David's car is a two door Audi Coupe, a sleek sedan with all the extras: tinted windows, remote entry, heated seats, and a manual transmission. I couldnt possibly afford this kind of luxury in the next thirty years; I'd have to take out a mortgage. He tells Dona to sit in the back seat and she does. I am put into the drivers seat and he tells me to drive home. I do as he asks. It took me far to many years to learn how to drive a manual transmission, now I drive it like a pro (I hope). A couple of years ago, I would have had a very hard time driving this car. My dad didn't even succeed in teaching me how to drive one. Alec taught me how. Then I bought my Ford Mustang. I love sliding through the gears and using my left leg. Sounds silly doesn't it.
Forty-five minutes later we arrive at the house and the sun is just starting to come up. It occurs to me that if my powers vanish with the sun then surely his must as well.
"Shut off the engine, give me the keys and get out. I wish I didn't have force you to do this but until you begin to understand what having a Master can do for you I can't afford to release you."
You haven't given me much of a fucking choice you bastard. I thought loudly in my head hoping telepathy was a possible magical ability I hadn"t yet discovered. Some call it telepathy, others call it mind speaking. The general outcome is mind-to-mind communication without the use of vocal cords. I always thought it would be handy in high school if you could hear the thoughts of the smartest kid in class during a test or know what the teacher is thinking.
"You're a telepath? It's a wonder another Master has yet to claim you. How long have you been a vampire?" I say nothing.
"Speak!" I feel a sharp pain in my head. I'd cry out in pain if I could. The best I can do is close my eyes as I wince in pain.
"Three years." I said in monotone.
"Do you hear voices in your head" Some vamps go mad because the don"t know how to shield the voices in their head."
"Maybe you never have before but I can tell you have the ability." I hear his voice in my mind. Well Duh.
"Did you hear that? If I let you go then I probably would see surprise on your face but since you"d fight back, I won"t."
"Yes." Is all I can say. It seems all that I can speak is yes, no and simple phrases.
"Good. Now go to the door and knock."
"Yes Master." Shit! You bastard! He chuckles.
"Sorry, I just couldn"t help myself." If I could strangle him, I would.
Diana comes quickly after I knock on the door. Her long blond hair hanging to her knees and she wears a red oriental silk dress with spike heels. I asked her why she doesn't cut her hair and she told me that if someone gets your hair or some other part of your body that they could put a hex on you. Only a fool would put on a hex on anybody. Life is an echo, what you send out comes back. No matter what religion you study; wicca, christianity, buddism, etc, we all believe the same thing. It makes me wonder about the muslims and their holy wars.
"Lara? Why are you knocking?" She asks then notices David. "Who the hell are you?"
"Her Master and we've come to collect her things as well as the others." David's chest puffs out like some foreign dignitary expecting the royal treatment. Fat chance.
"You'll need a moving truck Dona is kind of a pack rat." I tell him using telepathy.
"She has no Master. He's in cryo-freeze for the next two hundred years. And what do you mean by the others?"
"The other three sisters changed by the one in cryo-freeze. I am his Master therefore they belong to me."
"Why do you want them now? You have never laid eyes on them until tonight."
"That is not for discussion." David grumbles.
"I"m guessing some sort of power struggle with the Master of the City and you need more fighters to save your ass. Is that it? You're going to take on the big kahuna? Best of luck then but you're not going to take these girls from me. Not now, not ever."
"You said it Diana!" I yell into his head. His face looks even more cross. Good, he can't stop me from mind talking. Can she hear me?
"I'm sorry you see it that way. None the less, they are going with me and you can't do anything to stop me." Behind her is the stairway leading to the second floor to the left is the living room to the right the first floor bedroom, Dona's room.
"The hell I won't!? Diana puts her hand in a stop gesture in front of his face and an electric ball flies from her hand. A bubble goes up around him shielding himself, protecting him from the lightening and releasing Dona and me. There just isn't time at the moment to wonder about the magic they've performed.
"Run Dona!" I yell. A shocked look finally crosses her face and she collapses into a sobbing heap of useless flesh. I take to the skies hoping the sun is slower at rising this morning than usual, if only this was September. I only get to above the trees when the sunlight hits me and I fall back to the ground. My ankle cracks as I smack the pavement. Shit! I can"t heal this until sunset. I guess that means no running either. Goddess, I hate being mortal. Of course, if I were mortal, then I wouldn't be in this shithole.
"Lara, I'm so glad you've returned. I've missed you terribly." David walks towards me and reaches his hand out to help me up but stands far enough back to wear I can't reach his hand.
"Are you going to be a condescending bastard all morning or are you going to help me up?" I look towards the doorway where I'd last seen Diana. Her throat looks like hamburger as she sinks to the floor.
