Posts filed under Daywalkers

tales of the daywalkers (week 14)

Weekly Feature…Vampire Fiction Serial (Click to read week 13)

The Daywalker Chronicles

My hand recoiled as the first flickers of sunlight danced across my white skin. It was all I could do to stand there, to restrain myself from fleeing to the shadows as the sun climbed the horizon and the hot rays washed over meCautiously, I turned my hand over and over again, letting the heat permeate my hard flesh. It had been centuries since I had felt the penetrating warmth of the sun. I should have been giddy with excitement, but even this momentous event couldn’t brighten the bleakness worming its way through my consciousness.

My father was in Paris just a month ago. 

In another time this would have delighted me.  I would have begged to know if my sisters were with him. Or my mother.  But I wasn’t jumping at the chance to hear about my family. It had been over a century since I’d consciously thought of them…I wasn’t sure I wanted to know the truth.  

Then Sebastian brings up my father as if we were discussing something as benign as the weather. 

My family needed to stay safely locked away in my memories where they belonged. But the truth is nothing if not persistent. It had coiled its way around my thoughts until I could think of nothing else.

Claude sensed it. It was obvious in the way he watched me. I felt his eyes burning into the back of my head as surely as I felt the heat of the sun on my skin.

“Are you feeling alright?” Claude wrapped his arms loosely around me from behind and rested his chin on the top of my head. 

With a forced laugh, I wriggled out of his embrace to face him. “What do you mean? I’m immortal…it’s not like I can get sick.”

Sunlight lashed out at my exposed back as Claude’s cold fingers held my chin in place. I almost wished it would burn me, if nothing else than to give me an excuse to run screaming from the room.

“You know what I mean…what just happened between you and Sebastian? What’s this about your father being alive…or rather undead? You never told me,” Claude probed.

My eyes shifted their focus from his face to a crack in the ceiling.  “It’s not something you go around saying. ‘Oh hey, my father bargained me for immortality.’ It tends to bring people down.” A light shake of my head freed me to pace around the room. “Even the dead ones.” 

“Well…my father gave up his life for his undead mistress.” A faint smile quirked his lips. “That little tidbit tends to end the party when I bring it up.”

My lips mashed together and I rolled my eyes. “Stop trying to make me smile. It won’t work.”

Claude’s laugh cut through my dismal mood.  “Come on Vic, what do you say we make a break for it…while Count Dracula puts on a clean cape?”

“A break for it?”

“Sure…a road trip. Just us. I have it on good authority there’s this ugly necklace out there just calling your name. I think it might be a good idea to get our hands on it without Sebastian around.  He’s got something up his silky sleeves, and I don’t like the looks of it.”

The idea snaked its way into my brain. Sebastian had undoubtedly been holding out on us since the minute he strolled through my door again. I flashed back to the vials of daywalker tonic in his bag.  Claude was right, something wasn’t what it seemed.  “Ok…let’s go. Do you still have Sebastian’s keys?”

Claude’s eyebrows pushed together. “Sometimes you wound me with your lack of faith.”

“Just come on,” I laughed, but even to me it sounded grim. “And Claude?”

“Mistress?”

“Don’t ever call me Vic again, or I’ll stake you myself.”

Claude sucked in his cheeks to keep from smiling and gave me a stiff salute. “Yes, ma’am.”

I coiled my fingers around his collar.  “Now let’s get out of here before Sebastian comes back.”

We hurried to Sebastian’s car and Claude squealed the tires backing out of the driveway. My imagination conjured up images of Sebastian running after us as the car accelerated down the road. I knew it wasn’t real. But I also knew Sebastian must be aware we were missing by now.

“You do know where the amulet is, don’t you?” I had never actually asked him before this.

Claude tipped his head to the side and smirked at me.

That was the only answer I would get, but it was enough.     

The black sports car sped through the streets of town as we made our way to the high-rise on Peachtree Road.

Until the next time…I’ll be working on week 15!

Posted on November 27, 2011 and filed under Daywalkers.
Copyright © 2000-2018, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.

tales of the daywalkers (week 13)

Weekly Feature…Vampire Fiction Serial (Click to read week 12)

The Daywalker Chronicles“Father!”  I jumped from the carriage, squinting in the bright light, and hurried to his outstretched arms.

“Victoria.” My father wrapped his thick arms around me and hugged so tightly, I struggled to breathe. 

Nervous laughter bubbled past my lips, and with one last crushing embrace, he released me.  As I stepped back, I noticed the changes in him.  Had he truly been gone so long?

