Jasla & Sterin Ch. 10bykittys_pet©
"I love you too Sterin, my love." Jasla sighed, scratching his chin. The two lay on the warm, grassy hill for the rest of the afternoon, simply enjoying the presence of the other. Too soon they would be facing some awful danger in the town beyond. As Jasla closed her eyes once more she hoped that the other two were safe.
Neviel smiled up at her lover. It was strange that the town was so empty but the big, inviting bed of the house she had entered just couldn't be denied. Something about this house had called to her and she didn't want to leave. She stretched languorously and held out a hand to her mate. "Come back to bed love."
Nickodemous looked down and slowly smiled. Neviel was more than a match for his own passionate soul. At times like this one he wondered if he could keep up with the fiery headed wench. "Not now love. I need to go back and let Jasla and Sterin know it is safe to come in." He relented enough to sit down at her side and run a slow hand down her body. "Once I bring them in we can return to..." he smiled and didn't finish. Neviel nodded and closed her eyes. "You rest in here. I shouldn't be long. After all they are only up the road from us."
Neviel stretched again and then snuggled down. The bed was so comfortable. Practically decidant in it's comfort but she didn't care. Whoever had left this wonderful bed was truly strange. She knew that they should travel on soon but she wanted to spend one night lying in Nickodemous' arms in this bed. Her eyes closed and she drifted into a deep slumber.
Nickodemous looked about the woods that Jasla and Sterin had disappeared into when he and Neviel had gone into town. It was a strange place, this wood. He could almost swear that the trees around him breathed with an audible sound. Being of the werewolf tribe, he had grown up with a great appreciation of how alive the forest truly was but this wood felt like it was awake and thinking. He shivered a bit and cupping a hand about his mouth he called out, "Jasla!"
Jasla snuggled down. It was so warm here and she just wanted to relax but she couldn't. A part of her was pushing for her to get up and do something. Finally as she heard her name drifting across the glade she shook her head and got up slowly. "Looks like Nickodemous is looking for us, love." Sterin nodded his head and then bounded off toward the voice. Jasla paused a bit before following after him. "I hope we are up to your task. We haven't been so good at things lately."
Just before she stepped off the soft grasses of the glade she heard a gentle voice in her mind. "You are strong enough, young one. Just rely on that within yourself and you will succeed." She blinked and looked back. There, once more framed by the sunbeam was the glowing form of the Unicorn. As she watched he bowed, lowering his horn and then he faded slowly from sight in a sparkle of gold.
Sterin bounded forward, full of energy. The shared dream that he had with Jasla had restored a small part of him. He didn't know if it was the presence of the Unicorn or just the fact that he could tell his mate how he felt but he was glad that it had happened. He stretched out a bit in his lope and soon saw Nickodemous standing with his hands on his hips and looking about warily. Sterin slowed down and a slow cat smile spread over his features. Slinking to the side behind some brush he prepared to leap.
Nickodemous growled a little bit. What were those two up to. He hoped that Jasla hadn't taken it into her head to go off without him and Neviel. After a moment he heaved a sigh of relief. He could hear her voice in the distance, calling out for Sterin to wait up. They were on their way back toward him. He prepared to sit down when he felt something watching him again. He stood still, letting his senses tell him what was about.
Sterin grinned and then leap forward, being careful where his claws went. He landed directly behind Nickodemous and butted him in the knees with his head. The male werewolf spun about, staggering a bit from the blow to the knees.
Nikodemus was prepared to slash at whatever jumped him but he checked his fist. There behind him was a smiling cheetah, the look in his eyes one of pure fun. Nickodemous couldn't help but laugh. The cat looked so playful.
Jasla came through the trees just as Nickodemous spun about. She caught her breath as she saw him swing but she let it out slowly as he started to laugh. She had no idea what the two males were up to but she was relieved to see them playing. She walked over to the two and reached down to scratch Sterin's ears. "Playing I see." She smiled at Nickodemous for the first time since they started the trip. "Anything interesting in town?"
