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Hold Back the Night – Chapter 10

Chapter 10

When Vampires Dream

In the bowels of the servant’s quarters, down a narrow set of wooden stairs, past the wine cellar, along a long, winding passageway, down a spiral stone staircase, lay the crypt that held Vincent and Adam’s coffins.  In past generations it was a room that housed criminals waiting for execution.  Now it housed creatures who performed executions.

The black onyx coffin, the larger of the two, was Vincent’s.  Its surface was smooth and unlined, like its inhabitant’s face, and its frame was strong and virtually indestructible like its inhabitant’s body.  Inside the coffin, Vincent was swathed in deep purple velvet and although he looked as harmless as a corpse in a few hours he would rise again to feed.  Now, however, he would dream.

The sun shone majestically in Vincent’s dreamworld, drenching the landscape in glorious sunlight.  The lush green countryside was in stark contrast to the blue cloudless sky and the few trees that could be seen rose high, their branches wide, and their blossoms exploding in vibrant yellows and pinks.

Vincent lazily strolled by this colorful panorama; his bare feet ecstatic to be touching the sun-kissed grass.  A few yards in front of him a young girl was swinging from a swing suspended from a tree.  Vincent saw her long black hair flowing in the breeze as she swung back and forth, her toes trying, unsuccessfully, to touch the highest blades of grass on each downward swing.  As he got closer he heard her giggling and squealing as she tried to swing higher and higher above the ground.  But when he walked in front of her he could see he had a false view of the girl for her face was nothing more than a rotting corpse with hollowed out holes for eyes, which were the playground for squirming maggots.  Her teeth were few and jagged and dripping with blood and the little flesh that clung to the bones underneath swayed in the wind along with her bouncing curls.

When the girl saw Vincent she smiled and ripped the white lace ribbon from her throat to reveal a neck ravaged by puncture wounds and stained with blood all the while continuing to swing back and forth.  Vincent winced at the sight causing the girl to laugh wildly and swing harder.  He turned from her and ran toward the horizon, but after a few strides, the sunlight was whisked away and replaced with the moon’s glow.  All around him dead branches were falling and the grass underneath his feet turned brown and each blade became dry and as sharp as a dagger.  The starless sky was pitch black and Vincent cold only see a few feet in front of him, but what he did see made him fall to his knees and sob.

It was the same girl from the swing, but she was no longer soaring to reach heaven, now she was watching an animal burrow to reach hell.  Her face was very close to the ground and her hands were frantically clawing at the dead, dried earth to help the creature.  But as Vincent got even closer he realized it wasn’t the earth that was being devoured, it was he.

He saw his lifeless body stretched out on the dirt and the hideous animal sucking the blood from his neck while the raven-haired girl watched the scene with a powerful lust not befitting a child.  Standing over his body he watched the girl watch him as the fiend continued to feast on him until it had quenched its hunger and he sat up.  He saw the thing was a vampire, its face grotesque, its fangs till dripping with his blood.  The raven-haired girl then brushed a droplet of blood that remained on the vampire’s lips with her finger and licked it with her curious tongue.  When she spoke it was with the voice of an adult.

“This is your blood which has been given up for me.”

The raven-haired girl then offered her bloodstained finger to Vincent.  “I hope you enjoy the taste,” she said.  “From now on it’s all you’ll ever know.”

Inside the coffin Vincent’s eyes fluttered and his hands shook.  Even vampires could have nightmares.

 

Adam

Adam’s coffin was actually Vincent’s original coffin, which he had used until Adam entered the final stage of crossing over to the Golden Life and could no longer appear in sunlight without bursting into flames and becoming ash.  The interior was white satin, a bit traditional by vampire standards, but exquisite nonetheless.  On the exterior of the coffin’s lid was a delicate carving of an ankh, which symbolized eternal life.  As a mortal child, Adam recalled tracing the ankh with a curious finger while his father rested underneath.  The magic of eternity lured him to the Golden Life, but now that he was on the threshold that magic had lost some of its allure.

