Indigo Ink Ch. 03byBelengo©
Author's Note: This is part two in a vampire erotica series - complete with all the tropes associated with that genre (mesmerism, blood, mild violence). If you are disturbed by these, please do not read further. This series is more story than sex, so if you're looking for a quick romp, this probably isn't for you.
Ink wasted no energy on revelry when she returned to the mansion. Instead, she downed a microwave pizza and headed straight for one of the bedrooms. Naturally, Delilah followed close on her heels, an endless font of questions. "So, you get answers instead of blood?" Delilah asked, incredulous, as she curled up behind Ink on their shared mattress.
"Only as long as I go every night," Ink explained. "I can stop any time I want, but if I do she won't take me again." It was a twisted game devised by a twisted creature. In exchange for her nightly blood, Sierra would answer three questions about vampire kind. All Ink had to do was endure being slowly leeched by a parasitic lunatic. That, and pose her questions carefully so as to not arouse suspicion. Unhinged or not, Sierra probably wouldn't be interested in giving Ink any pointers on the best ways to kill her.
"You're going to get yourself killed."
"They can't kill me," Ink reminded her. "I am protected by their laws." The other girl was clearly skeptical. Ink couldn't blame her. Sierra was mad. Could Ink truly rely on laws to protect her from such a creature? It was a question she knew was best left unasked. Regardless of the answer, her course was set. She would test the waters with innocuous questions on her next visit. After that, she would hedge for information about the limitations of the vampiric condition. With any luck, Ink would have at least something to work with by the time her endurance failed her.
"Aren't you afraid?"
"Yeah," Ink admitted.
Ink rolled to face Delilah, tucked an errant lock of hair behind her ear, and draped an arm over her protectively. "Don't worry. I'll take care of you."
On her next visit to the guest house, the butler escorted Ink up one of the foyer's grand, twisting stairs. The second floor was much like what she had seen of the first, conspicuously opulent. Classical busts stood atop marble pillars in recesses. Large paintings hung in ornate frames, giving the corridors a museum-like feel. One of these caught her eye, causing her to pause and earning a reproachful look from her impatient guide. The portrait depicted a young woman clad in the dress of a colonial, southern belle. With a smile that spoke of scarcely contained mischief, the painted girl looked happy save for an act of cruel vandalism that blotted out her eyes with what Ink strongly suspected was blood. "This is Sierra," Ink observed. "Did she do that to the painting?"
"That is the Lady Macy," the butler said, not answering the question. "And I might add that the lady is expecting you presently and does not care to be kept waiting." Reluctantly, Ink allowed herself to be led away, glancing back at the defaced portrait until it was out of sight. What the hell happened to you, Sierra? Ink wasn't afforded much time to speculate. "In here," the butler said, opening a door for Ink. Light from the hallway slanted in but, beyond that, the room was darkness. No, that's not foreboding at all, Ink thought wryly as she stepped through the threshold. It wasn't until the butler closed the door behind her that the light from a single candle became evident.
"Hello, Indigo," the vampire said in her syrupy drawl.
The candle was set on a nightstand beside a large bed. Sierra sat at the foot, nude and backlit in flickering light. I should be terrified, but I'm not, Ink realized. Instead, she was fascinated by the raw beauty of the vampire – the roundness of her breasts, the subtle curve of hips. The candlelight seemed to gather around Sierra like an aurora. The curious tilt of her head exposed a neck that seemed made for kissing. Her shadow-darkened eyes were vortices, drawing Ink inexorably deeper into their unfathomable depths. The urgent intensity of newfound infatuation left little room for apprehension in Ink's racing – increasingly lascivious – thoughts. "You're enthralling me," she accused.
No denial was forthcoming. Sierra's smile was a perfect recreation of her portrait – impish and unrepentant. "Show me," she commanded. Obediently, Ink slipped out of the summer dress that was her only garment, the discarded fabric pooling around her feet. Stepping free of it, she walked slowly towards the vampire, measuring each step to enticingly delay their moment of contact. Who's seducing who here, she wondered. When she was within arm's reach, Ink hesitated to allow the vampire to examine her prize. The naked desire in Sierra's expression made Ink feel beautiful in a way that no other eyes upon her body ever had. "Answers now or later, wildflower?" Sierra asked, reaching out to circle Ink's navel with a single fingertip.
