WAR: The Arrival

The Arrival

Renie
Sundown
April 20th, Paris

Thanks to a well-placed whammy, Bourbon and Camille had arrived in Paris via a chartered, private, nonstop flight. As the only passengers on board, the flight was quiet and peaceful, allowing them to keep all of the windows closed to block out the sun. Not only were they able to rest during the daytime, they took advantage of the privacy and renewed their membership in what mortals called “the mile high club.”

She had changed since their time at New Jerusalem. She was much less timid, more confident. Gone was the demure, little girl who allowed her chivalrous mate to protect and shelter her. She had grown. The vampire had an air of maturity about her that had not been there before.

She had also developed a temper.

He and Camille had never argued often. Before, their worst disagreements had only involved a lot of shouting and growling.  Since their time with the large group of immortals and vampires, they now involved thrown pottery and broken lamps. Bourbon had gotten good at ducking and weaving.

It was just after sundown when they arrived at the airport. The couple climbed into a waiting limo and was whisked to their hotel.

Bourbon had reserved the best suite of rooms at the historic Hotel Meurice. The hotel itself dated to the early 1800s, but had undergone many renovations in order to provide their guests with every modern convenience and luxury. The rooms were lavishly furnished with antiques to give them the feel of what they were like when the hotel originally opened.

The flight had been free and no doubt the hotel would be too.

Bourbon loved a good scam. He’d pulled off many in his long lifetime. He was a millionaire several times over and had more than enough money to pay for anything he wanted. The vampire just thrived on the thrill of getting away with things.

Once they were checked in and their bags were delivered to their suite, the vampires took off into the night. Their Immortal friend, Gunther, had arrived a day earlier, so Bourbon rang his hotel. Half an hour later, the threesome met outside a night club.

There was to be an auction the next day. That was the main reason they had come. Camille owned an antique shop in Seattle. Though she rarely set foot in the place, she loved traveling and acquiring the merchandise.

Ordinarily, Camille and Bourbon would have gone together. This time, Gunther had seen the catalogue and immediately booked a flight. Several Medieval weapons and pieces of armor were going to be auctioned. Among them were items recovered from a recently excavated Viking burial. The immortal suspected the newly discovered grave was that of his adoptive father.

Since Olaf died after Gunther became immortal, and had no other sons, the family’s sword had been buried with the patriarch. There was no way to recover the longship, since the wood had long ago rotted away. His father’s helmet, some pottery, the sword, pole ax, and flail had survived the ravages of time, though.

Bourbon was mildly interested in a few of the swords. There was a Rapier that looked vaguely familiar, though he couldn’t place it. Mostly, it was spring in Paris and Camille wanted to be there.

Camille was interested in some jewelry and a few pieces of furniture. For her, it was more a matter of who would be at the auction rather than the items offered.

There would be a Faberge egg, some porcelain and enamel plates, and silver, all of which were rumored to have belonged to the Romanov’s.  If they were, indeed, Romanov possessions, perhaps they would bring “the Tsarevich” out to play.

That thought tantalized Camille.  Nikolai and she were, for lack of a better term, “fuck buddies” as mortals put it.

He was phenomenal in bed. Mind bending, in fact. His body was perfectly formed, well muscled, with curves in all the right places.  His soft voice was a low, soothing caress that sent a shiver of desire down her spine. Yet the same sensual voice could be regal and authoritative when necessary.

The problem was that he detested vampires and actively hunted them.

Camille was the exception, and by extension, Bourbon.  As long as his death would hurt her, the Russian would let that one live.  The female vampire and many other women, mortal and immortal, had Nikolai’s body, but none his heart.

He still deeply felt the loss of the one woman he ever loved.  Ekaterina Poskov was an immortal like him.  They were together nearly 40 years before a vampire captured her. The female vampire tortured his wife until she went mad, and then released her to kill him.  He himself had been forced to take his Katya’s head. Only then had he known what had happened to her while she had been held prisoner.