In his dream he was running blindly through the jungle drenched in sweat, covered in dirt and bruises and completely naked.  Blood trickled down his legs and arms from cuts that were endured from stumbling over rocks and falling into thorny bushes in an attempt to escape the predator who pursued him.

In the darkness that engulfed him he heard screams and desperate pleas for help.  His feet pounded the earth until he reached a clearing that led to a cliff.  When he peered over the edge he saw water far, far below.  In the distance he heard his name called and turned to see Vincent’s distorted face, his fangs bared and his eyes glistening.  As Vincent moved closer to Adam intent on consuming the young man’s blood, Adam impulsively jumped off the cliff.  During his descent screams, his and those from unknown voices, echoed loudly in his head and continued after he broke through the water’s surface with a violent noise.

He felt the cool liquid rinse the dirt, sweat, and blood from his body.  He felt purified and soon the heartwrenching screams subsided to be replaced by a woman’s gentle, though, saddened voice.

“Joey,” she said, “Please come back to me.”

Adam remembered that was the name Winter called him.  He still didn’t know who Joey was, but he knew this woman was speaking to him.  Deep within his dream, he prayed that someday she would return to him.

 

St. Agatha’s

The mid-day sun shone brightly through the windows of St. Agatha’s café and directly into Dashiell’s eyes.  He squinted more than was necessary because in his quasi-preternatural state, the sun was beginning to affect him harshly.  Winter and Jonatha considered it simply another British affectation, but Llewellyn knew it meant Dashiell was getting closer to crossing over completely to the Golden Life.

Although he truly wanted to take another bite of his hamburger—for in a few days, food would be yet another memory of his stint as a mortal—Dashiell knew that Winter was waiting for an answer.  He had rehearsed this initial meeting several times in his head and thought he was prepared for any outcome, he hadn’t expected Winter to be so confrontational.

“What did you say, Winter?” Dashiell said.  His squinting eyes making his statement sound even more evasive than it already was.

“I’m sure you heard me the first time,” Winter said.  “What do you and Lew really want from us?

“I think I can speak for Llewellyn,” Dashiell said, “when I say that we are smitten with you both and would like to get to know you better.”

“We could have gotten chummy by emailing each other,” Winter said, wondering if the others noticed her blank stare and if they were accepting her mean-spiritedness as an offshoot of her blunt nature.

“Not only would that be impossible since I don’t own a computer,” Dashiell said, “But it’s also quite impersonal.”

“But the British do impersonal so well,” Winter replied.

“Winter!  Have you been taping PBS instead of MTV?” Jonatha asked in an attempt to soften Winter’s brusque comments.

For the next ten minutes, Winter heard Dashiell explain that he and Llewellyn had always wanted to see this part of the world and took it as fate that they met such friendly, and he just had to say it, beautiful, girls who lived where they dreamed of visiting.  While her ego was stroked, the raven-haired woman’s eyebrows were raised, and Winter’s mind was divided into equal parts flattery and cynicism.  She couldn’t believe her confusion was not apparent.

Jonatha, in contrast, was completely enthralled.  The more Jonatha heard Dashiell talk about how he and his friend only wanted to get to know them, the more she liked this young man.  He was different, bold and off-putting and he was a welcome change to the usual boys she met.  He made her think of Adam Savage, but where Adam was shy and reclusive, Dashiell was outgoing and invasive.  She surprised herself by discovering that she preferred the latter.

Her preference was not lost on Llewellyn who listened to the man he loved flirt with this dangerous girl.  Insecure by nature, Llewellyn felt threatened by Jonatha’s alluring simplicity.  He also feared that once Dashiell understood what powers Jonatha possessed, his role in Dashiell’s life would become less important.  That thought was as far from the truth than heaven is to hell, but it would take time for Llewellyn to believe that.

Unable to keep the raven-haired woman’s voice silent any longer, Winter heard herself say: “So Llewellyn, how long have you been in love with Dashiell?”

