pushed one of the glasses towards Azil. “Here. Personally, I’d rather have blood from the vein, but she’s off limits, and so this is second best. Drink it.  It will help heal up your hand.”

David looked between the two, “She doesn’t like me too much and never has much to say after I walk in a room.” Sera rolled her eyes, but he completely ignored her. “Now listen, don’t waste too much time feeling bad for what you done to her, Azil. She deserved it and she knows it, because she’s a damn little tease! It’s the only time you will ever have gotten to give it to her! Mr. Mason keeps her all pretty and clean, and lets her strut all about here like she’s one of us, but he is a selfish bastard who doesn’t share. So, good for you for laying into her, because it’s the only chance you had to do it and not have Mr. Mason kill you!”

The Lieutenant glared at her, “You got something to say to me, girl?!” “No.” she muttered under her breath. “Excuse me, I didn’t fuckin’ hear you!” She looked at him directly “No, Sir! I have nothing to say to you.” “Good! That’s what I fuckin’ thought!” He turned away from her without another thought.

“Please, excuse me.” Sera said softly, She stood up from the table a few moments after the Lieutenant and Azil were joined by the twins. The all passed around the bottle of blood, emptied it, and started another one. The vampires joked and made small talk, and did not even notice Sera slip out of the kitchen.

~

Malcolm came downstairs in an unusually chipper mood. When he woke up alone in the suite, he knew that Sera was finally up again, and had ventured out. He had dressed quickly, eager to see her up and about. Malcolm had a generally stoic and solemn demeanor, but at this moment he felt uncharacteristically cheerful, and descended the steps quickly. He paused at the base of the staircase to listen. He could hear David berating Sera from the kitchen and after a moment watched her walk out into the sitting room.  She didn’t notice him standing there, so he just watched her for a moment. She kicked at the wall a few times, picked up a pillow and covered her face, growling into the fabric exasperatedly. She was obviously upset by her interactions in the kitchen, and he shook his head sympathetically.

Sera stood absently in front of a frosted window in the sitting room off of the kitchen. The rain fell hard now, and beat against the glass. The sound of their chatter from the kitchen was broken occasionally by loud crashes of thunder. They never would see her as anything else other than a useful instrument, a pretty object. She could never be an equal, or a friend. Not like this, not as she was. Despite her talents and her skills, her experience and knowledge, she was still just a human. It couldn’t stay this way.

As she stood there, lost in the sounds of the rain, a pair of gloved hands slipped over her shoulders and slowly untied her scarf. Her breath caught. Malcolm startled her from her own thoughts. He laughed softly, “I’m not normally able to sneak up on you.” She smiled softly, as he moved closer behind her. Malcolm was not like the rest of them. He comforted her thoughts by simply being close. His assertiveness and his command made her feel safe.

He slipped his arm around her waist and gently pulled her back against him. He kissed her neck, tenderly. “I’ve missed you, Love. I didn’t enjoy watching you so unwell.” She turned her head gently to one side as he took the blade out of her hair and brushed her mane over one shoulder. He breathed in the intoxicating scent of her hair, running the dagger gingerly over her cheek.

Kissing the skin of her neck left a sweet, sugary taste on his lips. “You don’t need to worry yourself with what they say to you, Sera.  Their words mean nothing. You’re mine, and I need you, just the way you are.” She put her hands down onto the window sill, dragging her nails just slightly against the wood’s grain with anticipation.

For over a year now, he had monogamously fed only from her. He also no longer supplemented from stored blood, like the others did.  Malcolm was the only vampire who had drank from Sera. He did not even let her bleed out into cups for the others. He was not at all pleased that Azil had fed on her and it angered him greatly. But, considering that Azil had been so newly made and severely starved, Malcolm did not see it fit to punish him. It was a reluctantly given once in a lifetime pass.

During Sera’s recovery periods, Malcolm simply fasted. Waiting days between drinking her blood made his desire to taste her again so much more intense. He kissed her neck again, licking the area slowly, which sent shivers down her spine. She took a slow, deep, unsteady breath and held it there. His touch was warm, electrifying. She had grown to crave the feel of his bite almost as much as he craved her blood. He always fed directly from her neck, while holding her. He never sat beside her and drank from her arm, never just had her bleed into a glass.

“I’m only yours.” She whispered.  He smiled as he pierced down through her pale skin, hungrily. She closed her eyes, leaned back against him, and gave herself to him completely. Her fingers released the sill and drop to her sides. He held her tightly, cradling her head in one hand with other around her waist. His bite was a euphoric drug and she was hopelessly addicted. The quick pain from his fangs puncturing through her thin flesh was always followed by the most heavenly of sensations. When she didn’t resist him, the experience of being fed from was joyfully pleasurable.

