There's a Fine Line Ch. 12byMazuri©
"Fuck you, Simons."
"You've walked the earth for how many centuries, and this is all you can think of to say in such a moment? Pitiful." Blake took over holding the vampire from his Child who plucked a scalpel from the cart. "What does Malphas want with my mate?"
"Maybe he wants a trophy wife? You know, like the old men who marry young hotties."
Blake's claws dug into the captive's waist as August pierced Mathewson's armpit and dragged the scalpel slowly down until it was even with his mutilated nipple. None of the wounds thus far came close to being fatal, but they were in sensitive areas that were chosen for maximum pain with minimum damage. The vampire struggled against the pain and his restraints, his grunts bleeding into screams. August patted the captive's back in mock sympathy before moving to the other armpit.
"If you'd just answer the Investigator's questions, Councilman, this would all stop." The former monk moved back to the cart and dropped the bloody scalpel into a bin filled with bleach. "Don't expect to heal quickly either. All of our instruments are silver coated cold iron, and fused with mercury. Quite effective no matter which plane a subject was born on."
"I have no idea what the demon wants with your little slut, Simons, but I hope it's painful."
"I don't believe you, Mathewson, and I fear I shall continue to ask until you provide me with the answers. I suppose I know why you decided to work with him; you've expressed a desire for personal vengeance for some wrong you believe I've dealt you. So all that remains is for you to answer the final two questions: What is Malphas' location? What does he intend for my mate?"
"You destroyed my coven, Simons." Mathewson sagged in the chains, panting through the pain of the initial injuries. Without blood to replace what he'd lost thus far, additional injuries would take even longer to heal. He could feel himself growing weaker. "Lady Lucinda was more than just my coven mistress; she was my Sire and chosen mate. Your Sire, and you killed her!"
"Lucinda was little more than a creature of instinct. She preyed upon Blakeston Croft as if it was her personal hunting grounds. I put her down like the rabid animal she was." Blake sneered at the anger in his captive's face. "Until I met my true mate, I cursed your Sire every single day for what she did to me. Only Alicia keeps me from wishing I could dig that monster up and destroy her again."
"Six hundred years, Simons. I've been planning your death for over half a millennium. I will not be denied my vengeance."
"Yes, well, disappointment is always so hard to accept at first, Councilman." August chuckled and slid a heated dagger into Mathewson's back to puncture the right kidney. The trauma would be fatal to a human, but simply painful to a vampire with no need for such organs any longer. A slight twist brought another scream from their victim. "You'll get used to it in time."
"And we have plenty of time to wait for you to adjust, don't we August?"
In tandem, the Investigator and his Child circled their captive, inflicting various painful but nonfatal wounds. There were shallow cuts made on tender genitals, deeper slices on the bottoms of the feet, and deep muscle stab wounds to the thighs and back. Within thirty minutes, the white floor was bathed red in the blood that seeped, dripped, or poured from the various injuries all over Mathewson's body. The vampire's shoulders had already dislocated from the strain of hanging from the ceiling and his struggles to avoid the pain.
"Mathewson, you disappoint me." Blake washed his hands in the bucket of bleach and reached for a bottle of Sangue Vino and a pair of glasses. After pouring for his Child and himself, he returned the cork and replaced the bottle in the warmer. "I would have thought you'd grown wiser over the centuries. There won't be a last-minute rescue. We aren't going to suddenly grow a conscience and cease your torment. You are not going to walk out of this room alive." Moving in front of the vampire, he sipped the warm blood and watched as his captive's fangs distended in hunger. "Malphas' location and plans, Councilman, then all the pain will end."
"Never, you sadistic bastard." Mathewson's voice hissed around his fangs as the scent of the blood called to his beast. He'd lost so much of his own blood that his hunger was driving him mad.
"Never? So certain. August? Hold his head for me please." Once the former monk had his fingers tangled in the vampire's hair and one hand holding his jaw, Blake approached with the pliers. "I don't think you'll be needing these any longer, Mathewson." With swift precision, the Investigator gripped one elongated fang with the pliers and yanked hard. The vampire's screams at the loss of one of his fangs echoed painfully in the small cell. "Malphas?" At his captive's snarls and curses, Blake sighed and removed the second fang in an equally brutal manner. Mathewson's howls of pain were ignored as August released his head and returned to his drink.