 

Nightwind

The white dove fluttered its wings and hovered directly in front of Amanda before it flew away and out of her line of vision.  She read the letter, which she had already committed to memory, once more before racing back inside Nightwind.

“Mom! Mom!” Amanda cried as she ran up the stairs to her mother’s bedroom.

Madeline stirred and quietly asked why Amanda was so excited.

“Read this,” was Amanda’s only response.

Madeline read the few words on the card and was not prepared for their impact.  She covered her mouth with her hand to stop her cry, but she couldn’t stop her tears from falling.  For the first time in years, Madeline decided to embrace her emotions instead of covering them up with an air of apathy.

“Oh Amanda, how will we last until next week?” Madeline said as she threw her arms around her daughter, never letting go of the letter.

“Do you realize next Friday is your 60th birthday party?” Amanda said.

“Will we really be so lucky to receive such a gift?” Madeline asked.

“I have to believe we will,” Amanda replied.

Suddenly Amanda pulled away from her mother and turned so she was looking out the window.  Madeline could tell by Amanda’s shaking shoulders that she was crying even harder and she looked away to allow her a private moment.

“What if he doesn’t like me?” Amanda asked quietly.

“The moment Joey looks into your eyes he’ll remember you and he won’t be able to resist your love.”

“But what if it’s been too long,” Amanda said.  “Maybe he thinks I abandoned him.”

“No child could believe his mother voluntarily abandoned him.”

“Mother I’m scared.  Maybe whoever took him has poisoned his mind against me.”

“Stop it!” Madeline snapped.  “Don’t turn this moment of joy into one of pain.”

“After so many years of dreaming, I’m not sure I’ll know what to do when I do see my son again.”

Amanda turned from her mother and held onto the window frame for support.  Her greatest fears had surfaced, that she would be reunited with Joey only for him to refuse to allow her back into his life.  Madeline grabbed Amanda by the shoulders and turned her so they were face to face.

“When you finally see your precious child again, you look him straight in the eye and you tell him you love him.  And if he doesn’t believe you, you tell him again.  And again.  And again!  Until he understands that you have prayed for his safe return every day since he was taken from you.”

No more words were necessary, so the women just held each other and cried.  When there were no more tears to shed, Madeline spoke: “Now I think it’s time you told Joe about his son.”

Amanda didn’t need any further encouragement.  Taking the note from her mother, she ran to her car.  Seconds after hearing Amanda’s car drive away, the doorbell rang.  The house free of servants, Madeline walked down the stairs to open the door.  The last person she expected to see was Ondine Chauvelin.

 

Father and Daughter

Edwina saw that her Father was becoming more apoplectic than usual and so she decided to diffuse this emotional time bomb before she had to deal with the delicate process of picking up the pieces.

“Daddy, it’s done, I’m working for Vincent,” Edwina explained, “so please untwist whatever’s gotten twisted inside your complicated little head and move on to situations you can control.”

Perry stared at his Daughter and realized he had two very simple choices.  He could either tell her that Vincent is a vampire and is committed to destroying this family if Perry and his lab team cannot adhere to his demands, or he could allow her to work alongside the fiend and suffer whatever consequences might come her way.  Perry took less than three seconds to choose.

“Fine, have it your way,” Perry said, visibly relieved.  “But don’t blame me when it all blows up in your face.”

“Always the pessimist, Daddy,” Edwina said.  “I’m going to love working by the Savage Man.  I mean he’s tall, dark, extremely handsome.  Did I mention he’s tall?”

“Enough!” Perry cried.  “If you want to play with fire, I don’t want to hear about it.”

“I really, really do not like the tone you are taking with me lately,” Edwina said, peevishly.  “I have been in a terrible car accident, my husband has all but remarried my sister, and now you’re trying to keep me from the one person who I find remotely titillating in this entire sleepy hollow.  It’s just not fair.”

“You want to know what’s not fair?” Perry said.  “I’m planning a gala 60th birthday party for your mother and I’m the last person she wants to celebrate with.”