The rain pounded against the window in melody with her heartbeat. The lightening lit up the frosted glass as thunder rumbled in the distance. His strong and overpowering energy surged into her through his mouth, his hands. He linked minds with hers in the most intimate of ways. She released her most honest thoughts to him as her blood flowed into his mouth and down his throat.

“Mal, I want to be beside you, forever… take me… please, just take me…” she thought to him. “I’m ready!” She reached up and combed her fingers through his hair, pressing against the back of his head with her palm.

“It’s not time for you to be vampire, Cricket.” He said in her mind. “But when it is, I promise it will be me who makes you.”

A few moments after he had had his fill, he racked his tongue across his elongated fangs and wet his lips. Then he kissed the mark he had made on her skin, healing the wound. He steadied her, rewrapped her scarf back in place around her throat, and turned her around to face him. He lifted up her chin and cradled her face in his hands. She gazed up at him, drunk on his touch and lost in his eyes. He kissed her forehead tenderly. “Please don’t be so quick to end your young, mortal life, Sera.”

He hadn’t realized at the time how wrong he was, that her time was indeed creeping closer. If he hadn’t been so anxious to enjoy the taste of her, he might have noticed the slight, bitter taste of illness she had left at the back of his throat. If he hadn’t been so absorbed by the smell of her perfume, he might have observed the scent of disease forming around her.

She sat down and twisted her hair back into place, adjusted her glasses, and smoothed out her top.

“I think you owe our new friend an apology, Sera. I believe you were showing off awhile ago.” He said as he leaned against the window

“He is no friend, and he deserved it!” she scoffed.

“Even still, it was bad manners, and I didn’t raise you to be rude, now, did I?” He reached for her hand. She sighed as she took it and stood. “I don’t want you to waste your energy that way when we still need you to have a talk with our last guest down in the cellar.” She trailed behind him reluctantly back towards the kitchen.

When Malcolm entered the room, the conversation stopped short. The twins stopped giggling and the Lieutenant abruptly ended his story and cleared his throat. Azil shifted awkwardly in his seat. Malcolm towered like a king over them, commanding them by his mere presence. After allowing the silence to linger a long moment, he broke the quiet. “Gentlemen, ladies, hello.” He nodded to each of them. “I hope the evening has found you all well.” They murmured back greetings. He continued, “I want to thank you for letting Sera have these past few days to recuperate. But now that she’s back with us, I believe it’s time we all have a conversation with our last remaining guest.” He waved his hand. “David, if you would be so kind as to bring our visitor up to us?” David stood from the table and removed himself from the kitchen. Malcolm kindly beckoned Sera to take the now empty seat.

Sera hovered in the open doorway, shifting to the side, out of the way, when David passed by. She moved slowly to sit down. Malcolm pulled the chair out for her, pushed it in, and handed her a glass of water. She adjusted her glasses on her face and took a sip. The twins stood up and moved back to sit up on the countertop. Marissa swatted at the back of Azil’s head and motioned for him to stand up and get away from the table. He quickly scrambled out of his seat, and Malcolm moved the chair opposite Sera.

It wasn’t long before David came back, dragging beside him the last man from down in the cellar. The Lieutenant sat him down roughly. The man looked utterly pathetic and broken. His eyes darted around the room fearfully and his heart raced. He was filthy and reeked of urine and excrement. His exhausted body shook with hunger. His lips were cracked from days in the dark without water. Sera was disgusted, but still smiled kindly as she took hold of his clammy hands from across the table.

“Hey, do you remember me? We met a few nights ago in the salvage yard?” Her voice was soft, comforting. “Just look at me, you’re ok. Can we talk?” The man met her gaze, and then almost immediately his face relaxed and his eyes went hazy. She gripped his wrists and looked deep into his eyes as she spoke. “It’s Steven, right?” He nodded heavily. “Steven, a few days ago I helped the people you were staying with lure in a group of vampires.”

“Yeah… that didn’t go very well…” He struggled with the thought.

“No. It didn’t, did it?” She smiled and shook her head. The others in the room both snickered and hushed each other. “But what I really need to know is how your people found about the vampire you already had? Did anybody else know?”

“Well…” Steven seemed confused. He tried to focus his thoughts. “We… we found out about the vampire because we caught him attacking one of our girls. At first we thought he was just some thug mugging her, or raping her, or something. So a group of us went after him with pipes and shit, just to get him off her. But, then we saw what he had done! She was all torn up and bloody, so we beat the shit out of him! We thought he was high, because he was rolling around and growling like an animal. So we dragged him inside and tied him up, thinking he’d dry out and sober up. But he never calmed down, just kept going crazy! Then we got a really good look at his face.  Oh my God, that face, and those teeth!” He trailed off…

“Hey Steven, come on, focus!” She shook his hands. “Look at me! Please, continue…”

“Well, after we figured it out…that he wasn’t just some drugged out crazy person…that he was a monster… we figured there were probably others just like him. We didn’t want other monsters trying to pick us off, we decided we needed to be proactive, you know! Try and find them! So…”

“So, nobody else outside your group knew?”

