See Part I.
EMANUEL ran his fingers through his wavy red hair and sighed. He was sitting outside on the steps, looking up at the starry sky. His blue eyes were thoughtful, far away. So far away that he didn't even see the figure slowing it's travel across the sky as it got closer and closer to his home. He saw it only when Angelo landed a few feet away from him, a large smile on his handsome face. Emanuel stood up, laughing with delight and opening his arms wide in welcome. They embraced tightly, laughing. This is bound to be interesting, Emanuel thought.
"Sixty-eight years!" Angelo said, holding Emanuel at arm's length to look at him. "It's been long." His bright yellow eyes held a smile.
Emanuel smiled and took his hand, pulling him up the steps into the house. "Lisa!" He called out. "Lisa!" They stood in the living room.
Lisa came down the stairs; she'd just been with Scarlette and Leslie. As she walked into the living room, she gasped, instantly blocking any thought of Leslie from her mind. Emanuel didn't miss a beat and did the same, wondering how Angelo hadn't realized it. But then Angelo was only concentrated on Lisa, on the love of his existence. He embraced her tightly when she walked into his arms.
Emanuel left them alone and went up the stairs; Les and Scarlette were talking quietly, oblivious to the dangerous situation at hand. If Angelo found out Les was there, all the other vampires would also. Emanuel could see the deep anger still lurking inside Angelo's heart, making it a black mass, evil, and frightening. "Leslie, you need to keep your presence hidden." Emanuel ordered in a whisper.
Les stared at him as if he had gone crazy. Why should she do that? It's not as if she were in any risk of being found out. Besides, her memories couldn't betray her, she didn't have any. 'But you have the knowledge, you know it was you who declared against us.' Emanuel reminded her silently. "That is enough to give you away. Now hide yourself from his senses!" He kept running his fingers quickly through his hair.
Scarlette was suddenly afraid, she tightened her arms around Les. "You won't let them hurt her, Emanuel!" She demanded, her voice quivered, her eyes tearing red. 'Promise me you wont!'
Emanuel looked into her brown eyes. "I promise I won't." He sat down next to them and explained: "Down there is a very old vampire, not as old as I am, but old enough." He leaned back on the bed, maintaining himself propped up on an elbow. "He is not as fast as Lisa or myself, but give him opportunity, and he'd destroy you in an instant."
Les sighed. She seemed resigned to the idea of being one who was hated by the whole population of vampires. She merely nodded and accepted the information that she'd just received. There was a hint of fear only in the way that she stared into space. She finally spoke: "Maybe I should leave." Her voice was even, held no evidence of her inner turmoil.
'If you leave, they'll find you easier and end with you.' Emanuel admonished. 'Here, you have at least Lisa's and my protection. They respect Lisa, and she is much more powerful than any of the vampires older than I am. Remember, she was Lucy's child, and has her powerful blood in her.' He smiled in reassurance. "The only one who was stronger than she is, was Lucy, but no more."
He looked at Scarlette with the silent suggestion that she veil her presence also. Although most vampires had accepted her, there were some that still didn't. Like Angelo. Some vampires felt that Scarlette belonged with all of those who caused disaster under Les' short rule; in ashes, finished. For a while, Emanuel had neither accepted nor banned Scarlette. He just didn't feel anything. The loss of Lucy and the shock of the death around him numbed him. Scarlette didn't seem to care much if anyone accepted her or not, the desire to be was gone when she found out about Les' supposed death. She didn't care now; all she cared about was Les' safety.
She stared at Emanuel with fearful questioning eyes. Her arms around the smaller Les were protective; they told Emanuel that she was willing to die if it meant saving her. Her curly brown hair was loose and part of it fell over Les, who had her own arms around Scarlette. When Les spoke, her voice was hoarse and full of pain. "Why do you protect me so if I was responsible of so much destruction and evil amongst our kind?" Her question revealed her confusion about the whole situation.
"I don't know myself." Emanuel answered honestly. "For one thing, it is Lisa's will. And I think Lucy would have wanted also."
Les nodded, although she still didn't understand how Lucy would want something that she knew would cause so much discord among their kind. She frowned, deep in thought. God, how she wished to remember what Lucy looked like. She couldn't picture anything less than beautiful. She thought of the porcelain doll and stood up from the bed. The doll sat on the dresser across from the bed. Les hadn't looked at it in days, and she suddenly wanted to hold it.
