Raven Walks Ch. 09byStarrLust69©
Chapter Nine: Damien
Raven stared out into the moonless night from the second floor of his old plantation style house. The rumor was that it was haunted. Raven figured as long as he lived there, it was.
His mind kept returning back to the night before. Sonja and her blood lust, Pixie and her sacrifice. As much as he himself hungered, he just couldn't bring himself to leave the solitude of his home. His lip curled with the ironic thought that one night wouldn't kill him.
Maybe it would, maybe it wouldn't. Maybe, just maybe, it was what he deserved.
With a sigh he pushed away from the window.
At least he'd saved one life. He supposed that was going to have to be enough for now.
Little did he know that just across town Abigail sat at her dressing table and styled her hair. She had no intention of staying away from the club, this night or any other. She'd never been one to do what she had been told, and this would be no exception.
She was not afraid, she kept telling herself. She hoped eventually she'd even believe it.
The club was alive with music that stirred her heartbeat as she entered the room. Her eyes scanned the crowd for Raven's face, expecting to see disapproval etched so deeply in those dark eyes. She had her speech all ready, and had even practiced it all the way there. It started with "Who do you think you are?" and ended with "You don't get to tell me what to do!" She hoped she managed to get through it without any kind of pout.
It sounded so familiar to the arguments she had had with her parents, her father in particular. He had done his best to shelter his daughters. Her sister grew tougher under his rigid hand, but Abigail had simply rebelled.
She dated the bad boys, got in trouble with the head mistress at their private school. But despite the fight between them, she had made her father secretly proud as she set out on her own and did everything she said she was going to do.
She went to college on her dime, not his. She worked her way through four long years of no social life, just study study study, work work work.
Her sister had not gone to college. Instead she had traveled overseas in a quest to "find herself". Apparently it had worked, because no one had seen her since.
To each their own, Abigail had long since decided. She had other things to worry about.
She was so focused on finding Raven she never spotted the other redhead behind the bar. But the newest bartender noticed her. Despite her larger frame, she managed to hunch down and slink out of sight before Abigail's gaze swung back around in that direction.
The new bartender bumped right into Sebastian, who was making a rare appearance during peak party hours. He'd grown tired of that scene and normally avoided it at all costs, but he wanted to see how she was doing.
"Ginger," he said in a low, commanding voice.
The redhead straightened to greet him. "Sebastian."
He smiled as his eyes traveled from her uniquely colored hair, her dark glasses and her generous curves. He knew it had probably been a mistake hiring another human for Sonja's old position, but she had enchanted him. She was strong, much like Sonja had been -- maybe even stronger. "How's it going?"
"Good," she said, not one for long conversations. "I just needed a break."
He nodded. He understood. "Get Xavier to fill in for you."
She nodded and then walked away, making sure they didn't touch. She was aloof, Sebastian noted, but in this place who could blame her from reserving judgment on whom to trust. She was a rabbit in the den of many wolves.
He still had a smile on his face as he entered the club. Despite whatever mistakes he'd made with Sonja, he hadn't lost her. Better still, her replacement gave him hope that one human could stand strong among them. The smile died however when he caught sight of the other redhead who was surveying the crowd. Had Raven sent for her, Sebastian wondered. If so, why did she return?
Humans. They were like moths drawn to the flame.
He made his way over to where she stood.
She watched the handsome man approach, and was instantly captured by his mysterious light colored eyes. He reached out a hand. "Abigail," he said, and it made her wonder how he knew her name. "I'm a friend of Raven's," he answered her unspoken question. She had no way of knowing that this was a vampire who fed upon the psyche, rather than the flesh. "My name is Sebastian."
Instantly recognition sparked in her eyes. "You own the club," she stated. She had done her research. But nothing prepared her on how to respond to his intense aura. Despite how weak kneed it rendered her, she had the innate sense that he meant her no harm. She smiled. "It's nice to finally meet you," she added. He knew in an instant she was out to use her wiles to pump him for information.
Perhaps she would also be willing to share some of her sublime energy he could feel deep in his soul as he stood next to her and absorbed her. He allowed her to lead him over to a secluded booth.
Back in the staff area of the club, Ginger located Xavier -- the spiky blue haired Goth vampire who doubled as a bartender. It was the best way he'd found to lure beautiful humans and trap them under his spell, so he didn't mind the rather menial job for an immortal. He watched this new human with fascination. "Sebastian said you could cover for me," she said. No pretense, no waffling. Just direct and to the point.
He liked that.
"Sure," he said as he rose in a languid stretch. He sauntered over to where she stood. "Provided you'd be willing to return a favor for a favor one day."
She eyed him suspiciously. "Like what?" she asked, again direct.
He slowly moved around her as he drank her in. He loved the smell of her musk, which seemed to rise the more agitated she got. "You tell me," he whispered and ran his tongue along his fangs.
"Sorry, I don't mix business with pleasure," she told him and turned away.
He grabbed her but the minute their skin touched he wrenched away like he'd been burned. "What the hell?"
"Should have listened," she said as she turned away again. This time he grabbed her and this time he held on even though he looked as though it caused him great discomfort.