He paused a moment, thinking hard. “No, Just us.”

“Thank you Steven, very good. That’s all I needed to know.” She continued to speak calmly to him as she took the dagger out of her hair with her left hand. “Now, all I need you to do is just to sit here.” She turned his arm up with her right hand and pressed the blade down into it slowly, cutting a deep gash from the inside of his elbow all the way to his wrist. The twins and the others twitched with excitement. All their eyes were fixated on the table. Steven watched her calmly and didn’t move. He didn’t speak. He had no reaction as he bled out.  She positioned his arm over a bowl that Malcolm had set beside her. “You know, only children should be affraid of monsters, Steven.” She switched hands and cut the same fatal wound across his other forearm. “Real monsters don’t have claws and fangs or go bump in the dark. Real monsters look just like you and me. And people like us can be far more frightening than any creature of the night!”

Azil watched her intently, wondering if that’s how he had looked while she had him burning himself. The whole bizarre display was entrancing, and sickeningly sadistic.  She was an assassin, completely cold to killing this man while the others stood around and watched. She carried out the whole murder so smoothly, slowly, such skill she displayed while killing him, such control. Azil was in awe, though the others didn’t seem so intensely impressed.  She had obviously done this before. The metallic smell of Steven’s blood was growing in the air as the man bled out two steady streams into the bowl.

“Now, Steven, just hold your hands here and don’t move. Everything is fine.” She let go of his wrists and stood up. He sat there a few moments still, before the room and all the people standing around him slowly started to come back into focus. He felt like he was waking up from a lucid dream. His arms were no longer numb, and he could suddenly feel the hot pain radiating down through his hands. He was getting nauseas and becoming drowsy.

“Well, there you have it!” She cleared her throat as she broke contact with Steven. “I assume if you don’t need anything else from me, you’ll excuse me.” Sera snatched up the pack of cigarettes Azil had left on the table and quickly left the kitchen. As cool and collected as she had seemed, her nerves were on fire.  She never stayed around for the part that always followed questioning a human. The part when they were alert again, and aware of dying, the part when they pleaded, and cried, and felt pain again. She didn’t care so much about people dying, she just didn’t enjoy being able to feel it happening.

She stepped outside onto the porch. The storm was subsiding, but the rain still poured over the awning like a waterfall. She lit up a cigarette and took a long, deep hit from the filter. The ember lit up bright as she breathed in. She tried to focus her thoughts on the sounds of the water, ignoring what she could still hear and feel from inside the house. She exhaled a steady stream of smoke into the night.

She sang to herself, clearing her mind

“ln blows the wind to my true love, And gently drops the rain. I've never had but one true love, and in green-wood he lies slain. I'll do as much for my true love, as any young girl may. I'll sit and mourn all on his grave, for twelve months and a day. And when twelve months and a day were passed, the ghost did rise and speak. ‘Why sittest thou all on my grave, and will not let me sleep? Go fetch me water from the desert, and blood from out the stone. Go fetch me milk from a fair maid's breast that thus young man had never known.’ How oft on yonder grave, sweetheart, Where we were want to walk. The fairest flower that e'er I saw has withered to a stalk. A stalk has withered and is dead, sweetheart. The flower will never return. And since I've lost my own true love, what can I do but yearn? When will we meet again, sweetheart? When will we meet again? When the autumn leaves that fall from the trees are green and spring up again."

She flipped the last bit of ash and tossed the butt into the yard.

~

Marissa and Tamara hopped down off the counter top and moved in closer to Steven. Each girl took one of his arms as David slid away the bowl. David carefully poured the red liquid from the bowl into one of the empty bottles they had used earlier in the evening then corked it. The twins bent down beside the man, and licked up and down his arms. Steven had no energy left to pull away. His head slumped forward weakly.  David moved behind the man and pushed his head to the side. Steven groaned pitifully, his eyes closed. They all bit down into his soiled flesh, and drained the last few moments of life from his veins. Neither Malcolm nor Azil joined them.

An hour or so had passed. Everyone seemed to go about their own business, like nothing had happened. The twins had cleared up the kitchen while they bickered back and forth about who looked better in their matching blue tops. They discussed loudly being bored. Marissa turned to Malcolm “Hey boss, we are gonna steal your girl for the night, k?!” He nodded permission then the twins left the room together. David carried Steven’s lifeless body away over his shoulder shortly after the girls and himself had let him expire. He had not returned. Malcolm sat down at the table, propped his legs up on an empty chair, opened a book, and never said a word. Azil stood around for awhile, then left the kitchen unnoticed.