Edwina scowled at the mention of her parent’s frigid marriage partially because she knew it was the truth, but mainly because it reminded her of her own marriage bed.

“Mother is too New England to want to celebrate with anyone.”

“Don’t be flip.  She may not enjoy my company, but she is the only woman I have ever loved.”

Unable to maintain the depth of the conversation any longer, Edwina gathered her jacket and bag and began to make her exit.

“Well once again Daddy, you’ve managed to make our conversation all about you,” Edwina said.  “And that bores me, so I’m leaving.”

Edwina closed the door and paused for a moment because she was consumed with an unfamiliar feeling.  It was guilt.

 

St. Agatha’s

“Winter! Now you’re being downright rude,” Jonatha cried.

“That really is an unfair accusation,” Dashiell said.

Only Llewellyn was amused by the comment and thought Winter was obviously more intuitive and forthright than he first assumed.  He wanted to answer her question with “the first time I caught his blue eyes watching me,” but remembering their covert mission, he concocted a lie.

“Dash is my closest mate and I love him like a brother,” Llewellyn began, “but not in the way you’re suggesting.  But don’t feel bad Winter, many others have mistaken my refined manner and clipped accent as homosexual traits.  I assure you, however, that while I may not be as manly as, say Rupert Everett, I am all man.”

“Rupert Everett is gay!” Winter said, sounding a lot more like herself.

“That was my manly attempt at a joke,” Llewellyn said.

“You should stick to being the silent, skinny type,” Jonatha said, completely expecting to hear laughter.  “Oh come on, that was a little funny!”

Following that comment both men laughed and were soon joined by Winter.  No one knew that Winter was laughing not because she thought Jonatha’s comment deserved such a response, but because she finally heard the voice in her head say, “You children are worthless to me.  It’s time for me to go.” Winter was free, she wasn’t sure for how long, but for the moment she was free.

“Let me make up for my bitchfest with a tour of the square,” Winter declared more than asked and left the café before anyone could decline her offer.

 

Nightwind

It was as if Madeline fell through a portal in time and landed in 1956.  Her expression was a combination of surprise and delight as she welcomed the woman she once considered a dear friend into her home.

“Ondine Chauvelin?” Madeline said in disbelief.

“In the flesh,” Ondine replied.  “And the mink, and the diamonds.”

“You’ve climbed a bit higher on the social ladder than most nurses ever do,” Madeline remarked.

“I left nursing and the care of all humankind behind me when I left Nightfall all those years ago,” Ondine replied.

“So what on earth are you doing back here,” Madeline asked as she ushered Ondine into the kitchen.  While waiting for a reply she began to make coffee and search the refrigerator and cupboards for any food suitable to serve to an unexpected guest finally settling on cheddar cheese, crackers, and grapes.

“I’m visiting a dear friend,” Ondine said, “Vincent Savage, who lives on your estate.”

“How appropriate,” Madeline said.  “You’re both so . . . different.”

“And you are as pleasant as ever,” Ondine said.  “I see that you did indeed became Mrs. Perry Love.  Though I guess there never was a reason for doubt.”

“Not on my part,” Madeline said.

“Or Perry’s I’m sure.  You were Snow King and Queen after all.”

“Oh my, you have some memory,” Madeline remarked.  “I haven’t thought about that in years.”

“Christmas Eve, nearly forty years ago.”

“The night you left town?” Madeline asked.

For the second time in very recent memory Ondine relived the accident and the incident that provoked her to leave Nightfall so abruptly.

“Family emergency back in France forced me to leave on Christmas day,” Ondine announced, popping a grape through lips dramatically overdrawn with dark red matte lipstick.

“I thought you were an orphan?” Madeline asked.

 

Father and Son

Vincent always rose earlier than his son and unless he had pressing business to take care of, he would wait for him in the back room with the large bay window that overlooked the ocean.  Today it took Adam longer than usual to greet him and Vincent wondered if his son found the night reluctant to embrace or just the confines of his coffin too  comfortable to leave.