Nickodemous filled them in on the strangeness of the town as they walked back and Jasla debated about telling him about the dream and the request of the Unicorn.
Sterin hissed as he came into the village. It was defiantly a bad sign. Jasla and Nic were able to urge him on, but he kept very close to Jasla, looking about at everything.
Nickodemous didn't like that, some things he had to take at face value and the cheetah's natural reactions were one of them. Quickly they made their way to the bedroom where Neviel had fallen asleep.
"Neviel we have to.." He stopped as he saw an empty bed. It was like it had never been touched.
"Where did she go?!" Jasla said, breaking the silence and trying to calm the nervous were-cat beside her.
They began to search through the building. Looking for Neviel. They did not notice the last rays of sunshine disappearing into the dusk. Jasla looked up as Sterin hissed. There was a creaking sound and a well dressed man came out, holding the human form of Neviel in his hands.
"Ahh more..guests.." said the creature.
"Neviel!!" Nickodemous started, taking a step forward, his battle claws extended. Without question he knew what stood before him, holding his mate. "Leave her alone bloodsucker. She is a were and of no use to you!" he growled.
"Ahhh! But that is where you are wrong pup!" The creature smiled. "She has a very..unique..blood." he said, brushing her hair lightly and then groping her chest softly. Nickodemous snarled with rage and his muscles tensed ready to decapitate the thing for touching his mate when he saw the glittering of a silver dagger the creature had in it's hand.
"She may be of use to me but alive..Maybe not." The creature smiled kissing Neviel. Jasla had to dig her claws into Nickodemous' skin so that he would not strike the creature.
"Take them away!" He ordered to the walls. Instantly pairs of hands from unseen creatures pulled them away from each other. All except an infuriated Sterin. They mostly ignored the cheetah, considering him a simple beast and easily dealt with by their master. Never mind that he was slashing at the kindred holding Neviel. The creature dodged his blows or put the comatose Neviel between them.
"My what have we here?" The vampire smiled down at Sterin. "What a lovely pelt and such a well trained beast."
"Don't you touch him, you Bastard!" Jasla screamed, fighting the tight hands that were pulling her away from her love. Her heart was straining yet again. Why did something want to part her and Sterin? What had they done to anybody? Just because they were different? She lifted her hand and reached out for her love, calling his name.
Sterin turned from the beast still holding Neviel and leapt at the creatures holding Jasla. The vampire reacted quickly. He pulled the blade back and Jasla's eyes widened, He was going to kill Sterin!
"NOOO!" She screeched. The silver circle of the blade took forever to reach it's mark in Sterin's pelt. It hit and went deep into his thigh.
Sterin let out a cry of pain as his blood splashed to the wood floor. The other vampires were startled at the strange blood-scent of Sterin's blood. The weakened grips were just what Nicdemous needed. He tensed and crouched, leaping upward pulling his arms over his head, taking the vampire that was holding him and sending him sliding to the Kindred that had Thrown the knife at Sterin.
"Take the females!" He snarled and they all vanished. Jasla's scream for Sterin fading into a quiet whisper as Nickodemous fell to Sterin's side. He had never seen a wound like this. It didn't seal. And Sterin was losing blood. He had to do something..
Looking about the room frantically he dug through a drawer and came up with what looked like a sewing kit and some linen napkins. With a sigh of relief he rushed back to Sterin and ripping off his shirt, pressed it against the wound. He may have never seen a wound like this but his mother had. She had drilled and drilled him on what to do. He just hoped he could do it all right. First aid on a doll was one thing. The cloth bundle didn't feel pain. Sterin was a living creature and he hoped a friend. He didn't want to hurt him.
"Sterin?" Nickodemous looked down into the cat's eyes. He could see the intelligence trapped inside the animal form. He hoped he could explain this clearly, he hoped he remembered it clearly. "I am going to have to stitch up the wound on your leg. The blade is made of silver. You won't regenerate the damage."