Draining his glass, Blake placed it on the cart and pulled two oddly shaped items from the cart and approached to stand before the captive vampire. Hefting an item in each hand, his grin was every bit as disturbing as August's had been. He tossed one of the small devices to August, who caught it with a grim chuckle. The elderly vampire circled the captive with a grace that belied his mortal age. He ran a clawed finger along the back of Mathewson's leg and then dug his sharp claws into one bare cheek.
"Do you know what a Pear of Anguish is, Mathewson?" August lapped at some of the blood that ran down the captive's back, chuckling when he cringed away. "It's a lovely device designed to inflict agony, but, rarely, death, on its victims. You see...you take the rounded end and place it in an appropriate orifice – the mouth for heretics, the vagina for the Devil's consorts, or the anus for homosexuals – then the screw is turned." The hand bearing bloodied claws slowly turned the crank as the 'pear' unfurled before the captive's eyes. "There are four petals that will open. How far they open is up to you and what you tell us."
"Where..." the prisoner's eyes never left the small metal device as August continued to turn the screw and the petals opened wider and wider. "Where do you think you're putting that thing?"
"Well, Mr. Mathewson, since you're so full of shit," August sneered as he quickly returned the pear to its resting state, "I figured I'd shove it so far up your ass, you'd taste it on the back of your tongue. As far as you've been bending over for the Infernal, I'm sure you'll just love it."
"Wait a minute!! You can't do that! The Primus will hear about this, Simons!" Mathewson's fear filled the room with its acrid scent. Blake's and August's beasts hissed their approval as the white-haired vampire disappeared behind the restrained councilman. The former monk rubbed the metal device along some of their victim's worst cuts to coat it in blood before teasing at the small opening with the cold tip. Blake's hands gripped his captive's hips and held them in place while the Pear was ruthlessly shoved into place. Mathewson's screams echoed in the small, bare room as he thrashed as much as he could in his unyielding shackles.
"Where is Malphas?"
"You son of a bitch! Get that thing out of my ass!" Spittle tinged with blood flew from the captive's mouth as he writhed in pain. The metallic click was his only warning as August turned the screw to extend the petals to their first open position.
"Malphas' location." Blake's claws pierced the flesh at Mathewson's hips, holding him still for a second turn of the screw.
"I'm gonna kill you for this, Simons! Do you hear me? I'm gonna kill you, your little freak of a mate, and that sadistic bastard child of yours and I'm gonna enjoy –" His agonized scream signaled the third turn of the screw. Blake watched him with an expression that revealed little beyond boredom.
"Your threats tire me already, Mathewson, and we've just gotten started. I want Malphas' position and why he wants my mate. You are going to tell me, so why not save yourself some pain in the process? I swear upon my duty as a Primary Investigator that I will reward your cooperation with a swift and painless death."
"Go fuck yourself." The restrained vampire gasped through another turn of the screw. The Pear had already torn the thin membranes of his anal cavity and was pressing against his pubic bone and the coccyx.
"It seems he's beginning to enjoy the Pear a bit too much, Sire. Perhaps a date with the Spider is more in order?"
"You may be correct, August. If you'll hold him still? His wiggling is such an inconvenience."
The monk's claw-tipped fingers replaced his Sire's on the captive's hips and held him steady. When Mathewson risked a glance at the Investigator, his fear transformed into pure terror. Simons held a metal device like looked like a pair of salad tongs from Hell. Both sides bore four curved metal tines that had been sharpened into intimidating points. The handles, when gripped tightly, worked like a pair of hemostats in that they closed and locked into place. From the cart, Simons had also brought a series of scale weights with metal rings through them.
"The Spider is an ingenious device designed to mutilate a woman's breasts. They would place the naked breast in between the sharp tines, wrestle it as closed as possible, and then forcibly pull it from her body. It would often rip the entire breast from the victim's body. Over the years, I've had occasion to alter and improve upon the original design." Kneeling between the vampire's restrained and splayed legs, Blake set the weights aside before lifting the metal device. "Over time, I've managed to make it smaller for use with a male subject, sharper, and created the ability to add weights so that gravity aids in the slow pull of the blades through the flesh."
