There's a Fine Line Ch. 02byMazuri©
Short note: some aspects of this chapter, as well as the story in general, may not appeal to all audiences. Please take a moment to check the story tags if there are subjects you'd rather avoid.
Alicia prowled restlessly through the small garden of the Pierce Estate. It had been three days since Blake Simons' last visit. Three days since he'd pressed her against the wall and nearly made her melt by telling her all he wished to do with her. Three days since he'd bitten her and then walked away as if it had meant nothing! What the hell was he thinking? Raising a hand to the smooth skin of her throat, she shuddered at the memory of his lips pressed so seductively to her skin -- the fangs that slid deep to pull her life's blood from her body. If he'd stripped her bare and taken her body against that wall it couldn't have been more intimate or soul shattering.
But then he'd smirked in that supremely smug and superior manner and walked away. Walked away! Giving a barely suppressed screech, Alicia grabbed a rock and hurled it over the garden wall and into the trees that surrounded the house. Son of a bitch! Why did she have to find her mate in the most aggravating, arrogant, egotistical, gorgeous pain in the ass on the planet? Why did she have to find a 'mate' at all? She'd had plans! She was going to be different than her mother and be independent, not needing a man to make her feel whole or fulfilled. She was never going to place her happiness so firmly in the hands of another only to watch him willfully shred it into pieces too small to repair. She was never going to...but, in finding a mate in one of the other races, she was terrified that she already had. Besides, once he truly knew her, he'd leave her anyway. Not even the mating pull would be strong enough to overcome his disgust if he only knew... Dropping to her knees on the well-maintained gravel walkway, she buried her face in her hands with a sob.
She didn't remember the first time Markus had crawled into her bed. He'd claimed that she'd had a nightmare, though she couldn't remember it. He said that she'd been crying and begging for someone to save her. He had promised that he'd save her because he loved her. Didn't she want him to show her how much he loved her? Alicia had cringed away from the man who once seemed the answer to their prayers but that hadn't stopped him from grabbing her, touching her, making her do things she'd never wanted to do. Afterwards, when she was sobbing and covered in his disgusting seed, he'd grabbed her by her hair and pulled her into the small bathroom, tossing her under the frigid spray of the cold shower.
"Tell your mother and I'll kill her slowly while you watch," he'd growled lowly while she'd huddled in the corner, still trying to cover her nudity as much as possible. The glint in his steely grey eyes and the deathly-cold menace in his voice convinced her that he'd do just that. "Tell anyone at all and I'll make you help me as I flay the skin from their body. Don't test me on this, girl; you won't like the results. Until I tire of you, you're mine. Bit too young to fuck just yet, but you'll soon be old enough to appreciate what I've got to offer." His lewd grin as he slowly stroked his naked, hard cock had her pressing even more tightly against the back of the tiny shower. Laughing at her distress, he stroked himself to completion and coated her body once more with his hot cum before he walked out of her room.
Alicia scrubbed everywhere he'd touched, every bit of skin his filthy fluids had tainted, but even after it was red and raw she still felt dirty. She brushed her teeth and gargled at least ten times but she could still taste him on her tongue, still feel him invading her once-virgin mouth. Nothing could erase the memory of him, however, and she wrapped herself in a blanket and cried for the first time since her father had disappeared. The next morning, she dressed and went to school as if nothing had happened and, though she longed to tell someone -- anyone, she'd believed that he would hurt anyone she turned to for help.
He returned that next night...and every night after that.
He'd changed in other ways as well. When he'd first met her mother, Markus had been loving and kind, a genuinely sweet man who'd eased Marie away from her self-destructive lifestyle and back to being a respectable wife and mother. Then, one night, she'd caught him leaving her daughter's bedroom. Their argument was fierce and loud, disturbing the teen almost as much as her stepfather's unwanted visits; Alicia noticed the bruises her mother tried so hard to hide the next morning but said nothing. She'd had little success in coping with her own hell and no energy remained to deal with this new turn of events.
