To Protect and Serve Ch. 10byEvil Alpaca©
Proofread by FernieLyn
This story is a bit wordy and fairly long, so if you are looking for immediate gratification, you might want to look elsewhere.
The following story is a work of fiction. Any resemblance between these character and events and any real person or events is strictly coincidental . . . and pretty darn impressive seeing as it is a science fiction story. Do not reproduce or copy this story without the consent of the author.
This story is based in an alternative universe, where history took a different course than the one we are used to. In this world, the creatures which we now believe to be legends have walked alongside man for the duration of our existence. Vampires, werewolves, wizards, witches, sorcerers, and a host of other beings share our world.
The following story contains, in one chapter or another, lesbian, homosexual, heterosexual, anal, group, sci-fi/fantasy, non-human, and BDSM sexual activity. There may be some erotic horror in there somewhere as well, but I haven't made up my mind.
Clara paced the floors of Lord Stapleton's manor in a frenzied manner, unable to see or think straight. Her friend and lover had disappeared almost a day ago, and the search team had not reported anything in the last several hours. What was left of the logical part of her mind knew that Shane, her vampiric lord, master, and friend was doing the right thing, diverting only the resources that he could while keeping his eye on the major prize, namely his enemy in Savannah, one Lord Lacroix. Lacroix had defied his elder lord, the Tribunal, and just about everyone in his quest for power, and was now connected with the evil morning star drug trade. And to Clara, the only thing that mattered was that Shamira was missing.
The only solace that she was able to take was that Shane had finally relented and allowed Renata, his werejaguar chief of security, to lead the search for his missing dark child. The werewolf lord of Huntsville, namely one Clyde Pritchard, had lent a contingent of his lycanthropic brethren to the cause. Shamira had apparently helped a wandering family of werehorses escape from fake police officers who had been gathering up specimens to be bled dry, and they had called hours after Shamira's disappearance to tell what little they knew.
With their help and some cellular triangulation, the searchers had found Shamira's cell phone and had been able to track her scent through the woods to another abandoned stretch of road, but then her trail simply vanished. Renata believed that magic had to be involved, because there was no way that this many weres would fail to track anything otherwise.
"Clara, please," Shane said as softly as he could, approaching her from behind, "I need you to calm down. You and Lillian and Coramen could try again and --"
"We . . . have tried . . . everything!" Clara snarled, knowing that she was being insolent for the sake of it. "Every locater spell, every tracking aid . . . everything. She's vanished and it's eating at me that I can't do a damn thing to find her."
Shane understood all too well. He knew that Shamira had gotten herself into this, but he also knew that he loved her like he loved all those he had brought over to the world of the undead. He knew that his assumption that because she was a sexual submissive would make her less like to be rebellious in other areas had been completely off.
He had pushed at her and ordered her as of late, partially because he had been stressed out about his own problems and partially because he simply did not know how to handle the woman. "She still lives," he said, though he knew instinctively that Shamira was in dire trouble. "That means we still have hope. I understand your pain --"
"Bullshit," Clara said, a drop of blood welling up in her eyes as she turned to face Shane. "You have no damn idea how I feel. Eighty years, Shane. I've been around for eighty years now, and I've NEVER felt this way, so don't you damn well tell me you understand."
The vampire lord sighed. He was not going to punish her, because doing so now would be pointless cruelty. And Clara was crying, something he had never seen her do. "You love her, don't you?"
Clara clenched her fists. She'd never been able to put a name to her feelings for a woman she had only known for a few months, but love . . . love fit. She had never said it, not to Shamira or anyone. She had not said it because she was afraid that it was rushed or that it would not be returned. She had not said it because she could barely wrap her mind around the concept after having gone without for an entire human lifespan. But she would be damned if the first person she admitted it to was Shane. It would be Shamira or . . . or she would take it to her own final grave.
But Clara was not truly angry at Shane. She knew he bore a heavy burden. "How do you do it?" she asked in a choked voice. "How do you deal with it when one of your enforcers or assassins goes out and does something dangerous?"
"I pray," Shane replied. "To whatever gods might be listening, and to any being capable of smiling on my house. I pray that they are strong enough to survive, and weep when they are not."
