He searched, and waited for her. I need more writers for this campfire!
Malakhi is a vampire feared by his own kind, for even vampires can have too much power. Fearing his great strength and abilities, the Elders gathered together and weaved a spell, stripping him of the power that held him above his kind. The only way he can reclaim it is to seek out the one woman destined to be his mate, the one who carries his stolen power within her soul. Once he claims her, his power is restored. For centuries he searches, knowing that others seach as well, hoping to find and destroy her. The Elders as well as any other vampire that dared to cross him will soon pay, for he found her.|
Rules: Absolutely NO first person entries, all MUST BE in 3d person
Please add your portion in a timely manner, I hate to skip and delete people, but I want to keep the story going!
|The sky of Rome cracked and sizzled with the whip-lash of lightning. The flash of lightning momentarily lightend the dark midnight sky. Locals ducked into their homes, knowing that something sinster lurked in the shadows.|
Malakhi paced along the roof of a local cathedral, occasionally lifting his hand to the sky, his anger fueling the firey storm. As the storm abused the town, Malakhi's mind strayed towards the past, allowing the memories of his betrayal to flood his mind.
As most historians would say, it was near the end of the Dark Ages. During that time, vampire reigned supreme over humans, for they were nothing but cattle. Malakhi was at his peak, his power surpassed that of many Elders, allowing him to live gluttonously without fear of punishment by their hands. Yet despite the centuries of brutal bliss, the Elders were beginning to become more conservative and bade that the vampires sink into the shadows, to hide their exhistance from the humans. Unwilling to relinquish his control, Malakhi led the protest, willing to begin a civil war amung his kind to keep the glory of the Dark Ages.
On one fatefull night, before Malakhi was able to feed, the Elders attacked, one comming from behind, her teeth bared and aiming for his jugular while another approached from the side. Distracted from fighting them off, another was able to come from his other side and stab him with a stake laced with poison. The poison rushed through his bloodstream, momentarily weaking him. Ceasing the chance, others leaped onto him, their fangs latching onto his skin, draining him of his great strength. Before long, Malakhi fell to the ground, blood seeping out of his wounds. The Elders gathered around him, each murmmering a low chant.
"No," he called out weakly, using what strength he had left to telepathically throw some of them hundreds of yards away. Yet they still continued chanting as they closed in around him. He held on tightly, unwilling to relinquish his control, yet as they grew closer and the chanting grew louder, his grip began to slip. All of the Elders now stood around him, thier feet brushing his limp body as thier chanting now grew into a loud shreak. Unable to hold on any longer, a dark cloud burst from his soul and flew into the heavens.
Only then did the Elders lean down and slowly ran their tounges over his wounds, closing them and stopping the bloodflow. One by one, they all slowly walked away dissapearing into the night, leaving Malakhi alone, a mere shadow of what he once was.
His nostrils flared in anger as he continued to pace. He threw his hand up, further infuriating the storm. Those Elders had taken away his powers, his abilites that held him above them all. His powers were now hidden in the soul of the woman destined to be his mate. Many new this, causing great divisions amung the vampire ranks. Some searched the globe, hoping to find and destroy her, while others pledged thier alligiance to him and searched as well.
For centuries he carried out his task, looking from continant to continant with no clue, no sense of direction. Fuming with frustration, he continued to pace and fuel the storm, forcing the locals to endure the same hell he is in.
Thousands of miles away, Dr. Alexandra Tower sat in the crowded auditorium, listening as the Dean of Students introduced her. She was here to give a lecture about her work in recovering art stolen by the Nazis, German Expressionist work in perticular. For decades there has been controversy over ownership of work that was stolen by the Nazis, whether they were given back to the original owners or allowed the current collectors to keep them.
Last year she had recived alot of press over a disputed Otto Dix painting. Once discovered, the original family who owned it discovered it in a museum in Milan and sued for ownership. Being an expert in German Expressionists and the leading expert in tracking art stolen by the Nazis, she was called in.
But that was all behind her. The press stopped following her every move and she was able to return to the closest idea of normality possible in this world.
Being a woman in her early thirties who dedicated her life to spinsterhood in favor of scholatics, she focused on her reasearch.
