by Vixey Todd
A woman is caught in a world of darkness after her father signs a contract with a Vampire
|Anna and Mark pulled into her father’s driveway, and approached his front door. The last time she saw her father was Christmas the year before. They barely spoke two words to each other, and then things went back to the way they were. Her father was addicted to drinking and gambling. He didn’t have time for much else, so Anna was surprised when he called her and invited her and Mark over for dinner. Her father opened the door before she could knock and ushered them inside. Anna felt something was amiss but decided to let it go in lieu of enjoying this rare occasion. She noticed that there were strange men in her father’s house. One in particular seemed to be fixed on her as she made her way into the living room.|
“Anna, Mark, this is Dillon Distain,” her father motioned to the man who kept his gaze locked on Anna.
Dillon stepped forward, and took Anna’s hand in his cold hands. They tightened possessively when she pulled away. His dark hair curtained his face when he leaned down and pressed cold lips to her knuckles. He smiled at her with sharp fangs and red eyes.
“Vampire,” she gasped. After learning of their existence from their debut to the general public, she had done research of her own, and knew that Dillon Distain was the vampire king of Kentucky. “What brings you so far north?”
“I am here on business,” Dillon purred. He pulled Anna closer to him. “You see I loaned your father money to bet on the Derby, and he is not able to pay me back. So, I am collecting on the debt by seizing his collateral.”
“The house or the car?” Anna inquired. She attempted to free herself from his grip, but he merely wrapped his other arm around her waist to keep her against him.
“No, precious,” Dillon drawled. “Our agreement was for money, or you.”
“Now wait just a damned minute!” Mark lunged forward to pull his wife from the arms of the beast. He was snatched from behind by one of the other men in the room. Before he could speak the monster sunk his fangs into Mark’s neck. Mark made a soft gurgling sound as the creature drank thirstily from him.
“No!” Anna cried.
“Don’t look, precious,” Dillon turned her away from the horrific sight of her husband being devoured. They could both hear the other vampire’s groans of pleasure as he sucked down the wet sticky blood of Mark’s life. “Make sure you get all of it, Lewis. We don’t want to leave James too much of a mess to clean up.”
Dillon lifted Anna into his arms, and carried her toward the front door. She struggled, but his strength was enough to subdue her. One of his other cronies opened the door for him. James moved to stop him, but flinched back when the other two men in Dillon’s entourage blocked him, and bared their fangs.
“It was a pleasure doing business with you, James,” Dillon looked back over his shoulder. “I’ll send word when arrangements have been made for the wedding.”
With that Dillon left the house, carrying Anna to a limo that blocked James’s driveway. He set her on the bench seat, and she crawled across to the opposite end. The door opened on the other side and Lewis climbed in, blocking her escape. He pulled a white handkerchief from his breast pocket and wiped the smear of red blood from his mouth. Dillon slid in on her other side. The limo pulled away as soon as he closed his door.
A plane ride later Anna found herself being settled into a large room with a king size bed, a dresser, and a walk-in closet filled with clothes and shoes. She lay on the bed, and sobbed into her pillow for her loss of both her husband and her freedom. She was just pulling herself together when someone knocked on her door. The door opened, and Dillon strode in. Lewis also entered the room, and pushed the door closed behind him. Lewis stood in front of the door while Dillon strode over to the bed, and sat down beside Anna. He tipped her head up to look at him, and frowned when he saw the red rims around her eyes.
“This won’t do,” he stated. He leaned forward and licked the tearsfrom her face. “I want the woman on my arm to look radiant and happy.”
“You want me to be happy!” Anna exclaimed. Now, she was too pissed to care that she was in a room with two vampires. “You killed my husband, kidnapped me, and you want me to be happy about it!”
“It could be worse,” Dillon stated. He wrapped his arms around her to keep her from getting up. “I could have just killed you.”
“You should have,” Anna fired back defiantly. She attempted to free herself from his arms, but he held fast. “Let me go!”
“No.” Dillon laid her back on the bed, and used his own body weight to hold her there. He put his mouth to her ear when she turned her head away. “You want me to kill you. I am obliging you.”
Anna struggled beneath him, and cried out when she felt his fangs brush her neck. Dillon sat up with a triumphant smile on his face.
“See I didn’t think so,” he laughed. He stood, and moved to the door.
“Why me?” Anna wined.
“Because.” Dillon turned to face her. “I want a trophy wife, and what better trophy than one taken by force?”
Anna was on her feet, and lunging at Dillon. She felt a gust of air pass by, and then felt her body gripped by steel bands. She was pulled back against a hard body, and Dillon stood before her. . A firm hand gripped her chin, and jerked her head back to expose her throat. Out of her peripheral vision she saw Lewis poised with his fangs out ready to sink them into her. Good, she thought. Warm drops of saliva hit her neck, and slid down her smooth skin. A guttural growl escaped Lewis’s throat. What is he waiting for? Anna wondered.