Clara brushed away the tear, for she would not weep again. 'Shamira is strong enough,' she thought. 'She has to be.'
Elsewhere . . .
What was left of Shamira Stapleton hung from the ceiling of the chamber like a side of meat at a slaughterhouse. She had been wounded badly in a gunfight with a dozen armed agents, then thought she had found refuge with a potential friend before being swiftly and brutally betrayed. The elf who had once warned her to get out of town many days earlier had apparently been in league with the fake cops and evil forces that had conspired to produce the drug known as morning star. He had knocked her out with the help of an enchanted club, chained her up, and tortured her until she barely resembled hamburger.
Her body was riddled with hundreds of deep scars, both of the breast implants she had possessed when she was turned had ruptured, leaving her body as deformed as a Picasso painting. Her jaw had been dislocated, her ribs broken, her knees fractured, but that had all just been the warm up. Daniel, the vile entity who had worked her over for the last . . . who knew how long . . . had then paralyzed her.
Even now, the only thing Shamira could feel from her waist down was the burning caused by the silver disk that Daniel had used to separate the two halves of her spine after sawing it into two. Shamira had gone from experiencing pain that she never even could have imagined to feeling . . . nothing. And that "nothing" terrified her even more.
Finally, he had apparently decided that he was finished. He looked up at her like an artist appreciating his finished work. He went to a nearby shelf and grabbed a digital camera and took several pictures of her. "People will speak of my work for centuries to come," he said proudly, his voice completely lacking even the most basic of warmth. "Would you like to see?" He held the digital display up to her eyes.
Shamira would have wept if she could. Frankenstein's monster would have cringed at the sight of her. The young were chained to the wall across from her was certainly cringing. He did not want the elf to do this to him. He did not want to wind up like Shamira.
"You are my masterpiece," Daniel said again, running one strong hand across Shamira's mutilated skin. He looked aroused by what he had done. Was he going to rape what was left of her? The thought no longer frightened the vampire. She felt nothing at all.
A bell rang and Daniel's eyes were drawn instantly towards the ladder that led from his garage down into the bleeding room. His hand fished a gun out of the back of his pants, but it relaxed when he heard a voice drifting down through the grates.
"Daniel? We need to talk."
"Come on down," the elf said, grinning and looking at Shamira. Shamira's response was to drool.
For a moment, something flashed inside her . . . hate. Complete, blinding hate.
A vampire slid down the ladder and turned to face them, his face displaying disgust when he saw Shamira's remnants hanging there. "That her?"
"Yes. This was the troublesome creature that killed all of your collectors," Daniel replied, running his fingertips around Shamira's neck. "Well, all but one."
Shamira's eyes finally focused on the newcomer . . . Jonas. This was Lacroix's security chief. She had been right, though that little victory meant nothing at this point.
"Fucking cunt," the new vamp muttered, punching Shamira in the rips. She swung in the breeze and grunted. "Do you have any idea what you've done? How long it took to get this operation rolling?" He looked at Daniel. "Couldn't you have left her face intact long enough for me to see if I might recognize her?" Jonas preemptively waved off Daniel's response. "Bah. At least tell me you tortured her to find out who she works for."
"No, but does it really matter? She had to have been from somewhere nearby. Maybe one of Stapleton's whores?"
"Hmm, maybe. He's made a bunch recently."
"Here's her picture before I started working on her."
Jonas stared at Daniel's digital camera and frowned. "I don't recognize her, but I spent most of the party trying to keep that ass from ruining everything."
"It's your job to control him," Daniel said.
"Trust me, I've got my end handled. Except thanks to this thing, I'll have to send some of Lacroix's enforcers to get a few more weres and possibly a faerie. Damn Florida and Alabama lords have shored up the borders, and Stapleton has an army down here right now. Lacroix's basically outlived his usefulness anyway. It would have been nice if we could have gotten Stapleton's territories, but I'll be satisfied with southern Georgia. For a while, at any rate."
"Don't forget your promise," Daniel growled.
"I'm not a fool like Lacroix. I won't stab a business partner in the back. You'll get Macon, just like I promised."