“I thought you weren’t going to come to me,” Vincent said when Adam finally entered the room.

“I always join you, don’t I?” Adam replied.

“Yes you do.”

“Father?”

“Yes,” Vincent said.

“Can we hunt elsewhere tonight?”  Adam asked.

“Of course,” Vincent replied.  “The world is our hunting ground.  But why? Are you unhappy with Nightfall’s offerings?”

Adam watched the crashing waves intently and realized he had always been drawn to water.

“When will you tell me about my heritage?”

“Very soon you will know why we are here and who you are,” Vincent said.  “But I must remind you that regardless of what you learn, the Golden Life is your destiny.”

“I know.  You’ve told me many times before.”

Vincent noticed a slight edge in Adam’s voice and it was one of the few things, besides the sun’s cruelty that alarmed him.  Vincent had dreamed of returning Adam to his birthplace ever since he rescued the boy 15 years ago with the help of the raven-haired woman.  Without that demon’s assistance he would never have been able to claim what was rightfully his and exact revenge on the mortal who so effortlessly cast aside his own life years earlier.  Vincent shook those thoughts from his mind and convinced himself that Adam’s reunion with his family would be a memorable event for all involved.

“Where else would you prefer to hunt?” Vincent asked.

“Anywhere but here,” Adam replied.  “Practically speaking it’s for the best.  Too may deaths in a small town create suspicion.”

“Son, you must never concern yourself with mortal thoughts,” Vincent said.  “You are no longer one of them, you belong to a superior order.”

“Just because we’re superior, we shouldn’t disregard their feelings.”

“When you’re as close to God as we are,” Vincent said, “mortal feelings have no consequence.”

Vincent looked at his son with admiration.  Years ago when Vincent began his process of crossing over, he too was filled with doubt and questions about the mortals he was leaving behind.  He knew Adam’s questions would soon give way to an understanding of who he was and where he stood in life’s order.  He was now part of a privileged echelon that only a select few could join.  But enough of philosophical matters, he thought to himself, he was hungry.

“We can travel to Canada in minutes to hunt,” Vincent advised, “or if you prefer a warmer clime, Florida is within easy reach.”

Just then the doorbell rang and a familiar voice pierced through the door.

“Vincent,” Edwina cried.  “I’ve come to be swept off my feet again!”

Vincent bared his fangs as he grinned at Adam, “Or we could simply dine-in tonight.”

 

Nightwind

Although Ondine’s face remained calm and stoic, her mind was racing.  She was being careless and her inconsistencies were guaranteed to complicate matters.  Forcing herself to focus on Madeline and her obviously superior powers of recollection, Ondine managed to salvage some dignity.

“The orphanage I lived at in Lyon found my mother and organized a Christmas reunion,” Ondine lied.

“That’s remarkable,” Madeline replied warily.

“I know,” Ondine replied.  “I thought it best to leave Nightfall as quickly as I had arrived.”

During their conversation, Madeline marveled at how similar Ondine looked and yet how different.  Her hair was pure white, but as thick as always, her skin was unblemished, and she still possessed the same grace and ethereal quality that made her such an exotic creature to the people of Nightfall, one that they wanted to exhibit and protect at the same time.  But Madeline also noticed that on several occasions Ondine’s eyes glazed over and her voice trailed off in mid sentence as if her mind was too full or too empty.  At this point in their reunion Madeline couldn’t tell which.

Madeline watched Ondine take yet another piece of cheese and wondered how much longer she would stay.  This woman, whom Madeline hadn’t thought of in decades, was becoming increasingly odd, and her visit an inconvenience.  Madeline was finding it difficult to sound conversational and interested.

“So how do you know Vincent?” Madeline asked.

“We’re former lovers,” Ondine replied, nonchalantly.

“Well that’s very honest.”

“I forget I’m not in Europe and that Americans are so easily shocked.”

“Europeans shock just as easily,” Madeline retorted, “you’ve just learned to hide it better.”