"I wish you wouldn't do this to yourself. I fear the only way to get your loyalty is to offer you some of my blood. But I'm afraid that'll have to wait until sunset. Blood in your state causes vomiting and I can't stand vomiting. Oh, I could if necessary."
Dona has stopped sobbing and has returned to the blank nothingness she was before. Why wasn't he doing the same for me and why does he still have control over her?
"Let her go"
"No. The only reason you"re not controlled at the moment is your ankle. Pain is the only block I"ve never been able to get through"
I ask. "How are you able to control her?"
"Because I am her Master. Masters are not as susceptible to the sunlight as non-masters"
"You keep your powers during the daytime?"
"Yes" That would be handy.
"Dona, go inside and take Diana with you" David demands. "She'll come back to life tonight" Dona walks up the stairs and picks up Diana like a rag doll and places her on the sofa.
"Dona isn"t that strong"
"I know. I am loaning her some of my strength?" Could that work in reverse" Could she suck the strength out of him, or him out of her"
"No more questions" He reaches around my back and lifts me up then puts his other arm under my knees.
"If you smack my foot on the door jam, you're a dead man"
"I doubt that." I'd knock the shit out of him but it wouldn't do any good.
Half an hour later Fiona returns. She kicks in the door, splinters fly out and I pull a blanket over me to avoid flying shrapnel. I glare at her for a second and she shrugs. She has pistols in both hands. So much for sneaking in. She puts her head through the doorway and sees me on the recliner with an ice pack on my foot. I mouth 'in the kitchen' to her and she nods her head. David is in the kitchen getting a glass of water and a couple of Advil for the pain of my broken ankle. She walks to the right through Dona's bedroom into the bathroom between the kitchen and Dona's room. Access to the bathroom is from both directions. I heard the door open slowly and then a pair of thuds as the guns hit the floor. Damn.
"Hello Fiona. Lara, why didn't you tell me Fiona's returned. I've been so anxious to meet her. Walk to the living room Fiona. Perhaps I'll have to feed you sooner than later. One drop should do the trick, you can have more later" Fiona walks in front of David as they return to the living room. I don't know why he's pretending to be a nice guy. It's obvious I can see through the poor acting skills. It does make me nervous though. I'm not looking forward to anything he does to us.
"What will it do to me, to us?" I ask.
"Bring us closer together. It's just a little something to guarantee your loyalty. One drop should last until after sunset then you'll get enough for eternity. You'll be asking for more by then. You'll also be more powerful, but I'm surprised by how strong you already are Lara. With you it may burn a little but I can"t afford not to have your loyalty?
"What was Diana talking about? Who's the Master of the City?" I ask.
"Sit down Raven." Fiona sits down on the floor. "That's such a farce. I'm the only Master Vampire within a thousand miles that doesn't have a city but I'm much to strong to be a servant to another Master. I have many vampires under me but I have no power structure if I don't have a city." Um, okay. And that means what?
"Why choose a city the size of Denver, why not something smaller?"
"The number of vampires I have under me would bleed a smaller town dry. Most of the vampires under me need to feed daily and there is not enough food supply in smaller towns." Okay, still clueless.
I ask a question that has been bugging me for years. "Why do some vampires need to feed daily and other have years between feedings?"
"Age mostly." That's it? That would mean...
"Most of the vampires under you are young?"
"Exactly." I roll my eyes.
"Three thousand more or less." That sounds like a wreck waiting to happen.
"Didn't you forget something?" My ankle twinges and I suppress the urge to wince in pain.
"Your Advil? I'm not sure I should give it to you. I don't appreciate you sending your friend in with guns to kill me. I'm guessing she has wood tipped bullets. Forget it. Then again, I give you Advil and I can send you to sleep like the rest. Then I can rest a while. Where is Katrina?"
"I don't know."
"Does she have a boyfriend she spends the day with?"
"Yes and no. They break up and make up daily. You met him in the bar."
"Tall, handsome, short brown hair, protective."
"He claimed he was your boyfriend."
"He's currently available but the only way I'd start dating him is if either Kat or I moved out. It's a long story." I fill him in on a few of the details; you've heard it all already.
"Fascinating. How long does it take to for that stuff to kick in?" He is trying to change the subject.
"An hour" I say.
"You got a girl?" I ask hoping idle chatting will distract me from the pain.
"Master of the City fucking killed her." He slams his fist down on the arm rest of the recliner. Finally, something worth knowing about. Maybe I can needle the whole story out of him.
"Angry?" Fiona starts wiggling her index finger. Yes, yes, yes, I hear in my head. David looks in her direction.
"And vengeful. Go to bed Raven"
"Why do you call her Raven?" Fiona stands up and goes to the basement stairs just off the kitchen and goes down the stairs.
"I picked it out of her head. She likes that you've given her a nickname. Hasn't anybody ever taught you to shield?"
"No. I didn't realize I was telepathic."
"You have a lot to learn." Tell me something I don't know.
