The night called out to me as I stood on the highest branch of the tree. My hand rested on the tree's thick trunk and my eyes turned up to gaze at the dark blanket of sky. I exhaled softly, wrapped in deep thought. Winter was releasing its last grip on the land and spring was slowly allowing its beauty to unfold. The tree that I stood on allowed me a perfect view of the Vimarian Range in the north where my Keep was, the Shadow Plains and all around was Selatude, the Island of Gypsies where I ruled uncontested, following the long standing tradition of those that came before me.
It was here that I lost my mortal life and was gifted my immortal life by my dark mother, the beautiful and elegant Yulia, and it was she that filled my thoughts that night. Age, for me, had become a blur of the years. Immortality, to me, was a blessing and a curse. With Yulia gone, her only remains an urn placed deep in the catacombs, I found my days long and fruitless. My very existence now seemed to be only to feed and sleep and keep the gypsies safe. The only activity that seemed to occupy my time was battling the insistent scourge of the Order. The Priests were pushing, hounding my kind, bent on obliterating all vampires and everything else unholy in their eyes.
That was why they had killed Yulia. That's why they had killed whatever vampire they could find. I gave a heavy sigh. Enough, I thought, it was time to feed. The hunger was gnawing at my belly.
I stepped off the branch and landed easily on my feet on the ground below. Turning to the wind, I took a deep breath, my nostrils flaring. I smelled life, and on it was the telltale scent of freshly spilt blood. It was thick, seasoned with pain, anger, and death. Intrigued, I followed the scent trail. It didn't take me long to locate the source.
Four men stood in a clearing and two bodies lay strewn out on the ground, five males and one female. I kept to the shadows and watched the scene unfold.
"Your mother was a whore," said one of the men. In his hand was a long dagger and the blade was completely soiled in crimson blood. Two of the men were dressed in peasant clothes as was the man with the knife. The other standing man was a Priest. The two on the ground were still alive, though fatally injured. I knew that they would be dead within the hour, nothing save a miracle would be able to save them. Upon further probing, I discovered that they were blood related, older brother and younger sister. Dark blood seeped from between her legs that had been spread obscenely.
"A whore is what she is and a whore is what you are," said the Priest in disgust. "But she has been cleansed by the Fire. You, too, shall be cleansed by the Fire so that you will not repeat the sins of your mother." The brother gave a soft moan, thick in pain and despair. He reached out with a shaky hand slimy with blood and grime, trying to reach his sister. She lay silent, unconscious in her pain. "Purify this place with the Fire," the Priest instructed to the man bearing the torch. "Then return to the village." He made the Order's sign and left the clearing.
The four men each had a skin heavy with liquid and they began to pour it in a circle around the two prostrate figures then over them. One of the men took out a flint stone and was about to strike it when I stepped out of the shadows. I usually didn't interfere in the issues of mortals, but these men followed a Priest and I found that reason enough.
"Put that down," I said coolly, quickly casting a web of power over the men that rendered them helpless, my puppets to do was I pleased. The man's arms lowered at my command. I could smell their fear, their confusion, all oozing out of their pours, and combined with the scent of blood and the pain that was in the air, it was a potent aphrodisiac for me. "There you go, now please explain to me why the Priest has sentenced these two to death," I said.
"They're children of sinners! Their mother's a whore, their father a murderer," the man answered. "They were sinners, they had to die!" Kane found himself smiling. "They fornicated with demons! The Priest said so."
I laughed cruelly. "Fornicated with demons, you say," I said, amused. "Have you ever seen a demon?" My banked red eyes glowed in the dark. "You foolish mortals, so easily bought by pretty words. If a pig could produce such language you would most surely bow down and kiss its shit smeared hooves! Fornicate with demons. Hah!" I swept forward and knelt between the two siblings. The boy was still conscious and he looked up at me with a faint glimmer of hope in his eyes.
"You... save us?" he asked, his voice low and cracked.
"I can but there's a price," I replied softly. "An eternity of life."
The boy gave a weak shake of his head. "Save us."
