Three days prior.
“Where is he?” I tapped my black fingernail against the edge o fmy wooden chair. The padding had almost worn down to the wood. Two female servants stared at me with their beady red eyes wearing the sluttiest maid uniforms I had ever seen.
I turned my nose up at them both as they kneeled before me in my study. The books were worn, smelling of old leather and the mothballs that sat behind the bookshelves. Documents ranging from vampire history back thousands of years to the recent events of humans being allowed into the Bergarian world. I was the Duke of the house Morealus, 15 times great, of one of the first original vampires in existence. Morealus was his name, and I take that name with pride. It is I who is to carry on his bloodline.
My head leaned back, sighing with disgust. Their breasts heaved, fluttering with death was their calling and I was just about to give it. “Answer my question,” I whispered, knowing damn well they heard me. I stared up at the ceiling of the old study. Paintings of vampires ripping heads off of humans stuck above me. The painting was done centuries ago, if not thousands, and preserved to its exactness how it is said we fed. Our techniques have changed, using our fangs more than our mouths to sink into flesh. How unfortunate to damage the
skin so. I licked my lips, remembering how smooth Odessa’s skin was to me. To think at one time a claw would have opened her up like a gutted fished sent unpleasant shutters down my
Reusable blood bags were our ways to recycle. We were doing our part, not taking more than we needed. Vampires don’t nearly play with our food like that of our ancestors. We do not waste, at least I like to think that we don’t. There are times I find the few vampires liked to take too much, they are dealt with case by case.
“My Lord, Master Enoch went out just last night. He took your carriage to a pub and sent it back right away because he said he would be late looking for Odessa.” the female servant waved her hand. Was she having an aneurism, or was she trying to get my attention? Pinching my nose, my eyebrows automatically raise high on my head.
“Find him,” I growled within my throat. The demon inside m e, the madness I had at the moment, was about to unleash. I was a kind duke, not as bad as the other families of Donnahue, Lurane, Pathos and Sufan. My servants had the best quality of life, the best clothes, and they happily served me. Most of the women coming from other, lower nobles hoping my eye would glance upon them, but to no avail. They did not please me. None of them pleased me. As my mother said, I was a ‘picky little shit.’
If I wanted some fun, I would run off with some damn dark fairy. I had a taste for the dainty skin, the fluttered wings, and
sharp features. Most of all, I liked how small they could get. Few would think of it, but the smaller they are, the tighter they are. Chuckling, hearing my rings hit the arm of my chair, I fiddling with the wood the servant stood up.
“I can go look for him again, but the guards say he never came to the front gate.” Rolling my eyes, I waved my hand. They both graciously bowed, their breasts spilling over the top of their dresses as they leave.
“Ladies,” I purred. Standing up, I put my hands behind my back, walking closer to them. They both straightened up as I neared. Unfortunately, I can’t hear their pulses because they dare not beat until they found their mates. My face came between the two. Pretending to breathe just a bit, I whispered. “If you do not put your maid outfits up to code, you will be escorted back to your respective houses is that clear?” Both nodded fervently, not breathing a word. “Leave.”
Sending those two vampire demons back would be for the best, yet I don’t want to deal with the poorer nobles whining.
Enoch had been missing. He had not returned to me this morning like he was supposed to, giving me word if anyone had seen my pretty little Dove. He had been working overtime, overseeing the search for my favorite.
She was certainly a different breed. She wasn’t the smallest human girl I had ever met, a good average height. Her body was slim, perfectly proportioned and her skin, gods, her skin was perfect. The only marks on her body were that of my own. My teeth tore into any marks left by previous feedings before I met her, not wanting anyone’s mark on her delectable body.
Not to mentioning the alluring scent she projected. It was sweet, citrus-like, with a hint of lavender. The oddest combination, but thinking about it makes my fangs water. It was in her blood, roaring through her carotid artery. Her heart beat faster when she heard the clicking of my leather shoes down the hallway when I met her daily. I would like to think it was for me that her heart raced in excitement for me to pierce her savory skin.
But it was fear.
Her rounded face, her pouty lips carried me at the moment I saw her. She waited in the feeding room, my feeding room, which was filled with exquisite pillows and couches. I liked to b e comfortable, it makes the blood run smoothly. Many humans liked the room, often requesting to sit in the largely fabricated room.
