See Part I.
THE harsh, insistent pounding on his door woke Tobias De Leon from his slumber. It was only an hour since sundown, he still felt tired, and he was so used to waking two and three hours after sundown. He ran his smallish hands through his short black hair, his black eyes shone with sleepy anger. His villa was close to the sea, the Mediterranean, on the edge of a high cliff. His bedroom window, he could see the beautiful sea, the ships and boats passing close by, he could case his victims. He'd already taken victims from the ships, some Innocents, some were Scum, and he didn't bother with discrimination based on life record.
Tobias was a thousand-year-old vampire with all types of experiences. He was born in the farmlands of Spain, a poor peasant boy with blonde hair and blue eyes. He was a gorgeously young and attractive creature, with soft thick brows and long lashes that rested tenderly on his white skin as he slept. His hair was longish, wavy and full. He was tall for a man born a thousand years ago, when five feet nine inches was considered tall even for a man.
His maker had been a rambunctious female vampire of then two hundred years of age. Her name had been Armanda Mateo; lonely, rebellious against her nature, wild. Defying god by walking the daylight hours without hardly having fed the night before, knowing that without the strength that human blood could provide to the vampire body in the daytime. She didn't much care about herself, or any other vampire walking the earth then. When she met Tobias, she'd temporarily forgotten her depression, and made him what he was now. She ended her own existence ten years later, leaving Tobias to fend for himself forever.
Presently, he grumbled his way up the stairs from the cellar. "Coming!" He barked loudly, in a voice that would have scared any human within a two hundred-foot radius. But the pounding insisted, and from listening to the unnatural beat of the heart, Tobias knew it was another vampire knocking on his door. He opened the massive door to find a ruffled Angelo, with beige jacket and gray slacks bloody. Judging from the distinct scent of a vampire's blood, Tobias instantly knew that it was Angelo's own blood. "What happened?" He demanded, pulling him into the house.
Tobias had met Angelo almost by chance on a ship headed to the Hispaniola in the year fifteen ninety-six. There had been a series of "mysterious" brutal deaths on the ship. Tobias, who was by then used to not feeding every night, suspected there was another one of his kind on the ship also. He found Angelo in the cellar red-handed; his fangs sunk into the neck of a servant, whose heart was in a perilous journey to stopping. Tobias let out his frustration and yanked the victim away from Angelo, finishing the victim himself.
Angelo had been more astonished by the fact that there was another vampire on the ship than by the fact that his victim had just been taken away from him. Presently, Angelo stalked through the house with his hands in his hair, his body hunched. "She betrayed me." He said in a choked voice, standing in the middle of the living room, staring at the floor with yellow eyes full of sorrow and anger.
Tobias didn't try to read his mind; he always preferred to talk in the human fashion. He frowned in confusion. "Who betrayed you?" He prompted gently.
Anguished eyes lifted to meet Tobias'. "Lisa." He hissed, his face transforming itself from an expression of sorrow to anger. "Leslie is alive!"
Tobias stared at Angelo in astonishment. "What are you saying, Angelo?" He demanded, quickly standing up.
Angelo was nodding, eyes wild. "Yes, Leslie is alive and Lisa is protecting her." He choked out, struggling against tears.
Tobias hadn't been directly involved in the war twenty years ago, but Lucy's death had hurt and affected him mentally. Unlike most other vampires, he wasn't seeking revenge; he'd put it all behind him and started over. He knew of Lucy's depression, of her desire to end her existence from their world. She was the oldest, and most powerful of all known vampires. He knew personally, was in love with her at one time. But then, he thought to himself, who wasn't? He met Lucy in his two hundredth year of darkness; she appeared to him as he was sitting by himself at a riverbank.
Tobias had just killed a cruel hunter that was a stalking around the woods of Spain looking for innocent animals to slaughter. He stared out at the distance, not concentrating his powers to feel if he was alone or not. Lucy had suddenly appeared at the other side of the river. Tobias jumped back in fear; she was so powerful and ghastly beautiful. Her long hair seemed to move on its own; her violet eyes seemed to shine. Always sensuous lips curved into a beatific smile. He instantly loved her and knew her for what she was.