Azil wandered the house, aimlessly. He stopped every few rooms to glance at a painting on a wall or at the contents of a bookshelf. He bent down over a desk tucked away in a corner, and thumbed through the random papers mindlessly. “Do you know, you are the only vampire I’ve ever met who wasn’t pasty white?” Azil stood up quickly, knocking off a large stack of folders off the desk. Sera sat in the dark, staring at him. He hadn’t noticed her sitting there. She flipped on the lamp next to her. “All of Mal’s friends seem to lack a certain amount of melatonin, but you’re complexion is simply striking! Mr. Hamal, you’re down right exotic in this crowd!”

“Wow” he said, awkwardly. “Thanks?”

She laughed. “Hey don’t take offensive! I’m just making a pointless observation.”

“How long of you been sitting there, watching me?!” He bent down to pick up the pile of files from the floor and tried to straighten them back on the desk correctly.

“Long enough to notice you seem bored and really out of place here.” She tossed the half empty cigarette pack back to Azil. “I borrowed this, so thanks.” She stood up. “Mal suggested I owe you an apology for earlier.”

“Yea, well it’s ok. Don’t worry about it.”

“Oh, no, don’t misunderstand me! I’m not sorry! You completely deserved it! However, I don’t need another vampire living in this house who has a reason to not like me. So, I figured I could make it up to you, anyway.”

The stood a few feet away from each other, her arms on her hips, his arms folded across his chest. “And what did you have in mind?”

“Have you ever been to any social vampire scene?” he looked confused.  “A bar, a rave, a sex club, anything?”

“Like vampire nightlife? No, I’ve never had the pleasure!” He snorted. “My maker and I didn’t exactly have a social relationship.”

“Unfortunate!” she smirked.

‘Well you don’t exactly seem to be chummy with all your roommates, either! And Mr. Mason doesn’t exactly seem like he goes out much, so I’m kind of confused how you have been out to any vampire club.”

“Because Tamara and Marissa aren’t always bitches!  Sometimes they can actually be a lot of fun, and they take me with them, sometimes, when they go out, when they are feeling friendly. In fact, it was their idea that I ask you to go with us!  So, I suggest you put on a better shirt and meet us in the truck!” She ducked out of the room before he could object.

~

Hemophilia. It was a crowded gothic rave right in the middle of the city’s arts district on the north side. Next door to the dance club was an upscale gentleman’s club called Swans. To the other side, a cocktail bar called the Crimson Kiss. All three were perfectly concealed right in the open of the bustling downtown nightlife. People passed right in front of their neon fronts without a single thought as to who was inside. It was just a bar next to a nightclub, next to dancing strippers. They looked like every other business up and down the strip.

“Just follow my lead.” Sera whispered to Azil as she linked arms with him. They walked behind Marissa, who paused in front of Hemophilia’s windowless entrance. The door opened as they approached. The muscle at the door eyed them once over before waiving them, one by one, inside. Tamara was the last to enter, and placed a playful kiss on the bouncer’s cheek. He rolled his eyes and shook his head as he closed the heavy door behind them.

It was another world inside the walls of Hemophilia. The lights strobed to the pulse of the music, as barely covered bodies twisted, bounced, and swayed to the rhythm on the dance floor. Seating and low tables lined the back wall and an upper balcony. A sea of faceless silhouettes sat along the booths and couches where vampires huddled possessively, hungrily, over their humans.

The twins pulled Azil to a booth in the corner. Sera moved to sit down, but then a hand grabbed her from behind. She spun around, startled. A blonde girl in a dark halter dress, about Sera’s age, stared back at her, smiling. “Fiona!” Sera threw herself around the girl in a tight embrace. The girl giggled and hugged her back. “I thought you were still in Europe! The last we heard, Eric was taking you to Rome. When did you get back?!” The girls, deep in conversation, took off into the middle of the dance floor.

Azil leaned towards the twins who sat across from him, “Who was that?” He asked. Tamara answered, speaking loud enough to be heard over the music.

“Fiona. She belongs to…” Just then a man sat down next to Azil in the booth, grinning widely. Marissa continued where her sister left off. “Eric.” The man leaned over the table and planted a kiss on each of the twins cheeks before sitting back proudly with his arms draped across the back of the booth. “Azil,” Marissa said, shaking her head. “meet Eric Mason.”

“Mason?” Azil questioned, staring at the man who had sat down next to him. Eric nodded at him, smiling. Tamara said, “ Eric, Malcolm’s brother.”

“I’m the more handsome, friendlier, wittier Mason brother, with a better sense of style.”

