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|Wow, creative title....anywho, this is about a vampire. Because I like to be morbid...er....something. This is the beginning of the story. It needs some cleaning up, but....you know, life doesn't always allow for it. |
There's a doodle of my darling main character in my loth gallery, just in case you wanted to see what crap I do when I'm bored and happen to have a mech. pencil and a sketch diary. People just happened to want to read the story, for some reason or another. So, here it is.... Uploaded originally: who knows? Updated: 7/31/04 --> It's been cleaned up slightly (i think >.>;) and there's more here!
The man raised a fist to knock heavily on the door. Two thuds resounded deep into the building. A slot popped open in the door, a face to one side of it. The dim light that spilled out couldn’t bring any light to the shadows in the man’s hood. “Who’s there?”
“‘Tis my own and will remain that way.”
The doorkeeper sighed. “Give me somethin’, laddie!”
“Tell Keeper Asherohn is here to see him.”
The doorkeeper fingered the stubble on his chin for a moment, as if thinking. “I ain’t never heard of an ‘Ash-eer-on’. I don’ think I can admit ye.”
Asherohn’s lips parted in a scowl, a snarl forming in his throat. Suddenly the doorkeeper was thrust aside and the door flung wide open. “Come, come now! Everyone knows good old Ashy!” The tall, burly man opened his arms to Asherohn, a symbol of welcome.
Asherohn swallowed his snarl and nodded. “Keeper.”
Keeper smiled and slung an arm around the shorter man’s shoulders. “Be not shy, friend. Come right in!” He leaned a bit closer to Asherohn and said, “Jacob’s a bit new here. May take him a while to get used to the regulars.” Keeper jerked a thumb in the doorkeeper’s direction. Jacob was picking himself up off the floor, grimacing.
Asherohn slipped out from underneath Keeper’s arm. “I am not a regular here. I pride myself on that.” He glided into the building with a grace that, under his thick cloak, made it seem like he was floating.
Keeper sighed and shrugged to Jacob. “Remember the name Asherohn. He’s not here often, but when he is, he’s to be brought directly to me.” Keeper strode back into the building behind Asherohn.
The cloaked man was standing in the main room. It was as of yet empty. The night’s underground business hadn’t started yet. Keeper walked up to Asherohn. “So, Ashy, what brings you here?”
The smaller man bristled slightly at the nickname. “Ash, Keeper. I’m Ash.”
“Right, right. As you say.” He waited for Ash to tell him why he was here, but it seemed the other man had forgotten the question. Keeper sighed. “Ash, what brings you?”
“Amanar Line took my territory today. I haven’t fed.”
Keeper frowned. “I heard of Amanar’s move. I was hoping it wasn’t you.”
“Mmm, it was.”
Keeper waited a moment, then ran a hand through his thick, curly hair. “Ash, business isn’t slow anymore. Word’s gotten round. I can’t give one of my girls to you. Not now. Besides, I’d have a dickens of a time trying to find one who was willing.”
Ash’s head moved, and although he couldn’t see Ash’s eyes, Keeper got the distinct feeling he was looking right into them. “I don’t care if she’s willing.”
Keeper nodded. “I didn’t suppose you would. Ash, I hate to turn down an old friend, but I have no one’s life to spare.”
“I don’t want her life.”
Keeper’s eyebrows flew up. “You’re telling me you wouldn’t kill her?” Ash nodded. “Ashy, I--”
“Ash. It’s Ash. If you call me Ashy one more time, you will become the object of my visit.”
Keeper swallowed nervously. “Alright. But I need an oath. Swear on something.”
“I swear on my honor I won’t kill her.”
Keeper threw his head back and laughed. “You swear on your honor? Ash, you’re a great guy, but as far as most of the world’s concerned, a vampire’s honor doesn’t exist. And if you’re an exile, well that makes it all the worse for you.”