My father had always been a large man, but as he stood before me, his clothes hung loosely from his almost thin frame. His once round face appeared gaunt and drawn, with dark circles rimming his blue eyes.  I had never seen him look so frail.  

“Father, are you well?” I asked cautiously.

Father’s eyes filled with unshed tears.  He nodded, and with a shaky smile, he squeezed my hand. “Of course, I am.  I’m so very happy to see you…”  After a brief pause, he cleared his throat. “I have wonderful news.”  

Something in his tone gave me pause. 

 “What news?” My eyebrows pinched together as I searched his eyes for an answer to the question I was afraid to ask.  What had happened to him while he was gone?

My father looked over his shoulder at the large manse looming in the background.  The sun was low in the sky, scattering eerie shadows across the roofline.  I swear I saw him shudder.  “Let’s get you inside first.”

As soon as we entered the house, my father disappeared.  An older woman, a servant, showed me to my room where an elegant gown lay across the large bed waiting for me.

“You’ll need to dress in this for dinner,” she said.  Her eyes never met mine, and she left without a backwards glance as soon as she gave me my instructions. 

Another woman, this one much younger, appeared behind me. “I can assist you.” She spoke softly as she began undoing the buttons on my dress.  “Don’t be afraid.  Everyone is expected to dress for dinner.”

My reflection stared back at me from the gilded mirror.  White silk clung to my body like a swirling cloud.  As I turned to the side, it moved with me, brushing my skin in an almost scandalous fashion.  I had never owned a dress like this one.  And my hair, instead of piled high on my head in a proper style, spiraled into curls that spilled over my shoulders like dark water.  

I couldn’t stop staring at the woman in the mirror.  This couldn’t be me.

“You look lovely,” the slight woman said, but she wasn’t looking at me anymore. I followed her gaze out the window as the sun slipped behind a hill in the distance.  “We should go down. You’ll be expected.”

I nodded, taking in my appearance one last time before following her through the door to the top of the stairs.

The young servant girl didn’t escort me down the stairs, instead I watched as she vanished behind a plain door with a fragile smile. I stared at the spot for a long moment, willing her to come back.

She didn’t.

A clock chimed somewhere, drawing my attention to the glow of freshly lit candlelight below.

Carefully, I started my descent down the wide stairs, the silk gown shifting around my feet with each step I took.  My eyes sought out a glimpse of my father, or even the older woman who had escorted me to my room, but I saw no one. It was as if the house was abandoned. 

As I reached midway down, he stepped out of the shadows—hair the color of a raven, eyes as dark as coal—and he smiled at me with the whitest teeth I had ever in all my life seen.

“Victoria…I’m so happy to finally meet you.”

 * * *

“Sebastian…what have you done?” I shrieked at him.

“I say let him burn a little around the edges. That’s what he gets for switching formulas like that.” Claude said.

“That is not an option. We are not letting Sebastian burn just because he was a total and complete ass for switching the formula.” My eyes locked with Sebastian’s long enough to catch a slight smile before the reality of his situation sunk in.  He was angry, but he had no one but himself to blame.

Sebastian puffed out a breath. “I need my bag…it’s in the trunk of my car.”

“Is this really the right time to be picking out new clothes?” A quick glance at the skyline told me the sun would be clearing the trees any minute. “You need to get into my casket for the day.”

Sebastian shook his head. “Just get my bag.”

My panicked expression was mirrored in Claude’s eyes.  He bolted out the door to the car and was back before I had a chance to say anything. 

The bag Sebastian spoke of was a worn leather satchel he had been carrying around for several centuries. I recognized it immediately. Sebastian snatched the bag from Claude and quickly laid it out on the counter.  My eyes popped wide as he opened the satchel, exposing several vials of cloudy liquid.

“What the hell is this?” Claude spun the bag around to examine the vials.

One corner of Sebastian’s mouth curved upward into a grin, but he didn’t respond.  He grabbed a single vial from the safety of the bag and in one fluid motion it was uncorked and consumed. 

I stared down at the row of glass tubes then back to Sebastian’s arrogant face. “You said the elixir had to be fresh.”

“Yes…I did say that didn’t I?” Sebastian face turned into an expressionless mask.

Claude suddenly exploded in a loud burst of laughter. “I must hand it to you. I have thoroughly underestimated how cunning you are.  Machiavelli would be proud.”

Sebastian’s stony exterior cracked into a smug grin. “Please. Who do you think inspired The Prince?”

Claude leaned in to whisper in my ear. “He knew Machiavelli?”

I rolled my eyes at them both. “He’s such a show off.”

“An accomplished liar, you mean.” Claude said.

