Young Blood Ch. 05

byicehead©

"Your kidding! You just think about looking like someone off the cover of Seventeen and boom?"

"Well, there's a bit more to it than that," she said rather cryptically. "You're kind of playing a part yourself."

Naturally, I raised an eyebrow. "Come again?"

She began looking intently at me. "Look at my eyes, Vincent. Look." She didn't have to tell me twice; it was pretty hard not to look at those eyes anyway. But as I started looking at them then, the world around me began to drift away. There was nothing in the world at all except for her and those two brilliant blue beacons. And all I wanted to do was come to them, to become lost in those eyes, and never find my way out.

Then she blinked. The world came rushing back to me. "Whoa," I gasped. "What was... whoa!"

"It's all in the eyes," she mused. "I'm projecting myself through them, and they're drawing you in."

I decided I didn't need any further explanation. "Well... that's impressive!"

She shrugged, the boundless confidences she'd displayed a second ago giving way to the coy and unsure little girl I knew. "Yeah, I'm still kind of working on it. I'd say Elizabeth's got it pretty much down pat, though."

No kidding, I thought. After all, wasn't that how Elizabeth had ensnared me in her net in the first place? But what I said was, "Well I think you're getting pretty damn good at it yourself," with an impish smile thrown in.

"Really?"

"Let me put it this way: I think you can consider me pretty well... drawn." She smiled. Oh, she was so beautiful when she smiled.

***

We finally returned to her room a little after midnight, just randomly laughing back and forth at each other. I don't even remember what we were laughing at. If I didn't know better, I'd think we were just plain crazy drunk, but we really hadn't had that much to drink. We were just having fun.

Alicia was about to put her key in the door when the door opened without her. There was Elizabeth standing there with, go figure, a smile on her face. "Hello, come on in," she beckoned. And just as Elizabeth predicted, Alicia stepped inside, gasped, and said "Oh, wow!" I actually didn't blame her. The room had been decorated all around with flower petals and white silk drapes and scented candles. Set out by Alicia's bed was the bucket of ice with the bottle of Sang du Coeur, accompanied by a pair of wine glasses. Elizabeth hit a button on the remote in her hand, and the music started up.

"I'll leave the two of you alone now," Elizabeth beamed, heading out the door. "Good night. And I really mean that, you know."

Alicia gave me a look that was somewhere between delighted and confused, which I think she was both. "What's going on here?"

"Well, Elizabeth and I did a little planning since last night," I told her. "We had dinner, sure but that doesn't mean the night has to end there." I wandered over to the bucket by the bed and removed the bottle from the ice. "Shall we?"

"What is it?"

I'll leave off the explanation, since you already heard that part. I poured the drinks, we sat down, we clinked glasses and drank. And the drink wasn't that bad, really. Somehow, it really did seem to go with the mood Elizabeth was trying to go along with. But right then, most of my attention was exactly where it was before, on her eyes. Except this time, she was looking back at me with the same kind of look in her eyes as I was giving her. She wasn't reaching out and drawing me in anymore; any magic that happened here was going to happen on its own.

After a while, I turned my attention towards the music that was playing. The slow, soft, gentle music that was just perfect for... "Hey, you uh... want to dance?" She smiled—I swear, every smile I saw on her that night was at least twice as beautiful as the last—and took my hand. We stood and moved to the center of the room. Her hands linked together behind my neck while mine took hold of the small of her back, and we began moving. Eye-to-eye. Neither of us was looking away. Neither of us could look away. There was nothing but me and her, and that was all I wanted there to be. I didn't even notice when the distance between us had closed to just about nothing until her head came to rest on my shoulder. I leaned my face against her head, and my eyes closed.

And I stayed that way. And we kept dancing. We continued to move, lost in oblivion. I thought we were going to stay that way forever, and I didn't care, until I finally felt her head move. I opened my eyes, and saw hers looking at me with a quivering longing. We said nothing. Nothing needed to be said. I leaned forward, and our lips met. Yes, I'd kissed her many times before, but this time was different. The motive behind it was different. Affection, I'd done that. Passion, absolutely. But this was new.

This was love.