Sterin's head slowly nodded and his eyes closed. Nickodemous braced himself and lifted the blood soaked cloth from Sterin's side. He winced a bit. It wasn't good but it wasn't as bad as he feared. The knife had sliced down into the muscle a bit and it would have to be stitched but it was a clean cut. He put the wad back over the wound and then set out the items he gathered. He needed some way to clean the wound and to make the needle clean of the little lives that caused wound fever. He searched some more and found a bottle of spirits. With a smile he shook the bottle. It was half full. There was a fleeting thought that he shook off that blood drinkers didn't need spirits but he was glad he found it.
He headed back to where Sterin lay and then lifted the pad. "This is going to hurt but it will keep the chance of wound fever down." The cat grunted and he took it for approval. "All right then, hold still." He poured about half of the bottle into the open wound.
He was surprised. Though Sterin let out a howl of agony, he didn't move his injured limb. Nickodemous was proud of his friend. It had to be more than painful but he hadn't moved. He was not sure he would have had the strength of will to set still through that. "Very good Sterin." He found himself gently stroking the side of the cheetah, something that amazed himself. "Now I will just start the hard part."
Sterin's head came around and gave Nicko an understanfing stare and then turned his head back and closed his eyes. He didn't want to think about the next part. The big wolf would have to sew up his wound like a tear in an old shirt. That was going to hurt and he was certain that Nickodemous hadn't sewn many shirts in his years. He tried not to tense up too much. It would make it harder for the wolf to do the job.
Nickodemous smiled and then let the smile fade as the cheetah's head turned. His hands shook a bit as he poured the spirits over his hands and the needle that he had threaded. Taking a deep breath, he placed a now steady hand on Sterin's flank and carefully opened the wound. The muscle was torn cleanly and he quickly set the stitches inside. He tried to be efficient in the work so as to cut down the amount of pain that Sterin was going to be in. He could feel the slight shudder each time he set one but Sterin didn't make a sound and his breathing was slow and even. Nickodemous used one of the linen's to wipe away the blood that welled up and then started to set the stitches in the skin. It was both easier and harder than the other stitches and he finished up, wiping away the blood once more. Then he made a pad of one of the other napkins and placed it on the wound, using strips to tie it in place. It was a bit awkward but Sterin should be able to use his leg to move about. "Okay Sterin, try it now."
The cheetah stood and slowly moved about. The wound felt weird. He had never been injured like this before but he felt less pain than he expected. Nickodemous had done a good job. He circled about and butted his friend's hand in thanks and then lowered his muzzle to floor and tried to sniff out where the creatures had taken the women. All he could smell was blood and alcohol.
Jasla continued to struggle as the creatures pulled her away from her beloved. Slowly she was growing beyond frightened and angry. The creatures that held her whispered in her ears, low words of just what they planned on doing to her and Neviel. She struggled, growling in her throat with each step they took her from her mate. When they faded from sight, taking her with them she grew desperate. She couldn't be separated again.
The young vampires held on tightly to the small blackhaired woman as they led her away from the animal on the floor and down a passageway into the bowels of the house. She fought them tooth and nail, trying to stay in the room with the beast that the master had taken down. "This one is feisty," said one of the more evil of ones holding Jasla's arms. "She will be very tasty."
Another shook his head. "Don't even think it Eric. You know what happened to the last one who tasted before the Master." The tall vampire shuddered in memory. "She is his to do as he wishes."
Eric made to caress Jasla's cheek and was rewarded with a snap of her teeth. "Too bad."
Jasla had no idea what they were talking about but she wasn't going to let them take her a step further. She dug in her heals and tried to fling off at least one of her captures. "LET ME GO!"
Eric laughed. "Why, little one? Don't you want to belong to the Master? Don't tell me the beast was something important to you?" He smiled sardonically. "Too bad. The Master has probably all ready skinned it for his wall."
When Jasla heard this she went mad. Not the gentle madness that she had been in when she thought Sterin dead but a full blood madness than only a true werewolf can enter. She shifted into her hybrid form faster than even the vampire eye could see and pulled her arms together. In her blood rage she had more strength than she had ever dreamed possible and she smashed two of the vampires clinging to her arms together, knocking them senseless. She then turned and attacked the ones following behind. Those blocking the path between her and Sterin or Sterin's killer. That night claws sliced through flesh like the silver knife had sliced through Sterin's leg. There were unearthly screams as one by one the younger vampires fell under the claws and teeth of a woman no longer sane.