Shamira's mind was furiously processing information. Too little, too late, but she was understanding. Jonas had done something to Lacroix to destabilize him. Shamira was now convinced that her theory about Lacroix being on morning star was correct, and now she was sure Jonas had gotten him hooked. It made the elder vampire unstable and easy to control. So Lacroix makes a big mess, gets killed by Shane or the Tribunal, and a too-young but handy vampire like Jonas gets his territory? It made sense. All this evil, just because Jonas wanted to be in charge of a small patch of Georgia? It made Shamira's blood boil. Too bad her body was incapable of doing anything about it.
"What about the insurance policy?" Daniel asked.
For the first time, Jonas appeared nervous to be talking in front of Shamira. "Not here," he muttered.
Some dark part of Shamira had a chuckle about that. What could she possibly do to them now? The simple act of existing was unbearable. The parts of her that could still feel cried out for death, while the rest simply hung there.
Before he left, Daniel gave her another grin, then his hand drifted to the wall. "I'll leave you alone to think about what it means to lie to me," he chortled, then flicked the switch. And Shamira's body screamed in agony even when her throat could not. Her Shadow Healing had kicked in and it was trying to repair damage that could not be repaired. Wounds cause by silver scarred over instantly, and vampiric healing, even when boosted by her Aspect, could do nothing.
Unfortunately, it didn't stop her body from trying. The worst pain came from the base of her spine, with her body attempting to reconnect bones separated by silver. It was like hot magma was being bored directly onto the small of her back. The elf had no idea that she was a Shadow Healer, so he had just inadvertently caused her almost as much pain as he had when torturing her.
'Can't . . . do this,' she whimpered mentally. But her eyes fell on the young were who was trembling against the wall. 'He's next,' she thought. She couldn't let what had been done to her be done to him. But how . . . 'Darkness,' was the thought that penetrated the cloud of her mind. She closed her eyes and concentrated as she had never concentrated before, "seeing" the darkness around her. She tensed up with what was left of her energy and did the smallest, hardest jump she'd ever made.
Her body broke down into shadow and slid out of the magically enhanced shackles, but she was only able to make it a few feet away before collapsing in pool of pain and flesh. She let out a whimper because, again, that was all she was capable of.
"Who is that?" the young were whispered from his spot in the wall. He could smell her, but could not see her in the absolute darkness of the pit. Shamira could see him just fine.
It took all her will to avoid passing out due to pain. It was if a thousand pins were digging into her skin and a thousand razorblades were embedded in her bones. But while her arms were bruised and battered, they were not broken, so she dragged herself forward. Maybe she could gather enough strength to pull the were free.
"Duh . . . duh muv," she mumbled through her broken jaw. She grabbed the chains connecting his feet to the wall and pulled. No give.
"What . . . how did you get free?" he asked, his voice tinged with hope. That hope cut Shamira like one of Daniel's instruments of torture. She did not see how she could free this poor kid, but now he seemed to think she would. She could not let him down. She pulled again, but still nothing.
Shamira slammed her hand on the ground in anger, then looked around. There were some tools at the far end of the room, and she guessed they were extras for his garage. She did not see any cutting implements though, and her frustration grew. That was when something wholly unexpected happened.
She was reaching for the were's chains again when she saw the darkness around her hands begin to grow . . . deeper. Yes, "deeper" was the only thing that made sense. Shamira could see in any darkness, except that blackness which now encircled her hands resisted even her vision. Total darkness, cold and hard. It crept along her hands, then began to extend from her fingers like . . . claws.
Shane's words echoed in her mind. First was the Shadow Healing, then the Shadow Jumping and Shadow Sight. The fourth Shadow Aspect was called the Shadow Claws. Four Aspects, mean the fifth --
'Screw you Shadow Wing,' she thought angrily. Where was his power and blessing when she had been stripped of her soul, one pound of flesh at a time? She had never asked for his damn power or the trials to get it. She would give it all up to have avoided the last twenty-four hours. No amount of power was worth that. Angrily, she swiped at the chains before her.
The were's bindings sliced clean through, parting beneath Shamira's claws as easily as butter around a hot knife.