"Later," Ink whispered, punctuating the word with a deep kiss, their tongues mingling in the heated choreography of lust. Laying her down on the bed, Sierra began to lavish Ink with kisses. Beginning at her neck and working downward in tortuous increments, the vampire explored the full contours of Ink's body with lips and tongue, ever teasing with fangs that pinched but never penetrated flesh. Ink's fists bundled the blankets, her back arching upwards as Sierra's attention turned to her most sensitive flesh. In unison her muscles clinched with the mounting tension until – eyes squeezed shut and mouth agape – Ink shuddered in orgasmic release. It was then that Sierra nestled her face into Ink's thigh and claimed what was, by the terms of their deal, hers. Pleasure so intense as to blur the line between agony and ecstasy wracked Ink's body, plunging her into a world of sensory overload. When at last Ink returned to her senses, it was only long enough to register the exhaustion born of climatic exertion and blood loss before succumbing to it.
It was the vampire's insistent voice that drew Ink back across the border between worlds. At first she thought the sweet, silky taste of chocolate was just a lingering remnant of her dreams. "Chew and swallow," the vampire commanded. Ink did as she was told even before she was able to parcel out the individual words. When the first chocolate was gone, Sierra slid another from a heart shaped box into Ink's mouth. "Again," she instructed.
I'm being hand-fed chocolates in bed by a vampire, Ink observed, noting the sheer absurdity as yet another chocolate found its way into her mouth. She might have laughed if doing so hadn't been a choking hazard.
"Next time you'll taste like candy," the vampire declared as she deliberated over which confection would be next.
"Really?" Ink asked between bites.
"No, not really. You have two answers left," Sierra said, settling on a raspberry filled sea shell. "Open wide!"
Ink's eyes narrowed in irritation. "That wasn't fair. I..." she protested, her complaint stifled by a mouthful of candy. Resisting the urge to swallow sooner than was strictly advisable and voice further objections to the loss of one answer, Ink considered her next words carefully. "What is a Julian?" she asked when at last her mouth from free of obstacles.
"A member of House Julian, one of the three noble vampiric houses," Sierra answered. Her playful mood disintegrated. "The name is a reference to the Julii, a Roman family that included Julius Caesar among other tyrants. If the Julians are to be believed, the Patriarch of their house was a member of that august bloodline. The Julians like to think of themselves as the self-appointed enforcers of whatever arbitrary laws they and sycophants devise for the rest of us. Oh, how they preen and crow, the proud Julians! And we, their vanquished adversaries? We are forever consigned to the role of being a cautionary tale for any who might contemplate a world without Julian boots to lick. The blood that rots in your precious Lavinia's veins is no less noble than mine," she said, her face contorting into mask of implacable contempt. Ink hesitated, not wanting to interrupt Sierra's tirade. The more she revealed the fewer questions Ink would have to ask. The vampire's abruptly cagey expression suggested that she had just come to the same conclusion. Once again, Sierra's hair-trigger mood shifted. This time, her smile had a decisively Faustian mien.
This is the devil I made the deal with, Ink thought. Now, she is dangerous.
Sierra rose from the bed like an uncoiling snake, slow and menacing. Ink watched with the cautious eye of a prey animal as the vampire crossed the room, opened an interior door, and stepped into what Ink guessed must be a bathroom. The candle's sliver of flame cast only shadows at that distance. The squeak and sputter of a faucet confirmed her suspicion. When the water cut off a moment later, an uneasy silence filled the void left behind. The flickering candlelight lent motion to the shadows, which only served to highlight both the stillness and the impenetrable darkness beyond the tiny island of light. Somewhere out there, an insane vampire is staring at me. The thought sent a slithering chill down Ink's spine, her every instinct compelling her to run. No, predators always chase you when you run. I'll show her that I am not afraid. On shaky legs, Ink got out of the bed – a feat that left her head spinning. How much of my blood has she taken? Keeping a hand against the wall for leverage, she made her way towards the bathroom. Just inside the doorway, she groped for and found a light switch. Instantly, the terrifying unknown was dispelled. In its place, a different kind of terror took hold. The girl with strawberry blonde hair – the one that had attacked Ink for courting Sierra's attention – was sprawled face down in the tub. Motionless, the nude girl had the look of a corpse dropped unceremoniously into an impromptu grave. Sierra was nowhere to be seen.