If Sterin could have seen his gentle, flower loving Jasla now he would not have recognized her. Her fur was covered in the sticky blood of the leeches and it dripped off her claws and fangs. Her eyes glowed red in the darkness and the fastest of the vampires stayed just out of her reach. She snarled and paced from side to side, her mind no longer thinking rationally.
When the Master joined his fledglings in the chamber his eyes widened at the destruction before him. He snarled, showing his own fangs as he faced the enraged she wolf. "YOU DARE DESTROY MY CHILDREN!"
Jasla's head came around from the vampire she was shredding and she locked eyes with the beast who had hurt Sterin. In a breath she was up and leaping toward the vampire, her claws out stretched and a howl echoing in the chamber. The Master flung Neviel to one side and lashed out with his power. A dark power that he had hoarded and trained in the use of for long dark bloody centuries. With a lash of his will he stopped the she wolf in mid leap, a hand about her throat. "No, you will not. You are my prey, I am not yours!" He shook the snarling and snapping she wolf hard and then glared into her eyes until a flash of sanity returned.
Then Jasla was lost. For when the blood haze lifted her mind was open to the power of the Master leech and she soon joined Neviel on the floor, in a senseless heap. The Master looked about the room and then his eyes narrowed. "Clean up this mess and prepare for the ceremony." He gestured and the remaining fledglings swarmed into motion. He looked down at the two women and he smiled, slow and evil.
Above in the hall Sterin's head came up and a low growling moan escaped his mouth. Nickodemous looked down, concerned that the wound was giving the cheetah trouble but then he heard a faint sound that had to be but one thing, Jasla. Jasla in the red blood rage. He closed his eyes briefly. He knew just what could happen to a fighter who lost control and entered the rage. If the young and totally unprepared Jasla had it would not be good.
Sterin started searching frantically. He could feel Jasla's rage along his own spine. He vibrated with her emotion and only his own self control helped him to keep his sanity. He felt her mind snap into the madness of grief and hatred. He tried to reach out with his own mind and calm down his beloved. To let her know that he was still alive. He wasn't sure if it helped but the rage lessened, if only a touch. Then he could feel something horrible. Like something was sliding over her mind, cutting off the connection that he had just established with Jasla. He felt a moment of immense fear before he felt her pass into unconsciousness.
Sterin let out a yowl of loss and then started to run in the direction of the pull of her prescience in his soul told him she was. His claws scrabbled against the hard wood floors for purchase. Nickodemous let out a surprised yelp and was soon pacing his friend. He didn't know what was going through the cheetah's head but he trusted Sterin's instincts.
"Quickly! Bring them to the altar! The time is growing near!" said the Master. He turned to watch his servants with a cruel smile. Speaking more to himself than to those watching him, he smiled. "Soon I shall feast and become the most powerful being in the universe!"
The minions deftly stripped and tied the two women to the altar. He knew that they were pregnant. And pregnant women always had twice the life- force inside of them. He rubbed his hands together evilly, tonight would be the greatest feast of all. The demon would posses their bodies to steal their life forces and he would drink the blood from the bodies, taking some of the demon's energy at the same time. It would increase his power by a hundredfold.
He looked over the naked bodies, chained to the alter. It was a shame they would have to go to waste. He touched the breast of the red-haired one. She was nice and young. He longed for a fresh body to please him. It had been too long since he slaked his other cravings.
"Finish the preparations," he said quietly, having one last lingering touch on the unconscious woman's breast before he left.
One of his underlings came up to Jasla with a bucket of blood-paint and began to hum an ancient tune as she marked the body before her. The coldness of the stone and the wetness of the paint awakened Jasla. "Wha?" she managed to get out before she saw the female leech painting un-holy symbols on her belly. "What are you doing?!" Jasla yelped, tugging ferociously at the chains to try to get free.