He’d spent every night of the next 65 years hunting vampires.  He’d taken enough immortal heads as well, but he never went looking for a
fight with his own kind. He had his own agenda and little time for the game.

WAR: April in Paris

April In Paris
by Evie & Trapper
Paris Airport
April 19, 4:30 pm

“Hey! Hey!”

Evie and Trapper looked around at the sound of a familiar voice. Across the roped-off divide, Joe Dawson was waving a sign with their names on it.

“Subtle,” Trapper remarked dryly. “They’ll never see us coming.”

“That’s Joe,” Evie agreed.

Evie looked up at the pub sign and then at her companion, shaking her head sadly. “Joe. Azka-bar? Did you leave your good taste at home?”

Joe chuckled. “At least you got the joke.”

“It’s a terrible pun. Terrible.”

“But those are the best kind!” Joe held the door for Evie and Trapper as they entered the bar.

Trapper winced at the decor. “Terrible,” she agreed.  She flinched from the pink flamingo neon sign hung over the bar and swiftly located the darkest, most remote corner of the establishment.  “Booth?” she suggested, her spurs chiming gently as they made their way to the refuge.

“It is awfully bright,” Evie slid into the booth. “Especially given the place it refers to.”

Trapper frowned, lowering her shades. “Too damn bright. Coffee.”

Joe looked at them bemused. “The flight was… difficult,” Evie explained. “You know how people like to keep the window shade up so they can see the arctic sunrise?”

Joe winced. “Exactly,” Evie nodded. “We had a tough time convincing our window-seat traveling companion to keep it down. I think you scarred him for life, Traps.”

“One can hope,” Trapper growled from behind her dark glasses. Sunlight had always made her cranky, even when she was alive.

The waiter approached, looking to Joe expectantly. “Mesdames et Monsieur? Qu’est que vous boirez?”

“Um, je veux une bire, s’il vou plait?” Joe replied hesitantly. “You two?”

Trapper looked at Evie, who looked at le garçon.  “Deux café au lait, tres forte, s’il vous plait.  Et un petite d’jeuner, je pense. Qu’avez-vous obtenu de manger?”

“Canada,” Trapper replied to Joe’s unspoken question. “She’s been working on her French so she can immigrate.”

“Ah,” Joe nodded. “You know, Evie, if you need a sponsor…”

“Merci, madame, monsieur.” The waiter gave a tiny bow as he left, apparently not too annoyed.

“Are you saying you’ll marry me, Joe?” Evie grinned.

Joe flushed. “Err… not exactly. I was more thinking of offering you a job if you need one.”

“I am sad.” Evie mock-pouted. “You don’t love me anymore.”

“Yeah but he doesn’t love you any less,” Trapper said. “Coffee?”

“On its way,” Evie replied. She closed her eyes and slumped down on the bench. Her slouch hat slid forward over her eyes. “Long flight,” she mumbled.

“Crying baby,” Trapper explained. Joe nodded. “In addition to the idiot with the window fetish. Guh. Even before… this all happened, I never liked sunlight.” She stood abruptly. “Time for a visit to the little vampires’ room.”

Joe watched Evie for a few minutes. “Hey.” She cracked one eye open. “Don’t take it so hard. If it’s that important, I’ll marry you, for God’s sake.”

Evie chuckled, closing her eyes again. “I knew what you meant.”  She sat up and stretched. “And I may take you up on that offer. Tech work isn’t as easy to find as I thought it would be.”

“It’d be nice to have you around,” Joe said. He folded his hands on the table as the waiter brought his beer and ‘cafe pour les mesdames’.

“I’m going to hit him if he calls me madame again,” Evie grumbled before taking a long pull on her espresso. “Ah, very nice. Itatakimasu!”

Joe sipped his beer and watched Evie drain her cup. “Hey,” he said. “I’m just wanted to say I heard about Rachel. I’m sorry.”

Evie set the cup carefully on the table before meeting his eyes. “Yeah. Me too.” She sighed, staring at the empty cup. “Sometimes it just doesn’t work, no matter how much you want it to.”