Ondine told the tale of how she first met Vincent riding the Orient Express from Paris to Bucharest in the middle of a storm-ravaged night.  She had just walked out on a much younger Italian lover, or was he Greek?  Ondine couldn’t recall except that he was swarthy.  Vincent, she said, was traveling along claiming to be doing some academic research, but added that she could tell he was nursing a broken heart that she helped heal, at least for several hundred miles while on the train.

“There truly is nothing like making love to a handsome stranger while the Swiss Alps and lightning swoosh by your window,” Ondine said.

By this point in the conversation, Madeline was growing bored of Ondine’s grand memories and had no desire to learn more about the desires that burned, and perhaps still, burn within Ondine and Vincent’s hearts.  But Ondine was a guest and Madeline was a proper hostess so she would have to endure the Euro-babbling a while longer.

Ondine waxed on about how Vincent and she kept meeting each other in the most obscure locales, like Madagascar, Jakarta, Seattle.  They had a bohemian romance and it suited them both perfectly although Ondine said that she didn’t expect a long married matriarch like Madeline to understand such a passionate, carefree relationship.  It was at that moment that Madeline remembered why she didn’t mourn Ondine’s disappearance from Nightfall for very long.  While the Frenchwoman was eccentric, she was exhausting.

Just when Madeline was about to concoct a lie that involved her need to prepare for a Love Foundation meeting, she heard the front door and realized Perry was home.  It was the first time in a long while that Madeline smiled when her husband returned home, but she was thrilled that she would soon be relieved as sole member of Ondine’s audience.  So thrilled that she didn’t notice Ondine’s demeanor change.  Ondine had also heard the door and was hoping it would be her other ex-lover who resided in Nightfall.  When Perry entered the kitchen, both women said at the same time, “Perry, it’s so good to see you.”  In response, Perry fainted and fell face down on the kitchen floor.

Looking at her husband who was obviously shocked by Ondine’s presence, Madeline remarked: “I stand corrected.”

 

St. Agatha’s

Tightening his scarf around his neck as he entered the church, Dashiell tried to stiffen his body to conceal the shivers that coursed through his soon-to-be-bloodless veins.  He thought they were just signs that the crossover date to the Golden Life was getting nearer, or simply that the sun had dipped passed the horizon, but then he noticed the statue of the Blessed Mother.  Before he could move away from the structure, Jonatha took this opportunity to claim the tour guide reins from Winter and teach them about this section of St. Agatha’s church.

“According to legend, or rumor, whichever one you prefer, this statue of the Blessed Mother was built to honor the tragic death of three prominent citizens of Nightfall,” Jonatha explained.  “Amelia and James Lowell and their infant son.”

“Supposedly they were found dead in Serenity Pond,” Winter added, “all tangled up in each other.”

“How did they die?” asked Llewellyn.

“Tragically,” Winter replied.  “How else do legendary people die?”

Jonatha smiled at Winter’s remark, thankful that her half-sister was once again her irreverent self.

“Actually, they died under mysterious circumstances,” Jonatha said.  “No one really knows how.”

“But why the Blessed Mother?” Dashiell asked.

“Because she’s a symbol of hope,” Jonatha said.  “And when you’re faced with tragedy what else do you have?”

The teenagers pondered Jonatha’s remark, each aware that in their short lifetime they had been visited by tragedy many times and relied on hope to survive.

“Let me show you the altar, it’s the oldest one in New England.”

Reluctantly, Dashiell followed the others into the church.  When he stood near the small, stone altar his temperature dropped several degrees, even as his skin grew hot from the glow of the candle flames.  The only light from the room emanated from the bevy of candles.  Llewellyn saw Dash grow physically uncomfortable and understood that the holiness of this room, and not the heat, was the cause.  He had no idea that it would also be the cause of something unspeakable.