"You're crazy! What do you think you're...Fuck! No! No, no, no, no!" Mathewson's bravado dissolved into terrified pleas the moment the cold steel clamped around the base of his penis. As Blake calmly turned the screw to tighten the device, the captive's screams and cries rose in both volume and pitch.
"Where is Malphas?"
"I don't know what you're – FUCK!" Blake looped a one ounce scale weight through each side of the device's handle.
"His location, Mathewson." At a nod, August turned a screw on the Pear while Blake did the same on the Spider. Blood already dripped from both devices and, from the body's distention, their subject's pubic bone would soon crack from the strain.
"I'm not telling you a damn thing, Simons!" The blood poured from Mathewson's slowly shredding penis as the Spider inched it way towards the floor. Blake added a second weight to each side of the handle. "Oh dear God, make it stop! Please..."
"Malphas will kill me if I tell you."
"I'm going to kill you, Councilman. Fast or slow, however, is entirely up to you. Don't delude yourself that you will ever walk through that door alive. You die tonight...or next week. It's entirely up to you."
When Mathewson simply screamed as the Spider continued its slow journey down the length of his penis, Blake gestured to his Child to turn the screw once more. The increase in the Pear's pressure, however, was too much and both his pubic bone and the coccyx shattered, wrenching a horrific scream from their victim. August yanked the metal device from the vampire's maimed ass and tossed it into a corner.
Rising from the floor, Blake moved to the cart and wiped his hands with a cloth. While August was doing the same, the Investigator grabbed the discarded Pear and dropped it into the bucket of bleach with the other used instruments. They continued to tidy after themselves while their captive's screams mellowed into whimpers of pure pain. Blake had started to push the cart towards the door when the vampire's hoarse voice stopped him.
"Youngsville." Mathewson was in so much pain, he was having trouble focusing but he'd finally accepted his fate. If he was to die, he wanted it to be quick. "Church...Youngsville, Alabama. Wants her to anchor him to this plane. Now kill me, Simons. You swore...you promised."
"Yes, vampire. Time for all of you to die."
The cackling voice that answered the bleeding councilman placed his tormentors on high alert. As they spun to face the unexpected intruder, they saw the large hole in the ceiling that was allowing several mephits and lesser demons into the room. Blake grabbed a silver dagger from the cart and threw it with unerring precision into the throat of the largest of the demons. He knew it wouldn't kill the Infernal but it would hurt like Hell and, hopefully, take him out of the fight until it could be dislodged.
Popping open a hidden compartment in the bottom of the cart, Blake tossed one of the loaded pistols to his Child along with one of the preloaded magazines. He palmed the second weapon along with the final magazine. A swift click of the safety and he was ready to remove the trash. The first shot was to the head of Councilman Angus Mathewson. The man had revealed Malphas' location, and a promise was a promise.
The confines of the small room worked in Blake's and August's favor. Neither the mephits nor the Infernals had enough room to do the flying strikes that were their preferred method of combat. The chains that still held the councilman's body also reduced their maneuverability. Unfortunately, the mephits had a secondary attack that had increased effectiveness in the small room: their Hellfire. As an arc of liquid fire hit the wall above his head, Blake made a diving roll for the opposite corner and came up firing at the small creature. The silver-coated cold iron bullets struck the mephit in the head and chest, killing it instantly. With a glance around the room, Blake took a quick assessment of the situation. One mephit down, one Infernal distracted with a blade in his throat, which left them with three more mephits and a second Infernal.
At the rush of heat at his back, August spun to place Mathewson's body between him and it and fired at the mephit peering into the room through the hole in the ceiling. His accuracy was rewarded by the blood and gore that splattered into the room. A sudden, stabbing pain in his shoulder caused him to drop his weapon and he hissed as his beast threatened to take over. The tail of one of the mephits had punched through his shoulder from the back and it was using the barb on the end to hold him in place as it prepared a blast of Hellfire.
Gripping the barbed end with his good hand, August began the slow trek towards the rolling cart. The constant pull against the creature's wings sent waves of agony through the elderly vampire. After little more than a foot, the resistance ceased abruptly. Blake had taken a shot of opportunity and removed half the mephit's face and skull with a well placed bullet. The elderly vampire dragged the corpse over to the cart, grabbed one of the scalpels, and cut away the barb so he could free himself from the mephit's tail.