I nodded my head grimly. It was the boy's choice. I lifted the boy in my arms and brushed back the matter hair to expose the youth's sturdy neck. Beneath the soft layer of skin and flesh was the faintly beating pulse, a mortal's timeline of life. I gave a soft sigh as my fangs slid free of their sheaths and lowered my head till I felt the cool skin touch my lips. I felt my teeth sink into his flesh, as easily as a hot knife through butter, and I felt the first spurt of blood splash against my tongue. Oh the Hunger, it screamed for satisfaction! But I kept it in check, drinking what needed to be had to start the process. When I was done, I lay him gently down on the ground then turned my attentions to his sister. She was more far gone than her brother. I lifted her into my arms. She felt so small, so delicate, she was a broken doll. I bared her throat to my eyes and when my lips touched her skin, when I pierced her flesh, tasted her blood, it was bliss for me. Her blood was sweet, thick, intoxicating. Once again I was forced to drink only what was needed to being the process. When I was done, I pulled back the sleeve of one arm and with a black tinted nail, I cut a small slit along my wrist. A pearl of my blood, black with age and power, bloomed on my pale skin and I brought it to the girl's lips. As was her new instinct, when she felt the blood cross her tongue, she drank, suckling as a new born babe would at its mother's breast. I smiled, proud as any new parent would be, and let her have her fill. I did the same for her brother, when I was done, I rubbed my thumb over the cut and it sealed itself.
I turned to the men next, knowing that these two would not stir for another day or so. Now, it was time to satisfy my hunger completely.
"What are you?" whispered one of the men in horror.
"I am the Undead," I said haughtily, buttoning up my shirt, "I am one of those demons, a true demon, that your accursed Priests warn you so much about, the demon that your Priest allegedly accused these two and their family of fornicating with." One of the men soiled himself, whimpering. "And tonight, you will die. You will become the cattle I feed upon to restore me to my strength so I may perhaps seek out your families, your wives, your children, your lovers, and destroy them, drinking their blood, assimilating them into me." I moved quickly between them, making small cuts on their necks. "Your blood shall empower us all!"
And I drew on them, calling their blood to me. Dark red streams gushed from them, mingled with their screams. I closed my eyes and drew every drop of their blood into my being till they were no more but dry husks.
With my belly full, I drew brother and sister up against me, holding their limp bodies tight against mine as I called upon the mists. Our bodies submitted to the ancient powers that converted us to the mists and I took to the winds and headed for my Keep.
I alighted minutes later at the mouth of the Keep and was promptly greeted by Dukhar, the gypsy that was the seneschal of my Keep household, and forever loyal to me
"Master, you have returned so soon," Dukhar said, giving a respectful bow. "You usually do not ret- oh, I see why you have made such a hasty return."
I smiled kindly at my friend. He was of sixty years and some, a content husband of a kind loving wife and a proud father of three beautiful daughters and a strong son. They, too, served me, his son a liaison between me and the gypsies, his daughters as housekeepers, cooks, and sometimes they occupied my bed when I needed or desired the companionship.
"Yes, I have Turned them," I informed him. "They will sleep for two days."
"I understand, Master," Dukhar said with another bow. "Which rooms do you wish me to prepare for them?"
"The green room for the girl, the one beside it for the boy," I said after some thought. "I will be in the bathing room. Send your daughters to me, I will need their help."
"Of course, Master, I will see to it immediately."
I nodded and left the main cavern and proceeded down the main hall that led down to the guest bedchambers along with the bathing room. The bathing room was large, a trough carved into the stone on one wall and the floor covered mostly by the three sunken tubs, each full with water fed from the hot springs originating from deep in the mountain. I lay the two still forms down on the wide ledges often used as tables just as Dukhar's three daughters entered. Each was a dusky sultry beauty and each in their twenties, two years apart. They were Sua, Mya, and Ila, each named by me, each name a Sacred symbol from Ancient vampire lore. They were all gentle creatures, graceful and kind of heart and they had no fear of me.
.... There is more of this story ...