“Oh, is that so?” Tamara teased back, “And what survey voted you the most handsome?”

“It was a very exclusive pool!” he retorted.  Tamara laughed. Eric and the twins joked and chatted across the booth.

“Hey, I’ve ordered us drinks, they should be out soon.” Eric looked around for a server, and a few moments later, two black haired Asian women approached their table. One woman was slightly shorter than the other. They both wore their thick hair up in tight buns. Matching simple leather miniskirts, and silver bras were all that covered their two tall and slender frames. The women greeted them, smiling brightly in the dim light.  

“Hello. My name is Lang and this is Jen. We will be serving you this evening.”

“Ah! Here we go!” Eric reached up and gently pulled Lang down across his lap.  She bridged his legs, her skirt riding up her thighs, enticingly. She smiled softly as she cocked her head and ran her hands through his soft hair. “If there is anything we can do for you, please let us know.” Eric ran his hand up her thighs. “Would you prefer a razor and glass, or a direct feed, Sir?”

“Well, my dear, I will be drinking from the lovely source …right here.” He ran a finger across the top of her bra. However, my friend here is very new and cannot quiet be trusted yet to stop himself.”

“Oh! Tsk tsk” Lang leaned over playfully towards Azil with her arms still wrapped around Eric’s shoulders. “For a little extra, Jen and I can take you someplace a little quieter and help you practice!” Eric nudged her back up to face him.

“We can talk about that after first rounds, okay Sweetheart?”

“Awe! Don’t make him just sit there and watch! Here Sweetie.” Lang reached between her cleavage and pulled out a small razor blade. She made a quick, deep slice across her wrist and held it over one of the empty glasses on the table. When the glass was filled with her blood, she held it out to Azil. “Now Hun, it’s customary to seal up the wounds of you donor. Be quick now, or we are going to have a mess here.” He just looked at her, glanced at the glass, and stared at her wrist. “Um, ok,” she raised her eyebrows at him curiously, “Here, like this, Dear.” She took his hand in hers and faced it palm up. Then she took the razor and raked it across his palm. A small stream of red bubbled up across his hand. She flipped his hand over her wrist, and held it there a few moments. “There.” She flexed her fingers and made a fist a few times. “That’s all there is to it! Enjoy!”

Tamara stood up to allow Jen to slide in between herself and her sister. As Tamara moved to be seated, Jen extended an arm across to each sister. Marissa gingerly held onto the women’s wrist, and raised it to her lips. The woman’s well manicure nails brushed Marissa’s cheek as she opened her mouth. Tamara took Jen’s other arm and moved her face to the inner bend of her elbow. “Wow! You two have absolutely beautiful hair! Just stunning!” Jen conversed warmly as the twins positioned themselves to feed.

“Awe, that’s so sweet of you to say!” Tamara responded cheerfully before biting down. Lang and Jen were practiced in calm and bubbly conversation, and were well trained in how to serve both their customers’ appetites and egos. After Eric and the twins had had their fill, Eric healed the women’s marks, paid their donors, and sent them on their way.

Azil, didn’t say much as he sipped on the glass filled with Lang’s blood. He quietly observed the others as they fed, every so often glancing up at the lights strobeing across the bodies moving on the dance floor.

Deep in the middle of the crowd, Sera and Fiona jumped and flowed to the hypnotic club rhythm. They tossed their hands up into the air and glided around eachother. Their hair splashed down over their faces as they giggled and twisted to the electronic beat. Sera had worked up a thin layer of sweat and was becoming wonderfully drunk off the energy of the crowd.

At Hemophelia, Sera wasn’t overwhelmed by external negativity, and she didn’t hold back. In this place, filled wall to wall with vampires and willing humans, Sera siphoned the energy off the crowd like a charging battery.  It was too loud even for thoughts, but the raw emotions that flooded her from the people here were so positive, so energizing. There were no fears, no anxieties, no pain or loneliness here, just tidal waves of sexual desires, satiated appetites, and the feelings of belonging. It was a mind altering vigor with an endless supply. With every stroke of somebody’s arm and brush of somebody’s back, she let it all flood in. This was the only place outside of Malcolm’s estate were she took all her mental walls down. She allowed the energy to drive her into a frenzied high. They danced without stopping for almost an hour.

Still buzzed and spinning, Sera and Fionna worked their way outside onto a closed in back porch to have a quick smoke and to cool down. The music was muffled through the heavy door, and it was much quieter there.

It wasn’t long before others had wondered out onto the patio. The girls sat on a low ledge and watched the people. Fiona leaned over to Sera “You want to really crank this party up a notch?” Sera cocked her eyebrows and Fiona smiled widely. She held out her palm, revealing a single small orange pill with the image of a butterfly etched on one side. “It makes everything you touch feel like silk, everything you hear sound like angels, and everything you taste, taste like honey.