“Yeah, I hear that.” He fiddled with his glass for a moment before knocking back the remaining beer. “Life sucks sometimes.”

“Don’t it just,” Evie agreed.

Joe looked around and lowered his voice. “So, where’s Nick? I thought he and Trapper…”

“Oh, he’s on his way,” Evie replied, taking another grateful swig of the coffee. “But, you know, he works in Toronto and they both have lives. He couldn’t get away any sooner to come out. Once he gets here, I’m sure they’ll be glued at the hip.”

Joe rolled his eyes and nodded in agreement.

Trapper returned to the table where she made short work of her latte. “Think you can get him to bring another?” she asked, licking the foam from the rim of the cup. Her eyes flashed yellow as she ran her tongue over her fangs.

“Only if you promise not to sound like you’re tearing down an antelope when you drink it.” Evie shuddered slightly. “I am NEVER going to get used to that.”

When the waiter returned with Evie’s lunch, she asked him for another round of café and one more beer. Joe reluctantly shared the sandwich, at Evie’s insistence.

“So,” Trapper said. “What’s next?”

“Duncan is supposed to meet us here,” Joe replied, looking at his watch. “And then we go find the others.”

“You know where they are?” Evie asked. “I thought Kat was going to the Saint Germain de Pres?”

“Oi! They let anyone in here.”

“Hey, where you been?” Joe got to his feet and embraced MacLeod with real fondness. “Been too long, man.”

“Did you know there’s a pub called ‘Highlander’?” Duncan asked. “Over on the Rue de Nevers. ‘lo Trapper. Evie.” He grinned and slid onto the bench, Joe following him.

“No way,” Evie grimaced. “That’s almost as bad as Azka-bar.”

“I thought it was funny,” Duncan said with a grin.

“You would,” Joe grumbled.

The waiter returned and they ordered another round, including food for Duncan.

“So, Monique says we can all stay with her,” Duncan explained between beer and sandwich.

“Ah,” Trapper nodded. “Works for me.”

“But we should watch out for the cat,” Duncan finished. “And before you ask,” he held up one restraining hand, “I have no idea what she means by that.”

WAR: King Snake

King Snake

by RavenKat

April 19, Marriott, 12:00 p.m.

 

He had died three times this week and it was only Tuesday.

Wrapped in a lush towel and dripping wet, Lux wiped the condensation off the mirror and leaned in close to study the fading circular scar on his forehead. He then turned slowly and admired the reflection of his well-muscled body. If he looked closely he could make out a myriad of strange marks – all evidence of his extraordinary constitution and his bizarre compulsions. One of the main draws of a Daisy Chainsaw concert had become the “staged” death and rebirth of the lead singer. Sister Kat had given him this wonderful gift by breaking his neck 8 years ago; He made a mental note to pay her back one day.

Beginning to dry himself, he grunted loudly, “Girl!” He never called them by their names. Why bother?

Britanny rolled over in bed, stretching and yawning. She was pretty pleased with her current situation, nightly murder not withstanding. “Mmm?” she replied.

“Getcher ass up,” he growled. Luckily for her she recognized that tone and got in gear quickly.

Mr. Interior had been a good boy ever since that hotel bitch had taken him for a huge amount of money in an out-of-court settlement. The lawyers and handlers made sure he kept his nose clean, as it were, with a combination of behavior modifying prescriptions and around-the clock bodyguards. They assured him that it was for his own good and that his bank account couldn’t handle too many of his ‘outbursts’.  “We can’t have Lux’s reputation as a ladies’ man tarnished in anyway,” he laughed to himself.  Stupid cows like Rose McGowan needed him around to boost their own careers.  “Starlet dates gorey Interior” just in time for her new movie….. Conveniently, Lux found that his new obsession of coming back to life, both on and off stage, took most of the edge off.