After that night, the situation in the modest home deteriorated more and more. Markus had gone from threatening Alicia if Marie discovered them to openly flaunting his sick desires for the teen in front of her mother. To further enforce his will, clothing was no longer worn inside the house and he took great delight in comparing the women's bodies. Marie had aged well but was carrying a few extra pounds; Markus didn't let her forget that. She was often in tears as he belittled her about her weight, her stretch marks, her hair or makeup. If she cried, she was pathetic and he'd often whip her for being weak. If she didn't, he'd whip her harder. Then he'd force Alicia to watch as he violated her mother in every way possible while telling her all that was in store for her.
It was the day he'd thrown a party for his friends that finally pushed Alicia over the edge. Her mother had been fair game to the men her stepfather had invited; sometimes being forced to take not just one but sometimes two or three at once. Meanwhile, Markus had held her naked body in his lap, touching her while forcing her to suck his friends' cocks or forcing her to suck him while their hands roamed her body. That night after Markus had left her room to slake his remaining lust on her mother's body, the teen quickly showered, dressed, and left the house. She knew her mother would never forgive her for abandoning her to the monster she'd married but Alicia couldn't stay any longer. As he'd sauntered from her room, he'd told her that her time was coming soon and she'd be damned if she was going to allow Markus Andrealphus to finish raping her body.
Slim but strong arms slid around her body and pulled her to her feet and into a gentle embrace. Francisco had been worried about his friend ever since her mate had left and, though their connection was weak, he'd still felt the steady rise in Alicia's distress. Now, she was crying as if her heart was completely shattered and he was at a loss as to what to do to help her. Scooping her into his arms, he carried her to a secluded bench and cradled her on his lap, stroking her hair tenderly as he would a child.
"Oh, Alicia, what's wrong?"
"He'll hate me, Cisco. I don't even want him...this...none of it but I need it. I need him; but, once he finds out, he's gonna hate me. "
"No one could hate you, sweetie," the young vampire promised the weeping girl gently, "especially not your mate."
"My mate." Though still watery, her voice was full of scorn as she repeated his words. "My mate may not be able to hate me, Cisco, but that doesn't mean he's gotta like me very much. Hell, he can't even speak three words to me unless it involves him getting his dick, or his fangs, wet. One dinner at a fancy restaurant doesn't mean I'm going to fall into his bed and promise to be dessert for the rest of his unnatural life."
"And if he were to show up and lay his heart at your feet, Alicia? What if he came today with gifts and flowers and promised you the moon?"
"Yeah, right. That whole knight in shining armor bullshit ain't gonna cut it. The only thing a knight is looking for is someone to clean up after his horse and I've got enough shit on my plate as it is." She snorted in derision and scrambled off his lap, scrubbing the wetness from her cheeks with a small fist. Francisco smiled and shook his head. She was such a contradiction at times.
"Don't you think your mate knows this? He's out to woo and win you, my friend; he's just using different methods that are more suited to your rather unique personality."
"Hmph. Yeah, right, if you say so."
The pair fell silent though it was comfortable and soothing. Francisco studied his young, mostly human friend and noticed the minute changes that were taking place as her nonhuman half continued its slow manifestation. Her light brown hair was growing longer and lighter far too quickly to be the result of time and exposure to the summer sun. Her eyes, normally a smooth, caramel brown, were currently a shiny, pearly black that merged both pupils and irises into a solid, polished surface. He wondered if she even knew of the changes and what she thought of them if she did.
"Why do you think he'd hate you, Alicia?"
"I didn't leave home for shits and giggles, Cisco." Alicia watched a ladybug crawl along the petal of a brilliant red rose, unaware that the plant was over seventy-five feet away and the insect was barely five millimeters long. "My dad skipped on us when I was five and Marie had a revolving door on her bedroom. I had more "uncles" than a stray dog has fleas. If I'd known her latest and greatest was going to be such a sick fuck, I'd have encouraged her to keep screwing around. Hell, I'd have been her pimp."
The young vampire glanced over at the shaded archway leading towards the gardener's shed and met Blake's crimson glare. Wondering just how much his friend's mate had heard, he encouraged her to continue. "I assume you are speaking of your stepfather?"