Muttering obscenities, Ink knelt beside the tub and checked the girl – Sierra had called her Asha – for signs of life. Her sweaty skin was cold, but she still drew shallow, irregular breaths. Her pulse was a feeble, lethargic mummer. She likes to take the same people several nights in a row. After a while, it gets hard to keep up, you know? Delilah's words. Asha had stopped keeping up. "She's dying," Ink said as she rolled the girl onto her back.
"Yes," Sierra agreed, stepping into the light.
"Come on, wake up. Stay with me," Ink said, gently trying to rouse the girl. It was no use. She was too far gone. Each of Asha's breaths came a little slower than its predecessor. "You're just going to stand there and let her die?" These words she threw at the vampire like daggers.
"Asha tasted like summer," Sierra answered. "Summers never last."
Comprehension – heartbreaking and sickening – dawned on Ink and she stood, turning to face Sierra. The vampire's smile was expectant, just as Ink had known it would be. She was forcing Ink to spend her final question. "The whole time we were in bed together, Asha was in here dying... and you're showing me just to make me use my last question for the night," Ink seethed. "This girl is dying and it's a fucking game to you."
"My precocious wild flower is upset," Sierra said, "but didn't she want to know what being a vampire is like? It's like this, Indigo. Humans come and go in the blink of a vampire's eye. What does it matter if we kill them or not? In a few decades they turn to dust either way. They are fragile, ephemeral things. Ashes, ashes, they all fall down." She sang the last part in an eerily childlike voice. "Of course, you don't even know if I could save someone in her state."
Ink's hand moved of its own volition. The punch caught Sierra by surprise and square in the face. Ink recoiled, cradling her hand, and spewing a litany of curses. I think I just broke my hand on her face and she didn't as much as blink, Ink despaired, bracing for whatever retaliation the vampire might unleash. None came. Sierra stood, head askance, her demeanor more intrigued than angry. "You're wrong. Vampires don't have to be monsters," Ink said, through pain-clenched teeth. "I saw your painting in the hallway. What happened to that girl? Was she fragile and ephemeral?"
All expression bled from the vampire's face. When Sierra spoke, her voice was delicate - like thin ice. "Yes."
"Can you save her?" Ink asked, uncertain how to handle this newest shift in Sierra's disposition. The vampire nodded once, a somber gesture laden with significances that Ink couldn't puzzle out. "Please?"
"She beat you bloody. Why would you risk my wrath to help her?" Sierra asked in her ethereal monotone.
She really doesn't understand, Ink realized. "What happened to you, Sierra?" she asked, unable to conceal the pity she suddenly felt for the broken creature standing before her. The vampire looked away and shook her head. "If you won't answer me, will you please help Asha?"
"She won't thank you."
"Maybe not, but I will thank you. Please, Sierra."
Sierra turned an uncertain gaze towards the dying girl. Come on, Ink prayed, remember what it was like to be human. As if on cue, the vampire spoke. "Leave us. Go back to the mansion."
"But Asha?" Ink began.
Rain was coming down in sheets as the handlers escorted her back to the mansion. By the time she reached the rear doors, Ink was soaked from head to toe - hair and dress alike damply adhering to her skin. Her right hand throbbed, the knuckles of her pinky and ring fingers swollen and discolored. At least I can still move the fingers, she thought, although the pain of doing so rendered it a pyrrhic victory at best. Mercifully, Delilah – who had once again been dutifully waiting for her return – gave her something to help with that. Whatever the two little, round pills were, they also helped Ink with other problems – like consciousness. When she awoke, she was alone on a mattress in an otherwise unoccupied bedroom. Her injured hand had been wrapped up in a makeshift bandage made of tattered t-shirt material. Delilah's doing, no doubt. Outside, the relentless drumming of the rain continued. The overcast made it hard to tell, but Ink guessed it was sometime in the late afternoon. She would have rolled over and allowed sleep to reclaim her, but the gnawing emptiness of her stomach vetoed the motion.