Even through the shadows, Ash’s silver eyes glittered with growing anger. “I would swear on the Family, but I don’t exist to them. And to me, they are squabbling children who have never had honor and aren’t going to form any in the near future. I could swear on the line that spawned me, even if they won’t claim me, but they’re even lower to me than the Family. I think my honor is better than that, Keeper, and if that isn’t good enough, I will simply take one of the girls and to hell with you.”
Keeper smiled faintly. He was sweating lightly, noticeably afraid of the wrath this smaller man could bring to the table when provoked. “I think your honor should do nicely, Ash.” He turned to the second door in the room, a heavy oak creation carved with some worn design. Once his back was turned to Ash, he pulled out a small kerchief and wiped his brow. Then he put on his largest smile and clapped four times.
The door opened and a mass of women spilled into the room. Ash’s eyes flicked over each one, his mind sweeping over their auras. They collected in small groups, twittering like birds. Ash had been here enough to know the protocol. When they entered the room, the ones who liked the look of the man were to stay, the rest to turn around and leave. Ash, still deep in his cloak, proved an interruption to that scheduled routine.
Keeper turned to Ash, then sighed. “Are you going to take off your cloak?”
Ash responded by letting the named object fall to the floor. No one had seen him undo it. It just fell. Some of the ladies stepped back with some sense of reverence; others leaned forward with anticipation. Ash sighed and swept a hand through his deep red shoulder length hair, causing it to glint where the light hit it. It was obviously a gesture Ash did quite often, and just as obviously pointless. Ash’s hair fell right back into his creamy-brown eyes. He ran his hand down its length, smoothing it out the best he could, momentarily twisting one of the jagged ends. As he moved his hair, the delicate chains that made a rough triangle between the earrings in his left ear clinked quietly. This man was obviously not comfortable in such a large gathering, despite the power and grace he seemed to emanate.
A number of women moved out of their small groups and nearer to Keeper. The rest flowed out of the room in the same type of steady stream they entered as. Keeper looked around the knot of women satisfactorily. Then he cleared his throat. “Ladies, ladies.” Hush fell immediately. The admiring look in their eyes spoke for why every single one of them still worked in an outlawed business. These women would follow Keeper anywhere he led his little enterprise. “This here is Ash.” Keeper clapped Ash on the back. Ash flinched slightly and glared hotly at Keeper out of the corner of his eyes. “He’s looking for a good time, but he’s in a bit of a hurry. Who’s up for the job?”
A flurry of loud conversation took up as the women fought out quickly who got Ash. After a moment or so, a dark haired woman stepped forward, her eyes glittering happily. Keeper nodded. “Sarah. Are there any others who wish to make a claim?” A moment’s hesitation, and 3 other women stepped forward. The rest filed out talking in whispers. Keeper nodded at each of the three other women, acknowledging they could stay. “Anna, Messura, Palomis.” He smiled, then drew Ash aside.
“Which do you take?”
Ash thought for a moment. “The blonde is the strongest of them…” he mused.
Keeper glanced at the ladies. “Palomis. Do you want her, or will you take Sarah?”
Ash smiled slowly, as if coming out of a contemplative trance. “If Sarah’s volunteering to be bedridden for at least a week, who am I to turn her down?”
Keeper smiled and looked back at the ladies. “Sarah, come with us.” The other three ladies turned and left while Sarah made her way to them. Keeper produced a key to the third door in the room, made of steel painted to look like wood. He opened it and led Ash and Sarah inside, stopping at the first room in the hallway. He unlocked this with the same key. Ash let Sarah go in first, all too conscious of her eyes staring at him hungrily. Sarah dismissed herself into the small side chamber to change into something that was easier to get off then her current dress. Ash grimaced slightly, his pride obviously wounded that he had to resort to feeding on one of Keeper’s Girls, the most known underworld prostitution agency.
Keeper grinned. “Missing your territory?” Ash gave a slight nod. Keeper nodded gently. “I’d assume so. Well, at least your…prey is easy to get this time.”