My thoughts traveled back several centuries to answer that question.  Yes…yes he is an accomplished liar.

 * * *

My father’s voice echoed in my memory. “We made a deal, Victoria. He has promised not to harm the family, if only you’ll agree to marry him.  Please think of your sisters…your mother.”

“But what will become of me?” My eyes begged him to tell me.

Sebastian’s cold black eyes softened ever so slightly.  He stepped close enough to twist a lock of my hair around his long fingers. “As my wife, you will never grow old…never die. I can give you the entire world…anything you ask for will be yours.”

 * * *

I squeezed my eyes shut to force the memories to quiet. “All I wanted was for my family to be safe.”

Sebastian secured the clasp on his satchel and slung the strap over his shoulder before cupping my cheek in his hand. “Your family is still very safe, Victoria. In fact, I spoke with your father just a month ago in Paris.”  

 

Until the next time…I’ll be writing week 14!

Posted on November 20, 2011 and filed under Daywalkers.
Copyright © 2000-2018, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.

tales of the daywalkers (week 4)

Weekly Feature…Vampire Fiction Serial (Click to read week 3)

The Daywalker Chronicles“What I made you do?  I didn’t make you do anything, love.”  Sebastian crossed his arms over his chest and leaned against the wall, a smug smile perched on his lips.

My mouth popped open of its own accord.  “You interrupted my mealtime.  You drank from me, making me even weaker.  You…” I pointed at Claude’s lifeless body slumped on the floor as I rattled off accusations.  “You opened a vein, knowing full well it would entice me to drink from it. Then you deposited him at my feet.  What was I supposed to do?”

Sebastian toyed with a trinket he pulled off an adjacent shelf, avoiding eye contact.  “Well, if you had a problem with eating at home, you shouldn’t have indulged.”

I pressed my hands over my ears.  “Shut up, Sebastian.  Do not speak to me.  Not a single word.” My eyelids fluttered then shut.  I had to think.  I couldn’t leave Claude like that, all broken and bled out on my expensive wool rug.  

I opened my eyes and kneeled beside him, pressing my fingers against his ravaged throat.  There was the faintest pulse.  Not enough to sustain him indefinitely, but he hadn’t yet expired.   “He’s still alive.” I groaned.  How selfish was I to yearn for one last sip?  He was absolutely scrumptious.  Like a decadent French pastry. 

“He won’t be alive for long by the sound of it.”  Sebastian interrupted my guilty cravings and I glowered at him.  “There is something you can do, of course.”  He put the knick-knack back in its place on the shelf and pushed away from the wall.

I shook my head.  “No, I can’t.”  I knew what he was referring to, but it was simply unthinkable.

Sebastian took his place by my side with a shrug.  “It’s your choice, love.  But if you won’t change him, there’s no point in letting him go to waste.” His fangs extended.

“Don’t touch him.” I cried, shoving him out of the way. 

A wide grin lit his face and I wondered if he had planned this all along, although, for the death of me, I couldn’t imagine why.  He despised Claude, and ironically, he did so without knowing the whole story.  A story I wasn’t prepared to share with him.  Ever.

“I just can’t,” I groaned, again.  My hand clutched Claude’s and I could feel his life slipping away with every faint beat.

“Really Victoria, if you refuse to change him, at least let me finish him off before he goes bad.  There’s nothing worse than the stench of a spoiled human.”

I glared at him through narrowed eyes as I lifted my wrist to my mouth and recklessly sliced the less than delicate flesh open with my fangs.  Blood quickly bubbled to the surface and I winced.  Not from pain, but from the choice I was making.  I was never given an option and hated Sebastian for deciding for me.  Would Claude hate me for making this decision for him?  What about the promise I made to his father almost thirty years ago?  Was this fulfillment or betrayal?  I had no idea.  The only thing I was absolutely certain of was how I couldn’t possibly go on in this existence of mine without Claude by my side.  It was a strange certainty, but there was no question it was true.

“You stay away from him, you’ve done enough already,” I snapped.  His quizzical look told me Sebastian had no idea how much of a part he actually played in all this. 

I pressed my wrist to Claude’s cool lips, hoping my blood would have time to work its way into his empty veins.

Sebastian shook his head.  “You’re not giving him enough.”

“How do you suggest I make myself bleed faster?”

“Like this,” he swept my hair away from my shoulder, hesitating just long enough to gaze into my eyes before plunging his fangs into my neck for the second time in one night. 

A gasp escaped my lips as my head fell back in his hands.  My fingers snaked around his arms to keep from falling.  I was shocked, but more than that, I found myself strangely aroused. 