For some reason, it brought comfort to her; it made her feel warm inside, protected. She'd been in the beautiful city of Rome, Italy, when she'd spotted the doll. The owner was a beautiful young woman on vacation from Spain. She always carried the doll with her, in her bag, sometimes in her arms, always with love. From reading her mind, Les knew she'd had the doll since her childhood. But she didn't care one bit, she wanted that doll, and she'd do anything to get it.
The young woman had been sleeping in her hotel room late one night when Les climbed in through her window. She didn't attempt to hide her presence in the human's room. She knew the woman had very keen senses for a human and would sometimes feel Les' eyes on her. The woman would look around quickly; trying to find the source of her discomfort, but Les would be too quick for her to find.
So when the young woman jumped from sleep, Les wasn't surprised. She just stared at her in the darkness with a smile. The woman, her name was Adele, gasped, having seen the bright blue eyes and white teeth in the darkness, and turned on her bedside light and pulled the covers up to cover her naked chest. "What do you want?" She had demanded; there was not a single trace of fear in her voice. She brushed her long brown hair away from her face.
"Oh, you understand me already?" Les had chuckled, her baby blue eyes shining in the dim room. "You know I want something you have?"
Adele had frowned, her beautiful face changing expression. "You've been watching me," She had stated simply, without fear. "Why?"
Les had walked away from the window, and sat next to her on the bed. "I want your doll." She said calmly.
"My doll!" Adele had scoffed. "I thought one of your kind would want my blood!"
Les was momentarily taken aback, but she'd quickly recovered. "So you guessed correctly." She'd said, her voice cold. "You know I could tear you apart in a fraction of a second?" Her voice turned menacing, fierce; her eyes flashed with sudden hunger. She'd moved her lips back so that Adele could see the shine of her long white fangs in the dimness.
Adele wasn't phased. "If you wanted to do that, you'd have done it as soon as I woke up." She'd laughed right then, baffling Les even more. No human, if it knew of her nature, would ever want to be near her, it would be so afraid.
"I want your doll." Les had said again.
"No." Adele replied. "Get your own!"
"How dare you?" Les had growled. Her hand went to Adele's throat in a flash, squeezing tight enough so as not to hurt her too much. She wasn't used to this kind of attitude and resistance from a human.
Adele gagged, wrapping her hand around Les' wrist, trying to pull her hand away. "Why my doll?" She'd choked out, giving up the useless hold on the small wrist. Still, she wasn't afraid; and this angered Les even more. Her blue eyes shone brighter as they looked into Adele's brown.
Though Les didn't need to explain, she did: "Because it stirs something in me, the sight of it makes me warm inside! Makes me feel safe!" She had been surprised when Adele touched her cheek, actually caressed it.
Her eyes held sympathy, and love. She'd spoken softly, with tenderness: "Poor baby." She was still being choked; Les' hand had locked onto her throat, as if it had a life of it's own.
Les let go of Adele, and she realized she had been crying. The tender words Adele spoke next would forever be engraved in her memory: "You need it more than I do, you must be so very lonely." She'd moved her hand back, reaching for the doll, and handed it to Les. "Just promise me you'll take care of it."
Les held the doll in her arms as if it were a baby. The perfectly painted violet eyes called to her, they beckoned her to something warm. "Thank you." She'd whispered as she looked up at Adele. Adele didn't say a word; she moved forward and kissed Leslie very tenderly, fearlessly. It was as if she were the one afraid to break the other. Their tongues met momentarily and then Les was gone.
PRESENTLY, she was staring at the doll in her hands. Emanuel and Scarlette were staring at her, having shared her memory of the beautiful Adele. 'Maybe I'll visit her some time.' She thought.
'Hide your presence,' Scarlette said inside her head. 'He hasn't felt you yet.' Les turned around to face her, and looked into her eyes, they were pleading and loving. She smiled as she hid her presence.
Lisa was smiling too, answering his questions, asking some of her own, but at the same time scanning the house for any trace of Les' presence. The fledging is good, she thought, not even a trace; she'll be one of the powerful ones. Angelo was saying, oblivious to her thoughts: "Lisa, you are so beautiful! As the years pass, you've grown so much more beautiful."
She grinned, feeling happy that he was there. The last time she'd seen him was right before the last battle, the night Lucy ceased to exist. When he kissed her, she responded, wrapping her arms around his neck. She knew he wanted to make love to her; he was so in love with her. Lisa only held feelings that deep for two vampires, one existed no more, and the other was running around Nuuk or somewhere, greedily claiming as many victims as she could take, glutton that she was.