Ash shuddered. “Yes, but I have to flirt with her first.” He put so much disgust into the word “flirt”, it was clear that this was an unessential part of his hunt.
Keeper shook his head. “I will never figure you out. Sarah’s pretty enough. You should be glad.”
Ash glanced at Keeper. “I don’t see beauty. 3048 years have taught me to see how long they will sustain me rather than how lovely they are. The pretty ones are usually the ones that I have no use for.”
Keeper shuddered. “You talk about killing like…it’s nothing.”
“It is. You kill. Everyday people die at the hands of other people. I, at least, kill to survive and supply myself with nourishment. It’s like a human slaughtering a cow. If the cow isn’t fat enough, it’s allowed to live another year, and if it is, it’s turned into food. Only, I see the life energy. And whomever has the most is my victim.”
Keeper’s lip curled in disgust. It wasn’t what Ash was saying that was so horrible, it was the bland, matter-of-fact way he said it. Ash’s head tilted, as if something were curious. “Outwardly, you seem so disgusted. And yet you are still thinking of the spy holes in the back of the room…” He turned his full glare on Keeper, eyes their true glittering silver.
Keeper took a step back, once again sweating. “I just needed to make sure you didn’t kill Sarah.”
Ash smiled without humor. “Don’t trust me, ‘old friend’?”
“I do, Ash, but I need Sarah to be alive. I need all of my Girls.”
Ash blinked, his eyes creamy-brown again. “You’d best hurry. She’s coming back.”
Keeper was slightly surprised, but turned on his heel and fled to the secret door in the wall. Ash smiled to himself. He scared the bigger man. He scared a lot of people. It suited him just fine.
The side door opened. Sarah stood, essentially, in undergarments. Ash grinned and strode to her, then picked her up as if to carry her to the bed. Instead, he eased her conscious from her, leaving her as close to unconsciousness as he could. He knew from experience that if a vampire knocked a human out, no matter how gently, and that human actually woke up, they’d have double, sometimes triple, vision accompanied by a headache that made them think they were in some freak operation without anesthesia. Even without being knocked out, Sarah would wake up woozy, nauseous and exhausted. Ash had seen what would happen if someone was knocked out as well as drained. Most people killed themselves to get away from the pain by the second day.
He put her feet on the floor, even though she couldn’t support herself, and swept her thick hair away from her neck. He quickly checked the back wall to make sure Keeper would have a good view. Supporting her head, he buried his fangs in her neck and drank. A gasp from his victim reminded him that this person was still conscious. He sighed inwardly and was a bit gentler.
He heard Keeper leave about halfway through his meal. He smiled and finished up, taking just enough blood to keep him sustained until he could find another victim, one he could kill. He ran his tongue over the wound to close it, then laid the girl on the bed. He licked his lips clean and left the room.
Keeper was leaning against the wall, considerably paler than he usually was. “What do I tell her when she wakes up?”
Ash shrugged. “What do I care? She has some rare and non-contagious disease that doctors can’t treat. She should be able to move in a week. I didn’t send her completely into unconsciousness, so she shouldn’t be in too much pain.”
“‘Non-contagious’? Does that mean you won’t be back anytime soon?”
Ash nodded. “I’m going to see another friend. They’ll find me some territory.”
Keeper nodded and managed a weak smile. “Good luck, Ash.”
“The wise don’t need luck.” Ash disappeared.
Ash knelt next to the sleeping woman, placing his face inches from hers. He dare not touch her. He’d done that before. He almost hadn’t survived, and still bore the 6-inch scar her magiced knife had left down his chest.
“Aurora,” he whispered gently. “Aurora, wake up.”
He eyelids fluttered, then she started back a few inches. Ash didn’t move, feeling the cold steel against his neck. Aurora blinked a couple times, muttering curses about late-night visits and bleary eyes. She stared at him for a second, then made a rude noise. The knife moved from his throat, back into the hiding spot he had yet to discover, even though Aurora and he went back more than 1000 years. She threw the covers aside and stood up gracefully, the moon turning her fair skin silver and her blonde hair into pale molten gold. Ash stood as well, completely immune to the fact Aurora was wearing nothing.
