Indigo Ink Ch. 05byBelengo©
Author's Note: This is part five 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.
The candlelit room was quiet beyond the moist sounds of their kissing. Ink reached between them to once again caress him. "Let's take a shower together," she panted into his ear. Any protests or sounds of impatience Alvo might have thought to voice were silenced by a few slow, indulgent strokes. "Go get the water started while I get ready for you," she purred. Alvo nodded his consent. He was still smiling back over his shoulder at her when he moved beyond the flickering, orange light. Three heartbeats later, the chain stirred. Ink sat on the floor, closed her eyes, and tried to ignore the sounds – the desperate scrape of boots, the feral snarls, the slurping sounds of consumption. I just killed a man. I'm a monster now too. She had gone to church every Sunday with her mother. She knew all the prayers, songs, and ritual responses, but her immortal soul was something she never gave much thought to. It's too late now, she told herself. If there is a God, he just turned his back on me.
The click of a gun being cocked drew Ink's eyes upwards. At the edge of the light, a nightmare loomed. From nose to chin, Asha's face was smeared with gore. She was wearing Alvo's pants and leather jacket, spattered blood still visible on her exposed cleavage. Stands of her strawberry blonde hair were matted with blood and stuck to her cheeks and neck. The collar still held her, its chain trailing off into the darkness. The pistol in her trembling, bloodstained hand was trained on Ink. I didn't realize he'd had a gun. For a few seconds, Ink stared up into the vampire's stormy eyes. "Do it if you have to," Ink said. "I wouldn't blame you." Asha's eyes narrowed – whether from contempt or suspicion, Ink couldn't tell. "It's my fault you're going through this," Ink continued. "I understand wanting revenge."
When the vampire spoke, her first words were awkward things. It was as if she was only just remembering how to speak. "By the bed," she said. "Nightstand. Top drawer. There's a key. Get it for me. Now." She motioned with the pistol for emphasis. Ink rose, retrieved the key, and turned to bring it to her. "No! Stop! Stay back," Asha demanded, urgency plain in her voice. "Put the key on the floor and slide it to me."
She's afraid she'll bite me if I come too close, Ink realized. "Okay," she said, kneeling. The key crossed the distance with a scraping sound. Asha snatched it and, a moment later, the collar and chain fall limply to the floor. The vampire's smile was thing of macabre beauty – triumphant and terrifying. The pistol was now tucked into the waistband of the vampire's stolen pants. "What are you going to do now?" Ink asked.
"I'm leaving," she said. Her voice had the finality of a foregone conclusion. She strode across the room, pausing at the door. "Coming?" she asked.
The question was a sucker punch. She wants to help me? "I... I can't," Ink said, head hanging. I've just condemned myself.
"The blood?" the vampire asked. "I'm fucking made of it. Come on."
"No. It's not that. If I leave they'll hurt Delilah. I can't abandon her." And what about Felicity? What if Benjamin was telling the truth? Ink didn't think that he was. Using hope as a means of torture seemed like the kind of game he'd enjoy. Still, what if he was? What about Sierra?
Asha scoffed derisively. "Unbelievable." Her voice was a husky and soft, like crushed velvet. "I know I'm only alive because of you, but you're testing the limits of my gratitude. Come the fuck on," she demanded. "What do you think they're going to do when they see what you've done?"
"I won't leave her."
Sitting behind a massive, mahogany writing desk, Ambrose considered the photograph for a long time. "You are positive this is the girl you claimed?" he asked in his customary, pleasant voice. Ambrose had the look of a man in his early fifties. He had a kindly face, disarming and amiable. His shaggy, shoulder-length hair was fully grey. Dressed in a plum business suit, he looked more like a sophisticated gentleman of leisure than the Machiavellian castellan of House Julian.
"Yes," Lavinia answered.
"In that case, it is unfortunate for the girl that she rejected your offer," he said, returning the picture.
"My lord?" Lavinia asked, confused. "She did no such thing."
Ambrose's expression assumed a quizzical air. It was a reprimand - and a challenge. "I said that she did."
"They'll kill her, Ambrose." Lavinia cursed herself inwardly. Addressing the castellan so causally was a breach of protocol – one that his raised eyebrow indicated had not passed unnoticed.
"Perhaps," the elder shrugged. "It is not our concern."
