A Sanguine Romance for the Dying Ch. 05byUnknownPleasures©
Slick cobbled stones made it hard to run on bare feet. Portia kept losing her footing as she tried to get away from the brute that stalked her. The labyrinth of alleys held no secrets for her, and she sighed a sigh of relief when she stumbled into Carouser's Alley, a narrow street with dozens of small pubs with small lodgings on the upper floors. The throng of people, reeking of alcohol and opium were greeted by Portia as the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. She looked over her shoulder, body trembling and short of breath, but she saw no sign of her black-clad assailant. She felt some groping hands, but not even these could cause her any real distress after what the man had tried to do to her. She knew she had been very lucky indeed.
It had all started off as a normal night; he was customer number three. With the semen of her second patron still partially nestled in her pubic hair, she had sauntered off to a quieter place, not all too far removed from Kensington, hoping for a wayward dandy to hire her for an all-nighter. With her coquettish clothing and frilly bonnet on her head, she looked girlish and demure, and she always made sure she was as clean as possible; a feat not all too common among the other prostitutes around. A lot of them had vanished as of late. The stories of the man in black which killed whores relentlessly and without leaving any trace whatsoever had become the talk of the town, and people saw him everywhere. Everyone, from London Bridge to Bromley and even in Kent, everybody knew of the man who was dubbed the Ripper by the newspapers. But all Portia had heard was about a knife-wielding maniac who had red glowing eyes, stalking the grounds of Carfax Abbey and sacrificing whores for the Devil. She had no idea the man she curtsied to was that very monster. He froze in his steady pace, and tilted his hat at her, icy blue eyes taking her in. They had exchanged few words.
"You do not belong in Kensington, correct?" he said. Portia flashed her most innocent smile, making dimples appear in her rosy cheeks and when she shook her head, her blond locks wiggled from under her bonnet.
"I'm afraid not Sir, but I sure wish I could live here, in one of those adorable houses. I sure wonder what it's like to live there." She averted her face and sniggered for a moment. She could not recall how often she had said this. It was usually the prelude to a night spent in one of those houses, succumbing to whatever whims one of the more esteemed members of the Queen's society had bred, and she had bred some perverted fiends indeed. A heavy bag of coins made her forget all about the man's strange appearance in his black cloak and face hidden by an equally black scarf. He had rented rooms, and although she had seen more opulent residences, it was still far more impressive than the dingy room she shared with her perpetually drunken father and three sisters, who were all in the same line of work as Portia. When they had entered the main room, she tossed her bonnet to the floor and let her dress drop as well, revealing her pale, but otherwise rather supple and voluptuous body. The man scowled, his hands wringing on the knob of his cane. Portia got aroused despite herself; she brought her hand between her thighs and rubbed at her clit, her fingers greeted by her own juices, she massaged her left breast.
"I do hope I meet up to your standards, good Sir" she said in a husky voice", I would not want to see you disappointed." The man removed his top hat and scarf, a flowing mane of auburn curls falling onto his shoulders and an angelic face, all smooth curves and marble skin, with the gaze of a demon prince of hell boring into her eyes.
"You..." he said in a voice more like a snarl than anything else, "have already disappointed me to no end, my darling little harlot!"
She had heard of common people gaining enormous strength at times of great distress, and the only thing to which Portia could thank her life was this very thing. The man was fast, ridiculously fast, but also very clumsy in his anger. He brought his cane up high and screamed like a beast, but he had forgotten all about the door which he had left open. Every hair on her naked body stood on end as she leapt through the door, dress in hand, and fought a battle of equilibrium with the top of stairs for the barest of a second before she lost her footing and tumbled down the steps and into the hall. Every inch over petite body seemed to ache, every bone cracked and she clenched her teeth until they gritted, refusing to scream out in agony when she needed every bit of her wit to escape this man. She haphazardly threw her dress on, but she already heard the hurried footsteps of the man descending the stairs. She froze as she heard his snarl, he wore his hat and scarf again, letting his cane tap against the photographs on the wall, sending the frames flying, glass shards flying down and landing all around her. She covered herself and turned to run off, tiny shards digging into the soles of her feet. Tears streamed down her face as she ran into the street, but she did not sob at all, her breathing was shallow and she felt her lungs burning as she sped across the street and into the myriad alleys, where she knew she would have an advantage. She heard him scream; desecrating the relative quiet of the London night, a harried wolf's cry, making sure his prey knows he's out there. Portia ran as if blessed with wings. Some forgotten saint of yore must have come to her aid somehow, although the only person who cared about her up there in the heavens she could think of would be Mary Magdalene. The rains came, making her footing more slippery and she fell into dustbins and assorted clutter more than once.