This witch had nothing to fear from those who knew her. She was the one called when a Line found an exile on their territory. She had an hour to get there before the exile was terminated. She had saved Ash something like 1000 years ago, when he’d gotten drunk on another vampire’s blood while celebrating his 1000th year alive as an exile, which also served as his 2000th birthday.
Aurora was only slightly younger then Ash himself, some 100 years, and a rare beauty. She had once cared for dignity and modesty, but had slowly lost those so-called virtues when she learned she was one of the few witches who would live thousands of years, aging so slowly after puberty it seemed to not happen. She slept nude and had no conscience against getting dressed in front of someone, especially not the vampires she had saved.
She grabbed undergarments from one drawer and a pair of pants from another. “And how may I help you at this hour of the morning, Ash?”
“It’s a territory problem again, Aurora.”
She sighed, yanking on one leg of the pants. “They really don’t like you, do they, Ash?”
Ash shrugged. “I think they see me as their biggest threat.”
Aurora paused with her foot halfway into the other leg of her pants. “Don’t flatter yourself.” It was at that point she nearly fell over, and continued getting dressed.
Ash smothered a chuckle. “I’m not. I’m Craige’s only exile in the history of vampirism. That gives me a bit of an edge over Amanar and Parasu’s exiles.”
“Correction, Craige’s only recorded exile. That line is powerful. It could easily have wiped out a member and kept it quiet.” She crossed the room to another drawer, hunting through it for a suitable shirt.
“They engineer that power. Engineered power will always fall apart in time.”
“And if you don’t stop pissing the Lines off, you won’t be around to watch the sparks fly.” She jerked the selected shirt over her head. “Besides, all of the lines have been in place for some hundreds of millennia now. You’d think whatever was going to happen would have happened already.” She crossed the room again and pointed at the fireplace. Flames leapt up to lick the waiting logs.
“When they exiled me, they changed their winning formula. They’ve always kept all their members knit in closely, and everything monitored. Well, they have a problem with me. I’m supposed to be dead to them, so they can’t keep an eye on me. They can’t watch what I do, who I consort with, where I feed, who I plot against. So, I have Craige blood, but they can’t control it.”
Aurora gave him a disbelieving look. “You’re practically crediting yourself with the destruction of the most powerful vampire Line ever in existence.” She paused. “Wait, no, I take that back. You are crediting yourself with the destruction of the most powerful Line ever.” She set some water over the fire to boil. She turned to Ash, her blue eyes completely sincere. “While we’re talking about that glorious Craige blood of yours, I need to ask you a favor.”
Ash raised an eyebrow. “A favor? That has to do with my blood? I’m not letting one of your healing vampires have any, Aurora. No matter how you threaten me.”
She smiled. “I’m glad you said none of my ‘healing vampires’ could have any. I need to ask you--”
“Wait, wait, wait. You have someone here that’s not a vampire?”
Aurora sighed impatiently. “Yes. And she needs--”
“Why would you have someone that’s not a vampire?”
“For God’s sake, Ash, what do you think? That I’m turning this into a freaking bed and breakfast? Will you please shut up and listen?” Ash seated himself at her table and displayed all the characteristics of an attentive listener. “Thank you. Someone from the Black Line--”
“Parasu. Going in order of their status in the vampric world, the vampires with only pretty red auras are exiles, those with green streaks in their auras are Amanar, black streaks are Parasu, and silver streaks are --”
“Are Craige. Yes, yes, I know. However, I’m going to refer to them as green, black, and silver, and if you have a problem with that, I don’t really give a ****, because my brain doesn’t put the names of vampric lines with their color when I don’t have a full night’s sleep.” Ash tilted his head slightly, letting the point slide. Aurora nodded firmly and drew a deep breath. Ash settled in for a story of some sort.