The elder cut her off. "Enough." Even softly spoken, his voice rang with authority – absolute and final. "Your claim was illegitimate. No elder gave their blessing for it. You acted rashly, like a foolish whelp. Now you would have us do what? Trespass the sanctity of a haven to rescue the object of one night's infatuation? No, do not argue. By your own admission, the girl was a stranger to you. Think, Lavinia. The Barcids lack the resources to defeat us physically or politically, and yet they provoke us. There must be some profit in this for them. Whatever their designs are, we shall not play into them. Consider this a lesson in the perils of acting outside of House Julian's traditions."
"Our traditions?!" Lavinia blurted, exasperated. "What about placing value on human life? That's a Julian tradition."
Ambrose's expression was a mask of patronizing sympathy. "Unfortunately, it is not a Barcid one," he said, standing. "Lavinia, House Julian does not recognize your claim. She declined your offer. She is theirs now to do with as they please. Now, if there is nothing else, you have my leave. Good evening." Lavinia said nothing for fear of honesty - respect for one's elders was also a Julian tradition. Instead, she gave a deferential nod and walked away with all the affected calm she could muster. Outside, Dean stood beside the open door of her Mercedes.
From a window overlooking the driveway, Ambrose smiled. The boy standing beside him looked sixteen, seventeen at most. His features had the delicacy of aristocratic youth. His hair was dark brown, as were his eyes. "Will she disobey you?" the boy asked.
"She can't, Phillip," Ambrose chuckled. "I gave no instructions."
"Another, Ms. Monet?" Felicity considered her empty champagne glass for a moment before nodding. One more can't hurt, she mused. This marked the third time she'd had that thought. To vampires! With all the decorum of someone accustomed to tequila shots and beer chasers, she downed the glass in a single go. "Another, Ms. Monet?" the servant repeated. Before she could raise her glass for fifth refill, a voice drifted into the room like a summer breeze – warm and soothing.
"I think four will do for now," Illivander said. The penthouse living room was lavish. Everything was chrome, leather, and exotic hardwoods. Illivander made it all seem common. As always, Felicity marveled at the sight of the beautifully androgynous man. Vampire, she reminded herself. It was still hard for her to think of him that way. Vampires were monsters. They were terrifying and inhuman. Illivander, she thought, is more like an angel. My guardian angel.
"Any news?" Felicity asked.
Illivander's expression waxed apologetic. "I am afraid not," he said, taking a seat beside her on the leather sofa. His proximity was palpable, like standing too near a bonfire. It made Felicity's skin flush and her heart beat just a little quicker. His touch was silken as he took her hand. Felicity held her breath. His lips are so perfect. I want him to kiss me. Maybe this time... Illivander interrupted her thoughts. "We are looking for her. As I said, if we can somehow take her from them it might not be too later for her."
At first Felicity just nodded along. I don't care what he says as long as his lips keep moving. Then, the words sunk in. Inspiration followed. "I know you said she's become one of these Barcids and that they make people kill their closest friend and all, but I know Ink. She won't hurt me." When Illivander drew in a breath, Felicity waved her empty glass at him to forestall any argument. "I know, I know. It makes people different. Seems to me that you're a vampire though and you're not all like I vaaant joor blaaad, blah blah blah." Illivander laughed - a sound as gossamer as French lace. "Cut it out! I can't think when you're laughing."
"My apologies," the vampire said, trapping his mirth behind a playful smile. "Please, continue."
Felicity sighed and peeled her gaze from his lips. "Ink won't hurt me and they need me alive to try and make her. So that makes me the perfect bait. I've got it all figured out. I'll go back home. When they come to snatch me up, you can follow them right back to their Batcave. It's so perfect!"
Illivander's brown pinched thoughtfully. "There are too many variables. You are very brave, but your plan is too dangerous. They only need you alive and conscious. They gives them considerable leeway to do you significant harm. What if we were somehow unable to follow or otherwise lost the trail? No, my conscience cannot permit me to do as you suggest. You are safe here. I would not jeopardize that for such a risky gamble. The Barcids are barbaric creatures, Felicity. They are the reason my kind are the stuff of nightmares. For as much as I labor to retain my humanity, the Barcids reject theirs in equal measure – if not more so. They are capable of terrible things."