Blake started towards his Child when several razor sharp talons raked down his back. Dropping forward into a protective roll, he came up shooting and hit the wing of the second Infernal. Quickly changing out the ammo clip on his pistol, he chambered a round and watched the enemy take a moment to regroup. The scent of blood and sulfur was heavy in the air and his beast was desperate to be freed. Mindless fury and savagery wouldn't get him and his Child out of this room alive, though, and so he wrestled it under his control.
A feint to the left of Mathewson's corpse caused the final mephit to waste its Hellfire on an empty corner while Blake grabbed August's discarded weapon. He tossed it to the other vampire and ducked. The former monk nimbly caught the pistol and fired three bullets into the wounded Infernal behind him. The remaining mephit and Infernal were quickly displaced once the odds had become more balanced. Blake was in the process of pulling on his jeans and combining the remaining ammunition into a single clip when the fire alarm sounded in the building.
After ending the call with Blake, Alicia reluctantly returned the cellphone to Devereux. Blake had responded to her confession of love by saying that he loved her as well. It made her want to get up and dance around the room like a crazy person. It made her want to hunt down her mate and make him show her how much he loved her. It made her want to shred his slacks and show him how much she adored her arrogant vampire. With a squeal of joy, Alicia bounded from the bed only to have the room spin so violently that she immediately fell back onto the smooth sheets and soft blankets.
"Whoah. Who made the room spin?"
"You've really done it this time, McNugget." Francisco chuckled as he brought in a tray filled with cold meats, cheeses, and some crackers. "Mr. Simons wanted you to eat but I didn't feel he'd want us to order in with you feeling low. This should tide you over until he's finished downstairs."
"What's he doing, anyway, Cisco?" Alicia scooted to rest against the headboard and balanced the tray over her lap. Making a tiny sandwich with the cold cuts, she ate with more enthusiasm than grace.
"He's...questioning the man who grabbed you at the club."
"Questioning?" She snorted before taking a sip of the bubbly soda, enjoying the harsh burn of the drink after so many glasses of juice. "Probably torturing the man if I know Blake."
"He was most reluctant for you to know about that aspect of his character, m'dear." Devereux sauntered into the room to perch on the edge of the bed. Though he still wore the tight pants from the club, he'd removed the chain vest in favor of one of Blake's black silk dress shirts. "For such a deliciously intimidating individual, Monsieur Investigateur is quite protective of you and your opinion of him. It's cute."
"He'd so kick your ass if he heard you call him cute." Alicia giggled softly and popped another square of cheese in her mouth.
"But not delicious? Interesting."
"Well, I can't argue with that assessment, Dev. He is a very yummy vampire." Her eyes shifted to twin orbs of midnight ringed in crimson. "He is also very much mine."
The two males merely laughed and assured her that they had no designs on her mate.
After her brief snack, Francisco cleared away the tray while Devereux brought out a deck of cards and some coins for a few rounds of Texas Hold'em. The three sat on the bed, chatted about nothing, and played cards for nearly an hour before Alicia began to droop with exhaustion. The newling helped her to a final trip to the bathroom while Dev cleared the bed of their game. Soon, the room was dark and quiet and she drifted back into a recuperative sleep.
The breeze on her face was what pulled her from that place that borders between dreams and waking. Blake's vent system was designed so that the airflow was never felt by those in the room and she sleepily wondered if Cisco had left a window open. Scrubbing at her eyes, she rolled over only to watch in horror as a large hole began to grow in the south-facing wall. As the first of the winged creatures entered the room, Alicia rolled off the bed and beneath it while screaming for her vampire guards.
"Alicia!" Francisco burst into the room to see the bed empty and a red winged creature hovering over it. With a snarl, he released his beast and leaped upon the mephit with fangs and claws at the ready.
Devereux hadn't been far behind the newling and hissed furiously at the Infernals in the room. Something about the leathery wings and hoofed feet tugged at one of his missing memories. With only a slight hesitation, he pulled a dagger from a hidden sheath in his boot and jumped on the mephit that had cornered the newling. Flipping the dagger neatly in his hand, he sank it deep into the creature's back between its bony shoulder blades. It fell to the bed with a thump, dead.