Loud applause roared through the auditorium, pulling Alexandra from her thoughts.
|About an hour after her lecture, Alexandra tried to make her way out of the crowd. Once she was finished nearly all of the school's faculty approached to engage her in some scholarly banter. Plus the single men were eager to see if she had a ring on her finger. |
Nervously tucking a stray strand of hair behind her ear, she slowly inched her way from the crowd. She smiled and nodded at various people, but continued onwards to the door. She let out a relived sigh once she was safely out of the auditorium and into the lounge. Before she could slip away towards the front door to catch a cab to her hotel, a wrinkled old woman stepped out of the shadows and grabbed Alexandra's wrist.
"That was quite and interesting lecture," the woman said in a low voice.
"Thank you," Alexandra replied, shaking her wrist free of the old woman's suprisingly strong grasp.
"You talked mostly about modern art, I was wondering your opinion on work from the Dark Ages."
"That isn't my specialty-"
"But you do know about those times," the woman interrupted.
"Sure, any art historian knows, but that area specifially isn't my specialty."
| "Humor me, I have heard many art lectures and yet yours was the most informed." the woman's sly smile was eerie.|
"I think you would be better off with an opinion from someone else. If you will excuse me." Alexandra walked past the woman in a hurried rush.
Eventually hailing a cab she sighed in relief, not realizing until now how she missed her quite life. Exhausted she prepared herself for bed. So many comments and questions from the conference rushed into her head, and then there was the old woman with her persistent questions. Questions from a time period most would like to forget about.
There was something strange about that woman with the thoughts swirling in her head she soon dozed off.
Malakhi roared his frustration she shouldn't be so hard to find. He had assumed it would be easy and now he had a set back.
|Alexandra walked through the thick fog, its fingers of bitter cold running down her back. She didn't know what she was searching for, but whatever it was, it was looking for her, hunting her. Behind her she heard a twig snap. She wipped her head around, trying to see what was stalking her. When she saw nothing, she took a deep breath to calm her nerves and continued on. After she had walked a few more yards, she heard movement behind her again. She looked again, still there was nothing. |
Just as she turned around to continue walking, she spied a large figure in the shadows.
"Mine," it growled.
She took a fearfull step back, searching for a way of escape. Seeing her retreat, the beast growled again, his threat obvious.
Terrified, she turned and ran. She only took a few steps before it was upon her.
Alexadra woke with a strangled scream. She whipped her head around to find the creature, only to find herself alone in her hotel room. With shaky hands, she whiped the sweat off of her forhead and got up to find a glass of water.
Thousands of miles away deep within the ground, Malakhi's black eyes snapped open. Finally, after centuries of nothing, he finally had something. It was a small breadcrumb, but any information was welcome. For the first time he knew one thing for sure: his mate is alive and walks the earth.
|Although her visit didn't include a detour to Rome, Alexandra couldn't help but take a few day stop there before returning home to America. It is such a beautiful country steeped in tradition. Although she speciallized in the work of the Expressionsits, she is still drawn to the Baroque work. The inner conflict of rational thought, religion and freedom within the paintings drew her into the work, inviting her to study it for hours. After spending nearly all day in various museums, gazing at work in pure awe, she sat down in a small cafe patio and sipped some coffee. Alone, she watched the sun set as her mind began to settle on her bizarre dream. There was something...primitive, sexuall about that dream. There was something about it she couldn't quite put her finger on. The only thing she new for sure was that this dream terrified her. |
As she sat contemplating in the dark, she heard a sudden commotion. Looking over her shoulder, she saw a large man comming towards her. His eyes raked over her possesively as he moved closer, tossing over tables and chairs that got in his way.
"You," he called, extending his hand towards her, "come."
He clearly expected her to obey.
Frantially looking around, she prayed this manic wasn't referring to her. Soon realizing there wasn't anyone else, she bolted from her chair and ran in the opposite direction.
|"Was this a dream, too?" She thought frantically, as she ran through the deserted streets of the city. She tried to scream for help, but all that came out was a choked mumble. She ran faster, never daring to look behind her, but always curious as to where the stranger had gone. Who was he? Where did he come from? How did he know her? These questions went out of her head as quickly as she had come. Her focus was getting somewhere safe. As she ran by alleyways, she looked down them to see if there was a plausible route out of there. There was not. ALl she saw was the dirt and grime of those that called those alleyways home. In a mere minute, Rome had gone from a city of splendor to a city of horrid and grotesque spectacles.|
She had lost track of time. How long had she been running? Was the man still following her? Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, she decided to stop and look back. She saw nothing, except for the street disappearing into the darkness. She heard nothing. She felt nothing. She seemed safe, but how long would it last? In her relief, she turned around, only to find herself facing the dark stranger. Before she could scream, his hand clamped over her mouth.