Angelo was something good that happened to her in her long existence. She liked sharing a bed with him, but that was as far as it would go. She loved him, but she was definitely not in love with him. He knew this, but he enjoyed feeling her close, making love to her. "Take me to your room." He whispered hoarsely into her ear.
She did, kissing him once the door was closed. He wrapped his arms around her waist and slipped his tongue into her mouth. She held his head between her hands as they kissed, slowly. He began to undo her clothes, until she was completely naked before him. He pulled her towards the bed, his passion already grown. Laying on top of her, he kissed her neck, her breasts, licking her already engorged nipples. She moaned and ran her hands through his hair. Suddenly, the thought of her beloved Lea came to her and her real passion ignited helplessly. Angelo realized this, a shadow of anger came to him, but he decided to leave it for later. He wanted to enjoy Lisa as much as he could.
He moved lower, brushing his smooth cheeks against her smooth stomach. His lips were wet and soft inside her thighs; his tongue was silky against her wetness. He felt a strong shiver run through his body as he tasted Lisa, the memory of doing this before was too vivid. He slipped his tongue inside her, feeling her tremble violently. She wrapped her legs tightly around his head and pulled him harder against her. Her moans grew frantic; her hips thrust harder, as orgasm came closer.
Angelo unwrapped her legs and moved up to kiss her lips. Slipping inside her, he shuddered and moaned, the softness inside her was unbearable. As he moved inside her, Lisa sunk her fangs into his chest, and he sped up. She groaned thickly as she took his blood into her. As orgasm passed through her body like lightning, Lisa cried out, her body jerking wildly. Angelo moaned, feeling the intensity of his orgasm rise and rise.
They continued like this for a long time, crying out and moaning in pleasure.
She was close to the South Street Seaport; she felt the cool sea wind on her keenly sensitive skin, a comforting caress to her senses. She was looking at the men and women walking past her, on their way home from a long night of working and/or partying. One young woman caught her attention, she was full figured, and pretty; nothing to fawn over, but a trap for attention. She was much shorter than Mariana's five foot five inch stature. Her hair was black and long, down to her shoulders; she had it half picked up over her head, the rest loose along her back; short bangs covered her forehead stylishly. Her clothes were fashionable and feminine, covering her plump figure cleverly. She was of African American and British descent. Her name was Kris'Ann.
Kris'Ann was staring at Mariana; she seemed unable to look away. She was standing at the dark corner of East Broadway and Canal Street. Her brown-green wide in amazed wonder. She wasn't thirty yet; she would be in another month, in August. That was if Mariana let her live through the night, which she wouldn't. She already took a deep interest in the demise of Kris'Ann.
She walked towards Kris'Ann with a smile on her face, a fierce, greedy smile. Kris'Ann was heterosexual and had never experienced an attraction to someone of her sex. But Mariana wasn't human, was she? Kris'Ann couldn't possibly know this, and her body responded to Mariana with a fierce sexuality.
Mariana now stood in front of her, her mind deep inside hers. "Hello," She whispered. She felt the shiver in Kris'Ann's body, the arousal of a victim. Mariana moved closer to her, silently daring her to move away. Kris'Ann was breathing hard, her whole body quivered. When Mariana wrapped her arms around her waist and pulled her close, she moaned and wrapped her own around Mariana's neck. They kissed fiercely, passionately, hungrily. Kris'Ann pushed her tongue deep into Mariana's soft mouth.
She didn't expect Mariana to bite her, to suck the blood from her tongue. She moaned in pain and ecstasy, tightened her arms around Mariana's neck, and pushed her hips against her. A small trickle of blood left her mouth and traveled down her cheek. Mariana responded to her, sucking the blood in great gulps. The blood left Kris'Ann quickly; she weakened until Mariana held her up in her arms. She rocked her back and forth, until Kris'Ann's life left the body, until her body turned cold and died. She let go of her hold on her tongue and gazed at the peaceful, dead face, pale.
She took to the air quickly, the body still in her arms. After getting rid of it, Mariana headed west in search of shelter for her daytime slumber.
There had been two of them, and she had taken their blood as if she hadn't just fed before. At that moment, they were laying on the second floor, dead as can be. She could smell the death from the bodies. She'd killed six on the same night. She listened out for any more, but there were none. She walked up the corroded stairs slowly and methodically. Her ears alert, her senses full. At that moment, she was as powerful as she could be, which was considered very much. Plenty of times, she'd had blood exchanges with Lea, who was immensely more powerful than she was because she'd had plenty of Lisa's powerful blood over the years.