As she did every time she came to the chapel, Jonatha was transfixed by the statue of the Blessed Mother, which was larger and more realistic than the one that graced the entranceway.  To Jonatha, it just represented overwhelming beauty.  Winter too was clearly affected being in the statue’s presence and stared at the icon more intently than she ever had before.  She silently prayed to it that she and her family would remain safe from the woman who invaded her mind.  But it was Dashiell who had the most severe reaction.

Unable to look away from the Blessed Mother, he gaped into her shimmering blue

eyes and began to shake.  Llewellyn tried to hold him still, but Dashiell violently pushed him away, making Llewellyn topple into some iron candelabras.  Sweat poured from Dashiell’s brow as tears flowed down the Blessed Mother’s porcelain face.  Then the statue’s tear-stained eyes released their grip on Dashiell and turned to meet Jonatha’s.  Unblinking, Jonatha maintained the gaze and felt a cool breeze stir through her soul

and a warm hand gently stroke her heart.  The others felt only fear as they saw Jonatha surrounded in a blazing white light levitate several inches above the ground.

 

Father, Son, and Edwina

Entering the room like a force of nature, Edwina concentrated on being a swirl of femininity and had no idea she was about to become a feast.

“Well first let’s take care of professional business,” Edwina announced as she sat on Vincent’s couch, not adjusting her skirt when it rose up her thigh, a few inches higher than what was considered respectable.  “My Father has asked me to offer my services to you as your personal assistant.”

“How generous of Perry,” Vincent remarked.

“And now that that’s out of the way, I’d like to concentrate on personal business,” Edwina said.  “After last night’s escapade I couldn’t resist coming back for more.”

“I’m glad you did,” Vincent replied.  “Do you know my son Adam?”

For the first time Edwina noticed Adam, who was lurking near the window on the far side of the room.  Instead of being startled or embarrassed, Edwina eyed the teenager from head to toe, her lips forming an unconscious snarl as she imagined Adam’s youthful, muscular, and hairless body naked and writhing on top, underneath, and alongside her.

“Well, Adam after my remarks you must think I’m that type of woman,” Edwina purred.  “I am.”

Edwina’s blood gave off a sweet scent like fragrant lilies that Adam was finding hard to resist especially so close to his feeding time.  Edwina was staring at the rising bulge in Adam’s tight fitting Helmut Lang jeans and didn’t catch his anxious glances to Vincent.

Vincent understood that Adam’s near uncontrollable hunger and inexperience would cause him to devour Edwina instead of simply feasting on her, so he decided to play the role of teacher.

“Son,” Vincent said, “this is how it’s done.”

Slowly, Vincent walked toward Edwina and put his massive hands on her shoulders.  Her mind raced with a collage of erotic images featuring her and the two men in the room, but then her eyes met Adam’s lustful glare and she thought she saw the skin of his brow change into something inhuman.  She closed her eyes, but before she could open them, her knees grew extremely weak and she felt herself swoon into Vincent’s arms.

Vincent bent his head to meet Edwina and pierced the flesh of her neck in the same place he did the night before, sucking her blood slowly in long, languorous intakes.  He released his fangs and laid Edwina on the rug and beckoned Adam to join them.  Before Adam plunged into Edwina, Vincent grabbed his shoulder and warned him.

“Gently,” Vincent said, “she is our special host and we will feed off her whenever we wish.”

“Won’t she remember?”

“She’ll remember the ecstasy and nothing more,” Vincent said.  “Be mindful to take only what will whet your appetite.  Later, we will make a full hunt on another, less fortunate prey.”

Before he fed, Adam asked: “But why use her?”

“Each day her body will replenish itself with fresh blood.  And each day we can feast on its purity.”

Adam bent down and looked at this mortal.  He hesitated a moment and then reared his fangs into her flesh, the new blood flowing into his eager mouth.  He was overcome with its flavor, so pure, so rare, and he struggled not to suck every drop of it from Edwina.  Vincent touched Adam’s shoulder indicating that his feast must come to an end and the younger Savage lifted his head to meet his father’s approving gaze.

“Thank you Father.”

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