|Malakhi pulled her stuggling body into his embrace, easily holding her against him as she struggled and thrashed about. |
"Be still," he ordered in a harsh voice. She continued to fight, yet his hold stayed strong. His arms kept her shackled to his body until she grew tired and finally fell limp. He felt the rise and fall of her breasts as they brushed against his arm. A rush of lust hit him; the first agonising physical longing for his mate. It is said that every mated vampires felt intense physical attraction, often unable to be apart for long periods of time. Perhaps with that intense of an attraction was needed to keep the mates together for all ethernity.
He looked down at his prize, she was a rather petite woman with short blonde hair. There had been cases where mates had been human women, but that didn't stop a male from claiming what was rightfully his.
Malakhi gave a wolfish smile, it was only a matter of time before he would succsessfully convert her, mate her and finally reclaim his power.
Before he could realise it, his captive let out a blood curtaling scream. In his thoughts he had forgotten to keep her mouth covered. Suprised, his grip loosened just enough for her to escape.
Alexandra bolted from alleyway to alleyway, hoping that she could get away from this dangerous man. All around her shadows began to appear, followed by soft voices that gradually grew louder and louder.
Alexandra dashed into a small alcove and ducked behind a dumpster.
"Here," someone whispered behind her.
Alexandra jumped, turning around to see a crumpled old woman.
"Come, he won't find you here."
|Alexandra glanced over her shoulder, her wide, frightened eyes taking in the shifting shadows with fear. A heartbeat later, she took the old woman's extended hand and allowed herself to be ushered into the darkness behind the dumpster. Compared to the man who had attacked her and the twisting, whispering darkness, the ratty-looking hag was as comforting a sight as her own grandmother.|
Behind the dumpster was a vent in the wall of a colossal redbrick building. The old woman---with fingers far more nimble than anyone her age had the right to posess---quickly removed it and tossed it contemptuously onto the ground.
She gave Alexandra a firm shove toward the hole. "Hurry, girl," she whispered, her breath hot and foul-smelling in Alexandra's face. "I will meet you inside."
She didn't hesitate, dropping immediately to the ground and sliding on her belly into the vent. Trying not to glance over her shoulder --- there wasn't really room to do it anyway --- she crawled swiftly through the darkness. Her breath was loud in her ears, and somewhere behind her, she heard an angry hiss, then footsteps, as someone or something left.
After what felt like an eternity, she saw dim light leaking through the thin slits of yet another vent. As she reached her hands forward to try to push it away, she saw it lift away.
For a moment her heart stopped in fear. Then a wrinkled, dirty hand reached into the wall toward her and a gravelly feminine voice whispered, "Come on out, girly."
She did, realizing as she climbed once again to her feet that she was shaking uncontrollably. Her jacket and slacks --- so pristine earlier when she'd first left for her tour of various Roman museums --- were now covered with dust and fear-sweat.
She tried to ignore the filth and the trembling, to straighten and summon some dignity. Lifting her chin and forcing herself not to glance around for threats, she looked the woman in the eyes and --- after a couple tries --- found her voice.
"Thank you. I... I think he was going to rape me. Or something. You probably saved my life. What is your name?"
|The woman didn't respond, but studied Alexandra closely. Alexandra's eyes shifted around, glancing back and forth from the woman to the alley. |
"Is there a place where I can catch a cab? I need to get out of here," Alexandra said, still afraid that the man was still prowling these alleys for her.
"Its not safe, he seeks you," the woman whispered. With suprising strength, she grabbed Alexandra's hand.
"You must come with me."
Alexandra twisted her arm, trying to free herself.
"Thank you again for the help, but I really need to get out of here." Alexandra quickly snached her hand back and began to walk down the alley with the intention of hailing a cab.
Just as she stepped out, a low growl stopped her in her tracks.
"Get back!" the woman screetched, pulling Alexandra behind her.
"You cannot keep her from me, Elise," the man growled, his eyes red as his gaze raked over Alexandra.
|"You know you cannot touch me, Malakhi." said the old woman. Her frail appearance had now disappeared and in it's place was a strong, powerful woman who commanded the very air with her voice. "You fear death more than anything, so do not think of coming near me."|
"I do not fear death!" He cried. "I fear not having a soul. I fear not having an essence to call my own. I have been lowered to living off the essence of others in order to comfort my own emptiness! How am I supposed to go on? How dare you do this, when you know she will complete me?"