But Portia was safe now. She saw no trace of the man in black, and only now it started to dawn on her how lucky she had been; the Ripper knew no mercy, and she was the first survivor of his not so tender administrations. She went into a pub and bought herself a bottle of red wine with the money which she had managed to bring along with her; a lady never forgets her pay. She downed half of the bottle, squinting and making a sour face as she swallowed it down. Her heart calmed down in her chest almost immediately and, emboldened by her newfound resolve, downed what remained of the bottle and threw it onto the floor. The laughter and crude remarks of the gathered men in the pub, nor the innkeeper's reprimand were able to get through to her. She spun around her axis, declaring "I'm a pretty girl!" to her audience and tip-toed toward the door like a limp ballerina. Portia was happy, and she felt like the strongest little whore in all of England. Her bare feet landed on the street and she gazed up at the night sky...and saw the Ripper standing on the rooftop opposite her, black cape fluttering in the wind. She couldn't find the air to scream, but ran off instead. She cackled while she ran.
"Constable help me, the Ripper's upon me! He wants to send my soul to Hell!" Some bystanders looked down the street, but saw nobody chasing her, nor anyone to be seen up on the rooftops. But as Portia looked up again and only found the moon gazing down at her, she heard the footsteps going click-clack, click-clack behind her, gaining on her. Then the fear broke through the alcohol and sent adrenaline shooting through her veins. She screamed and ran faster, devoid of any sense of direction, just onward, onward and onward. The rains were coming down faster now, and the cold clung to Portia like a wraith. Then the pavement and the sand gave way to thick, green grass tickling her feet. She had somehow managed to run all the way to Hyde Park. She dared not to look over her shoulder; she knew she was fair game and only had a slim chance of losing him by simply running away until he tired of the chase and gave up. The further she ran into the park, the more quiet it grew around her. She could hear her own heart beat, her own panting, and someone else's. She mustered all her courage to look over her shoulder but lost her vigil at the same time, walking straight into a tree and cracking her head against the unrelenting bark. She sank onto the muddy soil, her legs caving in from loss of control and sheer exhaustion. She saw the silhouette of a great beast approach her through half-lidded eyes, and then she lost consciousness.
She had dreamed of dancing in a mansion with a gorgeous prince with auburn hair and eyes of the clearest blue, but her senses told her, one at a time, that were she lay was wet, cold and reeked of rotting leaves and some other, more musky scent. Portia's eyes found it hard to focus. Somehow she felt at ease, lying there under this tree in the total darkness, her hand running through the soft fur of the great grey wolf which tenderly lapped at a huge wound in her neck, then moved his caresses down to her breasts. She meekly wrapped her legs around the animal and drew in breath sharply and coughed so hard it made her ribcage shatter. Her legs were parted further, and the gorgeous young angel with the demon eyes who had hunted her before seemed to melt over her, being formed out of wax before her tired eyes. His nude form pressed against her, and she felt his manhood prodding against her belly. She was dumbfounded; she found it harder and harder to breath, yet her killer did not make her feel afraid right now; it was too late to be afraid. And now her killer smiled down upon her, and she swore she could see tears welling up in his eyes. Red tears of sorrow.
"I'm sorry, so sorry Portia" he whispered to her, but she only heard him call out her name, and then his sobs as he kissed her cheek, her collarbone, even entered her as she felt her life gutter out like a candle during a midwinter's night. The last thing she felt was a loud crash against her head and a scream, but as her soul faded into oblivion, she knew it was not hers. It was all over for her now.