She welcomed him sweetly, seduced his heart with a gentle demeanor. She introduced him to her companion, whom he came to know as Lisa, who was then fifteen hundred years old, beautiful like Lucy.
Presently, Tobias was standing out on his veranda, staring at the calming waters of the Mediterranean. Angelo was lying down on the couch, an arm thrown over his eyes. Tobias had ordered him to shut up and relax, he had to think. He walked back into the house and stared down at Angelo. "I will go see Lisa, Angelo." He said softly.
Angelo didn't move a muscle, only his lips twitched slightly. But he didn't argue, and Tobias took it as a yes. He turned and was off the veranda in seconds.
Lisa was in the library with Mariana, speaking quietly. Kaitlyn had gone off with Leslie to talk and Lea and Scarlette went off to hunt together. Lisa sat forward, her eyes meeting Mariana's. "Do you think I am doing the wrong thing?" She asked softly.
Mariana smiled warmly at her. "We won't always see eye to eye, Lisa." She said. "If you feel you're doing the right thing, then you are. You are the leader of our kind, and you decide who gets to live or die. If you decide that Leslie should live, so be it."
Lisa sighed, sitting back on her chair. "I know it tortures you "
Mariana shook her head, closing her eyes. "It doesn't." She hesitated. "Not too much anymore, at least. Lucy is back in Kaitlyn and I'm with her now." She opened her eyes to look into Lisa's. "I love her." She whispered with a smile.
Lisa grinned, her fangs shining. Suddenly, her smile faded, eyes shifting and ears perking. She cocked her head, her mouth opening as she listened to something. Mariana stared at the ghastly sight of Lisa's changing expressions, but soon, she was also sensing what Lisa sensed. A heart beat, not a human heart, too fast. It was making fast progress into Greenland, towards their home. As the beat drew closer, the sound became louder. It came from right outside, and it remained there, its thoughts remaining blocked.
Lisa stood up from the chair and walked out of the library, Mariana following. Emmanuel came from upstairs at the same time, eyes curious. Lisa stepped through the front door, only to find herself face to face with her old friend Tobias. She grinned widely, breaking into a jog as she moved towards him. "Tobias!" She laughed as they hugged. He wrapped muscular arms around her waist and pulled her up, twirling her in a circle. As he rested her down on her feet again, she touched his cheek gently with a small hand. "My old friend." She whispered softly.
Tobias cupped her face in his hands and kissed her forehead tenderly. "You are as beautiful as you always were." He said softly, and pulled her to himself again. He'd never been Lisa's lover, never shared a bed with her and, he knew, never would. They were like brother and sister.
"Toby," Lisa sighed, looking up at him with teary eyes. "Has it really been this long?"
Tobias smiled his toothy smile. "Yes, Two hundred years." He laughed softly.
Lisa took his hand and pulled him up the steps and into the house. She introduced him to Mariana, he already knew Emmanuel. They shook hands, both smiling sincerely. Once he was settled next to Lisa, he didn't hesitate to bring up the subject at hand. "Lisa, I saw Angelo."
Lisa was calm, smiling at him. "Yes?" She said.
Tobias turned to look at her with warm eyes. "He said some things that seemed crazy to me." He said honestly.
Lisa cocked her head, pressing her cheek to his shoulder. "What kinds of things?" She asked, sounding like the most innocent individual in the world.
Tobias shrugged casually. "Oh, things like, um, Leslie Robilland still exists, that you're covering up for her, etc." He said, standing and sitting across from her. He was aware of Emmanuel and Mariana's eyes on him from behind.
Lisa crossed her legs slowly, throwing an arm over the back of the couch. "Why does everyone question my decisions?" She asked, her voice deadly calm, her eyes narrowing as her body tensed.
Tobias lifted his hands in a peace gesture, his eyes smiling. "I'm not here to question your decision. I'm here to find out the truth. You are the leader of our world." He said, and then frowned in confusion. "How is it that Leslie is still alive?"
Lisa laughed softly, relaxing again. "Sometimes I wonder at that myself, but somehow she is. She is a true immortal; her body will always find a way to survive, unless she wishes her own demise, as did Lucy." She said softly.
