Another oldie but goodie.
Reflecting the light of the candle she carried in her trembling hands, his eyes glittered in the fading light. He moved closer still, making no sudden movements but rendering her paralyzed with the force of his wolf-like gaze. One hand reached out slowly to caress her cheek, her lips, her neck. The touch was soft but as cold as a frosty night and she couldn’t help shivering in response despite the warmth of the woods.
“Why are you afraid of my touch?” His lips barely moved as he spoke.
No reasonable response came to mind. She closed her eyes and shook her head, not trusting herself to speak. His soft chuckle echoed in reply.
“You called me here. You asked me to give you immortal life. Let go of your fears and embrace my gift,” he said.
Reaching out with both hands now, he cupped her delicate face in his hands, white from years of avoiding the sun. The cancer that ravaged and eventually destroyed her mother left her a prisoner of the dark, afraid of everyone and everything. Except for him. His thumb stroked her jawline before he gently tipped her head back and to the side. Drops of candle wax landed on the ground between them, victims of her quivering body.
“Relax, ma chère, I promise you nothing but everlasting happiness. Surrender yourself to the change…” His voice breathed into her ear.
She opened her eyes just as he snuffed out the candle, a trailing wisp of smoke left in its wake could be seen by the light of the moon. The rustling sound of wings startled her as a large bird took off from a branch above their heads.
She cried out from the sudden pain as his fangs pierced her skin, but the pain melted into a luxurious lethargy and her skin tingled as the blood drained from her body. She felt his arms capture her into an embrace as she began to lose her will to stand. He cradled her powerless body and lowered them both to the ground. They sat amongst the dewy grass and the flowers, petals closed for that evening’s slumber.
Her eyelids fluttered as she fought to stay conscious. She tried to reach a hand up to caress his face, hoping to show him her thanks, but the drowsiness that encompassed her limbs kept her still.
When she was certain she was about to succumb to the eternal darkness that called to every nerve of her drained body, he raised his head and licked his bloodstained lips. Ecstasy shone on his face, cheeks flushed with the blood that now pumped through his veins.
He raised his wrist to her limp form and used one of his sharpened fingernails to cut open an artery, allowing her to drink. Weary though she felt, she tried to resist, the metallic scent strong in her flared nostrils. He used little force to move her closer to the incision and the irresistible urge of the life contained within commanded her to taste the liquid metal.
The blood, which she thought would be as foul-tasting as it smelled, danced its way across her tongue and down her throat, engulfing her senses in pure pleasure. The taste, honey-like in texture and tasting like fire and ice all at once, drew her in and she felt herself latching on to his wrist, holding it tightly to her mouth with both hands.
He stroked her hair, dark as the twilight that surrounded them, and murmured with satisfaction as she pulled the life force back out of his dead body, starting the process of her transformation. She fought against him when he started to pull her away, telling her firmly that she had had enough. More would endanger the change.
When she finally looked into his eyes, she saw things that she had never noticed before. The irises which she had once thought were blue as the morning sky, she now saw laced with icy veins of silver, like breaking waves on the surface of the sea. She sat mesmerized by this small discovery until he blinked and a single strand of his golden hair caught in his eyelashes, glimmering in the moonlight. Before she could become enraptured once again he laughed and took her face into his hands again.
“You’ll have plenty of time for that later. For now, you must drink again. Your body will begin to die, the venom from my body will consume and devour everything inside of you. You’ll need more blood, drawn from a living being, to sustain the metamorphosis.”
Closing her eyes against the distractions that threatened to engulf her, she felt her heart beat rhythmically as it pumped the venomous blood through her veins. The sound of her own heart beating in conjunction with his blood instilled her with a warmth that radiated through her bones.
She smiled and opened her eyes. She was ready.
He took her slight hand in his own and helped her rise to her feet, loose dirt and leaves falling from her nightshift. The world waited before her, everything bathed in the light of the crescent moon to her newly honed sense of sight, and she squinted her eyes to try to focus the details. From a distance she could see the dewdrops inching their way down emerald green leaves, veined with their own sun-thriving life force, ready to plummet to the earth below. Tiny ants the size of pinheads marched up the bark of far away trees, soldiering on for their queen despite all odds against them. She saw it all.
