Chapter Two: Training And Education

"You certainly gave him a few pressing matters to think about."

"That was not nearly enough to make him relinquish his title as the master of that coven." Her face was solemn and tired.

Alec said nothing more to her about that subject.

The New York street that hey walked down was brightly illuminated with florescent lights that hurt Nashwa's eyes. They made her squint and turn away from them.

"Come on, we'll go and get you something to eat. That will make you feel better, I promise."

She nodded and allowed herself to be led into a bar by Alec. Once in the bar the noise of the music and the smell sickened and overwhelmed her still adjusting senses. She reflexively put one hand over her ear, in a mortal attempt to drown out the sound. "The noise…" Alec nodded in understanding, walking her to a deserted corner that was slightly quieter.

"What kind do you want?" He was, of course, speaking of the kind of mortal that she found most appealing to feed off of.

"Someone who shouldn't be…like us…" She pointed to a young teen sitting at the bar. "I want him…"

Alec looked at him and smiled. "I will go and retrieve him for you." Alec walked slowly through the crowd of mortals, coming closer and closer to the one that Nashwa had said that she wanted. He sat down beside the boy. "You don't look old enough to be here."

"I'm plenty old enough." He dawned a forced New York accent. But it was easy enough for Alec to tear from his mind all the secrets from his past.

The boy's name was Terry, and he was only 17, just a baby. His mother had brought him to the states when he was 14-years-old, and he hated her for it. Where was his father? Dead, and long dead. His father had been murdered by his mother when he was six. But the police never did find that out, did they?

So, he's had a rough life. But we'll end it peacefully enough. More peacefully at least than the way his father died. "Come on Terry, I have a friend who wants to meet you."

"How do you know my name?" Twinge of pain beneath the drunkenness of his sky blue eyes.

"I know more than just that. But come now, I promise that we are not going to hurt you." He put a slight telepathic twist into getting Terry to cooperate with him.

He led Terry to Nashwa quickly. All but picking him up to get there. "This is the one that you wanted?"

Nashwa nodded and moved to be closer to Terry. What did this seem to him? Did it seem that this woman pressing herself against hi m wanted to bed with him? Could he sense that she was not the mortal being that she so elegantly posed to be?

Slowly Nashwa sank her two tiny fangs into his neck. To anyone who was watching, it would clearly appear that they would be leaving together.

She drank slowly, letting his heart pump his blood into her. She allowed her mouth to fill completely with his sweet nectar before swallowing. He died quickly.

"Lesson one, never leave the body for the mortal authorities to find." Alec cradled the boy and smiled brightly, acting as if the corpse was really his friend who had not been able to hold his beer. "Let's get him home."

Once outside of the bar Nashwa was, for the first time, in love with the noise and with the smell of the eternal city. It seemed that there was no possible way that the noisy bar that they had just emerged from was in the same city as the one that she was now standing in. New York seemed almost peaceful to her.

"Something that you must learn to do, is to properly dispose of the bodies of your victims." He teleported himself, the dead body, and Nashwa to a large city dump. He laid the body down and looked at it longingly. "If too many bodies started piling up, eventually we would all be found and destroyed."

"Why do you look at it that way?" She meant, of course, that he was staring at the dead thing with a look that appeared to be something very close to envy. "Do you like what you see that much?"

"Lesson two: You will never look like that." He pointed to the body. "You will never be breathless and unmoving. You will never be weighted down with dead weight." He unsheathed his hidden katana. "You will never be food for the worms. You will never taste death such as this." He cut off the boy's hands, his feet, his head, and then he cut the torso in half. Next he sheathed his blade. "You'll grow to long for that death."

"Lesson one…" Her voice was quiet as she searched for the right words. She continued slowly. "Even if you want death…the right company…can make you want to live again…" She sat down on a discarded lawn chair. "If the sanctuary to which you run is perfect for you, you will be able to find a way to suppress your depression. And you will find a way to live."

Alec smiled slightly. "Lesson three: Always stay in the company of someone who is insightful."

The next few weeks of Nashwa's life were riddled with lessons. And with exercises to help her control her power more.

Alec pushed her to try her power on living things, he told her that by doing so she would be more prepared to destroy the master. And after a while, she started to use her powers on the vampires that Alec turned every night.

But, she didn't come to that decision easily. She had to be shown that the fledglings would die regardless of if she destroyed them or not.

Not even that was simple to explain to her. And it had to be forced upon her in a way that scarred her for life.

Nashwa sat in the middle of the large training room. Sweat poured down her body because she had been using her powers on rats for more than half of the night.

She looked up and saw Alec walk into the room. He led into the room a starry eyed vampire.

The vampire was trembling. Either from anticipation or from fear. And quite possibly from both. She could not have been more than one hour into the blood.

"Why did you make another?"

"Because you need a bigger target." The young vampire's face went even paler than it had already been. "You've been torching rats all night. It is time that you move to something with a little more resistance."

Nashwa stayed sitting on the floor, now staring at her maker in disbelief. "You are joking, right?" She laughed slightly. But the expression on Alec's face told her that he was not joking. That he was dead serious. "I won't do it." She stood up quickly. "Alec, no!"

"Nashwa, you have never been one to hesitate to kill something. So do it now without fail." He stayed calm the best he could.

She shook her head. "Let the fledgling go."

"If you don't destroy her, I will."

"You wouldn't…" A tear rolled down both Nashwa's face and down the silent and nameless fledgling's.

"Do it." He pushed the fledgling toward her.

"I can't!."

Alec closed his eyes. "I don't want to have to do this. Reason one being that it only works on weak vampires like her. Reason two being that my countenance change does not look as good as yours does. But, you will see."

Suddenly Alec's jet black eyes turned icy blue, as did his hair. A thin fog of blue mist surrounded the fledgling, and soon her scream penetrated the room. And then she was gone. There was nothing left, not even a mark.

Nashwa collapsed to the floor, crying. "Will you do it the next time?"

"Why didn't your hair and eyes stay that way?" She asked quietly.

"It wore off. Now answer me. Will you or will you not do it the next time?"

I'll do it…I'll do it…"

Alec seems to be changing…or is there a reason that he is rushing her to control her power? Tough love? Vampiric army? I dunno…