“Oh, what a great idea, Fiona! Give something mind altering to the girl who already can hear and feel everyone and everything!  I really need to swallow something to make being this close to so many lusty minds even more overpowering! That really sounds like fun!”

“It might be! How will you know, if you never try it?”

“Malcolm would kill me!” She fingered the pill, rolling it over in Fiona’s palm

“He doesn’t have to know!”

“Eric will kill you!”

“Nope! He gave it to me! Let’s just say, he likes the way I like him when I take it… and I think he thinks I taste better.” Fiona spilt the pill between her finger tips. “Here.” She held out the half wing of the butterfly. “Molly says ‘come play with us’, Sera!”

Sera rolled her eyes as Fiona slipped it between Sera’s lips and under her tongue. Then she kissed her. “We usually only get imagine what a vampire’s heightened senses are like every single day. We can steal these few brief moments to heighten our own senses. So who cares if our enlightenment is chemically produced, right?”

“Sure. And if my brain short circuits from over stimulation, I blame you! If I become permanently altered and Mal kicks me out, tell Eric he has inherited a second companion.” Both girls laughed.

The evening gave way to deep twilight as the hive made their way loudly into the house. Sera was pressed between the twins, all three laughing loudly as they stumbled through the door. Fiona swayed and giggled as Eric guided her through the threshold. Azil trailed a few steps behind, and closed the heavy door.

“Brother!” Eric bellowed into the house. “Come welcome me home!” Malcolm stepped into the entrance and glanced around the group with amusement.

“Good god!” Malcolm mused. “ I let them go out for one night and they come home with strays!”

“Ah, Daddy can’t we keep him?” Tamara laughed. “He is so well trained and oh so cute!” Tamara held her hands in a mocking oh please.

Malcolm laughed and jokingly responded, “Only if you promise to feed him! And he sleeps outside.” He took a step closer to Eric, looking him up and down sternly. Then Malcolm embraced him strongly.

“Welcome home, Brother.”  He gave his back a hard pat. Then Malcolm looked from Fiona to Sera. “Are they that drunk?” he asked, curiously.

“Not exactly…” Eric snickered. He took Sera off of Marisa’s arm and pushed her gently towards his brother. She laughed as she stumbled forward, and flung her arms over Malcolm’s shoulders. Malcolm caught her, and held her up with a hand around her waist. She twisted her hands through his hair and kissed his cheek.

“Oh my! What did you do to her?!” Malcolm ask his brother as Sera pawed at him.

“Nothing you won’t enjoy! I know I do!” Eric playful bit at Fiona as she ran her hand up and down his silky shirt. “Well, Brother, friends. I bid you all fair night! I am going to go enjoy myself elsewhere.” He scooped up Fiona over his shoulder as she hollered gleefully and carried her off down the hall.

The twins twisted their arms around Azil and pulled him reluctantly to their bedroom. The girls gave Malcolm a playful little wave before pushing Azil inside and closing the door. Malcolm and Sera stood alone. He looked down at her, a hunger building.

“What am I going to do with you, Cricket?” He mused, as she snaked her fingers through his hair.

“What do you want to do with me, Mal? You think I haven’t seen the things you think about in the dark?”

He slowly backed her against the wall, pressing her arms between their chests. She looked up at him, their faces inches from eachother. He ran his fingers down her shoulder. “You’re altered…”

“Does it matter?” Her eyes flashed. Her heart raced. Everything she touched was electric.  The wall behind her, the feel of his shirt infront of her, his fingers against her skin, all sent static waves through her whole body.  Her skin was a pure electrified conduit, and even the fabric of her dress against it was driving her mad. She was panting now, unable to catch her breath. “I’ve seen what you’ve fantasized about, but have been too much of a gentleman to do. I know how much you hold back. Don’t.”

His fangs ached as he gazed upon her. She looked back into those piercing eyes and reached up to the back of his head. She pressed him forward and down, down to her neck. “Don’t hold back, Mal. Do to me what you’ve desired for years. I want you to.”

“Don’t tempt me, Cricket, because I know I won’t stop.” He whispered hoarsely, the smell of her filling his nostrils. He gripped her hips, pulling up her dress as he moved his hands.

“Good, don’t. Because I’m your Mal. Only yours.”

Malcolm didn’t hold back. He bit into her ravenously, grasping her tightly and pressing her firmly against the wall. Sera let out a quick cry as her breathe caught momentarily. He was not gentle, and his rough handling was new. His mouth sucked hard, and she felt every lap of his tongue against her skin with pure raw intensity. It was fierce, deliciously painful. His craving and his desire flooded her mind gloriously.