Complete him? thought Alexandra. What was going on? What was she a part of now? It seemed that in a matter of hours her whole life had changed and taken a different course. She went from standing behind a podium to standing behind a ragged old woman who was more than she seemed. What was she to do?
"Hold on." What? That voice...it was the old woman....but it had come as she was talking to the vampire-thing. Was it in her head?
"Yes. Hold on." And without another moments notice, the world ripped in two and Alexandra was no longer sure of anything in the whole world.
|Power surged through her body, thrumming along every fiber and sinew with bursts of almost-painful energy. She gasped, blinded by a brilliance that seemed to come from within her, and stumbled back into the ragged old woman.|
"There now," the woman whispered in a gleeful hiss, "Let him try to take it now!"
The luminescence within Alexandra began to fade and condense, until it seemed to be no more than a tight pinprick of power in her belly. There it writhed hungrily, wanting to be set free, wanting to create or destroy at its posessor's will. Alexandra kept it down by force of will in much the same way she would have kept herself from vomiting; she felt clammy and somewhat ill, and knew that if she so much as moved, that pour would come wailing out of her, tearing through everything in her path with the force of her terror.
"What have you done to me?" she cried, now knowing if she was asking the strange old woman, or that demon Malakhi.
|"It seems you are a victim of your own doings. Only I can take the power from her," Malakhi sneered.|
For the first time, Elise looked unsure and a bit frightened. Sensing this, Malakhi took a menacing step towards Alexandra's writhing body.
Elise sidestepped to prevent his approach.
"You must allow me to tend to her, in this state she can die and I will reclaim my power anyway. Once I have it, you know that she will be the only one who can control my rage."
Alexadra only listened with a half ear as she continued to writhe in pain.
"Somebody do something!" she screamed, clutching her smoldering belly.
With lightning speed, Malakhi sailed past Elise and gathered Alexandra in his arms before dashing off to his lair. He must work fast, for before he can reclaim his power he must first convert her and claim her.
|Elise stood in the darkness, contemplating her next move. She hadn't expected the power to be lodged so deep inside the girl. If she had taken it, she could have protected it. Instead, there was a safeguard on the power allowing select few to enter. She only hoped that Malakhi was wrong,. She hoped that he couldn't retreive it just yet. With this hope in mind, she sped through the narrow alleyways to the one place she knew would have an answer to her problem.|
|***Okay, I noticed yesterday that it's been my turn for this story for... I don't even know how long. I felt really bad, so I wrote a LOT (and I mean a lot) to hopefully get this story up and running again. Sorry about that! :/***|
Malakhi wanted to take the one destined to be his mate to the comfort and safety of his Roman villa, where he not only had vampires of his lineage serving as security but also a horde of humans willing to provide Alexandra with her first meal after her conversion.
However, his haven was on the dead opposite side of Rome, and he could hear Alexandra’s heartbeat slowing rapidly. If he didn’t do something soon, she would die, and he would have to wait centuries---perhaps even a millennia!---for the next mortal with the unique destiny to be his mate (and not the mate of one of the many vampires of his lineage) to be born and grow to adulthood.
No, he would have to find shelter for them both nearby, and quickly.
There was a decrepit, crumbling mess of an abandoned building not far off of Via D. Parione. Clutching the now-unconscious mortal to his chest and trying not to go into a frenzy at the maddening nearness of his mate and his long-lost power, he rushed her inside and upstairs with all the inhuman swiftness of a vampire of his age.
Carefully, he lay her upon the floor, amidst the dust and the rubble. Taking scarcely a glance at the woman who would share eternity with him, he threw back his head, released his fangs, and buried them deeply in her throat.
It took all his will to resist his excitement and rage, to stop feeding before she passed irrevocably into death. He was used to ripping out the throats of humans as he fed, for unlike other vampires, he did not care whether these puny mortals lived or died after he was done with them. But this mortal was different. This mortal was destined to be his mate. This mortal must survive to become an immortal, to become a vampire of his lineage, to become the vessel through which his lost magic would be reborn into the world.
