by ‘Teresa Devereux’
I awoke in my own bed, and for the first time in almost two weeks, I felt at peace. It would prove to be short lived .
I made my way upstairs, to begin tidying the mess left by the Annubi. On reaching the living area, I heard someone in the wine cellar under the kitchen. A low painful moaning emanated from behind the closed door. Carefully I went down, to be confronted by an Annubi with a large gun. He wasn't threatening me with it however, as it was trained on a man strung up in the corner. He was chained by the wrists to a beam above him, and he was covered in a glittery substance. His head was slowly lolling from side to side, in half consciousness. A chill ran down my spine, as I recalled the 'Werewolf Boy' that had been tortured by Jan. This man looked just as innocent, and wasn't threatening at all.
I was enraged that they returned to my home, and had brought with them a torture victim! Regardless of what he was, no one deserved to be treated like that. I stepped towards the Annubi guard, and said "what's going on here? Why has this man been brought here? I demand to know what's going on!" He looked me up and down with disdain, and sneered "well, you'd better ask Jan." Confused, I said to him "you don't know what's happened to Jan?" He looked at me with hate, and said "what do you mean? What's happened to him" It was at that moment that I realised the other Annubi had no idea what had happened to him.
Why did I have to be the bearer of such awful news? I couldn't understand why Felicity hadn't returned and told them all herself? I said "umm, who else is in charge here?" He didn't give me a name, but said "upstairs". I gave the limp man in the corner a pitiful glance, but I had to tell the others about Jan before I could help him. Turning on my heel, I went upstairs. Finding a group of Annubi standing around, I said "who's in charge?" They all looked to one man, so I directed my attention to him. Choosing my words carefully, I said "there was an accident last night, and Jan has been hurt badly. I know where he is, and I can show you." Concerned, he glanced at the others, then to me, and said "let's go."
We walked outside to a vehicle, but I was surprised to find Felicity leaning up against the car, arms crossed in front of her. She was just standing there, rather nonchalantly, then turned and got into the drivers seat. The men jumped into the utility. I walked around the front, to get into the passenger seat. She said "not you." I glowered at her, still upset at her taking off and leaving me with Jan. I said "yes, I'm coming too." She said "no, your not". I could feel my temperature rising, and said more forcefully "yes, I'm coming."
I went to get in, when I saw Felicity had 'vamped out'. Her fangs had dropped, her eyes glowered at me, and her claws had come out. She lunged at me, throwing me backwards as she hit me in the chest. As I fell back onto the gravel drive, Felicity was raging on top of me, tearing at me with her claws. She ripped into the flesh of my breast, her nails seering me like hot irons. The pain was excruciating, and I thought I may pass out. Animal instinct seemed to take me over, and I instinctively began flaying at her with my own claws.
Out of my peripheral vision I saw the Annubi men reach for her, pulling her from me. She was screaming now "she killed Jan! She killed Jan. Her and her Sire killed him!" I couldn't believe she was saying such lies, but they seemed to believe her, raising their weapons at me. My jaw seemed to be dislodged, but I managed to mumble to them "no, I didn't,... I didn't!" They looked at her now with questioning looks, and the leader said to Felicity and I "explain yourselves". She began lying, saying that Gordon and I had killed Jan. I protested as best I could, saying it wasn't true. They must have at least doubted what Felicity was saying, as they lowered their weapons.
As I lay on the ground, beaten and bloody, I thought back to just before Jan was attacked. He had pulled up in the hummer, then leapt up the building. No one saw who attacked Jan, but his last words to me were “don’t blame Gordon for what happened. He was my friend. It wasn’t Gordon’s fault.” It made me wonder now why he would even mention Gordon’s name? I couldn’t believe that my beloved Gordon, the man I considered my father, could have anything to do with it. Still, it planted an uneasy seed of doubt in my mind.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw headlights come up the driveway, and a car crunched to a stop on the gravel. I heard Van Myers voice, asking what was going on. The head Annubi said "you'd better get her out of here." Van Myers and Marie lifted me and piled me into the back of the car.
I was in a haze of pain, my flesh wounds burning. We eventually reached Marie's apartment, and they laid me on a bed. I must have looked terrible, as Marie wouldn't hold my gaze for more than a second, before looking away. She said "you're pretty bad, you'll need to rest." I fell into a dreamless oblivion.
I felt like Alice, walking into some strange wonderland. The room looked like a Roman bathhouse, with marble columns and floors. It was softly lit by an unknown light source, almost as if it emanated from the marble itself. Looking around the room, I saw two women in a sunken pool swimming naked. There were a few other women around the room, and all of them had bald heads! They were all stunningly beautiful, their lack of body hair making them look even more surreal. As we neared the far side of the room, we approached a man reclined on a chaise lounge. His face was covered with white powdery make-up, and his lips were painted cherry red. HIs considerable girth was barely hidden beneath his white toga. One of the women was feeding him grapes, which she held above him. I surmised he was a vampire, as he took the uneaten grapes out of his mouth, and placed them in a bowl beside him.
It was theatrical, like I had walked into the middle of a Greek play. The man looked over as I approached. "Ahh, yes, Teresa. We've been expecting you." With the wave of his hand, two of the harem girls moved sensuously either side of me, leading me to another room.
We entered a white marble bathroom, elegant gold trim everywhere. Silently I was undressed by them, and bathed in a small pool filled with milk. They tended to my wounds gently, and washed the dried blood and grime from me. I was then dressed in a tasteful blouse and suit, and assisted out to the original room.