"Portia, no! I killed you! I'm a beast, an odious beast! May the demon prince of hell come down to claim me!" Edmund screamed his pleas at the night sky, his undead muscles flexed tightly, a pool of blood coursing from his eyes, fangs bared to the cold air. He gnawed on his fist, the same fist which had made an end to Portia's misery. He had wanted to punish her so badly, to set an example of her like all the others, to show Katrina that he possessed cruelty as well, to satisfy that sultry layer of his creator Messalina which now resided within the black heart of his beloved, and to fool himself into believing that acting like her will somehow solve the equation and make everything as it was again. He sobbed and slammed his fists into the tree under which they both lay, sending splinters flying from the force of his blows. His eyes went red with rage as he dug his nails into the small fir, uprooting it and sending it flying with a force that made the ground, and Portia's corpse, tremble.
"Come on God! Give me some sound judgement here! Do I need to commit more heinous acts to be punished by You or Your Son? Or am I not even worthy of Your Wrath! Tell me, tell me now!" His screams were menacing and guttural, and his preternatural hearing picked up the barking of dogs and distressed voices in the final moments of the night. Growling, he picked up the body of dear, dead Portia and stalked off further into the more savage part of the Park, and funnelled himself into the ground along with Portia's corpse, the first rays of the sun numbing his mind and scorching his back. God had given his answer to one of His most treasured sinners.
Katrina had clipped her hair short for this evening. It looked almost boyish, barely covering her ears. She had coloured her eyes lightly, the only makeup she even bothered with nowadays. It was not a proper thing to do for a lady after all. Edmund had not shown up around dawn, she knew. She also knew what he had been up to for the last couple of months. It was so transparent and downright gullible, really. A child of the night clinging to a ritual in order to feed himself. Like a cat playing with a mouse before killing fit. It was common among predators, but hardly becoming for a blood drinker, or at least that was what Katrina thought. She delivered justice when she took care of the impure men-beasts of which this city boasted so many. She not bring torture an already lost soul. Justice, vengeance exacted for those that cannot do it themselves. It was the same for the man with the reek of alcohol on his breath, even though the night was still young. She was allowed to escape the scent, he only had the copper for a mouth to suck the semen from his balls. He slapped Katrina's head while she sucked on his cock, and he hit harder when Katrina pretended that she liked it. She bit down with cold, uncaring teeth at the apex of his pleasure, leaving him moaning and crippled, bleeding to death. Katrina noticed that she was getting sloppy, Edmund's dallying about was distracting her.
She would seek him out tonight.
Dirt and dank soil still clung to his cloak and top hat. People stared at him as if he were an eccentric country dandy lost in the streets of London as he passed by. When he was in the sanctum of their home, he disposed of his clothes and prepared a bath. Hunger clawed at him like a rabid dog, making the tattered remains of his intestines cringe. When the steam obscured all of the mirrors in their bathroom, Edmund sank into the scalding water. But it did not scare off the cold in his bones. He closed his eyes, tried to remember the last time he had spoken to Katrina without shouting. He tried to remember what it felt like, holding her in his arms. In all of his defiance to his maker's blood coursing through her veins, making her more fierce a lady than she was before, he had become the same kind of monster he held her for. He should hold himself in contempt, not her. The clear water turned a lighter shade of crimson, without Edmund even realising that he was crying. The water cooled around him, but none of that mattered to him. This madness had to stop, he had to reconcile himself with Katrina, lest all they had be lost for good. He wanted to be things as they were before, before all of the grudges, before the real world of the night crawlers had invaded their private little paradise. Before the newspapers had started to write about him as well, and not just Katrina.
All vampires experience something akin to sleeping some time during their existence. It's not the blunt absence of awareness that the morning usually brings, but a more lucid state of unconsciousness. Edmund experienced this for the very first time. He was drawn into chimera of things that once were, those moments of intense joy and ecstasy he had shared with Katrina, him being full of inspiration, a happier person than he was before he had met her. He shook off this veil of illusion, stepping out of the bath with legs of lead. He walked into their salon still naked and the water dripping from his body. He was greeted by the curtains whipping around the room, controlled by the winds outside. All of the windows were open, and Edmund could feel the chill already seizing control of the room. He could not decide whether or not he was still asleep. A petite girl danced between the curtains, flashing a playful glance here, an alabaster leg there, twirling around in a way only a vampire could, turning horrendously slow on her toes, only to disappear behind a curtain again. He had never known another woman whose anatomy he knew so thoroughly. Had she come back to reconcile their differences as well, at the same time, in the same way he had planned? He stepped toward the curtain-draped silhouette at the window, longing to cup her breasts in his hands once more, to know her again as only he was allowed to know her, to be one again.