Slowly, with infinite care, he retracted his fangs from her throat and leaned back to glance down at her. She was very pale, and very beautiful, lying there in the darkness and the gloom. Her hair, the color of moonlight, was much shorter than he liked in women, but it worked well on her, adding a little sharpness to her otherwise delicate, pixie-like features.
I wonder what color her eyes are, he thought. Curiosity weighed down upon him. He carefully peeled open one of her eyelids. Deeply unconscious, her eyes were rolled back in her head, and only the smallest slit of the iris showed in the darkness. But his vampiric sight was more than sufficient; her eyes were a bright, brilliant blue.
So sad that that startling azure gaze would soon change forever to the black, unblinking gaze of a vampire. Still though, even with black eyes Alexandra would make an immensely striking vampire, which was a fortunate thing; the ability to alter one’s physical appearance was not an aptitude vampires of Malakhi’s lineage possessed.
Immediately forgetting any regret, Malakhi bit sharply into his own wrist, and then cradled Alexandra to him as he returned some of her blood, now also his own, to her.
Alexandra woke, shivering with cold and exhaustion, to a throbbing pain in her temples. Slowly, carefully, she sat up. The room, fuzzy one moment, came into sharp focus for an instant before once again fading into a wash of blurring colors and shapes, like a painting that had been watered down.
“Slowly, Alexandra,” a voice she thought she recognized said. “You are still very weak.”
For a moment she sat clutching her spinning head in trembling hands. “What’s wrong with me?” she whispered. Her voice sounded very loud in her ears, as did the breathing of the other person in the… room?
She glanced around in confusion, trying to understand what she was seeing despite the spinning of her head and her double vision. Where was she? There was dust everywhere, and no furniture. The one window she could see was broken; moonlight, strangely bright, filtered in through the dirty glass and shot in a sharp beam across the room. Barely thinking, her eyes followed that ray of light, until they settled on a dark form crouched in the darkness to its left.
“You!” she hissed, shrinking away from him as quickly as her dizziness would allow.
Her stalker rose slowly, and walked toward her. Her fear and rage temporarily burned away some of the vertigo; she could see him clearly, and what she saw frightened her more than anything else had that night.
Malakhi had been handsome once, by human standards, and was still in an unearthly, terrifying way. Beneath his shoulder length jet black hair his eyes were pits of darkness. Hot anger blazed there, and desire too; compassion, however was nowhere to be found in that gaze. His skin was an alabaster so light it nearly glowed in the moonlight, like polished marble; there was no softness there, but masses of hard muscle. He was very tall, and very large; she had the distinct impression that one of his huge hands could crush her head with minimal effort. Most frightening of all, however, were the fangs he still had not retracted, and the blood that she could smell on his clothing.
She was already backed all the way in the corner, but she flinched away from him anyway when he knelt in front of her. That sweet, faintly metallic smell was overpowering, and simultaneously revolting and enticing.
What was wrong with her?
“You need to calm down,” he told her softly, as if he spoke to a small child or an animal. “You are very weak and only a few steps away from madness. I would mate with you now, but you need to feed or you are likely to succumb completely. You stay here; I will bring someone here for you.” And with that he moved with blinding speed toward the doorway.
“What did you do to me?” she called after him. “I feel drugged!”
He glanced over his shoulder, and the smile on his face was pure evil. “I made you like me. Soon, I will mate you, and reclaim my power. And then I will teach you to use your own, and we will rule the world.”
A red haze filled her vision, and suddenly she wanted nothing so much as to rip out his throat and throw his body out the window. He, however, merely laughed as she tottered unsteadily to her feet and took a few steps toward him.
“Do not presume to think that you have the power to harm me, Alexandra," he snarled, raising one hand and tossing her telekinetically to land in a heap upon the ground like a discarded rag doll. "The potency of my blood may flow through your veins, but you are young, inexperienced, and utterly untrained in the abilities those of our lineage may command independent of a mate.”
And with that he left, moving so swiftly out the door and down the stairs that it was almost as if he vanished.
The door slammed shut behind him, and when Alexandra ran to it, she found that it was locked. She slid to the floor, trembling with weakness and a monstrous, roiling hunger. She knew what she craved, what would satiate that hunger, but could not bear to voice the word, even in the solace of her own mind.
What had happened to her?
A soft sound made her glance up. The door had opened once again, far too soon. Could that creature move that swiftly?
A heartbeat later Alexandra knew it was not Malakhi arriving, but another person she recognized.