I scoffed at the idea. I don’t feed on the same blood-bag twice.
That is, until her.
Odessa was different. Obviously, she had never seen a vampire before, nor been from this world. Enoch spoke that her mother had to pay a debt back to the estate, and this was her repayment, her first born. Blood Bags were scarce, especially now that some lost princess had been found. Her gifts were said to bring balance to the kingdoms.
Then again, who believes in such rumors? She opened up the magical barriers for humans to come through. I should send her a gift actually, thank her for allowing such treats to enter this world once again so that vampires could feed of what we were supposed to all along.
Drinking nothing but animal blood or donations from different supernaturals was exhausting. No one wanted to help the poor vampires, too scared that we would take advantage. Look where that got us, drinking nothing but deer, bear, elk and other random creatures. Now that we had forced new members into the Vampire Council, we have been able to retrieve better sources of food. Now we had gone too far, forcing our fangs in blood bags.
Being an unmated vampire has been difficult. I only wished to help stabilize the kingdom, bring vampires from depression and let them feed to be full. Animal blood doesn’t make you feel full, merely barely satisfied. Bitter. We were all bitter about not having our stomachs full. We were taking it out on the humans because we couldn’t take it out on anyone else. Would they even donate their blood to help us? Most likely not, because no one else showed initiative either.
Looking out the study window, I see dawn approaching. The broken tree branches, scarce with vegetation, keep most of the light away in this part of the Bergarian. It was better this way t o keep the light away. Better for our near translucent skin and sensitive eyes. My hand traced my neck, the wound would now scar on my body. It will never leave my skin.
Odessa, like I said, was different. Not once did she cry as I stuck my fangs into her skin. Not once did she struggle, try to get away, or even beg for forgiveness.
After feasting on her the first time, I had to have her again. She didn’t struggle. The blood flowed effortlessly down my throat like a good bottle of brandy. The slight acidity in her blood gave me my own high that I didn’t want to get rid of. I was drunk, maybe even love drunk, with her savory skin.
It wasn’t just the blood; it was also her voice. Calm, alluring, like the gentle waves of the dark southern seas. Granted, I would have to ask her questions to get her to speak. She did slowly and calculated, giving more about her than needed. I liked that. She didn’t talk to hear herself; she talked to be heard.
Three months drinking her blood, I knew I couldn’t be without her now. Odessa continued to surprise me as I became more rough with the feedings, becoming effortlessly addicted to her. It turned me on to see her take such pain and her not say a word. I was a sadist. I loved seeing someone in pain, seeing them scream. She did not and brought a new level of pleasure. She was strong, didn’t complain or cry. Odessa would wince when I turned my fang, the small twitch in her eye would send me over the edge. I could spill my seed just watching her opposing hand clamp shut.
Odessa put me on a whole new level. I needed her, not just her blood. I needed all of her. This delicate human was the
strongest of them all both body and spirit.
I wanted to keep her forever.
Sure, one could wait for a mate, but I was old. I saw no one catch my eye such as her, so why not?
I meticulously made preparations for three months. The bedroom scene planned to be a perfect T in my mind, taking her virgin body in my own hands, finally piercing her dainty little neck and leaving my permanent mark on her. The mark would make her be infatuated with me. She will please me every night and even during the day if I demanded. We would both have each other, I would become even more obsessed with her. I would have her blood and only feed from her, as she would do the same to me. The perfect action of love and devotion, my future beloved.
“Gods,” I groaned, hitting my fists on the desk. I wanted her t o bite me, get back at me for all the times I made her feel the pain in her arms and legs. I wanted her to punish me. Odessa, the sweet, innocent one, biting into my arms. The thought made my toes curl.
Feeling my scar again, I smiled. The little sweet one had it in her, like I knew she would. I twirled the bits of my tangled black hair as I sat back down in my chair. It was more painful than it should have been, but it proved that she was strong, like I always knew. Taking that sharpened dogwood stake, slitting my throat like it was nothing, I liked the fire.
Unfortunately, I didn’t like she ran away, nor the idea of her finding a dogwood stake to use on me. If she That was something she would not have known. I dealt with that problem swiftly. The little vamp girl didn’t know what was coming
It took two days to heal. Two days of her running further away.