“She was being converted by someone from the Black Line. They didn’t realize until after the conversion had begun that it wasn’t authorized. So, they called me in hoping I could save her. And I could, but only to a degree. I cleansed as much of the vampric blood from her as I could, but there’s still some blocking living cells from being made. So she’s been slowly wasting away for the last 3 days. The only thing that can save her is a conversion, and I was--”
Ash shoved back his chair and stood. “Hold on a second. You’re asking me to convert her?” Aurora nodded. “I can’t! God, the Lines are after me enough. If I convert, they’ll kill me. No questions asked, even if I’m nowhere near their territory. An exile that converts is dangerous. Besides, who says she wants to be converted?”
Aurora shrugged. “She doesn’t want to be.”
Ash stared at her disbelievingly. “Then why are you asking me to?”
“Because then she’ll at least have a choice. The vampire that converted her snuck up on her and bound her so she couldn’t stop him, then converted her. She had no say in the matter. If you convert her, she can at least choose to live or fall on her own sword.”
Ash shook his head. “It’s not worth it, Aurora. There’s too much risk. I’ve survived some 2000 years as an exile, but only after 1000 with a Line. She would wake up an exile, and never be taken under the wing of a Line. I know how a Line functions, because I was part of the best one. But she wouldn’t.”
“Think of me, Aurora! If they caught me--”
“They won’t. I’m prepared to offer you my portion of the territory owned by the Witch Council. It’s good hunting, and it would sustain both you and her. The Lines have no claim to it, because it has been ours since the witches and the Lines met in this place. As it was allocated to me, it is mine to give or loan.”
“Aren’t you worried about your sisters that might be on that land?”
“The land the Witch Council gives to its members is simply the outer fringe of our realm. It’s technically a neutral zone and hardly any sisters live in it, but we defend it fiercely. I’ll give you and her a token that allows you to be on my land, and you’ll just have to promise to never take a witch’s life. Even a newborn fledgling can sense the difference between human and witch. I trust you to respect my gift and leave my sisters be.”
Ash sighed. “As tempting as that is, since it would guarantee the Lines can never hunt me down, I can’t accept, Aurora. I don’t know how to teach a fledgling of my own.”
“Let her learn by example. Remember the things you were taught.”
“Ash! At least look at her before you say no! Read her aura and give her a chance!” Aurora swallowed. “And if you won’t convert her, you need to kill her. You’re her only hope, and I can’t kill her.”
He thought for an instant before answering, “Fine.”
Aurora smiled and took the boiling water off the fire, filling a bowl with some. She left the cauldron hanging to cool and beckoned for Ash to follow her.
Ash stood where he was for a moment, his eyes closed. His brows slowly pulled together, and he opened his eyes. “Where is her aura? I can’t find it.” He jogged a little to catch up with Aurora.
“All of my rooms are magically encased so my patients can’t read the auras of the ones in the next room. Some rivalries might start if I didn’t. It’s more of a safety feature then a privacy one.”
Ash nodded. Aurora opened a door and stepped through, water steaming in the bowl she held with her bare hands. Ash followed, feeling a small prickling as he moved through the magical barrier.
Aurora was dipping a cloth into the water. As she rung it out, she gestured to a curtain on her right. “Behind there. You can talk to her if you want, but I doubt she can hear at this point in time. I’d give you a name, but…well, she doesn’t have one.”
Ash crossed carefully to the curtain and drew it back. He was stunned by what he saw. The woman in the bed was beautiful, even though her cheeks were hallowed, her eyes sunken, and her skin chapped. The thin sheet was slightly damp with sweat, and clung to her form. She had been reduced to complete skin and bone in 3 days. She slept peacefully, the only thing that indicated she was indeed a failed vampire’s conversion.
He reached into her aura. At first, he found only the bland creamy-white that characterized a human. Next he came across the kind of strength that marked a good victim, the will to live. And last, he discovered something he never had before. It felt slightly like Aurora’s part of her aura that marked her as a witch, but it was more exquisite, and had a bite that Aurora’s lacked.