I think my hands took on a life of their own as they began gently sliding the zipper down the back of her dress almost without my consent. At the same time, I felt her hands unbuttoning my shirt, while our lips still remained locked. Once she'd gotten the last button off my shirt and slid it off me, she freed her hands just long enough for me to slide the straps of her dress down off her shoulders. Then she placed them back on my neck.

I realized then that almost on intuition (or maybe not even almost), we'd been adjusting our movements toward the bed, when she lay back on it. I moved my lips down to kiss her neck and her tits as I slowly slid her panties off. For a moment I raised myself up, looking down on her lovely, waiting naked form, and finally dropped my pants and came back down on her.

Had you asked me before that night what the difference was between having sex and making love, I'd have looked at you like you were from another planet and said, "There's a difference?" I learned very well that night what the difference was, because this definitely qualified as making love in a way no sex we'd had before ever had. I knelt over her and resumed making out with her as I slowly plowed my way inside. I took everything with the gentlest touch I was capable of, slowly sliding in and out.

And so we went on. And on, and on... We changed positions from time to time, rolling around to put her on top, allowing her to sit up vertical, or moving around to go from behind, but our pace never really changed that much. We just went on, taking it slow, savoring every moment to its fullest extent. I don't know how long we kept this up for; it seemed like hours. Hours that neither of us wanted to end. We ultimately came almost simultaneously and fell into each other's embrace.

I woke up the next morning with a warm body in my arms. I look down at her, seeing her still sleeping there. And I loved her. I knew it right then, looking at the beautiful naked girl sleeping in my embrace, I knew I loved her. It was as simple as that. With the back of my fingers I gently stroked the side of her face. Her mouth formed into a smile before her eyes were even open. And even then, she got out a little happy giggle before her eyes opened and looked at me.

"Hi," she whispered.

"Hi," I whispered back. And I kissed her.

A thought entered my mind just then as I held her. "You know the stories about vampires that say they're supposed to be the living dead, with their bodies as cold as the ground they're buried in?"

"Yeah?"

"I can't tell you how happy I am right now that that turned out to be a myth."

She smiled wider. "I know," she said, and pressed herself harder against me. "Can we stay like this forever?" I didn't say anything to that. I didn't need to. We both knew I felt exactly the same way.

For a while, I'm not sure how long, the only motion in the room, and the only sound made, was our breathing. Neither of us moved again until the door opened and Elizabeth waltzed in. "Morning you two love birdies," she beamed. "You have a good time?"

Our only response was to look at each other and laugh. Then I said, "What about you, how was your night?"

"Well, I could tell you," she said, when she suddenly held up a video tape and added, "but there is a reason Vanessa has a video camera!"

I looked at her a moment, and then cracked up laughing. "You little firecracker!"

She set the tape down next to the TV and headed in the direction of the bathroom. "I'm gonna go shower now. Anybody feel up to joining me?"

We both laughed with her, but declined. "I think we're just gonna stay here," Alicia said. Elizabeth nodded, and closed the bathroom door behind her. And so we remained, lying there.

***

It was several hours later when I actually managed to drag myself out of Alicia's bed, get dressed and head back up to my dorm. It was a torturous moment for both of us when I left; even after I opened the door, she came up to me to make out some more, and we both had trouble stopping, but stop we ultimately did. So I went back up to my dorm building, and headed for my dorm room. I was practically skipping along, feeling like a million bucks.

Five steps before reaching my door, I stopped. The blissful mood I was in had vanished in an instant, replaced with an all-consuming dread. I was six feet away from my room. The door was closed. Nonetheless, even from where I was, I could tell something was horribly wrong.

There's no hiding the smell of fresh human blood from a vampire's nose.

I ran to the door, shoved the key in the lock and swung it open. The room had been ransacked, various items thrown all over the place. And seated on the floor, slumped against his bed, was Larry, his shirt wet with his own blood. I didn't bother checking for a pulse. I could tell from where I was standing that there was no breath coming from him. I stepped up to him, and tilted his head to the side to examine his neck. And there they were. The two telltale marks.

That was when I noticed the Polaroid in his hand. I carefully bent down to remove the little picture from his fingers, and brought it up to examine it. I took one look and almost flew into a mad panic. It was Tanya, holding a terrified Michelle by the throat, running a tongue up the side of her neck, fangs fully exposed.