Throwing my arms out, I swiped my entire desk of papers, books, and brandy off the desk. The crash alerted the guards, who rushed in. “My Lord?” two guards looked around the room, looking for the culprit.
“Take me to my beloved’s room,” I growled. Buttoning the buttons on my suit, I marched out of my office and down the hall. After I had decided I would make her my beloved, I put her in the finest guestroom of the house. Many times, I walked past her room but could never smell her. The thick beach wood doors were to keep arousal from sweeping down the hallway. M y fingers often played with the wood panels, wondering what she could be doing inside. Was she combing her hair? Playing with the new dresses in her drawers? What could she possibly b e doing in there?
The maid from earlier stepped in front of the door. “My Lord, can I help you?” My head held higher, not wanting to look her i n the eye. “I wish to see my beloved’s room.” The guard’s hand went to the handle, but the servant girl stopped.
“Oh, I have washed everything in the room, my Lord. I hope it i s to her liking when she returns.” She fluttered her fake lashes towards me. With a nod, the guard opened the door. Stepping
inside, slowly I breathed in to take in her scent. The sweet citrus scent that I craved for was not there.
Odessa had stayed in this room for three months. Her scent should be embedded into the carpet, the pillows, the curtains. The entire room should smell of her.
There wasn’t any.
Turning slowly, I smelled the fear emitting from my servant.“ This is not her room,” I hissed. My fist went tighter, my tattoos on my fingers stretched impossibly far, making the ink fade. “Where is Odessa’s room? This was specifically for her.” My clawed finger nails lengthened, reaching for the sorry excuse of an attendant.
“My Lord, please!” Fingers entangling on the back of her hair, I pushed her face right to the floor and into the furred carpet.
“Smell,” I whispered. “Do you smell that?” She whimpered, her hands hitting the wooden floor next to the carpet.
“What. Do. You. Smell?”
“Nothing, my Lord,” she choked.
“Exactly.” I pulled her by her head, slamming her against the wall.
“Then tell me, why was Odessa never in this room!?” I roared. My forehead vein pulsing with rage.
“I can answer that,” the second servant from my office came
into the room. “She,” the busty servant pointed to the other servant girl harshly, “did not listen to your orders. She stuck her into a bigger cage and only dressed her when you wanted t
“Is this true?” I growled out. The guards stood beside me. My breath heaved in a second time. I told Odessa that she would have better quarters, that she would have the finest. Now she thinks I’m a liar. I was a lot of things, but a liar I was not. No wonder she ran.
“She was a lowly human!” She tried to reason. “One not so worthy of your high ranking!” Hissing, I pushed my fingers through my thick hair.
“You will regret this.” She cowered. “Where did she stay? Show me.” The servant swayed, falling several times before finally standing, walking through the large doors.
The servant continued down the hall, reaching the door to where the blood bags were kept. The dank basement, the water dripping in the distant corner, made my lip curl. My beloved, the one I wanted, the one I had saved from this hellhole, was kept here.
I would have ran too.
The cage was larger than the others, a small thin mattress not as thick as the tip of index finger laid on the floor. Odessa’s smell was strong. Pulling the thin blanket with holes up to my nose, I sniffed the aroma that kept me up at night for months.
The plans, the mating, the formal gathering I had planned for her all wasted. On top of it all most of my guards were gone helping a little uprising with the rogue witches not far away. It was the perfect night for her to run.
Standing up from the cage, I turned slowly, my eyes zeroing in on the two servants who disobeyed. “Dungeons,” I spat. “The both of them.” Guards began dragging them, their feet digging into the wet stone floor.
“Not me my Lord! I told you of her treachery!” She screamed, pleading. I laughed vociferously.
“Really? Then you should have told me of her wrong doings since the first night. You are just as bad as her,” howled. Smelling the rag once more, I put it in my pocket.
My beloved would return to me, we would be reunited. Anything that stood in my way would be destroyed.
“Get another search party,’ I spoke to my head guard as walked out of the blood room. “Send out a reward notice to every vampire, dark fairy, and witch you can find.” Looking out the nearest window, the sun began to set. She was new to this world, the only single human running around Bergarian. Odessa would stand out like a sore thumb, few places to hide i n a place like this. Someone will find her quickly. “The reward will be beyond anyone’s comprehension.”