"Go away, I need some sleep" I always did try to sleep through the pain. It really sucks when I have my period and I can't sleep. Since I'm still mortal during the daylight hours, I have my period during the day. It goes away at night but now it lasts twice as long and it only comes every two months.
"I'll be back before sunset."
"Fine. Take Diana with you. Her stench is making me nauseated."
"She's still subject to wood or would you rather wait until sunset when she'll come back." She doesn't deserve to die. The world would be lacking without her kindness.
"I'd rather she lives."
"Okay, she stays here. Where would you like her put?"
"I don't fucking care." My vision is swimming, I'm developing a killer headache and my ankle feels like I have a white hot poker being jabbed into the bones.
"You aren't going into shock are you?" I glare at him.
"It's possible, I do have a broken ankle. And I presently have no more healing ability than a mortal."
"I could change that. One drop is all it takes but since I can't control you in pain it has to be your choice."
"Fine. Do it before I change my mind" He drops a fang and pricks his little finger with it and puts it in my mouth. I feel a slight tingle flow over my body then it travels deeper sparking nerves as it goes. My body begins to spasm, to fight the foreign power scalding its way through my brain. David put his hand on my chest to hold me down. The shaking doesn't stop until I pass out.
I feel the sun go down in the center of my body. I felt my powers rise to ever increasing heights and my ankle shifts the bones back into their correct place but they haven't fused yet.
David walks into the room. "How are you feeling?"
"More alive than I've ever felt. Except that my ankle is still broken. I thought you said I'd heal before sunset. Has Kat come back yet?"
"I have not seen another person except the mailman." I look to the sofa where I'd last seen Diana. She is not there. "Where is Diana?"
"She is in the basement with Raven. I have already given them my blood while they slept. They should be rising shortly. I hadn't expected you to seizure that badly. The next time won't be as bad. As a matter of fact, you should feel exactly as you did when you first awoke.
"What happens now?"
"You drink more of my blood as a vow of loyalty." Lucky me.
"I don't do blood oaths." I cross my arms.
"You will now."
"I will no.." Somehow I can"t bring myself to finish not. It wasn't like earlier today when I couldn't move. I clinch my fist but cannot raise my hand to strike him.
"I see it has already had some positive effects. Now, drink from me."
"NO!" I start to say but I find my face buried in his neck, my fangs in his neck, drinking deeply of the thick liquid flowing into my mouth. I try to stop after a couple of swallows but my throat keeps working.
"I can't stop." I say into his mind.
"That's because you haven't had enough yet."
"How much should this take?" Humans have a couple of liters and we only need a cup per serving. Why would it take so much to ensure my loyalty. He's my master, you'd think... But I hate the bastard, don't I?
"Nearly all of it." Could this be my means of escape? Drink all and leave him helpless?
"Won't that make you weak?"
"Thank you for your concern but I will only be weak until I take some of it back." So how do I resist giving it back?
"I didn't like being bitten the first time." A shiver tingled up my spine. My first day, well months, as a vampire was hell. I'll tell you more about that later.
"Nobody does. Being bitten for the change doesn't include hypnosis. Now that we are vampires, the bite is more like an aphrodisiac." Great, I'll probably be attracted to the bastard.
"And I've been avoiding it all these years?" he chuckles.
"As I've said before, you have much to learn. Your almost there." His voice suddenly sounds weaker and his body begins to sag against me. I release my mouth from his neck and sit him on the sofa. I almost walk away but can't leave him this way, no matter how much I may hate him (see mom, I did listen in Sunday school). I crawl onto his lap and place his face in my neck. His fangs find my vein and he begins to drink from me.
"I feel your soul and mine is drawn to it." Funny, I don't feel the same way.
"What does that mean?"
"Have you ever heard of soul mates?" Is he delusional?
"Yeah. What about it?"
"You are my soul mate." Oh great. Yup, he's delusional. Just what I needed; a master who's a nut job.
"I'm thrilled." His right eyebrow raises as he hears the sarcasm in my voice.
"Open up to the experience. You will feel it to."
"How?" Should I be doing this? I try to resist but can't. It's as if he's playing with my will again. I feel no attraction to him.
"In your mind search for the feeling of me, your spirit next to mine."
"I feel nothing."
"You have a natural shield, drop it." His voice is encouraging, excited. I'm confused, I haven't experimented with shields before. I didn't realize I had one. The way it seemed earlier, I had no shield. Isn't it why he had such easy access to the telepathy stuff?
"I don't know how."
"Imagine a rainbow sphere around you, that is your aura. Outside that sphere is another sphere. Imagine a whole in that outer sphere and let it grow until there is only your aura. There, you"ve got it."
His power washes over me like a hot desert wind. Something in the heat makes me light headed and craving more. I'm drawn to his power like a moth to a flame. He's so much stronger than I realized in B.L.O.O.D. when his power was suffocating.