“We got some time before sound check,” he announced, “Isn’t there somewhere you wanted to visit?” Lux had a handful of pills and a glass of water set out for him on the table.  He purposely ignored them.  A delighted squeal came from the walk in closet.

Pere LaChaise would be a bittersweet trip for Lux; Morrison had stopped visiting him long ago – back when he barely escaped New Salem.  In fact, he had no idea how he escaped New Salem, just that he did.  He woke up one afternoon in a Boston hospital and soon discovered all contact with Jim had ceased.  Lux missed his mentor but his destiny had been achieved, he had graduated.  Maybe that was all Morrison was there for – to help him ascend.

Lux ran his hand through his towel dried hair. Ever since that weird September he had been dying it black. The white had been a little too freaky for even his weirdest fans, so he had his signature locks sheared off and dyed what was left dark again.  Pulling on his leather pants and T-shirt, he knew he still looked damned good.

Britanny pranced out in her newest rocker slut ensemble just as Lux was tying up his Docs. He stood, grabbed his cell and glanced briefly at the living room floor.  He wondered idly what the maids thought of all the blood they found in the mornings.  Of course, they were paid well to not think.

WAR: Good Morning, Starshine

Good Morning Starshine
by RavenKat
April 19
Midair, 5:30 a.m.

“Ms. O’Neill, just wanted to let you know that sunrise is in a few minutes and the weather in Paris today with be partly cloudy with a high of 65.”

Kat pushed the intercom button and replied, “Thanks Captain. Will we be landing soon?”

The pilot’s microphone relayed the sound of shuffling papers. “We should be arriving at Charles de Gaulle in under an hour.”

“Sounds great. Now pay attention to your driving,” she joked and twisted to open the nearest window shade. It slid up with ease and Kat gazed out at the calm sea of clouds below them.  Soon, the sun peeked over the horizon and began to shine into the cabin of the speeding jet. She slowly stuck her hand into the rays and let the warmth seep into her perpetually cold flesh. It was truly a miracle that she wasn’t going up in flames.

The company that sold her the Gulfstream V had highlighted the special advantages of this specific flying luxury suite. It was an amazing vehicle and worth every penny of the $28 million she had paid for it.  The gentleman that had negotiated the sale was more than a little creepy but Kat was willing to deal with him if it meant being able to see the sun again. She hadn’t gone so far as to have that glass installed anywhere else, because she wasn’t exactly sure how Wolf, Ram and Hart had accomplished such a feat and didn’t feel comfortable having any more contact with the law firm than was
completely necessary. She was excited to see Vachon’s reaction.

She turned to her guest and contemplated waking him. The purring of the jet was a comforting sound and had lured Javier into relaxing to the point of sleep. He was lounging on the leather sofa and had yet to notice that sunshine was creeping up his jeans.

“Ahem!” she coughed obviously.

Javier opened his beautiful eyes and stared languidly at his travelling companion. Kat smiled. He was still the handsome conquistador she had met almost 20 years ago outside the Raven. His hair was longish and scruffy, and he dressed like the carefree soul that he was. She had offered, more than once, to fund a nicer place for him to live since his church had been torn down for some new construction, but he refused. He would stay at Kat’s condo on occasion for a taste of luxury but mostly he stayed where he could and where he felt unencumbered. Kat loved that about him and stopped offering a few years back.

The elder vampire ran her hand up and down through the beams of sunshine more than once before Javier understood what she was doing.  He sat up instantly. He followed the rays to his own pant leg and blinked.

“Unbelieveable,” he said softly. She had regaled him with tales of feeling sun on her face after almost 800 years of darkness, but it was different than actually feeling it on your own flesh. The sensation was just as he remembered it, though not as strong as the Incan sun of his last day as a mortal. He leaned forward onto his knees to get a better look out the tiny window. The plane began descending through the cloud cover, heading towards Paris, but he caught one last glimpse of el sol before it slipped out of direct sight.