He withdrew, and concentrated on the witch, who was bathing the woman’s face with the cloth. Ash realized that the girl had white hair, which contrasted sharply with her tanned, and now reddened, skin. “She’s not a witch, but her aura feels similar.”
Aurora nodded. “She’s a sorceress.”
“They’re something like a cousin race to the witches, but they’re more powerful, and can do everything we cannot, like killing with their magic, and controlling the weather, to a degree. The only thing they cannot do is meddle in the affairs of love. That type of spells is lost to all magic-workers forever.”
“Why don’t they want her back? Don’t they know she’s gone?”
“Of course. They sent her into Parasu’s territory. Very rarely a sorceress will venture into the real world from their little ‘other-world’, but it’s only to deal with the vampires or the witches. She’s very young to have been sent, but that only means she is powerful. As to why they don’t want her back, she’s tainted. They can bear children of the witches, or even of the humans on rare occasion, or they can fall in love with someone they meet, but their own blood must remain pure. Her blood no longer is.”
“If she doesn’t have a name, how do they know she’s gone?”
“The sorcerous race is so closely bonded, they felt her slip away from them. However, none of them have names. They call each other sister and brother. The supreme sorcerers or sorceresses are called mother and father. But they never possess a name of their own. It’s designed to reduce competition, because you can’t name specific people easily.”
“How old do you think she is? I can’t read it off her aura.”
Aurora shrugged. “Past puberty.” She turned the girl’s face to show Ash the black tattoo that took up the entire left side of her face with fat curls. A semi circle surrounded half of her eye, running right where her eyebrow should be. “They loose their eyebrows at puberty, and are tattooed to represent they are an official member of the race.” A chain dangled from the very top of her ear, secured at the top by a knob of shining gold. A glittering red gem hung off the chain, falling into her hair and causing strong contrast. Aurora touched it. “It’s the symbol of initiation into one of their orders. I don’t know which one.” She placed the cloth into the bowl. “What do you say, Ash?”
He thought for a moment, then knelt beside the bed. He took the chapped hand carefully in his own and said, “What do you think of Delphy?”
“It’s what I think I should call her when she wakes up. There was an ancient oracle who’s name was similar.”
Aurora smiled as it dawned on her that Ash was going to convert the sorceress. “A Greek oracle. And I think it’s perfect.”
Ash looked into Aurora’s eyes. “You should probably leave now. This isn’t something you should have to see.”
Aurora nodded and rose, picking up the bowl. “Thank you, Ash. You made my pre-dawn day.”
Ash smiled. “Go back to bed if you’re that tired. But first leave a blanket outside the door that I can cover the window with, and some blankets and a pillow that I can use. If she’s my fledgling, I’m going to be the one nursing her to health.”
Aurora nodded and closed the door behind her, not daring to look back.
Aurora knocked on Ash’s door. It had been a little less than a day since Ash had converted the sorceress, as it was dusk. There was no response, and she simply pushed it open.
Ash stood, carefully studying the woman lying in the bed. She walked to him, bowl of water in her hands. As she examined her patient, she saw that Delphy’s skin was healing already, and the deep hallows had filled some. “Has she awoken yet?”
“Not yet. I need to hunt for us both, but I dare not leave her alone.” He sighed and turned to her. “I hate to ask this of you, Aurora, but if she wakes up and I’m not back, you may have to give her your own blood.”
“It wouldn’t be the first time, although I don’t like doing it.” She drew a small pendant out of a pocket. It dangled off a fine silver chain. She handed it to him. “That will allow you to hunt on my lands. Go now, so that you are back by the time she wakes up.” Ash admired the pendent for a moment, then strung it around his neck, the chain clinking against the silver ring on his right hand. Then he simply disappeared.