She moved her hands down between them, rubbing her fingers across the bulge that had formed under the fabric of his pants. He growled with longing, which only made her rub against him more. She fumbled at his pants, and he tore at her dress, barely remembering to close her wound before taking her.

ADD CONTENT HERE

Fiona had cradled herself up by the headboard of the bed as she listened helplessly to her friend. Sera was hysterical, inconsolable, and there was nothing Fiona could say to calm her. Sera had rushed into the room from downstairs, panic stricken and raving.  She burst in to the room, startling Fiona to her feet.

“You knew this was their plan, didn’t you?! You were in on it! You lying, fang-loving whore!”

“Oh my God, Sera! Nobody lied to you! Nobody is out to get you! Please, please calm down! You’re not yourself, your not listening!”

Sera’s eyes were wild. “You may be waiting for Malcolm’s brother to Sire you, but he’s not touching me! None of you are touching me!” Sera clutched her gut and winced as the pain inside her welled up again.

Fiona pleaded, “Eric’s not going to hurt you, Sera! We are trying to help you!” Frustrated tears welled up in her eyes. “If you could just slow down, relax, you’d see…”

“See what, Fiona? You’re betrayal?! How is he going to help me, huh? How are any of you going to help me? I do not belong to Eric! I’m not you!” Sera lunged at her, but Fiona ducked out of the way and rolled onto the bed again. Sera stumbled into the wardrobe, unsteady on her feet.

“You’re dying, Sera! Can’t you feel it?” Sera pushed down the pain and the nausea in defiance.

She seethed. “We are all dying, Fiona.” She moved to rush Fiona again, but the cramping doubled her over beside the bed. Then she heard the heavy steps of Malcolm and Eric coming quickly up the stairs.

She swung around to push the door closed. She had intended to lock it, but Malcolm caught it with one hand and flung it back open. Sera sobbed and pushed him back, as he moved into the room. “Don’t let Eric do this to me, please. Please Malcolm, please, no!” She couldn’t breathe. She held out her shaking hands to keep him away. She shivered uncontrollably as beads of sweat fell from her brow. Her stomach lurched and waves of nausea ebbed in her throat.

“Oh God Sera, I’m so sorry. Please, please be calm. Try to understand, you’re not well. You’re not okay!”There was sorrow and desperation in his voice. “ Please, don’t fight.” His voice was shaking, pleading, as he moved towards her. He couldn’t believe she was still on her feet. He backed her into the far wall and reached out for her, but she fell to her knees. She covered her face with her hands and sobbed.

Eric came quietly into the room and shut the door. He looked sadly down at Fiona, who was again huddled on the bed. He laid a comforting hand across her back, then took a few cautious steps towards Malcolm and Sera.

Malcolm lifted Sera gently to her feet and held her infront of him by her arms. She looked up at him with red, swollen, tear-streaked eyes. “Please!” she whispered hoarsely. “Not this way! You swore to me, it would only be you!”

“I’m so sorry. But I just can’t save you alone, not from this.”

“Then let me die!” She wretched and choked as she tried to plead. It felt like every joint in her body was on fire. Her stomach turned and rolled as she sobbed and tried to twist away. “Mal, I don’t want his blood in me. I don’t want to be linked to Eric when I turn.”

He pulled her forward “No, Sera. I will not let you die. And If I have to share making you to have you here, then I will. Eric is not here to create a Sire bond with you; he’s here because our blood is stronger together, strong enough so you won’t die becoming vampire. And turning you is the only I know how to heal you, now.”

Her fever was so high, and her thoughts were racing and delusional. She was overwhelmed with paranoia and fear. She ranted, “He’s going to kill me! He’s going to bleed me dry! He won’t stop! Just keep him away! Oh God, I won’t let you do this! Stay away! Just let go!”

He held her firmly by the arms as she twisted in his grip. “This is not your choice, Child, it is mine. I’m not changing my mind. Stop! Please stop fighting.” He shook her briefly, trying to make her stop squirming. “You need to listen! You need to trust me, now!” She wailed and wept incoherently. Before she could struggle away, he pinned his fangs into the bend of her neck, holding her tightly in place. She cried out, tensing sharply and resisting with all her strength. It broke his heart. He thought to her, “I’m right here, Cricket. I’m right here! You’re going to be fine.”

She desperately pulled at his hair and tried to drop to her knees. “No! No! No! Owe! Mal, let go. Owe! Stop! Please stop…”

After a few moments of watching her struggle against Malcolm, Eric hung his head heavily and walked over to them. Without releasing his hold on her, Malcolm moved to one side of Sera, and held her as still as he could. Eric put a hand across her back and stepped in as close as he could, pressing her small body between them. Eric brushed her hair back from the exposed side of her neck and lowered his lips. “Forgive me.” He bit into her.