"Listen, bitch," he hissed, and that was all it took for her to flip him around and push him up against the wall.
"Don't call me names," she warned in a low voice. "And never, ever touch me again."
He wasn't sure what hurt worse, the way she had his arm bent or the touch of her skin on his. "Got it," he bit out. He normally didn't allow women to get away with such disrespect, but she wasn't just any woman.
She let him go. They stared at each other for one long moment before he finally turned away and headed back toward the club.
She took one deep breath to calm down and then flopped into a chair.
"That was quite impressive," a male voice with a British accent said.
She swung around to see a man who was leaning against the door frame. He wore a goatee and a mustache and long, wavy dark hair. His dark eyes were playful as they danced over her rigid frame. "Relax," he said as he causally strolled over to another chair. "It was just a compliment."
"Do I know you?" she asked, her voice as stern as her face.
He did a mock bow. "Damien Cross, at your service."
"The only service you could do me is to leave me alone," she said. She was still on edge because of what happened with Xavier.
Luckily, or unluckily, for her Damien seemed to know that. "Young Xavier has not yet learned how to deal with the fairer sex."
Her eyebrow raised. Was that a sexist remark?
He smiled. He liked her already. "Of course I couldn't say you were weaker, now could I? You seemed to dispatch young Mr. Luna quite efficiently. Well done."
"Thank you," she finally managed.
"Wise, that," he went on, her participation in the conversation seemingly irrelevant. "Being a human in a nest full of blood suckers, it's a good idea to have a few moves like that up your sleeve."
It was her turn to smile. "I'm not afraid of vampires," she assured him.
"Then you are a rare human being," he praised. Whether he believed her or not she couldn't really be sure. "My I ask the lady's name?"
"Rambo," she quipped. He gave her a hearty laugh. This eased her nerves a bit. Generally joyous vampires weren't out to kill you.
He vaulted to his feet. "You are amusing, love," he said as he gave her another bow. "And therefore I will leave you to your solitude. Good night. Rambo," he added with a wink and then left her alone.
Out in the club Sebastian sat with Abigail, who drilled him on information about Sonja and Tracy Lynn.
"People come and go here every day," he assured her. "This is a community of vagabonds and gypsies. Some stay for a while, some stay for a moment. It's not up to me to keep track."
"Then why call the police?" she countered.
"I was worried about Sonja. I'd grown very fond of her." He gestured to the dance floor. Sonja stood close to yet another young woman in an intimate dance. "But as you can see, she's returned."
"As a vampire?" Abi pressed.
He chuckled softly and leaned in towards her. She felt herself swoon slightly from the force that surrounded him. "Undead is still not dead, Abigail. I'm afraid to tell you that without a corpse, there is no murder mystery."
"But..." she tried to continue but he put his hands over hers.
"Our culture is not your culture, Abi. The minute you try to bring human sensibilities into it, you've already lost. We are all thieves and murderers in our own way. My advice to any human who cannot accept that is to stay far away from us."
But even as he said it, she felt herself lean in towards him.
"That's what Raven wants for you, Abi," he told her as she toppled into his amber eyes.
"Raven doesn't own me," she managed. This made him smile as he touched her hand and led her onto the dance floor, he never once broke their gaze.
She melted against him as she felt the warmth of his taunt body spread over the coolness of her own. She couldn't look away from him if she tried. His eyes bore down into hers. His full lips were slightly parted, and she could almost feel a kiss he hadn't yet decided if he wanted to deliver. It wasn't that vampires were faithful creatures, necessarily. They were lustful. Sinful. They coveted, they stole. But the man Sebastian had always been had been loyal, and it was Raven he thought of in that moment, rather than his lovely Sonja.
His resolve grew weaker as he watched her own lovely lips part in anticipation of a kiss. There was nothing wrong in holding her, he decided. They swayed to the music and she could imagine them together in an ornate ball room centuries ago. Her imagination came alive with satin gowns, lovely jewels and a mysterious stranger with bright amber eyes.
The more she gave her spirit to him to render to his will, the stronger his aura became. He drank from her energy without reserve until she finally fainted against him just as he began to grow against her. She was not ready for him yet, he realized. He hoped she never would be.
He picked her up into his arms and carried her to one of the back rooms. Red velvet and satin to match her fiery mane. He laid her upon the bed, touched her alabaster face, and contemplated for more than a moment kissing her sexy mouth. A sound from behind him startled him right out of his internal struggle.
It was Sonja, and her fangs were full. "She's lovely," she purred as she crawled up the bed. She didn't have to struggle whether to kiss her. She simply did it.
Though he stirred at the erotic sight, he touched Sonja's arm. "No, my love. Not this one. She is Raven's."
Sonja pouted as she slunk away. "I'm hungry," she whimpered.
He put his arm around her. "I know, my precious. Let's go back out onto the floor to find someone for you to taste."
This seemed to perk her up somewhat, but she sent another longing glance Abi's direction before she left.
Sonja still pouted from the bar as she watched all the couples evenly matched on the dance floor. Xavier leaned across the bar. "Something wrong, pretty lady?"