"Yeah. According to my mother," Alicia sneered, "he was gonna be our savior and pull us out of the shithole we were living in and back to being a happy little family. What a joke. His idea of a happy family was x-rated, if you get my meaning. If he hadn't been such a mean, creepy bastard, I'd have probably killed him for the shit he made me do. Instead, I waited until he and his buddies were having fun with Marie and bailed."
"His name, beautiful."
Blake's voice was all things beautiful and terrible and sent cold chills up the two friends' spines. Alicia watched in trepidation as he stepped out of the shadows and stalked towards her, looking more like a panther on the prowl than a man. His fangs had fully descended to press cruelly into his lower lip and she couldn't help but tremble at the memory of them sliding into her fragile skin. She should be scared, and a part of her truly was, but that dark, shadowy side of her that seemed to be growing with each passing day was enthralled. This was no longer the elegant Fortune 500 businessman or the sensually teasing mate of a few days past. No, this was the ruthless, cold-hearted vampire of legend; a vicious killer dressed in an exquisitely tailored suit. God, he was beautiful!
"What? Whose name?"
"The man who caused you pain." Blake stopped within inches of where she sat upon the bench and loomed over her, his furious crimson eyes glaring down at her petite form. "The man whose actions put that haunted look in your eyes. The man whose death warrant was signed the moment he dared to touch what is MINE!"
"Yours? Listen, fang-face, I ain't nobody's property and..." Blake pulled her from the bench and into his arms with little warning. Her squeak of surprise was all the advantage he needed and he silenced her with a hard, punishing kiss. Her protests were quickly lost as she molded her body to his and gave in to the joy of holding her mate once more. Francisco swallowed down a chuckle as he slipped off the bench and down the garden path to inform his Sires of this new development.
"His name, mate."
"I don't think..." Another hard kiss cut her off and she whimpered softly at his aggressive assault on her lips. Blake's long fingers tangled in her hair and tugged her head back so she was looking up at him with a mixture of anger and desire in her eyes. Alicia struggled against his hold but he merely tugged on her hair harder, causing her to both whimper at the quick, sharp pain as well as flood her virginal cotton panties. Fuck! She was actually getting turned on by his caveman routine!
As the scent of his mate's arousal wafted up to his sensitive nose, a smugly sensual smile teased the edges of Blake's full lips. It was rumored that mates were supposed to be the perfect partner for their other half and yet he'd been unconvinced. Alicia had seemed too independent, too outspoken to be the kind of female who'd submit to her man's desires. But his nose didn't lie; she wanted him to overpower her and force her to bend to his will. His inner beast surged forward and once more the vampire struggled with the man to claim her then and there. Consenting to only a taste, he nipped her plump bottom lip with a fang and lapped at the trickle of blood.
"His name, Alicia, or I swear you'll regret denying me."
"Markus." Once more her voice came out far more breathlessly than she'd wanted. "Markus Andrealphus."
The fingers that gripped her hair tightened and pulled her even closer to his body, sending frissons of pleasure straight to her core. Caught in the maelstrom of lust that swirled in Blake's crimson gaze, Alicia realized just how much she enjoyed what he was doing to her and nearly died of shame. She was ready to cum simply from his Neanderthal manhandling of her and it was obvious that he knew! Her thoughts began to spiral out of control as she examined this new and unwanted discovery. What kind of woman was she that she responded so well to such behavior? What kind of man was he that he would treat her this way? Was he just another sick bastard like Markus? Would he expect her to cater to more than just his lusts? Was she just as fucked up as he that, in spite of the direction her thoughts travelled, she still wanted the gorgeous vampire to just throw her down and take her?
Blake frowned as he watched some unknown and unwelcomed emotion bloom and grow in her eyes, the pearly black receding to their original light brown color. When two fat tears spilled over her lashes to make their slow treks down her cheeks, he growled low as his touch instinctively gentled. The fingers that once gripped her hair so tightly now gently caressed along her scalp and the back of her neck, pressing her face into his chest. His arms closed around her, cradling her close to his heart as he sought to soothe her distress.
"Alicia? What is it, my sweet?" Blake's confusion was evident as he could think of nothing that could have caused such an emotional reaction. Just moments ago, she was swooning in his arms and now she looked like she wanted the ground to open up and swallow her whole. She tried to pull away from him but he wasn't about to let her go without an answer.