Sebastian tore his mouth away from my throat and pressed his blood soaked lips to mine.  It was a delicious kiss that ended as unexpectedly as it began.

“What was that for?” I touched my fingers to my lips. 

He bit back a grin and shrugged.  “I just realized I hadn’t kissed you yet.”

I raised an eyebrow. “And this seemed like the right time?”

“It did,” he grinned, then leaned in until his lips brushed my ear. “I had almost forgotten how marvelous you taste.”

I moaned. 

It was an involuntary reaction, one I could have staked myself for, because he immediately surged in for another round of toe curling, gasp worthy, stolen kisses.  I was so distracted by Sebastian’s seduction, I barely noticed as he carefully positioned Claude’s mouth over my open artery. 

In all my years…and there had been a lot of them…I had never experienced a sensation quite like this. My icy core was ablaze.  While Sebastian ravaged my mouth, Claude involuntarily fed on my blood.  My body ached in places I hadn’t known in decades, possibly never, if I was being honest.  This was the one hunger I hadn’t allowed myself to indulge in for far too long.  And it was intoxicating.  I was positively drunk with desire. 

I would have felt guilty if I hadn’t used up my daily allotment already.

“Sebastian,” I whispered between kisses. “Why are we doing this?”

“It’s what we do, my love.  Don’t you remember?”  His lips tipped up in a smile but he never slowed his attack on my mouth.

A cool hand slipped under the hem of my gown, exploring its way to my waist.  I could not believe I was allowing this to happen.  Was I actually going to have sex with my husband?  How unbelievably cliché of me.  What I wanted was to hate him.  I had spent so many years doing just that.  Then again, I was hardly putting up a fight.  I was far too busy delighting in his touch.  I didn’t even dare to think how much of this Claude was aware of during his metamorphosis.

Before I realized what was happening, my gown was tossed aside and I was wearing nothing but the glow from the moon as it sliced through the divided glass in the French doors.  Somehow it escaped my attention that Sebastian had removed his clothes, but there he was, as glorious as I remembered him in his undressed state. 

He pulled his lips from mine again and turned his head to the side, exposing his pulsing carotid to me.  Taking his cue, I sank my teeth deep into his flesh, savoring his tantalizing elixir as it gushed down my throat.

Even in my complete state of euphoria, it was not lost on me that I was engaged in the most bizarre threesome of my entire existence.  Sebastian and I alternated feeding on each other as Claude drank from me.   We were awkwardly arranged on the floor, limbs tangled in every direction as cool hands explored my body.  

It took me a few minutes to realize it was more than one pair of hands caressing me…it was several hands in fact…and none of them were mine.

I froze in place, my fangs instantly retracting from Sebastian’s throat.  “Claude?” I whispered.

Sebastian groaned, “Must we talk about him at this particular moment?”

“Hmmm?” the familiar voice inquired.

This time, Sebastian froze.  “Was that…”

“Yes,” I breathed.

Claude propped himself up on one elbow and I suddenly felt very naked.  

“Why is it I’m the only one at this party wearing any clothes?”

 

Until the next time…I’ll be working on week 5!

Posted on September 18, 2011 and filed under Daywalkers.
Copyright © 2000-2018, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.

tales of the daywalkers (week 3)

Weekly Feature…Vampire Fiction Serial  (Click to read week 2)

The Daywalker Chronicles“What?” Sebastian bellowed so loudly my hair stirred a little in the outburst. 

“Please don’t get upset.”  I threw my hands out in front of me, palms facing him as if that would hold him back if he decided to attack.  “I had no idea I was meant to keep it.  You never said it was magic…or important.”

“It was a gift.” He leaned in until our noses were almost touching and spit the words out as if they were painful.

I rolled my eyes.  “But we weren’t together anymore.”  I couldn’t believe I was being forced to replay the demise of our ill-fated marriage as if he didn’t remember what had happened all those years ago.  I knew he had perfect recall. All vampires do.  Much like elephants, we never forget.  I only wish I could.  “You cheated on me.” 

Sebastian hung his head.  “You wound me Victoria.  Like a stake through my heart.”

Now there was an idea. 

I looked around for Claude again.  I was sure he wouldn’t be far.  He was probably eavesdropping from some safe vantage point.  “Stop with all the talk of wounds and stakes.  I seem to recall you doing some emotional damage of your own with that Playboy bunny…what was her name, Jennifer…or was it Jessica?”  Agreeing to meet Hugh Hefner was arguably the second biggest mistake in all of my two hundred forty-eight years.

“Let’s not drag that back up, shall we?”

“No, let’s not.” I agreed.