I suddenly realized how badly I'd fucked up by telling Tanya that I cared about this girl. Tanya knew she could use Michelle against me. I felt my teeth grinding together and a feral growl escaping my throat, and before I knew what I was doing I'd punched a hole in the wall. I was about to pick up the TV and hurl it across the room, when I saw what was written on the bottom of the Polaroid.

"Wickman Lecture Hall B14 3:00 (Any later, and she's lunch!)"

It was a quarter to 3:00 now. I dropped the Polaroid and bolted out the door, swinging it closed behind me, not stopping to make sure it actually latched shut. I descended down into the tunnels, and I ran.

I think it took me about two minutes to get to where I was going. Given that this was Sunday, of course, there wasn't supposed to be anyone there. But I found the lock on the door had been forced open—clearly by someone with a vampire's strength—which I took full advantage of. The lecture hall was mostly empty, aside from Michelle lying on the desk at the front of the room, her wrists and ankles tied, and a strip of duct tape across her mouth. But no Tanya. I also took full advantage of that.

I ran to the desk where Michelle lay waiting. She began squirming, trying hard to say something, as I came near. It didn't take a genius to see she was genuinely terrified. I stood over her and said, "Hold still, Michelle, hold still." I reached for the strip of tape on her mouth and said, "This gonna hurt me more than you." I quickly yanked it off, eliciting a little squeal of pain from her followed by a rush of words as she sat up.

"Oh, Vincent, you've gotta get me out of here! I came by your room to see if you wanted to talk some more, and you weren't there, and then this girl showed up, and she killed Larry, and... and... I know you're going to think I'm crazy, but I think she's a... a vampire!"

"I know."

She stared at me. "What do you mean you know?"

"Look, let's just get you out of here," I said, starting to untie her hands. But no sooner had I begun doing so than her eyes glanced behind me, flared up in terror, and she shouted my name just a nanosecond too late for me to avoid being tackled from behind. I rolled with the blow, and raised myself up in a three-point stance to see Tanya glaring at me. Forgetting, or else not really caring, what Michelle saw, I reacted in the natural way for a vampire to react: I bared my teeth and hissed at her.

Michelle screamed. As if you didn't know she would.

Tanya immediately clamped her hand onto Michelle's throat, silencing the terrified girl. "Vincent, don't you know I put that tape on her mouth for a reason?"

I rose up on my feet, utterly enraged like I never had been before. "Tanya," I growled, "you get your goddamn hands off her right now, before I tear your fucking throat out!"

Tanya's wickedly sharp fingernails—no, her claws—hovered threateningly over Michelle's face. "Do really think you can do that to me before I have time to do so much worse to her?" Defeated, I could do nothing but hiss at her again.

"Vincent, you're pathetic. I want you to know that. Why do you keep insisting on fawning over these humans like this?"

"I don't have any intention of making that girl part of my life anymore," I said to her, still seething. "I just want her to have her own."

"Yes, her own life," Tanya mused. "Her own short, mortal, human life. You want her to go off on her own, get all old and wrinkly, and then die. Don't you get it, Vincent? Don't you realize what she is?"

"She's a human. A living, breathing human being."

"That's right, she's a human. A mortal. Do you understand that concept? One way or another, she's going to die sooner or later. What difference does right now make from fifty years from now?" Of course, Michelle began struggling to pull away, but she soon realized she was only succeeding in choking herself.

"She deserves a chance to use the time she has! As short as it might be, she has a life!"

"You really care that much about this girl?" Tanya taunted me, circling around behind the girl she was holding. "You really want her to live? Well you know she can! She doesn't have to die. She can live as long as she wants!" I became confused for a moment, until she added "...Forever."

That was like a hard blow to the gut. "No!"

"Why not? If you really don't want her to die then why not? I don't see what's so hard about this, Vincent. It's simple. We're vampires, she's human. We're immortal, she's not. We live, she dies. That's the way it is. But you can change her position, right here, right now."

I stared at her a moment, unsure what to say. Before I could find any words, however, she went a step farther. "I have to tell you," she added, tilting Michelle's head to expose her neck while her hand moved from the throat to the mouth, "I am getting rather thirsty myself. And you know what? She's looking absolutely luscious!" With that she ran her tongue along Michelle's neck, just as she had in the photo, and bared her fangs with a grin that was absolutely dripping with malice. "It's your choice Vincent. Does she live, or does she die?"