"So are people," Felicity replied, her expression sobering. "I'm not afraid of pain, Illivander. My step-daddy got drunk and beat me every night. My mom told the doctors I fell off my bike or I fell down stairs." She laughed bitterly. "We didn't even have stairs. I still have marks from his cigarettes. Me and pain aren't strangers. We're old friends and Ink – she was the one that helped me get away from all that. I would've never stayed in school or done well enough to get into college without her. She could've gone anywhere but she enrolled in this crummy state college because they accepted me. Ink takes care of people. She took care of me. It's about time someone did some taking care of her. I don't care if they hurt me. I don't even care if she's a vampire. She's my best friend, I love her, and I am going to get her back. If you won't help me, I'll do it my damn self. So, pretty boy, what's it gonna be?"
Illivander stood slowly, as though her words had weighed him down. "I will give this some thought. I ask that you remain patience and afford me the time to evaluate the merits and plausibility of your suggestion." Looking down, he met her gaze. "Will you give me that time?" Felicity nodded. It was the only thing she could do. Her mind was swimming in his beauty. The mere thought of denying him anything seemed absurd and inconceivable. "Thank you," he said, leaning down and kissing her cheek.
"You missed," she said.
He chuckled at her forwardness. "Alas, my heart belongs to another, Felicity. You have his fire, though. I think he would have liked you."
Him? Felicity laughed, hard and honestly. "So I'm a lesbian hitting on a gay guy?" The softness of Illivander's expression drove home the finer points of what he'd said. "Wait," she said, laughter petering off. "Would have?"
"I lost him long ago," Illivander answered. The sudden sadness in his eyes nearly brought tears to Felicity's. He feels everything so intensely. "The Barcids took him from me."
"I'm sorry," Felicity said. The words seemed feeble, insufficient. "I didn't know..."
"There's no need to apologize. Your loved one is in peril and you'd do anything to have them back. I completely sympathize," Illivander said, nodding to the servant. As Felicity's glass was refilled for the fifth time, the vampire left her. In the foyer, the others were waiting for him.
"That was a nice touch. We took him from you. Priceless," Valentine laughed.
Illivander did not laugh with him. Neither did Sierra.
They were half way back to the mansion before someone spotted them. Ink stood motionless, forcing herself to watch. This man is dying because of me. I owe him that much. The handler's legs scrabbled frantically one last time, and then it was over. Despite being half his size, Asha had effortlessly pinned him before sinking teeth into his neck. "Hey! Where do you think you're going?" the handler had asked. They were crappy last words. When she was finished, Asha dumped the corpse amid the overgrowth. It didn't do much to conceal the body. By daylight, it would be easily seen. With any luck, we'll be long gone by then.
Asha threw open the mansion's backdoor. Music and light poured into the night. A handler peered out from within. "Peter," Asha said, addressing him by name. She sounded murderously happy to see him. The handler had just enough time to recognize her before the vampire took him – slamming him against the wall hard enough to crack plaster. He offered no resistance as swallowed his life by the mouthful. "Still like it when I use my mouth, Peter?" she asked as the man's limp body to collapsed in a heap. She is enjoying this. Another handler, this one named Rodger, met a similar fate before they made it into the ballroom. Delilah was waiting, just inside.
"Holy..." Delilah stammered when she saw them. "What the...?"
Ink didn't waste time explaining. She grabbed Delilah's arm and pulled her towards the backdoor. "Come on!" she demanded. This room is full of handlers. If they spot us...
Too late. A pair of them swooped in – one grabbing at Ink's arm, the other seizing Asha's. The latter was dead a second later, his head twisted backwards. Stunned by the death of his companion, Ink elbowed the man holding her in the stomach. He doubled over and Ink gave him a knee to the face. His nose mushroomed in a splatter of blood as he reeled. "Ink!" Delilah shouted. Too slow, Ink spun to face another handler just as his fist connected. It felt like a hammer smashing into her ribs. Ink staggered backwards as Delilah pushed between Ink and her attacker. A single, brutal backhand sent the small girl sprawling.
A few paces away, Asha tore a man's throat out with her bare hands. Blood sprayed the crowd inciting ripples of panic and confusion. The bark of gunfire pierced the pounding music. The first round hit a fleeing dancer, but the second and third each found their intended marks. Asha recoiled from the chest wounds. The music abruptly stopped, replaced by a cacophony of screams and gunshots. Two more rounds slammed into the vampire. Snarling, Asha rushed the man with the gun. Another two shots – one to the forehead – stopped her dead. Her momentum reversed, Asha toppled backwards. It had taken six bullets to drop her.
