tales of the daywalkers (week 7)
Weekly Feature…Vampire Fiction Serial (Click to read week 6)
Claude finally pulled his lips from mine. The corner of his mouth tipped up in a crooked grin. “I could get used to this.” Cool fingers brushed the hair from my face.
I resisted licking the last drops of blood from my lips and blinked. “This?”
“This…” He waved a hand in front of him then leaned in for another quick kiss. “And this.” His tongue darted out to taste the blood where our lips had touched.
“It is lovely.” I smiled. “And I really think we need to talk about it, but…” My eyes scanned the changing sky behind him. “Right now we need to find Sebastian.”
“And poor Matt?” Claude nudged the body with the toe of his shoe.
The lifeless form at his feet suddenly had my complete attention. “I would rather not leave a body behind, but we don’t have time to properly clean up. It’s not like we can stroll through town carrying a corpse. Damn it, we shouldn’t have killed him…just fed and let him go.” I hated loose ends, but I didn’t know what choice we had. “We need to get out of here before someone sees us.”
Claude straightened his jacket and checked for his reflection in a dark puddle, frowning slightly when it wasn’t there. “Let them come. It’s not as if they can arrest us, we’re vampires.”
I rolled my eyes with a groan. “Yes, we’re vampires, but that doesn’t mean we just go around killing people indiscriminately.”
“Really? We don’t? My only experience is to the contrary.”
I stiffened, locking eyes with Claude. “Don’t judge all vampires by Sebastian.”
He held my stare for a long moment before turning his face to the sky. “You’re right, it’ll be dawn soon. We need to head home.”
My gaze shifted back to the horizon. “Meet me at the car. I need to find Sebastian.”
Claude raised his eyebrows, wordlessly chastising me.
“Don’t look at me like that. We’re leaving a body in an alley. I need to let him know so he doesn’t do the same. One body is a random slaying. Two or more is a serial killer. And need I remind you…we don’t need the publicity?”
“Whatever you say, mistress.”
I didn’t like his tone. And I was bothered by what he wasn’t saying. We were far from done on the subject, of that, I was certain.
“Try to beat the dawn, will you?” He shot a sideways glance at me as he ghosted away. It may as well have been a stake to my heart.
As soon as he disappeared around the corner, I darted through the alley in the opposite direction, keeping to the shadows. And I listened. I wasn’t sure what I was listening for, but I was certain I would know when I heard it.
It had been so long since I had hunted with Sebastian. I was out of practice, but my memory was flawless. He had a style all his own…pure seduction right until the very end. Unless he had changed his approach dramatically in the decades since we’d hunted together, he would be in no rush to feed.
Unfortunately for me, time was of the essence.
I stepped out of the alley into the wash of streetlights. The last of the revelers were clearing out as they stumbled to their cars or their homes, oblivious to the dangers around them. They would read about the poor poet in the morning news, shocked to know they had noticed nothing while his life was extinguished so close to where they congregated the night before. I no longer suffered the emotions they would experience, but still…I understood.
The need to find Sebastian was just as strong.
I closed my eyes to focus on my other senses and filled my lungs with the cool night air. My own hunger was only partially quenched and the scent of blood pulsing through a dozen warm bodies was distracting. Not just the smell but the sound.
I shook off the primal urge to feed and listened for more subtle nuances.
The uneasy cadence of nervous laughter filtered past the thrumming of beating hearts. There was no evidence of Sebastian, but I was sure he was there. The woman’s reaction was one I recognized well. It was the same reaction I’d had when Sebastian first discovered me more than two centuries ago.
The attraction was unmistakable, but so was the danger.
I slipped back into the shadows as I made my way toward the girl, focused on nothing but the rhythm of her heart. I tracked them to a deserted courtyard. Sebastian’s back was to me, but as I approached, his shoulders relaxed. I had no doubt he knew I was there.
“Victoria.” He turned and grinned. “You have the most impeccable timing.”
The corners of my mouth tipped up in a forced smile. “Sebastian. What a pretty toy you have there. I should have known I would find you with a lovely young blonde. It was always your favorite flavor.”
The girl peered up at Sebastian through a fan of thick black lashes. “Is this your…”
Sebastian placed a finger over the girl’s plump lips. “Shhh.” He turned his attention back to me. “Victoria,” he cooed. “As usual you have simply interrupted my meal. Nothing more.”
The drumming of the girl’s heart picked up its pace. The familiar stench of panic filled the air around us. She didn’t struggle. Like the poet earlier, she was a paralyzed rabbit in the sights of a hungry cat.
I tipped my head to the side, allowing my hair to fall across my face like a protective veil. “You always did take such pleasure in your meals.”