I froze in mute horror. Either I turn Michelle into a vampire right here and now, or Tanya kills her right in front of me. I looked at Michelle, struggling to breathe her giant panicked breaths, her eyes the size of golf balls, her sweat dripping down off her cheeks. What could I do?

For a moment, all I could feel was hatred. Utter, absolute seething hatred for Tanya. But I realized then that that wasn't going to get Michelle out of this. There was nothing I could do but play Tanya's sick game. Have Michelle die now, or live forever like me.

On careful comparison, I realized there was only one choice I could make.

"All right... give her to me."

Tanya grinned wider, and untied Michelle's feet. She stood her up on the floor, and with one quick shove Michelle was in my arms. At bared my fangs at the girl, who was now too panicked to even scream, and cast a glance at Tanya. She gave me an approving nod.

Gee, I thought, that was almost too easy.

I shoved Michelle aside and leapt with a feral growl at where Tanya was standing. Except when I landed, Tanya wasn't standing there anymore. In the time it had taken me to leap, she had flickered over to where I had shoved Michelle, whom she was now holding again.

"I was so hoping you'd do that," she mused in the most sinister way I'd ever heard anyone speak. And with that she took hold of Michelle by the hair and exposed her neck again, baring her fangs, and this time not to just threaten. She was going for the kill.

"NO!" For a heartbeat, time seemed to freeze. Even if I flickered, there was no way I'd get to her in time to stop Tanya from sinking her teeth into her.

I didn't need to.

In a flash, an indistinct figure tackled Tanya from behind. The two shapes crashed into the wooden desk Michelle had been laying on, smashing it. As the movements ceased, I was able to make out a black waterfall of hair and a shimmering pair of golden eyes. Elizabeth looked at me briefly, then turned back on her foe. The two vampire women raised themselves up, snarling at each other like a pair of wild dogs. And thus ensued one of the most outrageous, yet simultaneously scary things I'd ever seen: a vampire catfight. These two women proceeded biting and clawing at each other, getting plenty of blood all over the floor, until Tanya started gaining an edge and punched Elizabeth as hard as she could into the wall.

I had to act quick, as the murderous brunette stepped over to her fallen opponent. I suddenly noticed the smashed desk, and flickered over to it to snatch up a sharp piece of the broken wood. Contrary to popular myth, a wooden stake isn't necessarily what you'd need to do what I was about to do, but it would still do the trick.

Tanya stood fuming over Elizabeth, her foot planted on Elizabeth's throat and her clawed hand poised to strike. "You little bitch!" was all she had time to say before I plunged the sharp piece of wood through her back.

"Tanya," I said, "you ever think maybe living forever ain't all it's cracked up to be?"

And then I let her drop.

I extended a hand down to help Elizabeth up, which she accepted. "You okay?"

"I'll live."

I inwardly noticed the irony of that response. Yeah, she'll live. She's a vampire.

On that I turned my attention to Michelle, who'd been watching the whole scenario play out in frozen horror. I began moving towards her. "Michelle?" As I drew near, she began to panic, slowly backing away, and then turned and ran up the steps, out the door, and out of my life. Probably wise.

"Are you okay?" Elizabeth asked me.

After a few seconds' hesitation I managed one word: "Physically."

***

Most of what happened that day got cleaned up without too many humans walking away with any questions. Larry was dealt with in the same way as any student on campus who gets killed by vampires. My dorm room was restored to normal conditions, and under the circumstances, I was able to get off fairly easy for killing Tanya. I was suspended from returning to the SVA for an indefinite period, which all things considered isn't all that bad. Patrick could have done a lot worse.

The worst of the damage was done to me. I spent the next three days and nights brooding over it. On the night following the incident, Alicia came by to give me some comfort, which she did. I was happy to have her there, I won't deny that. But my mind still continued to churn, and the thoughts I was churning up weren't happy ones.

Michelle had gotten off okay, that was true. It could have been so much worse. But what if something like this happened again? Tanya certainly wouldn't be the only vampire who thought the way she did, and Michelle was hardly the only human I still had ties to. But none of them could be part of my life anymore; they were enemies. Prey. Any contact with them was just asking for trouble. Just asking for death.

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