Ink kicked the first handler in the face as he tried to rise, but the second tackled her – knocking them both to the floor. She clawed at his face as meaty hands grasped both sides of her head and slammed it into the concrete. Once. Twice. The world spun. Her body felt suddenly distant, beyond her control. Through blurred vision, Ink saw Delilah running towards her. Dimly she registered the mechanical bark of the pistol and the spray of blood from Delilah's chest. Eyes wide, mouth open in an "O", Delilah dropped to her knees. They shot her, Ink realized, comprehension snaking through the dizzying pain. A second shot. Delilah lurched and fell, face first, to the floor. No. "No!" Ink screamed, head-butting the man atop her. She scrambled from beneath him, trying to get to the girl lying in a spreading pool of blood. A boot to the ribs slowed her. A second stopped her. Something inside snapped. Each breath was agony. Broken ribs, she guessed. Her thoughts were sluggish, stupid things. Hopelessly, she reached a hand out towards Delilah. She tried to call out to her, but only managed an inarticulate groan.
Somewhere behind her, a handler was shouting about Peter and Rodger. The man with the gun loomed over Ink. "I can't kill you, bitch. But I can fuck you up," he said, stepping on Ink's hand – the one already injured by Sierra. "You're lucky I don't..." Gunshots. They came in a staccato rush as, one by one, handlers dropped. Asha was back on her feet. She moved among the men like a furious angel. Her gun spat death at those beyond arm's reach. They were the fortunate ones. Those too near were maimed, throats and faces torn open by inhuman fingers or savage pistol whips. Another handler drew a gun and fired. The vampire hardly seemed to notice being gut shot as she mowed him down. Eight. Nine. Ten. The body count climbed as Ink crawled towards Delilah.
"Don't die. Please. Don't die," Ink begged, rolling her friend onto her back. Delilah's eyes were open – unfocused and vacant. Her lips were flecked with blood. Ink didn't think she was breathing. "Hold on. We'll fix you. Hold on. Asha! Asha! Please! She needs your blood!" The vampire looked up from the neck of a handler and dropped the man - his hand slipping from the bowie knife he'd thrust into the vampire's side. This, she removed with a casual flick of her wrist. "Please! Hurry!" Asha took the first steps slowly as tore open her wrist with fangs. Crouching beside Ink, she bled into Delilah's mouth.
Cruel laugher seemed to hang in the air, reverberating in the arches of vaulted ceiling. Benjamin stood at the opposite end of the room, leaning leisurely against the far wall. Ink scrabbled for the dead handler's pistol. In the seconds it took her to grab and raise the weapon, Benjamin was on her. With one hand, he wrenched the gun from Ink's. With the other, he intercepted Asha's lunge – catching her by the throat and twisting vulgarly. Asha convulsed and then went slack. Benjamin dropped her, head hanging loosely from her broken neck. The last of her adrenaline-born resilience spent, Ink collapsed. Pain, nausea, and exhaustion flooded over her. She clung to consciousness, but it was a greased rope. Get up, Asha. Get up. "Oh, she won't be helping you," Benjamin said, following Ink's gaze. Reversing the pistol in his hand, he emptied the remaining rounds into Asha's head and chest. Her body jerked from each impact. Otherwise, she was motionless.
Tossing the useless pistol aside, Benjamin knelt beside Ink and took her face in his hand. "You've been a naughty girl," he said. With a fingernail, he slit the thumb of his other hand and jammed it into Ink's unwilling mouth. "Drink before you go into shock. Can't have you dying on me." Ink bit down hard. Even that much effort seemed Herculean. She didn't even break skin as he laughed at her impotence. She could taste his blood, salty and metallic. "Drink, you stupid bitch." Involuntarily, she obeyed.
Added strength is another benefit of the blood.
The blood induced rush of heat swept over Ink as she swallowed. Her pain and fear subsided, washed away by liquid fire. She wanted. She needed. Her body ached for contact, for pleasure. No. Not pleasure. She wanted something else, something physical. Ink punched Benjamin in the groin. Once again striking him felt like hitting a brick wall, only this time the bricks cracked. Startled and in pain, Benjamin fell backwards howling in agonized rage. All too quickly, he began to recover – pulling himself upright. By then, Ink had Asha's pistol. "You fucking..." the vampire began. The gunshots cut him off. The first bullet shattered teeth. The second put out an eye. Ink pulled the trigger until the gun stopped firing. The vampire's face was destroyed. He lay beside Asha, twitching spastically. Decapitation kills outright. Moving slowly, Ink retrieved the bowie knife, walked back to Benjamin, and began to hack. Each vicious chop sent beautiful ripples of pleasure up her arm.