Rogue Vampire

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic


After overhearing a conversation Valentino's vampires have, Lane comes across some of their victims. First part of Chapter 5.



**Warning, might be disturbing for some readers**

Chapter 5 (v.1) - The Monster & the Hunted

Submitted: April 05, 2020

Reads: 39

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Submitted: April 05, 2020

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Chapter 5

 

Two nights later, I sat on top of a pillar of one of Rome’s ruined ancient temples. It wasn’t the tallest of the ruins in the area, but it was still a good twenty feet or more above the ground. To my left was the stone three arch pathway, and across the ruins from me loomed eight taller pillars of a larger ruined temple.

Although I hadn’t found permanent shelter at the ruins, I had found the higher spots like the one I was sitting on to be good places to overhear conversations without being discovered. I have seen Hunters close to sunset last night and tonight. Both times they were discussing the injuries their leader, Stefan, had suffered by the hands of a vampire who could control fire.

The information was interesting. I had come across a vampire or two who had some control over an element. One of them had control over water and tried to drown me in a lake a few decades ago. He had created a wave to overcome me, but he had been young and the wave had been small. It had only put me a few feet below the surface. It was easy to overcome and the man met his end minutes later.

Who was the vampire who held fire? Was it one of Julia’s group or one of Rome’s? Or was there yet another vampire roaming around I was not aware of yet? I suspected it had to be a member of Julia’s group since I would have expected Rome’s group to have used such a power against me. I hoped it wasn’t reinforcements from Valentino.

I was about to climb down when I sensed Valentino’s Council woman and a few others with her. I was still shielded so I remained where I was, hidden high above them. There was no need to initiate a fight tonight. Sometimes gathering information can be more useful.

“Valentino is not pleased with this current turn of events,” one of the men with the Council woman stated as they drew closer.

“Tell me something I don’t know,” she snapped. “Hopefully it was an isolated incident.”

A third vampire said, “Samuel’s group intentionally helped Lane. That was no accident, Amita.”

“No, it wasn’t,” she murmured. “However, it’s never happened before. Something caused it.”

“Are you forgetting that Lane interfered when we were interrogating Julia? When have you ever heard of the rogue coming to another vampire’s defense?” the second man questioned.

“Never,” the others answered.

“She had to have told her group about it. What we saw a couple nights ago was nothing more than the settling of favors,” the first man continued.

The group stopped a short distance past me. “You’re wrong,” the woman replied. “Lane has seen vampires fight each other previously. He’s never intervened on anyone’s behalf before. He never does anything without a reason either.”

The last vampire finally spoke. “Why would he have this time?”

“I hate to say this, gentlemen, but something more is going on here. Julia lied when she said she hadn’t seen Lane. She had also been remarkably unscathed for encountering him sometime in the days before then.”

“You mean he didn’t attack her?” the last man questioned.

“Obviously not. Something strange happened when they first met. If we can figure out what it was, we might have a better idea what is going on,” she said.

“What’s happening is that the rebels are throwing in with Lane,” the second man growled.

“Not necessarily. It could simply be a case of one mad vampire rescuing another for whatever delusional reason. Samuel’s group only repaid Lane for helping their daft member,” the third one replied.

From my perch on top of the pillar, I couldn’t help but raise an eyebrow. Valentino’s people claimed Julia was daft like I was? She didn’t seem that off to me. She was still a part of a group. Why would they say that?

“The best we can hope for is that they stay away from each other for now on. At the moment, we have a more immediate problem. We need to find a way to deal with these Hunters,” Amita said.

“It might be best to leave the city for a while.  .  .” the last vampire said, his voice growing softer as they moved away.

I waited awhile before climbing down from the pillar. I headed in the direction that Rome’s group had come from, pondering what I had overheard. “Why would they say Julia is mad? Despite having been alone the first couple of times I saw her, she is obviously a part of a group.  And she can speak coherently. It doesn’t make sense,” I muttered to myself out loud. It also seemed as if Valentino did not like her group helping me. “Her group said they were Resistance, but I’ve never had members of a Resistance help me before? Why now? And why does that upset Valentino so much?”

I sighed. They were all questions I didn’t have answers to. I kept moving, watchful of both enemies coming upon me as well as possible dinner. As I passed another small house, I heard several soft sounds and smelled blood. I frowned at the building. The front door was slightly ajar, but I couldn’t see any movement. The sound got louder, before fading again. It sounded like whimpering or crying.

Cautiously, I approached the house. It was possible the occupants were under attack, which meant it was also possible for me to find an easy meal. I had my weapon ready as I eased the door open and stepped inside. Dying embers were in the hearth, but I didn’t need their light to see. Six bodies littered the floor and meager bedding in the far corner. The man’s body was the closest to the door, a knife next to his hand. His arm was soaked in dried blood. The woman’s was closer to the hearth alongside the body of girl of about twelve years. All of them had the distinctive punctures that came from a vampire’s bite. An older boy of about sixteen lay in front of the bed where the two youngest victims lay.

“Bloody bastards,” I muttered. I had a pretty good idea who had done this. Rome’s group. While it was true I had no idea how Julia’s group fed, the fact that they lived with a human girl made me doubt it was them. I frowned as I heard a faint wheezing sound. I slid my sword back into my sheath and headed for the sound. I didn’t need the weapon.

On the floor on the other side of the bed lay a small boy of five or six years old. He opened his eyes a little as he heard me approach and mumbled a word or two. I didn’t need to know this place’s language to know what he said. He was asking for help – help I couldn’t give.

I cursed again as I knelt beside the child. The dark marks of the vampire’s bite stood out against the boy’s now pallid skin. His breathing was fast, but now that I was closer I could also hear his heart, which was slow and erratic. He gasped the words again.

Anger flooded me. The fiend hadn’t drunk enough which had left this boy barely alive. I was a cursed evil thing, but not even I will murder entire families, especially children, unless I had no other goddamned choice. I couldn’t save this child. I didn’t know how to make another of my kind, even if I had wanted to. He had lost too much blood, his heart was failing. I couldn’t stop that.

I stared into the boy’s dark frightened eyes and let out a breath. There was one thing I could do. “You are safe. Sleep,” I said and used my power to hypnotize the dying child. He didn’t need to suffer any longer.

I stayed beside him, ensuring he remained under until his breathing and heart both stopped. A moment later, I walked out, leaving the scene to be discovered by the Hunters. It would give them more reason to go after Valentino’s vampires. It wouldn’t change this family’s fate, but maybe they could save others.

 

***

 


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