She grimaced and clenched her fists as both men held her up between them. Her legs were becoming weak and heavy. They sucked fiercely at her flesh as she bled into them. She could scarcely breathe. There was no euphoria in Malcolm’s savage kiss. Her body ached from illness and her mind raced with broken, fevered thoughts. Her panicked, pounding heart echoed in her ears like a deadly drum. Their fangs stung like daggers, and no relief came.

With the two brothers draining her, both pressing into her disjointed mind for submission, it should have taken half the time to make her still, but it seemed to take twice as long. The very moment she gave up was painfully and immediately clear. Her sobs went suddenly silent, and her body went abruptly limp. All of her nightmarish thoughts went dark for both Malcolm and Eric.

The brothers raised their heads slowly and Eric backed a few steps away, letting Malcolm lower her to her knees. Her breathe was heavy, labored and her eyes stared forward blankly.  She blinked slowly, her eyes heavy and blurred. Malcolm spoke to her softly, “Sera? We have drained you so close to death that you will not survive this way long. You heart is struggling now, and I can hear it trying to give up. What comes next is not at all pleasant and if you fight against us any further, we will not be able to bring you through this.”

She didn’t move or look at him, she didn’t speak. Malcolm and Eric exchanged a long glance. Malcolm said. “I will let her drink from me first, then you.”

“Any way you want to do this, Mal.” Fiona came down from the bed and wrapped her arms slowly around Eric, and he held her as they watched.

“I don’t want to do this, at all!”

Malcolm sat down on the floor and pulled Sera slowly into his lap. She shivered, and her skin was clammy under his touch. He spoke close to her ear, he commanded and compelled her with every inch of mental strength he could muster. “I am going to give you my blood, and you will swallow it until I release you. Then you will drink from Eric. You will not stop until your heart stops. Your whole body will revolt and fight against you. You body does not want to die, but death is not the end! I don’t want you to focus on the pain, only me.”

Malcolm bit into his wrist deeply, and allowed a heavy stream of blood to flow free. He positioned her infront of him on his lap and held her, holding his wrist firmly against her lips. “Drink, Love. Drink from me.” Her lips quivered as her mouth filled quickly with Malcolm’s blood. She swallowed a few mouthfuls. Suddenly her gut spasmed and churned. She wretched forward, but Malcolm held the back of her head with his free hand and kept his wrist firmly over her mouth. She felt like she was drowning. She forced down another few gulps, closing her eyes tightly as hot tears streamed down her cheeks from the pain.

Her organs were struggling, dying one by one. Her blood was boiling and yet her veins ran cold. Malcolm’s blood was warring with the diseased cells inside her, and winning. She choked and swallowed more. She felt like she was been crushed from inside out, and it was agonizing. She desperately tried to think about Malcolm, to focus on him beside her, but the searing pain was overwhelming and fear gripped strongly at her consciousness.

Slowly, ever so slowly, the pain diminished. What seemed like hours had only been a few minutes.  Her body throbbed into a dual ache, and she was exhausted. Malcolm released his wrist from her lips and spoke softly, “Good, Sera. Very, very good.”  His flesh healed almost instantly.

She gasped for breathe, and struggled to move, but her limbs were numb now. She was so cold. “Just relax, child, sleep will come so soon. Just a bit longer and this will all be done. Her mouth was so dry now, and her chest was heavy. Her lungs and her heart would be the last of her body to give in.

She strained to speak, but her voice was only a whisper. “I...can’t breathe Mal. I’m so cold…”

“I know, Child. Shhh…”

“I’m so thirsty, Mal.” Her throat felt like sandpaper and her mouth was filled with cotton. When she took another raspy breath, she coughed weakly. “Mal…”

“What, Cricket?”

“Tell me I’m only yours. Tell me… you love me…” A tear escaped his solemn eyes. Eric knelt beside his brother, and reached over for Sera. Mal moved her over towards Eric. She groaned, meekly, and closed her eyes. They laid her head on Eric’s lap.

Eric did as Malcolm had done, and bit through the thin skin of his wrist. He pressed it against her dry, cold lips. “Quench your thirst, Sera. Drink from me. It’s not going to take much longer.” She coughed over his wrist, but let his blood fill her mouth. She swallowed, and swallowed again. Both brothers’ blood moved inside her now. Their essence fought against the cancer, the poison in her blood that consumed her. They could hear her heart slow almost to silence, and her breaths were shallow and few. She swallowed one last time, before Eric’s blood just ran down her throat, then spilt slightly from the corner of her mouth. One last breathe. One last heartbeat, then she was still.

Malcolm whispered “I love you.”


 


© Copyright 2020 cera vi. All rights reserved.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:

More Romance Short Stories