“That was clever,” Dillon sneered. “You thought if you attacked me Lewis would drain you the way he did Mark. You are quite the prize mare. Unfortunately, you’ll need a little breaking in before I can ride you safely.”
Anna gasped as a set of sharp fangs sank into the side of her neck. Lewis’s lips formed a seal around the wound, and he sucked gently. As he drank the suction of his mouth became more ravenous. Anna felt her knees buckle, and sank to the floor with the still feeding vampire on top of her.
Lewis released her. Anna raised a trembling hand, and covered the wound on her neck. Dillon lifted her in his arms, and laid her in the bed. He pulled the covers up to her chin, and pressed a kiss to her mouth. He licked the wound on her neck to seal it.
“We will do this every night until you give yourself over willingly,” he whispered.
. . .
Dillon made good on that promise. Every night he and Lewis would come to Anna’s room, Anna would resist, and then Lewis would drain her to the point that she was anemic. Occasionally she would be given a transfusion, but only enough to sustain her. One night Dillon entered her room accompanied by someone new. He did not look pleased.
“Anna this is William Compton, the King of Louisiana.”
Anna stared at the other vampire through flat blue eyes. Their skin was almost equal in pallor, but he did not have sunken lifeless eyes. His were a dark rich crimson like Dillon’s. William approached her slowly, and paused when she shrunk away from him.
“I am not going to bite you,” he assured her. He spared a withering look for Dillon who folded his arms petulantly. “I think you have had enough of that.”
Anna looked between William and Dillon. It seemed that there was a hierarchy among vampire royalty. William gently pulled down on Anna’s lower eye lids. The blood vessels that should have been red were barely pink. He rested a finger on her pale lower lip and pulled it back to reveal her equally pale gums. He turned a fiery gaze on Dillon.
“You are not replacing what you are taking,” he stated. “This is cruel and inhumane.”
“I am giving her what she needs to survive,” Dillon countered. “She knows what she must do to get more.”
William removed his coat and put it over Anna’s shoulders. “You will stand trial before the Grand Pythoness at this year’s summit. Until then the woman will be under my protection. I pulled strings so that you could become king, Dillon. You have now made me regret doing so.”
Dillon flinched at William’s words. He knew the older vampire when he was still going by Bill Compton. After becoming King of Louisiana he went back to his formal full name. Dillon followed as William guided Anna out of his compound. After William settled Anna into the passenger seat of his car he moved around to the driver’s side.
“I am disappointed in you, Dillon,” William stated as he opened the car door.
“Where are you taking her?” Dillon inquired as William lowered himself into the driver’s seat.
“Son, that is the least of your worries,” William cut off any response with a resounding slam of the car door. He turned to look at Anna. “Buckle your seat belt please.”
Anna reached up with her pale shaky hand, and encountered another hand already clasping the seatbelt. She squeaked in surprise as her eyes met those of yet another vampire. This one’s pale face was framed by dark side burns. His full pale lips curved into a slow smile as he fastened the seatbelt into the buckle.
“Bubba,” William said in a warning voice. “You are scaring the lady.”
“My apologies ma’am,” the other vamp drawled in a smooth southern base. He withdrew into the backseat of the car humming His Latest Flame.
Anna recognized it as an Elvis Presley song. Her mother loved Elvis, and tried to cultivate the same love of the King in her daughter. Anna had enjoyed the soft mellow crooning, but she preferred Sinatra. She had to admit to herself that Bubba’s impersonation of the legendary rock star was almost spot-on. His crooning made her a bit drowsy, and the warmth in the car did not help. Anna looked up at William who was focused on the road ahead.
“Where are you taking me?” Anna asked.
“To my home in Bon Temp,” William answered. “You’ll stay there until the trial. Once Dillon is found guilty of mistreating you he will be forced to release his claim on you.”
“He never had a claim on me!” Anna argued. “He kidnapped me!”
“Your father signed a contract,” William explained calmly. “Dillon asked for you as collateral and your father agreed. In our world that is completely legal. His mistreatment of you once you were under his roof is another matter.”
“What will happen once I’m free?” Anna asked.
“You can cross that bridge when it comes,” William stated. “Until then please trust that I will take care of you.”
William left Anna at his estate in Bon Temp while he attended to matters in Baton Rouge. Bubba was left behind to watch over her in the evenings.
Anna spent the first evening in a room William reserved for human guests. When she woke in the middle of the night crying a pair of arms enveloped her, and Bubba’s soft humming lulled her back to sleep. When she woke the next morning Bubba was nowhere to be found.
Anna dressed herself in clothes she found in the dresser, and explored the mansion. She laughed out loud when she saw the elaborate hot tub set where a kitchen table should be. She found that William had made sure there was food for her and True Blood for Bubba. Anna poured herself a bowl of cereal, added milk, and ate.