With the heat came his memories, his beliefs, everything about the stranger before me. Memories of growing up, of sleeping on a straw mattress full of fleas, eating an awful gruel that sorely passed for food, of toiling in the fields from sun up to sun down from the day he learned to walk, of worshiping gods before the existence of Christ and speaking a language long dead. Helping his family to survive through the plague, starvation and exile. Exile brought on because they followed the new religion, abandoning the gods of fertility and harvest. These things he shows me freely yet, something cold and black is buried deep in his heart. Was he a child in medieval England, before christianity? Then it occurs to me, is he seeing the true me? Is he seeing parts of me that I don't even know about? Have I given him the key and now he has all of me.
"I"m speechless." He says.
"Me too. I'm scared."
I hear Kat's voice behind me. "Damn-it. Let her go." I open my eyes but I can only stare at the ceiling.
"I'm fine Kat. Come back later." My voice seems unsure of itself. Will she believe me?
"No, She's right. It's time for me to let go." He pulls back, his hands still on my arms. I turn to glance at Kat but my vision blurs and I nearly black out for a few seconds. I open my eyes to see David's handsome face looking at me with a concerned look on his face. I'm so lucky to have a boyfriend like him.
"Will we ever do this again?"
"Of course. We don't have to open a vein to do it. An invisible hand travels through my body stimulating things I haven't felt since the last time I had sex, but its more. I find my lips on his and his tongue exploring my mouth and a craving for more than blood floods my brain. A craving that includes nothing but David. Kinda like a junior high crush but with more need, more want. I can't live without him and I don't care why.
"Lara, he is definitely not our friend."
"Kat please leave." I say. I'd avoided getting Jason between us for ages now I have David and she doesn't like him.
"No, not until you explain a few things." She puts her hands on her hips and leans on her left leg.
"David, hold her still because if I tell her, she won't stop with talking. I'm sure fists and kicks are going to be involved. Not as badly as Fiona though." Katrina nearly went limp standing in the doorway. I got off of David's lap reluctantly.
"Okay Kat. Here's the story. This man is the Master of the vampire that changed us." I went on until the whole story came out including the part about David and I being soul mates. She blinks her eyes as David releases her and suddenly the room is filled with her frantic ravings of frustration. Finally, when she got done she asked about Diana.
"Diana is fine, She's downstairs."
"Nobody feels the same in this house. I feel like I don't belong here anymore." Is that really Kat talking? She sounds so defeated.
"Then change with us."
"No, you can go fucking stand on the sun or crash land in a forest." Now that is the Kat I know.
"David." He nods. Quicker than my eyes could follow she bit his neck and began drinking. She struggles in his arms fighting through the pain.
"Katrina, relax. The more you fight, the more it hurts." I say into her mind. She continues to struggle. "Trust me Katrina. He is here for our protection."
"Then why the fuck am I drinking from him?" She whispers in my mind.
"It's to bond you to him."
"Why the fuck would I want that?" How could you not want to be bonded to him?
"It will make you more powerful." She and him stand there for several minutes before she replies.
"Cool." She embraces him. A few seconds later David starts sinking to the floor.
"Enough Kat. Let him go!"
"Lara. She is finished but I can't get her off."
"Let go Katrina, you've had enough. Katrina!"
"No." I hear David in my head. "That's not working. Take her will from her. You can do it. Your strong enough."
"Katrina. Let him go!" She releases him; her arms limp. David slumps to the floor
"David? Are you okay?" I lift his head up to see his lips are pale.
"Just severely anemic." Just severely anemic? That's like being just fine when you have a treebranch protruding from your head. I'm surprised he's still talking.
"He needs some back Katrina."
"You know I don't like to be the one being bitten."
"This time it's different. This time you'll like it. Its more like sex."
"I doubt that." And she again stands limp between David and I. I pull him up from the floor and he grabs
David slowly begins to drink from her until his some of his strength returns and he lets go of her wrist. She walks to the sofa and collapses.
"I need to feed soon or I"ll loose myself to the blood lust. There is no nutritional content to vampire blood. I should have known better, four servants in one days is too many and I have done five." He steps back and sinks into the sofa.
"Why didn't you wait until later?"
"Because if I didn't get all of you today then I'd have to search longer leaving behind responsibilities I'm already behind on getting to. Do you have someplace I can go?" He's a tourist?
"Vamp bar or other?" I ask.
"Matters not so long as I get human blood."
"I'll take you to the bar. I'll hypnotize them and you drink." I offer. He's been so kind to me, how could I be otherwise?
"Fair enough." I reach around his chest and help hold him up. "Fly or drive?" He asks.
Authors Note- Feel free to ask any questions, point out anything that ought to be improved. I've just been discovering that my characters are pretty flat when it comes to their emotions and their reactions.