Still clad in her now dry – if not much-wrinkled – summer dress, Ink headed for the kitchen. Since her first encounter with Sierra, the mansion's other residents had taken to giving Ink a wide berth. The tattooed by with spikey, auburn hair proved to be an exception. He stepped up behind her, fencing her in with his arms, as she watched the microwave's timer tick down. "Remember me?" he asked. She did, in part at least. Her first conscious encounter with the effects of vampiric blood had been overwhelming. How many lovers she had taken that night, she couldn't say. At first she'd tried to remember, tried to assemble a mental inventory of her partners. After her second taste of the blood, she gave up on it. There were just too many. At least she had Delilah's assurances that the vampires did not tolerate disease in their vessels. Ink took some small comfort in that. The pill protected her from other perils – for a little while longer, at any rate. If things don't go right, getting knocked up will be the least of my worries, she reflected.
"What do you want?" she asked, trying to remember if she'd ever known the boy's name. She didn't think so.
Leaning into her, he kissed the back of Ink's shoulder. "Babineaux is sending for us tonight. She likes a show to whet her appetite." Judging by what she could feel of him pressed against her, he wanted to rehearse. In a different lifetime – one before Ink knew that things really did go bump in the night – she might have entertained the notion. But this wasn't the Abyss, they weren't dancing, and all she wanted just then was a microwave pizza.
"Not possible," Ink said, ending the oven's cycle prematurely and collecting her food. "I'll be with Sierra again tonight. Now, excuse me, whatever your name is."
"Oscar," he said, withdrawing an arm. Ink sidestepped him and headed for the door. "I will see you tonight," he called after her. "Babineaux asked for you by name; you and Delilah."
Delilah? Ink lingered in the doorway. "Babineaux asked for us both? Together?" What is she playing at?
"And me." Misinterpreting Ink's interest, Oscar grinned lasciviously. The withering smile he got in return was the picture of condescension. The sting of her derision transformed his arrogance into scorn. "What's your fucking problem?"
"Other than being an edible sex slave?" Ink didn't wait for his answer. Instead, she set out to find Delilah, nibbling at the pizza as she went. She discovered her friend in the laundry room. Located near the rear of the first floor, the room served as a stockpile for the various articles of clothing that amassed in the house. In an adjoining room, a pair of washers and driers was constantly running – operated by residents that earned extra rations of narcotics for their labors. This was how most of the housekeeping in the mansion was done, an exchange of services for drugs. The laundry was Delilah's chore of choice when it came to keeping herself well supplied with pot, valium, and vicodin.
"Hey, Inky," Delilah said. She was in her usual, cheerful mood. "How's the hand?"
Ink tried flexing the injured digits and flinched. "Not great, but the bandage really helps. Thanks for that."
Delilah beamed and slid a joint out from behind her ear. "Fancy a smoke?" It was a rhetorical question. While most of the other residents preferred harder drugs or alcohol, Delilah was content to pass her time floating on a mellow, marijuana-induced cloud.
"Oscar says that Babineaux is going to send for us both tonight," Ink said, declining the joint.
Exhaling a long stream of smoke, Delilah's was completely unperturbed by the prospect. "Could be fun," she said offhandedly. Then, taking a closer look at Ink, she added, "You're kind of pale, Inky. I'm not sure you're up to it. This would be three nights in a row. That's an awful lot." Lines of worry formed on Delilah's brow and around her mouth. "I dunno, Ink. You can't keep this up."
Ink smiled in appreciation for the girl's concern, but it faded quickly. Delilah was right. Even after sleeping away most of the night and day, Ink was still exhausted. She was paler than usual and an unshakable chill clung to her skin. Even the ambient heat from the churning dryers failed to warm her. I'm starting to look like Asha did. "I don't really have a choice," Ink said, shrugging. "I just have to hope that Babineaux doesn't mess up my arrangement with Sierra." Before Delilah could voice more concerns, Ink changed the subject. "Has anyone seen Asha?"
Averting her eyes, Delilah shook her head. "I asked around. She never came back. Maybe it wouldn't be such a bad thing if Babineaux did wreck your deal."
If she does, we're all the more likely to die here, Ink thought. I need more answers. What she said instead was, "Maybe so."
Churlish smile returning, Delilah gave Ink a pat on her bottom. "Don't worry. I'll go easy on you tonight."
Despite herself, Ink laughed. The idea of being forced into sexual intimacy with her friend held absolutely no appeal for Ink, but she didn't think she could explain that without hurting Delilah's feelings. The usual rules of society had no place in the mansion. For the residents, sex was just another means of escape. Ink banished the thought and tried again to change the subject. "What happens if two vampires want the same person?"