“This is… most unfortunate,” Elise said, taking in the room and most especially Alexandra. Anger boiled in her black eyes, and when the other woman spoke, Alexandra saw the slight gleam of fangs.
With a small, strangled scream, Alexandra shuddered away from the female vampire.
Almost immediately Elise’s appearance changed; her gaze softened to a dark brown, and the fangs disappeared completely.
“I’m sorry,” Elise said gently. “I’ve frightened you. I know, all of this is so new to you, and overwhelming. It was like that for me too, and my Sire was not nearly as terrifying as Malakhi.” Her eyes narrowed, and a touch of that darkness returned to them, before melting away a heartbeat later. “Speaking of Malakhi, we should leave. He is blindingly fast and will return here in a few minutes with what, I’m sure, he intends to be your prey. Come, give me your hand. You are weak, but I will help you leave this place. And him.”
A hint of that red haze crawled once again into the edge of Alexandra’s vision. “You don’t fool me,” she hissed. “I saw what you are. Stop trying to look so damn normal!”
Elise paused for a moment with a frown, her hand still outstretched to the frightened young vampire. Then she rose, and her appearance hardened once again into its vampiric form. “Forgive me again,” she said. “I was not trying to deceive you, but merely to comfort you. Illusions are a talent of my lineage, and sometimes I use them without really thinking. But you must understand the seriousness of your situation. Malakhi will return in a moment to feed you. When he does, he will have you do things you will regret for an eternity. And when you have both disposed of the corpse of your first victim, he will rape you, and I assure you, with Malakhi that will be the most horrible, terrifying experience you have ever had in your young life, and probably the worst you will ever have in your vampiric life as well. And then he will rip his power from you. Right now that power is yours to shelter and---if you desire---eventually learn to use. But if Malakhi mates with you and succeeds in claiming his share of the power which is your right, there is no telling the destruction that will rain down upon the world. And so you have a choice. You may leave this place with me, and live, and learn. Or you can stay here, and die. For I will destroy you myself, rather than let Malakhi regain his power. Make your choice now, and make it swiftly. He returns.”
Elise was terrifying to Alexandra, but Malakhi was infinitely more so. She took the woman’s hand and allowed herself to be pulled to her feet.
“I will need a few drops of your blood,” Elise said quickly, and without waiting for permission scratched the inside of Alexandra’s arm with one long fingernail. “I’m… much older than you, but you’re Malakhi’s get; your blood is much more potent than my own. And the ability to use blood magic is a talent of your lineage---and Malakhi’s as well, although he cannot wield it until he mates with you, which I will do my best to prevent---and that makes your blood all the more valuable to the spell.”
“Spell?” Alexandra whispered, but Elise had already begun.
The blackness of the older vampire’s irises spread to encompass her entire eye, and Alexandra shuddered, hissing softly.
“And… Bala ni’kora, atorear HITON!” Elise cried, grasping Alexandra’s hand harder and throwing her other arm toward the ground.
A single drop of Alexandra’s blood fell to the ground and immediately began to sizzle. Suddenly, it began to grow, spreading as the darkness in Elise’s eyes had to form a large puddle. That puddle steadily darkened until it was black as pitch, and then Elise, yanking Alexandra along with her, jumped into it.
The young vampire expected to land with a splash but instead they fell. Alexandra let out a bloodcurdling scream as the gaping darkness closed in about her and she tumbled through the abyss.
After what seemed like an eternity of hurtling straight toward Hell, they landed. Alexandra collapsed to the ground roughly and rolled a few feet away, crashing into something hard.
Elise landed lightly on her Persian rug in London with scarcely a sound and hurried immediately to Alexandra’s side.
The young vampire lay very still beside the antique mahogany coffee table in Elise’s elegant but comfortable 18th century mansion.
“Are you alright, dear?”
With a snarl, the younger, smaller vampire rose from the heap in which she’d fallen and lunged toward Elise. Alexandra’s eyes were no longer black, but a deep blood-red. Her lips were pulled back in a snarl and her fangs had dropped, Elise had never seen such mindless rage on the face of a new vampire, but this particular vampire was Malakhi’s get and had been through much more than normal neonates were expected to endure.
This was very, very bad. Alexandra was weak, hungry, frightened, angry, and utterly inexperienced in resisting vampiric madness. She was also the progeny of an extremely powerful vampire. Elise’s blood, on the other hand, was not quite as potent, and although she was more experienced than the frenzied neonate, she was not a warrior, but teacher and scholar. Elise doubted Alexandra could destroy her, but the younger vampire could hurt her, badly. And that would put them both at risk.