Anna spent the rest of the day exploring the rest of the Compton property. When she returned to the house she rummaged in the kitchen drawers hoping to find a takeout menu, or junk mail that would indicate what was nearby. She found the Bon Temp phone book, which compared to the one she and Mark had it was very thin. The momentary thought of her husband brought back the memory of his death. A tight fist of guilt clutched her heart. She dropped the phone book, and followed it to the kitchen floor. She lay curled in the fetal position unaware of the passage of time.
As soon as the sun went down Bubba emerged from the hiding place William offered him. He found Anna lying on the kitchen floor with her knees to her chest. The Bon Temp phone book was lying beside her. He moved to her, and checked her pulse.
“Miss Anna?” He whispered. “Are you alright?”
Anna attempted to curl into a tight ball, but discovered that was impossible. Bubba sat, and pulled her into his lap. He held her while she sobbed hysterically, and uttered short unintelligible phrases like “my fault” and “he died trying to save me”. He was not certain what she was going on about, but he carried her to her room and tucked her into bed. Once Anna was safe in bed Bubba returned to the kitchen, and heated himself a bottle of True Blood. When he finished he disposed of the bottle, and left the house to begin patrolling the grounds. When he returned he found William relaxing in the hot tub in the kitchen.
“How was Baton Rouge?” Bubba asked.
“Dull as always,”
Just then Anna entered the kitchen dressed in her bathrobe. She moved to lean against the counter.
“Are you feeling better Miss Anna?”
“Yes, thank you, Bubba.”
“What happened?” William inquired. He slid through the water to the side of the hot tub closest to them.
“I found her curled up on the kitchen floor when I got up this evening,” Bubba explained. “She was upset, and muttering something about someone dying while trying to save her.”
“When Dillon took me,” Anna began. She took a breath to continue. “Mark tried to protect me, and Lewis drained him of his blood.” Anna bent down, and picked up the telephone book and set it on the counter. “I was comparing this to the one we had, and that caused me to remember what happened to Mark. I felt my heart tighten, and then I was on the floor.”
“Survivor’s guilt,” William breathed. He climbed out of the water, moved to Anna, and pulled her into his arms. “You should not feel guilty for surviving.”
“I miss him,” Anna whimpered. “I want Lewis to pay for what he did to Mark.”
“Unfortunately, that is close to impossible,’ William stated. “If he felt Mark was truly a threat to his king than he was within his rights to protect him; by any means necessary.”
“It’s just so wrong!” Anna cried. “I didn’t agree to any of this, and somehow I’m caught in the middle.”
“I know,” William soothed. He pulled her against him, and stroked his hand through her soft hair. “I am sorry you were drawn into this. I wish there was something I could do to get you out of it sooner.”
“What am I supposed to do until then?” Anna inquired.
“You can make yourself at home here,” William told her. “You can build a new life for yourself if you like.”
“I just want to go home,” Anna cried.
“I am sorry Anna,” William continued to stroke her hair. “You no longer have a home in Pennsylvania. That is within Kentucky’s jurisdiction. Dillon has passed a law that prohibits you from entering a state on the east coast and New England. Unless you return to Kentucky and submit to being his bride.”
“He can do that?” Anna inquired.
“Until he is dethroned as king,” William affirmed. “Unfortunately, seizure of and mistreatment of a human is not enough to get him dethroned.”
Anna buried her face in William’s chest, and sobbed. Bubba moved up beside them, and put an arm around her.
“Please don’t cry, Miss Anna,” he implored. “I will stay here with you, and Mr. Bill is very kind. He’ll let you stay as long as you want.”
“Of course,” William agreed. “I want you to consider this house your home. You may do whatever you desire to the interior or exterior, but please do not remodel anything without running it by me first.”
“My things?” Anna inquired.
“They are on their way as we speak,” William assured her. “They should be arriving tomorrow, so you will be kept nice and busy unpacking.” He opened the phone book, and pointed to an ad. “Give this number a call and ask for either Sam Merlot or Sookie Stackhouse-Merlot. Tell them you are interested in working at Merlot’s Bar as a waitress. You can use Bubba and me as references.”
“Thank you,” Anna sniffled. “I think I’m going to go back to bed now.”
“Have a good night, sweetheart.” William pressed a kiss to the top of her head.
“Would you like me to sing for you again, Miss Anna?” Bubba offered.
“Oh, yes, please,” Anna offered him a kind smile before leaving the kitchen.
William was taken aback by Bubba’s offer to sing. Usually, Bubba had to be asked, and he had to be in the right mood. William watched as Bubba hurried after Anna. He slid into the hot tub, and listen as Bubba crooned one of his ballads into the young woman’s ear.
Word Count: 2,998