Tobias nodded with a gentle smile; seeing Lisa was a blessing to him. His broad shoulders shifted as he rested his elbows on his knees. "Yes." He agreed. He knew he wasn't one of those considered a true immortal; he could be destroyed by a mere thought from Lisa. He turned to look at Mariana. She faced him, expressionless, as their eyes met. He had to smile at her reticence. "How are you dealing with this turn of events?" He inquired gently.
Mariana's expression didn't change. She stared at him for a long time without answering. "I am dealing with it." She finally said noncommittally.
Tobias frowned, and wondered why she didn't seem to like him. He turned to look at Lisa again. "Where is your fledging lover, my sister?" He asked.
At the mention of Lea, Lisa's expression softened. "She is somewhere, feeding." She said, her eyes showing the love that was deeply embedded into her heart.
Tobias sat back and got comfortable, throwing his arms over the backrest of his seat. "I would like to meet her." He said with a smile.
Lisa smiled, body rumbling with low laughter. "As soon as she decides she's had enough for one night." She chuckled.
Lea's eyes were closed softly as she lay on her stomach; her arms were spread open across the ground. She pressed her ear against the ground, a slight smile on her face. Scarlette sat close by, knees pressed up against her chest, and arms wrapped around them. She stared at Lea with amused eyes and an expressionless face. They were playing games, little innocent ways of hunting. They'd each already fed from two different victims, their bodies intensely strengthening. The blood flowing through their veins warmed them. They were still hungry, still desiring the taste of blood.
"Hear anything?" Scarlette asked, licking her lips slowly. This game was about choosing a Scum, a worthy victim with their power of hearing. Who ever was the fastest won the round.
Suddenly, Lea jumped to her feet and took to the air. Scarlette was right behind her, perching herself on the edge of a roof and watching Lea in action. Lea's arms were wrapped around the torso of a strong looking man. His hands pushed against her shoulders, trying to unfasten the sharp fangs from his jugular. He was crying out, but in seconds, his screams died down to moans as his body trembled. Lea, with one hand, took a hold of his head and squeezed almost gently. Still, the tender human skull burst into pieces underneath the skin. He stopped struggling almost instantly as a small trickle of blood leaked from his ear. Lea let him drop and turned to look up at Scarlette, eyes wide and upper lip curled back in a feral grin.
Scarlette laughed, her laugh sounding demented, hungry. "My turn." She whispered, and took off. Lea laughed and went after her.
Abruptly, Angelo sat up, teeth bared. His ears perked up as he picked up a sound far, far away. Without hesitating, he stood and moved towards the balcony, taking to the air with a gush of wind.
Later, having only gotten a little close to satiating their strange hunger, both young vampires sat quietly inside an abandoned warehouse in Nuuk. They sat with their shoulders pressed together, speaking quietly. "So, how do you feel?" Lea asked as she played with a button on her shirt.
"I feel " Scarlette seemed at a loss for words, and she struggled for a moment. "Fine." A soft smile spread slowly across her features. She turned to look into Lea's eyes, asking: "And you?"
Lea shrugged, rolling her eyes comically. "As always, hungry for more, but I don't want to rid the world of all humans." She said, laughing lightly.
Scarlette laughed lightly in agreement, leaning her head back against the wall. Her laughter faded and she sighed. "Do you," She whispered, hesitating slightly. "Ever regret, becoming what we are?"
Lea frowned slightly, looking down at her lap. She was silent for a long moment, but when she answered, she sounded certain. "Never," She said in return, her voice gentle. She reached a hand over and squeezed Scarlette's forearm gently. "You never had the choice, but do you wish you hadn't been brought over to this world?" She asked, looking at her with gentle eyes.
Scarlette stared down at the ground, and dark hair fell forward to cover her features. "No." She said in an even voice, a peaceful look relaxing her features. "If she hadn't made me, I would have never met you, or Lisa, or Emmanuel. I had no one before this, but I have you all now. I am glad I was made."
Lea smiled, but her smile faded as she sensed a hostile presence and the fast beat of an old vampire near by. Her body tensed and she slowly got to her feet, reaching her hand towards Scarlette. "Come on, we have to go!" She whispered urgently and grasped Scarlette's hand and pulled her up.
Book Two Continued in part Xi
Katia N. Ruiz
fiction index | xena
homepage | what's new |