This sinner paid well, and knew what he was doing. By God, did he know what he was doing. He had seemed like a random gallant trying to get rid of his nagging lust by having his way with a whore, but he had wanted to wine and dine her in a restaurant at first. He had even insisted on taking her to an inn ' so she could clean her self up before supper'. Katrina had played along happily, her hunger welling up inside of her like a flood that was about to burst. " I'd rather you do with me what you really want to, milord. I'm but a simple girl that needs to earn her meal. So you'd best be quick." She had cawed those words in a horribly fake Cockney accent. The gentry loved that sort of thing. It made their minds boil over with theories; is she a decent girl living out a shadow life, a foreign girl perhaps, from places like the Carpathians? Those and even more ludicrous ideas had slipped their minds before, and Katrina had read them all. She wasn't prepared for the man kneeling in front of her, parting her legs so gently, like flower petals, and placing his mouth at her folds. He licked her, really licked her, and knew just where to go with his warm tongue. She had buckled off her feet and onto the floor despite herself, parting her legs so that he could reach her everywhere he wanted to go, and she had reached orgasm before he penetrated her, even kissed her as he unequivocally ravaged her completely, well on his way to even deplete her of all her energy. She had insisted on finishing him off with her mouth, cradling his balls in her tiny hand and batting her eyelashes innocently as she faked a gagging reflex when his seed did finally come and disappeared into her dead stomach. He had shuddered and laughed as she asked if it had been good enough for milord.
And now they shared a bed. He was finishing a glass of wine, and Katrina had her eyes shut, allowing her patron to rub at her clitoris with expert skill. She was warming up to him again, but she had a promise to keep. And more urgent matters at hand, as well.
" Milord, do you remember Elsie?" Katrina asked in her mock accent again. The man's fingers vanished from between her thighs. Katrina went on.
" You know, the one who you had quite often back in August, but then became pregnant of you?" She giggled, then her voice changed in pitch, grew more demanding when she straddled him under the covers. The man was aghast, his big brown eyes seemingly bulging out of their sockets.
" I...I don't know who you're talking about!" he stammered. Katrina slammed a hand onto his throat, her eyes turning violet, demanding, and unavoidable.
" Grow hard and fuck me, you worthless son of a whore!" , she hissed. And indeed, she felt him slip inside of her again, his face softening with passion but without the fear leaving his eyes. Katrina rocked back against his cock, clamping down on him with all the power locked inside her cursed body, and casually tore his throat to shreds with her long nails. A flood of crimson spattered the pristine sheets, covered her breasts and making her nipples stand out proudly. Katrina's fangs became visible, against her will, but it was too late for the man now anyway. She started to rise and fall onto the man quicker, licking her fingers clean, only to soil them again as she rubbed the blood onto her pert breasts.
" Do you have any idea of what they have done to her, milord?" , she said as she raked his face open. " They cut the baby out, and then left her to die! To die, to die!"
It was all she could do to keep herself from screaming any louder. Her mouth extended over the gaping wound as the man began to jerk his legs. His sex went limp inside of her, and soon his heart stopped beating. She took some coins from his purse and placed them on his eyes, then hurriedly cleaned herself up, covering herself in his coat. When she was outside, she had a quick look around for any witnesses and then leapt upon the rooftops and hurried her way home. The icy wind that whipped her coat around did nothing to diminish the all too common rush of fresh sinner's blood in her system. Yet her mind was altogether locked on a single issue. Edmund's little stint as her own personal copycat had taken care of the " Black Widow" myth that had started to accumulate around Katrina in the newspapers. She had switched to merely posing as a prostitute so that all of the attention would fall on Edmund's shoulders. He had already been dubbed the Ripper, but the police did nothing about the murders as long as it only involved whores. But it had gone on for long enough. Arguments between immortals should be fought out over people's shoulders. She would try to talk some sense into Edmund and yes, apologise to him as well. After mere minutes she landed onto the street in front of their home, bits of frost clinging to her victim's coat.. The little paperboy who Edmund always talks to was walking around, confused to see her.