At this angle, Javier was within inches of Kat’s knees. He placed his hands on her legs and pulled himself up close to her face.  She was pale and slightly freckled with flaming red hair kept in a perpetually tousled style. Her hazel eyes sparkled with tiny flecks of amber; it had been months since they had been together.

“Thank you,” he said, kissing her tentatively on the lips. Kat placed her hand on the back of his head and pulled him in closer.  She wasn’t letting him get away that easily!

WAR: Paris by Air

Paris by Air
by Trapper
Nick’s Loft, Toronto
April 18th, 10:00pm

“Now, you’re sure you don’t need me?” Schanke lounged against the kitchen counter, munching on an apple. “I mean, the precinct can get along without me for a few days if you need me to help out in Paris.”

Nick zipped up the garment bag and turned to face his old friend.  “Schanke,” he said, placing a hand on Don’s shoulder, “Moira would never forgive me if I took you to Paris without her.”  Nick saw the crestfallen look on his partner’s face.  “Tell you what.  You put in for the off time, pack up Moira and as soon as I get to Paris I’ll send the jet back for you. It can be a sort of second honeymoon.  What do you say?”

Schanke brightened considerably and slam-dunked the apple into the garbage can.  “I say that Mrs. Schanke’s only son is off the diet and preparing to parlez vous français!”  He grabbed Nick by the shoulders.  “Thanks, buddy.  I couldn’t stand sitting in the captain’s office while you were off having an adventure. And this’ll make serious points with Moira.”  He checked his watch.  “Speaking of which, I’d better head back.  I’ll see you in Gay Paree, Nick.” The elevator closed on the sounds of “Lilli Marlene” being whistled off-key.

Nick shook his head and smiled to himself.  It was going to be an interesting trip to Paris.  Hopefully, Don wouldn’t bring any of his loud Hawaiian shirts. Nick glanced at the photo of Trapper he kept on the piano.  It had been far too long since they’d seen each other, but he planned to make up for that.  He took the small box from his pocket, grinned and put it back.  There was no doubt in his mind that this would truly surprise her.

Gathering up his luggage, he headed for the elevator. If the Brabant Foundation’s plane was ready to go, he should be in Paris by tomorrow night.

WAR: Saving Me

WAR:  Saving Me

18 April

Las Vegas, NV

 

“Prison gates won’t open up for me,

On these hands and knees I’m crawling,

And oh, I reach for you.

Well I’m terrified of these four walls,

These iron bars can’t hold my soul in,

All I need is you (come please I’m callin’)

And oh I scream for you (hurry, I’m fallin’, I’m fallin’)

 

Show me what it’s like (to be the last one standing),

And teach me wrong from right (and I’ll show you what I can be),

And say it for me, say it to me,

And I’ll leave this life behind,

Say it if it’s worth saving me.”

 

She tried to remain as still as possible.  She had long since abandoned her attempts to curl into a ball; with her wrists and ankles bound together, it was painfully impossible.  She was almost thankful for the numbing of her limbs caused by the lack of circulation.  She knew from experience that when Lance finally released her, the blood would once again flow and, after the hours she had been bound, the rush would bring a whole new kind of pain.  She almost wished Lance would come back with his “toy” and finish her off.  After all this time, she still couldn’t understand why she continued to live.  It wasn’t like she hadn’t thought of suicide, or even went so far as to put a gun in her mouth, a razor to her wrist.  And drugs were so incredibly available to her.  Yet every time the thought of ending her life seeped in through the cracks, every time the temptation came along that would have lead her down the never-ending road into Hell, she would see that tiny, child-like face in her mind, remember the pain and suffering she had seen in those violet eyes, and the misery of her own life seemed trite in comparison.  She remembered all too well the details of the stories August and Davistch had told her of the horrors they had visited upon her damned savoir, each and every one more horrifying and nauseating then the previous ones.  She remembered thinking how lucky she was that she would never be a vampire, so that August and Davistch couldn’t do to her what they had done to…

She pushed the thought of Her name away violently.  She hated Her so much for saving her.  Saving her so she could be like this.  Sure, she had chosen to come out here, after subjecting Don and Myra to all the Hell she could get away with.