She had to do something, fast, before Alexandra attacked her.
Against all of her instincts, Elise closed her eyes for a moment and took a deep, calming breath. Then she called upon the power of her lineage and reached for Alexandra’s mind with her own.
Shh, youngling, all is well, she communicated with the most gossamer of touches. You are safe now. Hush little one. Come back to yourself. You are not a monster.
When she opened her eyes once again, she found Alexandra staring at her with a calm---though frighteningly vacant---expression. Her eyes had returned to their normal color and her fangs had, for the most part, retracted.
Elise did not move, but instead waited for Alexandra to return to herself. Right now, anything could set her off again. It was better just to wait.
After a moment Alexandra’s eyes focused upon Elise’s own. The older vampire’s heart melted; the neonate looked absolutely exhausted and vulnerable.
“I’m hungry,” Alexandra whispered.
“I know, honey, I know. So am I. Come with me. We will feed.”
Feed. That word was both tantalizing and frightening to Alexandra. Had she become some kind of animal? How could she seriously be considering drinking someone’s blood? Why did she have such unnatural cravings now?
“Can’t we eat… normal food?” she asked brokenly.
Elise sighed. “I’m afraid not. If you try to consume the substances which you ate before your conversion, you will become violently ill. Blood is the only thing which will nourish and sustain you now. I know this frightens and disgusts you. I felt the same way, long ago, when the moment came for me to feed for the first time. I couldn’t imagine how I could possibly do such a evil, inhumane thing. But you will learn that you do not have to kill those you feed off of, as Malakhi and many of his followers do. In fact, if you remain with me, you are never to kill those you feed off of. Never. We are more than capable of feeding and leaving our victims alive. It just takes self control. You feed, you heal their wounds, and you leave them alone so that they can wake up the next day with nothing more severe than a headache. Humans are not here just for us.”
“You don’t have to tell me that,” Alexandra snarled. “A couple hours ago I was a human.”
“You’re right,” Elise said quickly. “I’m just… I’ve just had to deal with my own disobedient progeny too often lately. Now, follow me. And understand; I will teach and protect you, but in return you must do two things. You must never leave my side, for your own safety as well as out of respect for the customs of our Society. And you must obey me. You may ask me questions, when the time is right, but when I give you a direct command, I expect you to do as I say without delay. It may save your life, and mine.”
“I… think I can do that,” Alexandra whispered.
Elise nodded. “Good.” She opened her elegant French doors and gestured for Alexandra to lead the way out. “Do not approach a mortal unless I give him or her to you. Weak as you are, their mere presence will be enough to madden you. I’d rather not have you create a bloodbath out there in the streets. Now come with me.”
Swallowing, Alexandra followed the older vampire into the night.
Thousands of miles away, Malakhi shoved a dazed and slightly battered human male into the upstairs room, grinning with anticipation at the thought of Alexandra feeding for the first time.
An instant later his joy turned to rage, as he realized that the room was abandoned. Alexandra was gone, and she’d taken his lost power with her!
Worse still was the faint scent of burning blood. Someone had worked blood magic here tonight, and with Alexandra’s blood. He would know; he’d been a blood magician once, before that particular power had been stolen from him.
He did not even need to wonder who had taken her; only one lineage besides his own Malakhine line of progeny had the ability to use blood magic, and that was the damn Elisean bloodline.
Elise had stolen his progeny and his mate!
With a roar, he snapped the neck of the man and drove him to the ground with his weight, tearing into the mortal’s throat as they descended.
After replenishing the blood he’d spent in converting Alexandra, he felt a little better, but he wasted no time in speeding out the door. Every moment Alexandra spent with Elise would serve to turn his mate against him. He couldn’t afford to waste time.
If he’d been able to reclaim his blood magic tonight as he’d intended, he would have been able to travel as the other two vampires had. But he’d been thwarted---again!---and the only option left open to him was the only one that had been open to him for centuries: mundane travel.
Luckily, in this modern age one did not need to waste months on a journey. He would be on the first plane out of Rome this very evening. It might take a few days of travel---long flights were impossible for one who had to avoid sunlight---but eventually he would reach them and he would reclaim Alexandra.
Snarling, he slammed the door behind him.