Aurora sat on the floor, near enough to Delphy’s bed that she could keep the newborn vampire from getting out of her bed. In the fledgling’s current state, it could cause wounds not even a vampire’s blood could heal. She went into a trance-like state, carefully submersing herself in Delphy’s aura just enough to know when she would wake up. As Delphy made the transition from human to vampire, her aura was turning varying shades of pink. It deepened steadily as dark drew near. Aurora could feel Delphy stirring, on the verge of waking up, just as Ash got back.
He touched her gently, knowing that she could feel his presence and wouldn’t harm him. She opened her eyes and rose from her position. Ash had deposited the youth that would become Delphy’s first victim near the bed, and the vampire himself sat on the bed, examining his fledgling.
Aurora moved to stand behind him, running her fingers through his hair. “What’s it like?”
Ash leaned against her and Aurora could feel how he was searching Delphy’s aura. Ash was strong again, meaning he had fed already. “Hmm?”
“To look at her and know she’s your child?”
“She’s really not my kid.”
“No, but you’re going to teach her like she is.”
He grinned humorlessly. “Funny kind of parent I am. First thing I’m going to teach her is how to kill.”
Aurora sat behind him and rested her cheek on his back. “It’s simply the nature of your kind. You shouldn’t let it bother you.”
“It really doesn’t. I just find it…ironic, I guess.”
“No, it wouldn’t bother you. But it does make you think. I know you well enough to know that.”
They sat in silence for a few minutes. Ash could feel Aurora’s magic sliding over his aura, searching for pockets of stress to ease. It was one of her habits that he tolerated. His fingers played lightly over the bare skin on her arm, a very subtle reminder that she didn’t want to reach too deep. Her last experience with that had been disastrous.
She sighed and withdrew from his aura, having hit his wards that blocked her from further exploration. He stretched luxuriously and rose from the bed. Ash scooped Aurora off the bed and into his arms. “Time for you to go.”
Aurora groaned. “I was comfortable.”
“So go get comfortable in your bed.” He carried her towards the door.
“Why are you kicking me out?”
He stopped in the doorway. “It’s time for Delphy to feed.”
She raised an eyebrow. “That’s supposed to phase me?”
“To bed,” he ordered, placing her feet on the floor outside the room.
Aurora locked her arms around his neck. “Come tuck me in?” Aurora pleaded. Ash hesitated, considering it. From the bed behind him, Delphy groaned.
Ash shook his head, easing Aurora’s arms apart. “Duty calls.” He closed the door.
He strode back to the bed, drawing a knife. Delphy had fangs, but while she was in the state of relative unconscious that was necessary for her body to heal, they wouldn’t come out. Ash picked the man off the floor and ruthlessly pressed the knife into the man’s jugular vein. This man had been a murderer in life. Ash felt that this was a perfectly fitting end for him. He dragged the body over to Delphy, blood welling up around the knife.
As he positioned the opened vein over Delphy’s mouth, a drop of blood fell onto her lips. He watched it trickle into the slight opening between them. He waited the barest fraction of a second before whipping the knife out of the wound. As it was, he barely got the knife away from the gash by the time Delphy latched onto the man’s heavily bleeding neck. It was a vampire’s instinct to feed, and the taste of blood would override even the deepest sense of unconscious when the vampire was hungry.
He waited in silence as Delphy fed. Once she had finished, he dragged the bloodless corpse off of her. He gently cleaned the blood from her lips with the bowl of water Aurora had left. He simply gazed down at Delphy for a while, his mind turning over various ideas.
No matter what he told Aurora, he did feel something for this strangest of vampires. She was not, by any means, his first convert, but she was the first one he got to care for. He had belonged to Craige Line. All of Craige’s converts spent their first hundred years or so being nursed and watched after by a lesser line. He gently reached out and stroked Delphy’s cheek.
He sighed and pulled away from the bed. He picked up the body and went to return the dead man to his cell.
|Shaysiris 6||Shaysiris 8|
|The Seven 2||Shaysiris 12|
|Shaysiris 16||The Seven 5|