She gave him a hungry look, one he'd long since come to recognize. Ginger had already joined them again and was waiting on a customer at the other end of the bar, so Xavier took her hand and motioned for her to follow him.
They were all over each other as they tumbled out into the night air, away from the prying eyes of the people inside. Their tongues played together and she felt the cool steel ball from his tongue stud. She could only imagine would that would feel like elsewhere. She whimpered as she pushed him down to his knees.
In one motion he pulled down her panties and pulled up her skirt. She spread her legs for him and with his own hunger he dove right in. She felt his tongue and the tongue stud as it flickered across her clit. She cried out in the night as her hand clasped handfuls of hair.
Long moments had passed while Abi slept there in that red room. The candlelight flickered and died. When she awoke it was completely dark, and she had to wonder for a moment if it had all been a dream. But she felt the satin sheets beneath her and she knew she was once again in one of the rooms that hid behind the coven.
Immediately her hand went to her neck. She sighed with relief that there were no marks there. Just cool, perfect skin.
She sat up on the bed and that was when she heard the sound. She listened in the darkness to make it out. Again she heard it -- it sounded like a hissing sound. Her hair stood on end as she realized she couldn't tell where it was coming from, as it sounded like it was all around her.
Just outside, Sonja was coming against Xavier's mouth, crying out as her fangs punctured the sides of her face. She screamed when she felt him puncture the skin of her groin and drink from her. She was delirious with need.
Inside the room, the hissing sound grew louder and closer. Abi gulped as she slowly made out the edge of the bed with her fingers. She had no idea where to run, but she knew she couldn't stay still. Just as her foot made contact with the floor, a claw like hand grasped her ankle. She screamed as another claw grasped her other ankle.
She heard banging at the door. "Help me! Please, somebody!"
She heard the doorknob rattle as the skeletal fingers rose up her legs and dug into her thighs. Hot breath danced along her skin as a cackling laugh rose in the room. "Where's your hero now?" it hissed, and she knew that the Creature had cornered her once more.
Outside Sonja grabbed Xavier up and released his hard cock from his jeans. He lifted her by the waist to press her against the wall, and her legs scissor crossed behind him. He plunged into her unceremoniously and fucked her hard at her demand. He thought he could hear screaming, but figured it was someone else getting lucky inside.
Abi didn't feel so lucky as the Creature spread her legs wide. She struggled but it was way too strong. Her screaming had strangled into a hoarse plea. "Let me go, please..."
Again something banged against the door, and as she was about to brace for the Creature's angry lust the door swung open and light flooded the room. She saw the Creature's hollowed out face just inches from hers. Her scream quickly returned.
The Creature hissed as it turned toward the door where a man with dark flowing hair stood silhouetted. Abi stared in disbelief. "Raven?"
But the vampire stepped further into view. "Holy hell!" a British accented voice exclaimed when he caught sight of the hideous Creature who had mounted the petrified human.
The Creature exploded into an angry red mist and flew at the intruder, then past him into the bowels of the coven. Abi gulped sobs down with ragged breaths. Damien ran to her. "Are you all right?" he asked as he bent down to her, then gently he pulled her skirt down and helped her sit up.
She shook her head. "It tried to... it was going to..." She couldn't even get it out.
"It's okay now," he assured her, even though he wasn't quite certain himself. He pulled her up onto her feet and steadied her with an arm around her shoulders.
Outside Sonja had just bared her teeth and was preparing to feed when she caught sight of the strange red mist exploding from the club. Slowly the mist took shape of a Creature long dead. She screamed as it flew towards them and knocked Xavier away.
Inside, Damien and Abi heard the scream. They ran toward the door.
Outside the Creature lifted Sonja up by the throat. Abi and Damien stopped short when they realized how high the Creature was taking Sonja. Her pleas for help were strangled, and just before either vampire on the ground could spring into action, the Creature tore her throat out and sent the rest of her lifeless body crashing to the cement below.
Abi stifled her scream behind her mouth as she jumped inside the door of the club. The Creature laughed at a horrified Xavier and Damien before it disappeared into the sky. Sebastian ran outside just as the Creature flew out of sight, and caught a glimpse of what remained of his beloved Sonja.
With an anguished yowl he ran to where she lay. His sobs rose from his body with centuries of anguish. Damien and Xavier hung back, but Abi went to him. She knelt down and took him into her arms and rocked him back and forth, saying nothing.
Each of the witnesses understood the game had now changed. No one was safe. Not vampire, not human. This beast was out to punish them, one by one, by sending them to their final judgment. There would be no coming back, as Sonja's now decapitated corpse attested.
Abi sank to her knees as her own tears raged. For a moment Sebastian had grown silent, his agony reduced to a silent and bitter regret.
He looked at her and this time his eyes stole nothing. They seemed hollow. His spirit as dead as the body it inhabited. "Now you know," he whispered.
"Know what?" she asked.
It had to be said, Sebastian thought. Raven wanted it that way. And so, he thought with a sinking heart, would Sonja. "What the consequences are now to walk where Raven walks."