Mariana was now in the living room, which was littered with papers and human excrement and its walls were worn and smudged with dirt. The scent of death was already becoming overwhelming to her vampire senses. She wanted to get out of there quickly. Out by the front door, Mariana looked up and down the deserted Bronx ghetto street. No one was in sight.
She took to the air and was out of New York, by the water, in less than a minute.
She had been born in a New York City hospital, a seemingly strong, bawling baby of more than eight and a half pounds. Her mother's name was Olivia Villasenor; her father's name was Antoine Villasenor. Kaitlyn was their only child.
From the beginning of their marriage, they'd been trying to have a child. But Olivia, due to a small half-benign tumor, which had to be removed; she acquired it during her youth, and had a very weak uterus. Every pregnancy resulted in miscarriage. After the last pregnancy before Kaitlyn, their doctor had told them indirectly that it was a lost case, that they should stop trying to have a child. Olivia began taking birth-control medication and a month later; she became pregnant again, much to everyone's surprise.
The doctor suggested an abortion, so that she wouldn't have to go through the pains of another miscarriage. But Olivia had a good feeling about this one and refused. Nine months later, Kaitlyn was born. That was the only time Olivia was able to have a child, her uterus was completely damaged and she'd needed an emergency hysterectomy.
The Villasenor's were an upper middle class couple, and were able to lavish upon their daughter and keep her "healthy." Kaitlyn had been born with heart problems, due to the unhealthy placenta. Her heart held a large murmur, deadly. Still, she grew up healthily, without a problem. Able to participate in sports and do things like exercising. Except a few times when her heart failed to send enough oxygen to her brain and limbs, she'd become groggy and very tired. Her breathing would shorten, become a wheeze.
They thought they had it under control, but they were wrong. Every year that passed, her heart worsened and grew weaker. She would die within a week's time, and no one knew, except for her. She already felt so very tired and she knew she would die soon. She'd already begun to write letters to loved ones; letters to Anthony, her boyfriend of two years. Even choosing her dress for her funeral
Presently, she sat staring at the letter she'd written to Anthony, thanking him for those two wonderful years during which they loved each other. The ear he lent her when she was frustrated over something. She loved him dearly. He was there to listen to her when she talked to him about those weird dreams that haunted her. Dreams of war, of fire, of bloodlust Dreams about a beautiful being with blond hair and gray eyes. A being she knew wasn't human. But then again, Kaitlyn wasn't human either in those dreams. She was a being, a powerful being that thirsted for blood, that took many a life and ended up taking it's own life
For years, ever since she could remember, Kaitlyn had been having these dreams. About places thousands of years before now, places that didn't exist now, great cities, someone she knew was Cleopatra, beautiful Cleopatra. The Sphinx and the great pyramids of Egypt, when they weren't the ruins that they are now. Babylon, oh God! The beautiful city she knew was Babylon. She knew it all, though she knew she couldn't have been alive then. But Anthony believed in reincarnation, and that was his answer to her weird dreams, or visions, as he called them.
He also believed in vampires, insisted that she must have been a vampire in her previous life. That she'd died somehow, burnt herself; destroyed others as she'd destroyed herself. He listened carefully to her description of the place where she'd died by fire, - a place that reminded her of Holliswood, Queens, where she currently lived- guessed that it was probably Salum. At her questioning glance, he had said: "That place outside New York City where those thousands of dead bodies were found with no blood sixty-eight years ago. And all those burnt clothes that were scattered all over the streets."
He pointed out that it happened only months before she was born.
She'd asked him how he knew all these things about Salum, "that possibly fictional place." He'd answered that he'd done a research paper in his history class about mysterious incidents and murders in America. Salum was definitely a mysterious incident.
Kaitlyn downright laughed at his suggestion that maybe she should hypnotize herself, to go back in time and find out why these dreams haunted her.
She loved the excitement showing in his big dark eyes, the way he would quickly smooth his dirty blonde hair forward, as if it were standing. The way the muscles in his arms would tense as he leapt around the room, throwing one of his crazy theories at her.
She folded all the letters into their individual envelopes, a smile on her pale face from the memories. She placed all the envelopes into a shoebox and sealed it, adding a note to it, that said: "Do not open until after my death. Love, Kaitlyn."
At that exact moment, as she taped the note to the box, her heart began beating irregularly; her breathing was very short. She struggled up from the desk chair shakily, walking towards her bed. She didn't even bother to turn off her lamp. She collapsed onto the bed and in seconds, was asleep.
Her heart was weakening considerably. Maybe she wouldn't last the week after all.
Book Two Continued in part IX
Katia N. Ruiz
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