"Please, Beautiful One, tell me what I can do to dry your tears." His words were whispered softly as he grazed feather-light kisses along her brow.
Alicia merely shook her head, enjoying his embrace far more than she should. There was no way she was telling this handsome vampire what her sick, perverted mind wanted him to do to her. He knew little enough about what had happened with Markus to dismiss his disgust but there's no way he'd hold her so tenderly if he knew just how fucked up in the head she was. When a tender hand nudged her chin so she was looking at him, she knew he was about to repeat his question. Unable to look her mate in the eye and lie, she quickly rose on her toes and pressed her lips to his -- the first time she'd initiated any kind of intimate contact between them. She was in control for about two seconds before Blake growled softly and took command of their kiss.
The question was quickly forgotten.
It wasn't until he was easing the sleek yet luxurious Veyron into the garage of the Simons Enterprises building later that afternoon that Blake realized his mate never told him what had upset her. Scowling, he stomped into his private elevator and fumed all the way to the penthouse suite. He would have to think of a suitable punishment for her willful disobedience. His crimson eyes glittered with barely suppressed glee at the possibilities and he vowed to explore each and every decadent idea once this business with Malphas was settled.
Daevas Malphas. Growling softly under his breath, he settled behind his desk and looked over the scant few pages of information he'd obtained on the elusive "General". There were no records to indicate the man had ever served in any branch of the military for any NATO pact country...or any former Eastern Bloc country, for that matter. He'd searched through terrorist groups -- both home grown as well as foreign -- and racial/hate groups on both sides of the nonhuman issue. If the man carried a driver's license, social security card, or passport from any country with records contained on a computer, he'd either been wiped from the system by an extremely competent computer technician or he simply didn't exist. The name could, of course, merely be an alias but usually aliases weren't as secure as real names. The lack of information was actually quite telling.
The only information they had that the man existed at all was from the HPL -- the Human Purity League. A racial hate group once run by the late Colonel Friedrich Hunsinger, the HPL had either hired, recruited, or been recruited by the elusive General Malphas just prior to the 5th Annual Human-Other Summit. Drumming his fingers on the desk, Blake looked over his information once more as an idea began to form. Perhaps they were looking in the wrong place?
The vampire crossed the room to the so-called hidden safe in the suite. Carefully 'hidden' by a large painting of a young, human Lord William Blake Simons, it was suitably difficult to crack and contained all the right bits of jewelry, money, and bank documents to ensure that even a trained thief looked no further. It was also trapped to prevent a repeat of any attempt to steal the treasures it contained. Several small holes lined the entire inside circumference of the small steel container; one of the surprises used to protect its valuable goods. If a thief failed to enter the proper code or disable the trap in some other way, small poison-tipped darts would spring from the tiny holes to impale the unsuspecting thief. The poison was painful, fast-acting, and irreversibly deadly. In reality, it was still nothing but a decoy.
Sinking a fang into his index finger, Blake pressed the bleeding digit against one of the holes that lined the right-hand side of the safe. With a pneumatic hiss, the side panel slid further into the wall to reveal the true treasures of the ancient vampire: a miniature of a young couple in early Renaissance dress by Hans Holbien, several ancient scrolls -- deeds to properties in the northern county of Northumberland, England, several gold ingots, a sizeable pile of precious gemstones the size of robin's eggs, and a small, gently glowing sphere set upon a pedestal. It was this sphere that he was after.
Ensuring all his safety measures were back in place on the both the inner and outer safes, Blake carried the sphere and its stand to his desk. If he could find no trace of Malphas in the human world, perhaps he was looking in the wrong world? Once more he bit into the fleshy pad of his finger and let the blood drip onto the smooth surface. Almost immediately, the sphere hummed to life and slowly rose from the pedestal to spin gently.
"Blake Simons, it has been over a century since you were given the summoning sphere and yet I find myself unsurprised that you choose to use it now." The amused, lilting voice was beauty personified and stroked along his already heightened nerve endings in a most pleasant manner. One of his few regrets, the vampire wished he'd been inclined to play with the gorgeous male when the opportunity had arisen. Snorting softly at his fanciful thoughts, his answer was harsher than he'd originally intended.