The man handed me an elaborate goblet filled with blood, and urged me to drink. I put it to my lips and drank it thirstily. After the first mouthful, I realised how potent the liquid really was. I could feel it surge through my entire body, quickening every nerve. It felt like they were all firing at once, and I was filled with what I can only describe as ‘dread ecstasy’. After only a few mouthfuls, I had to stop. It was the most amazing sensation I had ever had when drinking. My hunger was sated, and yet I had imbibed so little? After regaining my composure, I handed the goblet back. A knowing smile crossed the man's face, as he turned and walked away.
I was escorted from the building by the Sheriff, to a car where Van Myers and Marie were waiting. It seemed the Prince had requested our presence. A yearning overcame me at the mention of his name. It was so strong, totally unlike any sensation I had experienced. I wondered what it was about him that attracted me so.
We arrived, and Louis took us up in the elevator, inserting his key and punching in his special code for the Prince's floor. He led us into the main doors and through the foyer. In the lounge area stood the Prince, accompanied by a beautiful woman with long dark hair. They were looking into each others eyes lustily. I immediately felt a jealous twinge, and couldn't help but glare at her. She gave us a cursory glance, and glided off to a side door. I didn't want to admit it, but I think it led to the bedroom.
The Prince turned his attention to us, and smiled at me warmly. He said "thank you for coming, especially you, Teresa my dear." I could feel blood rushing to my face, as he looked me up and down sexily. He stepped towards me slowly, like a lion stalking its prey. Stopping beside me, he said "I hope you are feeling much better now? You are very important to me." With that he caressed my neck, running his hand through my hair. I could have melted under his touch at that moment, and it took all my willpower to remain composed. He dropped his hand, and addressed us all. "I want to know how your investigation is going."
Van Myers gave him a general run down of what had occurred. The Prince then stood behind Van Myers, and whispered in his ear. I couldn't quite make out what he was saying, and chose not to try and eaves drop anyway. Van Myers remained silent, yet I believe the Prince had threatened him in some way. The Prince dismissed us, and Louis took us down in the elevator.
I felt deflated. I could feel his eyes burn into me whenever we were in the same room, and yet I couldn’t spend any time with him alone. I am confused about the emotions I feel. I have never had a boyfriend, finding most men to be immature and vulgar. Because of that, I am inexperienced in relationships. For now, I will try to conceal my attraction from him, and get on with the task at hand.
We left in a taxi, and Van Myers suggested we go back to the club 'Reno's', where we might get further information from 'Forty Dog'. It seemed his bodyguards were not impressed with us arriving unannounced, and were refusing Van Myers access. Before I knew what was going on, Van Myers and Marie were in the middle of a gun fight! I panicked, and ran out the front doors of the club. Stopping outside, I realised that I was alone, and that the others hadn't followed me. I debated for a moment what to do, but my guilt took over, as I couldn't leave them there to fight alone.
I rushed back in, and I was shot a couple of times by one of the thugs, who was brandishing some sort of automatic weapon. It is an odd thing, being shot when already 'dead'. While it smarts, there was nowhere near the pain I had compared with my 'little run in' with Felicity. The others weren't fairing any better, and had taken several shots. By some miracle, they managed to kill the bodyguards.
Hearing police sirens nearby, we fled out a side door into an alley. As we composed ourselves, we all looked ahead at a homeless man shadow boxing with himself. He then simply disappeared into the shadows. We heard a scraping sound, as a sewer manhole was opened. Looking at each other, we came to a silent agreement, and fled as fast as possible away from the area. We hailed a cab and returned to Marie’s apartment.
We all looked quite bedraggled, our clothes bearing bullet wounds and blood stains. I was a little upset that the lovely suit I was given was now ruined. We hailed a cab and returned to Marie's apartment.
Marie said she needed blood to heal, and Van Myers needed to heal several gaping bullet wounds. Marie said she would go and find us some vessels to feed from. Van Myers gave her specific instructions on what kind of person he would feed from, and that she would have to go somewhere a little more 'upmarket' compared with where she normally frequented. She dressed in a rather stylish black dress, (albeit short in length) and went into the bathroom to put on some make-up.
A few minutes later, Marie yelled out to me, sounding distressed. I walked into the bathroom to find her staring transfixed at the mirror. She said "did you see it? Did you see what’s written on the mirror?" I looked at the mirror, then at her. I couldn't see anything, and had to tell her so. She was in a state of confusion, but accepted what I had said. She gathered her things quickly, then left in a cab. I was surprised she even owned a dress, let alone that she looked quite nice when she put make up on. Her reaction in the bathroom troubled me however, as it seemed she was hallucinating again. I could only wait and hope she snapped out of it.
After half an hour, we heard Marie's key in the door. Van Myers and I decided it would be best to hide in the bathroom. I didn't want to know how, but Marie had managed to bring back three young men with her. We looked out through a crack in the door as they began pawing and kissing Marie. She seemed to take it in her stead, and grappled them back. My mother had a name for woman like that, which I will not repeat here. Suffice to say, it wasn’t flattering!
Van Myers and I crept out from our hiding place. He went up behind one of the men, and bit into his neck. He was taken by surprise, but relaxed when the pleasure of the kiss engulfed him. I approached one of the others, and bit into him. While the experience of drinking from him was pleasurable, it was nothing like the rush I felt from the blood in the goblet.
We took out the men's wallets, and found their addresses. Hailing a cab for them, we piled them in, explained to the driver that they had drunk a little too much, and gave him the destinations. Van Myers, as always, tipped the driver handsomely. I couldn't help but think that 'a fool and his money are soon parted', yet he seemed to have an endless supply. Dawn was approaching, so we went inside again and retired for the 'day'.
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