“It’s so beautiful.” Her voice came out in a whisper to her own ears, yet she knew it would have been inaudible to humankind. She laughed in bewilderment, a tinkling, musical sound that delighted her. She spun on her bare toes in the grass and dirt of the forest, uninhibited for the first time in her life, arms raised above her to welcome the night that no longer seemed to be her jailer.
“Show me,” she said to him coming to an abrupt stop, the fabric of her shift continuing to swirl about her legs.
He took her hand once again, leading her back down the path they had come. He led her into the thicket beneath the trees, until they arrived at a small cottage far from any noise and lights of their town. He motioned to the window although it was hardly necessary; she could smell the blood from within the dwelling from where she stood.
She approached the house with eager anticipation, her eyes falling on the lock that the woman inside must have forgotten to latch. The window rose easily beneath her fingers, and she slipped over the sill as silent as an airborne plague.
Standing beside her, having entered the room without a sound himself, he nodded his assent at the sleeping victim. They drew near to the side of the bed, and he touched a pulsating spot on her neck to designate where she must bite. At the thought of the blood that would soon be flowing over her tongue, she felt her fangs extend, delight rippling through her.
She lowered her mouth to the woman’s neck. Pale almost translucent skin revealed the throbbing artery lying beneath. She drew back her lips instinctively and bit, fast and deep, hitting the blood vessel unerringly. The woman’s gasp resounded in her ear, warm breath tickling the fine hairs that resided within.
She didn’t stop. The rain of fire had started its descent down her throat and she clung desperately to the woman to keep their connection from faltering. Her eyes closed in pleasure, and she imagined their two hearts linked by a fiery thread that thrummed with energy as each beat of the woman’s heart fed her own. She felt the life draining from the woman with each pulse until suddenly she was gone.
He pulled her away at that moment. “That’s when you know to stop. Never keep drinking after the death or it will consume you as well.”
She wiped her mouth with the back of her hand and let the woman’s head fall back onto the pillow. The woman’s eyes stared unseeing up at the ceiling, mouth still open in surprise. The new vampire closed both out of respect for the gift she received.
“Our saliva contains a salve that will seal the wound, thus keeping our existence a secret from suspicious minds,” he said.
Leaning back over the body, she licked the two holes that indicated her presence, watching in fascination as they disappeared beneath her gaze.
“Come, ma chère. The dawn awaits and we must find rest for the duration of the day and your transformation will be complete. I will show you the wonders of the world when we awaken.” He drew her up from the bed and into his arms, kissing her with tenderness despite the unnatural strength she felt in the muscles beneath her hands. A new feeling arose within her and she wrapped her arms around his neck, her lips seeking his in earnest.
“That will come later as well.” A soft laugh escaped the vampire’s lips as he removed her arms from his neck and led her back out the window. The faintest of lights began to creep over the sky, heralding the breaking dawn. The two vampires found their way to a nearby cave, and they hid from the sun’s burning rays, content to sleep the day away.
The vampires rose as the sun set.
“So it is done?” the new vampire asked her sire, reveling in the newfound strength she felt as she stretched her limbs. Much like a butterfly as it emerges from its cocoon, she felt like she had been reborn.
“Yes, ma chère, you are immortal,” he said as he stroked her cheek. He strode to the front of the cave, watching as the stars began to light up the sky.
“Thank you,” she whispered, wrapping her arms around his waist from behind and placing a soft kiss on the side of his neck.
The vampire grunted as pain suddenly exploded through him. He looked down to see a tree branch extending from his chest. He turned to look at his companion in complete confusion.
“Wha-” he tried to ask as his body began to crumble into dust. She blew him a kiss as he dissolved, blowing the dust particles into the wind.
“You said everlasting happiness. And that doesn’t include you.”
Reyna had been told what to do by men all her mortal life, and she wasn’t about to let that happen in her immortal one. Her footsteps were left in the ash that had once been her sire as she left the cave forever.
Original artwork by Shannon Frankenstein Art.