“Oh, let’s,” Claude said from the doorway.   “I would like nothing more than to hear the stories of Hef and the bunnies from back in the day.”  He was chomping on a chicken leg, and although it repulsed me to watch him savage cooked animal flesh, it reminded me I had yet to feed. 

“That story has been told far too many times as is.” I said.  “And please take that…food…out of here.”

“Well, I haven’t heard it,” Claude protested, tucking his meal behind his back.  “I was just a kid back then.  No one told me anything.  For God’s sake, throw a guy a boner would ya?”

Sebastian rolled his eyes.  “I would so like to eviscerate your man servant.”

Claude raised his brows, but kept his distance.

“I would be hard pressed to replace him on such short notice, and unlike you, I still need to sleep in the day.”  A faint smile was all I could manage. I was feeling quite peckish and the hunger was suddenly unbearable.

“How long has it been?”

“Last night.”  My eyes closed and my fangs extended of their own accord as I evoked the memory.  “I had a lovely Italian boy.  You know how much I love Italian.  And he was AB negative.  Have you any idea how rare that is?” My eyes fluttered open.  I didn’t need a reflection to know I had a dreamy look on my face.  It was mirrored in the two pairs of eyes fixed on me.  “Of course you do.”  I pressed my lips into a hard line, forcing my fangs to retract. 

“I wasn’t referring to your last meal, Victoria,” he glared at me.  “I’m wondering how long it’s been since you lost the amulet.”

“Oh, that,” I tried to laugh.  “It’s been ages.”

Sebastian flew out of the room in a flurry of obscenities, sending Claude scurrying against the wall like a rodent.  The only words I could be certain of were, “Insolent, ridiculous little girl.”  I assumed he was referring to me.

I don’t know why I didn’t just let him stalk off into the night.  I know I should have.  It would have been the end of it.  I could have made a run to the local village for a quick bite.  But that’s not what I did. For reasons I will probably never understand, I decided to throw him a rope.   “I didn’t lose the amulet.  I gave it away.”

His angry footsteps echoed off the marble floor as he made his way back through the foyer.  He paused in the doorway to stare daggers at me. “You gave it away?  You stupid, impertinent child.  Have you any idea what you have done?”

“Whoa, there Dracula,” Claude dared.  “It’s not what you think.  It wasn’t like she gave it to Goodwill.  She just…re-gifted it.” 

“I think I’ve had quite enough of you, Human,” Sebastian ghosted to Claude’s side, snatching him around his already bruised neck, and lifted him off the ground in a single fluid motion.

It was almost lovely to watch.  I could certainly appreciate the beauty in Sebastian’s fury.  Unfortunately, I feared I was about to lose my only aide-de-camp. “Sebastian, put him down.  I insist you release my subordinate immediately.” 

Sebastian tipped his head to the side and flashed a crooked grin my way. “It’s what we do, my dear.” He bared his fangs theatrically then attacked.

Claude cried out as Sebastian slowly and deliberately extracted his blood. 

My stomach tightened with a combination of fear and longing.  The fragrance was intoxicating.  “Sebastian!” I shrieked. “If you kill him you’ll never be able to retrieve the necklace.  He’s the only one who knows where it is.”  I lunged forward just as Sebastian tossed Claude at me like a broken toy. 

Claude was thrashing at my feet as he gasped for breath.  He clawed at his throat with both hands, his eyes wild with terror.  “You sonofabitch,” he said on an intake of breath.  “You bit me.”  Sebastian had clearly not taken much.  Blood flowed freely from the two puncture marks on his neck and the heady aroma flooded my nostrils. 

“I’m sorry,” I whispered.

“You should be sorry.”  He pointed a shaky finger at Sebastian. “You need to keep that monster of yours on a shorter leash.”

“That’s not what I’m sorry for.” I dropped to my knees beside him, brushing a hand away from his throat so I could sink my teeth into the exposed flesh.

“What the…” his voice choked off as I savaged his pulsing artery. 

Claude’s heart slowed to a dull thudding as his blood flowed down my scorched throat.  It was more delectable than I could have imagined.  My entire body tingled with pleasure as I dragged his limp form into my lap to get every drop. 

“Ahem…Victoria?”  Sebastian’s voice broke through the sloshing sounds of my feeding.

I dropped his lifeless body against the floor like a wet rag and pulled myself quickly to my feet.  I gasped in horror at Claude’s ashen face then looked up to see an amused expression on Sebastian’s. “Now look what you’ve made me do!”

 

Until the next time…I’ll be writing next week’s episode!

Posted on September 12, 2011 and filed under Daywalkers.
Copyright © 2000-2018, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.