"How did you do that?" the were asked. "Never mind. Cuh . . . can you get my wrists?"
Shamira looked up as best she could. It was at least six and a half feet up to those chains. There was no way . . . An idea came to her. She concentrated hard and tried another small Shadow Jump, appearing six feet in the air. She swung hard at the chains before she started to fall, severing them. Then she was able to pull off another small jump back to the ground, avoiding most (but not all) of the pain she had experienced escaping from her own bonds.
"Thank you," the boy whispered.
"Nuh tuh get 'ou ouf," she said, struggling to form the words.
"How?" he asked. "I can't see."
Shamira looked around with her Shadow Sight. She could not see pass the bounds of the room, so she knew it was warded. She could teleport within this area, but she could not pass the borders. She was trapped, but the kid did not have to be. Then she saw a small window up above the shelving at the far corner of the room. It had been painted over with some kind of black substance, but it might just be a regular basement window otherwise.
"Oh-er 'ere," she said, then realized that the boy could not see where she was pointing. She was so tired that she was afraid she would not be able to jump again. She had not eaten anything in a couple of days, and her body was craving sustenance. Not just any food would do. Oh no, she needed blood. Her body was going to fight against her injuries, and was going through her energy reserves like mad. She needed to get this guy out of here before the only available warm body started looking like a good food source.
"I nuh-eed 'ou to 'o tuh uh uv-er side of fuh room." Then she started to crawl over. She figured they did not have much time, so she needed to free this young man. Then, maybe, she could find a way to end her pain.
She and her young charge made it to the other side of the room at about the same time. "Uh 'air, 'ere is uh 'indow. I 'old the 'elves an 'ou huh-limb up. Break 'indow and run."
"Run? What about you? I can't leave you here," the boy whispered, his voice filled with fear.
"'Ou 'ust. Need tuh huh-inish 'is." She reached out to steady the metal shelves. "Huh-limb."
"Huh-limb!" She wanted him to climb . . . to go and to not look back. Slowly and with obvious reluctance, the boy climbed up, looking around anxiously any time a tool rattled. But he got to the top and then --
"Huh-rap your huh-and in your huh-irt."
The kid nodded, removing what was left of his shirt and wrapping it around his hand. He had seen enough movies to know what to do next. He punched the window hard enough to shatter it, but the padding around his hand helped muffle the sound. Through the opening, they could both see the distant twinkling of stars.
"Go!" Shamira managed to say when the whole was big enough for the were to slide through. He was skinny, but it would still be a tight fit. Shamira never would have made it out anyway.
"I can't --"
"Go!" she hissed violently as she heard footsteps upstairs.
With a last whimper, the young man pulled himself up, cutting himself on the remaining glass but pulling himself to the outside. Shamira smelled the blood on the glass, and it smelled incredible. Her body wanted it, but her mind hesitated . . . barely. Her last act would not be to rob an innocent young man of his life. As she heard the door open above her head, she knew how she wanted her life to end. She wanted to be bathing in elvish blood when the final darkness claimed her.
"I swear I heard something," came Jonas's voice from the top.
"They're both quite secure, I assure you." Daniel still sounded smug, and Shamira watched from her dark corner opposite where she was being held, waiting. Her body still voiced its agony to her, but her thoughts were savage and spoke much louder.
His blood . . . his blood will do.
Shamira scuttled across the floor, propelling herself along with her hands while her Shadow Claws dug deep into the floor.
"Daniel, watch out!" shouted Jonas.
The elf's feet had hit the floor, but he was still looking the other way. His hand had not even reached the light switch when the crawling creature passed underneath the ladder and attacked him from behind. The first swipe of Shamira's claws severed both of the elf's Achilles tendons, spurting blood as Daniel screamed and collapsed forward.
"Jonas! Get your ass . . . AUGH!" Daniel screamed again when Shamira started to crawl along his back, sinking claws all the way through his flesh and into the floor, puncturing veins and arteries while slicing bones and tendons. She reached into his back and ripped out his kidneys, then stared up at the hole in the ceiling and saw Jonas staring back at her.