“Come share with me.”
Reluctantly, I tookthe hand he offered, far too hungry to resist. And he led me forward to stand beside him as he fed. It was like the old days, when once upon a time, I was that young, frightened girl.
The girl’s eyes went wide as Sebastian’s fangs slowly slid out, but she didn’t try to escape. Instead, she followed his every move in silence, as did I, mesmerized by his perfection. I was as powerless against his persuasion as the girl.
He glanced at me with a smirk and dropped my hand to circle around behind her. “Such a beautiful girl,” he whispered to her, but his eyes were locked with mine.
Her body went perfectly still as he gracefully swept the curtain of hair from her neck then erupted in tremors as he ran his thumb along the delicate skin fluttering over her engorged artery. It was all I could do to restrain myself.
As always, Sebastian was the essence of control.
The girl let out a quiet cry as Sebastian’s teeth pierced her skin then went deathly quiet. Watching Sebastian feed made me forget why I had ever run from him. I hated him with every cold hard inch of me, but at the same time, I ached in places only Sebastian could awaken.
He reached out for my hand again, tugging me toward him until I was pressed against the girl’s front while he fed on her from behind. “Share with me,” he said again. I pushed her hair out of the way and plunged my fangs into the opposite side of her warm neck with a delightful shudder.
As the hot blood poured down my parched throat, Sebastian’s teeth pierced my skin lightly. He didn’t drink from me. He merely bit then washed the wound with his blood soaked tongue until the mark healed. He went back and forth between the girl’s tender skin and my more durable flesh. My body burned with a new fire as he alternated caressing and biting me while I drank the girl nearly dry.
“Victoria,” he whispered.
I tore my teeth from her throat. Sebastian surged in, locking his lips with mine, one arm around me, the other holding his prey upright. His mouth devoured mine angrily, fangs tearing at my lips…drawing blood from the wounds. Then he left me cold to viciously rip into the girl again, taking what she had left and bringing his lips to mine again to gently bathe the cuts with fresh blood.
It wasn’t long before her veins were empty and Sebastian let her fall between us, cradling me in his arms. “We can’t leave her here,” I said between kisses. “We left another body down the alley.”
“I’ll take care of it.” He led me to a canopy of trees and disappeared for a moment. He came back wearing a wide smile. “There. Nothing to worry about.”
His arms snaked around me, forcing me against the moist ground, and he resumed the assault on my mouth. I surrendered willingly, openly inviting him to take whatever part of me he wanted.
My head rested in a pile of wet leaves as cool hands found their way beneath the black leather to my icy skin, igniting a spark everywhere he touched. I was on fire. The thought of fire brought up a new worry.
“What about the sun?” I asked and he froze.
He had forgotten about the sun. The realization hit me immediately. Sebastian knew the secret to walking in the daylight. The sun was no danger to him. I wouldn’t be so lucky.
Neither would Claude.
Sebastian tugged me to my feet, pulling me behind him as we crossed the empty courtyard. “We need to go, now.”
There was a faint glow deep on the horizon, and my stomach tightened with a frisson of fear. “We’ll never make it!”
“We’ll make it.” He scooped me into his arms, and we were flying like wraiths across the ground. I had never moved so rapidly. If I was fast…Sebastian was that much faster.
When we arrived at the car, Claude was leaning against the door, waiting. He arched an eyebrow at me and grinned. “I was afraid you weren’t coming.”
He was staring at my lips. I turned away to wipe the traces of blood and lust from my mouth with the back of my hand. “I never had a chance to eat.” I knew he would see the lies in my face, so I avoided eye contact and slid into the back of the car. “We need to hurry,” I said to Sebastian.
We rode home in stony silence. Sebastian made good on his promise to get us back before the sun crested the horizon, but only just. I flew up the stairs to my room with both Claude and Sebastian close on my heels and quickly changed out of the restrictive leather into a fresh silk gown.
I flipped up the lid on my casket and quickly climbed in.
“Well, this is an interesting predicament,” Claude barked out a hollow laugh.
My mouth dropped open. “You don’t have a casket.”
“No. I’m afraid I was unaware I would be in need of one.”
“Sebastian, what will we do? Can you teach us to walk in the day now?” I beseeched him.
Sebastian leaned against the doorway with a blank look on his face. “There isn’t time.”
I stared through the window at the lightening sky and resisted the urge to panic. My eyes shifted from Sebastian to Claude. “There’s only one solution then. Claude, you’ll have to sleep with me.”
“Absolutely not!” Sebastian pushed away from the wall to block Claude from approaching me, but it was too late.
Claude was already climbing in beside me with a wide grin. “You have no idea how long I’ve waited for that invitation.”