Don and Myra.  She couldn’t remember the last time she had thought of them as “Dad” or “Mom.”   She did remember Don’s eyes the first day back from New Salem, when she had called him “Don” the first time.  Myra had been horrified.  But the look in Don’s eyes said that he understood no matter how much he wanted her to be his “little Jenny”, that girl was dead and gone.  What she had been through, what she had seen, would have been enough to destroy the most Stoic of minds.  Yet, even then, she refused to succumb completely.  She knew if she did, then August and Davistch had accomplished yet another of their nasty little goals.

She knew August was dead, that She had Diablerized the vicious woman.  Don had forbidden Nick or Trapper to say anything in front of her, but she had managed to listen in anyway.  She had lived for years with an almost primal fear that one day Davistch would come for her since she had escaped.  She never worried about Divia, since she knew the child-Vampire had no true reason to seek her out.

Once she reached her teenage years, and puberty hit full-force, she knew she was safe from him, that he would never come for her now. Davistch only liked his prey young and unspoiled…by anyone other than himself.  Never once did she consider that the only reason Davistch never came after her was because he was hunting Her.  He would have taken Jenny the moment he left New Jerusalem had he not been obsessed with revenge.

She tried straining against her bonds again, and the contraption referred to as a “G-chair” rocked back and forth.  Normally, a woman would sit in the “chair” and could be rocked in various angles so that her partner could find it easier to reach her “G-spot”.  Unfortunately for Jenny, Lance never used the chair for its true purpose.  He always bound her, as close to ankle to wrist as he could get, backwards along the two rings of the contraption.

She ran through her litany of curses: cursing the companies that made sex toys; cursing the strip clubs she had worked at; cursing Lance and his “tip”; cursing her parents; cursing Spike for taking her in the first place; cursing August, Divia and Davistch for what had happened to her; and finally, cursing Hanna for saving her miserable life.

She shuddered at the chill that ran over her body the moment Her name entered her mind.  In all the years that had passed , no matter how far she had fled from the memories, no matter the abuse she subjected herself to in an attempt to forget them, she never once allowed herself to speak, let alone think, that name.

She didn’t need to move, didn’t need to be able to see, to know that She was there behind her.  She felt the presence and for a moment almost thought it was August.  But she knew she was dead, beyond returning.  Yet why did She feel…

“So much like August?”  The voice was harsh, with none of the velvety warmth she remembered.  She didn’t know which startled her more: the fact that She could read her mind or that Her voice sounded almost like Davistch’s would have had he been a woman.  Of course, she shouldn’t have been startled by the mind reading, since merely thinking Her name seemed to have summoned Her, just like she had…

“Known it would.”  That broken glass voice tsked, and she “felt” the presence move until she could see tiny shoed feet in front of her.  Yet another shock: what she could see of Her dress and shoes was entirely white.  She never wore anything but black.  Never.

“Things change.  And some do not.  There were some ancient cultures that wore white as a color of mourning.”

Mourning.  Of course, she’d be mourning Jonas.

“No.  I mourned for my lost husband and Sire so many times over the last decade or so that to do so now would border on redundancy.”

Jenny flinched.  It wasn’t what She said, but the way She said it.  Back when She had saved Jenny, when She knew she was going to be tortured for it, She had been light-hearted, almost cheerful.  Now, it was like listening to an animated corpse talking about…

“Things that no longer matter.  As for the “animated corpse”, am I not?  I am, after all, a vampire, risen after my death almost a millennium ago.”

She saw the tiny, white-gloved hand reach out and lift up her head by her chin.  Jenny closed her eyes tight.  If Her voice and presence had changed so much, Her attitude and manner of dress, she really didn’t want to see Her face.

The broken glass voice tsked again.  “Open your eyes, Jennifer.”

She wasn’t sure if it was the command, or being called by her name, that brought her eyes open, but she figured it was probably both.

Hanna regarded her calmly, one delicate eyebrow lifted in amusement.  Her lovely doll’s face was harder.  Her eyes were cold and piercing, to the point Jenny wanted to look herself over for the proverbial dagger wounds.  The most shocking of all was her hair: before, Hanna had always wore her hair in a single, impossibly long braid, now her hair was cut till it barely reached the nape of her neck.  Jenny couldn’t help herself; her mouth dropped open of its own accord.

Hanna’s lips compressed, till they were almost a line slashed across a perfect, ivory surface.  “I told you.  Things change.  The hair was cumbersome.”  Her eyes traveled over the contraption, the damage done to Jenny’s body.  She tsked again.

“All of this could have been avoided, Jennifer,” she chided.  “You had only to think my name, and I would have come to you.  Stubborn, foolish child.  Do not tell me that you wished to suffer this.”  Her tiny hand flicked towards the contraption Jenny was bound on.  “You ran to prove you could.  You degraded yourself not because you wished for it, but because you thought it a suitable punishment for surviving.  I have watched you all these years, Jennifer Schanke, watched you hurt yourself, knowing that you did nothing to deserve it.  How ever much I may have wanted to come to you, to save you from yourself and those you allowed to abuse you, I left that choice to you.  Every time you were close to even thinking my name, I felt it, and stood ready to come to your aid.  And each time, you refused succor.  And finally, my reluctant martyr,” she almost smiled as she reached up one hand to stroke Jenny’s cheek, “you have relented and summoned me.  You have but to ask, and I will set you free.  Free of this contraption.  Free of that nasty little pig.  Free of the travesty you have made of your life.  Let me save you, dear, sweet Jennifer.”

 

“Heaven’s gates won’t open up for me

With these broken wings I’m fallin’

And all I see is you

These city walls ain’t got no love for me

I’m on the ledge of the eighteenth story

And oh I scream for you(come please I’m callin’)

And all I need from you(hurry I’m fallin’)

 

Show me what it’s like (to be the last one standing),

And teach me wrong from right (and I’ll show you what I can be),

And say it for me, say it to me,

And I’ll leave this life behind,

Say it if it’s worth saving me.”

 

Hurry I’m fallin’…down”

 
Jenny’s mouth worked silently, incapable of uttering a sound of any kind.

“Please.”

If Jenny had been at a loss before, she was completely rudderless now.  She had never heard Hanna beg for anything, and yet the tiny vampire, one of the most powerful of her “kind” of vampire, was standing before her, begging to be allowed to save her from herself.

She wanted to tell her she was sorry, that she had never meant for it to go so far, but the tears started spilling from her eyes.

“I understand, Jennifer dear.  I was there myself.  I want to do for you what was done for me.  You need to be allowed to bring your heart and mind peace.  Your body, however, cannot accomplish this.  You cannot feel your arms and legs.  You believe it’s from the binding. However, your “Lance”,” she spat the name, and Jenny knew she’d rip his throat out with relish given the chance, “has damaged you beyond normal repair.  Your ankles and wrists are broken, twisted so he could bind you tighter.”  Jenny tried to think, but could only remember blinding pain and then mercifully passing out.  “Your arms are dislocated at the elbows and shoulders.  If you could move, you would be able to see where the bones at the joints are trying to free themselves of your skin.  If you had ever seen the way someone is stretched upon the rack, you would understand how this came to be.”

“And then, of course, there is his newest “toy” that he purchased for you.”  Jenny remembered it all too well.  Before using it, he had shown it to her: a whip with long, leather straps that had heavy metal balls at the ends.  She had passed out after the third time he hit her with it.  What had he called it?

“A flagellum.  Used by Romans, among others, for scourging.  The metal balls are weighted lead.  Made simply for the purpose of crippling the unfortunate one it is used upon.  Slaves were beaten with them, then sold as “damaged goods”, if they survived.  Most, however, didn’t survive a dozen lashes.  Do you remember how many times he hit you?”

Jenny couldn’t remember much of anything.  She had passed out so many times, there was no way to tell.  Hell, she couldn’t even remember what day it was.

“Your back is in tatters.  Whole parts are laid bare to the bone.  Even if you could recover from the damage to your legs, your arms, or the damage to your insides from Lance’s “tip”, you cannot recover from this.”

Brown eyes opened to peer into piercing, violet ones.  “You want to make me like you.”

“No.  Not like me.  I will give you what you need to heal, give you your freedom, help you stand on your own feet.  But you can never be like me.  I will not allow it to happen.”

“What do you mean?”

“Later, Jennifer dear.  Right now, let me end your suffering.  Any more explaining just delays your relief.  I will tell you all, anything you ask of me.  Just let me free you now.”

Jenny barely paused.  “I don’t want to die like this.”

Hanna came towards her, lifting her wrist to her lips, tearing it open with her teeth.  As the blood started to flow out of the wound, she brought it close to Jenny’s lips.  “You must drink.  My blood will help me to heal you.”

Jenny never hesitated.  She figured it had to be like sucking on a finger after a paper cut, which she tried to duplicate.  She almost vomited when she swallowed the first mouthful.

“I know, Jennifer dear,” Hanna whispered, stroking Jenny’s hair with her other hand.  “It is foul to you.  But you must drink.”

Jenny gagged a second mouthful down, and was surprised when Hanna pulled her wrist away, licking the wound closed.  Before she could say anything, there was a sudden burning twist in her stomach.  She opened her mouth to speak, and another burning twist brought out a scream instead.

Hanna whispered in her ear, still stroking her hair; the broken-glass sound was gone completely, replaced by the smooth velvet she remembered.  “Sleep, Jennifer.  It will be easier for you if you sleep while I heal you.”

Jenny let the velvet voice carry her away into oblivion…

 

“All I need is you (come please I’m callin’)

And oh I scream for you (hurry, I’m fallin’, I’m fallin’, I’m fallin’)

Show me what it’s like (to be the last one standing)

And teach me wrong from right (and I’ll show you what I can be)

And say it for me, say it to me,

And I’ll leave this life behind,

Say it if it’s worth saving me.

 

And say it for me, say it to me,

And I’ll leave this life behind,

Say it if it’s worth saving me.”

 

“Saving Me” by Nickelback

WAR: I Love Paris in the Springtime

I Love Paris in the Springtime
by Trapper
April 18, 8:00pm

“Oui, oui.  Nous serons tout à fait condamnera à une amende ici pour le moment.  Si vous amènerez en haut les rafraîchissements pour la madame, cela fera.”  Larry sounded a bit exasperated as he instructed the young man to bring supplies up.

Monique heard the exchange fade behind her as she walked up the stairs and into her suite. Everything was as she had left it. The help had taken care of the dusting and the mail, though the fact that her larder had not been restocked was a bit troubling. She made a mental note to take care of it tomorrow.

The evening air stirred the curtains in front of the open doors to the balcony.  Monique could smell the lilacs blooming outside in the garden.  It was one of her favorite things about this small chateau.  Well, that and the view of “Le cimetière de Montmartre”.  She walked to the balcony and looked out over the graveyard.  Nothing had changed.  And yet, everything had changed.  She had changed.  Life had become so very confusing.  Not only did she not want Devin’s heart anymore; when they all parted, she kissed Anna like a sister and hugged Devin.  Not what Maman would have approved of at all.

She sighed and continued to gaze out at the tombstones and crypts.  Sometimes she longed for that peace, that utter silence of the soul.

“Miaow?” The plaintive cry startled her out of her reverie and she looked down to see a tiny, black furball with green eyes staring up at her.

“Violetta!” Monique exclaimed as she scooped the fluff up into her arms. “Ma petite, I’ve missed you so!” The vampire kitten purred and put her head under Monique’s black veil of hair, nuzzling in.

It was good to be home.